November 13, 2018

Kishwaukee College Committee on Gender and Sexuality Diversity will celebrate Trans* Awareness Month with Kish alum, Sean Alms. He will speak about his Kish experience and life on Wednesday, November 14 at 12:30 pm in A1225. The event is free and open to the public.

Trans* Awareness Month occurs every November. This month is a time for the trans* community and their allies to further educate about and advocate for issues and concerns that act as barriers for trans* people. Additionally, November 20 is known as Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of transgender men and women who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence. 

Sean Alms of Malta, is a Kishwaukee College graduate. While a student, Sean was a tri-athlete, participating in Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball. Alms will share his story, including his life experiences before and after his transition and his time at Kish. Alms believes everyone could benefit from hearing his story, “education and information better the world.”

He concluded, “I feel by sharing my story I have the opportunity to educate and inform people about being transgender, the issues we face and that we are all human and deserve happiness in life.”

For more information about Trans* Awareness Month events at Kish, please contact Ami Irmen, Assistant Professor of English at Kish, at or 815-825-9378.

November 1, 2018

Kishwaukee College Athletics Department will honor five of its former stand-outs during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Tuesday, November 6, between women’s and men’s basketball games, in the Kish Gymnasium. Ron Sweet, Kat Martin, Ashley Beyer, Devin Mack, and Kimi Sikora will each be given honored for their achievements. The induction ceremony will be preceded by a reception on campus for inductees, their family, friends, faculty, and staff of Kish as well as other current and former members of Kish College Athletics.

Ron Sweet served as Kish’s Head Volleyball Coach from 2003-2009. He was the Volleyball Assistant Coach from 2000-2002. He led his teams to an incredible 3 NJCAA National Championships in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He had a career record of 336-43. During his time at Kish, he was honored three times as the NJCAA National Coach of the Year; the 2008 Midwest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Region Coach of the year; six-time Region IV Coach of the Year; and five-time Arrowhead Conference Coach of the Year. His teams were seven-time Region IV Champions and seven-time Arrowhead Conference Champions. Additionally, he had 15 NJCAA First Team All-American players, 12 NJCAA Academic All-American players, and 7 First Team AVCA All-American players.

Kat Martin played basketball for Kish from 2003-2005. She later served as the Women’s Basketball Associate Head Coach and Volleyball Assistant Coach at Kish from 2007-2013. During her time as a student at Kish, she earned single season, game, and career blocking records. She also has the single game rebounding record, an NJCAA DII rebounding record, and was ranked top 10 in single season and career rebounding. She earned recognition as an Arrowhead Academic All-Conference player. While serving as the Women’s Basketball Associate Head Coach, the program earned its first Region IV Championship and Arrowhead Conference Championship; the team also made an appearance in the 2012 NCJAA DII National Tournament Final Four. She notably organized over $7,000 in donations for breast cancer awareness through the “Play4Kay” Pink Zone events. While serving as Volleyball Assistant Coach from 2007-2009, she assisted the team to two NJCAA DII National Championships; two Arrowhead Conference Champions; and two Region IV Regular season and tournament champions, while the team went undefeated in NJCAA DII play in a season.

Ashley Beyer played volleyball for Kish from 2008-2009. She was recognized as the 2008 NJCAA National Player of the Year; 2008 NJCAA DII First Team All-American; 2008 AVCA All-American; 2008 DII National All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP; and was a 2008 NJCAA DII National Champion. After Kish, she went on to play at the NCAA Division I level for Marquette University and professionally overseas. She currently serves as the Assistant Volleyball Coach at Georgia State University.

Devin Mack played basketball at Kish from 2010-2012. She is one of only two former Women’s Basketball players to be a two-time NJCAA All-American in the College’s history. During her time at Kish, she was honored as 2011 Region IV Freshman of the Year; 2011 Arrowhead Conference Freshman of the Year; 2012 Region IV and Arrowhead Conference MVP; and part of the 2012 NJCAA DII National All-Tournament Team. She was the second all-time leading scorer with 1163 points; earned third and eight single season scoring and fourth and seventh season rebounding. She has individual records for all-time career free-throws and second on the all-time list for rebounds in a single game. She had multiple single game scoring record appearances and was honored as an Arrowhead Academic All-Conference player. She went on to play at the NCAA Division I level for the University of Memphis.

Kimi Sikora, formerly Kimi Hohl, played volleyball at Kish from 2006-2008. She was honored as the 2007 NJCAA National Player of the Year; 2007 NJCAA DII First Team All-American; 2007 AVCA All-American, and 2007 DII National All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP.  Additionally, she was a two-time NJCAA DII National Champion. She went on to play at the NCAA Division I level for the eventual National Champion, Penn State University team.


