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Success Starts Here INSIDE THIS ISSUE: • Introducing President Mary-Rita Moore • Honorees Inducted Into Alumni Wall of Fame • Resources for Success at Triton and Beyond

Alumni Wall of Fame honorees at the Golden Anniversary Alumni Celebration on Feb. 25, 2015.


etter from Director of Alumni Relations


etter from Alumni Association President

Greetings Triton College Alumni,

Dear Triton College Family and Friends,

As Triton’s 50th anniversary year draws to a close, we reflect on the many success stories of our students, both past and present, that were shared during our celebration. We found that for many people success started at Triton College. Whether it was starting a degree program, earning credentials to advance in a career or meeting a future spouse, Triton was a great start for so many alumni that walked our halls.

Every path to success has its starting point and Triton is where many of us began. As alumni, we are part of the Triton College story of student success. I consider Triton College a very big part of my story and I encourage you to share with others how it is also part of yours.

In this issue of ALUMNET: Success Starts Here, I hope you will enjoy reading about the successes of our inaugural group of Alumni Wall of Fame inductees. For this distinguished group of alumni, Triton College was the springboard for future academic, career and personal achievements. I invite you to share your own accomplishments with us by submitting a class note on our website at We will share your achievements with your fellow alumni on our website and in this newsletter.

I recently had the opportunity to meet other alumni during the Triton College Golden Anniversary Alumni Celebration in February. That night, we honored our Alumni Wall of Fame inductees. Moments like those reminded me of the tremendous impact Triton has had on the lives of so many. We can truly say that success starts at Triton College.

I also encourage you to explore the resources available to support the success of our alumni and students from student scholarships through the Triton College Foundation to resources like the Career Services Center and the University Center on our campus. Triton College aims to support the success of our students, graduates and the community as a whole. We hope to continue to celebrate your achievements as alumni and encourage you to support the Triton College students following in your footsteps.

With every alumni success story, there is a unique opportunity to influence a new one. The next generation of Triton College students can benefit from the insight and wisdom of industry professionals that once walked Triton’s halls. Please consider supporting scholarships or volunteering your time as an alumni ambassador. These opportunities are available to you and are rewarding. Join me in supporting Triton College as they make more success stories like ours. For more information, visit

Best Wishes, Lisa Scalessi Director of Alumni Relations

With Trojan Pride, Lorenzo Webber, Class of 2010 Alumni Association President


Questions with Tom Olson, President of the Triton College Foundation • Tell us a little about yourself and how you became president of the Triton College Foundation. I am a proud alum of Triton College, class of 1977, and graduated from Proviso East High School in 1974. I have been a representative of the Triton College Marketing Department since 1983, serving many roles. In 2012, I was honored to be installed as president of the Triton College Foundation Board of Directors, a remarkable group of generous, selfless individuals with a strong commitment for quality and academic achievement, and I’m grateful for the opportunity we have as a team to partner with the Alumni Association Council to do some amazing things.

• How does the Triton College Foundation support the college and its students? The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, provides a means for individuals, organizations, businesses and industry to work with the college in meeting a broad-range of educational purposes. Through support of the school’s scholarship and endowment programs, as well as sponsorship of cultural programs, the Foundation benefits Triton students and the community alike. Functioning as a separate entity, the Foundation obtains and accepts donations on behalf of Triton College. alumnet Newsletter • Spring 2015 • Page 2

• What motivates you to give back? I have unlimited respect for Triton College. Triton not only helped launch, but became my proud career. I am humbled by the opportunities the college has afforded me and I hope, in the future, we can help as many students as possible experience a vigorous Triton College education! • Why is alumni support of the Foundation so important? Alumni support of the Foundation allows us to create new partnerships and showcase Triton College on top of the world. As students graduate and move into successful careers, many with warm, giving hearts selflessly do what they can to support the worthy cause of the Foundation by providing additional resources for Triton students to experience a bright future and a lifetime of fulfilled dreams. • What do you enjoy most about Triton College? Working with the students and staff, and promoting the Triton College process. As a firm believer in higher education and the benefits it provides to individuals, I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of promoting and strengthening the position of Triton and the Foundation as premier partners working together as shining stars on the path to success for our ultimate beneficiaries – the students of Triton College.


