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© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Names Distinguished Alumnus

For his entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen, Steven R. Henrikson has been named the Waubonsee Community College 2017 Distinguished Alumnus. Henrikson, of Morristown, Tenn., is currently a managing partner at Henrikson & Graul Capital Partners, LLC.

A Kaneland High School graduate, Henrikson graduated with honors from Waubonsee with an Associate in Science degree in 1977.

After graduating from Waubonsee, Henrikson went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Aurora College in 1979 and a Master of Business Administration from Benedictine University in 1982. He worked for Anchor Brush in Aurora while in college and eventually transferred to that company’s facility in Morristown to run manufacturing operations there.

Henrikson left Anchor Brush to start and run his own manufacturing business in 1988. He founded and led Team Technologies Incorporated with two partners until selling the company in 2012. He then joined with another partner and formed Henrikson & Graul, a private equity company.

Henrikson remembers one economics instructor at Waubonsee, Charles Schott, who “made economics come to life.”

Through his business ownership and investment in other businesses, Henrikson has employed more than 1,000 people across the country and is a proven community leader.

“I’ve been blessed to have a good foundation in education and that began at Waubonsee,” said Henrikson.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented each year to an outstanding graduate of Waubonsee Community College. Awardees have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession, have documented evidence of contribution and service to their community, and demonstrated a continued interest in lifelong education. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Extra Hours to Help You Enroll for Fall

In order to help students enroll for fall semester, which begins Aug. 21, most student services offices will be open extended hours Aug. 17-19 at both the Sugar Grove and Aurora Downtown Campuses. On Thursday, Aug. 17 and Friday, Aug. 18, offices will be open until 7 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 19, offices will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Center for Learning Assessment open 8 a.m.-noon).

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Foundation Awards Almost $280,000 in Scholarships

For the upcoming 2017-18 academic year, the Waubonsee Community College Foundation has provided 299 scholarship awards totaling almost $280,000 to 240 recipients. The following are local winners.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Powers Named 2017 Outstanding Faculty Member

Amy Powers, Associate Professor of History, is a passionate historian and professor who has taught thousands of students during her more than 14 years at Waubonsee Community College. For her commitment to the profession, scholarly pursuits, the college and her students, Powers is honored as the college’s 2017 Outstanding Faculty Member.

Powers has worked as a full-time history professor at Waubonsee since 2003. In that time, she has taught about 8,000 students in nine different courses.

“This breadth of teaching experience has allowed me to offer my students a rich narrative of our world’s history that provides them with an understanding of how their lives have been shaped by those who have come before them,” she said.

Her love of history can be traced back to her own childhood. Powers recalls a vacation her parents took her on when she was 4 years old, visiting historical sites along the East Coast.

“I have a fond memory of playing with my father on battlefields and climbing the cannons at the Yorktown National Historic Park in Virginia,” she said. “During that same trip, we visited Monticello and Jamestown, where I remember watching glassblowers form colorful vases.”

Powers was also inspired early on by a history teacher in her Pennsylvania high school, Larry Kessler.

“A talented storyteller, he inspired students with fascinating and often humorous tales from the past, always encouraging us to make connections between historical events and the present,” she said. “I also appreciated that he incorporated novels, poems and other cultural artifacts into his lessons.  I try to do the same in my classes.”

One tradition in Powers’ classroom has remained consistent over 14 years. On the first day of any class she teaches, Powers tells her students that she has two goals: familiarize them with the historical narrative of the time and place they are studying, and teach them how historians conduct their research and draw conclusions about past events. In addition, she strives to help students improve their communication skills.

When Powers was first hired at Waubonsee, she was assigned to teach the History of the Middle East, which at the time was a brand-new class at the college.

“I was unsure of how students would respond to the class and wondered how many would register for it, but I was pleasantly surprised to have a completely full roster of engaged students,” she said. “The war in Iraq, combined with the Middle East's vital role in the realm of geopolitics, seemed to convince many students that they needed to learn more about the region and its history.”

Powers continues to teach that class every year, and enjoys that it always guarantees a full room of thoughtful and inspiring students.

Ongoing professional development is one way that Powers practices what she preaches to her students. She is a member of several national historical societies and organizations, has participated in the college’s Leadership Academy, and is a regular presenter at conferences in her discipline.

She said she is grateful that Tim Draper, her colleague in the history department, has always encouraged her to embrace challenges and reach new professional heights, including his support in applying for the "Bridging Cultures: American History, Atlantic and Pacific" program, a collaborative initiative of the American Historical Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

“Our experience in this program has not only made me a better historian, but it has also made me a more effective teacher who can redesign courses to better fit our students educational needs,” Powers said.

Powers also contributes to the college in many ways beyond her teaching commitments: she serves as co-advisor to the college’s History Club, serves on more than 17 different committees, and is the Outcomes Faculty Liaison, where she has served on the Outcomes Advisory Council. She is also currently serving a three-year term on the American Association of Community Colleges Faculty Advisory Council.

Powers said she is honored to receive the Outstanding Faculty recognition.

“Not only have I loved teaching for these past 14 years, but I have also enjoyed being part of the wider college community,” she said. “My experience serving on committees, working as faculty advisor to student clubs, and most recently serving as the Outcomes Liaison, has given me an opportunity to work with talented people from all parts of campus.”

Outside of history and teaching, Powers said she also enjoys gardening and reading, spending time with family and being a mother.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognizes STEM Scholarship Program

Waubonsee Community College recently completed a seven-year program that resulted in 84 student scholarships totaling more than $598,000. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Scholarship Program was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and designed to recognize scholarship in all disciplines of natural science, engineering, computer science, and mathematics. This month, Waubonsee is pleased to recognize the STEM Scholarship Program as its Institutional Success Story.

“The experience [participating in the NSF scholarship program] had a profound impact on my academics and career as a hazard geographer,” said Hannah Eboh, a winner in the 2012 Skyway STEM poster competition and current graduate student at DePaul University conducting research in hazard geomorphology.

The average GPA of Waubonsee students who participated in the program was 3.57, and the transfer rate to four-year programs was approximately 90%.

The Skyway STEM poster competition is a program that gives students the opportunity to express STEM topics in creative ways.  

For more information about STEM programs at Waubonsee visit www.waubonsee.edu/stem or call Mr. David Voorhees at (630) 466-2783.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognizes Support Staff

Waubonsee Community College recently presented Support Staff Awards for Excellence to college support staff members.

More than 70 support staff members were nominated for the awards in three categories: commitment to diversity and equity, innovation and creativity, and service and quality. The award recipients were announced at the annual support staff meetings on June 27.

Lisa Egner, Accommodations Coordinator, received the Support Staff Award for Excellence in Commitment to Diversity and Equity. Egner leads the diversity session for New Employee Orientation and serves on the Disability Advisory Board and the Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention task force. Egner also developed and facilitates the First Look Program, which presents Waubonsee as an option for high school students who might not have thought college was a possibility for them.

Meg Junk, Student Life Coordinator, received the Support Staff Award for Excellence in Innovation and Creativity. Junk implemented Waubonsee’s first Alternative Spring Break program and worked with students on fundraising opportunities for the trip. Junk was also instrumental in developing the Waubonsee

Student Leadership Development Program by writing curriculum, identifying and training people to present the material, and developing program assessment and evaluation tools.

Earl Shumaker, Librarian, received the Support Staff Award for Excellence in Service and Quality. Shumaker leads tours of the library for all new employees and is sought after by students for advice on research. He treats everyone with respect and consideration.

Waubonsee has more than 450 support staff employees. The Support Staff Awards for Excellence are presented annually to those employees who exemplify excellence in each of the categories. Employees are nominated by their peers and supervisors. Awardees are chosen by the Support Staff Committee, which reviews all nominations anonymously.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Jim Williams Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach

Waubonsee Community College has named Jim Williams as its new Head Women’s Basketball Coach.  Williams assumes the role after spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach.

Williams looks forward to his new role in the Chiefs program.  “I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to be able to lead this fine group of student-athletes and be part of Waubonsee’s rich athletic history,” said Williams.  

With Williams’ assistance Waubonsee captured the Region IV Championship in 2014-2015 and 2015-2106, going on to finish 11th nationally at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament both years. The Chiefs also completed an undefeated Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title in 2015-2016 on their way to setting the program’s single-season mark for wins with 27. Williams brings a well-rounded resume to Waubonsee’s bench, having coached basketball, baseball and football at the prep and youth levels. Williams coached basketball and baseball at his alma mater, Marmion Academy in Aurora prior to joining the Chiefs’ staff. 

Williams is a 1987 graduate of Marmion where he was a standout three-sport athlete. He earned All-Conference honors in football, basketball and baseball, while also being named the Cadets’ Most Valuable Player on the court and the diamond. His senior year he was named the Aurora Beacon-News “Player of the Year” averaging 19.0 points per game and 87 percent from the free throw line. He was inducted into Marmion’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Williams went to Rosary College in River Forest, now called Dominican University, on a full basketball scholarship, where he led the NAIA Mideast District in free throw percentage two years in row. He later transferred to Aurora University and finished ninth in the nation among NCAA Division III players in free throw percentage.   

“We extremely happy that Coach Williams will be leading our women’s basketball program,” said Waubonsee Community College Athletics Manager Kevin Vest.  “During the search process Jim clearly emerged as somebody who is completely dedicated to serving our student-athletes and helping them succeed on and off the court.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s DuCharme Receives National Honor

Waubonsee Community College Associate Professor of Biology Dani DuCharme has another accolade to add to her award-winning career. The college’s 2016 Outstanding Faculty Member was recently named a recipient of a National Institute for Staff and Organizational (NISOD) Excellence Award.

NISOD is a membership organization dedicated to promoting excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at technical and community colleges. The NISOD Excellence Awards were established in 1991 to recognize individuals from member colleges who do extraordinary work. Since then, more than 25,000 recipients have been honored.

DuCharme was recognized during the NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Learning Excellence, which was held last month in Austin, Texas.

She began working as a full-time instructor at Waubonsee in 2007. Since then, she has earned a reputation as an expert in her field and an advocate for innovative teaching in science, biology and STEM. The 1998 Illinois Math and Science Academy graduate also demonstrates her passion for these studies through her leadership and involvement in many professional and community organizations dedicated to science education.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Voorhees Invited to Assist National Science Foundation

Waubonsee Community College Associate Professor of Earth Science/Geology David Voorhees recently participated in a National Science Foundation (NSF) review of programs.

The NSF Geosciences Directorate Committee of Visitors on Education and Diversity and Polar Special Initiatives took place at the NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA. Voorhees was part of a team selected to review the management of certain NSF programs and make recommendations to ensure continued high standards.

Voorhees was one of eight invited participants, and was the only participant from a two-year college.

An award winning professor, Voorhees holds a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Rochester. He was recognized as the Illinois Community College Trustees Association Faculty of the Year in 2015.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Trustee Recognized for Service

Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustee James Michels was recently recognized by the Illinois Community Colleges Trustees Association (ICCTA) for his three decades of service.

Michels, of Elburn, has served the Waubonsee board for 30 years – since 1987 - and was recognized during the ICCTA Awards Banquet this month in Normal, Ill. The retired consultant and engineer has completed the second most years of service out of the current Waubonsee board members.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Medical Assisting Program Celebrates Perfect Pass Rate

The Waubonsee Community College Medical Assisting Program is celebrating a 100 percent pass rate on the Certified Medical Assistant (American Association for Medical Assistants - AAMA) Examination.

Lisa Giese, Medical Assistant Program Director and Instructor at Waubonsee, has taught the program for nearly a decade, and has had a 100 percent pass rate every year.

“I believe my students do so well because of all the hands-on experience they get in the classroom,” she said. “Also, I am so proud of all the hard work and dedication that all my students put forth throughout the program.”

Giese said many physicians’ offices in the area contact her every year asking for students for externship and employment because of the quality of knowledge her students demonstrate on the job. 

Waubonsee offers the medical assistant certificate at the Aurora Fox Valley Campus during the afternoon and evening. The required externship allows students to gain experience at a local physician's office, clinic or outpatient facility. This program can lead to national certification as a medical assistant. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Physics Instructor Awarded Grant

For the third consecutive year, Waubonsee Physics Instructor Dr. Pratima Jindal was awarded a United States Compact Muon Solenoid Teacher Fellowship Grant from the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the University of Notre Dame and Fermi Lab.

The grant will be used to offer a two-day workshop for area high school physics teachers, where they will study quark physics and other high-level research.

Jindal has authored or co-authored hundreds of publications, primarily in the field of high energy physics. Prior to teaching at Waubonsee, she worked as a research associate on the Compact Muon Spectrometer Experiment for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

She holds a Ph.D. in experimental high energy physics from Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. She also earned from Panjab a Master of Science in physics, a Bachelor of Science in physical sciences and a Bachelor of Education.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Graphic Design Students Recognized

Students in Waubonsee Community College Graphic Design classes recently earned recognition in a poster competition.

The students in Graphic Design I and Graphic Design II courses at Waubonsee participated in the Emilio Del Rosario (EDR) Music Foundation’s International Young Artist Piano Concerto poster design competition. The designs were submitted to and voted on by a selection committee.

Waubonsee’s Bethany Gunderson earned first place, Dharti Patel earned second place and Benjamin Petschke earned third place.

The EDR Music Foundation fosters artistic excellence in gifted young pianists and composers, and is based in Palatine, Ill. The poster designs are used to promote the young artists’ piano concerts.

John Fu, Waubonsee Professor of Graphic Design, said that the president of the EDR Music Foundation asked him to submit poster designs in the past, and he asked her to also consider allowing his students to submit their work in order to build up their resumes.

Fu said the winning entry is on the cover of next year's competition program booklet and will be featured on EDR Music Foundation website.  Others will be used for announcements, concert publicity, and fundraising.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Employees Accept Board Appointments

Several Waubonsee Community College employees recently accepted appointments to various industry and community boards.

Emily Hinton, Access Center for Disability Resources Manager, has been elected to the executive board of the Illinois/Iowa branch of the International Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). AHEAD is a professional membership organization for individuals involved in the development of policy and in providing quality services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities involved in all areas of higher education.

Dr. Melinda Tejada, Vice President of Student Development, was recently elected vice chairman of the Association for Individual Development (AID) Board of Directors. AID provides services to individuals who have developmental, physical and/or mental disabilities, those who have suffered a trauma or those at risk by providing them access to services.

Faith LaShure, Dean for Enrollment Management, was recently elected vice chairman of the Plano Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Robert Cook, TRIO Upward Bound Manager, was appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce (QCAACC). QCAACC is a non-profit business organization in Aurora whose mission is to enhance the commercial environment and improve marketing opportunities for African American businesses in Kane, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Certified by Mopar Career Automotive Program LOCAL

Waubonsee Community College has partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the National Coalition of Certification Centers to establish the college as a Mopar Career Automotive Program Local training site. Officials from the Mopar Career Automotive Program Local were at the college on Thursday to launch the college’s involvement with the program.

Representatives from area Mopar dealership service departments; representatives from the Coalition; as well as members of the Waubonsee staff, faculty, and administration attended the event.

The Mopar CAP Local prepares individuals to work as Level 1 Technicians upon graduation. For individuals, the certification is a path to employment in FCA dealerships. For the college, the certification opens more options for students.

“Waubonsee is a facilitator of opportunities for students. Ultimately, this certification helps the college help students gain employment,” said Ken Kunz, a Professor of Automotive Technology.

For Mopar, the program is a critical stream of highly-trained technicians to service cars.

 Jeffrey Kuester, the Performance Institute Mopar CAP/CAP Local Manager, told the attendees that by 2018 FCA will need 5,500 new auto technicians and by 2024 the auto industry will need 780,000 new technicians.

Stephen Massey, a 2009 graduate of the Waubonsee Automotive Technology program and current Service and Parts Technical Advisor for FCA, was at Waubonsee for the program launch.

“I wish this was available when I was a student here. Waubonsee is a great school that prepares people for life. This program makes that even better,” said Massey.

Waubonsee is the first community college in Illinois involved in the Mopar CAP Local. The automotive technology program is Master ASE certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Names Distinguished Contributor

For his dedication and service, Waubonsee Community College has named Richard “Shorty” W. Dickson the 2017 Distinguished Contributor. 

Dickson, a retired insurance executive from Bristol, served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 1972 until 1987 and then again from 1989 until the present. In those years he has served as an officer of the board for 38 years, 29 years as Chair and 9 years as Vice Chair. He continues to serve as the vice chair of the board today.

During his tenure, Dickson has helped steer the college from its predominantly rural foundation to one that serves one of Illinois’ largest and most diverse population centers. His tireless dedication has allowed Waubonsee to become an education leader in the 21st century.

Dickson is an active member of the Dickson-Murst Farm Partners, which manages the homestead building that houses the Kendall County offices of the Conservation Foundation. He also serves on the Bristol Kendall Fire Protection District Board.

In addition to his service on boards, Dickson has been instrumental in advancing the education of individual students by providing longstanding financial support through the Anita Dickson Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship awards two annual awards of $500 for tuition, fees, or books.

In 2014, Dickson was recognized by the Illinois Community College Trustee Association with the “40-Year Trustee” designation in recognition of his four decades of service to Waubonsee. He and a colleague from College of Lake County were the first in the state to earn that distinction. 

