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2024

Students smiling in classroom
Going to College
Published 06/13/2024

Why College is Right for You

Is a college education worth it?

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Melia Delaney, student speaker for the Spring 2024 Career and Technical Programs Commencement Ceremony
Accomplishment | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/21/2024

Melia Delaney: It was ECC that helped me make that difference

Let's give another round of applause for our graduates here today! All that work and effort to bring each and every one of us here. It's the work of these 200-plus students that fills this space, with so many more watching online right now.

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Alex Greiff, student speaker for the Spring 2024 University Transfer Commencement Ceremony
Accomplishment | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/21/2024

Alexander Greiff: Never forget what you have accomplished here

The American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey. Truer words were never spoken. My journey here at ECC has been nothing short of remarkable.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 graduate Kimberly Carreto-Duran
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Kimberly Carreto-Duran: I decided I wouldn't let my fear bring me down

During my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to join the Dual Credit Program at Elgin Community College. At first, I was very doubtful about it. I didn't know if I was capable enough to take on this challenge and if it was going to be good for my mental health.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Julian Juarez
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Julian Juarez: I have found purpose and meaning in my life and future

My time at Elgin Community College has been nothing short of an enlightening experience and the beauty of graphic design. Throughout my three years, I have been supported by encouraging professors, talented classmates, and kind friends.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Fitz Ramirez
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Fitz Ramirez: I have learned and accomplished much more than I thought I ever would

When I first graduated high school, I was not entirely sure what career I wanted to pursue. So, when I enrolled at Elgin Community College, I went for an Associate in Arts degree to get my general education courses out of the way and explore different fields to discover the career I am passionate about.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Fatima Ahmed
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Fatima Ahmed: Every opportunity I discovered, I attempted to take advantage of

I didn’t expect much of ECC, especially since I had heard little about it. However, in an effort to act alongside my mindset of ‘new school, new me,’ I entered excited yet neutral with the simple goal of having better experiences than my past two years. ECC began to exceed my expectations quickly.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Elizabeth Del Rio
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Elizabeth Del Rio: Do not be afraid to put yourself out there

I am a first-generation college student; both my parents are Mexican immigrants. They wanted me to have better opportunities than they did, and thanks to their sacrifice and daily motivation, I am now the first in my family to graduate college.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 graduate Diana Ayala
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Diana Ayala: I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone

My time at Elgin Community College has been a journey of self-discovery. Right after school, I felt lost in what career path to follow. I decided to attend a community college to explore my options and transfer to a four-year college because I ultimately knew I wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Chuck Snoad
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Chuck Snoad: At ECC, I recognize the values that brought me to the mental health field

I have lived experience with mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety. In the spring of 2022, I heard about the Recovery Support Specialist program at Elgin Community College while attending a National Alliance on Mental Illness support group. Open to sharing my recovery story to help others heal—the core component of working as a recovery support specialist—I applied online and was accepted within a week.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Christopher Ferrusca Nava
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Christopher Ferrusca Nava: It’s not always about how you start; it's how you finish

On March 20, 2022, I was honorably discharged from the United States Navy, culminating almost four years of active duty service. Many people have asked me why I chose to join the military, particularly at 18. The truth is, at that time, I didn't have a clear direction for my life after high school.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Arielle Gonzalez-Guerra with her daughters, Ava and Lydia
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Arielle Gonzalez-Guerra: I’ve never been prouder to be a student at ECC

I knew I wanted to do something to help survivors of abuse, and I knew that a degree might open doors. In my first semester, I took an English course. It was through that class that I discovered my love for writing.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate April Ramangkoun
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

April Ramangkoun: The world is full of good people. If you can’t find one, be one

In 2010, fresh out of high school at the age of 18, I enlisted in the United States Army as a combat medic. During my service, I experienced many things that forced me to ‘grow up’ faster than the average person my age. I spent my 21st birthday celebrating with Welch’s grape juice while deployed in Afghanistan.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Adrian Nevarez
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/15/2024

Adrian Nevarez: ECC provides such a great opportunity

Every day here mostly seems the same. Students, both younger and older, make their way to classes, and the faculty all work to ensure that this area is a great place for that. For the two years I attended Elgin Community College, that’s what it looked like on the surface.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Matt Brady
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2024

Matt Brady: This college lives up to its name: A community

My attendance at Elgin Community College was born out of uncertainty about the future. Right on the heels of leaving for an expensive four-year college in 2021, I began to question whether the life-changing decision I was about to make was right.

