Eleven alumni were inducted to the Robert Morris University IL Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The new class of inductees consists of Marlon Sykes, Dakota Carter, Caroline Lewis, Jacqueline Quinonez-Nunez, Latasha McGary, Renee Niezgoda, Michelle Wilson, Steve Koivisto, Brian Ortega, Jayme Parker, and Thomas Bednarcik.
Young Alumni Award
The Young Alumni Award honors the contributions of outstanding young alumni who have advanced rapidly or achieved significant success in leadership, philanthropic efforts and their career.
Marlon Sykes, Class of 2017, Accounting Major: Marlon has been an active volunteer since graduating from RMU. He frequently returns to campus to speak to students, parents and external constituents. Marlon is currently a SALT FS Tax Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers. In this role, Marlon works with a team of problem solvers to help clients solve complex business issues.
Dakota Carter, Class of 2016, Business Administration Major: Dakota is a Wind Technician at Top Crop Wind Farm in Dwight, IL.
Outstanding Alumni Award
The Outstanding Alumni Award is given to an RMU alum who has consistently demonstrated selfless commitment to Robert Morris University IL through student support, volunteering, fundraising and other advocacy on behalf of RMU.
Caroline Lewis, Class of 2011, Morris Graduate School: Caroline is a volunteer member and officer for the Alumni Advisory Board. She has committed countless hours to support initiatives of the Alumni Board in its efforts to help students transition to alumni, in developing opportunities for alumni to network and in supporting current students. She is currently the International Legal and Governance Manager for Garrett Brands.
Distinguished Alumni Award
There are seven awards in this category, each given on behalf of one of RMU’s seven schools and colleges to acknowledge the accomplishments of alumni who have achieved significant success in their career or through community involvement.
School of Business Administration
Jacqueline Quinonez-Nunez, Class of 2002 Accounting Major: Jacqueline is a strong advocate for the field of accounting and serves as the Director of Professional Development for the Association of Latino Professionals for America, and is currently a board member for the Mujeres de Hace. Jacqueline is the Senior Manager of Internal Audit for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
College of Liberal Arts
Latasha McGary, Class of 2016, Law Office Administration Major: In less than six years, Latasha has risen up the ranks to become the Chief Deputy Clerk for the Circuit Court of Cook County. In her position, Latasha is responsible for the daily operations of the Clerk’s office.
College of Nursing & Health Studies
Renee Niezgoda, Class of 2002, School of Business, and Class of 2009, College of Nursing and Health, Surgical Technology Major: Renee’s commitment to RMU is reflected through her work as faculty for the Surgical Technology Program. Her decision to change careers exemplifies the lifelong-learning that is encouraged at RMU. She was a member of the women’s volleyball team (2000-2002), and received the Eagle Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship in 2002.
Morris Graduate School
Michelle Wilson, Class of 1997, School of Business, and Morris Graduate School Class of 2013: Michelle has been a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors Chicago chapter for 21 years, and has also been a member of the Association of College and University Auditors for 8 years. Michelle is the Interim Chief Internal Auditor at Chicago State University.
Institute of Technology & Media
Steve Koivisto, Class of 2011, Computer Science Major: Steve is senior Director, IT Infrastructure at Horizon Pharma.
Institute of Art & Design
Brian Ortega, Class of 2006, Graphic Art Major: Brian is the Art Director for Edge Marketing.
Institute of Culinary Arts
Jayme Parker, Class of 2008, Culinary Art Major: Jayme is the Owner/Executive Chef at Girl in the Park.
President’s Hall of Fame Award
The President’s Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor bestowed by Robert Morris University IL to acknowledge distinguished alumni who, embody RMU’s core values of commitment to leadership, serving the community and creating opportunity through experiential teaching. The hall of fame celebrates the rich history of Robert Morris University and provides exceptional standards by which current students can measure their success.
Thomas Bednarcik, Class of 1999, School of Business Administration, Accounting Major: After passing the CPA exam on his first attempt, Thomas began working as a tax accountant. A year and a half after graduating from RMU, he returned to teach part time, and “give back” to the university that gave him so much. Within that same year, he was offered a full-time teaching opportunity. Thomas had a successful career in the public accounting sector, yet he chose to teach tomorrow’s leaders and make a difference in our students’ lives. Thomas consistently receives high marks from his students for his style of teaching, and his commitment to each and every student that walks into his classroom.
Congratulations to our 2018 awardees.