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School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award

The School of Information Technology presents the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of alumni who have demonstrated outstanding performance in their profession and have made outstanding contributions to the community, state or nation. The School of Information Technology is extremely proud of our alumni who have been honored as Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

David Nolan - 2015 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient


headshot of IT alumni David NolanDavid Nolan, ’06 Information Systems, is Director of Information Security at Aaron’s Inc. Servant Leader, responsible for all elements of Information Security strategy, operations and programs. He also chairs the School of Information Technology’s Business and Industry Advisory Council.

Nolan was previously an Application Security Engineer and leader of the threat, attack and penetration testing services team at Caterpillar, Inc., where he led the creation and execution of Caterpillar’s application security strategy and worked for more than 10 years. He has also held information technology positions with the Central Intelligence Agency and State Farm Insurance.

He has been a visiting speaker at ISC2 Security Congress, colleges, corporations and regional ISACA events addressing application security topics.



Doug Zitkus - 2014 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient


headshot of IT alumni Doug ZitkusDoug Zitkus, '82 Applied Computer Science, is a Senior Network Architect for State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington, Illinois, where he has worked for twenty years. During Zitkus' tenure, he has designed the network architucture for data centers, authored the original architectural framework of the Voice over IP systems for all State Farm locations, and successfully designed multiple network upgrades to over 20,000 State Farm sites.

Zitkus has been an instructor of network architecture classes at Illinois State for several years. He has also been an active member of the School of Information Technology's Telecommunications Advisory Board, including serving as chairperson.



Kathryn Hayley and Doug Minter - 2013 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients


Headshot of IT Alum Kathryn HayleyKathryn J. Hayley, '79 Applied Computer Science, is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Relationships of United Healthcare Medicare & Retirement. Ms. Hayley is also responsible for leading a team to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of UnitedHealthcare’s claims, billing & enrollment and call center operations.  

Prior to joining United Healthcare Medicare & Retirement, Hayley was CEO of the Americas Consulting division of Aon Hewitt, the world’s largest human capital consulting firm.  

Prior to the October 1, 2010 merger of Aon Consulting and Hewitt, Hayley was CEO of Aon Consulting. Hayley joined Aon Consulting in June of 2006 and under her leadership, the profitability of the organization increased significantly.

Prior to her tenure at Aon Consulting, Hayley spent 21 years at Deloitte Consulting serving in numerous leadership positions, including participating on the global and U.S. leadership teams, and serving on the board of directors for Deloitte & Touche LLP. 

In addition to her professional roles, Hayley serves on the Board of Directors for The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and serves on the advisory boards of three early stage companies. She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, The Committee of 200, and The Chicago Network.

Hayley received her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computer Science from Illinois State University and her MBA in Finance and Marketing from Northwestern University.  She resides in the Chicago area with her husband Mark, and daughters Loren and Leigh.


Headshot of IT alum Doug Minter

Doug Minter '82 Applied Computer Science, '90 MBA, is CIO at Heartland Community College where he has overseen the centralized IT department since its inception in 1997. Under Doug’s leadership, the college boasts state-of-the-art technology, with approximately 2000 desktop computers (which includes approximately 500 virtual desktops delivered via thin and lite clients), standardized “smart” classrooms, a Cisco Voice over IP voice system, 100% wi-fi coverage throughout all indoor spaces, digital signage throughout the campus, a true single sign-on, anywhere-anytime portal solution for student access to online resources, and a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation that includes several Student Information System (SIS), Human Resources (HR) and Finance modules.

Doug is also passionate about the Challenger Learning Center (CLC) that now has its home at Heartland’s campus. He has demonstrated this passion via both professional and extracurricular avenues. Professionally, Doug played an active leadership role in upgrading and enhancing its technological capabilities when it moved to Heartland’s campus, saving time for the Flight Directors (the teachers) and enhancing experiences for mission participants (the students).

Doug earned both his B.S. in Applied Computer Science and his MBA from Illinois State. Doug and his wife Terri reside in Bloomington, IL. Two of their three grown children are also graduates of the School of Information Technology.


