Loras Distinguished Alumni

Loras College announces Distinguished Alumni Award winners

Group of five will be honored during homecoming on Oct. 13


(From left to right: Pat Lillis, Karen Sturm, Roger Schiltz, Lauren (Squires) Ready and Mike McCrea.)

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Loras College National Alumni Board has announced its 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winners. The five individuals will formally receive their awards during the College’s homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Pat Lillis, M.D., 1971 graduate, Amicus Award; Mike McCrea, Ph.D., 1988 graduate, Professional Achievements; Lauren Ready, 2008 graduate, Young Alumni; Karen Sturm, 1980 graduate, Campus Contributions, and Roger Schiltz, 1964 graduate, Humanitarian, will all be recognized. Each was nominated by fellow classmates, former faculty and/or family members as an individual who exemplified the Loras College mission statement and has made a difference in the lives of others.

Pat Lillis: Amicus (Latin for friend)
The Amicus Award recognizes an individual who, as its name implies, has been a friend to the college, leaving a lasting impact on students and the campus community.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in biology at Loras, Lillis earned his doctorate degree in medicine from the University of Iowa School of Medicine, Iowa City, in 1975. He completed his residency at University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics in its Department of Dermatology and was one of 10 recipients in the nation to receive a scholarship by the American Society of Dermatology Surgery.

Lillis became Board Certified by the American Academy of Dermatology and opened his own general and surgical dermatology practice in Loveland, Colorado in 1979 and practiced for 37 years before retiring in 2016.

He also served as president of the Colorado Dermatology Society in 1989 and on the American Dermatological Surgery Society National Board of Directors from 1996 to 1999.

While at Loras, Lillis was one of 10 student-athletes in the United States awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the NCAA. He has led and/or been active in a dozen professional organizations and served as a visiting professor at six schools, including Harvard Medical School.

In addition, he was one of the first 70 Mohs micrographic skin cancer surgeons in the nation, first in the Rocky Mountain states, has delivered more than 100 national and international clinical scientific presentations, and authored nearly 30 scientific studies.

His philanthropic gestures span decades with support to every campaign and special project Loras has launched over the last 30 years. Most notably, in 2012, Lillis pledged $2.5 million for what is now Lillis Court inside the Loras College Athletic & Wellness Center.

Lillis currently ranks 13th in program history with 1,291 career points. He is one of 41 student-athletes to score at least 1,000 points in their career while representing the Duhawks. Additionally, Lillis is one of 14 to record at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in their career. He ranks eighth all-time with 576 career rebounds.

Mike McCrea: Professional Achievements
McCrea graduated from Loras in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. Following his time in Dubuque, he earned master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology (APA-Accredited) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before interning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In 1994, McCrea received a post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

McCrea is currently professor and eminent scholar of neurosurgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), where he also serves as vice chair of research and co-director of the Center for Neurotrauma Research (CNTR). McCrea is also a research professor at the Clement Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.

His clinical and research efforts focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI). During the last 20 years, McCrea and his colleagues, both at MCW and around the world, have made significant progress in improving life quality and function for those affected by TBI. McCrea also is the neuropsychology consultant for the Green Bay Packers and oversees the neurocognitive concussion testing program for the National Football League.

While at Loras, McCrea, originally from Benton, Wisconsin, was an officer in the Loras Psychology Club, was active in the Center for Social Research, and served as a tutor in athletics and academic departments. After graduating, he served on the Loras College National Alumni Board for eight years.

McCrea has earned numerous awards including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Arthur B. Kohasky Leadership Award from the Wauwatosa Library Foundation.

His professional appointments include past president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology and newly elected president of the APA Society for Clinical Neuropsychology. Among others, McCrea served on the scientific committee for several International Consensus conferences on sport-related concussion, the Head, Neck and Spine Committee for the NFL and the Defense Health Board for the U.S. Department of Defense.

