Jerry Wesley joins LLCC Foundation Board

Jerry Wesley of Witt has been elected to the Lincoln Land Community College Foundation Board of Directors.  Jerry has been involved in public education his entire adult life serving as a high school social studies teacher, a K-12 principal and as a superintendent for districts in Witt, Morrisonville and Hillsboro.  Since his retirement from Hillsboro in 2000, he has served as interim superintendent for six districts in central Illinois.  All total, Jerry has served in public education for more than 40 years.

Jerry has been a longtime supporter of Lincoln Land Community College serving as a member of the Lincoln Land School to Work Partnership committee, and chairing the Work Based Learning Committee.  He has also served as a member of the LLCC Southern Region Advisory Committee.  In 2009, he was elected to the LLCC Board of Trustees serving the college’s southern region.  He was re-elected to that post in 2013.  As a member of the Board of Trustees, he served as a representative to the Illinois Community College Association, board secretary and vice-chair.

LLCC honors recipients of 2018 Pearson Master Teacher and Distinguished Service awards

Lincoln Land Community College honored recipients of the 2018 Pearson Master Teacher and Distinguished Service awards at the 24th annual Employee Recognition and Appreciation Ceremony May 9.

Carmen Allen, Ed.D., of Springfield, professor of computer programming, was named the 2018 Drs. Raymond and Ann Pearson Master Teacher. The award is presented annually to an outstanding full-time LLCC faculty member who practices his or her profession in an exemplary manner.

Dr. Allen has been a member of the full-time teaching faculty since 1996. Individuals who nominated Allen for the award noted that she provides a zest for learning and never gives up on students, helping them succeed. She holds an associate degree from Lakeland College, a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, a master’s degree from University of Illinois Springfield and a doctorate degree from Ferris State University.

“After 22 years, I have discovered that the key to student success is building bridges between myself and students — bridges that lead to more effective teaching, learning and support,” says Allen. “When bridges are strong, communication is clear, relationships are meaningful, and students thrive.”

Finalists for the master teacher award were Mark Hardiman of Springfield, professor of theatre; Taiebeh Hosseinali of Springfield, professor of teacher education; Rich Teeter of Rochester, professor of agri-business management; and Katie Tice of Springfield, professor of accounting.

The college also awarded the 2018 Distinguished Service Awards to individuals who demonstrate exemplary leadership and service to the college community, promote a student-focused environment and exhibit a strong commitment to the college’s core values. Distinguished Service Award recipients pictured at right are Rick Lashbrook of Beardstown, utility worker, LLCC-Jacksonville; Dr. Jason Dockter of Chatham, professor of English; Karen Sanders of Nokomis, executive director, LLCC Foundation; and Misty Hagstrom of Chatham, graphic design specialist.

LLCC College for Kids offers fun, enrichment opportunities for children this summer

Registrations being accepted now; online registration available

Lincoln Land Community College’s College for Kids is offering a variety of fun, enrichment activities for youth at its Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road, and other partner sites this summer. Online registration is now open.

College for Kids’ traditional program for students who have completed grades K-8 will run Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., July 9-26. Students may register for one or more of the three weeks. Cost for each one-week session is $135. Weeklong culinary sessions for grades 4-7 are $185.

Classes being offered this summer include: American Sign Language, Anime Japanese, Backyard Ballistics, Brain Games, Breakfast Baking, Camp Read-A-Lot, Candy Chemistry, Cookie Week, Cooking From Scratch, Country Creator, Dragon Genetics, Eric Carle Imagination, Finance and Success, Flight of Fantasy, Full STEAM Ahead, International Cuisine, Junior Chef, LEGO® Explorers, Powerful Potions, Rocketry, Spa Science, Space Is the Place, Speedometry, Zoo Time and more.

The popular Black Rocket Technology camps return during June and July with LEGO© Video Games, Minecraft©, Roblox®, Virtual Reality and other tech-based fun for ages 8-11 and 12-15.

STEM Smarts, a full day camp, takes place June 11-14 for grades 1-3 and 4-6. It includes all new hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities, including LEGO© We Do 2.0.

In addition, other youth programs for students ages 8-12 and 13-18 being offered include Scuba Diving Camps at Adventure Dive and Travel in Springfield from June 18-21 and July 9-12 and new Horse Camps at Bright Star Equestrian Centre in Petersburg from June 11-14 and June 25-28.

