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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

Camacho Headlines Chiefs' Post-Season Awards

Five Chiefs' Baseball Players Honored

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Sury selected IBCA Juco Coach of the Year

WCC's Sury, Krueger honored by IBCA

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

31st Annual Hitting and Pitching Camp

Waubonsee offers hitting and pitching camp for boys and girls age 8-14

Boys and girls ages eight through 14 are invited to participate in the 31st Annual Hitting Camp hosted by Waubonsee Community College. The Hitting Camp runs from Monday, June 8 through Thursday, June 11 for baseball and fast pitch softball. Instruction begins each day at 12:30 p.m. and continues until 2:30 p.m. on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus. 

The head instructors for the camp, new Waubonsee head coach Brad Unger and Naperville North High School’s Mark Lindo, will teach the fundamentals and techniques of hitting with the emphasis on the basic mechanics necessary to excel at baseball and softball. Station work, group drills and individualized instruction are used to teach each player those skills. The cost is $75.00 for each participant and $55 for each additional family member. Each participant receives a “Hitting Camp” t-shirt. Brochures are available at Kirhofer’s Sports in Aurora or by contacting Brad Unger at 630-466-2524 or at Registration is on line at

A Baseball Pitching Camp will be offered immediately following the Hitting Camp. The fee for the Pitching Camp is $35.00 and runs from 2:35 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. beginning Monday, June 8 through Thursday, June 11. Registration for the Pitching Camp is also on line at

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee's Brown tabbed NJCAA Player of the Week

WCC's Brown bats .593, named national juco softball player of the week

Waubonsee Community College’s MacKenzie Brown was named the NJCAA’s Division II Softball Player of the Week for the last week of the season. Brown helped lead Waubonsee (41-25) to the Region IV Championship game, which the Lady Chiefs lost 5-4 to Sauk Valley Community College. 

Brown, a sophomore catcher from Plano High School, batted .593 for the week (16 of 27) with six runs batted in, six stolen bases, eight runs scored and an on-base percentage of .621. Brown caught every inning of all seven playoff games, playing errorless behind the plate en route to being named to the Region IV All-Tournament team.

For the season, the Lady Chiefs’ number two hitter batted .459 (79 for 172) with 28 runs batted in, 18 stolen bases, an on-base percentage of .495 and a .506 slugging percentage. Handling a majority of the catching duties over the 66 games Waubonsee played, Brown registered a .950 fielding percentage. She was selected to the All-Region First Team and the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference First Team after helping lead the Lady Chiefs’ to their fifth straight conference title.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

More Than 1,000 Graduates Receive Degrees from Waubonsee

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Honors Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Through Contest, Waubonsee Students Encourage Each Other to Complete Their Studies

Four Waubonsee Community College students took home prizes in the college’s inaugural “Motivate to Complete” Public Service Announcement Contest recently.

Taking the $500 first prize was Maxwell Johnson, of Naperville, with his “Relating to Life” poster designs. Amelia Cintula and Eric Wright, both of Batavia, teamed up to create the second-place “Mission Complete” poster and mobile app, winning $350 in prize money in the process. Jorge Arciniega, of Yorkville, walked away with $200 and third place for his series of ads/posters entitled “Series of Ideas.”

The contest was created and coordinated by Professor of Communications Larry Modaff, who, in light of local, state and national emphasis on college completion, wanted to encourage Waubonsee students to explore their own college-related motivations and then articulate those to their peers.

"Ideally, entries in the contest will help students stay focused on their goals and the many rewards of attaining a college credential,” Modaff said. “Every little bit of motivation can help."

The contest’s prize money was donated by Media Moire, Inc.; Isoprime Corporation; and the Waubonsee Student Senate.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Approves Two New Automotive Programs

At its May 20 meeting, the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees approved two additions to the college's already strong Automotive Technology Program offerings.