“Mr. Dickson’s commitment and service to Waubonsee and the community for more than 40 years are remarkable. He exemplifies the core values of the college. We thank him for his unmatched service and contribution,” said Dr. Christine Sobek, president of Waubonsee Community College.

The Distinguished Contributor Award is given each year to an individual, a group of individuals, or organizations who have made an outstanding contribution or given exemplary support to Waubonsee Community College. Those nominated have supported the operations of the college in either a personal or professional capacity and have contributed to the growth and expansion of the college’s mission.  Nominees for the award are recognized by the college staff, community residents and officials, or college leaders as having made an extraordinary commitment to promote the college and its mission. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee's Grams earns ISCC's Dick Durrant Award

Grams is Chiefs' 27th Durrant Award recipient, 73 student-athletes earn ISCC All-Academic

The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) recently named the Dick Durrant Academic Athlete of the Year Award Winners for 2016-17 at the league’s annual year-ending luncheon at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake. Waubonsee Community College women’s soccer player Emily Grams was one of the co-winners of this prestigious award, given annually to the student-athletes in the ISCC who attain the highest grade point average after completing four semesters of college work. Grams is the 27th Chiefs’ student-athlete to earn this honor since the inception of the award in 1979. In addition, 73 Waubonsee student-athletes achieved ISCC All-Academic status for the 2016-17 school year.

The award is named after Mr. Dick Durrant, who was an outstanding teacher, coach and athletic director at Elgin Community   College from 1961 through 1985. Durrant championed the philosophy of academic as well as athletic excellence while at Elgin. Coach Durrant was known for his concern for students, his sense of fair play and his attitude of education before athletics.  .

Grams, an Elementary Education major from Elburn, finished the school year with a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average while competing for Waubonsee’s women’s soccer team. The sophomore defender was a key cog in the Chiefs’ defense the last two years, earning All-ISCC First Team and All-Region First Team on the field. Grams also served as a team captain this past fall, helping Waubonsee reach the Region IV title match for the eighth time in the last nine years. The Kaneland High School graduate is continuing her collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she is pursuing her teaching degree.

 

Waubonsee Community College’s 2016-17 ISCC All-Academic honorees

Baseball

Brett Becker                          (Mendota)

Kyle Kolb                              (Roanoke-Benson)

Jared Liebelt                          (Aurora West)

Dylan Manley                       (Ottawa Township)

Klay Nafziger                        (Roanoke-Benson)

Nicholas Saltzman                (Somonauk)

Ivan Santos                          (Miami, FL./McCarthy)

James Tunney                      (Aurora West)

Aric Applebee                       (Seneca)

Ryan Becker                         (Aurora West)

Matt Burke                            (Murphysboro)

Trevor Hannan                     (Aurora West)

Chase Hartleben                   (Parker, CO./Chaparral)

Logan Love                           (Aurora West)

Joshua Meyers                     (Marmion Academy)

Dolan Nicholson                  (Denton, TX./Denton)        

Jake Smith                             (Aurora Central)

Rich Szewczyk                      (Kaneland)

Trevor Wilcox                       (Geneva)

Cody Wyeth                         (Aurora West)

Men’s Basketball

Rodrigue Makindu               (Mooseheart)

Jacob Pike                             (Oswego)

Germaine Roebuck               (Champaign-Central)

Men’s Cross Country

Mikos Jiminez                       (Aurora Christian)

James Walker                        (Kaneland)

Alexian Saavedra                 (Plano)

Jason Schlicher                    (Batavia)

Men’s Golf

Jacob Cook                           (DeKalb )

Jesse Denton                        (Kaneland)

Jakob Sanders                      (Kaneland)

Benjamin Melms                   (DeKalb)

Men’s Soccer

Calvin Baez                           (Batavia)

Daniel Madrigal                    (Oswego East)

Daniel Carbajal                     (Joliet Central)

Luis Correa-Cabral               (West Chicago)

Robert Glass                         (Geneva)

Gustavo Mancera                (St. Charles East)

Laud Williams             (Colorado Springs, CO./Wasson)

Women’s Tennis

Alexis Blackmon                   (Oswego East)

Maddy Deufel                      (Rosary)

Jasmin Serna                         (Aurora West)

Women’s Basketball

Libby Love                            (Plano)

Jacklyn Bouma                     (Indian Creek)

Lauren Goff                           (Sycamore)

Alexis VanWhye                  (Indian Creek)

Women’s Cross Country

Mindy Dolan                        (S. Jordan, UT/Bingham)

Ripley Vonhoff                     (Aurora Christian)

Women’s Soccer

Nichole Charielle                  (Oswego)

Emily Grams                          (Kaneland)

Taylor Opperman                 (Kaneland)

Karina Rios                           (Aurora West)

Ashlyn Turner                      (Batavia)

Mariah Alaniz                       (Sycamore)

Kayley Garland                     (DeKalb)

Nicole Koczka                       (Kaneland)

Softball

Alucia DeLuca                      (Bolingbrook)

Ashley Jourdan                    (Oswego)

Megan Stricker                     (Geneva)

Shannen Sutherland            (Sandwich)

Mary Wackerlin                   (Mendota)

Megan Arcivar                     (Metea Valley)

Elizabeth Gagnon                 (Batavia)

Nicole Krupp                        (Somonauk)

Women’s Volleyball

Mallory Jones                       (Aurora West)

Haley Koziol                         (Yorkville)

Bailey Martenson                (Indian Creek)

Vanessa Melendez               (Plano)

Payton Orzech                      (Somonauk)

Anna Senese                        (Kaneland)

Ashley Deichmueller           (Yorkville)

Chelsey Ellen                        (Yorkville)

Hollie Federly                       (Kaneland)

Brittany Grider                      (Kaneland) 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Santos, Meyers named NJCAA Baseball All-Americans

Chiefs' duo selected to NJCAA All-American squad

Waubonsee Community College’s Samyr Santos and Josh Meyers were both honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division III Baseball Committee. Santos was named a First Team All-American, while Meyers was chosen a Second Team All-American. The duo helped lead the Chiefs to a 30-16 record overall and a second place finish in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) standings.

Santos, a sophomore from West Broward High School in Miami, Fla. batted .371 with a Waubonsee single-season record of 13 home runs, finishing sixth nationally among all NJCAA Division III players in homers. The right-handed hitter drove in 63 runs this spring, tying for ninth nationally in RBI’s and placing him second in the Chiefs’ record book. In addition, the Chiefs’ catcher compiled a .679 slugging percentage, drew 28 walks and posted a .458 on-base percentage. Santos was selected the NJCAA Division III Player of the Week for the second week of April, and was tabbed to the All-ISCC First Team and the Region IV First Team. The 6’1” 235-pounder is headed to NAIA affiliate Shorter (GA.) University on a baseball scholarship.

Meyers, a Marmion Academy graduate, batted .378 with a team-leading 65 hits. The freshman outfielder from Aurora (IL.) knocked in 41 runs and scored 40 runs while ripping 10 doubles, four triples and a pair of home runs. The 6’2” 195-pounder also stole 11 bases, compiled a .422 on-base percentage, posted a .517 slugging percentage by collecting 89 total bases, and registered a dozen outfield assists on the season. Meyers previously was selected to the All-ISCC First Team and the Region IV First Team.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs’ softball receives post-season awards

Seven WCC softball members recognized by ISCC and Region IV

Seven members of Waubonsee Community College’s softball team were recognized by the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA’s Region IV Committee for their performances this past spring on the diamond. Chiefs’ centerfielder Courtni Neubauer was selected the ISCC’s Softball Player of the Year, while catcher Mary Wackerlin, infielders Alycia DeLuca, Nicole Krupp, Lexi Moky and Shannen Sutherland were each named to the All-ISCC First Team. Neubauer, Wackerlin, DeLuca and Krupp were each chosen to the All-Region First Team. Head Coach Perry Clark was tabbed the ISCC and Region IV Coach of the Year after leading Waubonsee to the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time ever.

In 10 ISCC games Neubauer batted .680 going 17 for 25 at the plate, with 28 runs scored, 14 walks drawn and 15 stolen bases. Overall on the season the Chiefs’ leadoff hitter batted .462 and led all NJCAA Division II players with 46 walks. The sophomore was also second nationally with 95 runs scored and 71 stolen bases. The Burlington Central High School product smacked 79 hits and compiled a .580 on-base percentage.

Wackerlin batted .381 over eight conference games played with 11 runs batted in. The right-handed hitter drilled four doubles and a home run to go along with four runs scored and four walks. A Mendota High School graduate, Wackerlin batted .424 overall on the season with 38 runs driven in and 29 walks drawn. The Chiefs’ catcher blasted 10 doubles, two triples and six home runs while posting a .667 slugging percentage.

DeLuca batted .482 in nine league games with nine run knocked in and seven runs scored. In the circle she went 3-0 with a 1.56 earned-run-average, allowing just nine hits while striking out 21 in 18 innings pitched. On the season the Bolingbrook High School alumnus batted .465 with 65 runs batted in. The sophomore ripped 12 doubles, two triples and seven home runs while compiling a .722 slugging percentage. The right-hander won 14 games with a 2.92 earned-run-average, striking out 121 batters in 131 and two-thirds innings.

Krupp batted .577 in eight conference contests, driving in 12 runs with three doubles, a triple and six runs scored. A right-hander pitcher as well, Krupp went 3-0 with a 1.00 earned-run-average. She struck out 18, walked only four and allowed just 17 hits over 21 innings pitched. Overall for the season the Somonauk High School graduate batted .485 with a team-leading 80 hits. The freshman drove in 58 runs, drilled 16 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and posted a .745 slugging percentage. In the circle she won 14 games while posting a 3.36 earned-run-average.

Moky, an Oswego High School product, batted .546 in eight ISCC games, smacking a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs while driving in 16 runs. Overall the Chiefs’ third baseman batted .370 with 61 hits, 48 runs scored, 37 runs driven in and 27 walks drawn. 

Sutherland, a sophomore from Sandwich High School, batted .417 in conference action with five runs knocked in and six scored to go along with smacking two doubles and a home run.

Clark led unranked Waubonsee to a 37-20 record overall, winning the Region IV Division II District B title for the first time and earning the program’s first trip to the National Tournament. Clark’s crew went 1-2 at the National Tournament, including a 7-4 loss to eventual National Champion LSU-Eunice. In ISCC play the Chiefs went 10-0 en route to the program’s seventh straight conference title. Over that span Waubonsee has compiled an 80-8 record in conference action.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Athletics wins ISCC's All-Sports Trophy

Chiefs' Athletics grabs ISCC's top trophy for 7th time

Waubonsee Community College captured the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference’s (ISCC) All-Sports Trophy for the 2016-17 school year in convincing fashion. Six Chiefs’ teams earned ISCC titles, while no other sports squad finished lower than third in the eight-team league. Waubonsee compiled 61.5 points, six and a half points better than Moraine Valley Community College (55 points) and well ahead of third-place College of Lake County (42 points). The Chiefs were ISCC Champions in men’s soccer, women’s tennis, men’s golf, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and softball, to go along with second-place finishes in baseball, women’s soccer and men’s cross country. 

Overall it is the seventh time Waubonsee has garnered the ISCC’s prestigious trophy since the inception of the award in 1980. The Chiefs’ Athletic Department has perennially finished near the top of the standings for this annual award, which is a measure of the overall quality of each college’s sports programs. The conference’s eight schools compete in twelve sports with six each for men and women. A point system, awarded in descending order of each school’s conference finish, is tallied in each sport. Each school is allowed to drop their four lowest scores, with the overall winner being the program that garners the most total points with their eight remaining tallies. 

Men’s Soccer went undefeated (7-0) to win the ISCC title for the third time in school history. Coach Brett Suhayda’s crew finished the regular season unbeaten (16-0-1) and ran off a school record 19-game winning streak en route to the Region IV Division I crown. Ranked 17th nationally, the Chiefs fell in the District B title match to third-ranked Iowa Western. Men’s Golf grabbed the ISCC title for the second straight year, went on to finish second at the Region IV Tournament and placed 20th at the National Tournament in Mesa, Arizona. Men’s Basketball tied with Elgin for the ISCC title and went on to win the Region IV Division II championship over fourth-ranked Triton College. Coach Dave Heiss’ unranked Chiefs then secured a top-12 finish at the National Tournament.

Women’s Tennis won the ISCC crown for the 17th time in school history, then won the Region IV Tournament before placing 24th nationally at the National Tournament in Tucson, Arizona. Women’s Basketball garnered the ISCC title before bowing out of the Region IV Tournament with a loss to eventual champion Moraine Valley. Softball grabbed the ISCC crown for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year, going undefeated (10-0) in league action and improving to 80-8 in ISCC play the last seven years. Coach Perry Clark’s team then captured the Region IV Division II Championship for the first time ever and went 1-2 at the National Tournament in Clinton, Mississippi.

The Baseball team finished the season with 30 wins and was ranked as high as eighth nationally during the season. Women’s Soccer reached the Region IV Division I title match for the eighth time in the last nine years. Men’s Cross Country came in second at both the ISCC Meet and the Region IV Meet, before finishing 25th at the National Meet.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee pair named NJCAA Division II Softball All-Americans

Neubauer and DeLuca recognized by NJCAA

Waubonsee Community College softball players Courtni Neubauer and Alycia DeLuca were both recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for their outstanding play this past Spring. Neubauer was selected to the NJCAA Division II All-American Second Team, while DeLuca was named a Third Team All-American. The duo helped propel Waubonsee (37-20) to an undefeated Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title, the Region IV Division II District B title for the first time in school history, and a berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

The Chiefs’ leadoff hitter, Neubauer was in the top-10 nationally in four categories including leading all NJCAA Division II players with 47 walks drawn. The sophomore from Burlington Central High School finished second in the nation with a Waubonsee single-season record of 71 stolen bases in 74 attempts. Neubauer also established a new Waubonsee career mark for stolen bases by swiping 109 bags in 115 attempts the last two years. The left-handed batter was also second nationally with 95 runs scored and ended up seventh nationally with a .580 on-base percentage. Neubauer batted .462 for the season, and was second on the team with 79 hits in a team-leading 171 at bats over 56 games played.

DeLuca batted .465 for the season driving in 65 runs and compiling a .722 slugging percentage. The Bolingbrook High School graduate smacked 12 doubles, a pair of triples and seven home runs in 46 games played. In the circle the right-handed hurler won 14 games with a 2.92 earned-run-average over 22 appearances. DeLuca struck out 121 batters in 131 and two-thirds innings of work, while opponents batted just .212 against her. Defensively, the sophomore middle infielder made only one error all season, posting a .987 fielding percentage.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Women's Tennis competes at Nationals

Women's Tennis finishes 24th nationally

Waubonsee Community College’s women’s tennis squad recently competed at the 2017 NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament. The Chiefs placed 24th in the nation at the Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz, tallying three team points. Coach Jennifer McMullen’s team won the Region IV Tournament back in November to qualify for nationals. Earlier in the fall Waubonsee captured the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title for the 17th time overall since the inaugural conference tennis season in 1976.

In Tucson the Chiefs’ number two doubles team of sophomores Courtney Decker and Madison Ahlberg went 2-2 during the tournament. The duo fell in their opening match in straight sets to Mesa (AZ.) Community College’s Yolena Carlon and Julia Ortiz, the sixth ranked doubles team in the country. Decker and Ahlberg bounced back to defeat the College of Dupage’s doubles team 8-1, then hung on for a 9-7 victory over the hometown pairing of Lien Nguyen and Ashley Ochoa from Pima (AZ.) Community College. The Chiefs’ duo was then knocked out 8-2 by Taylor Miller and Rachel Sollie from Meridian (MS.) Community College, the eventual consolation champions.

Individually, Ahlberg, a graduate of Yorkville High School, went 1-2 at number three singles. She fell 6-3, 6-2 to Eastern Arizona’s Jennifer Milne in her first match. Ahlberg then beat Jacksonville (TX.) College’s Allison Singleton 8-3, before bowing out with a loss to Pima’s Nguyen. Maddy Deufel also went 1-2 at number four singles for Waubonsee. The sophomore from Rosary High School lost her opening match to Collin (TX.) College’s Hannah Rey. Deufel then knocked off DuPage’s Jenelle Stolarczuk 8-1 before being eliminated by Nikita Hill from North Central Texas College.

Decker, along with Alexis Blackmon and Meredith Nelson all competed in singles play. Decker, an Aurora Central graduate,  fell 6-4, 6-4 to Pima’s Emma Oropeza before being ousted by Broward (FL.) County’s Konomi Shida in number one singles action. Blackmon, from Oswego East High School, was downed by Central Alabama’s Margaret Blackwell and Lewis & Clark’s Marta Garcia in number two singles play. Nelson, an Aurora West alumnus, dropped her number five singles matches to Central Alabama’s Abby Hines and Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Jenna Lyons. Deufel and Blackmon also teamed up at number one singles, falling to Snead (AL.) State’s Katy Bole and Alesha Triplett, and Jones County (MS.) Junior College’s tandem of Natastasia Bukhanova and Beth Owen.

