Tom Tresser (Instructor/Editor) Tom Tresser is a consultant, producer, educator and trainer who can help individuals, companies and communities leverage and amplify their creative assets in order to solve problems, create economic value and trigger civic engagement. He recently designed and produced training experiences for the provincial government of Saskatchewan and Business Retention and Expansion International on arts, culture, creativity and local economic development. He has used creativity in the field of executive development, working with Fortune 500 companies on innovative and experiential strategic executive learning programs. During the Internet boom Tom served as a marketing director and community affairs manager for OurHouse.com, an e-commerce start-up. He was director of cultural development at Peoples Housing, in north Rogers Park, Chicago, where he created a community arts program that blended the arts, education and micro-enterprise. This work was funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Joyce Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Tom has acted in some 40 shows and produced over 100 plays, special events, festivals and community programs. He was an arts activist, having organized support for pro-arts candidates and developed a cultural policy think tank at Roosevelt University in the early 1990’s, where he taught “Arts & Public Policy.” He an alumni of the Leadership Greater Chicago program. In 2003 he was appointed Visiting Fellow in Arts and Culture at the DePaul University College of Commerce’s Ryan Center for Creativity and Innovation. Tom was elected to the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School’s Local School Council and served from 2004 to 2006. He is teaching a number of classes on art, creativity and civic engagement for Loyola University and DePaul University. He is currently acting as strategic planning and audience development consultant for Collaboraction Theater, one of Chicago’s hottest and most innovative young performing arts groups. Visit his web site.
Thomas Bergstrom (Author) Tom has served in the construction and real estate development profession for many years in northern Illinois. Working as a project manager and cost estimator for commercial and industrial contractors throughout the Chicago metro area. Tom has deep roots in construction as a carpenter and a master builder working as a custom home-builder in western Illinois. Tom has been the project manager for commercial, industrial, residential and government structures of every type including retail developments, warehouses, factories, apartment complexes, churches, hospitals, airports and bridges. Tom is ready to graduate from Depaul University at the end of the fall quarter.
Corrado Biasi (Author) After growing up in Milano, Italy I moved to the US following work and my passion: software development. Always following the song from the Scarecrow: “If I only had a brain” I always tried to learn more things I thought I knew already. This allowed me to use my talent as a software developer and be successful in freelance consulting. In some of my engagements as an employee I got shipped all over the place; the last one being the United States of America. I was supposed to stay here only 6 months, but I came here without a girlfriend and met one. After about 7 years and two wonderful children I found myself part of the majority of Americans: divorced. Now my family is just different, but I put all my efforts in keeping my kids under constant love and guidance. This (plus other corollary factors I will not mention here) pushed me to find a little more out than just software development and inspired me to pursue a career in education. Now I am enrolled at DePaul to achieve this goal.
Adriana Botic (Author) Adriana is currently a student at DePaul University’s School for New Learning, and works as an administrative assistant for a financial firm in downtown Chicago. A Chicago resident of 5 years, Adriana is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and now lives in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Adriana is interested in promoting healthy living, the arts, and organic agriculture.
Marty Cook (Author) Born in Chicago, where I work in community relations for the police department, I am a few classes shy of my degree. I plan to attend grad school and study public relations.
Dawn Hodges (author) Dawn Hodges is a student at DePaul University. Her focus area is nonprofit management. She is a passionate worker for her community. Dawn plans on establishing her own nonprofit organization upon completion of her degree. She currently works with various community based organizations in Chicagoland community. Dawn has many dreams and visions for improving the community and with the help of God she will achieve all of her goals.
