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© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Captures All-Sports Trophy

For the third time in four years, Waubonsee Community College has beaten out seven other schools to capture the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) All-Sports Trophy. The trophy is determined by points, which are awarded based on teams' conference finishes throughout the year. 

The Chiefs won four ISCC titles this year, including women's cross country, men's soccer, men's basketball and softball. 

Waubonsee had previously won the All-Sports Trophy in both 2010 and 2011.  

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Prince and Hill inducted into NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame

Long-time Waubonsee coaches honored

Former Waubonsee Community College coaches Bill Prince and Doug Hill have been recognized for their outstanding career achievements with induction into the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame. The duo was honored at halftime of the Chiefs’ home basketball contest on Dec. 12 against Rock Valley College.       

Oswego resident Bill Prince initially began his teaching and coaching career at Westfield High School in southern Illinois, before spending five years at downstate Beecher City, and then five years at Oswego High School. In 1967 he became one of the founding members of Waubonsee’s Athletic program. He was the college’s first Athletic Director, baseball coach, Physical Education instructor and Physical Education Department Chairman, simultaneously holding all those positions his first eight years on campus.

As Waubonsee’s first baseball coach, Prince guided the Chiefs on the ball field through the 1977 season. Prince’s 1973 baseball team finished fifth in Region IV, when all of the Illinois community colleges were in one division, and his 1974 club was the first athletic team at Waubonsee to be nationally ranked. Two of his teams won Skyway Conference baseball titles, including the 1975 squad which went undefeated in league play. That team went on to win the Region IV Sectional crown before advancing all the way to the NJCAA Region IV Tournament Championship game, finishing second among the tournament’s 45 teams.     

Prince was also Waubonsee’s first Athletic Director and the Physical Education Department Chairman, holding both of those posts until 1974. He later served as Waubonsee’s golf coach for six years, helping the Chiefs card two Skyway Conference golf titles. And for good measure he was also the cross-country coach in the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Throughout his entire 27 years at Waubonsee, Prince was a Physical Education instructor, retiring in 1993. 

However, perhaps his biggest accolade comes from the fact that he developed the first computerized statistics program in the United States in 1973, which Region IV baseball still used until 2008.  He was also at the forefront of overall fitness, conceiving the idea and development of Waubonsee’s Fitness Center. Prince’s many athletic contributions were recognized in 2003 when he was inducted into the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame, and in 2007 when he was part of the inaugural class of inductees into Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame.   

Long-time Aurora resident Doug Hill graduated from Big Rock High School before the district consolidated to form Hinckley-Big Rock. He went on to operate his own electronics repair business for many years in the Aurora area. Throughout most of that time he could also be found on tennis courts in the area. Hill was considered the ‘dean’ of Waubonsee coaches, joining the Chiefs’ coaching staff in only the fourth year of the college’s existence. He led the women’s tennis program for the next 32 years. For a majority of that time, he also guided the men’s tennis program, giving up those reigns in 1999 after 25 years at the helm.  

A true gentleman on and off the court, Hill guided the Lady Chiefs to 13 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference crowns, including 10 titles in 11 years beginning in 1979. More than 60 of his players earned All-Conference honors during his tenure, including his daughter Jeannine, who was the league’s Player of the Year in both 1979 and 1980. Hill’s last team in 2004 was Co-Champions of the conference after taking six of the nine titles at the ISCC Tournament. Subsequently, Hill was named the league’s Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year for the 13th time. Many of Hill’s players excelled off the court as well with over 30 earning Academic All-Conference honors. Six of his players were also named the Dick Durrant Academic Award winner which annually honors the Skyway’s top student/athlete.

Hill’s coaching resume also included teaching gymnastics for 16 years at the Aurora YMCA, where he was selected the Y’s Man of the Year. Hill has served as President of the Golden Fox Tennis Club, and as the Northern Illinois District endorser for junior players to advance to the sectional and national United States Tennis Association tournaments. Hill was inducted into the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame in 2007, and was recognized the following year with induction into Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame as well.   

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee, AID Partner to Create Support Line for Students

Just as many in the general population, college students today report feeling intense pressure: pressure to perform academically and professionally, to advance their careers, to not only stay in school, but to succeed and excel.

