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© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Celebrates Past Year's Accomplishments

Read about Waubonsee's institutional and individual accomplishments during the 2013-14 fiscal year in this annual memo from President Dr. Christine Sobek. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee President, Dean Elected to Conference Leadership Positions

Waubonsee Community College President Dr. Christine Sobek and Dean for Students Dr. Scott Peska have been elected to lead the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) in the upcoming academic year.

Sobek will serve a one-year term as chair of the ISCC Presidents Council. Made up of the presidents from the conference’s eight member community colleges, the council is the ISCC’s main decision-making body.

Reporting and making recommendations to the Presidents Council is the Board of Control, which Peska will chair for a two-year term.

In addition to organizing and overseeing athletic events, the ISCC also hosts co-curricular events focusing on art, music, STEM and writing. The eight member schools include College of Lake County, Elgin Community College, Moraine Valley Community College, McHenry County College, Morton College, Oakton Community College, Prairie State College and Waubonsee.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Community Real Estate Executive Elected to Waubonsee Foundation Board

At its annual meeting on June 9, the Waubonsee Community College Foundation elected Brian K. Dolan, of Aurora, to its board of directors. His term begins at the board’s September 2015 Annual and Quarterly Board Meetings.

Mr. Dolan is a principal in Dolan & Murphy, Inc., a company formed in 1965. He has been involved in the syndication and ownership of neighborhood shopping centers and industrial facilities in excess of $30,000,000. He is also a principal in Dolan and Murphy Management LLC, a company responsible for the management of close to one million square feet of retail, office and industrial properties over the past 15 years. Mr. Dolan has been involved in excess of $300 million of real estate transactions in his 38-year career.

Mr. Dolan is active in the real estate field. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors, having been named its Realtor of the Year for 2014. He is also on the Illinois Association of Realtors’ Commercial, Industrial and Investment Committee. Dolan is an active member in the Association of Real Estate Brokers, an association of the leading industrial brokers in the Chicagoland area; the Montgomery Economic Development Corporation; a principal support and current co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry; and a current member of the Board of Directors for Oak Trust Credit Union.

Mr. Dolan and his wife Kathy have five children and enjoy their eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The Waubonsee Community College Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to obtain funding for scholarships and provide educational opportunities and services to students and citizens of Waubonsee’s district. For information, contact the Advancement Office at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2316 or visit

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Future of Waubonsee and Larger Community Discussed at Summit

More than 250 Waubonsee Community College students, faculty, staff and community leaders participated in the Waubonsee Vision 2050 Futures Summit on Tuesday, June 23, at the college’s Sugar Grove Campus. The event, which featured presentations and discussions, was designed to bring stakeholders together to anticipate, imagine and elevate the collective futures of the college and community.

With the successful completion of the Waubonsee Community College 2020 College Master Plan earlier this year and the upcoming celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary in 2016, President Dr. Christine Sobek believes the timing is right for a Vision 2050 initiative.

“Our anniversary is not just about our past but also the chance to tell the story of our future,” Dr. Sobek said at the summit. “We’re here today to write the next chapter together.”

World-renowned business futurist and innovation thought leader Nicholas J. Webb presented the day’s keyote address, entitled “The Future of Disruptive Innovations.” Among the many topics Webb touched on were the “innovation value range” and how the traditional incremental and landmark innovations of the past are no longer enough; future innovations will need to be breakthrough and/or disruptive because moving forward, the only changes that matter are those that are “fast and deep.”

Webb also talked about the future of education and how it’s no longer enough for students to prove that they’ve learned something, but rather, they now need to prove that they’re able to apply that knowledge to create or invent something real.

This idea of tangibly demonstrating knowledge and competencies was also the focus of a presentation by Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy President Dr. José Torres, who spoke of digital badges as “the new currency.”

Such competency currency is crucial given what Rama Kavaliauskas, President of Sterling Engineering, dubbed an “age of specialization” in her presentation on the future workforce. She did also point out, however, that while every technological revolution displaces a certain facet of the workforce, it also creates the need for a different, often more elite, one.

Other key presentations included “Personal Touch in a High-Tech Learning Environment,” from Waubonsee faculty members Allison Beltramini and Justin Hoshaw, and “Preparing for Sustainability,” with President/CEO of The Conservation Foundation Brook McDonald.

All community members are welcome to join in the ongoing discussion of these and other topics through the college’s online Idea Lab at

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Professor, President and Trustee Earn ICCTA Honors

Waubonsee Community College received three honors at the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) convention on June 5-6.

Associate Professor of Earth Science/Geology David Voorhees is the co-recipient of the 2015 ICCTA Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member Award. Voorhees, who has been teaching at Waubonsee since 2002, is very active at the college and in professional associations. He serves as the principal investigator for the college’s National Science Foundation (NSF) STEM grant and just started a three-year term on the NSF’s Advisory Committee for Geosciences.

Dedicated to the art of teaching at the community college level, Voorhees created the GEO2YC group within the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and served as its first president in 2011-2012. Earlier this academic year, he was honored as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.

Also recognized by the ICCTA were Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek, who received her second Trustee Education Award for participating in 30 or more ICCTA seminars, and Waubonsee Board Member James Michels, who was honored for his 25 years of service.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Aurora Resident Named Waubonsee Student Trustee

Jesse Garner, of Aurora, has been elected to serve as Waubonsee Community College’s Student Trustee for the 2015-2016 academic year. Garner was seated at the college’s board of trustees meeting June 17.

The student trustee serves as the liaison between the Waubonsee board of trustees and the college’s students, representing students’ interests at the board level.

