The NIU Alumni Association annually recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni, with award recipients being selected based on outstanding professional and personal successes, as well as involvement in civic, cultural or charitable activities.


NIU Alumni Association Awards 

Velchamy Sankarlingam M.S.’90—杰出校友奖

在过去的一年里,作为Zoom的产品和工程总裁,Sankarlingam一直是公司在疫情期间为世界提供服务的关键部分——为大众提供可靠和清晰的视频会议。在2020年的几周内,Zoom从疫情前每天接待1000万名会议参与者,发展到每天接待1亿名与会者。Sankarlingam 的团队日以继夜地工作以建立能力并满足对高质量视频通信不断增长的需求。

Velchamy Sankarlingam M.S. ’90 – Distinguished Alumnus Award 

In this last year as Zoom's president of product and engineering, Sankarlingam has been a critical part of the company’s service to the world during pandemic times—providing reliable and clear video conferencing that is available to the masses. In a matter of weeks in 2020, Zoom went from hosting 10 million meeting participants per day before the pandemic to 100’s of millions of participants. Sankarlingam’s teams worked day and night to build capacity and meet the ever-increasing demand for top-quality video communications.

Carolyn Kambich ' 60 - F.R. Geigle服务奖


Carolyn Kambich ’60 – F.R. Geigle Service Award 

Through her decades of incredible service, both locally and internationally, through her work as an educator, Montessori advocate, and volunteer, Kambich has served countless parents, students and communities. After co-founding the Deerfield Montessori School in 1966, she went on to help establish five schools, now known as the North Shore Montessori School and visited Uganda 14 times to establish Montessori schools there. Kambich currently sits on the Board of the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center.


 NIU Alumni Association Awards 

Julie Yurko ' 90 -校友公共服务奖

作为北伊利诺斯州食品银行的总裁兼首席执行官,Yurko带领的团队去年为该地区提供了1亿份食物——比前年增加了30%。在COVID-19期间,Yurko的团队在2020年3月和4月的六周时间里增加了他们的供应和志愿供电,并在整整一年中保持了这一增加的水平。Yurko为那些需要帮助的人寻找新解决方案的热情已经发展成为与Door Dash和沃尔玛等大公司的革命性合作伙伴关系。

Julie Yurko ’90 – Alumni Achievement in Public Service Award 

 As president and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank, Yurko leads a team that provided 100 million meals in the region last year—a 30% increase from the year before. When the pandemic hit, Yurko’s team ramped up their supply and volunteer power over a six-week period in March and April of 2020 and have sustained that increased level for a whole year. Yurko’s passion for finding new solutions to reach those who need help has grown into revolutionary partnerships with huge companies like Door Dash and Walmart. 

Matt Price ' 09 -校友科学成就奖


Matt Price ’09 – Alumni Achievement in the Sciences Award 

As a client success manager at IBM, Price works with customers to ensure they get value out of their investment, and he is able to see in real time how people use and benefit from his projects. When the pandemic began, Price built a codebase that powered a COVID information chatbot, and it was immediately deployed to hundreds of state and city websites, such as Michigan’s state information site and Minnesota’s site. Through this work, hundreds of thousands of people across the country used this tool to keep themselves safe and informed during the ever-changing landscape. 


NIU Alumni Association Awards 

William " Dre " Buchanan ' 99 -校友成就奖


William “Dre” Buchanan ’99 – Alumni Achievement in the Arts Award 

He now works as a music consultant, composer and artist manager and music composer, rubbing elbows with the biggest names in the entertainment industry. In his spare time, Buchanan worked with “Be the Miracle,” a program that helps raise funds for children in Chicago Public Schools and arranges mentorships for them. 

Rachel McBride ' 13, M.S. ' 16 -杰出青年校友奖


Rachel McBride ’13, M.S. ’16 – Outstanding Young Alumna Award 

McBride was recently selected to promote to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and serves as a training branch program coordinator at Commissioned Corps Headquarters in Maryland. Her selfless work as a dietician with the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps has helped countless people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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