That pressure has begun to exact a toll from students nationwide. According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness, 80 percent of college students report feeling overwhelmed, and 45 percent report feeling hopeless.

To help students, Waubonsee Community College has partnered with the Aurora-based Association for Individual Development (AID) on establishing the new Waubonsee Talk Line.

The two organizations signed the agreement governing the operation of the hotline for Waubonsee students at a ceremony on Sept. 11.

Students with questions about the Talk Line may contact Waubonsee Counseling at 630-466-2361.

The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by counselors trained by AID, which operates other crisis referral hotlines.

Names of callers will not be recorded, and all conversations will be confidential. Callers will also be referred to local support services for a range of issues, including depression, addiction, domestic violence, financial difficulties, medical care, veterans affairs, child and elder care, legal services and family and relationship issues.

At Waubonsee, counselors employed by the college will refer students to the hotline for assistance during times when Waubonsee counselors are unavailable to provide confidential counseling sessions with students.  

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

James lauded the partnership on the hotline between Waubonsee and AID, noting AID’s exceptional work already within the communities served by both Waubonsee and AID.

“This is one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had here at Waubonsee,” James said. “This is our community, and about what’s best for our students. It’s a good reflection of how our community supports us and how we support our community.”

Chuck Miles, a Geneva resident who serves as chairman of AID’s board of directors, said the partnership between his organization and the college represents an effort to help “the 11,000 Waubonsee students who can benefit from this.”

“We are stepping forward, and not waiting for somebody else to fix this problem for us,” Miles said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee English Professor Lindeen Publishes Op-Ed

Ellen Lindeen, Associate Professor of English at Waubonsee Community College, published an op-ed titled “An Eye for Eye (or 25:1) Is Our Policy, Mr. President?”

The piece, written amid the recent Israeli offensive against Hamas in Gaza, questions the U.S. policy Lindeen argues encouraged the Israeli government to pursue military actions she says were “heinous and out of proportion” to the Palestinian actions used to justify the Israeli Defense Forces actions.

The op-ed was published in August in the Peace Voice, the Las Vegas Informer, the Poteau Daily News, the Gilmer Free Press and in War News from the Far East under the headline “The Conflict Between Israel and Palestine: An Eye for an Eye (or 25:1) Is Our Policy, Mr. President?”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Director of Governmental, Multicultural Affairs Blacksmith to Receive Two Community Honors

Lourdes “Lulu” Blacksmith, Director of Governmental and Multicultural Affairs at Waubonsee Community College, has been recognized for her work at the college and in the community by two regional organizations established to enhance opportunities for professional women and Latinos.

On Sept. 18, SHARE Fox Valley will honor Blacksmith, of Geneva, as its 2014 Woman of Power at the organization’s sixth annual Women’s Power Lunch in Aurora.

In selecting Blacksmith for the award, SHARE noted Blacksmith’s work since 2008 at Waubonsee in leading integration and coordination of external activities to support the college’s goal of being a valued community leader. SHARE also cited her work in founding and helping to direct Compañeros en Salud/Partners in Health, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the Hispanic community and other groups with the means to access resources and services for their health and well-being.

Blacksmith is currently active in several groups, including Compañeros en Salud/Partners in Health, the Kane County Health Committee, Presence Mercy Medical Center’s Mission Committee, the City of Aurora Downtown Board and the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.

SHARE (Supporting Hope And Respecting Everyone) since 2009 has sought to help professional women collaborate, while recognizing and contributing to solutions for the needs of the local communities. SHARE also partners with and supports Mutual Ground, a local organization dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and their families.

On Sept. 26, Blacksmith will be among the finalists honored in the Latina Professional Category at the Chicago Latino Network’s Ninth Annual Awards Gala.

The Chicago Latino Network is the leading online resource for more than 60,000 acculturated Latinos in the Chicago area.

Winners will be announced at the gala at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Professor Jeppesen Addresses International Ceramics Conference

Doug Jeppesen, Associate Professor of Art/Ceramics at Waubonsee Community College, addressed an international gathering of wood-fired ceramics artists earlier this month in Denmark, using the opportunity to lay more of the ground work for an upcoming international ceramics symposium to be held at Waubonsee in two years.

