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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

Dunham Fund Establishes Scholarship to Honor Waubonsee Administrator

In honor of a career of public service in higher education, the Aurora-based Dunham Fund of Advisors has established the $50,000 Dr. Bill and Mary Marzano Endowed Scholarship with the Waubonsee Community College Foundation.

William Marzano, Assistant Vice President of Transfer and Developmental Education, has worked at Waubonsee for 15 years and retires this month. The scholarship will first be available to students in the 2017-2018 academic year, and will be for new or returning education majors with a preference for students who are interested in pursuing a career in post-secondary education.

Bob Vaughan, executive director of the Dunham Fund, said he and his colleagues were introduced to Marzano in February 2007, when they embarked with Waubonsee on their first-ever Dunham Fund grant, for the Dunham Early College Academy.

“It became very apparent to us that students always came first to (Marzano) and he was a strong advocate for their success,” Vaughan said. “When we heard he was retiring, we felt that this was a good way to pay tribute to that.”

The scholarship was a surprise to Marzano, who learned about it during a presentation at his retirement reception this month.

“I was completely surprised and amazed at the announcement,” Marzano said. “Of course, I can only humbly accept this honor in appreciation of all the wonderful colleagues who supported me in what I tried to contribute. Also, my wife Mary and I are overjoyed to know that Waubonsee students will benefit from this scholarship in years to come.”

Vaughan said this was a good way for the Dunham Fund to pay it forward to Marzano, because he “has always been great for the entire community and most importantly to us, the students.”

The Dunham Fund was established by John C. Dunham in 1996 and awards grants to organizations that encourage innovation and collaboration in educational and community development programs and projects to effect positive change in the Aurora area.

Marzano has worked at Waubonsee since 2000, holding various positions, including as Associate Dean for Continuing and Professional Education; Dean for Communications, Humanities and Fine Arts; Assistant Vice President of Community Development; and Dean for Social Sciences, Education and World Languages. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the Business and Career Technologies Division since 2006.

Marzano began his career in higher education in 1973, serving as a Psychology Instructor at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, before heading into the private sector from 1985-2000 to help manage the family printing company Solar Communications in Naperville.

Marzano holds a Doctor of Education in Post Secondary Curriculum and Instruction from Illinois State University; a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois; a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northern Illinois University; and an Associate in Arts and Science from Morton College.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Nominations being accepted for Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame

HOF Nominations being accepted until February 1

Waubonsee Community College is accepting applications for the Chiefs’ Athletic Hall of Fame. Inductees will be honored at the school’s year-ending Athletic Banquet on May 12, 2016. Individuals or groups can be nominated for induction. Nomination forms are available online or through Waubonsee’s Athletic Office on the college’s Sugar Grove Campus. Nominations can be submitted until Feb. 1, 2016.

Inductees will then be determined by a selection committee representing Waubonsee’s staff, administration and former Waubonsee student-athletes. Nominated athletes must be five years removed from competing for Waubonsee. Nominees will fall into one of five categories: administrators, faculty and staff; athletes; coaches; community supporters; and specific teams. Criteria for induction varies based on the category of nominee, but includes involvement in sports, dedication to Waubonsee, athletic successes, years at Waubonsee, and contributions to the community or career accomplishments earned after leaving Waubonsee. Hall of Fame selections will be announced the week of April 4, 2016. For more information, please contact the Waubonsee Athletic Department at 630-466-2524.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Community Education Wins International Award

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education Department received the International Award in the Best Programming category during the recent Learning Resources Network conference in New Orleans.

The award was given for the department’s Unique Local Experiences programming, which provides memorable things to do hosted by local experts.

Doug Grier, Dean for Community Education, and Lisa Inostroza, Community Education Program Developer, attended the conference to accept the award.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Art Instructors’ Work Featured

Waubonsee Community College art instructors have been busy offering their expertise and showing their art throughout the Chicago area.

Waubonsee Adjunct Art Instructor John Steck Jr. was selected as an Artist in Residence for this year’s HATCH Projects, a year-long juried incubator for contemporary Chicago artists and curators.

Adjunct Art Instructor Julie Weber’s work will be included in the culminating exhibition that is part of her residency with the Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects. Her work was also featured in a few recent publications: LVL3 Media and ArtAscent. Her work was curated into Rafael E. Vera’s solo show Mutual Dealings at Bert Green Fine Art in Chicago. She also curated the exhibition Fluid Method that will run through Jan. 4.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Jazz Band Members Receive Skyway Recognitions

Waubonsee Community College Jazz Band members received recognition during the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Jazz Festival.

Waubonsee students received the following recognitions: Rachel Plasch, vocalist, outstanding soloist; Roland Schuetz, alto saxophone; Miguel Chavez, trumpet; and Mike Perrino, drums/percussion; honorable mention.

“The Waubonsee Jazz Ensemble played very well at the Skyway Jazz Festival,” said Terrence Peeples, Waubonsee Music Instructor. “I was proud as the new director of this fine ensemble.”

The event was hosted by Prairie State College on November 15.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Awarded in Writing Competition

Waubonsee Community College students recently participated in the Skyway Writers Competition and Festival at Moraine Valley Community College.

During the event, Waubonsee student Lenora Murphy took second place in the drama category for her play, “For Nicole.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Math Instructor Honored

Waubonsee Community College Math Instructor Christopher Cunningham won first place at the Faculty Math League during the annual conference of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

The conference took place in New Orleans last month. During it, Cunningham also led the Midwest Region Faculty Team to a first place win in the national contest.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Geology Students Awarded at National Conference

Two Waubonsee Community College geology students were among 115 nationwide to receive a competitive scholarship to attend their first geology conference, the 2015 Geological Society of America Annual meeting in Baltimore.

During the conference – held in November – Waubonsee students Garnet Flora-Holmquist and Leticia Lopez were able to network with more than 7,000 geoscientists from 58 countries.

“It is clear that the many presentations they attended and contacts that they made by attending this first conference solidified their interest in the geosciences as a career, as well as to help guide them to their specific geoscience disciplines,” said David Voorhees, Waubonsee Associate Professor of Earth Science/Geology.

The students received the scholarship through the “On to the Future” program sponsored by the Geological Society of America, which strives to build a diverse geoscience community by engaging groups traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences. The program brought 115 undergraduate students to the conference, and sponsored networking.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Auto Body Students Hold Annual Competition

Waubonsee Community College students recently competed against each other in the college’s annual Auto Body Refinishing Competition.

The event was started eight years ago by Andrew MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Auto Body Repair, as a fun way to gauge the full refinishing potential of the students.

This year, finishing in first, second and third place were Javier Resendiz, Maria Newkirk and John Cisneros respectively.

“They refinish these front ends 12 to 15 times,” MacDonald said, explaining that the competition is a lot of work. “This is a way to get them to do their very best. The competition is based on their skills of applying the color evenly and to work to remove any imperfections in the painted surface after it has been refinished.”

Judges for the competition were Patrick Phillipi, Vice President of Body Builders Auto; Dr. Deborah Lovingood, Waubonsee Executive Vice President of Educational Affairs/Chief Learning Officer; Janet Koehring, Administrative Specialist Social Sciences, Education and World Languages; Kerri Wilson, Administrative Specialist Mathematics and Sciences; and Sarah Dwinnells, Administrative Specialist to the Assistant Vice President of Career and Technical Education.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Grant Will Help Temporary Workers

Waubonsee Community College’s Workforce Development Division will offer a free workplace safety seminar on Dec. 15 for employers about keeping temporary workers safe. “Playing it Safe: What Every Staffing Agency Needs to Know about OSHA Regulations,” will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Aurora Campus, Room 160. The seminar will go over the increased safety risks faced by temporary workers, liability of staffing agencies to ensure the safety and health of temporary workers and information about Waubonsee’s OSHA-funded Basic Safety Training program.

The training is made possible because Waubonsee has again received the U.S. Department of Labor’s Susan Harwood Training Grant to provide training to temporary workers. Waubonsee officials will use the $107,525 grant to help employers provide health and safety training for the region’s exceptional number of temporary workers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded a total of $10.5 million in one-year federal safety and health training grants to 80 nonprofits across the nation. The grants are to provide education and training programs to help high-risk workers and their employers recognize workplace hazards, implement injury prevention measures and understand rights and responsibilities. Waubonsee is one of only 26 recipients to receive the grant as a follow-up to the 2014 grant cycle, awarded for demonstrating an ability to provide services.

“Faced with a rebounding yet fragile economy, employers are increasingly turning to temporary help to fill a labor force gap,” said Cheryl Gray, Waubonsee Workforce Development Grant Writer. She stated that in Kane and Kendall Counties during 2014, the number of temporary jobs exceeded the national average by 267 percent. She added that during 2011-2015, the region’s temporary services industry grew by 72 percent, compared to growth across the country, which averaged 24 percent.

The primary goal of the grant is to reduce workplace risks for temporary workers by increasing their safety knowledge. Training topics include worker rights under OSHA, lockout/tagout, machine guarding, hazard communications, materials handling, ergonomics, respiratory protection, electrical safety, means of egress, powered industrial trucks and fire safety. Training will be provided in English and in Spanish. Free seminar tickets for the Dec. 15 training session are available at or by calling (630) 906-4132.

“The training that we have accomplished and the fact that we are the only ones in the country doing it, that’s something Waubonsee can be proud of,” said Lesa Norris, Waubonsee Dean for Workforce Development.

Norris said that there are nearly 300 staffing agencies in the five counties that Waubonsee serves.

“We don’t take that for granted in this region,” Norris said. “The fact that Waubonsee jumped on it right away and got this grant shows that. This year we are the only college in the state who received these funds.” 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Honored with Ted Brattin Civic Youth Award

Waubonsee student Christian Urrea, of Aurora, received a Ted Brattin Civic Youth Award from the Rotary Club of Aurora. The annual awards recognize Fox Valley youth ages 14 to 19 who have shown qualities of citizenship, service and leadership in their school, church or community. The luncheon and award are sponsored by Aurora Rotary, the Aurora Navy League and Aurora University.

Urrea was nominated by Meg Junk, Waubonsee Student Life Specialist. In her nominating letter, Junk said she met Urrea during his orientation at Waubonsee and was immediately impressed. Describing his “compassionate nature,” Junk said Urrea has seized every opportunity to give back on campus and in the community.

“As the Student Life Specialist, I also work with leadership opportunities and civic engagement events and I see Christian’s name on almost every roster,” she wrote. “He is in search of ways to improve himself and truly passionate about opportunities to make a difference in the community.”

A first-year student at Waubonsee, Urrea has amassed an impressive list of community involvement and leadership positions throughout his life, including volunteer leadership positions within Bridging the Gap of East Aurora Snowball and membership in six high school organizations. At Waubonsee, he wasted no time joining campus groups including the Campus Activities Board, Latinos Unidos and by volunteering in service activities.

Urrea and other honorees received a scholarship and certificate of recognition during a ceremony at the annual Pearl Harbor Day Luncheon on Dec. 7 at Gaslight Manor in Aurora.

“All of the volunteer work I’ve done with my school and community, along with the events that I have been a part of over the past few years of my life, have helped shape me into the leader I am today,” Urrea said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Honors Biology as Student Success: Featured Program

Biology, or the study of life, may date back centuries, but that doesn’t keep the Biology Department at Waubonsee Community College from being a model of innovation. For their commitment to working together, implementing technology in the classroom and collaborating with community partners, Waubonsee is pleased to recognize the faculty and staff of the Biology Department as this month’s Student Success: Featured Program.

The department’s full-time faculty and adjunct faculty work together as a team, a commitment that benefits students greatly. To that end, the department created a manual for adjunct faculty that outlines exams, labs and procedures. Adjunct instructors are given professional development on the use of cadavers once per semester, and a shadowing program allows instructors to observe a full-time faculty member in the classroom. Faculty and instructors work together to create common assessments such as embedded exam questions.

This collaborative spirit for the good of students has not gone unnoticed across campus and among colleagues in the field.

“This department has a cohesiveness that others admire and emulate,” said Mary Edith Butler, Waubonsee Dean for Mathematics and Sciences. “The full-time faculty work constantly with the adjuncts to ensure a high level of consistent, quality instruction. This biology faculty makes student success the priority in everything they do.”

The department dates back to the very beginning of Waubonsee Community College: Biology classes were among the first offered when Waubonsee opened in 1967. That year, General Botany and Introduction to Biology were offered, and by the following year, an associate degree in biology was offered with classes in topics like botany, plant taxonomy, zoology, biology and human physiology. Today, the department offers about 135 course sections each semester.

When it comes to implementing technology meaningfully in the classroom, the Biology Department is often at the forefront: They were one of the first disciplines at Waubonsee to implement a “flipped classroom” format, which is where instruction is given before the class meets via online lectures and material, and actual class time is devoted to experiments and hands-on learning. Students use tablets, laptops and apps for research and virtual interactive lessons.

The Biology Department has a strong presence in the community, thanks to a variety of efforts to engage partners and colleagues and to foster a spirit of curiosity about science. To that end, the department offers tours and demonstrations of cadaver labs to area high school students, gives public presentations about topics of interest via the Asset Earth series, presents in high school classrooms and participates in college readiness initiatives.

Above all, the department is celebrated for their commitment to student success. Biology faculty members mentor and coach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students through activities including the Skyway STEM poster contest, Women in STEM workshops, and in weekly meetings. The department was the first to offer students a chance for supplemental instruction, and is known for offering field trips and other hands-on experiences. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Board Appoints Jimmie Delgado to Finish Pilmer Term

The Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees has appointed Jimmie Delgado to replace former trustee James Pilmer, who recently resigned upon accepting a new position as the executive director of the Fox Valley Park District. Delgado will finish the rest of Pilmer’s term, which ends in 2017.

Delgado is currently the controller at Fox Metro Water Reclamation District in Oswego, and has more than 12 years of experience as an accountant. He is an MBA candidate at Aurora University with an expected graduation in May 2016.

Delgado’s ties to Waubonsee began as an undergraduate. He graduated from Oswego High School and enrolled at Waubonsee after receiving a Lucile Gustafson Scholarship. In addition to volunteer service as part of the Gustafson Scholarship program, Delgado served as a peer tutor, Student Senate secretary and as Student Trustee during the 2002-2003 academic year. He graduated from Waubonsee in 2003 and was named one of the college’s “Fab 40” in 2006.

After graduating from Waubonsee, Delgado enrolled at Aurora University(AU), where he was awarded the Dunham Scholarship and continued his community service activities through this scholarship program. He was president of Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society at AU and a founding member of the university’s chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society. He also received AU’s Senior Award, which is especially noteworthy because the award is given to the student who made the greatest contribution to his or her class over their four years. Delgado only attended AU for two years.

Delgado is an active community volunteer, including service with the Joseph Corporation, Aurora Noon Lions, Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, United Way and Angel Tree. He is a director of the Oswego Kiwanis, where he is a founding member. He lives in Oswego with his wife Tara, who is also a Waubonsee graduate, and their three children.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Board Honors James Pilmer For His Service and Dedication

The Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees honored long-serving board member James Pilmer during their board meeting on Nov. 18 where they also approved his resignation from the board. Pilmer has served as an elected member of the board for 22 years, serving as vice chair for 11 years and as a member of the policy committee throughout his tenure. During the meeting, board members passed a resolution recognizing him for his decades of service.

The resolution commending Pilmer for his service states that he “has given an extraordinary amount of volunteer time, expertise and service to Waubonsee Community College,” and that Pilmer “is known for his leadership and dedication in bringing the Board of Trustees his expertise and knowledge of the Waubonsee community, which has greatly aided Waubonsee’s partnerships and collaboration.”

In a letter written last month to the board and Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek, Pilmer cited his recent appointment as Executive Director of the Fox Valley Park District as reason for his resignation. He originally came to Waubonsee as a student athlete, graduated and then volunteered for the Alumni Association. His leadership at Waubonsee has spanned 33 years. In addition to his service on the board, he also served seven years as a member of the Waubonsee Foundation Board of Directors, including one year as vice president and three years as president. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Art and Graphic Design Programs Receive Accreditation

Waubonsee Community College recently became the second community college in Illinois to receive accreditation for their Art and Graphic Design programs from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The application process included a self-study, site visits and peer reviews. The four-year project benefited from collaboration among faculty and staff in the Art and Graphic Design departments, and other areas of the college.

“Receiving this accreditation has reinforced the quality and rigor of our programs as well as the quality of instruction provided by our full and part time faculty,” said Cindy Sparr, Waubonsee Dean for Communications, Humanities and Fine Arts. Sparr noted that NASAD officials were impressed with Waubonsee’s facilities, particularly the state-of-the-art art ceramics studio.

“The accreditation will benefit students as they transfer to four-year institutions, affirming that our students are obtaining the appropriate skills to be successful in their programs,” she said. “Being advocates for continuous improvement, this accreditation process was an excellent opportunity to reflect on our practices, curriculum and facilities.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Awarded Grant to Improve Student Success

Waubonsee Community College was recently awarded a five-year grant totaling $2.6 million from the Department of Education to improve student success through enhanced services and offerings. The Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions Program, also known as Title V, provides grants for institutions to increase retention and completion of Hispanic and high-need students through improved educational offerings, services and initiatives. In order to qualify for the program, at least 25 percent of the student population served by an institution must be Hispanic.

