Illinois Valley Community College’s recent Academic Awards Ceremony honored Thomas J. McCormack Scholars, students who have achieved distinction for two- and three-consecutive semesters, and Phi Theta Kappa All-Illinois Academic Team members.
McCormack Scholars in 2019 are Nicholas Bollis, Lauren Giordano, Nicolas Martinez and Shay Scheri, all of Peru, Shane Peek of Rutland, Morgan Phillips of Lostant, Bryar Lindenmeyer of Mendota, Summer Hoagland-Abernathy, Mason Kannel and Hannah Miskel of Ottawa.
Considered IVCC’s most prestigious academic award, McCormack scholars maintain a minimum 3.75 GPA in at least 14 credits over three consecutive semesters.
Giordano, a December 2018 IVCC graduate and honors student, was among the featured speakers. She served in student government, was a peer tutor, contributed to the student literary publication River Currents and co-captained the tennis team. Next fall, she will transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to double major in communications and English.
“As I reflect on my time at IVCC, I can’t help but feel grateful that such an exceptional institution is so close to home. I have found myself immersed in a variety of different roles and experiences that have often led me into new and undiscovered territories,” she said.
“With the help of my professors and the many other avenues of support throughout the college, I was able to overcome these obstacles with ease. Through this supportive environment, I gained the confidence to readily accept new challenges while working to accomplish the educational goals I established at the beginning of my college career,” Giordano said.
Math Learning Center instructor Mary Black, winner of the 2019 Stephen Charry Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, also spoke and encouraged students to take with them from IVCC: family, faith, flexibility, fortitude, and failure.
“There’s an acronym floating around that the letters in FAIL stand for First Attempt In Learning. Take your failures and look at them the same way — use them as stepping stones and reminders of what you have learned and all that’s ahead for you to learn as you change and grow,” she said.
Bollis and Lillian Rodrigues of Mendota were honored for earning Phi Theta Kappa All-Illinois Academic Team awards.
Rodrigues received a $2,250 scholarship for being named a 2019 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar based on her academic accomplishments and leadership. She was the lone Pathway Scholar from Illinois. In all, more than 2,000 students were nominated for the award from 1,200 colleges.
Upon graduating from IVCC, she plans to transfer to NIU to major in microbiology. She eventually plans to become a physician’s assistant and return to the area to practice rural medicine.
Bollis will also transfer to NIU in the fall and plans a career as a pediatric cardiologist.
Recipients of the Richard Publow Memorial Award for exceptional writing were Alexis Countryman of Compton, first for ENG 0900, Joannah Elaina Cisneros of Oglesby, first for ENG 1001, Haley Elizabeth Gerkitz of Ottawa, second for ENG 1001, Nikolas Muzzarelli, second for ENG 1001 and Noemi Gonzalez, second for ENG 1002 both of La Salle, Amanda Leppert Gomes of Marseilles, first for ENG 1002 and Miriam Hoffman of Earlville, second for ENG 1002.
The award honors the memory of former IVCC English and philosophy instructor Richard Publow.
Students maintaining a GPA of 3.25 or higher for three consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment were:
Arlington: Jenna Lusietto;
Cherry: Matthew Hoscheid, Connor Whitten;
Dalzell: Xavier Braboy;
Earlville: Hannah Westphal;
Granville: William Faletti, Kaitlyn Mellentine;
Henry: Victoria Garcia;
La Salle: Noemi Gonzalez, Kaleb Salas;
Lostant: Morgan Phillips, Michael Stoens, Lidia Templeton;
Marseilles: Skylar Hardee, Noah Rowe, Zaria Sheedy, Michael Straith, Kathryn Varland;
Mendota: Esmeralda Arteaga, Dillon Bodmer, Elle Bottom, Bryar Lindenmeyer, Lillian Rodrigues;
Oglesby: Alison Anthony, Jessica Garber, Alexa Schmitz, Dylan Schweickert;
Ottawa: Alexis Bennett, Macie Jo Bolatto, Summer Hoagland-Abernathy, Mason Kannel, Trevor Keegan, Danielle Lindenbaum, Hayle Marshall, Joseph McCague, Hannah Miskell, Andrew Noble, Jenna Pubentz, Bethany Roberts, Cassidy Wilson;
Peru: Madison Bejster, Nicholas Bollis, Lauren Giordano, Taylor Hammerich, Nicolas Martinez, Brittany Marx, Nicholas Niner, Andrew Novotney, Elizabeth Peruba, Emily Sampo, Shay Scheri, Ryan Shevlin;
Princeton: Madelina Nunez, Kiara Tate, Clayton Zelenik;
Rutland: Shane Peek;
Sheridan: Jarrid Thorpen;
Spring Valley: Vicky King, Joseph Marenda;
Streator: Sam Banasiak, Jacqualyn Eilts, Brooke Melvin;
Tonica: Matthew Blackowski, Rachel Huska;
Utica: Bryanna Hoskins.
Two consecutive semester honors went to:
Bureau: David Keisler;
DePue: Gavin Garcia;
Earlville: Stephanie Westphal;
Grand Ridge: Andrew Bacon;
Granville: Jacob Dudek;
Hennepin: Lara Petersen;
La Moille: Alana Cherry, Olivia Heinzeroth, Emily Schneider;
La Salle: Janice Bardell, Catherine Calderon, Isaac Casas, Sierra Ellinger, Christopher Murphy, Austin Prybylinski, Rebecca Reed, Trevor Samolinski, Braidy Shipp, Mallory Watson Halbleib,
Lostant: Rachel Maggio;
Magnolia: Katie Cimei;
Marseilles: Mateo Eib, Joshua Johnson, Kylie Marko, Hannah McCormack, Tristen Underwood, Alexis Williamson;
Mc Nabb: Megan Thompson;
Mendota: Abbie Aldenhoff, Aylin Arellano, Paxton Kennedy, Joseph Lashonse, Leslie Martinez, Christian Salinas, Chandler Schultz;
Oglesby: Rachel Black, Marshall Brennan III, Tatum Bruning, Kathleen Shields;
Ottawa: Creighton Barnett, Julia Browning, Dustin Covert, Noah Donahue, Brogan Dougherty, Jade Goff, Lainey Goolsby, Presli Lovell, Chloe Maxon, Paul Schrik Jr.;
Peru: Marissa Bulak, Madison Cofoid, Abigail Coutre, Molly Ferguson, Alexander Innis, Amber Lynch, Andrew Ostrowski, Jacob Steinberg, Savannah Thomas;
Princeton: Kalysta Biskie, Beth Elmore, Phillip Hedges, Jessica Krohn;
Sheffield: Abbey Walters;
Spring Valley: Brianna Brust, Kaylin Clark, Jacob Corsale;
Streator: Andrew Benner, Ryan Coon, Enrique Gallardo, Jose Gonzalez, Matthew Hansen, Michael Hysell, Evan Martin, Kallie Miller, Ryan O’Rourke, Lindsey Salata, Javier Secundino-Hernandez;
Utica: Alison Fauth, Cierra Kaldahl;
Walnut: Jennifer Linley;
Wenona: Hollie Yunker.
Emcee Mark Grzybowski, Vice President for Student Services, said the ceremony dates back 52 years to when IVCC was founded in 1967.
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran said more than 35,000 degrees and certificates have been awarded to LPO Junior College and IVCC graduates and hundreds of thousands more have enrolled on a part-time basis.
“They all have one thing in common: their lives have been enriched because of our college. To the many IVCC ‘ambassadors’ who speak so highly about our college and play an important role in helping students make the wise choice to enroll at our proud institution, we thank you. And to those students here this evening because your hard work has paid off, we honor you.”