Roosevelt University takes pride in the accomplishments of our alumni. The 2020 Alumni Award honorees have made a lasting impact on society through their outstanding professional and philanthropic contributions. Congratulations to our 10 award recipients!
Due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, the alumni recognition ceremony originally scheduled for April 24 will be postponed to fall 2020.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Hans Zigmund, MA Economics ’04
As state finance director, Hans oversees accounting operations, payroll and production of the comprehensive annual financial report for the state of Alaska.
When Hans served as director of the Illinois Office of Management and Budget, he negotiated a bipartisan and bicameral budget compromise on behalf of Governor Bruce Rauner. The budget helped restore funding to critical human service and education programs and also restored public confidence that had been fractured in the nation’s longest budget stalemate. A few of the many projects Hans helped secure funding for include the Ludeman Developmental Center in Park Forest, $150 million in funding for the Illinois Department of Corrections Joliet Treatment Center, and the Coliseum at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
Young Professionals Award
Ricardo Torres, MS Journalism ’11
Ricardo is a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Ricardo consistently reports on vulnerable communities, and recently covered the impact of the coronavirus on people experiencing homelessness. He has won awards for his reporting on immigration, local government, the environment and the Racine Unified School District.
“Ricardo is a reporter in love with the transformational potential of good journalism,” said Anne-Marie Cusac, Roosevelt professor of journalism and media studies. “He understands that compassionate reporting can bring needed change. He knows where to put his attention to find the important stories others ignore.”
Social Justice Award
Élider DiPaula, Diploma in Piano Performance ’19
Élider is the executive and artistic director of Project 88, a nonprofit music organization in Berwyn, Illinois. Project 88 presents free classical concerts to the community and offers free and low-tuition music classes.
“Our work at Project 88 is fully dedicated to bettering the community around us,” said Élider. “We are passionate about providing students of all ages, races, cultures, and socioeconomic status the same opportunities to learn and grow as musicians.”
Alumna of Influence Award
Annie Warshaw, MA History ’10
Annie’s career and personal life have been built around empowering women and girls. In 2013, Annie founded Mission Propelle, a gender-equity program for elementary school students. Mission Propelle empowers girls to be leaders in their classrooms and communities and teaches boys how to be allies. The organization has worked with over 10,000 students and distributed over 35,000 original storybooks in the Chicago area.
Annie is active with a variety of organizations helping to close the gender gap. She is the chair of the Women for Denyse leadership board and an advisory board member with She Votes Illinois, to name a few. Annie also teaches gender justice at Roosevelt University.
Dean’s Alumni Award
Heller College of Business
Joseph Ament, MS Accounting ’59
Joe has been a practicing CPA for 61 years and attorney for 57 years. He sits on the boards of several organizations, both public and private. He also serves as an officer or fiduciary for profit-sharing and pension plans and trusts for private and public charities. Joe has published multiple scholarly articles in the fields of taxation, accounting and education, all of which accompanied presentations at many conferences throughout the United States.
As a faculty member of the Heller College of Business, Joe has dedicated 51 years to preparing Roosevelt students for careers in the accounting field. He was an adjunct faculty member for 1 year and full time faculty member for 50 years. Along with teaching taxation and accounting courses, Joe was chair of the accounting and taxation department for 19 years. The impact Joe makes on his students is evident in the volume of students who have stayed in contact with him over the years. He has also received various teaching awards locally, regionally and nationally from both academic and professional organizations at various times throughout his academic and professional career.
College of Education
Dana Andre Butler, MA Educational Administration and Supervision ’98
Dana is a proud retired principal from Irma C. Ruiz Elementary School. He served the Chicago Public Schools for 31 years, 20 of which were in administration. During Dana’s tenure with CPS, he was a teacher, coach, assistant principal and resident principal with the LAUNCH program. Dana also served as a professor in educational leadership and supervision for the American College of Education and as a mentor principal for New Leaders for New Schools. In 2016, Dana was the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership’s, Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award recipient. Currently, Dana serves as the Field Service Specialist for the Illinois Principals Association that provides support to Principals, Assistant Principals, and Aspiring Leaders in the IPA Regions of North, South, and West Cook with an emphasis on the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Archdiocese.
Dana has served on Roosevelt’s College of Education advisory board since 2017, lending invaluable insight to shape the student experience and serving as chair of the board since 2019. Dana also has taught elementary education and principal preparation courses in the college and has given freely of his time on multiple occasions to speak with graduating students about a career in teaching. Dana has attended a wide range of meetings with accreditors and reviewers of our college over the last ten years and is a tireless advocate for Roosevelt on social media and at regional and state meetings focused on the preparation of teachers and educational leaders.
College of Pharmacy
Valerie Glodowski, PharmD ’14
Valerie is currently a pharmacy manager at CVS Health. She runs the highest-volume store in Wisconsin. Through the CVS Health Pharmacists Teach Program, she acts as a community advocate to educate teens and parents about prescription drug misuse and abuse in grades 6–12. She also mentors aspiring pharmacy colleagues to pursue PharmD candidacy.
Valerie was honorably appointed to president of Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy Advisory Board in 2019 and continues to inform the curriculum and ways to support students.
Chicago College of Performing Arts
Mary Sauer, BM Piano ’53, MM Performance ’55
Inspired by her studies with teacher and mentor Rudolph Ganz and concert pianist William Kapell, Mary’s exceptional career has been marked by a six-decade association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a solo performer on piano, harpsichord, organ and celesta; as the orchestra’s only full-time principal keyboardist in its 129-year history; and as the only keyboard coach of two generations of young pianists in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She established the first contracted principal keyboard position in any orchestra worldwide. As an International Steinway Artist, she also received the Governor’s Award from the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for her contributions in education, performance, recording and her many years with the CSO.
Mary served on the DePaul University faculty for 33 years and was head of the keyboard program for 22 years. Mary is also one of the founders of the New Music School in Chicago, where she serves on the artist faculty as the keyboard chair and continues to teach privately. Mary’s life and work have been a model for Roosevelt students and a testament to the quality of our alumni community.
College of Arts and Sciences
Juli Rowen, BA ’92, MA History ’97
Juli has devoted 21 years of her career to advancing the intellectual and social justice work of Roosevelt University. Early in her career, Juli represented Roosevelt to a variety of external constituents through her work with Partners in Education. For the last 14 years, she has served as assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Juli takes the lead on scheduling and managing the college’s many events and works seamlessly inside and outside the University with a wide range of partners. She has built a social media presence that expands the college’s and University’s reach not just to our students, faculty and staff, but across the region, the nation and the globe. Juli has made countless contributions, large and small, to the college and the University.