The 60-hour Automotive Transportation Service Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree is designed for those students seeking employment in the service management, parts management or alternative fuel technology aspects of the industry. The 14-hour Light Duty Diesel Repair Certificate of Achievement is meant to further expand the skill and knowledge base of those students looking to become automotive technicians.

Both programs will debut this fall.

For more information, please contact Waubonsee's Admissions Department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 5756.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Auto Body Repair Professor Named Outstanding Faculty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

80-Year-Old Waubonsee Student Epitomizes Lifelong Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parker also inspires and helps her fellow students.

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Program Nets $2 Million in Tax Refunds

This tax season, Waubonsee Community College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program was able to return more than $2 million to the local economy. That total came in the form of tax refunds and credits for the more than 1,000 low- to moderate-income clients the program served. In total, 1,044 returns were filed, including 2014 federal and state returns, as well as returns from past years and amended returns.

The college hosted free tax assistance sessions at its Aurora Campus on Wednesdays and Saturdays from January to April. The site was staffed by more than 50 community and student volunteers, including those enrolled in the college’s “VITA Program: Tax Procedure and Practice” accounting class. Waubonsee Adjunct Instructor George Sterling, of Aurora, taught the course and supervised the site.

Waubonsee partners with the Center for Economic Progress as part of that organization’s Tax Counseling Project. Waubonsee has participated in the VITA program since 2005, and over that time, its volunteers have helped return more than $13 million to the local economy.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Physics Instructor Receives NSF Grant

Waubonsee Community College Physics Instructor Dr. Pratima Jindal has been awarded a $5,050 United States Compact Muon Solenoid (USCMS) Teacher Fellowship Grant from the National Science Foundation, in partnership with Fermilab and the University of Notre Dame.

As part of the grant, Dr. Jindal will host a two-day workshop at Waubonsee this summer for area high school teachers to learn about particle physics and contribute to experiment designs.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Marketing and Communications Team Wins Awards

Waubonsee Community College’s Marketing and Communications team has been honored with six Communicator Awards from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA).

The college received an Award of Excellence for its Annual Report Photography and Awards of Distinction for the 2014 Report to the Community, “Learning First!” brochure, Late Start postcard, catalog cover and Xcelerate summer camps promotional/branding campaign.

Companies and agencies of all sizes submitted more than 6,000 entries in the AIVA’s Communicator Awards competition, making the contest one of the largest of its kind.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Two Waubonsee English Faculty Publish Creative Works

Two members of Waubonsee Community College’s English faculty recently published creative works.

Associate Professor Billy Clem, of DeKalb, published two flash fictions titled “Day One” and “Phone Call” in volume two of Chronopolis: An Online Magazine of Art and Literature.

Assistant Professor Dan Portincaso, of Oak Park, had two items published by the Hoot Review — a micro-fiction story called “Driving Home from the Doctor” and a poem titled “Gravy is Sauce is Everything.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Caponi Appointed to North Aurora School Board

Kim Caponi, Senior Executive to the President at Waubonsee Community College, was recently appointed to the North Aurora Seventh-Day Adventist School Board. During her term, which begins in July, Caponi will serve as the organization’s recording secretary. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Career Services Advisor Re-Elected to Association Board

Anderson Lee, Waubonsee Community College Career Services Advisor, was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors for the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA). Lee is the association’s Vice President for the Midwest Region and Exhibitor Liaison.

The CEIA, the leader in work-integrated learning, is a professional and productive organization serving students, educational institutions, employing organizations and governmental agencies.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Faculty Exhibit Artwork

Two Waubonsee Community College Adjunct Art Instructors recently displayed their work in the local area.

Joseph Turner’s solo exhibit entitled “Ghostwriting” ran throughout the month of April at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon. Julie Weber’s work was included in the “Closer Still” group exhibition at the Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Online Training for Adult Literacy Tutors Available in June

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Win at State Contest

Seven Waubonsee Community College students earned awards at the recent Illinois SkillsUSA competition in Springfield, with the college sweeping two automotive categories.

