Young alumni excel in law, astrophysics and educational research

Jill Robinson Kramer ’98, Lori Helton Welker ’97 and Phil Chamberlin ’01 have earned Hanover’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award for 2013.

Jill Robinson Kramer ’98 serves as the associate vice president for planning and research at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Providing leadership for long-range and annual planning, she works collaboratively with regional chancellors and department heads for the Office of the President. She recently managed the process of expanding and adopting a new strategic plan for Ivy Tech to dramatically improve the College’s student success and graduation rates.

Additionally, Kramer advised, evaluated and convened grantees with relevant resources across the country to achieve a greater impact in the fields of higher education and philanthropy.

Previously, she spent nearly 12 years as a program officer for Lumina Foundation for Education, where she managed grant portfolios, worked with potential grantees on planning and developing initiatives to improve student success, and contributed to creating strategic priorities for the foundation.

Kramer also served as associate director of special events at the Hudson Institute where she increased board donations for special events, and assisted in planning and implementing major fund raising events, as well as in-house meetings and lectures.

She earned a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. Kramer and her husband, Ray, live in Indianapolis with their two children.

Lori Helton Welker ’97 currently serves as an attorney for Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP in Cleveland, advising clients and litigating business and commercial disputes in product liability, breach of contract, transportation and logistics, bankruptcy and environmental matters in both state and federal courts.

Additional legal assignments include work as a public service fellow for the Ohio State Bar Association and as a summer associate for her current law firm.

Prior to her legal career, she taught seventh and 12th grades, and served as an assistant principal in Indianapolis. She also taught ninth grade in Abington, Pa.

Currently, Welker serves as national tri-chair of alumni giving for Hanover’s Live Our Loyalty Campaign. Her past volunteer activities include serving Englishton Park Presbyterian Ministries, Inc., Hanover’s James Blythe Presidents’ Club, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 3Rs Program and The Autism Legislation Project.

She earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003 and her juris doctor, cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2009.

Welker and her husband, Chris ’97, live in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with their daughter.

Phil Chamberlin ’01 currently serves as research astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and deputy project scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

A leading expert in how solar flares affect technology on Earth and Mars, his significant contributions to science include improving the higher-order correction technique for UV spectrographs in 2003; releasing the first version of the Flare Irradiance Spectral Model (FISM) in 2005; and leading a sounding rocket to measure the definitive solar minimum EUV irradiance reference spectrum in 2009.

Chamberlin began his career as a research scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2005 after earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering from that institution. He joined NASA in 2009.

In community service, he participates, almost weekly in outreach activities to encourage K-12 students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math through presentations and public lectures, teaching classes, judging science fairs and serving as an advisor to students science projects.

He and his wife, Susan, live in Washington, D.C., with their son.