CAS to induct eight into Hall of Fame

The College of Arts and Sciences will induct eight into its Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Saturday, April 9.

Induction into the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed on current, past or honorary members of the arts and sciences community. Nominations can be based on outstanding performance in one’s profession; demonstrated leadership in one’s profession and/or community; favorable statewide, national or international recognition; honors from associations or employers; outstanding service to the institution; and/or evidence that one’s work has proven beneficial to a pronounced segment of society. Hall of Fame inductees are selected from nominations submitted by alumni, friends, faculty and staff, and are approved by the College of Arts and Sciences dean.

Photo of George GordonGeorge J. GordonPolitics and Government Professor Emeritus

George J. Gordon is professor emeritus of politics and government at Illinois State University and member of the McLean County Board. He served 32 years at Illinois State before retiring in 2002 and has since served as adjunct faculty here and at Illinois Wesleyan University. Gordon earned his bachelor of arts from Penn State University, his master of arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his doctorate from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is coauthor ofPublic Administration in America11th edition (forthcoming), a leading textbook for both undergraduate and graduate introductory courses in public administration. He also has published articles in Public Administration Quarterly, Journal of the American Planning Association, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism as well as in several books of collected readings. Gordon is also a member of the Unit 5 Superintendent’s Diversity Advisory Committee, the Cedar Ridge Elementary School Promise Council, the Ecology Action Center Board of Directors, and the Friends of the Constitution Trail.

Photo of Myra GordonMyra Gordon, M.S. ’97English

Myra Gordon has served as the executive director of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation since mid-2007, after retiring from State Farm in 2006. She began her State Farm career as an intern during her studies for her master’s degree in English at Illinois State. Prior to her years at State Farm, Gordon was executive director of Operation Recycle during the years it was a full-time, full-service, community recycling center. She also worked as an environmental educator around the state of Illinois for the Central States Education Center of Champaign, helping to develop its Model Community Program. She earlier worked as a field advisor and public relations director for the Centrillio Girl Scout Council, and as a field advisor for the Greater St. Louis Girl Scout Council. Gordon graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1970, and received her master’s degree in English from Illinois State in 1997. While at Illinois State she was a founding member and co-president of a chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.

Photo of Erwin McEwenErwin McEwen ’86Economics

Erwin “Mac” McEwen is the director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In this capacity he is responsible for the safety and well-being of children who are reported to be abused or neglected, and for increasing their families’ capacity to safely care for them.  McEwen previously served as deputy director of the Division of Monitoring and Quality Assurance of DCFS. His division was responsible for monitoring private child welfare agencies contracted with DCFS, agency and institution licensing, day care centers and homes, audits, performance-based contracts, and DCFS quality assurance.

McEwen has committed more than 20 years of service to youth and families in the Illinois social services community. He serves as a member of the Administration of Children and Families—Center for the Study of Social Policy, American Humane Association National Quality Improvement on Fatherhood Issues and Child Welfare, National Child Workforce Institute Advisory Committee, and The Children’s Trust and Prevention Fund—National Advisory Committee on Quality Improvement and Early Childhood. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in economics from Illinois State, McEwen holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, with a clinical concentration in family systems.

Photo of Dean MillerDean Miller ’77Economics

Dean Miller has spent the majority of his career in the high-end sector of the consumer electronics industry, with a short stint in the luxury automobile business. He joined Nakamichi America Corporation shortly out of school and worked there for 13 years, serving as president for seven years in Torrance, Calif. Moving back to the Chicago area in 1990, Miller served as president of Bang & Olufsen America for eight years. He was then appointed president of Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motor Cars, Inc. For the past nine years Miller served as president of The Quest Group, an Irvine, Calif, manufacturer of the AudioQuest and WireLogic brands. Miller was appointed president and CEO of Lenbrook America, owners of the NAD brand of electronics and PSB loudspeakers. The company is also the distributor of Tivoli Audio, which is a line of high performance radios and iPod related products. Miller has served on the board of several trade organizations as well. Miller earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1977, was on the gymnastics team during his freshman year, and was a member of Gamma Phi Circus for four years. He was also a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the national economics honorary society.

Photo of Alfred RunteAlfred Runte, M.S. ’71, History

Alfred Runte is an internationally recognized public historian specializing in protected lands and the national parks. He advised Ken Burns during the production of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and appeared in all six episodes of the Emmy award-winning series. Before coming to Illinois State in 1969, Runte earned his bachelor of arts in history from Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University). His master’s thesis at Illinois State,The Scenic Preservation Movement in the United States, 1864-1916, inspired his doctoral dissertation on the national park idea at University of California at Santa Barbara. Published in 1979 as National Parks: The American Experience, the book is now in its fourth edition.

