The College of Education at Illinois State University will induct five alumni into its Hall of Fame on Friday, October 15 during the University’s 2021 Homecoming celebration. Three Outstanding Young Alumni will also be recognized during this event.

Dr. Matt Goodwin

Dr. Matt Goodwin, St. Paul, Minnesota, ’01, M.S. 03, is the Associate Provost at St. Catherine University. He has focused his career on centering students in his work which earned him awards as the student advocate and faculty/staff of the year at two different universities. A key accomplishment throughout his career is his ability to identify resources that helped his institutions to continue to provide the support students need to achieve their goals.

Dr. Ross Hodel

Dr. Ross Hodel, Springfield, ’65, M.S. Ed. 69, has been at the forefront of education policy in Illinois since 1975. He served as an advisor to Illinois Governor James R. Thompson, was Deputy Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Finance manager for the Illinois State Board of Education and served as the Director of the Center for Education Policy at Illinois State. He is a 2014 recipient of the Ben C. Hubbard Education Leadership Award and a member of the Illinois State University Million Dollar Club.

Dr. Timothy Kilrea

Dr. Timothy Kilrea, Frankfort, Ed. D. 98, recently retired after serving more than 30 years in education, most recently as the Superintendent of Lyons Township High School District 204. With a servant leadership mindset, he spent most of his career in administrative roles focusing on the success of his students and staff. He was a member of the administrative team that opened Lincoln-Way East High School, helped develop a Special Education Transition Program at District 204, and served on many committees to hire and retain quality educators and staff.

Dr. Daniel López

Dr. Daniel López, Chicago, Ph.D. 02, is the President of Harold Washington College-City Colleges in Chicago. Lopez has over twenty-five years of experience in higher education. As a leader, he has provided comprehensive academic support services to students, developed educational programming, and has led many student affairs units. He has created safe spaces for undocumented students and been a role model for many students of color. He is a member of the Latino Alumni Network at Illinois State, the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education, the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois graduate fellowship, and the Latin United Housing Association.

Dr. Mary Manz Simon

Dr. Mary Manz Simon, Ft. Myers, Florida, ‘69 began her career in an elementary classroom. She became a children’s book author, and she now has a global classroom with books available in 11 languages. Her career also included developing family viewing guides for the Berenstain Bears, crafting Dry Erase products for Crayola and consulting for many organizations such as DreamWorks Animation and Sony Home Entertainment. She was also friends with Fred Rogers and consulted for his popular TV show. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association at Illinois State.

Outstanding Young Alumni

Karyn Baldwin

Karyn Baldwin, Hoffman Estates, ‘17 is making a difference in her career so far, especially in bilingual classrooms. She was a Golden Apple Scholar while attending Illinois State and was a 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Fellow where she worked to enact change in current state policies so that bilingual education is available to all students who need it. She is involved in many programs in her school and the local Delta Kappa Gamma chapter where she was the recipient of the 2019 Lambda State Foundation for Educational Studies Grant.

Dr. Daniel Frederking

Dr. Daniel Frederking, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ’08, Ed.D. 18, is a Senior Technical Assistance Consultant at American Institutes for Research (AIR), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. He began his career in the classroom while also coaching football and serving on many school committees. In his current role, he serves as an instructional coach to low-performing schools, works with universities to develop literature reviews and measurement tools focused on data literacy, and develops curriculum for the Department of Labor workforce development program.

Brandon Thornton

Brandon Thornton, Normal, ’11, MS. Ed. 16 is a dedicated teacher now in his 11th year at District 87 in Bloomington, IL. He commits himself to his students in many ways by serving as a mentor and leader for many student clubs. Thornton initiated the “Lights on at BHS” program after seeing results from a community needs assessment showing a need for more recreational programs, career development, and training services for area youth. He recently started the Alternative Spring Break program for students at his school and was named Regional Teacher of the Year by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2020.