ntroducing Mary-Rita Moore, President of Triton College


The Triton College Board of Trustees appointed Mary-Rita Moore as President for an interim period at the Nov. 18 Board of Trustees meeting. Moore previously served as the college’s associate vice president for Strategic Planning and assumed the Presidency on Jan. 1, 2015. “I am very thankful for the opportunities Triton College has afforded me, and I am excited to be appointed president,” Moore said. “I look forward to continued collaboration with our talented employees and serving the needs of Triton College students.” Moore began her 24-year career at Triton working at the front line of the institution, assisting students with their registration needs at the Welcome Desk. She was able to help even more students pursue their dreams of an education as the Associate Dean of Student Services, and later, the Dean of Enrollment Services, of which she implemented new initiatives to improve retention and completion rates at Triton and worked collaboratively with academic faculty and administrators to streamline the registration process. In 2012, she was appointed to the position of Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning, where she led the development of Triton’s seven-year strategic plan, and also played a critical role in the Higher Learning Commission 2013 reaffirmation visit.

Moore holds strong ties to Triton’s district. She was born and raised in Norridge, graduating from Ridgewood High School, and is a graduate of Dominican University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration as well as her Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is committed to strengthening community and campus relationships while advancing the college’s mission of contributing to student success. “Triton College believes in growing its own leaders,” said Triton College Board Chairman Mark Stephens. “Mary-Rita participated and thrived in our institution’s President’s Leadership Academy (class of 2009), and I have every confidence in her ability to analyze and make the right decisions in the best interest of our students and community. She is an intelligent woman with a passion for our students and will serve this institution well.” Retired Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados knows she left Triton in good hands. “I have had the pleasure to work with MaryRita for many years, and she has always demonstrated a strong sense of leadership and commitment to student success. I am certain she will continue to move the institution forward, and I wish her all the best in her new role.”


onnect with Triton College Alumni on Social Media

We’re going social! We’re connecting a vast network of Triton College alumni through social media. Connect and engage with fellow Triton graduates on one of the networks below. You’ll find throwback photos of Triton students and our campus from years past, alumni success stories, campus updates, invitations to special events, opportunities for professional development and much more. We look forward to connecting with you!

‘Like’ Triton College Alumni on Facebook

Follow Triton Alumni on Twitter

Learn about campus news and upcoming events, share your Triton memories, read about Triton alumni success stories, reminisce with our Throwback Thursday posts, answer our Trivia Tuesday questions for a chance to win an alumni gift and much more.

Learn about campus news and upcoming events, share your Triton memories, read about Triton alumni success stories and much more.

Follow Triton Alumni on Flickr Join the Triton College Alumni group on LinkedIn View career tips and articles, connect with fellow Triton College alumni, view and post job openings, learn about upcoming Career Services workshops at Triton College and much more.

Check out photos from past events, campus landscapes, historical photos and more. (Search for Triton College Alumni group)

alumnet Newsletter • Spring 2015 • Page 3

Inaugural Honorees Inducted On Feb. 25, 2015, more than 200 alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and special guests arrived on Triton’s campus to celebrate 50 years of Triton College history at the Golden Anniversary Alumni Celebration. Hosted in Triton’s Student Center, guests enjoyed refreshments provided by the college’s hospitality students, music by Triton faculty member Bill O’Connell and his jazz trio, and viewed a video on the history of Triton College.

JOHN HAMMERAND Class of 1974 Self-employed, McHenry County Board Member ‘‘Triton gave me the tools to be a successful businessman; to be elected and serve as treasurer of a fire protection district and to understand financial problems and make decisions based on knowledge. All this made possible being elected six times as McHenry County board member having served over 20 years.”

