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Inside: Artist Behind the Mask Real-life Crime Sleuths From Silo to Hoop House The Joys of Life-long Learning

College of Lake County


Contents FEATURES 3

Artist Behind the Mask Master mask-maker Jeff Semmerling has established a business that allows him to practice his art, earn a living and do good.


Real-life Crime Sleuths On television crime dramas, the life of evidence sleuths is filled with glamour and drama. The reality is far different, our experts say.


From Silo to Hoop House The Grayslake campus was built on farmland. Now, the college is teaching students how to make small-scale local farming profitable, and CLC is bringing a portion of the campus back to agriculture.


Lifelong Learning

To Our Readers: As you head to the beach, backyard or favorite spot for summer reading, don’t forget to take this issue with you. You’ll enjoy an intriguing mix of stories as varied as a pot-luck picnic. Start with our cover story of Jeff Semmerling, an accomplished mask maker who has turned his chosen art form into a livelihood and powerful tool for doing social good. Then, learn how television provides a distorted picture of scientific crime detection. Sarah Owen and other real-life forensic science professionals reveal how Hollywood gets the story wrong. And stay current with CLC by reading about the college’s new sustainable agriculture program and how it is encouraging production of locally grown food. Wrap up with our story on the opportunities for lifelong learning offered by the Discovery! and Quest programs. Julie Shroka, Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events

CLC’s Discovery! and Quest programming for seniors proves learning knows no age.




Sports Update


News Roundup


Class Notes


Upcoming Events

AlumNews AlumNews is published three times a year by the College of Lake County’s Office of Alumni Relations and Special Events. Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events JULIE SHROKA Administrative Secretary DORAE BLOCK To submit story ideas, email Dave Fink, AlumNews editor, at or call him at (847) 543-2243.

Cover: Former CLC theatre student Jeff Semmerling in his Chicago mask-making studio. Cover photo credit: Eric Fogleman 2 | COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY

Address change? Call (847) 543-2400. Share memories, ideas and comments at the CLC alumni website, at


Artist Behind the Mask Master mask-maker Jeff Semmerling has established a business that allows him to practice his art, earn a living and do good.



hen Jeff Semmerling (’79) was a young actor working in New Orleans, he attended his first Mardi Gras. The year was 1983, and he found the blizzard of confetti falling on brightly costumed revelers a dazzling sight. “It was like roller blinds going up in my head. Just amazing,” he recalled. Continue to page 4


COVER STORY Artist behind the mask continued from page 3

Semmerling marveled at how the costumes and festival seemed to liberate people from their cares about making money or achieving personal success. “Each person had this brilliant expression,” he said. “I saw people put aside themselves for a day to do something fun.” The experience was an epiphany for Semmerling, one of several that have shaped his life and career as an internationally known Chicago-based theatrical mask maker who also volunteers his talents around the world on behalf of social causes.

A Lake County beginning Semmerling’s artistic journey began as a child growing up in Lake Villa, where he did puppet shows at home for his family and at his grade school. While attending Grant High School, he

acted in stage plays, and after graduating, he enrolled at CLC. He continued to act (in such productions as “Status Quo Vadis”) and “took every theatre class that they taught.” Even though the facilities were limited—CLC’s theatre program was located in a “temporary” building, he learned elements of craft that prepared him well for transfer to Northwestern University as a theatre major. “At CLC, we had to do everything–set building, prop storage, costuming,” he said. “I met people at Northwestern who were impressed by the theatre training I had received at CLC.” After graduating from Northwestern in 1981, Semmerling began building an acting resume, taking jobs at Renaissance fairs and in theatre at venues like Baltimore’s Blackbird Theatre Company.

