Kishwaukee College announced the annual Award of Excellence recipients at the End of Year Employee Event on May 4 at the Terrace Room at Hopkins Park.
The Awards of Excellence program is sponsored by the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees to recognize outstanding employees and their contributions to the college. Awards are given in four categories: Full-Time Faculty, Professional Staff, Support Staff and Adjunct Faculty. College faculty and staff members were nominated by community members, faculty/staff of the college, students and alumni.
The nominees for Full-Time Faculty (including faculty, counselors and reference library personnel) were Steve Durin, aviation; Tania Nezrick, biology; and Everett Westmeyer, accounting.
The recipient of the 2018 Award of Excellence was Westmeyer, who was recognized for his commitment to engaging and developing students. He is the adviser for the Business Club, worked with the Northern Illinois University Department of Accountancy to include Kish students at the NIU Sophomore Summer Leadership Fair this year, and coached a team of Kish students at the annual Case Challenge competition at the NIU College of Business, in which the Kish team took second place.
The nominees for Professional Staff were Missy Gillis, director of student outreach and educational partnerships; Krystal Gundy, head coach of women’s basketball and interim coordinator of student involvement; Keith Lamb, director of campus operations; Jenifer Montag, accommodations specialist; and Keith Wise, director of TRiO Student Support Services.
The recipient of the 2018 Award of Excellence was Montag. In addition to her direct service responsibilities, she has developed e-text books in alternative formats to make them accessible, implemented a Smart Pen program, increased Kish’s braille and tactile graph materials for persons who are blind or have low vision, and helped to implement the captioning of classroom materials.
The nominees for Support Staff were Tobie Anders, textbook buyer – bookstore; Rich Fenton, copy center operator; Lu Mantick, administrative assistant – financial aid; and Linda Smith, administrative assistant – enrollment services.
The recipient of the 2018 Award of Excellence was Fenton. As copy center operator, he has expanded upon his role as the “go-to” person on campus. He was recognized for his willingness to do whatever is required to help the college customers of the copy center, be it jumping on a forklift, unloading trucks, making deliveries or processing mail.
The nominees for the Adjunct Faculty Award were Samantha Arbogast, office systems; Jose Avalos, art; Jackie Cleven, education; Cynthia Prendergast, nursing; and Jim Robar, criminal justice.
The recipient of the 2018 Award of Excellence was Prendergast, who serves as a lab skills specialist and retention specialist for the Health and Education Division. She has worked with her colleagues to sustain the nursing boards pass rate above the state and national averages by means of innovation and professional development in her field.
In addition to certificates, each recipient received a monetary award and will have their names added to the Board of Trustees Award of Excellence plaque permanently on display at Kishwaukee College.