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© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

College Closed Nov. 26-30

All Waubonsee campuses are closed Wednesday, Nov. 26 - Sunday, Nov. 30 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Beyond Video Games: Technology Day Opens Eyes to Array of STEM Possibilities

Quinton Lee would love eventually to land a career as a video game programmer.

But Lee, of Aurora, knows, among his peers and his generation, that dream is not terribly unique.

So for Lee, a freshman student at Waubonsee Community College, witnessing some of the novel ways technology is deployed in modern industry served as an eye-opening, horizon-broadening experience.

“I guess I knew that these companies depended on technology, but seeing how much they depend on tech was really interesting,” Lee said. “That they have people who just think of solutions, using technology to solve business problems, that was pretty awesome.”

On Nov. 20, Lee was among a delegation of three Waubonsee students attending the Technology Day event at BP’s Naperville Campus.

The event, hosted by BP, Accenture and Junior Achievement, offered an opportunity for almost 150 students from Waubonsee and area high schools, including Aurora West, Aurora East, Waubonsie Valley, Oswego and Oswego East, to gain insight on the established and cutting-edge technologies BP and others employ on a daily basis to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Technology Day was offered as part of the Pathways to Prosperity Aurora Project. Launched in 2012 as a result of a partnership including Waubonsee, four local public school districts, the city of Aurora, Aurora Area Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses and civic organizations, Pathways to Prosperity seeks to inspire the next generation of high school and college students to complete college and acquire the degrees and credentials needed to succeed in the 21st Century.

At Technology Day, students were offered the chance to not only hear about the technology upon which industry relies today, including such rising technologies as zSpace, Google Glass and BP’s retail technologies, but in some cases, to actually experience it for themselves in interactive exhibits and tours.

Outside the main auditorium presentations, students also learned about careers open to them in the so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – in workshops hosted by Junior Achievement. And Waubonsee and other institutions helped them learn about educational opportunities through Pathways to Prosperity, including Waubonsee’s dual credit offerings through partnerships with local high schools, including Aurora East, Aurora West, Oswego, Oswego East, Batavia, Geneva, Kaneland, Rosary and Somonauk, among others.

Tim Moriarty, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Waubonsee, said events like Technology Day offer great opportunities for students, whether in high school or college, to see the range of options open to them.

“It opens their eyes to a world they may not have even known about before today,” Moriarty said.

Calvin Thorne, an Adjunct Information Systems Instructor at Waubonsee, who also attended the event with Moriarty, fellow Assistant Professor of Information Systems Amy Chaaban, and the students, echoed that view.

“They’re seeing cool technologies that are used by so many companies for what they might consider boring, behind-the-scenes kinds of tasks,” Thorne said. “But there are so many great jobs out there in technology that are not in (video) gaming companies.”

Student Susanna Rocha, of Aurora, said she began her studies part time four years ago to pursue a credential in web programming. Since then, however, she said she’s been amazed by the opportunities available in engineering and, in particular, 3-D printing.

Rocha said she also has responded to the call put forth by many, including speakers at Technology Day, urging women to pursue careers and education in STEM fields.

“As a woman, I feel like there are so many opportunities for me out there,” Rocha said. “It’s amazing to see it all.”

Student Jose DeLoera, of Aurora, said a colleague at his workplace, a large logistics facility in Aurora, warned him when he learned DeLoera was pursuing an education in computing he was going to open “a Pandora’s box of opportunities.”

DeLoera had declared a business major, but in the past four years of attending college while working full time, he has changed his emphasis to information technology. He intends to transfer to Northern Illinois University in the spring.

“I just didn’t know all of the possibilities out there with all this,” DeLoera said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Four Waubonsee Performers Honored at Skyway Jazz Festival

Four Waubonsee Community College students secured honors at a regional collegiate jazz music festival and competition.

On Nov. 15, at the Skyway Collegiate Conference’s Jazz Festival and Competition at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Waubonsee students Roland Schuetz, Walt Howard and Nate Pritt each were named outstanding soloists, and student Paul Cofer received an honorable mention.

