William “Bill” McCarty received an Associate degree in business from Lincoln Land and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, double majoring in Finance and Computer Applications, from the University of Notre Dame. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois – Springfield.
Following college, Bill opened a restaurant in Lincoln, Illinois, ran a small vending business and spent three years as village trustee in Williamsville, Illinois. It was there that Bill learned he enjoyed municipal leadership. Bill was elected as Williamsville mayor before the age of 30 and served as mayor for four years.
After working for the State of Illinois as the Chief Financial Officer, Bureau of Property Management, Bill was appointed in May of 2011 to serve the City of Springfield as Director of Budget and Management where he is responsible for overseeing accounting, budgeting, payroll, purchasing, facilities maintenance and fleet services.
He is also president of the board of The Parent Place, a local not for profit organization that focuses on reducing child abuse and teaching positive parenting techniques. Bill has also lent his talents to other community organizations such as MERCY Communities, American Business Club, Toys for Tots, Springfield Muni Opera and many others.
Bill is a proud member of the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association Executive Board and most recently was appointed as vice chairman of the National Association of Fleet Administrators Government Affairs Committee.
Two years ago Bill started a technology company called GOV311. In his spare time, he develops 311 smartphone apps that help local governmental entities better engage their constituents.
Inspiring, successful, dedication to community, leadership and volunteerism are all the qualities that define our 2017 Honored Alumni, William McCarty.
Dr. Andrew Thoron earned his Associate in Science from Lincoln Land Community College in 2000, then went on to earn his Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University. Additionally, earned his Master of Science and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida, where he is now an assistant professor in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department.
Andrew’s love for agriculture developed on his grandparent’s farm in central Illinois. His desire to learn turned into a fire to teach. Dr. Thoron’s teaching career began at Mt. Pulaski High School where he taught agriscience. He then took on a state leadership role where his primarily responsibility was to aid agriscience teachers, administrators, and community members in developing and maintaining agricultural education programs. Currently, Dr. Thoron serves agriscience teachers with their professional development needs and he also coordinates the teaching certification for the department. His research expertise is in the area of teaching and learning that focus on argumentation skill development. Additional areas of research interest are central to effective teaching, student achievement, and scientific reasoning.
Dr. Thoron is a four-time winner of author of the year for the Journal of Agricultural Education, the first in his profession to receive this honor. He was most recently has been awarded the Southern Region Outstanding Young Member for the American Association of Agricultural Education and the Outstanding Faculty Advisor/Mentor Award for the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences at the University of Florida.
Andrew’s inspiration in life follows the individuals that first believe in him and he works to cultivate such relationships with individuals like himself. He develops students to dream it, believe it, and achieve it!
LLCC’s 2015 Honored Alumna Cinda Edwards
As a first generation college student, Cinda Edwards could have easily given up, but her perseverance has certainly made her a community college success story. Ms. Edwards received her Associate in Science in December of 1978 and her Associate in Applied Science – Nursing in May of 1979 at Lincoln Land Community College. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1989.
Upon graduating from LLCC, Cinda began a notable career and lifestyle of caring for others as a registered nurse here in Springfield. In just a few short years, she began working as clinical director for Priority Care, a new business model designed to meet the demand for convenient and accessible health care. Cinda’s role of coordinating a busy clinic while continuing to care for patients was vital to the success and growth of Priority Care.
Cinda credits Lincoln Land for providing her with the foundation she needed to manage her job as a nurse, and now as Coroner of Sangamon County, to be prepared to provide professional services to county residents. Her appreciation for the quality education she received at Lincoln Land led her to serve six-plus years as an LLCC Trustee.
Cinda’s drive and passion for helping others has certainly led her to a successful career. She has shown nurses that they can not only use their skills to succeed in the medical field, but to cross boundaries into other fields where their medical experience is of great use and service to others. Cinda understands that as a public figure, she is a role model for women of all ages from all walks of life.
