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Young Alumni Spotlight: Zane Peterson and Dan Henchel

Name: Zane Peterson ’11 (right) and Dan Henchel ’12 (left)

Current job position (or additional field of study) and where:
Co-Founder/Owner - University Dogs, Inc. in Decatur

Zane: Finance
Dan: Exercise Sport & Fitness

Why did you choose MU, and what did you study?
Zane: I chose Millikin because I had heard nothing but great things about the Tabor School of Business, I liked the idea of smaller class sizes and getting to know my professors on a first-name basis.
Dan: I chose Millikin because I was able to continue my athletic career and receive a higher education while still being close to home.

What is your most memorable MU experience?
Zane: I have a lot of great memories from my four years at Millikin, both in and out of the classroom. However, my most memorable moments were golf practices.
Dan: There are a lot of memorable experiences. I had a great time while at Millikin, but I the times I had with my ATO brothers, I will never forget.

What activities did you participate in as a student?
Zane: Men’s Golf Team
Dan: Baseball ’07-09, Alpha Tau Omega ’08-11

What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use in your work regularly?
Zane: Hard work ethic and business communication skills.
Dan: Team work. In the hospitality industry you are always working as a team.

Who was your most memorable MU professor and why?
Zane: Cheryl Chamblin. As a finance major, I had Cheryl for several classes, I always liked that Cheryl would make time in her schedule and do anything possible to make sure we grasped the learning material.
Dan: Don Luy. I learned a lot from him over my years at Millikin both in and out of the classroom. He shared great networking opportunities with me and always wanted to see me succeed.

Where do you hope to be five years from now?
Zane: Continue growing the University Dogs brand, managing multiple restaurant units.
Dan: I hope to be operating multiple University Dog locations and creating lots of jobs for people.

What do you enjoy most about your current job?
Zane: I enjoy pleasing our customers with great-tasting food and a fun dining atmosphere.
Dan: I enjoy making decisions on a daily basis and being able to interact regularly with our customers, all while serving the Chicago favorites that Zane and I grew up on.

What have you done that you are most proud of since graduating from MU?
Zane: I am most proud of being able to help support groups and organizations within the Decatur and Millikin community.
Dan: I am most proud of making a difference in the community. We’re going on our third year of operation and I am proud to say the University Dogs is a staple in the Millikin/Decatur community.

What is a short piece of advice you'd give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
Zane: Enjoy your time while at Millikin; it goes by too fast. After graduating, try to pursue something that you are most passionate about. If you’re having fun at work, it can’t really be considered work.
Dan: Be willing to work hard, learn, grow as a person and do something you love!

University Dogs, Inc. is a limited service restaurant founded by Millikin graduates Dan Henchel and Zane Peterson, with the help of Zane’s father, Jim. University Dogs has been providing the “ultimate hot dog and burger joint experience” since 2011.


Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.

What's New on Campus?: 454 new students!
Chase and Lindsay Coleman

On Aug. 20, Millikin welcomed 454 first-year traditional students. It’s interesting to know:

  • 82 percent come from Illinois; the other 18 percent come from 22 different states
  • We have 33 new international students coming from 18 different countries
  • 55 percent of the new students are female
  • 43 percent are involved in athletics at Millikin
  • 9 percent are commuters
  • 23 students have a Millikin alum in their family

Check out the Millikin Alumni Facebook album for more photos of move-in day.

Career Corner: Professionalism Today

Boundaries between work life and personal life can often be blurred by the use of technology. On one hand, technology allows for increased flexibility in completing work tasks. On the other hand, that same ease of connection can make it difficult to create healthy separation. Beyond technology, the many competing demands on our time can make it easy to feel as though we are simply going through the motions and not living with purpose.

As Millikin alumni, you are well aware of the importance of professional success and creating personal lives of meaning and value. These tenets of Millikin’s mission certainly remain relevant as well as challenging. Consider these tips to help you find harmony between both ideals (while keeping in mind the need to allow time for engaging in democratic citizenship in a global environment).

1) Reflect
Take time to evaluate where you are professionally and personally and where you want to go. Being in touch with your values, interests, dreams, and goals will help you to maintain perspective and plan for the future.

2) Connect
Stay connected to friends and family and continue to build and maintain your professional network. A phone call, coffee break with a colleague or even a friendly email can help relieve stress, add joy to your life and may even lead to a professional opportunity.

3) Represent
Consider your personal brand. Look for opportunities that allow you to share your strengths and develop new skills. Consider the talents that you may not be able to contribute daily in your work life. Take the leap and pursue your passions, whether it’s a new band, new book club, new hobby or something else. When others see in you the positive qualities you recognize within yourself, at work and at play, you will be living your brand and leaving your legacy.

Every day brings its challenges, but keep that Big Blue Can Do attitude and a life of meaning and value and professional success will be within your reach!

Mark your calendar for this campus event: An Early Recruitment Career Fair will be held Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Richards Treat University Center. Consider attending as a job seeker or as an employer. Contact the Career Center for more information!

By Kristin Nisbet-White, assistant director of the Millikin Career Center

Big Blue Love: Chase and Lindsay Alexander Coleman
Chase and Lindsay Coleman

Chase and Lindsay Alexander Coleman, both ’09

Business Management and Early Childhood Education

Arthur, Ill., and Monticello, Ill.

When, where, and how did you first meet at Millikin?
Lindsay: : Jan. 16, 2009, at a party through a mutual friend and one of my sorority sisters.
Chase: At a house party off campus second semester of our senior year. I was going to stay in but my friend talked me into coming out at the last minute.

What do you remember about the first time meeting each other?
Lindsay: I remember seeing him walk down the stairs with a friend in a backward Cubs hat and camouflage jacket, and I couldn't stop looking at him – he was so cute!
Chase: I thought our friend was trying to introduce me to the girl behind Lindsay. When I finally spotted her, I thought she was very pretty, but at the time I wasn't focused on starting a relationship because I was getting ready to graduate.

What did you do on your first date?
Lindsay: It was Valentine's Day, and we went to dinner at Cheddars and to see the movie, "He's Just Not That Into You."
Chase: We went to dinner and a movie – I had beer-battered coconut shrimp, and she had chicken strips.

Where was your favorite place to hang-out together at Millikin?
Lindsay: LSB
Chase: LSB

What is your most memorable Millikin experience as a couple?
Lindsay: Bringing Chase to my last Tri Delta formal.
Chase: All the fun moments we got to spend with our closest Millikin friends and couples.

Where has your relationship taken you since Millikin?
Lindsay: After graduation, we both got jobs and continued our relationship despite living in different towns for a couple years. In 2011, we got engaged, and married on June 22, 2013. We are proud dog parents to our yellow lab, Paisley!
Chase: We are married. Lindsay is an early childhood teacher at North Ward Elementary in Tuscola, Ill., and I manage Blue Ridge Backwoods in Monticello.

What advice would you give young couples in love at Millikin?
Lindsay: Even if you don't know where you are going after college, don't let go of someone you love. Also, stay in touch with the Millikin friends who brought you together and strengthened you as a couple.
Chase: Get involved in Millikin campus activities and alumni events together.


Want to share your story of how you found love at Millikin? Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with your expressed interest. One couple will be featured each month in MY Times.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL