Monument tied to movement
It took Dr. Lorenzo Pace, Ed.D. ’78, nearly a decade to create a 65-foot black granite sculpture titled the “Triumph of the Human Spirit.” He designed the abstract female antelope known as the Chiwara from Mali, Africa, that stands in New York City’s Thomas Paine Park at Foley Square. Given Pace crafted the piece as a reminder of the early dehumanizing of Black people, it is fitting that the sculpture has become a gathering site for the Black Lives Matter movement in Lower Manhattan. It has been highlighted in national media coverage, making Pace’s work integral to the ongoing pursuit of equity and justice.
Taking care of Illinois business
Dan Wagner ’89, M.S. ’94, is secretary of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce board. Senior vice president of government relations for the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc., he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Illinois Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. As a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Wagner advocated for the Marketplace Fairness Act that the Supreme Court ruled into law in 2018. A recipient of ISU’s Alumni Achievement Award, he is in the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and the Steve and Sandi Adams Legacy Hall of Fame.
Blazing a tech trail
As the inaugural Association of Computing Machinery Women (ACM-W) North America chair, Monica McGill, Ed.D. ’10, volunteers to promote, advocate for, and celebrate women in technology. She formed CSEdResearch.org, a nonprofit organization that evaluates and advances computing education in K-12 curricula. McGill is CEO and president of the agency that evolved from her research funded through the National Science Foundation. She is an associate professor of computer science at Knox College. She also serves on the Sjögren’s Foundation Board of Directors to educate and advocate for patients and their families affected by Sjögren’s Syndrome, which is an autoimmune condition.
Playwright with a purpose
York Walker ’09 is an actor and playwright chosen as the first recipient of the Colman Domingo Award through New York City’s Vineyard Theatre. The honor supports a Black artist in the development of new work. Walker plans to tell stories of Black and Black LGBTQ people, drawing on his own experiences as a Black gay actor. “It feels like part of my mission and life work to tell stories,” said Walker, who earned an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater for Acting. While at ISU, he helped found the Black Actors Guild, now known as the Black Artists’ League.