14 Selected for Leadership Team 2007-2008

 Fourteen students enrolled in technical programs at Illinois Valley Community College have been selected for participation in a leadership team.

The team members are engineering design students Daniel Brongel of Spring Valley, Debbie Ramirez of Ottawa and Steven Yerly of Peru; and electronics students Matt Green and Tanya Knowles of Peru, Jacqualine Kerr of Coal City, Dustin Kohr of Oglesby, Steven Malavolti of Hennepin, Scott Nelson and Shannon Smith of Ottawa, and Steve Smith of Marseilles.

Three students are in their second year on the leadership team: engineering design students Kimberly Warwick of Peru and Judith Kirchner of LaSalle and electronics student Samuel McCauly of Princeton. Last year’s team gave a poster presentation about their activities at the American Society for Engineering Education Ill/Ind. Conference. McCauly and Kirchner also won a scholarship to attend and present a showcase at a conference in Washington D.C. co-sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Science Foundation.

The leadership team, now in its third year, recognizes students for their commitment to their studies and fellow students and provides them with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Dorene Perez, Program Director of Computer Aided Engineering/Computer Aided Design, and Jim Gibson, Program Director of Electronics, originated the Leadership Team. Potential team members are nominated by their instructors and a committee selects students on the basis of attitude, commitment and work ethic, willingness to help others and leadership potential.

"We started the leadership program to recognize promising technical students and to give them opportunities to develop and grow," said Perez. "We’re also utilizing their skills to encourage high school students to consider technical careers. The students we select are good role models for young people."

Brongel said his goal as a team member is "to help others in their future plans." Malavolti mentioned his already busy schedule but added: "I’m looking forward to contributing my experiences and knowledge in mentoring others."

With support from a National Science Foundation grant, the students receive training in the form of free enrollment in a Strategies For College course, designed to improve a student’s success in college. They are also paid a stipend.

Leadership team students organize and participate in promotional and recruiting activities for their programs, mentor other technical students, and participate in professional activities such as conferences. They are encouraged to define their role as leaders by planning and developing their own activities.

Smith said he joined after hearing about last year’s activities. "I want to do more than just the work in class," he said.

McCauly is looking forward to additional opportunities to participate in conferences: "I hope to learn more from other students at colleges from around the U.S."

Warwick’s goal is "to gain some leadership experience as well as teamwork experience for future jobs."

The team is publicizing its activities under the name of LITE WAVE, an acronym last year’s team developed that stands for Leaders in Industrial Technology engineering Working for Advancement in Vocational Education.

To read more about the Leadership Team