Staff

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Joanne Dempsey
Former Executive Director and
Transition Consttuant

Joanne R. Dempsey

Joanne Dempsey is providing interim leadership and consultation to assist Econ Illinois with transition to new leadership. Dempsey was President and Executive Director of Econ Illinois from 1995 – 2012.  Prior to coming to NIU, she was Associate Director at Bradley University’s Center for Economic Education for 14 years; and Assistant Director of the Center at SIU-Edwardsville for the 5 prior years. Joanne received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Elmhurst College and an M.A. in Secondary Education with a focus in Economics from Bradley University.

A national and state leader in economic education for over 40 years, Dempsey has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work at the state, national and international level. She has served as a consultant to the Illinois State Board of Education in the development of learning standards; as a consultant to the Council of Chief State School Officers on standards benchmarking; and to the Charles F. Kettering Foundation on community involvement in public policy. She has authored curriculum materials for economics and personal finance education, as well as an after-school economics and entrepreneurship program for grades 5-7, currently being implemented in partnership with the YMCA of South Africa.

Contact Info: jdempsey@niu.edu

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Luanne Mayorga
Partnerships Development

Luanne Mayorga

Luanne Mayorga has been involved in numerous facets of education for the past 17 years as a college instructor, director of an experiential learning program, and business advisor. Her work with Econ Illinois involves developing metrics to measure student learning and working with a variety of statewide partners. Additionally, she serves on the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act’s Finance and Business Services committee.

Luanne is completing her doctorate in Adult & Higher education with a cognate in Educational Research & Assessment from Northern Illinois University. She holds a Masters of Business Administration degree with concentrations in Marketing from Benedictine University, and a bachelor’s degree in both Fashion Design and Merchandising from Dominican University.

Contact Info: lmayorga@niu.edu

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Rosie Sajak, CFRE
Director of Development and
Corporate Relations

Rosie Sajak

Rosie Sajak, CFRE Director of Development & Corporate Relations, has been in the development field for 25 years and prior to that, video production for 10 years. Rosie has experience fundraising for a variety of different organizations including the Quad Cities Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, DuPage Children’s Museum, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona and now Econ Illinois as Director of Development and Corporate Relations.

Ms. Sajak earned her BA at Western Illinois University and has earned the Certified Fundraising Executive credential (CFRE).

Contact Info: rsajak@niu.edu

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Beth Metzler
Vice President for Programs & Partnerships,
and STEM Finance Learning Exchange

Beth Metzler

Beth joined Econ Illinois in 2002 to actively support economic, personal finance and entrepreneurship education. She facilitates STEM Finance Learning Exchange activities and resources, works to establish partnerships between industry and education, presents professional development workshops, coordinates high school student competitions, and communicates with legislators about award winning teachers and students.

Passionate that all individuals need the educational tools, resources, and information to successfully reach their career goals, she works to positively impact as many students as possible. Beth earned her BS in Finance from Northern Illinois University and a MA in Economic Education & Entrepreneurship from the University of Delaware. Prior to Econ Illinois, Beth supported special education students at the middle school level. She remains an active volunteer for a few select organizations.

Contact Info: bmetzler@niu.edu

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Debbie Kerman
Program Coordinator
Coordinator, The Stock Market Game™

Debbie Kerman

Debbie Kerman, Program Director, joined Econ Illinois in October of 2008. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Aurora University in 2002. She received her undergraduate degree from Governors State University in Business Administration. She is a proponent of life-long learning.

Debbie oversees The Stock Market Game™ program and the Illinois Economic Concepts Poster Contest.

Contact Info: dkerman@niu.edu

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Caroline Wells
Office Support Specialist

Caroline Wells

Caroline joined Econ Illinois in August, 2016.  Prior to coming to Econ Illinois, Caroline worked for the City of DeKalb for 20 years. Primary job duty is to provide office support to staff at Econ Illinois.

Contact Info: cwells2@niu.edu