 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Golfers finish 20th at Nationals

Chiefs place 20th at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa

Waubonsee Community College’s men’s golf team recently competed at the 2017 NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament. The Chiefs placed 20th in the nation at the Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. Guided by head coach Dave Heiss and assistant coach Rodney Davis, the Chiefs qualified for nationals after finishing second at the Region IV Tournament back in November. Earlier in the fall Waubonsee captured the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title for the second straight year.

Being the only region in the NJCAA that competes in the fall seemed to hamper the Chiefs in Mesa. Waubonsee looked rusty on day one of the four-round event carding a team total of 339, well off their pace from the regular season. The Chiefs posted a 318 on day two and followed that up with a 323 and a 335 on the final day. Golfers from 41 Division II junior colleges from across the country competed under the Arizona sun.

Individually Waubonsee was led by Marmion Academy graduate Jackson Clark who tied for 62nd overall. An All-ISCC and All-Region performer, the sophomore was consistent over the four days of the event posting scores of 79, 78, 77 and 77 for a 311 total, 27 strokes over par. ISCC Medalist Ben Melms finished tied for 89th place with a four day total of 321. The DeKalb High School product carded rounds of 82, 80, 75 and 84. Ramir Rogue, who finished second in both the ISCC and at the Region IV Tournament, struggled on day one and could never quite recover. The freshman from Bukidnon in the Phillipines, tallied a season-high 95 in his opening round before bouncing back to fire a 76 on day two. Rogue finished with rounds of 83 and 85 to end up in 126th place. Jesse Denton, another of the Chiefs’ All-Region performers, also struggled. The Kaneland High School graduate placed 127th overall, five stroke behind Rogue. Jacob Cook, the Chiefs’ fourth All-ISCC performer, posted a first round 107 before having to withdraw due to injury.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Berenyi inducted into Hall of Fame, 2016-17 Student-Athletes honored at Banquet

Annual Athletic Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction held in APC

Waubonsee Community College inducted Paralympic champion Joe Berenyi into the Chiefs’ Athletic Hall of Fame and honored its’ top student-athletes for 2016-2017 at the school’s annual Athletic Awards Banquet. Individual achievements as well as team accomplishments were recognized during the festive evening in the college’s Academic and Professional Center as student/athletes from throughout the Fox Valley area and beyond were honored.

Throughout the 2016-17 school year Waubonsee has been celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Appropriately Berenyi became the 50th inductee to Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame since its’ inception in 2007. Berenyi was a left-handed reliever and part-time outfielder for the Chiefs’ baseball team in 1988 and 1989. In a construction accident five years later he lost his right arm, severely broke a leg and shattered his left knee cap, which had to be removed. Berenyi was down for a time, but not out. After several years the Aurora Central Catholic High School graduate eventually returned to another sporting passion of his, cycling. In just his third year of full-fledged competition, Berenyi made the U.S. Para-cycling team at the age of 43. He then burst onto the world stage by winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Paralymic Games in London, setting a 3000-meter Individual Pursuit World Record in a qualifying race. Berenyi has since gone on to capture 20 U.S. Championships and seven World Championship titles. He was the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Men’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year for 2015, and was nominated in 2015 and 2016 for an ESPY in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category. At last year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Berenyi earned another silver medal and continues to represent the U.S. in various international competitions.

Baseball player Samyr Santos was named the Male Athlete of the Year. The Chiefs’ catcher batted .371 with a school-record 13 home runs, ranking him sixth nationally among all NJCAA Division III players in that category. The right-handed hitter was also eighth nationally with 63 runs batted in, and 29th in the nation with a .679 slugging percentage. The sophomore from Archbishop McCarthy High School in Miami, Fla., was second on the Chiefs’ squad with 59 hits and 28 walks, third on the team with 39 runs scored, and finished the season with a .458 on-base percentage. Defensively he posted a .984 fielding percentage and threw out 31 percent of potential base stealers while appearing all 47 games Waubonsee played this spring. Santos is headed to Shorter University in Georgia on a baseball scholarship.

Softball player Courtni Neubauer was chosen as the Female Athlete of the Year by Waubonsee’s coaches after she helped lead the Chiefs to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in school history. The Chiefs’ leadoff hitter was in the top-10 nationally in four categories including leading all NJCAA Division II players with 47 walks drawn. The sophomore from Burlington Central High School finished second in the nation with a Waubonsee single-season record of 71 stolen bases in 74 attempts. Neubauer also established a new Waubonsee career mark for stolen bases by swiping 109 bags in 115 attempts the last two years. An Art major, the left-hander was also second nationally with 93 runs scored and ended up seventh nationally with a .583 on-base percentage. Neubauer batted .461 for the season, and was second on the team with 77 hits in a team-leading 167 at bats over 55 games played.

Baseball player Victor Santana was selected as Waubonsee’s Most Improved Male Athlete. The native of Miramar, Fla. splayed sparingly as a freshman, going 0 for 6 at the plate in just 12 games while compiling a 4.73 earned-run average in nine appearances on the mound. As a sophomore this spring the right-hander batted .337 with 30 runs scored, 31 hits, 21 runs batted in, 26 walks drawn and a .496 on-base percentage while playing shortstop. On the mound he led Waubonsee with a 2.80 earned run average with three wins over 35 and a third innings pitched. Santana, majoring in Sports Management, is also headed to Shorter University to continue his education and playing career.     

Somonauk High School graduate Mackenzie Jackson was named the Most Improved Female Athlete by Waubonsee’s coaches. On the softball diamond as a freshman Jackson batted just .139 with a .224 on-base percentage over 27 games played. The part-time catcher threw out only one of 26 would be base-stealers. This season was completely different as Jackson batted .339 with a .409 on-base percentage over 34 games. The sophomore majoring in Criminal Justice was a spot starter in the outfield and behind the plate, and did not commit an error the entire season in 73 fielding chances.

Emily Grams, a Kaneland High School graduate, was the recipient of the Vermilion and Gold Award. This award is given annually to the Waubonsee student-athlete who best exemplifies the true ‘heart and soul’ of Chiefs’ athletics. A Women’s Soccer team captain, Grams was an All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) First Team and a two-time All-Region First Team selection while helping anchor the Chiefs’ defense the last two seasons. The Elburn native was involved with several activities on campus, was a Gustafson Scholar, a Pinnacle Award winner, made the President’s List for academic achievement and was a member of the Christian Athletes Group. Grams is an Elementary Education major and is attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

Volleyball player Bailey Martenson was tabbed as the S.T.A.R. Award recipient, given to the student-athlete that displayed a good work ethic, dedication to academics and achieved perfect attendance in Waubonsee’s athletic monitoring program. The Indian Creek High School product demonstrated these attributes and more while competing as a member of the Volleyball program. An Acturial Sciences major, Martenson will be continuing her education at Drake University in Iowa.

Other individuals achieving All-Conference, All-Region and Academic honors during the school year were recognized throughout the event. Waubonsee also celebrated the best athletic year in the school’s history. Waubonsee ran away with the ISCC’s All-Sports Trophy, earning the big award for the seventh time in the league’s 47-year history. Six Chiefs’ teams won ISCC titles, while the other five sports programs all finished second or third in the eight-team league. Men’s Soccer, Men’s Golf, Women’s Tennis, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball and Softball all grabbed ISCC championships. Five teams qualified for and participated in NJCAA National Tournaments with Men’s Basketball leading the way with a top-12 finish nationally. In addition, several Waubonsee coaches were honored for leading successful teams and retiring staff member Paul Clennon was recognized during the evening’s festivities.     

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s James Magara Honored for Career Achievements by Alma Mater

James Magara, Waubonsee Community College Education Television and Video Production Manager, was recently honored with a Pioneer Broadcast Award from his alma mater, Central Michigan University (CMU).

Magara was one of five people to receive the recognition from the Department of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at CMU. It celebrates the 40th anniversary of his graduation from the university, as well as his career achievements in the industry.

The university started bestowing the award three years ago, as a salute to longstanding alumni of their Broadcast and Cinematic Arts program.

The award was presented last month at the annual CMU Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Awards Banquet.  Over 200 people, comprised of CMU faculty, staff and students, attended.

“For me this was a tremendous honor to be recognized by the BCA department and by CMU,” Magara said, adding he was able to visit with faculty and tour the radio and television studios where he worked as a student, and visit the TV Newsroom of News Central 34, which didn't exist when he was a student.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee VITA Program Celebrates 13 Years of Service

Waubonsee Community College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program recently celebrated its 13 year of service to the community.

The volunteer effort assists low-income residents with their income taxes on nights and weekends during tax season at Waubonsee’s Aurora Downtown campus. Their work has returned millions of dollars back to the community while providing real world experience for students, and also helping the residents who seek the free tax services.

This year more than 900 clients were served by 47 volunteers.

The local effort is a partnership between Waubonsee and the Center for Economic Progress (CEP), part of a nationwide Internal Revenue Service program. Similar sites are hosted around the country. VITA is supported by a Waubonsee course which provides students with a service learning opportunity while gaining college credit. The program also provides field experience for students in the Legal Interpreting program, as those students provide interpreting services for clients while earning credits toward their required field experience.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

First Group of Dunham Quick Path Scholars Graduates from Waubonsee

One group of exceptional graduates at Waubonsee Community College – with the help of a generous grant from the Dunham Fund – were able to complete their associate degrees in just one year, and for free.

     The Dunham Fund Quick Path Program’s inaugural class spent the past 10 months immersed in an innovative and intensive curriculum. The 20 students were provided with a one-year, free associate degree funded by a $500,000 grant from the Aurora-based Dunham Fund. The program provides students with full tuition, books, a computer, a stipend, lunch every day and coaching by a dedicated staff member.

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

     This month, the students walked in the college’s commencement ceremony, and will complete the ambitious project in July. Participants say they got more out of the experience than they’d even hoped.

Sean Warren-Crouch, Dunham Fund Project Manager, said the first year went better than expected.

“I knew that the students were going to need a lot of support in order to get through the rigorous coursework, but I didn't want to seem too overbearing,” he said, explaining that in the beginning, the rules and expectations were very clear. “So in the beginning, a lot of emphasis was put on time management and other strategies to be successful in college.”

     Trenton Roberts, of Oswego, summarized the thoughts of many in the group when he described the year as “life changing.”

     “I, with the support of Sean, my professors, and classmates, have been able to accomplish so much more than I imagined I would as a Waubonsee student,” he said. “I have been given the tools to be successful in both school and life.”

Roberts said the year was not easy.

“This year I have worked harder than I have ever had to work in my life,” he said. “I have substituted a full night’s sleep with caffeine, and free time with homework.”

Roberts plans to resume his studies in August at Aurora University, where he hopes to complete his degree in business administration and management.

     Izac Gomez was born and raised in Aurora, and graduated from East Aurora High School. He learned of the Dunham Quick Path Program through the college preparatory program Upward Bound.

“I could get a head start on major related courses and ultimately my career,” he said. “It seemed like an amazing opportunity, and once the application came out, I immediately applied.”

Gomez plans to transfer to Aurora University and major in both computer science and business administration, with the goal of becoming a computer systems analyst. He said his experience this year helped him set those goals and learn what type of career and academic path would work best for him.

Sasha Figueroa always hoped she’d be able to complete an associate degree in one year, but never thought it would be possible. Then, a little more than one year ago, a friend at her school received a letter from Waubonsee about the opportunity.

“The fast track aspect of the program interested me as well as the free tuition,” she said.

Figueroa, of Geneva, also found time to work a part-time job during the year, which she said was a struggle, but her determination has paid off.

“I was just recently accepted into the University of Illinois Chicago’s Kinesiology program and am going to major in pre- physical therapy.”

All of the students are proud of what they have accomplished in just one year, Warren-Crouch said.

“I feel it has really given them confidence to take on more as they move on through life because they have proven to themselves that they can do so well as long as they plan and manage their time wisely. Many are transferring on to the school of their dreams and are excited to be there quicker than normally planned.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Dual Credit Sets Ambitious Waubonsee Graduate on Path to Success

Not many people begin work toward two associate degrees while in high school, but for Audrey Moore, of Aurora, the proactive approach has paid off: The West Aurora High School alum received both her Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees from Waubonsee Community College this month.

These accomplishments were possible through Waubonsee’s dual credit offerings, and the 20-year-old achieved them while also working as a pharmacy technician at Walmart in Batavia. While at Waubonsee, she took 15 credit hours as honors courses and is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Vice President of Hallmark for the campus’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter.

Moore’s academic achievements led to her being admitted to the University of Illinois as a recipient of the prestigious University of Illinois Transfer Scholarship, which distinguishes her as one of the top transfer students admitted to the school.

Moore said that during a high school advising appointment, a counselor laid out her options as she began to consider her plans for college. That is when she learned about dual credit.

“For a few of my classes, I was told I can enroll in those courses as a dual credit through Waubonsee, or just a regular class at West Aurora,” Moore said. “I went with the dual credit route for math and English and all I had to do was just placement test into one of the classes to see which would best fit me.”

Moore said that even though she only tested into high school level for those classes, dual credit was still the obvious choice.

“It was free at my high school and these dual credit classes would benefit me because the dual credit places me at a college level in those subjects by the time I start college,” she explained, adding that enrolling in the dual credit courses kept her on track to complete her associate degree in two years, whereas without them, she might have taken longer to graduate because she might have tested into remedial courses.

Moore said she wants more students to know about the benefits of dual credit offerings.

“These classes helped me prepare for an actual college class,” she said. “I started my first semester of college on the right track in all college-level courses, which kept me on the track of graduating with my degree from Waubonsee in two years. Think of dual credit as one less class you have to take at college, and one class towards your degree. If I didn’t choose to take dual credit, I wouldn’t be where I am today, on the right track.”

Now, Moore is looking forward to pursuing a career in meteorology but said these future plans were made possible because she took advantage of offerings at Waubonsee, such as College Night, which helped her to learn about career and higher education options.

“Not long after that, I discovered that I had an intense love for the STEM field and the outdoors,” she said. “Coincidentally, I was then enrolled in a geography class that covered basic elements about weather. Once my passion for meteorology had been discovered, I knew that nothing would ever stop me from becoming a meteorologist.”

Moore did an extensive review of meteorology programs at universities around the country, but said she is grateful to Waubonsee faculty member Dani DuCharme for guiding her toward U of I.

Moore will now spend her summer taking a calculus class at Waubonsee and preparing for life on a bigger campus.

“I am making the most of this because I know if I take calculus 2 at U of I, the class style will be much different and probably with 200 other students,” she said.

Moore said she’s glad she started her higher education at Waubonsee.

 “Waubonsee has opened my eyes and prepared me for what is next. If I didn’t go to Waubonsee after high school, I would’ve gone to the wrong school, pursuing the wrong major, and been unhappy.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Veteran Continues to Serve

When Mario Ramirez walked across the stage at the Waubonsee Community College graduation this past weekend, it was the start of the first break the U.S. Army veteran has had in a long time.

Ramirez, of Romeoville, has served his country for 15 years, including three deployments to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. His military career has taken him to 25 countries and 48 states.

During his time as a student at Waubonsee, Ramirez continued to serve through his work-study job at the DuPage County Veterans Center. He did this while juggling a heavy course load that brought him to campus four days a week.

His duties at the DuPage County Veterans Center included greeting veterans, answering phones, assisting with scheduling and helping with outreach.

Ramirez plans to take the summer off and has a trip to Costa Rica planned with his girlfriend. After that, he will resume his studies at Lewis University, where he wants to pursue a degree in medical lab sciences or forensics. He hopes a career in those fields will enable him to continue to make life better for fellow veterans, especially those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Definitely what sparked my interest in this career is Veterans Affairs because they give us medication to deal with PTSD and other experiences that we had overseas, and sometimes the medication can be improved upon, which is why I am interested in the pharmaceutical side of medical lab sciences,” he said. “I hope that I can be part of finding medications with less side effects to help people deal with problems they encountered in the military.”

Ramirez said he is grateful that his experience at Waubonsee allowed him to keep his identity as a veteran while also transitioning into a civilian life.

“I had a great experience here,” he said, explaining that he took advantage of the college’s veterans’ services, and felt that Heather Watson, Waubonsee Transfer/Veterans Advisor, went above and beyond to connect with and assist all veterans on campus.

“She was outstanding and went beyond to help us be successful,” he said.

Ramirez said he hopes he represented veterans well to his fellow students too.

“Being in the military, people think we are just jar heads,” he said. “I sensed a stereotype of military guys but I think I changed their perspective through my leadership and because I felt comfortable engaging in the classrooms and maybe even helping my fellow students who were a little younger than me to find confidence in their own abilities too.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student is First Graduate of New Automotive Degree Program

Two significant achievements were celebrated when Mark Burton received his degree at Waubonsee Community College this week. The first is that Burton, of Aurora, said he never thought he’d earn a college degree, and the second is that he will be the first student to complete the new Automotive Transportation Service Technology degree.

Introduced in fall 2015, the degree was designed to add specialty skill classes focused on advancements in technology in the automotive field. Guy Tiberio, Waubonsee Automotive Technology Instructor, said technicians that have this training are more in demand and can command higher salaries. 

“These are areas that many training programs do not cover, so students are left to learn on their own or go through manufacturer specific training,” Tiberio explained. “Our students now have the option to learn here so they can go right into a job with these skills.”

Burton completed the automotive technology degree in the fall, and then decided to also complete coursework for the new degree, as he felt it would give him a competitive advantage among employers.

