NIU CEET Celebrates Alumni and Students Accomplishments at Scholarship Banquet and Alumni Awards Dinner

On Thursday, November 6th, we held our annual Scholarship Banquet and Alumni Awards.  Each department honored distinguished alumni.
The ceremony was held at the Barsema Alumni and Visitor Center and was attended by 200 students, faculty, and alumni of CEET.  Aside from the alumni awards, 27 different scholarships were presented to our current CEET students, resulting in nearly 80 students receiving scholarships worth $173,000.
Santo “Sandy” LaMantia (center) 

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The highest honor of the night was the Outstanding Alumnus for the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology which was awarded to Santo “Sandy” LaMantia.


LaMantia received his undergraduate degree at NIU and took his first post-graduate job at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.  Five years later, he created a company called Kinetic Systems, with the help of his fellow Fermi engineers.

Currently, LaMantia is the President and DEC of the world’s leading manufacturer of wired and wireless microphones and accessories, Shure Incorporated.  Before being named President and CEO on August 31st, 1996, LaMantia entered Shure as the Vice President of Engineering in 1995.
Outside of his busy life at Shure, LaMantia is associated with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). 
Jonathan Levine received honors as the Outstanding Alumnus for the Department of Electrical Engineering.  Levine graduated from NIU with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and now is a Member of Technical Staff-Radio Access Network for U.S. Cellular’s Technology Development Group based in Chicago.
After graduation from NIU, Levine went on to earn a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2008 all while simultaneously working at U.S. Cellular.  He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom during his time at NIU and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. 
At U.S. Cellular, Levine researches and develops radio architectures to improve networks that range from 2G to 4G and even beyond wireless networks.  He also serves as a course creator and instructor for the IEEE Communications Society, which awards the certification of “Wireless Communication Professional”. 
Our Industrial and Systems Engineering Department honored James P. Lezon as their Outstanding Alumnus.  Lezon graduated from CEET in 2007 and quickly began a career in 2008 with 3M as a Supply Chain Analyst where he got to work with the DeKalb location of 3M.  Since then, Lezon has moved up in the company going from an analyst to an Industrial Engineering position, and most recently into a supervisor role that deals with DeKalb’s Engineering and Systems resources.  Through this work Lezon has been able to stay in close contact with NIU by working with the Engineers-in-Residence Program and various IIE events.
Scott Pozzie was named Outstanding Alumnus for the Department of Mechanical Engineering.  Pozzie has worked with Caterpillar, Inc. for over 11 years and has served as their lead engineering recruiter for NIU since 2011.  Pozzie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from NIU in 2003 and later earned a Masters of Business Administration from NIU-Naperville in 2009. 
Currently, Pozzie is an Engineering Project Team Leader for the Global Mining Division of Caterpillar.  In this position he does a variety of things in development at the Large Wheel Loader Product Group in Aurora.  Throughout his time with Caterpillar, Pozzie has held numerous different positions ranging from working on system validation to cost reduction.
The Department of Technology gave out three honors at the banquet: Outstanding Alumnus given to Leslie Peterson, Outstanding Young Alumnus given to Matthew Eckman, and Honorary Alumnus given to James Salsbury. 
Peterson graduated with a Masters of Science in Industrial Technology and then went on to earn two more degrees; a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology and a B.S. Degree in Environmental Health, Industrial Hygiene Sequence, from Illinois State University.  She now works at Motorola Solutions in Shaumburg as a Senior Environment, Health and Safety Manager.  Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist in the U.S., a Registered Occupational Hygienist in Canada, and a Licensed Industrial Hygienist in the State of Illinois.
Eckman graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology and earned the Outstanding Student Award as well as taking 1st place with his engineering design team, while at NIU.  After interning with Valspar during college, Eckman was offered a position and is now a Division Controls Engineer for the Valspar Corporation. 
Salsbury currently oversees corporate quality, education and calibration at the Corporate Metrologist at Mtutoyo America Corporation.  Outside of work, he participates in ASME and ISO, and is the chair of the Dimensional Committee and coordinator of the Chicago section of NSL International. 

Thank you to all of our alumni, donors, and scholarship recipients.

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