Brandon Dewitt - 2012 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient.

Headshot of IT Alumni Brandon DewittBrandon Dewitt, '05 Computer Science, is the recipient of the School of Information Technology's Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2012. Brandon will be visiting ISU during Homecoming to accept the Distinguished Alumnus Award and join faculty, staff and students in celebrating Homecoming 2012.

After graduating from ISU Brandon joined BakerHill as a Software Engineer. During his time at BakerHill and Experian he worked in multiple roles including Internal Applications Manager, Director of Web Services and left Experian as Director of Custom Software.

In 2010 Brandon co-founded venture capital backed banking software company MyJibe. MyJibe was acquired by MoneyDesktop in November 2011 where Brandon is currently Vice President of Engineering. He is passionate about distributed system architecture, programming languages, music, and golf. He is currently trying to break a personal record of 16 consecutive days in board shorts and is rarely seen without coffee.

Lance Rogers - 2011 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient.

Headshot of IT Alumni Lance RogersLance E. Rogers is an Information Technology Manager in Caterpillar's Global Information Services Division. Lance is Vice-Chair of the School of Information Technology's Business and Industry Advisory Council (BIAC), an active Caterpillar recruiter at ISU, and a regular guest lecturer for IT classes.

A Bone Scholar and Presidential Scholar, Lance graduated Magna Cum Laude from ISU in 1991 with a B.S. in Applied Computer Science and French. He later earned an M.B.A. from Bradley University.

Rogers began his career at Caterpillar in 1995 and has served in a number of IT development, support, marketing, and implementation roles. Prior to joining Caterpillar, Lance worked for Andersen Consulting [Accenture] in support of its logistics' practice. Lance's primary role at Caterpillar has been as an IT Deployment Manager for installations of Inventory Management Systems, Warehousing Systems, Manufacturing Systems, Order Management Systems, and Financial Systems. This includes the installation of both proprietary solutions and off-the-shelf packages such as SAP. In addition, Lance is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) and an IMA-certified Management Accountant (CMA®).

Peter Tapling - 2010 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient.

Headshot of IT Alumni Peter TaplingPeter Tapling (B.S. Applied Computer Science, 1982) is president and CEO at Authentify, Inc., the leading provider of OOBA (out-of-band authentication) services. He has held this position since co-founding the company in 1999. Mr. Tapling has spent over 25 years in the software industry, mostly with start-up companies bringing new technologies onto the information technology landscape.

Mr. Tapling has been an active participant in information security industry standards committees dating back to the group that created the DoD Orange Book. Notably, he participated in the American Bar Association Digital Signature Committee, which developed the Digital Signature Guidelines document, and the IETF PKIX working group. He has provided a draft review of the digital signature legislation that was eventually approved by the State of Illinois.

Mr. Tapling is chairman of the Business and Industry Advisory Council for the School of Information Technology and is on the board of advisors to the dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University. Mr. Tapling serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Illinois Technology Association and is a board member for The Big Idea Forum. He is an active advisor to entrepreneurs and early stage companies.

Jeffery Ricketts - 2009 School of Information Technology Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient.

Headshot of IT Alumni Jeffery RicketsJeffrey Rickets '83 is a senior-level information systems manager and consulting professional with more than 25 years of experience and proven leadership, technical, and operations management skills. He has served in various roles at several organizations, including executive director, Information Technology at AT&T; assistant vice president, Information Technology at SBC; and strategic director, Information Technology at Ameritech.

He is a respected leader with a strong reputation for developing relationships with key business partners, managing stakeholder interests, establishing and achieving measurable objectives, and developing leadership skills in others. In addition, Rickets has significant corporate and consulting experience in telecommunications and financial services industries, as well as customer care/contact center operations.

Rickets has directed organizations ranging from 60 to more than 500 IT professionals, including leading teams through large mergers/acquisitions and outsourcing of application development/computer operations.

Illinois State University

School of Information Technology
Normal, Il 61790-5150
Phone: 309.438.8338

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