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Football fame 

Redbird NFL fans have one of their own on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees. Marketing graduate Robert Zmudka ’89 was elected last year after serving on the Hall of Fame’s Advisory Board. The Hall of Fame has inducted 318 since its first class in 1963. It is located in Canton, Ohio. Zmudka’s involvement is outside of his work for Rail North America, GATX Corporation. He is senior vice president and chief commercial officer. 

Running ahead

Outstanding student-athlete Aisha Praught Leer ’12 still holds records from her time on ISU’s cross country/track and field teams. She captured numerous Missouri Valley Conference awards, and qualified for the NCAA Championships as a senior. She represented her native country of Jamaica in the 2016 Olympics. She finished 14th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and holds the Jamaican national record for the event. Her accomplishments caught the eye of Under Armour. The sportswear manufacturer has signed Praught Leer to its roster of star athletes featured in ad campaigns.

Best in Indiana

College of Education alum Jeff Butts, M.S. ’95, has built a career teaching and leading students. His efforts and excellence have been noted with his selection as the 2019 Indiana Superintendent of the Year. Butts leads the Metropolitan School district of Wayne Township on the west side of Indianapolis. During his eight years in that role, the district’s graduation rate has climbed 34 percent, the state’s first public virtual high school opened, and a collaboration with area colleges resulted in more than 27,000 dual college credits earned by district students prior to finishing high school.

Proud pathologist

Laura Severs ’11 has been honored by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as one of the Top 40 Under Forty Leaders in Laboratory Medicine. Severs received the honor from the world’s largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals. Severs graduated with a degree in medical laboratory science. She is section head of transfusion services and point of care testing coordinator at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. She also serves as a safety coach, and has won awards for her collaborative efforts in providing gold standard care. 

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