Board of Trustees

May 18, 2020

Kishwaukee College announced the annual Award of Excellence recipients. The Board of Trustees sponsors the Awards of Excellence program to recognize outstanding employees and their contributions to the College. Community members, college personnel, students and alumni submitted nominations in five categories: Full-Time Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Support Staff, Professional Staff and Part-Time Staff.

The nominees for Full-Time Faculty were Ami Irmen, ­­­­­Associate Professor of English and Teaching Chair; Branden McCullough, Assistant Professor of History and Teaching Chair; Ann Mueller, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Tutoring Services; Laura Murdaugh, Associate Professor of Chemistry; and Tammy Tiggelaar, Associate Professor of Business, Marketing and Management. The 2020 recipient of the Full-Time Faculty Award of Excellence is Laura Murdaugh. Murdaugh has been on Kish faculty since ­­­­2011. Alongside her many contributions to the department throughout her nine years, she has been described by her peers as a tremendous asset and outstanding instructor who holds her students to rigorous standards and high expectations.

The nominees for Adjunct Faculty were Robert Brown, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Mathematics; Cynthia DeSeife, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education; Eric Schroeder, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music; and Robert Srygler, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology. The 2020 recipient of the Adjunct Faculty Award of Excellence is Eric Schroeder. Schroeder began his career as an educator in 1996 and joined Kish in 2012. He helps organize end-of-semester recitals for students and goes beyond his instructional responsibilities to provide excellence in music education at the College. He readily teaches credit-bearing courses as well as community education classes.

The nominees for Support Staff were Geoff Glowacki, Records Analyst; Donna Keller, Business Office Clerk; Cathy King, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction; Kim Rotella, Greenhouse Grounds Specialist; Susan Tyler, Custodian; and Tiffany Varnell, Administrative Assistant for WIOA Youth and TRIO Student Support Services. This year’s recipient of the Support Staff Award of Excellence is Donna Keller. Keller began at Kish in 1993. Keller spent approximately 23 years as a library assistant in the College library before moving to the business office. Her exemplary customer service makes her a friendly and welcoming face in the business office. She is quick to help students and staff alike and her unequalled commitment to the College have made her an invaluable asset.

The nominees for the Professional Staff Award were Jessica Anderson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Bookstore Manager; Tashena Briggs, Director of TRIO Upward Bound; Melissa Gallagher, Coordinator of Short-Term Training and Continuing Education; and Sean Kesselring, Manager of Academic Advising & Transfer Services. This year’s recipient of the Professional Staff Award of Excellence is Jessica Anderson. Anderson began her Kish career as bookstore manager in 2014. Since then, she has taken on increased responsibilities and currently manages multiple departments including the bookstore, marketing & public relations, the Kish café and printing/mail services. Always on the go, Anderson is known as a diplomatic leader with a humanitarian heart.

The nominees for the Part-Time Staff Award were Kristine Adzovic, Academic Specialist; Amy Forsberg, Dual Credit & Curriculum Specialist; Mary Ann Miller, Administrative Assistant of Disability Services; and Julie Oberheim, Academic Advisor and Student Conduct Specialist. The 2020 recipient of the Part-Time Staff Award is Julie Oberheim. Oberheim joined Kish in ­­­­­­2017. Her colleagues say she cares deeply about the lives of students. Oberheim’s outreach to students, willingness to take on new tasks and collaboration with Northern Illinois University are some of her valuable contributions to her department.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. The College is very appreciative of the dedicated service to the Kish community. 


Photo: Kishwaukee College announced the Board of Trustees 2020 Award of Excellence recipients. Picture 1: Laura Murdaugh, Full-Time Faculty award recipient. Picture 2: Eric Schroeder, Adjunct Faculty award recipient. Picture 3: Donna Keller, Support Staff award recipient. Picture 4: Jessica Anderson, Professional Staff award recipient. Picture 5: Julie Oberheim, Part-Time Staff award recipient.

April 17, 2020

Kishwaukee College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the refinancing of $48.5 million of General Obligation bonds at our January meeting. The College was able to take advantage of lower interest rates and save district residents approximately $14.5 million in today’s dollars (or $20 million with inflation) over the remaining terms of the bonds. The district will save an average of over $900,000 per year in taxpayer dollars.