For the second consecutive cycle, Waubonsee is the recipient of a Title V grant from the Department of Education. The grant is for five years, at $525,000 per year, totaling $2.6 million. Waubonsee’s goals for the grant are to increase first and second year retention and completion; improve success rates in online courses through course redesign, increased faculty professional development opportunities, and improved online readiness for students; and to decrease time to degree completion by highlighting options such as dual enrollment, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement(AP) testing, and prior learning assessment.

Waubonsee has partnered with the higher education technology company Civitas, which specializes in predictive analytics modeling. That partnership will allow Waubonsee to use data to better identify trends, themes and patterns in order to mitigate student attrition. The grant will also support the college’s plans to hire four Student Success Coaches who will handle students’ academic, financial and social needs in order to help them persist toward graduation.

“Waubonsee had great success with our first Title V grant, and we’re excited about implementing these new programs that will help our at-risk students succeed,” said Dr. Stacey Randall, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Title V Project Director. “These funds will allow us to implement proven strategies that support students and encourage them to complete their certificate or degree.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Dunham Grant to Help Waubonsee Launch Accelerated Associate Degree

The Aurora-based Dunham Fund has awarded Waubonsee Community College a grant which will allow the college to launch an accelerated associate degree program with a business emphasis.

The grant award is for a maximum of $500,000. The new program will begin in fall 2016, and will enroll a maximum of 20 students in order to meet the terms of the grant.

The Dunham Fund Quick Path degree program will allow students to earn an associate degree – traditionally a two-year degree – in one year. The program will be intensive and will require a full-time commitment on the part of the student. This innovative program offering is unique to the district and region, and will allow students to enter the workforce quickly, or – if they desire – to enroll in a four-year institution and be able to receive a bachelor’s degree in three years. 

“Waubonsee Community College is committed to improving educational attainment for our communities through a variety of opportunities and flexible scheduling options, and this accelerated program provides another alternative for motivated learners seeking to complete their degree in a shorter amount of time,” said Dr. Jamal Scott, Waubonsee Vice President for Strategic Development.

The Dunham Fund was established by John C. Dunham in 1996 and awards grants to organizations that encourage innovation and collaboration in educational and community development programs and projects to effect positive change in the Aurora area.

Robert Vaughan, Executive Director of The Dunham Fund, said the organization feels strongly that dedicated students who desire to pursue an accelerated degree should have the opportunity. 

“The Dunham Fund is proud to provide these students the financial and educational support that will be required as they approach their educational goals in this demanding program, which should prepare the students well for the workplace while allowing them to obtain their degree in one year.”

Waubonsee administrators are in the process of identifying eligible students for the pilot program.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Foundation Announces Scholarships Available

Waubonsee Community College Foundation Scholarship Applications are now available online for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Scholarships will be awarded in early April 2016 to be used beginning in the fall semester 2016.

To apply for a Waubonsee Community College Foundation scholarship, visit All applications must be completed and submitted online; paper copies will not be accepted. The due date is midnight, Feb. 8, 2016.

If you have questions or need assistance with completing a scholarship application, please call the Waubonsee Community College Foundation at (630) 466-2613. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Trustee Jim Pilmer Resigns After Decades of Service

Waubonsee Community College Trustee Jim Pilmer has tendered his resignation from the Board of Trustees after 23 years of dedicated service. The resignation will be effective Nov. 8.

In a letter dated Oct. 21, Pilmer cited his recent appointment as Executive Director of the Fox Valley Park District as reason for his resignation.

“In my new leadership role at this public institution, I will need to focus all of my energy and efforts into this endeavor and the residents served by the District,” he said.

Pilmer was first elected to the board in November 1992, but his service to Waubonsee has spanned decades. He enrolled in the College in August 1978 as a student athlete, graduated from Waubonsee in 1981 and then began volunteering for the Alumni Association beginning in 1982. He has also served on the Waubonsee Foundation Board of Directors from 1985-1992, serving as vice president from 1988-1989 and president from 1989-1992.

“Without question, Waubonsee has given far more to me than I could ever give back in return,” he said. “It has been my honor and privilege to be affiliated with such a vital and vibrant educational institution. I have been inspired by the students, faculty, administrators and fellow board members past and present who always motivated me to strive for good governance, prudent and responsible policy making and collaboration among our key stakeholders.”

Pilmer was recently announced as the new executive director of the Fox Valley Park District. He will serve as the sixth director in the park district’s 68 years, and will begin his new role on Nov. 9. The Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees will appoint someone to fill the board vacancy for the remainder of Pilmer’s term of service, which ends in 2017.

“Mr. Pilmer’s presence on the board will be missed, but the impact of his decades of service to Waubonsee will continue to benefit the college indefinitely,” said Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek. “We are grateful for the guidance and leadership he has provided for many years and in many roles, and we know that his talents will continue to serve our region in his new role with the Fox Valley Park District.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Community Education Announces “A Season of Pure Magic”

Sugar Grove – Hypnotism, magic, and career development are all part of the offerings for Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education special events programs this year.

Dubbed “A Season of Pure Magic,” the schedule kicks off on Oct. 10 at the Sugar Grove Campus auditorium with “Miracles of the Mind,” an encore performance by Brian Imbus. His all-new show includes hypnotizing audience volunteers and leading them through a journey of the imagination. Imbus will also read minds and make predictions.

Imbus sold out his Waubonsee shows in 2013. Tickets are $19 for adults, and $12 for children age 12 and under.

For a limited time, you can save money when you purchase tickets for “Miracles of the Mind” and a spring performance by Daniel Martin, “Magic Made Me Do It. Until Oct. 10, tickets for both shows are for $29 for adults and $19 for children age 12 and under.

Martin’s March 5, 2016, show also takes place at the Sugar Grove Campus auditorium, and will showcase a high-energy blend of magic, escapes and comedy. Martin’s work has been featured on CBS, NBC, WGN, VH1, ESPN and at thousands of live events.

Tickets to Martin’s show are $19 for adults, and $12 for children age 12 and under.

For those looking to challenge their mind in terms of careers, Dr. James B. Huntington will present “How to Find a Lasting Career in the New Age of Work.”

This presentation is for those who are underemployed, unemployed or in transition in their careers. The author of several books on career development in the modern age, Huntington will discuss the new world of work and the 20 lasting career paths you need to know now. He will offer advice on successfully adapting your skill set to succeed in the world of automation, globalization and efficiency.

Huntington’s presentation takes place at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Sugar Grove Campus’ Academic and Professional Center. Tickets are $10.

Waubonsee’s Community Education program offers personal enrichment courses, trips and tours, the Lifelong Learning Institute, special events, youth programs, community theater, and more. Information about these can be found at To purchase tickets for these special events, visit

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Distinguished Contributor Award Goes to 551 Volunteers

For more than a decade, a group of stalwart volunteers has gathered to assist low-income residents with their income taxes on nights and weekends during tax season at the Waubonsee Aurora Campus. 

Their efforts have translated into millions of dollars back to the community, real world experience for Waubonsee Community College students, and one less worry for hard working residents who receive the services. In short, the program exemplifies what can be achieved when the classroom meets the community.

The local effort, a partnership between Waubonsee and the Center for Economic Progress (CEP), is part of a nationwide Internal Revenue Service program known as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Similar sites are hosted around the country.

This year, Waubonsee is honoring its VITA program volunteers with the Distinguished Contributor Award, which recognizes individuals or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to or given exemplary support to the college.

Launched locally in 2005 by accounting faculty members Dan Gibbons and Catherine Collins, VITA asks volunteers to commit to a minimum of 20 hours during the tax season, and to complete Internal Revenue Service certifications. Those training sessions equip volunteers with the necessary skills to assist clients.

George Sterling, Certified Public Accountant and Instructor at Waubonsee, currently manages the local program with the assistance of his wife Therese. The program provides services to families with annual incomes less than $50,000, and individuals with incomes less than $25,000.

Gibbons said he is impressed by the growth of the site since its beginning in 2005. He said that in the first year, volunteers completed 40 returns, and the next year, they completed more than 400. The program has continued to grow since.

Today, the work of 551 volunteers over 11 years has resulted in $13.1 million returned to the community. Since 2005, the program has served 7,267 clients who have filed a total of 13,570 federal and state returns.

Last season, the program served nearly 1,030 low-to moderate-income families and individuals, bringing $2 million in income tax refunds back to the local economy.  Gibbons said the program has benefited everyone involved.

“Volunteers have the opportunity to give back to their community, and both volunteers and students make long lasting connections,” he said. “Waubonsee has benefited as well. Due to connections we have made through VITA, two of our volunteers teach classes within the accounting program. One of those individuals has expanded the impact of the VITA program by managing a new site, unaffiliated with Waubonsee, in West Chicago.”

VITA coordinators and clients praise the volunteers for their work ethic, their commitment to the community, and for helping their clients maintain a sense of dignity and respect while dealing with what can be a stressful situation.

“I drive trucks and sell fruits and vegetables on the side,” said Curtiss Llong Bey, a 2015 client. “The service was exciting because everything got done faster than I thought. I really appreciate it. I have been telling people about it too. I used to do it myself and make errors. I went to the library last year to ask what the wording on a tax form meant, and they told me to come here. This is my second year, and I will be coming back as long as I make money.”

VITA is supported by a Waubonsee course, - ACC 245 VITA Program: Tax Procedure and Practice - which provides students with a service learning opportunity while gaining college credit. The program also provides field experience for students in the Legal Interpreting program, as those students provide interpreting services for clients while earning credits toward their required field experience.

Ne’Keisha Stepney, Assistant Dean of Business and Career Technologies, helps to oversee the program at Waubonsee.

“This program gives students a hands-on experience and a chance to work in their community from a different perspective,” she said. “It’s pure service learning.”

Therese Sterling, Assistant Site Manager, said the volunteers demonstrate that there is great value in being of service to others.

“We are grateful for their ongoing support, as many volunteers have been with the program for five or more years,” she said. “They show up with a smile, caring attitude, and approach the work they do whole-heartedly. Our volunteers not only support district residents, but also do so in a way that strengthens goodwill throughout our community.” 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Names Kendall Sheriff Baird as Distinguished Alumnus

Given its name, it’s no wonder Waubonsee Community College takes its mission of serving the community very seriously. So too do many of the college’s most successful alumni, including Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird. As he nears his 25th year of serving and protecting as a member of local law enforcement, the college is proud to name Baird its 2015 Distinguished Alumnus.

A career in public service was always in Baird’s plans, from the time he was a teenager. In fact, his plan back then was to serve as an officer in the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, then the Oswego Police Department, then become a lawyer, a judge and finally a state senator.

Remarkably, it’s a plan he’s stuck to — for the most part. He’s worked at both the Sheriff’s Office and the Oswego Police Department, and while not a lawyer, judge or state senator, as Sheriff, he is an elected official.

The foundation for all of Baird’s various roles was built at Waubonsee. After graduating from Oswego High School in 1986, Baird headed to the college to study criminal justice under longtime faculty members Bob May and Neil Lippold.

 “I had heard great things about Waubonsee, and it was a good fit for me,” Baird said. “I could work a couple of jobs while still getting my education.”

When he earned his associate degree in 1988, Baird was still too young to test to become a police officer, and so he continued his job in loss prevention at the Montgomery K-Mart store until he turned 21 and was hired on at the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office by then-Sheriff Richard Randall, also a Waubonsee alumnus.

Perhaps Randall saw in Baird the same thing Baird now sees in the Waubonsee graduates who apply to work for the county.

“The great thing I see in Waubonsee and other community college graduates is that they have often worked in the real world and have that life experience,” Baird said. “That experience helps them relate to the people and situations they’ll be dealing with.”

After working in countywide law enforcement for a few years, Baird went on to the next step in his career path — a job with his hometown police department. He spent more than 22 years there, rising through the ranks to become chief and also serving as the interim village administrator for a time.

As he moved up the ranks, Baird sought out additional education, earning his bachelor’s degree from Aurora University and his master’s degree from Western Illinois University. Throughout these experiences, he continued to draw on his time at Waubonsee.

“I would still find myself reflecting on projects I did at Waubonsee or even referencing books I had used there,” Baird said.

Baird consulted his long-held career plan once again in 2014 when he ran for and was elected Kendall County Sheriff.

“Kendall County is very diverse, ranging from suburban areas to more rural townships,” Baird said. “One day we could be dealing with a cow in a roadway and then the next with a drive-by shooting. It’s a very diverse area, and the workload is ever-changing.”

Whatever the nature of the communities in the county, Baird is making efforts to connect with all of them. He decided to have the Sheriff’s Office head up security at the Kendall County Fairgrounds this year in order to be more visible in the community. For National Night Out on Aug. 4, the office participated in “Cops and Kids: Taking a Swing at Crime,” an exhibition softball game between the office and some Oswego Pony League players.

“We really want to build relationships and respect between citizens and police,” Baird said.

Baird’s advice to new and aspiring police officers echoes this theme of respect. “Police power and authority is given by the people, and we’re there to serve them, not ourselves.”

Because of his exceptional service to local residents, Baird has been recognized many times throughout the years. Among his many honors and awards are the Lifesaving Award from the Illinois Police Association, the Medal of Valor from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Metropolitan Enforcement Groups Director Award, Youth Service Volunteer Award, Oswegoland Optimist Police Officer of the Year, Governor’s Medal of Honor and the 2014 Illinois Crime Commission Police Chief of the Year. 

© 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

Waubonsee offers youth soccer camp

Youth Soccer Camp offered from July 11-15

Waubonsee Community College is offering a youth soccer camp from Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15. The camp is open to boys and girls of all ages, and will be held each day from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Waubonsee’s soccer field at the Sugar Grove campus. If necessary due to inclement weather, activities will be held in Waubonsee’s Fieldhouse. In case of space constraints, the Sugar Grove Sports Complex on Wheeler Rd. will serve as an alternate site.

Instructors for the camp will be Waubonsee head coach Brett Suhayda, along with his assistant coaches Bill Suhayda and Gibran Rodriguez, who is also an assistant with the Aurora Borealis Soccer Club. All camp participants with receive a free t-shirt and a voucher for one free admission to an Aurora Borealis Soccer Club home match during the 2016 season.    

There will be a focus on basic, intermediate and advanced passing skills, shooting and ball skills, and specific player positioning. The cost for the week-long camp is just $35.00 each for kids in second grade and up, and $25.00 each for first graders and under. Discounts will be available for registering multiple players. To register, go online to, or contact Waubonsee’s Athletic Office at 630-466-2524. All registration will be conducted through Waubonsee online ticketing.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Local Businesses Awarded Through Business Plan Competition

Three local businesses were recently named winners in the second annual Poised for Growth Business Plan Competition, organized by the Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) at Elgin Community College (ECC) and Waubonsee Community College.

First Place went to Geneva and Rena Pedersen of Treasure Breads in Yorkville. Their company was awarded a $10,000 cash prize and a consulting engagement valued at $5,000.

Second Place went to Rebecca Gengler of More Polish Pottery in Big Rock. Her company was awarded a cash prize of $2,500.

Third Place went to Laurie Petrick of Eagle Engraving in St. Charles, who was awarded a cash prize of $1,500.

The prize money was provided through donations from local organizations. More Polish Pottery and Treasure Breads are clients of the Waubonsee SBDC.

More Polish Pottery plans to hire a marketing intern with their award money, and Treasure Bread will use the funds from their award to upgrade their web site.

The remaining finalists were: Dawn Phillips of Early Light Café in Geneva, Shari Ralish of Peaceful Parlour in Geneva, Toni Greathouse of Custom Community Creations in Bolingbrook, Shay and Elizabeth Rodriguez of The Gypsy Haven in Elgin, and Chris Molloy of Harmoney Deicing Products in St. Charles.

To participate in the contest, a business had to be headquartered in Illinois, be at least three-years-old, be classified as for profit and a small business. Thirty-five applications were received.

In the competition, owners submitted a written plan detailing their tactics for the future growth of their business over the next three years. In the final phase, the top eight contestants were required to pitch their growth plans to a panel of three judges. The competition and prizes were sponsored by the following local businesses: First National Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Rubino Engineering, JD Main Ltd, The UPS Store in Algonquin, Kimmers Ice Cream, Old Second Bank, JJR Marketing, Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Auto Students Place in National Competition

Waubonsee Community College students recently placed in the national SkillsUSA competition. During the 52nd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) held in Louisville, Ky., Waubonsee had three students among the top finishers.

Daniel Dwyer placed first in Collision Repair Technology; Melanie Thomas placed fifth in Automotive Refinishing Technology and Drew Kleyweg placed eighth in Automotive Service Technology.

The team was prepped by faculty members Andy MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Auto Body Repair, Ken Kunz, Professor of Automotive Technology, Jim Armitage, Professor of Automotive Technology and Guy Tiberio, Automotive Technology Instructor. Additionally, Randy Hines, CADD Instructor, participated in the conference as a judge for the National Contest for Additive Manufacturing and serves as the Illinois State Supervisor for the Additive Manufacturing Contest.

In order to participate at the national level, Waubonsee students placed first in the Illinois SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference held in Springfield in April.

SkillsUSA has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. More than 14,5000 instructors and administrators are professional members.  

“It puts them in front of industry leaders, outside their own classroom,” MacDonald said of the competition.

MacDonald said the students who compete prepare for the contest outside of their regular coursework, and that he is pleased that through SkillsUSA, his students have the ability to take the experience they gain in Waubonsee’s auto body shop and test it against their peers across the state and country.

“This prepares them for a competitive world,” he said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Support Staff Recognized in Awards for Excellence

Waubonsee Community College recently recognized support staff employees in their first Support Staff Awards for Excellence. Three honorees were announced during campus-wide ceremonies this month.

