Alumni spotlights

June 9, 2010

Carol Krupps Wilson ’81, FCS – Secondary Education

Carol Krupps WilsonFor the past four years of my 16-year career, I have taught family and consumer science at Washington Community High School in Washington, Illinois. Currently, I teach Foods and Nutrition I and II and also Creative Fashions I and II.

I love my job. I feel so lucky to be able to teach a subject that I love so much and feel so passionate about. Everyday is something new and different with high school students. The day that I don’t learn something new while teaching is the day I should retire.

I feel family and consumer science has always met the needs of society, but, now more than ever, students are looking to our courses to teach them the skills no longer taught at home. We teach life skills, but I feel the most important thing we teach is confidence. When a student sees that they have the creativity to be successful in my classes, hopefully this will instill more confidence in them so they can be more successful in other subjects and in their life.

I think my only advice to current students is to be passionate about your career. Sometimes this passionate feeling does not come right away, but give it a little time. Our subject matter is so important to the world. If our society placed more value on the subjects we teach in family and consumer science, there would be fewer problems in the world.

My Bradley experience was wonderful. I had many wonderful instructors, but the one instructor who really made a lasting impression on me was Dr. Nina Collins. She was an excellent teacher, but more importantly, she gave me the encouragement and support to fulfill my dream of becoming a family and consumer science teacher. Much of that support has come after I graduated from BU. She is always there with words of wisdom for me.

I remember wonderful times just sitting in the FCS lounge and talking, laughing, and complaining with fellow students and instructors. Since graduating, I have had some wonderful memories of sharing my classroom with some excellent student teachers from Bradley.

Dawn Archibald-Hendon ’87, FCS Retail Merchandising

Dawn Archibald-Hendon

I am the creator and owner of an event planning business called “Intimate Events,” which specializes in weddings of 75 guests or smaller. I truly love working with brides to ensure that their special day is absolutely perfect. In the current economic climate, it is imperative that brides work with event planners who know and are continually shopping for the best-priced vendors for the location, photographer, videographers, florists, and more.

In the future, I hope to replicate my current business plan geared to address the budget needs of those Americans serving our country. I would like to open “Dawn Wedding Chapels/Happy Flowers Florist” around military bases to provide an intimate, yet affordable, one-stop shop for their ceremony. It is a win-win for military couples and me as we make their dreams come true while also doing my part to create jobs.

During my time at Bradley University, I was encouraged to flex my creative spirit in the retail merchandising program. This, along with helping to plan and execute successful fashion shows, helped me to become proficient at multitasking.

My advice for current students is to be open to wherever your path might lead you. Always be aware of needs in the community where there are no resources available, and then be ready to move to fill it. Follow your dreams and take advantage of every opportunity that you are blessed with.

Megan Doyle ’04, FCS – Retail Merchandising

Megan Doyle

I love what I do! Currently, I oversee conference and event planning, website and communication management, program development, strategic partnerships, membership recruitment and retention, and financial management for GSS Inc. in Chicago. I work directly with the board of directors and association volunteers to drive their vision for the association while serving as a liaison for association members and partnering organizations. I specialize in leadership development, event planning, and motivation of volunteers. I am able to maximize clients’ profitability by identifying alternative revenue opportunities and cost-cutting procedures.

My favorite part is interacting with many different people and organizations from clients to suppliers to venues. My network is constantly growing, allowing me to find new ways to work with people and develop new ideas. I also love when an event comes together, and I can look around and see how all of our hard work has paid off on the day of production. It is truly a powerful feeling.

New technology is always providing new methods to generate business, new tools to get a job done, and new means of meeting our clients’ needs. GSS Inc. is adamant about staying on the cutting edge, and we work hard to keep up with these new trends. In order to do this, we challenge ourselves to never become too comfortable with how we are operating or the tools we are using. By staying aware of changing business trends, we are more likely to adopt them and better serve our clients.