In the collision repair category, Daniel Dwyer, of St. Charles; Humberto Alvarez, of Aurora; and Jose Coronel, of Aurora, finished first, second and third respectively.

Waubonsee swept the automotive refinishing category as well, with Jordan Herrera, of Marengo, taking first place; Andrew Butzow, of Marengo, taking second; and Jose Martinez-Joya, of Carpentersville, finishing third.

Joseph Lemire, of Plano, represented Waubonsee’s CNC program with a second place finish in that category.

Dwyer and Herrera will go on to compete at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., in June.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Nominations Sought for Waubonsee Distinguished Contributor and Alumnus Awards

Nominations are now being sought for Waubonsee Community College’s 2015 Distinguished Contributor and Distinguished Alumnus awards. Nominations must be received by Friday, May 29, and should be submitted to Kim Caponi, Waubonsee’s Senior Executive to the President, by emailing   

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

Download the Distinguished Contributor Nomination Form (pdf). 

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

Download the Distinguished Alumnus Nomination Form (pdf). 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Foundation to Host Golf Outing May 27

The Waubonsee Community College Foundation will hold its 28th annual golf outing at Whitetail Ridge Golf Club, 7671 Clubhouse Drive in Yorkville, on Wednesday, May 27. The event raises money for scholarships at the college, increasing educational opportunities for deserving students.

Golfers are invited to register as a foursome for $700 or as an individual for $175. Entry fees include 18 holes of golf with cart, as well as lunch, dinner and beverages.

The registration deadline is Wednesday, May 20. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information visit or call the Advancement Office at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2316.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Jeppesen Tells Story of Ceramics Program in Studio Potter Journal

An article telling the story of the development and accomplishments of the Waubonsee Community College Ceramics Art Program has been published in a leading journal dedicated to ceramic arts.

Titled “Time and Place,” the article, authored by Doug Jeppesen, Associate Professor of Art/Ceramics, was published in the Volume 43, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2014/2015 edition of The Studio Potter journal.

The Studio Potter, a non-profit organization based in Manchester, N.H., and dedicated to promoting discussion of technology, criticism, aesthetics and history of ceramic arts studio practice, has published The Studio Potter journal for more than 40 years.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Take Part in Model Illinois Government Simulations

Seven Waubonsee Community College students gained a taste of lawmaking in action when they participated in this year’s Model Illinois Government simulations in Springfield, Feb. 26-March 1.

Students chose their roles, then debated and voted on various proposed laws, as they experienced the process of enacting legislation in Illinois’ State Capitol.

More than 300 students from 28 colleges and universities participated in the exercises.

Delegates participating from Waubonsee included Tyler Carter, Joseph Runkle and Oklin Lara, each of Yorkville; Jesse Garner and Reginald Van Julun, of Aurora; Carsten Wieske, of Batavia; and Daniel Noll, of Hinckley.

Waubonsee students have participated in Model Illinois Government simulations for more than three decades, said Richard J. Kiefer, Associate Professor of Political Science and History at Waubonsee and faculty advisor to the Waubonsee Model Illinois Government group.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Offers Free Spring Concert Series

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

From April 26 - May 17, Waubonsee will host a series of six live performances in an assortment of musical genres. All shows are free and open to the public, and will be performed on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

The series starts on Sunday, April 26, at 3 p.m., with a Sophomore Recital in The Little Theatre, Von Ohlen Hall, Room 114.

The Waubonsee Jazz Band continues the series the following Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m., with a concert in the Waubonsee Auditorium. The show includes a special guest performance from the Vern Spevak Big Band.

The Waubonsee Chorale and Concert Band will take the stage on Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Waubonsee Auditorium. On Thursday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m., the Waubonsee Rock Band will present its spring concert, in the Waubonsee Auditorium, and the Waubonsee Steel Band will follow with its show on Friday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium.