A political science major, Garner served as president of Waubonsee’s Student Senate and participated in Model Illinois Government in the spring 2015 semester. He is working as an intern in Congressman Bill Foster’s Aurora District Office.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognizes Outstanding Student Organizations

In an effort to honor extracurricular excellence, Waubonsee Community College’s Club Council, Student Senate and Student Life Department recently announced the college’s Student Life Organization Awards for the 2014-15 academic year.

Taking home both the Outstanding Student Organization and Student Life Teamwork Awards was Delta Sigma Omicron, a group for those interested in advocating for or working with individuals with disabilities.

The group’s “zumbathon” event, which raised money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, was named the year’s Outstanding Student Activity, with the event’s organizers, Amanda Klein and Jessica Lukas, both of Batavia, sharing Outstanding Organization Member honors for their efforts.

Also recognized was Nixa Del Real Robles, of Aurora, who earned Outstanding Organization Officer honors for the leadership she demonstrated as president of the college’s Latinos Unidos group.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

ISCC Inducts Randall, Honors Kish and Five WCC Student-Athletes

(Sugar Grove, IL.) — Former Waubonsee Community College Baseball Coach Dave Randall was inducted into Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) Hall of Fame at the league’s annual summer luncheon, held in Waubonsee’s Academic and Professional Center Event Room recently. In addition, the Chiefs’ Head Volleyball Coach Steve Kish was named the ISCC’s Female Sports Coach of the Year after leading his squad to Waubonsee’s first ever conference title, Region IV title and berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament last fall. An unprecedented five Waubonsee student-athletes were also honored as co-winners of the ISCC’s Dick Durrant Award for academic excellence. Softball player Abby Foulk, tennis players Joseph Runkle and Cara Lenhardt, volleyball player Shayna Tucek, and basketball player Payton Klaas were all recognized for their outstanding work in the classroom.

Randall guided Waubonsee’s baseball team to 895 career wins over 37 years before stepping aside after the 2014 season. He is second all-time among NJCAA Division III baseball coaches in career wins, and had the second longest active tenure in all of the NJCAA when he put down his clipboard. Despite being the only non-scholarship baseball program in the conference, Randall’s squads won six ISCC championships. He was named the ISCC Coach of the Year six times, while his teams also won six Region titles. Waubonsee was ranked in the top-15 nationally 20 times, and finished second (1996), seventh (2010), third (2013) and fourth (2014) at the NJCAA Division III World Series under Randall’s direction. He has served as the ISCC’s Baseball Chairman, the Region IV Code of Conduct Chairman, as an NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Committee member, the Region IV Baseball Chairman, and Director of the Region IV Junior College All-Star game over the last three decades. A Kaneland High School alumnus, Randall has worked as Waubonsee’s Athletic Manager since 1984, and was previously inducted into the Illinois Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2002) and the Region IV Hall of Fame (2005).

Kish, a graduate of Aurora East High School, led Waubonsee’s volleyball squad to an historic season. The Lady Chiefs captured the regular season ISCC title and the ISCC Tournament crown for the first time ever, going undefeated in the process. Kish’s crew then clinched the Region IV Division II District B title for the first time in school history to advance to the National Tournament for the first time ever. Kish was subsequently tabbed the Region IV Division II District B Volleyball Coach of the Year. Waubonsee finished the season 35-16 overall, tying the school mark for wins in a season set in 1994 and equaled in 2013. Along the way they received votes in the NJCAA Division II poll, placing in the nation’s top-25 for the first time in school history. In three seasons at the helm, Kish has led Waubonsee to 80 wins.

Since 1979 the ISCC’s Dick Durrant Award has been given annually to the male and female student-athletes in the conference who attain the highest grade point average after completing four semesters of college work, and at least 48 semester hours of credit. Waubonsee’s unprecedented group of five honorees brings the college’s tally of student-athlete to earn this award to 25 overall, with 20 having been female student/athletes. All five recipients, along with three other student-athletes in the conference, tied for the award by each earning a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average.

Foulk, a sophomore from Sycamore, was selected the ISCC’s Pitcher of the Year after helping lead the Lady Chiefs’ softball team to a fifth consecutive ISCC title, a Region IV runner-up finish and a 41-25 overall record. A Yorkville High School graduate, Runkle was the ISCC’s number six singles champion this past spring. Lenhardt, a Kaneland High School graduate, played at number three singles for the Lady Chiefs’ last two fall seasons. Also a graduate of Kaneland, Tucek was one of six sophomores who helped lead Waubonsee’s volleyball team to an unprecedented 70 wins the last two seasons. A Yorkville native, Klaas was a key reserve for both the volleyball and basketball team, which advanced to the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament for the first time ever and finished 11th in the nation.    

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Analyst Named to ICCB Advisory Group

Waubonsee Community College Career and Technical Education Grant Analyst, Dr. David Beer, has been asked to share his perspectives as part of an Illinois Community College Board Task Advisory Group focused on the new Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Illinois will have seven Task Advisory Groups providing local perspective and input regarding the implementation of WIOA, which was signed into law in July 2014 and which officially takes effect next month.

As part of his work with the group, Dr. Beer is currently reviewing four draft policies related to WIOA participant eligibility.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Adds to Its Student Art Collection

During the spring 2015 semester, Waubonsee Community College purchased 11 pieces of student-created artwork to display around its campuses. Through its Student Art Purchase Program, which started in fall 2006, the college has acquired a total of 206 pieces of original artwork.

This semester’s works came from Daniel Capobianco, of Geneva; Colton Christianson, of Batavia; Matt Diehl and Esther Espino, of Maple Park; Carissa Hartwig, Jasmine Landers, Jeremy Nixon and Lara Popowitch, of Aurora; Shari Katich-Rogers, of North Aurora; and Juan Montano, of Oswego.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Kendall County Clerk/Recorder Named Waubonsee Featured Alumnus

Kendall County Clerk and Recorder Debbie Gillette, of Yorkville, doesn’t necessarily consider herself a politician. Rather, she sees herself as an elected official, chosen to serve the people of the county. For the way she has served the area’s growing population through her oversight of county records and elections, Waubonsee Community College is proud to name Gillette the college’s Student Success: Featured Alumnus for June.

