Illinois State University’s College of Arts and Sciences recently inducted nine new members into their Hall of Fame.
Inductees are chosen based on outstanding performance in their profession; demonstrated leadership in their profession or community; favorable statewide, national or international recognition; and/or proof that their work has proven beneficial to a pronounced segment of society.
This year’s inductees are Craig Bouchard, Willie Brown, Michael Canney, John McClarey, Suzanne Michalek, Tong-man Ong, Vernon Pohlmann, John Rooney and Sharon Tarvin.
Bouchard ’75, M.S. ’77, is co-founder and president of Esmark. Inc. He received his bachelor’s degree in social sciences and his master’s in economics at Illinois State and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. He worked for 20 years at First National Bank of Chicago (now J.P. Morgan/Chase/Bank One) as global head of derivatives trading, securities sales, head of the Asia Pacific Operations and as senior vice president. He also served as managing director of a merchant banking partnership with the bank of China in Beijing. After retiring from First National, he was chief executive officer of Numerix, Inc. In 2002, he and his brother formed Esmark, a steel services company that has become the sixth largest steel company in the U.S. with 3,000 employees and revenues of $2.5 billion. Bouchard is a former trustee of Boston University and the University of Montana Foundation, an alumnus of Leadership Greater Chicago and founder of the charity “Girls Are Best,” which nurtures high-potential teenage girls with family problems. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board in the Illinois State Department of Economics.
Willie Brown ’73 is executive vice president of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Brown is a member of the Chairman’s Council and oversees Administrative Services, Enterprise Services and Creative Services. He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, Chartered Life Underwriter and Fellow of the Life Management Institute designations as well as the NAACP Roy Wilkens Award. Brown is an Urban League member and on the boards of State Farm Guaranty and Indemnity and the State Farm Foundation. He has served as a trustee of Illinois Wesleyan University, president of Wesleyan’s Associates Board and on the United Way of McLean County Board of Directors. Brown was elected to the Illinois State College of Business (COB) Hall of Fame and is a member of the COB Advisory Board and College of Arts and Sciences Community Advisory Board as well as Bloomington High School’s Hall of Fame.
Canney ’84 is an entrepreneur who has started eight successful companies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics at Illinois State and his MBA from Tulane University. While at Illinois State, he started a house painting business and a carpentry business making furniture for student residence halls, employing over 30 students. Canney worked as an electrical engineer developing underwater acoustics systems for the U.S. Navy and as a large defense contractor designing reconnaissance satellites. He founded and was CEO of Intelligence Data Systems, which became the third fastest growing defense contractor in the U.S. Canney and his wife, Diane, founded Sunset Hills Vineyard in Virginia, which recently received two Bronze Medals for first vintage. He started Mike Canney Motorsports, competing in professional events across the U.S. and Canada, and Vintage Technical Services of Loudoun, developing commercial Internet applications. The Canneys have a charitable trust that provides scholarships to students and grants to worthwhile causes.
McClarey M.S. ’71 retired from teaching and state government to pursue art. His life-size sculptured works of Abraham Lincoln are located in seven Illinois cities and two new works are underway, with his most prized works at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and in the Russian State Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow as well as others in Cuba and Japan. McClarey served as a Lincoln Ambassador in Russia, conducting workshops and making presentations on Lincoln. His collected works of Lincoln are in the Henry Horner Collection in Springfield, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Eastern National Park Service in Springfield. McClarey was the first “visual historian” to win the Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement at the Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, and he has been nominated for the Order of Lincoln. His works have appeared in many publications and film documentaries on Lincoln.
Michalek ’67, M.S. ’68 is a professor in the Department of Microbiology in the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) and is a senior scientist in the Center for AIDS Research, the Multipurpose Arthritis Center, the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease at UAB. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Illinois State in biological sciences and her Ph.D. in mucosal immunology from UAB. Michalek has served as the interim chair of the UAB Department of Microbiology, director of the UAB Research Center in Oral Biology, president of the Association for Gnotobiotics and secretary-treasurer of the Society of Mucosal Immunology. Her research focuses on the mucosal immune system, induction and regulation of the IgA immune response, mucosal vaccine development, T cell regulatory networks in the mucosal immune system and in inflammatory responses, microbial-host interactions in pathogenesis/immunity and innate immune mechanisms. Michalek has authored and co-authored more than 300 research papers, reviews and book chapters and is the recipient of a USPHS Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and Research Career Development Award and the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award for Dental Caries Research as well as the Illinois State University Alumni Achievement Award.
