Mentor with student
Student Resources
Published 11/21/2019

IMPACT: Mentor a student; build a community

Through mentoring, community members and students build a support bridge that enhances each other’s lives. This fall, ECC launched a third mentoring program, TRIUMPH—Transforming and Impacting Undergraduate Men Pursuing Higher Education—focused on increasing the number of men of color graduating college. TRIUMPH helps students realize their potential and equips them with tools to succeed in their academic, personal, and future professional lives by pairing them with carefully chosen mentors.

Professor Ted Eltzroth
Faculty Profile
Published 01/02/2020

Eltzroth: Knowledge, understanding not amenable to Google search

Associate Professor of Physics John 'Ted' Elzroth has seen a lot in his 22 years at ECC. His greatest achievement, though, is the students who've increased their understanding of science thanks to his courses.

Linda Brubaker, career transitions specialist, who runs workshops and does coaching for individuals during their job search.
Published 12/18/2019

IMPACT: Working together to get back to work

Elgin Community College provides free resources, workshops, and one-on-one coaching to those seeking help with their job search.

Sharon Fisher Larson, with three generations of ECC attendees
Alumni Profile
Published 12/18/2019

IMPACT: Our Roots Run Deep—Keeping ECC in the family

Since its founding in 1949, more than 42,000 alumni have graduated from, and thousands more have attended ECC. Among these District 509 residents are generations of families whose roots run deep within the college and the community.

A student apprentice signs his offer from a local company.
Published 12/18/2019

IMPACT: The Power of Partnerships—Fueling student success for a stronger community

Strong ties to the business community and community leaders have long been an ECC hallmark, and the ECC Foundation serves as a strategic partner in building those relationships. The resulting partnerships often lead to financial gifts, grants, or even donated equipment, all of which support students’ education and the community’s future.

Jennifer McClure, managing director of enrollment services, making calls to near completers to help them return to ECC.
Published 12/18/2019

IMPACT: Helping students reach the finish line

The ECC Foundation brought in volunteers to call students who were 'near completers,' those within 15 credits of graduation, to help them re-enroll and complete their program.

Elgin Chief of Police Ana Lalley, a criminal justice instructor in a classroom at ECC
Faculty Profile
Published 12/18/2019

IMPACT: To Serve and Protect Begins at ECC—Elgin Police Department policy change opens do

By working in partnership, ECC and EPD are creating opportunities for well-educated and well-prepared recruits to serve the community they call home.

ECC Arts Center celebrates 25 years of being a cultural center
Arts Center
Published 12/18/2019

IMPACT: ECC Arts Center—Cultural Gem of the Fox Valley

The Elgin Community College Arts Center celebrates 25 years of being a cultural center for the Fox Valley.

December 2019 graduate Vanessa Solorio Garcia
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019

Vanessa Solorio Garcia: Thankful for my future as a teacher

Graduate Vanessa Solorio Garcia found her path to becoming a teacher at Elgin Community College. Her favorite experience was being part of the honors program.

December 2019 graduate Saadia Fatima
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019

Saadia Fatima: Learning to embrace the unfamiliar

Saadia Fatima, December 2019 graduate, found familiarity and comfort at ECC, but also learned to embrace the unfamiliar.

December 2019 graduate Richard Rodriguez
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/19/2019

Richard Rodriguez: Building a better future for my family

Graduate Richard Rodriguez is determined to build a better life for his family. Throughout his ECC journey, he's met, kind friends and professors.

December 2019 graduate Pili Camargo
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/18/2019

Pili Camargo: ECC is a place that will help you grow as an individual

Graduate Phili Camargo found all the resources she needed to grow and succeed at Elgin Community College. Coming to ECC was a bright choice.

December 2019 graduate Dorian Gatlin
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019

Dorian Gatlin: ECC holds the keys to your success

Graduate Dorian Gatlin found his path at Elgin Community College. He was able to discover and enhance his leadership skills.

December 2019 graduate Denisse Carmargo
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019

Denisse Camargo: Making connections that last a lifetime

Denisse Carmargo graduated in December 2019, and she advised future students to work on building meaningful relationships.

December 2019 graduate Brian Garbrecht
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019

Brian Garbrecht: Top-notch arts education possible at ECC

Brian Garbrecht, December 2019 graduate, reflects on his journey to photography and how his professors at ECC helped him achieve his dreams.

2019 graduate Akintunde Eyisnami
Accomplishment | Commencement | Student Profile
Published 12/16/2019

Akintunde Eyisanmi: Thanks to ECC, I can face any challenge that comes my way

University transfer degree commencement speaker Akintunde Eyisanmi found a supportive, accepting environment at Elgin Community College. He believes comes to ECC was on of the best decisions he's ever made, and he knows he can face any challenge that comes his way thanks to the skills and knowledge he's gained at ECC.

faculty member Julie Becker
Faculty Profile
Published 11/18/2019

Becker helps students design their future

As programs continue to be upgraded, and students push to stay on top of new technology, unit adjunct instructor of communication design Julie Becker is constantly learning and growing as both teacher and graphic designer. In a sense, she is living what she is teaching, which is to learn and then learn some more.

