Meet the Alumni and Development Staff

Karen Johnson, University RelationsKaren D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Vice President, University Relations - IL and AZ

Since 1994, Karen Johnson has been directing the external relations efforts of Midwestern University at both its Downers Grove, IL, and Glendale, AZ, campuses. As Vice President of University Relations, she oversees the offices of admissions, development & alumni relations, and marketing & communications for the University’s graduate and professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, and the health sciences. Dr. Johnson has overseen the initial creation and continued development of the university’s web site, which has won an Addy Award for Best of Category and a bronze medal from the Admissions Marketing Report. The University has also won multiple honors from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Excellence in Communications Awards Program; two Aurora Awards; a MarCom Award; and The Communicator Crystal Award.

Staci GlassStaci Glass
Director, Development & Alumni Relations
Glendale, AZ

Staci oversees fundraising and alumni relations for all of the University's Glendale campus, including event sponsorship programs, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, major gifts, donor stewardship, alumni organizations and programs, and grant writing.

Barbara Wysocki
Director, Development & Alumni Relations 
Downers Grove,  IL

Barbara provides leadership and direction for all Alumni & Development Programs on the Downers Grove Campus. She collaborates with the Administrative Team, Deans, Department Chairs, staff and volunteer leadership to identify, cultivate, and solicit gifts to benefit MWU. In addition, Barbara works with donor constituencies to ensure that their philanthropic support of MWU is appropriately received, recorded and recognized.

Robyn Bailes
Sr. Administrative Assistant 
Glendale, AZ

Robyn provides administrative support to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations on the Glendale campus.  She works closely with the Director of Development and the Manager of Alumni Relations on various projects, special events, meetings, corporate sponsorships and programs, and campaigns.  Her responsibilities include follow up, mailings, acknowledgements, correspondence, and all necessary administrative assistance.  Robyn maintains the Glendale DAR database, processes purchase orders, initiates check requests, and takes care of the departmental deposits and credit card.

Lois Fehse
Manager of Development & Administrative Services 
Downers Grove, IL

Lois works with the Director of Development to identify key donors and develop fund raising strategies and campaigns. She maintains annual and cumulative donor giving clubs that are listed in annual stewardship report and manages the CARS database for development/alumni relations. Lois prepares various donor and fundraising reports.

Nilam Patel
Manager of Development
Glendale, AZ

Nilam supports the Director of Development and Alumni Relations for the Glendale Campus in accomplishing fundraising objectives that include securing sponsorships for key events, researching new donors, foundations, and corporate partnerships, donor stewardship, and grant-writing.  Nilam also collaborates with the Manager of Alumni Relations to promote alumni engagement and fundraise for student scholarships.

Jessica Progar
Development & Alumni Relations Assistant 
Downers Grove,  IL

Jessica is responsible for office organization and administrative work for the Office of Development and Alumni Relation on the  Downers Grove Campus. Jessica helps maintains our alumni database and coordinates and executes various mailings and individual correspondences. Along with preparing purchase orders and check requests, Jessica assists the Director of Development with donor and financial reports. Jessica also assists with special events and various alumni receptions.

Robin Strachan
Director of Development
Downers Grove, IL

Robin is responsible for identifying and cultivating prospects/donors and developing fundraising initiatives among constituents, university-wide. Robin's fundraising efforts consist of major gifts, special events and campaigns, faculty/staff giving, corporate and foundation support, online giving and planned giving. Robin manages the Heritage Circle, donors who have included MWU in their estate plans. Robin makes prospect/donor visits, raising awareness of the University.

Alex VerVynck
Manager of Alumni Relations
Downers Grove, IL

Alex acts as a liaison between Midwestern University and the Downers Grove Campus alumni to implement a strategic vision to foster strong alumni connections. He works closely with the Colleges to enhance and strengthen existing and emerging alumni boards and councils by facilitating opportunities for alumni involvement. Alex organizes and coordinates alumni events, programs and activities on the Downers Grove campus, along with local and national alumni receptions. Alex also handles that alumni e-communications and web pages.