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© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Celebrates Past Year's Accomplishments

Read about Waubonsee's institutional and individual accomplishments during the 2013-14 fiscal year in this annual memo from President Dr. Christine Sobek. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of ADA Signing

SUGAR GROVE - Waubonsee Community College will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during a short ceremony on Oct. 28. The comprehensive civil rights legislation was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

During the ceremony, Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek will sign a proclamation affirming the college’s continued commitment to full ADA compliance, and speak about the significance of the legislation, as well as Waubonsee’s celebrated history of being at the forefront of accessibility.

The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Student Center lobby at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to the ceremony this month, Waubonsee continues work on accessibility through an inclusive campus committee, a student organization and the Access Center for Disability Resources.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Welcomes “Congress to Campus”

Waubonsee Community College welcomed two former congressmen – Bob Clement and Peter Smith - to campus recently as part of the “Congress to Campus” program.

Clement, former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is from Tennessee and served from 1988 to 2003. He was one of only three former college presidents during his tenure in Congress, and served as member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and on other significant committees such as the International Affairs and Budget Committee.

Smith is a Republican from Vermont and served on the U.S. House of Representatives from 1988 to 1991. He served as a member of the Education Committee, Labor Committee and Government Operations Committee.

“The College is so happy to be able to provide our students with the unique opportunity to discuss civic engagement in such an up close and personal way with former congressional leaders,” said Melinda James, Vice President of Student Development. “The former congressmen shared their wisdom and perspectives on Congress to our students.”

Congress to Campus was started by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress to enhance college students’ understanding of Congress and American government, and to encourage them to consider careers in public service or to get involved in community service. The goal of the program is to engage students and provide inspiration that will lead to greater democratic participation; whether it is in the arena of public service or something as simple as voting.

Waubonsee is one of the few community college campuses to host Congress to Campus. During their visit to Waubonsee, Clement and Smith held panel discussions, had lunch with Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek, staff, faculty and students, held a roundtable discussion with student clubs, took a tour of the Aurora Campus and Sugar Grove Campus and visited the “Introduction to American Government” class with Professor Richard Kiefer.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Organizers Report Record Attendance at Aurora Job Fair

The Aurora Job Fair saw record attendance this year, with 459 job seekers attending to meet with more than 70 employers. That turnout came after employer registration filled to capacity faster than ever.

In collaboration with Representative Bill Foster, Illinois Department of Employment Security, City of Aurora, and Hollywood Casino, the college hosted the fair from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St.

“We were surprised how quickly the employer registration and very pleased with how many people used the new option to register in advance,” said Julie Bechtold, Waubonsee Career Development Center Manager. She explained that the advance registration helped organizers to prepare for the event.

The employers who attended were hiring for internships, part-time and full-time positions. Registered employers included Grainger, Mariano’s, Butterball, Dukane Precast, Rush-Copley Medical Center and Peacock Engineering. Senator Linda Holmes was in attendance, as was Maria DeLeon, representing Congressman Bill Foster's Office.

The job fair was free and open to the public. The next job fair will take place April 8, 2016 at the Sugar Grove Campus. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Watch Oct. 13 Volleyball Game Live!

Watch live as the Waubonsee Chiefs volleyball team takes on Prairie State on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The live broadcast starts at 5:45 p.m., with the match beginning at 6 p.m.

Watch online or on Waubonsee's television station here

You can get a pdf of the full schedule here.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Performances of “Oliver!” Scheduled at Waubonsee

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education Department and the Fox Country Players have scheduled an upcoming performance of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver!”

The classic Tony Award-winning musical is about an innocent orphan and a gang of pick-pockets. The musical score includes favorites such as “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two,” “Consider Yourself at Home,” and “Food, Glorious Food.”

Performances take place October 16-18 at the Sugar Grove Campus Auditorium. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

Tickets can be purchased at

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Offering Haunted Cemetery Tour of Elgin

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education Department will offer a four-hour, guided motor coach tour of the most haunted cemeteries in Elgin.

Participants will be able to use EMF ghost meters, and are encouraged to bring flashlights, cameras and courage. The tour will include some of the most famous haunted sites in the Chicago area, including Channing Park/Channing School, the gothic Bluff City Cemetery, Hell’s Back Gate and the abandoned Elgin State Mental Hospital Paupers’ Cemetery.