Joseph Onesimus
Staff Profile
Published 11/04/2019

Experience life with Joseph Onesimus

Joseph Onesimus, Internship Coordinator, spends his days meeting with ECC students and discussing the importance of adding the word ‘experience’ to their resumes. Beyond grades and certifications, he believes experience makes the difference in a student’s pursuit of their career aspirations.

Lisette Prince, massage therapy faculty
Faculty Profile
Published 10/28/2019

Relax! Lisette Prince is here to help.

Now in her seventh year as an adjunct faculty member, Prince teaches part-time and continues to work as a massage therapist, which helps her keep her knowledge and skills up-to-date. She also helps with program improvement, using a mix of teaching methods to make classes motivating and interesting to both younger and adult students.

Unit Adjunct Professor Meg Bucaro Wojtas in Communications
Faculty Profile
Published 10/14/2019

Meg Bucaro Wojtas: Opening doors through communication

For nearly a decade, Communication Studies Adjunct Faculty member Meg Bucaro Wojtas has been empowering students to communicate more confidently and comfortably. She came to Elgin Community College in 2009 because, as an Elgin resident, she was well aware of the growth the college was experiencing at the time and wanted to be part of the excitement.

Michelle Knox
Staff Profile
Published 10/07/2019

DIY superstar Knox says ECC feels like home

Michelle Knox has planted herself firmly as an administrative assistant providing clerical and administrative support for ECC’s health professions division office. However, she might be better known to people in the do-it-yourself social media realm as the monogram planter lady.

Diane Kerruish
Staff Profile
Published 09/30/2019

Every day brings a different adventure for Diane Kerruish

Diane Kerruish, senior executive assistant to the president, has seen her fair share of change during her eleven-year tenure at ECC. Her first experience at the college was as a student, and later she returned as the assistant to the managing director of marketing and communications. The ECC experience that truly changed her life, though, was meeting her husband while playing intramural softball!

Professor Manny Salgado
Faculty Profile
Published 09/23/2019

Salgado champions diversity and inclusion both inside and outside the classroom

When Associate Professor Manuel Salgado, PhD, is asked to describe his job at ECC, the answer goes far beyond “I teach psychology.” In his words, “I facilitate and support the learning of students from diverse backgrounds and identities.” This is a role he takes seriously, thoughtfully preparing lessons with diverse perspectives, helping students work through challenges, and encouraging college community involvement.

Deb Latizio
Faculty Profile
Published 09/16/2019

Letizio’s magnetic personality resonates within ECC medical imaging programs

At ECC, Letizio wears the medical imaging program director hat, overseeing our radiography, magnetic resonance, computed tomography, and mammography programs. In addition to managing program admissions and teaching radiography courses, Letizio is responsible for keeping ECC in compliance with accreditation standards for the radiography and magnetic resonance programs. ECC's MR program is one of only 14 accredited programs in the country.

Lori Jones
Faculty Profile
Published 09/09/2019

Math is music to Lori Jones' ears

Lori Jones' mission is not just to teach students math as a path to their career goals, but learn how to use math as a lens to explore new ideas and inspire them to pursue their dreams.

Elissa Kojzarek
Staff Profile
Published 09/03/2019

Getting social with Elissa Kojzarek

There is a chance you recognize the name or face of one of ECC's newest hires, Elissa Kojzarek. Elissa spent the last 10 years working for the United Way of Elgin and was in charge of ECC's annual campaign drive as well as the United Way representative on the Project Backpack committee. Now the communications specialist with the Marketing and Communications Department, Elissa handles the college's primary social media feeds.

Jen Schlau
Staff Profile
Published 08/23/2019

Schlau teaches students the vital skill of information gathering

Reference and instruction librarian Jen Schlau teaches students the critical thinking process of how to organize information, a trait she put to good use during her initial hiring process before she began her now decade-long tenure at ECC.

Mi Hu
Administrator Profile
Published 08/12/2019

Mi Hu: Prepare student for success and create a meaningful life

As dean of learning resources and international education, Mi Hu, PhD, supports learning and instruction. What Hu really does is support her colleagues in their efforts to provide valuable resources and services to students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Emily Kies
Staff Profile
Published 08/01/2019

Kies to success: Develop culture of preparedness

Senior Director of Emergency Management Emily Kies helps ECC prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In addition to plans that reduce risk to lives, Kies helps develop strategies that allow critical business services to continue during interruptions to the campus’ normal routines and rhythms.

John Karnatz
Faculty Profile
Published 07/01/2019

Karnatz pays forward lessons learned from high school teacher

It’s hard to fathom, but adjunct professor of communications studies John Karnatz’s 17-year tenure at ECC nearly didn’t happen. When an employment opportunity with ECC presented itself in 2002, it took some convincing from his neighbor, a former ECC trustee and friend. “He bugged me until I agreed to apply,” according to Karnatz.

Ryan Ottens
Accomplishment | Staff Profile
Published 05/14/2019

Ryan Ottens: ECC isn’t just a place to learn, it’s a place to grow

“By receiving three amazing scholarships I am able to walk out of ECC debt-free, knowing I will be able to start a great career without anything holding me back.”

