CLASS OF 2013
Tiffany Cho just recently moved to the Bloomington-Normal area from Ohio, but is from South Korea originally. She graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Management Information Systems, and is a huge Buckeye Fan. Tiffany is outgoing, energetic, a hard worker and loves to help others reach their full potential. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, networking, learning new things, and travelling. She is an avid golfer and snowboarder, and would like to someday visit the mountains in Switzerland for snowboarding.
Sabrina Coleman is a strong, passionate, hard working woman, wife and mother; she’s committed to her faith in God, and the love she shows towards her family. She is a thorough, detail-oriented, positive, upbeat person who likes to make people laugh. As a recent college graduate, she believes education is important. She moved from Danville to Normal in 1998 and has served ever since through her children’s church, school, sport activities and through volunteer work for church ministries and the Illinois State University community. She is a caring person with a desire to grow and learn to help family and others. For her, it is important to lead by great example, as her parents have been for her, and to realize the significance of service to others. Sabrina believes that there is no limit to what can be accomplished in our community if everyone fulfills their responsibility to become involved.
Fernando Cornejo is a hardworking, imaginative and very creative person who enjoys taking on challenges. He is great at finding new ways of accomplishing things. With a background in art and design, Fernando has established himself as a well known local artist in the Bloomington -Normal community. In his down time, he likes to watch sports, movies, and paint in his home studio. The most important people in his life are his wife and his three beautiful daughters. Fernando is an avid soccer fan who likes to watch soccer, but loves to coach. People who meet Fernando would say that his cup is always half full, and enjoys a good laugh.
Tony Curcuru considers himself an honest, just, determined, hard-working and goal-oriented individual. Tony has a genuine interest in helping people and doing the right thing. His personal and professional goals create a constant drive within him that continuously keep him going. Tony is hungry to improve himself, to reach his full potential and does not like to be held back. Originally from a small town in Illinois, he appreciates small-town values, but also recognizes the values found in resourceful, more metropolitan areas. With a father who was from Sicily, his degree in Spanish and extensive travels to different countries, he has a passion for learning about and experiencing different cultures and perspectives. He also enjoys golfing, reading, traveling, cooking, spontaneous ice cream runs and meeting new people. Tony Cucuru believes you get out of your work what you put into it, and intends to commit himself to that mentality, no matter what life holds for him.
Chuck DiVerde is a passionate and honest person, husband, father and grandfather. He is an environmentalist and lover of the complexities and beauty in nature. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and especially time outdoors in the garden or yard. He loves to go places and has been to a number of them having spent nine years in the U.S. Navy. There is nothing he loves better than learning something new, and that is how he defines a successful day! His hobbies include gardening, reading, working out and any time spent with his grandkids! Learning and sharing, helping others and a good thought-provoking conversation are important parts of his life.
Goverdhan Galpalli is always smiling, full of energy and enjoys being surrounded by the people. He believes in making a positive difference in the life of others and encourages his kids, family, friends and relatives to live life with hope. His personality reflects his passion towards serving the community, while his enthusiastic nature paints the picture of a shining future. He trusts in the cultural roots that are a foundation of a human being, and believes that all human beings are equal: born with a purpose. Being the eldest son in his family, with 3 younger siblings, he demonstrated the leadership qualities wherever needed. His dedication cheers the entire family to get involved in community service. He’s a team player and releases the stress from work environment with his humor. He is impressed with historical heroes and tries to acquire the best qualities they possess. He motivates his kids to pursue their goals with never give-up attitude. His other hobbies are watching comedy TV shows, internet surfing, driving and playing sports.
Aparna Idate is a soft spoken, honest and self-determined person. She is easily approachable, and can always be counted upon when someone seeks help. She considers every opportunity in life to be a learning opportunity, and strives to become a better person. She is an ideal servant leader. Leadership, according to her, is about serving others first while not thinking too high of oneself. It is also about inspiring others to do more and learn more by becoming a role model. Aparna comes from the very diverse and cosmopolitan city of Mumbai. She can easily connect with the people with different beliefs and values. She likes to spend as much time as possible with her family. She enjoys watching her son play baseball and cooking for her family and close friends. She is passionate about yoga, Pilates and Zumba dance. She also likes to cross country travel and explore wonders of nature.
Emily James lives her life according to three rules: make a difference, never stop learning and stay curious. She and her husband are both proud graduates of Purdue University, and came to Bloomington-Normal in 2007 to work at Illinois State University. Emily’s hobbies include reading, cooking, yoga, traveling and making lists. She also spends as much time as possible cuddling her two golden retrievers and taking long naps. She intends to write a book and stop biting her nails before she turns 50.
Stephanie Kohl Ringle is a passionate, independent professional. She is compassionate towards people and animals, and believes in the basic concept of treating others with respect. Stephanie’s integrity is non-negotiable. She wants the people in her life to know her as 100% reliable and trustworthy. Daily, she strives to be a deserving role model to the students she interacts with in her position at IWU. A problem solver, Stephanie is never afraid of a challenge and is known to be a successful organizer of chaos. Stephanie believes that individuals can bring about change by inspiring others and enabling them to work as a team to achieve their common goals. The principles of service and leadership became personally meaningful to her during her time at college and led to her active involvement with committees at IWU, as well as within the communities she has lived and worked in. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.
