Deb Hardtke succeeds Eric Meredith as AHS Alumni Board president

Deb Hardtke ’74 BS PT

Deb Hardtke ’74 BS PT, new president of the AHS Alumni Board, retired from full time clinical work three years ago—but she hasn’t slowed down one bit.

After a long career in physical therapy focused on orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care and program development, she now works part time as a clinical consultant, developing physical therapy programs for assisted living residences and other facilities.

She’s active with outreach programs at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Pilsen, which provides food, clothing and household items for families and homeless people in the community.

Hardtke has a special connection to St. Matthew: that’s where her parents were married and she was baptized. She volunteers there several times a month and works with fellow members of her church in Burr Ridge to collect donations for St. Matthew outreach.

Through the Darien Garden Club in her hometown, she’s busy with the DuPage Monarch Project, an initiative to protect the habitats of Monarch butterflies and other regional pollinators. The project encourages residents to add pollinator-attracting plants to their yards and asks local governments to grow prairie plants on vacant lots.

Hardtke was involved with the AHS Alumni Board in the 1990s and rejoined in January 2019. She especially wants to encourage her fellow graduates to get involved in mentoring and other student support.

“I’m very thankful to UIC; it matured me, and gave me direction,” Hardtke said. “The university helped me so much, and I’d like to give back.”


Eric Meredith ’12 MS NUT

Hardtke succeeds outgoing president Eric Meredith ’12 MS NUT, a board member since 2013, who is most proud of expanding board membership and direct engagement with students during his four-year tenure.

“We provide you with meaningful opportunities to connect with fellow alumni, current AHS students, faculty and staff and continue your AHS educational development,” said Meredith, who urges alumni to get involved.

The next AHS alumni event will be a collaboration with UIC College of Nursing alumni Sept. 17 on nutrition and maternal health, featuring faculty in nutrition and nursing, as well as a cooking demonstration using summer harvest from the UIC Nutrition Teaching Garden.

For more information on this and other events, plus how to connect with other AHS alumni, visit