Adan Pope

Adan Pope, a Riverside resident for more than 20 years, has just published his first book on the topic of digital transformations.

The book, titled “Respect the Weeds: Digital Transformation Rooted in Principled Leadership,” explores the fundamental challenges businesses face in a world permeated by digital innovation and disruption of traditional models.

“The age of digital transformation has finally come,” said Pope, who has served as chief technology officer for many years for many of the world’s leading companies. “Saying we need to transform is one thing, but being actually able to do it is another altogether. This is the rarified air of the innovator, the undaunted leader and the pragmatist. Indeed, digital transformation is a thorny problem that requires us all to dig deep as we reinvent our businesses.”

In “Respect the Weeds,” Pope uses weeds as a metaphor for the challenge facing business leaders.

“Weeds are the most ingenious of plants,” he said. “They find a way to thrive even in the most hostile environments. Although we may not want more weeds in our yards, you have to admire them. This book challenges the reader to channel their inner weed as they face the challenges presented by digital disruption.”

The book, which Pope co-authored with Peter Buonfiglio, can be found online at

I’d be honored

Pushpa Winbush

Pushpa Winbush, a school psychologist at Riverside-Brookfield High School, was selected as the 2020 Illinois School Psychologists Association Practitioner of the Year. 

Among her accomplishments, Winbush has redesigned existing behavioral interventions, created a website called Attendance Matters to serve as a resource for parents, started a peer mediation program, created an after-school group called Homework Hangout to support students academically and developed a problem-solving structure for team meetings.

Winbush earned her undergraduate degree at Illinois State University and is a graduate of that university’s specialist program in school psychology.

Olmsted Society elects new officers

The Frederick Law Olmsted Society elected new officers and board members during their annual meeting, held virtually in 2021, in January.

Elected president was Yvonne Lucero, along with Vice President Cindy Kellogg, Secretary Joanne Rogers and Treasurer Theresa Pelletier.

Renewing board members are Kim and Rob Dixon, Sander Kaplan and Pelletier, Kellogg, Linda and Rick LaBelle, Dan Murphy and Olivia Barraza-Murphy, Sandie and Jim Petrzilka and Rogers.

Newly elected to the FLOS board of directors were Bridget Doherty and Leon Pietrowski and Matthew Rogina

On campus

Grace C. Tucek, of Riverside, graduated from Clemson University cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science with minors in business and Spanish studies. A 2017 graduate of Fenwick High School, she was named to the university’s president’s list and dean’s list during her six semesters at Clemson. She also studied abroad and graduated in 3.5 years.

North Riverside resident Racquel Ardisana was among those awarded degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, during the school’s virtual fall commencement ceremony in December 2020. Ardisana graduated with a Master of Arts degree, majoring in biology.

Gloria Corona, of Brookfield, was awarded the Roki American Company Ltd. Scholarship, the Catherine Achord Spanish Scholarship, the Dr. Patrick W. Rooney Scholarship and the Gift of Hope Hispanic Scholarship at the University of Findlay (Ohio) for the 2020-21 academic year.

Riverside resident Alyssa Schwarz and Brookfield resident Autumn Rajcevich-Schwer were among the more than 1,000 students named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Carthage College in Kenosha. Dean’s list students must achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale for the semester.

Among the roughly 1,600 students at Lewis University in Romeoville named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list for attaining a semester GPA of at least 3.5 were North Riverside resident Danny Zontos (aviation administration) and Brookfield residents Lina Alamayreh (elementary education), Julisa Colon (criminal justice), Margarita Correa-Martinez (computer science), Justin Lohmeier (business administration), Jane McLaren and Gylmar Ponce (supply chain management).

Brookfield residents Marlena Barrido and Lydia Olson were named to the 2020 fall term president’s list at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa for attaining GPAs of 4.0 during the semester.

Brookfield residents Emily Hanna, Gina Pardun and Brittany Whigam; North Riverside resident Gabrielle Mandel; and Riverside resident Abigail Salamanca were named to the 2020 fall term dean’s list at Elmhurst University for attaining a GPA of at least 3.75 for the semester.

University of Iowa announced that several local students were among those named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list, including North Riverside resident Gianna Calderon; Riverside residents Cooper Lesniak, Anna Milleker, Isabella Mullins, Gabrielle Nolan and Jake Vaia; and Brookfield resident Katelyn Malinowski.

McKenna Kunish, of Riverside, was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Arizona State University, where she is a senior.

Brookfield resident Grace Knowski was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Millikin University in Decatur for achieving a GPA of at least 3.5.

Wheaton College student Kylee Hernandez, of Brookfield, was named to the dean’s list for the 2020 fall semester for earning a GPA of at least 3.5 for the semester.

Brookfield residents Mariah Dorsey (early childhood/special education) and Kaitlin Lizik (communication) and North Riverside resident Joshua Valentino (computer science) were all named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list with high honors at Aurora University for earning perfect GPAs of 4.0 for the semester.

Michael Pitts, of Riverside, was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Cedarville (Ohio) University for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.75. 

Derek Johnson, of Riverside, a senior majoring in computer science, was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Stout for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Brookfield residents Ariel Sanchez and Anna Souders, along with Riverside residents Jacqueline Miller and Cathy Yuen were named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list in the College of Letters and Sciences and Riverside resident Natalie Skiest was named to the dean’s honor list in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kara Hernandez, of Brookfield, was named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at Missouri State University in Springfield for attaining a semester GLA of at least 3.5.

Among those named to the 2020 fall semester dean’s list at the University of Missouri in Columbia were Brookfield residents Gerald Hopkins and Dylan Meehan, North Riverside resident Anthony Esposito and Riverside resident Marie Allegretti.

Brookfield resident Ahmad Ayyeh, a senior member of the Lyons Township High School congressional debate team, earned third-place best speaker in his chamber during the recent Illinois Congressional Debate Association Tournament. 

Students follow the procedures of senators and representatives in Washington, D.C., write legislation, work in committees and debate their own bills and resolutions.

Paige Barnes, of Brookfield, has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Barnes is a senior at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park.

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park has announced its honor rolls students for the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year. Those named to the A Honor Roll had a GPA of at least 3.8 while those on the B Honor Roll had a GPA between 3.33 and 3.79.

Named to the A Honor Roll were Brookfield residents Zeyin (Michael) Feng, Greta Nelson, Sarah Newman, Kevin Prosen and Jannelle Steger; North Riverside resident Gianina Montoro; and Riverside residents Alice Buchman, John O’Meara and Elizabeth Selover.

Named to the B Honor Roll were Brookfield resident Andrew Buenrostro and Riverside residents Daniel Gentile, Ana Kanatas and Emma Udelson.

Brookfield resident Anthony Traverso, a junior at Lyons Township High School, was among the members of the school’s Business Professionals of America Club to place at the BPA regional competition in January and advance to the state conference later this month.

Traverso was part of the four-person team to place second in the Economic Research team competition.