Ten years ago, Kish made a commitment to taxpayers. The Board of Trustees asked district residents to renew their investment in their community college. Voters approved a $52.6 million referendum that, along with student funded alternative revenue bonds and College reserves, paid for the construction and remodeling of 23 classrooms and science labs, enhanced student service spaces and improved infrastructure, including roads and parking lots.  

Many of these areas of campus needed to be updated. The referendum made it possible for Kish to offer great educational opportunities to future students using state of the art facilities. "Temporary" buildings that were constructed during the first building phase of Kishwaukee College 50 years ago had served their purpose and needed to be torn down. Campus enhancements have helped Kish faculty and staff better serve our students. Student feedback surveys have demonstrated the importance of the College’s enhanced physical environment to our learners.  

As Kishwaukee College Trustees, we work to ensure transparency and maintain fiscal responsibility. Fulfilling our word and saving millions of dollars for district residents is one way we remain stewards of your community college.   

Bob Johnson, Chairman
Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees   

April 17, 2020

Dakota Montavon of DeKalb will represent student interests as the new student trustee on the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees. Montavon replaced Cris Luna-Trujillo of DeKalb who completed his one-year term. Montavon was seated at the April 14 regular board meeting. His one-year term will run until April 2021.

“I have met Dakota and am confident that he will follow in Cris’s footsteps by providing well-considered student perspectives to trustees and administrators,” commented Bob Johnson, board chair. The Kish Board of Trustees consists of seven trustees elected by district voters and one student trustee. The Illinois Community College Act provides that each Illinois community college shall elect one student to the Board for a one-year term.

 “I just want to be the best advocate for my peers as possible,” said Montavon. “One area of focus is figuring out ways to improve the quality of relationships. Relationships are the foundation on which we build everything else. They are our greatest source of strength, power and health.” Montavon was elected by the Kish student body during the student elections held virtually the week of March 30.

Montavon is a sophomore working on his associate degree. He is involved with the English Honor Society Club, Phi Theta Kappa, National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and the Performing Arts Club on campus. He also serves as a peer mentor for TRIO student support services. During his term, Montavon wants to boost student involvement, promote a safe and accepting learning environment and serve as a role model on campus.

Luna-Trujillo completed his tenure as the student trustee this month. During his time in the position, Luna-Trujillo represented the student body, voiced their concerns and reported to the board on their behalf. “I am very happy to have been the speaker for the students and have ensured that we were heard,” Luna-Trujillo stated.

Luna-Trujillo will complete his two-year degree this semester and plans to transfer to NIU to study special education. He is employed with the student outreach office as a student ambassador. Luna-Trujillo also serves as treasurer of the student government association and is an active member of other organizations and clubs on campus.

“My fellow trustees and I would like to thank Cris for his excellent service to Kishwaukee College,” Johnson added.


Photo: Cris Luna-Trujillo completed his term as student trustee on the Kish Board of Trustees and Dakota Montavon was seated as the new student trustee on April 14. Pictured: Cris Luna-Trujillo, former Kish student trustee.  

 

June 20, 2019

Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees Chair, Bob Johnson, received the prestigious Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award at the Illinois Community College Trustee Association’s (ICCTA) annual awards banquet on June 7 in Itasca.

In his letter of support for the nomination, Dr. Robert Hammon, Vice Chair on the College’s Board of Trustees, wrote, “Bob is certainly an outstanding professional, mentor, and colleague, but what I believe sets him apart is his unwavering dedication to Kishwaukee College and his invaluable leadership. Not only has he served on the Board for 14 years, 11 of which as Chair, but Bob’s familial legacy is ingrained in the College.” 

The ICCTA’s Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award recognizes exemplary service by a currently serving community college board member. The award is in honor of Ray Hartstein, a highly influential former board member from Oakton Community College who worked diligently at Oakton and made an impact on legislation. 

“During my tenure as a Kishwaukee College Trustee, I have worked with many Kish Trustees as well as with numerous Trustees from other Illinois community colleges that also participate in ICCTA activities,” states Johnson. “Those Trustees are all deeply committed to the success of their students and communities and do not serve with the expectation of personal recognition. I am, however, very honored to be recognized as a recipient of the Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award for 2019, joining 27 other recipients from 19 Illinois community colleges over the past 28 years.” 

In addition to his 14 years of service on the Kish board, Johnson has served on ICCTA’s board as Treasurer, Vice President, and President. Johnson is often found advocating for students at both state and national levels. The Johnson family was instrumental in the founding of the College, and Johnson continues his family’s legacy through his work on the board. When not serving the College, Johnson serves on numerous Agriculture-related committees as well as manages Johnson Farms, once named the “Best Managed Farm in America” by Farm Futures magazine.

