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The KCC Foundation Magazine • Winter 2012


President of Municipal Bank and KCC Alumna of the Year

Enhancing Quality of Life ἀ rough Learning








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LEARNING MORE Cathy Boicken, KCC Alumna of the year





A Very Healthy Partnership Riverside HealthCare

Emergency personnel work with the ER staff to provide the best care possible in the shortest amount of time.


eignited through a collaboration with Riverside HealthCare, KCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program now has 29 graduates.

“In 2008, we partnered to re-open our Physical Therapist Assistant program,” said Kim Mau, KCC’s associate dean for health careers. “Riverside provided financial support and assisted the college in recruiting Jessica Corbus to lead the program as program director. She came in to assist in writing the curriculum as well as create a stateof-the-art lab and classroom.” The first PTA class graduated in 2011. “The applications for the program have doubled,” Mau said. “It has become so popular that we now get applications from potential students not only from our surrounding community but throughout Illinois.”

“Our medical center and KCC have been working together since the school opened,” states Margaret Frogge, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Riverside HealthCare. “KCC is a tremendous resource, a true gem in this region.” Riverside HealthCare serves Kankakee, Iroquois, Will and Grundy counties. The system employs more than 2,500 professionals and features several healthcare facilities, including Kankakee the Riverside Medical Center, a 325-bed Community facility that is the area’s only Magnet®recognized hospital.

College has been important in helping us develop an outstanding workforce - Phillip Kambic

“Kankakee Community College has been important in helping us develop an outstanding workforce,” notes Phillip Kambic, president and CEO of Riverside HealthCare. “Working with them to develop programs has helped us avoid having a shortage of trained professionals.”

Frogge also notes the importance of the partnership between the two organizations. “We meet often with KCC’s faculty and administrators,” she says. “We talk about where we’re at now as well as what we think our future workforce needs will be. It’s a constant dialogue, an exchange

The latest results of the partnership are talks for a new academic program in healthcare technology management.


of ideas as well as information.” The relationship between the college and the health provider reaches a large number of people. Many of the adjunct instructors at KCC also work at Riverside, and many Riverside professionals are former KCC students. Students in KCC’s nursing, paramedic and other medical programs often complete practicums at Riverside and go on to full-time positions there. “The synergy between our two organizations is exciting,” said John Avendano, Ph.D., KCC president. “Riverside and KCC both strive for a higher level of excellence and quality in what we do. The open dialogue and communication between our organizations challenges us to improve our programs, add new curricula, and strengthen our graduates to ensure they are prepared for the workforce.” Today, new programs in medical information technology, medical documentation and coding are being jointly developed to meet current as well as future needs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020 – faster than the average for all occupations. “We’ve always been very proactive,” Kambic said. “We’re planning now for three and four years out to avoid a

Neurological specialists prepare for a surgical procedure in one of Riverside’s 12 new state-ofthe-art operating suites. Photos: Courtesy of Riverside HealthCare

shortage. We currently believe that our healthcare IT and IT management staff will double in that time.” “Good luck is the result of good planning,” Kambic says. “We’re making sure now with the help of KCC that we don’t have a shortage in the future.” KCC welcomes discussions about workforce needs with all businesses or organizations. For more information, contact Kelly Myers, executive director of the KCC Foundation at or 815-802-8260.

KCC HEALTH CAREERS DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES Emergency Medical Technician Medical Assistant Coding Specialist Medical Laboratory Technician Medical Laboratory Assistant Nursing – Registered Nursing – Practical Nursing Assistant Paramedic Phlebotomy Physical Therapist Assistant Radiography Respiratory Therapist

Classical, Blues and all that Jazz Classical, Blues and all that Jazz WKCC 91.1 FM


ublic radio host Willie Dixon of Kankakee thinks that when people listen to jazz they feel good.

radio stations at community colleges in Illinois.” The station features classical music daily. Dixon’s jazz program, “In a Mellow Tone,” airs on Friday nights. The Saturday night “Friends of the Blues Radio Show” is hosted by local volunteers D’Arcy Ballinger and James Walker. In addition, the station also presents programming from National Public Radio, American Public Media, Public Radio International, the WFMT Radio Network and independent producers.

