McCormick is 21st Century Scholar


IVCC 21st Century Scholars Society Finalists include (from left to right) Ryan Lane of Peru, Skylar Arwood of Utica, 21st Century Scholar Grace McCormick of Peru, Paula Taylor of Granville, and Reid Tomasson of Oglesby.

Grace McCormick of Peru is the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation’s 21st Century Scholar for 2020.

The 14th annual Society celebration is available online at and on Youtube at  https:/

McCormick, a 4.0 GPA student, plans a career in nonprofit management and hopes to eventually run an agency aiding the homeless or victims of domestic violence. She plans to transfer to the University of Wisconsin Madison or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

The daughter of John and Holly McCormick is a PADS homeless shelter volunteer and helped raise over $2,000 for the agency while in high school. She is IVCC’s Rotaract President, a Student Ambassador, member of the admission’s recruiting team and a counseling center receptionist/student worker.

As the 21st Century Scholar, McCormick will receive $3,000. Four other finalists will receive $1,500 each and 15 merit award winners $750 each.

Finalists include Skylar Arwood of Utica who plans to become a physician. She is a student worker in the biology and chemistry labs and a math and science tutor. A 4.0 student, she finished number 6 in an LP graduating class of 263 in 2019.

The daughter of Keith and Darsi Arwood is a Student Ambassador, blood donor, and Oglesby election judge planning to transfer to Northern Illinois University.      

Ryan Lane of Peru will study civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville or UIUC. After college, he plans to work on public works construction projects and open his own business.

The son of Dave and Lori Lane is a Student Ambassador who works part-time at Menards and for the City of La Salle.

Paula Taylor of Granville is planning a career in early childhood education. A librarian and Granville Boy Scout Troop leader, Taylor will transfer to Illinois State University and hopes to teach Pre-K in a public school.

She and her husband Troy have three children: daughter Carden and sons Preston and Jonathon.  

Reid Tomasson of Oglesby has a 4.0 GPA, is President of SPAMO (Students of Performing Arts & Music Organization), is co-editor of the student literary magazine River Currents, a Student Ambassador, and performed in IVCC productions of Elf, Broadway Backwards, and Legally Blonde. He has worked in 50 community productions and has directed Stage 212 plays.

The son of Cory and Traci Tomasson will transfer to Columbia College in Chicago to major in filmmaking with an emphasis in screenwriting and directing.

Merit winners were:

  • Joseph Baker, son of Jeff and Deanna Baker of Utica, a business administration major;
  • Riley Boehler, son of Samuel and Lori Boehler of Ottawa, automotive technology;
  • Alexanderia Borys, Princeton, daughter of Benjamin Borys and Katie Guerrero, criminal justice;
  • Emma Ebener, daughter of Paul and Carol Ebener of La Salle, chemical engineering;
  • Gabrielle Englehaupt, daughter of Dan and Rebecca Englehaupt of Ladd, diagnostic medical sonography;
  • Benjamin Gensler, son of Todd and Meigan Gensler of Peru, computer engineering;
  • Kallie Hansen, daughter of Lee and Samantha Hansen of Spring Valley, accounting;
  • Gorge Leon of Ottawa, son of Agustin Leon and Rosa Bautista, accounting;
  • Alec Lockwood, son of Kirk and Dawn Lockwood of Peru, graphic design and
    visual communications;
  • Ashly Mauk, daughter of Jason and Lisa Mauk of Ottawa, elementary education;
  • Hailey Newton, daughter of Gregory and Mary Newton of Seatonville, business administration;
  • Ryan Skoog, son of Andy and Holly Skoog of La Salle, civil engineering;
  • Madison Solomon, Hennepin, daughter of Shannon Jenkins-Solomon and step-father Roger Richardson, exercise science;
  • Clay Wells, son of Glenn and Garilyn Wells of Minonk, speech pathology; and
  • Michelle Windy, daughter of Greg and Karen Windy of Peru, special education/
    visually impaired.

In all, 20 students received a total of $20,250; since its founding in 2007, the Society has awarded over $197,000 to 177 students.

Currently made up of 40 members contributing $500 annually, the Society rewards IVCC’s most promising returning students.

To qualify, students need a minimum 3.5 GPA as well as extensive college involvement and community service.

The Society welcomed new member Dr. Patrice Hess of Peru, IVCC Director of Learning Resources. The online ceremony also includes a welcome from IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.

For information, contact Fran Brolley, executive director of community relations and development, at (815) 224-0466 or [email protected].