Stefanie Dell'Aringa

Freelance Writer

Category: Writing Samples (Page 1 of 2)

Delta-Therm Corp. Blog Post – 2015 CRCA Trade Show

We want to meet you!

Visit us at the 2015 Chicago Roofing Contractors Association Trade Show to be held Jan. 22 and 23 at the Drury Lane Conference Center, Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Here’s how you’ll benefit from visiting our booth:

  • Talk to our experts about specific roofing issues;
  • Listen to the solutions we can provide;
  • See samples of our products;
  • Have your badge scanned to get on our mailing list for brochures and other materials;
  • Meet our clip supplier, Earl Gough of Gough SnoGuard.

Is ice wreaking havoc on your roof? A leaky roof caused by snow and ice build-up is the number one problem facing roof consultants and roofing contractors today, and it’s the main reason why over 90 of you visited our booth last year.

Delta-Therm’s expert staff is again teaming up with Gough SnoGuard to answer questions, give demonstrations and discuss various roof de-icing systems.

“I’ll be bringing samples of different clips for various types of applications and for many different roof systems and materials,” said Gough, who has been working with us for over a decade to design aesthetically pleasing and long lasting roof clips. “There are very few heat cable manufacturers that have the versatility that Delta-Therm has with fastening these cables to the roof.”

We’ll be returning to this year’s trade show with our field-tested DTC-24R control, launched in 2013. This product allows you to visually monitor sensor wiring status on a digital display during installation, and check for moisture and temperature dips. Features include a 3-button keypad, LED digital display, adjustable temperature, on-hold timer, and low-voltage wiring. It’s also fully integratable with our current MPS sensors and load switching panels.

If you’re a roof consultant, roofing contractor, architect or building owner with roof de-icing needs, we hope to introduce you to our products and knowledgeable staff. We’ll be at the same location – Booth #611 – so stop by to see us! For more information, visit

Delta-Therm Blog Post #2

MI and self-regulating cables solve the problem of pipes breaking

When a competitor’s product failed at a large power plant in southern Alabama, Neil Howell knew just what to do. He chose Delta-Therm’s MI and self-regulating cables to replace existing cable used to treat process piping and water treatment systems that serve the southeast portion of the state.

“I started doing this project last October and I’ve been working on it through winter,” Howell said.

He’s personally installing sections of cable at Power South Central Generation’s plant – about 5,000 feet of Delta-Therm MI cable and another 6,000 feet of Delta-Therm self-regulating cable used for freeze protection. Howell noted that the Delta-Therm cable is superior to other brands because it has better connections.

“I like the fact that on the MI cable, the junction points from the cold leads to the hot leads look to be better quality,” he said. “I can see where it’s connected.”

Besides quality craftsmanship – braided cable makes handling easy –  and the fact that each cable is checked before it leaves the warehouse, Howell said Delta-Therm’s warranty is better than any competitor’s – 10 years on MI cable and 5 years on self-regulating cable.

“I think [people in the industry] are going to get a whole lot more of their money’s worth with Delta-Therm,” he said. “I have no doubt that when they send it out, it’s going to work.”

Believing in the Delta-Therm product line, Howell is branching out to areas in the plant that have untreated pipes, and adding LED light to aid in identifying shorts.

“I’ve been ordering and putting the LED in the existing power box and that way we can see when we have power outages,” he said. “If a piece of it shorts out, then I know that the heat trace right there does not have power on it.”

The bottom line will be seen next winter – when temps dip below 50 degrees – and the system kicks on. They utilize heat trace from mid-November to mid-February.

“We can get down as low as 16 or 17 degrees here,” Howell said. “But in the middle of winter, we’re not going to have any problems with any of our pipes breaking.”


Creativity aids healing: AIM program gives new meaning to the phrase ‘the art of nursing’

Originally published on

Artist Mary Lisa Kitakis-Spano works with a Shands Hospital patient as part of the Artists in Residence program.