Ivan Roman
Accomplishment | Staff Profile
Published 05/14/2019

Ivan Roman: ECC’s unique opportunities changed my life

“My time at this institution changed my life. ECC focuses a lot more on who you can become instead of who you are.”

Tyson Jenkins
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Tyson Jenkins: At ECC, I’ve learned how to help change the world

“I don’t know where I would be had I not started at ECC, but I truly believe that I would be nowhere near as successful as I am today.”

Taryn White
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Taryn White: My journey in ECC’s welding program has been amazing

“Going back to school in your thirties can be really scary. My journey, however, has been amazing. In my short time at ECC, I have gained so much knowledge.”

Rachel Musillami
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Rachel Musillami: ECC is more than an education

“ECC has been more than just an educational experience for me. I have met some of the most impactful professors who have helped guide me through my studies.”

Mary Corona
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Mary Corona: ECC helped me grow into the leader I am today

“I’m glad I decided to come to ECC. Not only did ECC help me find ways to pay for college, but it helped me find the family I’ve grown fond of in Student Life.”

Luz Silva
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Luz Silva: College seemed unattainable until I enrolled at ECC

Luz Silva shares her experience at Elgin Community College as a time that challenged her but helped her grow as a leader.

Brianna Paulino
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Brianna Paulino: Elgin Community College pushed me in the right direction

“You feel the support here at ECC. I met staff leaders who always looked out for me and made sure I had the resources I needed.”

Andrea Haas
Accomplishment | Student Profile
Published 05/10/2019

Andrea Haas: Because of ECC, I have confidence in myself and for my future

“ECC has given me direction, a sense of purpose, and hope for not only my future, but for the future I will be able to provide for my children.”

Macaela Banks posed with a small dog
Accomplishment | Faculty Profile | Staff Profile
Published 05/06/2019

Banks looks back on her ECC tenure with gratitude

Over her 20-year career at ECC, Micaela Banks has made a real impact on the lives of her students. As the Director of Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE) prepares for retirement, Banks reflects on her ECC experience and her colleagues with a feeling of sincere gratitude.

Charron Banazack
Faculty Profile
Published 04/22/2019

Banaszak's many hats include handbell musician, board game sleuth

Charron Banaszak, office coordinator in Teaching, Learning, and Student Development wears many administrative hats in her role at ECC. She supports the Honors Program by processing student applications, monitoring enrollment and eligibility, and assists with events as well as the budget.

Ranae Ziwiski
Faculty Profile
Published 04/08/2019

Ziwiski supports students as they create their stories

Assistant Professor of Accounting and Instructional Coordinator Ranae Ziwiski may teach accounting, but a big part of her job is supporting Elgin Community College students as they create their life stories.

Virginia 'Ginger' McHugh-Kurtz
Faculty Profile
Published 03/08/2019

From student to faculty: McHugh-Kurtz knows ECC from all angles

Virginia (Ginger) McHugh-Kurtz’s first experience at Elgin Community College was as a student. When she decided to work at the college, her first experience took a familiar turn.

Sara Baker in the classroom
Faculty Profile
Published 02/25/2019

Baker helps students map out their futures

Associate Professor of English Sara Baker has been helping students map out their futures since she started at Elgin Community College in 2002, fresh out of her master's degree program and ready to play an important part in her students' lives.

David Davin
Administrator Profile | Foundation
Published 02/07/2019

Davin dedicated to changing students’ lives

Nothing is more likely to change a person’s future for the better than higher education. David Davin, executive director of institutional advancement and the Elgin Community College Foundation, remembers when he learned this lesson.

Steven Tucholski profile picture
Faculty Profile
Published 01/25/2019

Tucholski teaches life lessons through economics

Thirty years ago, if you asked Economics Adjunct Faculty member Steve Tucholski what he wanted to do with this life, his answer would have been to end up exactly where he is now: retired from corporate life and back to teaching economics.

Minerva Negrón-Figueroa profile picture
Staff Profile
Published 01/18/2019

For Negrón-Figueroa, mentoring means the most

For Office Coordinator Minerva Negrón-Figueroa, being able to mentor other Elgin Community College staff members and see them grow professionally is her greatest accomplishment.

Mia Hardy profile picture
Administrator Profile
Published 01/11/2019

Hardy puts positivity, students first

For Interim Associate Dean of Communications and Behavioral Sciences Mia Hardy, life is as sweet as you make it. Read more about Hardy, her philosophy on life, and how being an associate dean is a lot like being a student.

Gema Macklin profile picture
Administrator Profile
Published 01/04/2019

Making connections: Macklin delivers

Late last month, while the college was closed for winter recess and most employees were taking a well-deserved break, Manager of Receiving, Records Retention and Mail Operations Gema Macklin and her department held limited office hours to ensure Elgin Community College’s mail operations continued to run smoothly.

People have fun during Campus Jam
Student Resources
Published 01/01/2019

Your guide to a great spring semester at ECC (You’ll want to save this.)

The beginning of spring semester at Elgin Community College will be here before you know it! Are you as excited as we are?