March 2010 Board Meeting Report

A pair of Illinois Valley Community College sophomores were recognized Thursday by the board for being among the top community college students in the nation.

Run Jin You of Princeton and Aseret Gonzalez of Earlville will represent IVCC on the 2010 All-USA Community College Academic Team, a distinction bestowed by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honorary society for two-year colleges.

As 2010 Coca-Cola Gold Scholars, You and Gonzalez are among the top 50 community college students in the country and will receive $1,500; their pictures will appear in the April 19 edition of USA Today.

“Having two Gold winners in the same year is rare,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. “It speaks volumes about Run Jin and Aseret and the high-quality instruction they received from our faculty.”

Gonzalez, vice-president of leadership for PTK, was also chosen IVCC’s 2009 21st Century Scholar, a $2,000 award honoring IVCC’s most promising students. An education major with a 3.9 GPA, Gonzalez is an ESL tutor in IVCC‘s adult education program. She plans to transfer to Illinois State University to study to become a bilingual history, social science and Spanish instructor at the high school level.

You, a peer tutor with a 4.0 GPA, initiated ‘Indefinite Limit,’ an on-campus mathematics club that helps young adults understand and appreciate mathematics. A native of Fuzhou, China, she will transfer to Northern Illinois University next fall to pursue an accounting degree. She was a 21st Century Scholar finalist and has won several other scholarships.

In other business, the board formalized IVCC’s move into wind turbine technician training by approving a Basic Renewable Wind Energy Technician certificate.

With over 500 turbines already in the district and 300 more planned or under construction, demand for technicians is strong. One technician is needed for every 12-15 turbines, said Sue Isermann, Associate Vice President for Career and Technical Education. Entry-level wages are $24 to $25 an hour with experienced technicians earning $28 to $30.

In addition to regularly climbing over 260-feet to the top of the towers, technicians must be skilled in electronics, electricity, PLCs, hydraulics and mechanical maintenance, Isermann said.

IVCC worked with representatives of local wind farms and parks to develop the 35.5-hour certificate. Fall semester courses include equipment maintenance, AC/DC theory and circuit analysis, prototype design and fabrication, industrial first aid, OSHA and wind energy safety, and wind energy concepts.

The board also approved the purchase of equipment for the program including two Lab-Volt Solar/Wind Training Systems from Advanced Technology Consultants for $32,440 and five Wind Concepts modules from Aidex Incorporated for $8,000.

In other action, the board approved:

  • The $34,000 bid of Champion Environmental Services for asbestos abatement for this summer’s biology lab renovation.
  • Seeking bids for a security surveillance system for the IVCC Ottawa Center at an estimated cost of $17,000.
  • The retirement request of 22-year biology instructor Tim Horger effective May 31 and the sabbatical request of Early Childhood Education instructor Diane Christianson for the spring 2011 semester.
  • The transfer of $1 million to the college’s Capital Development Board trust account at Citizens First National Bank to cover anticipated costs for the Community Technology Center. The college will have $2.5 million in the account to cover more than $1.8 million in architectural fees and reimbursables.
  • Approved the tentative $21,000 board budget for 2011, down from $35,155 in 2006.

The board also learned:

  • IVCC successfully hosted the 14th annual Community College Assessment Fair March 5. In a presentation to the board, Dr. Manuel Gomez, Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences, said more than 170 individuals representing 30 colleges across Illinois attended the event.
  • The college will be opening a temporary office in the Ottawa City Hall Council Chambers April 6-9 for the start of fall registration for its Ottawa Center. Counseling and financial aid information will also be available; beginning April 12 the office will be open each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Both IVCC basketball teams had memorable seasons. The women’s team won its second straight Region IV title, advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament in East Peoria and with a 28-7 record, secured the most wins in IVCC women’s history. The men’s team, 19-13, had the most wins since 1989-90, Dean Riley’s last season as IVCC coach, and had the best conference record, 7-5, since joining the Arrowhead in 1999.
  • Over 900 students from 17 district grade and high schools attended the 10th annual Career Fair March 19 sponsored by IVCC and Starved Rock Associates for Vocational and Technical Education (SRAVTE). About 200 students toured the Building Trades Expo on east campus.
  • Six recent therapeutic massage graduates all passed the national certification exam.
  • Physics instructor Dominic Sarsah was recently appointed by the IBHE and ICCB to serve on the Illinois Articulation Initiative Engineering Advisory Committee.
  • Dr. Lori Scroggs, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, has been accepted to the board of examiners for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.
  • IVCC will host its 19th annual Job Fair “Begin the Transformation,” from noon to 6 p.m. April 15 in the gymnasium.
  • About 130 guests attended the March 13 Master Gardener Seminar co-hosted by IVCC’s horticulture program and the La Salle County Extension.