2000 Alumni Awards
Please note that the following profile information is current as of June 2000.
Distinguished Alumni Award
B.S. ’76, Journalism
Robert Reed is the editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago region’s premier business publication, where he oversees a 40-person newsroom. In addition, Robert can be heard on WBBM-AM Newsradio anchoring the daily Crain’s Small Business Report. Robert also is a recipient of the 1989 Association of Area Business Press’ first place award for news/feature writing. Prior to joining Crain’s in 1987, Robert reported for several publications, including the Evanston Review, Advertising Age and Adweek, and has worked as a secondary school teacher in Puerto Rico.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
B.M. ’97, Music Performance
M.M. ’99, Music
With “hands like lightening,” Liam Teague is renowned internationally as a steelpan “virtuoso.” In 1992, Liam left his homeland in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to study music at NIU–the only school at the time that offered a steelpan program. In addition to numerous solo concerts across the country, Liam has performed for Prince Edward of Great Britain and Carlos Andres Perez, former president of Venezuela. Regionally, he has performed with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Peoria Symphony, as well as internationally with the M.C. Hammer Trinidad tour and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. At the time of the awards recognition luncheon, Liam was on tour in Italy and awaiting the release of his fourth album.
College of Business
With more than 30 years of experience in the real estate profession, Robert Nieman is the executive vice president of Dickerson & Nieman Realtors, Rockford’s leading real estate agency. A merger between Bob Nieman Realtors and Dickerson Realtors in July 1998 resulted in a company that employs more than 125 real estate agents and projects $250 million in annual sales. In addition, Dickerson & Nieman Realtors has been ranked among the top 300 residential real estate sales firms nationwide. A native of Rockford, Ill., Bob is a member and past chairman of the board of the Rockford Area Council of 100, as well as past president of the Rockford Area Association of Realtors. In addition, Bob is a member of the Illinois Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. He also is founder and president of the Golden Goat of Rockford and co-founder of the Rockford Apartment Association.
College of Education
John M. Dunn
B.S. ’67, Physical Education
M.S. ’69, Physical Education
John Dunn is a dean and professor in the College of Health at the University of Utah. With his focus on physical activity and persons with disabilities, John has published more than 50 scholarly papers on the topic and is internationally recognized for his contributions to the field. In addition, John is the author of three books, including one of the leading textbooks in his field. John also has devoted time to dozens of societies, committees and professional organizations, from which he has received a number of honors and awards.
College of Engineering
Arthur D. Graffam
B.S. ’41, Technology
Arthur Graffam is a retired industrial arts teacher from Elgin High School and has played an active role in the growth of NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. Art has served on the Engineering & Technology Alumni Society’s Board of Directors since the organization was chartered in 1995. He has served as the board’s vice president and as its representative on the Executive Advisory Board to the Dean. Most importantly, Art also fulfills his alumnus role as a an “ambassador” for the college.
College of Health and Human Sciences
M.S. ’89, Nutrition and Dietetics
As the coordinator of the Nutrition Clinic at Rockford Health System, Edna Applegate has organized and implemented a variety of programs and services to meet the nutritional needs of the community. In addition to being a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, Edna is certified as an Eating Specialist, a Diabetes Educator and a Nutrition Provider for Early Intervention Services.
College of Law
Maria “Maya” Diokno
J.D. ’91, Law
Currently working as a Pro Bono attorney at the Free Legal Assistance Group in her homeland of the Philippines, Maria “Maya” Diokno has devoted her expertise to resolving human rights issues in that country. For three years, Maya worked as a Human Rights Officer for the UN Cambodia Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (COHCHR). Diokno also edited “A Nation for our Children,” a book on human rights that is used by Philippine universities.
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
B.S. ’76, Computer Science
M.S. ’77, Computer Science
Within a year of graduating from NIU, Gene Petrie and five other NIU alumni co-founded Software Architects, an information technology consulting firm based in Westchester, Ill. Today, Gene is president of Software Architects, which is now a $90 million company with 11 offices nationwide. The firm has more than 800 employees to serve its client base, which includes Fortune 500 companies as well as “dot.com” clients.
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Michael Lynn Hining
B.M. ’85, Music
M.M. ’87, Music
Performer’s Certificate ’89, Music
Michael Hining is the owner and instructor of the Violin and Viola Studio in Oak Park, Ill., which opened in 1987. Recently, his student orchestra, The Windy City String Ensemble, was chosen as the only string group to represent the United States at the Sydney International Music Festival in Australia, where they garnered the festival’s gold medal. In addition, many of his students have won numerous state, national and international competitions.