2015 Alumni Achievement Awards

District 128 Foundation for Learning Alumni Achievement Awards, established in 2014, are presented annually to individuals who graduated from a District 128 high school at least five years prior to nomination, and who have made significant contributions, and demonstrated leadership and character in his/her field and to his/her community. Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis and remain active for three years. The Foundation for Learning Board of Trustees comprise the selection committee.

2015 Honorees

2015 Honorees Allyson Bain and Gwynne Rowley Shotwell

Allyson Bain

Vernon Hills High School Class of 2008

Allyson Bain is a 2016 candidate for Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law. In addition to her many academic honors, Bain was the originator and advocate for the passage of the Restroom Access Act, 410 ILCS 39/1 et seq., known as Ally's Law. She collaborated with Illinois legislators on the language of House Bill 0834 and testified in support of the bill, which was signed into law in 2005, allowing anyone with a medical emergency access to an employee-only restroom in a retail establishment. She was an advocate for the passage of similar legislation in other states as well as on a federal and international level.

Allyson is also a patient representative and special government employee with the FDA Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. In that role, she represents gastrointestinal disease patients nationwide as the patient voice during committee meetings.

Allyson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Lake Forest College. She recently completed a legal internship with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. As a student at Northwestern School of Law, she is currently the senior articles editor for the Journal of Law and Social Policy, president of the Disability Law Society, mentor for the Women's Leadership Coalition, and a teaching assistant.

In 2011, Allyson was named to Glamour's Top Ten College Women, for her work as an activist for the passage of Ally's Law.


Gwynne Rowley Shotwell

Libertyville High School Class of 1982

As President and COO of SpaceX in Hawthorne, Calif., Gwynne Rowley Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations to support company growth. She joined SpaceX as vice president of business development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 70 launches, representing nearly $8 billion in revenue. She is a member of the SpaceX Board of Directors.

Prior to joining SpaceX, she spent more than 10 years at the Aerospace Corporation in space systems engineering and technology as well as project management. She was promoted to the role of Chief engineer of an MLV-class satellite program, managed a landmark study for the Federal Aviation Administration on commercial space transportation, and completed an extensive analysis of space policy for NASA's future investment in space transportation.

In 2014, Gwynne was appointed to the United States Export Import Bank’s Advisory Committee and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. She has been awarded the World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space, has been inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, and was elected to the honorable grade of Fellow with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Through leadership in both corporate and external programs for SpaceX, Shotwell has helped raise over $1 million for STEM education programs reaching thousands of students nationwide.

Gwynne received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, and currently serves on the advisory council for Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering. She has authored dozens of papers on a variety of space-related subjects. She is #90 on Forbes 2015 list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.