Space for classes is limited; early registration is recommended. For a full list of offerings and registration information, visit www.llcc.edu/youth-programs or call 217-786-2432.

$18 million gift benefiting LLCC agriculture program announced

Proceeds from Kreher Farm Perpetual Charitable Trust will transform and grow college’s ag program

Officials of the Lincoln Land Community College Foundation today announced that the college’s agriculture program is the beneficiary of a late farm couple’s charitable trust.

“On behalf of current and future LLCC agriculture students, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the LLCC Foundation will be the recipient of annual earnings from the Kreher Farm Perpetual Charitable Trust, with total assets of $18 million,” said Karen Sanders, executive director of the LLCC Foundation.

The gift will be used to transform and grow the LLCC agriculture program.

“This morning we celebrate the outstanding generosity of Irene and Charles Kreher and their belief in agriculture,” said Bill Harmon, LLCC agronomy professor and ag program coordinator. “The Kreher’s gift is beyond ‘once in a lifetime,’ it’s in the realm of ‘I can’t believe this is really happening.’”

He told the crowd at the announcement ceremony, “The Kreher’s desire was that agriculture be promoted in various ways, to the benefit of – first and foremost – students, along with farmers and the community as a whole. This support will enable us to meet the needs of our growing and diverse student population and provide relevant, up-to-date curriculum on the latest technology in state-of-the-art facilities and environments. These funds will not replace current support by the college … but rather ‘grow’ the agriculture program, increasing the number of students served, increasing local job opportunities filled with qualified LLCC grads, and improving agricultural literacy in our communities, ultimately designed to make LLCC a center of excellence in agriculture education.”

Harmon said the trust also directs the LLCC ag program to implement an education program on the Kreher Farm. “We are honored to play a role in growing this program that brings full circle their shared fondness of agriculture and the land Charlie and Irene Kreher loved. Our mission is to have LLCC be the first choice for potential agriculture students, with a goal to double our enrollment by 2020. Additionally, we want to be the agriculture leader for businesses seeking new employees.”

Don Wienhoff of Quorum Consulting, trustee for the charitable trust, shared more about the Krehers and their commitment to agriculture. “During the years of discussion with Charlie and Irene, talks of ‘donations’ always seemed to center around three things: local, kids and agriculture. This is how we ultimately arrived at LLCC being the perfect beneficiary."

“LLCC has begun the process of transforming the agriculture program,” said Harmon, who now is in charge of day-to-day management, strategic planning and student advising in addition to teaching agriculture. We will continue to explore the viability for new program offerings in ag, as well as growing our nationally recognized livestock judging team. Students will be conducting research projects as part of our overall plans. We have initiated discussions on offering LLCC agriculture classes to nearby high schools … (and) to help promote the program, vehicles such as the car outside emblazoned with ‘LLCC Agriculture’ will transport students and staff to events, as well as serving as rolling billboards.”

Harmon added, “We will be expanding the student experience by incorporating the latest technologies such as a combine simulator so students can practice before operating actual machinery to improve skills, safety and self-confidence, and the latest drones so that we are using the same type used in industry for precision agriculture.” He said students will also benefit directly from the Kreher gift through increased scholarship offerings, and the LLCC Agriculture Club, the largest student group on campus, will expand its participation in statewide and national contests.

LLCC ag student and Livestock Judging Team member Dominic Ruppert of Witt, Ill., who assists on the six-generation family farm raising cattle and showing prize winning pigs, said he was inspired by his LLCC professors to pursue a career in ag education. “LLCC provides so many opportunities to build a strong foundation for a young person’s future … I am ecstatic that our LLCC ag program is receiving an amazing gift. I know that it could not be put into better hands. While the ag program here is already great, I believe that with this generous contribution, LLCC’s ag department will be seen as a premier ag program. To the donors and those who made this gift happen: thank you for making an impact. Thank you for being a champion of education. Thank you for believing in us!”

LLCC’s agriculture program offers an associate in science degree in agriculture, designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree. For students preparing to enter directly into the workforce, LLCC provides two-year associate in applied science degree programs in agri-business management, horticulture and precision agronomy/fertilizer, as well as certificate programs in fertilizer, agricultural watershed management and landscape design/turf management.

