2021

Stacey Shah, Professor I Distance Learning Librarian
General
Published 10/19/2021

Books: Discover the Hidden Power Within the Pages

In my early 20s, I got sick and was stuck in bed for months with no energy to join my friends enjoying summer fun. Bored and lonely, I grabbed a library book, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, from my nightstand. I was instantly captivated by the novel. Even though the main character's experience, a child of immigrant parents caught between cultures, was very different from my own, his journey of coming into adulthood and forging his own identity deeply resonated with me.

Adan Torres, TRiO student support services and ESL coordinator
Staff Profile
Published 10/18/2021

Adan Torres: Educator and Explorer

Adan Torres began his first campus experience intentionally getting lost, discovering what ECC had to offer and what was happening around campus. "My favorite thing to do with a new location that I will ultimately be spending a lot of time in is to get lost, to explore," said Torres.

Neile Litton-Wolf, manager of alumni and affinity relations for the ECC Foundation
Foundation | Staff Profile
Published 10/11/2021

Neile Litton-Wolf Loves a Happy Ending

Neile Litton-Wolf joined ECC in early 2020 as the temporary manager of alumni and affinity relations for the ECC Foundation – or she puts it, “a relationship bridge builder” and became permanent full-time in the position in September 2020.

Lauren Nehlsen, Ph.D., Director of International Education and Programs
Administrator Profile
Published 10/04/2021

Lauren Nehlsen brings international interest to ECC

For the past 13 years, Lauren Nehlsen, Ph.D., has helped expose Elgin Community College to the world and the world to ECC as the Director of International Education and Programs. Nehlsen’s love for traveling and vast experience doing so make for the perfect combination to lead ECC’s international programs.

Sherry Selgrad, Student System Specialist in Teaching, Learning, and Student Development (TLSD).
Staff Profile
Published 09/27/2021

The Many Sides of Sherry Selgrad

Sherry Selgrad experienced the ECC campus for one day before the COVID-19 shutdown forced remote work and classes on students and staff. Despite her brief first exposure to the campus, Selgrad holds a critical role in connecting our community as a student system specialist in Teaching, Learning, and Student Development (TLSD).

ECC Professor of History and Political Science Antonio Ramirez
General
Published 09/17/2021

Latinx History in Unexpected Places

In April 1972, a young Mexican-American woman in Aurora, Illinois, made history. Twenty-eight-year-old Maria Margarita Decker won the election to the Kane County Board. She was likely the first Latinx person to be elected to prominent office in Illinois.

Rick Mao, Dean of the Division of Communications and Behavioral Sciences
Administrator Profile
Published 09/20/2021

Ruixuan Mao’s Passion for Teaching Reflected in His Division

Rick Mao has been with ECC since 2002 and serves as the Dean of the Division of Communications and Behavioral Sciences. As part of his work, Rick rounds up the best of the best in educators for the department, and his success is evident in the outstanding faculty and their dedication to ECC students.

Michelle Kershner, associate professor of math
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 09/13/2021

Mastering Math with Michelle Kershner

Michelle Kershner, a Chicago native and associate professor of Mathematics, has been teaching at ECC since 2016. One thing she is most excited about for the upcoming year is less teaching online and getting back to more classroom time in person.

ECC President, David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM
Academics | Statement
Published 09/09/2021

A message from President Dr. David Sam

Elgin Community College focused on removing barriers to education; affirms its commitment to keeping education accessible and affordable throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Jennifer Garner, Executive Assistant for Institutional Advancement
Staff Profile
Published 08/23/2021

Need help? Just ask Jennifer

As the executive assistant for Institutional Advancement, Jennifer Garner has the answers you need, and if she doesn’t, is more than happy to find them for you. Garner had her start at ECC in 2019, navigating a new team and switching to remote work.

Colleen Stribling, EdD, professor of English as a Second Language
Academics | Faculty Profile
Published 08/16/2021

Colleen Stribling finds her stride in ESL

Colleen Stribling, Ed.D., professor of English as a Second Language, has been a part of the ECC family as a full-time faculty member since 2009. She started as an adjunct professor, sharing an office with her mentor, former ECC Professor Liz McNulty.

Chrystie Wojcik, associate professor of culinary arts & hospitality
Faculty Profile | General
Published 08/09/2021

Chrystie cooks up culinary magic

Pastry Chef Instructor Chrystie Wojcik can be credited for the delicious desserts from ECC’s culinary classes since 2010. Wojcik can credit her start to where she now instructs; her first ECC experience began as a culinary program student.

The Hoffer Family Foundation donated $10,000 to the Student Success Fund, allowing students like Victoria Huynh to keep her educational dreams moving forward during the pandemic.
Academics | Foundation | General
Published 07/07/2021

Donor support keeps dreams alive

ECC Foundation Student Success Fund and Hoffer Foundation help ECC Student continue with education and career goals.

