News and Views From Your Community CollegeOctober 2012
Recognizing our partners in education
Going green expands across Triton's campus and into district communities
Renovating with sustainability in mind
Inspiring leadership with the President's Leadership Academy
Reconnecting Triton College graduates through new Alumni Association
Alumni Spotlight on Alesha Young
Providing new experiences, fun for families at Fall Family Fun Fest
David King to be honored at the 20th Annual President's Reception on Nov. 14
New name for the HIA Dining Room announced
'Like' President Granados' new Facebook page!


 Through Nov. 16 

Berwyn Art League art display, Triton College Art Gallery, Fine Arts Building.


 Oct. 29 

Chamber Music Concert, 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center in the Robert M. Collins Center.


 Nov. 7 

Discover Triton: Explore Your Opportunities, 6 p.m., 

B-130A&B of the Student Center; Reservations are recommended by calling (708) 456-0300, ext. 3130 

or e-mailing


 Nov. 8

 Veterans Day Celebration, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Student Center Cafeteria.


Nov. 9-11 and 15-18

Triton College Performing Arts Department present 'Art', 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays & 2 p.m. Sundays, Cox Auditorium (Room J-108) of the Fine Arts Building; Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students, Triton employees and seniors.


Nov. 14

President's Reception, 6 p.m., Student Center Cafeteria. Visit for ticket information and more details.


Nov. 15 

Green and Greet Game, 5:30 p.m., Room R-221, Robert M. Collins Center.


Nov. 15

Sustainable Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m., Room B-204/210 of the Student CenterAll events are open free to the public, unless otherwise stated.


The Triton College University Center was recognized in a Chicago Tribune article!




Through guidance, new initiatives, Triton College addresses college readiness and retention


An overwhelming number of college students expect to succeed in college and see it through to completion, but many don't, according to results from the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE) collected by the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. That's why it is up to colleges and universities nationwide to present new initiatives and programs that will encourage students to stay on track to completing their education.


Triton College has consistently increased opportunity for more and more students to experience success in education through its mandatory placement test. The test, which places students into developmental education classes based on their test scores, instead of placing them into a more advanced course where they'll be unsuccessful, has seen a significant increase of students who've either taken the test or were waived from taking the test since fall 2010 and following the mandatory test implementation in spring 2011.


The referrals for the developmental education classes, which allow for students to develop the skills they need for college-level performance, indicates little change from 2011 to 2012. However, the percentages of students referred to developmental courses are considerable and remain a focus in addressing college readiness.


"The college continues to explore strategies to increase student success in developmental education through curriculum and policy development," said Triton College President Patricia Granados. "We are truly committed to embracing and implementing the interventions that will be the most effective for our students."


To further address college readiness, Triton is considering the new initiative GoWeek to encourage engagement among students the week before classes begin by building excitement and preparing them for the new school year. "Having events where students can meet their faculty, get to know the campus and learn about the resources we have available would be what GoWeek is all about," said Mary-Rita Moore, Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning. "This initiative addresses college readiness and shared ownership of our students' success."


Moore said a GoWeek committee will be formed to develop the idea, contingent upon the research findings and plans of the No Late Registration Taskforce committee. 

Another way students are provided with access to resources they need to achieve is done through the use of Blackboard, an online resource tool for students and faculty. At the Aug. 24 Fall Faculty Workshop, it was revealed that Triton students mostly utilize the tool from Monday through Thursday at 2 in the morning via their computer system. Accessing Blackboard via smartphones and tablet computers was the next highest login platform. This may increase with Blackboard's new mobile application now available, announced Doug Olson, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, providing even more efficient access for students and faculty. The app, he said, will be available for Android™ devices, BlackBerry® smartphone devices, HP webOS devices as well as iPhone®, iPod touch®, and iPad™ devices.


Triton College understands the importance of personal guidance when it comes to a student succeeding. The new mentoring program, TEAM, or Triton Employees as Mentors, was developed specifically to address the needs of full-time students who are taking two or more developmental education courses in reading, math, or writing. According to Jackie Werner, Program Coordinator and Student Success Strategist, the program is currently serving 87 first-year Triton students - exceeding its goal for the first year by 45 percent.


Werner said TEAM students have welcomed the extra support their mentors provide, including motivation to keep up with their classes. "Our hope is that this program will continue to expand into the spring semester," she said. "We also intend to create a stronger link with our district high schools and inform counselors about the program and how their Triton-bound students can benefit."



Student Jocelyn Sanchez of Elmwood Park appreciates the guidance she has received from her mentor, Director of Admissions Izabela Zurawska. Sanchez admits that, at first, she didn't know where the college library was located or that on-campus tutors were available to help with her coursework. But with help from Zurawska, it wasn't long before she became acclimated to the campus. "The program has provided me with a helping hand so that I can get adapted to Triton without feeling overwhelmed," she said.


