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© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Compete in Student Math League Contest

Eighty-eight students at Waubonsee Community College contributed their insights and reasoning to the college’s entry into the opening round of the Student Mathematics League Competition, boosting the college’s performance in the national competition.

Jacqueline Mathieu, of Elburn, placed first among Waubonsee students during the competition, held Nov. 5, followed by fellow students Dillon Martenson, of Shabbona; Robert Wenzel, of Aurora; Lydia Krauz, of Montgomery; and Mariela Galvez, of Oswego.

The event was held as part of the competition organized annually by the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges.

The scores of Waubonsee’s Top 5 finishers were then submitted to the AMATYC to calculate Waubonsee’s team score.

Final scores and placement will be determined after results from the second round of the Student Mathematics League Competition in April are added to the first round scores.

All students who competed in the first round are invited to participate in the second round, as well.

The Waubonsee competition was organized through Waubonsee’s Division of Mathematics and Sciences by Associate Professor of Mathematics Mark Crawford and Mathematics Instructor Chris Cunningham.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Appoints Dan Larsen Director of Campus Operations

Daniel Larsen has been appointed to the position of Director of Campus Operations at Waubonsee Community College.

Larsen, of Elgin, had most recently served as Buildings and Grounds Manager at Waubonsee, a position he had held since January 2011.

Previously, Larsen had served for 10 years as Supervisor of Land Management for the City of Elgin, overseeing seven city divisions, including park and public building maintenance, construction projects, snow removal operations, forestry and horticulture. He also had served previously as an Operations Manager with Commonwealth Edison.

Larsen holds a Master of Business Administration degree in operations management from Loyola University and a Bachelor of Science degree in recreational resources management from the University of Montana. He also holds a professional license for National Incident Management Systems, and is certified as an instructor by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and for hazardous materials waste generator compliance.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee, St. Francis Sign Transfer Agreement Creating Easy, Timely Transition for Nursing Students

Waubonsee Community College has partnered with the University of St. Francis to create an easy, timely and affordable way for nursing students to earn their bachelor’s degrees.

Wednesday, Dec. 3, representatives of Waubonsee and USF signed an articulation agreement formally creating the pathway allowing nursing students who begin their college experience at Waubonsee to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree from USF’s Leach College of Nursing, in Joliet.

Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek and USF President Dr. Arvid C. Johnson signed the agreement during a ceremony in Dickson Center at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

The agreement provides for a prescribed sequence of courses for students participating in the RN-BSN program to follow. Students participating in the program who earn an associate degree in nursing at Waubonsee would be able to transfer every course taken at Waubonsee to USF, guaranteeing a seamless transition into USF’s BSN program.

Dr. Jess Toussaint, Dean for Health Professions and Public Service at Waubonsee, said the agreement would “broaden nursing specialty career opportunities” for Waubonsee students.

“This agreement will create a continuance of an individual’s nursing education that will lead to a higher level of health care to patients and the workplace,” said Toussaint.


© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Professor Voorhees Awarded Honor by American Association for Advancement of Science

Students and colleagues of David Voorhees, Associate Professor of Earth Science/Geology at Waubonsee Community College, have long recognized his commitment to advancing both science and education.

Recently, that commitment has also been recognized by an organization of his peers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which elected Voorhees a 2014 AAAS Fellow.

This year, the AAAS awarded the honor to 401 association members, selecting them based on their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The AAAS said Voorhees was selected as a result of his efforts to organize, promote and operate GEO2YC, an organization to encourage and facilitate collaboration and communication among geoscience educators and enhance instruction in geoscience at America’s two-year colleges.
Voorhees served as GEO2YC’s first president in 2011-12.

“I was quite humbled and honored to even be nominated to be a AAAS Fellow, as the formation of GEO2YC has truly been a synergistic effort with many of my talented and energetic 2YC colleagues from around the country,” Voorhees said. “The success of GEO2YC is as much from their effort as mine.”

Voorhees’ selection for the honor in the organization’s Section on Education was ratified by the AAAS Council. He will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin, representing science and engineering, during the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting on Feb. 14, 2015, in San Jose, Calif.

