SE4 Career & Resource Fair

              The Boeing Company and University of Chicago SE4 (Supportive Services, Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement) Career and Resource Fair

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The Boeing Company and the University of Chicago present the Autumn 2023 SE4 Career and Resource Fair (Supportive Services, Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement) in partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and Chicago Commission on Human Relations, National Able Network, Chicago Brigade, Blue Star Families, and Veteran Business Project.

1130 Midway Plaisance - Ice Skating Rink - Chicago, IL 60637

Bea Billups

Executive Director, Boeing Global Engagement, The Boeing Company

Bernice Billups is executive director of Global Engagement and Company Contributions for the Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company.  She is focused on investing Boeing charitable funds in the region and manages our relationships with elected officials and other stakeholders in Chicago. In her current role she is also responsible for leading the racial equity social justice strategy for Global Engagement and the enterprise-wide company contributions process to ensure contributions drive greater impact for the company.

Bernice joined the Boeing Company in 2001, having previously served as Manager/Chief of Staff to retired Chairman, President and CEO, Jim McNerney. In that position, Bernice served as primary point of contact for internal and external parties on all matters pertaining to the office of chairman.

Bernice was born and raised in Chicago and volunteers as a STEM mentor at various student STEM learning activities in Chicago and Gary, Indiana. She received the 2022 Women of Color STEM Conference Corporate Responsibility Award, 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Modern Day Technology Leader Award and the 2019 Women of Color STEM Conference All-Star Award. She serves on the board of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and leadership committee of the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative and is passionate about mentoring youth and supporting under-served communities. Billups has a B.S. in Business Administration.

Melina Hale

Dean of the College, Wiliam Rainey Harper Professor in Organismal Biology and Anatomy

Melina Hale became Dean of the College in 2023. Dean Hale guides the strategic vision for the College and plays a crucial role in advancing the University’s and the College’s fundamental values, while helping provide undergraduate students with a transformative educational experience.

The William Rainey Harper Professor in Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College, Dean Hale received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1998 and joined the faculty in 2002. Her service has included terms on the Council of the Senate, including as spokesperson for the Committee of the Council, Council of the College, Committee of the Council of the College, and on the Board of the Laboratory Schools. She was also a dean for faculty affairs in the Biological Sciences Division and served as co-interim director of the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Hale most recently served in the Office of the Provost for seven years, working on a range of administrative initiatives including as liaison to administrative offices on University systems and human resources. There she led administrative systems improvements projects, working with faculty members and various offices of the University to modernize administrative systems and improve policies and processes. She provided administrative leadership to a number of centrally-reporting centers and institutes. Additionally, she oversaw emeriti initiatives and is the Office of the Provost point person on environmental research and sustainability.

Hale is a member of the Committee of Neurobiology and the Committee on Computational Neuroscience. She also served as a Fellow in the Defense Science Study Group for The Institute for Defense Analysis (2006-2007). Her research program is funded by the Office of Naval Research (2009-present) and she was the recipient of a Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grant from the Department of Defense in 2019.

Hale’s research integrates neuroscience and biomechanics to study neural control of movement. She collaborates with engineers to explore biological models that inform the design of engineered underwater propulsion systems. Hale was a National Academies/Howard Hughes Medical Institute Education Fellow and a Fellow of the Institute for Defense Analysis and received a National Science Foundation CAREER award. She was President of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At the University of Chicago she has received a Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Prize for Excellence in Teaching and the University’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring.

Bridget Collier

Associate Provost, Equal Opportunity Programs

Bridget serves as the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs, which includes the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities (OMAC). 

A proud daughter, granddaughter, and spouse of US veterans, Bridget understands the unique challenges faced by military and veteran families transitioning out of military service. 

Bridget is responsible for coordinating University-wide compliance with the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct, and oversees all investigations conducted pursuant to that Policy (including Title IX investigations) and support, resources and programming for the University’s military-affiliated community. Bridget also oversees the University’s efforts to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She prepares the University’s affirmative action plans and facilitates efforts to implement those plans, including conducting outreach to veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Bridget joined the University of Chicago in May of 2015 as Dean of Students and Senior Director of Student Engagement at the Graham School, where she provided innovative and strategic leadership for a variety of programs in service to students. Bridget brings over twenty-four years of higher education administrative experience in program improvement, crisis response and student development, and holds a master’s in education and student affairs administration and a doctorate in education and higher education administration from the University of Southern California. Bridget is also the founder and chair of the Chicagoland Title IX Consortium, an organization consisting of over 40 higher education institutions, seeking to enhance knowledge, understanding and application of Title IX policies and resources to further gender parity and reduce sexual misconduct.

Terry Prince

Director, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs

Terry Prince is the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs

As Director, he leads a team of 1,200 professionals, in partnership with numerous local and state organizations, to provide beneficial services for more than 600,000 veterans and their families across the State of Illinois.