The tour departs at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 30. Departure and return site are the Waubonsee Sugar Grove Campus, Erickson Hall.

Tickets are $89 plus a convenience fee. Deadline to purchase tickets is Oct. 15. Participants must be at least 14-years-old, and anyone age 14-15 must be accompanied by an adult. The tour includes extensive walking and hilly terrain. Light refreshments will be provided on the motor coach.

For more information, call (630) 466-2360 or visit

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Volunteers Needed as Adult Literacy Tutors

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

All training and materials are free. An online volunteer tutor training program will be available throughout October. The flexible, individually-paced curriculum includes readings and responses, and takes approximately six to eight hours to complete.

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Events Will Preview Career and Technical Education Programs

This fall Waubonsee Community College will host events for those interested in sampling their career and technical education (CTE) programs.

At the CTE Experience event on Wednesday, Nov. 4, participants will be able to learn about many of the college’s CTE programs in just one night, seeing specialized equipment and labs while talking to faculty and staff. The event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Academic and Professional Center on the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive.

For those who want more detailed information about a specific program, Waubonsee offers ongoing CTE Essentials sessions from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays throughout the year. These sessions include facility tours, faculty talks, and information focused on program admission requirements and career prospects.  

During the month of October, automation technology, computer-aided design, health information technology, machine tool technology, medical assistant and welding technology will be featured. November will put the focus on heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and therapeutic massage, while December sessions will highlight computer information systems, nurse assistant, patient care technician, real estate and Web development.

To learn more and to RSVP for any of these events, visit 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

West Aurora Schools, Waubonsee Team Up for CPR Certifications

Waubonsee Community College’s Workforce Development division is working with local school districts to answer increasing pressure for educators to be trained in life saving techniques in Illinois. On Monday, the Waubonsee American Heart Association (AHA) Training Center, along with the AHA Training Center at Edward Hospital trained and certified about 100 physical education teachers from West Aurora School District 129.

School officials say the district has already required CPR and other lifesaving courses as part of their sophomore physical education curriculum for many years, so Monday’s training and certification session goes above and beyond a law signed into effect in July 2014, which was named in memory of a local student.

House Bill 3724, or “Lauren’s Law” was spurred by the death of St. Charles North High School senior Lauren Laman, who went into sudden cardiac arrest while practicing with her dance team in the school gym. After her death, her parents and brother started a campaign to ensure that all Illinois high schools students are trained in CPR and AED use prior to graduation. The law requires that training on how to properly administer CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) be included in curriculum in all high schools. The bill also encouraged school districts to employ or have volunteer staff who are certified in first aid and CPR, and to provide training for staff. The bill provides for the State Board of Education to establish a matching grant program to pay for half the cost a district incurs for training teachers or school personnel who desire to become certified.

According to the AHA, every hour in the U.S. about 38 people will have a cardiac arrest event outside of a hospital, and nine out of 10 will not survive. However, lifesaving CPR can double or even triple a person’s chances of surviving. Twenty states already have laws supporting CPR in schools for high school graduation. While Illinois’ version of the law stopped short of requiring it for graduation, local CPR trainers say that it has increased awareness of the importance for training educators.

Todd Gingerich, curriculum coordinator for PE/Health/Driver’s Ed for West Aurora School District 129, is new to his position and said one of his first priorities was holding a major certification event like the one held Monday for PE teachers.

“Some of the people who are getting certified are also coaches, so we are just looking at trying to make the safest environment possible for all of our students,” he said.

Gingerich said the district has already witnessed the benefits of teaching students how to administer life saving skills: Several years ago, a middle school student successfully administered the Heimlich maneuver on a peer, based on training he had received in the classroom.

“This is the first time we have done something on this scale in awhile,” Gingerich said of Monday’s event. “Seven or eight years ago our CPR trainers at the high school trained our middle school teachers, but I am new to this role and this was one of the first things I wanted to do. All of our schools have an AED and I wanted to be sure the teachers are trained on it. This allows us to be able to do the right thing.”

To schedule a similar training for your business or school, contact the AHA Training Center, Waubonsee Community College, (630) 966-4640 or

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Offers Trip to See Local Debut of “Route 66”

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education program will host a trip to see “Route 66” at Circa ’21. The new romantic comedy features “down-home” lyrics and catchy songs.

