Young Alumni Council Directory

Julia Zuiga Alzamora ’17

Julia Zuiga Alzamora ’17

Current Location: Bloomington, IL
Education: BA, International Studies
Profession: Auto Injury Claim Specialist, State Farm Insurance Companies
Advice for Recent Grads: “Free yourself from the burden of following society's expectations. Your career belongs to YOU alone; revise your career path as your goals change.”
Why I joined YAC: “My career path following graduation has not been traditional, but I have experienced the power of networking in each step of my career. I strive to support & uplift other young alumni in their careers, just as many others did for me. ”
YAC Position: General Member
Shannon Baker '14

Shannon Baker ’14

Current Location: Nashville, TN
Education: BA, Business Administration
Profession: Senior Account Manager, Sterling Seacrest Partners
Advice for Recent Grads: “Keep in touch! Try your best to stay connected with your IWU family. You may be moving to a different city and can no longer just walk across the quad to check-in, so make an effort to stay in contact. Believe me. It's harder than you think.”
Why I joined YAC: “I have not lived in Illinois since graduating from IWU. I quickly learned that IWU alumni are everywhere! You just have to look for it. I hope to make it easier for alumni to connect throughout the country. ”
Doug Burrichter '15

Doug Burrichter ’15

Current Location: Washington D.C.
Education: BA, Political Science
Profession: Confidential Policy Assistant, Department of Education
Advice for Recent Grads: “Keep the friends you made from IWU close. They will be life-long friends, and will help you at every stage of your life.”
Why I joined YAC: “I want to make sure young alumni have a say in the direction of university functions.”
YAC Position: 5th Class Reunion Liaison
Hannah Dhue ’15

Hannah Dhue ’15

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Education: BA, Theatre Arts & English Writing
Profession: Associate Project Manager, Streaming Platform Special Projects, Walt Disney Studios
Advice for Recent Grads: “Network, network, network! Keep in touch with your classmates, and attend any and all events you can with alumni you may not have met yet. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and always be open and willing to take on new challenges.”
Why I joined YAC: “I want to help young alumni in the same way my generous mentors helped me. I also love Illinois Wesleyan and everything it stands for. Since I can’t visit in person very often, I’m looking for ways to reconnect from a distance.”
YAC Position: Southern California Regional Representative
Shireen Hassan ‘20

Shireen Hassan ’20

Current Location: Bloomington, IL
Education: BA, Instrumental Performance & Accounting
Profession: Assistant Financial Analyst, State Farm Insurance Companies
Advice for Recent Grads: “Stay in touch with your friends and professors after graduation. Don’t let those amazing connections you’ve worked so hard to form disappear when a simple text or email could keep the relationship alive. You never know when an old connection could assist you professionally or if someone may simply have the rights words to say when you need them the most.”
Why I joined YAC: “I have enjoyed my time at Wesleyan and thought that the YAC would be the perfect opportunity to stay involved after graduating.”
YAC Position: Zero Class Reunion Liaison
Jill Harmon '16

Jill Harmon ’16

Current Location: St. Louis, MO
Education: MEd, Secondary Education, University of St. Louis, Missouri. BA, Mathematics
Profession: High School Mathematics Teacher, Lafayette High School
Advice for Recent Grads: “Money isn't everything. Pursue a career that makes you happy.”
Why I joined YAC: “There is a very small number of IWU graduates that live in St. Louis but that number continues to grow. I want to be able to help other recent graduates or young adults, like myself, find and connect with other IWU alums right here in the area. ”
YAC Position: St. Louis Regional Representative
Erick Henderson ’12

Erick Henderson ’12

Current Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: BA, Biology
Profession: Optometrist, McCauley Celin Eyecare
Advice for Recent Grads: “Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to try something new and build a larger network. Make more friends and try your best to help other people succeed. It will pay dividends in your future success. Lastly, embody the IWU motto, Knowledge and wisdom and became a lifelong learner that mentors others for the betterment of their community.”
Why I joined YAC: “I loved my time at IWU and cherish all of the friendships I made. I want to help alumni reconnect and make new friendships, strengthening the IWU network throughout the country.”
YAC Position: All In for Wesleyan Chair
Yolanda Juarez ’17