A General Student Recital will cap off the weeks of free music on Sunday, May 17, at 3 p.m. in The Little Theatre, Von Ohlen Hall, Room 114.

For more information, contact the Waubonsee Music Department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2500.  

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Dean for Adult Education Dixon Elected President Elect of IACEA

Jeri Dixon, Dean for Adult Education at Waubonsee Community College, has been elected the next president of the Illinois Adult and Continuing Educators’ Association.

Dixon was elected to the post at the IACEA’s conference March 4-6 in Springfield.

Beginning July 1, Dixon will serve as the association’s President-Elect. She will begin serving a one-year term as IACEA President on July 1, 2016.

Dixon has participated as a member of the IACEA since 2001, and was elected to the organization’s board in 2010. Previously, she has served as the IACEA’s Junior Division Chair for Support Services, Senior Division Chair for Support Services and Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee.

Dixon said she believes the opportunity will offer her the chance to deepen her skills and bring new opportunities home to Waubonsee’s faculty and students.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

GFOA Recognizes Waubonsee for Financial Reporting Excellence

Waubonsee Community College has again received national recognition for the college’s financial reporting practices.

For the 16th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded Waubonsee the Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting.   

The award, given for financial reports for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, represents a significant achievement by the college, reflecting the commitment of Waubonsee and its staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting and financial reporting.

The GFOA Excellence in Financial Reporting award represents the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

The GFOA, with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., is a non-profit professional association serving more than 17,000 government finance professionals.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Wadsworth tabbed All-American, highlights Waubonsee's post-season awards

Wadsworth first ever Waubonsee women's basketball player to be named an NJCAA All-American

Waubonsee Community College’s Julianna Wadsworth was recently named to the NJCAA’s Division II Women’s Basketball All-American team, the first Lady Chiefs player to ever earn that distinction. The Oswego native was selected a Third Team All-American to headline Waubonsee’s post-season basketball awards. The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA’s Region IV Committee also recognized the Lady Chiefs’ historic season. Wadsworth and Bailey Klaas were both tabbed to the All-ISCC First Team and All-Region IV First Team, while teammates Sarah Grams and Brooke Harner were both named to the All-ISCC Second Team. Head Coach Jim Sury was selected 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 first time ever. Men’s basketball players Josh Lynn and Jayquan Lee were each named to the All-ISCC First Team.

Wadsworth, a freshman from Oswego East High School, led unranked Waubonsee to an 11th place finish at the National Tournament. The 5’9” forward elevated her play throughout the season, culminating with a great post-season run. In the Lady Chiefs’ three games at the NJCAA Division II Tournament in Kansas, Wadsworth averaged 23 points per game after posting a 15.7 average during the regular season. She also averaged 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 steals and made 85 percent of her foul shots during the post-season. In addition, Wadsworth set a new NJCAA Division II Tournament record with 16 made free throws in Waubonsee’s 78-73 victory over North Arkansas. On the season she booked a team-leading 583 points, grabbed 259 rebounds and made 118 steals while shooting 75 percent (132 of 177) from the foul line.

Klaas, a 5’3” sophomore from Yorkville, averaged 13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. The diminutive point guard led Waubonsee with 150 assists while averaging only 1.3 turnovers per game as the team’s primary ball handler. Klaas was second on the Lady Chiefs’ squad with 450 points, 93 free throws made, 159 made field goals, 78 steals and 39 three-point baskets. She nearly doubled her scoring average of 6.8 points-per-game from last season.

Grams averaged 11.8 points per game and had a team-leading 84 three-point baskets. The 5’4” guard also averaged 3.4 assists, handing out 117 on the season. The Kaneland High School product shot 40 percent from three-point range in ISCC play, and exceeded those numbers at the National Tournament. Grams nailed seven treys, one short of the tournament record, in the Lady Chiefs’ opening game loss to fifth-ranked Monroe (NY) Community College. In Waubonsee’s three tournament games Grams made 13 of 27 (48 percent) from beyond the arc.  