Zurawska added, "It's important for Triton employees to be able to provide our students - new and returning - with the information and guidance they need to be successful. This program provides that through one-on-one interaction."


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Recognizing our partners in education


The success of a partnership between Triton College and Oak Park and River Forest (OPRF) High School aimed at improving college readiness was highlighted at Triton's Annual Salute to Partnerships Reception. The Aug. 7 reception welcomed staff and faculty from area K-12 institutions and four-year partner universities to acknowledge the need and positive outcomes that can result from collaborating toward the common goal of fostering student success.

Dr. Amanda Turner and Phillip Prale presenting 
at the Annual Salute to Partnerships Reception.


Triton Dean of Enrollment Services Dr. Amanda Turner and Philip Prale, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for OPRF High School, presented their results from proctoring Triton's mandatory placement test to 200 OPRF high school students to measure their college readiness. "Conducting this test with our juniors allowed us to see how effective our educational program is so that we can work on targeting what's needed to prepare our students for college-level coursework," Prale said.


Dr. Turner said the college is open to performing such tasks with other local schools. "We want students to be successful and have the foundation to be successful at the next level."


This statement is evident through Triton's University Center and its annual Future Focus College Fair, which both evoke a commitment to educating Triton's students beyond what the college offers.


Triton's University Center, which provides students with the opportunity to pursue a bachelor's or

Students, faculty and staff met with representatives from the University Center partners.

master's degree on Triton's campus, settled into their new location in the Student Center with an open house this fall.


Thanks to partnerships between Triton College and several four-year universities, students can choose to pursue a degree from National Louis University, Benedictine University, Governors State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale or Eastern Illinois University.


Hicela Castruita Woods, Associate Director of Non-Traditional Enrollment at Benedictine University, said, "Having this partnership is beneficial to students because they are made aware of the transfer option early on and can make a four-year plan that begins with their associate's degree."  


Triton student Johnson Onwe wants to transfer to a four-year institution but thought it was out of reach until attending the University Center Open House. "It's great that I can still get my bachelor's degree by taking courses on Triton's campus. Triton is close to home, which will save me money in the long run," he said. 


College is right around the corner for high school junior Jennifer Jackson. To research colleges, she attended Triton's Future Focus college fair with her parents, Jackie and Tyrone Townes, on Sept. 18.

Students visiting with colleges at the Future Focus college fair.


The fair, attended by more than 3,000 people, brought together 100 colleges and universities nationwide to allow prospective college students and their families to speak with representatives from Triton College, as well as other institutions, to learn about admission procedures, program offerings, tuition expenses and financial aid.


"There are colleges here I didn't even know existed," Jackson noted. "To have access to so many colleges in one place, really helps with my college search and gets me excited about going off to college."



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Read all about it! 
The Triton College University Center was recognized in a Chicago Tribune article! 

Going green expands across Triton's campus and into district communities


Sustainable practices are spreading across the Triton College campus and its surrounding communities like a wildfire, sparking new initiatives and events that will further the college's mission to inspire and educate on how to live a greener lifestyle.


The Triton College Greening the Campus Committee, co-chaired by biology instructors Beth Cliffel and Joe Beuchel, ushered in the fall season by expanding recycling efforts on campus, they planted a rain garden on Triton's mounds and hosted a community-wide recycling event on Oct. 6. In collaboration with the Triton College Sustainability Center, the committee is currently planning events for Sustainability Month in 2013 and developing sustainability-related ideas that meet the needs of the college's master plan.


Opening the door to new learning experiences for students, the Triton College Sustainability Center recently adopted the vast portion of a wooded area adjacent to the campus from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County that will be maintained by the campus community and utilized for educational purposes.


"This area has many species of native plants and a creek that flows into the Des Plaines River that students and faculty of our environmental biology and sustainable landscaping courses will find beneficial for hands-on learning," said Sustainability Center Coordinator Adrian Fisher.


Named Adena Woods, after a Native American tribe known to inhabit the land, the green space was introduced on Sept. 15 when Triton College participated in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Des Plaines River Clean-Up Day. Triton students and employees joined in the clean-up efforts.


Community members can visit Triton's campus for lessons on sustainability during its free monthly workshop series, titled Sustainable Thursdays.  


Nov. 15 - Exclusive presentations from the 23rd Annual Bioneers Conference: Emergence, which was held in California in October, will be shown and discussed at the last Sustainable Thursdays event of the season. Videos of selected talks will later be made available on the Triton Library Sustainability LibGuide.


