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Impact

Impact Fall 2023 Cover

Impact Magazine is a bi-annual publication featuring news and information on alumni, student success stories, Elgin Community College Foundation updates, and articles about how ECC is making a difference in our communities.

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Featured Stories from Impact Magazine

Recipients of ECC's Motorola Solutions Foundation's Scholars Program tour the Motorola Solutions facility in Elgin
Foundation | Student Resources
Published 12/04/2023

Granting Opportunities: Scholars program opens career prospects

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions, committed to diversifying the workforce and creating opportunities for up-and-coming innovators in technology and engineering. Since 2017, the organization has awarded more than $170,000 to the ECC Foundation to champion student scholarships.

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ECC student Jasmine Aguinaga with her mentors from the South Elgin Police Department, Sergeant Will Werneske, center, and Deputy Chief Brett Czechowski
Student Profile | Student Resources
Published 12/04/2023

The Rookie: Intern investigates career in law enforcement

Jasmine Aguinaga spent her summer like many college students on summer break — riding in the car, windows down, taking in the town. The difference for Aguinaga is that the car was a South Elgin Police Department cruiser and she was working with detectives as a summer intern.

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Two representatives from the Kane County Teachers (KCT) Credit Union assist a student at the Center for Financial Empowerment and Wellness
Student Resources
Published 12/04/2023

Financial Sense: Empowering students to make smart decisions

This year, ECC established the Center for Financial Empowerment and Wellness in partnership with the Kane County Teachers (KCT) Credit Union to enhance financial smarts in the community.

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ECC dual credit student Fatima Ahmed
Academics | Student Profile
Published 12/04/2023

Doubling Down: Dual-credit student accelerates her dreams

Fatima Ahmed looks like a typical college student. She sits in the Renner Academic Library studying for her abnormal psychology and microbiology classes. She leads a student club. And, she’s focused on her goal of becoming a neurosurgeon or neuroscientist. But Ahmed is still in high school.

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LaShaunda Jordan, '15, a TRiO Upward Bound coordinator at ECC
Staff Profile | Student Resources
Published 12/04/2023

College Bound: TRiO coordinator helps students succeed

When young students share their struggles with LaShaunda Jordan, ’15, a TRiO Upward Bound coordinator at Elgin Community College, she knows what they are going through. From academics to mental health concerns and lack of family support, Jordan understands their challenges.

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State of Illinois High School Diploma graduate Crisanta Mora stands in front of the Education Work Center (EWC)
Academics | Accomplishment | Student Profile | Student Resources
Published 12/04/2023

Career Prep: Free services help motivated adult learner thrive

The EWC provides comprehensive classes in adult basic education, English as a second language, and career development assistance. The center serves an area with a high immigrant population and residents facing language, transportation, childcare, and financial barriers.

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Dancers in ECC's in-residence ensemble BFH perform on the Blizzard Theatre stage
Arts Center
Published 12/04/2023

Sharing the Limelight: ECC Arts Center celebrates 30 years

Jersey Boys. Second City. John Lithgow. Mavis Staples. Graham Nash. These are just a few artists to have graced the Blizzard Theatre stage since the Elgin Community College Arts Center opened 30 years ago.

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ECC student Habeeb Awolumate
Staff Profile
Published 11/28/2022

The Risk Taker: Habeeb Awolumate

A native of Nigeria, Habeeb Awolumate left his family and homeland to chart a new course for his future. "For me, going to college was never really a decision. It was always in the plan, and I knew that coming to the United States to study computer science was my goal," he said.

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ECC student Leslie Gracia
Student Profile
Published 11/28/2022

The Leader: Leslie Gracia

As a child of Mexican immigrants who did not have an education past the sixth grade, Leslie Gracia was intimidated but confident in her decision to attend college. "Being the first to go to college is game-changing for my family and me. Even though it's scary going into something totally new, I know I'll end up with a good outcome," she said.

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ECC Nursing Graduate Michael Lacala
Alumni Profile
Published 11/28/2022

The Helper: Michael Lacala

When Michael Lacala decided to enroll at Elgin Community College, it came with support from his parents, but not without some difficulties along the way. When Lacala's parents were 18 years old, they immigrated to the United States in search of a better life for themselves.

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Kristina Brown, supervisor of child care services
Staff Profile
Published 11/28/2022

The Generation Changer: Kristina Brown

Kristina Brown graduated high school with interest in going to college but instead entered the workforce full time. Then, she received a graduation present from her uncle — a check payable to Elgin Community College for her to explore a few classes, so she did.

