The JJC Alumni Association is active on campus and in the community. Accomplishments this past year include the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award induction of Rev. Dr. Lester Brown '98 and Dave Westphal '66 and Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame induction of William Johnson and Joe Milosevich.
Jay Bergman '68 was awarded the Illinois Community College Trustee Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award. Participation in the 36th Annual Alumni Brunch, Major Exploration Fair, Emerging Leaders Program, Student Business Club meetings, alumni and friends outings, alumni business breakfast meetings and more. The alumni board launched the first annual Scrap that Selfie event on campus where current students and alumni were provided free professional headshots as a career enhancement tool. The alumni board also awards four scholarships to JJC students and alumni, including the most recent 'Future JJC Alumni Annual Scholarship.'
Alumni Association Board of Directors
The JJC Alumni Board of Directors helps to generate new and innovative ideas that assist in the growth of the college. Directors act as ambassadors to the college and regularly participate in college events, programs, committees and more. Board members strengthen the JJCAA through their involvement with and support of college issues that affect students and the community.
2017-2018 Board of Directors
Luann DiMonte '85
Ramsey Mallory '90
Doug Ostrem '68
Phyllis Pemble, Community Liaison
Susan Torres '02
Ericka Williams '08
Become a Board Member
As an active participant you can:
- Help generate new and innovative ideas
- Help Joliet Junior College grow
- Network with other alumni
- Renew friendships with classmates and instructors
- Keep informed about alumni and college programs and activities
- Strengthen the Alumni Association through your involvement
- Support college issues that affect students and our community
Alumni Board of Directors Committees
- Promotes and seeks nominations from Joliet Junior College alumni for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and the Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame.
- Selects Distinguished Alumni Achievement awardees based on established criteria.
- Selects Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame awardees based on established criteria.
- Selects alumni endowed scholarship recipients.
- Reviews Joliet Junior College Alumni Association Bylaws.
- Develops, prepares and presents a slate of candidates to be presented to the full Alumni Board at the April meeting. Schedules and oversees the election of officers by the Board of Directors.
- Attends on-campus student special events (Emerging Leaders workshops, Major Exploration Fair, and more).
- Provides visible support from the Alumni Association to the current students of JJC.
- Attends student extracurricular activities (sporting events, theatre, music recitals, and more).
- Works to create scholastic community representation opportunities for board members.
- Organizes opportunities for board members to assist JJC with the recruitment of prospective students.
- Helps spread the word that JJC offers a unique student-centered educational environment.
- Utilizes our working knowledge of the college and its programs to make us an invaluable resource to the college.
JJC Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
This award is the highest honor bestowed upon a Joliet Junior College alumna/alumnus by the Alumni Association. It is presented at the annual Alumni Brunch to those alumni who have demonstrated outstanding success in their chosen field and provided humanitarian service to society. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.
2017 Award Recipients
Rev. Dr. Lester Brown '98
JJC Criminal Justice Adjunct Professor
Rev. Dr. Lester Brown has been teaching criminal justice and law enforcement classes at Joliet Junior College for 10 years. Retired from the Illinois Department of Corrections with 27 years of service, Rev. Dr. Brown has dedicated his life to serving the Joliet community. He is the senior pastor at Good Samaritan Ministry in Joliet and the Executive Director of GSM Hole in the Soul Substance Abuse Treatment Facility. He also spends his time preparing students for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor state exam.
He has received numerous awards for his community involvement from organizations such as the United Way of Will County and American Red Cross. He was also recognized by President George W. Bush as the honorary chairman of the Business Advisory Council National Leadership and selected as Employee of the Year by the Illinois Department of Corrections Juvenile Division during his tenure with the department.
The former Joliet mayoral candidate credits JJC's professors for helping him graduate at the top of his class and inspiring him to continue his education. In 2001, he went on to Governors State University where he received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in health sciences in 2004, making the national dean's list in both programs. During those years, he also earned a pastoral care certification at the Calvary Institutional Missionary Baptist Church. In 2010, he earned his Ph.D. in Christian counseling from the Midwest Theological Institute.
