Advocating to elevate others

Portrait of Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell smiling and holding up her pointer finger and a Puerto Rican flag.
Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell, Ph.D. ’94.

Supporting economic and cultural development within the Hispanic community is a passionate commitment of Dr. Leida Javier-Farrell, Ph.D. ’94. The Educational Administration and Foundations alumna also works to empower women as an untapped resource. Co-founder of the Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast, she is a lead partner and president of Javier-Calametti LLC. The woman-owned business is involved in workforce and collaborative business development. Strategic consulting services and solutions are offered from hospitality to higher education and international sales. A former vice president of student affairs at a university in Puerto Rico, she resides in Mobile, Alabama.

Securing citizens’ safety

Donald G. Kauerauf talking into a podium mic.
Donald G. Kauerauf ’86

More than 30 years of experience in state government public health and emergency management positions prepared Donald G. Kauerauf ’86 for his new role as director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The occupational safety and health graduate previously served as an assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. While there he developed a statewide structure to improve communication between the department and local public health agencies. Kauerauf directed the development and implementation of the nation’s first statewide pandemic influenza exercise while in that role. He was also chair of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.

Answering a higher call

Portrait of Father John Iffert smiling in a church.
Father John Iffert ’88

Pope Francis chose Father John Iffert ’88 as priest of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. An economics and political science major, Iffert was a budget analyst. He prepared for ministry at Mundelein Seminary, earning a master’s in divinity. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1997, initially serving in Southern Illinois. “I am astounded and deeply grateful that Pope Francis has elected me to serve,” Iffert said. “I am inspired by his vision of a church so deeply rooted in relationship with Christ that we accompany the outcast, tend the wounded, mourn with the brokenhearted, rejoice and give thanks in every circumstance.”

Working for the White House

Headshot of Claudia Chavez
Claudia Chavez ’05

President Joe Biden chose political science graduate Claudia Chavez ’05 to serve as a White House liaison to the U.S. Department of Education. A distinguished alumna of the Department of Politics and Government, Chavez held positions with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She served as deputy director for the mayor’s Legislative Council and Government Affairs. She was a member of the Education Agency Review team for the President Joe Biden-Vice President Kamala Harris transition, and worked on Biden’s presidential campaign as a Midwest deputy director. Chavez credits her time at ISU for allowing her to explore and develop her professional interests.