The AAAS Council is the policymaking body of the association, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee President Dr. Sobek Appointed Chair of CMAP Economic Development Committee

Waubonsee Community College President Dr. Christine Sobek in early 2015 will take the helm of a regional committee dedicated to formulating and promoting policies to create and sustain the region’s economic future.

This month, Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), invited Sobek to serve as chair of CMAP’s Economic Development Committee, effective Jan. 26, 2015.

Based in Chicago, CMAP has since 2005 served as the official regional planning organization for Illinois’ northeastern counties, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

CMAP’s GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan helps cities, villages, counties and other entities in the Chicago region develop plans and policies to guide population growth and coordinate transportation, housing, economic development and open space, while addressing environmental concerns and other quality-of-life issues.

CMAP’s Economic Development Committee exists to promote economic and workforce development policies, best practices and research to foster sustainable growth and regional coordination.

“President Sobek brings a strong dedication to the region and more than 35 years of experience working in higher education,” said Blankenhorn. “The mission of CMAP’s Economic Development Committee is to promote policies and research that foster sustainable economic growth and regional coordination. Community colleges are anchors to many of our region’s communities and President Sobek’s leadership will provide a valuable perspective for thinking long-term about developing a globally competitive workforce.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Brian Moran Receives Brattin Civic Youth Award

A Waubonsee Community College sophomore who has dedicated himself to improving various campus organizations and serving others in his hometown of Sandwich and elsewhere has been selected to receive the Ted Brattin Civic Youth Award.

Brian Moran, 20, of Sandwich, was one of 10 local students honored with the Brattin Award Dec. 8, during a luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Aurora.

The award and luncheon, sponsored by the Aurora Rotary, the Aurora Navy League and Aurora University, annually recognizes Fox Valley students who have exhibited qualities of civic involvement, leadership and community service through school and community activities.

Since enrolling at Waubonsee in 2013 to study computer engineering, Moran has enmeshed himself in life both on and off campus.

In addition to working part-time at a local supermarket, Moran, a full-time student, has consistently set aside time to volunteer.

At Waubonsee, Moran has served as a leader during the college’s semiannual WCC Give A Hand Service Day, organizing a team of students to perform volunteer tasks to support various non-profit organizations in surrounding communities, such as Mutual Ground, a women’s shelter in Aurora.

He also has organized a student team through Waubonsee’s Delta Sigma Omicron club to volunteer to package food supplies at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora.

Moran also serves in a leadership role within Waubonsee’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, where he has dedicated himself to revitalizing the honors society, helping to boost membership in the local chapter.

And, Moran serves as a representative of Waubonsee’s student body on the college’s Student Senate.

Off campus, Moran has volunteered at the Willowcrest Nursing Pavilion in Sandwich and at his church.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Beyond General Equivalency: Waubonsee GED Enhanced Program Helps Students Achieve Dreams

Waubonsee Community College was not David Kabanda’s first attempt at college in the U.S.

But it was at Waubonsee, through the college’s GED Enhanced program, Kabanda finally gained the boost he needed to take the first steps on his postsecondary educational journey.

More than 14 years ago, Kabanda, of Oswego, came to the U.S. from the west African Republic of the Congo to follow his dream of both obtaining a better life for himself and using his experiences in the U.S. to then improve the lives of those back in his home country.

Living first in both Florida and California, Kabanda said he attempted to navigate community colleges in both states, but the experiences didn’t meet his needs or expectations.

“So I gave up on it,” he said.

So when friends and family who had attended Waubonsee recommended the college to him, Kabanda was hesitant.

“I was skeptical, because of my past experiences,” he said.

Despite his misgivings, Kabanda enrolled in Waubonsee’s GED Enhanced program in October 2013. Two months later, Kabanda said he earned his GED.

And now, one year later, Kabanda is wrapping up his first year of college, with his eye toward his goal of launching a career in computer science or information technology – a career he believes he can put to use helping to create jobs and opportunities and make life easier for the citizens of the Congo.

