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Salute to a scholar

Michael Plewa, M.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’74, studied biological sciences at ISU. He devoted more than 40 years to higher education as a professor of genetics. Plewa’s research in environmental and molecular mutagenesis has focused on toxicology of chemically treated drinking water. He taught around the world, and is completing a two-year term as a Phi Kappa Phi Scholar. An ISU Alumnus Achievement Award recipient, Plewa has been awarded two Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Change agent

Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois has awarded its prestigious fellowship to Caress Brown ’08. The organization addresses disparities in educational attainment due to race, ethnicity, income and region. It works to increase the number of minority full-time faculty and staff in higher education across the state. Brown is completing a doctorate at ISU in Educational Administration and Foundations. An administrator at Loyola in Chicago, she aspires to be a scholar-activist through teaching, research and leadership in higher education. She is one of five nontraditional ISU graduate students to receive the fellowship.

Behind the scenes

Passionate about the arts but lacking stage talent, Greg Cameron ’80 has excelled as executive director of the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet based in Chicago. He served in various arts administrative and philanthropic positions before joining the ballet in 2013. Since then, the Joffrey has set new records at the box office and built the strongest financial foundation in its history. Cameron has been named to a leadership position on the Board of Dance/USA. He is actively engaged in civic outreach initiatives in Chicago.

Accolades to advisor

Rees Mason finished a general finance degree in 2008 and joined Merrill Lynch in 2012. Her success in financial planning, portfolio management, and investment counsel has put her in the national spotlight. Mason was named to the inaugural list of America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors published by Forbes. The magazine partnered with SHOOK Research to identify the top 500 millennial wealth advisors leading wealth management into the future. Mason is co-chair of both the American Heart Association Young Professional’s Board, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

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