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Oakton College Announces 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awardees


L-R) Jerrod Tucker, Julian Thompson, Filza Ali & Nathan Norman

DES PLAINES, IL- Celebrate Oakton College’s accomplished alumni at the Distinguished Alumni Awards on Sept. 28, 6 p.m. at Oakton’s Des Plaines Campus. This year’s honorees have excelled in their commitment to building just and thriving communities, aligning with Oakton’s Vision 2030 goal.

Filza Ali, Skokie:

• Former Oakton student and Oakton Muslim Student Association President.

• Earned associate in arts degree at Oakton.

• Received full-ride Magis Scholarship for undocumented students at Loyola University.

• Advocated for undocumented students and immigration reform.

• Holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences and works as a research analyst.

Nathan Norman, Skokie:

• Graduated from Oakton with an associate in arts degree.

• Achieved Suma Cum Laude and a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.

• Obtained a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.
Works as a workforce development manager, connecting youth with career opportunities.

• Ambassadors Oakton’s Emory Williams Academy for Black Men.

Julian G. Thompson, Chicago:

• Transferred from Oakton to Loyola University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

• Holds master’s and doctorate degrees in Sociology and Social Welfare.

•  Active in various organizations supporting vulnerable populations.

• Authored numerous articles on social work topics.

• Currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Jerrod W. Tucker, Jacksonville, Fla.:

• Oakton basketball team captain.

• Earned bachelor’s degrees in Sports Management and Journalism.

• Inducted into the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame.

• Head coach of the Jacksonville 95ers in The Basketball League (TBL).

• Dean and head varsity basketball coach at a local charter school.

• Active in volunteering to support homeless and low-income populations.

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