Laker Nation News

Rural Development Technology Center/Effingham Regional Career Academy Sign In Place

Posted on June 14, 2018

The sign for the new Rural Development Technology Center is now up adjacent to the Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology in Effingham.

Several Lake Land College, Effingham Regional Career Academy (ERCA), Effingham County Chamber of Commerce and community members were there to mark the occasion. Construction on the Rural Development Technology Center will begin in 2022 and will offer opportunities for high school students, in addition to adult students, to gain in-demand workforce skills. It will also house the Effingham Regional Career Academy.

Pictured from left to right, left side, front row: JoAnn Givens, director of workforce development for Effingham County Chamber of Commerce; Jackie Joines, Lake Land College executive director for college advancement and ERCA Funding Support committee chair; Karen Kull, director of the Lake Land College Kluthe Center and ERCA Workforce Readiness committee chair and back row: Kevin Dust, chamber board member and Matt Roedl, ERCA Marketing committee chair. Right side, left to right: Norma Lansing, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO and ERCA vice-president; Mark Doan, Effingham Unit Schools superintendent and ERCA president; Josh Bullock, Lake Land College president and ERCA secretary/treasurer and Becky Brown, membership director for the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the Effingham Regional Career Academy, visit

Lake Land College Agriculture Division named Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program Award by NAAE

Posted on June 12, 2018

The Lake Land College Agriculture Division recently received the Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program Award from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). The award is meant to recognize exemplary postsecondary institutions and full-time young farmer and adult ag education programs.

The NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Ag Ed Program Award is sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

The Lake Land College Agriculture Division offers 12 majors that prepare students to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college. For more information visit

Lake Land College recognizes employees for years of service

Posted on June 11, 2018

Lake Land College recently honored individuals who have retired or reached five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year anniversaries of service to the college at the Employee and Retiree Recognition Celebration. The college also inducted three individuals into the Retiree Wall of Fame.

“The longevity of the staff honored at the Employee Recognition celebration is a testament to the passion and dedication with which the Lake Land family members carry out their service to students. The excellence demonstrated by Lake Land staff is further reflected in the three Wall of Fame inductees’ long-list of personal and professional accomplishments,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said.

Retirees recognized for their service to the college were: Barb Arthur, payroll specialist; Cathy Bunton, health and physical education instructor; Allen Drake, John Deere technology instructor; Lucinda Horton, biological science instructor; Lee Poffinbarger, student services specialist III-admissions; Randy Seaman, service worker; Vickie Smith, microcomputer support specialist; and Rick Watson, IDOT quality control/quality assurance instructor.

Recognized for 30 years of service were: Lee Poffinbarger, student services specialist III-admissions; and William Warfel, systems programmer and network administrator.

Recognized for 25 years of service were: Ted Miller, custodian-first shift; and Salisa Hortenstine Olmsted, division chair humanities & communications/English/speech instructor.

Recognized for 20 years of service were the following: Tammy Cantwell, custodian; Danielle Downs, financial aid and veteran services advisor; John Hampton, police officer; Tina Moore, director of career services; Kelli Pope, financial aid accountant; Joe Shriver, maintenance II; Chad Smith, police sergeant; Cheryl Staley, business instructor; and David Turnbull, biological science instructor.

Recognized for 15 years of service were the following: Krista Burrell, academic counselor; Andrea Daily, business analyst; Lisa Earp, business instructor/program coordinator office professionals; Katie Lotz, economics instructor; Steven McDevitt, maintenance II; Angela Parr, administrative assistant to the Kluthe Center; and Sharon Uphoff, college nurse.

Recognized for 10 years of service were the following: Thomas Bales, print shop technician; Deborah Bowling, office assistant vo-tech department; Lynn Breer, director of institutional research; Kimberly Davis, education instructor; Cynthia Emerick, administrative assistant Pana extension center; Paul Hanley, commercial driver training instructor; Karla Hardiek, division chair of allied health/nursing instructor; J.R. Hodges, fitness center specialist; James Hull, vice president for workforce solutions and community education; Nichole Jones, nursing instructor; David Matherly, auxiliary services office coordinator; Karla Miller, director of tutoring and testing center; Dirk Muffler, director of adult and alternative education; Emily Ramage, director of grants and academic operations; Brett Roberts, administrative assistant to math/science and social science and education; Madge Shoot, comptroller; Vickie Smith, microcomputer support specialist; Jason Taylor, microcomputer support specialist; Deborah Thomason, dental hygiene instructor; Teresa Wright, administrative assistant at Marshall extension center; and Brandon Young, dean of correctional programs-south.

Recognized for five years of service were: Jana Barker, master gardener; Josh Bullock, president; Jane Cox, student assistance specialist; Kristin Daniels, clinical instructor of cosmetology; Sarah Hill, librarian information services; Shannon Hood, nursing instructor; and Marki Millsap, academic services specialist of dual credit.

Lake Land also inducted three retirees to the Wall of Fame. Located in the Robert K. Luther Student Center, the Wall of Fame recognizes certain retirees for their hard work and outstanding contributions to the college. The 2018 inductees honored were Kathleen Doehring, nursing instructor/AND/PN program director; Tom Kerkhoff, executive dean of correctional programs; and Ben Ragle, academic counselor.