The experience at Mardi Gras, however, gradually changed his career goals. He had come to New Orleans on a winter break from Renaissance Fairs to be part of a Commedia dell’arte troupe that performed in masks, re-creating classic comic characters like the harlequin. Through commedia and Mardi Gras, Semmerling began to see the potential of masks to blend together several aspects of the arts. “It’s painting. It’s sculpture. It’s performance. It’s intellectually stimulating in lots of ways,” he said. The performance aspect of mask-making also tapped into something else he values about theatre: people working together for a common goal. “I studied theatre because I really like this sort of group thing that happens in theatre, where you’re not just working alone. You’re working with other people on something that’s bigger than you can do yourself,” he said. While beginning his mask-making business, Semmerling took courses in both art and anthropology. The art classes made a “big difference in my masks” in terms of aesthetic quality, he said. The anthropology classes taught him more about the cultural role of masks in festivals —a society’s way of having communal fun. “You have to have something you’re living for that’s more than money,” he said.

“… I really like this sort of group thing that happens in theatre, where you’re not just working alone. You’re working with other people on something that’s bigger than you can do yourself.” —Jeff Semmerling (’79)

Jeff Semmerling (seated, left) in a scene from 1978 CLC theatre production of Status Quo Vadis.


In 1986, Semmerling and business partner Sonja Schaeffer, opened Semmerling & Schaefer Mask Studios. For the last 10 years, the business has operated out of Inside Out Art Studio, a


Semmerling (center) demonstrates mask-making techniques while serving as an artist-in-residence at Indiana University.

Montrose Avenue storefront that Semmerling co-founded with his wife, Donna Lurie. At this location, they have served both commercial clients like Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Goodman Theatre and individual customers while also offering workshops on the art of mask-making.

Clowns for peace In 2000, Semmerling, who has also worked as a clown and puppeteer, participated in a performance tour of Russian orphanages, hospitals and nursing homes with a troupe led by Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams. (Adams is the physician and social activist who was profiled in the 1998 motion picture “Patch Adams,” starring Robin Williams.) Semmerling took a box of clown noses and little toys with him to give away at the orphanages, but soon found that he was receiving more than he gave. “I gave one of the kids a present, and she left and came back with one of her few toys, a little plastic panda bear that was a

beloved children’s cartoon character. I still have that toy,” he said. Semmerling said the experience “opened the floodgates” for him. “I realized, ‘Wow! This act of giving is better than taking.’” A year later, he and a friend went to Italy to teach mask making and then to civil-war-torn Macedonia to entertain and serve as a force for peace. Back at home, he started a local chapter of Clowns for Peace, part of the Gesundheit! Instititute founded by Adams. “Our motto is a pretty simple message: ‘Spread kindness and love through clowns,’” Semmerling said. As a clown and mask maker, Semmerling has been active in educational programs. He has taught teenagers and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, and he has conducted after-school programs in challenged neighborhoods of Chicago. “When I teach, I point out that making art is a lot like life.” he said. “You make choices and end up with something unique because of your choices, and just

“Spread kindness and love through clowns.” — Clowns for Peace motto like in life, if you don’t like where it’s getting you, you can always start over.” As Semmerling sees it, masks have a therapeutic value, giving people permission to reveal and accept parts of themselves they usually hide. “It’s really important to get over yourself and dress up,” said Semmerling. “We feel we have to protect the ego and persona by behaving with control. Our real self is something different than the one that we want others to know.” Dressing up helps break down social barriers, satisfies the human need for festival and adds fun and spontaneity to daily life, he said. “I think being an artist is as good as being a doctor because you are changing people,” said Semmerling, who takes pride in wearing a smile


COVER STORY Artist behind the mask continued from page 5

mask whenever he walks through an airport, or “rat maze” as he calls it. “Our challenge is to not live in a rut, but our lives can so easily go there.” Semmerling’s mask-making seminars and summer camps complement his mask sales, which he says are seasonal. Peak times include Mardi Gras and Halloween. Masquerade weddings are a newer niche, and he’s seeing more operas among his commercial clients. Jennifer Caprio, resident costume designer for Minneapolis’ Mill City Summer Opera, hired Semmerling to create masks for commedia clowns Nedda and Canio in the opera “Pagliacci.” “The masks were lightweight, sturdy and breathable, which made the opera singers very happy,” Caprio said. “They were just beautiful to look at, and the craftsmanship was the best I’ve ever seen.” This spring, Jeff Semmerling was named as CLC’s nominee for the statewide 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award sponsored by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. In November, Jeff’s studio will relocate to a much larger space in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood. To learn more about him, visit