Alumnus Alan Ladwig launched his aerospace career at ECC
Academics | Achievements | Alumni Profile | College Publication | General
Published 07/07/2021

Aerospace careers launched at ECC

ECC Alum Alan Ladwig builds notable aerospace career.

Leo Cooksey '21 found a second career through ECC's Apprenticeship Program
Academics | College Publication | General
Published 07/07/2021

Internships light the way to success

ECC student finds career path through internship.

ECC student Nadya Quezada finds inspiration with her internships with women-owned and run Wicked Wrench.
Academics | College Publication | General
Published 07/07/2021

Going the extra mile: Area auto repair shop challenges industry norms

Wicked Wrench Co. provides opportunities in auto repair industry for ECC students.

Hundreds of ECC students like Andrea Lara-Gasca received funding from ECC to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their education.
College Publication | General
Published 07/07/2021

Fiscal stimulus fills gaps for students

ECC's allocation in federal Higher Education Emergency Relief funds directly benefitted students by helping them pay for educational expenses.

ECC student Simone Tetzlaff found an apprenticeship key in her manufacturing career goals
Academics | College Publication | General
Published 07/07/2021

Gearing up for manufacturing growth

ECC is gearing up for manufacturing growth for the future.

ECC Professor of Business Susan Timm, EdD
Achievements | Faculty Profile
Published 06/03/2021

Educating Beyond the Classroom: ECC Professor Susan Timm Granted YWCA Faculty Award

Susan Timm, Ed.D., professor of Digital Technologies at Elgin Community College, was honored at the YWCA Elgin’s 37th annual Leader Luncheon with the 2021 YWCA Harriet Gifford & Hattie Griffin Award for Education for her unwavering efforts related to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice.

Juan Chavez, Class of 2018, is the guest speaker for the 2021 High School Equivalency Graduation Ceremony.
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/26/2021

Juan Chavez: My story is proof that ECC is a place where people can come and fight for their dreams

We all have different reasons to learn English, to get our GED diploma, but we have in common something great, which is our desire to change our lives and the lives of those around us. I hope that my story inspires and motivates you to keep moving forward and keep fighting for your goals and dreams.

Taryn White, student speaker for the Spring 2021 Career & Technical Programs Commencement Ceremony
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/26/2021

Taryn White: Find the right path and fight to stay on it

Taryn White, student speaker for the Career & Technical Programs Commencement Ceremony, took a risk that paid off big for her future.

Zain Alsalhani, student speaker for the Spring 2021 University Transfer Degree Commencement Ceremony.
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/26/2021

Zain Alsalhani: We have been equipped with the necessary tools to be able to overcome anything

Zain Alsalhani reflects on the past year for the 2021 Spring University Transfer commencement ceremony.

Eric Semelroth, graphic designer at ECC
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 05/24/2021

Eric Semelroth Illustrates ECC's Story

Eric Semelroth, a graphic designer in the marketing and communications department, is a visual storyteller.

Larissa Scott, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/20/2021

Larissa Scott: ECC challenged me to strive for excellence and put my best foot forward

After four years in the Navy, Larissa Scott turned to ECC to help find her path forward.

Ashley Freeman, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/19/2021

Ashley Freeman: ECC Let Me Explore My Career Options

At ECC, Ashley Freeman was able to explore here healthcare passions and find the right career path for her.

Sandra Djou, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate.
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/18/2021

My Immigrant Story is a Success Thanks to ECC

Shortly after immigrating from Cameroon, Sandra Djou started her ECC journey as an English as a Second Language. Now, she's graduating with her associate degree and heading to her bachelor's.

Linda Kooper, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate.
Academics | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/17/2021

Linda Kooper: It's never too late and you are never too old to follow your passion

Linda Kooper knows first hand that you're never too old to follow your dreams.

Taylor Vitacco, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate.
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2021

Taylor Vitacco: No place strives for student success like ECC

Dual Credit Graduate Taylor Vitacco reflects on her journey at ECC.

Katherine Castiglione, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate.
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/13/2021

Katherine Castiglione: ECC opened new doors to my future

Being homeschooled through high school, ECC helped Katherine Castiglione smoothly transition to college.

Leslie Miranda, Spring 2021 ECC Graduate.
Achievements | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/11/2021

Leslie Miranda: Never underestimate your potential

Spring 2021 Graduate Leslie Miranda reflects on her time at ECC.

Prem Nikoniuk, ECC wellness professional
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 05/03/2021

Pause with Prem

If the last year has taught us anything, it's the importance of self-care and mental health. In early 2020, ECC added two new wellness professionals to serve the needs of our students. Prem Nikoniuk, LCPC., LPC., CCMHC., NCC, had a great first day at ECC on a cold January 2020 morning – with no idea what life had in store for her.