From Aug. 26 – Sept. 1, Jeppesen participated in the 2nd European Woodfire Conference, lecturing, as well as serving on an expert panel to discuss the past, present and future of wood-fired ceramic art.

The conference was hosted by the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark, 70 miles southwest of Copenhagen.

Jeppesen was also selected to deliver the closing remarks to the gathering of about 125 artists, academics and others.

Jeppesen said he used his remarks to discuss the Wood Fire Symposium, planned for Oct. 6-8, 2016, at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. That event is scheduled to include presentations and works from about 25 visiting artists.

Jeppesen said the opportunity to address the gathering in Denmark was “a pretty big honor.”

“This is a pretty important event, and to be invited to speak was a nice opportunity,” Jeppesen said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee SBDC Manager Parker Recognized as Illinois "State Star"

Harriet Parker, Manager of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College, has been recognized by her peers for her achievements at fostering success and growth among small businesses in the region and for her work to promote the cause of the SBDCs across the state.

On Sept. 9, Parker was selected as Illinois’ 2014 State Star by America’s SBDC, a network of SBDCs across the U.S., during the America’s SBDC Annual Conference in Grapevine, Texas.

Parker was selected for the honor in part because of the work her office has done to help small business owners and entrepreneurs in the region create jobs and spur economic growth and the satisfaction those clients have reported regarding their interaction with the Waubonsee SBDC.

She also was recognized for her work within the SBDC community, serving in various regional roles to improve certification programs and encourage the growth and development of technology and other tools to help Illinois’ three dozen SBDCs become more efficient and effective at assisting small business clients.

“We work hard here, and it’s nice to be recognized among your peers for all the work we do put in,” Parker said.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Digging Deeper: Waubonsee Student Arroyo Balances Business, Academic Performance to Achieve Student Success

Osvaldo Arroyo knows, for some college students, mastering the art of managing their time, of striking that proper balance between the demands of their academic course work and the pull of other personal responsibilities and desires, can always remain elusive.

For Arroyo, who came to Waubonsee Community College years after starting his own business, those time management skills came already honed before he ever set foot on campus.

And those skills have proven to be a lifesaver for the tireless man known as “Ozzie,” as he has excelled as a geology student at Waubonsee, while continuing to operate and grow his heating and air conditioning company, A&O Heating and Air Conditioning.

“That’s my secret,” said Arroyo, 31, of Aurora. “That’s how I do so well. I don’t procrastinate. I have to plan ahead, and start early, with everything.”

“Or I’m in big, big trouble,” he added with a laugh.

For his commitment to education, excellence both inside and outside the classroom, and the example in diligence and focus he sets to his classmates and others around him, Waubonsee is pleased to recognize Osvaldo “Ozzie” Arroyo as the college’s Student Success: Featured Student for the month of September.

Years ago, as he laid plans to launch his business, Arroyo likely would not have guessed, a little more than a decade later, he would have spent months watching the water in the marsh and creek bordering Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus in southwestern Kane County.

Yet about a year after completing that project, Arroyo can see himself doing nothing but similar work long into his future.

“I don’t know where this is going to lead me yet,” he said. “But I know this is what I want to do.”

Arroyo, who came to Aurora as a child after his family emigrated from Mexico, first was exposed to higher education when he earned a certificate in heating, ventilation and air conditioning from Waubonsee following his graduation from high school in 2001.
Credentials in hand, Arroyo went to work for a HVAC company in Yorkville before eventually launching his business, partnering with a friend in 2005.

But while the business has kept him hopping, there are a number of slow periods, Arroyo said. In those times he would often find himself drawn to other interests, particularly related to science.

During one such slow period in his business, Arroyo took a part-time job at a local greenhouse and discovered he enjoyed working with plants.

That, in turn, sparked interest in learning more about the Earth and ecosystems, and provoked speculation about potentially turning his newfound interests into a new career.

And two years ago, that desire drew him back to Waubonsee.

After taking a number of science courses, investigating various potential career options, and speaking with science instructors and academic advisors at Waubonsee, Arroyo said he ultimately has been drawn to geology.

“There are a lot of things that are interesting to me about the Earth and how it works,” he said. “It’s such a broad field.”