Tong-man Ong M.S. ’67, Ph.D. ’70 retired from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 1996 as leader of the molecular epidemiology team. He also served as chief of the microbiology section and as adjunct professor of genetics at West Virginia University. Prior to his time at NIOSH, Ong received a postdoctoral fellowship at Damon Runyon Cancer Research and was appointed a staff fellow and geneticist by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He is internationally known for his research in genetic toxicology and occupational cancer. The author of more than 200 papers, chapters and reviews, Ong was named Outstanding Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Employee of the Year in Research, the only NIOSH employee to attain the outstanding designation. He was awarded an Alexander Hollaender Award from the American Environmental Mutagen Society in recognition of his contributions in occupational genetic toxicology research and was the recipient of the Illinois State University Alumni Achievement Award and Distinguished Alumni Award.
Pohlmann is a professor emeritus of Sociology at Illinois State and a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Emeritus Faculty Advisory Board. He earned the rank of captain in the Army Air Corp during WWII and then taught in the St. Louis public school system where he researched and published on the cost of segregated education, data cited by plaintiffs before the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. The Board of Education. Pohlmann received his Ph.D. from Washington University and joined Illinois State in 1955. He served on the Town of Normal Council and has been a 30-year member of the United Way, serving as vice-president and delegate to the State Board of Directors. Pohlmann was the leading researcher for McLean County position papers for White House conferences on aging and on youth. He was an organizer of the State of Illinois Data Center, recognized and partially funded by the Census Bureau. During his tenure at Illinois State, he served as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, president of the Illinois Sociological Association, secretary of the Midwest Sociological Society and president of the American Association of University Professors.
Rooney ’61, M.S. ’62 is an author, professor and sports consultant. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from Illinois State and his Ph.D. from Clark University. He is Regents Professor Emeritus of geography at Oklahoma State University, executive director of the North American Culture Society, president of Rooney and Associates, Inc., chief executive officer of Longitudes Group LLC and president of Rooney Golf Group LLC and Rooney Development Group LLC. Rooney pioneered the geographic analysis of sport and wrote the first book on the subject, The Geography of American Sport and authored The Recruiting Game as well as edited This Remarkable Continent: An Atlas of U.S. and Canadian Society and Culture. He was the publisher of Sport Place International and is a consultant to Golf Digest/Tennis, Business Week and a variety of sports organizations. Rooney has lectured at more than 100 universities in the U.S., Europe and Asia as well as been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, and NPR. He has worked with the Golf Digest Companies on the development of the Data Base of Golf in America and is working on a U.S. geo-demographic data base focusing on the socio-economic behavior of American consumers. He has been involved in the construction of eight golf facilities.
Tarvin ’71 is vice president and chief operations officer at State Farm Bank®. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Illinois State, her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois and earned the Certified Treasury Professional, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Chartered Life Underwriter designations. Tarvin began her career at Peoples Bank of Bloomington as a trust accountant and assumed the role of senior vice president. She has served on the Illinois Electronic Funds Transfer Board, the Governor’s EFT Advisory Council, regional ATM network boards and the United Way Allocations Board as well as chaired the McLean County American Institute of Banking and Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce. Tarvin joined State Farm as manager of banking services and assumed her current position in 2007. She was elected to the Founding Board of Trustees for Heartland Community College and served as founding chair. Tarvin chaired the Eastern Illinois Regional Trustee Association and served on several Illinois Community College Trustee Association committees. She received the Young Career Women designation from the Business and Professional Women organization at the local and district level and was named a YWCA Woman of Distinction in Business, and Banker of the Year for McLean County by the American Institute of Banking. Tarvin has served on the College of Business Advisory Council, the University of Illinois Executive MBA Alumni Board and is currently a member of the Illinois State College of Arts and Sciences Community Advisory Board.