More information is available at www.llcc.edu/agriculture.

LLCC Livestock Judging Team members earn All-American status; Ag Club wins awards at National PAS Conference 

Two members of the Lincoln Land Community College Livestock Judging Team, coached by Craig Beckmier, professor of agriculture, recently earned All-American status at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

LLCC sophomores Mason Gordon and Adrian Austin were among 15 students nationwide to receive the honor.

To earn All-American status, in addition to excelling in the classroom, Gordon and Austin, both of Springfield, had to compete and score well at the major national collegiate livestock events including the Kansas City Royal, North American International Exposition in Louisville, and the National Western Stock Show in Denver.  

Both students have been LLCC Agriculture Club officers while enrolled at the college. After completing their studies at LLCC, Gordon, originally from Rushville, Ind., plans to transfer to Purdue University to major in agribusiness and political science. Austin, originally from Mt. Vernon, Ill., intends on transferring to Kansas State University with a major in ag communications.

Also, members of the LLCC Agriculture Club performed well at the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student (PAS) Conference in Louisville last month, where they competed against teams from 18 states.

The Livestock Specialist – Overall Team of Dalton Johnston (Virginia), Dalton Litterly (Elkhart) and Austin Dennison (Virden) won first place at the conference. Johnston earned first place individually, followed by Litterly in third place.

The Livestock Specialist – Swine Team of Mason Gordon (Rushville, Ind.), Adrian Austin (Mt. Vernon) and Austin Smith (Arenzville) placed third overall.

The Soil Science Specialist Team of Morgan Gum (Petersburg), Josie Goebel (Harvel) and Madelyn Ray (Pleasant Plains) also took third in their event.

The College Bowl Team of Litterly, Austin, Gordon, Dennison and Ryan Steinkamp (Springfield) took fourth place out of 32 colleges competing in that event.

The teams are advised by LLCC Professor and Agriculture Program Coordinator Bill Harmon.

The mission of the LLCC Agriculture Club is to foster interaction among agriculture students, provide educational and competitive opportunities and encourage career development.

LLCC’s agriculture program offers an associate in science degree in agriculture, designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree. For students preparing to enter directly into the workforce, LLCC provides two-year associate in applied science degree programs in agri-business management, horticulture and precision agronomy/fertilizer, as well as certificate programs in fertilizer, agricultural watershed management and landscape design/turf management.

More information is available at www.llcc.edu/agriculture.

LLCC Model Illinois Government Team named Outstanding Small Delegation

The Lincoln Land Community College Model Illinois Government (MIG) Team won the Outstanding Small Delegation award at the 40th annual MIG simulation held last month at the Illinois State Capitol.

“Model Illinois Government was created 40 years ago by LLCC political science professor George Perry, and to win the award on this anniversary was a great honor for the team,” said Dr. John Vinzant, LLCC professor of political science and team advisor. “This is the fifth time we have won the award in the last decade.”

Two students earned individual awards. Theo Graff of Middletown was named Outstanding Senate Whip and Amberly Miller of Springfield was recognized for Outstanding Original Legislation.

Elizabeth Roehrs of Springfield was overwhelmingly elected, with 90 percent of the votes cast, to serve as the next governor of MIG. She is responsible for planning the next simulation.

The following students were elected to leadership positions.

  • Jarod Altadonna, Springfield, House Republican Committee spokesperson
  • Evon Dionne, Springfield, Senate Republican minority leader
  • Zach Fedor, Waverly, Senate Democratic Assistant majority leader
  • Theodore Graff, Middletown, Senate Republican Committee spokesperson
  • Dominic LoGrasso, Springfield, House Democratic Committee spokesperson
  • MacKenzi Matthews, Springfield, House Democratic Assistant majority leader

Elizabeth Roehrs, Springfield, served as speaker of the House. Gordon Davis and Silas Tockey, both of Springfield, served as House Committee chairs, and Amberly Miller of Springfield served as a committee member.

In the LLCC Model Illinois Government class, students prepare for the annual MIG simulation held in the Illinois Senate and House chambers. MIG is a roleplaying simulation that builds upon student preparation in using parliamentary procedure, analyzing bills, researching policy, drafting legislation and debating.

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