The highlight of the evening was the induction ceremony of the inaugural group of honorees into the Alumni Wall of Fame. Seventeen of Triton’s most distinguished alumni were installed as members of this elite group with 10 of the honorees in attendance that evening. The impressive group includes executives, retired professional athletes, public servants, educators and philanthropists. We asked the honorees to describe their Triton experiences and include their sentiments about how Triton influenced their success for this feature.

LINAL HARRIS Class of 1999 Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Cellular ‘‘The education I received at Triton College has impacted my life more than I ever knew it could. Triton prepared me to exercise my mind intellectually, so I wouldn't be the replaceable person who lifts boxes, but rather the person that creates what's in the box!”

The Alumni Wall of Fame is located in the Student Center (B Building) on Triton’s campus. To read the honorees’ full biographies or nominate a Triton graduate for future consideration for the Wall of Fame, visit


LANCE JOHNSON Honorary Class of 1992 Retired Major League Baseball Player; St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees ‘‘Triton College has played a very important role in my life. It simply prepared me to make the right decisions to become a successful and productive adult. Triton College taught me how to work hard as well as to surround myself with good people in order to become successful and I will never forget those lessons. Thank you very much, Triton College!”

NED COLLETTI Class of 1974 Special Advisor to the President, Los Angeles Dodgers ‘‘Triton provided me with an opportunity. It provided me an education, academic confidence and a stepping stone to a four-year university. It was a very important time in my life and a place that helped me achieve so many professional goals.”

DAVID KING Class of 1980 President, David King and Associates ‘‘The personalized education, caring teachers and active student life not only gave me an education, but I truly loved the experience! Quite simply, Triton changed my life!”

FRED GARDAPHE Class of 1973 Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies, Queens College/City University of New York ‘‘What I learned at Triton, both in the classroom and through my friendships, helped me to overcome my early racism and prejudices, and to understand that the more I learned about others, the more I could know about myself.”

JOSEPH KOZENCZAK Class of 1970 Retired Chief of Police, City of Des Plaines Police Department ‘‘My experience at Triton College provided the foundation and impetus for my desire to pursue higher education in the area of law enforcement. The relationships formed with the faculty, many who were practitioners in the field, were valued professional acquaintances.”

alumnet Newsletter • Spring 2015 • Page 4

It is with heavy heart that we report the passing of Mr. Kozenczak since the receiving of this award. Condolences to his family.

Into Alumni Wall of Fame HENRY LAZZARO


Class of 1972 US Navy Captain and Judge; United States Navy and United States Department of Defense ‘‘The awesome learning experience at Triton College, most notably the wonderful professors, inspired me to continue my education. Triton College planted the seed that grew into whatever professional success I have had as an attorney, naval officer and judge.”

Class of 1973 Village President, Village of Westchester ‘‘If it was not for Triton, I would have never been able to secure my job as a police cadet for the village of Addison in 1972. Triton’s Criminal Justice Program was excellent and provided me with a great foundation for obtaining my bachelor’s and master’s degree.”



Class of 1974 Retired State Senator, State of Illinois ‘‘My Triton experience used my talents that I didn’t know existed and created what is now my love for learning. It also made me want to change my career and life goals, which has been to help people. My time there led me to what is now my reality.”

Class of 1973 International Police Trainer, Self-employed ‘‘Triton College was the first stepping stone in the very diverse path I have travelled through life. It gave me the confidence to reach out and try new adventures and taught me the importance of a sound education.”



Class of 1983 Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Triton College ‘‘Triton College has given me a foundation for success and has helped me create a remarkable pathway both professionally and personally. My experiences here have allowed me to engage in opportunities towards making a difference.”

Class of 1984 Retired Major League Baseball Player; Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates ‘‘Triton College played an integral part in building the foundation for my future. It provided me the necessary building blocks to grow as a person and become successful both on and off the field. Triton holds a special place in my heart.”



Class of 1977 President, Triton College Foundation ‘‘Triton not only helped launch, but became my proud career. It’s an honor to share space on this monumental masterpiece with this group of distinguished individuals, who have experienced the strength and power of a Triton College education – the biggest and best there is!”

