20 Aug 2014
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Harper Honors Distinguished Alumni

The college is honoring alumni who have gone on to have an outstanding career or done outstanding things in the community after graduating with a Harper education.

Harper Honors Distinguished Alumni

In only a few short years since attending Harper College, 28-years-old alumna Jamie Pritscher has founded two successful companies, launching her name into articles in the New York Times, Diversity MBA Magazine and ECovers “30 Under 30”, according to a release from the college. Fellow alum Tim Tyrell saw a successful seven-year career in the National Football League and now helps retired football players raise money for charities, the release says.

The two are among this year’s newly announced recipients of Harper College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, a distinction given to former students who have logged outstanding career and community achievements.

The 2013 class also includes an aerospace engineer, a non-for-profit director of events who has been part of writing state legislature, a staff physician at Good Samaritan Hospital, the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Buffalo Grove Park District and a retired Director of Student Activities who has worked with everyone from Jay Leno to Journey.

All will be lauded at a fall reception and they’ll also return to campus at least one more time within the year to participate in activities specially designed to engage students.

“Because the recipients of this award once walked in the shoes of today’s students, they have a shared perspective on Harper’s impact on their success,” says Fredia Martin, Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events. “They are in a perfect position to inspire the next generation of alumni.”

Harper has honored 27 Distinguished Alumni since the award’s reception as part of the College’s 40th anniversary in 2008.

This year’s honorees are:

David Coles (Goodyear, AZ): Coles has more than 20 years of systems engineering, management and leadership experience in the aerospace industry and United States Air Force, where his work took him across six continents.  In his current role as Engineering and Science Manager for Lockheed Martin, Coles manages projects valued up to $10 million and mentors and oversees a diverse team of senior engineers. 

Gayle Deja-Schultz (Sugar Grove, IL): Deja-Schultz is a Certified Meeting Planner currently serving as the Director of Special Events for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. With a longstanding dedication to community involvement, in 2011, she led the writing and creation of Illinois State House Bill 180 “Let Them Rest in Peace,” which addresses the acts of offensive protest at military funerals. 

Thomas Mullin (Bolingbrook, IL): Since starting at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in 1982, Mullin has helped hundreds of northwest suburban residents seeking emergency care. In addition to serving as staff physician, Mullin has experience leading the Disaster Committee, which mapped out an emergency preparedness plan with other hospitals and agencies, and the Continuing Medical Education Committee, which oversaw license renewals. In 1996, a patient donated $20,000 to the hospital in his name, citing exemplary care. 

Michael Nejman (Schaumburg, IL): As a leader in the area of student involvement and activities for thirty years, Nejman has won numerous awards for the creation of programs and events in higher education, including the National Association of Campus Activities’ “Outstanding Program of the Year” and “Outstanding Series of the Year Award.” As the former Director of Special Events at Harper College, Nejman arranged events for hundreds of performers including Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Maher, Journey, Wilco and Muddy Waters. 

Jamie Pritscher (Elk Grove, IL): At the age of 28, Pritscher has successfully launched two companies, That’s Caring, a socially conscious, eco-friendly solution to gift baskets, and nuphorIQ, a full-service marketing, branding and advertising agency. In addition to serving as Director of Communications for Tasty Catering, she shares her entrepreneurial story on panels and in articles around the country. 

Michael Terson (Buffalo Grove, IL): In his role as Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Buffalo Grove Park District for nine years, Terson has accrued numerous awards for his marketing and worked to generate more than $300,000 in sponsorships. In 2012, he ended his celebrated career as a public address announcer, spanning 500 games for the Chicago Wolves and four seasons with the Chicago Cubs. Terson currently sits as a Trustee with the Village of Buffalo Grove

Tim Tyrrell (Streamwood, IL): Tim Tyrrell is a seven-year veteran of the National Football League with experience playing for the Atlanta Falcons, LA Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills. Following retirement, he became vice president of the Chicago Chapter of the NFL Players Association, helping raise money and do good in the community.  Tyrrell is currently Director of Market Development for PIRCH. 

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