College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board
The College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board was established as a small, informal group of “friends of the college” in 2009 to enhance the connection between the college, alumni and greater community. The CAS Advisory Board serve as a “sounding board” for present and proposed programs, activities and issues relating to the College of Arts and Sciences, identifies opportunities for Arts and Sciences students and alumni to enrich their education, career, and cultural opportunities through internships, mentorships, social activities and other beneficial experiences, assists in the development and maintenance of external support and participates in the ongoing strategic planning process for the college.
Gia Orr, Co-Chair
Gia Orr is the Director of Community Relations, Resources and Legislative Affairs at the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, a state agency statutorily created to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities and mental health needs. She also serves as the agency Equal Employment Opportunity/ADA and 504 Officer, Chief Results Officer, Director of Training and Constituent Affairs Liaison. Her interest in rulemaking, the wheels of government, and legislation began with a spirited internship as an HBCU undergraduate student (Tennessee State University) with the State of Tennessee Legislature. Her wide array of interests led to a career path start in state agency program work which then winded into education for over sixteen years. She proudly filled positions from classroom teacher to principal in the Chicagoland area for fifteen years. These work experiences coupled with the completion of two graduate programs, led to a new opportunity to return to work with state government. She also cherishes volunteering as a board member with three Illinois colleges/universities.
Christopher L. Torres, Co-Chair
Christopher Torres is the South/Southwest Regional Director for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. With 153 programs at 154 locations throughout Cook and Lake Counties, Christopher and his staff engage the two regions that serve the greater southland of Cook County.
Christopher started as a Site Manager for The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). This is a USDA food and nutrition program administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and is operated by Catholic Charities. The Centers provide a variety of WIC-approved foods for eligible participants in Chicago. The food centers also provide access to social services, nutritional education, job training, and educational programs.
Christopher’s background is in operations and management. He is a servant leader who works with community partners, two regional advisory boards, parishes, and the greater community to serve those in need.
Christopher holds a B.A. in Management from National Louis University and a Master of Public Administration from Governors State University.
Through a broad spectrum of services, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago annually assist more than 1 million persons in Cook and Lake Counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background.
Brian Bullock pioneered the launch of his design-focused VFX company serving the needs of clients across the United States, spanning multiple industries. Engages in visual effects projects, 2D and 3D animation, and digital content creation for brands that have included US Army, Miller Lite, Rolex, NEC, Motorola, ESPN, Philips, Powerfleet and P&G. Also, he participated as a Head Judge for Shots.net in 2022. (VFX and Editorial categories)
Hillary Carroll is a Senior Business Operations Manager at the University of Chicago, Center for Translational Data Science. She joined the University of Chicago in 2015. In her current role, she oversees federal contract management for the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), a project funded by the National Cancer Institute. The GDC is a knowledge base that provides access to and analysis of standardized, high-quality data from cancer genomic studies, allowing researchers to visualize molecular alterations and download corresponding data. The GDC hosts data on over 85,000 patients across 70 different projects, covering 67 primary cancer sites.
In addition to this Hillary owns and operates Requester Pro, LLC. Requester Pro is a consulting firm that advises publishers of newspapers and magazines on strategic cost savings and optimizing distribution. She has worked with publications from coast to coast in an effort to uphold the value of print media in a predominantly digital world.
Hillary is also the Owner and Creative Director of Chic Recovery, a lifestyle brand that promotes awareness of substance use disorder and the destigmatization of people in recovery. Chic Recovery is working to partner with organizations that provide educational tools and other resources to help prevent and mitigate the disease of addiction.
Prior to this, she was a Circulation Director for a media group that published 15 newspapers in the southwest and north shore suburbs of Chicago. Hillary is a graduate of Governors State University holding a B.A. in Communication with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations. During her time at GSU, Hillary completed internships with the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) and Silver Pen. She has served on the CAS Advisory board since 2021.
Jaclin J. Davis
Jaclin J. Davis is a results-driven leader with a solid record of executing projects from vision to execution. With distinct project management, communications, and community outreach skills, Jaclin produces materials and programs that create impactful results. She is a hands-on leader with expertise in growing Start Ups, Advertising, Development, Networking, Marketing, Public Relations, Recruitment, and Event Planning. Jaclin has been recognized as a multi-level professional leader, having consistently delivered impactful results that exceed expectations. She has been characterized as utilizing innovative approaches through education and research to gain competitive strategies, including the ability to keep abreast of significant trends in Healthcare, Violence Prevention, and Media. Jaclin holds a dual bachelor's degree in Healthcare Management and Business Administration in Management. Jaclin suffers from a severe case of fearlessness and prescribes to the belief that accountability, integrity, and transparency are the core to genuine success.