LLCC’s 2014 Honored Alumna Karla Carwile
Karla Carwile earned her Associate in Science from Lincoln Land Community College in 1993. She went on to earn a psychology degree from University of Illinois, Springfield and is currently a doctoral candidate. She has also earned advanced degrees in both Human Development Counseling and INO-Disability Studies and has completed her post-graduate work in Educational Leadership. Ms. Carwile is currently a Licensed Clinic Professional Counselor where she delivers mental health services to underserved patients.
Ms. Carwile is president and co-founder of OnePatient Global Health Initiative, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide the resources for accessible healthcare in underserved populations, without discrimination and regardless of the ability to pay. With community and faith based initiatives, the organization strives to improve health outcomes in some of the poorest communities of Chicago and internationally by removing barriers to access and implementing healthcare services OnePatient at a time.
Karla says her passion for the poor was fostered while a student at Lincoln Land by her instructors. Those faculty members, who so deeply impacted her life, showed her that the need for service is as important as the need to breathe. Ms. Carwile works diligently to give poverty a name and a face while encouraging individuals to walk with her on a journey, a journey not just about service learning, but service action. She lives the message she delivers to others.
To read Karla’s inspirational address, please click here.
LLCC’s 2013 Honored Alumnus Jim Matheis
Jim Matheis of Springfield was recognized with the 2013 LLCC Honored Alumni Award. Jim received an associate in arts in liberal arts in 1979 from Lincoln Land. Following LLCC, Jim enrolled at Sangamon State University, now University of Illinois-Springfield, and received his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. He recently retired as executive director of Lincoln Memorial Garden, where he has been working for more than 30 years.
During his address to the graduates, Jim credits supportive and dedicated teachers at Lincoln Land who helped him acquire a firm foundation for future college and lifetime studies. Jim told the graduates, “Be proud of your degree from Lincoln Land. You’ve earned it because you worked hard, studied hard, and in part because Lincoln Land is a fine college that has given you the opportunity to grow and learn.”
The LLCC Alumni Association congratulates Jim in receiving this honor and on his recent retirement!
LLCC’s 2012 Honored Alumnus Gregg Humphrey
Gregg Humphrey of Springfield, director of the Springfield Metro Sanitary District has been named the 2012 Lincoln Land Community College Honored Alumnus. He was recognized at the LLCC Commencement Ceremony on May 11.
Mr. Humphrey began his college career at LLCC as an automotive technology student. He earned an associate in applied science degree in 1983 and an associate in liberal arts in 1984. He was encouraged by LLCC faculty to purse an engineering degree, and completed a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, magna cum laude, from Bradley University, later earning a master’s degree there in the same field.
As director of the Springfield Metro Sanitary District, Mr. Humphrey is responsible for two sewage treatment plants, 30 pumping stations and the district’s trunk sewer systems, while overseeing the construction of a new plant.
He has served the community in leadership positions for United Cerebral Palsy, Habitat for Humanity and Boy Scouts of America, and as a member and former president of the Pleasant Plains School District Foundation. He was instrumental in establishment of the first “Project Lead the Way” program in Sangamon County.
He is currently serving as a volunteer information liaison for the Illinois National Guard in the development and operation of sanitary sewer infrastructure in Afghanistan.
Mr. Humphrey, who addressed LLCC graduates on success in the workplace, says he encourages students to attend LLCC for their first two years of higher education.
LLCC’s 2011 Honored Alumnus Bruce Compton
After receiving his Associate in Science degree from Lincoln Land Community College in May of 1990, Bruce went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Business from Eastern Illinois University. After completing his studies, Bruce acquired his brokerage and insurance licenses and worked for four years at First of America Bank (now PNC). In 1996, Bruce went to work for the Catholic diocese of Springfield and began traveling to Haiti on a regular basis. From late 1996 through 2000, he made 13 trips to Haiti. In October of 2000, he accepted a position with an organization in Haiti and moved there two months later to be the Director of Administration and Finance for the Haitian Health Foundation.
