Where Are They Now?

Main Content

Katie Dzugan
Network Development Director – University Innovation Fellows at Stanford University

Katie is the Network Development Director for the University Innovation Fellows. She trains students to be change agents on campus by encouraging students to take ownership over their learning and their peers’ future education.

Prior to the University Innovation Fellows, she helped support the program as a member of nonprofit VentureWell. Katie is a University Innovation Fellow alumna. She helped develop Saluki Ventures, a student incubator at SIU Carbondale; the program helped her view her campus as an ecosystem and spread the idea of entrepreneurship to all disciplines. Katie is an advocate for the entrepreneurial mindset and continues to pursue this passion by expanding the national student movement through the University Innovation Fellows program. Katie holds an M.B.A., M.A. and B.S. from SIU Carbondale. For more background information, visit her LinkedIn profile.

 Katie Dzugan

Alex Hutchinson
Owner – Recipe Revolution
Business Banker – MB Financial Bank

Alex Hutchinson is recent graduate of Southern Illinois University where he received two degrees for Finance and Marketing. He is currently employed by MB Financial Bank as a Business Banking Analyst. 

Founding his first company, Area Concepts Construction, during his freshman year taught him much in the realm of Entrepreneurship including labor delegation, operational budgeting and fundamental pragmatism. It is with this knowledge and experience that he enrolled in Saluki Ventures, a student business incubator program, which provided him with resources necessary for his latest venture, a smartphone app in the food and beverage industry.

He continues to be dedicated toward progression of both field experience and systematic education as well as developing a network of established and forward thinking connections. 

Alex Hutchinson

Brandon Nolte
Associate Director, Paid Social Media – Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide

Data is a part of the marketing and business ecosystem we live in today. Brandon’s passions and interests revolve around how to interpret and present this data in a way that is actionable, insightful, and provides impact to your business. Over the past three years, he has used Google Analytics, Excel, and other programs to decipher this data into learnings that drive impact in their campaigns and businesses. From teaching himself basic analytics for his own business to in-depth reporting and trend analysis for Fortune 500 Social Media Campaigns, he has been able to drive effective results that make an impact.

Brandon currently resides at Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide as the Social Media Ad Manager where he oversees the execution of paid social media campaigns and the development of clients’ paid social strategy in alignment with our digital strategy team.

 Brandon Nolte

Dan Bach
Owner – Video Grouch Bag
Member – Sweet (Sweet) Cream
Crew Leader – Heart of Oregon Corps

Dan has experience in a variety of areas including video, non-profit work, and even construction.  He recently graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Photography.  During his time at SIU, he worked with the Saluki Entrepreneur Corps and directed a documentary.  While in Carbondale, Dan started a new business, Video Grouch Bag. 

Now, he is a part of the improv comedy troupe Sweet (Sweet) Cream.

 Dan Bach

Deborrius Jeffries
Human Resources Analyst – Morgan Stanley
Co-Founder and Chief Public Relations Officer – Higgins Jeffries Consulting Group (HJCG)

When DJ chose to start his career in Human Resources, he did so with great consideration. As an HR professional, he realizes that the most important asset of any company is its people. He brought this mindset, along with several years of experience working across many industries, an honors degree in communication, and an unmatched work ethic, to every organization with which he has worked. Additionally, he knows the importance of innovation and the potential it has to solve even the largest of organizational issues. 

Over the course of his professional career, DJ has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar (funded by Bill & Melinda Gates), a University Innovation Fellow (funded by Stanford University), and a Richard B. Fisher scholar (funded by Morgan Stanley).

Currently, DJ is an Human Resources Analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York City.

 DJ Jeffries

Trevor Jones
Artist & Designer – Boss Display

Trevor recently graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design and a minor in Marketing.

One of Trevor's driving forces is to have a positive influence on the Earth's ecosystem. That is, to help mitigate or even reverse the damage that has occurred due to modern industrialization. As a University Innovation Fellow, he developed campus-wide strategies that break down the barriers between various school departments, promote collaboration between alternate fields of study, and merge Sustainability and Innovative and Entrepreneurial practices for research students on campus. He remains active in University Innovation Fellows to this day.

Currently, Trevor works for Boss Display where he designs and builds interactive durable and safe exhibits that challenge visitors intellectually and physically, helping to facilitate learning through exploration, experimentation, playful imagination, and shared experience with other visitors and family groups.

 Trevor Jones

Asia Lee
Front End Manager – Menards

In May of 2015, Asia obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in art. Not only was she the first in her family to attend college but she also received Magna Cum Laude Honors. Recently, she received a Masters in Business Administration.

She worked to successfully enhance the entrepreneurial and innovative culture at SIU by introducing a startup competition dedicated to finding solutions for food deserts located in Southern Illinois.  Asia said, "Growing up in Chicago was very tough. Once I got to SIU I was able to branch out and accomplish things I never thought I could five years ago. In the future, I plan to direct my studies, networks, and experience to bigger societal issues, especially to create an inclusive, safe environment for the city kids of Chicago. Change starts with us.”

Asia Lee