Above: Mill City Summer Opera production of “Pagliacci.” Photo © Michal Daniel, 2012. Below: Animal masks om Florida Grande Opera’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” 2012. Jeff in his ubiquitous “smile” mask.



Sarah Owen is portrayed in a typical lab setting at the Grayslake campus to demonstrate the actual tools she uses in her profession. The college has an evidence microscope available for classroom use.

Real-life A Crime Sleuths On television crime dramas, the life of evidence sleuths is filled with glamour and drama. The reality is far different, our experts say.

sleek crime fighter wearing a leather jacket, sunglasses and stilettos speeds to a crime scene in a Hummer. The evidence she collects is rushed to the lab, the findings processed in minutes with state-of-the-art equipment. Her razor sharp intuition is confirmed. The DNA of the culprit everyone else fails to suspect is all over the evidence. So goes a typical plotline of wildly popular crime shows like “CSI.” The reality is far different, as judged by the experiences of criminal justice experts such as forensic scientist Sarah Owen (’03), adjunct professor and police commander John Briscoe, and network security analysts Ken Kerasek and Sunshine Voelker, who received training in CLC’s digital forensics program. What happens at rapid-fire pace in an hour crime show in reality often involves slow, methodical work and little glamour.

Obtaining a DNA sample, for example, often means examining clothing and bedding that can be blood-soaked or stained with semen or saliva. It’s part of the job, like painstakingly piecing evidence together. “They (television characters) do blood work or some fingerprinting, and the suspect’s face pops up on a screen in a matter of seconds, showing who it matches,” said Owen, who holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, with a concentration in criminalistics. “There aren’t computer systems out there to do that,” she said, shaking her head. In the real world, it can take weeks to analyze a piece of evidence, have it peer reviewed and produce a final report, Owen said. Continued to page 8



TV compresses time on digital tasks, too, according to Briscoe. A sworn officer for 24 years, he has worked in computer forensics since 1999 and has taught the subject at CLC for the past seven years. “With large-capacity hard drives, it’s not uncommon to need as much as 40 hours to do a preliminary search,” he explained. “TV dramas make it seem as if records can be searched and the case wrapped up in 30 minutes.” TV characters often act as if they can extract anything from a computer, regardless of its condition, noted Sunshine Voelker, who now works at a Chicago consulting firm. “The reality is that if a hard drive is damaged in a fire, the data is not always recoverable,” she said.

Documentation and teamwork Much of the work in forensics involves documentation and report writing. “You need to be able to archive information in your file,” Briscoe said, noting that some court proceedings don’t take place for a year or two after the crime happens. “You absolutely need to have everything well-documented,” said Owen. “When I testify in court, the opposing attorney is


trying to discredit the evidence and findings—or even me as a scientist.” Indeed, testifying in court is another critical, and sometimes nerve-wracking, task that is ignored or downplayed on TV, Owen said. Television, Owen said, tends to conflate roles in the lab, showing one person doing everything. “The person is a DNA analyst, they process for fingerprints, they’re doing the investigative work, they are collecting evidence and they’re processing everything at the crime lab.” In real life, Owen explained, forensic scientists often phone detectives and investigators working the case to ensure that the evidence is suitable for testing. Also, it’s not uncommon to consult with peers in other labs, discussing analytical techniques on a case that you haven’t encountered before, she said. Briscoe concurs. “No one person knows it all,” he said. “I’ve consulted with others on new technologies such as facial recognition.” Networking is also important to contain costs. “With limited budgets, nobody has glamorous labs available, with every means possible to dissect data,” said Ken Kerasek, who is a network security analyst

in AON/Hewitt’s Lincolnshire office and has completed several CLC digital forensics classes. “Typically, you reach out to peers and other forensics investigators.”

