Get to Know Us


Trina Gizel
Vice President Information Technology/CIO
ECHO Incorporated

Trina Gizel PhotoDespite a 25+ year career in technology, Trina describes herself as a people & business leader first and foremost. After many years working as an independent engineering contractor, leading her own consulting firm, Trina pivoted to global IT leadership positions in eCommerce, manufacturing and software organizations, managing technology teams of 10-200. Currently, as CIO/VP of IT with ECHO Incorporated, she’s expanded her depth to include multi-level supply chain, robotic technologies and large scale program management. Trina attended Harper College, Illinois State University and Lake Forest Graduate School.  She’s humbled to be the recipient of numerous awards and continues to expand her education beyond technology, most recently graduating a Nutrition & Wellness program from Cornell University.  

Rachel Kereszturi
Health Solutions Actuarial Technician

Rachel Kereszturi Photo

Rachel is a HOPE Alumni who received the scholarship back in 2017. After she graduated from Harper College in 2018, she majored in Actuarial Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While attending both schools, she was heavily involved in activities to prepare herself for her future career as a health actuary. During her time at Harper, she worked at Northwest Community Hospital in Human Resources where she saw HR’s involvement with open enrollment and benefit planning.  At UIUC, she was involved with the Actuarial Science Club, Gamma Iota Sigma (an insurance-focused business fraternity), interned in finance at NCH, and interned at Aon in commercial risk. Her internship at Aon led her to a full time job upon graduation. Rachel worked as an Associate Account Executive for the Construction Services Group during her first year at the firm. Last March, she transferred to the Health Solutions department as an Actuarial Technician.  

In her free time, Rachel enjoys volunteering at the Buddy Foundation and going to the beach.     


Laura Leber
Director of Design Phase Management
Mortenson Construction

Laura Leber PhotoLaura Leber serves as Director of Design Phase Management for Mortenson, a top 20 US construction and development firm. She provides design phase oversight to local projects and leads Mortenson’s Chicago office design phase team. She has worked on many notable projects over her 20+ year career. Her collaborative, customer-focused approach, and her ability to maximize value through insightful analysis has earned her the respect of her customers and peers. 

After having successfully delivered the Mansueto Library project for the University of Chicago, she returned to the campus to lead the preconstruction effort on the award-winning Campus North Residential Commons design-build project with world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang. Laura then supported the preconstruction and onsite construction teams on the highly complex addition and renovation of Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena, building on the trusted relationship she formed with the University during the Walter Athletics Center project. She has also worked on several projects for the Chicago Bears, including the renovation of Soldier Field in 2001.

Throughout her career, Laura has developed unparalleled expertise in a wide variety of market sectors and construction delivery methods. She has contributed to the success of several high-profile projects in the corporate, healthcare, higher education, and cultural markets. 

Laura is a DBIA-certified professional, graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Mathematics, and also earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit.  


Aarthi Vijaykumar, MD, FASN
Nephrology Associates of Northern IL

Aarthi Vijaykumar PhotoDr. Aarthi Vijaykumar is a practicing Nephrologist with Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois. She is Assistant Chair for the Department of Medicine at Advocate Sherman Hospital and will be taking the role of Chair for Department of Medicine at Advocate Sherman Hospital in July 2023. She is Co-Chair for Advocate Health Post Operative Acute Kidney Injury Initiative which is a system wide initiative which will be available to 26 hospitals and growing. Dr. Vijaykumar completed her undergraduate degree in Medical Anthropology at State University of New York in Buffalo, New York. Followed by a year as pre-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health laboratory of Parasitic Disease and Tropical Medicine. She received her MD from State University of New York, Upstate in Syracuse NY. Dr. Vijaykumar completed her Residency and Fellowship training at Rush University Medical Center. She is married with two children, a middle schooler and elementary school student. 

Dr. Vijaykumar shares wisdom that has inspired her: 
You CAN have it ALL as a woman but maybe not ALL at once!
In life it is best to have a mindset in which you define your story and not let your story define you! 



Nellie Khalil
Associate Professor of Biology
Director, Office of International Education
Harper College

Nellie Khalil PhotoNellie Khalil is a faculty member in the Biology Department and the Director of the Office of International Education at Harper College. She earned her master’s degree in Biology at Case Western Reserve University studying fragmented forested ecosystems. She enjoys teaching her students about evolution, ecology, and in particular, the amazing hidden biology of plants. She is also interested in highlighting global issues in her courses, including biodiversity decline and the spread of pathogens. Prior to her work at Harper, Nellie studied desertification in the grasslands of New Mexico and fruit phenology in ecological corridors in South Carolina. 

Last Updated: 5/2/23