Brown and his wife, Beverly, have been married for 43 years. They have two children, Anthony D. Brown and Stasha R. Brown; and two grandchildren, Savana A. Brown and Amir Brown.
Dave Westphal '66
Agricultural Business Development
Dave Westphal is an executive in worldwide agribusiness with more than 46 years of experience. He has held senior management positions in the seed industry, both domestically and internationally, for Cargill and Monsanto. Since retiring he has worked extensively consulting in Africa on projects funded by the B & M Foundation, Africa Lead-USAID and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Some of his notable accomplishments include helping to initiate the sale of Cargill's International Seed Business to Monsanto for $1.4 billion; advisory board chair for the Drought Tolerant Maize project for Africa, designing and placing over 50 seed conditioning plants in 15 different countries and building an economically sustainable and integrated cassava and yam seed systems in Nigeria as a technical and business advisor for Context Global Development. Throughout his career, he has been a leader, working on a number of projects including the Zambia Early Generation Seed Study in Africa, the bio-innovate program funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and many projects for the Gates Foundation. He also served as a consultant at the University of Nairobi College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences Seed Enterprise Management Institute.
Westphal holds an associate degree in agriculture supply industries from JJC, a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Illinois State University, and completed the Carlson School of Business Minnesota Executive Program at the University of Minnesota. He also graduated in the eighth infantry division at NCO Academy in Germany. Westphal and his wife, Linda, have been married for almost 47 years. The Iowa couple have two daughters, Allison and Alysia. Allison and her husband, Peter, live in Minneapolis. Alysia and her husband, Matt, have four daughters and live in Columbus, Ohio.
The JJC Alumni Association is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Do you know someone who has:
- Earned a degree from Joliet Junior College?
- Demonstrated outstanding success and distinction in their field?
- Provided humanitarian service to society?
- Demonstrated an interest in support of higher education, especially JJC?
This award is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni of Joliet Junior College by Alumni Relations on behalf of Joliet Junior College. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.
If so, please consider nominating him/her for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. To nominate someone, please fill out the recipient's nomination form online. The deadline for 2018 nominations is February 1, 2018.
Past Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Recipients
Robert Garza '83 - First Sergeant, USMCR, Retired
Dr. Robert Larson '76 - Optometrist
The Honorable Raymond Bolden '53 - Retired Circuit Judge
Bob Zak '81 - Radio Personality
Ronald M. Whitaker '69 - Member of the first BOT; Retired, Ronald M. Whitaker and Company
Beulah Hoffer '32 - Former Chair of Women's Physical Education at JJC
Philip Nelson '78 - President of Illinois Farm Bureau
Dr. Daniel Gutierrez '58 - Internal Medicine Physician; Medical Director
Robert Baca '78 - Professor or Music
Dr. Charles O. Warthen '58 - Former Dept. Chair of Technology at JJC
Charles Morgan '91 - JJC Music Professor, Director of JJC Band
Richard Brandolino '59 - Retired, JJC Administrator
Larry Walsh '68 - Will County Executive, Former Illinois Senator
Rose Mancuso - Pharmacist, Owner REMCO Medical
Katherine Dunham '28 - Award presented posthumous
Revolutionized the world of dance, Dunham's intellectual, artistic and humanitarian contributions were extraordinary.
Edmund C. Puddicombe '34
Returned to JJC in 1938 as a teacher of biological sciences. Sponsored the Students of Medical Sciences for 25 years.
Dr. Thomas Streitz '52
Practicing Dentist, instrumental in Founding the JJC Alumni Association in 1970 and was the Association's first president.
Vera Smith '24
Retired JJC English Instructor
JJC's first Director of Admissions and Records
Anthony Gutierrez '48
Retired Assistant Principal of Joliet Central
John H. Weitendorf, Sr. '42 (deceased)
Owner of Town & Country Realtors
James Stephenson, Jr. '56
Founder of Kinetic Systems Corp., Lockport, IL
Dr. Curtis J. Crawford '71
President and CEO of ZiLOG, Inc.