“CSI Effect” The popularity of crimes shows has created what Owen calls the “CSI effect” in the courtroom. “When you go to court, the jurors expect you to always have fingerprint evidence and DNA evidence on everything—even though that might not be an essential part of the investigation,” said Owen, who avoids watching the shows. “And if you weren’t able to get DNA results on something, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that individual is innocent. It just means that DNA wasn’t present. But it (DNA evidence) may not even be necessary, because there’s other corroborating evidence through the investigations.” Owen said it’s important for colleges “to stress the scientific foundation of forensic science as well as the investigations part.” A forensic science career requires, minimally, a bachelor’s degree in either chemistry or biology, she said. She highly recommends an internship before graduation to see if the field is a good fit. For digital forensics, at least a two-year degree in computer technology, with hands-on courses in digital forensics, is recommended. And with constantly changing technology, continuing education and networking are critical, Owen and Briscoe noted. Hollywood aside, Owen finds her career a rewarding one. “It feels good to know that you help get criminals off the street, provide closure for victims and exonerate the wrongfully accused,” she said.


From Silo to Hoop House The Grayslake campus was built on farmland. Now, the college is teaching students how to make small-scale local farming profitable, and CLC is bringing a portion of the campus back to agriculture.


n a sunny May morning, Gianna Fazioli, (pictured above) a local foods coordinator and instructor in the college’s new sustainable agriculture program, helps a dozen students set up hoses to irrigate a 2,000square-foot production plot near the greenhouse on the Grayslake campus. It’s the start of a growing season that will produce fresh lettuce, tomatoes and other produce for Lancer’s and Prairie, two restaurants on the campus. Just a few steps away from the plot is a vintage stone silo, a vivid reminder that CLC’s Grayslake campus was built on a site that was once farmland. The college is restoring a small portion of the campus to farming to teach students practices that can make smallscale, local farming economically viable for producing healthful, fresh-tasting food. Launched last year, the sustainable agriculture program includes a 63-credit associate degree and a 25-credit certificate. The students

enrolled range from recent high-school graduates to mid-life career changers, and the program emphasizes hands-on learning. Sustainable farming differs from traditional farming in several ways, according to Rory Klick, chair of the CLC’s horticulture program. “A traditional farmer typically grows a commodity crop of corn or soybeans on 200-plus acres, using pesticides and chemical fertilizers and harvests once a year,” she said. A sustainable farm, by contrast, she said, is usually four to 20 acres and grows many types of fruits and vegetables that need to be harvested at different times of the year. Crops range from beans, cabbage and winter squash to strawberries and tomatoes. Instead of chemical fertilizers, the farmer tends to use crop rotation and composting techniques and natural means rather than pesticides to control insects. Sustainable agriculture can coexist with traditional farming, Klick said. “A growing

number of downstate Illinois farmers who raise subsidized, commodity crops of corn and soybeans are seeing profit in setting aside five to 10 acres for berries, fruits and vegetables,” she said. Locally grown food also makes sense environmentally, Klick said, because food isn’t trucked great distances, and greenhouse gases and fuel consumption are reduced. “The average meal travels 1500 miles before it gets to your plate,” she explained. “Illinois spends $48 billion annually on food, and only 1 percent of this is purchased from local Illinois farms. This despite Illinois having some of the most fertile soil in the Midwest.” The 2007 Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act calls for a statewide 20 percent procurement goal of local food by the year 2020, Fazioli added, and the new sustainable agriculture program is designed to help meet the demand. Continued to page 10 ALUMNEWS | 9