“Music can make a mood, said D ixon. “You can have a terrible argument with someone, but if you spend 30 minutes listening to jazz songs it can change y our attitude. J azz music has been influencing my life since I was a y oung boy growing up in Chicago. I’ve listened to the some gr eat musicians, and y ou don’t have to famous to be a good musician.”

“WKCC airs programs that you can’t hear anywhere else in our area,” said Jonathan Coke, business dev elopment coordinator for WKCC. “And, we broadcast distinctive shows anchored in arts, culture and international, national, regional and local ne ws and information.”

Willie, who turned eighty last J anuary, likes to sing and entertain. He’s been hosting the jazz show on WKCC since 2008, and selects his song list from the vinyl records he’s been collecting since he was a young man. He also taught sociology, history, and political science as an adjunct pr ofessor at KCC, and has been a tutor and instr uctor for KCC’s Upward Bound and Talent Search programs. He’s seen first-hand how students can learn from listening to diverse music styles.

“We estimate that 2,500 to 3,000 people are listening at any one time, said Savage. “Our hope is that listeners are inspired to support us as well as tune-in. WKCC is owned and operated by Kankakee Community College, but we rely on member support to meet our budget goals. Corporate sponsors and underwriters play a key role, too.”

“Studying diverse music helps students realize that music comes fr om the heart, said Dixon. “It makes you think. It gets you rhythmic and feel a kinship to people.”

Support means popular public radio pr ograms remain on the air and future growth for the station. The station uses donations to purchase programs, maintain equipment and for a variety of other initiatives.

“Our two studios are used as learning labs for the Introduction to Broadcasting classes, and our future goals include developing additional broadcast-related classes at the college, ” said Mike Savage, director and general manager for WKCC. “We have a unique public radio ser vice at KCC,” said Savage. “We broadcast a pr ofessional format of NPR ne ws, classical music, and jazz and blues 24-hours a day. It’s one of a handful of stations like it in the nation, and one of only two public

To make a donation, visit and click on the “Support WKCC” tab in upper right corner of the screen. Photos: Above - Heather Claborn, WKCC reporter. Middle - Willie Dixon, host of “In a Mellow Tone”



Gifts that Keep Giving our tax-deductible donation can change liv es and enhance community r esources. Contributions can be r ealized through one of the options detailed belo w, and your gift can be used for student scholarships, student pr ograms, emerging needs or any other ar ea that y ou select. Contributions to Kankakee Community College (K CC) Foundation advance the mission and activities of Kankakee Community College. Join KCC supporters who know that well-planned gifts can help achieve financial and charitable objectives as well as personal goals.

CASH – Gifts of cash provide funds for student scholarships, student programs and emerging needs. Gifts can also be made as a memorial or as a tribute to an individual. An acknowledgement letter is sent to the recipient or family on your behalf. Donation amounts are kept confidential.

SECURITIES – Securities can be one of the most advantageous ways to make a gift. The value of the donation for tax purposes will be determined by the date of transfer to the KCC Foundation. You avoid federal capital gains tax on the sale of the assets. Real Estate and Personal Property Tangible personal property such as art, books or equipment related to the mission of Kankakee Community College are tax deductible (at fair market value). Donations of property to the KCC Foundation offer opportunity to avoid capital gains tax and realize a charitable deduction for the full fair market value.

PLEDGES – A pledge enables a donor to consider a more significant gift than would have been otherwise possible. If you wish, you may make a contribution with payments spread over a period of time. Reminders will be sent about your commitment. CORPORATE MATCHING GIFTS More than 1000 parent companies and corporate foundations in the US currently match employee gifts to nonprofit organizations such as the KCC Foundation.

GIFTS MADE THROUGH YOUR WILL A bequest in your will naming the KCC Foundation as a recipient of a portion of your estate can produce considerable savings in income and estate taxes for heirs of your estate.

