Featured Alumni

Alumni Videos

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Mindy Rapp

Mindy RappDegree/Year:  B.S. Manufacturing Engineering, ’95
Current Employer: Caterpillar Inc.
Title:  Advanced Planning Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Department, Caterpillar Inc.

Manufacturing is an exciting and globally competitive field that creates new challenges every day. Manufacturing engineers have the opportunity to design and build the word's products through state-of-the-art processes with superior quality. I have solved business problems every day using manufacturing engineering skills and tools that I developed at Bradley University.

My time at Bradley gave me a solid educational foundation through a wide range of coursework in the engineering, business and the liberal arts and sciences. Bradley's small class size, extensive world-class manufacturing laboratories and close integration with the strong manufacturing presence in the Peoria area further enhanced my classroom education.

Bradley's faculty fully prepared me for the challenges of the manufacturing industry. The faculty was always available with an open-door policy. They take time to know each student personally and give honest feedback to continuously improve the students' technical capabilities as well as their values-based competencies. I still reach out to the Bradley faculty today for guidance and support. The course instruction includes projects with real manufacturing companies that require significant teamwork, integration of business concepts and extensive project management and presentation capabilities. I left Bradley with a strong foundation that allowed me to be successful in industry.

Bradley's core values of excellence, leadership, innovation, globalization, collaborative learning, community, diversity, experiential learning, entrepreneurship and service can be found at the heart of the Bradley faculty, staff and alumni. These core values were instilled to me as a student and are expected in today's workplace. Bradley taught me the value of people and relationships. I learned to have a personal commitment to life-long learning and to continuously improve my skills and capabilities.

My advice to current and future students of industrial and manufacturing engineering programs is to take your time and really get the most out of your collegiate experience. Take the necessary time to develop a strong foundation through additional coursework and industry internships/assignments/projects. This additional development will better prepare you for the workforce. Above all have fun and feel confident that Bradley has prepared you for a lifelong learning journey.

David Ziegler

Degree/Year: BS/MS Manufacturing Engineering, ’76 / ’01
Current Employer: The Boeing Co.
Title: Director, Sales & Marketing

From my first job after graduation, I have always felt that I was one step ahead of my peers thanks to the education I received from Bradley. Throughout my career in both the automotive and aerospace industries, the engineering skills and discipline that I learned during my years at Bradley have provided me with the foundation to be an effective contributor and team leader.

For the last 25 years, I have been primarily involved in selling aircraft to Boeing’s domestic and international customers. The job has entailed a lot of successes and the chance to go around the world on three separate occasions. I never get tired of watching airplanes take off that I helped sell to our customers.

From the very beginning, I have depended on those same methods for complex problem solving that were instilled in me during my Bradley experience. Today, being on an Academic Advisory Council at Bradley, I get to see how the University continues to maintain high standards of excellence that prepare students for careers in the engineering industry.

My best advice for a new Bradley graduate is to remain flexible; there will be disappointments along the way. Always remember that those early views of your career may only be a beginning. “Re-making” yourself is sometimes necessary to reach the next rung of your personal and professional ladder of success.