Artist Mary Lisa Kitakis-Spano works with a Shands Hospital patient as part of the Artists in Residence program.
(Photos courtesy of the University of Florida)

What once was a sterile, white ceiling along a bone marrow unit corridor at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., is now colorful and meaningful. It was transformed after an artist pulled down the ceiling tiles and encouraged patients and nurses to use them as blank canvases for unique works of art. Patients who return for follow-up care can visit their ceiling tiles and remember how far they’ve come in healing; for nurses they serve as a permanent reminder of the lives they have touched.

The ceiling tile project was part of a collaborative program between Shands and the UF Center for Arts in Medicine in which artists engage patients throughout the hospital in meaningful projects with nurses’ support. The benefits of this were noted in an Oct. 20 Parade magazine article that emphasized how crafting is good for the body and mind.

Helen Welsh, RN
Welsh, who is considered an AIM pioneer, invited the first artist onto her bone marrow transplant unit in 1991. “I really believe in this, and I worked with my staff to get them on board,” Welsh said. “As a result, when the nurses support it and the team supports it, it’s much easier to have the program become successful.”

Tapping their creative side inspires and benefits patients and staff at UF Health Shands Hospital, say nurses and artists involved in the Artists in Residence program. Helen Welsh, RN, MSN, nurse manager, 8 East/adult oncology, collaborates with artists on choosing projects for patients based on factors such as patient mobility. She also speaks at an annual AIM summer intensive, a comprehensive training program for artists, caregivers, students, educators and others who wish to explore the roles of the arts in healthcare settings.

Helen Currier, RN

A Professional Research Consultants survey showed that for eight years, Welsh’s unit received the five-star excellence award for staff satisfaction. An art lover, she connected with artisans such as artist Mary Lisa Kitakis-Spano. Kitakis-Spano, who began as a volunteer, is now coordinator of the program. “She’s done incredible work here at Shands,” Welsh said. Kitakis-Spano is one of 15 artists-in-residence.

Although they’re not nurses, the artists-in-residence at Shand sfile clinical reports to assess how the arts are helping patients. One report from musician-in-residence Ricky Kendal revealed after he played songs for an 89-year-old ED patient her blood pressure dropped from 164/95 to 113/94.

“We’ve had really outstanding professional musicians doing incredible services,” said UF Center for Arts in Medicine director Jill Sonke.

A patient creates a work of art at Shands.

Another AIM program for nurses was piloted last year at Shands. The CoreCARE program addresses stress among oncology nurses through yoga, breath awareness, resiliency practices and guided relaxation, among other techniques.

Nurses also have leadership roles in making the AIM program successful. Shands’ administrative director of nursing innovation Ginger Pesata, RN, DNP, ARNP, NEA-BC, CTTS, FNAP, conducted AIM research with Sonke to measure the positive affects of art on patients and staff. Nurses polled as part of the research project observed a reduced need for pain medication among patients practicing arts.

About half of the nation’s hospitals have some type of AIM program, Sonke said, and it’s a growing field. “What we see every day is that the arts provide relaxation, connection, enjoyment and distraction,” Sonke said. “All of those things are huge gifts when you’re experiencing a healthcare crisis.”

Seven nurses are enrolled in a UF AIM online graduate certificate program, which equips nurses to start or run AIM programs in hospitals and communities; helps professional artists learn to work with patients; and assists caregivers in enhancing quality of care.

A proposed AIM master of arts program is awaiting approval with more than 100 nurses on a waiting list, Sonke said. One of those nurses is Helen Currier, RN, BSN, CNN, CENP, a nursing director and an AIM graduate certificate student and self-taught arts and health practitioner at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Currier pioneered a visual arts program at Texas Children’s and is vice president of the Global Alliance for Arts and Health. The knowledge she’s gaining from the Center for AIM, she said, “is really going to help us create a program that is systemwide, one that’s sustainable for every patient. As a nurse, there is much opportunity to not only integrate the arts into nursing practice but also to lead AIM efforts.”

