December 10, 2019

The Kishwaukee College chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) held an induction ceremony December 5 on campus. NSLS is the largest leadership honor society in the nation and aims to help people discover and achieve their goals.

The following 32 students were inducted this fall:

Cortland: Raina Sands
DeKalb: Asia Brown, Margaret Gannon, Alan Getty, Caitlyn Nelson, Edith Reynolds, Samantha Rivera, Cameron Smith and Hannah Sutter
Genoa: Jeanette Brann, Dina Fowler and Anna Hansen
Kingston: John Haberstich
Kirkland: Crystal Gonzalez and Kaelee Spear
Rochelle: Katelyn Ackland, Michael Castellanos, Brandi Ferrari, Allison Hidalgo, Hannah Lager, Mandi Lamb, Senice Mack and Ryan Mickey
Lindenwood: Carly McMurray
Shabbona: Kimberly Rotella
Sycamore: Alyssa Bigelow, Leticia Cardenas, Kelsy Daluga, Graham Flieder, Hannah Kurowski, Robert “Cole” Nelson and Aubrey Villarreal

Pictured: (L to R) Samantha Rivera, DeKalb, NSLS inductee and chapter officer, student president; Carly McMurray, Lindenwood, NSLS inductee; and Edith Reynolds, DeKalb, NSLS inductee and chapter officer, student fundraising chair.

November 26, 2019

Kishwaukee College is hosting the Fall Juried Student Art Exhibition from December 2 – December 14 in the Art Gallery (C1260) on campus. A reception and awards ceremony will be held December 3 starting at 12:00 pm.

Much of the work on display is a product of Kish’s art program. Awards will be given to student artists with artworks considered the best of their discipline as decided by the juror.

Works include a range of media such as painting, drawing, ceramics, metals, printmaking, design, and photography.

The Art Gallery is open from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on weekdays during an exhibit. Guests are encouraged to park in Lot B and enter through door 58. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

For more information on Kish’s art program, visit For more information about the Fall Juried Student Art Exhibition, contact administrative assistant Kim Jordal at 815-825-9364.

November 22, 2019

Kishwaukee College is adding men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s bowling and co-ed electronic sports (eSports) to its intercollegiate athletics beginning Fall 2020. The sports were approved at the November 12 Board of Trustees meeting.

“The general feeling of the Board of Trustees is that athletics are a very important part of the college experience at Kishwaukee College. For many years, trustees have encouraged increased opportunity for in-district student athletes to continue participation in their chosen sports post high school,” remarked Bob Johnson, board chair. “Under the leadership of Athletic Director Scott Kawall, Kish will now offer nine sports.” By Fall 2020, Kish will offer men's baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's bowling, women's bowling, men's cross country, women's cross country, coed eSports, men's golf, women's golf, men's soccer, women's soccer, women's softball and women's volleyball for a total of 14 teams playing nine different sports.

“Over the last three years, Kish has increased its in-district student athlete population from 21 percent to nearly 60 percent. There is a real value to participating in intercollegiate sports that offers a new dimension to the college experience. We are proud to continue to expand athletics and recruit local talent,” said Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish.  In 2016, the College had three athletic teams with 48 student athletes participating. With the addition of golf, bowling and eSports for Fall 2020, the College will have 14 teams with a projected 160-170 student athletes.

“The recommendation to expand our athletic offerings was based on current student interest,” explains Michelle Rothmeyer, vice president of student services. “We have an active eSports and gaming club already on campus, and the area has a vibrant gaming community. There is also high involvement with golf and bowling in the local communities, and we believe our local students would be eager to participate in these sports at the collegiate level.”

Ben Holda, president of Kish’s eSports and gaming club, is “ecstatic” about eSports becoming an official sport at the College. “I am happy eSports is being taken seriously and is being legitimized as a sport. I hope this brings greater cultural awareness to the gaming community,” commented Holda.

Growing in popularity, eSports are competition involving video games. Similar to participation in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Kish’s eSports team will also participate in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) along with NJCAA.

Critical thinking, split-second decision making, strategizing, cooperation and team building are a few of the skills developed through eSports reports Holda and two other members of the eSports and gaming club, Jonathan Kurtzman, current vice president and Tyler Hill, former president.

To participate in the new sports, student athletes will need to meet the same requirements as the current intercollegiate sports. Students will need to be enrolled full time at Kish and meet certain GPA requirements to compete.