Class of 1975 Chief Nursing Officer, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital ‘‘In addition to Triton affording me this great opportunity to have a wonderful secure career, Triton influenced my learning as being a lifelong and never-ending experience. There were clear influences among faculty who made this clear throughout my time at Triton.”



Class of 2011 Program Coordinator, H.O.P.E. Inc. ‘‘Education has always been seen as the pathway to a better life. However, as a young lady growing up in the South, due to other responsibilities, I was not able to actively pursue my education. As an older adult, Triton College provided me the ‘avenue’ to pursue my lifelong drive to obtain an education.”

Class of 2000 Associate Dean of Financial Aid, Triton College ‘‘Initially, 24 years ago, Triton College was simply a new employer. I discovered rather quickly the academic environment stimulated my desire to learn and do more, and colleagues here were very encouraging and supportive of my educational journey; a long and rewarding one.”

alumnet Newsletter • Spring 2015 • Page 5


all of Fame continued

Wall of Fame honorees stand with President Mary-Rita Moore in front of the Wall of Fame in the Student Center.


areer Services Center Supports Success of Students and Alumni


niversity Center Offers Opportunities to Advance Education

Triton College puts students and alumni on a path to success both in the classroom and beyond. Supporting career advancement for students, alumni and community members, the Career Services Center is a free resource that offers an online job board, career planning support, tips on effective resume writing, interviewing and job searching in addition to hosting numerous job fairs and workshops on campus. Each year, the Alumni Relations Office partners with Career Services to host workshops developed for alumni looking to explore new career options or to advance within a current field and equips alumni with the tools to be effective with career planning, job searching, interviewing and resume writing resulting in successful career placement. Alumni can visit the Career Services Center as a walk-in guest or by appointment and take full advantage of the services and resources the center has to offer. The Career Services Center is located in the A Building, Room A-204. Visit the Career Services web page at, or call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3619. alumnet Newsletter • Spring 2015 • Page 6


Triton College students and alumni can continue on their path of academic success through the University Center at Triton College. The University Center provides students and alumni with the opportunity to pursue a select bachelor’s or master’s degree on Triton’s campus through partnerships with several public and private fouryear universities including Dominican University, National Louis University, Benedictine University, Governors State University, Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondale and Eastern Illinois University.

Each institution offers degrees in varying programs of study including: behavioral science, business administration, criminal justice, early childhood, elementary education, fire service management, general studies, health administration, industrial technology, legal studies, management, nursing, public administration, public health, social work and special education. Triton alumna Alesha Whisenton speaks highly of her experience through the University Center. Whisenton claims, “The University Center at Triton College was a perfect solution. The foundation I gained during my years at Triton set me at an advantage when I entered the workforce. The relationships I developed with my instructors I maintain to this day; I couldn’t have asked for anything better!” For more information about the University Center, call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3582, or visit

CLASS tes 1980s


Donna Murray (1980) is currently an adjunct business instructor at Triton College. After receiving her Associate of Arts degree from Triton, she continued to pursue her education through earning a bachelor’s in business from Northeastern Illinois University, an MBA in business international marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and an M.Ed. in instructional technology through Cardinal Stritch University.

1990s Carmen Kosicek (1991) received her Associate in Applied Science degree in Nuclear Medicine from Triton College and has earned bachelor’s, master’s and advanced practice degrees in nursing. She has enjoyed an extensive career in nursing and in other areas of healthcare and has authored two books about professional development in the field of nursing, including Nurses, Jobs and Money: A Guide to Advancing Your Nursing Career and Salary and Nurses, Jobs and Resumes: Resume Revisions for RNs From the New Grad RN to the Experienced RN.

2010s Pamela Jones (2012) earned an Associate in General Studies degree from Triton and will be receiving a bachelor’s in communication from Governors State University in May 2015. The milestone is special since Jones will be graduating alongside her mother and son also receiving degrees from Governors State. Despite health challenges Jones faced after suffering a massive stroke, she is on a path to academic success and plans to pursue a master’s degree in the immediate future. Mario Lamar (2014) received an Associate in General Studies degree from Triton and is currently pursuing a degree in international studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Lamar is a recent recipient of a prestigious Oprah Winfrey Scholarship that will provide him with an opportunity to study the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa during summer 2015.