At only 5’6” tall, Harner averaged 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while often defending the opposing team’s top scorer. The Kaneland High School graduate also averaged 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals per contest while shooting 91 percent from the foul line in ISCC play. Harner was second on Waubonsee’s squad with 90 offensive rebounds, 250 total rebounds and 117 assists on the season.

In his first season at the helm of Waubonsee’s program after taking over for long-time head coach Dana Wagner, Sury led the Lady Chiefs to the program’s first Region IV District L title and first ever appearance at the National Tournament. Sury’s squad missed out on repeating as ISCC champions when they lost a last second game to eventual co-champion Oakton 74-72 in the regular season finale. Waubonsee finished the season 21-14 overall, with the trio of sophomores winning an unprecedented 46 games the last two seasons combined. 

Lynn, a 6’4” sophomore forward averaged 11.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The Waubonsie Valley High School graduate shot 55.3 percent from the field on the season and led Waubonsee in points (335), field goals made (151) and total rebounds (128).

Lee, the Chiefs’ 6’0” point guard, averaged 9.2 points, 3.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per contest. The Aurora West High School graduate led Waubonsee with 62 assists and connected on 81.4 percent of his free throw attempts in ISCC play.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Moran, Noll Named to PTK Illinois All-Academic Team

Two Waubonsee Community College students will be honored among the top community college students in Illinois.

Later this month, Waubonsee students Daniel Noll, of Hinckley, and Brian Moran, of Sandwich, will be recognized as members of the 2015 Phi Theta Kappa Illinois All-Academic Team.

The selections annually recognize outstanding students at two-year colleges for achievement and leadership in their classrooms, at their colleges and in their communities.

Students selected for the honor are nominated by their schools.

Moran, a computer engineering major, was recognized for his academic achievement, as well as his service to the college and community. At Waubonsee, Moran serves as a student senator; vice president of outreach for Phi Theta Kappa; secretary of the Christian Fellowship campus organization; and as a member of disability service organization Delta Sigma Omicron.

Moran has also helped organize the college’s semiannual WCC Day of Service, organizing teams of students to perform volunteer tasks to support various non-profit organizations in Waubonsee’s communities. And he has organized a student team through Delta Sigma Omicron to package food supplies at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora.

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

Earlier this year, Moran’s efforts on campus and in the community were recognized when the Aurora Rotary, Aurora Navy League and Aurora University selected him to receive the Ted Brattin Civic Youth Award.

Noll, a political science major, was also recognized for academic achievement and his service on campus.

At Waubonsee, Noll represents the college’s student body as Student Trustee on the college’s Board of Trustees. He also participates in the Phi Theta Kappa and Model Illinois Government student organizations.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Hosts Spring Student Art Exhibits in Sugar Grove, Aurora

Over the next few weeks, the Waubonsee community is invited to take in the artwork of some of the college’s finest student artists.

All exhibitions and shows will be free and open to the public.

Through May 6, Waubonsee’s Arrowhead Room Gallery, located in Dickson Center on the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, will host the Spring 2015 Skyway Selections Exhibition. The display will feature art in various media, produced by 25 students whose works were submitted for inclusion in the 2015 Skyway Juried Art Exhibition, held earlier this year at Morton College.

The Skyway Selections show will include the work of students Esther Espino and Ruby Garza, who each earned honors at the Skyway Juried show.

The exhibit, which opened April 10, will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed Sundays.

Through May 3, Waubonsee’s Todd Library, located on the second floor of Collins Hall on the Sugar Grove Campus, will host the annual Spring 2015 Student Exhibition.

The exhibition features various art works, including paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture by some of the college’s outstanding art students.

The library’s gallery is open Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Fridays, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; and Sundays, noon – 4:30 p.m.

