Class of 1998
Brian Fruits graduated from Concordia University in 2003 and went on to earn a MFA in Stage Direction and Theatre from the University of Memphis in 2013. At the University of Memphis he received the Teaching Meritorious Award and the Creative Excellence Award. He has worked as a high school English teacher at Oswego East and Dundee-Crown, while directing musicals, plays, speech and coached football as well. After graduate school, he went to work for B.B.King, overseeing his operations, as the Head of Creative Talent and Operations on Holland American Cruise Lines. There he helped create and shape the current "B.B. King Beale Street Heat Live" stage show that is currently being performed on the largest ships of Holland America Cruise Lines across the globe. Currently he is a professor at Concordia College. He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Saltbox Theatre Collective, a not-for-profit theatre company which has received much praise, including a Chicago Jeff Award recognition.
Laura Beatriz Porro
Class of 1999
Laura B. Porro graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2004 and went on to earn her PhD in Palaebiology from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2010. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of London. She was a Senior Research Associate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, where she is a part of the Palaebiology ("ancient life") research group. She is working on several projects using anatomy, techniques from engineering and material sciences, and work with living animals - like lizards, crocodiles and fish - to understand how extinct animals worked. She has been published in numerous scientific journals and presented results from her research at national and international scientific conferences to much acclaim.