Categories: Athletics, Alumni
October 26, 2018

Jason Watson, a 1994 Kishwaukee College alumnus, always told his wife Joni, a 2005 Kish alumna, that he wanted to have a farm when he retired. Little did he know Joni had a passion for pumpkins and an entrepreneurial spirit. In 2015, The Enchanted Valley Farm was born. This pumpkin farm is located on Glidden Road in Kingston. It is open the last weekend of September through the first weekend of November and admission is free. The Watsons grow 35 different varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds on their farm, offering unique varieties like the Jarrahdale blue pumpkin.

“We had our first successful year growing Indian corn and we also offer corn stalks and straw bales,” said Joni. She explained, “The hardest thing about production is each year we learn something new but can’t implement it until the next season.” The lifelong learners have talked about how much they’d love to take more classes at Kish to further their horticultural and agricultural education, so they can avoid learning lessons, “the hard way,” as Joni put it.

Joni earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Horticulture with an emphasis in floral design at Kish. While she was still a student, she was a requested wedding floral designer, and began working following graduation; she still creates wedding and event flowers in addition to running The Enchanted Valley Farm with her husband.

Jason studied law enforcement at Kish and later transferred to Western Illinois University. He has served as a police officer with the City of DeKalb for 20 years. The couple discussed the value of the connections made at Kish. Jason noted that he felt comfortable seeing many familiar faces from his high school, Genoa-Kingston, while a student and explained the seamless process of transferring to a four-year university.

When Joni reflected on her time at Kish, she remembers the connections she’s made. “I can still call on people I met along the way and just this year, I reached out to Rich Alde [Assistant Professor of Horticulture], who supplied our mums at our pumpkin farm,” said Joni. She continued, “we were thrilled to add mums grown from Kish to our offerings.”

The Enchanted Valley Farm is a “fun place for families to spend time together at an affordable price,” according to Joni, and just one example of Kish alumni pursuing their passions. Joni said, “it’s amazing how much my [Kish floral] design education has helped me in all areas of business.”

For more information on the Horticulture program at Kish, visit www.kish/edu/horticulture. For more information about The Enchanted Valley Farm, visit

Categories: Alumni
April 27, 2018

The Kishwaukee College Art Gallery and the 50th Anniversary Committee will be hosting an Alumni Art Show this summer and are requesting all interested Kish alum to submit works for possible inclusion. The Alumni Art Show will run July 19 – August 30 in the Kishwaukee College Art Gallery.

The Gallery and Committee would like to include as many alumni artists as possible in this group show and ask that artists limit their submission to 10 pieces. The deadline for submissions is June 28 and all art work selected for inclusion would need to be delivered to campus by July 12.

The Alumni Art Show will open the evening of the 50th Anniversary Fragments of Kish Wine Walk at the College on July 19 from 4:30 – 7:00p.m. Viewing the exhibition will be included in the Wine Walk itinerary.

There will also be a Closing Reception on August 29, noon—3:00p.m. in the Art Gallery. The Wine Walk is a ticketed event; tickets will be available on June 1. The Closing Reception on August 29 will be free and open to the general public.   

The Gallery and 50th Anniversary Committee are hoping to showcase alumni who are both emerging and established artists in a variety of media and focus on bringing diverse, local, and reminiscent experiences to the campus in celebration of 50 years of Pride, Passion, and Purpose at Kishwaukee College.

Alumni artists may submit links to Dropbox or Google Drive, or other online image galleries that can supply information and images about the proposed works for exhibition. An online submission form for digital submissions may be found at

Digital submissions are preferred, but hard copy proposals or supplemental information will be accepted and can be sent to: Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd., Malta, IL 60150; Attention: Jaime Long.

For more information on the Alumni Art Show, contact Jaime Long, Dean of Arts/Communications/Social Sciences, at

Categories: Art, Alumni
September 10, 2018

In honor of Kishwaukee College’s 50th anniversary, the College is holding a celebratory Homecoming event on Saturday, September 15, from 11 am – 2 pm. This family-friendly Homecoming will feature games and activities sponsored by various College departments and organizations.

Children’s activities include playing with bubbles and sidewalk chalk, jumping in two bounce houses on the quad, and making homemade slime. Additionally, kids can experience the touch-a-truck activity; local firetruck, ambulance, 18-wheel truck, and many more vehicles will be on display for play, learning, and photo opportunities.

All are invited to view the campus pop up museum, participate in College trivia with prizes, watch the industrial robot demonstration, check out the Kish Bookstore’s 50% off Kish gear sale, grab free cotton candy and popcorn, and cheer on Men’s Soccer as they play Carl Sandburg College at 1 pm on the soccer field. Other activities on campus include: the Horticulture Department Fall Plant Sale in the Kish greenhouse; visiting artist, Jeremy Foy’s unique athletic-meets-arts experience; and Kish Administration leading the 50th Anniversary Unveilings in the Student Center at 1 pm.

Lunch will be available for $5.00 in the Kish Café. Meal includes pulled-pork sandwich or hotdog, chips, coleslaw, fountain beverage, and cookie.

For more information on 50th Anniversary events, please visit

Categories: Alumni, Students