Jaclin is the Executive Director of the Cook County Southland Juvenile Justice Council. Additionally, as Program Director of the Community Violence Prevention Program over both Thornton & Bremen Townships, Jaclin advocated and secured to restore viable reentry services throughout south suburban Cook County and expanded recruiting deliverables of youth employment. Jaclin is a Consultant to local entrepreneurs & businesses; and thrives on empowering youth and returning citizens towards achieving quality of life. Through research, advocacy efforts, collaboration with peers, Southland community stakeholder and elected officials, HB4044 successfully passed through the Illinois State Legislature. Commencing the 1st Juvenile Justice Council in Cook County, focusing on the South Suburban Region of Cook County respectfully.
The Cook County Southland Juvenile Justice Council (SJJC) became official, January 1, 2016. Below entails a snapshot of the Accomplishments of SJJC, under Jaclin’s leadership:
- • Assisted in compiling data and completion of the Southland Juvenile Justice Council’s Executive Summary & Juvenile Justice Plan
- • Initiated effort to change existing statue to support Regional Juvenile Justice Council
- • Conducted outreach to elected officials to support and pass HB4044 in the General Assembly
- • Enlisted the support of community stakeholders & has secured over $3.7 million dollars in funding for sustainability of the Southland Juvenile Justice Council to date
- • In 2020, SJJC became the only Juvenile Justice Council to provide direct services to the youth and families that it serves
- • 2015 Chicago Defender Women of Excellence, Recipient
- • Southland Human Services Leadership Council
- • Vice Chairwoman, 2017-Present
- • United Way, Community Impact Steering Committee
- • Member 2017-2022
- • Statewide Citizens Committee on Abuse/Neglect Committee
- • Member 2019-Present
- • UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Community Advisory Council
- • Member 2020-Present
Shari Demitrowicz is a committed, resourceful and passionate educational administrator with over 20 years of education experience. She has a wealth of successful experience includes creating a positive school culture, supporting student achievement, facilitating teacher development and strengthening community relations. She is seen as a decisive and dynamic leader and mentor with extensive knowledge of instructional methods, standardized assessments, and diverse learner programs. Shari has expanded her career educating the community outside of the school setting and is currently the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation at the Chicago Heights Park District.
Gina DiMartino is the Associate Director of Online Instruction at National Louis University, a private, nonprofit, four-year institution with main campus located in Chicago, Illinois. An advocate of faculty and students, Gina has worked in higher education since 2004. Previously, Gina worked as a Project Manager for a major educational publishing company. She graduated from Governors State University with a Master’s degree in Communication and Human Performance Training. Gina will obtain her Ed.S. degree in Higher Education Leadership from National Louis University in June.
In her community, Maria Luiza Gonzalez–born in Michoacán, Mexico and raised in Harvey, IL–is known as Coach “Marilu” Gonzalez. She is the middle child of seven brothers and sisters who happen to all be professionals. Her siblings cumulatively have accomplished 5 bachelors and 6 master’s degrees. Her phenomenal family knows hardship very well. Her mother raised them alone in poverty after the death of their father from cancer. Nonetheless the family motto has always been education. Her siblings are currently in Math, Spanish, Early Childhood, Physical Education, educational superintendent assistants, ELL and behavior specialists. Coach Marilu has spent the last eleven years building a competitive Women’s Soccer Program and teaching at Thornton High School. She has been part of the soccer community since 1994. Marilu has been the head coach at both the high school district and South Suburban Community College. Soccer is her passion, teaching is her love, coaching is her life and leadership is her calling.
Marilu is a graduate from Chicago State University and Concordia University where she earned a B.S. in Physical Education and M.A. in Educational Leadership respectively. Coach Marilu describes her philosophy as “learning life skills through education and athletic experience”. As the trajectory of her career has evolved, she may have the opportunity to be the first Latino administrator in the history of her current district. She states, “It is not a matter of ambition but the strong sense of debt I feel I owe my community. We have an urgency to have decision making individuals that understand the Latino students, parents, community members and businesses at any table within all educational levels in this dynamic community. Not because it is failing but because it is RICHLY THRIVING”. She was selected as the teacher spotlight up and coming leader in the March 2016 newsletter published by IALAS the Illinois chapter of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. Presently her career mentor is Dr. Jose Leyba and he has been named national academy director in Washington DC.
Much of Coach Marilu’s work has been centered on getting all students and parents abreast of the great opportunities of higher education. She has granted thousands of athletic scholarship dollars to many students from the community. Her internship with District 205 administrators included audits from ISBE and drafting the strategic plan of a groundbreaking afterschool program. She is also the co- author with Ovidilio D. Vasquez of Who Coaches the Coach (2015) and is a professional motivational speaker. Recently she traveled to California to interview and is now working with Advance Sports Technology with the phenomenal Jim Madrid and will be working with Professionals, division 1 athletes and any championship building organization.
