Glenn Adilman, 1981 Advertising
Executive Vice President of U S Comedy Development, Sony Pictures Television, Inc.
Many of us have a moment in our lives we can point to as a turning point. An event, person or opportunity that changes everything. For Glenn Adilman, that moment came in the form of a job with CBS Productions.
“I knew when I was there to double down,” Adilman said, “that this is the moment in my life that if I worked hard and played my cards right that I was building a career for myself.”
Ryan Baker, 1991 Journalism
Ryan Baker grew up on the South Side of Chicago and has admitted, “One of the greatest thrills for me was being able to come back to my hometown where my grandparents could see me on the news every night.” Ryan still has family all around Chicago. Returning has been something of a dream come true.
Dan Balz, 1968 Journalism; 1972 M.S. Journalism
Nancy Balz, 1970 English; 1972 M.S. GSLIS
Angelica LaVito’s first introduction to Dan Balz came in the form of a book report for her Journalism 200 class. She choose the book specifically because Dan was an alum of the College. Then she received the letter informing her that she had been awarded a scholarship the Balzes had endowed. Angelica was thrilled.
Paul Biasco, 2010 Journalism
Justin Breen, 1999 Journalism
Ted Cox, 1981 Journalism
Jon Hansen, 2006 Journalism, Radio News Director
Stephanie Lulay, 2008 Journalism; 2009 M.S. Journalism
Chicago is home to the largest concentration of Illinois graduates in the country. It’s not unusual to find a number of Illini working for the same company. What is unusual is the three-year-old news organization, DNAinfo.com Chicago, where five journalism alumni have been changing the way news is delivered.
Stephen Feder, 2002 Media Studies
When Roger Ebert hosted the first Ebertfest in 1999, Stephen Feder was a freshman at Illinois. Fourteen years later, Feder returned to Ebertfest as executive producer of his own film, “Kumaré,” one of the last movies Ebert reviewed and selected for the festival.
“Having had that experience was a reminder that the world was open to thinking bigger than I had initially thought I could think,” Feder said. “Meeting him, talking to him about movies, being in the presence of someone who had been so widely influential in a particular field was inspiring. That’s why coming back with ‘Kumaré’ was so special.”
Robin Gareiss, 1988 Journalism
The Gareiss family tree has deep roots at Illinois. Thirteen members of the family over three generations have either graduated from or are currently attending the university. And there are more on the way. Robin Gareiss’ oldest daughter, Layne Waleski, earned a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology this spring, and her daughter Madelyn Waleski, will earn a BS in Animal Science in spring 2015, and is applying to the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Judy Hsu, 1993 Broadcast Journalism
As the crew prepares for the 11 a.m. newscast at ABC7 Chicago, its lively banter amps up the energy in the studio. The calm and ease with which Judy Hsu and Terrell Brown deliver the news hides just how busy things are behind the scenes.
After 15 years on the morning show in Chicago, Hsu made the move to the 4 p.m. news anchor role in November. It is the first time in 30 years that the female anchor chair has changed hands with the retirement of Linda Yu. “It’s a dream come true,” said Hsu.
Robin Kaler, 1983 Journalism; 1992 M.S. Journalism; 2004 MBA
Robin Kaler’s ready smile and warm personality have their roots in her childhood. She was born in North Carolina, but spent the first eight years of her life in Texas, Mississippi and North Dakota before landing in Rantoul, Illinois — the Bedouin lifestyle so common among military families. All of that moving around made her an expert in making friends. “I just wanted to be friends with everyone,” Robin said with a laugh. She thrived on meeting new people and being the social director for her neighborhood.
Jack Klues, 1977 Advertising
On a beautiful late-September day, more than 200 golfers played in a fundraiser for the Off the Street Club. The women-only outing, Swing for the Kids, is the brainchild of Beth and Jack Klues. The funds raised are used to support programming for girls who attend the club.
Off The Street Club, the oldest Boys & Girls Club in Chicago, is located in the Garfield Park neighborhood and provides, in the words of its executive director, a place where kids can just be kids. Jack has been involved with the club for 25 years and has acted as vice president of fundraising for the past 17 years. It is one of his passions.
Wendy Levy, 1985 Advertising
Sitting in Wendy Levy’s 35th floor office in downtown Chicago is a treat. The view … the magazines … and especially Wendy, make it downright irresistible. Getting here did not happen overnight.
Wendy was born and raised in the Chicago area. From an early age she had a love of reading and often stole her older sister’s magazines. There was something about touching and feeling the stories in magazines, newspapers and books that she feels led to her passion for media and print.
Josh McQueen, 1972 Advertising; 1974 M.S. Advertising
For Josh McQueen, education was a family value. Josh saw his father graduate from Eastern Illinois University in his 40s after retiring from the Navy. It wasn’t easy, but it set an example that Josh will never forget.
When it was Josh’s turn to choose a school, Illinois rose to the top. At that time, the top scoring ACT of each county received a scholarship for tuition to a state school. “The U of I represented the best of the set of schools I could be a part of,” recalls Josh. As someone who was paying for his education himself, that scholarship represented opportunity.
Joseph Pedott, 1955 Journalism, major in advertising
Take one step inside the unassuming San Francisco offices of Joseph Enterprises. Inc. and you know what is going on. There are Chia Pets everywhere.
Joe Pedott is the man behind the Chia Pet, the Clapper, the Ove Glove and so much more. Those unusual products and their earworm jingles have become American icons. At least, that is what the Smithsonian thinks. Pedott’s papers and other materials related to the Chia Pet and the Clapper are part of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Carol Sagers, 1979 Advertising
Carol Hillsman Sagers is a proud product of the Chicago Public Schools system. She and 25 of her Bowen High School classmates went to the University of Illinois. “New student week was off the hook,” Carol recalled. As the first person in her family to go away to college, Carol didn’t know what to expect. “It was comforting to get there and have friends from high school with me,” Carol said.
James Schlueter, 1980 Journalism
Jim Schlueter is firm in his convictions: “Before I even went to kindergarten or knew what high school was, I knew I was going to Illinois like my brother Ray did.”
Jim grew up in a rural area outside of Edwardsville, Illinois. His big brother, Ray, was 15 years older. Ray attended Illinois during the time of Jim Grabowski and Dick Butkus. In the family home were pictures of Jim’s mom and dad on campus with Ray for Dad’s Weekend and other special events.
Before Jim had any idea what he wanted to be when he grew up, he knew he wanted to go to Illinois. In high school, he discovered his love of writing and thought that he would become a sports writer. In those days, tuition was a bargain. If you could get into Illinois, it was the place to go. Jim was also fortunate that his parents were committed to putting their children through college.