Photo: Kishwaukee College’s Board of Trustees vote to add bowling, golf and eSports to the athletic offerings next fall. Pictured: Students in Kish’s eSports & gaming club compete against one another during a club meeting.

November 15, 2019

This fall, Kishwaukee College’s Performing Arts Club will present Seasons of Emotion, a production created by Kish students based on the complexities of the human experience. The debut theatrical performance will take the audience on an emotional exploration through various art forms. The performance will be at 7:00 pm on November 22 in the Kishwaukee College Theatre. The show is free of charge and open to the public.

Organized into acts representing summer, fall, winter and spring, Seasons of Emotion will take the audience on an emotional journey through song, drama, dance and poetry. The production consists of original poems and an original piano composition by Kish students and music and monologues/scenes by other artists.

The Performing Arts Club is a new club formed this fall. It is an inclusive club that welcomes students who are interested in any aspect of performance art. The club strives to help students build their self-confidence, creativity and self-expression while providing them with outlets to develop and share their performing arts talents. It is a safe space where students can experiment with new art forms, ideas and approaches in a supportive environment.

"These students have so much talent and creativity!” commented Bonnie Miller-O’Dell, advisor for the Performing Arts Club. “We've worked hard on this show, and I'm excited to see it all come together. I hope members of the local communities will come out and see how much talent we have here at Kish."

Guests are encouraged to park in lot B and enter through door 56.

For more information on Seasons of Emotion, contact Performing Arts Club advisor Bonnie Miller-O’Dell at or 815-825-9394.

November 13, 2019

Kishwaukee College’s International Ed Committee is presenting an Immigration to the Midwest Film Series. Light refreshments will be provided and a brief discussion will follow each showing. The series is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Each film will be shown twice. The first showing will run 9:00 am – 11:00 am in room C1121 on Kish campus. Guests to the 9:00 am showing are encouraged to park in lot A and enter through door 6. The second showing will run 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm in room A1225 on campus. Guests to the 2:00 pm showing are encouraged to park in lot A and enter through door 16 or 17.

November 13, Mountains, Mists & Mexico, 56 minutes
The documentary tells the general history of Mexican immigration to the United States, focusing on the personal narrative of several generations of one family that settled in Wisconsin. Included in the film are interviews about experiences of racism and adapting to American culture, as well as the contributions of Mexican-Americans to the nation’s history. The film touches on concerns facing Mexican-American immigrants that are still prevalent today.

November 20, The Fourth Partition, 75 minutes
The film describes the arrival of Polish immigrants to Chicago, which became the largest center of Polish culture outside of Poland itself. Incorporating both historical and present day footage, the documentary shows the neighborhoods where Poles congregated to work in Chicago’s burgeoning industries, and it depicts their life, which was built around work, faith and a love of their mother country, as Poland fought for independence in the twentieth century.

For more information on the film series, contact Tammy Tiggelaar, coordinator of international education, at or 815-825-9478. 

November 5, 2019

Kishwaukee College cross country student-athlete Jonathan “Dewey” Landis, of Sterling, qualified for the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Cross Country Championship on November 9 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Landis qualified for “All Region” after running a lifetime best of 28:40 and placing tenth in the NJCAA Region IV Cross Country meet on October 26 at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg. Landis’ qualification makes this the second consecutive year a Kish cross country runner qualified for nationals.

“I’m so excited to get this opportunity to run in nationals. It is a good feeling to know that the hard work I put in over the season has paid off,” stated Landis, who began his running career in sixth grade because he wanted to “be better than [his] two older brothers.”

Landis trains five days a week with his teammates and completes one long run over the weekend. A talented runner while at Sterling High School, Landis suffered a collapsed lung after high school and took two years off before running for Kish. Now a sophomore at the College, he knew this was his last year of eligibility to run and decided to join the men’s cross country team. When the season began in August, he had a lot of work ahead of him. “He trained hard and did everything he could to improve,” commented head coach Brady Hunt.

Landis is working towards a certificate in diesel power technology with a tentative graduation date of Spring 2020. “Kish has an outstanding diesel program compared to other schools,” Landis commented. “I also have a family member who came to Kish who was very happy with his education, so that’s why I came to Kish.”

“I'm really proud of the way he competed on that slow, nasty day in October. He beat his season’s best time by 40 seconds,” remarked Hunt.  “I'm optimistic about Dewey’s next race. I think finishing in the top 100 is a reasonable goal. However, Albuquerque sits at 5000 feet of elevation, so any team that is not coming from altitude will have to adjust quickly.”

