Every year CAST recognizes some of its most successful alumni. Induction into the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed on current, past, or honorary members of the CAST community. Nominations can be based on outstanding performance in one's profession; demonstrated leadership in one's profession or the community; outstanding service to the institution; and statewide, national, or international recognition. This year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Friday, October 6 at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center with a reception at 4:00 pm followed by the induction ceremony at 5:00 pm. Both are open to the public.
Department of Agriculture
Don Meyer received his bachelor's degree in 1977 and became agriculture instructor and FFA advisor in Lexington. In 1983 he was selected as extension adviser of agriculture for McLean County, later becoming extension director for the county and provided leadership in managing budgets, local staff, and marketing. Under his leadership, the program expanded to meet a growing population and changing client needs serving both rural and urban audiences.
Meyer was the Achievement Award winner in Illinois Extension and twice received statewide recognition for his work. He presented a paper to the National County Agricultural Agents, received the County Service to Agriculture Award, and was recognized with the Illinois State University College of Applied Science and Technology's Associate's Award in 1992. Meyer has received WJBC radio's "Spirit of McLean County" award for community contributions, has been honored as the Chamber of Commerce "Legacy of Excellence" winner, and has also been recognized with the Farm Bureau's "Golden Clover" award.
After retiring from the extension in 2010, Meyer became a full-time, nontenure-track instructor at Illinois state, and has taught courses in the Agriculture and Family Consumer Sciences Departments. He received "ISU Impact" recognition for three years for mentoring new students and in 2016 he received the CAST Outstanding Teaching—Nontenure-Track recognition. Meyer has a master's degree from the University of Illinois, and has served his community as volunteer fireman, 4-H leader, and alderman.
Department of Criminal Justice Sciences
Roxanne Castleman graduated from Illinois State University in 1978 with a B.S. in corrections. In 1993 she received her master's from University of Illinois Springfield in public administration.
Castleman started her career as a caseworker at Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School in Normal. In 1980 she became a juvenile probation officer for McLean County Court Services. In 1984 she was promoted to deputy director of the juvenile division, and in 1989 she became the director of the department, overseeing adult and juvenile probation, special programs, and the juvenile detention center. She held that position until her early retirement in 2008. During her tenure at McLean County Court Services, she also became an adjunct faculty in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences at Illinois State University. In 2008 she became a full-time, nontenure-track faculty. She has also assisted with advising and is currently is the department's internship coordinator.
Castleman was instrumental in the county's building and development of the juvenile detention center. She also developed the county's drug court, pretrial program, domestic violence and DUI probation programs, adult intake unit, a juvenile early intervention program, and juvenile extended day program, which received a national recognition award for its innovation.
Castleman has received many recognitions throughout her career: The Field of Achievement in Probation award, Business Associate of the Year, Public Citizen Award, Distinguished Alumni award, and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award at Illinois State University.
Roxanne and her husband, Phillip Foster, have two children, Grace and Jacob.
BS 1976, MS 1980
Department of Family of Consumer Sciences
Karen Stephens received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s in elementary education, specializing in early childhood education, from Illinois State University. She began her career in 1975 as a preschool teacher. From 1980 to 2013, she served as director of the Illinois State University Child Care Center and taught child development and early childhood program administration classes for the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.
As a leader in the classroom and in the field, Stephens has served two years as the president of the Midwest Association for the Education of Young Children and has also spent time as the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) consulting editor and national commissioner. She has received the Illinois State University Distinguished Service Award for her leadership and is the author of many books and publications.
Since 1975 Stephens has delivered professional presentations on the local, regional, and national level. She has presented keynotes, or served as a featured panel expert, at international sites including Scotland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico. She was a founding member of the World Forum on Early Care and Education’s “Nature Action Collaborative for Children,” which promotes advocacy, projects and events to enable children and families to connect with nature wherever they may live.
BS 1971, MS 1973
Department of Health Sciences
Bob Aherin earned both his bachelor's in agriculture and master's in industrial technology with a specialization in occupational safety and health from Illinois State and went on to receive his Ph.D. in agricultural education from the University of Minnesota in 1987.
Aherin is a professor and the agricultural safety and health program leader overseeing extension, teaching, and research at the University of Illinois. He is considered one of the leading agricultural safety and health specialists in the U.S.
Aherin has held many national leadership positions including past president of the International Society of Agricultural Safety and Health. He is a past elected chair of the Ergonomics, Safety and Health Division of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed professional papers and training materials. He has been the project investigator or co-investigator on projects totaling more than $10 million.
Aherin's research has focused on understanding the root causes of agricultural injuries and illnesses and the impact of risk reduction interventions. He has also been a member of an international research team, advised the country of Ukraine on agricultural safety and health, and assisted with the development of countless programs including AgrAbillity and the Grain Handling Safety Coalition.
Aherin's lifetime goal has been to help reduce injury risks to the agricultural industry most valuable resource which is farm operators and workers.
School of Information Technology
Kendal (Ken) Vroman earned his bachelor’s degree in applied computer science from Illinois State in 1993 and went on to receive his master’s of management degree, with emphasis in finance and marketing, from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1999.
