Durbin Announces Nominees for Service Academies

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the names of young men and women whom he has nominated to attend four of the nation’s service academies.


“I am again honored to nominate some of the best and brightest young men and women from all across Illinois to attend our nation’s service academies,” Durbin said. “These individuals are the leaders of tomorrow, and I have no doubt that they will make their families and their country proud.”


The academies include U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.  Everyone who wishes to attend a service academy must secure a nomination from one of a few sources, including a U.S. Senator.  Prospective students at the service academies must apply for a nomination and demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and good moral character.


U.S. Senators are allowed a maximum of five appointees at a given service academy at any time—except for the Merchant Marine Academy, which is based on a state quota.  Senator Durbin is allowed to nominate 10 candidates for each vacancy and does so by selecting nominees for admission on a competitive basis.  The service academies will each choose one nominee for each vacancy and offer him or her an appointment.


While each member of Congress is only guaranteed their annual allotment of appointments, it is general practice that the service academies will also consider the remaining applicants for appointment outside the congressional quota, depending on student qualifications and class size.  In previous years the academies have accepted significant numbers of Durbin’s nominees because of their superior qualifications.


The nominees were chosen by Durbin’s Service Academy Selection Committee, a nonpartisan board that meets annually in December to review applicants.


Senator Durbin’s nominees and their hometowns are as follows:


Samantha N. Burger, Lincolnshire, daughter of John and Maria Burger

Hollis E. Clark, Hinsdale, daughter of Kerstin and Walter Clark

Danielle Cross, Normal, daughter of John and Laura Cross

Justin D. Funk, Tower Lakes, son of Darrin and Carrie Funk

Therese A. Hein, Geneva, daughter of Jennifer and John Hein

William Hogan, Darien, son of Patrick and Sue Hogan

Joseph P. Imburgia, Lockport, son of Steven and Maria Imburgia

Alec E. Jacobs, S. Barrington, son of David and Connie Jacobs

Phillip M. Koenig, Crystal Lake, son of Mark and Christy Koenig

William Kuhl, Elmhurst, son of William and Janene Kuhl

Evan W. Lee, Romeoville, son of Eric and Karen Lee

Simon J. Lee, Skokie, son of Henry and Sylvia Lee

Brennan M. O’Brien, New Lenox, son of Wendi and Mark O’Brien

Martin Ocampo, Chicago, son of Martin and Maria Ocampo

Jan V. Ondrejcek, Urbana, son of Zuzana Ruziakova and Michael Ondrejcek

Thomas J. Spencer, Roselle, son of Scott and Katherine Spencer

Jake Tencza, Frankfort, son of Julie and Brian Tencza

Matthew R. Weiler, LaGrange Park, son of Kevin and Jennifer Weiler

Micah Weiss, Sherman, son of Thomas and Christie Wiess

Ethan C. Williams, Aurora, son of Edward and Jeanette Williams



AIR FORCE ACADEMY (one vacancy)

Mackenzie Adkins, Geneva, daughter of Jacqueline Walker-Adkins and Douglas Adkins

Jared Bachman, Mokena, son of Robert and Karen Bachman

Nicholas Baumel, Western Springs, son of Michael and Maria Baumel

Zenen Caredenas, West Chicago, son of Zenen Cardenas and Carrie Vose

Brian M. D’Souza, Lisle, son of Mark D’Souza and Sudha Srinivas

Brett Jones, Roscoe, son of Greg and LeAnn Jones

Ethan Macklin, Findlay, son of Craig and Lana Macklin

James Stefo, Antioch, son of James S. Stefo Jr. and Lucia F. Soberano-Stefo

Keelie R. Stork, Jerseyville, daughter of Kevin and Michelle Stork

Felix Zheng, Naperville, son of Jinsong Zheng and King Chung



NAVAL ACADEMY (two vacancies)

Allison Early, Willowbrook, daughter of Chris and Gina Early

Paul Eichamer, Naperville, son of Paul and Katherine Eichamer

Jack Gelinas, Lake Zurich, son of Jennifer and Matthew Gelinas

Jamir W. Gibson, Waukegan, son of Willie Gibson and Tanika Strausder

Collin Henderson, Trenton, son of Henry and Laurie Henderson

Noah S. Herdman, Naperville, son of Robert and Amy Herdman

Jake Karczewski, Chicago, son of Mike Karczewski and Glynis Thilleman

Elizabeth Lowery, Darien, daughter of Steven and Laura Lowery

Hope McMullen, Park Ridge, daughter of Joseph and Nancy McMullen

Sarah L. Messerschmidt, Tower Lakes, daughter of John and Christine Messerschmidt

Merrick S. Misiewicz, Shannon, son of Michael and Marcy Misiewicz

Trey Morse, Sterling, son of Dustin and Stacey Morse

Victoria Mueller, Johnston City, daughter of Tony and Cynthia Edwards

Paul R. Oelkers, Edelstein, son of Phil and Laurie Oelkers

David J. Petrovich, Arlington Heights, son of John and Diane Petrovich

Ryan A. Poggenpohl, Raymond, son of Allen and Rebecca Poggenpohl

Thomas L. Shen, Naperville, son of Tim Shen and Tammy Lung

Shannon A. Steines, Arlington Heights, daughter of Randy and Meghan Steines

Alexander Stensland, Chicago, son of Michael and Marie Stensland

Matthew M. Tungett, Rochester, son of Michael and Michele Tungett




Frank Harris, Chicago, son of Frank Harris and Lisa Sapienza

Lauren C. Hunter, Tinley Park, daughter of Thia and Brian Hunter

Keith Mokry, Somonauk, son of William and Mary Mokry

Austin Vincent, Stockton, son of Todd and Tonya Vincent

Christopher R. Welsh, Bolingbrook, son of Brian and Michele Welsh