COLLEGE FOCUS From silo to hoop house continued from page 9

The sustainable agriculture program’s practical approach is evident in course names, which include Annual Fruit and Vegetable Production and Season Extension Methods. One technology that will be used in the latter course is a new hoop house being constructed this summer on the Grayslake campus. A greenhouse-style structure, a hoop house consists of metal frames, or hoops, that support transparent plastic. Sunlight warms the inside air and soil to a temperature conducive to planting. “The main advantage is being able to start your crops earlier and continue to harvest them late into the winter,” Fazioli said. The hoop house is the latest in the college’s efforts to provide more locally grown food in both Lancer’s and the student-managed Prairie restaurant. Beginning last summer, both restaurants began serving limited quantities of campus-grown lettuce and tomatoes, earning a thumbs-up from customers, according to chef Rob Wygant, co-chair of the hospitality and culinary arts department. The eventual goal is to have the CLC farm supply 20 percent of the restaurant’s produce, Fazioli said. For their part, students in the sustainable agriculture program say they are reaping a bounty of benefits. “We’re not just reading a book, we’re going out and we’re doing it,” said Eddie Popelka (’09) a CLC maintenance engineer who is now working on a sustainable agriculture degree. In a few years, he plans to open a sustainable farm to supplement his passion for beekeeping. The best part of locally grown food, according to Popelka, is its unbeatable taste and the knowledge of where it came from. “I’m going to start making more educated decisions on the food I buy; who I buy it from and where I buy it. Just being a part of growing a garden that’s going to provide food for our college and our community, really makes me feel more of a part of our community,” he said. Find out more at 10 | COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY

Horticulture students and staff install drip irrigation hoses for spring planting, with CLC’s original farm silo in the background.


Lifelong Learning CLC’s Discovery! and Quest programming for seniors proves learning knows no age.


oward Koster, a retired salesman and Lincolnshire resident, listened with interest to a lecture on the D-Day invasion offered as part of a College of Lake County course for seniors. Though the lecture was informative, the topic came alive for Koster when another student, an older man, began sharing his war-time experiences. “He was in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and was a paratrooper behind enemy lines,” Koster said. Koster said the instructor, Gary Midkiff, drew the veteran out, even though the man was “humble about what he did and didn’t want to talk about it.” Eventually, the class learned that the student had been in the Battle of the Bulge,

and he spoke with first-person knowledge about the battle and the rivalry between division commanders. “He helped us appreciate what took place in the war,” Koster said. CLC’s programs for adults 50 and older are designed to provide such opportunities for mature students to learn not just from instructors but also from each other. “Mature students have a lifetime of experiences to share,” said Georgianne Marcinkovich, who coordinates the programming, which includes the popular “Discovery!” series of courses offered in the fall and spring and the “Quest” one-week seminars offered in the summer.

Discovery! courses are offered in a variety of formats—a single session, multiple sessions or day field trips. All are designed to inspire the joy of learning without tests or grades. Some courses have humorous titles like “Unconditionally, Categorically, Totally Beginning Computer” or “Chicago’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Others focus on weightier topics like “The Abrahamic Religions” and “The Eight Most Important Battles during the Civil War.” Student feedback is an important source of course topic ideas, according to Marcinkovich. Creativity has been a hallmark of Discovery! since it began in the early 1990s as classes offered aboard a Metra train car traveling from



Highland Park to downtown Chicago. The courses were part of a joint promotional effort between CLC and Metra, recalled Sheila Marks who was the first director of the program. Quest courses are based on the Elderhostel model. Courses meet for four consecutive days and focus in-depth on topics such as American culture of the 1950s, Marcinkovich said. In each program, students enjoy the chance to learn and make new friends, two factors that contribute to a healthy, happy—and youthfulretirement, according to the landmark Harvard University study of adult development. Making friends and studying favorite subjects, especially movies and history, keeps Heidi Mullejans coming back to both the Discovery! and Quest programs. The Deerfield resident and retired math teacher says the number of courses