My advice for current students would be, to first of all, cherish every minute of your time at Bradley. It will be over in the blink of an eye, so make the most of every opportunity, every friendship, and every class. Students also should realize that building your professional network starts now. Once you complete school, you will realize the importance of having a solid network that you can rely on for advice, business leads, and job opportunities. Building strong relationships with your classmates and professors is the ideal place to begin developing this network.

I think the well-rounded curriculum at Bradley served to educate me not only in the field I was studying but in so many other related fields as well. I felt that the size of the school and the department allowed for individual attention from my professor and their commitment to educating each student.

One of my greatest memories at Bradley was working in my FCS 330 course on the Fashion Show we produced in the fall of 2002. Betty Church was a great instructor, and the entire class worked feverishly to create an excellent show. I enjoyed every detail from choosing the theme, music, and attire to going to Famous-Barr to choose the outfits, and of course, the final product.

Lisa Esposito ’06, FCS Dietetics

Lisa Esposito

Although it is quite a mouthful to say, I am sports dietitian/research associate III at the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance (NIAHP) at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. I play several roles at the NIAHP with my primary role being sports dietitian. I see all clients with nutrition-related concerns. I complete resting energy expenditures with these clients as well as body composition assessments. I also am responsible for the individual consults and training table for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, an NBA Development league team.

My secondary role is as an exercise physiologist. We work on various fitness testing (VO2max, anaerobic threshold), as well as, sweat electrolyte loss and heat tolerance testing. Our facility is equipped with an environmental chamber where we can simulate anywhere from 40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 to 100 percent humidity. This has been especially helpful for individuals who have issues with cramping due to sodium and fluid losses. My tertiary role is as a research associate. Our current project involves adolescents who complete repeated bouts of exercise in the heat. We take stability measurements on our force plate to assess injury risk before, during, and after strenuous exercise. A project starting this summer will involve Type I diabetics and glucose management in the heat.

I truly enjoy the interaction with our clients and research subjects. We work with such a large variety of age groups and issues; every client has a unique limitation or problem, and I have continued to use my MNT knowledge while also helping to improve athletic performance. One of my favorite aspects is working with the college and professional athletes in the area; they tend to be very motivated to push themselves to the next level.

My advice to current students would be, “Do not be afraid to move outside of your comfort zone or to ask questions.” I have never been afraid of moving, so when I applied for my internships, I went across the country. It was one of the best decisions of my life. My internship was through the University of Houston, and I worked under some of the most amazing dietitians in a large variety of settings. The best way to gain knowledge is to experience it and to take mental notes when you make mistakes.

Get involved as much as you can in FCS and in the community. Take advantage of the resource you have in dietitians involved in Illinois Dietetics Association and Central Illinois Dietetic Association. Simply applying for jobs can get you where you want to go, but networking can make a huge impact when a job comes down to you and an equally qualified candidate.  

The one-on-one attention from the professors at Bradley made a huge difference for me. Having a smaller department was a blessing. It meant the professors had time for each student and were willing to answer any questions that came up. I also felt very prepared when I started my internship and took the registered dietitian exam. The FCS Department provided me with the tools I needed to be successful as a dietitian.
Working directly with Dr. Jeannette Davidson on my Mildred Arnold project also made a large impact. While it was not a thesis-level research project, having the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate prepared me for graduate school. I had an understanding of how research worked and what was required of me.

One of my most embarrassing memories in the FCS Department happened my freshman year in Introductory Food Principles lab with Dr. Nina Collins. Each student had a particular recipe we were supposed to follow; mine was a muffin recipe. The purpose was to see how the amount of time you stir the batter influences how much the muffins rise. Well, in my haste to finish, I did not read all of the directions and just stirred the muffin batter as I would have at home. My muffins all came out very uniform, clearly indicating to everyone in the class that I had not read the directions very well. Dr. Collins was, of course, very kind, but I was quite embarrassed by my mistake.