The college received more than 60 total nominations for the categories of Service and Quality, Diversity and Equity, and Innovation and Creativity. The winners are: Faustina Sepulveda-De Patino, Custodian, recognized with the Support Staff Award for Excellence in Service and Quality; Dr. David Beer, Career and Technical Education Analyst, was recognized with the Support Staff Award for Excellence in Diversity and Equity; Kendall Vance, Resource Sharing Specialist, was recognized with the Support Staff Award for Excellence in Innovation and Creativity.

The Support Staff Award for Excellence in Service and Quality was created to recognize a staff member who exemplifies excellence in delivering outstanding quality service in working and communicating with others internally or externally. Sepulveda-De Patino’s nominator said that she “possesses all the qualities of an outstanding staff member,” and that she always gets her work done and often does extra work.

Also nominated in that category were: Sue Baier, Betty Bechtold, Pablo Castanon, Esmerelda “Meddi” Delgado, Amanda Eberlein, Esther Espino, Shannon Flavin-Cox, Zachary Fowler, Linda Frieders, Donna Larkin, Jessica Menez, Jeanine Niedzwiedz, Julie Peck, Mark Salem, Earl Shumaker, Dawn Sparks, Scott Strain, Terri Swanson, Kathy Thomas, Diana Torres, Kendall Vance, Kathy Wall, Chris Wise, Monica Woodward.

The Support Staff Award for Excellence in Diversity and Equity was created to recognize a staff member who exemplifies excellence in commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness. Beer’s nominator said that he has been “very conscientious in creating meaningful and impactful ways to improve non-traditional by gender participation and understanding across the college.”

Also nominated in that category were: James Kenney, Ellen Scalpelli, Bill Stefek, Ann Walder, Kisha White-Shepard, Lisa Egner and Kate Ragsdale. 

The Support Staff Award for Excellence in Innovation and Creativity was created to recognize a staff member who exemplifies excellence in improving operating efficiency via creative and innovative channels. Vance’s nominator said that he “works tirelessly and, often, behind-the-scenes to keep much of the department’s tools working,” and regularly implements creative solutions for workflow.

Also nominated in that category were: Sue Baier, Danielle Depke, Sarah Dwinnells, Christopher Foster, Zachary Fowler, Julie Frankino, Bruce Geraghty, Sarah Kocunik, Sandra Miller, Don Wiercinski, Vicki Wittman, John Wohlers.

The three winners received a framed certificate, recognition at the Board of Trustees meeting, lunch with Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek, and one day off with pay to be used within one year of the award.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee offers Girls Basketball Skills Camp

One-day Girls Basketball Skills Camp on July 12

Waubonsee Community College is offering a basketball skills camp for girls from 6th grade through those entering their senior year of high school. The one-day camp will be held on Tuesday, July 12 in the Erickson Hall Gymnasium on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove campus. There will be two sessions that day, a three-hour morning session from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and an afternoon session from 12;30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Space is limited to 15 players in each session, so don’t delay to sign up. Interested individuals can register on line at The cost for the skills camp is $150.00 for each participant, payable on-line when you register.

Waubonsee women’s head coach Jim Sury, who has led the Lady Chiefs to back-to-back appearances at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament the last two seasons, will be the lead instructor. There will be an emphasis on skill development, shooting technique, ball handling skills and creating your own shot. For more information you can contact coach Sury at 630-466-5766.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee looking for Cheerleaders

Interested individuals can schedule a tryout

Waubonsee Community College is looking for students who are interested in being a part of the school’s Co-Ed Competitive Cheerleading squad. Interested individuals can schedule a tryout by contacting head coach Zech Palm at Tryout packets and waivers are available in the Athletic Department Office on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove campus, or by going on-line to  

You must be a current or incoming Waubonsee student for the 2016-2017 school year to be eligible. Each person trying out will be required to demonstrate some minimum athletic skills, including stunting skills, jumps and short floor cheering. Tumbling skills are not required, but highly encouraged. More information regarding requirements and dress code can be obtained through the tryout packets.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Stuckey Named to Conference Hall of Fame

Martine Stuckey, Waubonsee Community College Professor of Art, Painting and Design, was recently inducted into the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) Hall of Fame.

Stuckey was honored during the ISSC Board of Presidents meeting for her years of service as a mentor to Waubonsee students competing in the conference’s art competition.

Stuckey received her Master Fine Arts and Bachelor of Art degrees from Queens College in Flushing, New York.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Gorski Named Waubonsee Assistant Dean for Outcomes Assessment

Dr. Kathleen Gorski has been named to the position of Assistant Dean for Outcomes Assessment at Waubonsee Community College. The position is effective July 11.

She has served as Director of Assessment at National Louis University in Chicago since July 2012. In this role, she managed training and support of faculty in planning, implementing and using assessment data to improve student learning.

Gorski has a Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership from Argosy University, a Master of Education in Education Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Art in Communications from Valparaiso University.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Stepney Named Waubonsee Dean for Business and Career Technologies

Ne’Keisha Stepney has been appointed to the position of Dean for Business and Career Technologies at Waubonsee Community College. Her new position is a promotion, as she has previously been serving as Assistant Dean in the same division.

Stepney earned a Master of Business Administration in 2005 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2002, both from Benedictine University. She has nearly 15 years of higher education experience, including three years at a private university, four years at a for-profit institution and seven years at Waubonsee.

She has served as Assistant Dean of Business and Career Technologies since 2013. Her work in this area has included working with adjunct faculty to ensure a positive experience for faculty members and supporting special projects of the division, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Williams Named Student Success: Featured Alumnus

Waubonsee Community College alum Alisa Williams’ journey through higher education was filled with life detours, but those experiences helped shape the focus and perspective she now has on the importance of mentoring, balancing priorities, perseverance and celebrating milestones along the way.

Now a Senior Finance Administrative Supervisor, Credit Services for Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, in Naperville, Williams serves on committees and groups through her employer and in the community that foster leadership, mentoring and engagement. She was instrumental in encouraging her husband to pursue and finish his degree at Waubonsee, and two of her three sons have also taken classes at the college.

For her perseverance and her commitment to mentoring and leadership development, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Williams as this month’s Student Success: Featured Alumnus.

Raised in her current hometown of Aurora, Williams graduated from East Aurora High School and enrolled at Northern Illinois University. But after having a baby and finding it difficult to balance the commute to school, studying and child rearing, she took time off, eventually deciding to transfer to Waubonsee.

Williams said current students can learn from a few of her regrets – she did not join clubs or get involved, didn’t take advantage of campus resources and did not attend her commencement ceremony.

“That’s the advice I’d share with students now,” she said. “Getting involved is what makes college feel special, and I really think if I’d attended my graduation, I would have finished my four-year degree sooner, because it would have brought closure on that phase and moved me to the next one.”

Williams said that as an undergraduate, she didn’t understand the value of academic advising.

“Students should use advisers to help them identify and map out their paths,” she said. “No student should walk the education path alone, and there are plenty of campus resources to help lead them toward their goals and dreams.”

Williams said she did enjoy one indulgence during her years at Waubonsee - taking photography classes.

“That was something special and different that I wanted to experience and I did do that,” she said. “It made my experience.”

After completing her degree at Waubonsee, Williams enrolled in Aurora University, but as her family continued to grow, her academic plans were again pushed aside.

“I finally completed my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Lewis University when I was 38-years-old,” she said. “It took me plenty of time to get there, but I did.”

Today, Williams is pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at Lewis University, while also working full time at Nalco. She’s worked for that company for 16 years, and said a classmate in her undergraduate program at Lewis was impressed by her work ethic and skills and recommended her to the person who continues to be her director today.

At Nalco, Williams is involved in an employee resource group for African American leadership, a women’s mentoring group and Toastmasters. She is also the Naperville Region Chairperson for Ecolab’s Community Relations Council, which provides grants to schools and 501c3 organizations in the communities where Ecolab associates live and work.

As part of her master’s degree program, she is currently working on developing a series of leadership development workshops.

“Leadership development is something that is so important, and I’ve been a proponent of helping people realize that in today’s world, leadership development training needs to extend beyond managers and supervisors,” she said.

Williams said Waubonsee provided her with a place to get her continuing path through higher education started, while also meeting the needs of her family.

“High school students are always enamored with the idea of going away to college, but I strongly believe that if you don’t know what you want to do, you need to start at community college,” she said. “It’s a place where you can afford to figure it out at your own pace.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee softball garners post-season awards

Eight Lady Chiefs recognized for their outstanding play
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. Eight members of the Lady Chiefs’ program were honored by the ISCC after Waubonsee captured at least a share of the league title for an unprecedented sixth straight year. Tiffani Palmatier, Courtni Neubauer, Abby Etheridge, Taylor Browder, Shannen Sutherland and Mary Wackerlin were each named to the All-ISCC First Team. Bianca Shuler and Alex Wagner were selected to the All-ISCC Second Team. In addition, Palmatier and Neubauer were chosen to the All-Region First Team in leading head coach Perry Clark’s squad. 
Palmatier set a Waubonsee single-season record with 74 runs driven in this spring, surpassing Lauren Vitiello’s mark of 67 set in 2011. Palmatier finished tied for 12th nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in runs batted in. The sophomore from Oswego East High School also slugged a dozen home runs to equal Vitiello’s Lady Chiefs’ single-season record also set in 2011. In addition Palmatier smacked 19 doubles, tying her for 23rd nationally in that category. The right-handed hitter finished the season with a .350 batting average, 126 total bases and a .640 slugging percentage. In ISCC play Palmatier batted .439 with six doubles, a triple and four home runs, to go along with 19 runs driven in and 18 runs scored.
Neubauer batted a sizzling .442 on the season with 76 hits and 54 runs scored. The freshman from Burlington Central High School posted a .527 on-base percentage, placing her 50th nationally. The speedy left-handed hitter drew 25 walks, was hit by pitch six times and also swiped 38 bases out of 41 attempts, tying her for ninth nationally in stolen bases. In conference action Neubauer batted .432 with 15 runs scored, seven stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .544.    
Etheridge, a sophomore from Oswego High School, was also one of the Lady Chiefs offensive catalysts. The left-handed hitter posted a .546 batting average in ISCC contests with 21 runs scored and seven stolen bases. Overall on the season Etheridge batted .407 with a team-leading 77 hits, 61 runs scored, and 26 walks which tied her for 28th nationally in that category. A two-time All-ISCC First Team selection, Etheridge finished her Waubonsee career with 143 hits in 345 at bats for a two-year batting average of .420. 
Browder, a sophomore from Mendota High School, won nine games in the circle. The right-hander threw 97 and two-thirds innings with a team-leading 34 appearances. In ISCC action Browder won five games and posted a 4.08 earned run average.
The right-handed hitting Sutherland batted .500 in ISCC action, ripping five doubles, a triple and three home runs to go along with 18 runs driven in. Overall on the season Sutherland batted .316 with 10 doubles, one triple, six home runs and 30 runs knocked in. The freshman from Sandwich High School also posted a .537 slugging percentage. 
In conference play Wackerlin batted .467 with three doubles, three home runs, 16 runs driven in and a .590 on-base percentage. The Mendota High School product finished the season with a .347 batting average, smacking 10 doubles, a pair of triples and seven home runs. A right-handed hitter, Wackerlin was second on the team with 47 runs batted in and a .580 slugging percentage. The Lady Chiefs’ freshman catcher compiled a .972 fielding percentage with just five errors on the season.
A sophomore from Joliet West High School, Schuler batted .353 in conference action to earn All-ISCC accolades for the second year in a row. Overall on the season the Lady Chiefs’ second baseman hit .322 with 10 doubles, a triple and a home run. Defensively, Schuler posted a .926 fielding percentage with 66 putouts in 122 chances.
Wagner, an Oswego East High School graduate, earned All-ISCC Second Team honors for the second straight year. The right-hander went 3-0 with a 2.37 earned–run-average in conference play. Overall Wagner won seven games in the circle while tossing a team-leading 103 and two-thirds innings. At the plate the sophomore batted .302 with 29 hits in 96 at bats. 
Clark, in his eight year as Waubonsee’s head coach and 19th with the program overall, guided the squad to an unprecedented sixth consecutive ISCC title. The College of Lake County had streaks of five straight titles on two occasions in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Clarks’ Lady Chiefs went 11-3 in league play this spring and have gone 70-8 over the last six seasons in conference action. An Oswego High School alumnus, Clark has directed Waubonsee to 249 wins and three Region IV runner-up finishes during his eight-year tenure as head coach.  

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee inducts three into Athletic Hall of Fame, recognizes 2015-16 achievements

WCC Honors Student/Athletes at Banquet

Waubonsee Community College inducted three new members into the Chiefs’ Athletic Hall of Fame and honored its’ top student/athletes for 2015-2016 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 tenth-class of inductees to Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame included former Aurora East basketball standout Phill Neal, who was the Chiefs’ first ever NJCAA All-American in 1971 when he finished third nationally in scoring with a 32.6 points-per-game average. Neal, who now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, retired in 2014 after 38 years working for the General Dynamics Corporation and its’ two predecessor companies. Also honored was former men’s cross country runner Dr. Kemp Schanlaber, who was a two-time All-Skyway Conference, All-Region and National Meet participant in the mid-1980’s. The Aurora West High School graduate went on to compete nationally in triathlons and is a successful podiatrist in New Hampshire. Joining them was Aurora West High School graduate Amanda Wolf who was the Lady Chiefs’ all-time leading scorer in basketball the last 15 years. Currently a resident of Evanston, Wolf was a two-time All-Skyway performer, the Skyway Player of the Year in 2001 and an All-Region First Team selection.

Men’s Soccer player Juan Ponce was named the Male Athlete of the Year. The midfielder led the nation in assists for most of the season before finishing second with 18 assists. The sophomore also tallied seven goals for a total of 32 points, tying him for 50th nationally in that category among all NJCAA Division I players An Aurora native, Ponce was named an NJCAA Division I Third Team All-American, was chosen to the All-Region Champions Division squad, and was a two-time All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) First Team selection. Ponce led Waubonsee to a 15-7 overall record and a berth in the Region IV semi-finals.

Basketball player Julianna Wadsworth was a unanimous choice as the Female Athlete of the Year by Waubonsee’s coaches after she became the college’s first two-time All-American on the court. The sophomore finished as the Lady Chiefs’ all-time leading scorer with 1,211 career points and also set a new mark for points in a season with 628. Wadsworth also was in the top-20 nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in scoring, steals and free throw percentage. A two-time All-Region First Team selection, the 5’9” shooting guard helped lead unranked Waubonsee to consecutive Region IV Division II District B titles and back-to-back top-12 finishes at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. Wadsworth was also tabbed the ISCC Player of the Year after helping the Lady Chiefs’ to an undefeated 14-0 league title.  

Men’s Cross Country runner Josh Robinson was chosen as Waubonsee’s Most Improved Male Athlete. The Aurora West High School graduate was the Region IV Runner of the Year after winning the Region IV Meet the end of October. Robinson helped lead Waubonsee to the Region IV title and a 20th place finish at the NJCAA National Meet in Iowa. The sophomore also earned All-ISCC honors this past fall. As a freshman Robinson was rarely even in the Chiefs’ top six runners.

Mendota High School graduate Mallary Phalen was selected as the Most Improved Female Athlete by Waubonsee’s coaches. On the softball diamond as a freshman Phalen did not start in any games, collecting 15 hits while playing sparingly in only half of the Lady Chiefs’ contests. This past spring the sophomore batted .281 with 47 hits in 57 games played. Phalen knocked in 21 runs, smacked 11 doubles, was seven for eight in stolen bases and committed just one fielding error all season. Phalen was also a member of Waubonsee’s women’s tennis team.

Nixa Del Real Robles, an Aurora East High School graduate, 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. A member of Waubonsee’s Cross Country squad, Del Rel Robles was involved with activities all throughout campus as a member of several clubs. The sophomore earned All-ISCC and All-Region honors both years at Waubonsee and participated at the NJCAA National Meet twice. 

Softball player Abby Etheridge 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. The Oswego High School graduate demonstrated these attributes and more while earning All-ISCC First Team accolades on the diamond this past spring. Etheridge batted .407 with 20 stolen bases and led the Lady Chiefs in hits with 77, runs scored with 61 and walks with 26.

Other individuals achieving All-Conference, All-Region and Academic honors during the school year were recognized throughout the evening. Waubonsee coaches Trevor Howard, Jim Sury, Dave Heiss, Rodney Davis and Perry Clark were all recognized for leading their teams to Skyway or Region titles, and appearances at the NJCAA National Tournament. Team accomplishments were acknowledged including the Men’s Golf team winning the ISCC title, along with the Region IV crown for just the second time in school history. Women’s Softball was honored for winning the ISCC title for the sixth consecutive year, Women’s Basketball was recognized for capturing the Region title for the second straight year, and the Men’s Cross Country squad was praised for earning their way to the NJCAA Division I National Meet.    

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee EMT Program Receives National Recognition

Waubonsee Community College’s Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic program has received national recognition from Advance CTE, a national nonprofit that represents state directors and leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult career technical education (CTE) programs across the U.S.

Waubonsee’s program was one of 11 programs selected for the Excellence in Action award, which recognizes innovative and impactful CTE programs across the nation.