California Action Coalition website live, emphasizes community involvement

The California Action Coalition, formed in October 2010, has launched its official website,, to educate and expand its 1,000-member group of nurses and healthcare workers striving to meet the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report standards.

Under the direction of Mary Dickow, DPA, who serves as CAC state director, the CAC has eight work groups established to focus on the IOM’s eight recommendations.
“The great feature is that wherever you are, you can just go ahead and log in as a member,” Dickow said.

A “get involved” form automatically logs in visitors to the site. “Right now, the site is pretty public. We’re encouraging people to get our information and go into the resources tab and look at what we have to offer.”

Under the events tab, users can click on an event and automatically RSVP online. That information goes into a database. “We know exactly who’s coming to our events,” Dickow said. Through the website, Dickow plans to update members on CAC work.

Members and interested parties can watch a featured testimonial video, get the latest news, and read about upcoming events such as the speaker’s bureau training sessions, regional town hall events, leadership council meetings and national updates. Dickow’s personal welcome on the site invites members to submit high quality (300 dpi) photos of California nurses at work. Information on the CAC’s executive committee, regional champions, workgroup leaders and partners also is organized on the site. One of the best features of the site, Dickow said, may be the tools and resources tab, where downloadable files are available to help nurses and other healthcare workers communicate important messages. One example is a how-to on effective Powerpoint presentations.

Dickow said she is willing to assist other states’ action coalitions with building their own websites.

“I would encourage anyone to ask us how it was done, and we can give them advice on moving a website forward for their own action coalitions.”

Stefanie Dell’Aringa is a member of the editorial team at

I-CARE posters at VA Long Beach support quality care for veterans

As patients, families and staff come and go through an entrance at VA Long Beach (Calif.) Medical Center, they’re greeted by a large poster loaded with signatures. It’s one of two posters symbolizing nurses’ ongoing commitment to the I-CARE program, a nationally implemented push to maintain core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.

Many of VA Long Beach’s nurses, along with physicians and other staff members signed the poster, which hangs on the wall of a major access point for staff and patients.

In addition to the signed poster, about 20 nurses at the hospital created another poster that highlighted their personal commitment to the program. They also watched an I-CARE video and held discussions about what it means to adhere to the program’s values.

“On the [nurses[‘]] poster, they wrote how they individually committed to I-CARE, to VA values and how they provide care to our veterans,” said Isabel M. Duff, RN, MS, director of VA Long Beach. “They personalized what their commitment was.”

Developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the national rollout of unifying values applies to all three VA arms: veterans health administration, benefits administration and cemeteries. All of the organizations stand on this common foundation of shared principles to guide and influence VA workforce behaviors and decisions affecting veterans, their families and beneficiaries.

“We’ve all had the values identified for each of our programs,” Duff said. “This was the first set of unifying values for all of VA. This is the first time we have all committed to these values, the same set of values and the definition for those values.”

As a show of support for the I-CARE program, nurses, physicians and staff contributed signatures to a poster that hangs prominently in a hospital entryway at VA Long Beach Healthcare System.

Duff said nurses at VA Long Beach developed a plan as a leadership of how they were going to roll out their commitment.

“Our nursing leadership really took the commitment to demonstrating the I-CARE values to heart and worked directly with their frontline nursing staff to implement means of showing their commitment and putting out visible markers of their demonstration of I-CARE and what it meant to the nursing staff,” she said.

The poster hanging in the main entryway provides a visual reminder of the I-CARE values, prompting conversations among patients and their loved ones, and serving as a encouragement to staff.

“A lot of people will stop and look at the poster, read or ask questions about the I-CARE poster,” Duff said. “As I walk the hallways, people will come up to me with examples of how they’re advancing I-CARE values.”

Stefanie Dell’Aringa is a member of the editorial team at

Seattle Children’s RN facilitates YouTube series — ‘Good Times and Bald Times’ — to reach other youths diagnosed with cancer

When Leah Kroon, RN, MN, wanted to know how to deliver an educational message to her teen and young adult patients with cancer, a clear answer came back from the focus group she polled: YouTube.