Under corporate matching gift programs, gifts made by a company’s eligible employee to a nonprofit organization meeting the company’s guidelines are matched with company or corporate funds. Usually a donor completes the company’s matching gift form and sends it along with their donation to the KCC Foundation. To learn more about your company’s employee matching gift program, please check with your company’s Human Resources department, or review the KCC Foundation’s directory online at matchinggift to see if your company is listed.

ENDOWMENT – You can contribute to existing endowment funds or establish a named endowment of your own. A gift of $25,000 will establish an endowment in your name or another name you select. INSURANCE – Life insurance is a potential gift. For a policy that is paid up, your charitable contribution is the cash value of the policy. Other policies can be given while you continue to pay the premiums, resulting in income tax deductions when the KCC Foundation is named both owner and fiduciary. Also, a new policy naming the KCC Foundation as beneficiary guarantees a future gift as well.

Kelly Myers, executive director of the KCC Foundation is available to discuss the gift options that suit your needs. Contact the KCC Foundation office at (815) 802-8252 to schedule an appointment.


“Learning more helped me do more.” Cathy Boicken, KCC Alumna of the Year


on, you can easily transfer your credits to a four-year school.”

athy Boicken, Chairman of the Board and President of Municipal Bank, is a good old-fashioned success story. No, she didn’t launch the latest social media Web site at age twenty. Instead, she reached her career goals by following a more traditional path that combined higher education with hard work and determination.

As president of Municipal Bank, Boicken is in charge of overall operations including employee management, policy and allocation decisions, and investments. “Having worked in at least ten positions within the bank has made me a better president,” comments Boicken. “This wide range of responsibilities has given me the ability to make better decisions. I know how one decision impacts many other areas. I can see the whole picture.”

These were just two of the criteria that the KCC Foundation considered when selecting Boicken for its prestigious John M. Fulton Distinguished Alumnus Award, which she received at the Century Scholars event on June 12, 2012. It also noted Boicken’s humanitarian service, support of education, and outstanding career success.

Whether she is helping someone renegotiate a loan or assisting a customer in getting their first mortgage, Boicken is proud of the services she and her bank provide for their community. “Banking is more challenging today because customers are facing more challenges,” she says. “We enjoy helping them to succeed. It’s very rewarding to have a person walk out of your office with their first home loan. You know you’re helping them get the home of their dreams.”

Boicken began her career with Eastern Illinois Bank in Momence as secretary to the Chief Executive Officer. Working full-time during the day, she took advantage of Kankakee Community College’s flexible class scheduling. “I admit I first chose KCC because I needed to work full-time and I could take night courses there,” she recalls. “Once I got there, however, I realized that the quality of their curriculum was superior and the teachers were highly qualified, caring professionals.”

Boicken and her staff also give back to the community through their volunteer work for the Hospice of Kankakee Valley. “I am on the board of directors and every year my staff and I help organize the holiday fundraisers, including the live and silent auctions,” she states. “By working together, we’ve been successful -- yet we always look forward to doing more.”

Boicken credits the education she got at KCC with her career success. “KCC did a good job in enhancing my skills,” she says. “The more education I got, the more confidence I gained, and the more responsibilities I was able to take on. I’ve worked in almost every department, including trusts, consumer loans, and mortgages.”

Through determination and education, Boicken has risen to the top of the banking profession. Yet she has learned that, no matter which profession one chooses, there is no substitute for hard work. “No matter what you’re doing, you need to push a little harder,” she says. “When you keep trying harder, it really does pay off in the end.”

Boicken continued to work full-time as she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University’s adult studies program. In addition, during that same two years, she also added to her family. “I was in the hospital thirteen times during that pregnancy,” she recalls. “But I graduated with an A average when my daughter was one year old. Now she’s seventeen and we’re starting to talk about college for her.” Having grown up in the small Illinois community of Grant Park, Boicken was the first in her family to go to college. “My mom came from a farm family and my dad worked for the Ford Motor Company,” she recalls. “Things were very different then -- you could live well without going to college. Today, I encourage every young person to advance their education.” Boicken believes that hard work combined with education is the key to career advancement. “To be successful today, you need to strive to take on more and do more than what is expected,” she states. “I don’t ask others to do more than I do. If you want to get recognized, you need to go beyond your daily responsibilities.” Boicken recommends Kankakee Community College to both high school graduates and adults returning to school. “KCC works with local area employers and businesses to ensure that their graduates have the skills that are needed in our community for employment” she says. “You can take your basic core classes at a more affordable cost. If you want to go

KCC President Dr. John Avendano and Cathy at the 2012 Century Scholars event.