she’s taken is “in the double digits,” with topics ranging from the First Amendment to the films of Marilyn Monroe. John Kupetz, a CLC professor of multimedia and mass communications, taught the Marilyn Monroe course. “We saw three movies on Marilyn Monroe, and I am amazed about what he (Kupetz) knows about the actors, their lives, the producers and the story lines,” Mullejans said. Kupetz and many other instructors for the Discovery! and Quest programs teach regular, credit-based CLC courses during the day, and they relish the chance to teach older students. “With traditional age students, you need to fill in a lot of historical details,” said Kupetz. “They may not understand a passing reference to Elvis, the Beatles or Sen. Joe McCarthy

as much as the retirees. But the retirees know it.” Kupetz also appreciates the enthusiasm of Discovery! students. “They bring a lifetime of experience,” he said. “The discussions are incredibly lively, and I don’t have to work hard to draw things out (of them). Actually, I learn a lot from them and I always feel upbeat after teaching the class. It’s something I really enjoy.” Kupetz’s views are echoed by John Tenuto, a CLC sociology professor who has taught Discovery! courses ranging from “The Science of Star Trek” to “What 1960s Advertisements Tell Us About Then and Now.” “These students have such an enthusiasm for learning that it makes you want to be the best you can be for them,” Tenuto said. Learn more about Discovery! and Quest at

Bus tours (such as this one led by Laurel Kaiser) and visiting sites ranging from architectural icons to Chicago’s theatres are part of Discovery! course offerings.



A Dream Fulfilled 13 years ago, the CLC Foundation adopted a North Chicago kindergarten class, making a commitment to helping the kids to dream big.

Le: ”I Have a Dream” scholars Charles Jones and Kashmir McElrath in 2013 Right: Charles presenting paper in 2005


n 2000, when Charles Jones and Kashmir McElrath were kindergarten students in North Chicago, the members of their class were told they were special and that they would have a special new name— “Dreamers.” In a community where many students drop out of school, their class would participate in a program offered just for them with the goal of helping them stay in school and go on to college. Charles and Kashmir became “Dreamers” when the CLC Foundation committed to participate in the national I Have a Dream® (IHD) program. Over the years, the Foundation has contributed $260,000 to fund learning support services and cultural enrichment activities for the students. And as an inducement to finishing high school and enrolling in college, IHD also committed to providing “last dollar” college tuition assistance, making up the difference between tuition and other scholarships the students might receive. This spring Charles and Kashmir, along with 23 of their classmates, graduated from North Chicago High School and other area high schools, and all of the students are continuing on to further education.

“The support of the College of Lake County Foundation has been instrumental in helping to shape the lives of Dreamers,” said Janae Denton, who has coordinated the program since 2004. “Several have made the decision to start at CLC. We truly appreciate the support this opportunity has afforded our students and know that it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the College of Lake County Foundation.” In addition to participating in after-school study groups, field trips and other learning activities, the students enjoyed the chance to build leadership skills by helping other students. At North Chicago High School, Jones founded a poetry workshop aimed at promoting positive self-expression. “It was amazing,” he said. “There are teens who don’t express themselves well and usually get their feelings out by fighting. But in the group, people who you didn’t think had poetic skills actually had ability. And it made me happy to see joy in people.” McElrath, who served on the North Chicago High School student council, visited the local middle school to talk with students about preparing for high school. “Set goals and chal-

lenge yourself,” she advised the students. “Take advanced and honors classes.” Outside the school, Jones and McElrath, along with their IHAD peers, enjoyed community service activities, which included regular visits to Alzheimer’s patients in Zion. With high school now a memory, McElrath plans to attend Agnes Scott College in Georgia as a psychology major. Jones will attend Lake Forest College, where he plans to major in mathematics and psychology. He wants to become a math teacher. William Devore, retired executive director of the CLC Foundation, said he is “thrilled” at the program’s success. “All these students came from challenging economic backgrounds, and now to see them all graduate and head off to college is extremely special,” he said. “The CLC Foundation is committed to changing lives through its financial support of students and academic programs, so we feel privileged to have had the opportunity to help these young people reach their educational goals and become all they can be.” For more information or to contribute, visit ALUMNEWS | 13


Men’s basketball


Men’s basketball posted a 7-22 record in the first year under coach Chuck Ramsey, who previously had an historic run coaching Warren High School’s boys basketball team in Gurnee. Ramsey set a Lake County high school record of more than 400 career wins.