Carlos T. Miranda is a committed, hardworking, focused and motivated individual with high ethical standards. He is a life-long learner with a thirst for knowledge, and never wants to end improving his extensive skills. As a photographer, he is able to capture the essence of the beauty that is beyond words. As a computer engineer, he is methodical and able to problem solve, working both independently and as a team member. He enjoys being a preceptor of others to help them fine tune their skills. He enjoys challenges, and continues to work on developing a balanced life between work and fun. He enjoys outdoor activities and plays in a softball team during the summer. He also enjoys playing chess. He is a coffee aficionado who enjoys drinking a high quality, strong cup of coffee.
Alex Moncrief is a bundle of sarcasm and quick-wit. Alex deeply enjoys films and plays because they allow the world to view a scenario through the director’s perspective, yet allow an audience the capacity to interpret it themselves. Technology runs Alex’s life. Ever since Oregon Trail in kindergarten, computers and software have been a part of his life. During college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he completed internships and research developing mobile naming apps for aphasia victims. He enjoys collaborating technology with techniques to help mankind. His passion and drive is helping the youth, and inspiring them to change their lives for the better, whatever that may mean for them.
Sudhir Pai, born and raised in India, came to Bloomington in 2005 to work as an IT consultant. His interests outside of work are many, but he gives highest priority to working in the community. He believes that “only those who have, can give,” and that everybody can and should give back to the community according to their capacity. A person of few possessions, Sudhir lives by the philosophy of “simple living and high thinking.” He believes this approach could help abate crises facing us today, such as global warming. He believes diversity is unstinted, and that “tolerance through diversity” is the mantra that will lead us to being a better, more peaceful planet. His hobbies include swimming, yoga, reading and occasionally writing. Since becoming a vegetarian, Sudhir is more health conscious, and is involved in “Health for Humanity” initiatives.
Tereva Parham is inspirational, focused, passionate and tenacious. Her constant pursuit of progress fuels her belief that the worst thing someone can say is no, and even then there’s always an alternative. She is a self-proclaimed realistic optimist; this means she hopes for that which is great, but prepares for likely outcomes. She is never shy when it comes to being in the spotlight, as she loves the performing arts and media. Community engagement and service have been staples in Tereva’s life since childhood. She is a dedicated teacher for kindergarten through 5th grade children at her church, and embraces every opportunity to educate others on the importance of women’s health resources. A smile immediately appears on Tereva’s face when the topic of Oreos arises, as she is an unashamed Oreo addict. She is also convinced that every birthday is worth celebrating.
Ann Perry believes that the best thing that you can be in life is an example. Ann is married and is the proud, passionate mother of two young sons and has been employed in the community for the past 20 years. Ann has engrossed herself endlessly in the personal development of many of our youth in the local community. She brings with her a “fumbled” gift as a life coach, in which she has humbly embraced. She articulates that when it comes to youth, her eye is always on their future. She has successfully accomplished their development in her disciplines as a track coach and committee chair for a youth organization. She dedicates weekends, vacation times and evenings teaching youth discipline through involvement in recreational sports, arts and entertainment. Ann has faced so many obstacles, and never let any issues knock her completely off track. She holds true to the concept that you can never fall from grace if your perseverance to achieve great things is approached through respect and discipline.
Mary Riddle is a respected professional in the field of disabilities. She is known to advocate for, and with, people with developmental disabilities. Her passion for advocacy concerning people with disabilities started at the age of eight, when her brother was born with Down Syndrome. At the age of fourteen, she began volunteering at an organization that supported people with disabilities. These early opportunities made Mary aware that her life’s mission would involve people with disabilities. Mary is committed to building a stronger community for all people, whether they have a disability or not. She teaches and leads others by example and is always willing to share her experiences. She is also interested to hear and learn from others. Mary enjoys spending time with her family, and especially loves watching her grandchildren play softball and t-ball. She really cherishes time with her grandchildren, as they truly make her smile.
Mauricio Sadicoff is a positive, upbeat person, focused on learning everything he can from a generalist point of view. He is an engineer at heart, a computer geek and creative entrepreneur that vies to be a “jack-of-all-trades, master of some”. His claim to fame is being one of the brains behind Wolfram|Alpha (http://www.wolframalpha.com). He is a swimmer, soccer enthusiast and plays guitar and ukulele. Mauricio is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Portuguese is his first language. He’s also fluent in Spanish and joined the board of Conexiones Latinas of McLean County in 2012. For Mauricio, making time to spend with his friends and family is always his top priority.
Kelli Saizon is described as being, honest, quick witted, realistic, spiritual and optimistic. She believes that learning is a never ending process. She is a task-driven individual who believes in working smarter not harder. If there is a better method of doing a task or accomplishing a goal, she wants to know how to do it. In her spare time Kelli likes to read, surf the net, socialize with friends, work with crafts, participate in group exercise classes like Zumba, travel, enjoy live music performances and, most importantly, spend time with her husband. She believes that each person she encounters has something to teach her that may contribute and better her life experiences. Kelli knows her failures are ways of finding out what not to do when she begins again.