T Jerry Hoekstra and Mike Scanlon enjoy the day

he morning of Aug. 6, Jace Huggins loaded golf clubs for the Cavaliers Classic golf outing. After score cards were turned in, he was among the guests of honor at a reception which concluded the event.

“Our scholarship recipients have many roles in their lives, said Kelly Myers, executive director of the KCC Foundation. Huggins is both an employee of the country club and a KCC Century Scholar. “Most work while they’re attending classes, some are raising families, and all of them are pursing degrees to build a better life.” “It’s not just about money,” said Huggins. “Donors are helping people build their future and the life they want for themselves.” The second annual Cavaliers Classic Golf Outing brought together more than 250 combined golfers and sponsors at the Kankakee Country Club to raise money for student and athletic scholarships and emerging needs. The outing is a combination of two golf events once coordinated by the Cavalier Club – a booster organization for KCC athletics – and the KCC Foundation. The outing raised more than $30,000 for KCC scholarships.

Abby Williams and Matt Olszewski shoot a golf ball cannon

“The money we raised makes a big difference for students,” said Steve Smith, chairman of the KCC Foundation board. “Proceeds from this event benefit emerging needs, general scholarships and KCC athletics. In total, 164 students received more than $175,000 in scholarship support for the 2012-13 academic year.”

Hard Work for a Day of Play

During the post-golf dinner, the audience met the 2012 Century Scholar recipients – Huggins and Heather Brush – and viewed a brief video about the KCC Student Ambassador program. The program illustrates one of the 200 plus scholarships available through the KCC Foundation.

Cavaliers Classic Golf Outing

“KCC has been able to grow scholarships and academic programs because of support from partners like Nucor,” said Kelly Myers, executive director of the KCC Foundation. “We are sincerely grateful that Nucor took the lead as our title sponsor for the golf outing.”

Mike VanMill and Pat Martin are all smiles

The winning foursome was Joda Crabtree, Steve Carley, Ted Heideman, and David Gibson. They earned the President’s Cup, which was donated by Xtreme Promotional Products. Each member of the top team also earned gift certificates to the Kankakee Country Club Pro Shop. “We appreciated all the golfers, sponsors and donors who participated. Providing scholarships for students is important for the college and the community,” said Myers. “A tremendous amount of hard work happens to coordinate an event of this caliber, said Smith. “But it ends with a spectacular day of play at Kankakee Country Club.” Next year’s outing will be held on August 12, 2013 at the Kankakee Country Club.

Three of the President’s Cup winner pose with KCC president Dr. Avendano


CAVALIERS CLASSIC GOLF SPONSORS 2012 Title Sponsor Nucor Steel Golfer’s Gift Sponsor Demonica Kemper Architects Lunch Sponsor People’s Bank Cavalier Circle Sponsors Clancy-Gernon Funeral Homes, Inc. Country Financial First Trust Bank MSL Benefits & Consultants, Inc. PNC Bank Riverside Medical Center Van Drunen Farms Award Sponsor Xtreme Promotional Products Golf Cart Sponsor Provena St. Mary’s Hospital Course Contest Sponsors Boxes to Buses Storage Hoekstra Farms, LLC – Jerry & David Kankakee Valley Construction Company Morgan Stanley Smith Barney – Mr. Mike Bruner & Mr. Brian Thomas Oak Orthopedics Ted & Marian Petersen Driving Range Sponsors Huot Oil CSL Behring Economic Alliance of Kankakee Hearing Things, Inc. HomeStar Bank & Financial Services Pizza Resources Langlois Roofing Tee Sponsors Aaron’s Alarm Company Ace Hardware A.N. Webber, Inc. Aqua Illinois Arends/Hogan-Walker John Deere Art’s Landscaping Bade “The Appliance Specialists” B & D Electric Belson Scrap & Steel