Women’s softball posted a 27-12 record and advanced to the Region IV finals in Freeport, Ill., losing 5-4 to Kankakee Community College in the championship game. Two players were named to the NJCAA All-American Team: shortstop/ outfielder Brenda Botzenhart and first/third baseman Sally Snarski.

Women’s basketball Women’s basketball finished with a record of 16-14. The team was led by two All Skyway Conference selections, Amanda Davis and Donnie Taggart. Taggart was named to the all-regional team.

Men’s tennis Men’s tennis finished the season with a 4-4 record.

Baseball Men’s baseball finished with a 20-18 record. Pitcher Chris DeRue posted an earned-run-average of 0.28, ranking him first in the nation for NJCAA Division 2 schools. He also was named to the Skyway all-conference team and was nominated for the all-regional team.

CLC basketball player and coach honored by Skyway Conference Hannah Woods, member of the 2012-13 Lancer women’s basketball team, has won the prestigious Dick Durrant Academic Award from the Skyway Conference. The award is given to the student athlete with the highest GPA with at least 48 credit hours earned. Woods graduated from CLC in May 2013 with a 4.0 GPA. In addition, 13 other CLC student athletes were honored for achieving a minimum 3.0 GPA average with at least 48 credit hours. Woods is the ninth student athlete from CLC to win the award and the fourth women’s basketball player to win. Woods earned an Associate in Science degree from CLC in May. She plans to continue basketball at the intramural level this fall after transferring to Purdue University to major in chemical engineering. “The best part about sports at CLC is walking onto the court for practice each day hearing your name happily shouted from many different directions,” Woods said. “And Coach (Bill) Braman encouraged us to also excel in academics, making it possible for me to handle a full class load in the Honors Program while playing college sports. My time at CLC was well worth it.


Hannah Woods with her parents. She is transfering to Purdue University and majoring in chemical engineering.

”I loved the small class sizes because it felt like one big family. The teachers at CLC encouraged us to think for ourselves while guiding us in the right direction. My fellow students were supportive and made my community college experience more fun than I ever imagined.” In addition, former CLC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Richard Watson was inducted into the Skyway Conference Hall of Fame. During Watson’s tenure as coach, CLC teams won five consecutive Skyway Conference Championships in women’s tennis and four out of five in men’s tennis. The women’s team finished in the top five nationally on five occasions culminating with a season that included 24 out of 25 wins and a second place finish at the national championships. The awards were presented June 13 at the Illinois Skyway conference, held at McHenry County College.


Keep learning, business leader tells Class of 2013 “Reboot yourself through life-long learning and look for ways to give back as a mentor or tutor,” Dean DeBiase advised the Class of 2013 at two commencement ceremonies held May 18 in the Physical Education Center at the college’s Grayslake campus. DeBiase, who lives in Lake Forest, is a business leader, entrepreneur and the author, with Seth Godin of the best-selling business book “The Big Moo.” He enrolled at CLC in 1975 and transferred a few credits short of earning a degree. At commencement, he received an honorary associate degree and CLC’s Illinois Outstanding Citizen Award.

Foundation Golf Outing raises $35,000 The annual Joan Legat Memorial Golf Outing, held June 3 at Glen Flora Country Club in Waukegan, raised $35,000 for the CLC Foundation’s scholarship fund, according to Julie Shroka, director of Alumni Relations and Special Events. The event drew 110 golfers.

Alumni website now links easily to social networking sites The front page of the CLC Alumni website now contains buttons for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, allowing easy access to the top social networking sites. On LinkedIn, more than 300 CLC graduates have formed a CLC alumni community. Find out more at New to the site? Click the First-time Login link at the top of the home page.