Yolanda Juarez ’17

Current Location: Chicago, IL
Education: BA, Mathematics
Profession: Content Strategist. Access2Insight
Advice for Recent Grads: “Stay connected to other Alumni (younger and older). You never know the connections you'll make!”
Why I joined YAC: “I really wanted to bring a new life to the YAC. As a young alum I wanted to make sure that my peers felt as comfortable as I did to stay connected to IWU in some way. ”
YAC Position: President
Amanda King ’15

Amanda King ’15

Current Location: Washington D.C.
Education: MS, Environmental Policy, Bard College. BA, Environmental Studies
Profession: Program Assistant, Environmental Change and Security Program and Maternal Health Initiative, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Advice for Recent Grads: “Illinois Wesleyan University provides such incredible tools to prepare you for entering your professional career, never forget to use them. No matter where you end up, there's always an IWU connection to be found.”
Why I joined YAC: “I think it is a great opportunity to connect the broader successful alumni community with undergraduates beginning their professional career. ”
YAC Position: Washington D.C. Regional Representative
Alessandra Ladd ’10

Alessandra Ladd ’10

Current Location: Elgin, IL
Education: Certificate, Urban Education, Cardinal Stritch University. BA, Business Administration- Marketing
Profession: National Account Manager, Wilson Golf, Wilson Sporting Goods
Advice for Recent Grads: “Be willing to relocate for your career ”
Why I joined YAC: “As a college student who did not exactly know what career avenue I wanted to take, I want to help bridge current students into post graduate life by offering them networking opportunities, and serve as an outlet on how to position and brand themselves as young adults in the professional environment. I owe a lot to my alma mater and am eager to help out in any way I can!”
YAC Position: 10th Class Reunion Liaison
Bob Ladd ’19

Bob Ladd ’19

Current Location: Kansas City, MO
Education: BA, Psychology and Economics
Profession: Client Specialist, Alright Solutions
Advice for Recent Grads: “Connect with other alumni ”
Why I joined YAC: “I wanted to be involved with anything IWU and was happy when this opportunity presented itself.”
YAC Position: Chicago Suburbs Regional Representative
Jordan Deihl Mann ’12

Jordan Deihl Mann ’12

Current Location: Chicago, IL
Education: MBA, Kellogg School of Management. BA, Business Administration
Profession: Associate Marketing Manager, Spencer Stuart
Advice for Recent Grads: “Make time to be intentional about connections! Stay in touch with your classmates, and reach out to alums in your industry/city. The Titan network is powerful, and everyone is willing to help a fellow alum out. ”
Why I joined YAC: “I loved my time at Wesleyan. I met my husband and many of my best friends on campus, and I appreciate my liberal arts education every day. I want to help other Titans achieve their goals!”
YAC Position: Chicago Regional Representative
Madelyn May '19

Madelyn May ’19

Current Location: Chicago, IL
Education: BA, Accounting
Profession: Assurance Associate, PwC
Advice for Recent Grads: “Be open minded, hard working, and adventurous in taking on new experiences! Be willing to reach out to the people you meet so you can learn from them and build a network.”
Why I joined YAC: “I joined the YAC so that I could be a resource to current IWU students and meet IWU alumni as well! I want to help other people find their passions and enjoy being involved with activities at my alma mater!”
YAC Position: General Member
Lauren Rock ’13

Lauren Rock ’13

Current Location: Atlanta, GA
Education: BA, Educational Studies
Profession: Director, Individual Engagement, United Way of Greater Atlanta
Advice for Recent Grads: “Remember to follow your dreams. The world is larger than the "IWU bubble". (I hope you all still call it that. Hahaha)”
Why I joined YAC: “I have a unique experience and voice as an alumni of Illinois Wesleyan University. I want to share that and be a resource to the growth of our community and anyone who considers IWU!”
YAC Position: Vice President
Katie Rothas ’14

