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"Planathon" for StartUp Term 2017; students meet with faculty, exchange ideas and form teams during the winter, in advance of the course held in the spring.

Career Outcomes


Robin Ragan

Professor of Modern Languages (Spanish)

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Students who have developed and completed self-designed majors typically exhibit the skills and initiative that lead to successful careers in wide-ranging fields, from medicine to business, journalism, education, and social services, to name only a few. Career paths of self-designed majors from the last 20 years include:

Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chicago, Illinois. Amy Beuschlein '89.

Vice President, JP Morgan, Brooklyn, New York. Joseph Rogot '88.

Law School, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia. Zachary Stephenson '06. Public Policy (Self-designed major.)

Senior Producer, CNBC, Fort Lee, N.J. Indira Somani '92.

Shopper, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles, California. Shannon Strom '95.

Public Relations Coordinator, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Robin Stahl '94.

Medical School, Ph.D. Program in Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics, Baylor University School of Medicine. Rebecca Cooper '06. Computer Science major and Japanese Studies (Self-designed major.)

Graduate Student, Master of Public Affairs, University of Maryland. Clark Bernier '02.

Wetlands Scientist, Civil Engineering, Manhard Consulting, Ltd., Lombard, Illinois. Mary Tibbets '06. Conservation Biology (Self-designed major.)

Medical Student, University of Illinois. Ronald Hammers '00.

Coordinator of International Relations, Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, Ajigasawa-machi, Japan. Robert Tunstall '06. Music major and Japanese Studies (Self-designed major.)

Montessori Teacher, Children’s House Montessori, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Bridget McGuire '98.

Missionary, Russia. Rebecca Friz '94.

Staff Writer, Pioneer Press, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Nicole Havelka '95.

Director of Human Resources, City of East Moline, East Moline, Illinois. Tremier Johnson '91.

Ph.D. Candidate, Slavic Languages, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Heidi LeRette-Kauffman '90.

Director of Legislation, Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, Springfield, Illinois. Brigid Leahy '89.

Area Coordinator, Peoria Area, Illinois Coalition for Community Services, Canton, Illinois. Cheryl Lefler '93.

Children’s Librarian, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois. Heather McCammond-Watts '91.

Software Engineer, Intel Corporation. William Norris-York '88.

Database Manager, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois. Karyla Trester '97.

Associate GeneralCounsel, Don King Productions, Inc., Oakland Park, Florida. John Wirt '85.

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Top Job Titles of Self-Designed Studies Alumni

  1. Assistant Professor
  2. Business Owner
  3. Elementary School Teacher
  4. Attorney
  5. Assistant Director
  6. Director of Admissions


Estimated Salary of Alumni with Self-Designed Studies Degrees

Top Occupations of Self-Designed Studies Alumni

  1. Postsecondary Teachers
  2. Chief Executives
  3. Personal Service Managers
  4. Market Research Analysts
  5. Instructors
  6. Social Service Assistants
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Printed on Friday, February 23, 2024