Shuetz, of Aurora, was recognized for his performance on the alto saxophone; Howard, of Sugar Grove, for his performance on the tenor saxophone; Pritt, of Kirkland, for the trumpet; and Cofer, of Geneva, for the tenor sax.

The students are members of the Waubonsee Jazz Ensemble, which is directed by Dr. Mark Lathan, Assistant Professor of Music.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Oswego Fire District Donates Ambulance to Enhance Waubonsee EMT Training

Waubonsee Community College’s Emergency Medical Technician training program has received a big boost, thanks to a gift of key equipment from a neighbor.

This month, Waubonsee accepted the donation of a 1998 International Road Ranger ambulance from the Oswego Fire Protection District.

The vehicle, which carries about 121,000 miles, will provide students participating in the college’s EMT-Basic program with opportunities to learn and practice valuable patient care skills, while participating in practice scenarios, said Dr. Jess Toussaint, Dean for Health Professions and Public Service at Waubonsee.

During various role-playing exercises, Waubonsee students will be able to navigate between Waubonsee’s extrication training system and the ambulance, Toussaint said.

Waubonsee’s EMT-B program prepares students for various public examinations needed to begin a career as an EMT.

“We are grateful to the Oswego Fire Protection District for their offer of this valuable resource to our students,” Toussaint said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Secures Top Spot in Drama Category at Skyway Writers Fest

A Waubonsee Community College student has captured the top spot in the drama category at the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Writers’ Competition and Festival.

Anthony Low, of Yorkville, took first place in the category for his original work, titled “Leaving Port.”

Low’s work was chosen for the honors during the regional competition and writers’ festival hosted Nov. 21 at Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus.

The competition included works submitted by students from Waubonsee and seven other Skyway Conference member schools, including Elgin Community College, Morton College, Oakton Community College, Prairie State College, Moraine Valley Community College, McHenry County College and the College of Lake County.

Judges reviewed 98 total submissions in four categories: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and drama.

In the drama category, Low’s work edged a drama, titled “Blowback,” by College of Lake County student Cam Flanagan, and “At the Movies with Jesus,” by Richelle Brinkley, also of College of Lake County.

Winners in other categories included:

In creative non-fiction: “Rain Must Fall,” by Tomoko Funahashi, of College of Lake County; “Memento Mori,” by Elizabeth Dickenson, of Elgin Community College; and “Bad Drug,” by Wendy Finger, of College of Lake County.

In fiction: “The Archetype,” by Sarah Perrote, of McHenry County College; “A Nobleman of Grande Orcade,” by Rodney Johnson, of College of Lake County; and “Shadowland,” by Ian Brockman, of Prairie State College.

And, in poetry: “Mad Mascots,” by Sarah Perrote, of McHenry County College; “River-wise,” by Katherine Cree, of McHenry County College; and “An Attempt,” by Jack Sonin, of Elgin Community College.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Fortuna Nominated for Internship Association Award

A Waubonsee Community College student is in the running to be recognized as the country’s top intern from a two-year college.

Patrizio Fortuna, of Aurora, was nominated for the award in the nationwide contest administered by the Cooperative Education and Internship Association.

Fortuna, who immigrated to the U.S. from Italy, has immersed himself in courses related to graphic and Web design at Waubonsee, putting him well on his way to fulfilling his dreams and becoming the first in his family to earn a college-level degree.

While earning academic honors and scholarships, Fortuna has exhibited works on and off-campus, winning awards for his work in the process.

This year, Fortuna took on an internship at a local graphic design company. In his time at the company, Fortuna earned the trust of management to meet with high-profile clients on website upgrade projects.

“He said all that mattered was someone was finally willing to offer him an opportunity to prove himself,” said nominator Anderson Lee, Waubonsee’s Career Services Advisor. “This, after all, was why he was here.”

