The following is information on some of the alumni of the Mathematics Department. If you wish to include your information on this page, send your name, the degree you earned, the year you graduated, and any contact information to the Department Chair (Email George Seelinger). If you wish, please include a brief profile and permission to post this information.

Mr. Richard Bill (1965, 1970)


Brief Biography


Mr. Bill graduated from ISU in 1965 with a B.S. in Mathematics. After graduation, he joined Country Mutual as a Casualty Actuary. During the seven years in this position, Mr. Bill earned his Master of Science degree in math from ISU. In 1977, he assumed the reinsurance responsibilities for the company, both for ceded and assumed.

Mr. Bill was the second alumnus from ISU to become a credentialed actuary and became a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1972. He is a member and past president of the Midwest Actuarial Forum and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Mr. Bill previously worked, as part of an industry committee, on costing the anticipated impact of the proposed Crop Insurance Act of 1980 which lead to the beginning of the federal/private partnership insurance program, now over $10 billion dollars in premium. He has also served on many crop insurance committees of the National Crop Insurance and Statistical Association, Crop Insurance Research Bureau, and the Federal Risk Management Agency since the implementation of the Crop Insurance Act. He was appointed to a Congressional Commission regarding “Farm Income Protection Insurance” and later “Commission for the Improvement of the Federal Crop insurance Program”. He also served on the Grace Commission reviewing the Federal Crop Insurance program. He was a member of the executive committee and board of directors of Crop Insurance Research Bureau.

Mr. Bill was promoted to Vice President Corporate Actuary/P & C in 2001. In this position, he was responsible for all corporate loss reserves and reinsurance including crop insurance ceded and assumed.

On March 31, 2008, Mr. Bill retired from Country Insurance and Financial Services after more than 42 years of service.

Currently he owns his Actuarial firm, R A Bill Consulting, specializing in crop insurance and reserving.

Mr. Erich Brandt (1996)


Brief Biography


Mr. Brandt is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is currently an actuarial consultant. Mr. Brandt graduated Normal Community High School in 1992 and graduated from ISU Summa Cum Laude in 1996 with a BS in Math and a minor in Economics. In his work as an actuarial consultant, Mr. Brandt has made numerous presentations to brokers, corporate risk managers, and CFO’s regarding loss reserving, future loss projections and how their company’s characteristics impact their actuarial calculations. He also works at length with the students and faculty at Illinois State University (ISU) by teaching class sessions on insurance operations, assisting with the compilation of data for academic research, and discussing the actuarial profession with current and prospective actuarial science majors. Furthermore, Mr. Brandt is a member of the advisory board for the actuarial science major at ISU. Mr. Brandt’s research interests lie heavily in the analysis of industry annual statement information to identify prevailing reserving trends among industry sectors.

Ms. Devyn Clifford (2001)


Brief Biography


After Ms. Clifford graduated from ISU in 2001, she started with Zurich in 2002, working in various pricing and reserve roles. In 2008, she became and Associate in the Casualty Actuarial Society and she was ISU’s 100th alum to become a credentialed actuary. In 2011, she moved to SCOR and worked as a treaty pricing actuary. In 2015, Ms. Clifford attained her Fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society and in 2014, she moved back to Zurich Insurance is currently working as a transactional pricing actuary supporting the Group Captive business.

Ms. Clifford is also married and the mother of two little boys.

Mr. Alan Foster (1955)


Brief Biography


Mr. Foster graduated from Illinois State Normal University (BS: 1955) and began his school teaching career at Illinois high schools in Plano, Hopedale, Elmhurst, and Villa Park. In 1966 he became a teacher and department chair at Addison Trail High School, where he led the department until retirement in 1991. For 10 years after retirement, he taught part time at Harper College and supervised ISU mathematics student teachers.

Mr. Foster has been an active member of the Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago, the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, each for more than 50 years. He’s a past President of ICTM and has held committee chair responsibilities for NCTM, among many other leadership roles he has taken on, serving state and national mathematics education endeavors throughout his career and into retirement. He was a long-time high school mathematics author for Merrill/Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, and in 1987 he was a state finalist for the Presidential Award of Excellence for Secondary Mathematics Teaching. Mr. Foster has earned three ICTM awards, including the T. E. Rine Award (1985), the Distinguished Life Member Award (1996), and the Lee E. Yunker Mathematics Leadership Award (2010).

