Tami Lane ’96, pictured at left, is Bradley's first Academy Award winner for her work as the lead prosthetic makeup artist on the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She was responsible for leading a team of 42 makeup and prosthetic experts who often worked on more than 170 creatures each day. Only two, Lane and Howard Berger, were specifically named for this film. Lane has worked on major films including The Green Mile, Vampire, The Lord of the Rings, and the upcoming Superman Returns. In 2002, Lane was a member of the makeup team who earned an Oscar nomination for work in New Zealand on The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
As an art major with an emphasis in graphic design, Lane did makeup for local theater. A friend told her about Dr. Robert Jacobs, professor of communication, who took students on an annual trip to Los Angeles, including a visit to a makeup effects house. Lane left for Los Angeles with Jacobs' group of 10 students and was introduced to Howard Berger, part-owner of KNB EFX Group, Inc., a creature shop. When she handed him her business card—a paddle ball with her contact information on it, he suggested she contact him after graduation. Two weeks after graduating from Bradley, she returned to Berger's company. Although he didn't recall Lane initially, he remembered her creative use of the paddle ball "business cards." He offered her a job, and she worked for him until branching out on her own in 2000. In 2004, Lane answered another call from Berger, this time for the position of lead prosthetic artist on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The day after the Academy Awards presentation, Jacobs praised her for following her dream. "I'm more proud of Tami than I can say."
Paul Larson ’05 is the first Bradley student to win the William S. Smith Student Highest Achievement award from the Institute of Internal Auditors by attaining the top score in the world on the Certified Internal Auditor exam. The test, proctored worldwide, is the only internationally accepted certification exam for internal auditors.
“I was thrilled to learn that Paul had received the William S. Smith award,” said Dr. Simon Petravick, associate professor of accounting. “Simply passing his exam on his first attempt would be a significant accomplishment. To come away with the best student score in the world is amazing and indicates the kind of bright student Paul is. For Paul to attain this award, he went well above and beyond the requirements of our internal auditing class.”
The CIA exam is the main designation for internal auditors for public accounting. “You have to pass four individual exams,” Larson said, “which are all a part of one whole exam.” He took the exams, ranging from business analysis, business management skills, conducting the internal audit engagement, and the internal audit activity’s role in governance, risk and control, in Bloomington. Applicants are allowed three and a half hours on each exam, and over 30,000 people took the CIA exam in 2004.
Master at the keyboard
Not content to excel only in his pursuit of an accounting degree, Larson found his passion playing the piano, an instrument he had quit as a child, but returned to at the beginning of high school. Larson auditioned before his freshman year to gain admittance to the music program, but was rejected.
Dr. Ed Kaizer, professor of piano and music history, offered Larson piano lessons to improve his technique. “I was practicing and taking lessons from him for most of the summer,” Larson said. “A year after my first failed audition, I re-auditioned and I was accepted into the music program.”
With a double major in music performance and accounting, Larson said music demanded a great deal of his time at school. “Pretty much my whole experience has been trying to satisfy all the different demands with piano practice,” Larson said.
Larson said his love of music dominated everything he did at Bradley. The practice room in Constance Hall became home. He has given a benefit concert for the tsunami victims, performed at a dinner for Camp of Champions, a faith-based day camp, and for the American Red Cross 12 hours of giving. He has also played at Northwoods Community Church.
In addition to excelling academically and musically, Larson was active in several campus organizations and was a member of the residential life staff.
Larson credits Kaizer and Petravick as being influential in his success at Bradley.
“One of the things I think is great about my experience at Bradley is the close association between professor and student,” Larson said. “There’s more of a relationship here. It’s enriched my experience to be able to talk to music professors. The same is true for the business college.”
While many Bradley freshmen were adjusting to their new surroundings in Peoria last September, Kaycee Melvin ’09, pictured center, of Morton was in the Netherlands, competing in the International Age Group Games. Melvin was one of 80 youth nationwide who qualified to represent the U.S. at the world games. She and four other gymnasts who train at Central Illinois Tumbling and Trampoline (CITT) in Pekin were selected for the games after competing in June at the Elite Challenge in Phoenix, Arizona, and in July at the U.S.A.G. Nationals in Houston, Texas.
An accounting major, Melvin says the key to a rigorous training schedule, coupled with a 17-hour course load, is to be organized. That was particularly true during her 10-day trip, September 16-25, to the Netherlands, where she was among 1,000 youth from 40 countries who competed. She began training shortly after arriving in Eindhoven, where the games were held. However, on the third day of training, Melvin sprained her ankle. A potential medal contender, Melvin was determined to compete despite the injury and came away with a 10th-place finish. Performing eight-skill passes that consist of round-offs, flic-flacs, whips, and double somersaults, which involve doubles in the straight position and full twists in the midst of piked double somersaults, are all part of Melvin’s regiment.
Linda Fink Laaker ’80, picutred at right, and Jon Williams ’77, pictured left, both former Bradley cheerleaders, were chosen by USA Gymnastics to serve as team coaches for the U.S. delegation of tumblers on the gymnastics team. They coach at CITT, where Rick Hutchison, a sergeant for the Bradley Police Department, is majority owner.
Dr. Gregory Pitts, associate professor of communication, is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar grant that allows him to lecture and research at the University of Montenegro in Podgorica, Serbia, and Montenegro, Yugoslavia. He arrived in February and will stay until July. His focus is on media training for students and the job outlook among media professionals.
Pitts is one of approximately 850 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 150 countries during the 2005-06 academic year through the Fulbright Scholar Program. It was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.
Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.