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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

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

Student Services Open Extended Hours Aug. 21-23

Individuals looking to enroll at Waubonsee this fall semester are encouraged to take advantage of extended hours this week. Admissions, Registration and Records, the Bursar (payments), Financial Aid, Counseling, and Assessment (placement testing) will be open:

Campus bookstores will also be open until 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. 

© 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 Fall High School Baseball League

29th Annual WCC Fall H.S. Baseball set to begin

Waubonsee Community College will be hosting a fall baseball league for high school players who are not participating in any fall high school sports. This IHSA-approved league is the area’s longest running and most economical fall league. More than 2,000 players have participated throughout the past 29 years, with hundreds going on to compete at the collegiate level.

The league is scheduled to run from Wednesday, Aug. 28, through the end of September. Games will be played every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of September, beginning at 4 p.m. each day. All games will be played on Waubonsee Community College’s baseball diamond in Sugar Grove, and all players signed up are guaranteed playing time. Each of the eight game days will provide players the opportunity to use Waubonsee’s outdoor hitting facility that features two astro-turfed batting cages and multiple hitting stations.

Individuals interested in playing should attend an organizational meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 4:30 p.m. on the Sugar Grove Campus. The meeting will take place in the college’s Auditorium, located behind Erickson Hall, Waubonsee’s gymnasium. A $60.00 fee is due at the time of the meeting. For more information, contact Waubonsee Athletic Manager Dave Randall at (630) 466-2527.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Program Bridges Basic Skills and Career Preparation

Thanks to a bridge program at Waubonsee Community College, students can prepare for their GED test and/or improve their basic academic skills while also training for a career in health care or manufacturing. 

The tuition-free bridge program is 12 to 16 weeks long, with the first eight weeks devoted to GED/basic skills work and the second four to eight weeks devoted to career training. Students on the health care track train to become a certified nurse assistant (CNA), while students on the manufacturing track complete Waubonsee’s Safety Principles course, which leads to a 10-hour Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) card. 

“Students who successfully complete the program will have improved academic skills, earned college credits, secured industry-recognized credentials and gained employable skills,” said Alyson Gaspar, Adult Education Special Programs Manager. 

Students should apply now for classes starting Aug. 25. The Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) and an interview are required.  

To apply or for more information, call an Adult Education Transition Advisor at (630) 801-7900, ext. 4661 or ext. 4244.  

Waubonsee’s bridge program is funded by a Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.             

© 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

Baseball Tryouts

Waubonsee Baseball Fall Meeting

Waubonsee Community College's baseball coaching staff will be holding a meeting for players interested in trying out for the Chiefs' baseball team this fall. The informational meeting will be held on Monday, August 18, beginning at 3:00 p.m. on the Sugar Grove Campus. It will be held in Room 160 of the college's Academic and Professional Center (APC) building, on the north side of campus. For additional information, those interested can contact Coach Brad Unger at (815) 693-8802.

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Joins Consortium to Boost Opportunities for Apprentices

Waubonsee Community College has joined the growing ranks of colleges and other postsecondary institutions nationwide signing on to a new federal initiative to help apprenticeship candidates translate their specialized education and work experience into a college degree.

In June, Waubonsee became a member of the Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium, or RACC.

Launched as a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education, RACC is creating a network of colleges and registered apprenticeship programs operated by unions and others to provide greater college-to-career opportunities.

The RACC partner institutions work together to create an accelerated pathway to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree by allowing apprentices to earn college credit for their registered apprenticeship experience.

Waubonsee would work with organizations running partnered registered apprenticeship programs to evaluate the apprenticeship curriculum and determine how best to convert apprenticeship experience to college credit.

Those completing registered apprenticeship programs would be eligible to earn up to 45 college credits based on their experience.

The college in coming months also will launch a new degree program created specifically to help those with apprenticeship and other work
experience and industry-specific education more quickly earn degrees.

“The demand for apprentices is only expected to grow in the years to come,” said Michael Cermak, Waubonsee’s Dean for Business and Career Technologies.

