Thirty-five vie for the title ‘Mom of the Year’

By David Rothmund

Since 1921, mothers and mother-like figures have traveled to campus for Mothers Day (now known as Moms Weekend). In 2008, the Moms Association created The Amelia Alpiner Stern Mom of the Year Award as an opportunity for University students to recognize the dedication and achievement of their own mothers. 

The award is designed to highlight the diverse contributions all Illinois Moms and those who serve in the role of mom and to honor a very special mother or mother figure each year, said Elaine Wrinkle, Mom of the Year Chair. 

Every year, more and more applications have been submitted for the award – this year’s application number nearly doubled, Wrinkle said.  The Mom of the Year committee for 2014 comprises seven women from the Moms Board. Committee members read through the 35 applications that the students submitted.

Various factors are used to determine the Mom of the Year recipient. Some factors include why the student feels his or her mom or mother figure should be considered for the award, how his or her mom or mother figure serves as a role model, ways in which the relationship is admirable, the best advice the mom or mother figure has given and what local or University community involvement has the mom of mother figure been a part of, Wrinkle said.  

Here are the bios for a few of this year’s nominees:

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Susan Sirota

City:  Riverwoods, Ill.

Blurb:  I am a dedicated pediatrician who works in a private practice and teaches pediatrics to Northwestern medical students and pediatric residents.  I enjoy spending time with my family, skiing, playing tennis and volunteering.


Janet Perez

City: Aurora, Ill.

Blurb:  I am a labor and delivery nurse and enjoy spending time with my family and other loved ones.  I like to travel, garden, attend baseball games and live an active and healthy lifestyle.


Patricia Robinson

City:  Chicago, Ill.

Blurb:  I am a proud mother of three children, married for 33 years, and enjoy spending time with family and interior decorating. 


Mary Anne Glowacz

City:  Chicago, Ill.

Blurb:   I run the 911 Center for Deerfield, Bannockburn, and Riverwoods Police Departments and have been in emergency services for 25 years.


Swanie Brooks-Dickens

City:  Chicago, Ill.

Blurb:  I am a Student Finance Advisor.  I enjoy spending time with my children, dancing, attending plays and visiting museums.


Tina Vestuto

City:  Lisle, Ill.

Blurb:  I was very honored when my daughter nominated me for mother of the year. She warms my heart more and more with each passing year. It’s wonderful to be appreciated for all you have done as a parent.


Perri Kapsalis

City:  Frankfort, Ill.

Blurb:  I am a manager for a major retail chain.  In my free time I like traveling, taking walks, visiting museums,and volunteering for local charities.


Amy Soderlund 

City: Wheaton, Ill.

Blurb:  In addition to attending Fighting Illini football games, I enjoy yoga, traveling and baking. I was so pleasantly surprised when I received the email informing me I was a nominee for this award.  

Susan Randall

City:  Barrington, Ill.

Blurb:  I serve on the Auxiliary Boards of By the Hand Club for Kids in

Chicago and the Jeffrey Pride Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research.               

David can be reached at [email protected].