The CEIA will select the winner of the Two-Year Student Achievement Award in February 2015.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee President Dr. Sobek Joins NIU College of Ed Advisory Board

Waubonsee Community College President Dr. Christine Sobek has begun serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Northern Illinois University’s College of Education.

The board exists to engage alumni of the NIU College of Education to put their collective knowledge, talents and expertise to work improving the quality of academics and student life within the NIU College of Education.

The board works closely with the Dean of the NIU College of Education, providing counsel on various issues and undertaking projects to benefit the college, while also helping to establish contact with alumni and friends of the NIU College of Education.

The board meets quarterly. Its first meeting was Oct. 27.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Dean Norris Reappointed to Kane/Kendall/DeKalb Workforce Board

Waubonsee Community College’s representative on the regional Workforce Investment Board has received another two-year term on the board.

In October, Lesa Norris, Waubonsee’s Dean for Workforce Development, was reappointed as a Kane County representative on the local Workforce Investment Board.

Her term will expire October 2016.

The Workforce Investment Board includes representatives from the public and private sectors in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties, who work together to shape and oversee employment and job training initiatives in the three counties.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Caponi, Executive to Waubonsee President, Takes Publicity Post with Geneva Lions

Kim Caponi, Senior Executive to the President at Waubonsee Community College, serves in the position of chair for publicity and social media at the Geneva Lions Club.

Caponi took on the task earlier this summer, overseeing various promotions and advertising for the club and managing the club’s social media presence.

Caponi has been a member of the Geneva Lions since June 2014.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Dean Rambish Elected President of Illinois Learning Specialists and Developmental Education

Dr. Medea Rambish, Dean for Developmental Education and College Readiness at Waubonsee Community College, has assumed the office of president of the Illinois chapter of the national developmental education professional association.

On Oct. 24, Rambish became president of the Illinois Learning Specialists and Developmental Educators, the state chapter of the National Association for Developmental Education. She will serve a one-year term.

Rambish, of North Aurora, had served as the state organization’s president-elect since October 2013.

Rambish said she hoped to help continue to rebuild the ILSADE, which had lapsed into disorganization in recent years, into an effective organization to serve those who provide learning assistance to adult learners at various levels of ability and in a variety of higher educational institutions throughout Illinois.

Among other goals, she said she hopes to help ILSADE develop and follow-through on a chapter strategic plan; hold regional workshops; host an annual conference; and provide other professional development opportunities to the membership.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Registrar Dale Appointed Chair-Elect of Regional Registrars Association Chapter

Waubonsee Community College’s registrar soon will assume a leadership spot in a professional association of his peers.

Marc Dale Jr., Director of Registration and Records/Registrar at Waubonsee, has been appointed chair elect for the Northwest District of the Illinois Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Dale will serve as chair-elect of the chapter for one year, and then assume the chair in 2015.

Dale was appointed to the post during the IACRAO annual conference in Alsip Oct. 29-31.

Dale, of Aurora, has served in his current position at Waubonsee since 2012. He said the position with IACRAO will offer him the chance to take a leading part in discussions on issues confronting higher education in the region, including on such topics as best practices and how to respond to various challenges colleges face, as well as helping to cultivate professional development opportunities for fellow admissions officers.
Schools in IACRAO’s Northwest District include Northern Illinois University, McHenry County College, Elgin Community College, Augustana College and Black Hawk College, among others.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Two Waubonsee Students Secure Honors at Local Welding/HVAC Competition

Two Waubonsee Community College students received honorable mentions when competing in a local welding and HVAC competition, sponsored by Pipefitters Local Union 597.

On Oct. 25, students Michael Jaeger, of Sandwich, and Victor Flores, of Aurora, each earned the distinction in the contest, held at Local 597’s Training Center in Mokena.

Jaeger and Flores were each part of a three-member team from Waubonsee participating in the event under the guidance of Mark Gloudeman, Assistant Professor of Welding at Waubonsee.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Assistant Dean Garcia Appointed to Aurora Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board

A representative of Waubonsee Community College will help guide the city of Aurora’s outreach to Indian Americans and celebration of Indian-American culture.