Kroon, clinical nurse specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program, began talking with patients two years ago about effective communication methods for cancer care.

“[They said] anything they could do on their computer or with a handheld device,” she said. “We knew they used social media. We thought the YouTube-style video was interesting.”

Patients also indicated they wanted to hear about the cancer experience from someone their age.

“It’s a very isolating experience to be a teen or young adult with cancer,” Kroon said. “No matter where they go, they are a minority.”

According to a statistic on one of the video segments, 72,000 teens and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year. Those cancers can include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia and sarcoma.

Leah Kroon, RN

Kroon envisioned a YouTube video series with short, pithy segments addressing specific topics of interest to young adults and adolescents with cancer. Topics include what it’s like to lose your hair, how to deal with emotional parents and dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy, she said.

“I think people are used to getting information in very short, fast-paced visual content,” Kroon said. “So that’s why we decided to do that.” The video segments, called “Good Times and Bald Times,” went live in June 2011.

”This generation of teens and young adults is a connected group that relies heavily on technology for their information,” said Rebecca Johnson, MD, medical director of the AYA Oncology program at SCH. “We identified a real need for this type of resource, and we wanted to utilize new media to provide education and psychosocial support to other cancer patients.” Johnson spearheaded the program and also is a cancer survivor.

The videos aren’t reserved solely for patients at SCH; in fact, Kroon and her team of physicians, nurses and social workers hope to reach a much larger audience. “We wanted to make the content widely available,” Kroon said.

Co-facilitator Linda Wolf, who founded Teen Talking Circles, worked with Kroon to gather eight patients who agreed to spend time in sessions talking about their cancer experiences. All but one patient was cancer free at the time of the filming, which took about six weeks. Issues discussed were planned out ahead of time. Kroon then had the unique, months-long task of editing the segments, something quite outside the realm of a nurse’s typical duties but enjoyable, she recalled.

“It had to really drive the point home,” she said. “We sort of worked on things like, ‘What’s the appropriate music for this section?’ ‘How do we not make this part morbid?’ and working on setting the tone.”

She recruited participants by asking the adolescent/young adult oncologists for patients who might be interested in sharing their stories. Patients who said yes were hoping to help others their age to know they’re not alone.

“It is so important for these teens and young adults with cancer to know that there is a peer out there who understands what they are going through and that support is available,” Johnson said. To advertise, Kroon reached out via Facebook and the hospital’s media channels.

“Little by little, I run across news blurbs on online journals, so people are seeing them and writing about them a bit,” Kroon said. “We’ve done some stories about them in our in-hospital newsletter and website and so on. We’ve had some good feedback from some patients, although I would like to get more feedback from patients.”

Kroon said her role as CNS is interesting, compelling and creative. She enjoys the development of palliative care and working with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with which the hospital is affiliated. She’s proud the program recently received an art grant from Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG organization.

In addition to patients and parents, Kroon educates other nurses, staff and the general public. “It’s an interesting public health issue because the mortality rate [for adolescents and young adults] haven’t improved since the 1970s,” she said. “So we have a message to get out to the community as well as taking care of our own patients.”

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When we work on your project, we come armed with 25 years of experience in custom carpentry. We can create original, artistic designs customized to your personal taste. We treat your project like it was our own – with the integrity and attention-to-detail you expect and deserve. There’s really nothing we can’t do when it comes to remodeling.

Serving both residential and commercial clients, Wales Remodeling has been recognized for outstanding design and craftmanship by Parade of Homes. View photo galleries of our work to see what we can do for your home or business project.

Press Release


Local Movie Maker and Golden Age Radio Giant Releases Catholic New Testament Bible on CD

East Dundee, IL (June, 2011) – The biggest selling book of all time is now on 18 CDs for the Catholic listener’s pleasure, and has the stamp of approval from the Vatican itself.

Award-winning radio show producer Carl Amari, 47, of South Barrington released his 22-hour series, Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible New Testament in November, 2010, bringing Bible stories to life with over 70 celebrities portraying the characters, and featuring John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings’ dwarf, “Gimli”) as its narrator.