Gillette actually grew up in Kane County, Aurora specifically, and attended Aurora Central Catholic High School. Upon graduation, she found herself wanting to go to college without going far away.

“I was not quite ready for a big university,” Gillette said. “Waubonsee was a close, affordable, small school, and I could live at home.”

Gillette knew she wanted to major in accounting and took several accounting classes while at Waubonsee, earning her Associate in Science Degree from the college in 1990. She was then ready to transfer to Aurora University.

“Waubonsee was really helpful in working with me to make the transition and transfer my credits to AU,” Gillette said.

Gillette’s post-college life has been marked by more transitions. She first started her accounting career at the firm of Newkirk and Associates in Plano, before transitioning into life as a stay-at-home mom to two sons, Nick and Jack.

“I’ve always been active in the community, volunteering for schools and sports, running a family, and just doing the best job I can do,” Gillette said.

So in 2008, when a vacancy opened up in the Kendall County Clerk and Recorder’s office, a friend noted Gillette’s involvement and encouraged her to run.

“I didn’t want to always ask ‘what if,’ so I knew I at least had to try,” Gillette said.

She won that election and served out the remaining two years of that term. She has since been re-elected to two additional four-year terms in 2010 and in 2014.

As the recorder and clerk of the county, she oversees a staff of 11 people and is responsible for local property records, birth and death records, marriage licenses, county board documents and local elections.

“I really rely on my organizational and prioritization skills,” Gillette said. “Plus, we focus on customer service, being responsive to the needs of the citizens of the county and helping them get what they need.”

She is also quick to credit her staff, especially in light of the county’s explosive growth over the past decade.

“The staff has really kicked it up,” Gillette said. “They know that it’s on them and on me, so we all pitch in and work hard every day.”

And, of course, there’s the support of her kids and her husband Garrick.

“I really couldn’t do what I do without their support,” Gillette said.

And while it’s still early in her third term, it sounds like she wants to keep doing what she’s been doing for a while to come. “I’m up again in 2018, and I really love what I do,” Gillette said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

WCC Athletics Inducts four, honors 2014-2015 accomplishments

Waubonsee honors past and present student-athletes

Waubonsee Community College inducted four new members into the Chiefs’ Athletic Hall of Fame and honored its’ top student/athletes for 2014-2015 at the school’s annual Athletic Awards Banquet. Individual achievements as well as team accomplishments were recognized during the festive evening in the college’s Academic and Professional Center as student/athletes from throughout the Fox Valley area and beyond were honored.

The ninth-class of inductees to Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame included former Naperville Central graduate Scott Kawall, who earned Academic All-Conference honors while setting the Chiefs’ all-time record in career stolen bases as a baseball player in the mid-1980’s. The last two decades Kawall has worked as a mentor, counselor and administrator in higher education helping others find the right career path. Also honored was former women’s cross country runner Dr. Tara (Tormey) Parks, who was a two-time Skyway Conference Runner of the Year and a Distinguished NJCAA Academic All-American in the mid 1990’s. The Batavia High School graduate also earned All-Region honors twice and currently is a Podiatrist at the Boulder Medical Center in Colorado. Joining them was Aurora East graduate Alex Rodriguez, a two-time All-Conference and All-Region cross country runner on back-to-back conference championship teams. Rodriguez, a teacher and coach at Oswego High School, went on to place 19th at the NJCAA National Meet in 1996. In addition wrestler Omi Acosta, who was a two-time NJCAA All-American grappler and the 133-pound National Champion in 2010, was honored. Acosta, a native of Homestead, Florida, went on to win an NAIA National title as well and currently coaches at the United States Coast Guard Academy.    

Baseball player Jose Camacho was named the Male Athlete of the Year after leading the Chiefs in nine offensive categories on his way to being named to the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference First Team and All-Region IV First Team. The sophomore switch-hitter from Oswego batted .351 on the season and finished in the top-20 nationally in six offensive categories. Camacho drove in 47 runs and registered 54 hits, including 27 extra base hits which placed him seventh nationally among all NJCAA Division III players. He smacked a dozen doubles, five triples and 10 home runs, which placed him fifth nationally in most round-trippers. An Automotive Technology major, Camacho was also a key starter for Waubonsee as a freshman when the Chiefs finished fourth in the nation at the NJCAA Division III World Series.

Volleyball player Erin Bowe was voted the Female Athlete of the Year by Waubonsee’s coaches after she led Waubonsee to its first ever Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title, Region IV title and berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. The sophomore from Geneva was selected an NJCAA Division II Honorable Mention All-American, the first Waubonsee volleyball player to ever be named an NJCAA All-American. A Biological Sciences major, Bowe was a two-time All-ISCC and All-Region selection at outside hitter. The Rosary High School graduate led the Lady Chiefs in digs, aces, kills and points this past fall, finishing as one of the best volleyball players to ever suit up at Waubonsee. 

Men’s Tennis player Joseph Runkle was chosen as Waubonsee’s Most Improved Male Athlete. The Yorkville High School graduate won the Region IV Tournament’s number six singles title this spring. A Psychology major, Runkle finished the season with an unblemished record in singles play after rarely securing a victory his freshman year.