In addition to this year’s program, the annual Shine Award was presented to two employees. The Shine Award is designed to recognize college employees or teams who display the college’s values – communication, caring, innovation, excellence and teamship. To receive a Shine Award, employees must be nominated by a co-worker who must describe why the employee is deserving of the Shine Award. The Shine Selection Committee then reviews the applications and selects the winners to be honored.

This year’s recipients were Dyke Barkley, horticulture instructor, and Jennifer Melton, academic counselor. Additional Shine nominees are Barbara Arthur, payroll specialist; Tammy Cantwell, custodian; Laura Deters, basic nurse assistant instructor; Heather Nohren, academic counselor; Lee Poffinbarger, student services specialist III-admissions; Aaron Tardy, CTPD audio visual assistant; Janet Waymoth, nursing instructor; and the Physical Plant Team.

To learn more about Lake Land College, visit

Lake Land College accepts nominations for Distinguished Alumni Society

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The Lake Land College Alumni office is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Society award.

Last year’s inductees were Todd Gartner, Laker Nation Class of 2003; Thomas Overmyer, Laker Nation Class of 1983; Dr. Sally Salmons, Laker Nation Class of 1982; and Katie (Askew) Williams, Laker Nation Class of 2002. They are among 88 members of the society.

“We encourage you to nominate an alumnus to be recognized this year,” said Dave Cox, director of alumni relations and annual giving.  “There are so many success stories of our alumni that we simply are not aware of and it’s very gratifying to hear those stories and be able to recognize those former students who have made a substantial impact in their field and/or their community.”

To submit a nomination, visit and look for the Award Nominations tab under Resources on the left.

Nominees must be graduates of or have attended Lake Land College. The deadline for submitting nominations is July 15.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Society ceremony will be held Sept. 29 in conjunction with Laker Homecoming scheduled for that weekend.

Prospective students invited to Laker Visit Day

Posted on June 6, 2018

Visit Lake Land College and find out all the college offers at Laker Visit Day. The event will be held Thursday, June 21 in the Luther Student Center starting at 9 a.m. and will run until noon.

The event is for potential students who are interested in learning more about Lake Land College. Parents/guardians and spouses are welcome to come along and attend the Parent and Spouse Session.

Representatives from Admissions & Records, Financial Aid & Veteran Services, Counseling Services, Career Services and Student Life will provide information and answer questions. The event includes campus tours and informational sessions by Lake Land College Student Ambassadors. Participants will also meet with faculty members in their academic area of interest to learn more about program offerings at Lake Land.

“Laker Visit Day is a great way for prospective students and parents to talk to faculty and staff about academic options and programs of study, to talk to current students about student life and to learn about financial aid options and opportunities,” said Olivia Mintun, admissions representative.

Register online at or call 217-234-5254.

Lake Land College faculty participate in Laker Innovation Camp

Posted on June 5, 2018

Lake Land College faculty participated in a four-day workshop focusing on accessibility and innovation in the classroom. Pictured from left to right are: Tina Moore, director of career services; Sarah Hill, information services librarian; Tanille Ulm, early childhood education instructor; Sue Nugent, CTPD support technician; Katie Lotz, economics instructor; David Seiler, history instructor; Nicole Zeller, nursing instructor; Lisa Earp, business instructor/ office professionals program coordinator; Andrea Bright, academic counselor; Josh Fulk, civil engineering technology instructor/coordinator; Brian Lynch, economics instructor; Matt Greider, history instructor; Brenda Hunzinger, biological science instructor; Ryan Wildman, agriculture business instructor.

In early May, 14 Lake Land College full-time faculty members attended workshops focusing on innovation in the classroom. Faculty members applied to take part in the camp and funding was provided by Lake Land’s Innovation Committee.

Information Services Librarian Sarah Hill developed the idea to host the camp after attending similar workshops. The Innovation Camp focused on innovation and improving pedagogy and brought together faculty members who often do not have the opportunity to interact with one another.

The four-day professional development activity included sessions on finding an

d evaluating open educational resources, copyright, intellectual property, best practices in Canvas course design, creating videos, accessibility and web 2.0 tools to use in the classroom.

Faculty were especially interested in making all their classes accessible to everyone and were exploring new ways to make information engaging and varied. New databases, Padlet, Quizlet, webcams and video were some of the engaging resources that the faculty were excited to implement into their teaching.

“I’m going to enjoy using these new innovative means of technology,” said Nursing Instructor Nicole Zeller. “Making the classroom user friendly is important to all of us.”

For more information about Lake Land College, visit

Lake Land College Adult Education offers free welding classes

Posted on June 4, 2018

Lake Land College’s Adult Education is offering free welding classes in Marshall for the fall semester.

Orientation will be held the first night of class as follows:

  • Eastern Region Center, 224 S. Sixth St., Marshall – June 18 at 4 p.m.