From 1995–1999, Vroman served as principal for Whittman-Hart's collaborative technologies group and also worked as a senior consultant for Andersen Consulting LLP's Americas information systems division. Following the completion of his master's, Vroman served as the vice president, corporate operations/chief of staff to the chief executive officer, for marchFIRST Inc. from 1999–2001. At marchFIRST, he handled a variety of executive level business initiatives, including integrating staff and operations during the 2000 merger of USWeb/CKS and Whittman-Hart.
Before assuming his current role, Vroman served as global head, commodity products and services and OTC solutions, for CME Group. He now serves as managing director, planning and execution, responsible for overseeing the company's strategy alignment and execution, program management, and measurement and reporting functions.
Since joining the company in 2001, Vroman has held a variety of senior leadership roles including managing director and chief corporate development officer. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the company's corporate development team, with oversight of corporate strategy, business development, and information products management.
In 2008 Vroman was voted in Crain's Chicago Business' top 40 under 40.
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
Who knew that when René Revis Shingles developed shin splints, as a high school cheerleader it would turn into a career in athletic training? Her path began with a bachelor's in education from the University of North Carolina followed by a master's degree from Illinois State University in athletic training and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in kinesiology. Her passion for athletic training led her to become one of the first 15 African-American women in the United States to become a certified athletic trainer.
After finishing her master's at Illinois State University, she was hired by Newberry College as the head women's athletic trainer and was later promoted to head athletic trainer. It was this position that Shingles broke gender and racial barriers by assuming athletic training responsibilities for the football program. She returned to the Midwest as the assistant athletic trainer and lecturer/instructor at the University of Northern Iowa and at Illinois State University, respectively.
For the past 25 years, Shingles has been at Central Michigan University (CMU), where she started as an assistant professor. She now she serves as the director of the athletic training program and the chair of the school of rehabilitation and medical sciences. Shingles presents and publishes in the area of cultural competence in health care delivery and is co-author of Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine, one of the only books on the topic.
Shingles had the opportunity to be on the medical staff for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. Shingles has served on numerous National Athletic Trainers' Association committees and has received many national, regional, state and local awards for outstanding teaching, leadership, professional and/or community service. She was named CMUs Woman of the Year and Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, and the NATA's Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.
Department of Military Science
Tim O'Neil, of Sterling, decided at 18 years old to enlist in the Army as an administrative specialist. After serving in Germany, O'Neil returned to Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University in 1985 with a degree in business. While at Illinois State, O'Neil participated in Army ROTC and Illinois National Guard, worked for a local attorney, and met his wife, Jeannene (Cooper) O'Neil '84.
O'Neil has spent time as a helicopter pilot in Germany, training at Fort Drum, New York, being promoted to captain and moving his family to Seoul, South Korea, to manage airspace. O'Neil eventually completed his master's degree in management, which allowed him to join the corporate world as a project manager and travel back and forth from India.
In 2003 he was called back by the Army to serve as a public affairs officer, with promotion to major. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces Group, O'Neil received a follow-on assignment as the military liaison officer for the Press Corps at the Baltimore Washington International Airport.
O'Neil has also served in the role of senior Army instructor, leadership team chief, and after being assigned back to active duty, he began work as the marketing officer for the chief of the Army Reserve where he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and helped establish the new Army "Strong" campaign. Currently, O'Neil serves as the recruiting and marketing officer at Johns Hopkins University, where he trains and helps college students become Army officers.
O'Neil and his wife have been married for 33 years and have three children, two of whom are currently Army officers.
Department of Technology
Michael Thomas, of Chicago, earned a bachelor's degree in industrial technology, concentrating in plastics technology, at Illinois State University. Thomas has spent the past 28 years working in the automotive industry, where he started at Mitsubishi Motors Manufacturing of America. While at Mitsubishi he held several positions in the production engineering plastics department. He was promoted to senior engineer. While at Mitsubishi, he received several awards for value engineering and cost-reduction initiatives.
After 16 years at Mitsubishi, Thomas joined Toyota Engineering Manufacturing of America. While at Toyota, Thomas coordinated the building activities for Toyota's Truck Plant in San Antonio and was responsible for the construction of the plastics department at the plant. Thomas was eventually promoted to assistant manager of production engineering. Currently, Thomas serves as the manager of the machine/equipment group, and his team is in the process of completing a major equipment refurbishment project at plants in Kentucky, Indiana, and Canada.
Thomas serves as the Chairperson for Toyota's TIMM committee, has established Toyota's North America machine group committee, and he has served on several safety committees. Thomas also stays busy with his own company, Quartz Construction Management. In 2011 Thomas was named the Department of Technology Distinguished Alumni. He is a lifelong member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and was named the Omega Man of the year in 2002.
Thomas is thankful for the guidance and support he received from his wife Sandra Gillespie Thomas and the faculty and staff at Illinois State, most notably, Hank Campbell, Ph.D., for always encouraging him to do his very best and believe in his abilities.