Erica Scott is an optimistic, goal-oriented and open-minded individual. At an early age, Erica recognized the importance of hard work and education from her parents. She enjoys scrapbooking, traveling, shopping and spending time with friends and family. She is always looking forward to traveling with friends, and is preparing to travel internationally in 2013. Erica is very passionate about community service and constantly thrives to be innovative on projects. She is known for her smile and enjoyment of life.
Sparsula Simmons is the epitome of a Southern Belle. A native of Indianola, Mississippi, Sparsula has an enormous heart for giving and helping. She believes that with faith, nothing is impossible. Outside of being a graduate student and a Project Coordinator/Product Consultant, she devotes most of her time to her four year old energetic son, traveling with her family, mentoring and Zumba. Sparsula allows her intuition and faith in God to drive her. She believes a leader is one who can see the differences in their people and use those differences, along with their strengths, to achieve greater results. She is extremely self-motivated, compassionate and strives to live her life to be a positive example to her son. Sparsula’s energy for life and love are credited to one of her favorite quotes, “Laugh as long as you breathe and love as long as you live.”
Christa Staley is a self-directed “go getter” and is very often organized to a fault. Christa is empathetic toward others and their situations; she cares about people, animals and the environment. Thus, she makes a conscious effort to reduce her footprint by continually seeking ways to be more green. Christa Staley is passionate about work and making a difference in the community. She enjoys nature and spending time in nature with her husband whether tent camping in the Rockies, hiking mountain summits, fishing, or going for a long bike ride on the Constitution trail. Down time means watching a favorite television show (typically comedy, as laughter is the best medicine) or reading a good book (romance or self-help) with her cat snuggled up next to her. When Christa needs some me time, she just goes for a run, which enables her time to chill out or think without any distractions.
Missy Thomas exudes a passionate and positive attitude. She loves building relationships with people and hearing his/her personal story. As a goal oriented individual, she utilizes a common sense approach. Honest and straight forward, Missy considers herself a giver. She believes in a “pay it forward” lifestyle, and that you have to give before you receive. Missy is competitive and athletic, which has given her the perseverance, fortitude and drive to challenge herself by competing in events ranging from triathlons and Crossfit, to long distance charity bike rides. She is a natural entertainer and finds it important to remember to keep an open mind while having fun. To her dancing is a way she can express her inner beauty, which helps her stay grounded. She believes it’s important to remember “The hardest battle is to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make you everyone else.” by E.E. Cummings.
Emily Vigneri has been connected to Illinois State University since she began her college career as a freshman in 2003. In January, Emily will have worked full-time at Illinois State with freshman and transfer student orientations for five years. Emily is an active member of the Bloomington-Normal community and enjoys working on a variety of community projects that help different populations. Issues relating to women’s welfare are particularly close to Emily’s heart. As a result of this, she loves to shop fair trade. Jewelry, chocolate and organic coffee are her three favorite items to buy! When not involved with community projects, she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. Emily has been described as a kind and compassionate leader and believes a positive attitude can take you far!
Donald Wiggins graduated from Illinois State University in 2002. From there he got a job at WEEK-TV, where he worked for 7 years. He started his own business while still working at WEEK. He’s a Videographer for Uplift Productions, which is now his full time job. He’s been married for thirteen years with two lovely daughters. He’s a very humble and compassionate person. His Faith is what keeps him going. When he’s not working at the business he likes to spend time with his family and friends, going to the movies and listening to “Old School”.
Michael Wolf is an electrical engineer excited to be working in the field of sustainability and energy efficiency. Michael considers himself very fortunate to put those skills to good use working regularly with the New Orleans school district rebuilding schools impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm, Michael has never lost his love of nature and being outdoors. Now a city-dweller, he still enjoys a typically overgrown, but well-loved garden; Michael also loves to nurse 99% ailing plants back to health. In addition to having a passion for nurturing, Michael is passionate about encouraging people on their journey through life, and is a Big Brother in Big Brothers Big Sisters of McLean County. Music is also a driving force in Michael’s life, and he maintains his musical chops through playing organ and piano at a local church.
Jeffery Woodard’s passion is people. Director of Marketing and Community Relations for the McLean County Museum of History, he enjoys connecting people with history and a sense of place, building relationships throughout the community. He finds his mission as a unifier to be very gratifying, and works diligently to inspire others to share his vision. Jeffery also enjoys spending quality time with his family. He is interested in community development and is a writer of social commentary. Jeffery holds a degree in electrical service engineering, and a black belt in the martial arts. Other interests include, reading, fishing, travel and working in the West Side Community Garden. On building relationships within the community, he likes quoting a Maya Angelou poem which says, “We are really more alike than we are unalike”, and another by Adlai Stevenson II, “Many things are revealed to the humble that are hidden from the great.”