Will You Be Golfing with the Foundation this Year?

Triton College Foundation 18th Annual Golf Outing Wednesday, June 17 The Triton College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is seeking golfers to participate in our 18th Annual Golf Outing on Wednesday, June 17, at the beautiful White Pines Golf Club in Bensenville. Can we count you in for this year's summer spectacular? Come on out and have some fun. Foursomes are $540 and the cost for an individual golfer is $135. Cost includes 18 holes of golf with cart, continental breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverage tickets, hole-in-one contest, goodie bags, complimentary margaritas and more! Sponsorships and raffle prize donations are also being accepted. For details, send an email to, visit and click on Triton Foundation, or call the Foundation Office at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3758. We hope you can attend. Proceeds from the outing will benefit student scholarships.

GOLF OUTING SPECIALS! Par Sponsorships – $740 Includes one foursome, hole signage on two courses and name/logo on promotional material for event.

Bogey Sponsorships – $500 Includes two golfers, hole signage on two courses and name/logo on promotional material for event.

Hole Sponsorships – $200 Includes hole signage on two courses. Please call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3758, to make your reservation.

Throwback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dr. Herbert Zeitlin, first president of Triton College, reviews plans for the River Grove campus in 1964.

Looking Forward

Triton College breaks ground to begin renovations on its east campus on April 27, 2015. The groundbreaking ceremony is the beginning to Triton’s $53 million Campus Renewal Project to take place over the next three years. alumnet Newsletter • Spring 2015 • Page 7


2000 Fifth Ave. River Grove, IL 60171 (708) 456-0300

alumnet ALUMNET is a publication produced for alumni of Triton College. The purpose of this publication is to keep alumni informed, involved and invested in the success of their alma mater, its students and fellow alumni. ALUMNET is produced by the Strategic Marketing and Public Relations Department and Alumni Relations Office at Triton College. Please direct all comments and questions to

TRITON COLLEGE ALUMNI OFFICE 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove, IL 60171 F Building, Room F-210 (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3382




Saturday, June 13, 2015 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Campus Mounds (West Campus)

Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 7:30 p.m.-Midnight Indian Boundary Golf Course 8600 W. Forest Preserve Ave., Chicago, IL

Triton alumni and their families are invited to join us for food and fun at the third Annual Alumni Family Picnic. Activities will include music, food and drinks, games and prizes, a face painter and more! There is no registration fee required, but donations to the Alumni Legacy Scholarship Fund are greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3382, or

18TH ANNUAL TRITON COLLEGE FOUNDATION GOLF OUTING Wednesday, June 17, 2015 White Pines Golf Club, 500 W. Jefferson St., Bensenville, IL Golfers/Sponsors – Make your reservations now for the 18th Annual Triton College Foundation Golf Outing! The Triton College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, will host its 18th annual golf outing on Wednesday, June 17 with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Golfers may register as individuals for $135 per person or as a foursome for $540. A unique range of sponsorships are available including hole sponsorships ($200) and par sponsorships ($740 – includes a foursome, hole signage, recognition on promotional material and the Foundation's website) to higher-level opportunities priced from $1,000 to $10,000. All sponsorships are tax deductible.

Bring your flashlight and join us for the Alumni Association Glow Golf Outing. The event will feature nine holes of golf, dinner of a hot dog or bratwurst, chips and a beverage, giveaways, contest holes and more. Proceeds will benefit the Alumni Legacy Scholarship fund. The registration fee for the event is $50. For more information, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3382, or

FALL FAMILY FUN FEST Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Triton College Botanical Gardens (East Campus) Come on out for a full day of fall activities including a pumpkin patch, pastry decorating, horticulture activities and much more at Fall Family Fun Fest. Free admission! For more information, call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3130.

To reserve a sponsorship or to register golfers, please contact the Triton College Foundation at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3758, or send an email to

Triton College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution.