The Department of Atmospheric Sciences formed the alumni council (AC) in early 2020. The mission of the AC is to support, advise and maintain the department’s connections with its alumni network and friends. According to its initial framework, which was approved and adopted by the department’s faculty, the AC is to be composed of the distinguished alumni primarily from outside the university, including a chair and at most four external members, the ATMS department head, and a student representative. The seven-member council will work closely with the ATMS alumni committee as an advisory body to strengthen alumni engagement, and to improve academic programs and experiences. The newly formed members of the AC:
Harold Brooks: Received his PhD in atmospheric sciences in 1990 from the University of Illinois under Professor Bob Wilhelmson. He joined NOAA National Severe Storms Lab in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1991 as a research meteorologist. Now he leads the Modeling, Observation and Analysis Team at NSSL. With the goal of providing people with the knowledge they need to make better decisions about hazardous weather, he focuses his research on determining the distribution of severe thunderstorm hazards around the world and on evaluating weather forecasts. He gives frequent talks about his work at international scientific meetings and has given many interviews to the news media about hazardous weather
Ming Cai: A professor of atmospheric sciences at Florida State University, Cai earned his MS and PhD under Professor Mankin Mak, in 1985 and 1990. After the completion of his degrees, he held positions with the University of Maryland and Boeing. He joined the faculty in the Department of Meteorology at Florida State University in 2003. He has published extensively on topics including the general circulation, large-scale atmospheric dynamics, and the dynamics and physics of climate variability and climate change. Professor Cai also applied his broad expertise through his duties as an NSF program director, a post he held from 2016-2019. Professor Cai is married to Jin Huang, who also received her MS and PhD degrees in atmospheric sciences at Illinois.
Lisa Michaels (chair): First Alert Meteorologist at KFVS12, a CBS-Affiliated Television Station in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Michaels earned her BS in atmospheric sciences in 2016. Before joining KFVS, Lisa held a broadcast meteorology internship at WCIA in Champaign, and previously worked at WEEK in Peoria. Lisa is interested in outdoor activities and the arts. Her passion for water polo led her to participate in the Junior Olympics.
Eric Snodgrass: The principal atmospheric scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions (NAS), Snodgrass received his MS in atmospheric sciences in 2006. Before transitioning to Nutrien Ag Solutions, Eric was the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2006-2019. At NAS he develops predictive, analytical software solutions to manage weather risk for global agriculture production. He presents his research as a featured speaker at over 50 conferences annually, where he provides logistical guidance and solutions to weather-sensitive financial institutions, farmers, commodity traders, and other stakeholders.