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ECC graduate Yesenia Arroyo
Alumni Profile
Published 11/28/2022

The Artist: Yesenia Arroyo

To Yesenia Arroyo, a black page represents a world full of possibilities. Since high school, Arroyo's passion for art, specifically charcoal and pencil drawings, inspired her desired career path. "Ever since I started high school, I wanted to be an art teacher. Art is a huge part of my life," she said.

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ECC student Kristine Darvin
Accomplishment | Foundation
Published 06/29/2022

Using data to help fund dreams

As a student who struggled in high school, Darvin is now an honors student in the nursing program and will graduate in the fall of 2022. Darvin received support from the ECC Foundation Complete to Compete Program, which provided crucial financial support that ensured she could concentrate more on her studies and less on financial strains.

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Sergio Rodriguez, district 509 board of trustees member
Accomplishment | Alumni Profile
Published 06/29/2022

On Board: Alumnus returns to serve students

Sergio Rodriguez, ’06, knows what it’s like to be a student at Elgin Community College. Now serving as a member of the District 509 Board of Trustees, he plans to put those experiences to work on behalf of students and district residents.

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ECC alum and maintenance technician adjunct instructor Adams Tangue Tsapi
Accomplishment
Published 06/29/2022

ICAPS graduate becomes ECC instructor

Adams Tangue Tsapi, ‘20, credits his experiences in the Integrated Career & Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) program for giving him a competitive advantage.

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Desiree Oliveros, Spring 2022 ECC Graduate
Published 06/29/2022

Focusing on Wellness: Supporting students with holistic care

As the COVID-19 pandemic persisted, mental health became a pervasive and expanding issue. The need to focus on students' mental health became more apparent as students all over the country faced a great deal of uncertainty, unexpected shifts to remote learning, and a diminished sense of community.

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Joe Rosenfeld, PsyD, professor of human services
Academics
Published 06/29/2022

Crisis care…from those who have been there

Elgin Community College is one of only 11 Illinois colleges awarded a state grant by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to support a new program for certified recovery support specialists (CRSS) and certified peer recovery specialists (CPRS). The new offerings launch this fall with the IDHS grant covering the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other wraparound services, such as child care and transportation.

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From left to right: Fred Vogt, professor of biology, Kelli Marlin, medical assisting program director, Shelby Stanley, ophthalmic technician program director, Wendy Miller, dean of health professions, math, science & engineering
Academics
Published 06/29/2022

Building a future

Elgin Community College is known for offering innovative programs that provide students with access to in-demand training and education. One area of continued growth lies in the programs celebrating a decade of progress since the construction of the health and life sciences building in January 2012.

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ECC student Maryam Ebadi and Pietrina Probst, director of ADA, student access, and disability services
Published 06/29/2022

Accommodating Dreams

Maryam Ebadi, a single mother living with a hereditary degenerative vision disorder, immigrated to the U.S. excited to continue working toward her dream of becoming a family counselor. After completing her GED® prep at Elgin Community College, the next step was taking placement exams at her local community college.

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One Team. One Dream.
Published 12/06/2021

One Team. One Dream.

Elgin Community College is a welcoming campus where more than 1,250 employees and 8,400 students embody a diverse, inclusive community connected through a common goal to improve people’s lives through learning and career development.

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ECC scholarship recipient Amanda Richoz
Accomplishment | Foundation
Published 12/06/2021

Scholarship helps student finish degree

The Elgin Community College Foundation and Institutional Effectiveness and Research divisions recognized this challenge for students and established the Complete to Compete Program in 2019 to help students like Amanda Richoz cross the finish line.

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ECC Student Maria Perez and the new Mobile Spartan Pantry Cart
Student Resources
Published 12/06/2021

ECC student rolls out mobile food pantry

The fight to prevent food insecurity is taking a new direction with Elgin Community College student Maria Perez. She is working to help make students aware.

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Anthony Ramos, executive director of equity, diversity, and inclusion
Administrator Profile
Published 12/06/2021

Ramos focuses on access, student success

Anthony Ramos recently joined Elgin Community College in the newly created role of executive director of equity, diversity, & inclusion (EDI). Noting the significant foundation to support a culture of EDI already in existence at ECC, Ramos looks forward to helping sharpen the college's collective efforts concerning equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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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
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.

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Alumnus Alan Ladwig launched his aerospace career at ECC
Academics | Accomplishment | Alumni Profile
Published 07/07/2021

Aerospace careers launched at ECC

Elgin Community College alum Alan Ladwig builds a notable aerospace career. He built a notable career fueled by a mantra to always shoot for the stars.

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

Internships light the way to success

Leo Cooksey received an Associate of Applied Science degree in industrial manufacturing. He credits the ECC faculty's expertise and dedication with helping him.