On Oct. 28, Sharon Garcia, Assistant Dean for Communications, Humanities and Fine Arts at Waubonsee, was appointed by the Aurora City Council to serve on the Aurora Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board.

Garcia, of Downers Grove, will serve a term expiring June 30, 2015.

According to the city of Aurora, the committee exists to serve as a bridge between the various communities of Aurora residents and the community of those who immigrated from India or whose ancestors immigrated to the U.S. from India.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Present Free Live Concerts in December

Waubonsee Community College again will offer an abundance of live concerts this December – and no tickets will be required.

From Dec. 5 - 14, Waubonsee will host a series of five live fall semester musical performances in an assortment of musical genres. All shows will be free and open to the public, and will be performed on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

On Friday, Dec. 5, the Waubonsee Steel Band will begin the set with a show at 7:30 p.m. in the Waubonsee Auditorium.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m., the Waubonsee Chorale and Concert Band will take the Auditorium stage.

Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m., the Waubonsee Rock Band will present its fall concert, in the Waubonsee Auditorium.

The Waubonsee Jazz Ensemble will follow with a performance on Friday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium.

A General Student Recital will cap off the days of free music on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. in Von Ohlen Hall, Room 114.

For more information, contact the Waubonsee Communications, Humanities and Fine Arts Division at (630) 466-2921.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Welcomes 19 Into Alpha Beta Gamma

Waubonsee Community College students were recently inducted into the local chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma, an international honor society established to recognize outstanding business students.

In all, 19 Waubonsee students were inducted to the society’s Iota Nu Chapter during a ceremony on Nov. 4.

Students inducted at that time include: Alysha English, Desy Gomez, Samantha Miller and Juaquina Murcio, all of Aurora; Dennis Kintop and Austin Sumner, each of Batavia; Peyton Sharpe, of Geneva; Glenna Smith and Victoria White, each of Montgomery; Iresha Jayarathna, of Naperville; Paige Fowler and Michael Olson, each of Oswego; Thomas Price and Ashley Retter, each of Plano; Charlene Croyle, of Sandwich; Danielle Buttrum, of Somonauk; Troy Williams, of St. Charles; Briana Glynn, of Sugar Grove; and Meghan Kesselring, of Yorkville.

Mary Tosch, Waubonsee’s Student Life Manager, was the featured speaker at the induction ceremony.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Student Success: Developmental Education, College Readiness Division Opens Doors to Higher Ed for All

In the past two years, demand for space within Collins Hall on Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove campus has only gone higher, and traffic has only grown heavier.

However, that is exactly as Char Landmeier, Learning Enhancement Specialist at Waubonsee, would like it.

“There is a great deal of learning energy in the room,” Landmeier said.

Two years ago, Waubonsee breathed new life into its Tutoring Centers, which Landmeier oversees, refurbishing the Sugar Grove center in Collins Hall Room 144, and renaming and reorganizing the learning assistance programs at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove, Aurora, Copley and Plano campuses.

Tutoring assistance was also bolstered, with two dozen tutors now offering help in English, math, Spanish and an assortment of sciences, among others, while set hours were established seven days a week.

The efforts have borne results. From fall 2012 to spring 2014, tutoring sessions have surged by 45 percent.

Those results, however, represent just one part of the great things achieved by Waubonsee’s Developmental Education and College Readiness Division.

For helping students achieve success, no matter their background or prior level of academic success, Waubonsee is proud to recognize the faculty and staff working in the Developmental Education and College Readiness (DECR) Division as this month’s Student Success: Featured Faculty and Program.

Waubonsee’s DECR Division exists for one overarching purpose, said its Dean, Dr. Medea Rambish.

“Developmental education allows anyone in the community to access higher education without sacrificing quality and rigor,” Rambish said.

