21st Century Scholars named


Illinois Valley CommunityCollege sophomore KaitlinRaineri of Peru, a 4.0 studentwho taught English at a Romanianorphanage this summer, was named the IVCC Foundation’s 21st Century Scholar Thursday night and will receive $3,500 for tuition, books and fees. Finalists receiving $2,500 each at the 21st Century Scholars Society’s ninth annual dinner were Adam Skoff of Peru, chemical engineering; Rachel Guynn of La Salle, nursing; Cody O’Brien of Lostant, accounting; and Alec Lindemann
of Ottawa, computer engineering. Raineri, the daughter of Mike and Kay Raineri, spent 11 months in the Netherlands as part of  Rotary Youth Exchange and last summer taught children in a poor gypsy village in Romania. Next fall, she will transfer to Marquette University or Loyola University to double major in international business and management and minor in Spanish.  She is proficient in Dutch and plans to work overseas for an American company. Raineri is a registered Red Cross disaster relief  volunteer, Honors Program president, student ambassador and Student Government Association representative. She was part  of a church mission that took her to Pittsburgh and the home of an elderly woman without a family. Raineri’s team repaired her  kitchen, re-roofed her sunroom and built her a porch. In her introduction, Raineri was described as both “cosmopolitan” and “compassionate” and English instructor Adam Oldaker said in his recommendation letter “a positive, can-do attitude is present  in her every endeavor.” Skoff, the son of IVCC alumnus Ken Skoff, came to IVCC from San Antonio in the fall of 2014. He is   involved in numerous student organizations such as STEM, Honors, Chem Club (as president he coordinated IVCC’s Science Festival), Phi Theta Kappa, Student Ambassadors and tutors math and chemistry in the Learning Commons. A 4.0 student, Skoff plans to pursue his chemical engineering degree at the University of Illinois before working in water treatment management or offshore drilling. Guynn, the daughter of Ralph and Jill Guynn, hopes to one day work as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). She works in the IVCC biology lab, tutors anatomy and physiology students and is a CNA at St. Margaret’s Health. Nursing lab instructor Lee Ann Johnson said Guynn has an “uncompromising work ethic,” is “dependable and generous with her time,” and “exemplifies all we hope for in our students.” O’Brien, the son of Darren and Sheri O’Brien,  will transfer to Illinois State University next fall to major in accounting. In his recommendation letter, IVCC accounting instructor Mike Sankovich said of O’Brien, “A student with a strong work ethic, excellent interpersonal skills, and superior academic ability, he will be a solid addition to the accounting profession.” Last spring break, O’Brien participated in a nine-day service trip sponsored by ISU’s “Students Today, Leaders Forever” program that took him to Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Completing a project each day, the team renovated a 100- year-old train station, landscaped at a Head Start preschool and did home improvements for a disabled, elderly woman. Lindemann, the son of Peter and Michele Lindemann, has a 3.95 GPA and will study computer engineering at the U of I next fall and plans to work as a software engineer or in video game design. At IVCC, Lindemann is engaged in Honors, Phi Theta Kappa, Sigma Kappa Delta and  STEM Club. Lindemann’s family has raised over $42,000 the past five years for the Juvenile Diabetes Research  Foundation (JDRF) since Alec’s brother Tyler was diagnosed with the ailment in 2007. JDRF has twice awarded “Team Tyler” the Ron Santo Silver Achievement Award. The Society also awarded $1,250 each to seven Honorable Mention students: Megan Fitzgerald, Lostant, biology; Andrea Foster, Ottawa, nursing; Amanda Grabow, Tiskilwa, nursing; Katherine Lamps, La Salle,  nutrition; Monica Leonard, Mendota, logistics; Rebekah Meyers, Minonk, education; and Nicole Stevenson, Ottawa, education. A total of nine students received $500 Merit Awards: Samuel Braley, Grand Ridge, criminal justice; Alexandra Collins, Earlville, education; Mario Cortes, Mendota, accounting; Megan Kacvinsky, Streator, dental hygiene; Jennifer Roesler, Ottawa, medical lab science; Travis Sauers, Streator, civil engineering; Rebekah Varland, Marseilles, education; Madelayne Wilson, Ottawa, foreign languages; and Amber Witek, Peru, science. In all, 21 students received a Society record $26,750. Since its founding in 2007, 21st Century has awarded over $106,000 to 83 students.