In November of 2002, Bruce returned from Haiti with a dream of providing medical supplies and equipment to people in need in Haiti and throughout the world. He approached the Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) with the idea and they began to develop what is today Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach (HSMO). Bruce was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
For the first six months Bruce researched how best to engage hospitals in the effort to recycle and reuse medical surplus. In March of 2003, the 13 HSHS hospital CEO’s responded to his plan, and the mission was up and running. Statistics show that the U.S. healthcare system discards an estimated $6.5 billion of medical supplies and equipment each year. A large percentage of these items are still usable and capable of saving lives yet many of them end up in landfills.
Today HSMO has warehouses in Springfield and Chicago. The employees and hundreds of volunteers are making an enormous impact on the environment while saving lives around the globe. Since 2006, HSMO has taken in three million pounds of recycled medical supplies and processed them through their responsible redistribution system. The value of these materials exceeds $16,000,000.
Bruce says, “After traveling to Haiti in the 90s, my view of the world changed. I knew I had to do more to assist people in need. My time at Lincoln Land Community College had, in many ways, prepared me for this transition. As a student at LLCC, I became aware of the global community through interactions with teachers, staff and students. LLCC provided a great transition from high school to college, and helped prepare me for the many challenges I face today as I work to identify opportunities to assist those in need around the world.”
Bruce Compton is a selfless humanitarian. He truly thinks of others all the time, especially those that need our nation’s compassion and assistance. With his drive and passion for helping others, the sky is the limit. LLCC is certainly proud to count him among its exceptional alums.
LLCC’s 2010 Honored Alumna Michelle Tjelmeland
Michelle is a successful entrepreneur, founder of a national non-profit organization, accomplished public speaker, recipient of Microsoft Corporation’s prestigious “Start Something Amazing Award,” and a dedicated wife and mother. What most people do not realize is that Michelle has accomplished all this while being profoundly deaf.
Michelle began to experience hearing loss while in high school. She went profoundly deaf at 23 while pregnant with her first child. After Ellie was born, Michelle began to suspect that something was wrong with her daughter’s hearing as well. “Even though nine doctors told me Ellie could hear, I just knew that she was deaf.” Ellie’s deafness motivated Michelle to seek help for both of them. Now, they “hear” through the miraculous technology of cochlear implants.
Michelle also holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois. LLCC is proud to count Michelle Tjelmeland among its honored alums!
2009 Honored Alumnus Bill Ames
Lincoln Land’s first student received the 2009 Honored Alumnus Award during Commencement on May 15. After four years in the Navy, Bill had a plan in mind and was ready to go to college. He got up one morning and went out to the new community college in Springfield to sign up for classes. And his student identification number? Well, it was #1.
Just how did he get to be #1? “You know, I was ready and really wanted to go to college. I guess it was my Navy training to get up early and go do what I had to do.” At LLCC, he study accounting, moved on to Sangamon State University, then worked 28 years with the Internal Revenue Service.
Bill has fond memories of his time at LLCC saying, “It was perfect for me. There were a lot of Vets there and I just felt comfortable.” He says founding faculty member and accounting instructor Fred Speece was a particular favority. “He did an excellent job.”
Congratulations, Bill! We are honored to have you as our #1 student!
2008 Honored Alumni
In celebration of the college’s 40th anniversary, this year’s ceremony will feature two LLCC outstanding alumni as honorees: LLCC alumna Renee Romano, Ph.D. and alumnus John Kulek. Romano graduated from LLCC with high honors in the class of 1975. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a Ph.D. in higher education from Iowa State University. Romano currently serves as vice chancellor of student affairs at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. Kulek graduated with honors in the class of 1998 with an associate in applied science degree in fire science technology and currently serves as fire chief for the Springfield Fire Department.