Kaneland High School graduate Sarah Grams was selected as the Most Improved Female Athlete by Waubonsee’s coaches. After playing sparingly off the bench her freshman year, Grams averaged 11.8 points per game and had a team-leading 84 three-point baskets for the Lady Chiefs’ basketball team. The 5’4” sophomore also averaged 3.4 assists, handing out 117 on the season. The Fitness Leadership major shot 40 percent from three-point range in ISCC play, and exceeded those numbers at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. Grams nailed seven treys, one short of the tournament record, in the Lady Chiefs’ opening game and connected on 13 of 27 (48 percent) attempts in Waubonsee’s three tournament games. 

Brett Assell, a Special Education major from Yorkville High School, was the recipient of the Vermilion and Gold Award. This award is given annually to the Waubonsee student/athlete who best exemplifies the true ‘heart and soul’ of Chiefs’ athletics. “Essentially someone who helps others and gets involved on campus,” describes Athletic Manager Dave Randall. A member of the Chiefs’ baseball squad, Assell helped at numerous Waubonsee sporting events throughout the year, was a lead member of Waubonsee’s Christian Athletes group, and assisted the women’s basketball team. On the baseball field this past spring the left-handed pitcher posted a 5.40 earned-run-average over 20 innings pitched after missing the first half of the season with an elbow injury.

Women’s Cross Country runner Amanda Lesak was tabbed as the S.T.A.R. Award recipient, given to the student/athlete that displayed a good work ethic, dedication to academics and achieved perfect attendance in Waubonsee’s athletic monitoring program. Lesak, an Occupational Therapy major, demonstrated these attributes and more while earning All-ISCC and All-Region status. The Kaneland High School graduate went on to finish 34th out of 274 athletes participating at the NJCAA Division I National Meet in Levelland, Texas.

Individuals achieving All-Conference, All-Region and Academic honors during the school year were recognized throughout the evening. Waubonsee coaches Steve Kish, Brad Schlemmer and Jim Sury were all recognized for leading their teams to Region titles and appearances at the NJCAA National Tournament. Team accomplishments were acknowledged including the Volleyball team, which won the ISCC title for the first time in school history. Women’s Softball was honored for winning the ISCC title for the fifth consecutive year, Women’s Basketball was recognized for capturing the Region title for the first time in school history, while the Women’s Soccer squad was praised for earning their way to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.    

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Signs Transfer Agreement with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) a nonprofit university, and one of the leading institutions devoted to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences, and Waubonsee Community College (WCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which allows all active Waubonsee students who meet admissions requirements to transfer to The Chicago School’s online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Completion Program. Eligible Waubonsee students transferring to The Chicago School are guaranteed general admission and will receive a 10 percent tuition discount. This is The Chicago School’s first transfer agreement with a community college in Illinois.

“We partnered with Waubonsee because its mission and vision align with ours,” said TCSPP President Michele Nealon-Woods, Psy.D. “Both our institutions strive to offer students a top-notch education, one that will help them be successful in today’s high-pressured, extremely competitive world. With its excellent academic programs and the value it places on diversity and accessibility, WCC makes a perfect partner.”

“We are dedicated to helping our students not only complete their associate degrees but also to transition to a four-year program,” said Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek. “Psychology continues to be a very popular undergraduate major, so we’re excited to enter into this new agreement with an institution like The Chicago School.”

Waubonsee Community College students who transfer to The Chicago School can receive up to 78 transfers of credit from The Chicago School. Students must have completed a minimum of 60 transferable semester units, or possess a conferred Associate of Arts or Science degree in a traditional academic area of study from a regionally accredited college or university, or possess a conferred Associate in Applied Science Degree in Human Services from Waubonsee.

The MOU between The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Waubonsee Community College will terminate in August 2017, but may be extended if agreed upon by both institutions.

For more information on the agreement, visit or call Waubonsee’s Counseling Department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2361.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee softball earns post-season honors

Coach Clark, 10 Lady Chiefs recognized for their outstanding season

The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA’s Region IV Softball Committee recently recognized Waubonsee Community College players for their outstanding play this past spring. Ten members of the Lady Chiefs’ program were honored by the ISCC after Waubonsee captured the league title for the fifth straight year. Abby Foulk was tabbed the ISCC Pitcher of the Year, while MacKenzie Brown, Abby Etheridge, Alora O’Malley Molk, Jessa Garcia and Bianca Schuler were all named to the All-ISCC First Team. A quartet of Lady Chiefs; Ashley Blocker, Courtney Thomas, Molly Jordan and Alex Wagner, were selected to the All-ISCC Second Team. Waubonsee head coach Perry Clark was tabbed the ISCC Softball Coach of the Year for the fifth straight time. In addition, Brown was chosen to the All-Region First Team and Etheridge was selected to the All-Region Second Team. 

Foulk, a sophomore pitcher from Sycamore, went 5-1 in conference play with a 3.40 earned-run-average over 35 innings pitched. The right-hander walked just seven batters while striking out 31 in ISCC action. On the season Foulk won 14 games while posting a 3.76 earned-run-average over 158 and a third innings in the circle.

Brown batted a sizzling .535 in ISCC play, garnering 23 hits in 43 at bats with a .674 slugging percentage. The Lady Chiefs’ sophomore catcher finished the season with a .459 batting average, 28 runs knocked in, 18 stolen bases, 54 runs scored and 79 hits. The Plano High School graduate was chosen as the NJCAA Division II Player of the Week for the beginning of May after batting .593 over Waubonsee’s seven games in the Region IV Tournament. Brown also registered a .950 fielding percentage while handling a majority of the catching duties over 66 games played.

Etheridge, a freshman outfielder from Oswego High School, batted a torrid .559 (19 of 34) with seven stolen bases in ISCC action. On the season she posted a .423 batting average with 24 runs batted in, 43 runs scored, 66 hits and 19 stolen bases in 20 attempts.