The trip takes place Oct. 14. Tickets are $99.

Located in Rock Island, Circa ’21 is housed in the historic Fort Armstrong Theatre, which opened in 1921 and originally was a vaudeville and silent movie house. The building underwent a major renovation in 2001 and continues to offer dinner theater by actors and artistic staff from across the country.

For more details and registration information, visit or call (630) 466-2360.

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Learn to Crochet at Waubonsee

For those wanting to learn a crafty new skill for winter gift giving, Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education program is offering “Learn to Crochet: It’s a Warm Wrap!” Participants will learn a single crochet stitch and how to easily adapt it to different projects.

Choose to create a cowl, neck gaiter, hand warmers, scarf, throw or blanket and work with an experienced instructor to take the project to completion.

Instructor Diane Desmond has more than 40 years of experience in crochet.

The class takes place Nov. 11, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Hobby Lobby, 2402 U.S. Highway 34, Oswego. The class costs $25 and includes materials, cookies and drinks. Waubonsee’s Community Education program offers personal enrichment courses, trips and tours, the Lifelong Learning Institute, special events, youth programs, community theater, and more.

For more information about these or other Community Education classes, visit or call (630) 466-2360.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Fiber Arts Classes Offered at Waubonsee

Just in time for those wanting to put wool to creative use before winter, Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education will offer enrichment classes, “Explore the Fiber Arts with Natasha Lewis” this fall.

The owner of Esther’s Place in Big Rock, Ill., Lewis is a shepherd and fiber artist whose portfolio includes installation pieces, clothing and sculpture. She has participated in juried exhibitions and teaches for guilds, libraries, schools, the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Festival.

Lewis will offer three personal enrichment courses this fall:

All classes take place in Weigel Hall at the Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. Each class costs $25, and that fee includes all materials. For more information about these or other Community Education classes, visit or call (630) 466-2360.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Explore the Metaphysical, Hawaiian-Style at Waubonsee

Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education program has partnered with a metaphysics expert/Hawaiian Shaman to offer a series of classes this fall for those looking to learn more about meditation, healing, the metaphysical, dream interpretation and more.

Since 1989, Jana Drake has been teaching others about Huna, stone lore, meditation and psychic intuitive development. She also conducts readings for groups and individuals.

Classes being offered by Drake this fall at Waubonsee include:

All classes take place at the Waubonsee Sugar Grove Campus, Field House Room 252. Each class costs $29. For more information about these or other Community Education classes, visit or call (630) 466-2360.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Community Invited to Join Waubonsee in Envisioning the Future

Waubonsee Community College invites community members to take part in the upcoming Vision 2050 Roundtables.

The events are part of the college’s Waubonsee Vision 2050 project, which seeks to anticipate, imagine and elevate the collective futures of both the college and the community. The public will be asked to help refine key themes that have emerged from these discussions during the upcoming roundtable sessions.

Please register here.

The four sessions are scheduled as follows:

Oct. 5, 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Aurora Campus Multipurpose Room, 18 S. River St. (Co-hosted by the Fox Valley United Way)

Oct. 5, 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Plano Campus Room 213, 100 Waubonsee Dr. (Co-hosted by the Kendall Economic Development Alliance)

Oct. 6, 8:00 to 9:15 a.m. Aurora Campus Multipurpose Room, 18 S. River St. (Co-hosted by the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce)

Oct. 6, 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Sugar Grove Campus APC Room 110, Rt. 47 at Waubonsee Drive (Co-hosted by the Valley Industrial Association) 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee and Olivet Nazarene Celebrate Nursing Partnership

Representatives from Olivet Nazarene University and Waubonsee Community College held a “Partnership Celebration” this week to honor the RN to BSN Program Articulation Agreement between the two institutions that was signed in spring 2015.

Suzette Murray, Assistant Vice President of Career/Technical Education, and Dr. Jess Toussaint, Dean of Health Professions/Public Service, provided the welcome and introductions.

The agreement allows for a smooth transition for students transferring between the two institutions and maximizes allowable transfer of credit: Waubonsee students who complete the Associate in Applied Science Nursing degree can apply it seamlessly towards completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Olivet Nazarene University.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognized by The Conservation Foundation

At its Sept. 16 board meeting, Waubonsee Community College was recognized for conservation efforts by Brook McDonald, President/CEO of The Conservation Foundation. Waubonsee recently earned Conservation@Work certification from The Conservation Foundation for making a positive environmental impact on its campuses.