Waubonsee’s honor was based on its “uniquely innovative and effective approach to offering rigorous coursework, authentic and meaningful work-based learning experiences, and supported transitions from secondary to postsecondary education and on to successful careers,” according to Advance CTE officials. Waubonsee received the award in the Health Science Career Cluster as a result of their commitment to providing a supported and seamless pathway between secondary and postsecondary education, work-based learning opportunities, and rigorous academic and technical coursework preparing students with the skills they need for success.

Waubonsee Dean of Health Professions and Public Service, Dr. Jess Toussaint, accepted the honor at an award luncheon and reception as part of the Advance CTE Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. this week.

“We are proud to receive national recognition that highlights the importance of secondary, post-secondary and industry collaboration in the development of rich CTE programs,” said Dr. Michelle Evans, Waubonsee Assistant Dean for Health Professionals and Public Service. “These collaborations have allowed our program to maximize educational opportunities for students while also meeting the unique needs of the communities where our students work after graduation.”

Kimberly Green, Executive Director, Advance CTE, said the awards highlight programs that demonstrate commitment to student success.

“These Excellence in Action award winners have high expectations that result in their students truly being prepared for success in college, careers and life,” she said. “By shining a national spotlight on these programs, we hope to challenge others to use them as a model for what high-quality CTE looks like and can achieve.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee's Wadsworth chosen for Ring of Honor

Wadsworth honored by Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

The jersey of Waubonsee Community College’s women’s basketball player Julianna Wadsworth is now on display at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s “Ring of Honor” in Knoxville, Tenn. Wadsworth is one of over 100 players nationwide who was selected for the “Ring of Honor,” a tradition that has honored All-Americans at both the high school and collegiate levels since the Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1999.

Wadsworth, a two-time NJCAA All-American selection, is the first ever Waubonsee player to be chosen for this recognition. The Oswego East High School graduate finished her two-year junior college career as Waubonsee’s all-time leading scorer with 1,211 career points. She also set the Lady Chiefs’ single-season scoring mark with 628 points this past season. Wadsworth finished this past season in the top-20 nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in scoring, steals and free throw percentage. The 5’9” shooting guard helped lead unranked Waubonsee to consecutive Region IV Division II District B titles and back-to-back top-12 finishes at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. Wadsworth was also tabbed the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Player of the Year after helping the Lady Chiefs’ to an undefeated 14-0 league title. The sophomore will be continuing her collegiate career at NCAA Division II affiliate Missouri Southern State University.


© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Rose tabbed NJCAA Division III Pitcher of the Week

Fourth time this spring that a Chiefs' pitcher has been honored nationally

Waubonsee Community College’s Devin Rose was selected the NJCAA’s Division III Pitcher of the Week for the first week of May. Rose allowed just one earned run on only four hits, with 22 strikeouts over 16 innings pitched in a pair of Chiefs’ victories. Behind the pitching of Rose the Chiefs trounced Moraine Valley Community College 7-0 in their regular season finale and then downed the College of DuPage 3-2 in 10 innings in the Region IV Division III Sectionals. It’s the fourth time this spring that a Chiefs’ pitcher has garnered this honor, with Jared Liebelt winning the award twice and Blake Salesky garnering it two weeks ago.

Rose, a sophomore from Tuscola in central Illinois, gave up just one hit and struck out nine over six innings en route to blanking the Cyclones. Five days later he went all 10 innings in the Chiefs win over the Chaparrals, striking out 13 and giving up only three hits. On the season the 6’0, 185-pound right-hander has a 6-3 record with a 2.00 earned run average in 11 starts. Over 67 and a third innings pitched, Rose has allowed only 37 hits while striking out 76 batters.  


© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

2016 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Honored

Waubonsee Community College has inducted three new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame. Phillip T. Neal, Kemp Schanlaber and Amanda Wolf were selected as the tenth 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.

Phillip T. Neal, 1970 – 1972, Basketball

Phillip T. Neal was a stand-out basketball player for the Chiefs, leading the college to the first Skyway Conference Championship and laying the foundation for Waubonsee’s decades-long winning basketball tradition.

Neal was drafted to the U.S. Army in 1967 and was stationed in Korea. After returning to Aurora in 1969, he completed his GED and then enrolled at Waubonsee. His freshman season was in 1970-1971, when he finished the season third in the nation in scoring. He was the unanimous choice as the conference’s Player of the Year.

An injury derailed his sophomore season. He was later invited to a professional tryout with NBA’s Seattle Supersonics in 1973, and went on to play three years of entertainment basketball with the Harlem Diplomats based out of Toronto, Canada. He later began his career with Western Electric, the predecessor to AT&T, and retired in 2015 after 38 years.

Kemp Schanlaber, 1985 – 1987, Cross Country

Kemp Schanlaber was described by a former coach as “the hardest worker of any athlete I ever coached.” He came to Waubonsee from Aurora West High School, where he qualified for the Illinois High School Association State Track Meet his junior and senior years in the pole vault. For the Chiefs, he earned All-Skyway honors in 1985 and 1986 in cross country, helping lead the team to the conference championship his sophomore year. He also earned All-Region honors both years, twice qualifying for the NJCAA National Meet and placing 34th nationally overall in 1986 when there was only one division.

He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in Fitness Leadership in 1989 and his Master of Science in Exercise Physiology in 1994 from Northern Illinois University. He later received a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from the William C. Scholl College of Podiatry Medicine in 1999. Schanlaber continues to serve as a doctor of podiatry at the Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

Amanda Wolf, 1999 – 2001, Basketball

Amanda Wolf finished her basketball career for the Waubonsee Chiefs in 2001 with three college records including most points in a season, most career points and most three-point baskets made in a season.

She graduated from Aurora West High School in 1999, where she was a three-sport student-athlete for the Blackhawks. Among her many accomplishments during her career with the Chiefs were her selection as Skyway Conference Player of the Year, NJCAA All-Region Team and All-Tournament honors at both the College of DuPage Tournament and Waubonsee’s Invitational Tournament.

Wolf earned her associate degree from Waubonsee and then worked as an intern at Disney World in Florida. She later played basketball at Aurora University in 2002 and 2003, where she was a member of the team that won back-to-back conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. She graduated from Aurora in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and worked at several industrial supply companies. She eventually earned her certification as a personal trainer from the National Personal Training Institute and began working at Cheetah Gym in Chicago. She has run the Chicago Marathon twice. Today she is a stay-at-home mom and lives in Evanston. - 30 -

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Names Motivate to Complete Winners

For the second consecutive year, Waubonsee Community College has named winners in a competition calling on students to produce mixed media announcements to inspire themselves and their peers to accomplish their educational goals.

The Motivate to Complete: Students Inspiring Students to Finish What They Start Competition was started last year by Larry Modaff, Waubonsee Professor of Communications. This year, there were a total of 19 entries judged by a panel of three students, three faculty members and three administrators.

First place won $500, second place won $350 and third place won $200. This year’s winners are as follows:

First Place – Erin Carmack, “Pictures Speak Volumes”

Second Place – Jorge Arciniega and Juan Vizcarra, “Every Move Counts”

Third Place – Jorge Arciniega and Juan Vizcarra, “Finish It…You Can!”

Honorable Mention – Peter DeGuzman, “Road Map to Success.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Communities of Excellence Program Recognizes Completers

Waubonsee Community College this week recognized its second group of participants to complete the Communities of Excellence Program. Those recognized during the ceremony at the college’s Aurora Downtown Campus completed 96 hours of specialized training.

The program responds to the professional development needs of local government employees by enhancing a broad range of skills needed to serve the public. Participants come from a wide range of departments including Finance, Police, Parks and Recreation, Streets, Buildings, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Compliance. Communities of Excellence was custom-developed by the college’s Workforce Development Division, in partnership with local municipal leaders.

Those who completed the program this spring are: Christopher Atkinson, Plano; David Ballas, Plano; Craig Becker, Plano; Rhonda Besco, of Aurora; Barbara Chalfin, Plano; Janet Goehst, Plano; Zoila Gomez, Plano; Donald Haggard, Plano; Dawn Metzger, Aurora; Karl Tisberger, Plano and Ron Vander Band, Plano.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Featured Student a Leader On and Off the Basketball Court

Julianna Wadsworth is perhaps best known as the Waubonsee Chiefs’ basketball star who this year became the first player in program history to top 1,000 career points, but her work ethic and tenacity extends beyond the court.

Wadsworth will complete one last class this summer at Waubonsee Community College, and will then head to Joplin, Missouri to continue her academic and athletic career at Missouri Southern, where she has accepted a full scholarship. She plans to pursue a degree in health promotions or a related field.

For her extraordinary contributions as a student athlete, Wadsworth is Waubonsee’s Student Success: Featured Student.

The Oswego East High School graduate didn’t have plans to be a college student athlete until Waubonsee Basketball Coach Jim Sury attended her regional game during her senior year of high school and convinced her to join his team at Waubonsee.

“To be honest with you I didn’t know what I was going to do after high school,” she said. “Coming to Waubonsee and playing basketball was so good for me. One of my biggest lessons was time management. Until you get to college, it’s all decided for you.”  

Wadsworth said her daily life since then has had room for little besides basketball, homework and school. Even now – during the off season – she continues doing workouts and will spend her summer helping to coach Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball.

“But it pays off,” she added. “The teachers and staff here at Waubonsee, and everyone really, has been so open and welcoming and willing to help me out.”

This year, Wadsworth led the Chiefs to their second straight NJCAA National Tournament. They also won a second straight Skyway Conference title. Wadsworth finished her Waubonsee career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,211 career points and 628 points in a season, and was named the conference’s player of the year, NJCAA Region IV first team and an NJCAA Division II Second Team All-American.

But Julianna has impressed her peers and mentors outside the basketball court as well. “

The first thought that comes to mind regarding Julianna is her tenacity to handle any obstacle that may come her way, not just in the form of a student-athlete but as an individual in her daily life,” said Melissa Forte, a counselor with Waubonsee Athletics. “She is a great teammate and leader with a kind heart who will extend herself to anyone who needs her help.”  

Forte said that Julianna is always quick to volunteer, without even being asked.

“Julianna may be tough on the exterior, but has an interior with a heart of gold,” she said. “She is pursuing a career in the medical field, which is perfect for the type of individual she is who can handle any tough situation with a gentle hand.”

Wadsworth has a brother and sister, but will be the first in her family to move away from home to attend college.

“I am excited but a little nervous about that,” she said. “I am a very family-oriented person so being the first to travel hours away for college, it’s a great opportunity.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Faculty Will Use Grant to Engage Students in Research

A Waubonsee Community College Physics instructor plans to use a grant she recently received to expose students to her ongoing research with Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Nanomaterials (CNM).

Soma Chattopadhyay, Waubonsee Adjunct Professor of Physics, was awarded the Dr. Joseph T. Cipfl Faculty Grant from the Illinois Community College Faculty Association. These grants are used to support faculty research projects that are “strongly tied to student learning.”

Chattopadhyay said she will use the grant to engage students in her ongoing research with Argonne to find new anti-reflective coating (ARC) materials used for solar panels, eye-glasses and displays.

“I am really hoping to give students exposure to research,” Chattopadhyay said. “I hope that it can inspire them to think about jobs beyond the technical. So often the research concept scares people but it’s actually simple. I feel this could be the seed for planting bigger things in their minds.”

Chattopadhyay received her PhD in Physics from Tata institute of Fundamental Research in India. She did postdoctoral research work in the Department of Materials Science and engineering at Northwestern University, Electrical Engineering and Materials Science departments of North Carolina State University and at the Chemical Engineering department of Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She was a research staff scientist at IIT before she started teaching physics and engineering courses at Waubonsee and other colleges.

Waubonsee officials signed a user agreement with Argonne to help Chattopadhyay start her research on ARC materials with help from renowned scientists Dr. Elena V. Shevchenko and Dr. Seth B. Darling of the Center for Nanomaterials at Argonne.

Lorrie S. Stahl, Waubonsee Assistant Dean for Mathematics and Sciences supported Chattopadhyay’s efforts towards applying for and receiving the grant.

“Students at Waubonsee will directly be able to experience the research process afford by the grant,” she said. “It provides students an opportunity to start building their network of contacts in STEM for future research and employment.”

Each grant is funded by contributions from the 48 public community colleges in Illinois and is awarded to four professors every year in Illinois, on a competitive basis. In addition to awarding faculty research and faculty workshop grants, the ICCFA awards a number of student scholarships and supports an annual conference in teaching and learning.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Volunteer Income Tax Assessment Program Wraps up 12th Year

Waubonsee Community College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assessment (VITA) Program recently completed its 12th year of service to the community, serving 931 clients and resulting in $1.8 million dollars refunded for 2016.

During the 2016 tax season, Waubonsee students and community volunteers prepared tax returns for low to moderate income families and individuals as part of the Internal Revenue Service’s VITA Program. The sessions were offered from January 27 to April 16 at Waubonsee’s Aurora Downtown Campus.

The college has partnered with the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) for 11 of those years to provide income tax assistance in the community. Since 1990, CEP has helped more than 370,000 families through the service and returned more than half a billion dollars in refunds and saved fees.

This year, Waubonsee volunteers gave 1,982 hours of their time to prepare a total of 1,750 federal and state income tax returns. More than 40 Waubonsee students were also clients of the program. The program has been lead by George and Therese Sterling since 2012, and who are stepping down from that role.

“We are so grateful to George and Therese Sterling for leading this program through a time of growth and for maintaining a high level of service to the community,” said Ne’Keisha Stepney, Waubonsee Assistant Dean for Business and Career Technologies.

Since the inception of the VITA program at Waubonsee, 548 volunteers have served 7,168 clients, prepared 14,276 federal and state income tax returns and returned more than $14.8 million to the community.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs capture Region IV Division III Baseball Championship

Fourth-seeded Waubonsee knocks off JJC for 4th Region crown in seven years

Waubonsee Community College’s baseball team knocked off second-seeded Joliet Junior College in two tightly contested games to win the 2016 Region IV Division III Championship. The fourth-seeded Chiefs (35-17) edged the Wolves (32-30) on Friday, May 13 in Joliet 2-1 and then won a see-saw affair 6-5 on Sunday, May 15 in Sugar Grove. The Region IV crown is the fourth for Waubonsee’s baseball program in the last seven years, and first under second-year head coach Brad Unger. The Chiefs are now set to host the Region XII winner between Lorain County (OH) Community College and Schoolcraft (MI) College in the NJCAA District B Championship. The best two-out-of-three series will begin this Saturday, May 21 at noon, with game two to follow at approximately 3:30 p.m. A third game, if necessary, will be played the following day also beginning at noon. The District B Champion will advance to the NJCAA Division III World Series at historic Grainger Stadium in Kinston, NC, starting on May 28.

The Chiefs took game one against Joliet behind the pitching of Jared Liebelt, who was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player. The freshman right-hander from Aurora West High School scattered five hits and struck out 10 in a complete game victory, his eighth win of the season. Waubonsee broke a 1-all tie with an unearned run in the top of the ninth. Klay Nafziger had a run-scoring double to drive in the Chiefs’ other run in the sixth inning.

The best two-out-of-three series never went to a third game as Waubonsee scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to go ahead 6-5. Cole McDonald led off with a double down the left field line. After the next two Chiefs failed to reach base, Kyle Kolb then drilled a clutch single to left to knock in McDonald and tie the game, taking second base on the throw home. Ryan Suwanski followed with a soft single to center to drive in Kolb with the go ahead run. Sophomore right-hander Devin Rose then finished off the Wolves in the ninth inning for the complete game victory, his sixth win of the season. Rose struck out 13, including the final out of the game, to set off a jubilant celebration on the Chiefs’ field.

For more information on this weekend’s NJCAA Division III District B Baseball Championship, you can go on-line to either, or    

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Teenager and 71-Year-Old Mark Waubonsee’s Youngest and Oldest Graduates

A teenager who simultaneously finished high school and earned an associate degree while maintaining status as an honors student, and a 71-year-old who overcame a lifetime of addiction and is a two-time liver transplant recipient will both walk across the stage and receive their diplomas during Waubonsee Community College’s 2016 Commencement Ceremony on May 14.

While these are just two of the 1,083 degrees being conferred this month, in many ways, the stories of Waubonsee’s youngest and oldest graduates demonstrate the diverse roles of a community college in meeting the varied services and needs for lifelong learning.

Here are their stories:

Abigail Zedwick

Abigail Zedwick turned 18-years-old one week before finishing high school and receiving her associate degree at Waubonsee Community College. The Yorkville teen enrolled in Waubonsee’s dual credit program, which allows students to take courses to earn both high school and college credit at the same time, in order to pull off the feat.

Her family made the decision to pursue dual credit shortly after moving here in 2013 from upstate New York. Zedwick said the flexibility of home schooling allowed her to complete both high school and her associate degree in less than three years. She did all of this while maintaining a high enough GPA to maintain status in Waubonsee’s Honors Program.

But Zedwick’s accelerated path also came with sacrifices. Asked how she juggled the school work and still found time for hobbies such as reading, writing and drawing, she had one word: Perseverance.

Zedwick said she tried to join clubs – such as the Creative Writing Club at Waubonsee – but found it difficult to keep up with her school work as well. She also quit her 20-hour a week job at Culvers after two semesters.

“But the whole experience was still really fun,” she said. “I met a lot of people and I learned a lot.”

Zedwick will take a trip to Disney World with her family shortly after commencement, and then will spend her summer doing an accounting internship before continuing her higher education in September at Pensacola Christian College in Florida. She currently plans to pursue a degree in accounting or finance.

Brian McIntyre

Brian McIntyre, 71, of Ottawa, credits a series of miracles for where he is today: Alive, clean and sober for 25 years, a business owner, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, two-time liver transplant recipient, and - as of this month – a college graduate.