Each workshop will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room B-204/210 of Triton's Student Center. For more information, contact Adrian Fisher at or call (708) 456-0300, ext. 3578.


Also, on Nov. 15, Triton College President Patricia Granados will host a pre-game reception with asustainability focus, called Green and Greet Game, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in Room R-221 prior to the men's basketball game in the Robert M. Collins Center. Students can learn about Triton's sustainability efforts on campus and the meaning of "zero-waste" as well as meet Dr. Granados. The Green and Greet Game will include live music, refreshments and a raffle. Students are encouraged to attend the basketball game at 7 p.m., where they can also take photos with the President during half-time.


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Renovating with sustainability in mind

Triton College is currently in the design development phase of renovating its Health & Sciences Building (H-Building), which incorporates many sustainable concepts to provide students and faculty with an educational environment that will be sustained into the future. The building will house such educational programs as Nursing, Surgical Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nuclear Medicine and Ophthalmology, as well as provide classrooms for some biology and chemistry courses. 

Associate Vice President of Facilities John Lambrecht said the building will include an efficient, low-energy consumption mechanical system; a cistern to collect roof water that will be reused in washrooms; and a green roof with granite chips that will reflect the sun back into the atmosphere, thus decreasing the wear and tear on the building; and Lambrecht said many of the green features will help cut down on the cost of operating and maintaining the building.


Other features of the building will include surgical technology and dissection labs, a relaxed seating area for students and a computer commons area with wi-fi capability. 

"We're really trying to look toward the future with remodeling this building and provide our students with a state-of-the-art learning environment conducive to their education," Lambrecht said.


The projected opening date of the building is fall 2014. 



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Inspiring leadership with the President's Leadership Academy


Not everyone is born a leader, but it can be inspired. The members of the 2013 President's Leadership Academy walked away from the group's September kick-off retreat inspired and enthused about what they had gained from the experience and ready to put their plans into action to further the college's mission.


Composed of 22 selected faculty and staff members from a wide range of employment backgrounds, this year's Leadership Academy came together to begin the yearlong program designed to develop employees' leadership skills and encourage them to become leaders within their departments and the institution.




Keynote speaker Dr. Mark Milliron, former deputy director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who is now chancellor of Western Governors University in Texas, encouraged members to think outside the box when it comes to their jobs and the institution for the future. Other speakers included Triton administration and faculty as well as presidents from other area colleges, such as Elgin Community College and Illinois Valley Community College, who told leadership academy members to not be afraid of taking the next step in their careers and shared their stories of the road to college presidency. Members also participated in strength-building and communication exercises and developed a group project in line with the college's master plan.


"No matter what position one holds at a community college, we are all leaders," said Triton College President Patricia Granados. "It is important to grow your own leaders and help them realize their full potential to someday step into leadership positions. The Leadership Academy is a great opportunity for employees to gain a better understanding of what it takes to operate a college, enhance their leadership skills, explore career opportunities and build relationships with colleagues across employee groups."


The members appreciated the opportunity to meet other employees at the college and learn how they can become more effective leaders at the institution.


"I left the retreat with a renewed desire and commitment to see the institution and our students succeed," said Richard Brown, Testing Center Coordinator. "I'm excited and energized at the opportunities that lie ahead for this year's class and our ability to support the institution through our group project."


"The retreat gave us all a chance to learn and get to know each other in an environment outside of the college," said Larissa Garcia, Faculty Librarian. "We each bring unique skills and institutional knowledge to the academy, and I think this is a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate in new and exciting ways that will benefit both the college and our own professional development."



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Reconnecting Triton College graduates through new Alumni Association


The Triton College Alumni Association is growing in numbers and reputation. After only a year of being established, the Alumni Association has already welcomed more than 100 new members, with expectations of having more than 1,000 new members by the end of the spring 2013 semester.


Growing the Alumni Association is of great importance to Triton College, as alumni are Triton's greatest advocates and ambassadors of the college's mission of lifelong learning and student success.  "The goal of the Triton College Alumni Association is to foster lifelong relationships with alumni and Triton College through programs and initiatives that both serve our graduates and engage them in the future success of the college and our current students," said Lisa Scalessi, Director of Alumni Relations.


Alumni Association members have enjoyed attending special events connecting them to their alma mater, including a Chicago White Sox and Cubs baseball outing and social gathering. Plus, they've appreciated opportunities to stay active with the college by returning as guest speakers, serving as members of advisory committees and/or instructors and investing in education through the Triton College Foundation. 


"As we continue to build our membership, our future plans include establishing an Alumni Association Council that will help direct the future of the association and continuing to develop ways of informing and involving alumni in the future success of Triton," Scalessi said.