Big R Stores Bolt Electric Boxes to Buses Storage Brorsen Appraisel Service Brown & Brown - Chevy-Hyundai RV BSN Sports BSN Kesslers Sporting Goods C.I.B.C. Clark Baird Smith LLP County Beverage Creditor Collection Bureau, Inc. David M. Jaffe, Attorney At Law Deck & Baron, Attorney’s at Law Dexter Painting & Decorating Diamond Sports Promotions Dr. C. Stephen Burgner Dralle Chevy-Buick, Peotone Einfeldt Construction Emerald Valley Farms FCA Flooring First Agency Incorporated - Student & Athletic Insurance First Farm Credit Services First National Bank First National Bank of Indianapolis FLG, LLC Geoffrey Johns & Associates Girard Electric Glade Plumbing & Heating Gordon Electric Groskreutz, Schmidt, Abraham, Eshleman & Garretse, CPAs Harry & Deborah Bond Hayden’s Athletic Heartland Harvest, Inc. Hemenover Construction Heritage Development & Construction Heritage FS, Inc. Hillside Development Group Hinrich Heating & Air Conditioning Hoekstra Potato Farms and Hoekstra Transportation Holohan Heating HomeStar Bank & Financial Services Hove Buick Nissan - Hole-in-One Image Group – Bill Jurevich Iroquois Federal Savings & Loan Iroquois Paving Corp. Jim Rowe for Kankakee States Attorney John Vallone, D.D.S Journey’s by Jeni Kankakee Area Career Center


Kelly Services Kens Truck Repair Key Outdoor Larimer & O’Connor Lisa Sanford - Real Living Speckman Realty Life Fitness Corporation Lori Naese - Real Living Speckman Realty M. Gingrich, Gereaux, & Associates Mallaney CARSTAR Meier Oil Service Momence Riverside Chevrolet Monical’s Pizza National Bank of Indianapolis Netherton’s Body Shop P & G Partnership Pacesetter Truck & Auto Accessories, Inc. Paint by Mortell Payne Sod Farm Premium Specialties Pyramid Restoration QSC Design Rick Jones Construction, Inc. Rodney E. Yergler, D.D.S, P.C. Ron’s Plumbing & Heating Rosenboom Realty Ruder Electric & Communications Ryan-Reum Insurance Scanlon Collision Specialists Shamblin Insurance & Financial Services Laura Smith Snider’s Nursery Standard Title State Bank of Herscher Subway/Taco Johns T.D. Pete’s Taylor Chrysler Jeep Dodge Tenco Excavating The Homestead Restaurant Tholens’ Landscaping and Garden Center Valley Glass Wadley & Associates C.P.A. Watseka-Gilman Monical’s Weather Seal Home Products Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburger West Laboratories Zelhart Excavating

A philosophical approach to practical education Kenneth West, KCC Professor

of sophistication, understanding and tolerance to become a capable person in our world and in the workplace.”

“Education is more than just acquiring a skill set.”


hose words from Kankakee Community College Philosophy Professor Kenneth West summarize his strong feeling that the study of the humanities is crucial in helping students become fully aware and effective individuals.

“The study of humanities allows students to think critically by giving them a historical awareness, an awareness of other cultures, faiths and points of views. This helps students engage with others in a respectful and sensitive manner.” West recognizes that there is increasing pressure to reshape higher education to focus on skills directly applicable to the job market. He also believes, though, that the study of the humanities and social sciences through philosophy, literature, history, psychology, and sociology is an important part of this effort. “I sometimes kid about this, but I think of what I teach as helping to create ‘persons’,” he explains. “We each need to grow to become ‘persons.’ We need to reach a level

