Staying Connected to my Community - Elgin, Illinois


As a project manager in Dewberry's architectural practice, I've had the opportunity to manage two of the most recently completed buildings at Elgin Community College (ECC): the renovation of the Student Resource Center and the new Renner Academic Library. Our firm has deep roots at the college with a longstanding relationship with the ECC community. Historically, our office has designed six buildings on the campus, in addition to multiple smaller projects. Having lived and worked in the area for more than 34 years, I'm also personally rooted in and committed to the Elgin community.

Volunteering on the ECC Foundation Board of Directors

In 2011, I accepted a nomination to serve as a volunteer on the Board of Directors for the ECC Foundation. Our primary goal is to raise funds and awareness for student scholarships. Recipients are typically non-traditional students who do not have the means to afford community college on their own. Many of the students we help are not coming straight out of high school—they may be a veteran, a parent, or someone looking for a career change.

As a member of the Scholarship Committee, I help review student scholarship applications. It's inspiring for me to contribute to a process that helps people afford an education. The stories we read about are remarkable. Occasionally, we've the chance to meet some of the scholarship recipients at our annual fund-raising events. They're always extremely thankful for the opportunity to better themselves and their families through education.


Connecting with ECC Architectural Students

For the past six years I've also volunteered my time and expertise as a judge for a Revit (BIM) design competition held at ECC, and have also been a guest lecturer for an ECC Revit (BIM) class. By showcasing examples of Dewberry's work, I'm able to help students understand what we do in an architectural office. Typically, students ask career-focused questions—wanting to know what architectural firms are looking for and what it's like in the "real world." It's rewarding to see young, eager faces of students who are excited about the future of our profession and the possibilities ahead of them.


Seeing My Community Grow

Being a part of the ECC Foundation and volunteering at student competitions and classes gives me an opportunity to become engrained in the community where I live and work. Spending my personal time at ECC also allows me to see the benefits of the work Dewberry has accomplished on campus. It's exciting to think that someday my now eight and 10-year-old children may attend ECC, continuing to be a part of the same community for which I have worked so hard to improve.