The Conservation Foundation modeled the new program off of the original Conservation@Home program, which helps property owners turn their land into water-conserving havens for wildlife. Realizing that some of the largest landholders are businesses, schools and churches whose properties offer great opportunity for water quality and wildlife, The Conservation Foundation established a process by which businesses can apply for and earn Conservation@Work certification.

The criteria for the program requires that the property have native plants for the benefit of water conservation and wildlife; that there is clear evidence of stewardship of land; that water on the site is managed effectively to reduce runoff; that property along creeks, rivers or a pond is managed to reduce erosion and pollutants; and reduced use of chemicals is recommended. Once certified, businesses receive a sign recognizing their efforts and one-on-one advice about ways to make an even greater positive environmental impact on the property.

Combined, the foundation has helped nearly 1,000 land owners improve their properties through these programs.

McDonald said that as an educational institution, Waubonsee has lived up to its responsibility to demonstrate sustainable practices on its campuses so others can follow. The recognition is for work at the Sugar Grove, Plano and Aurora campuses.

“Their native landscaping is not only beautiful, but has functional value to improve drainage and water quality, and provide wildlife and pollinator species a haven so they can live and survive,” he said.

Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek said that throughout its history, Waubonsee has had a natural connection to the environment thanks to its Sugar Grove Campus location that includes wetlands, prairie and oak savanna.

“Even when planning for growth, significant efforts are made at Waubonsee to consider the health of the local and global environment,” she said. “Sustainability is something we are committed to, and recognition such as this honors the work of our board of trustees and staff in fulfilling that priority.”

Dan Larsen, Director of Campus Operations, said recognition such as this affirms the work of his team, and is also a nod to the strong support his department receives from Waubonsee’s leadership.

“This recognizes all the support that Campus Operations has received to not only build and grow our campuses, but to do so in a way that respects our environment and allows us to be good stewards of our resources,” he said. “We have such beautiful campuses, and this reflects our mission to do right by that.” 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Communities of Excellence Program Honored

Waubonsee Community College’s Communities of Excellence initiative won a National Exemplary Program Award in the Continuing Professional Education category from the National Council for Continuing Education and Training.

The award will be presented at the annual conference Sept. 28 – 30 in Portland, Ore. Gary Kecskes, Assistant Vice President Workforce/Community Learning and Lesa Norris, Dean of Workforce Development, will present the details of the award winning program to their peers during the conference.

The Communities of Excellence Program provides training on skills and topics required for public sector employees to grow professionally, contribute more to their organizations and cope with change in government. Established in April 2014, the program launched its first series that spring.

It was created after input from municipal leaders throughout the district on what they would like to see in a professional development program for their employees. The program exposes municipal employees to training on the skills and topics that contribute to the effective and efficient operation of local government. There is networking, benchmarking and best practice sharing between participants that builds a culture of community between municipalities in the district.

The series uses master facilitators who are subject matter experts in the public sector, supports improved organizational productivity and efficiency, provides hands-on practical skills immediately transferable to the workplace, and encourages lifelong learning and professionalism.

Since the program’s inception, 81 municipal employees have participated, representing eight local governments and 12 separate government departments. At the conclusion of the fall 2015 series, 10 participants will receive an award recognizing them for attending all 24 topics.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Barreto Elected Treasurer for State Counseling Group

David Barreto, Waubonsee Community College Counselor/Assistant Professor, will serve as treasurer for the Illinois Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), a division of the Illinois Counseling Association.

Barreto earned his associate degree at Triton Community College, then went on to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology from Concordia University and a master's degree in psychology from Roosevelt University.

Through a variety of channels, the ALGBTIC works to promote greater awareness and understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues among members of the counseling profession and related occupations and improve standards and delivery of counseling services provided to LGBT clients and communities.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee names Delgado Featured Student

As she neared the end of her senior year at West Aurora High School, Morelia Delgado had a few things figured out: She knew she needed to further her education to better her life, and that if she wanted opportunities, she couldn’t sit and wait for them to come.