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Elgin Community College Spring 2024 Graduate Loreanne Ugochukwu
Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/14/2024

Loreanne Ugochukwu: Don’t let anyone make you believe you can’t

I remember driving past Elgin Community College a few times over the years and thought, “Wow, such beautiful grounds.” It didn’t look anything like I had envisioned a community college to look like. I got the nudge to go back to school after hearing an ad on the radio that talked about obtaining a degree in two years would allow you to work with children in foster care.

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ECC student Michael Hall
Student Profile
Published 05/06/2024

Meet Michael Hall

Elgin Community College student Michael Hall interacts with many faces on campus as a student worker for the café and cafeteria. The convenience of an on-campus job has kept Hall behind the counter for the past two years.

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Nicole Brown, student success coach
Staff Profile
Published 04/29/2024

Take Five with...Nick Brown

Nick Brown, student success coach, is an Elgin Community College Alum and happy to be back in the hallways he once graced as a student.

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ECC student-athlete Ty Sierpien
Student Profile
Published 04/22/2024

Meet Ty Sierpien

Elgin Community College student-athlete Ty Sierpien’s last semester at ECC is coming to a bittersweet end this spring. The second baseman and occasional pitcher for the ECC baseball team said he’s enjoying his final season and plans to transfer to Northern Illinois University in the fall.

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Ami Kalisek, massage therapy adjunct faculty member
Faculty Profile
Published 04/15/2024

Take Five with…Ami Kalisek

Ami Kalisek, massage therapy adjunct faculty member, began at Elgin Community College just over 20 years ago. She began teaching at ECC at the start of the Massage Therapy Program and has been a massage therapist since 1989.

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ECC nursing student Nichole Drab
Student Profile
Published 04/11/2024

Meet Nichole Drab

Nearly 20 years after graduating high school, Nichole Drab, is following her passion for nursing.

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Shelby Stanley, ophthalmic technician program director
Academics | Administrator Profile
Published 04/08/2024

Shelby Stanley shares unconventional journey into ophthalmic tech

Since childhood, my fascination with biology and health care sciences has been unwavering. It began with seeing my mother work hard for her nursing degree from a community college.

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ECC student Isabela Olivarez
Student Profile
Published 04/08/2024

Meet Isabela Olivarez

Math lover Isabela Olivarez, a student at Elgin Community College, has had a passion for numbers since she was a little girl. “I’ve taken a lot of math classes here, and when I got into calculus and higher-level classes, I found that I really liked it,” Olivarez said. “It’s a challenge for me, and I like getting to know the answer because there always is one.”

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ECC nursing student Rida Lakhani
Student Profile
Published 04/01/2024

Meet Rida Lakhani

When Elgin Community College student Rida Lakhani of West Dundee entered the nursing program, she was the youngest in her class but held little fear in pursuing her passion for becoming a nurse. Lakhani got her early start in the nursing program because she completed her Associate of Arts degree while simultaneously receiving her high school diploma as a Dual Credit Program student.

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ECC student Lesley Kwarteng
Student Profile
Published 03/18/2024

Meet Lesley Kwarteng

Elgin Community College student Lesley Kwarteng of Elgin said he was a curious child, always asking questions and raising his hand in the classroom. Unexpectedly, a skinned knee when he was younger led to his passion for chemistry, as he questioned what ointments his mom was putting on the injury and why they would help him heal.

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Chris Foster, multimedia and creative services coordinator
Staff Profile
Published 03/18/2024

Take Five with…Chris Foster

Chris Foster, multimedia and creative services coordinator, brought his talents to ECC’s Marketing and Communications Department in October 2022. He was doing similar work at another college, and we couldn’t be happier he’s here as a Spartan, helping develop and produce award-winning video content for the college’s marketing and enrollment efforts.

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Maggie Wright, communications and social media manager
Administrator Profile
Published 03/11/2024

Take Five with…Maggie Wright

Maggie Wright, communications and social media manager, knows what she’s doing when she snaps your photo for a social media post on ECC’s channels. Wright owned her own photography business for 12 years before working in a nonprofit as their fundraising and event coordinator and finding her home here at Elgin Community College in 2023.

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ECC international student Daniel Alves
Student Profile
Published 03/08/2024

Meet Daniel Alves

Elgin Community College international student Daniel Alves is embarking on his next journey here in the US. Originally from Parana, Brazil, the culinary arts graduate decided to enroll in ECC’s criminal justice program.