Through July 1, the Waubonsee Aurora Campus Café will host Aw, Snap!, a juried exhibition of photographs by current Waubonsee photography students.

The exhibition showcases work created during the 2014-2015 academic year, reflecting the variety of interests, values and ideas of the student photographers, while highlighting their talents.

The Aurora Campus Café is located on the first floor of Waubonsee’s Downtown Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St. It is open Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., and Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Most artwork on display in the exhibits is available for sale. For more information, please contact Waubonsee Art Coordinator Cecilia Vargas at (630) 466-2964 or

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Iota Nu Chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma Welcomes 44 New Members

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, 44 Waubonsee students were inducted to the society’s Iota Nu Chapter during a ceremony on March 25.
Students inducted at that time include:

Austin Revord, Colleen Galloway, Daniel Hernandez, Dania Prado, Kevin Cabrera, Matthew Skiba, Maria Perez Garcia, Milady Nunez Rentas, Paula Helms, Nubia Rodriguez, Rodrigo Bernal, Steven Ward, Timothy Young, Wendy Smetana and Andres Duarte, all of Aurora;

Amanda Krakowski, Devin Snyder, Jonathan Gray and Omar Medina, all of Batavia;

Joanna Reinecke, of Bolingbrook;

Shefali Majithia, of Carol Stream;

Alma Gonzalez, of Elburn;

Cherie Ammon, Hailey Wishne and Jacob Skibinski, of Geneva;

Cindy DeLaTorre, of Montgomery;

Grady Glissendorf, of North Aurora;

Alexandria Burk, Amanda Gilbert, Colton Mang, Joanna Repes, Dora Soto, Radha Balwani, Leanne Gammill, Ralitsa Valkanova, Scott Koedam and Colleen Walters, all of Oswego;

Danna Roe, of Plano;

Anthony Gebbia, of Sandwich;

Daniel Reiss, of Somonauk;

Katherine Draper, of Sugar Grove; and

Erika Howell, Maciel Porrao and Sydney Christlieb, of Yorkville.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Laying the Cornerstone: Waubonsee Nursing Program Preps Students for Health Care Careers

As health care continues to grow and evolve in the 21st Century, the need for skilled practitioners and caregivers will only continue to expand, as well.

And few professionals will serve a more central role in the future of health care than nurses.

For decades, Waubonsee Community College’s Nursing Program has educated generations of nurses to provide our local communities with the best in high quality, skilled, compassionate health care.

For the commitment of Waubonsee’s nursing faculty and the program’s sustained success in educating and placing highly skilled nurses into health care settings near and far amid times of rapid change, Waubonsee Community College is pleased to recognize the faculty and staff of the Waubonsee Nursing Program as this month’s Student Success: Featured Program.

In September 1970, just three years after the college welcomed its first students, Waubonsee Community College, believing quality education is the cornerstone of the professional nurse, admitted its first 56 students into the Nursing Program.

In 1972, Waubonsee awarded its first nursing degrees to 31 students.

Today, 80-100 nurses annually graduate from Waubonsee’s nursing program, adding to the total of more than 2,200 nurses since the program’s inception who have leveraged their Waubonsee education to find their places in hospitals, physicians’ offices and myriad other health care settings across the region and beyond.

“The Waubonsee program is well respected within the community,” said Mary Beth Hutches, Associate Professor of Nursing and Waubonsee Nursing Program Director. “Our community knows that someone who has been educated at Waubonsee is someone they can count on to know what to do and to have the rigorous thought process needed to arrive at the right course of action.”

Waubonsee’s nursing faculty, a roster including Hutches, Assistant Professors Tracy Limbrunner, Marjie Schoolfield and Melinda Finch, and full-time Nursing Instructors Laurel Krueger, Sharon Erickson, Lisa Henson and Pamela Augustine, each bring years of nursing experience and expertise to the classrooms and various other training settings, offering Waubonsee nursing students the guidance they need to not only earn a degree, but launch careers.