Students participating in Waubonsee’s DECR programs receive assistance in several key areas, including reading, writing, mathematics, study strategies and study behaviors, all with the goal of helping them overcome barriers to learning and ready them to achieve success in college.

Through the DECR programs, students who enter Waubonsee unprepared become prepared, while students who are prepared can receive the boost to allow them to excel quickly.

In addition to tutoring assistance, Waubonsee’s DECR Division administers all reading, writing and math courses below then 100-level; all English language learner courses; personal development courses, including study skills, leadership, career exploration and research skills; the College and Career Readiness Partnership; and supplemental instruction.

Faculty working in the DECR Division include 10 professors: Lenice Abbott, Associate Professor of Reading; Maribeth Brown, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Ellen Field, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Teri Fuller, Assistant Professor of English; Janet Gaff, Assistant Professor of English; Michelle Lindquist, Assistant Professor of English; Josh Mattern, Assistant Professor of English; Tom Pulver, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Jo Lynn Sedgwick, Assistant Professor of Mathematics; and Jane Thompson, Associate Professor of Mathematics.

Staff working within the division include: Landmeier; Elizabeth Guerra, Tutor Supervisor at the Aurora and Copley campuses; Lynne Krantz, Academic Specialist; and Karin Vilmin, Secretary.

In the most recent five years, Waubonsee’s DECR Division has served an average of 3,600 students enrolled in DECR courses annually. Most recently, almost 3,800 students have benefited from enrollment in classes through DECR, in addition to the thousands of students who got a boost in more than 8,700 tutoring sessions at Waubonsee’s tutoring centers during the 2013-14 school year.

Waubonsee’s DECR team, however, continues to push on toward the goal of improving student outcomes.

The faculty have spearheaded Waubonsee’s outcomes project, reviewing course outcomes and objects and standardizing learning assessments.

The Tutoring Center has received the coveted International Tutor Training Certification through the College Reading and Learning Association.

And DECR administration and faculty have engaged in a self-study as part of the division’s efforts to gain certification through the National Association of Developmental Education.

Rambish said the self-study and certification process will help the division further foster effective student assistance.

“The certification process is important, as we need to examine what we do by comparing it to what we know about the most promising practices in the field,” Rambish said. “Ongoing assessment and self-study is essential to delivering an effective program.”

DECR also will continue to move forward on a host of other initiatives, including work to align developmental goals with Common Core standards; accelerating students through developmental coursework; strengthening College and Career Readiness Partnerships with regional high schools to high school graduation with workplace or college competencies; and implementing a college pathway for English language learners.

As ever, all the work will focus on developing techniques to not only anticipate students’ needs, but to constantly exceed their expectations in achieving their own learning goals.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Foundation Announces Available Scholarships

The application for 2015-2016 Waubonsee Community College Foundation scholarships is now available online at More than 200 scholarships are offered  to new and returning Waubonsee students each year.  

All applications must be completed and submitted online; paper copies will not be accepted. The due date is midnight on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.

Scholarships will be awarded in early April 2015 to be used starting fall semester 2015.

If you have questions or need help completing the scholarship application, please call the Waubonsee Community College Foundation at (630) 466-2316.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Receives Grant to Offer Temporary Worker Safety Training

Waubonsee Community College has secured financial support for the college’s efforts to make workplaces safer in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties.

On Sept. 30, U.S. Department of Labor awarded Waubonsee an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Susan Harwood Training Grant worth $119,505 to allow the college’s Workforce Development Department to provide free workplace safety training to employers and staffing agencies that hire temporary workers.

The training would be targeted to temporary workers who may have limited English proficiency and low literacy skills, and so may not be as aware as other workers of worker rights or safety hazards in the workplaces in which they may be placed.

Training topics would include fire safety, ergonomics, materials handling, hazard communication, lockout/tagout, machine guarding and worker rights under OSHA.

All training would be conducted in the workplace by certified safety trainers.   

Local employers interested in the training opportunities should contact Waubonsee’s Workforce Development Department at (630) 906-4152.

© 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