Molk finished as the runner up in the ISCC’s Player of the Year voting after hitting a blistering .568 in conference games. The Plainfield East High School graduate smacked 10 doubles, drove in 17 runs, scored 17 runs and had a .630 on-base percentage in ISCC play. On the season the sophomore batted .359 with 52 runs batted in, 43 runs scored and 66 hits. Included in that total was 21 doubles, which tied O’Malley Molk for 11th among all NJCAA Division II players in two-baggers. The Lady Chiefs’ third baseman also drew 24 walks, booked a .429 on-base percentage, stole 11 bases and finished with an even .500 slugging percentage.

Garcia, another Oswego High School graduate, batted .484 in ISCC action with a .564 on-base percentage and a .645 slugging percentage. Overall on the season the Lady Chiefs’ sophomore right fielder posted a .379 batting average with 44 runs knocked in, 41 runs scored and 50 hits. The left-handed hitter smacked 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs en route to compiling a .621 slugging percentage. Garcia finished with a .491 on-base percentage while drawing a team-leading 27 walks, which tied her for 20th nationally in that category.

A freshman from Joliet West High School, Schuler batted .483 in conference with a .621 slugging percentage. Overall the Lady Chiefs’ second baseman finished the season with a .282 batting average, 34 runs batted in, seven doubles, a triple and two home runs.

Blocker batted .357 with six stolen bases in ISCC games. On the season the Oswego High School graduate finished in the top-30 nationally in five offensive categories. The Lady Chiefs’ sophomore outfielder was third nationally in at bats with 208, tied for 11th with six triples, tied for 13th with 84 hits, tied for 15th with 64 runs scored and tied for 29th with 25 stolen bases. Overall Blocker batted .404 with 25 runs driven in from the lead-off spot in Waubonsee’s line-up.

Thomas, a sophomore from Yorkville High School, hit .381 in conference play with a .571 slugging percentage. The Lady Chiefs’ shortstop finished the season with a .326 batting average, 35 runs knocked in, 40 runs scored, 59 hits, 14 doubles, three triples and a dozen stolen bases.

Jordan batted .410 in conference action with a .615 slugging percentage. The Aurora West High School graduate finished the season with a .323 batting average to go along with 47 runs batted in, 39 runs scored, 54 hits and 24 walks. The Lady Chiefs’ first baseman also drilled 11 doubles and was second on the team with six home runs.

Wagner, also an Oswego High School graduate, went 5-0 with a save and 2.55 earned-run-average in ISCC play. The right-handed pitcher walked just two batters in 33 conference innings. On the season the freshman won 16 games in the circle, compiling a 3.90 earned-run-average while also earning three saves along the way. Wagner tossed 161 and a third innings to rank 22nd nationally among all NJCAA Division II hurlers. In addition she walked only 40 batters this spring, to rank eighth nationally in least walks allowed among pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched.

Clark, in his eighth season as Waubonsee’s head coach and 18th with the program, guided the squad to their fifth consecutive ISCC title and sixth crown overall. The Lady Chiefs went 13-1 in league play this spring and have gone 59-5 over the last five seasons in conference action. During his eight-year tenure the Oswego High School alumnus has led Waubonsee to 223 wins and three Region IV runner-up finishes, averaging nearly 28 wins per season.  

 Waubonsee finished the season 41-25 overall, coming within three outs of advancing to the NJCAA Division II World Series before Sauk Valley Community College rallied for a 5-4 win in the Region IV Championship game. The Lady Chiefs finished in the top-20 nationally in eight offensive categories. Waubonsee led all NJCAA Division II teams with 238 walks, and was sixth in total runs scored (445), hits (605) and runs batted in (387). The squad tied for 10th nationally in triples (19), was 12th in doubles (103), 16th in stolen bases (102) and 17th in extra base hits (149).

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Camacho Headlines Chiefs' Post-Season Awards

Five Chiefs' Baseball Players Honored

Waubonsee Community College had five baseball players recognized by the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA’s Region IV Committee for their performances this past spring on the field. Oswego High School graduate Jose Camacho headlined the group as he was named All-ISCC First Team and All-Region First Team. Outfielder Bailey Watros was selected to the All-ISCC Second Team and All-Region Second Team, while the trio of Connor Meehan, Patrick Killelea and Zach Adrian were each chosen to the All-ISCC Second Team.  

Camacho, a sophomore switch-hitter, batted .386 in conference play. Overall on the season the Chiefs’ shortstop led the team in nine offensive categories and finished in the top-20 nationally in six offensive categories. Camacho posted a team-leading .351 batting average and 47 runs batted in, to tie for 16th nationally among all NJCAA Division III players. In 154 at bats he registered 54 hits, including 27 extra base hits which placed him seventh nationally. Included in that total was a dozen doubles, five triples and 10 home runs, which tied him for fourth in three-baggers and fifth in round-trippers nationally. He compiled 106 total bases to place him ninth nationally in that category, while his .688 slugging percentage was 14th nationally.

Watros, a Sandwich High School graduate, batted .341 in conference action. Overall the Chiefs’ leadoff man batted .333 on the season, with a team-leading .439 on-base percentage. The freshman was tied for fourth nationally in triples with five, tied for 18th in walks with 25 drawn, and was 24th with 44 runs scored. Watros also made only two errors in centerfield all spring, finishing with .980 fielding percentage.

Meehan finished with a .429 batting average over 14 ISCC games. The Aurora West High School graduate finished the season with a .296 batting average and 16 runs knocked in over 108 at bats.

Killelea, a third baseman from Ottawa Marquette High School, batted a blistering .476 in conference contests. Overall on the season the freshman batted .322 with 28 runs batted in. The right-handed hitter smacked 49 hits, including eight doubles and a triple, while scoring 25 runs.  