“Now, through RACC, a journeyman electrician or other skilled professional working in the trades also would be able to take the next steps in their educational journey and obtain a degree with just a few more classes.”

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee TRIO Program Helps First-Generation Students Succeed in College

Many students enter college knowing roughly what to expect.

Such students are often the recipients of advice and guidance from parents, siblings and other relatives who may have graduated from, or at least attended college in the not-too-distant past. Or, perhaps they have benefited from years of college prep in high school or other places.

Other students, however, are less fortunate.

Coming from low-income backgrounds, or blazing their own trail into higher education, these students may need a little boost to help them conquer the rigors of college.

At Waubonsee Community College, that is where the team at TRIO/Student Support Services enters the scene.

Since 1987, TRIO/SSS has helped hundreds of students gain the help and support they need to not only complete college, but to thrive.

For its role in helping many of the most vulnerable of Waubonsee students succeed, Waubonsee is proud to recognize the people working within the TRIO/SSS program as part of its “Placing Learning First” program.

Funded by federal U.S. Department of Education grants awarded over five-year cycles and additional monies from the college, the Waubonsee TRIO/SSS program provides a broad range of academic services designed to assist first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities.

The program, led by Manager Frankie Benson, includes a team of four other staff members and eight tutors working together to assist the 200 students who annually participate.

To participate in the program, students must meet certain criteria.

In addition to being a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, students eligible for assistance through TRIO must be enrolled at Waubonsee and working toward a degree or certificate.

Further, students eligible for TRIO must be a first-generation college student, meaning their parents or legal guardians did not graduate college with at least a bachelor’s degree; qualify as a low-income student; or be a student with a learning or physical disability. Two-thirds of students participating must be both first-generation college students and low-income, Benson said.

Once in the program, students become eligible for a range of assistance, including help with academic planning and course registration; individualized tutoring; help in applying for and obtaining scholarships and financial aid; help in transferring to four-year schools; and guidance with life skills.

“We can help with things like dealing with financial literacy and credit, or even etiquette while eating a meal when out on a job interview,” Benson said.

Additionally, TRIO arranges for students to attend a range of cultural events, including outings to museums, musical theater, or leadership conferences, and official college visits to four-year institutions in the region, including such schools as Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, among others.

And TRIO students also participate in organized volunteer activities at such local charitable organizations as Feed My Starving Children, among others.

“We become a kind of home-away-from-home for our students,” Benson said. “We want them to be comfortable in college and in a range of settings.”

Through the years, the results generated by TRIO have met or exceeded all goals for the Waubonsee program.

In 2012-13, for instance, 81 percent, or 162 of the 200 Waubonsee TRIO students, persisted in college, meaning they graduated, enrolled in the following fall term or graduated and transferred to a four-year school. That persistence rate has matched Waubonsee’s goal of 80 percent per year.

Ninety percent of the students were in good standing academically, meaning they held at least a 2.0 grade point average a year later, matching Waubonsee’s goal exactly.

Further, 56 percent of eligible students in 2012-13 attained a degree, while 55 percent of those attaining a degree transferred to a four-year school. Both of those metrics easily exceeded Waubonsee’s goals, which were set at 38 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

“TRIO makes a difference every day in the lives of our students,” Benson said. “We’re giving them the tools and assistance they need to reach their dreams."


© 2012 Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Recognized for Financial Reporting, Budget Presentation

Waubonsee Community College has been nationally recognized for the college’s financial reporting and budget presentation practices.

For the 15th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded Waubonsee the Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Additionally, for the first time, Waubonsee received the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

The awards represent significant achievements by the college, reflecting the commitment of Waubonsee and its staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting and financial reporting.

To receive the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, Waubonsee was required to satisfy nationally recognized budget presentation guidelines, designed to assess how effectively the budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.

Those four categories include 14 mandatory criteria.

Twenty-eight other colleges in the U.S. and 13 others in Illinois received the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

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

Of the 77 colleges receiving the award, 22 are Illinois community colleges.

Waubonsee was one of 307 local taxing bodies in Illinois to receive the award from the GFOA.

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

© 2012 Waubonsee Community College