Money Sense

Episode 101 – April 11, 2014 – “Why Budget & How to Create a Financial Plan”

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In this episode of Money $ense, host Anthony Contrucci interviews Alejo Torres, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Senior Outreach Manager, and John Gibson, Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics Director of Graduate/Undergraduate Programs, about budgeting and creating a financial plan. The experts discuss how to create a budget, how the time-value of money factors into financial planning, online tools you can use to help create your own budget and financial plan, and much more. With an introduction by William J. Lowe, Chancellor, Indiana University Northwest.


Alejo Torres

Senior Outreach Program Manager

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Alejo Torres is the Senior Outreach Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. His chief responsibility is coordination of financial education initiatives and programs, particularly Money Smart Week®, held annually in about 45 states. The educational campaign involves more than 1,500 local, regional and national organizations that collectively provide more than 3,000 free money management seminars and activities each year. Among his many duties for Money Smart Week and beyond include community outreach, partner building, strategic growth, media relations and program analysis.

Torres joined the Chicago Fed in 2005 after more than five years of community building and financial capability experience with United Way, Lake City Bank and Resurrection Health Care. Rorres currently serves on the Board of Directors for Community Media Workshop, the Economic Awareness Council as well as an Investor Education Advisory Board member for the University of Illinois Extension and council member of the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy. He received his B.A. degree in communications from Grace College in Winona Lake, IN.


John Gibson

Director of Graduate/Undergraduate Programs

Director, Center for Economic Education

Indiana University Northwest

John Gibson is the Director of Graduate & Undergraduate Programs at the School of Business & Economics at Indiana University Northwest.  Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Center for Economic Education at IU Northwest.  John is interested in all fields of business and economics but has particular interest in Economic and Financial Literacy as well as Globalization

William Lowe

William J. Lowe


Professor of History

Indiana University Northwest

William J. Lowe became Chancellor and Professor of History at Indiana University Northwest in July 2010. Prior to coming to Northwest Indiana, Dr. Lowe was Provost and Professor of History at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minn., where he also served as Interim President during the 2007-2008 academic year.

He holds the degrees of B.A. in History from Michigan State University and Ph.D. in Modern History from Trinity College, Dublin. Dr. Lowe’s research and writing are in the field of modern Irish history and he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Dr. Lowe’s active leadership and commitment to the IU Northwest campus and the greater Northwest Indiana region have contributed to significant campus milestones, including an all-time enrollment high of nearly 6,400 students experienced during the fall 2013 semester, the campus’s sixth consecutive year of increased enrollment.

Approval of a new $45 million academic building achieves an important campus priority. The building, set to open in the summer of 2016, will serve the educational needs of both IU Northwest and Ivy Tech-Northwest students, strengthening the partnership between the two institutions and enhancing the transfer-student pathway.

In 2012, the IU School of Medicine-Northwest located on the IU Northwest campus expanded to a four-year MD program. The medical school, the only one in Northwest Indiana, actively involves medical students and IU Northwest undergraduates in research and local healthcare needs.

As one of Northwest Indiana’s anchors, Dr. Lowe has redoubled the campus’s strategic commitment to community-based engagement. During the 2012-2013 academic year, an estimated 2,100 students contributed more than 126,000 service hours, demonstrated through course work and projects that were integral to the academic experience.

Dr. Lowe’s involvement in the Northwest Indiana community reflects IU Northwest’s commitment to the future of the region. He co-chairs One Region and is a member of the boards of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, South Shore Arts, Lakeshore Public Media and Indiana Campus Compact.

Dr. Lowe has also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at The College of Saint Rose, Albany, N.Y.; Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Detroit; and Dean of Graduate Studies at Chicago State University. His career includes administrative appointments at State University of New York at Cortland and Lake Erie College, Ohio.

His recreational activities include daily exercise, reading (history, fiction and The Guardian Weekly), independent cinema and travel. Dr. Lowe resides in Crown Point with his wife Pamela, a development consultant for not-for-profit organizations and a community volunteer who has served as Senior Director of Major and Special Gifts for the Minnesota Zoo Foundation and Director of Development at the University of Minnesota Foundation.

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