Meet our Team

Meet the core team who work on the Illini Success initiative to bring new resources and information to the Illinois community.

Julia Panke Makela, PhD, NCC

Photograph
Title
PhD, NCC
Role
Associate Director for Assessment and Research at The Career Center; Project Lead for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
Cornell University, BS in Computer Science
First Destination
The Florida State University, MS in Counseling
Favorite Part of Illini Success
I enjoy the involvement of current students and graduates in the Illini Success initiative. For example, the idea for the Illini Success image of our graduates going out into the world (at the top of this website page) came from a focus group of current students. Additionally, I am endlessly inspired by the reflections that graduates share in their success stories and their advice for current students. The contributions and excitement of our students and graduates is the reason that this initiative will make a positive impact!

Gail S. Rooney, Ph.D.

Photograph Photo of Gail Rooney
Title
Ph.D.
Role
Associate Dean of Leadership and Career Development; Project Co-Lead for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
University of Colorado at Boulder; B.A. in Political Science, Minors in History and Education
First Destination
Division of Student Support Services, Bureau of Higher Education, Department of Education, Washington, DC
Favorite Part of Illini Success
I have appreciated the collaboration across campus for the Illini Success initiative, especially from the career services community, undergraduate deans, and Provost Office. I am truly excited about learning of the successes of Illini graduates and sharing their special stories.

Charles L. Tucker, Ph.D.

Photograph Photo of Charles Tucker
Title
Ph.D.
Role
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Innovation; Chief Cheerleader and Funding Advocate for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BS in Mechanical Engineering
First Destination
Master’s and PhD study at MIT (then on to Illinois!)
Favorite Part of Illini Success
Education is partly about getting a job, but it’s also about becoming a better citizen, growing as a person, and building a life that matters. I love the way Illini Success captures the many ways that Illinois graduates start their journeys, portraying the different ways our graduate succeed.

Shinta Hadi, MS

Photograph Photo of Shinta Hadi
Title
MS
Role
Senior Data Analyst at the Division of Management Information, primary analyst for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia; BS in Engineering Physics, Minor in Signal Processing, Circuits, and Computer Science
First Destination
Computer Science Center, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia. Research Faculty for Graphics and Database.
Favorite Part of Illini Success
When I started looking at the data I was very amazed with the diversity and variety of student's majors. Having analyzed where they landed in their first job to start the journey and to carve their careers, I am very impressed and very hopeful for their bright and brilliant futures.

Kevin Hoff, M.S.

Photograph Photo of Kevin Hoff
Title
M.S.
Role
Graduate Research Assistant at The Career Center, specializing in data analysis for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. in Environmental Science
First Destination
Research Assistant at the Information Trust Institute, University of Illinois
Favorite Part of Illini Success
The diversity of students' stories. It's inspiring to see how students carve unique career paths--from a wide range of academic majors to a variety of occupations. The Illini Success project shows that there are many different routes to career success, and its okay to be unsure what you want to do next!

Gaeun Seo, M.A., GCDF

Photograph
Title
M.A., GCDF
Role
Graduate Research Assistant at The Career Center, supporting data analyst for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
Ewha Womans University, B.A. in International Office Administration
First Destination
Hyundai Corporation Strategic Planning Department, located in South Korea
Favorite Part of Illini Success
Stories derived from Illini Success not only shed light on Illini graduates’ successful professional career journeys, but also continuously inspire people across the Illinois Campus (including me!) to understand how to better help students achieve their career goals.

Dennis (Denise) Lusiana, BS, BA

Photograph Photo of Dennis (Denise) Lusiana
Title
BS, BA
Role
Media Communications Specialist, Illini Union Marketing; Graphic and Web Designer for Illini Success
Undergraduate College
Binghamton University, State University of New York, BS in Computer Science and BA in Art Studio – Graphic Design
First Destination
Technology and Learning Specialist at TRIO – Student Support Services, Binghamton University, New York
Favorite Part of Illini Success
As the graphic designer of the Illini Success initiative, I spent a lot of time looking over the data for the overall campus and individual colleges/departments/majors of Illinois graduates. Through these reports, I loved how we were able to reflect graduates’ unique successes, journeys, and “first destinations” to share their great accomplishments, as well as to highlight the impact of services we provide at the University of Illinois.

David Dashifen Kees

Photograph
Role
Website Developer
Undergraduate College
Lehigh University, BS in Computer Science
First Destination
Lehigh University, MS in Instructional Design and Development
Favorite Part of Illini Success
As the website developer, I've appreciated learning more about the graduates through our Success Stories and the unique technology and data visualization challenges presented in sharing the information in a user-friendly way for a broad audience.

And Many, Many More…

While the core team who keeps the Illini Success initiative running day-to-day may be small, the support for this work is broad and campus-wide. This effort could not be accomplished with out the efforts and support of our many campus partners. We would like to acknowledged them here.

The Illini Success project is a joint collaboration among the Office of the Provost, The Career Center, and the Division of Management Information at the University of  Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thanks are extended to the following groups who have supported the initiative since its beginnings in early 2014, including the: Council of Undergraduate Deans, Career Services Council, Office of the Registrar, Institutional Review Board, Illini Union Marketing Team, College of Engineering Web Services Team, Illini Success Advisory Group Members, The Career Center Advisory Committee, University Chief Communications Officers, University Foundation and Alumni Relations, and countless others.