Communications Major Wins First Elmhurst College/Oakton Community College Scholarship

April 30, 2015 | by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Des Plaines resident Susana Gomez is the first recipient of the newly established Elmhurst College/Oakton Community College Alumni Scholarship, which will help her attain her bachelor’s degree at Elmhurst College.

Gomez, who majored in liberal studies at Oakton, completed her associate of arts degree in August of 2009. She now is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communications at Elmhurst College as part of the accelerated degree-completion program offered through the College’s School for Professional Studies. After graduation, Gomez plans to work in human resources.

Intended to support the continuing education of Oakton Community College alumni, the Elmhurst College/Oakton Community College Alumni Scholarship was initiated in 2014 by Timothy J. Panfil, an Oakton Community College Alumni Council member and director of enrollment management for the School for Professional Studies at Elmhurst College.

Elmhurst College and the Oakton Community College Alumni Council worked together to establish the scholarship as part of a statewide initiative to help community college students continue their education. All scholarship applications are reviewed by members of the Oakton Community College Alumni Council, and the scholarship is given to two outstanding Oakton graduates—one per term—who enroll in one of Elmhurst’s accelerated degree-completion programs. Each award is valued at $3,500, which is applied toward tuition at Elmhurst.

Accelerated degree-completion programs at Elmhurst help students earn an undergraduate degree quickly; classes are held in the evenings and online to accommodate a variety of schedules. Elmhurst’s accelerated degree-completion programs include the Elmhurst Management Program (Business Administration), Information Technology, Elmhurst Communications Programs and Applied Psychology.

Both institutions look forward to providing students with this new scholarship opportunity that encourages them to further their education.

“The state’s economic success depends on well-educated workers, and an important part of that means helping more community college graduates to continue their studies and earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Timothy H. Ricordati, dean of Elmhurst College’s School for Professional Studies. “Scholarships like this one are a great way for Elmhurst to work with two-year colleges to respond to that need and benefit students.”

“The Elmhurst College/Oakton Community College Alumni Scholarship is the ultimate extension of Oakton’s primary mission of student success, and we are so grateful to both Tim Panfil and the School for Professional Studies at Elmhurst College for their efforts in helping our graduates complete their educational journey,” said Oakton President Margaret B. Lee.

For more information about the Elmhurst College/Oakton Community College Alumni Scholarship, contact Tim Panfil at panfilt@elmhurst.edu or (630) 617-3256.

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