Cross country began in 2018 at the College. Landis’ qualification is the second consecutive year for Kish cross country. Tania Barragan, of DeKalb, qualified for nationals last year. Currently, 85 percent of the men’s cross country team come from local high schools.

For more information on cross country at Kish, contact head cross country coach Brady Hunt at or 815-825-9655.

Photo: Kishwaukee College cross country student-athlete Jonathan “Dewey” Landis, of Sterling, qualifies for the NJCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Championship on November 9 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Pictured: Jonathan Landis.

November 4, 2019

To celebrate Veterans this year, Kishwaukee College invites active, inactive and military personnel as well as the general public to its Veterans Day Observance on November 11 at 11:00 am in the College’s theatre, room B1205. The event is sponsored by the Veterans Advocacy Committee. Guests are encouraged to park in lot B and enter through door 56.

The observance will include a welcome by Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish; the singing of the National Anthem by Leslie Ciaccio, coordinator of complementary health programs at Kish; and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance led by Ethan Hodzic, current Kish student. NIU Army ROTC will present and retire the Flags. The event will also include a presentation “Stories of Diversity in the Military” by The Veterans Advocacy Committee.

For more information on the Veterans Day Observance, contact Meaghan Cassinelli at or 815-825-9533.

Categories: Students
October 25, 2019

Recent Kishwaukee College data shows that 72 percent of students who graduated with an associate degree from Kish in 2015 earned another certificate or degree within four years.  Of significance is that 90 percent of these students enrolled in an Illinois college or university. The data was made public at the October 8 Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees board meeting.

“It is important for Kishwaukee College to measure student success – not only how well our students are doing at Kish but also how well we prepare them for their next degree,” says Matthew Crull, director of institutional research and data management.

Almost half of all students transferring from Kish attended Northern Illinois University. Other transfer institutions the Kish graduates enrolled in include Illinois State University, Aurora University, Southern Illinois University and Governors State University. The top majors pursued include registered nursing, business, education, accounting and psychology. 

The Illinois Board of Higher Education reports 48.4 percent of Illinois public high school graduates enrolled in an out-of-state 4-year institution in 2017.  “Kish is doing its part to work against the state’s net migration because when students begin at Kish, they are staying and contribute to the local and state economies. It is clear community colleges are a good investment in the local community and in the State of Illinois,” adds Dr. Borowicz. 

Kish alum Angelica Alcaraz began at Kish in Fall 2015 and graduated in Spring 2017 with an associate degree. She transferred to NIU to pursue a bachelor’s in communication studies with an emphasis in organizational/corporate theory. She also earned minors in Spanish and marketing and graduated with her bachelor’s in Spring 2019.  

“I initially thought I wanted to study nursing, but ended up entering business,” says Alcaraz. “If I had changed my major at a 4-year institution, I would have felt like I wasted a lot of time and money. Kish helped me figure out what I wanted to do. It was a great place to get started.” A graduate of DeKalb High School, Alcaraz decided to stay local after NIU and is currently employed as a candidate analyst at the executive search firm Nenni & Associates in Sycamore.  

Photo: Kishwaukee College alumni discuss the transfer process at the Transfer Panel Q & A session on October 24 at the College for National Transfer Student Week. Pictured: (L to R) Angelica Alcaraz, Spring 2017 Kish graduate and Nicole Adams, Fall 2017 Kish graduate.

Categories: Students
October 7, 2019

Furthering their dedication to serving local students, Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb High School, Genoa-Kingston High School, Hiawatha High School, Indian Creek High School, Rochelle Township High School and Sycamore High School have signed 2 Degrees in 3 Years, a strategic partnership outlining specific pathways for area high school students to earn both an associate degree and bachelor’s degree within three years of high school completion. Representatives from each school participated in the official signing on Kish campus October 7.

“Helping young people be college and career ready is important to all of us living and working in our area communities,” stated Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. “We are proud to partner with our district high schools and Northern Illinois University to show students and parents the many opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school, saving time and money in completing college degrees.”

The program demonstrates career pathways for high school students, outlining the college-level courses offered in area high schools, and how those credits transfer to an associate degree at Kishwaukee College and a bachelor’s degree at Northern Illinois University.  Currently, program pathways are available for a bachelor’s in business administration, computer science, elementary education, mechanical engineering and psychology. Kish and NIU look forward to expanding the number of program pathways in the near future.