Armed with that knowledge and a strong will, the oldest of four became the first in her family to attend college. Doing so has required Delgado to juggle a full schedule of academics, work, and extracurricular activities, and her commitment to doing it all has gotten her noticed at Waubonsee Community College. For her work ethic and reputation as an emerging leader on campus, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Delgado as a featured student.

Currently working toward completion of her associate’s degree next summer, Delgado is a member of the soccer team, Future Educators’ Association, Latinos Unidos, and is a student facilitator for College 100. She also works for Student Life at Waubonsee, and at Portillo’s. She juggles all of this now because she hopes it will help her reach her goal of becoming a bilingual educator and soccer coach.

Some days chasing her dream means that she doesn’t get home until 10 p.m. or later, with little time to eat, sleep and do homework before she returns to campus the next morning. But Delgado knows it’s worth it.

“I know that if I get more involved, I get more opportunities,” she said. “Opportunities won’t just come to you, you need to get involved and ask questions.”

That’s the kind of wisdom that Delgado plans to share with new Waubonsee students in the College 100 course for which she is a student facilitator this semester. Her confidence, determination, and commitment got the attention of staff during the interview process.

“She was so eager to share her experience with others,” recalled Frankie Benson, TRIO and Student Support Services Manager. “She sat down at the interview and said ‘I already cleared my schedule so I can do this.’”

Benson said that when Delgado arrived on campus as a new student, she was quiet, but she and other staff were impressed with Delgado’s growth in her first year at Waubonsee. She diligently stopped by the TRiO offices to meet with tutors once a week, and her motivation showed.

“She went from someone who was pretty quiet to someone so confident and outgoing and interested in a lot of things,” Benson said. “I see her as an emerging leader.”

Delgado said that while she initially chose Waubonsee because it was convenient, affordable, and close to home, she has found it to be a place that has enabled her to flourish.

“I have more opportunities here because my classes are smaller and I get a lot of time one-on-one with faculty,” she said.

Besides the support services she has found on campus, Delgado has also found encouragement from her boyfriend, who did not finish high school.

“He says he wishes he were in my shoes, doing what I’m doing,” she said. “He is trying to go back and finish his education now but it’s harder for him. And these days, it is more about how much education you have, rather than just work experience. You need to finish your education to get ahead.”

When she finishes her associates degree next summer, Delgado hopes to enroll at Northern Illinois University and pursue a career in bilingual education. She also wants to be a soccer coach. But her goals don’t end there: She promised her little brothers that when she finishes her education and becomes a teacher, she will help them to get college degrees.

“I decided to go to college because I saw how my parents and family struggled and I wanted to change that,” she said. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee To Host College Night Oct. 5

Waubonsee Community College will host representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation at its annual College Night on Monday, Oct. 5. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Academic and Professional Center on the north side of the college’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

In addition to having the opportunity to meet with college representatives and gather information, participants can also attend presentations on a variety of important topics, including the college selection process, financial aid, and Waubonsee’s programs and services.

For a complete list of presentations and participating colleges, visit or call Waubonsee’s Admissions department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 5756.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Host Job Fair in Aurora

Employer registration for Waubonsee Community College’s upcoming Aurora Job and Internship Fair filled to capacity in record time this year.

In collaboration with Representative Bill Foster, Illinois Department of Employment Security, City of Aurora, and Hollywood Casino, the college will host the fair from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St.

More than 60 employers will be at the fair, hiring for internships, part-time and full-time positions. Registered employers include Grainger, Eby Brown, Dukane Precast, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Peacock Engineering and Wrigley Manufacturing. A full, updated listing of all registered employers can be found at

The job fair is free and open to the public.

New to the event this year, event organizers are asking attendees to register in advance at

Attendees are to dress professionally, bring resumes and come prepared to engage employers in conversation about positions promoted at the fair.

Waubonsee’s Career Development Center offers tips on job fair preparation at, and will also host a “takeover” of Waubonsee’s social media accounts on Sept. 22 to help attendees prepare and make the most of a job fair event. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Learn How to Have More Fun at Waubonsee This Fall

Sugar Grove - You can become an expert in almost anything this fall with Waubonsee Community College’s Community Education lineup. The college’s Unique Local Experiences program includes cocktail mixology, confections, self-hypnosis, facials, and jewelry making.