“I, too, have found Waubonsee very helpful,” Kabanda said.

Kabanda is one of many helped by Waubonsee’s GED Enhanced program.

In 2012, Waubonsee replaced traditional GED instruction at the downtown Aurora Campus with GED Enhanced. Developed in partnership with the National College Transition Network and with funding through a Title V grant, the GED Enhanced program includes modules focused on Language Arts, Math, Study Skills and Organization, Career Exploration and College Knowledge, as well as mandatory i-Pathways work in science and social studies.

The rollout of the GED Enhanced program at Waubonsee coincided with changes to the GED test in 2014.

The program is designed to not only help students obtain a GED, but also more successfully transition to college. Prior to GED Enhanced, about 2 percent of students transitioned from GED or ESL courses to college credit courses at Waubonsee. Since 2012, 137 students, or about 25 percent of GED Enhanced students have transitioned to college credit courses.

Further, 71 percent of those who make the transition to college credit courses have gone on to successfully complete college courses.
Dr. Stacey Randall, Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Waubonsee, said GED Enhanced works particularly well at helping students understand they can earn a GED, and then believe they can also succeed in college.

“Throughout the program, we are encouraging them to think about college as a place for them, not just others,” Randall said. “So many don’t even see college as an option for them.”

“We show them they absolutely can be college students,” Randall said.


© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Faculty Exhibit Original Artwork in Annual Show

Through early February, the Waubonsee community is invited to take in the artwork of some of those who teach the region’s aspiring artists.

Since mid-November, the Waubonsee Community College Art Department has hosted its Annual Art Faculty Exhibition in the Arrowhead Room gallery in Dickson Center on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

The exhibit, which will continue until Wednesday, Feb. 4, will be free and open to the public Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Sundays. The exhibit will also close while the college is closed for Winter Break, from 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23, to Sunday, Jan. 4.

The faculty exhibition includes a collection of works including oil paintings, photography, photograms and prints, wood-fired ceramics and stoneware and various other media.

Faculty with works on exhibit include: Sarah Baranski, Christian Arrecis, Julie Weber, John Fu, Doug Jeppesen, Daniel Merkel, David Willett, Wade Duerkes and Martine Stuckey.

Many of the original works on exhibit will be available for purchase.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Finding Your Spot: Waubonsee Abounds with Study Locations for All

Alissa Delgado didn’t set out to find the best place on campus to crack open her books and prepare for exams and papers, alike.

But one day earlier this year, as she passed it by, she just knew:

There, in a hallway lined with benches, hiding in plain sight, she had discovered that for which she didn’t even know she had been searching .

“That was it,” said Delgado, of Montgomery, a second-year student at Waubonsee Community College. “I was just taking a shortcut to the Science Building through Weigel and Akerlow, and I found it.
“No one’s ever in there, it’s really quiet and I can spread out, put my bag up, put in my headphones and get stuff done.”

And to top it all off, she said, there are vending machines just down the hall, should she need a bit of a caloric boost.

Every fall and spring, Waubonsee students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities follow Delgado’s path, seeking just the right study spot.

While some students for a variety of reasons might prefer to study off campus, whether at home or in a workplace’s break room, among others, many Waubonsee students prefer to select from among the abundance of study locations, ranging from familiar and tranquil to bustling and unexpected, offered in Waubonsee’s array of campuses and buildings.

In Aurora and Sugar Grove, alike, for instance, students may opt for either the library or the café.

Others, like Delgado, may seek out a quiet place in a hallway, or a place they can gather with friends and share laughs and chitchat while comparing notes without disturbing others.

Zayra Juarez, of Aurora, said she can study in just about any atmosphere.

Much of the time, she said, she’s huddled around a table or lounging in a corner somewhere on campus with others, often including three fellow second-year students, Bianca Ramirez, Citlaly Rivera and Kay Cee Tillman, all of Aurora.