Marilu Gonzalez has been in district 205 as a Physical Education Teacher at Thornton High School for over eleven years. She matriculated her bachelors in Education emphasizing in Physical Education at Chicago State University and masters in educational leadership at Concordia University. Upon her committed arrival she coached the Girls Soccer team for 10 years and was the head women’s coach at South Suburban College for 8 years simultaneously. Coach Marilu is an alumnus graduate of Thornridge High School and Coolidge Middle School. She is currently a board member for the Communications and Arts department at Governors State University. Coach Marilu is the author of the book Who Coaches the Coach. She is a relentless health and fitness advocate. She enjoys her family and motivational speaking.
Conrad R. Kiebles
For over 30 years, Conrad R. Kiebles served the South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association and many municipalities throughout the Chicago Southland. He is the retired Villager Administrator of Orland Hills and served in the same capacity for Steger and Calumet Park. Kiebles also served in consulting capacities for Lynwood, Oak Forest, Frankfort and Lemont. He began his career with the City of Chicago Department of Public Works.
Kiebles has taught at several Chicago area universities since 1980 including Lewis University, St. Xavier University, Robert Morris University and Roosevelt University. He currently serves as an Adjunct Economics Instructor for South Suburban College.
Conrad currently represents the Village of Orland Hills as a board member of the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce and the Chicago Southland Visitor & Convention Bureau.
Robert Mason is a GSU Alumni with an MFA in Independent Film & Digital Imaging. He also achieved a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from GSU. He enjoys staying connected to the GSU community via Advisory Board, Chicago Southland International Film Festival, and Study Abroad opportunities with the Office of International Studies. As a Filmmaker, he produces music videos, short films, and digital media for local small businesses. Robert is a full time Electrician at Ford Motor Company, a member of the UAW and Veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps.
Born in 1946 as Jack G. McKethen, in Topeka, Kansas. Jackie transitioned as MTF transgender in 2004. She was in the Air Force, Iowa Army Reserves and Air National Guard, and received 3 Honorable Discharges. She was in Vietnam in 1968. She attended Washburn University, Topeka Kansas, Richard Daley College, Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. She has lived in Chicago-land since 1969.
Jackie has worked in credit collection, finance, bank management and retail at all levels to include supervisor and management. After retiring, she has done acting and production work in TV, Film and Theatre. She designed clothes under her own label “Jackie Oooo” . She has a cable access CAN TV show for The Civil Rights Agenda. She has served on several boards as President and Secretary. She has been a volunteer firefighter, Boy Scout and Cub Scout leader, and is now a Girl Scout Co-leader. She was President of Dupage County NOW (National Organization for Women), and is now Vice Commander of American Legion Post 1291, President and CEO of Mobile Moniker Productions Inc., caretaker for friend and activist for the Transgender LGBQIA community. She tries to serve in any capacity which will help to promote knowledge, understanding, respect and an equal and just future for the community to which she belongs. She does speaking engagements in association with her knowledge and experiences as member of the LGBTIA community.
Jackie likes playing baseball, tennis, golf, bowling and pool. She also likes horseback riding, camping and canoeing, playing bridge and other card games, movies, theatre, cooking, fashion shows, painting and being around other people. She likes to get involved in community activities.
Karl Rademacher lives in St. John Indiana with his wife of 25 years and two of three daughters. He has been with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for five years, where he is focused on security assurance for high impact computing environments. He performed in a similar role at University of Chicago, shepherding production authorization for a big data project at the core of Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. His main hobbies are writing, and car shows / racing. On many weekends, you can find him at the race track, either as pit crew or a safety steward. He is an unrepentant geek, playing and running several tabletop role-play games like Dungeons and Dragons.
For more than a decade, Ayom has supported the holistic
advancement of developing communities throughout Chicago. Currently, as the
Senior Manager of Financial Capability at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
(UWMC), Ayom manages a $4 million dollar investment focusing on the advancement
of economic stability (job training and placement, tax support, and financial
education and asset building) throughout the six-county region. Since 2006,
Ayom has held various leadership roles in community and workforce development.
In addition to his work at UWMC, Ayom is currently a board member of the
Economic Development Committee at Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and
the Chicago Workforce Funders Alliance. He was the 2014 recipient of Chicago
Jobs Council’s Betty J. Wilhoitte Award, has served as co-chair of the 741
Collaborative Partnership’s Executive Committee, and was an inaugural member of
Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s Young Professionals Board. Raised in Rogers Park,
Ayom currently resides in Flossmoor, IL with his wife, Gabrielle, and their
four children. When not at work, he loves to bike ride and garden, and he has
cheered for the Cubs since the 80’s. Ayom holds a Bachelor’s degree in
Political Science from Illinois State University and is currently completing a
Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at
Robert White has over twenty five years of technical and operational leadership experience, serving the specialty surfactant industry in both the USA and Europe. His career has focused on operational excellence and site transformation initiatives through asset optimization, process design, capital investment strategy, cost reduction, and compliance with safety, quality and environmental commitments. He has extensive experience with labor relations and contract negotiations.
Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (BEng Honors) from The University of Edinburgh, in Scotland UK.
Robert has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board since 2016.
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