Dr. Richard Tarizzo '51
Retired Vascular Surgeon, Joliet, IL
Richard L. Joutras '47 (deceased)
Chairman, Bradley Printing & FNW Bank
Bernard J. Kestel '57
Engineering Specialist, Argonne Nat'l. Laboratory
Major General Daniel J. Manning '31 (deceased)
Eng. Executive and WWII Veteran
Dr. Earle Stellwagen '53
Hon. Julian E. Hughes '42 (deceased)
Dr. Stanley G. Rousonelos M.D. '47 (deceased)
Dr. Joseph McFadden '52
St. Thomas University, First Lay President, Houston, TX
Dr. Thomas Peyla M.D. '54
Russell E. Wunderlich '31 (deceased)
James Agazzi '60
Art Director and Emmy Award Winner
Hon. William Caisley '60
Retired Circuit Court Judge
Franklin Brewster, Sr. '36 (deceased)
Int'l. Tech. Adviser for Motorola
John Barnes '41
Retired Vice President Eastman Kodak Company
Dr. John Radke '56
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Dr. Barbara Smith '60
Assistant Professor, Food Science and Nutrition Department
Dr. Edward Schweizer '53
Raymond M. Standahar '41 (deceased)
Government Exec. Dept. of Defense
Dr. David Imig '59
Herbert Trackman '31 (deceased)
Dr. William Shannon '32 (deceased)
Dr. Wayne Watson '66
President, Kennedy-King College
Hon. Susan Pierson-Sonderby '67
Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Dr. Donald Holt '52
Oscar Kreimeier '27 (deceased)
Alan Kehlet '49
George Sangmeister '51 (deceased)
Retired Illinois Congressman
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor '53
Author and 1992 Newbery Medal Winner
B. Leighten Wellman '28 (deceased)
Edward C. Zajac '36
Retired Computer Administrator
Dr. John C. Houbolt '38
Chief Aeronautical Scientist, LaRC, NASA, (retired). Best known as developer of the LOR concept for putting men on the moon and returning them safely to Earth.
Dr. Arthur Toy '37 (deceased)
Chemist, holding more than 80 patents
Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame Award
This award was established to recognize a non-alumna/alumnus of Joliet Junior College who is a current or former faculty member, administrator or friend who has served Joliet Junior College in an exceptional way. Susan H. Wood organized and fostered the growth of the Joliet Junior College Alumni Association. This award is presented at the annual Night of the Stars, formerly Alumni Brunch.
2017 Award Recipients
JJC Agricultural Sciences Professor
William Johnson is the senior faculty member at Joliet Junior College, having taught in the Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences Department for 49 years. Serving as one of the academic advisors for the department, he teaches classes in agricultural economics, agricultural marketing and farm management. Johnson is also Coordinator of the Agriculture Production/Management and Swine Management programs and is in charge of the internship program for students in those concentrations. He proudly serves as the project director for the JJC Growing Agriculture Science Teachers grant, funded by the Illinois State Board of Education. Known as "Mr. JJC" and recognized throughout the community, Johnson has been a consistent college donor since 1985, contributing to a number of student funds and endowed scholarships.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Johnson is a member of the JJC Foundation Board of Directors, a community college representative on the Illinois Leadership Council for Agriculture Education and was a past chairman of the Illinois Foundation FFA State Sponsoring Committee. He received the Excellence in Animal Agriculture Award in 2013 from the Illinois Soybean Association. In 2014, he was recognized by the Chicago Farmers with the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award.
Johnson was raised on a grain and livestock farm near Sugar Grove, Illinois. A graduate of Kaneland High School, he earned his bachelor's degree in agriculture economics and education in 1967 from the University of Illinois. He went on to receive a master's degree in agriculture education in 1968.
JJC Fine Arts Professor
Joe Milosevich retired in May after teaching at Joliet Junior College for 38 years as a fine arts professor and working as director of the Laura A. Sprague Art Gallery. Instructing a total of eight classes in painting, drawing and design, he said the best thing about working at JJC was being in a position where he could nourish and witness the creativity expressed by his students, who regularly created award-winning artwork for Illinois community college art competitions. One of Milosevich's greatest accomplishments at JJC was establishing the Permanent Collection of JJC Student Art in 1984. Another was in 2012, when the current art gallery officially opened – a space he designed – in the area that used to be the JJC Bookstore.