The faculty is backed by a team of Nursing Program administrators and staff, including Dr. Jess Toussaint, Dean for Health Professions and Public Service; Michelle Evans, Assistant Dean for Health Professions and Public Service; Secretary Kebra Crafton; Academic Specialist Amanda Lepic; Health Care Programs Secretary Desiree Kitching; and Nursing Lab Specialists Susan Keller and Ann Hahn-Baiyor.

In recent years, the Nursing Program team has led the effort to continue to equip classrooms and instruction for the future.

The program has developed an advisory board, which includes alumni, faculty and administrators from Waubonsee and representatives of hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. Also recently launched was the Waubonsee chapter of Alpha Delta Nu, an honors society for student nurses.

The program has added simulation components to every class, using such devices as the Noelle birthing simulator and “hearing voices” psychiatric care simulators, expanding opportunities for students to experience specialty nursing subjects while still in school.

This superb classroom instruction comes on top of outstanding clinical experience offered to students at the health care facilities that partner with the Waubonsee Nursing Program, including local hospitals Rush-Copley Medical Center and Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva and Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb, as well as such other medical and nursing care facilities and organizations as the Elgin Mental Health Center, Dreyer Medical Clinic, Community Alliance Home Health and the VNA of the Fox Valley, among others.

The college further anticipates building on its tradition of excellence in coming months and years. In April 2015, the college expects to learn the results of a years-long effort to earn accreditation for the Nursing Program from the Accreditation Commission for Education for Nursing (ACEN). Following a site visit in 2014, ACEN granted the program an initial recommendation for accreditation for five years.

ACEN completed its evaluation review in January 2015, and supported the initial recommendation.

ACEN’s Board of Commissioners met in mid-March to consider granting a final accreditation determination. A final determination letter is anticipated within 30 days of that meeting.

All of these steps have led to a program continuously fostering student excellence and success, a track record reflected by real-world results.

Graduates of Waubonsee’s Nursing Program, for instance, regularly perform well on the National Council Licensure Exam, or NCLEX, the national licensing exam required to practice as a Registered Nurse, or RN.

Since 2011, an average of 92 percent of all Waubonsee Nursing Program graduates have passed the NCLEX, clearing the way for them to enter the ranks of working professional nurses.

Many of Waubonsee’s nursing graduates also go on to further their education, earning Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees or more advanced degrees from a number of colleges and universities.

To help students complete that transition, for instance, Waubonsee in 2014 completed an articulation agreement with the University of St. Francis in Joliet, creating an easy, timely and affordable pathway for nursing students to earn bachelor’s degrees, while beginning their nursing education at Waubonsee.

No matter their ultimate career path or destination, graduates of Waubonsee’s Nursing Program can rest assured their Waubonsee education will propel them forward toward their dreams of providing quality, skilled care, in their home communities and beyond.  

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Prospective Students Invited to Tour Waubonsee Campuses

Students interested in attending Waubonsee Community College are invited to experience its campuses this spring, with two tour options to choose from.

“Fully Caffeinated Campus Tours” begin at 2 p.m. on select Fridays throughout the spring, including March 20, April 17, May 8 and May 22. Tour attendees will enjoy a free drink from the Sugar Grove Campus’ Café and Starbucks Coffee Bar before exploring the college’s main campus and learning what it takes to get started at Waubonsee.

For those who want more detailed information about the overall college process at Waubonsee and beyond, the college offers its Experience Waubonsee events. Running from 6 to 8:30 p.m., these events combine in-depth college information, including financial aid details, with a campus tour. The March 25 Experience Waubonsee session will take place at the Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St., while the April 15 event will be held at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

For more information or to RSVP for any of these events, go to or call the Admissions Department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 5756.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Dedicates Field House, Celebrates 2020 Plan Completion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College