“The entire Kishwaukee College community is fortunate to be the recipient of Bob’s time, talent, and energy. It is an honor to serve as President with him as Board Chair,” comments Dr. Laurie Borowicz, Kishwaukee College President.

ICCTA forwarded Johnson’s nomination materials to The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) for the regional Trustee Leadership Award. If Johnson is selected, he will be honored during the ACCT Leadership Congress during a general session on October 18 in San Francisco.


Photo Caption: Bob Johnson receives the prestigious 2019 Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award at the Illinois Community College Trustee Association’s (ICCTA) annual awards banquet on June 7 in Itasca. Pictured: Bob Johnson.

May 30, 2019

Kishwaukee College announced the annual Award of Excellence recipients at the End of Year Employee Event held at Hopkins Park on May 3. The Board of Trustees sponsors the Awards of Excellence program to recognize outstanding employees and their contributions to the College. Community members, college personnel, students, and alumni submitted nominations in five categories: Full-Time Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Support Staff, Professional Staff, and Part-Time Staff.

The nominees for Full-Time Faculty were Will Michels, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Teaching Chair; Kathy Schnier, Assistant Professor of Nursing; and Paula Stroud, Assistant Professor of Psychology. The 2019 recipient of the Full-Time Faculty Award of Excellence is Kathy Schnier. Schnier has been faculty since 1982. Aside her many contributions to the department throughout her 37 years, she has been described by her peers as a humble leader who embraces the opportunity for change and growth.

The nominees for Adjunct Faculty were JoAnn LoSavio, Adjunct Instructor of Anthropology and Loretta Swanson, Adjunct Instructor of Art. The 2019 recipient of the Adjunct Faculty Award of Excellence is Loretta Swanson. Swanson began her career as an educator in 1991 and joined Kish in 2015. She is commonly referred to as the single-most knowledgeable person at Kish on the permanent art collection because she took on the tremendous task of cataloguing and documenting the entire collection. She readily teaches both traditional and online courses at the College.

The nominees for Support Staff were Cindy Karasewski, Administrative Assistant of TRIO Student Support Services; Kim Jordal, Administrative Assistant of Arts/Communications/Social Sciences; Elyse Roberts, Social Media Specialist; and Susan Tyler, Custodian. This year’s recipient of the Support Staff Award of Excellence is Kim Jordal. Jordal began at Kish part-time in 2007 and transitioned into a full-time Admissions Assistant in 2012. She has been in her current Administrative Assistant role since 2017. Her unique experience on both the student services and academic side of the College make her a wealth of knowledge. Colleagues attribute the small changes she implements as making their jobs easier.

The nominees for the Professional Staff Award were Missy Gillis, Director of Student Outreach & Educational Partnerships; Kim Green, Academic Coordinator of TRIO Student Support Services; and Sean Kesselring, Lead Academic Advisor. This year’s recipient of the Professional Staff Award of Excellence is Missy Gillis. Gillis came to the College in 2017 with decades experience in higher education. Alongside her director position, Gillis is the Assistant Cross Country Coach and Career Technology Academic Advisor. Her unmatched energy, pride, and passion for Kish have made her an asset to the College.

The nominees for the Part-Time Staff Award were Lindsay Barron, Web Developer and Julie Oberheim, Academic Advisor. The 2019 recipient of the Part-Time Staff Award is Lindsay Barron. Barron joined Kish in 2008 as the Web Developer and has since served as the resident go-to expert of the website. She goes beyond her job responsibilities to train faculty and staff on the website as well as staying current with the latest technology. 

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. The College is very appreciative of the dedicated service to the Kish community. 


Photo: Kishwaukee College announced the Board of Trustees 2019 Award of Excellence recipients at the End of Year Employee Event on May 3. Pictured are this year’s recipients, L to R: Kathy Schnier, Full-Time Faculty award recipient; Kim Jordal, Support Staff award recipient; Missy Gillis, Professional Staff award recipient; and Loretta Swanson, Adjunct Faculty award recipient. Pictured Lindsay Barron, Part-Time Staff award recipient.