So far, the $49.99 CD set has been a best seller, not a big surprise considering the print version has sold more than 6 billion copies over the centuries.

Amari, who spent two years co-producing the project, says that while reading the Bible is important, hearing it performed by world-class actors exercises what he calls “the imagination muscle.”

“Turning the complicated and often hard-to-understand text of the Bible into a radio drama makes listening and understanding it easy and fun,” he said.

It helps to have movie-quality sound effects and an original music score backing it up, too.

While other Bible CDs have graced the shelves of bookstores for years, there has never before been a Catholic version, Amari stated. This one uses the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition.
Amari – who is Catholic and grew up in Chicago – wanted to marry his two loves: the Bible and radio drama.

“I hope it will help people grow more passionate about their faith and help people to better understand the meaning and the words.”

Relationships he forged over the last 30 years of producing radio, film and television projects paved the way for Amari to call on Hollywood heavyweights such as Neal McDonough (Jesus); Julia Ormond (Mary, the mother of God); and Sean Astin (Matthew), to perform the roles.

The CD set has helped Amari’s children better understand the Bible, including his 12-year-old son, budding actor C.J. Amari who just appeared in the feature film, Letters to God.

Amari is the founder of Radio Spirits, the world’s largest marketer and distributor of classic radio programs. He sold that in 1998, formed Falcon Picture Group in 2001, and has since produced two feature films – Madison, starring Jim Caviezel, and the romantic comedy, Eden Court. A third feature is in the works. For more information, go to


Feature – Chicago Tribune

Developmental Programs Help Bridge The Gap In College

March 07, 1999|By Stefanie Dell’Aringa. Special to the Tribune.

Each fall, new students arrive at college lacking the skills to succeed in their courses. Perhaps they have difficulty comprehending college-level texts or they struggle to solve mathematical problems.

Looking at a student’s academic history and freshman-placement test scores often can show that he or she needs help.

For many, that help comes in the form of remedial education, or remediation, which refers to classes designed to raise students’ proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. Many schools, however, don’t like to use the word “remedial” to describe programs or courses that are below college-level; instead, they refer to them as developmental classes or support programs.

Because high school graduates are not always prepared for college-level work, most colleges offer these classes.

“All community colleges offer remedial classes, and in fact, about three-fourths of colleges and universities offer them,” said Vali Siadat, chairman of the math department and a professor of mathematics at Daley College, a two-year school and one of the City Colleges of Chicago.

“Recent statistics show that more than 50 percent of the enrollment in the colleges and universities is below the calculus level. This shows that there are a great many students who are in college doing remedial work, and this problem is especially paramount in the community colleges.”

Karen Pittman, 21, of Chicago, is a freshman at Daley. She said she benefited from two of the school’s remedial courses. She was placed in the classes because she scored low on college-placement tests.

Reading 125, Developmental Reading Skills II, prepared her for college-level English. “I learned more about how to write a paper correctly,” she said. “I increased my vocabulary and I am reading a lot more magazines. I can pick up a book and breeze through it.”

Math 110, which covers basic algebra, has challenged and excited Pittman so much that she is planning on a career in math education. She hopes to transfer to the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Pittman was one of 33 students in the math class, which is taught by professor Paul Musial. The class is part of the Keystone Project, an experimental program funded by the Gabriella and Paul Rosenbaum Foundation.

The Keystone Project is a teaching program that works to improve the students’ study skills and concentration levels, in addition to focusing on mathematics. Attendance is mandatory, and homework must be completed.

To improve the students’ ability to concentrate, there are daily quizzes with time limits.

“What I really notice is that we take quizzes every day, and that’s different from my other classes,” Pittman said.

Three years ago, a five-semester pilot study of the math program revealed that students’ math skills improved by 22 percentage points and reading comprehension improved by 12, even though reading was not the subject being taught.