Katie Rothas ’14

Current Location: Valhalla, NY
Education: Doctorate of Dental Surgery- New York University College of Dentistry, MPH- New York Medical College BA, Hispanic Studies
Profession: Dental Resident, Westchester Medical Center
Advice for Recent Grads: “There's no one 'correct path' to pursuing your dreams. It's good to have goals, but don't make your timeline or pathway to accomplishing it too stringent. By doing so you open yourself up to opportunities that you never envisioned for yourself and they eventually then lead you to your goals.”
Why I joined YAC: “I have such pride in attending Illinois Wesleyan University and I am so grateful for all of the friendships, mentors and experiences I gained from attending this school. However, after moving to New York for dental school I felt extremely disconnected from the IWU community and had a strong desire to give back to this institution that gave me so much. So I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to join YAC to help alumni like myself reconnect with the IWU community regardless of how far they had wandered from BloNo.”
YAC Position: New York Regional Representative

Beth Schaller ’11

Current Location: Chillicothe, IL
Education: M.S. Bradley University, BA, Psychology & Hispanic Studies 
Profession: School Counselor, Midland Middle School 
Advice for Recent Grads: “Your first job after graduation may not be your dream-job that doesn’t mean you won’t get there. Keep learning new skills and you’ll be ready when the right opportunity comes along. Also, don’t be afraid of budgeting. Start a ROTH IRA and contribute to it monthly.”
Why I joined YAC: “I joined YAC to support recent alumni. The Illinois Wesleyan community helped prepare me for my career; who says that support has to end after graduation?”
YAC Position: Peoria Regional Representative 
Rachel Shaffer ’17

Rachel Shaffer ’17

Current Location: Normal, IL
Education: MEd-Arizona State University, BA, Political Science & International Studies
Profession: House Director for the Theta Beta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Illinois State University
Advice for Recent Grads: “Keep learning, even if you’re not in school anymore.”
Why I joined YAC: “To connect with fellow IWU alumni and to volunteer for the institution in an impactful way.”
YAC Position: Events Lead
Jacob Taitel ’18

Jacob Taitel ’18

Current Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Education: MM, Tuba Performance, Chamber Music- University of Michigan, BA Instrumental Performance
Profession: Doctoral Student in Tuba Performance beginning Fall 2020, University of Michigan
Advice for Recent Grads: “It’s okay to be unsure of your path. Just because you got a degree in something doesn’t mean you are stuck in that field for your whole life. The value of an IWU education is that you are prepared with the skills and knowledge to achieve success in any field, not just the one you have a piece of paper for.”
Why I joined YAC: “As a graduate student, I am not able to make financial contributions to IWU but I wanted to give back in some way. This seemed like a great opportunity!”
YAC Position: General Member
Chris Unger ’10

Chris Unger ’10

Current Location: Denver, CO
Education: Juris Doctorate- Drake Law School, BA International Studies
Profession: Associate Attorney- Civil Litigation/ Insurance Defence, Wells, Anderson, and Race, LLC
Advice for Recent Grads: “Find a good mentor. A good mentor can help guide you through your professional transition and is always a great resource.”
Why I joined YAC: “It is important for young alumni to stay connected and support each other. You never know where your connections will take you.”
YAC Position: Denver Regional Representative 
Molly Willeford ’16

Molly Willeford ’16

Current Location: Arlington, VA
Education: M.A. International Affairs, George Washington University, BA, Political Science & International Studies
Profession: Program Coordinator, Banyan Global
Advice for Recent Grads: “Stay involved! I love staying up-to-date on all of the latest from IWU..”
Why I joined YAC: “I wanted to connect with alums in my area and give back to a community that gave me so much.”
YAC Position: Washington D.C. Regional Representative