While a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from Yale University Divinity School has provided West with outstanding credentials, he began his academic career at a small community college in Idaho. This personal experience has helped him appreciate the value of schools such as KCC. “With the controversy over the value of higher education, the escalating cost of tuition and the rising amount of student debt, community colleges like Kankakee make a lot of sense,” he says. “We give students an opportunity to succeed without having to go into substantial debt while also providing academic and emotional support for those who need it.” West points out that many of his colleagues also began their postsecondary education at community colleges. “While university professors are more likely concerned about research, we see our role in education as a one-on-one process with students,” he says. “We believe in the community college mission and fully support the open door policy. We work very hard to nurture students’ skills.” Meeting these needs has challenged West to take a practical approach to philosophy. “When John Avendano, our president, talked to hospitals in our area, they were concerned that new employees not only have skills but also


the emotional maturity needed to work in a healthcare environment,” he says. “Working with other colleagues, I slowly modified the Death and Dying course to include medical components, addressing what happens to the body and brain as a person dies. The approach is still identifiably philosophical, but I have tried hard to tackle issues of relevance to health care professionals.” West believes that, more than other areas, the humanities can equip students to deal with controversies and dilemmas in social, political and personal settings. “We’re providing them with skills to engage their lives in a meaningful way,” he said. “Thinking skills and cultural knowledge helps to build a vocabulary in which you can engage with others in a respectful manner.” In Ethics classes, West introduces students to different ethical philosophies, including utilitarianism, which concerns itself primarily with the promotion of happiness—the greatest happiness for the greatest number. The work of Immanuel Kant, concerned principally with what motivates human beings to act, is also explored at length. “We work on seeing how it is possible to approach the same problem from very different angles,” West explains. “We can then apply this to what students read in the news, the morality of what’s happening today.” West’s practical approach helps his students apply the humanities to “real-world” situations, but he also makes sure they get the same theoretical background that is being

presented at four-year colleges and universities. “I received an email from one of our graduates who is now attending Indiana University in Bloomington,” he says. “She wanted me to know that in her current class, she was the only one who entered with a strong background in Kant’s categorical imperative. She felt she was more than prepared for the advanced class. To me that’s an affirmation that we’re doing something right here.” West’s commitment to the humanities extends beyond his scheduled classes. He has also joined with other instructors to offer a free biweekly class on Plato’s Republic, open to the public. “This is a lunch-time learning opportunity provided by myself and two other professors,” West states. “We do it every other Wednesday as a way to bring students and people from our community together to meet, learn and discuss. Last semester, we did the Federalist Papers to great success.” Open, relaxed and continuing interaction between professors and students is an important part of West’s approach to education. “At Kankakee Community College, almost all of my colleagues are very willing to spend time with their students. Our smaller class sizes encourage this continuing interaction,” he said. “We’re here to give help to students who may need extra support and attention. However, we also make it a point to encourage those who are doing well to continue to grow and challenge themselves.”





Denise Burklow, ‘05

Kevin McGovern, ‘89

For Denise Burklow, attending KCC was a turning point. Newly single at the time, Burklow enrolled in KCC and completed an Associate in Arts degree in 2005. She transferred to Olivet Nazarene University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in art, and she is currently enrolled in a master’s program at Governors State University. She resides in Manteno with her sons, Kyle and Levi, and their Great Dane, Bull Dozer. Burklow serves on the Alumni Advisory Committee for KCC, and as a board member for the Gretchen Charlton Art Gallery. She is employed as the recruitment coordinator at KCC. She says her life has come ‘full circle’ now. “KCC gave me the confidence to pursue my education, and my education gave me the opportunity to work at the college so that I could support myself and my children.” Burklow credits KCC with giving her many great experiences, interacting with people who genuinely cared about her educational future. Burklow says she gained mentors and personal friends who remain a part of her life

Kevin McGovern graduated from KCC in 1989 with an associate degree in Criminal Justice. After retiring from a distinguished career with the Kankakee City Police Department, McGovern became the Director of Communications for KanComm, a position which he holds today. KanComm answers the majority of 911 calls received in Kankakee County. In addition to his career, McGovern is active with a number of organizations, including the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Alumni Association, the 7th Infantry Division Association and the Knights of Columbus Council 745, and the Professional Association of Driving Instructors. In addition, his family organizes the Run for Autism, and also participates in other autism awareness walks, runs and motorcycle rides. “I attended KCC while working full-time with a young family,” McGovern says. “The experience and education at KCC prepared me for my role in the Kankakee City Police Department, and it provided me the opportunity to manage family life, work full time and still continue my education. The relationships that were developed with both staff members and fellow students continue to be meaningful to this day.” McGovern and his wife, Chris, reside in Kankakee. He has two sons, Ryan and Adam.

