LLCC alum Dr. Karla Ivankovich honored with statewide Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Karla Ivankovich of Glenview, a graduate of Lincoln Land Community College, was recently honored by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association with the statewide Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Ivankovich is president and co-founder of OnePatient Global Health Initiative and is a nationally certified licensed clinical professional counselor.                                            

The statewide Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the professional, technical and humanitarian accomplishments of individuals who have graduated from Illinois community colleges. She was nominated by LLCC Board Chair Dennis Shackelford, who noted, “As a counselor, advocate, educator, media personality and public speaker, empowering others is Dr. Ivankovich’s calling, one that she lives every day.”

Ivankovich graduated from LLCC with an associate in science degree in 1993. She went on to complete bachelor’s degrees in business administration and psychology, graduate degrees in human development counseling and disability studies, a Ph.D. in psychology, and additional graduate coursework in educational leadership.

“Community college gave me the opportunity to explore diverse interests unknown to me prior to enrollment and opened my eyes to my potential,” says Ivankovich. “It inspired me to lead a life of service in hopes of giving back to others with the same care and consideration given to me, every step of the way.”

Ivankovich has more than 18 years of experience in various treatment settings, and she has published research, presented findings at national conferences and been frequently called upon to provide expert opinion to national media sources and organizations. Her research and publications have focused on body image, biopsychosocial aspects impacting health disparity, marginalized populations, millennial issues, obesity, privilege, self-esteem and stigma. Most recently, Ivankovich published a chapter in the peer-reviewed third edition of “Explorations in Diversity.” In addition, she teaches in the undergraduate psychology program at University of Illinois Springfield and in the graduate counseling psychology program at North Park University. She also hosts a weekly talk show, “Life and Love,” live from iHeart radio at WVON in Chicago, Ill. Her nonprofit organization, OnePatient Global Health Initiative, works to provide resources for accessible health care and improve health outcomes in some of the poorest communities in Chicago and in Haiti.

Additionally, Karla penned an essay about her LLCC experience for the State Journal-Register entitled, “Pay it forward: A lesson learned at LLCC.”  The column appeared in the Sunday, July 8 edition.

LLCC’s James S. Murray Gallery features “In This Place” July 2-26

Artist’s reception July 18, noon to 1 p.m.

The James S. Murray Gallery at Lincoln Land Community College will feature the exhibit “In This Place” by local artist Will Redwood July 2-26. The public is invited to view the exhibit Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and attend a reception with the artist on July 18 from noon to 1 p.m. The gallery is located on the upper level of Menard Hall on the LLCC Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road.

Through painting, “In This Place” captures the mood of personally meaningful places of being. “We each inhabit our own inner world of contemplation. In this place … we each take part in shaping what will be. We each have our own places of being,” explains Redwood. “These places are the subject of these paintings.”

The symbolism in his paintings conveys paradoxes experienced in life — loss and gain, joy and pain, growth and decay. “When I finish, the painting remains like a passage to that place of being,” says Redwood. “As we are each on a journey of our own, we are all together, and our experiences are often similar.”

Redwood is a painter and vector illustrator as well as the author of two independent storybooks. For six years, he also taught art for the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield. Redwood earned a degree in drawing and graphic design from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2003. Since then, he has continued to make and show art at various galleries, events and retail spaces.

Learn more about LLCC’s James S. Murray Gallery and its exhibits at www.llcc.edu/james-s-murray-gallery.

LLCC sponsors trip to Illinois historic sites associated with U.S. presidents

Led by state historian Samuel Wheeler and ALPLM executive director Alan Lowe

Lincoln Land Community College is taking reservations for an overnight bus trip Sept. 27-28 entitled, “From Galena and Dixon to the White House: Illinois Presidents Journey.” The trip, endorsed by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, will be led by Dr. Samuel Wheeler, state historian, and Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Trip participants will visit the birthplace of Ronald Reagan in Tampico; learn about Reagan’s early life through tours in Dixon; spend a night at the Historic DeSoto House Hotel that served as Grant’s presidential campaign headquarters and is Illinois’ oldest operating hotel; and tour Galena and the homes of Ulysses S. Grant and Elihu Washburne to learn about their connection to Abraham Lincoln.

Cost is $325 per participant (based on double-room occupancy; private rooms are an additional $65). Registration is available by calling LLCC Community Education at 217-786-2432. Online registration is also available. For more information, visit www.llcc.edu/travel-opportunities.

Jerry Wesley joins LLCC Foundation Board

The Lincoln Land Community College Foundation Board of Directors welcomed Jerry Wesley of Witt as a new member at a recent meeting.

Wesley was an elected member of the LLCC Board of Trustees from 2009-2017, serving as board secretary from 2012-2015 and as vice-chair from 2015-2017.

He has been involved in public education all his life. Wesley worked as a high school social studies teacher, a K-12 principal and a district superintendent in Witt, Morrisonville and Hillsboro. Following his retirement, he served as interim superintendent for six districts in central Illinois. In total, Wesley served in public K-12 education for more than 40 years.

During that time, he became an advocate for adult education, including adult literacy and GED programming. In addition, he served as a member of the Lincoln Land School to Work Partnership and the LLCC Southern Regional Advisory Committee.

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 with LEGO© Video Games, Minecraft©, Roblox®, Virtual Reality and other tech-based fun for ages 8-11 and 12-15.

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.

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