“Basically the reason why I pursued both is to give me a lot of options,” he said. “I was not sure what I want to do as far as where I want to go in the auto field, but this gives me some extra knowledge and skills for working with all of the newer technologies in the field.”

Burton said that completing two degrees is an achievement he is proud of, and never dreamed of accomplishing.

“I had never pursued education,” he said. “I didn’t graduate high school, I got my GED, and my wife started taking classes at Waubonsee and so I decided I wanted to go and see what I might like.”

Burton said after a year of general studies, he enrolled in the auto program. He liked that the program allows students to gain real world experience.

“My grades were almost all A’s and B’s,” he said. “That’s something I have never done before so I am pretty proud of myself.”

The father of a five-year-old and six-year-old, Burton said maintaining a full course load, part-time job and caring for his children has been a challenge. His wife has served as the family’s primary breadwinner throughout his education, and so now Burton looks forward to focusing on work and his family.

“It has been quite a struggle for me,” he said.

Tiberio said that the new degree was a good option for Burton.

“Mark did not need too much encouraging, because at the time, he was going through a lot in his life and realized that he needed to get as much education as he could so he would have the most opportunity,” Tiberio said. “He set goals for himself about the kind of technician he wanted to be, and realized that having both degrees would get him there and give him the most opportunities for a good career.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee faces defending champs in first game ever at National Tournament

13th seeded Chiefs set to play highly touted LSU-Eunice

Waubonsee Community College’s softball team will have a tough task in the program’s first game ever at the NJCAA Division II Softball National Championship Tournament. The Chiefs (36-18) received the 13th seed and will face highly touted LSU-Eunice (48-11) in their opening game on Wednesday, May 17, beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT. The fourth-seeded Bengals are the defending National Champions and have won the title four times in the last six years.

The winner will take on the victor between fifth-seeded Des Moines Area (IA.) Community College (46-7) and 12th seeded Mercyhurst (PA.) North East (42-8) on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. CT. The losers will play each other on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game. All the tournament games are being played at Clinton’s Traceway Park in southern Mississippi. Additional information on the tournament can be found on-line at www.NJCAA.org/sports/sball.

Waubonsee is making its first ever appearance in the 16-team, double elimination National Tournament. The Chiefs are coming off a thrilling 2-1 win over Madison (WI.) College (37-19) in the Region IV Division II District B Championship. Waubonsee was the top seed in the District B bracket after capturing the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title for the seventh straight year. LSU-Eunice blanked Mississippi Gulf Coast College (40-14) in the Region XXIII title game 8-0 to keep alive their hopes of another National Championship.

Coach Perry Clark’s Waubonsee team is led by speedy sophomore centerfielder Courtni Neubauer who is second nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in stolen bases (69) and runs scored (91). The Chiefs’ left-handed leadoff batter is also first nationally in walks (45) and sixth in on-base percentage (.588). Sophomore Ally DeLuca is batting .478 with seven home runs, a team-leading 61 runs batted and a .750 slugging percentage. In addition the right-hander has gone 14-5 in the circle with an earned run average of 2.80, with 119 strikeouts in 117 innings pitched. Freshman Nicole Krupp leads the Chiefs in batting average (.484), hits (75), and slugging percentage (.761) while also smacking seven homers and driving in 53 runs. Additionally Krupp has a dozen pitching victories to her credit over 106 innings pitched. Sophomore catcher Mary Wackerlin is batting .430 with six home runs and a .694 slugging percentage.    

 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

GFOA Recognizes Waubonsee for Financial Reporting Excellence

Waubonsee Community College has again received national recognition for its financial reporting practices. 

For the 18th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded Waubonsee the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. 

The award, given for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, represents a significant achievement by the college and reflects the staff’s commitment to meeting the highest principles of government financial reporting. 

The GFOA Certificate of Achievement award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. 

The GFOA, with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C., is a major professional association serving more than 19,000 government finance professionals.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

A Lesson from Waubonsee’s Oldest Graduate: ‘Expect Miracles’

When Rose Ann Whiteside, who describes herself as “73-years-young,” receives her diploma during Waubonsee Community College commencement ceremonies this weekend, it will mark the beginning of a new chapter and career for a great-grandmother whose long list of previous roles include beautician, auto mechanic, riveter for Boeing, waitress, caretaker, book keeper and more.

In spite of the many titles and jobs Whiteside, of Oswego, has held in the past, she said that it wasn’t until she came to Waubonsee that she found her path in life.

“I have led an interesting, interesting life,” she said. “My whole life I have been finding where I fit in, and here at Waubonsee, I have found it.”

But it was a challenging situation that led Whiteside to Waubonsee in the first place. Her Social Security checks weren’t covering her bills, but she didn’t feel like she had a skill set that employers would find valuable.   

“I arrived at Waubonsee in 2014 with a broken spirit and no confidence,” she said. “I doubted myself and I was scared to death to go back into the working world.”

Wanting to brush up on her skills in order to get a good job, she enrolled in a computer class. 

“And I quickly found that was not my forte,” she said of the class.

In spite of struggling in that class, Whiteside said she had experienced a sense of community and support at Waubonsee, and she felt encouraged to try something different. Whiteside met with a counselor who took the time to get to know her and listen. The woman read through a list of all the jobs Whiteside had ever had.

“She looked through them and said she thought I’d do well with a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Certificate, working with those who are struggling with addiction,” Whiteside said, explaining it was an option she’d never heard of, much less considered. “I still kind of laugh about that myself, but I told her that I’d try it and if I liked the first two classes, I’d continue.”

Three years later, Whiteside is set to walk across the stage at commencement, and plans to continue at Aurora University to get her bachelor’s degree.

The list of challenges that Whiteside experienced in the past few years would have stopped many from pursuing their academic goals, but for her they were simply the latest in a lifelong streak of adversity and perseverance.

After enrolling at Waubonsee in 2014, Whiteside struggled to afford her education, and was grateful to receive three scholarships. She had a stroke, and also battled breast cancer which required radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.

And even while juggling course work and health issues, she immersed herself in the community around her at Waubonsee, doing an internship, joining honors societies, volunteering and even studying abroad in Costa Rica.

“I enjoyed helping people and being part of the social aspect of things,” she said. “All of the kids are my grandkids’ ages, but all I can say is I really enjoyed my journey.”

For Whiteside, this weekend’s commencement also helps her prove wrong naysayers who slowed her down from pursuing her dreams years ago.

“I graduated from high school and a counselor told me the only thing I would be good for is getting married and having kids because I didn’t have the brains for college,” she said. “That broke my heart because I had always figured college was the path.”

Whiteside did not go to college. She got married, and was happy to raise three children. The marriage did not last, however, and - while living in Washington - she divorced.

“I worked the third shift so that my kids would never be alone,” she said of a waitressing job she took to pay the bills. She also bought a car for $150 and started teaching herself how to work on it, a skill that came in handy years later.

The stress of working all night and raising children during the day added up, as one day Whiteside fell asleep while standing and nursing her baby, sliding down a wall she had been leaning on as her shocked friends stood and watched. Shortly after, she hired a babysitter and switched to a day shift.

It was the first of many career changes for Whiteside. Over the years, she worked as a secretary, a cosmetologist, a wedding dress maker, as a riveter for Boeing, as a babysitter, a dog walker, a house sitter, for All State Insurance, as a book keeper and even as an auto shop manager for Kmart, where she also performed maintenance on vehicles during a time when women were rare in those roles. More recently, she even volunteered as a spiritual advisor for a church.

While still living in Washington, she also worked at a community college, where she earned her associate of arts and associate of science in 1976. She said she never felt that the faculty and staff were supportive there – as they have been at Waubonsee – and she was informed a few days before graduation that she was one course short of being able to walk in her ceremony. She took her children anyway, and watched her fellow classmates walk across the stage.

“I really have done anything I can to get by,” she said. “I see myself as a thriver, not just a survivor.”

Today, Whiteside also proudly has the title of grandmother to six and great-grandmother to two.

She said when she walks across the stage this weekend, she’ll be completing a dream she was denied many years ago.

“I intend to walk in this ceremony since I didn’t get to make it there the first time,” she said.

She plans to spend the summer preparing for her next step towards a career in social work, which she’ll pursue at Aurora University. She also hopes to travel meet her newest great-grandchild.

Wherever she goes next, Whiteside will be a living example of the phrase she commonly uses when ending a conversation or communication – “Expect miracles.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Celebrates Class of 2017

Waubonsee Community College’s 2017 commencement ceremonies provided a celebratory highlight of the college’s 50th anniversary year, as a record number of graduates participated in two ceremonies.

Held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 13, the dual ceremonies took place at the college’s Sugar Grove Campus Field House. A record 363 graduates participated, and the college awarded a total of 1,166 degrees to 1,142 candidates. 

The first Waubonsee graduation was held in the Freeman Room of the Aurora YMCA on June 5, 1968. There were 16 graduates. The second graduation was held on June 12, 1969, with 90 students receiving degrees. Fast forward nearly five decades, and the college has grown to four campuses and has conferred 23,358 degrees.

In spite of so much change and growth in five decades, the college has stayed true to its mission of providing access to high quality higher education to those in the community, and the graduates who walked across the stage reflected the diverse cross section of dreams that take shape at Waubonsee. Among them this year were a 73-year-old great-grandmother who plans to become a social worker and addictions counselor; a veteran who has served his country for 15 years, including three deployments to Iraq and two to Afghanistan; the college’s inaugural class of Dunham Fund Quick Path Scholars; and so many others whose achievements will better not just themselves but also their families and communities.

This year’s keynote speaker was Jeffery Schielke, who has served as Mayor of Batavia for 36 years. He also has a personal connection to Waubonsee’s history, as he was a member of the college’s first graduating class.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee and Elmhurst College Announce New Scholarship Agreement

Thanks to a new agreement between the two colleges, one Waubonsee Community College Honors Program participant will receive a full tuition scholarship to Elmhurst College each year.

The inaugural recipient is Lorena Gonzalez, a first-generation college student and a first-generation American citizen. Gonzalez said she plans to pursue a degree in actuary science at Elmhurst.

While at Waubonsee, she was involved in multiple honor societies, thanks to her perfect 4.0 GPA. Gonzalez said her childhood struggles to learn the English language served as a motivating factor in her academic career. She began to push herself to not only get by in her classes, but to prove herself through her accomplishments.

To qualify for the scholarship, an applicant has to complete the Honors Program at Waubonsee by earning a minimum of 15 honors credit hours while maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher and has to be admitted to Elmhurst College.

The Honors Program at Waubonsee admits students who were in the top 10 percent of their high school class or who have an ACT composite score of 27 or higher. Students with existing college credit must have a minimum of 12 transfer-level hours with a minimum GPA of 3.5.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Camps Offer Summer Diversions for 4 to 14-year-olds

Summer is quickly approaching and Waubonsee Community College is now enrolling campers in its popular summer enrichment Xcelerate programs. The college will offer nearly 40 different camps for children ages 4 to 14.

Xcelerate summer enrichment camps are developed and managed by the staff and instructors of the Community Education department at Waubonsee and select partners including Huntoon Stables, Black Rocket and the Fox Country Players.

This year’s programs cover a diverse range of interests and bring back popular favorites such as Science Explosion, while adding new offerings such as Health Careers Camp.

Of growing interest among campers are Game Masters 1 and 2, which allow campers to not just play video games, but learn how to create them. Campers go home with a USB of their completed project.

Theater Arts Camp is a special, two-week camp where aspiring performers work with theater professionals and educators from Yorkville’s Fox Country Players to perform and help produce a superheroes-themed production. No prior experience is necessary to participate in this camp.

The ever-popular Science Explosion is led by award-winning Waubonsee Assistant Professor Dani DuCharme, and allows young scientists to conduct all types of experiments including examining microbes, processing crime scenes, dissecting bugs, launching rockets and more. 

New this year, Health Careers Camp offers a unique opportunity to learn about and experience the many career options in health care. Under guidance by Waubonsee’s health care professionals, campers will be able to take on the role of a health care professional and perform simulated duties and responsibilities using the latest equipment and technology in state-of-the-art facilities at the college’s beautiful, newly-renovated Aurora Fox Valley Campus.

In addition, Waubonsee is offering a one-day Safe Sitter course on June 3 for those who might need to brush up on babysitting safety and skills before summer employment begins. The classes teach students ages 11 to 14 everything they need to know to be safe when they're home alone, watching younger siblings or babysitting. Aspiring babysitters learn valuable life-saving skills with role-playing exercises and examples of fun activities that can be used to engage children of all ages. All participants will learn CPR.

For more information visit www.waubonsee.edu/xcelerate or call Community Education at (630) 466-2360.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Offers 5K Training

Waubonsee Community College is offering community members the opportunity to work with a fitness specialist to prepare for a 5K race. The 5K Training class is designed to be effective regardless of an individual’s previous running experience. Participants select the training plan they are comfortable with: beginner, intermediate or advanced, and can choose Tuesday morning sessions or late afternoon sessions on Thursdays. The Tuesday course runs June 6-July 25, while the Thursday course runs June 8-July 27.  

“This class is ideal for those who want to push past their current abilities, whether their goal is to run or walk/run a 5K,” explained Waubonsee’s Fitness Center Program Coordinator Michelle Anderson. “Participants will finish the class with the training and knowledge to complete a 5K at a pace that is right for them.” 

Tips on form, hydration, nutrition, clothing and shoes will also be covered to help runners get ready for the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 5K on July 29 or any other area 5K race.

For more information visit www.waubonsee.edu/fitnesscenter or call Waubonsee’s Total Fitness Center at (630) 466-2530.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee edges Madison for Region title, advance to Nationals for first time

Waubonsee Softball advances to National Tournament for the first time

Waubonsee Community College’s softball team is headed to the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament for the first time in the program’s history. The top seeded Chiefs held on for a 2-1 victory over second seeded Madison (WI.) College to win the Region IV Division II District B Tournament played at Yorkville High School. Waubonsee (36-18) will begin play in the 2017 NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament in Clinton, Mississippi on May 17. Getting there however was not easy. Earlier in the day Madison (37-19) rallied from a 5-0 deficit in the fifth inning to beat Highland Community College 7-6 and eliminate the Cougars (23-11). The Wolfpack then carried that momentum into the championship round of the double-elimination tournament needing to defeat the Chiefs twice for the title. Madison kept Waubonsee’s offense in check to win the early afternoon contest 4-0 and force a winner-take-all final game.

In that first game Madison scored a run in the top of the second with a two-out single to grab a 1-0 lead. The Chiefs had a chance to even the score in their half of the second when Mary Wackerlin laced a two-out single and Megan Stricker followed with a single to right. Ally Miller then ripped a single to left, but Wackerlin was gunned down at the plate by Madison left fielder Claire Brzenk for the third out. Waubonsee threatened again in the fourth as Wackerlin smacked a single to center with one-out. Liz Gagnon’s grounder to short was mishandled putting runners at first and second. But the Chiefs could not get a clutch hit as Stricker flew out to left field and Miller popped out to right field to strand two more runners. In the bottom of the fifth Waubonsee’s Megan Arciver singled to right with one out before Lexi Moky grounded to short. However, Madison’s second baseman dropped the ball on the attempted force out at second putting the Chiefs in business once again. Ally DeLuca then lined a shot to the Wolfpack’s centerfielder for out number two. Nicole Krupp followed with a line shot right at the right fielder to strand two more runners. Madison utilized that momentum to push across two runs in the top of the sixth to break the game open, taking advantage of a two-base error, a walk, a passed ball, a squeeze bunt and a pop up lost in the sun by the Chiefs’ defense. The Wolfpack tacked on a run in the seventh as relief pitcher Hannah Wienen slammed the door shut the last two innings. Waubonsee managed only four hits in the loss leaving eight runners on base for the game. DeLuca took the loss going seven innings, surrendering seven hits and only two earned runs while striking out nine and walking two.

In the decisive final game the Chiefs’ Courtni Neubauer led the game off with a walk and proceeded to steal her 67th base of the season. She scored two batters later when Moky drilled a double to the left centerfield fence for an early 1-0 lead. DeLuca then reached base on an error as Moky scored to put Waubonsee ahead 2-0 just four batters into the game. However, the Chiefs managed just four hits the rest of the way while leaving only five runners on base for the game. Meanwhile Krupp mostly kept the Wolfpack hitters off balance and was backed up by solid defense when she didn’t. Madison registered back-to-back singles to begin the bottom of the second. But that potential scoring opportunity was squelched when Neubauer snagged a sinking liner to center and doubled the runner off second base. The Wolfpack got on the scoreboard with two outs in the fifth inning on a hit batter, a passed ball, a walk and a run-scoring single to left by Brenna Seeber. Krupp then induced a fly out to left field to preserve the Chiefs’ 2-1 lead. Madison also got the potential game-tying run on base with one out in both the sixth and seventh innings, but each time Krupp got a fly out to left field and a grounder to shortstop for a force out at second, setting off an energetic Chiefs’ celebration following the final out.  Krupp allowed just six hits in going the distance for her 12th win of the season, striking out three and walking one.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Accepting Applications for Tuition-Free Degree

Waubonsee Community College is now accepting applications for the second class of students who will pursue the college’s innovative, grant-funded, one-year associate degree. The program, funded by a grant from the Aurora-based Dunham Fund, provides coursework and extra support necessary for students to earn a fully transferable associate degree in just one year — with no tuition cost.