Blake Holaday (Author). Blake Holaday is a Junior in DePaul University’s School for New Learning and hopes to graduate in June, 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree focusing in History. In the past, he has studied and logged coursework in History, Political Science, and Music with: the University of Washington; the University of California, Los Angeles; and Glendale Community College, respectively. Professionally, Blake has spent the better part of twenty years in the fine wine business. He is currently (April, 2007) employed as the Retail Sales Manager for Hart Davis Hart Wine Company, Chicago’s leading fine and rare wine retail and auction house. Recently, he served as a Student Representative to DePaul University’s School for New Learning’s Tenure Review Board and this quarter, he will begin a service project with REST – a homeless shelter and social services not-for-profit organization located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Previously, Blake has assisted with the Steppenwolf Theatre Auxiliary Council’s Annual Red or White Ball and the Seattle Senior Services’ Annual Wine Auction. He has directed numerous wine seminars and tastings, served as the Chairman of the Board for Seattle Public Theater and has performed in Nuremberg, Germany’s Meistersingerhalle and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California amongst other venues.
Beverly Holmes (Author) As a single parent I feel my aspiration to attain an education is not only important for self-enrichment, but as an example to my children and as an inspiration to other women who face similar life challenges. Through Education I can better the lives of my children and also my community by sharing knowledge. The program flexibility at DePaul School of New Learning has helped to rekindle my excitement for learning. Through this innovative program I can now visualize being the first college graduate in my family.It is this vision that fuels my desire to succeed and then give back to my community and family, a goal I feel lies at the center of any of education. I would like to encourage my peers to discover education. What better way than to lead by example and instruct others from the standpoint of having been there…..
Lynda Peters (Author) Lynda, originally grew up in St. Louis, MO and has lived in Chicago for the past 7 ½ years. She recently moved to the Andersonville area and is really enjoying the neighborhood and would like to learn more about the Swedish heritage of the community. She is a sports enthusiast and is looking forward to the baseball and upcoming football season. She is fascinated with deep traditions of the Chicago sports franchises. She made the decision about 6 months ago that she really wanted (and needed) to return to school to finish her undergraduate degree. She is currently attending DePaul University.
Tomas Ramirez (Author). Tomas Ramirez is a student at the School of New Learning at DePaul University. He has a background on performing arts and community organizing. Currently he coordinates an outreach program for youth involved in gangs in Evanston, IL. He’s a founding member of Teotzin Telpochcame a youth cultural and empowerment group trough First Nations customs and urban culture. Mr. Ramirez is involved in various Restorative Justice initiatives at both the local and international level. He’s also an ordained minister for the Native American Church. He currently lives in the south side of the windy city.
Jeff Sablack (Author). Jeff is currently attending Depaul, his fourth university. His path started at Michigan State University with stops along the way at Eastern Michigan University and Harry S Truman College. Jeff took a break from scholastics to learn the restaurant business from 2000-2005. His foray into hospitality ended after a successful 3 year stint as general manager of a large college restaurant/bar. Jeff has been living in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood for 1.5 years and bartending while pursuing his degree. Jeff thought this project would allow him the opportunity to gain a wider understanding of the city itself and reconnect him to his early love of politics and civic work.
Larry Snelling (Author) is a
Chicago resident with 15 years of law enforcement experience, and currently working as a law enforcement trainer. He holds 24 law enforcement certifications. He is currently a student a DePaul University SNL student and is looking to graduate by June of 2008.
Gary Tsuchiyama (Author). I’ve had a long career working for several major computer corporations. I began my career as a computer programmer, system programming to be exact. I then moved over to project management, managing software projects both domestic and international. Becoming burned out in the technical aspects of the field I then went into software sales, with regional and national responsibilities. From sales I moved into a multi-national marketing position responsible for the North and South American territories. After all this corporate work, I left corporate America and took the opportunity to start a very small company, just myself. My first major freelance consulting engagement was a two-year consulting contract in Milwaukee as a project manager. Expanding upon that experience, I am exploring opportunities in the Web 2.0 segment. I have the Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute. Having concentrated much of my energies to my career over the years, I felt that I should become more involved in the community. I served two years on the board of my temple and volunteer my time as webmaster to its website. My current volunteer project is to develop a multi-media promotion for a summer fundraiser.