Dr. Matt Goodwin holds a bachelor’s in Speech Communication and master’s in College Student Personnel Administration from Illinois State University. Throughout his career in higher education, he has always focused on centering students in his work which earned him awards as the student advocate and faculty/staff of the year at two different universities. A key accomplishment throughout his career is his ability to identify resources that helped his institutions to continue to provide the support students need to achieve their goals.
Dr. Ross Hodel holds a bachelor’s in junior high school education and master’s in education from Illinois State University. He has been at the forefront of education policy in Illinois since 1975. He served as an advisor to Illinois Governor James R. Thompson, was Deputy Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Finance manager for the Illinois State Board of Education and served as the Director of the Center for Education Policy at Illinois State. He is a 2014 recipient of the Ben C. Hubbard Education Leadership Award and a member of the Illinois State University Million Dollar Club.
Dr. Timothy Kilrea earned his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State. He recently retired after serving more than 30 years in education, most recently as the Superintendent of Lyons Township High School District 204. With a servant leadership mindset, he spent most of his career in administrative roles focusing on the success of his students and staff. He was a member of the administrative team that opened Lincoln-Way East High School, helped develop a Special Education Transition Program, and served on many committees to hire and retain quality educators and staff.
Dr. Daniel López earned his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State. He is the President of Harold Washington College-City Colleges in Chicago. López has over twenty-five years of experience in higher education. As a leader, he has provided comprehensive academic support services to students, developed educational programming, and has lead many student affairs units. He has created safe spaces for undocumented students and been a role model for many students of color. He is a member of the Latino Alumni Network at Illinois State, the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education, the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois graduate fellowship, and the Latin United Housing Association.
Dr. Mary Manz Simon holds a bachelor’s in elementary education from Illinois State. Simon began her career in an elementary classroom and as she grew as a children’s book author, she now has a global classroom with books available in 12 languages. Her career also included developing family viewing guides for the Berenstain Bears, crafting Dry Erase products for Crayola and writing licensed titles for DreamWorks. She was also friends with Fred Rogers and consulted for his popular TV show. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association.