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

In addition to free tuition, this unique program provides students with coaching by Sean Warren-Crouch, Dunham Fund Project Manager. Weekly coaching will cover topics including time management, goal setting, professionalism in the workplace, career exploration and college transfer. Courses will run in eight-week blocks and will be delivered in-person and online. The curriculum has a business focus and results in a degree that is fully transferable.

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

For more information about the program, contact Warren-Crouch at (630) 466-5757 or email quickpath@waubonsee.edu or visit www.waubonsee.edu/quickpath.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Softball wins 7th straight ISCC title

Chiefs keep streak of dominance going with 7th consecutive ISCC title

Waubonsee Community College’s softball team grabbed the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title for the seventh consecutive year by clobbering Oakton Community College 16-2 and 17-1. The two lopsided wins came indoors at DeKalb Park District’s Sports and Recreational Center as the two teams avoided the recent inclement weather. The Chiefs completed their conference campaign 10-0 and have gone 80-8 in league action over the last seven seasons under Coach Perry Clark’s direction. Overall Waubonsee has captured the ISCC softball title 10 times since the inception of the league in 1977.  

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Santos tabbed NJCAA Player of the Week

Santos' sensational streak recognized nationally

Waubonsee Community College’s Samyr Santos was named the NJCAA Division III Player of the Week for the week of April 17 through 23. The Chiefs’ catcher batted a sizzling .545, smacking six home runs and knocking in a sensational 27 runs over nine games played. Waubonsee, currently 27-13-1 overall, went 7-2 during the week with Santos leading the way. A 6’1” 235-lb. sophomore from West Broward High School in Miami, Fla., Santos also ripped a pair of doubles, scored 11 runs, drew four walks and even stole a base during his memorable week. The right-handed hitter then kept his hot streak going in a doubleheader at Carl Sandburg College on Monday, April 24. Santos drove in six runs by drilling three more home runs to give him 13 round-trippers on the season, breaking Cory Walden’s Waubonsee record of 12 set in 2011. The 13 long balls also moved him to the top of that category among all NJCAA Division III baseball players. Santos is currently second nationally with 59 runs batted in, just eight shy of the Chiefs’ single-season mark of 67 also set by Walden in 2011. Overall on the season Santos is batting .424 and has compiled a .791 slugging percentage.   

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee earns top seed for Region IV Softball Tournament

Yorkville H.S. site of Region IV Division II Softball Tournament

The 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region IV Division II Softball Tournament will be held this coming Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 in Yorkville. Hosted by Waubonsee Community College, the semi-final and championship round games will be played on Yorkville High School’s two softball diamonds. Fourteen teams in two brackets will battle for the District B and District C titles and the right to advance to the NJCAA Division II National Championship Tournament beginning on May 17 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Mississippi.

Waubonsee (33-17) received the top seed in District B and will play fourth-seeded Illinois Valley Community College (17-14) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. The Eagles advanced to the semi-finals by edging fifth-seeded Sauk Valley Community College (26-25) in their best two-out-of-three series, beating the Skyhawks in a thrilling third game by rallying from an 8-3 deficit to win 10-9 on a walk-off single. Second-seeded Madison (WI) College (34-17) will square off against the winner between Highland Community College (21-10) and Carl Sandburg College (7-33) at 1:00 p.m. The winners will then play at 5:00 p.m. for the chance to advance to Sunday's championship round beginning at 12:30 p.m. Kankakee Community College (40-14) is the top seed in the District C bracket and will play fourth-seeded Triton College (37-23) also at 11;00 a.m. The other semi-final in District C pits second-seeded Prairie State (29-14) against third-seeded South Suburban (32-21) beginning at 1:00 p.m. The winners will then play at 5:00 p.m. for the chance to advance to Sunday's championship round beginning at 1:00 p.m. For a schedule of games and results, you can go on-line to Region4Sports.com or via Twitter @WaubonseeChiefs.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Seats New Trustee, Elects Board Leadership

The Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees has seated newly elected member Roger T. Harris to the board.

The owner and President/CEO of Producers Chemical Company, Harris, of Geneva, was born in Milan, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri with a B.S.B.A in Accounting.

Prior to working in his current role, he worked for the State of Missouri as Director of Taxation.

His service to the community is extensive. He is a member and past chairman of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), past president of the NACD Central Region, and past chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for NACD. He is also a former board member for Delnor Community Health System, Cadence Health System and Northwestern Memorial Health System. He has also served on the Batavia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is a member and past president of Geneva Lions Club, member and past chairman of Geneva Lions “We Serve” Foundation, and former member and past president of Geneva Golf Club.

He is a current member of the St. Charles Country Club, Northwestern Memorial West Region Board of Directors, St. Charles Bank & Trust Company Board of Directors, and Geneva United Methodist Church.

He has also served as a member of the Waubonsee Community College Foundation Board of Directors for five and a half years.

Harris and his wife, Jane, have been married since 1975. They have two children and four grandchildren.

In addition to welcoming Harris to the board, the Board of Trustees elected the officers for 2017-2019 as follows: Chair, Rebecca D. Oliver; Vice Chair, Richard “Shorty” W. Dickson; and Secretary, Jimmie Delgado.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Board of Trustees Seats Student Trustee

J. David Vera, of Aurora, will serve as student trustee on the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees for 2017 – 2018.

The student trustee is elected by the student body and serves as the liaison between the Board of Trustees and the college’s students, representing student interests at the board level.

The son of Jesse and Elma Vera, he currently resides in Pigeon Hill in Aurora, which is where he spent the majority of his childhood. A graduate of Marmion Academy, Vera has been a Boy Scout for twelve years and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in June 2016.

At Waubonsee, Vera has served as a student senator and is finishing his first year as a chemistry major at the college. In January, he started an internship with U.S. Congressman Bill Foster.

Vera said he ran for the student trustee position because he has always had an interest in leadership and policy.

“I wish to serve as the Waubonsee Student Trustee because I want to represent the thousands of students who attend the college,” he said. “Collaboration between the students and the board is important.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Sugar Grove Campus Certified as Wildlife Habitat

Waubonsee Community College’s efforts to preserve, protect and promote the natural habitat on their Sugar Grove Campus were highlighted during recent Earth Day events, and with recognition of the campus as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

The National Wildlife Federation encourages and supports people to restore and maintain habitat and wildlife populations. Since 1973, their Certified Wildlife Habitat program has worked toward educating people about how to preserve public and private lands as thriving habitats for birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

The college has received recognition in the past for other efforts to preserve the lush landscape of their Sugar Grove campus, including being designated a Tree Campus U.S.A. for six consecutive years.

The college offered more than a week’s worth of events in celebration of Earth Day. The events were free and open to the community, and included faculty presentations, a bird walk, commemorative tree planting and more.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Paver Appointed to Quad County Urban League Board

Dr. Jonathan Paver, Assistant Vice President of Transfer and Developmental Education at Waubonsee Community College, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Quad City Urban League.

The Quad County Urban League is an affiliate of the National Urban League, and is a non-profit organization whose mission is to secure equal opportunities for all disadvantaged persons and people of color. The organization advocates for and supports programs that facilitate the social and economic growth of residents in the communities of DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties.

Paver earned a Doctorate of Education degree in Instructional Technology from the College of Education at Northern Illinois University in 2012. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Religion and History from Trinity International University, earned graduate credits in History from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications – Radio & Television Broadcasting from Western Illinois University. He joined Waubonsee last year, and before that he most recently held the position of Dean of Academic Support & Learning Technologies at Skyline College in San Bruno, California.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Host Charter Meeting of New Lions Club

The new Waubonsee Community College Lions Club will host their Charter Night on May 9, and the evening will feature a visit by international Lions Club leadership.

Charter Night marks the official celebration of the awarding of a new Lions Club. The Waubonsee chapter formed during the 100th anniversary of Lions International, and therefore is designated as a Centennial Club.

The event - which includes dinner and presentation of the new charter - coincides with the Chicago area Lions Club 100th anniversary celebration, and so the keynote speaker will be Chancellor Bob Corlew, Lions International President. Also scheduled to speak and offer welcome remarks are Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek and Michele Needham, Waubonsee Executive Director of Human Resources.

Lions Club International is the largest service club organization in the world. The new Waubonsee chapter launched earlier this year, with its first project held in March, when the club hosted an Empty Bowls soup lunch fundraiser that raised $600 for a local food pantry. Waubonsee ceramics students donated 110 handmade bowls for the event, and faculty members donated nine varieties of homemade soup.

Charter Night will be held at the Academic Professional Center at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Hernandez Recognized in Illinois Senior Hall of Fame for Education

Joseph Hernandez, Associate Professor Emeritus of Art/Ceramics/Drawing and Design at Waubonsee Community College, was recently inducted into the Illinois 2016 Senior Hall of Fame in the category of education.

In a letter from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, Hernandez was recognized for his teaching career at Waubonsee and his exemplary service in the U.S. Army.

Hernandez is widely known for his mastery of Raku ware, a Japanese pottery traditionally used in ceremonies. He was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame last year. He also taught in East Aurora School District for 30 years, and volunteers throughout the community.

In the letter, Rauner wrote that he wanted to recognize Hernandez for his dedication to community and to his students through art education.

“Your understanding of the cultural significance of art in today’s society has impacted many students and makes you truly deserving of this award,” he wrote.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Longtime Waubonsee Trustee Karen L. Cotter Retires from Post

Longtime Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustee member Karen L. Cotter, of Plano, has retired after 18 years of service. Cotter did not seek re-election this year and so will conclude her term later this month. To honor her years of service, the board has adopted a resolution in Cotter’s name.

Cotter was first elected to the board in April 1999. During her tenure, she has served as a member of the Board of Trustees Policy Committee, and for the last eight years, served as the board’s secretary. Prior to her election, she served on the college’s Foundation Board of Directors.

Cotter’s commitment to improving the quality of life within her community goes beyond her service to Waubonsee. Retired from her job as the General Manager and Vice President of Carbon Products in Sandwich, Cotter has served on many boards, including the Valley Industrial Association, KDK Job Training and Fox Valley Hospice. She has also volunteered for Consumer Credit Counseling, Crisis Line and Kendall County Senior Providers.

In fact, Cotter was recently recognized by the Kendall County Health Department for her nine years as a behavioral health volunteer in its Transitions Program. She not only brings passion and caring to this role but also expertise; she is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

Cotter earned a Bachelor of Arts from Gannon University in Erie, Pa., and a Master of Science from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee players earn Post-Season Awards

Eight members of Chiefs' basketball programs honored

The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the NJCAA Region IV Basketball Committee recognized eight members of Waubonsee Community College’s basketball programs for their outstanding play this past season. Men’s basketball players Tyrone Carey, Germaine Roebuck, Alec Goetz and Deon Ward, along with head coach Dave Heiss, all received post-season honors. A trio of freshman women’s basketball players, Mozelle Kempiak, Lauren Goff and Alexis VanWyhe were also recognized.

Carey, a 6’2” sophomore was named to the All-ISCC First Team, the All-Region First Team and was selected the Most Valuable Player of the Region IV Division II District 4B Tournament after helping lead the Chiefs to the championship. The Aurora West High School graduate led Waubonsee in scoring with a 19.3 points-per-game (ppg) average, while also grabbing 6.0 rebounds and handing out 4.5 assists per contest. Carey led the Chiefs with 163 assists and also shot 42.9 percent (54 of 126) from three-point range. Among all NJCAA Division II players, the Chiefs’ small forward was eighth in total points (693) and free throws made (163), and ninth in total field goals made (238).

A 6’5” forward, Roebuck was tabbed All-ISCC First Team, All-Region First Team and was named to the Region IV Division II District 4B All-Tournament team. The Champaign Central High School graduate was a force inside for Waubonsee, averaging 9.4 rebounds and 18.3 points a game. Roebuck was fourth nationally in offensive rebounds (148), fifth in total field goals made (272), ninth in total rebounds (340) and 13th in total points (660) among all NJCAA Division II players. 

Goetz, a St. Charles North High School product, was also an All-ISCC First Team selection and was named to the All-Region Second Team. The 6’0” shooting guard averaged 17.1 ppg in conference play and shot 85.7 percent from the foul line. The sophomore also averaged 3.1 assists per contest and led Waubonsee with 102 made three-pointers, placing him 10th nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in that category.

Ward earned All-ISCC Second Team honors as the Chiefs’ sixth man. The Champaign Centennial High School graduate averaged 14.4 ppg while coming off the bench in all but one of Waubonsee’s 36 games played. The 6’0” sophomore guard reached double digits in points 24 times, and also averaged 3.1 assists a game and was third on the team with 104 made free throws.

Heiss, in his 32nd season leading Waubonsee’s program, was chosen as the ISCC Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year and the Region IV Division II District 4B Coach of the Year. The Aurora West High School alumnus led unranked Waubonsee to a top-12 finish nationally. It was the sixth time Heiss has guided a team to a berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. The Chiefs finished the season 26-10 overall and were co-champions of the ISCC, the 12th title for Waubonsee under Heiss’ direction. In early February he coached his 1,000th career game and later in the month joined a select group of NJCAA coaches when he guided the Chiefs to victory for the 600th time.

Kempiak was named to the All-ISCC First Team and the All-Region First Team. The Serena High School product averaged a double-double for the season, scoring 14.4 points and grabbing 11.8 rebounds per game. In ISCC action the 5’11” freshman center was even better, averaging 16.9 points and 13.5 boards per contest while helping lead Waubonsee to the ISCC title with an 11-3 record. Kempiak finished the season ninth nationally in offensive rebounds (152) and 12th in total rebounds (342) among all NJCAA Division II players. 

Goff, a Sycamore High School graduate, was also an All-ISCC First Team and All-Region First Team selection. The 5’4” freshman averaged 14.8 ppg and 6.0 rebounds in conference play. The Chiefs’ point guard also averaged 4.4 assists per contest, and led the team with 68 made three-pointers and 129 total assists on the season.

A 5’9” freshman forward, Van Wyhe was tabbed an All-ISCC Second Teamer after averaging 12.8 ppg and 5.8 rebounds. The Indian Creek High School alumnus also averaged 3.2 assists per game and led the Chiefs with 87 made free throws on the year. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

WCC Co-Ed Cheerleading Tryouts set for mid-May

Tryouts for 2017-18 school year

Tryouts for Waubonsee Community College’s 2017-2018 Co-Ed Competitive Cheerleading squad will be held Wednesday and Thursday, May 17 and 18 starting at 7:00 p.m. each evening in Waubonsee’s Field House and Erickson Hall Gymnasium on the Sugar Grove campus. All participants are required to fill out a tryout packet which is available in the Waubonsee Athletic Office located adjacent to the Field House, or on-line at www.waubonsee.edu/cheerleading.

Each person trying out will be required to perform some minimum athletic skills, must be a enrolled at Waubonsee, and should have some cheer, poms or gymnastics experience. More information regarding requirements and dress code can be obtained through the tryout packets. You can also contact Head Coach Zech Palm zpalm@waubonsee.edu to get more detailed information.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Names New Vice President of Educational Affairs

Waubonsee Community College has named Dr. Diane Nyhammer as the college’s Vice President of Educational Affairs. She began working at the college this month and comes from Blackhawk Technical College where she was Vice President of Learning/Chief Academic Officer since 2013.

Nyhammer served for more than 11 years as a full time English faculty member at McHenry County College and has more than 10 years of experience as an academic administrator. In addition to working at associate-degree granting institutions, she has also worked at the state and national level as the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs for the Illinois Board of Higher Education and as Assistant Director of Accreditation Services for the Higher Learning Commission.

Among her successful initiatives with previous employers was the Running Start Program at Rock Valley College, which she said increased student access and success. The dual credit program offers high school students the opportunity to complete their junior and senior year of high school while simultaneously completing their first two years at Rock Valley College. 

She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University. She also earned an M.A. in English from Northern Illinois University and her B.A. in English from Barat College.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs' Carey signs with NAIA power Trinity International

Carey to continue collegiate career at TIU

Waubonsee Community College Men’s Basketball player Tyrone Carey has signed on to continue his collegiate career at Trinity International University in north suburban Deerfield. The Chiefs’ leading scorer this past season will join a Trojans’ program that won 30 games this season, reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 NAIA Division II National Tournament and was ranked seventh nationally in the final NAIA Division II poll. Carey helped lead Waubonsee (26-10) to a share of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) title, the Region IV Division II District 4B Championship and a berth in the 2017 NJCAA Division II National Tournament where the unranked Chiefs finished in the top-12.

An Aurora West High School graduate, Carey was selected to the All-ISCC First Team and the All-Region IV First Team this season. The 6’2” 200-pound sophomore averaged 19.3 points per game, netting a team-leading 693 total points. Carey also averaged 4.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds per contest, while shooting 49.3 percent from the field. The small forward was second on the team with 54 made three-pointers, connecting on 42.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, and led Waubonsee with 163 made free throws. Carey was named the Most Valuable Player of the Region IV Tournament, helping the Chiefs upset fourth-ranked Triton College in the title game by scoring 15 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out five assists.