“We’re excited to collaborate on this effort with Kishwaukee College and our area high schools,” said Dr. Lisa Freeman, president of NIU. “We value our close relationships with our local institutions, and we view these relationships as key resources as we continually work to help students earn their bachelor’s degrees in a timely and affordable manner.”

Current Kish student Anthony Castaldo is a 2019 graduate of Paw Paw High School, now consolidated with Indian Creek High School. Castaldo optimized his coursework while in high school and began his college career this semester with 50.5 credit hours. “I was fortunate enough to get these opportunities to earn college credit, and I encourage other people to take as many classes as they can,” he stated. Castaldo saved three semesters of time towards his bachelor’s and estimates his parents saved “thousands of dollars.” He plans to transfer to NIU to study chemistry in Spring 2020.

Jason Harper, superintendent of Rochelle Township High School District 212, voiced enthusiasm about the new partnership as well. "RTHS is excited about our growing partnership with Kishwaukee College because we believe these types of programs allow our students to be more ready to achieve their goals for after high school while keeping the costs of post-secondary education and training to a minimum. It is a win-win situation for our students and the community,” Harper commented.

Superintendent of DeKalb Community Unit School District 428, Jamie Craven, spoke highly about the new partnership as well. “The 2 Degrees in 3 Years program is an excellent opportunity for our students and all students in the Kishwaukee College footprint. This program encourages students to experience college coursework while at their respective high schools, earn college credit, and ultimately reduce the overall cost and time of earning an associate and bachelor’s degree,” Craven commented. “For several years districts in our region have collectively worked with Kishwaukee College to expand dual credit course offerings for students. This program expands on those efforts ultimately making the path to college more seamless and affordable.”

For more information on 2 Degrees in 3 Years, visit or contact Kish’s executive director of College Relations, Kayte Hamel, at or 815-825-9447.

Photo: Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb High School, Genoa-Kingston High School, Hiawatha High School, Indian Creek High School, Rochelle Township High School and Sycamore High School signed 2 Degrees in 3 Years, a strategic partnership outlining specific pathways for area high school students to earn both an associate degree and bachelor’s degree within three years of high school completion. Picture 1: (L to R) Jason Harper, superintendent of Rochelle Township High School District 212; Dr. Lisa Freeman, president of NIU; and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. Picture 2: back row (L to R) Jamie Craven, superintendent of DeKalb Community Unit School District 428; Kathy Countryman, superintendent of Sycamore Community Unit School District 427; Chad Willis, superintendent of Indian Creek Community Unit School District 425; Jared A. Poynter, superintendent of Hiawatha Community Unit School District 426; Brent O’Daniell, superintendent of Genoa-Kingston Community Unit School Distrist 424; and Jason Harper, superintendent of Rochelle Township High School District 212. Front row (L to R) Dr. Lisa Freeman, president of NIU and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. 

Categories: Students
September 18, 2019

Kishwaukee College's Poetry Committee will lead interactive poetry workshops in a regularly occurring series on campus. Adjunct English Instructor and Staff Writer Erica Vega will debut the series with “Prose Poetry: Exploring Poems on The Edge” on October 10 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Art Gallery (C1260). The event is free and open to the public.

The poetry workshop series invites members of the community to join Kish faculty, staff and students in thoughtful engagement and interaction with poetry and poetics. “Prose Poetry: Exploring Poems on The Edge” will take a close look at the prose poem. As a hybrid, the prose poem takes on the appearance of prose while invoking the devices of poetry. Workshop participants will read and discuss various prose poems and compose their own original work. Poets and prose writers and readers are encouraged to attend.

Erica Vega’s stories and poems have appeared in About Place Journal, BANG! and The New Guard, among other publications. She has written for one of the most visited lifestyle media websites, with over 15 million views per month. Vega produced three cover articles for a national veterinary magazine and has copyedited for industry-leading, multi-billion dollar businesses. Vega holds her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She currently writes for and teaches at Kish.

Workshop participants are encouraged to park in Lot B and enter through door 58 for easiest access to the Kish Art Gallery.

The next poetry workshop, led by Assistant Professor of English Ami Irmen, will demonstrate how to create your own poetry journals. The workshop will take place November 14 from 11: 00 am – 12:00 pm in the Kish Art Gallery (C1260).

For more information about “Prose Poetry: Exploring Poems on The Edge,” contact Erica Vega at or 815-825-9548.

Categories: Students
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