Alumni Class Notes
1977 & 1971
Richard Volbrecht, Jr. (Management) MS, (Mathematics) BS, was inducted into the Hammond (Ind.) Sports Hall of Fame last March. Rick, a retired Hammond school teacher, earned all-state (UPI) and team co-MVP honors as a football running back on the 1965, unbeaten Morton HS Indiana mythical state champion team. He also was a 2-time, Morton track & field MVP and a 3-time Purdue Calumet basketball letter winner. In 1993-99 he introduced, operated and coached in the original Highland girls’ youth basketball league (grades 3-8) and in 1994-96 started and coached several AAU girls’ basketball teams. In 2002-2006 he served on the Highland School Board.
1986 & 1980
Jack Wickham (Management) MS, (Chemical Engineering) BS, vice president of manufacturing for Ace Paint Division, and chair of the PaintCare® Board of Directors, received the George Baugh Heckel Award. This award is the association’s highest honor. Wickham was recognized for his leadership and vision as a founding member and first-ever chair of PaintCare® program’s Board of Directors.
Debra Ciochina (Education) MS was named the 2012 “Influential Woman of the Year” in the Education category for her leadership and positive impact in the Crown Point schools & community and throughout Northwest Indiana. The former Lake Street Elementary Principal and current Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Crown Point is among 22 women honored at the second annual Influential Women of Northwest Indiana Awards Banquet May 31.
Dwayne Washington (Supervision) BS, will celebrate his 12th year as an employee/manager with Ford Motor Company. Dwayne has served as Warehouse and Logistics Warehouse Manager in Atlanta, Ga.; Warehouse and Production Scheduling Manager in Orlando, Fla.; was promoted to Parts and Service Zone Manager; and is now the Aftermarket Zone Manager in Boston, Mass.
Annette (Peters) Huseman (Elementary Education) BA, was inducted into the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame last March. As a 1988 Gavit HS alumna, Annette earned 13 varsity letters, competing in 4 sports. She continued her volleyball career at Purdue Calumet (1988-92). As a 4-year letter winner, she earned all-conference honors and was selected team captain her junior and senior years. Annette is an elementary school teacher for the School City of Hammond.
Cheryl Justak (Marketing, Human Resources & Management) BS, (Business Administration) 1995 AAS was recognized as an Influential Women of Northwest Indiana awardee in the Marketing and Media category at the second annual event May 31. The annual award recognizes women who have demonstrated a powerful influence in 11 industries.
Jennie Burgess (Sociology) BA received a 2012 Influential Women of Northwest Indiana award. She was recognized as an Up-and-Coming Woman of the Year in the Service/Tourism category. For the second consecutive year, the Influential Women awards recognized advances made by women in the workplace.
Rina Horgan, (Elementary Education) BA received the 2011-12 Teachers of Excellence award for outstanding dedication and commitment. The award is sponsored by Kenneth J. Allen & Associates, injury attorneys. Rina has been teaching for six years in the School City of Hammond and is a 5th grade teacher at Lafayette Elementary.
Kathleen Bellis (Hospitality & Tourism Management) 2010 BS and Jonathan Miller (Communications) 2003 BS, were married Sept. 18, 2010.
2009 & 1999
Lynn Lange, (Educational Administration) MSED, (Elementary Education) BA also received a 2011-12 Teachers of Excellence award. Lynn has been teaching for 12 years and is a Literacy Coach at Columbia Elementary School in Hammond. Through staff training, grade level collaboration and one-on-one coaching sessions, Lynn works with teachers to help them improve their instructional effectiveness.
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