Plus, he said, the abundance of career options, from work in the petroleum industry to environmental geology, certainly enhances the attraction to the field.

To advance his knowledge and demonstrate his potential, Arroyo participated in the 2014 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference STEM Poster Competition, submitting research materials on the hydrogeology of the wetlands bordering Blackberry Creek near Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus.

While he described much of the work as “tedious,” Arroyo said the project stands as the highlight of his time at Waubonsee, to date.

“It was a lot of how science really works, you know?” he said. “I’d be out there, collecting water samples, measuring the creek, the water table, looking at topographic maps, observing how the wetlands influenced the environment all around them. It really opened my eyes to a lot of new things.”

Arroyo’s submission placed third in the Physics/Earth Science/Mathematics/Computers category at the contest, judged April 25.

Now about one semester from graduating with an associate degree, Arroyo plans to transfer to Northern Illinois University to pursue a bachelor’s degree, and then, perhaps, yet more advanced degrees.

“I like learning all the time,” he said. “I want to continue with my education as far as I can.”

Arroyo, who is married, also plans to continue operating his business for as long as he can, hoping it can continue to pay the bills until he can land his first paying job in geology.

Arroyo said his road to this point has not always been easy, but it has been made possible by Waubonsee’s affordable tuition, the aid of his instructors and counselors, the encouragement and support of his wife, and his own developed time management skills and strategies.

“There are times where it’s tough, I’m not going to lie,” said Arroyo. “But at Waubonsee, it’s a great place to start, to learn about yourself, what you enjoy doing – and what you can do with that.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Offer Free GED Practice Tests

In order to help community members prepare for and pass the new edition of the GED test, Waubonsee Community College’s Adult Education Department will be offering free practice tests over the next few weeks.

Interested community members should visit the department’s office in room 457 of the downtown Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St., between Monday, Sept. 22 and Friday, Oct. 3 to make a practice test appointment. The office will be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

The new edition of the GED test was implemented in January of this year and is designed to test more complex thinking and problem solving skills. It is also administered via a computer instead of the old paper-and-pencil version.

Individuals taking the practice tests will not only get a chance to familiarize themselves with the new computer format and content, they’ll also receive a personalized study plan that will help identify and strengthen areas of weakness. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee to Host College Night Oct. 6

Waubonsee Community College will host representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation at its annual College Night on Monday, Oct. 6. The event, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. 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 Memorial Concert to Celebrate Memories, Life of Gibby Monokoski

Before he passed away earlier this year, Stanley “Gibby” Monokoski inspired countless students and others through his nearly four decades of tireless promotion of music, education and the arts at Waubonsee Community College and elsewhere.

Next month, the Waubonsee community will gather for the special Gibby Monokoski Memorial Concert to celebrate the life lived and the music he played.

The evening of heart-felt music, reflection and celebration will begin Friday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Academic and Professional Center on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

The concert will feature a variety of performers, including Waubonsee alumnus and bluegrass recording artist Ashley Lewis; a number of Monokoski’s musical and academic colleagues; and Waubonsee’s student ensembles, including the college’s Steel Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band and Chorale.

Monokoski, of Geneva, was a Professor of Music at Waubonsee, where he taught music theory, composition, music literature and jazz piano, while coordinating the college’s music performance program for more than 39 years.

Within the community, Monokoski served as president of the Fox Valley Symphony until it closed in 2001 and as a member of the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

He was often noted for his performances across the nation as a trumpeter and a jazz pianist.

Among other honors, Monokoski was recognized as Teacher of the Year among all Illinois community colleges in 1987, and in 2013, he received the inaugural Fox Valley Orchestra’s Champion of the Arts award.

Monokoski passed away April 9, 2014, at the age of 63.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Offers Unique Local Experiences This Fall

Want to learn to draw cartoons, mix better cocktails, select a better coffee for brewing or a better bottle of wine for entertaining? Or perhaps you’d like to learn to make jewelry, make candy or decorate a cake, while enjoying great company and perhaps some hors d’oeuvres and wine?

This fall, Waubonsee Community College will offer these unique experiences, hosted by local experts, to leave participants with lasting memories and new or improved skills.