“I was a wild and crazy guy for 45 years,” he said, reflecting on his long journey toward a college degree just moments after completing his last final. “But at one point, I laid in a hospital bed and asked God what he wanted me to do. Since then, I live in solutions, not problems.”

Over the course of decades of drug abuse and alcoholism, McIntyre worked a series of jobs and even enrolled in college five separate times.

“But I never made it even to Spring Break,” he said. “I was too easily distracted in those days.”

In 2011, that changed. McIntyre enrolled at Waubonsee Community College and decided to stay in school until he finished his degree. He started classes in spring of 2012 and graduates this month with an associate degree in human services. He plans to continue his education further.

A certified counselor, DUI evaluator and substance abuse evaluator, McIntyre is now owner of Two Rivers Outreach in Streator, which offers DUI evaluations, risk education classes and substance abuse counseling. A two-time liver transplant recipient, he also works to promote the importance of organ donation.

McIntyre said being surrounded by “18-year-old kids,” in his classes at Waubonsee was at first intimidating for him, but he came to enjoy it.

“It made me more appreciative of young people and where they’re at in life,” he said. “I think it also made me a better grandfather and great-grandfather.”

McIntyre will proudly accept his diploma in front of his family during Waubonsee’s afternoon commencement ceremony. He said he hopes that his fortitude in returning to school and completing his degree at his age has inspired his own family, and others.

“My 37-year-old son went back to school, and I hope that maybe I had something to do with that,” he said. “You’re never too old to start over.”

This summer, McIntyre plans to run his business and continue his work supporting treatment groups, overdose awareness groups and needle exchanges.

“I have been given so many miracles in my life,” he said. “I am probably in the last quarter of my life now, and I am not going to waste it. It’s time to give back.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs advance to Region IV Division III Baseball Championship

Chiefs set to play Joliet in best two-out-of-three series

Waubonsee Community College’s baseball team is set to play for the Region IV Division III Championship this coming weekend. The third-seeded Chiefs (33-17) will battle second-seeded Joliet Junior College (32-28) in a best two-out-of-three series beginning this Friday, May 13. The Wolves will host game one in Joliet beginning at 3:00 p.m. Game two will be Sunday, May 15, in Sugar Grove starting at noon. A deciding game three, if necessary, will be back in Joliet on Monday, May 16, also beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Under second-year head coach Brad Unger the Chiefs finished the regular season 30-16 overall. Waubonsee then knocked off Illinois Valley Community College 4-1 in the first round of sectional play last Saturday in Glen Ellyn. The Chiefs’ Jared Liebelt tossed a complete game, two-hitter with a dozen strikeouts in that victory over the Eagles. Waubonsee then edged top-seeded College of DuPage later in the day 3-2 in 10 innings to move into the sectional finals. Chiefs’ starting pitcher Devin Rose went the distance, scattering just three hits and striking out 13 to pick up the win.

The College of DuPage (40-15), ranked fourth nationally in the last NJCAA Division III poll, then knocked Illinois Valley out of the tournament in the last game of the day. The Chiefs and Chaparrals squared off once more in Glen Ellyn last Sunday. DuPage rallied late, scoring two in the top of the seventh and five in the eighth to win the first game 12-6 and force a winner-take-all contest. Highlighted by a two-run homer by Klay Nafzinger in a 4-run eighth inning, Waubonsee grabbed a 6-3 lead late in that game. However, DuPage again rallied to tie the game scoring three times in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. The Chiefs then pushed across three runs in the top of the 11th courtesy of two Chaparral defensive miscues to pull out a 9-6 victory.

Meanwhile, Joliet was able to dispatch of both Rock Valley College and Milwaukee (WI) Area Technical College to win their sectional and advance to the championship round against the Chiefs. For more information on this weekend’s Region IV Division III Baseball Championship, you can go on-line to or    

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Record Number Participate in Waubonsee Commencement

View 2016 Commencement Videos

Waubonsee Community College’s commencement ceremonies this year saw a record number of graduates walk across the stage.

The ceremonies – held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 14 – moved back to campus this year to accommodate the college’s growing number of graduates who choose to participate. They took place in the Field House, which opened in March 2015.

A total of 352 graduates participated in the ceremonies, and the college awarded a total of 1,083 degrees, bringing Waubonsee to a total of 22,192 degrees conferred since their first commencement in 1968.

Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek said that after two years of holding commencement at the Paramount in Aurora, it was exciting to welcome graduates and their supporters back to the Sugar Grove campus.

“And this is a momentous occasion because today marks the first time we host these ceremonies in our new Field House,” she said.

Anna Dutton, of Oswego, was among the graduates, and was selected to be the student speaker.

She said that while she came to Waubonsee “reluctantly” on a scholarship after being unable to attend her "dream school," she quickly changed her perspective.

“Little did I know two years ago that I won the lottery when I chose Waubonsee,” she said. “I can say that because of the relationships I gained here, the experiences, and the clarity I now hold for my future. Here I am a name, not a number.”

Dutton shared stories of faculty who had gone above and beyond to challenge her in their classrooms and to share their passions. She added that she admired her many classmates who had faced challenges that made her own look “microscopic.”

Waubonsee alum and new Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman delivered the commencement address.

Ziman told the graduates stories of her humbling beginning days as a new police officer.

“Adapting is good but altering your identity to fit in is not,” she said, sharing a story of the day she learned that being herself would make her better and more effective at her job.

She also encouraged those in the room to never miss an opportunity to further their education, explaining that her constant pursuit of professional development and additional degrees helped her portfolio stand out from those of her peers.

“I caught that thirst for knowledge here,” she said of her time at Waubonsee.

Ziman also shared the story of a commanding officer who told her she’d make a terrible lieutenant. She used his criticism as fuel while she studied for the test – for which she earned the top score.

“If you use criticism as fuel, you will never run out of energy,” she said.

Ziman encouraged graduates to always assess the worst case scenario when considering a new opportunity, and decide whether or not they are willing to accept that. “Without courage, you’ll stay in your comfort zone,” she said.


View Waubonsee Community College 2016 Commencement Videos:

May 14, 2016 — 10 a.m.

May 14, 2016 — 2 p.m.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs’ Salesky named NJCAA Division III Pitcher of the Week

Chiefs' baseball player garners national award for third time this spring

Waubonsee Community College’s Blake Salesky was named the NJCAA’s Division III Pitcher of the Week for the last week of April. The right-hander tossed a pair of shutouts during the week as the Chiefs trounced Harper College 14-0 and downed Olive-Harvey College 5-0. The Aurora West High School graduate struck out 12 batters, walked no one and gave up just three hits over 12 innings pitched. It’s the third time this spring that a Chiefs’ pitcher has garnered this honor, with fellow Aurora West alumnus Jared Liebelt previously winning the award twice.

Salesky allowed just one hit while striking out three over five innings in the Chiefs win at Harper. Four days later he tossed a two-hit, complete game shutout against Olive-Harvey, striking out nine over seven innings of work. On the season the 6’1” sophomore is 3-0 with a stellar 1.17 earned run average and a team-leading 11 appearances. He has struck out 27, walked just four and given up only 16 hits in 30 and two-thirds innings pitched.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Accepting Applications for First Dunham Fund Quick Path Scholars

Waubonsee Community College is now accepting applications for the first class of students who will pursue the college’s innovative, grant-funded, one-year associate degree. The program, funded by a $500,000 grant from the Aurora-based Dunham Fund, provides coursework and extra support necessary for students to earn a fully transferable associate degree in just one year – all tuition-free.

The Dunham Fund Quick Path program will accept 20 students for the first cohort, which begins in August. Priority deadline for applications is June 1.

While it is unique to the state and innovative for a community college to offer a one-year associate degree, Sean Warren-Crouch, Dunham Fund Project Manager, said the program is modeled after one at Miami Dade College in Florida.

Waubonsee’s program provides students with full tuition, books, a computer, an allowance, lunch every day and coaching by Warren-Crouch. His daily coaching with the class will cover topics including time management, goal setting, professionalism in the workplace, career exploration and college transfer.

Courses will run in eight-week blocks and will be delivered in-person and online. The curriculum has a business focus but still results in a degree that is fully transferable.

Eligible students must possess a high level of commitment and motivation to complete the accelerated degree, demonstrate financial need, demonstrate college readiness through a minimum 3.0 high school grade point average and placement in college-level courses, indicate interest in using the degree to transfer to a four-year school or enter the workforce and live within the Dunham Fund service area (defined as the geography bounded on the north by Illinois State Route 38 and on the south by U.S. Route 34; on the east by Illinois State Route 59 and on the west by Illinois State Route 47).

For more information about the program, contact Warren-Crouch at (630) 466-5757 or email or visit

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Foundation Awards More Than $256,000 in Scholarships

For the upcoming 2016-17 academic year, the Waubonsee Community College Foundation has provided 287 scholarship awards totaling over $256,000 to 234 recipients.

John Acksel Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Christian Mueller of Hinckley.

Akerlow Memorial Scholarship: Maria Hernandez-Zenteno of Aurora.

Altrusa Scholarships: Cherin Dettman of Plano and Sabrina Szigeti of Geneva.

Aurora Business and Professional Women - Francis McKnight Memorial Scholarship: Patricia Botello of Aurora.

Aurora Elks Lodge 705 Scholarships: Jessica Dominguez and Armando Rodriguez of Aurora.

Aurora Noon Lions Club Scholarship: Samantha West of Sandwich.

Aurora Republican Women's Club Scholarship: Maria Serna of Aurora.

Aurora Residents Scholarships: Estevan Acevedo, Maryia Bahdanovich, Michelle Jaramillo, Ixya Rios and Sarai Vargas of Aurora.

Roy & Hilda Baker Scholarship: Rachael Bentel of Elburn.

Ball Horticultural Company Endowed Scholarship: Chad Wehrli of Sandwich.

Banking Industry Scholarships: Carmen Fernandez and Michelle Ward of Aurora, and Travis Hoffman of Montgomery.

Janet Bodie Memorial Scholarship: Renee Rutherford-Sobol of Sandwich.

Chuck Brieschke Memorial Scholarship: Angel Huitron of Aurora.

Emma Brighman Endowed Scholarships: Odette Uwamahoro and Laud Williams of Aurora.

Lyle Burrichter and Sharon Burrichter-Votaw Endowed Memorial Nursing Scholarship: Ashley Leach of Sandwich.

Penelope (Penny) Cameron Endowed Scholarship: Katherine Staffeldt of Sandwich.

Career Development Internship Scholarship: Stephanie Olson of Sandwich.

Cari Carter Memorial Scholarship: Marcus Holland of Saint Charles.

Caterpillar Inc. Scholarships: Gerardo Caballero of Aurora and Joseph Resko of North Aurora.

Lucille M. Clark Memorial Scholarships: Shannon Barrett, Tenna Christensen and Samra Raza of Aurora, and Kyle Smola of Geneva.

Cordogan Clark Architects Scholarships: Jose Guerrero and Adrianna Valle of Aurora.

Cosmopolitan Club of Aurora Scholarships: Rebecca Galasso of Batavia and Loretta Hughes of Aurora.

Harry L. Crisp Scholarships: David Aguilar of Aurora, Leah Erb of Montgomery, Valerie Johnson of Somonauk, Jessica Larson of Sandwich, Holly Saelens and Jacob Smutzer of Oswego, and Evan Tollios of Batavia.

Dempsey Family Endowed Scholarship: William Sitton of Aurora.

Anita Dickson Memorial Scholarships: Hector Cardenas-Zepeda of Montgomery and Brandi Oswood of Yorkville.

Daniel D. Dolan Family Scholarship: Daniel Mumaw of Sandwich.

Bobbie Jean Douglas Memorial Endowed Scholarships: Samantha Beard of North Aurora and Cherin Dettman of Plano.

Dreyer Community Health Fund Scholarship: Rosa Arriaga of Aurora. Martha and Ralph Egeland Scholarship: Michael Bermes of Aurora.

El Corazon Scholarship: Adriana Perez of Aurora. Elburn

NAPA Automotive Program Scholarships: Steven Pruitt of Aurora and Christian Rodriguez of Oswego.

Evar Erickson Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Savannah Vajgert of Maple Park.

Ivy Erickson Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Christopher Settles of Aurora.

Faville Family Endowed Scholarship: Eric Peterson of Aurora.

Richard J. Feltes Family Endowed Scholarships: Michel Jimenez and John Morice of Aurora.

First National Bank Endowed Scholarships: Paola Ballines of Aurora and Jaclyn Zielke of Sandwich.

Vern Florence Family Scholarship: Christian Paquin of Batavia.

Forty and Eight Nursing Scholarship: Faith Burmania of Aurora.

Fox Valley Heart Fund Scholarships: Iresha Jayarathna of Naperville and Denise Ramos of Geneva.

Geneva Lions Club Scholarships: Tamika Armstrong of Rockford and Marchet Harts of Sterling.

Gil Law Group Scholarships: Hugo Armenta, Veronica Diaz Vazquez, Lorena Gonzalez, Adriana Perez and Annette Soto of Aurora, and Briseida Valles of Sandwich.

Gil Law Group Single Mother Scholarship: Veronica Bonilla of Aurora.

Goetz Family Engineering Scholarship: Filiberto Medina of Aurora.

Goetz Family Nursing Scholarships: Brittany DeBruin of Oswego and Shannon O'Neil of Sandwich.

Muriel and Stanley R. Groh Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Janet Jaramillo of Elgin.

Jane Whinfrey Harris Scholarship: Dora Mendez of Aurora.

Arlene S. Hawks Fine Arts Scholarship: Are'Anna Brown of Aurora.

Heartland Bank Community Enhancement Award Scholarships: Kelsie Dalton and Ginger Ingram of Aurora, Angelique Franks of Sugar Grove, and Laura Martyniuk of Montgomery.

Henning Endowed Scholarships: Caleb Ahmed and Frank Dobner of Yorkville, Mikayla Cummings of Plainfield, and Cassie Dodd and Oscar Flores of Plano.

Human Services Faculty Scholarship: Kaitlyn Kellogg of Yorkville.

I-55 Auto Salvage Automotive Program Scholarship: Nick Kuntzi of North Aurora.

ICCSF-Health Trust Scholarship: Sandra Esquivel of Aurora.

ICCSF-Illinois Healthcare Scholarships: Holly Anderson of Oswego and Michelle Luna of Aurora.

IMA Education Foundation Endowed Scholarship: Izac Gomez of Aurora.

Willa Sweet Johnson Memorial Scholarship: Jocelyn Gonzales of Oswego.

Myrtle Belle Jones Scholarships: Hannah Alvis-Bastida of Montgomery and Shannon Barrett of Aurora.

Kane County Cougars Ozzie's Scholars Scholarship: Rachael Bentel of Elburn.

Kazanova McDonald's Scholarship: Erika Fonseca-Sanchez of Aurora.

Edward A. Kelley Memorial Scholarships: Omar Mata and Ivan Santos of Aurora. Cynthia L.

Kleronomos Endowed Scholarships: Jacob Cook and Jason Gruben of Yorkville.

Constantine and Jamie Kleronomos Endowed Scholarships: Tereza Janouskova and Shaun Staunton of Yorkville, and Rachel Skonning of Montgomery.

Rex C. Knapp Memorial Award: James Walker of Aurora.

Jami Knowles Memorial Scholarship: Cindy Saavedra of Aurora.

Land Development and Construction Industry Endowed Scholarships: Isabel Fernandez of Plano, and Antonio Hernandez and Jeff Smith of Aurora.

Lawyers' Scholarship: Melinda Ray of Oswego.

John M. Leatherbury Memorial Scholarship: Kevin Billenstein of Aurora.

Marion M. and Les Lester Endowed Scholarships: Britney Daniels of Aurora, Connie Duran of Montgomery, Kati Sibenaller of Yorkville, Sarah Snyder of Maple Park, and Ashley Spitzzeri of Elburn.

Lifelong Learning Institute Founders Scholarship: Amarilis Herrera of Aurora.

Lifelong Learning Institute Scholarships: Melissa Cruz and Kelsie Dalton of Aurora, and Jacob Robitske of Elburn.

Literacy Achievement Endowed Scholarships: Samantha Beard of North Aurora and Ochgerel Perenlei of Batavia.

LKQ Automotive Recycling Program Scholarship: Victor Avila of Aurora.

Florence Lorenz Trust Scholarship: Filiberto Medina of Aurora.

Mayes/McLean Scholarship: Michael Dominique of Aurora.

Ernest McFall Memorial Award: Jason Gruben of Yorkville.

James E. Meier Memorial Award: Jacob Goldsboro of Sheridan and Whitney Ostrom of Shabbona.

Mary Frances Mulcrone Endowed Scholarships in Interpreter Training: Grace Boshell of Montgomery and Marivel Leal of Aurora.

Louise Murphy Memorial Scholarship: Holly Saelens of Oswego.

Mary Jean Murphy Memorial Scholarship: Cassandra Robitske of Elburn.

Mary Lou Murphy Memorial Scholarships: Ebonee Redmon and Adrianna Valle of Aurora.

North Aurora Lions Club Scholarships: Noah Bauch, Joseph Garlando, Alissa Johnsen, and Cynthia Lopez of North Aurora.

National Latino Peace Officers Association-Aurora Chapter Scholarships: Gicelle Camacho of Oswego and Michael Dominique of Aurora.