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

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

Sisters Naomi and Jaime Hjelm believe it's essential for people, women, in particular, to understand car problems and repairs.

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Hundreds of ECC students like Andrea Lara-Gasca received funding from ECC to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their education.
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.

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

Gearing up for manufacturing growth

Elgin Community College is gearing up for manufacturing growth. ECC is planning on developing a new manufacturing education and training center.

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ECC Foundation Award Winners Adrienne Butler, Ed Hunter, Linda Deering Dean, Mike Shales, Robert Malm.
Foundation
Published 12/08/2020

ECC Foundation surpasses $100,000 fundraising goal

The Elgin Community College Foundation Gala Virtual Mas’k’erade: Dare to Dream event took place on Saturday, October 17. The event was the final push needed for the ECC Foundation to surpass its overall goal of raising more than $100,000 for the fund by the end of 2020.

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Bryan Arredondo received help from the ECC Foundation's Student Success Fund.
Foundation | Student Profile
Published 12/08/2020

Rallying to help students succeed

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, it became clear that the disruptions caused in classrooms and overall student learning were more than an inconvenience. The effects of lock-downs and social distancing bled into loss of jobs, or conversely, increasing demands. The ECC Foundation determined that a solution was needed to assist students at risk of not continuing their educations or coursework due to financial concerns. The answer was the Student Success Fund.

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ECC students persevered throughout the pandemic.
Academics | Student Resources
Published 12/08/2020

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees and students at Elgin Community College adapted quickly to suspend in-person classes and transition to remote learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. As the crisis persisted, ECC’s faculty fully developed and expanded online course offerings for the fall semester, ensuring a smoother transition and innovative approach.

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Toma Kpandeyenge, ECC alumnus, connects on LinkedIn.
Alumni Profile
Published 12/08/2020

Career Catalyst

Toma Kpandeyenge feels that choosing ECC was the right decision. He is working as a senior relationship manager for talent solutions at LinkedIn.

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ECC alumna Cathleen Nesheiwat cares for COVID-19 patients.
Alumni Profile
Published 12/08/2020

Health Care Hero

ECC alumna Cathleen Nesheiwat believes her ECC training prepared her to stay calm and work with the resources she has—a valuable trait when caring for patients who show symptoms of COVID-19, or have tested positive.

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ECC graduate Jeanette Silva Haro.
Academics | Student Profile
Published 12/08/2020

Blazing Trails

ECC students are blazing trails in the fire science field, as more women and minorities graduate from the program.

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Cecil Smith
Alumni Profile
Published 07/27/2020

Cecil Smith: Degree of Honor

During his 25-year career with the Elgin Police Department (EPD), Cecil Smith rose through the ranks from patrol officer to commander of the Special Investigations Division. Smith’s dream of leading a police department inspired him to enroll at Elgin Community College to help advance his career.

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Masked Men
Faculty Profile | Staff Profile
Published 07/27/2020

Mask Makers

As the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools and businesses across the country, Elgin Community College began to look for innovative ways to support essential workers. A trio of ECC faculty, staff, and alumni found a way to do their part with a little ingenuity and a lot of creativity.

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Linda Deering Dean
Alumni Profile
Published 07/27/2020

Linda Deering Dean: Leading with Heart

Linda Deering Dean never imagined herself as the president of a regional hospital. When she enrolled at Elgin Community College to continue her education, she was working full time as a registered nurse and raising a family. She appreciated having an affordable option in the community to help her achieve her goal of advancing to a high-level clinical nursing position.

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ECC employee hands a Chromebook to a student
Foundation
Published 07/27/2020

ECC Foundation: Emergency Student Relief Fund

Shortly after implementing Illinois' stay-at-home order in March, the Elgin Community College Foundation established the Emergency Student Relief Fund to help students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one month later, more than 100 donors had pitched in to help reach the goal of raising over $50,000.

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Dean Follmann
Alumni Profile
Published 07/27/2020

Dean Follmann: Battling COVID-19

For years, ECC alumnus Dean Follmann’s work has been focused on the study of infectious diseases and clinical trials that evaluate therapies. Most recently, it has put him on the front lines in the quest to find a cure for the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Bridget Mooney
Alumni Profile
Published 07/27/2020

Bridget Mooney: From ECC to Soldier Field

Chef Bridget Mooney has united people from all over the world through major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, Final Four, and Masters Golf Tournament.

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Tim Slater
Alumni Profile
Published 07/27/2020

Tim Slater: Driven to Success

Tim Slater advises current students, encouraging them to take various courses and try new things before deciding on a career path.

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Archived Publications

Here are past publications from the past three years. If you need issues dating back later, please contact the Communications Office.

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