Cartooning and Creativity 
The Unique Local Experiences fall 2014 program kicks off Thursday, Sept. 18, with a Cartooning Experience with Steven Fischer, an Emmmy-nominated filmmaker, as well as an award-winning writer, producer, director and cartoonist. From 7 – 9 p.m. at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Fischer will help participants generate ideas using a range of writing and drawing exercises to develop characters, locations, environments and themes. No previous drawing experience is necessary. Registration for the event will cost $15.

Craft Your Own Cocktails 
On Thursday, Sept. 25, join Michael Olesen, a classically trained bartender and owner of Stockholm’s in Geneva, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Stockholm’s, 306 W. State St., Geneva, for “Craft Your Own Cocktails.” This two-hour experience is designed to help participants master the art and science of crafting and mixing better cocktails. Cost to register is $69, and only 10 spots are available.

Coffee Culture 
On Friday, Sept. 26, from 7-9 p.m., at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, 30 participants can join renowned coffee expert Kevin Sinnott for “Plunge into Coffee Culture.” Participants will learn from Sinnott how to choose and brew fine coffee. Cost to register is $59.

Cake and Candy 
On Thursday, Oct. 9, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., 18 participants can learn cake decorating and candy making from the professionals at PME School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art, 35 N. Broadway Avenue, Aurora. Participants can enjoy a glass of wine while working side-by-side with their friends to learn to make delicious and beautiful treats. Cost is $49.

The World of Wine 
On Friday, Oct. 10, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at the Geneva Wine Cellars and Tasting Room, 227 S. 3rd St., Geneva, 10 participants can join local wine expert Robert Kovacs for “Explore the World of Wine with an Expert.” Participants will be invited to savor the libation as they learn about varietals, pairing and serving wine with Kovacs. The session costs $69.

Jewelry Making Happy Hour
Finally, on Friday, Nov. 7, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at K. Hollis Jewelers, 147 S. Randall Road, Batavia, expert jeweler Karen Hollis will help participants handcraft a beautiful self-envisioned bracelet, while enjoying a selection of wine and hors d’oeuvres. Registration for this experience is limited to 15 participants and costs $59.

To register, visit For more information, call the Waubonsee Community Education Department at (630) 466-2360. 

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Illinois Teacher of the Year Pam Reilly Recognized as 2014 Waubonsee Distinguished Alumnus

For almost a decade-and-a-half, Pam Reilly has sought to instill a number of lessons in the gaggles of seven year olds who have come through her classrooms.

For Reilly, second grade teacher at Woodbury Elementary School in Sandwich, it begins with awakening in the students a love of the rudiments of reading, writing, mathematics and science. At the same time, she works to inculcate basic social skills.

But amid those other lessons key to future success, Reilly also works each school year to impress upon her students a love for education, in general, and, in particular, a desire to continue learning through their teen years, to college and beyond.

And when discussing college with her students, Reilly always makes certain they know, even at that young age, there are many paths to a lifetime of success and learning.

“It is never too early to plant the seed of the importance of receiving a good education,” Reilly said.

For her dedication to educating children in her classroom, and her unwavering support for education outside it, Waubonsee Community College is proud to recognize Reilly as its 2014 Distinguished Alumnus.

Reilly came to Waubonsee in 1990, knowing for years already that she belonged in a classroom, educating future generations.

While in high school in Somonauk, Reilly had volunteered as an assistant in a kindergarten classroom, igniting a love of teaching that has never faded.

She graduated from Waubonsee in 1992, then moved on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Aurora University in 1994 and a master’s degree from National Louis University in 1998.

She jumped right into teaching, translating her work as a student-teacher into a full-time position at P.H. Miller Elementary School in Plano. After teaching first grade at P.H. Miller for two years, she transitioned to second grade at the school. After five years in that role, she stepped away from the classroom to raise her three sons.

However, when all three boys had entered elementary school six years ago, Reilly returned to the classroom as well, securing her current position at Woodbury.

“I truly love my job,” Reilly said. “When you make a career out of something you are passionate about and enjoy, it doesn’t seem like a ‘job.’”

And in that role, Reilly has excelled, attested by the enduring love of her students and their parents, as well as recognitions from her peers.

