Engineers run in the family
Move over, sibling rivalry! In Bradley’s industrial engineering (IE) program, several siblings have chosen IE as their major. While many say seeing a sibling’s good experience helped them choose Bradley, they also credited Dr. Joe Emanuel, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Technology; Dr. Rita Newton, professor of industrial engineering, emeritus; department secretary Kathy Counsil; and others with creating a conducive and caring learning environment.
Baehler and Gargas families
KAY BAEHLER GARGAS ’85 has more ties than most. Not only did her sister AMY BAEHLER CONWAY ’92 follow in her footsteps, but Kay met her husband RANDY GARGAS ’85 in the department. Beyond that, Randy’s brother RICHARD GARGAS ’82 and sister RENAE GARGAS BRUNO ’88 also graduated with IE degrees.
When Kay was in school, many IE majors were in a five-year co-op program in which students studied at Bradley and worked for a company for alternating semesters throughout their college careers. Kay co-oped with Eastman Kodak, and Randy later co-oped there, too. Today, Kay is at home with their three children, and Randy is vice president of information technologies for Avery Dennison.
Kay’s sister Amy, who had visited her on Siblings Weekends, works for Caterpillar in Aurora, where she, her husband, and their three children live.
Randy’s brother Richard has worked for Eli Lilly his entire career and lives near Indianapolis. His sister Renae and her husband now live in Houston and have three daughters.
DR. STEVEN BELOW ’86 MBA ’89 was a junior majoring in electrical engineering when his sister ANNETTE BELOW PODGORSKI ’90 enrolled as an IE major. A semester after she enrolled, he decided to transfer to IE. Enrolling at Bradley was a natural decision for Steven and Annette, who were both cheerleaders while at Bradley. Their parents, KENNETH BELOW ’63 and MARY JANE BURROUGHS BELOW ’63, graduated from Bradley, as did some of their aunts and great-aunts. In addition, their sister JANELLE BELOW MARIS ’97 majored in nursing at Bradley.
Little did Annette know that an intellectual property law class she took at Bradley would serve her well when she worked for Tetra Pak, the company that invented the juice box. “Who knew that down the road, I would become a patent agent?” She is married to RICK PODGORSKI ’87.
Her brother Steven is a foot and ankle surgeon with Great Plains Orthopaedics in Peoria.
KARIN KURP HALPERIN ’82 and her sister CAROLYN KURP CARLSON ’84 had positive experiences in industrial engineering. Karin says, “We watched Paper Chase and modeled our study group after theirs. We were very close-knit and had socials together. That’s why college is so much fun. You get to be with people with similar interests.”
Remembering her senior project, Karin says, “We worked with three other people in the corporate world. Mine was at Caterpillar, where we evaluated the use of electric batteries in forklift trucks. It was very hands-on, and I had such a great experience.”
Karin, who also holds an MBA, married and eventually decided to stay home with the couple’s three children. The Halperins now live in the Boston area, where Karin is a part-time pilates teacher. Carolyn, who met her husband TIMOTHY CARLSON ’84 at Bradley, is a partner at IBM.
JAMEY MUGFORD ’05 and JEFF MUGFORD ’07 also chose to major in IE. “I wasn’t that shocked that Jeff chose Bradley. I was more shocked when he chose the same major,” says Jamey.
Jeff remembers visiting Jamey. “I enjoyed the atmosphere and the people, and Jamey couldn’t stop talking about how much he enjoyed Bradley. I sat in on a few of his classes when I visited, and that pushed me toward IE.”
Jeff appreciated being able to seek advice from Jamey. “If I had a problem with a professor or material I wasn’t familiar with, Jamey would talk to me about how to approach the material or would tell me to talk to the professor. He helped a lot.”
Jamey is now a facility engineer for Cat Logistics near Memphis, and Jeff is a consultant with Accenture in downtown Chicago. Their youngest brother JASON MUGFORD ’08 majored in entrepreneurship.
LUKASZ KLUKOWSKI ’04 and his brother TOMASZ KLUKOWSKI ’09 enjoyed the camaraderie of choosing the same major and school. The brothers, originally from Warsaw, Poland, moved with their parents to Quincy when Lukasz was in high school. “To have Tomasz go through the same program is neat because he’s having a positive experience similar to mine. I looked at several schools, and Bradley was a good mix of business and engineering,” says Lukasz. “I visited several schools, but when I visited Bradley and talked to Dr. Joe [Emanuel], I made my choice.”
Lukasz adds, “For my senior project, I worked on radio frequency identification technology for Cat Logistics. I had interned with Cat in different groups since my sophomore year, and that got me going in that direction. I had an offer before I started on my senior project.”
When it was time for Tomasz to choose a college, Lukasz wanted Tomasz to decide on his own.
“He knew how much I enjoyed it and how much I learned. He knew what I was working on for my senior project. He thought that sounded perfect for him.”
Among the other siblings who chose to major in IE at Bradley are:
In addition, two daughters have followed their fathers into IE at Bradley:
Several IE alumni have married each other, as well.
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