Upon joining IDVA, Director Prince developed a Six-Point Plan for the Future of IDVA, which he and his team have diligently worked to execute change and maximize opportunities. Over the course of the year, IDVA’s leadership team has been reimagined. It has recruited and hired staff for key roles across IDVA. Communication and culture have been enhanced. Infection control systems have been elevated and many policies, procedures, and technology have been updated and implemented. The five Illinois Veterans’ Homes across the state continue to provide excellent care delivered by trained medical professionals and staff. The Veteran Service Officers interface with veterans and their families to help them identify and obtain earned benefits and services. 

Prior to this appointment, Director Prince served as the Superintendent of the Ohio Veterans Homes. In this capacity, he led 850 employees providing skilled nursing and domiciliary care for 801 veterans at three separate facilities, including the 5th largest Veterans home in the country. At the conclusion of this assignment, he was awarded the department’s inaugural Major General Manning Force Award, an honor that recognized his distinguished service in a position of significant responsibility.

Director Prince began his military career in 1986 and went on to serve at 14 different duty stations around the world. His most recent tours include: Command Master Chief at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.  Later, he was handpicked to be the 1st Senior Enlisted Advisor at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, VA. He closed out his illustrious 31-year career in 2017 as the 13th Director of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps and Force Master Chief of Navy Medicine.

Force Master Chief Prince’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and the U.S. Army Order of Military Medical Merit. He is also triple warfare qualified as a Surface, Aviation and Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist.

Director Prince earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University and is a graduate of the National Defense University Keystone Leadership Fellowship, Navy Senior Enlisted Academy and the Navy Command Master Chief course. He is a proud Eagle Scout and finisher of the Ironman Hawaii Triathlon World Championship.

There is a strong history of military service in Director Prince’s family, with his grandfather, three uncles and two brothers all having worn the cloth of our nation. He and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Prince, a 12-year Navy veteran, reside in Chicago.

Deanna Love

Director, Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs

MAJ (US Army-Retired) Love is the proud parent of one son and currently serves as the Director of Veterans Affairs for Cook County, IL.

Major Deanna Love is a native of Chicago, IL. She entered active duty service in November 2008 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and commissioned through Officer Candidate School (OCS) May 2009 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

MAJ Love retired as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  MAJ Love previously served as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at Chicago State University, January 2019 to August 2020. The Commander of the Headquarters & Headquarters Company, Group Support Battalion, 3d Special Forces Group (Airborne), Forces Group (Airborne), February 2016 to May 2017 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and the 9th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne), as the Logistics Officer (S4) from May 2014 to May 2015 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At Fort Stewart, Georgia, she was assigned to the 3rd Sustainment Brigade. She served in the Special Troops Battalion as the Battalion S4 and the Assistant Battalion (Operations Officer) S-3 from August 2011 till September 2013. November 2009 to August 2011 MAJ Love was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Currahee) of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. She served as the Supply Platoon Leader, Distribution Platoon Leader and Executive Officer for the Distribution Company (A Co) of the 801st Brigade Support Battalion (BSB). MAJ Love deployed with the 801st BSB from June 2010 to May 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on Forward Operating Base (FOB) Sharana, Afghanistan. February 2011 to May 2011 MAJ Love served as the Distribution Platoon Leader for 2nd Battalion 506th Infantry Regiment on FOB Orgun-E. MAJ Love redeployed forward of her unit in May 2011 to redeploy the 801st BSB as the Rear Detachment Battalion Executive Officer.

MAJ Love’s military awards and badges include Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal-1 star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Defense Medal, Air Assault Badge and Parachute Badge.

Kevin Barszcz

Director, Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs, City of Chicago

Kevin Barszcz is Chicago native, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduate, U.S. Navy Veteran, and Director of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs for the City of Chicago. Barszcz comes with over a decade of experience working within the veteran community, building collaborative partnerships, and providing support to veterans and their family members.

Prior to becoming Director of Veteran Affairs, Barszcz led efforts focused on homelessness support services, including rapid rehousing, shelter improvement, stabilization housing, encampment support for the City of Chicago, and increasing homeless outreach services on CTA and at O’Hare International Airport.

Before joining the Mayor’s Office, Barszcz worked for Habitat for Humanity and launched their Veterans Build Program in the Chicagoland area, building federal, state, and local partnerships to help veterans move through the housing continuum from homelessness to homeownership. Over the years he has helped launch and develop multiple nonprofit programs supporting veterans, including employment services, social engagement, housing, and mental health support.

Matt Weis

President and CEO, National Able Network

Matthew Weis currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at National Able Network. Previously, Mr. Weis was National Able Network’s Chief Program Officer (CPO). As CPO, Mr. Weis developed and implemented a number of strategies to ensure operational continuity and ongoing adaptation to the changing job market for National Able Network’s core programs at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Mr. Weis joined National Able Network in 2014 to oversee career pathway programs that help vulnerable job seekers, and led significant programmatic expansion efforts of the IT Career Lab vocational training operations, as well as the IT Sector Center funded via the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership.