“This teaching method affected all groups, from low achievers to high achievers,” said Siadat, who conducted the pilot study with Yoram Sagher, a math professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Remedial math courses offered at Daley are Math 110, which is basic algebra, and Math 112, intermediate algebra. Remedial English courses include English 100, Basic Writing Skills, and Reading 125.

There are 1,623 Daley students taking remedial classes out of a student body of 4,591.

Pittman feels her study skills have been improved by the math course: It has prepared her for the college-level Math 120 course. Her grades are above average.

“It’s really fun when you start seeing A’s and B’s that you haven’t seen before in a math class,” she said. “It makes me feel really good and it makes me want to keep up the good work.”

At Lewis University, a four-year college in Romeoville, students are given the chance to excel in the Success Program. There are 55 students–the maximum allowed–in the Success Program, out of 1,000 students overall.

Marcus Morton, 19, of Chicago is one student who has benefited from the program.

During the 1997-98 school year, when he was a freshman, he was offered additional support because of his low ACT scores. “My composite was 16 both times that I took it,” said Morton, now a sophomore. The nationwide average score for the ACT is 18.

After meeting with a college coordinator, he enrolled in courses that are part of the Success Program, such as Principles of Management, which focuses on time management and study skills, and Basic Composition, which is a springboard to college-level English writing courses.

“Basic Composition was an excellent class,” Morton said. “It was a refresher, in a sense, and it prepared me for taking the qualifying exam to move to College Writing. I got an A in Basic Composition.”

Morton received a 3.5 out of 4.0 grade-point average in his freshman year at Lewis–but, like many students, he needed help in specific areas. “My writing skills were not as sharp as they should have been, so they put me in Basic Composition,” he said.

Lewis also offers ongoing support for students such as Morton through the Center for Academic and Personal Support, known as CAPS. About 600 students participate each year.

CAPS has computer-assisted instruction using remedial and developmental software programs in reading, writing and math.

The students can come in and work on their own, using the tutorial programs, Director Mercy Azeke said. “They can come as many times as they want and stay as long as they want,” she said.


The program also offers counseling and academic-skills presentations that focus on skills such as goal-setting and time management.

“The support has been phenomenal,” Morton said of CAPS. “They are there for you to receive any type of help you need.”

DePaul University in Chicago offers the following developmental reading and writing courses: WRC101 (College Writing I), WRC102 (College Level Writing II), WRC107 (College Level Reading I) and WRC108 (College Level Reading II).

When students complete those courses they can advance to the standard freshman English courses, English 103 and English 104.

The developmental courses are taken by about 20 percent of the 1,482 freshmen, said Eileen Seifert, assistant director of writing programs, although not all the students take all four of them.

“I think that these courses are very successful, because what many students need is more reading and writing experience,” Seifert said. “This gives them a supportive environment and they seem to do well.”

DePaul students who are not prepared for college-level material also can enroll in a five-week summer course called the Bridge Program, which is taken the summer before freshman year. The program is offered to students accepted on a condi-tional basis because of low ACT scores.

Since 1985, when the program began, 1,628 students have enrolled. “Between 50 and 60 percent have graduated,” said R. Janie Isackson, the program’s director.

Students take a combined reading and writing course, a math course based on their level, and a Discover Chicago course that focuses on different aspects of the city, such as labor or music.

At Harper College, a two-year community college in Palatine, incoming freshmen and new students who are not reading at the college level must enroll in Reading 090, Fundamentals of Reading, and Reading 099, Developmental Reading.

Before classes begin, students take a battery of tests in math, English and reading–the last “gives us a good sense of whether they are capable of handling college-level text,” said Jean-Louise Gustafson, an associate professor in Harper’s Learning Achievement Program.

“What we’re finding is that students are really inexperienced readers and they have read very little up until this point,” Gustafson said.

Some students take both courses, which focus on comprehension and handling higher-level passages. In Reading 090, they read articles on contemporary issues as well as novels and non-fiction; in Reading 099, they read novels, biographies and expository writings.