Elizabeth Becvar, ‘06 Elizabeth “Liz” Becvar, graduated from KCC with an Associate in Applied Science in 2006, majoring in office professional studies. Since then, she says she “never really left KCC. I was hired as an Administrative Assistant I in the marketing department two months before I graduated,” Becvar notes. “Working at KCC has made me very much aware of the importance of education to enhance the quality of life.” She recently celebrated her five year anniversary with the college. Becvar says that since graduating, she’s never stopped learning. Training services and seminars offered to KCC staff have helped her to increase her skills in customer service, technology, and leadership. Becvar puts those leadership skills to regular use through numerous roles within her church, St. Joseph’s Parish in Manteno. She has also been a regular blood donor since 1989 with Heartland Blood Services, and has been a seamstress for more than 35 years. Becvar resides in Manteno with her husband, Lee. They have two sons, Joshua and Zachary.

Jeanie Cancialosi, Cosmetology ‘88 When Jeanie Cancialosi completed the Cosmetology certification program in 1988, she was a young mother, divorced with two children. She credits KCC with “changing her life.” She completed her education, started her own business, and married her husband, Victor. Today, they have a blended family of five children. Jeanie is on the board of Cosmetology Illinois – Bourbonnais; she is a Look Good, Feel Better volunteer at both Provena St. Mary’s and Riverside Hospitals, giving classes for appearance related side effects for women with cancer. She is a board member for the Order of the Sons of Italy, and is a docent for the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Kankakee.

Sam Nicholos, Business Sam Nicholos attended KCC from 1983 to 1984 studying business. During that time, he began as manager of Ted’s Shoes, his family business in Meadowview Shopping Center. Nicholos remained store manager until the business closed in 2009. He is currently the store manager at Joseph A. Banks in Indianapolis, IN. Nicholos has been actively involved in the community through the Salvation Army, and as the director of the Independent Athletic Association. He was a longtime member of the Kankakee County Board. Nicholos says KCC helped prepare him for the real world, and gave him instruction that he continues to use daily in his professional responsibilities. His children are Teddy and Anastasia.

Rodd Russow, ‘93 “What I really liked about attending KCC was the dedication of the instructors,” says Rod Russow, ‘93. “They were very helpful and encouraging, regardless of whether or not the student was right out of high school, or more commonly in my classes, an adult learner.” Russow graduated from KCC with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business/human resources from Governors State University, and a master’s degree in human resources from Ottawa University. Today, Russow is director of human resources for Northcentral University in Scottsdale, AZ. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Professionals, and a chapter member of the East Valley HR Association. He and his wife, Karen, live in Phoenix. They have two children, Kristina and Martin.


Notes: Where are they now? David Skelly, Criminal Justice After taking classes at KCC, David Skelly went onto attend Southern Illinois University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice. He has been a police officer with the Kankakee City Police Department for 21 years, and is currently an administrative lieutenant. He is the past-president of the Police Benevolent and Protective Association, a board member with the Fieldstone Credit Union, and a Kankakee Valley Park District Commissioner. Skelly and his wife, Emily Summers Skelly, reside in Kankakee. Skelly has a stepson Noah, 10, and the couple has a daughter, Emilia, 2 years. Skelly credits KCC as a “great fit” for him right out of high school, enabling him to stay close to the familiar setting of home and friends. Skelly still enjoys visiting KCC and rekindling memories when the opportunity arises.