"Tyrone is a gifted playmaker on both ends of the floor, because he can guard multiple positions and score it from all three levels,” states Trinity head coach Boomer Roberts. “Tyrone is a very good shooter, and when you combine that with his strength, basketball IQ, and ability to get to the paint and the free-throw line, you have a guy who is a dynamic threat every time he steps on the court. More importantly, we feel like Tyrone, his wife Ashante', and their daughter Alani will flourish at Trinity. We are excited to have them in the TIU Basketball family." Carey echoed that excitement declaring "I chose Trinity for many reasons, but the main reason was the coaching staff. They are genuine guys who want nothing but the best for their players on and off the court."

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

April 4 Incident at Sugar Grove

There was NOT an active shooter on the Sugar Grove Campus on Tuesday, April 4. An emergency management training course was being held on campus, and a message was sent unintentionally to 911 dispatch as a result of those activities. We are very grateful to the local agencies who responded so quickly and to the members of the Waubonsee community who followed the college’s safety protocols.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Students Spend Spring Break Volunteering

Instead of hitting the beach for a week of relaxation, a group of Waubonsee Community College students are spending their spring break volunteering in Pulaski, Virginia through an organization called Beans and Rice INC.

During the week, the Waubonsee students are volunteering in programs helping to alleviate poverty related issues, such as after-school programs, food insecurity issues, gardening projects and working with community groups on restoration projects that help with blight and housing services.

This marks the second year that the college has sent a group of volunteers to participate in what is known nationally as the Alternative Spring Break program. Last year, the inaugural college group traveled to Dayton, Tenn., where helped build a portion of an ambitious, 300-mile Cumberland Trail.

The students are keeping a blog, https://asbwaubonsee2017.wordpress.com/, tracking their fundraising efforts and preparations, and will continue to log reports about their experiences daily during the trip.

Students taking part in the trip are: Blanca Perez, Montgomery; Carlos Diego, Aurora; Daniel Gehrke, Morris; Hailey Edwards, Oswego; Joseph Hendrickson, Geneva; Joseph Zubek, Yorkville; Melanie Hughes, New Lenox; Michael Mueller, Aurora; Miracle Maddox, Aurora; Natosha Ginter, Batavia; Yosemite Pinedo, Aurora; Sabrina Ortega, Aurora. They are being accompanied by Pam Brooks, Waubonsee Assistant Professor of Nurse Assistant/Allied Health and Dr. Nancy Christensen, Waubonsee Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Student Success: Featured Alumnus Serves Aurora Community

Zaida Rodriguez is living proof that with a little patience and a committed mindset, continuous learning and connection-building pay off. Because of Rodriguez’s many health care and cultural contributions to the City of Aurora through her community service, Waubonsee Community College is proud to honor her as the Student Success: Featured Alumnus for the month of March. 

As the current Community Relations and Outreach Coordinator at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Rodriguez has more than a decade of experience serving as the medical center’s representative in the community at large. The role is a perfect fit for Rodriguez, as she partners with health care organizations and volunteers on boards and committees that focus on health related issues and events. A committed community volunteer, Rodriguez is a fixture on boards throughout the area, especially those related to health care and the Hispanic community.

In addition to service related to her professional role, she has more than 43 years of combined experience serving on local boards. Highlights include being elected President of the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Her commitment to serving the Hispanic community is also reflected in her work at Companeros en Salud, the Aurora Puerto Rican Cultural Council and as a member of the founding committee that worked together to create programming for Latina women of the community.

Rodriguez credits her time at Waubonsee for giving her the confidence she needed to become the community volunteer and networker that she is today. She came to Waubonsee as a criminal justice major, selecting the college because she had a friend attending and because it was an affordable option.

Though she was very shy while a student at Aurora Central High School, continuing her education at Waubonsee fostered a new confidence and encouraged her to come out of her shell.

As a first-generation college student, Rodriguez juggled school and work while completing her associate degree.

“At one point, I was even working full time while in school,” she said.

Her choice to go to college may have been a unique path for someone in her family. She not only received her associate degree but also her bachelor’s degree in communications from Aurora University.  

Rodriguez appreciated the small, intimate class sizes at Waubonsee, which she says allowed engagement and fostered a great learning environment. In terms of faculty, she recalls Neil Lippold, a police officer and one of her instructors in the criminal justice program.

“He was so engaging and had great knowledge,” she said. “I remember him being able to connect and really caring about the students. He made the classes very interesting!”

Outside of her career in community outreach, Rodriguez has a strong passion for photography. She completed a certificate in photography with highest honors in 1989.

Rodriguez’s position as a legal secretary after receiving her associate degree had her interpreting at the courthouse, where she formed connections with other community members and eventually worked as part of the pre-opening team for Aurora’s Hollywood Casino. Through this position, she experienced the ins and out of opening a business and created her foundation for her future community outreach work.

These days, Rodriguez never stops serving and volunteering. She created Community Health Talks at Rush-Copley, which provide health education for Hispanic members of the community, and also serves on the planning committee for the Community Health Conference in Aurora.

Her words of advice for students following their dreams and working on their education? “There are always opportunities to keep growing and keep learning. Never stop following your passions!”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs upset Triton, advance to Nationals

Chiefs rally to upset 4th ranked Triton in Region IV Championship

It is called March Madness because you never know what is going to happen. Waubonsee Community College’s men’s basketball team was clearly the underdog heading into their Region IV Division II District 4B title game with powerhouse Triton College. However, when the final buzzer sounded it was the Chiefs who registered the upset 89-83 comeback victory in a thrilling overtime battle before a packed Erickson Hall gymnasium. The last of four Region IV Championship games that were played on Saturday, March 11 at Waubonsee, the marquee matchup lived up to the hype.  It was not necessarily David versus Goliath, but there were some similarities.

Triton, ranked number one in the nation for a month of the regular season and fourth nationally in the final NJCAA Division II poll, entered the evening with a 30-2 record. For the second consecutive year the Trojans went 14-0 to win the North Central Community College Conference (N4C) title, their fourth league championship in a row and eighth under head coach Steve Christiansen in his 13th season. The Trojans have also averaged 28 wins a season the last nine years, entered the game with a 35-game winning streak against Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) opponents, and reached the National Championship game last season before falling 83-76 to Kirkwood (IA) Community College to finish second in the nation. 

Meanwhile, resurgent Waubonsee stepped on to the floor with a 24-8 overall record this season after winning only 30 games total the previous three years combined. The Chiefs were co-champions of the ISCC this season, finishing 11-3 to tie with Elgin Community College. The ISCC title was the 12th under the guidance of head coach Dave Heiss, in his 32nd season at Waubonsee.

But Triton’s superior size and strength is where the true mismatch seemed evident prior to the tipoff. The Trojans’ front line consisted of 6’9” 300-pound Virgil Allen, 6’6” 220-pound Johnny Fox and a pair of 6’4” swingmen in All-American candidate Dante Thorpe and Deonta Terrell, the Trojans’ leading scorers. Triton also had another pair of 6’4” 210-pound forwards at their disposal off the bench. Waubonsee countered with 6’9” Jake Pike, who tips the scales at 85 pounds less than Allen, and the slender 6’5” 180-pound Germaine Roebuck and 6’3” 200-pound Tyrone Carey. The Chiefs’ primary reserves consisted of 6’0” 160-pound Deon Ward, 6’2” 220-pound Demetrius Ewing and 5’10” 160-pound Jacob Niesman. However, what the Chiefs lacked in size they made up for with heart, tenacity and speed to ultimately pull off the victory.

Triton never trailed in a somewhat defensive first half. The Trojans gradually built a 12-point advantage before heading to the break with a 35-25 lead. Waubonsee committed 13 first half turnovers as the visitors recorded 11 steals and seemed to have control of the game. Four minutes into the second half the Trojans grabbed their biggest lead of the contest when they went ahead 45-32 on an inside basket by Thorpe. Resilient Waubonsee responded by reeling off the next 13 points to knot the score with 13:09 remaining. Triton quickly went back in front by six points before the Chiefs again tied the game at 56-all on a short jumper by Roebuck with 7:54 to go.

Waubonsee finally took its first lead of the game two and a half minutes later when Ewing scored in close to put the Chiefs in front 64-63. A three-point basket by guard Alec Goetz and a twisting reverse layup in traffic by Ward put Waubonsee ahead 72-65 with exactly three minutes left. Clinging to a 74-71 lead in the final minute and a half of regulation, the Chiefs turned the ball over, committed an offensive foul on an illegal screen their next possession, and threw the ball away again to give Triton the ball back with 0:18 to go.

After a Trojans timeout, Thorpe connected on a long three-pointer with 0:06.3 remaining to knot the score at 74. Waubonsee quickly pushed the ball up court and it was knocked out of bounds by a Triton player with 0:02.6 left. The Chiefs called a pair of timeouts to draw up a final play, but Tyrone Carey’s ensuing 17-foot shot between two defenders came up well short to send the game into overtime.  

Thorpe then buried another three-pointer to start the extra session before Goetz answered with a trey of his own. After a Triton misfire on their ensuing possession, Ewing drilled a three-pointer from the left corner as the shot clock wound down. His first triple of the game and only the twelfth all season staked Waubonsee to an 80-77 lead with 2:36 to go.

A key to Waubonsee’s success was out rebounding the bigger and stronger Trojans 53-39 for the game overall. Still clinging to that three-point lead, the Chiefs snagged three straight offensive rebounds in a pivotal sequence that eventually resulted in a made free throw to make it a two possession game with 1:26 to go. Ward then sank six straight free throws in the final 0:40 of play to seal the deal. The sophomore guard from Champaign Centennial High School finished with a team-high 21 points, connecting on 13 of 15 from the line.

Carey, selected the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Roebuck followed up an 18 point and 17 rebound semi-final performance, with 18 points and 10 more boards in the title game to also earn All-Tournament honors. Ewing finished with a dozen points and 10 rebounds to give the Chiefs three players with a double-double in points and boards. Goetz also booked 15 points as the Chiefs had five players finish in double figures. Waubonsee’s bench outscored the Trojans’ reserves 33-13 for the game, and the Chiefs went 23 of 34 from the charity stripe while Triton finished 15 of 24 from the line. Thorpe led all scorers with 32 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals. Terrell finished with 14 points and nine boards, while Fox added 13 points, nine rebounds and four steals for the Trojans.

Waubonsee will begin play in the 16-team, double-elimination NJCAA Division II National Tournament on March 21 in downstate Danville. The Chiefs will play eighth-seeded Pima (AZ) Community College, the highest scoring team in the nation averaging 100.8 points per game, in the very first game of the tournament starting at 9:00 a.m. (CST). All the games of the tournament will be streamed ‘live’ on www.NJCAAtv.com and additional information can also be found on the tournament website at www.DACC.edu/NJCAA. This will be the sixth time in school history that the Chiefs have reached the National Tournament, all under the direction of Heiss, who won his 600th career game in early February.  

South Suburban College won the other men’s title contest played prior to Waubonsee’s game. The Bulldogs knocked off Carl Sandburg College 81-69 to capture the District 3A Championship and advance to Danville as well. In the women’s finals earlier in the day, fourth-ranked Kankakee Community College (28-2) pulled out a 64-62 over Carl Sandburg College in overtime to win the District D title. The Cavaliers now advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Harrison, Arkansas. They will be joined by District L Champion Moraine Valley Community College, which ousted Illinois Valley Community College 92-72 in the second game of the day.

 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee's Charielle signs with North Central College

Charielle to take defensive skills to Naperville

Waubonsee Community College women’s soccer player Nicole Charielle has signed on to continue her collegiate career at North Central College in Naperville. The Chiefs’ standout defender will join an up-and-coming Cardinals’ program, which qualified for the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) women's soccer tournament for just the second time ever last fall.

Charielle was a two-time All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and All-Region IV defender for Waubonsee. The Oswego High School graduate anchored a Chiefs’ defense that posted 19 shutouts the last two seasons, including 11 this past fall to tie for third nationally among all NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer squads. Charielle helped Waubonsee reach the Region IV Championship match both years, where the Chiefs fell 1-0 to nationally-ranked Moraine Valley Community College each time. The sophomore also managed to score three goals and register eight assists the last two seasons.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Celebrates Reunion

As part of Waubonsee Community College’s ongoing celebration of its 50th anniversary, the college hosted a March 9 reunion that drew more than 200 former and current students, faculty, staff and community members to the college's Sugar Grove Campus.

The event featured historical artifacts of the college, as well as a live choral performance of "Where Hope is Found," a piece specially commissioned for the occasion by Mr. Paul Carey and Dr. Mark Lathan, Assistant Professor of Music.

To learn more about the college's yearlong anniversary celebration, visit www.waubonsee.edu/50.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

WCC's Heiss reaches another milestone

Heiss becomes 11th active NJCAA coach with 600 wins

Waubonsee Community College’s Dave Heiss recently reached another coaching milestone. On Feb. 7 his Chiefs’ and Prairie State College engaged in a frenetic, high-scoring battle from the opening tip until the final buzzer. In the end the Chiefs made five of six free throws in the final minute to pull out a 113-108 victory for Heiss’ 600th career coaching win. Among active NJCAA men’s basketball coaches, Heiss is the 11th coach to reach this plateau.  

Over his 32-year coaching career at Waubonsee Heiss has compiled a .597 winning percentage, averaging 18.5 wins per season. He has had 16 squads win 20 or more games, and has guided the Chiefs to the Region IV crown and a berth into the NJCAA Division II National Tournament five times. Heiss’ teams have captured 11 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) titles, with his current crew tied for first in pursuit of another crown.  

In Heiss’ milestone 600th win Prairie State jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the opening two minutes of play. The Chiefs quickly caught up and took an 11-9 lead as the pace of play picked up. By the time the halftime buzzer sounded Waubonsee jogged off to the locker room ahead 61-54. The pace the second half only slowed a little as the game eventually featured eight ties and a dozen lead changes. A nip and tuck affair ensued throughout the second half as the teams traded baskets until the final minute. The Chiefs then sealed the victory from the foul line resulting in a celebratory water bucket dousing for Heiss from his players.

Waubonsee‘s bench outscored the Pioneers’ reserves 37-7 as the Chiefs placed five players in double digits, including three over 20 points. Germaine Roebuck paced the Chiefs with 22 points to go along with eight rebounds. Tyrone Carey tallied 21 points and dished out nine assists. Alec Goetz also booked 21 points and passed out six assists. Deon Ward came off the bench to score 17 points. Jacob Niesman added a collegiate career high of 11 points and recorded four steals, while Demetrius Ewing nearly gave the Chiefs a sixth player in double-digits with nine points.

A balanced attack has been a trademark of Heiss’ success over the years. Accordingly, off the court recognition has followed his on court achievements. He has been inducted into the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame, the Aurora West High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame and the NJCAA Hall of Fame. Heiss has been selected as the IBCA and the Region IV Basketball Coach of the Year five times, while the ISCC has tabbed him with that honor ten times. In 2008 he became the ISCC’s all-time leader in career wins and currently has 273, which is 93 more than the second place coach on that list.

 Off the court Heiss is a full-time faculty member in Waubonsee’s physical education department and in 1996 was an instrumental player in the establishment of the school’s S.T.A.R. program, a ground-breaking student/athlete academic assistance and monitoring system. Heiss has also been Waubonsee’s head golf coach the last 25 years, leading the Chiefs to five conference titles and a pair of Region IV Division II titles.

Mild mannered on the links, he is completely the opposite while coaching his basketball teams. Heiss is often vocal, fiery and animated during a game. He rarely sits while he shouts, encourages, fumes, cajoles and climbs up and down a virtual ladder of emotions as he tries to get the most from his team. Similarly, as a player Heiss was a cerebral, intense competitor, with limited athleticism who worked diligently to get the most out of his 6’5” frame.

In 1980, Heiss was an All-Upstate Eight performer at Aurora West High School when his team finished third in the state. He went on to play at Eastern Wyoming Junior College where he led the NJCAA Region IX in scoring as a sophomore. Heiss then transferred to Bemidji State University in Minnesota where he was All-Northern Sun Conference his final two years. Heiss was invited to the Utah Jazz rookie and free agent camp in 1985 and played for the Jazz’ rookie team in the Pro-Am League that summer. Also that summer, Waubonsee Athletics Manager Dave Randall and Dean of Students Paul Bosse took a chance on the 23-year-old Heiss for his first coaching job leading Waubonsee for the 1985-86 season. It's been his only coaching job since, but that wasn't his plan.

"Ultimately, the goal was to be leading an NCAA Division I program," Heiss said. But for any number of reasons, the timing never seemed right. "It finally hit me, and almost became spiritual over the years, that this is where I was meant to be," he stated. "What I've enjoyed the most is probably the relationships I've developed. Many players still stay in touch. It's a great platform to teach. They're part of the family,” declares Heiss. "Even guys who don't go on to play at a four-year school, to see them graduate and move on to productive careers is very gratifying."

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Chiefs' Pagan signs with St. Francis

Pagan to run for NAIA power St. Francis

Waubonsee Community College Cross Country runner Christopher Pagan has signed on to continue his collegiate career at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. The Chiefs’ top runner this past fall will join a Fighting Saints’ program which finished second in the nation at the 2016 NAIA National Championships. Pagan helped lead Waubonsee to a pair of Region IV Championships and top-25 finishes in the nation at the NJCAA Division I National Championships.