A freshman from Davenport, Iowa’s Assumption High School, Adrian compiled a .366 batting average in ISCC play. On the season he batted .290 with 18 runs driven in and eight doubles. The Chiefs’ catcher finished tied for ninth nationally by reaching base 13 times via hit-by-pitch.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Sury selected IBCA Juco Coach of the Year

WCC's Sury, Krueger honored by IBCA

Waubonsee Community College’s women’s basketball head coach Jim Sury was recently honored at the 43rd Annual Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame Banquet at Illinois State University’s Bone Center. Sury was named the Junior College Women’s Coach of the Year after leading his undersized squad to the program’s first ever Region IV Championship and first ever berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. In his first season at the helm, Sury guided unranked Waubonsee (21-14) to an 11th place finish in the nation.   

A resident of St. Charles, Sury was the women’s assistant coach the previous three seasons at Waubonsee. Prior to that he served as an assistant to Waubonsee’s Men’s program for three years, helping direct the Chiefs to two Region IV titles and a pair of NJCAA Division II National Tournament appearances. Sury has also spent time as a boys’ varsity assistant coach of both basketball and baseball at Marmion Academy, where he serves on the Cadets’ Alumni Board.

A sell-out crowd of over 1,200 attended the IBCA’s gala event, which included several big name players and coaches with ties to Illinois basketball. In addition to recognizing the Coaches of the Year for junior high, high school and college levels, other events included the presentation of the state’s Mr. & Ms. Basketball award, as well as Hall of Fame inductions for players, coaches, media, and Friends of Basketball.

Among those honorees was long-time Comcast announcer and current Waubonsee play-by-play broadcaster Mark Krueger. The North Central College graduate and Aurora resident has broadcast prep and collegiate sports in Chicagoland for the last 25 years, including Chiefs’ basketball on Waubonsee’s Educational Television station.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

More Than 1,000 Graduates Receive Degrees from Waubonsee

In a ceremony at Aurora’s historic Paramount Theatre on May 21, Waubonsee Community College awarded degrees to 1,035 graduates.

This number represents December 2014 graduates, along with May and August 2015 candidates.

Included in the total are 788 transfer-oriented associate degrees, 229 Associate in Applied Science degrees (in 30 different career areas), 42 Associate in General Studies degrees, one degree focused on fine arts and three degrees focused on engineering.

Delivering the commencement address was Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd.

Since its first graduating class in 1968, Waubonsee has conferred 21,716 degrees to local students.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Honors Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Waubonsee Community College inducted four new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame during the college’s annual Athletic Banquet on May 7. Omi Acosta, Scott Walter Kawall, Dr. Tara (Tormey) Parks and Alex Rodriguez were chosen to form the ninth class of the Waubonsee Athletic Hall of Fame for their involvement in sports, dedication to Waubonsee, athletic successes, and contributions to the community or career accomplishments earned after leaving Waubonsee.

“We are proud to recognize the success of our student-athletes, as well as the coaches, administrators and community supporters who helped to foster that success,” Waubonsee Athletic Manager Dave Randall said. “Waubonsee athletics has a rich history in contributing to the total development of our students and to the campus community as a whole.”

Omi Acosta was a stand-out wrestler for the Chiefs, finishing fifth in the NJCAA National Tournament and earning All-American status as a freshman in 2008-09. He only improved his sophomore year, winning the National Title, leading the Chiefs to a fourth place finish in the nation among Division III teams and being named Waubonsee’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Acosta went on to Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he had similar success, winning the National Title his senior year and leading the school to its first ever NAIA National Championship. He now serves as an assistant wrestling coach for the United States Coast Guard Academy while pursuing his master’s degree in sports science at Ohio University.

Scott Kawall played baseball for the Chiefs from 1985-87, and during that time, he earned a reputation for and broke records with his speed on the base paths. In his sophomore year he led Region IV with 51 stolen bases, a Waubonsee record that stood until 2013. Kawall still holds the Chiefs’ records for most career stolen bases and walks.

He attended the University of San Diego on a baseball scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree there in 1992 before going on to earn a master’s degree in adult and continuing education from Northern Illinois University. Over the past two decades, Kawall has built a career in educational advising and admissions work, currently serving as the College Director at ITT Technical Institute.

A cross-country runner, Dr. Tara (Tormey) Parks was the consummate student-athlete, excelling both in the classroom and on the trail. Attending Waubonsee as a Gustafson Scholar, she took first place at the Skyway Conference meet and was named the conference’s Runner of the Year as a freshman. She repeated as conference champ the following year and went on to finish 40th in the nation, being named Waubonsee’s 1996-97 Female Athlete of the Year and earning Academic All-American honors in the process.

She transferred on to Southern Illinois University, where she ran cross-country and earned her bachelor’s degree in physiology. Having earned a doctorate at the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at the Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Parks now serves as the foot and ankle specialist in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at the Boulder Medical Center in Colorado.

Just as Parks was leading Waubonsee’s female cross-country teams from 1995 to 1997, Alex Rodriguez was leading the men’s teams. After taking All-Skyway honors his freshman year, Rodriguez went on to become the Skyway Conference champion, the league’s Runner of the Year, Region IV champion and Waubonsee’s Male Athlete of the Year his sophomore season.

Like Parks, Rodriguez went on to run at Southern Illinois University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology. Rodriguez also holds a master’s degree in workforce education, and has taught automotive, metals and welding at Oswego High School for the past 13 years. He has also coached cross country and track at the high school.