The schedule kicks off Sept. 25 with a sold-out Hawaiian style psychic intuitive gathering, where metaphysics expert Jana Drake will teach students how to do their own readings using Huna token casting kits and etched glass talismans.

If cocktails are more your speed, then you can hang out with classically trained bartender Michael Olesen for “Craft Your Own Cocktails.” The event takes place at Stockholm’s restaurant and brewery in Geneva, and will include an introduction of basic bar techniques, terminology and trends. Spirits, mixes and juicers are provided. The event is from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 27, and tickets are $69 per person.

Cake decorating and handcrafted candies are in store for “Have a Girls Night Out!” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 at PME School of Cake Decorating and Confectionary Art in Aurora. Participants will enjoy wine while watching demonstrations of sugar paste-fondant, butter cream frosting and confectioners’ chocolate preparation. Participants will learn how to decorate cupcakes, candy and other small treats. Tickets are $49.

If losing weight, quitting smoking, achieving goals or anything else that might need a bit of extra mental power is on your to-do list this year, Waubonsee is offering a unique opportunity to learn self-hypnosis with popular stage magician and hypnotist Brian Imbus. For more than 20 years, he has been helping people learn how to use self-hypnosis in their everyday lives. The event takes place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Sugar Grove Campus. Tickets are $49.

Skin care is what’s on the menu from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 17, when participants will learn how to prepare customized facials using natural foods including milk, yogurt, eggs, berries, lemons, avocados and more. Participants will learn how to mix their own purifying facials at home. The event takes place at The Skin You’re In, Aurora, and tickets are $29.

If bling is more your thing, a “Happy Hour Jewelry Making Party” takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 at K. Hollis Jewelers in Batavia. Expert jeweler Karen Hollis will help participants handcraft a bracelet. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be offered. Tickets for the event are $59.

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee’s Distinguished Contributor Award Goes to 551 Volunteers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Popular Hypnotist and Magician Returns to Waubonsee

Popular stage magician and hypnotist Brian Imbus will return to Waubonsee Community College to perform his show “Miracles of the Mind.”

Imbus sold out at Waubonsee in 2013, and is expected to do so again this year.

The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Sugar Grove Campus. Tickets are $19 for adults, and $12 for children 12-years-old and under.

Earlier that same day, Imbus will offer a Unique Local Experience for those who are interested. During this rare opportunity, Imbus will teach participants how self-hypnosis can help with weight loss, smoking cessation, memory improvement and achieving more in life.

Imbus has been helping people harness the power of hypnosis to improve their everyday lives for more than 20 years.

The Unique Local Experience takes place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Sugar Grove Campus. Tickets are $49 per person.

Information about these offerings can be found at To purchase tickets, visit

Waubonsee’s Community Education program offers personal enrichment courses, trips and tours, the Lifelong Learning Institute, special events, youth programs, community theater, and more. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Names Kendall Sheriff Baird as Distinguished Alumnus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Campuses to Host Art Exhibits

This month Waubonsee Community College launched two new art exhibits — a student group show at its downtown Aurora Campus and a sculpture installation at its Sugar Grove Campus.

“THERMOmeter: taking color’s temperature” features several colorful works created by Waubonsee students this past academic year. It will run through Sept. 27 in the café of the Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St. The café is open 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

Student artists featured in the exhibit include Matt Diehl and Esther Espino, of Maple Park; Scott Evans, Dulce A. Garcia, Caitlin Geiger and David Ross, of Aurora; Allison Johnson, of Sugar Grove; Juan Montano, of Oswego; Lisa Munson, of Plano; Kathryn St. Peter, of Elburn; and Michael Turney, of Somonauk.

“Going Nuts,” a sculpture by Chicago-based artist Victoria Fuller, is currently featured in the Sugar Grove Campus’ Dickson Window Art Project Space, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. Running through Oct. 28, it can be viewed 5:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Monday through Friday; 6:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday; and 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday.

According to Fuller, she “combines gigantism and the idea of the multiple to comment on cultural fascination with genetically modified food products, and the potentially negative side effects this exploitation of nature could bring.”

Fuller has exhibited several large-scale public works, including “Canoe Fan,” made of recycled canoes, currently on display in Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, Mich.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Auto Body Repair Professor Named Outstanding Faculty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College