An Oswego High School graduate, Pagan was a two-time All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and All-Region runner for Waubonsee. As a freshman he finished fifth at both the ISCC Meet and the Region IV Meet, before placing 101st out 287 runners at the National Meet as the Chiefs finished 20th in the nation. Pagan’s sophomore season he paced Waubonsee’s contingent of runners at virtually every meet they competed in. He went on to finish second at both the ISCC Meet and the Region IV Meet, as the Chiefs captured the Region title to again qualify for Nationals. Pagan came in 57th out of 303 runners at the National Meet as Waubonsee finished 25th nationally in the team standings.

“Trevor (Howard), our head coach at Waubonsee ran there at St. Francis. Their coaches kept in contact with me all fall and when I went to visit the campus, it just felt like home,” stated Pagan. The 5’7” sophomore will be continuing his studies in Secondary Education while competing for the Fighting Saints. “Waubonsee was a great experience. It was like a close, tight knit family, that had each other’s back,” explained Pagan. “The team and the environment made me love the sport again. We elevated the program back up and got to the nationals twice. That’s a great feeling.”   

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognizes AID Partnership As Institutional Success Story

All year long, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Waubonsee Community College has been recognizing community partnerships that bring value to students and area residents. For the role it has played in improving the mental health of the college’s students, Waubonsee is proud to recognize its partnership with Aurora-based Association for Individual Development (AID) as this month’s Student Success: Institutional Stories.

The story of college-aged students’ mental health is not necessarily a happy one. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in the past year, more than 80 percent of college students felt overwhelmed by all they had to do, and 45 percent have gotten to the point of feeling that things were hopeless.

Obviously, such feelings can be huge barriers to academic success. That’s why Waubonsee’s Counseling, Advising and Transfer Center offers free personal counseling to students.

“We have amazing counselors, offering services at all four of our campuses,” said Dr. Melinda Tejada, Waubonsee’s Vice President of Student Development. “But we know crises don’t always happen when we have scheduled hours of operation.”

Recognizing that fact, the college partnered with AID in 2014 to create a Waubonsee Talk Line. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by counselors trained by AID, which operates other crisis referral hotlines.

The expertise AID brings both in the areas of mental health and local community resources has been a real positive for students, and the low cost of the local agency has been a real positive for the college. 

"Our AID Talk Line Partnership has benefited our students at a fraction of the cost we'd pay for a national student assistance program,” explained Waubonsee’s Dean for Counseling, Career and Student Support Kelli Sinclair. “As an added bonus, AID knows our community inside and out, and they can better refer students to local agencies for support.” 

But AID’s role with Waubonsee students goes beyond providing life-saving crisis support; sometimes, the organization has helped students find their life paths through the internships it provides. Adriana Resendiz took classes at Waubonsee, including an internship experience with the AID crisis line.

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Elmhurst College and working for a few years out of state, she’s back in Aurora working full-time for AID. 

A partnership that can work full-circle in this way — a community organization helping the college and its students, only to have the college’s alumni return to work for it and continue the cycle of help — is truly remarkable and worthy of recognition.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Carey lifts Chiefs to road win in Heiss' 1,000th game

Chiefs win on road in Heiss' 1,000th game

Over 32 seasons as the men’s basketball head coach at Waubonsee Community College, Dave Heiss has now literally prepared a thousand game plans, given a thousand halftime and post-game speeches, and has guided the Chiefs to more wins (594) than losses (406). Not surprisingly more than a few times over the years things have occurred within those games that Waubonsee’s long-time coach did not expect. Add Waubonsee’s thrilling 94-90 victory Thursday evening (Jan. 12) at Prairie State College to that category. In Heiss’ 1,000th game leading the Chiefs’ program the unexpected part was Waubonsee’s long range shooting, something Heiss’ teams have rarely relied on over the years. The Chiefs finished the game 12 of 32 from three-point range, well above their season averages for made threes (5.1) and attempted threes (14.4) this season.  

The Pioneers (9-8, 1-1) appeared to have the upper hand in this Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference match up as they built a 38-25 lead in the first half. However, the Chiefs (12-6, 1-1) rallied with a 22-8 run to take a 47-46 lead into the locker room at the break. Waubonsee connected on 9 of 18 shots from beyond the arc in the first period to get back into the game. The second half remained a nip-and-tuck affair as the game featured nine ties and a couple of lead changes. Waubonsee held on for its’ twelfth win of the season primarily because of sophomore guard Tyrone Carey and the Chiefs’ bench strength.

Coming off a season low 10-point performance in a home loss to Elgin Community College two days ago, Carey propelled the Chiefs offense with a 33-point outburst. The Aurora West High School graduate made 11 of 13 from the foul line, nailed four treys and also handed out nine assists, grabbed eight boards and made five steals. The 6’3” Carey improved his average to 21.7 points per game, tying him for 15th nationally among all NJCAA Division II players in scoring.

Meanwhile the Chiefs’ bench, sparked by sophomore Deon Ward, outscored Prairie State’s 25-8. Ward came off the bench to score 18 points, dish out five assists and record three steals. Alec Goetz nailed five treys on his way to tallying 17 points to go along with three assists. Demetrius Ewing gave the Chiefs a fourth player in double figures as he registered 11 points and snagged eight rebounds before fouling out. Prairie State’s Desmond Trapp led all scorers with 38 points while also hauling down 10 rebounds in a losing effort.

The Chiefs next game is Tuesday, January 17 when they head to Cicero to battle Morton College. The women’s contest is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. with the men slated to tipoff at 7:15 p.m. Waubonsee’s teams return home next Thursday, January 19. Jim Sury’s women’s squad is set to square off against Wheaton College’s Junior Varsity at 5:15 p.m., while Dave Heiss’s crew will tipoff against the College of Lake County at 7:15 p.m.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee VITA Program Offers Free Tax Help

Volunteers with Waubonsee Community College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will offer free tax help again this season in downtown Aurora.

Beginning Jan. 21, a team of volunteers associated with Waubonsee will again partner with the Center for Economic Progress to sponsor the free income tax return preparation assistance sessions for eligible members of the community.

The sessions will take place from Jan. 21 - April 15 on Wednesdays from 5:30-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Waubonsee's Aurora Downtown Campus, 18 S. River Street. The site will be closed during spring break on March 15 and 18.

At these sessions, volunteers from Waubonsee and the Center for Economic Progress will help prepare and electronically file income tax returns, including those requiring the 1040 Schedule C used by small businesses and the self-employed.

Those eligible for the program include families with annual incomes less than $50,000, and individuals with annual incomes less than $25,000. Those seeking assistance should bring a copy of last year's tax return, if they have one; Forms W-2 and 1099 from all employment in 2016; Social Security cards for all family members; bank account and routing number to direct deposit the refund; property tax bill; amount spent on college expenses; proof of health insurance coverage; and a photo ID.

The free income tax return preparation is done on a first-come, first-served basis, and the site closes when capacity is reached. Organizers advise that for shorter wait times, plan to visit in March. Clients should allow about two hours or more for tax preparation.

The program was launched locally in 2005 by Waubonsee accounting faculty members. Since then, the work of 548 volunteers has resulted in more than $14 million returned to the community, and the program has served more than 7,000 clients, who have filed a total of 14,276 federal and state returns.

Last season, the program served more than 900 low-to moderate-income families and individuals, bringing $1.8 million in income tax refunds back to the local economy. 

For more information, contact Waubonsee Community College at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2992; email VITA@waubonsee.edu; or visit the Center for Economic Progress website at www.economicprogress.org.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognizes Student Life Department and Co-Curricular Transcripts as its Student Success: Institutional Stories

It is common practice for students to submit an official transcript to document their academic achievements. But what about those achievements that happen outside the classroom? Since 2007, Waubonsee Community College has been offering its students co-curricular transcripts so that they can demonstrate their leadership abilities to transfer schools, potential employers and others. This month, Waubonsee is proud to recognize co-curricular transcripts and the Student Life Department as its Student Success: Institutional Stories.

Co-curricular, or extracurricular, involvement brings many broad benefits to students, several of which coincide with qualities prospective employers are looking for. According to businessnewsdaily.com, employers are looking for such things as commitment, a positive attitude, the ability to wear many hats and passion. Some of these are best practiced and demonstrated outside the academic realm.

“I often refer to the activities outside the classroom as the learning laboratory,” said Waubonsee’s Student Life Manager Mary Tosch. “It is an opportunity for students to enhance or develop their skills in a safe environment where failure and learning is part of the process. These experiences outside the classroom are an opportunity to practice leadership skills such as conflict resolution, team building, goal setting, resource management, and networking. Many of these skills are useful for the larger world.”

Also useful is the ability to have documented proof of extracurricular involvement. That’s why Waubonsee introduced co-curricular transcripts in 2007. Any documented student involvement is verified by advisors rather than simply self-reported. A variety of involvement qualifies for inclusion on the co-curricular transcript: student clubs, organizations, athletics, honors and awards and other notable student activities. In fact, as opportunities have expanded and advisor awareness has grown, so too have the number of co-curricular notations earned by Waubonsee students. The introductory year of 2007 saw just 53 notations, while 2012 saw 635. This year has seen more than 1,000 notations so far.

But students don’t have to wait until they get out into the work world to reap the benefits of extracurricular involvement. It can impress transfer schools or scholarship providers. Plus, involvement often leads to higher grade point averages and a higher likelihood to stay in school and graduate. Waubonsee looked at the past two years of students who either had no co-curricular involvement or some co-curricular involvement. The involved students averaged a 3.33 cumulative GPA -- .76 points higher than the non-involved students. The involved students also averaged 11.41 completed credit hours their first semester vs. 5.75 for the uninvolved students.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Winners Shine at Waubonsee Auto Body Repair Contest

With a host of auto body sponsors and repair shop owners serving as judges, the Waubonsee Community College Auto Body Repair program hosted its annual hood painting competition.

Every student in the class was given a section of auto hood to prepare. The students took the surfaces from raw metal to full auto body sheen. As student Ricky Rossa described, “That process involves multiple sessions of wet sanding to remove grit and scrapes in the metal. Then comes primer, surfacer, 400-grit sandpaper, sealing, color application and then clear coat.”

Each step is crucial to the development of an auto body surface that is free from defects such as mottled paint or a condition called “orange peel” that looks like the surface of that fruit in the paint finish.

Record of Success

Waubonsee Assistant Professor of Auto Body Repair Andrew MacDonald has been highly successful in producing students with the highest skills in the industry. 23 of his students over the last decade have earned top three placements in state-level SkillsUSA painting competitions. Three of his students have gone on to become national champions.

The judging was thus intense as each of the twenty-plus hoods prepared by Waubonsee students was checked by professional judges for the merest flaws in paint surface and shine. MacDonald reviewed the rules used by the judges for the competition. “There can be no haze or frostiness. We’re looking for even color. No mottling. All those factors must be gone,” he explained.

The top three place winners in 2016 all got an early Christmas gift of new materials and painting supplies provided by sponsors such as Spanesi, a global auto collision repair company whose Managing Director Tim Morgan was present to judge and contribute to the competition. “Waubonsee is where it starts for students,” he stated during the competition. “In fact, it’s where it really starts for the collision industry. There’s not enough technicians today to fill the needs of today’s body shops.”

Job networking

Waubonsee students were able to network for jobs with local body shop representatives who were present to judge the competition. The winners were thrilled to have earned the distinction of best in class. First place was earned by a student from Aurora, Ronaldo Castanon, who stated before the competition judging that “I like to challenge myself” as he had chosen a dark paint color that is much harder to get perfect on an auto body surface. Fellow winners were Ryan Sudduth and Daniel Warren in second and third place.

Waubonsee’s Auto Body Repair program is approved by the Illinois Community College Board and certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). It is taught in accordance with National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) standards and follows I-CAR guidelines.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Student Senators Elected

During their terms of office, student senate members gain leadership and interpersonal skills, learn to work with budgets, and experience how to organize campus events.

Members of the student senate are responsible for administering student government policies and activities at the Sugar Grove, Aurora Downtown, Aurora Fox Valley and Plano Campuses. They are elected by the student body to serve a term of one academic year.

For 2016-2017, Yosemite Pinedo, of Aurora, will serve as Student Senate President, and Bailey Martenson, of Shabbona, will serve as Vice President, with Tori Joray, of Aurora, serving as this year’s Student Trustee.

Additional student senators include: Seth Coleman, of Batavia; Giovanni Gutierrez, Sabrina Ortega, Guadalupe Romualdo and William Sitton, of Aurora; and Elizabeth Lonigro, of Elburn.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Author and Motivational Speaker Named Student Success: Featured Alumnus

Waubonsee Community College alumnus Amy Chally has faced many challenges over her lifetime, but has persevered to turn those challenges into an opportunity to help and motivate others.

Chally was born with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy that causes her muscles to be constantly tight and contracted, making it a struggle to move or control movements in her arms and legs. While she can walk with a walker, Chally uses a power chair and service dog for greater independence and mobility in her daily life.

Today, Chally is an author, motivational speaker and social worker seeking the right opportunity for her next career move. She recently worked with students at Geneva Middle School North, substituting for the social worker on maternity leave, where she said she had an amazing experience with the staff and kids. But when that temporary assignment ended, Chally wasn’t going to just sit by and wait for what’s next and has launched a new career as an author and motivational speaker.

“I am a social worker by trade but I have struggled on and off to find permanent employment in the years since I graduated,” she said. “So now I am trying to start a second career as an author and motivational speaker while I wait to find my niche in social work.”

Chally recently published “Making Independence Happen, One Paw at a Time” a two-part memoir told from two very different perspectives. Part one is her first service dog Yazzen’s adventurous tale of his journey from a tiny pup to her invaluable partner in life. Part two is her story, about how she got started on her journey of receiving a service dog and also “how courage, faith and love helped me get through the obstacles I face in life.”

Her beloved service dog Yazzen passed away in 2014 and she currently has a new companion, Portland.

During her time at Waubonsee, Chally was a Gustafson Scholar and said she enjoyed the community service and other requirements necessary as part of that scholarship. She said that the staff at the Access Center were helpful at Waubonsee and remembers a number of instructors like Dr. Murphy in psychology and Sara Quirk in English.

After graduating from Waubonsee, Chally continued her education at Aurora University, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. She was drawn to the field after an encounter with a social worker at the age of 13. When Chally was facing an upcoming surgery, a social worker approached her and offered her support. “I wanted to be able to use my experiences to help them, not because I knew what it was like to be them, but because I knew what it was like to be me as a person with a disability.”

In addition to her book, which is available for purchase on Create Space, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, Chally is serving as a motivational speaker for a broad range of audiences. She has focused on school assemblies, employee training and disability awareness education.

“I have been both a keynote speaker and a panelist at diversity/disability awareness events and have spoken to parents, teachers and special education majors about the benefits of inclusion at local schools,” she said.

Outside of work, Chally enjoys going to the gym, spending time with her family and her Canine Companions for Independence service dog Portland.

Chally is driven to succeed by her faith and passion to help others be all they can be. For future Waubonsee students she has one simple piece of advice. “Follow your heart, believe in yourself, and don't ever give up on your passion,” she said.

For her perseverance, desire to help others and can-do attitude, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Amy Chally its Student Success: Featured Alumnus for October 2016.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Surgical Technology Program Receives National Recognition

Waubonsee Community College’s Surgical Technology Program recently received recognition by the Board of Directors of the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting for achieving at least a 90 percent graduate pass rate on the Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) exam cycle for August 2015 through July 2016.

Graduates obtaining national certification as a CST demonstrate through the exam understanding of the basic competencies for safe patient care in the operating room. The CST is considered among those in the health care profession as the most important credential for surgical technologies in the nation, and is required for employment within many local, state and national health care organizations. 

During the time frame for which the college is recognized, 14 Waubonsee students took the CST exam, according to Dr. Jess Toussaint, Waubonsee Dean for Health Professions and Public Service.

“Surgical tech certification is a way for trained surgical technologists to demonstrate expertise and gain respect in their chosen profession,” Toussaint said. “The more education, training and credentials you possess, the better your chances of realizing success in this field.”

The college’s surgical technology program is offered in the afternoons and evenings at Waubonsee’s newly renovated home to its health care programs, the Aurora Fox Valley Campus, 2060 Ogden Ave. The renovated campus features state-of-the-art technology and equipment to provide students with places on emphasis on hands-on learning. The renovations also allowed for expanded student services, including tutoring, a library and testing services. The new surgical technology lab allows for realistic learning experiences that simulate a real operating room.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Adult Education Programs Provide Economic Opportunity

National Adult Education and Literacy Week, September 26 – October 1, underscores the continued demand for programs and services for adult students who need to improve basic skills in reading, writing, and math and obtain a high school equivalency certificate. More than 36 million adults nationwide, including 1.2 million in Illinois, lack basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance in education and at work.

Waubonsee Community College is one of more than 84 adult education providers offering programs funded through the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) that improves and expands the nation’s available pipeline of workers by assisting those who lack the educational requirements to achieve gainful employment in today’s increasingly high-tech, global job market. Adult education provides a path from low-income jobs and limited opportunities to the middle class wages and family sustainability. Full-time workers with a high school diploma earn almost $10,000 more per year than those without a diploma.