For Triton alumni interested in joining the Alumni Association, contact Lisa Scalessi at Membership is free. For more information on becoming a Council member, visit



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Alumni Spotlight on ... Alesha Young


Alesha Young, of Oak Park, revived her childhood dream of becoming a nurse

Alesha Young feels like a lifelong student of Triton College, as a two-time graduate of the institution. The Oak Park resident received her first associate's degree in Hospitality for Hotel/Motel Management from Triton in 1995, complemented by a bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from Western Illinois University in 1995. But when the hotel industry faltered following 9/11, Young returned to Triton to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a nurse. During her studies, she received her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) credential and gained experience working at the Hines VA Hospital. Triton made achieving a bachelor's degree in nursing a smooth transition for Young with the college's University Center, which provides the opportunity to continue one's higher education pursuits at five universities without leaving Triton's campus. 


Providing new learning experiences, fun for families at Fall Family Fun Fest


Next up to the base to bat during Fall Family Fun Fest on Oct. 6 was 6-year-old K.J. Zell of Forest Park. He prepared to swing at a ball practically the size of a melon that he couldn't see because he was blindfolded. All he could do was rely on listening to the beeping of the ball as it came toward his bat. Young K.J. connected with the ball, as his dad and brother, Sid and 4-year-old Braydon, went wild. "I hit it," K.J. exclaimed.


The Zells and many other families had a whirlwind of a time at Triton College's Fall Family Fun Fest, where they participated in games and educational activities that celebrated the fall season. New this year, the National Beep Baseball Association came out to demonstrate Beep Ball, which is similar to baseball but designed for play by blind athletes. A special ball that beeps and bases that buzz are used for play.


"It's great to see something new like this for the children to experience," Sid said. "We came to the fest last year and had a great time. There's so much stuff here for the kids."


The festival received a lot of families who've attended in recent years, as well as new families, making it the best attended year to date with 1,800 people. "I truly appreciated seeing families enjoying themselves while learning," said Triton College President Patricia Granados. "It was a perfect fall day, and Triton is very proud to host this fun, fall educational fest for its community."



Five-year-old Makayla Davis of Maywood enjoyed the face painting, mask making and pumpkin painting available at the fest. Her mom, Erica Davis, was surprised by all the activities available at the event. "There's a variety of things to do and see. There's definitely something here for all ages," she said.



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New name for the HIA Dining Room announced


Submitting the "hip" and contemporary name Café 64 to recognize the year in which Triton College was founded, student Lauren Quinn of River Grove was awarded first prize in the college's recent Name the HIA Dining Room contest. She will receive a complimentary dinner and beverage for 

four people in the newly-named dining venue, along with a $10 gift certificate to the college's student-run bakery.


Sit down to a one-of-a-kind  fine dining experience in Triton's Café 64, which is open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Dec. 6 in Room B-204 of the Student Center (B-Building). Make your reservations today by calling (708) 456-0300, ext. 3267 or 3387.


Triton's HIA Bakery is also open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays in the Student Center. Enjoy a sweet treat or place a special order at (708) 456-0300, ext. 3700 or 3387. 



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David King to be honored at the 20th Annual President's Reception on Nov. 14



King, who has served as President of the Foundation Board since 2000, will be recognized for his commitment and contributions to the Foundation which serves students, alumni and area communities by raising funds to put toward developing new programs and services, scholarships and updating its campus operations and facilities to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful at Triton.


A Triton graduate and Forest Park resident, King appreciates the recognition from his fellow peers and looks forward to furthering the mission of his alma mater in contributing to student success. "I've been very fortunate to have met so many new people and made new friendships as a member of the Foundation, and I look forward to seeing everyone at this amazing event to support the Foundation."


The Foundation is widely known for its annual Golf Outing in the summer. This year, the Foundation raised more than $45,000 at the golf event. "Every year, we're doing better and better," said King, President of David King and Associates, Inc., a real estate firm based in Oak Park. "We're moving forward, and I know that we'll continue to exceed and excel."  


The reception will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature the culinary talents of Triton's Hospitality students and local restaurants. Tickets are $60 per person and $440 for a table of eight. Sponsorship opportunities and ad book reservations are available. There will be a silent auction.


To purchase tickets in advance or for more information, call (708) 456-0300, ext. 3758 or e-mail Visit to learn more about the Triton College Foundation.


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'Like' President Granados' new Facebook page!

Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados recently launched a Facebook page and a Twitter page. Dr. Granados deems it important to connect with students and the larger community through social media, as it is continually growing to become the preferred method of communication for many people. 
"My goal is to extend communication for the purpose of greater student and staff engagement as well as active engagement with the public," she said. Check out President Granados' latest posts on Twitter and Facebook!  



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From the Triton College President's Office