The Waubonsee Athletic Hall of Fame honors former Waubonsee administrators, faculty and staff; athletes; coaches; community supporters; and specific teams who are five years removed from their involvement with Waubonsee athletics.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Auto Body Repair Professor Named Outstanding Faculty

For the past several years, Waubonsee Community College’s Auto Body Repair Program and its students have received a variety of awards and accolades, including the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) Makeover Grant and several first-place finishes in SkillsUSA competitions. And this month, the man behind the program, Assistant Professor of Auto Body Repair Andy MacDonald, of Plano, is receiving an honor of his own in the form of the college’s 2015 Outstanding Faculty Member Award.

Like all Waubonsee faculty members, MacDonald measures his success by the success of his students, which has been impressive since he joined the college on a full-time basis in 2007. Over the years, MacDonald’s students have earned 17 top-three finishes in state-level SkillsUSA contests, along with five top-10 finishes at the national level, including two national champions.

“Placing in these contests provides students an opportunity to build a portfolio for employers, increase their self-confidence and receive another level of evaluation of their work,” MacDonald said.

Waubonsee auto body student Jose Martinez-Joya, who was the 2014 SkillsUSA National Champion and who will graduate this year, is quick to credit MacDonald for his success. “[MacDonald] is a great, great person and very experienced,” Martinez-Joya said. “He really knows his stuff and can teach it to others.”

What MacDonald strives to teach is all-encompassing. “My lesson plans and classroom instruction require students to become critical thinkers using logic to problem-solve, to work on projects alone and with a team, learn from their mistakes, and integrate soft skills with hard skills every day,” MacDonald said.

Of course those hard skills in auto body repair are essential, and it’s essential that they’re up to date in a field that’s constantly changing. To that end, MacDonald dedicates himself, his students and the entire program to continual professional development efforts. MacDonald routinely hosts Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) professional development courses in the Sugar Grove auto body shop, which offers him and his students a convenient way to keep up with the latest industry trends. Students graduate from Waubonsee’s program with several industry-recognized credentials, including an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certificate, and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety and pollution certificate. They also have the opportunity to earn several Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.

In 2011, the program received accreditation from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

As with many career and technical education programs, it isn’t just the culture of the program that drives success but also the quality of its equipment and facilities, and those have been a passion of MacDonald’s since he arrived at Waubonsee. He has spearheaded several improvements, including the introduction of a solvent recycler, the development of an inventory system, and the addition of a computer lab since technology skills have become a requirement of the field.

MacDonald was also instrumental in the college applying for and receiving a prestigious $50,000 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant from the Collision Repair Education Foundation in 2013. The grant dollars were used to install a new, modern automotive paint spray booth at the Sugar Grove shop.

“The shop is so important to instruction because for one semester each academic year, it operates like a business,” MacDonald said. “We take in cars for minor repairs, and the students do the work, learning how to manage time, estimate and job cost. In this way, students graduate having done real work on cars with real problems.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

80-Year-Old Waubonsee Student Epitomizes Lifelong Learning

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” If that’s the case, 80-year-old Loretta Parker, of Aurora, is one of Waubonsee Community College’s youngest students. For the way in which Parker has re-entered higher education with determination, tackled new technology with tenacity, and set an inspirational example for her fellow students, faculty and staff alike, Waubonsee is proud to name her the college’s Student Success: Featured Student for May.

“As long as my mind is alert and my body is able, what’s to keep me from doing what I want to do?” asked Parker.

And what she wanted to do after losing her husband in 2013 was to remain active and learn how to use a computer, a machine she had previously only been using to keep track of his medical appointments and instructions. She called Waubonsee, and after learning a little more decided, “if I was going to learn to use the computer, I figured I may as well get a piece of paper when I’m all done.”

Parker’s new goal became to earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Administrative Office Systems. And when she walks across the Paramount Theatre’s stage on May 21 to officially receive that piece of paper, it won’t be her first. She already holds an associate degree from Waubonsee, which she earned in 1983, as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from what was then Aurora College, now Aurora University.

But the college experience was a bit different this time around for Parker, starting with the dress code.

“Casual is the word,” Parker said, speaking of her younger classmates. “I have seen more flip-flops than I could have imagined in a lifetime.”

And of course the modes of learning and the technology used have changed as well. “This is the 21st century,” Parker said. “There is no textbook, there is a computer. I don’t turn in an actual paper, I submit it on a computer.”

While all this didn’t make Parker rethink her decision, it did cause some doubts.

“When Loretta came to us last year, she was worried she would not be able to succeed,” said Steven Skaggs, Professor of Business and Information Systems at Waubonsee. “Her worries were unfounded as she demonstrated tremendous courage, determination and perseverance in overcoming every obstacle in her path. She is one of the brightest students I’ve ever had in my class.”

Parker sums up her determination in her own words thusly: “I never give up on anything. Everything that comes up, I go ahead and try it. I won’t say I can’t do something, only that I haven’t done it yet.”

Of course, she also knows she hasn’t done all this alone and is quick to give credit to a variety of faculty, including Steven Skaggs and Dave Easton, Associate Professor of Information Systems, as well as other academic coaches, tutors and Waubonsee staff members.

“I would tell everybody to not be afraid to ask for help,” Parker said. “I haven’t met anyone yet at Waubonsee who was too busy to help or who told me it wasn’t their job.”

And for all those who have helped Parker, they’ve gotten something in return.

“I am inspired [by Loretta],” said Susan Merriman, Writing Tutor at Waubonsee. “At her age, she runs circles around the rest of us and with such grace and gratitude for our help at the Tutoring Center. She is a remarkable woman, student and truly a leader!”

Parker also inspires and helps her fellow students.

“As a student, Loretta is dedicated and always strives for excellence,” said Academic Coach Melanie Vidlak. “She is more than willing to lend other students a hand and has ample wisdom to share because of both her new-found knowledge and her many life experiences.”