Dona O'Keefe Tucholski Endowed Scholarships: Tiffany Brown and Nallely Nino of Aurora, Lashun Van of Naperville, and Zachary Weiss of Batavia.

Old Second Bank Endowed Scholarships: Michelle Horn of Waterman and Alondra Morales of Aurora.

Anna M. Oleson Memorial Scholarships: David Aguilar of Aurora and Dylan Norton of Oswego.

Norm Paul Memorial Scholarship: Natalia Guzman of Elburn.

Pulver Family Scholarship: Melissa Hallbeck of Sugar Grove.

Quad County Urban League Scholarships: Marcus Holland of Saint Charles, Kevalyn Moore of Aurora, and River Woodson of Newark.

Real Estate Brokers Developers and Realtors Scholarship: Denise Horn of Waterman.

Rotary Club of Naperville Downtown Scholarships: Deborah Boedeker of Joliet and Alexander McKay of Sugar Grove.

Rotary Club of Oswego Scholarship: Katera Amann of Montgomery.

Rush-Copley President's Scholarships: Amy Smith and Rose Ann Whiteside of Oswego.

Dr. Gina Santori Nursing Scholarships: Jelena Lazic of Aurora and Devin Thomas of Yorkville.

Larry Scranton Memorial Scholarship: Jacob Volk of Geneva.

Shodeen Family Foundation Scholarships: Hugo Armenta and Morelia Delgado of Aurora, Rebecca Galasso of Batavia, and Eric Woodham of Oswego.

Jennifer Shook Student Athlete Scholarships: Brett Becker and Mallory Jones of Aurora.

John Austin Sizer Fine Arts Scholarship: Kelley Siler of North Aurora.

Robert M. Sohol Endowed Scholarships: Jacob Clarke of Batavia and Lilian Soto of Elburn.

Ashley R. Souba Memorial Scholarship: Rose Ann Whiteside of Oswego.

Speedway Auto Parts Automotive Recycling Program Scholarship: Yovani Alcantar of Aurora.

Steiner-Kerman Educational Foundation Scholarships: Emily Adkins of Sandwich and Diane Kellett of Aurora.

Karen J. and David S. Stewart Scholarship: Alanna Hoffman of Montgomery.

Wayne and Corrine Stone Endowed Career Scholarship: Hector Cardenas-Zepeda of Montgomery.

Study Abroad Scholarship: Amelia Cintula of Batavia.

John J. Swalec Jr. President's Achievement Awards: Deborah Boedeker of Joliet; Erin Carmack of Batavia; Tracie Coleman, Xiuzhen Fang, Mario Rodriguez, Cindy Saavedra and Christopher Settles of Aurora; Kristina Creasey of Oswego; Samantha Garcia and Elvia Lee of Montgomery; Julie Graziano and Carrie McCoy of Yorkville; and Danielle McCormack of Sugar Grove.

John J. Swalec Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarships: Melissa Hallbeck of Sugar Grove, Christine Schrama of Yorkville, and Celsea Taylor of Oswego.

Mary Ann Thompson Memorial Science Scholarship: Joseph Zubek of Yorkville.

Three Brothers Scholarship: Giovanni Gutierrez of Aurora.

Margaret Tobin Memorial Scholarship: Shannon O'Neil of Sandwich.

Douglas Arthur Vest Scholarship: Alissa Johnsen of North Aurora.

Marie Von Ohlen Memorial Scholarships: Faith Burmania of Aurora and Conor Snedeker of Hinckley.

Vanessa Skeens Ward Memorial Scholarship: Jamie Pozezinski of Hinckley.

Waubonsee Student Nurse Association Scholarship: Maria Serna of Aurora.

WCC Automotive Technology Scholarship: Ignacio Toscano of Montgomery.

WCC Early Childhood Education Scholarship: Samantha Garcia of Montgomery.

WCC Employee Scholarships - General: Theresa Eberhardt and Ashley Pickett of Yorkville, Matthew Grogan of Plano, Denise Horn of Waterman, Christine Michaud of Sandwich, Amy Renner of North Aurora, and Holly VanScoit of Aurora.

WCC Employee Scholarships - Minority Student: Angel Huitron and Annette Soto of Aurora.

WCC Employee Scholarships - Single Parent: Laura Muniz of Oswego and Maria Vazquez of Sycamore.

WCC Faculty Council Awards Endowed Academic Scholarship: Kesha Henderson of Yorkville.

WCC Faculty Council Awards: Erin Carmack of Batavia; and Norbert Koput, Dorothy Pryor and Samra Raza of Aurora.

WCC Faculty Council Student Needs Awards: Yesenia Cereceres, Luis Granados, and Armando Rodriguez of Aurora; Ashley Pickett of Yorkville; and Samantha Rivera of North Aurora.

WCC Faculty Council Award - Union: Julie Graziano of Yorkville.

WCC Foundation Directors Scholarships: Jasmin Bello of Plano; Eric Biegalski, Mark Biegalski, Alison Brackett, Jovanis Cain, Tarsis Cintron Buitrago, Lesly Fountain, Laura Martyniuk, Ignacio Toscano and Taylor Walgren of Montgomery; Teresa Braden, Connie Tan and Nina Williams of Batavia; Hesed Dianne Campanano, Maricruz Cervantes, Tenna Christensen, Brooke Ekstrom, Itzel Flores, Ruben Franco, Alejandro Gonzalez, Andrew Pauley, Ismael Ramirez, Ebonee Redmon and Cody Wyeth of Aurora; Jacob Cichorski and Joanna Collins of Geneva; Autumn Clark and Christian Diaz of Sandwich; Angelique Franks and Abigail Herwaldt of Sugar Grove; Jocelyn Gonzales and Bruno Reinert of Oswego; Amy Hosey and Carrie McCoy of Yorkville; Cosmos Lok of Chicago; Cassandra Robitske of Elburn; and Conor Snedeker of Hinckley.

WCC Foundation Founders Scholarships: Celia Almaraz and Perla Hernandez of Aurora, Taylor Hughes of Yorkville, Iresha Jayarathna of Naperville, Ruth McLennan of Oswego, Whitney Ostrom of Shabbona, and Ochgerel Perenlei of Batavia.

WCC Hearing Impaired Program Award: Melissa Varacalli of Oswego.

Weblinx Inc. Scholarship: Maria Hernandez-Zenteno of Aurora.

Dr. William J. and Jane G. Weigel Memorial Scholarship: Emily Adkins of Sandwich.

Claudia J. Wennmacher Memorial Scholarship: Ginger Ingram of Aurora.

West Towns Community Resource Team Scholarship: Christine Michaud of Sandwich.

WHITSA Scholarship: Samantha Rivera of North Aurora.

Nick Wirth Memorial Fire Science Scholarship: Thomas Martino of Yorkville.

Woman's Club of Aurora General Scholarships: Lorena Gonzalez of Aurora and Marissa Trevino of Montgomery.

Woman's Club of Aurora Nursing Scholarships: Ashley Leach of Sandwich and Kelechi Oranika of Aurora.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation Endowed Scholarships: Bertha Pena of Montgomery and Christian Urrea of Aurora.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Softball earns unprecedented 6th straight ISCC Championship

Lady Chiefs tie for ISCC title

Waubonsee Community College’s softball team recently earned a share of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title for an unprecedented sixth straight year. The Lady Chiefs split their final ISCC doubleheader of the season against Elgin Community College to finish tied for first in the conference with Prairie State College at 11-3. Waubonsee opened league play by splitting their twinbill against Prairie State back on March 29, losing the first game 8-0 and bouncing back in game two to trounce the Pioneers 14-4. The six straight ISCC titles surpasses the record of five consecutive crowns won by the College of Lake County from 1977 to 1981, and again from 1983 through 1987. Overall Waubonsee has captured the ISCC softball title nine times since the inception of the league in 1977. The Lady Chiefs have earned seven of those championships in the past decade, and have gone 70-8 in conference play over the last six years. 

Trailing 8-4 after three innings in game one against Elgin, the Lady Chiefs scored four times in the fourth to tie the game. Elgin pushed across a run in the bottom of the fifth for a 9-8 lead, but it was short-lived as Waubonsee scored twice in the sixth and added an insurance run in the seventh to grab at least a share of the title with an 11-9 victory. Abbey Etheridge finished 3 for 5 with a pair of runs scored, Shannen Sutherland smacked two doubles and drove in three runs, while Mary Wackerlin blasted her sixth home run of the season and added a sacrifice fly on her way to knocking in three runs in the win. The Spartans, 8-6 in ISCC action, then played spoiler role in game two hanging on for a 5-4 victory to deny the Lady Chiefs the outright conference title. Elgin scored four times in the top of the sixth to grab a 5-1 lead before Waubonsee answered with three runs in the bottom half of the frame. However, the Lady Chiefs rally came up just short in the sixth and seventh innings. Etheridge and Wackerlin each collected a pair of hits in the one-run loss.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Nominations Sought for Waubonsee Distinguished Contributor and Alumnus Awards

Nominations are now being sought for Waubonsee Community College’s 2016 Distinguished Contributor and Distinguished Alumnus awards. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, May 31 and should be submitted to Kim Caponi, Director of Presidential Communications and Operations, by emailing .

Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Waubonsee Distinguished Alumnus Award is dedicated to outstanding graduates of Waubonsee Community College District No. 516 in recognition of their unselfish and continued support of the college. The nominees should be graduates of WCC who meet the following criteria: Completed an associate degree at Waubonsee Community College, has documented evidence of a distinguished record in their chosen profession and/or occupation, has documented evidence of contribution and service to their community and has demonstrated a continued interest in lifelong education. The nominee cannot be a current employee of Waubonsee.

Nomination forms can be downloaded online here.  

Distinguished Contributor Award

The Waubonsee Distinguished Contributor Award is designed to honor individuals, groups of individuals or organizations who have made outstanding contributions or given exemplary support to the college. The award will be given to a nominee who meets the following criteria: Has supported an area of 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; Has contributed to the institution in a way which has enhanced a program, the operation and/or future development of the college which went beyond the ordinary and such results would probably not have occurred without the nominee’s special efforts; Is recognized by the college staff, community residents and officials, or community college leaders as having made an extraordinary commitment to promote the college and its mission. Nominees cannot be current employees of the college.

Nomination forms can be downloaded online here

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Place in State Automotive Competition, Will Compete Nationally

Four Waubonsee Community College students placed at the Illinois SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference held in Springfield this month.

Gold medalists are: Melanie Thomas, of Marengo, Automotive Refinishing Technology; Daniel Dwyer, of Cortland, Collision Repair Technology; Drew Kleyweg, of Yorkville, Automotive Service Technology.

Andrew Butzow, of Marengo, won a silver medal for Automotive Refinishing Technology.  

The students who earned gold will head to Louisville, Ky., June 20 through 24, for the 52nd Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference to compete for the national awards.  

A total of eight Waubonsee students from Auto Body, Auto Tech and Machine Tool Technology qualified to compete at the State level. The team was prepped and led by faculty members Jim Armitage, Ken Kunz, Andy MacDonald, Charlie Ruetsche and Guy Tiberio.   Randy Hines also participated in the conference as the Supervisor for the Additive Manufacturing contest.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

WCC's Liebelt again tabbed NJCAA Pitcher of the Week

Liebelt named national Pitcher of the Week for second time this season

Waubonsee Community College’s Jared Liebelt was named the NJCAA’s Division III Baseball Pitcher of the Week for the third week of April. The right-hander tossed a complete game, three-hitter to lead the Chiefs to an 8-1 win over Elgin Community College. The Aurora West High School graduate struck out 10 batters and walked just one in the Chiefs’ victory to win the award for the second time this season. Liebelt also garnered the honor in mid-March after shutting out nationally-ranked Herkimer (NY) Community College during Waubonsee’s annual Spring Trip to central Florida. On the season the 6’1” freshman is 5-2 with a 2.06 earned run average, while striking out 44 and allowing just 26 hits in 39 and a third innings pitched. The Chiefs are currently 26-13 overall and ranked 10th nationally in the latest NJCAA Division III rankings. Waubonsee also went 8-6 in Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference play to finish third in the league standings.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Receives Financial Reporting Award, Maintains Moody’s Rating

Waubonsee Community College received news this month reaffirming the college’s efforts to responsibly and effectively manage funds while also addressing financial challenges brought by the ongoing state budget standoff.

Waubonsee received its seventeenth consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the audited financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

In addition, the college recently learned that Moody’s has reaffirmed the college’s Aa1 rating, with a stable outlook. This maintains the college’s rating one step from a AAA rating, the highest available, and is seen as a strong endorsement by Moody’s of the college’s financial stability.

Due to the lack of state funding for higher education in fiscal year 2016, Moody’s has been in the process of reviewing the credit ratings of all Illinois institutions. Several state universities were downgraded as part of the process.

This news comes as the college’s Board of Trustees has vowed to continue the high quality tradition of the college while maintaining a balanced budget while challenged with the ongoing lack of state funding, which amounts to approximately $7 million. Due to the budget impasse in Illinois, Waubonsee has not received any state funding in fiscal year 2016 and does not anticipate funding from the state for the upcoming fiscal year. In cost saving measures, Waubonsee this year reduced spending on travel, delayed filling vacant positions and the purchase of much needed equipment. The college also passed a small tuition increase for next fiscal year. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognizes Health Information Technology Program

A program providing hands-on experiences and instruction, resulting in 100 percent pass rates in recent years, is being recognized by Waubonsee Community College as a Student Success: Featured Program. The college’s Health Information Technology (HIT) Program helps students to develop entry-level competencies developed by the American Health Information Management Association.

Andrea Siekierski, Waubonsee HIT Instructor, describes HIT as the “business side of health care.” Health information is the data related to a person’s medical history, and health information professionals are highly trained in the latest information management technology applications. They ensure a patient’s health information and records are complete, accurate and protected and have a large impact on the quality of patient care. HIT professionals are focused on the technical side of managing health information, working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient data.

“There is a huge demand for HIT professionals and many of our students have found employment prior to graduating,” Siekierski said.

The program received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Information and Informatics Management Education in October 2013. Since then, they developed a Health Information Advisory Committee consisting of alumni, faculty, employees and administrators from hospitals and other healthcare providers, launched the Waubonsee Health Information Technology Student Association, and an open lab to assist students with coursework, applications exercises, case studies and review for accreditation exams. The Health Information Technology program has received the Illinois State University Center for Specialized Professional Support New Look grant and the Illinois Community College Board Pathways to Results grant.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

YWCA Aurora Names Scholarship for Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek

Waubonsee Community College President Dr. Christine Sobek was recently recognized by YWCA Aurora, which named a scholarship in her honor.

During the YWCA 2016 Leaders of Change Luncheon in Aurora, the YWCA announced the creation of the YWCA Aurora Dr. Christine Sobek Scholarship, recognizing Sobek’s “passionate community outreach and devotion to empowering women leaders both through her work at Waubonsee and personally.”

The scholarship will award $2,500 to one Waubonsee student, and will be provided annually as funds allow. The application for 2016-17 is due Friday, May 20.

During the event, the YWCA also named a scholarship in honor of Dr. Rebecca Sherrick, who became president of Aurora University in 2000. Sobek has served as president of Waubonsee since 2001, and has spent her career as an educator and administrator in Illinois’ community college system.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Student Government Elected

Waubonsee Community College recently held elections for the 2016-2017 Student Senate members.

Elected to Student Senate President is Yosemite Pinedo, Aurora and the Student Trustee is Mildreth Torres, Aurora.

The nine Student Senators elected for next year are Estevan Acevedo, Aurora; Seth Coleman, Batavia; Samantha Coomes, Somonauk; Giovanni Gutierrez, Aurora; Elizabeth Lonigro, Elburn; Bailey Martenson, Shabbona; Sabrina Ortego, Aurora; Guadalupe Romualdo, Aurora and William Sitton, Aurora.

The Waubonsee Student Senate is composed of a total of 12 students: The president and five senators are elected in the spring and the remaining six are elected in the fall. The Student Senate provides the opportunity for a student-planned and operated system of projects for the college and provides one channel of communication through which the administration of the college and students can discuss topics.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Featured Alum Turned Passion for Wildlife into Career

Waubonsee Community College alum Katie Billing grew up idolizing animal adventurer and television star Steve Irwin, but she never dreamed during her undergraduate days that the hobbies and passions she was developing would lead to a fulfilling career in wildlife and conservation.

“I have always loved animals, and was always picking up worms and frogs as a kid, and running in mud,” she said. “And luckily I can say that today my purpose in life is to teach people about conservation and get people to understand that animals can’t help themselves. We have to help them.”

After completing her Associate in Science degree at Waubonsee in 2013, the Batavia native transferred to Southern Illinois University (SIU), Carbondale to finish her undergraduate career, where she earned a B.S. in Zoology (wildlife biology and conservation). She is now working as Project Manager at Purposeful Networks in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For her dedication and for the example she set by launching her dreams as an undergraduate, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Billing as a Student Success: Featured Alumnus. Billing said deciding to attend Waubonsee was “the best decision that I ever made.”

“I tell everyone to go to community college,” she said. “It really helped shape me academically and prepared me for the next two years at SIU. It allowed me to do more with my hometown and with the environmental initiatives that were important to me.”

At Waubonsee, Billing was President of the Sustainability Club, a STEM scholar and helped to run Waubonsee’s Earth Week events. She was mentored by the college’s biology faculty, and was also involved in theater. She said it was that well-rounded mix of support, activities and interests that helped develop the professional skills that got her to where she is today.