For more information contact Adult Education at 217-238-8292 or email

Lake Land College Students assist in Habitat for Humanity build

Posted on May 31, 2018

Lake Land College Building Construction Technology sophomores from a Basic Carpentry II class gained hands-on training by helping build a Habitat for Humanity house.

Lake Land College Building Construction Technology (BCT) students worked on a Charleston home for Coles County Habitat for Humanity this past spring.

Zach Whitley, adjunct faculty for the technology division, arranged the partnership because of his ties to the organization. Whitley has served as a project manager for Habitat for Humanity for eight years.

“These builds get students out of the classroom and out doing something good for the community. We were happy to have the build times switched to midweek, that way our students could participate,” Whitley said.

Lake Land BCT students had a hand in nearly all stages of building. Back in 2017, a BCT student developed blueprints for a class project—that same plan is the one being used for the house in Charleston. Each Habitat for Humanity house has the same layout, with minor design changes depending on the family.

Time ran out on the semester before the students were able to finish the build, though they did complete an entire garden shed for the Habitat home. They also constructed the framing for the house, along with some flooring and foundation work.

The project is slated for completion around September. Habitat for Humanity Coles County is still looking for volunteers to help complete the Charleston house.

For more information about Building Construction Technology, visit and under the “Academics” drop-down menu, select “High Demand Programs.” For additional

information, contact Building Construction Technology Instructor/Coordinator Neal Haarman at 217-234-5421 or

Lake Land College holds extended registration today, May 31

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Lake Land College will hold extended registration hours today, Thursday, May 31, in the Luther Student Center on campus in Mattoon. Lake Land College summer classes begin Monday, June 4.

Counselors will also be available for walk-in testing until 5 p.m. and for walk-in counseling from noon to 7 p.m.

Students can contact Counseling Services at 217-234-5232 or for additional information regarding the enrollment process or to schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor.

Lake Land College courses are offered throughout east central Illinois at convenient times and locations for you! Take a class online, in your community or on campus in Mattoon. For a list of summer classes throughout the Lake Land College district, look for the “View Schedules” button at

For a map of Lake Land College, visit To stay up-to-date with activities, deadlines and information, be sure to “like” the Lake Land College Facebook page at:

Lake Land College President Commencement Editorial

Posted on May 30, 2018

Former Lake Land College Board of Trustees members joined in the celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary commencement. Pictured left to right are: Lake Land College President Josh Bullock with former trustees Gary Kuhns, Kent Metzger, Dr. Leland McNeil, Henry Merz, Carl Hart, Bob Johnston and Len Defend.


On May 11, 2018, Lake Land College celebrated its 50th spring commencement. In those five decades, more than 56,500 students have graduated from Lake Land College and moved on to brighter futures.

To put the college’s impact into perspective, one in four people living in the East Central Illinois Lake Land district is a Laker Alumnus. Our graduates are likely your neighbors, your community leaders and your trusted nurses, teachers and service technicians.

During this year’s celebration, we were fortunate to welcome back several Lake Land College Board of Trustees members who served throughout our history. Len Defend, Henry Merz, Carl Hart, Gary Kuhns and Kent Metzger joined Bob Johnston and Dr. Leland McNeil who served on the very first Lake Land College Board. In those early years, trustees established a unique higher educational opportunity that put the needs of students first. They never imagined Lake Land would grow from a small college holding its first commencement in 1968 at the First Baptist Church in Mattoon to a nationally-recognized college serving 20,000 students per year, celebrating 1,600 graduates each spring and hosting an expansive, beautiful 317-acre campus.

The Laker Nation Class of 1968 included many nurses, business majors and technical graduates. The Laker Nation Class of 2018 received degrees and certificates in more than 150 majors. It includes students who entered college immediately upon high school completion, those who returned to college after several years in the workplace and those who enrolled in college to train for a new career.

Kimberli Jones graduated from Mattoon High School in 2015 and found herself struggling when she first started college at Lake Land. Through determination and hard work, along with the help of Lake Land’s TRiO Student Support Services program, Kimberli found herself thriving. Not only did she earn her degree but she also received recognition as TRiO Student Support Services Student of the Year.

Charles Cox found himself at Lake Land College after his position was eliminated at GE.  He hadn’t been in a classroom for 30 years, yet with determination and hard work he achieved his goal. He often slept in his car after working third shift before class and took advantage of tutoring services to help him through math courses. Like many of our graduates, he was hired in a new job before he even graduated.

Tina Hooper graduated from high school more than 30 years before she enrolled in college. She first completed a basic nurse assisting course and then went on to pursue an associate degree in Human Services. She discovered her true potential and will transfer to Eastern Illinois University this fall following graduation.

Tina, Charles and Kimberli are just a few of the many outstanding graduates who have worked hard to reach their goals. As college leaders we can only imagine the challenges many of our students have overcome and worked through to join us onstage during commencement.

We thank all who have been a part of our commencement celebration. As our anniversary festivities come to a close this summer, we look forward to another 50 years of serving you and our communities, and celebrating with our future graduates.


Dr. Josh Bullock

Lake Land College President

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