And if Parker has anything to say about it, those life experiences will just keep piling up. While she admits she’ll take about a month after graduation to just sit and relax, she’s already making plans to attend the college’s Kendall County Job/Resource Fair in June.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Online Training for Adult Literacy Tutors Available in June

Waubonsee Community College’s Adult Literacy Project is seeking volunteers to tutor adult students in reading, writing and speaking English. All training and materials are free.

An online volunteer tutor training program will be available throughout the month of June. The flexible, individually-paced curriculum includes readings and responses, and takes approximately eight to 10 hours to complete.

Participants will also attend an in-person training session at the college’s Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St. A session is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., although alternative dates will be available.

Prospective tutors must complete all training before working with adult learners individually or in a classroom environment.

Tutor applications are available online at or by calling (630) 801-7900, ext. 4221.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Deadline Extended for Waubonsee Distinguished Contributor and Alumnus Awards

Nominations are still being sought for Waubonsee Community College’s 2015 Distinguished Contributor and Distinguished Alumnus awards. Nominations must be received by Friday, June 26, and should be submitted to Kim Caponi, Waubonsee’s Senior Executive to the President, by emailing   

The Distinguished Contributor Award annually honors an individual, group of individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions or given exemplary support to Waubonsee Community College. The nominee has supported the general operation of the college in either a personal or professional capacity that has contributed to the overall growth and expansion of the college’s mission. The nominee’s commitment has enhanced a program, the operation and/or future development of the college that went beyond the ordinary, and such results would not have occurred without that special effort. The college staff, community residents and officials or community college leaders must also recognize the person as having made an extraordinary commitment to promote the college and its mission. Current employees of Waubonsee Community College are not eligible to receive this award.

Download the Distinguished Contributor Nomination Form (pdf). 

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is an award for outstanding graduates of Waubonsee Community College. It honors an associate degree graduate who has documented evidence of a distinguished record in his/her chosen profession and/or occupation; documented evidence of contributions and service to their community; and have demonstrated a continued interest in lifelong education. Current employees of Waubonsee Community College are not eligible to receive this award.      

Download the Distinguished Alumnus Nomination Form (pdf). 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Dedicates Field House, Celebrates 2020 Plan Completion

Throughout its history, Waubonsee Community College has made a habit of celebrating achievements.

Tuesday, the college celebrated yet again, as a collection of dignitaries, friends and supporters gathered to mark the completion of Waubonsee’s 2020 College Master Plan and to dedicate the final pieces of that plan, Waubonsee’s new Field House and renovated Erickson Hall.

“I am proud to be here today to celebrate this new building, and all the new buildings of the 2020 College Master Plan,” said Richard “Shorty” Dickson, Chairman of the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees, during Tuesday afternoon’s event. “These projects have allowed Waubonsee to greatly improve and expand our educational programs and services.”

Launched 14 years ago with the support of voters in referendums in 2002 and 2003, the 2020 College Master Plan has reshaped the college, adding an abundance of new classrooms, labs and learning spaces, and has positioned Waubonsee to respond to the needs of its communities in 2020 and beyond.

From 2005-2011, Waubonsee opened a new building or new campus nearly every year, beginning with the Campus Operations building on the north side of the Sugar Grove Campus in 2005.

From 2006-2009, the college opened its new Science Building, Academic and Professional Center and Student Center on the Sugar Grove Campus.

In 2010 and 2011, Waubonsee opened its new campuses in Plano and downtown Aurora.

When the Field House/Erickson Hall facility opened to students earlier this month, it marked the completion of the 2020 College Master Plan, both on budget and ahead of schedule.

Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek noted, since 2001, the population within Waubonsee’s district has increased 41 percent and today, Waubonsee serves more than 32,000 students, including nearly 2,000 students who earned degrees and certificates in 2014 alone.

Dr. Sobek thanked the college’s board of trustees; hundreds of volunteers through the “Friends of Waubonsee” organization who helped educate voters and foster the positive community response to the 2002 and 2003 referendums; and hundreds more faculty, staff and students who gave of themselves to support the 2020 College Master Plan.

“I am thrilled to be here today to celebrate the official completion of the 2020 College Master Plan,” Dr. Sobek said. “It’s been a wonderful 14 year journey, and I again extend my heartfelt thanks to all who helped make our dream become a reality.”

Dr. Sobek said the Field House stands as a worthy capstone of the 2020 College Master Plan.

“The same teamwork that brought the 2020 buildings to life will be reflected inside the walls of our new Field House and renovated Erickson Hall, as the college’s 13 teams and individual athletes practice, train and compete here,” Dr. Sobek said. “They look to carry on the Chiefs’ winning tradition, which now spans almost half-a-century.”   

Offering three indoor courts, a suspended running track and a fitness/dance studio, among other amenities, the Field House offers Waubonsee students and athletes almost 60,000 square feet of additional space to practice, train and exercise.

At the same time, the college rededicated Erickson Hall, Waubonsee’s longstanding gymnasium and athletic facility, to which the Field House is attached. While the Field House was under construction, beginning in November 2013, Erickson Hall also underwent extensive renovations as part of the $19 million project. Renovations included the expansion and upgrade of a dedicated athletic team workout room, improved locker rooms and a remodeled athletic study hall room.

Erickson Hall continues to serve as Waubonsee’s competition gymnasium, with bleacher seating capacity for 800 people.

The Field House/Erickson Hall complex offers a seamless, first-class facility to support Waubonsee’s athletics programs, credit and noncredit physical education, wellness instruction and general recreation.

Dr. Deborah Lovingood, Waubonsee’s Executive Vice President of Educational Affairs and Chief Learning Officer, said the Field House project is a result of the work of “a talented team of Waubonsee coaches, faculty, staff and students.”

“Because of their teamwork, our students and community members have this beautiful new facility in which to gather, train, learn and play,” Dr. Lovingood said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College