“As it turns out, being able to combine my love for theater, improv and teaching people about sustainability and animals was perfect for me,” she said. “I was constantly on stage and helping to build sets at Waubonsee. Those were the foundations for my path after I left.” During her summers in college, Billing worked at Brookfield Zoo, which eventually led to a summer position at the Columbus Zoo, working with famed zookeeper Jack Hanna and his program. She also won an opportunity to work with Polar Bears International. “My job at Brookfield Zoo was what launched me into the sustainability world,” she said, explaining a project she did there – a 25-page book about how to become a conservation leader – won her an opportunity to attend leadership camp in Canada, working with scientists and learning about climate change.

“There I was on this tundra buggy in the middle of the Arctic, surrounded by polar bears migrating through the area,” she said. After that experience, Billing remained in touch with the scientists, leading to a return trip during her time as a student at SIU.

During her senior year of college, she took on as many leadership responsibilities as she could handle. She was involved in the Zoology Club and was a student ambassador for a company that encouraged college students to share about their sustainable activities such as recycling or reusing. That company evolved into Billing’s current employer, Purposeful Networks.

In her current position, she helps clients find creative ways to use technology to drive their missions. Billing recently became a project manager of a new project called Zoo Tracks, where she is working with zoos to create next-level guest experiences through mobile programs, customization, and immersion in zoological parks. The project encourages users to share their stories, learn more as conservation leaders, and do more sustainable behaviors post-visit for zoos and wildlife.

Billing said her engagement as an undergraduate helped her to grow a network that has nourished her career.

“I have quickly learned in the work environment, it is more about who you know versus what you know,” she said. “By being able to get involved and connected with other people, that helps you build team skills and become a leader. It widens your network.”

You can follow Billing’s conservation efforts on her blog,

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Aurora Resident Named Waubonsee Student Trustee

Mildreth Torres, of Aurora, has been elected to serve as Waubonsee Community College’s Student Trustee for 2016-2017. Torres was seated at the college’s board of trustees meeting April 20. 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, Torres graduated from Oswego East High School in May 2015 and hopes to attend law school, and then become a civil rights attorney. She is currently president of Waubonsee Business and Entrepreneurship Club and is involved in Campus Activities Board and a new student club, C.A.R.E., a club which assists Waubonsee’s office of Student Life to do service activities and civic engagement.

“I am looking forward to gaining this experience and serving as the voice of the students,” Torres said of her new role as student trustee.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Art Exhibits Open to the Public

Waubonsee Community College currently is offering several student art exhibits that are free and open to the public.

From now until July 10, Waubonsee student Michelle Conklin’s photography work is on display in the Aurora Downtown Campus Café, 18 S. River St. in Aurora. The show, called “Grit and Conviction,” is a series of photographs. Viewing hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Until May 1, the public can see the Spring 2016 Student Exhibition in the Todd Library, located on the second floor of Collins Hall on the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive. Exhibit hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m.

Until May 6, the public can view Skyway Selections, a group show of 35 artworks selected by Cynthia Hellyer Heinz, Foundation Coordinator at Northern Illinois University. These student artworks can be viewed in the Arrowhead Room gallery, located on the first floor of Dickson Center of the Sugar Grove campus, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Satruday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From April 23 until May 8, Waubonsee presents the Spring 2016 Student Showcase at Von Ohlen Hall, second floor hallway, at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

All Waubonsee exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cecilia Vargas, Waubonsee Art Coordinator, at (630) 466-2964 or 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Plan Day of Service

Waubonsee Community College students will spend Saturday, April 16 volunteering at seven sites throughout the area for their Day of Service.

Organizers say 125 students will do service projects with Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, Aurora Salvation Army, Kendall County Food Pantry, Aurora Humane Society/Fox Valley United Way, Rebuilding Together Aurora, Kane County Forest Preserve and Mutual Ground in Aurora. Throughout the day, students will assist in activities such as raking, weeding, moving branches, or assisting with the other needs of the service organizations involved.

“This is the largest Day of Service that we have ever hosted, thanks to our partnership with the Gustafson Scholarship program, said Meg Junk, Waubonsee Student Life Specialist. “We are excited to be able to partner with seven different organizations and make a larger impact.”

Junk said this is the third year that Waubonsee has hosted Day of Service, which began in Spring of 2014 and has been done once per semester since its inception.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Free Spring Concert Series Schedule Released

Waubonsee Community College will offer a series of free concerts this spring. All performances take place in the Auditorium on the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive.

The concert schedule is as follows: Chorale and Octapella, 3 p.m. April 24; Steel Band, 7:30 p.m. April 29; Rock Band and Percussion Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. May 5; Jazz Band with guest performers Callaloo, 7:30 p.m. May 6; Concert Band, 7:30 p.m. May 13.

Also, individual student recitals will take place in Von Ohlen 114 (Little Theatre). The sophomore recital is at 3 p.m. April 17 and a General Student Recital is at 3 p.m. on May 15.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Visiting Artist Offers Lecture to the Public

Danielle Dobies, a Fox Valley-based artist currently exhibiting her work at Waubonsee Community College, will offer a lecture on April 18 that is free and open to the public. The lecture takes place from 11 a.m. to noon in Von Ohlen Hall, Room 201 at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

Dobies’ artwork focuses on sculptural installations that use upholstery techniques, or is focused on glass and tile mosaics. Her art is usually wearable or interactive within an exhibition.

Dobies earned her BFA in Sculpture, Painting and Drawing, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Elmhurst College. She received her M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University.

She has worked as an art instructor for the Fox Valley Jewish School, as a project director for local public mural projects and an artist in residence at Water Street Studios. She is currently an adjunct professor of sculpture at Elmhurst college. Her work can be viewed on exhibit in the Dickson Window Art Project Space in the Dickson Building at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove campus until June 29.

For more information about the lecture, contact Cecilia Vargas, Waubonsee Art Coordinator, at or (630) 466-7900 ext. 2964.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Wadsworth heads up Waubonsee post-season awards

Wadsworth named NJCAA All-American for second straight year

For the second straight year Julianna Wadsworth headlines Waubonsee Community College’s post-season basketball honors. The Oswego native was recently named an NJCAA Division II Second Team All-American to become the Lady Chiefs’ first player to ever earn that distinction twice. The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA’s Region IV Committee also recognized the Lady Chiefs’ record-setting season. Wadsworth was selected as the ISCC’s Player of the Year, while Coriesha Bailey and Libby Love were also both tabbed to the All-ISCC First Team. Teammate Jenae Rowe was chosen to the All-ISCC Second Team and head coach Jim Sury was selected as the ISCC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year. Wadsworth was also named to the All-Region First Team, with Bailey garnering All-Region Second Team status and Sury tabbed the Region IV District L Coach of the Year. Men’s basketball player John Stark was named to the All-ISCC First Team, while teammate Naiem Johnson was selected to the All-ISCC Second Team to round out Waubonsee’s post-season recognition.

Wadsworth, a sophomore from Oswego East High School, led unranked Waubonsee to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the second straight year. The 5’9” forward averaged 20.3 points per game overall, including averaging 22.6 points in conference play. An all-around performer, Wadsworth also grabbed seven rebounds, handed out five assists and recorded four steals per game. On the season she booked a school record 628 points, eclipsing the program record of 583 which she set last season. She finishes her Waubonsee career as the Lady Chiefs’ all-time leading scorer with 1,211 total points. Wadsworth also was third nationally in free throw percentage at 86 percent, and fourth nationally with 123 steals.

Bailey, a 5’5” sophomore point guard, led all NJCAA Division II players in assists with a Waubonsee single-season record of 241 assists. The Rockford East High School graduate averaged 14.1 points per contest and 6.7 assists per game. In conference play she was even better, averaging 7.9 assists per game. Bailey also set a Waubonsee record for assists in a game when she was credited with 16 in a win at Lake County. She recorded double-digits in assists nine times during the season. 

Freshman Libby Love was also named to the All-ISCC First Team. The Plano High School alumnus averaged 16.1 points per game in conference action. The 5’8” guard led Waubonsee with 54 three-pointers on the season. Forward Jenae Rowe was selected to the All-ISCC Second Team. The sophomore from Joliet Township High School contributed 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in ISCC play. On the year the 5’8” Rowe collected a team-leading 306 rebounds, and posted 16 double-doubles in points and rebounds during the season.

Second-year head coach Jim Sury was chosen as the ISCC’s Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year after guiding Waubonsee to the ISCC title with an undefeated 14-0 record. Sury was also tabbed the Region IV District L Coach of the Year after leading Waubonsee to the Region IV title and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament for the second straight year. Sury’s crew set a program record for wins in a season as they finished 27-9 overall, and established a school-record with an 18-game winning streak late in the season.

The 6’11” Stark was named All-ISCC First Team after averaging 12.2 points per game while shooting 56 percent from the field in league play. The Oswego High School graduate really came on toward the end of the season, averaging 16.2 points a game over the Chiefs’ final 10 ISCC games. The freshman center averaged only two points per contest the first half of Waubonsee’s season. Johnson, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada, was an All-ISCC Second Team selection as he averaged 11.5 points and two assists in conference play. The 6’1” guard shot 54.5 percent from the field for the season.                                                              

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Earth Week Events Offered for Community

Waubonsee Community College is offering more than a week’s worth of events in celebration of Earth Day. The events are free and open to the community.

For more information or for special accommodations, contact Eileen Keeney-Garcia, Waubonsee Buildings/Ground Manager, at (630) 466-7900 ext. 5797 or

The events are as follows:

Saturday, April 16

Day of Service presented by Student Life Waubonsee students will kick off Earth Week by volunteering for one of seven community projects. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, April 18

Bringing Green into Your Home presented by Mavis Bates, Adjunct Professor of Math and Sciences A discussion of sustainability and energy saving tips that can benefit the environment and your family. 2 to 3 p.m. Academic and Professional Center, Room 160

Tuesday, April 19

Early Morning Bird Walk led by Ryan Johnson, Groundskeeper Discover the many species of birds that are found on campus and its surrounding trails. Bring your own binoculars if you have them. 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Auditorium Parking Lot

Bring Nature to Your Yard presented by Jim Kleinwachter and The Conservation Foundation Learn how to modify your landscape to attract birds and butterflies. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Academic and Professional Center, Room 120

A Century of National Parks presented by Sue Bennett, Acting Chief of Visitor Services, Pullman National Monument Learn about the rich heritage of the national park system and how you can enjoy Chicagoland’s closest sites. 7 p.m., Auditorium

Wednesday, April 20

Learn about the Oaks! presented by Jan Sorensen and Wasco Nursery Learn about the wonderful ecosystem that supports over 200 species of wildlife! 10 to 11:30 a.m. Bodie Hall, Room 150

Trail Walk led by Joe Zappia, Lead Groundskeeper and Certified Arborist A light-to-moderate walk focusing on vegetative diversity and an in-depth look at our awesome woods. 1 to 2 p.m. Meet in front of Bodie Hall.

Thursday, April 21

Recycling Event Recycle electronics, batteries and glasses, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ceramic Kiln area and Student Center Lobby.

Habitat Walk led by Waubonsee staff A light-to-moderate walk to experience the different habitats that exist just within the campus borders, including wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. 1 to 2 p.m. Meet at the Overflow Parking Lot on the south side of campus.

Friday, April 22

The Benefits of Trees presented by Tricia Bethke, Morton Arboretum A discussion of the great benefit of trees and how you can help them. Noon to 2 p.m. Student Center, Room 106

Commemorative Tree Planting and Presentation Join the Waubonsee Grounds Department to celebrate Arbor Day and the end of Earth Week. has donated a tree that they will be planting just northwest of the Student Center. will also be providing tree planting advice during the ceremony. SavATree will be giving a presentation on post tree planting care. Attendees will receive a small tree purchased from the Arbor Day Foundation. Come and help us celebrate! 2 to 4 p.m. Student Center, Room 106

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Fox Country Players to Perform “Next to Normal”

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education department and the Fox Country Players will present “Next to Normal” this month. Performances take place at 7 p.m. April 15 and 16 and 2 p.m. on April 17 at the Waubonsee Sugar Grove Campus Auditorium, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive.

With music by Tom Kitt, and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, the play is the winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score, and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. The play was also chosen as "one of the year's 10 best shows" by critics around the country. The rock musical tells the story of a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, and the impact that illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such heavy issues grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in psychiatry and suburban life. 

Fox Country Players, founded in 1979, is a community theatre group based out of Yorkville that is dedicated to excellence in theatre education and performance in the Fox Valley Community.

Director Patrick Stinson said Fox Country Players chose this show because of the message and topic.

“Mental illness is taboo in our society and with the rash of shootings that have been blamed on people needing help, and with so many people suffering from depression, we wanted to do a show that reaches out to that community and shows the that there is light,” he said.

Stinson, of Oswego, said the play features a talented cast of six, with two understudies. That cast includes two Waubonsee students, Ryan Drendel, of North Aurora, in the role of Henry, and Hannah Zepeda, of Batavia, as understudy in the role of Natalie. The rest of the cast includes: Lori Skubich, of Lombard, playing Diana; Ross Wheeler, of Yorkville, playing Dan; Michell Kinn, of Lisle, playing Gabe; Allison Kasbee, of Naperville, playing Natalie; Eliseo Martinez, of Aurora, playing Dr. Madden, Dr. Fine.

“Of anything I have ever done I want people to see this show, and I have done a lot of shows,” Stinson said.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors (65+). Tickets can be purchased at

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs' Liebelt tabbed NJCAA Pitcher of the Week

Chiefs' Liebelt recognized nationally

Waubonsee Community College’s Jared Liebelt was named the NJCAA’s Division III Pitcher of the Week for the third week of March. The right-handed pitcher tossed a complete game, three-hit shutout to lead the Chiefs to a 6-0 win over nationally-ranked Herkimer (NY) Community College. The Aurora West High School graduate struck out 10 batters and walked just one in the Chiefs’ victory during their annual Spring Trip to central Florida.

In his first start of the season Liebelt allowed just two hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and one walk in Waubonsee’s 8-0 win over Rainy River (MN) Community College. On the season thus far the 6’1” freshman is 3-1 with a stellar earned run average of only 0.95. Liebelt has struck out 25 batters in 19 innings of work, while walking eight and allowing just nine hits total. The Chiefs are currently 10-4 overall and 2-2 in Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference play.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Ranked Among Best Community Colleges in Illinois

Waubonsee Community College was ranked among the best community colleges in the state by

The college was ranked fourth among community colleges in Illinois. The ranking notes that Waubonsee “perhaps deserves extra recognition for its considerable percentage of students who transfer out with a goal of finishing. Only four schools on our list had higher transfer rates than Waubonsee.”

The top three schools ranked were Olney Central College, Lincoln Trail College and Highland Community College. Rounding out the top 10 were Elgin Community College, Lake Land College, Oakton Community College, McHenry County College, Harper College and John Wood Community College.

The article also mentions Waubonsee’s affordable cost of tuition and fees as being $900 less than the statewide average and ranked number one for affordability statewide in 2014. The ranking gives special mention to Waubonsee Community College Foundation’s robust institutional scholarships, and online application process.

“This ranking reaffirms our commitment to providing access for our students to high quality education at an affordable price,” said Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek. “We appreciate this recognition of our ability to prepare our students for their educational and career goals and our accessibility.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Host Spring Job and Internship Fair on April 8

Registration so far for Waubonsee Community College’s Spring Job and Internship Fair on Friday, April 8 indicates that the event is on pace to break employer participation records once again.

The event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Academic Professional Center at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

So far, the spring event saw 50 percent of available employer spaces fill within the first week of registration opening. Some of the employers who have already registered to recruit at the fair include General Mills, Dukane Precast, City of St. Charles Police Department, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Kendall County Sheriff, Menards, Walgreens and Cardinal Health.

Julie Bechtold, Waubonsee Career Development Center Manager, said that the event is open to the public, and organizers are working on building the connection between students and employers.

“We purposefully collaborated with each of the academic areas to increase awareness of employment and internship opportunities,” she said. “Employers come to campus because they specifically want to engage with students and are excited about the opportunity.”

Job seekers are asked to register in advance. To do that, and to view a complete list of employers who are registered for the event, visit

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Featured in Skyway Juried Art Exhibition

The work of six Waubonsee Community College art students is currently featured in the 2016 Skyway Juried Art Exhibition, which runs through April 4 at Elgin Community College.

The students whose artwork are featured are: Anna Bateman, of Elburn; Anjela Cabanlong, of Aurora; Michelle Conklin, of Maple Park; Esther Espino, of Maple Park; Sabryna Kusiak, of Montgomery; and Monica Valentin, of Aurora.

Conklin won an Award of Excellence for her digital photograph, “Hand Prep.”

The 2016 Skyway Juried Art Exhibition is located at Elgin Community College’s Safety-Kleen Gallery One, Arts Center, Building H, H100, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin.

The Waubonsee artists’ Spring 2016 Skyway Selections will be exhibited from April 8 to May 2 in the Arrowhead Room at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Featured Student Already Worldly Humanitarian

Danielle Adamowski’s young life has already taken her around the world in pursuit of her desire to help others.

Her humanitarian pursuits have led her to work with orphans in Haiti, reconstruct a solar efficient home for public viewing, build an afterschool program in a remote and poor town, prep a forest floor to prevent forest fires, teach kids how to garden and institute a school-wide walking program and build a running trail in Arizona.

David Brooks, New York Times columnist, once wrote that there are two kinds of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Adamowski is committed to the eulogy virtues, and so it is fitting that her time at Waubonsee began in a Peace Studies class.