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ECC student Jess Heiser
Student Profile
Published 03/04/2024

Meet Jess Heiser

Elgin Community College student Jess Heiser of St. Charles said the drive to help people started as a child. Heiser plans on majoring in social work and is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree and an Associate of Applied Science – Human Services Generalist degree.

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Sarah Bass, English adjunct faculty member
Faculty Profile
Published 03/01/2024

Take Five with…Sarah Bass

Sarah Bass, English adjunct faculty member, is a natural teacher and leader. Bass, who grew up in West Chicago, was the oldest of seven siblings. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, double majoring in English Literature and Black Studies.

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Sarah Stayner, office coordinator of enrollment services
Staff Profile
Published 02/23/2024

Take Five with…Sarah Stayner

Many roles at Elgin Community College spill over and splash into multiple departments. That’s never been truer for Sarah Stayner, office coordinator of enrollment services. Stayner supports Admissions & Recruitment, Registration & Records, First Stop, Testing, Global Engagement, and Financial Aid.

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ECC student Esme Rodriguez
Announcement
Published 02/23/2024

Meet Esme Rodriguez

Elgin Community College student Esme Rodriguez said that as high school graduation approached, she was still unsure about which career path to take. But it turns out she didn’t have to search for long. Her passion for automotive work stemmed from a young age, and in the fall 2023 semester, she enrolled at ECC.

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Tremayne Simpson, EdD, associate dean of sustainability, business, and career technologies
Announcement
Published 02/20/2024

Take Five with…Tremayne Simpson

Tremayne Simpson, EdD, associate dean of sustainability, business, and career technologies, is no stranger to higher education. Having worked in the industry for over 15 years, he decided to bring his skills and experience to Elgin Community College in 2023.

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Innocent Ngalewa, ECC international student
Student Profile
Published 02/12/2024

Meet Innocent Ngalewa

In his home country of Tanzania, Africa, Elgin Community College student Innocent Ngalewa practiced medicine — a childhood dream he made his reality through hard work, focus, and grit. Although Ngalewa was living his dream, he said he was barely surviving, making anywhere between $600 and $700 a month. So, in January of 2021, Ngalewa made the courageous decision to move to the United States in search of a better life.

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Patrick Carberry, assistant professor of English
Faculty Profile
Published 02/02/2024

Take Five with…Patrick Carberry

Patrick Carberry, assistant professor of English, joined Elgin Community College just last year, commuting over from Evanston, Ill., where he’s lived for about ten years. Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, Carberry attended Illinois State University on a speech and debate scholarship.

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Ian Smith, ECC student-athlete
Student Profile
Published 02/02/2024

Meet Ian Smith

Like many kids, Ian Smith, of Bartlett, wanted to be a professional athlete, his sights set on the NBA. Although childhood dreams change over time, he showed up strong on the court to play Varsity for three years at his high school and continued to play for the Elgin Community College men’s basketball team.

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ECC student Wanchay Itmis
Student Profile
Published 01/26/2024

Meet Wanchay Itmis

A mother. A wife. A lawyer. An immigrant. After enrolling in one art course at Elgin Community College to allow her daughter access to ECC’s early childhood lab school, Wanchay Itmis adds the title “Artist” to her resume.

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Stephen Stassen, emergency management administrator
Administrator Profile
Published 01/26/2024

Take Five with…Stephen Stassen

Stephen Stassen, emergency management administrator, is here for each of us on Elgin Community College’s campus. In his role, Stassen helps support routine matters like weather forecasts for special events and coordinating responses for potential major disruptions that may affect the college.

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Ryan Kolbusz, ECC student trustee
Student Profile
Published 01/19/2024

Meet Ryan Kolbusz

Ryan Kolbusz, of South Elgin, is charting his way through his final semester at Elgin Community College. As ECC’s 2023-24 student trustee and a student worker at ECC’s First Stop, the college’s information desk, he’s a familiar face ready to go above and beyond to help his peers and the campus community.

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Maria de los Angeles Borrero, manager of community engagement and legislative affairs
Administrator Profile
Published 01/19/2024

Take Five with…María de los Angeles Borrero

Welcome back, María de los Angeles Borrero! Maria joined ECC in August 2023 as the manager of community engagement and legislative affairs but became a Spartan long before that when she enrolled at ECC as a student in 2009.

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