Waubonsee Community College offers classes and programs in Adult Basic Education, high school equivalency exam preparation, English as a Second Language, Adult Literacy, an Adult Education Computer Center and other special programs. Jeri Dixon, Waubonsee Dean for Adult Education, is attending the 2016 Literacy Leadership Awards Event in Washington DC this week. Jeri serves as the current President of the Illinois Adult and Continuing Education Association.

“Nearly 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs of the future require education or training beyond high school,” said Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, ICCB Executive Director. “Illinois has taken the lead in creating partnerships between adult education providers and employers to ensure a seamless pathway for students to higher education and employment in high growth occupations.”

For more information about adult education programs and services at Waubonsee Community College visit www.waubonsee.edu/learning/adult Learn more about program and volunteer opportunities in the Waubonsee Adult Literacy Volunteer Project here: http://ow.ly/XG2c304oOHH. For information on adult education throughout Illinois visit https://www.iccb.org/adult_ed

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Featured Student Follows Heart into Nursing

Kati Sibenaller grew up wanting to work in health care, but after graduating from high school, she didn’t feel ready for college and so those dreams were sidelined until she was inspired by the dedicated nurses who helped her through a high risk pregnancy and the delivery of her son.

Today, the Yorkville resident is finishing up her nursing degree at Waubonsee Community College and is thrilled to be gaining clinical experience this fall at Delnor Hospital in obstetrics. She plans to complete her Associate in Science in Nursing in March, and then continue her path to advanced nursing degrees, and a career in that field. She hopes to eventually work in obstetrics or in pediatrics.

For her passion for nursing and her energetic engagement in student life at Waubonsee, Sibenaller is this month’s Waubonsee Student Success: Featured Student.

“I had my son three years ago and because I was high risk, I saw my nurses twice a week for the last six weeks,” she said. “They became my best friends and it really made me want to be there to do that for someone else. They really inspired me.”

Shortly after the birth of her son, her husband convinced her to pursue the degree she’d always wanted. She began taking classes online at Waubonsee in the summer of 2013.

Today, she is one of the lucky students who gets to complete their studies in Waubonsee’s newly renovated Aurora Fox Valley Campus, which is now home to the college’s health care programs. With an emphasis on providing students with hands-on learning and simulated medical environments, Sibenaller said each class feels like an adventure.

“There is so much effort that went into making these labs what they are, and our teachers are so into it, that it makes it very exciting and cool,” she said. “They are able to use the mannequins to simulate every possible situation we’ll encounter in our clinical or jobs.”

In addition to her studies, Sibenaller is president of the Student Nurse Association, is a member of Alpha Delta Nu and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies and is involved in the Leadership Society.

“I like to stay busy,” she explained. “When I decided to go quit my job in pharmaceuticals and go back to school, I decided I was going to excel. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t for nothing.”

Sibenaller said her hard work has paid off, as she is the grateful recipient of many grants and scholarships from the college and community.

“We’ve gotten so much help, it’s truly amazing,” she said. “It really does take a village.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Aurora Resident Named Waubonsee Student Trustee

Tori Joray, of Aurora, will serve as Waubonsee Community College’s Student Trustee for 2016 – 2017.

Joray was seated at the college’s board of trustees meeting on Sept. 21. The student trustee serves as the liaison between the Waubonsee Board of Trustees and the college’s students, representing student interests at the board level.

Pursuing a career in fashion and business, Joray is a 2015 graduate of West Aurora High School. At Waubonsee, she is a Lucile Gustafson Scholar and is involved in Phi Theta Kappa and Delta Sigma Omicron. Joray hopes to complete her associate degree and then transfer to Columbia College in Chicago.

She said serving on the board will allow her to serve her fellow students and continue to make connections during her time here.

“I hope to offer a strong voice,” she said. “I am excited to feel more connected to those around me at Waubonsee through this opportunity.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Congressman Bill Foster Recognizes 50th Anniversary of Waubonsee Community College

U.S. Representative Bill Foster (IL – 11) honored Waubonsee Community College for its 50th anniversary during recent remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The college was established in August of 1966 when the electorate of 12 school districts in most of Kane and portions of Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle and Will counties voted to establish Community College District 516. Since then, more than 290,000 students have been served.

During the remarks, Foster said Waubonsee is “known for its reputation as an innovator in the areas of accessibility,” and noted that the college recently pioneered the Health Care Interpreting Associate Degree, a first of its kind in the state of Illinois, which is designed to assist patients and doctors who may speak different languages.

“Through its extracurricular programs, honor societies, cultural and art groups, leadership programs and collegiate sport teams, Waubonsee Community College truly provides a full learning experience to its students,” he said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Former Chiefs' Athlete earns another medal in Rio

Berenyi wins silver at Rio Paralympics

In a moment, in an instant, everything can change. Sometimes one fateful second can make all the difference in the world. No one knows this better than former Waubonsee Community College baseball player Joe Berenyi. In 1994 the Oswego resident lost his right arm, severely broke a leg and shattered his left kneecap, which had to be removed, in a construction accident. In a split second everything changed for Berenyi.   

Twenty-two years later, a second of time made all the difference once again for the 47-year-old. On September 9 Berenyi lost by just a second to Australia’s David Nicholas in the Men’s C3 3000-meter Individual Pursuit gold medal cycling race at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. He had led for most of the race before the 24-year-old Aussie pulled ahead with approximately 500 meters left. In a post-race interview a smiling Berenyi was not disappointed with taking home a silver medal. “I gave it my all and lost by just one second,” stated the humble Berenyi matter-of-factly at the Rio Olympic Velodrome. “It’s never a bad thing to win a silver, I am just very happy because a lot of hard work went into preparing for this.”

The next day Berenyi just missed out on adding another Paralympic medal to his collection. The Aurora Central Catholic High School graduate placed fifth in the Men’s C1-2-3 1000-meter Track Time Trial, finishing just a second behind bronze medalist Tristen Chernove of Canada. The following day he was agonizingly close to the medal stand once again. Teaming up with Jennifer Schuble and Christopher Murphy, the U.S. trio placed fourth in the Mixed C1-5 750-meter Track Team Sprint. You guessed it, they finished just one second behind Spain for the bronze medal.

Berenyi competed in two other events in Rio before the closing ceremonies occurred this past Sunday evening. He placed sixth overall in the Men’s C3 Time Trial Road Race held on September 14. Two days later Berenyi finished 10th in the Men’s C1-2-3 Road Race through the hilly and scenic streets of Rio and the surrounding area.

The silver medal at Rio is Berenyi’s fourth Paralympic medal. In 2012 at the London Paralympics, he earned a gold, a silver and a bronze medal in cycling, setting a World Record in a qualifying race before grabbing gold in the 3000-meter Individual Pursuit. Although he had won a couple of gold medals in national competitions the two years leading up to the London games, he was still somewhat considered a long shot to even make the U.S. Paralympic team, much less win three medals in his first Paralympics. But in only his third year of full-fledged competition Berenyi officially emerged onto the world stage of para-cycling.

Since then he has continued to have success at the Union Cycliste Internationale Track World Championships. Berenyi has earned four gold medals and two silvers medals in competitions in Mexico, Italy and the Netherlands the last three years. He was named the United States Olympic Committee’s Men’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year for 2015. He was also nominated for an ESPY in 2015 in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category, and was among a group of distinguished Paralympic guests invited to the White House in 2012.

Berenyi has certainly come a long way since that fateful August day in 1994, when he and another ironworker fell 40 feet to the ground when a beam on the steel skeleton of the Bolingbrook movie theater was knocked loose. Before that he was always a pretty good athlete, excelling on the baseball field and the gridiron as a running back in high school despite being just 5’9” and 160 pounds. Berenyi was an outfielder and part-time left-handed pitcher at Waubonsee in 1988 and 1989. He completed an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration after his sophomore season and began working in construction. Only a year before his accident, Berenyi had begun racing competitively in local events at the age of 25. After the accident he needed a wheelchair and a walker the first year. He underwent multiple surgeries and was told he would have trouble walking again. Berenyi didn't think much about cycling until neighbors began riding to get in shape and encouraged him to join in. Thirteen years after his accident, he started riding again, growing stronger and craving competition. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

A lot of moments, and meaningful seconds have passed since then. There have been a plethora of challenges, hard work and sacrifices made in that time. "I don't do it for the recognition or for anyone else really; it's just so I can do the best I can do with what I have," says Berenyi. Obviously there have been numerous joyful moments and memorable experiences as well. Being able to share all of it with his wife Jill and their three daughters Syd, Gwen and Tatum has meant more to Berenyi than anything. “'I’m looking forward to spending more time with them," hinting that this might have been his last Paralympics. "Even this year, I cut back some of the travel. The more you're gone, the more they get used to you not being around," laments Berenyi. Only time will tell whether or not he will embark on a new path at this stage. But Berenyi, more than most, knows just how quickly things can change.       

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Oswego Fire Protection District Named Waubonsee Distinguished Contributor

Waubonsee Community College has honored the Oswego Fire Protection District as their 2016 Distinguished Contributor.

Dr. Michelle Evans, Assistant Dean for Health Professions and Public Service, said the Oswego Fire Protection District has worked closely with the college in recent years to provide opportunities to maximize skill development opportunities and student networking opportunities.

Those efforts have included participation in advisory committees, allowing paramedics to participate as preceptors for the paramedic program, donating hay and pallets for live fire training, and donating use of equipment and parking. In addition, firefighters have participated in college events including the Fox Valley Fire Challenge, assisted in managing equipment and helped staff prepare training sites.

In 2014, the fire district donated a 1998 International Road Ranger ambulance. That vehicle provides students with opportunities to learn and practice valuable patient care skills while participating in practice scenarios. Evans said that the relationship between Waubonsee and the district demonstrates how a community employer can have an impact on programs at multiple levels.

“We have been very proud to collaborate with the Oswego Fire Protection District in building and sustaining our Fire Science Technology and Paramedic programs,” Evans said. “The growth of these programs over the last two years would not have been as significant without their contributions.”

Evans credits the leadership of Chief Mike Veseling and the Oswego Fire Protection District Board of Trustees for supporting the collaboration between his district and the college.

“We were more than eager to help foster this relationship and the direction which Waubonsee was moving,” Veseling said “We were very excited to see the energy being placed into the Fire Science / EMS programs. The Oswego Fire Protection District believes that good academic, technical, and experiential education is critical to our mission, and vital to the safety of the general public as well as the safety of our own members.”

Veseling said many of his colleagues are former Waubonsee students, and some district employees are currently pursuing degree work through the college.

“We believe that the current and future firefighters will need all the knowledge, experience and training they can get if they are to meet the challenges facing them today and in the years to come,” he said. “Waubonsee using our facilities is the perfect fit in helping to deliver this type and level of training.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Puamuh T. Ghogomu II Named Distinguished Alumnus

Waubonsee Community College has named Puamuh T. Ghogomu II its 2016 Distinguished Alumnus. Ghogomu, of Evanston, is currently Senior Counsel in the Employment Law department at Walgreens.

The 1998 graduate of Waubonsee serves as a role model for the many students who come to the college looking to pursue their college degree while adapting to a new country.

His journey through higher education and into his career began at a young age and in a situation many would find intimidating: At just 16-years-old, he moved to the United States from Cameroon and – already a high school graduate – needed to find a way to pursue his higher education and adapt to life in a new country.

Although he was born in Houston, Texas, Ghogomu spent much of his childhood in Cameroon. His father, a native of Cameroon, was an attorney for a subsidiary of Shell Oil. When political and economic instability struck the country in 1994, Ghogomu’s mother and siblings moved to be near his grandparents in Montgomery, Ill., while he and his father stayed behind in Cameroon so that he could complete his high school education. Ghogomu returned to the United States to be with his family at the age of 16, and was challenged by the adjustment to life in a new country. Not yet ready to move away for college, he enrolled at Waubonsee, where he was active in sports, student government, clubs and graduated with academic honors.

While a student at Waubonsee, Puamuh joined the African Cultural Alliance and Latinos Unidos. He became a student ambassador and student senator, ran cross country and played soccer and tennis. He was named a National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Academic All-American and also won one of Waubonsee’s top athletic awards, the Vermilion and Gold Award. He graduated with honors.

He said that the volume of resources and extracurricular options at Waubonsee was a new concept for him, because options such as those in Cameroon were fairly limited.

“Once I got more acclimated, I wanted to get involved in things that caught my interest,” he said, adding he joined student government, the soccer team and student organizations. “These were opportunities I wasn’t used to having, and I wanted to take advantage as much as I could.”

He received his Associate in Science from Waubonsee in 1998, and went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in biology from University of Illinois, and later his Juris Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

It was through an internship during his studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that he completed an internship with Walgreens in their Employee Relations department. Upon completion of his law degree, Puamuh was hired by Littler Mendelson, the nation’s largest employment and labor law firm where he worked for two years before returning to Walgreens where he is now Senior Counsel. Among his many responsibilities in his current role, Puamuh provides legal guidance to all levels of management regarding compliance with relevant state and federal laws related to employment and labor matters, and represents the company in employment matters pending before federal, state, and local agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor.

Puamuh is a strong supporter of community colleges and serves on the Oakton Community College Educational Foundation Board of Directors.

He said that ultimately, his experience at Waubonsee not only eased his transition to a new culture and country, but gave him confidence academically and socially, which prepared him to go on to the University of Illinois. Even today, Ghogomu speaks fondly of his Waubonsee faculty members, saying that many of them were encouraging, engaging, and/or mentored him.

His advice to current students is to take advantage of all the activities and resources available.

“Everyone has different interests but what I really liked about Waubonsee was that it was academically rigorous, it provided a setting that encouraged engagement with faculty, and there was such a wide variety of student clubs and organizations that I could get involved in,” he said. “For someone new to the United States, just trying to get their feet wet and getting to know people, joining a club is a great way to break down barriers because you know you have similar interests.”

Ghogomu has kept in close contact with Dr. Melinda Tejada, Waubonsee Vice President of Student Development.

“Puamuh represents the many students who make Waubonsee their first choice for education and the amazing places a quality educational experience can take you,” she said.

He said that being recognized by Waubonsee is humbling.

“It’s unexpected and that’s motivation for me to keep doing more and to give back where I can,” he said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Danielle DuCharme Named Waubonsee Outstanding Faculty Member

After only a few seconds inside of Danielle DuCharme’s office on the first floor of the Science Building, it’s easy to see why the Associate Professor of Biology was selected as the Waubonsee Community College 2016 Outstanding Faculty Member.

Her walls are covered in illustrated posters – made by students – of various biology topics. Also, it’s impossible to miss the insects. Framed displays of every type of insect are on every surface. These are signs of the passion that for DuCharme, began as a child and was fostered throughout adulthood as she studied biology, entomology and science education.

In addition to her reputation as an expert in her field and an advocate for innovative teaching in science, biology and STEM, the 1998 Illinois Math and Science Academy graduate also demonstrates her passion for these studies through her leadership and involvement in many professional and community organizations dedicated to science education.

Her innovation in instruction is evident through her many curriculum contributions, including working as a Co-Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation STEM Scholarship program, creating sustainability courses, teaching graduate courses through Aurora University in partnership with Waubonsee’s Center for Teaching Learning and Technology (CTLT), creating a lab textbook for Biology 101, writing instructor’ guides, and organizing conferences.

A fixture in the popular Waubonsee summer camps, DuCharme has taught both the Science Xplosion and Bugology camps through community education, while also teaching summer courses. She also has worked on countless college committees, and spoken to and advised student groups.

DuCharme began working as a full-time instructor at Waubonsee in 2007. Since then, colleagues say she has distinguished herself in the areas of instructional effectiveness, contributions to the college and commitment to ongoing professional development.

“In the department we joke about how Dani is on or has been on every committee the college offers,” said Justin Hoshaw, Waubonsee Assistant Professor of Biology. “Her dedication is a great inspiration.”

Colleagues say DuCharme is almost always teaching or leading a class. Among those, she designed and ran a course called “Engage the Community College Learner,” which allowed faculty to learn different techniques to test in their own classrooms.

It was that freedom to innovate that – in part – led DuCharme to a career at Waubonsee. After finishing a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola, and then a master’s in entomology and science education at University of California Davis, she returned to her home state of Illinois to live with a friend, who encouraged her to apply for an open teaching position at Waubonsee.

“I just feel like no one says no here, in a good way,” she said. “There’s just a lot of support and encouragement and very little naysaying.”

DuCharme also cites the college’s state of the art labs and equipment, students who are passionate and curious, and colleagues who are “rock stars,” as other reasons why she hopes to stay at Waubonsee for a long time – at least until the time capsule in her building can be opened in 40 years, she jokes.

“When I say this is the best job in the world, I mean it,” she said. “I didn’t realize until I got here how rare these jobs are, and there are so many benefits to having this beautiful campus.”

DuCharme is known for taking her students into the waters of the Blackberry Creek on Sugar Grove’s campus or looking for frogs at the Plano Campus. She said she doesn’t have to look far for educational field trips. That energy and sense of adventure are contagious, colleagues say.

“Besides everything else, I think her never ending energy and genuinely happy spirit are what most people will pick up on the minute they meet her,” Hoshaw said. “She is a joy to be around all the time and I know students enjoy her classes because of this energy, and then her excitement about science, biology and insects is going to capture the attention of everyone in the class.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College