Some popular spots for the four friends and classmates include quiet areas such as traditional study spots like the Todd Library in Collins Hall, computer labs in the Henning Academic Computing Center and on Aurora Campus, or at Student Life in the Student Center. They also opt at times for some less prominent locations, including hallways in Akerlow Hall or a room outside Waubonsee’s Auditorium.

“There’s a spot there, right by a window,” said Juarez. “It’s one of the best spots on campus just to sit and read a book.”

For students with disabilities requiring assistance and a place to focus, Tillman recommended Waubonsee’s Access Center for Students with Disabilities on the second floor of the Student Center.

“It’s quiet up there, there are computers for us to work on, and we get all the support we need,” said Tillman. “It’s a good one.”

However, the friends said they often prefer places with a bit more activity to provide ambient noise and a wide-open feel, which they said, in some ways, enhance their study experiences.

That’s why they said they often can be found in the cafés in both Sugar Grove and Aurora.

“You get here after 3 (p.m.), or before 9:30 (a.m.), and it’s usually not too loud,” said Tillman.

“We just like the social aspect of it,” said Juarez. “We’re not much for total quiet, all the time.”

However, while they can do well in some less quiescent locations, Juarez said they don’t usually opt to study at home, which, with its familiarity and constant buzz of activity involving family and friends, can actually be more distracting than even a busy cafeteria.

“That’s why I’m here 90 percent of the time,” said Juarez, with a laugh.

Daniel Noll, a second-year student who serves as Waubonsee's Student Trustee, of Hinckley, said he also will opt to avoid studying at home, if possible.

“There are a lot of distractions at home,” he said. “I know that people who have come here are here for a purpose.”

He said his study spot-of-choice since his first semester at Waubonsee has been in a big comfortable chair in a corner near a window in the Todd Library.

“Sometimes I might be out in the APC (Academic and Professional Center), depending on what’s going on,” said Noll. “But if I really need to study, and focus, this is where I’ll come.”

The students said they generally don’t mind if other students might also uncover their preferred study spots.

“I use my headphones a lot,” said Delgado, with a laugh. “So it’s OK.”

And if fellow students should prove a bit too disruptive or distracting, Ramirez said she and her group may just head out for a more sparsely inhabited location on campus.

“If the spot’s taken, we may just go somewhere else,” said Ramirez. “We’ve got other places.”

The students encouraged their classmates to take the time to explore the campus to find the study spots suiting their needs.

“If you want it loud or quiet, or you want a lot of people, or nobody around, there are a lot of places to go,” said Tillman. “If you can’t find the spot yourself, someone might know – a teacher, other students, you never know.

“Just ask around.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Holiday Message from the President

As we approach the close of another year, I am grateful for the many contributions that have made Waubonsee Community College what we are today and I am excited about the future ahead of us. 

New partnerships, new technology, and new initiatives all promise to build on our great foundation of student success to create a future beyond expectations for students, for Waubonsee, and for the communities and residents we serve. 

In 2015, we will celebrate the grand opening of our Field House and renovated Erickson Hall as well as the completion of our 2020 College Master Plan. In addition, we will look ahead as we seek to identify “the next big things” on the horizon through our visioning project, and start planning for the College’s 50th anniversary in 2016. 

During this holiday season as we celebrate with family and friends let us remember what brings us together; hope for a brighter future. 

Happy Holidays! 

Christine J. Sobek, Ed.D.
President, Waubonsee Community College

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Host Free Temporary Worker Safety Panel Discussion

This month, Waubonsee Community will offer employers in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties an opportunity to gain knowledge they need to keep their temporary workers safe on the job, learning from experts and their peers alike.

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, Waubonsee’s Workforce Development Department will host “Safety: What You Need to Know,” a panel discussion on temporary worker workplace safety. The discussion session, which will be offered free of charge, will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Room 160 of Waubonsee’s downtown Aurora Campus, 18 S. River Street.

The panel will include representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), staffing agencies and local employers, as well as two safety subject matter experts.

The event will be funded by an OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Space is limited, and reservations are encouraged. To reserve your spot, contact Waubonsee Business Development Manager Barb DiMonte at (630) 906-4180 or

© 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

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

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 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