(From left) Michael Zalewski, Lt. Brian Kulaga and Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (Provided)

Riverside resident and Cicero firefighter Lt. Brian Kulaga was recognized on May 31 with a resolution commending his bravery during a fire emergency in Lyons in February.

Off duty at the time, Kulaga was running errands that afternoon when he spotted smoke coming from a second-story apartment above Waterworks Pizza and Tavern, 7815 Ogden Ave.

He alerted employees, evacuated two apartment residents and helped Lyons firefighters with hose lines.

Earlier in May, Kulaga received a Medal of Honor from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. On May 31, he accepted a resolution commending his bravery from local state representatives Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (D-Cicero) and Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) in a ceremony at the Cicero Fire Department.

“Even when he was off-duty, Lt. Kulaga put himself in harm’s way to save the lives of others and help his fellow firefighters finish the job,” said Hernandez in a press release. “His actions clearly demonstrate courage and selflessness beyond the usual call of duty and our community is safer because of his service and dedication.”

Above and beyond

Daniel Marrello

Aging Care Connections, which provides programs focused on improving the quality of life for thousands of senior citizens in 38 suburban communities, recognized Riverside resident and police officer Daniel Marrello as someone who goes above and beyond to serve seniors. He was featured in Aging Care Connections’ newsletter for May

Marrello works on the Elder Services Unit, where he is compiling a resource list so all Riverside police officers who respond to a call at the home of an older adult and who identify a need can more efficiently help them.

His training also enables Marrello to investigate crimes that target the elderly, including abuse and financial exploitation.


Claire Harrison and Remy Hilpp (Provided)

AAUW names scholarship, poster contest winners

The Riverside Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded $500 scholarships to a pair of Riverside-Brookfield High School seniors to be used toward their college studies.

Riverside resident Remy Hilpp, who will attend the University of Illinois, was awarded the STEM Scholarship while Claire Harrison, who will attend Syracuse University, was awarded the Arts Scholarship.

The AAUW has awarded scholarships to senior girls graduating from RBHS for more than 20 years.

The organization also announced the winners of its 25th annual Women’s History Month Poster Contest. The competition drew 207 entries and posters winning awards were displayed in the Riverside Public Library throughout March.

Award winners included Valentina Villasenor, Jayashree Muthusamy, Lucy Hufford, Abigail L’Odense, Adelynn Lesniak, Evelyn May, Greta Seanor, Imaan Ahmad, Mia Gangemi and Basil Russo.

St. Paul VI Parish Knights of Columbus also announced the winner of its annual Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest, which is open to children ages 5-14. The winner in the 8-10 age category was Mia Gangemi, whose poster not only won the local contest but also at the state level.

On campus

The Riverside Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded $500 scholarships to a pair of Riverside-Brookfield High School seniors to be used toward their college studies.

Riverside resident Remy Hilpp, who will attend the University of Illinois, was awarded the STEM Scholarship while Claire Harrison, who will attend Syracuse University, was awarded the Arts Scholarship.

The AAUW has awarded scholarships to senior girls graduating from RBHS for more than 20 years.

Emma Pizana graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, during commencement exercises on May 22. In addition, both Pizana and Brookfield resident Nathan Sanchez were named to the school’s 2022 spring semester dean’s list for achieving a semester GPA of at least 3.5.

Michael Gruber, of Riverside, was awarded at Master of Science degree in engineering management from Trine University in Angola, Indiana at the end of the 2022 spring semester in May.

Brookfield resident Alec Baltazar (mechanical engineering) and Riverside residents Haley Hutchings (user experience design), Nathan Hutchings (business exploration), Jocelyn Navarro (advertising and public relations) and Victor Tierrafria-Marte (management information systems cybersecurity) were named to the 2022 spring dean’s list at Bradley University in Peoria for achieving a grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4-point scale for the semester.

Louie Marcou, of Riverside, was named to the 2022 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for receiving a GPA of at least 3.4 for the semester.

Isabella Shelton, of North Riverside, was named to the chancellor’s honor roll at University of Mississippi for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.75. Shelton is majoring in journalism.

Brookfield resident Jeremy Kolasa and North Riverside resident Kailyn Ngo were named to the 2022 spring semester dean’s list at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais for attaining GPAs of at least 3.5.

Mia Giurini, of North Riverside, was named to the 2022 spring semester president’s list at Trine University in Angola, Indiana, for earning a PA of at least 3.75.

Brookfield residents Victor Janusz and Jaime Vega were named to the 2022 winter term dean’s list at Southern New Hampshire University for earning a semester GPA of at least 3.7.

Jackson Fields, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, was named to the 2022 spring semester president’s list at the University of Alabama.

Clayton Stewart, of Brookfield, was named to the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s dean’s list for the 2022 spring quarter for maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2. Stewart is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.

Lyons Township High School senior Noelani Hillmann, of Brookfield, signed a letter of intent on National Spring Signing Day to play collegiate softball at Wisconsin Lutheran College.