Last fall, the Illinois State Board of Education selected Reilly as its Teacher of the Year.

In honoring Reilly, the ISBE noted her “passion for teaching and her enthusiasm for helping her students succeed,” citing her work in the classroom, as well as her advocacy on behalf of “hungry students, those with absent parents, financially stressed families and students who need to be more challenged.”

“Pam believes that all children, regardless of their circumstances, can thrive and learn,” the ISBE said in a statement announcing Reilly’s award.

Just as her connection with her current students doesn’t end at the classroom door, so, too, Reilly seeks to maintain connections with her students after they move on to higher grades.

“At the end of every year, I encourage my students and parents to keep in touch,” Reilly said. “I will always care about them. It’s fun when I have students stop by my classroom or my home to say hello.”

She noted recently one of her former P.H. Miller first grade students stopped at her home to chat.

“She told me she was getting married and is a nanny now,” Reilly said.

Other students with whom she has spoken have gone on to become teachers and librarians, among others.

“It’s a rewarding career, and where a teacher’s influence stops, no one could ever know,” Reilly said.

While her students are under her tutelage, Reilly said she attempts to use her influence to set them on a journey of a lifetime spent embracing education, whether that journey takes them to the Ivy League, a state public university or community college.

Every year, each classroom at Woodbury chooses a college to represent. And every year, Reilly chooses Waubonsee.

“We ask two students each day to lead our school in the Pledge (of Allegiance), but before they do, they are asked two questions: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and ‘Where do you plan to go to college?’” Reilly said. “The teachers in our building wear T-shirts that say, ‘College isn’t just a dream, it’s a plan.’”
“I choose to represent Waubonsee not only because I am a proud graduate, but also to showcase another pathway to a four-year university.”

Reilly said she will “sing the praises of Waubonsee” to her students, as well as others at Woodbury, recalling the “solid foundation” Waubonsee provided for her through its affordable tuition, small class sizes, individualized attention and quality education both inside the classroom and outside, through teaching-related work experience.

“If I had to go back in time, I would choose to attend Waubonsee every time,” Reilly said. “It provided me with a great beginning to a wonderfully fulfilling career that has led me to where I am today.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Falex Corp CEO Andrew Faville Recognized as Waubonsee 2014 Distinguished Contributor

For Andrew Faville, the quarterly meetings of the Waubonsee Community College Foundation Board of Directors may not quite compare to the emotions produced while standing on the tarmac, readying his aircraft, as tearful parents prepare to commit a sick child to his care for transport to distant hospitals for lifesaving treatment.

But Faville, of Geneva, said the meetings still often produce tears of joy, as the members of the WCC Foundation board take a few moments at each meeting to hear the tale of a Waubonsee Community College student whose life had been changed for the better, thanks to their efforts.

“To hear these stories, from people who overcame so many hurdles, it’s really incredible,” said Faville. “It’s really poignant for us to take those moments, to hear from them what it means to them. There’s usually not a dry eye in the place.”

For the past nine years, Faville, CEO and President of Sugar Grove-based Falex Corporation, has dedicated himself to helping deserving students obtain the help they need to succeed in college and make their academic and career dreams real through the WCC Foundation.

For all of his efforts, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Faville as its 2014 Distinguished Contributor.

Since 2005, Faville has served on the Board of Directors of the Waubonsee Community College Foundation, which works to raise funds to provide scholarships for deserving area students. For 2014-15, the Foundation has awarded more than $154,000 in scholarships to 192 recipients.

Since 2007, Faville has served as chairman of the Foundation’s Investment Committee, which works to keep the Foundation’s mission sustainable through prudent oversight of the funds it raises.

He and his wife, Julia, have established an endowed $25,000 scholarship, and the couple often serve as table hosts at Waubonsee’s Scholarship Fest, among other efforts in support of the Foundation’s work.

Faville said he views his service to the Foundation as yet another extension of his desire to serve the communities he and his businesses call home.   

Since 1982, Faville, who graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in aeronautical engineering, has worked at Falex, managing various aspects of the company established by his grandfather in Chicago in 1927.

In 2004, he was appointed to serve as the company’s CEO and president.