He has served on editorial boards for several prominent medical publications, including the Journal of American Medical Association, Journal of Athletic Training, American Psychological Association, American Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of International Neuropsychological Society and British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Mike and his wife, Ann Marie, have three children: Grace, Elena and Joe, all of whom attend Catholic schools in the Milwaukee area.

Lauren (Squires) Ready: Young Alumni
Ready, originally from Cedar Rapids, is a 2008 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in media studies and has more than a decade of experience of producing award-winning content for both television and the web.

Shortly after graduation from Loras, Ready was hired by KWWL for its Dubuque bureau as a reporter. In 2011, she left the Key City for Omaha, Nebraska and became an investigative journalist for WOWT. By January of 2013, she was working at WMC-TV in Memphis as a reporter.

In 2016, she left her “dream job” and launched Forever Ready Productions, LLC, which now employs three Loras alumni. Forever Ready Productions serves primarily nonprofit organizations and startup companies through video production services. It was her experiences and training from Loras College that inspired her work at Forever Ready Productions.

During her career, Ready has received regional and national recognition for her work in multimedia production. She has earned an Emmy nomination, garnered Gold and Platinum awards from the American Marketing Association, took first place for hard news and best TV News Reporter in the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors Competition, and several awards from the Iowa Broadcast News Association, Nebraska Associated Press, and the Eric Sevareid Award from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.

Ready and her husband, Scott, live in Memphis with their adopted son Max. She serves in multiple volunteer roles in the Memphis community including vice-chair of the Dorothy Day House, board member for Volunteer Odyssey, as well as a lector and Eucharistic minister at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Memphis.

Roger Schiltz: Humanitarian
Schiltz is a 1964 graduate of Loras and earned his master’s degree at the National College of Education. His humanitarian efforts span the globe and nearly 50 years. He and his wife, Kitty, have taught inside an aborigine village in the mountains of Taiwan and an Eskimo village in Alaska.

Schiltz also earned a degree in carpentry at Grays Harbor Community College in Aberdeen, Washington. His skills allowed him to build houses and teach refugees from southeast Asia and Iraq at the Refugee Center in Olympia, Washington. He has also taught English to Buddhist monks and continues to provide inspiration, education and funds to educate 17 orphans.

Thanks to the couple’s selflessness, many of those they have helped are now medical doctors, nursing students, receiving college degrees and one plans to teach after receding her G.E.D.

Karen Sturm: Campus Contributions
Sturm is a 1980 graduate of Loras and received her master’s degree in accounting from University of Iowa in 1981. She began teaching at Loras in 1982 and after 36 years retired in May.

Sturm held several academic positions, including chair, Division of Business & Economics, 2015 to 2017; chair, Division of Business Administration, 2009 to 2011; chair, Accounting and Business Department, 1996-2002; acting academic dean, 1994 to 1995; and assistant academic dean, 1990 to 1997.

Her service to Loras spanned many different organizations, including the Loras Catholic Identity Committee, Academic Council, Admissions Committee, and First Year Seminar committee. Sturm also served as an academic advisor for 30 to 65 students a year, chaired the Loras College School of Business Strategic Plan Committee, coordinated the Catholic Social Teaching Business Case Competition, and led the development of a business analytics major and analytics minor through the Francis J. Noonan School of Business.

Sturm’s awards and acknowledgments include Volunteer of the Year at Marquette Catholic Schools in Bellevue in 2006-2007; the John Henry Cardinal Newman Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership, 1998; and the Catholic Elementary School Distinguished Graduate Award, 1992, from the National Catholic Education Association.

She is a longtime member of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society and the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honor Society at Loras. Sturm also served as secretary and treasurer of the Student Senate while she attended Loras.

Her community involvement includes the Archdiocese of Dubuque Financial Council, Marquette Catholic Schools Finance Committee and Marquette Catholic School Board.

Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.

Visit www.loras.edu, call (563) 588-7100 or (800) 245-6727, like Loras College on Facebook or follow @lorascollege to learn more.

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