Dr. Shelly Jones (2002)


Brief Biography (September 2018)


Dr. Shelly Jones earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at ISU in 2002 and she is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Central Connecticut State University. Dr. Jones recently completed a children’s activity book entitled, Women Who Count: Honoring African American Women Mathematicians. Dr. Jones is interested in culturally relevant pedagogy in mathematics. You can see her TedxCCSU video about culturally relevant pedagogy on Youtube. Dr. Jones also co-authored a chapter in, The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward a New Discourse. She also serves at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Position Papers Editor and is the Northeast Director of the Benjamin Banneker Association, a national nonprofit organization, and partner affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, dedicated to supporting teachers and leaders who are working toward leveling the playing field for African-American students so that they can enjoy mathematics learning of the highest quality.

Dr. Gladis Kersaint (1998)


Brief Biography (September 2018)


Gladis Kersaint graduated from the University of Miami with a BS and MS in mathematics in 1990 and 1992, respectively. She earned her Ph.D. in mathematics education in 1998 from Illinois State University.

After having taught mathematics at the high school and community college level in Florida’s Miami Dade County from 1990 to 1995, Dr. Kersaint joined the University of South Florida (USF) as an assistant professor of mathematics education, where, in 2011, she was promoted to professor.

During her time at USF, she served in a range of leadership roles. From 2006 to 2010, she was the coordinator of USF Undergraduate Education and chair of the General Education Council, a role with university-wide reach. She also served as director of the David C. Anchin Center and held the David C. Anchin Endowed Chair in Education Innovation; the Center promotes alliances and leverages resources to facilitate partnership efforts that support innovation and the advancement of teaching. Prior to arriving at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Kersaint served as the associate dean of academic affairs and research for USF’s College of Education.

Dr. Kersaint was named the dean of UConn’s Neag School of Education in January 2016 and began her tenure in June of that year.

Dr. Kersaint is a well-respected scholar in mathematics education with an extensive publication and national and local service record. She has published four books and numerous refereed journal articles related to factors that influence mathematics teacher education and effective mathematics teaching, the mathematical teaching and learning of at-risk students, and the use of technology in teaching and learning mathematics. During her tenure at USF, she served as the principal or co-principal investigator of approximately $30 million of National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and Florida Department of Education grants.

She has led a number of collaborative STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education projects involving school district personnel as well as university faculty in Arts and Sciences and Engineering. She has also provided service at the national level, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the largest professional organization for mathematics educators, and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.

Dr. Bonnie Litwiller (1959, 1960)


Brief Biography


After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degree at ISU, Dr. Litwiller earned her EdD from Indiana University in 1968. As a Professor of Mathematics Education at the Univeristy of Northern Iowa, Dr. Litwiller devoted her career to shaping how children learn by teaching mathematics to students studying to be math teachers. She co-authored over 1,000 journal articles, published four books, edited 26 books, and given more than 200 presentations. She has also been recognized for her work by receiving the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Excellence (1993), the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), and Alumni Awards from both Illinois State University and University of Indiana.

Dr. Lou Matthews (2002)


Brief Biography (September 2018)


Lou Matthews is a globally-focused mathematics engagement specialist who has been passionate about inspiring communities, schools and audiences through his love of mathematics and social justice. Moving from Bermuda to the United States, Dr. Matthews received his PhD in Mathematics Education from ISU in 2002. Dr. Matthews has been an active speaker, teacher, writer and public education leader having engaged audiences in the United States, Caribbean, Africa and Bermuda over the past 20 years. He has authored studies, analysis and book chapters on culturally relevant teaching in mathematics and the education of Black children.

Notably Dr. Matthews was founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Urban Mathematics Education in 2008 and has gone on to serve as a mathematics and STEM advocate, as well as a social entrepreneur, founding his latest startup InspireMath.org in 2017. Dr. Matthews has just completed the Ghana Project in February 2018, a professional development engagement collaboration with the Gamoa East District and the AceIt Foundation, promoting culturally responsive mathematics teaching for Ghanaian children.

Dr. Matthews enjoys engaging audiences with stories, analyses, and messages of inspiration and empowerment through mathematics!

Dr. Matthews has served as Director of Schools and Acting Commissioner of Bermuda Public Schools and has held faculty positions at Georgia State University and the University of South Carolina Upstate. He has also authored several studies and book chapters, most recently, Advancing a Framework for Culturally Relevant, Cognitively Demanding Mathematics Tasks which was featured in the book, The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics. Dr. Matthews is also a past President of the Benjamin Banneker Association.

Ms. Kritiga (Kris) Muthuswamy (2007)


Brief Biography


Ms. Kris Muthuswamy started her professional career as a software engineer in a software-export company in India with many international clients. She got a start in the insurance industry in Chicago, Illinois working as a software engineer. It was here that she first learned about Actuarial Science from one of her colleagues and decided to pursue this career.