Faville is a principal in three other complementary businesses, including a Falex affiliate in Belgium. The various business operations often lead Faville to travel extensively, both within the U.S. and internationally.

Faville currently serves as chairman of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, a position to which he was elected this year.

Yet Faville also finds extensive time to dedicate to a number of charitable causes and community service projects.

“I’ve always felt it was very important to keep one job you never get paid for,” said Faville.

However, for Faville, that commitment to voluntarism has produced more than one unpaid job at any given moment.

Faville has served on various boards and committees associated with Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva and the Geneva History Museum, among others in the city in which he lives.

He served as Kane County Chairman for the capital campaign to support the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s effort to build a new headquarters and distribution center in Geneva.

He also volunteers at times to fly aircraft through Air Life Line, an organization coordinating free air transportation for individuals in need of medical care at facilities very far from home or other humanitarian needs.

Often, the passengers are very sick and infirmed children, Faville said.“This is the most amazing thing for me, to meet the people and be a part of this experience for them,” Faville said. “I really enjoy flying younger people on these missions. But it is very difficult to watch parents say goodbye to their children.”

Yet, among his other endeavors, Faville said he feels compelled to dedicate time to support education, as well.

Faville serves on the Engineering Academic Advisory Board at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

And he said his service on the Waubonsee Foundation board stands very close to his heart.

“It’s simply the right answer to support education,” Faville said.

He noted the endowed scholarships the Foundation funds “really do open doors to a much broader group of people.”

Faville noted his company has enjoyed a “good relationship” with Waubonsee, supporting the college’s work to help students attain the education and skills they need to contribute to their communities as productive members of the local workforce.

He said Falex has itself hired Waubonsee students through the years, with great results.

In 2006, Faville, as chairman of the board at the Institute of Tribology and Coatings, was instrumental in obtaining a $68,000 High Technology School-to-Work Training Grant to enable eight Waubonsee students and four Indian Valley Vocational Center students to serve internships at the ITC, obtaining business and technology training.

Faville said he believes the work of the Foundation in recent years to improve its investment policy will be key to ensure those doors to opportunity remain open at Waubonsee.

“We want to have the Foundation here, with scholarships for students, forever,” Faville said. “We’re arranging it so it lasts for perpetuity.”

Katharine Richards, former Director of Fund Development at Waubonsee, said Faville’s contributions have enhanced the mission of both the Foundation and the college.

“In a word, Andrew Faville is a man with a generous heart and spirit,” Richards said. “He has worked tirelessly to support his community and his industry, using his considerable talents for the benefit of the many.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee History Professor Powers Recognized as NIU History Alumnus of Year

Waubonsee Community College Assistant Professor of History Dr. Amy Powers has been selected by the Northern Illinois University History Department as its Alumnus of the Year.

Powers, of DeKalb, obtained a Ph.D. in history from NIU in 2007. She had previously earned a master’s degree in history from John Carroll University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Grove City College.

Powers has taught classes at Waubonsee since 2003.

The recognition was announced this spring, and she will be formally presented with the award later this fall.

Representatives of the NIU History Department’s Selection Committee said Powers was recognized for numerous academic and scholarly achievements, and her “continuous commitment to teaching and students.”

Dr. Stephen Foster, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at NIU, guided Powers through her doctoral dissertation on poverty relief efforts in New York City in the early 19th Century.

Foster noted Powers, while working hard through the years to complete the doctoral dissertation, also worked diligently on “developing a very individual and successful teaching style” at NIU and Waubonsee, as evidenced by Powers’ recognition in 2013 as the Illinois Community College Faculty Association’s Instructor of the Year.

“She had a familiar, easygoing relationship with her students that must have been based as much on out-of-classroom activities – written comments, conferences and so on – as what happened in class on any given day,” Foster said.

Dr. Vera Lind, Associate Professor of History at NIU, said the selection committee was “also impressed by her engagement for issues of women and gender."

Lind further noted Powers’ involvement with the American Historical Association’s Bridging Cultures Project, which seeks to boost historical scholarship among cultures across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and bring that scholarship into classrooms, including at Waubonsee. Waubonsee has participated in the project since 2012.

Lind said the project can “serve as a guide for other community colleges to incorporate more global aspects into teaching.”

© 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