Sarah Winkel, ‘99 Sara Winkel completed an Associate in Arts degree at KCC in 1999, and then transferred to Illinois State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks. Currently, Winkel is the manager of the Exploration Station Children’s Museum at the Bourbonnais Township Park District. Outside of work, Winkel is active in the community through Zonta Club of Kankakee. She has served as the food chairman for Zonta’s annual “International Taste” event, and is a former board member. Winkel says she loved her time at KCC. “It was a great school, and I had great experiences. I loved the fact that I had one-on-one interaction with the instructors; it was something I needed, and would not have gotten at a four year institution.” Winkel lives in Kankakee with her boyfriend, Beau Manny.

Dan Wilder, ‘06 Dan Wilder joined Sorensen, Wilder & Associates in 2006 after graduating from KCC with a degree in law enforcement. With SWA, Wilder works extensively with educational and healthcare facilities across the nation, performing security vulnerability assessments and developing security programs.  He also provides occupational health and safety training. Since graduating from KCC, Wilder has earned multiple certifications from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and has worked with local and state government agencies in design and implementation of disaster preparedness drills. Wilder also works as a firefighter/EMT and is a certified instructor with the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s Office. He says that KCC was a perfect stepping stone for his future. “The instructors helped me to be better prepared for my career through a commitment to one-on-one attention, and a genuine interest in student success. He was a great role model not only for learning the curriculum, but for what it means to be a dedicated professional.” Wilder is married, and resides in Bradley.

Tammie (Wilkins) Wright, ‘93 Tammie Wright completed an Associate in Arts degree from KCC in 1993 and her life quickly took off from there. She married her husband Stacy in 1994, and the couple had their daughter, Mollie, in 1997. Wright was working at CIGNA when she graduated, and following her wedding, started working at then Armour Pharmaceuticals doing temp work in the Accounts Payable Department, and was then hired in the Maintenance Department as a supervisor’s assistant. She credits KCC with helping her get a foot in the door for her job. “Jobs are hard to come by, and people need every advantage they can get. A college education on a resume is a plus.” Wright continued employment until her daughter was born. As a stay-at-home mom, Wright became active with her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop for three years, including one year as leader, and has also been very involved in Children’s Ministry at Calvary Bible Church in Bourbonnais for the past eight years.

Michael Clarke Duncan, 1957-2012 • KCC Student 1979 - 1981 Michael Clarke Duncan’s time at KCC remembered on CBS 2 Chicago news CBS 2 Chicago reporter Suzanne Le Mignot visited KCC on Tuesday, Sept. 4 to interview former Head Basketball Coach Denny Lehnus about Michael Clarke Duncan. The segment aired during the 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday. A video clip and written report are on the CBS website.  Duncan was a KCC student and basketball player from 1979 to 1981. He later became an Oscar-nominated actor for his role as John Coffey in The Green Mile (1999). Duncan died Monday, Sept. 3 in California.

100 College Drive, Kankakee, IL 60901

The KCC Foundation Magazine

Executive Editor Kari Sargeant Contributing Editor Ellen Skelly Contributors Kelly Myers Rebecca Wilder Vanderstoep-Karraker Photographer Bill Jurevich, The Image Group Graphic Designer John Fetterer

KCC FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dr. John Avendano, KCC President Jeff Bennett Joda Crabtree Scott Franco Maggie Frogge, Secretary John Fulton Tim Gernon Jeff Hammes Dennis Hess, Vice Chairman Jerald W. Hoekstra, Liaison to KCC Board of Trustees Brad Hove

David Jaffe Michael Kick Robert La Beau, Legal Counsel Michael Lynch Dr. Ivan Meyer Mark Smith, Treasurer Steve Smith, Chairman Donald A. Wagner

KCC BOARD OF TRUSTEES Hugh Van Voorst, chairman Jerald Hoekstra, vice chairman Brad Hove, secretary Richard Frey Robert LaBeau, legal counsel Patrick Martin Betty Meents Taylor O’Connor, student trustee Todd Widholm

Legacy, The KCC Foundation magazine December 2012  

Kankakee Community College's vision is to be a leader in creatively responding to our community's educational needs, emphasizing quality, af...

Legacy, The KCC Foundation magazine December 2012  

Kankakee Community College's vision is to be a leader in creatively responding to our community's educational needs, emphasizing quality, af...