For her insatiable desire to make the world a better place, and her demonstrated commitment to that goal, Adamowski is recognized as Waubonsee Community Colleges Student Success: Featured Student.

Adamowski, of Aurora, said her humanitarian mission began reluctantly, when – during her sophomore year in high school - a friend invited her to volunteer in Haiti. Adamowski lied and told the friend that her mother would not let her go. The friend called Adamowski’s mother, who agreed that her daughter should go.

“My mom is always pushing me to go out and explore and experience new things,” she said, admitting that her mother was right about the trip to Haiti. She spent her time there volunteering in orphanages, and the experience was life changing.

“It was the first time in my life where I saw the direct impact I had on a person that I was helping out,” she said. “I’d volunteered before, but it was always more at a distance, like collecting food for a shelter.”

The next year, Adamowski returned to Haiti, this time with her mother and sister. And she began looking into the National Civilian Community Corps. Excited to start, she graduated from West Aurora High School early and enrolled in a Peace Studies course taught by Ellen Lindeen at Waubonsee Community College.

An anthropology major, Adamowski plans on completing her studies in spring 2017, and then continue her humanitarian work, possibly by returning to agencies she’s volunteered with in the past.

“I am really hoping to spend my life traveling and helping,” she said. “Some of the courses and teachers I have had here at Waubonsee have really opened my eyes to the world.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Community College Announces Name Changes for Two Campuses

Waubonsee Community College publicly announces name changes for two of its campuses, which will better reflect the distinct identities of and create consistency across all four of Waubonsee’s campuses. Effective immediately, the Aurora Campus, 18 S. River Street in Aurora, will be called the Aurora Downtown Campus and the Copley Campus, 2060 Ogden Ave. in Aurora, will be called the Aurora Fox Valley Campus.

Waubonsee’s Plano and Sugar Grove campus identities will remain unchanged.

The Aurora Fox Valley Campus closed in December for renovations, and is scheduled to re-open in July for registration for fall classes, and will be fully operating and offering classes on-site in August, at the start of the fall semester.

The renovations will allow the college to better serve students in the far eastern portion of the college district, and provide a significantly enhanced facility for the college’s robust healthcare offerings. Programs that will be offered at the Aurora Fox Valley Campus are: Nursing, Phlebotomy, Medical Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician-Basic, Nurse Assistant and Surgical Technology. In addition, the college will offer the Office Software Specialist certificate at that campus.

When the campus re-opens for the fall 2016 semester, it will feature expanded student services, including tutoring, library resources and testing services. While some classes will be offered in the traditional 16- week format, a majority of offerings will be in an eight-week format.

Since the 30,000-square-foot campus opened in January 1997, Waubonsee has been operating primarily out of the second floor, as first-floor office space was rented. Now that the campus will be fully used by the college, the first floor is undergoing a complete renovation, creating instructional and administrative space. Other facets of the $4.8 million project include a partial renovation of the second floor; a new roof; and new heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.

“The renaming of these campuses aligns with our vision and reaffirms our commitment to the students, residents and employers in our communities,” said Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek. “The fast-paced climate of higher education today demands that we be agile and adept at evolving to meet ever-changing needs while maintaining a high level of quality and delivery. The renovation of the Aurora Fox Valley Campus exemplifies those efforts.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Students Invited to Compete in ‘Motivate to Complete’

Waubonsee Community College students are invited to take part in the second annual “Motivate to Complete” Public Service Announcement Contest, which aims to inspire students to complete their studies.

The competition, created and coordinated by Professor of Communications Larry Modaff, began last year. Modaff said that in light of local, state and national emphasis on college completion, he wanted to encourage Waubonsee students to explore their own college-related motivations and articulate those to their peers.

The contest’s prize money of $500 for first place, $350 for second, and $200 for third, is provided by the Waubonsee Student Senate. Students who would like to learn more about the competition can visit Prize-winning entries from last year’s contest can be viewed at

Entries are due by 3 p.m. on Monday, April 25th. In early May, an awards ceremony will be held to announce the three winning entries. Entries will be judged on creativity, production value, potential to inspire, and clarity and logic of the written description. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Named 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar

Waubonsee Community College student Anna Dutton, of Oswego, has been named a 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. Each Bronze Scholar receives a $1,000 scholarship and a special medallion.

Dutton is majoring in business and is involved in Phi Theta Kappa, Delta Sigma Omicron and Sigma Chi Eta at Waubonsee.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program and recognizes Coca-Cola Community College scholars during All-State Community College Academic Team Recognition ceremonies held in 38 states. Student scholars also receive recognition locally during ceremonies held on campus and internationally for those who are able to attend Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention. 

Community college presidents or their designated nominators may submit no more than two nominations per campus for this award. An independent panel of judges considers outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, and engagement in college and community service in the selection process.

Phi Theta Kappa, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territorial possessions and eight sovereign nations. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Professor Previews Spring Forecast

The official start of spring comes this month – Sunday, March 20. Waubonsee Assistant Professor of Earth Science, Karl Schulze, who teaches classes such as Meteorology and Climate and Global Change, took a moment to tell us what we can expect here this spring.

Spoiler alert: No groundhogs were used in the making of this spring forecast.

March is off to a promising start, so can we expect an "early" and warm spring this year, or what are your predictions for the overall spring forecast?  

Professor Schulze:

The temperatures have been above normal for the entire winter, and the spring is certainly off to a warm start. I can't see any reason why we should suddenly drop to below normal for an extended period of time. 

Even though temperatures in the middle 60s is awesome for early March, we need to remember that the 30-year average temperature (or "normal high") should only be in the middle 40s. 

While I expect the spring to continue to be above normal as a whole, we can't rule out a few day stretch here or there where the temperatures can drop to below normal.

How will El Nino and other factors impact our weather in the coming months?  

Professor Schulze:

The current expectations are for El Nino to weaken later this spring or early summer, so its effect on our weather will gradually diminish. 

In addition, El Nino has its biggest impact on Illinois weather during the winter season, so it normally doesn't have much of an influence once we enter spring and summertime.

Are there any other significant factors that forecasters need to consider or that could change the expected weather patterns?  

Professor Schulze:

When meteorologists attempt to do a seasonal outlook or forecast, one element is El Nino or La Nina. From there, other important factors include soil moisture, amount of ice on the Great Lakes, the amount of snow cover in Canada, etc. 

When it comes to soil moisture this year, we are near normal.  If you recall the hot, dry summer of 2012, we had temperatures in the 80s on St. Patrick's Day, and the dry ground allowed the heat and dryness to continue into summer.  We don't have much ice cover on the Great Lakes this year, which should allow for warmer lake temperatures later this spring and perhaps less prominent lake breezes in Chicagoland this summer.  So given the current trend and all these other miscellaneous factors, it seems like spring should continue being warmer than normal as a whole.

Is there anything helpful that the average person might want to consider regarding the spring. For example, if it starts out unseasonably warmer, is it safe to plant earlier?  

Professor Schulze:

I wouldn't plant any earlier. 

Although the spring as a whole is expected to be above normal in terms of temperature, that doesn't mean we won't have another blizzard, or another cold Canadian air mass moving in, to cause a hard freeze and the loss of sensitive plants. 

In the Waubonsee neighborhood, we still have a 50 percent chance of seeing temperatures at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit all the way through April 29 (on average).  Maybe that date can move up a little this year, but since the length of our growing season is plenty to enjoy those flowers, I see no reason to rush and plant them early.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee set to play at Nationals

Lady Chiefs make second consecutive trip to Nationals

The unheralded Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball team will once again look to prove people wrong at the NJCAA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament. The Lady Chiefs (26-7) received the 13th seed and are set to take on fourth-seeded Kansas City Kansas Community College (29-3) this coming Wednesday, March 16, beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Blue Devils are the local favorite after upsetting the tournament host school and nation’s top-ranked team Johnson County (KS) Community College in the Region VI District B title game 63-56. All the tournament games can been seen ‘live’ on-line at NJCAA.TV. For more information go to  

Waubonsee is making its second consecutive appearance at the 16-team, double elimination National Tournament after edging South Suburban College 57-55 in the Region IV District L title game. Last year the unranked Lady Chiefs advanced to the tournament for the first time ever and finished 11th in the nation. This time around they may not be as big an underdog. Waubonsee captured the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title for the second time in the last three years, going undefeated in the process. The Lady Chiefs also reached the Region IV title game for the third straight year, winning it the last two. Second-year head coach Jim Sury has guided his squad to 18 straight wins and a new program record with 26 wins thus far.  

Waubonsee is led by returning NJCAA All-American Julianna Wadsworth who is averaging 20.6 points per game, placing her 18th nationally among Division II junior college players. The Oswego East High School product is 12th nationally in points with 576 and needs just seven more to eclipse her own Waubonsee single-season mark of 583 set last year. The ISCC’s Player of the Year, Wadsworth also averages seven rebounds, five assists and four steals per game. The sophomore forward’s 117 steals this season places her fourth nationally in that category. In 28 games played she has connected on 84.5 percent of her free throw attempts to rank seventh nationally. Earlier this season Wadsworth became Waubonsee’s all-time leading scorer and currently has booked 1,159 career points.  

Sophomore point guard Coriesha Bailey, also an All-ISCC First Team selection, averages 13.6 points per contest and 6.9 assists per game, placing her fourth nationally in that category. The Rockford East High School graduate has set Waubonsee records for assists in a game (16) and in a season with 227 and counting, which currently puts her second nationally in total assists. In addition Bailey has registered 110 steals, the fifth most nationally.

Freshman guard Libby Love was also named to the All-ISCC First Team. The Plano High School alumnus averaged 16.1 points per game in conference action and leads the team with 52 three-point baskets. Sophomore forward Jenae Rowe was selected to the All-ISCC Second Team. The Joliet Township High School alumnus contributes 10.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Aurora West High School graduate Elizabeth Skaggs also averages 10.9 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Lady Chiefs. Second-year head coach Jim Sury was chosen as the ISCC’s Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, and for the second straight year he was tabbed the Region IV District L Coach of the Year.   

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Lady Chiefs headed to National Tournament for second straight year

Wadsworth's clutch 15-foot jumper with 0:03 left sends Waubonsee to Nationals

Julianna Wadsworth’s 15-foot jumper with just 0:03 left lifted third-seeded Waubonsee Community College to a 57-55 victory over fourth-seeded South Suburban College in the Region IV Division II District L Championship game. Wadsworth’s clutch basket sends the Lady Chiefs (26-7) to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the second straight year. Unranked Waubonsee will begin play in the 16-team, double-elimination tournament at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on March 15. The title win extended the Lady Chiefs winning streak to 18 games as Coach Jim Sury’s crew also established a new Waubonsee single-season mark for wins with their 26th victory. Jenae Rowe led Waubonsee with a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with five steals. Wadsworth added 15 points, seven boards, four assists and three steals. Libby Love chipped in with 10 points, Elizabeth Skaggs tallied nine points and snagged eight rebounds, and Coriesha Bailey contributed six assists and five rebounds.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Women's Basketball Captures Conference Title

Women's Basketball completes undefeated ISCC title, earns conference honors

Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball team recently captured the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title for the second time in the last three years. The Lady Chiefs downed Elgin Community College 81-47 on Feb. 18 to go undefeated (14-0) in ISCC play for the second time in three years as well. In the process Waubonsee finished the regular season with a 23-7 record overall, and extended their current winning streak to 15 games. Coach Jim Sury’s squad was seeded third and will host ISCC foe Prairie State College (12-17) in the first round of the Region IV Division II District L Tournament. The Lady Chiefs and Pioneers will tip off at 5:30 p.m. in Sugar Grove on Thursday, Feb. 25. You can watch the game ‘live’ on-line at

Waubonsee won both meetings this season with Prairie State, winning 57-46 on Jan. 26 in Chicago Heights and 65-61 on Feb. 16 on their home floor. The Lady Chiefs are led by returning NJCAA All-American Julianna Wadsworth who averaged 22.6 points per game in conference on the way to being tabbed the ISCC’s Player of the Year. The sophomore forward from Oswego East High School became Waubonsee’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season and has booked 1,099 career points thus far. Sophomore point guard Coriesha Bailey, also named All-ISCC First Team, averages 13.2 points per contest and 7.1 assists per game, placing her fourth nationally in that category among NJCAA Division II players. This season the Rockford East High School graduate has set Waubonsee records for assists in a game (16) and in a season with 212, which currently puts her third nationally in total assists.

Freshman guard Libby Love was also named to the All-ISCC First Team. The Plano High School alumnus averaged 16.1 points per game in conference action. Forward Jenae Rowe was selected to the All-ISCC Second Team. The sophomore from Joliet Township High School contributed 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds in ISCC play. Second-year head coach Jim Sury was chosen as the ISCC’s Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year. Last season he guided Waubonsee to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in school history, where the unranked Lady Chiefs placed 11th in the nation.   

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Powers Appointed to AACC Faculty Council

Waubonsee Community College Associate Professor of History Amy Powers was appointed to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Faculty Council. Her term runs until June 30, 2018.

The AACC is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s 1,200 community colleges. As a member of the AACC Faculty Council, Powers will lend insights and leadership to the association staff’s decision-making process for representing the interests of all of its member institutions. Powers’ first meeting with the council will take place April 8 in Chicago.

Powers has taught classes at Waubonsee since 2003. She obtained a Ph.D. in history from NIU in 2007, and earned a master’s degree in history from John Carroll University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Grove City College.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Faculty, Staff Work Published

Members of the faculty and staff at Waubonsee Community College had their work published in various places during the past month.

Linda Haugen, Marketing and Communications Event Coordinator, had an article on event planning published in the January issue of Counsel, a publication of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

Ellen Lindeen, Associate Professor of English, wrote an article “Education, Junior High, Police, and Fixing our Killing Problem,” which was published several places in January. It was published by Common Dreams, the LA Progressive, Counterpunch, the San Diego Free Press, The Gilmer Mirror, Chicago Activism, and PeaceVoice. In the article, Lindeen presents positive options for policing that include carrying non-lethal weapons, training in de-escalation techniques and education in the sociology of race.

Billy Clem, Associate Professor of English, wrote a poem “Collateral Damage, or Note to a Friend for Election Day,” that was published in the January issue of the online magazine The New Verse News.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Earns Tree Campus USA Designation for Sixth Consecutive Year

For the sixth consecutive year, Waubonsee Community College has earned a Tree Campus USA recognition. The national program honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees, and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

As part of the designation, Waubonsee organized a campus-wide tree inventory, conducted entirely by student volunteers under the direction of the campus arborist, using advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. 

Waubonsee chose a GIS platform for the collection, formatting and management of its data with the support of the college’s GIS degree and certificate program. Students and faculty in that program and others across campus have been part of the effort. GIS is the most advanced management tool for tree inventories.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

'Opening a Window of the Universe' - Gravitational Waves Discovery Explained

Major news for the science world – and really, our universe – took place last week when scientists announced they’d detected gravitational waves. Waubonsee Physics Instructor, Dr. Pratima Jindal, sat down to explain to us why this is such big news.

Can you give us a little background on how this discovery came about?

Dr Jindal:

Einstein predicted gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity over 100 years back, the theory that proposed space-time as a concept.

The Light Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (or simply LIGO) collaboration announced the detection of gravitational waves coming from the merger of two black holes located somewhere in the Southern sky, in the direction of the Magellanic Cloud.

The two black holes-  one 36 times our sun’s mass and the other 29 times sun’s mass - spiraled into each other merging into one black hole 62 times heavier than our sun!

The remaining mass - three times the mass of our sun - was converted into energy by Einstein’s famous equation E= mc2. This energy was carried across the universe by these gravitational waves that are a distortion of space- time.

So how did scientists actually perform this experiment?

Dr. Jindal:

LIGO is a system of two identical detectors - one located in Livingston, Louisiana, the other in Hanford, Washington, carefully constructed to detect incredibly tiny vibrations (approximately of the size of the nucleus) from passing gravitational waves.

The project was created by scientists from Caltech and MIT and funded by the National Science Foundation.

On September 14, 2015, the gravitational waves that were produced somewhere between 700 million and 1.6 billion light-years away reached Earth, where they changed the length of the LIGO arms by a very tiny amount; 1/1,000 the width of a proton.

Why is this measurement exciting?

Dr. Jindal:

There's been a lot of indirect evidence for their existence, but this is the first time we actually detect two black holes merging and we know the only thing that predicts that is gravitational radiation.

Imagine having never been able to hear before and all you can do is see. Now we can listen to the universe where we were deaf before.

It's a different spectrum (from the electromagnetic spectrum). It's unlike anything we've ever detected before.

What's really exciting is what comes next. This is opening a window on the universe - a new field of science called gravitational wave astronomy.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to hold Cheerleading Tryouts

Co-Ed Competitive Cheerleading Tryouts set for April 16 and 17

Tryouts for Waubonsee Community College’s 2016-2017 Co-Ed Competitive Cheerleading squad will be held Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, from 1:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Waubonsee’s Field House on the Sugar Grove campus. All participants are required to fill out a tryout packet which is available in the Waubonsee Athletic Office located adjacent to the Field House, or on-line at If you are unable to attend but would still like to try out for the squad, private tryouts can be arranged.

Each person trying out will be required to perform some minimum athletic skills, and must be a current Waubonsee student. More information regarding requirements and dress code can be obtained through the tryout packets. You can also contact Head Coach Zech Palm to get more detailed information.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College