Recently, the Illinois College Office of Development and Alumni Relations hosted the annual Illinois College Founders’ Circle Dinner and Alumni Association Awards Ceremony.
The Alumni Association Awards ceremony recognized six individuals for their dedication and outstanding service to the college, their local communities and the nation. Those individuals included John G. Stremsterfer ’96, Megan Badasch ’99, Jeremy G. Turner ’95, James E. Davis, Hans Gallas ’71 and Stephen R. Hopper ’71. Their biographies follow.
John G. Stremsterfer ’96
was presented with Young Alumnus Award. As president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln (CFLL), John Stremsterfer oversees the development, expansion and leadership activities of the organization that seeks to increase philanthropy and impact the quality of life in Central Illinois. Stremsterfer came to CFLL from the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) where he served as the director of major gift development. Prior to UIS, he was director of institutional advancement for Ursuline Academy in Springfield, Ill. and also spent two years working in the Illinois Governor’s Office.
Megan Badasch ’99
was presented with the Young Alumna award. Badasch is a political consultant who provides training, operational recommendations and strategic planning guidance to candidates and political parties abroad and in the United States. With nearly 15 years of experience from working on Capitol Hill, three Republican Presidential campaigns, two national party conventions and numerous grassroots campaigns, Badasch focuses her work on the Middle East and North Africa in support of emerging parties and training first-time candidates, particularly youth and women in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman, Pakistan and most recently in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
Jeremy G. Turner ’95
was presented with the Faculty Ambassador award. Turner graduated with a degree in psychology from Illinois College in 1995 and received his Ph.D. in psychology/behavioral neuroscience in 1999 from Northern Illinois University. He taught at the University of Tennessee Martin before coming to Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine in Springfield as a research professor in the department of surgery, conducting hearing and tinnitus research.
Turner joined the Illinois College faculty in 2006 and has maintained his research laboratory at SIU. He teaches courses on the brain, research methodology and statistics, and regularly engages Illinois College students in student/faculty research and at SIU School of Medicine. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and is currently funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research and the Tinnitus Research Consortium. He has published 34 scientific journal articles on hearing and tinnitus, and holds a device patent for measuring tinnitus in animals and humans.
James E. Davis
was presented with the Friend of the College award. Davis began teaching history and geography at Illinois College in 1971 and he taught his last class in the spring of 2011. During his tenure, Illinois College allowed Davis to develop internships by the early 1980s at the Illinois State Historical Library (now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library), the Illinois State Museum, the Illinois State Archives, and by 1999, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site. In addition, IC funded students to travel to the Soviet Union; Washington, D. C.; Civil War battlefields; and the French Country of Illinois and Missouri. Davis lives in Dexter, Mich., with his wife, Joanna.
Hans Gallas ’71
was presented with the Distinguished Service award. Gallas was born in Berlin, Germany and immigrated with his family in 1953 to Springfield, Ill. After graduating from Illinois College with a major in German, he taught high school in Chatham, Ill. before attending Illinois State University where he received an M.A. in theatre. For eight years Gallas was on the staff of the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago serving as the council’s first grants officer and interim executive director. He also taught at Columbia College in Chicago. Gallas moved to San Francisco, Calif., before moving to St. Paul, Minn., where he taught at the Minnesota Museum of Art. Gallas lives in San Francisco with his partner, Vishwa Marwah.
Stephen R. Hopper ’71
was presented with the Distinguished Service award. Hopper is retired after serving as President/CEO of McDonough District Hospital in Macomb, Ill. for 26 years. Following graduation from IC in 1971 with majors in business and economics, Hopper earned a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota. Hopper is currently a director of MidAmerica National Bank, Illinois College Alumni Board and Spoon River College Foundation Board. In May 2012 he led a Rotary Group Study Exchange Team to Sweden, and in 2015 he will serve as a Rotary District Governor.