May 20, 2019

Kishwaukee College named Dr. Norman Jenkins, former President of Kishwaukee College, and Dr. Diane McNeilly, former Vice President of Instruction at Kishwaukee College, as the recipients of the 2019 John C. Roberts Community Service Award. The couple received the award at Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 18.

The John C. Roberts Community Service Award was established in 2009 to recognize individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the pursuit of excellence in education for the residents of the Kishwaukee College district. “Dr. Norman Jenkins and Dr. Diane McNeilly’s careers embody the same selfless dedication to the residents in our district and the support of education that inspired John Roberts when he worked to establish Kishwaukee College,” stated Ken Doubler, Kishwaukee College Trustee, during the commencement ceremony. 

Dr. Jenkins and Dr. McNeilly are passionate advocates of education. Both joined Kishwaukee College in the early days: Dr. Jenkins was recruited to the College before the doors opened in 1968 to head the Student Services department and Dr. McNeilly came on board in the Spring semester of 1969 in the Physical Education department as an Instructor and Chair. During their tenure, they developed several new administrative and academic programs and the College experienced tremendous growth. They utilized the continuous quality improvement (CQI) management philosophy and believed it was imperative to the College’s improvement in its services, processes, and outcomes. Even in retirement, the couple still devote their time and resources to the advancement of the College. Dr. Jenkins is an active member on the College’s Foundation board, and they established an endowment to support Phi Theta Kappa.


Photo Caption: Dr. Norman Jenkins, former President of Kishwaukee College, and Dr. Diane McNeilly, former Vice President of Instruction at Kishwaukee College, receive the 2019 John C. Roberts Community Service Award during Spring Commencement on May 18. Pictured, L to R: Bob Johnson, Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees Chair; Dr. Diane McNeilly, 2019 John C. Roberts Award recipient and former Vice President of Instruction at Kishwaukee College; Dr. Norman Jenkins, 2019 John C. Roberts Award recipient and former President of Kishwaukee College; and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College.

 

April 17, 2019

Cristopher (Cris) Luna of DeKalb will represent student interests as the new Student Trustee on the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees. Luna was seated at the April 9 regular board meeting. His one-year term will run until April 2020.

“Kishwaukee College has been fortunate to have had a series of excellent student trustees that have brought their fellow student views and concerns to the attention of the other trustees and senior administrators to help them make better informed decisions concerning programs, policies, and budgets,” comments Bob Johnson, Board Chair.

Luna was elected by the Kish student body as its representative on the Board during the student elections held the week of March 25. The Illinois Community College Act provides that each Illinois community college shall elect one student to the Board for a one year term.

“When I began college at Kish, I never expected to be a Trustee but I am so glad to take on this responsibility,” Luna comments. He replaces Johnathan Prose of Oregon as Student Trustee.

Luna is completing his two-year degree and plans to transfer to NIU to study special education. He is employed with the Student Outreach Office as a Student Ambassador, touring prospective students and their families around campus and sharing his knowledge of the College. Luna also serves as Treasurer of the Student Government Association and is an active member of other organizations and clubs on campus.

“I want to be a voice for all students and make sure campus feels safe and inclusive for everyone,” Luna says. “Thank you to the students for voting me in and putting their trust in me.”

“I am confident, after having met Cris, that he will be an excellent advocate for the views of his fellow student,” Johnson adds.


Photo: Cris Luna was seated as the Student Trustee on the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees on April 9. Pictured: Cris Luna, Student Trustee of Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees.

March 20, 2019

Kishwaukee College student Johnathan Prose completed his term as Kishwaukee College’s Board of Trustees Student Trustee for the 2018-2019 academic year. “We have a history of outstanding student trustees and Johnathan was no different,” commented Bob Johnson, Board Chair, at the March 12 board meeting. Johnathan will be attending Iowa State University in the Fall to study Civil Environmental Engineering.

As part of his term as Student Trustee, Prose served as a voice for students on the Board. He reported on events, athletics, and announcements pertaining to student activities and achievements as well as bringing forth suggestions about the College made by students.

“One of the most valuable things for me was learning how a college is run,” Prose comments. “Understanding how data is collected and analyzed and then understanding the process of a construction project from beginning to end will help me to become an engineer.”

In addition to his student leadership role with the Board of Trustees, Johnathan is also an active member with Phi Theta Kappa. Prose will go to Springfield on April 9 to receive the Phi Theta Kappa All-State and Bronze Coca-Cola Academic Team scholarships. Students are nominated for the academic team by their college administrators. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in higher education. The society offers opportunities for scholarships, intellectual enrichment, and personal development through programs based on the society’s hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship. “Scholarships like these are integral to the success of these students in reaching their educational and career goals,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa.