Growing up in a rural Wisconsin farming community and working alongside migrant farm workers during his first job, at an early age Mr. Weis was exposed to the connection between work, dignity, and the universal impact that family sustaining employment can have on people from diverse backgrounds. He is a fierce advocate and practitioner of transitional jobs and other subsidized employment programs and has managed employment contracts with the Chicago Housing Authority, City of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and more.

Mr. Weis served on the Chicago Jobs Council board of directors for eight years, participated in the United States Department of Agriculture’s SNAP Employment and Training Public/Private group at the request of former Secretary Perdue, and has been interviewed and quoted as a workforce expert by major publications.

As President and Chief Executive Officer at National Able Network, Mr. Weis aims to build upon National Able Network’s strong history of equity, while expanding the agency’s programming and service delivery footprint through the creation of innovative solutions for the ever-changing job market.

Ben Gould

Director, Chicago Chapter of Blue Star Families

Ben is the Director of the Blue Star Families' Chicago Chapter. Ben has worked on political campaigns, for advocacy organizations, and in state and federal government offices. Ben completed constituent casework for military veterans in then Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s government office and worked on and helped pass Illinois’ sexual harassment protection bill for unpaid interns while running the office of a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Ben serves as Advocacy Director of the United Nations Association of Greater Chicago and is on the Israel Policy Forum’s Chicago Young Professionals Steering Committee. He earned his M.A. in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and holds a B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Northeastern Illinois University.

Lynn Lowder

CEO and Co-Founder, Veteran Business Project

A leader with in-depth experience in business, law, and the military, Lynn is the co-founder and CEO of ​the nonprofit Veteran Business Project (VBP), which energizes and sustains veteran and military spouse entrepreneurship. Among its services, VBP offers a unique "vharmony" matchmaking process, connecting veterans/military spouses seeking to acquire established businesses with business owners wanting to divest. *Lynn is a past two-term appointee to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA).

Lynn has held various business leadership positions, including trial attorney (criminal prosecutor and later defense counsel on behalf of medical professionals/product manufacturers/insurers), General Counsel - Mail Boxes Etc., COO - Colt Firearms, Trustee - Marine Military Academy, Director of Veteran Services - UCM, and President - Lowder Consulting." A U.S. Marine “Mustang” (former enlisted) Officer, he served as a team leader with 1st Force Reconnaissance Company (Special Operations) in South Vietnam (call sign “Empire State 6”) where he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for valor, the Bronze Star Medal for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. His combat and business experiences have been profiled in several books.

Lynn is an author, keynote speaker, and board member with for-profit/non-profit organizations. He continues his ongoing, longstanding commitment to coach and mentor our military veterans, as well as high school/intercollegiate athletes.

Josh Jones

Chicago Brigade CEO and Student Veterans of America's Student Veteran of the Year

Josh serves as CEO of the Chicago Brigade and was recently named Student Veterans of America's student veteran of the year.

In 2017, Josh Jones began his journey as a United States Marine. He joined the Marine Corps for two significant reasons: to be able to pay for higher education, and to grow and mature before leaping into college. Nearly six years later, Jones is now a student veteran at Loyola University - Chicago pursuing a economics degree. His goals while there are to excel academically and create a community that fosters relationships between veterans at Loyola and the greater community. In the fall of 2021, Jones began serving as Chapter President of the Student Veterans of America Loyola Chicago. Since then, he grew the chapter from a social club with only two members to an organization
of over thirty members who are focused on guiding veterans through higher education and providing professional opportunities.

Jones has now co-founded a student-led non-profit in Chicago which bridges student veterans in Chicago together to provide them with professional development opportunities. Aside from working on his education and growing his professional experience, you can find him at his local coffee shop reading a book or attending games from his favorite
sports team the Chicago White Sox.

Jonathan Becker

Captain, US Army Captain, SkillBridge Intern, University of Chicago

Captain Jonathan Becker is an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. He grew up in Darien, Illinois and earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. At the University of Illinois, he took on many leadership positions in ROTC including Ranger Team Captain and Army ROTC Battalion Commander. He was also a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Jonathan has served on Active Duty as an Infantry Officer since June of 2019. He started as the University of Illinois recruiting officer before moving to Fort Benning GA for Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course (IBOLC) and Airborne School. Jonathan was then assigned to 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana. There, he took control of a light infantry rifle platoon. Subsequently, he was selected to be the Platoon Leader for the Battalion’s Heavy Mortar platoon and deployed with them to Kuwait in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel/Allies Refuge to conduct security and humanitarian operations in support of the Afghanistan retrograde.

Captain Becker is excited to help other transitioning veterans in achieving their goals and aspirations by working with OMAC through the Skillbridge program. He has hopes to attend UChicago’s Booth Business school full time in Fall of 2024.