Paola Capelo, 20, of Des Plaines, completed Reading 099 her freshman year and received a B. “Before when I used to read, I would read a passage and not understand it,” said Capelo, a sophomore. “Now, I will go back to it and try to comprehend it, and if there’s a word I don’t know I’ll look it up.”

She noticed her speed improved as well: “I read a lot faster than I used to read. My reading skills really did improve.”

Harper also helps students who are below college level in mathematics. Courses start with 8th-grade level basic arithmetic (Math 050) and go up to high school level intermediate algebra (Math 080).

Students who receive low scores in math on their assessment tests must take developmental-math courses at Harper before they can advance to college-level math.

From 50 to 60 percent of the incoming students need the courses, said Dominick Magno, a professor in the department of mathematical sciences.

“We try to take students at whatever level they are at,” he said, adding that the school has an open-door policy.

Right now, the school is looking at what can be done to expedite the developmental process for its students.

“What we’re trying to do rather than saying, `You’ve got to take arithmetic all over again’ is to be able to individually diagnose where their weaknesses are,” Magno said.

The success of remediation courses can be measured by looking at the achievements of the college graduates who have taken them.

Pamela Patterson, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes, a Chicago public housing development, graduated from DePaul in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in education.

Patterson, now 31, was told she could not be admitted to DePaul because of low ACT scores. The letter of rejection, which she received in 1985, is still fresh in her mind.

“I remember feeling pretty sorry for myself,” she said.

Two weeks later, she received a letter announcing the Bridge Program, a pilot program in which she was allowed to enroll. “We had one writing course and one math course and we also had a study skills course that we’d go to on Saturday mornings,” she said.

Today she is a 4th-grade teacher at Otis Elementary School on the city’s West Side.

The Bridge Program, Patterson said, “was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Feature Obit – Chicago Tribune

Marine general boosted training for reservists

By Stefanie Dell’Aringa
Special to the Tribune
Published February 4, 2005

Retired Maj. Gen. Mitchell J. Waters spent much of his military career breaking down the walls that separated Marine reservists from active-duty members.

After the Persian Gulf war, he spent six months at the Pentagon, during which time he testified before Congress in favor of joint training of reservists and active-duty Marines for future wars.

He wasn’t alone in his endeavors, said retired Maj. Gen. Mike Coyne. But his personality and charisma made him the perfect advocate.

As a result of his efforts, reservists from the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, which he once commanded, are fighting in Iraq today.

“Mitch believed there would come a time that the Marine Corps Reserve would be needed, and he argued it strongly,” Coyne said. “Clearly other people were present and contributing, but nobody could exaggerate the role that Mitch Waters played in that.”

Mr. Waters, 69, died of brain cancer Thursday, Jan. 27, in his Lake Barrington Shores home.

He proved that his battalion of reservists could measure up to active-duty Marines by taking them to a NATO exercise in Germany in 1978.

“They performed so well in that exercise as measured against the performance of two other active battalions that he gave credence to what he was arguing,” Coyne said.

Mr. Waters also had a full-time civilian job as a salesman and was a Little League coach. He also ran in five marathons and later started his own business, an electrical tool and die manufacturer.

“He could work on five things at one time and generally was happier doing that,” said his wife, Cindy. “His focus was always multiple, never singular.”

Mr. Waters was born and raised in Evanston and graduated from Evanston Township High School, where he played baseball, basketball and football. He received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., where he pursued a double major in sociology and anthropology.

He began his Marine career during his sophomore year of college, when he participated in an officer training program. In 1960, just two weeks after he had fulfilled his active-duty commitment, he joined the reserves.

At the same time, he landed a job as a salesman. During his career, he was a senior sales manager and president at various companies.

Mr. Waters, who retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1993, received the Legion of Merit award for his efforts toward a unified Marine Corps training program.

He also is survived by two daughters, Melissa Waters Blank and Julie Waters Price; a son, Mitchell Jeffery; a sister, Sally Waters Hobson; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Presbyterian Church of Barrington, 6 Brinker Rd., Barrington.

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