Taryn White, student speaker for the Spring 2021 Career & Technical Programs Commencement Ceremony
Achievements | Commencement | Events
Published 05/03/2021

ECC to host virtual graduation ceremonies for more than 850 graduates on May 21 and May 22

Elgin Community College will hold three virtual ceremonies for the spring 2021 graduating classes.

2021-22 Student Trustee James G. Allen Jr. and 2021-22 Student Body President Jenna Manzano.
Achievements | Board of Trustees | Student Profile
Published 04/23/2021

Allen and Manzano Elected as ECC Student Trustee and Student Government President

James G. Allen, Jr., of Elgin, and Jenna Manzano, of Streamwood, will represent the students of Elgin Community College in leadership positions for the 2021-22 academic year.

Official ECC logo.
Statement
Published 04/20/2021

Monumental verdict regarding the murder of George Floyd marks pivotal time for change

As we learn of the verdict regarding the murder of George Floyd, we acknowledge and recognize how painful the tragic events of this year have been for our nation and our community.

Scott Piner, Director of Content and Creative Services
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 04/19/2021

Making Marketing Magic with Scott Piner

It’s been quite the first year for Scott Piner, director of content and creative services.

Timothy Kaar, professor of graphic design, and Robert Russ, business unit adjunct faculty.
Achievements | Faculty Profile
Published 04/09/2021

Timothy Kaar and Robert Russ receive 2021 Orrin G. Thompson Teaching Excellence Award

Timothy Kaar, MFA, professor of graphic design, and Robert Russ, MA, business unit adjunct faculty, were recently recognized with the 2021 Orrin G. Thompson Teaching Excellence Award from Elgin Community College. Kaar received the full-time faculty award and Russ received the part-time faculty award.

Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 04/05/2021

Lori Clark has PRIDE in helping students

Lori Clark, a newly minted EdD, is beginning her seventeenth year of teaching English at Elgin Community College.

Jennifer McClure, PhD, managing director of enrollment services
Academics | General
Published 04/01/2021

You Have Bright Future Ahead at Elgin Community College

At ECC, we see you! We hear you! We recognize how much you have to overcome to go to school and we are able to meet you where you are at this point in time. Our purpose is to provide hope to our community through access to education.

Lori Clark, EdD, professor of English
Faculty Profile | General
Published 03/31/2021

Validating the Invalid: Using Women’s History Month to Recognize Trans* Voices

In honor of Transgender Visibility Day and the final day of Women's History Month, Lori Clark, EdD, professor of English at ECC, reflects on the need to include and celebrate the achievements of trans* women during WHM.

Irina Del Genio, associate dean of liberal, visual, and performing arts, hosts the 2019 Immigrant Women's Roundtable at ECC.
Administrator Profile | General
Published 03/18/2021

Celebrating Immigrant Women: A Reflection on Women's History Month

Every March, the ECC family celebrates Women’s History Month. As part of this celebration, the college hosts an Immigrant Women’s Roundtable - every year, except this year. Irina Del Genio, PhD, associate dean of liberal, visual, and performing arts, founded the roundtable event in 2007. Here she shares her immigrant story.

Dean of Adult Education Elizabeth Hobson, PhD
Administrator Profile | Newsletter
Published 03/08/2021

Hobson takes the ECC community to heart

Elizabeth Hobson, EdD, dean of adult education, loves the supportive, encouraging atmosphere of ECC.

Dr. Mae Hicks Jones, adjunct professor of business
Faculty Profile | Newsletter
Published 02/22/2021

Dream Big with Dr. Mae Hicks Jones

Get to know Mae Hicks Jones, Ed.D., adjunct professor of business at ECC!

Cathy Taylor, ECC Dean of Sustainability, Business & Career Technologies
Statement
Published 02/15/2021

Black History and Acts of Resistance

Cathy Taylor, Dean of Sustainability, Business & Career Technologies, reflects on Black History Month.

Gina Mago, talent acquisition specialist
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 02/08/2021

Gina Mago is truly a people person

If you started at ECC in the last three years, you’ve probably talked to Gina Mago, talent acquisition specialist, as she has shepherded hundreds of people through the application, interview, selection, and onboarding process.

Tiffany Bruno, academic advisor at ECC.
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 01/25/2021

Tiffany Bruno Keeps Students Afloat

Meet Tiffany Bruno, academic advisor and dedicated veteran advisor.

ECC Wellness Professional Corsair Mack.
Newsletter | Staff Profile
Published 01/11/2021

Coresair Mack puts the “Well” in “Wellness”

These days, ‘self-care’ is something we hear a lot about. For students, it’s critical that they can effectively manage school, work, and family. That’s why Elgin Community College puts so much focus on student wellness, and what brought Coresair Mack to campus.