In only a few years since attending Harper College, 28-year-old Jamie Pritscher has founded two successful companies and been mentioned in The New York Times, Diversity MBA Magazine and ECovers "30 Under 30."
Fellow Harper alum Tim Tyrell had a successful seven-year career in the National Football League and now joins other retired football players raise money for charities.
The two are among the seven alumni in the 2013 class of Harper College Distinguished Alumni, a distinction given to former students who have logged outstanding career and community achievements.
The Class of 2013 class also has an aerospace engineer, a nonprofit director of events who has helped write state legislation, a staff physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, the public relations and marketing manager for the Buffalo Grove Park District and a retired director of student activities at Harper who has worked with everyone from Jay Leno to Journey.
All will be lauded at a reception and awards ceremony, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Wojcik Conference Center on the Palatine campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road.
"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: Now living in Arizona, Coles has more than 20 years of systems engineering, management and leadership experience in the aerospace industry and U.S. Air Force, where his work took him across six continents. As the Engineering and Science Manager for Lockheed Martin, Coles manages projects worth up to $10 million and mentors and oversees a diverse team of senior engineers.
Gayle Deja-Schultz: Deja-Schultz, who lives in Sugar Grove, is a certified meeting planner and the director of Special Events for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. With a long-standing dedication to community involvement, in 2011 she led the writing and creation of Illinois House Bill 180 "Let Them Rest in Peace," which addresses the acts of offensive protest at military funerals.
Dr. Thomas Mullin: Since starting at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove in 1982, the Bolingbrook doctor has helped hundreds of suburban residents seeking emergency care. In addition to being a staff physician, Mullin led 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: As a leader in the area of student involvement and activities for 30 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." A Schaumburg resident and 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: 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, the Elk Grove Village resident shares her entrepreneurial story on panels and in articles around the country.
Michael Terson: 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, which spanned 500 games for the Chicago Wolves and four seasons with the Chicago Cubs. Terson also is an elected member of the Buffalo Grove Village Board.
Tim Tyrrell: Tim Tyrrell, of Streamwood, is a seven-year veteran of the National Football League who played for the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles 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 Kitchen and Bath Fixtures.