In addition to teaching, Milosevich is a professional artist, and has shown his work in juried and invitational exhibits in the U.S., Italy, Austria and Mexico. In 2015, he earned a second place juror's award in the 56th Midwestern Invitational at Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, Minnesota. Throughout his career, he has received a number of other awards, including a 3-Dimensional Award from Beverly Arts Center in Chicago in 2012; an NISOD Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in 2009; a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Ornithological Society in 2001; and an Outstanding Full Time Teacher Award from JJC in 1996.
Before coming to JJC, he taught art at the University of Minnesota and Kansas State University. Milosevich attended Eastern Illinois University on a full-ride scholarship from the art department where he earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1974. He completed his MFA in painting and drawing from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a graduate fellowship in 1976. Milosevich and his wife, Diane, reside in Crest Hill.
The JJC Alumni Association is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame Award.
- This award was established to recognize a non-alumna/alumnus of Joliet Junior College who is a current or former faculty member, administrator or friend who has served Joliet Junior College in an exceptional way.
To nominate someone for the 2018 Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame Award, please fill out the online recipient's nomination form. The deadline for 2018 nominations is February 1, 2018.
Past Susan H. Wood Hall of Fame Recipients
Professor Emeritus Ted Thompson
Professor Emeritus Dr. Arthur A. Wagner
Professor Emeritus Silas Ellingson
Professor Emeritus Patrick Asher
Dr. Cecil Ingmire
Professor Emeritus Paul Lester
Professor Emeritus Curtis Hieggelke
Dr. Emily Zabrocki
Dr. John Peterson
J. D. Ross
John F. Corradetti
Dr. William Zales
Dr Robert Sterling
Dr. Carolyn T. Engers
Clarence F. Schmitz
Dr. Peter Nichols
John M. Sayre
Grace A. Brewer
Walter F. Zaida
William R. Glasscock
Vera Stellwagen Smith
Harry D. and Emily Lennon Leinenweber
Kenneth P. Parker
Grayce M. Stadler
Edmund C. Puddicombe
Elmer W. Rowley
Susan H. Wood
Future JJC Alumni Annual Scholarship
This annual scholarship was established by the Joliet Junior College Alumni Association Board for the sole purpose to aid in student retention. This annual award shall be given to a full-time JJC student who is nearing completion and earned a minimum of 50 credit hours, demonstrates financial need, earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and demonstrates involvement in school and community activities.
The scholarship can be used for tuition, fees and textbooks for the academic year. The selection will made by the Alumni Board of Directors. The deadline for applications is May 1st. Students can apply for this scholarship by visiting the scholarships page.
Joliet Junior College Alumni Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship was established by the Joliet Junior College Alumni Association Board. Applicants must be a child (natural or adopted) of a Joliet Junior College alumnus or alumna. The parent must have received a certificate or associate degree from JJC. The scholarship can be used for tuition, fees and textbooks for the academic year.
The selection will made by the Alumni Board of Directors. The deadline for applications is May 1st. Students can apply for this scholarship by visiting the scholarships page.
Paul K. Orosco and Catherine M. Orosco Alumni Endowed Scholarship
Scholarship Code: EN238
This scholarship was established in memory of Paul K. and Catherine M. Orosco. It is to benefit a graduate of Lincoln-Way Central High School; however, this scholarship is not restricted to incoming freshmen only. Applicants must provide the following documentation:
- Transcript from Lincoln-Way Central High School
- Evidence of participation in extracurricular activities and community involvement
- The applicant must be a full-time student
- The applicant must have a GPA of 2.5 or above
Selection will be made by Ms. Marie Wilson and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The deadline for applications is May 1st. Students can apply for this scholarship by visiting scholarships.
Susan H. Wood Alumni Endowed Scholarship
Scholarship Code: EN408
This annual scholarship benefits a Joliet Junior College graduate who will attend an accredited institution of higher learning. Selection will be made by the Alumni Association Board of Directors on the basis of scholarship criteria and financial need. Preference will be given to students who will attend the University of Illinois.
The deadline for applications is May 1st. Students can apply for this scholarship by visiting the scholarships page.