21st Century Scholar recipients named


Pictured from left are Shannon Grogan, Katherine Millard, Fielding Lockas, Emma Crockett and Hannah Graham with IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.

Sophomore Hannah Graham of Utica was named the 21st Century Scholar for 2012 at the sixth annual IVCC Foundation 21st Century Scholars Society dinner at Starved Rock Lodge Aug. 30.
Graham was one of five finalists for the award and will receive $2,000 from the Society. Finalists Emma Crockett of La Salle, Shannon Grogan of Ottawa, Fielding Lockas of Ottawa, and Katherine Millard of Princeton will each receive $1,000.
Honorable mention candidates Maria Villalobos of La Salle and Kaitlin Woodshank of Peru each received $750.
“Words cannot express just how excited, honored, and thankful I am to be named the 21st Century Scholar,” said Graham. “Education has always been important to me and I just want to extend a thank you to each and every individual here who has made this possible.
“On behalf of the other winners, it is incredible to have a group of generous, community-minded individuals acknowledge our hard work, dedication, and promise.”
Graham has a 3.9 GPA, is a college ambassador and works in the Financial Aid Office. Next fall, she will transfer to Illinois State University to study either speech pathology or early childhood education.
In her recommendation letter last spring, English and journalism instructor Lori Cinotte said Graham’s work shows “exact attention to detail. Her writing skills are superb and her performance goes way beyond the usual expectations of a freshman composition class.”
“Her essays are a delight to read,” Cinotte continued, “because they show considered reasoning, insightful responses and critical analysis. Other students are impressed with her clarity and guidance during peer revision.”
The daughter of Dale and Joan Graham is an 11-year member and former president of the Westerners 4-H Club, volunteers at St. Mary’s Church in Utica, works at Hickory Hollow Campground and helps out on the third generation Waltham Township family farm.
At La Salle-Peru High School, she was named to the National Honors Society and earned seven semesters of high scholarship.
To be eligible for Society consideration, students need a minimum 3.5 GPA and a record of college and community service; they must also submit a minimum 500 word essay and recommendation letter.
The Society was created in 2007 under the direction of then-President Larry Huffman to award some of the college’s most promising second-year students. IVCC President Jerry Corcoran thanked the Society’s members who each donate $500 annually to support the endowment.
“A total of 36 students have now benefitted from your commitment to higher education,” he said.
Foundation President O.J. Stoutner added, “Together, we continue to build an endowment that has a more significant impact on IVCC students each year.”
Director of Community Relations and Development Fran Brolley said the annual event “has been a coming out party for our second-year stars – top of the class academically and in their service to the community. In Emma, Fielding, Shannon, Katie and Hannah, there’s so much that’s special, so much that’s exceptional. Only through our kind and gracious donors is this evening possible.”