Request, receive CLC transcripts online Starting this September, alumni can request electronic delivery of their CLC transcripts online. With free electronic delivery of official transcripts, you will get immediate confirmation that your transcript has been sent to you, an employer or another college. Transcripts can also be mailed or picked up in the Admissions and Records office. For transcript requests, visit

Class Notes Karen Dewitt (’73) earned an M.F.A. in studio art from Southern Illinois University with a specialty in drawing. Since 1977, she and her husband have co-owned a picture frame shop in Matteson, Ill. Karen is also a self-published author and blogger at Jean Porter (’73), a registered nurse, earned a B.S.N. from Denver’s Metropolitan State University in 1984. Now retired from full-time nursing, she works part time in the Denver area and enjoys traveling.

Robert A. Burkhart (’78), who earned an A.A.S. in nursing from the college in 1981, is now retired after 35 years in nursing. He and his wife Dixie have settled in Michigan and are enjoying life on their small farm. Jay Maningo-Salinas (’92), R.N., Ph.D., is the administrative director of ambulatory nursing services at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Ariz. In May, she was elected to a three-year term as president of a professional organization representing 3,000 registered nurses of Filipino descent. Anna Jones (’96) has earned a master’s degree in professional counseling from Argosy University. Val Munchez-van der Wagt (’05) is a chief underwriter and senior division manager at Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate Corp.

Blake Hudson (’10) is a staff intern in the Illinois State Senate in Springfield, where he works in communications and public affairs.

In memoriam: Ann Wezowski (’04), passed away March 22 after a battle with cancer.

New online survey to gather alumni feedback in planning events, offerings What kind of events, volunteer opportunities and communication would you like to see from your CLC Alumni Association? Take a few minutes to complete the online survey, which will close September 15, 2013.

What have you been doing lately? Let other alumni know! Submit your submissions online at Use the pull-down menu to post in either the careers section or the message board that corresponds with your graduation decade.

Click or scan this Quick Response (QR) code with your smart phone. First 20 alumni to complete the survey will receive a CLC Alumni commemorative bookmark.



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The Capitol Steps

Lake Geneva Oktoberfest

Bus Stop

Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 13

By William Inge Directed by Thomas B. Mitchell

Mainstage Theatre, Regular $42/38/32

Cost: $45 adults $35 children 10 and under

Senior/Staff/Alumni $41/37/31 CLC Student $15/Teen $15* Always fresh, “The Capitol Steps” digs into the headlines of the day and creates song parodies and skits that convey a special brand of satirical humor. They've been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS, and can be heard four times a year on National Public Radio stations nationwide during their “Politics Takes a Holiday” radio specials. To order tickets, call the box office at (847) 543-2300 or visit

Join alumni, friends and family at this annual festival amid fall colors around Lake Geneva. Enjoy polka music, a children’s band, a children’s magic show and the Great Pumpkin Giveaway. Check out the food and craft booths, restaurant and shopping specials, wagon rides, pony rides and much more! Ticket price includes round-trip coach bus and dinner. For more information or to register, visit or call the CLC Alumni Center at (847) 543-2400.

Nov. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. Nov. 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. Studio Theatre Regular $9 CLC/Senior/Teen/JLC Subscribers $7 Other fees may apply. This Tony Award-winning dramatic comedy tells the story of what happens when a bus full of strangers is stranded outside of Kansas City and must spend the night in a roadside diner. At the center of it all is Bo, a headstrong, lovesick cowboy and Cherie, the nightclub singer he is determined to marry. Through laughter, friendship and heartache, these weary travelers get to know each other and themselves a little better in this touching American classic. SPECIAL PRICE TICKETS: Buy one, get one free on Nov. 8 and 14. Special offer not available online. Auditions: September 16 & 17 at 6:30 p.m., Mainstage Theatre (open to the community)

Alum News Summer 2013