She obtained her Masters in Actuarial Science from Illinois State University in 2007. Her first position as an Actuary was at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. In 2015, Kris became the 200th ISU graduate to become a credentialed actuary. Kris has just completed three years at Optima Health, a provider-owned health insurance company, as a Staff Actuary in Virginia. She has accepted a new position as Associate Actuary in Milliman Atlanta and will start this position in the Summer of 2018.

She is looking forward to her new venture at the Milliman Atlanta Office and her daughter is now ready to go to James Madison University in September 2018 to start her Pre-Med track.

Ms. Nancy Powell (1974)


Brief Biography


An ISU graduate in 1974 (BA Mathematics) and 1990 (MS Educational Administration), Nancy taught at Danville (IL) High School prior to devoting more than 30 years in teaching mathematics at Bloomington High School, where she was the Lead Teacher in the Mathematics Department from 1978 through 2010. She has been a mathematics education leader in local, state, and national arenas, including service to the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She has earned numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Award of Excellence for Secondary Mathematics Teaching (1992) and a Golden Apple Award (2008). Throughout her career, and now in retirement, Nancy is active as a writer, presenter, and consultant, including extensive involvement in technology implementation in school mathematics classrooms.

Captain Gary W. Shnurrpusch (1969)


Brief Biography


“I graduated from ISU in May 1969 with a B.S. in Mathematics and was credentialed to teach grades 7-12 in Illinois. My career took a different but very math-related turn toward the Navy as well as affording some “teaching” of officers and sailors along the way. I served on active duty from 1969-1997; retired as a Navy Captain, Surface Warfare; served on 7 ships including commanding the last 3, one home ported in Japan. I served 3 tours in the Pentagon; gained my M.S. in Operations Research/Systems Analysis (OR/SA) in March 1975 from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. I am now in the private sector of the Defense industry as the Group Leader of the Naval Surface Warfare Analysis Group at Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc. (SPA), Alexandria, VA. Overall I directly served or applied math-related OR/SA for nearly 30 years of my 44 years since ISU in Navy OR/SA billets in uniform and for the Navy in the private sector … one could say ISU Math gave me the roots to excel in the math and science, probabilities and statistics, modeling and simulation world of OR/SA.” Captain Shnurrpusch was recognized in 1999 with ISU’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mr. Ismael Zamora (1997)


Brief Biography (September 2018)


Mr. Zamora graduated from Illinois State University in 1997. He began his career as a middle school math teacher at Gower Middle School in Burr Ridge, Illinois. He then went on to teach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, where he taught every level of math and started the AP statistics program. He received his masters in Educational Administration and for the past 15 years has served as a Math Department Chair and teacher at various high schools including Rich Township District 227, Hinsdale District 86, Lyons Township High School (Math and Science Chair) and most recently at York High School in Elmhurst. He is involved in various professional organizations and has served as President of the Metropolitan Math Club of Chicago (2011-2012). He is also an active member of ICTM, and NCTM. He has presented at many state and national conferences and was selected twice as the US Representative to the Global Teachers Meeting hosted in Tokyo Japan by Casio International (2012-2013). His time with Casio has allowed him to work as a creator of teaching material, and to translate material from English to Spanish, and Spanish to English. He has also worked for Kendall Hunt Publishing, The College Board, and with Michael Serra on translating videos for the Discovering Geometry series.

Ms. Stephanie Zeppetello (2011)


Brief Biography (September 2018)


Ms. Zeppetello graduated from Rolling Meadows High School in 2006 and graduated Summa Cum Laude from ISU in 2011 with a BS in Secondary Mathematics Education and a minor in Dance Education, certified K-12. Ms. Zeppetello is now in her 8th year of teaching full time at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, IL.

Aside from teaching, Ms. Zeppetello is also the Fine Arts Director of the district performing arts club, Orchesis. Ms. Zeppetello was a pre-service and inservice participant of ISU’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) as well as a participant in the Undergraduate Research course offered at ISU. Her participation resulted in 5 subsequent publications in Combinatorics. Ms. Zeppetello’s publications and participation in REU has lead to many presentations at conferences spanning the United States.

Finally, Ms. Zeppetello is in her 6th year as a member of the leadership team of the Complex Instruction Consortium, a group of math teachers who run workshops at least twice a year, are affiliates of ICTM and present at conferences such as MMC and NCTM. The consortium focuses on teaching mathematical curriculum through complex tasks and collaborative group work. Her participation with the CIC has also lead to opportunities for mentoring and instructional coaching in group work implementation for pre-service and inservice teachers.