Iowa State offered Prose in-state tuition for up to 2 years because he was named a Coca-Cola Bronze Scholar. He will graduate from Kish this summer with an Associate of Engineering Science degree.

“The advice I would give to students,” Prose says, “would be to get involved with as many things as they can; whether it’s being involved in clubs on campus, participating in college events/intermurals, playing a sport, or even participating in activities outside of Kish. I have learned the importance of building my resume and making connections with people; it’s never too early to start.”


Photo: Johnathan Prose was recognized for his service as Student Trustee on the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees during the 2018-2019 academic year. Pictured: L to R, Bob Johnson, Chair of Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, Johnathan Prose, Student Trustee of Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College.

February 12, 2019

Bob Hammon, Vice Chair of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, has received the distinction of Lifetime Membership with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Bob Hammon has served on the Kish College Board of Trustees since 2011 and is currently in his second term. “Bob has contributed greatly to the College during his tenure. He is deserving of this honor,” said Bob Johnson, Chair of the College Board of Trustees.

ACCT is an advocacy group for community college governing boards at nearly 1,200 community and technical colleges across the country. “ACCT provides outstanding staff development programs, training, and up to the minute information on national legislation. All of this helps trustees to conduct themselves ethically and appropriately and to have the latest information to function as a successful trustee of the board,” said Hammon.

The distinction of Lifetime Membership provides an opportunity for colleges to honor outstanding board members and pay tribute to trustee contributions to their college. “By becoming a lifetime member of ACCT, in a small way, I have the opportunity to recognize other trustees who dedicate themselves and show appreciation for their service, knowledge, and experience to the community college mission at the state and national level,” said Hammon. 

Hammon has served as an active, involved trustee through the process of developing a new College mission and vision. He also completed a special Illinois Community College Trustee Association Trustee Leadership Training course in June of 2017. Hammon has lived in the area for more than three decades; worked for the Sycamore school systems for 21 years; and served as superintendent for Sycamore school district for 13 years. 

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Photo Caption: Bob Hammon, Vice Chair of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees, has received the Association of Community College Trustees Lifetime Membership, which recognizes outstanding board members and their contributions to their college. Pictured L to R: Bob Johnson, Chair of the Board of Trustees; Bob Hammon, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees; and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of the College.

November 2, 2018

The Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees has recently approved a new College Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan provides the College with direction for the future and includes a new College mission and vision, values, and strategic initiatives.

Developing the new Strategic Plan was an eight-month process, which included gathering feedback through multiple listening sessions with key stakeholders including: faculty and staff, current students, community members, the Steering Committee, and the College’s Board of Trustees. The College partnered with John Newton and Associates to gather and review the information used in defining the mission, vision, values, and strategic initiatives of the College.

The 2018 College Strategic Plan has launched a new College mission statement and vision statement, the first update in 10 years. “The core hasn’t changed but the language is refreshed and simplified,” said Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kish.

Another new piece of the Strategic Plan: the addition of the College values. Dr. Borowicz said, “We’ve added the College values to demonstrate what we stand for and believe in.” She explained that she is proud of the new Strategic Plan as it gives, “the College and community a glimpse of who we are and where we’re going.”

The Strategic Plan also includes strategic initiatives: student success, external partnerships, valuing employees, continuous improvement, and resource management. These initiatives provide the road map for the College. To meet the continuous and rapidly changing landscape of higher education, annual goals will fall under the strategic initiatives. To view the College’s annual goals visit www.kish.edu/goals.

Bob Johnson, Chair of the Kish College Board of Trustees, explained the importance of the new Strategic Plan during Kish’s 50th anniversary homecoming event. He quoted Warren Buffet: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

The new Strategic Plan is reflective of the bright future at Kish, built upon a rich tradition of providing quality education to the community. Johnson summed it up best, “Kish has improved lives for our students and community residents for the past 50 years. The vision and planning of the ad-hoc pre-referendum committee and all the Trustees, Foundation Board members, administrators, faculty, support personnel, and citizen members of various advisory committees have served Kish students well for 50 years by following the faithful execution of those plans.”

To view the 2018 College Strategic Plan, please visit www.kish.edu/strategicplan.

 

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