Waubonsee Community College is proud to recognize Dr. Christine J. Sobek, President of Waubonsee Community College, for 20 years of exceptional public service to the Waubonsee Community College district. Through her untiring leadership and dedication, Dr. Sobek has been a driving force behind providing excellence in education, shaping students’ futures, and enriching the community.
Since Dr. Sobek began her role as President on July 1, 2001, the college has served 177,724 students earning 2,547,986.5 credit hours. "It would be hard to overstate what Dr. Sobek has contributed to Waubonsee Community College from an innovative, programmatic, facilities, and financial stewardship perspective over the past 20 years. It has been my privilege to work with such an astute professional that has been so dedicated to the college and its stakeholders," says Ms. Rebecca Oliver, Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees Chair.
Through her vision and steadfast leadership, the college has grown in stature locally and regionally across a network of four permanent campuses, located in the 624-square-mile college district.
Dr. Sobek has played a key role in the college’s success and has worked to build a more inclusive community as the college turns 55 years old in August of this year.
In 2019, Dr. Sobek outlined the most recent three-year strategic plan for the college with a focus on being the top choice for learning in our community. The plan is built around the following three pillars: Student Equity and Success, Community Connections, and Employee and Organizational Excellence.
A significant highlight of Dr. Sobek’s leadership is the passage of two referenda in 2002 and 2003 which provided the roadmap to serve the growing college district, resulting in construction of five new buildings on the college’s Sugar Grove Campus, a new campus that opened in Plano in fall 2010 and the new downtown Aurora campus that opened in June 2011. Most notably, Dr. Sobek achieved the infrastructure building growth outlined in the 2020 College Master Plan five years earlier than projected and not a dollar over budget. Additionally, Dr. Sobek has led highly successful initiatives that have increased more than 300 percent in funding for student scholarships over the past two decades.
Through economic downturns and upswings, through cultural and social shifts, and now through a pandemic, Waubonsee has been a partner and resource to our community to help individuals achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals to create a brighter future for themselves, their family, and our community.
How Waubonsee provides education, training, and services have changed over the years, but our commitment to serving our community remains at the center of our work.
As Dr. Sobek often says, “Waubonsee is more than college, Waubonsee is community college. Through strategic community partnerships, we are able to bring our faculty’s expertise to the broader community and work together on solving problems in our community. The result is an unparalleled educational experience for our students and an exceptional resource for our community.”
A native of Indiana, Dr. Sobek earned a doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University, a master's degree from Michigan State University, and a bachelor's degree, with Highest Distinction, from Purdue University. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. She also completed Harvard University’s Seminar for Experienced Presidents.
The heights reached under Dr. Sobek’s leadership have been recognized throughout the region and the state of Illinois.
Numerous organizations have recognized Dr. Sobek’s leadership excellence. Her awards include Chicago’s Notable Women in Education sponsored by Crain Chicago’s Business, the Outstanding Alumni Award from Northern Illinois University; the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society; an Influential Women in Business award sponsored by The Business Ledger; the Michigan State University College of Education Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award; a Quad County Urban League Lifetime Achievement Award; and the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations District 3 Pacesetter of the Year Award. She regularly presents at national and regional conferences and has authored articles in local and national publications.
Members of the community and those whom Dr. Sobek’s transformational leadership has impacted can share a congratulatory message with her at www.waubonsee.edu/drsobek.