Neighbors in the News: Goldwater scholarship goes to UIC junior from Mt. Prospect

  • Anis Barmada Goldwater Scholarship recipient.

    Anis Barmada Goldwater Scholarship recipient. Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago

Posted5/15/2019 1:35 PM

• Mount Prospect resident Anis Barmada, a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, earned a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for his academic merit in the field of science. The Wheeling High School graduate has developed methods to address diabetic eye disease.

The Goldwater scholarship, which is named for the late Republican senator from Arizona and presented by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, will cover up to $7,500 in tuition, books and related fees during the 2019-20 academic year.


Barmada, who is a UIC Honors College member, is part of the President's Award Program STEM Initiative, which is a selective peer and faculty network for students in STEM disciplines to do research, develop professional connections and prepare for graduate education. He has been conducting research since his freshman year to develop a noninvasive biomarker assay for diabetic eye disease in the laboratory of Scott Shippy, UIC associate professor of chemistry and bioengineering.

Local Grill Master Gustavo Hernandez.
Local Grill Master Gustavo Hernandez. - Courtesy of LongHorn Steakhouse

• Local Grill Master Gustavo Hernandez, of Arlington Heights, was named one of the top steak masters in the country. The Schaumburg LongHorn Steakhouse Grill Master took home the regional win after competing in the Steak Master Series, a culinary competition where the restaurant's grilling experts are put to the test on their relentless execution of grilling quality steaks for guests. Hernandez is one of 60 team members from across the country to achieve this distinction, out of the more than 5,000 who were invited to participate in the competition.

The fourth annual Steak Master Series awards cash prizes totaling more than $200,000. This year's competition began at the restaurant level, where grill cooks competed to move on to the regional round. Hernandez will soon grill off at the semifinal rounds for the chance to become one of seven top contenders to battle in the finals at LongHorn's headquarters in Orlando in May.

Hernandez has worked at LongHorn for 13 years.

U.S. Air Force Airman Nicholas T. Loftus.
U.S. Air Force Airman Nicholas T. Loftus. - Courtesy of Joint Hometown News Service
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• U.S. Air Force Airman Nicholas T. Loftus graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Loftus is the grandson of Thomas P. Loftus of Lake Barrington. He is a 2019 graduate of Cary Grove High School, in Cary.

• Des Plaines resident Joe Isip, an Oakton Community College art student, was recently honored with an award of excellence for his work at the 2019 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Juried Art Exhibition at Moraine Valley Community College's Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery.

Isip's "Consumption" exhibit included a display of digital photography.

In addition, Oakton art student Dorothy Generes of Northbrook received an award of merit for her ceramic stoneware display, "Syria."

"There were thousands of entries from all eight schools, and Joe's piece was judged to be one of the most exceptional submissions," Oakton Chair of Art and Design Lou Pierozzi says. "Only a select few make it to the regional art competition, and it's an honor to have two of our Oakton students recognized for their passion of art."

• Submit your 'Neighbors in the News' items to Norrine Twohey at

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