In 1979 he was appointed assistant director and assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Baylor University, and then moved to the University of Washington to be closer to the national parks. Hands-on research as a seasonal ranger in Yosemite National Park between 1980 and 1983, led to two books, Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks (1984), andYosemite: The Embattled Wilderness (1990).  Runte was also centennial historian for the U.S. Forest Service, served on the board of trustees and advisory board of the National Parks Conservation Association and helped launch Natureza & Conservação, a new international journal of ecology published in Brazil.  In recent years Runte has busied himself with saving railroads as effective allies of open space, a contribution he develops in Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation (2006). An expanded fifth edition of Trains of Discovery: Railroads and the Legacy of Our National Parks will also appear this summer. He has been a guest on NightlineThe Today Show48 Hours, the History and Travel channels, and in numerous PBS documentaries.

Photo of Kenneth SchrankelKenneth Schrankel, M.S. ’73, Ph.D. ’78Biological Sciences

Ken Schrankel was employed with International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (IFF) for more than 27 years before retiring in September 2008. During his career with IFF, he was engaged in the world of safety and regulatory compliance of flavors used in food and beverages, as well as fragrances used in cosmetics and household products. After his arrival at IFF as a research toxicologist, Schrankel’s responsibilities quickly grew and he was appointed vice president (IFF-U.S.) and global director of safety assurance. In 2003, Schrankel was appointed vice president, Regulatory Policy and Industry Issues. Beyond authoring 20 patents on insect attractants and repellents, he has published one book chapter and 16 scientific papers. In addition to his valued contributions to IFF, Schrankel has significantly impacted the industry and regulatory worlds and was asked to serve on the International Fragrance Association’s Scientific Committee. He was selected as the U.S. Flavor and Extract Manufacturers’ Association’s representative to the International Organization of the Flavor Industry’s Technical Experts Committee. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Toxicology Forum. From 1993 through 1997 he served as vice chairman and member of the National Advisory Committee for Food Hygiene and Inspection of Imported Food of the People’s Republic of China.

Photo of Tom SheridanTom Sheridan ‘90, Communication

Tom Sheridan is entering his 16th season with the Chicago White Sox. A 1990 graduate of Illinois State with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in economics, he also was a member of the Redbird baseball team. In 1991 Sheridan began his sports career as a summer sales intern with the Chicago Bulls, selling advertising space in the official team program. He then took a telemarketing position with the Chicago White Sox and was offered a full-time position in 1992 as an account executive. He left in 1995 to take a position at Elite Marketing as the manager of sports marketing and sales. In 1997 he took the director of marketing and advertising position at Balmoral Park Racetrack. Sheridan returned to the Chicago White Sox in 1999 as their manager of ticket sales, and in 2004 became the director of ticket sales. He has developed and overseen the creation of the United Scout Seats, Home Plate Club, Fan Deck, and Warning Track areas during a seven-year renovation plan. He has also restructured and expanded his staff into a proactive sales group specializing in separate areas of the sales process. Revenues have expanded more than 45 percent since the 2004 season.

Photo of Mary TurilliMary Turilli ’78, M.S. ’82Communication

Mary J. Turilli is a long-time associate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. She is currently vice president of Real Estate and Development, Corporate Transactions Group. Her work includes bringing value to Hyatt while managing a variety of matters and risks through situational analysis, strategic development and implementation of resolutions for a variety of challenges faced by managers, owners and lenders in the hospitality industry. Turilli’s first role at Hyatt was as the administrative assistant to the general counsel and she was promoted numerous times during her tenure of more than 28 years. She has also been involved in the reorganization of Braniff Airlines, acquisitions and dispositions of various assets, financial workouts and the development of Hyatt hotels located in Baku, Azerbaijan; Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Zurich, Switzerland; Thessaloniki, Greece; Dubai, U.A.E.; and Kiev, Ukraine. Turilli has also authored publications related to compliance with the American Disabilities Act, and additional research tools that are utilized by Hyatt associates worldwide.

While at Illinois State, Turilli competed on the Forensics Union and also served as a coach and its president.  In 1985, she was a speaker at Communication Week and was awarded the Outstanding Communication Alum Award. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board to the School of Communication.