Category Archive: Uncategorized

Nominations Sought for SRC Alumni Awards Reception/Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner Nov. 6

The Spoon River College Alumni Association has announced that its annual alumni awards dinner and reception will be held Saturday, November 6 at 5 p.m. at the SRC Canton Campus.  While the exact location on campus is to be determined, a dinner will be provided prior to the awards ceremony.

The event will be held in conjunction with the induction of the 1964 Canton Community College Baseball Team to the SRC Athletic Hall of Fame.

“We really missed having this event last year due to the pandemic, but with the state of Illinois moving into Phase 5, we’re excited to again host one of our favorite events of the year,” said Colin Davis, Executive Director of the Spoon River College Foundation.  “The Alumni Association’s awards reception is a great event that allows SRC to both reconnect with and honor Canton Community College and SRC alumni for their achievements and their service to their communities.  We are incredibly proud of what our alumni have gone on to do after SRC, and we look forward to honoring some of their achievements in November.”

Traditionally, awards such as the Alumni Achievement Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the Distinguished Retiree Award, the Distinguished Friend of SRC Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award have been given at the reception.  While last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019 award recipients included Amanda Atchley, Karen Cotton, Ramon Escapa, Karen Fisher, Eric Phillips, and Mike Walters.  Lance Zedric was inducted into the SRC Athletic Hall of Fame.

The committee is seeking nominations for deserving CCC/SRC alumni to be honored with the Alumni Achievement Award that evening.  The Alumni Achievement Award is given to alumni as they progress up the “success” ladder and should be someone who has earned area-wide recognition, though other qualifications or service will certainly be considered.

Anyone who has attended classes at CCC/SRC can be nominated, and the nominee does not need to be a graduate.  Nomination forms are available on the SRC Alumni Association website ( or by calling (309) 649-6260.  Completed nominations are due by July 31.

The event is free and open to the public – especially Canton Community College and SRC alumni.  Donations to the Spoon River College Foundation will be accepted and appreciated.  For more information about the SRC Foundation and the Alumni Association, or to submit a nomination form, please visit

SRC Nursing Educator Sarah Strode Honored with H. Truman Standard Award

Spoon River College nursing educator Sarah Strode was the 2021 recipient of the H. Truman Standard Award for teaching excellence. The award was announced during employee appreciation receptions held in the spring.

Even though Strode says she never thought of herself as an educator, she often found herself in teaching positions either formally or informally throughout her years as a nurse. When the teaching position at Spoon River College came open, she decided to make it official. “I wanted to shape health care by giving back to the nursing community, and what better way than through educating student nurses! Working with the students renewed my love for nursing and allowed me to share my passion for compassionate and quality healthcare.”

Strode began teaching at Spoon River College part-time in the nursing skills lab in the fall of 2018 before becoming a full-time educator in the spring of 2019, but her career in health care began in 2002 when she enrolled in Graham Hospital School of Nursing. While attending school she worked at both Graham and Proctor hospitals. She graduated in 2005 with her Diploma in Nursing from Graham SON and with her Associate in General Studies from Spoon River College. She continued working at Proctor after completing her nursing degree, giving her a wide range of hands-on experience in various departments, including extended care, surgery, Home Health, Med/Surg, and Quality. She completed her MSN in 2016 from Walden University.

Numerous students submitted nominations for Strode, and key words appeared repeatedly – advocate, respect, supportive, honest, and humorous. “She advocates for each and every student, helps us work through problems with support and honesty, and offers a comfortable feeling that encourages honesty from her students. She also encourages us to perform self-care techniques, reminding us that we need to take care of ourselves so we can better take care of our patients. Sarah is a true asset to the nursing program.”

In the classroom or at a clinical, Strode’s goal is always to maintain a safe, student-centered environment that allows students to comfortably engage with the content and others through class participation, discussion, simulation, and personal experience. “Active learning happens through a team effort based on mutual respect and dignity. No question or idea is wrong, and we as a team investigate to find the most appropriate and safest option for the patient and their family.”

That doesn’t mean being serious all the time. “Learning needs to be engaging and fun. There is always a time and place for students to relax and have a laugh or two.”

“My mentors at SRC and our students provide feedback, views, and opinions that requires me to continually assess and improve my teaching methods to share my knowledge and love more effectively for the nursing profession. Nurses are encouraged to be life-long learners, and I am always learning something new because my students push me to improve just as much as I push them. I owe them the thanks for this award.”

Strode is currently working on her certification as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and (CNE-CL), and was recently selected to serve on the Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing (ACEN) review team for ACEN Standards and Criteria. She is also a member of the NEA (National Education Association), AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses), NLN (National League for Nursing) and ANA (American Nurses Association).  She lives in Canton with her husband Brian and their two daughters, Natalie and Payton.

Sarah Strode

Summer Camps at Spoon River College

It’s summer time, which means it’s also athletic camp time at Spoon River College. A variety of camps for all ages covering softball, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, and eSports are being offered.

A girls basketball camp for those in grades 2-8 will be held June 22-24 from 1-4 p.m. A second camp will be held for those in grades 9-12 on August 8 from 1-5 p.m. Participants in these camps should bring their own basketballs.

A boys basketball camp will be held June 24-26 for those in grades 3-5 from 9-10:15 a.m. and for those in grades 6-8 from 10:30-11:45 a.m. This camp will focus on offensive skill development and game knowledge.

Elite prospect softball camps will be held June 21 and July 19 from 1-4 p.m. for students graduating in 2022, 2023, and 2024, with a wait list for those graduating in 2025. This is a total skills camp that covers all aspects of the game.

A volleyball will be held July 7 for those in grades 4-8 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on July 14 for those in grades 9-12 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. This camp is geared towards all skills.

A softball camp will be held July 21 for those ages 7-18. This camp will cover all skills and pitching.

Baseball camps will be held July 12 and August 5 for those ages 8-18. The hitting camp will be from 9-11 a.m. and the pitching camp from 11-noon.

An eSport camp will be held July 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for those aged 10 who are interested in participating in eSports in the future. This will be held in Lower Centers on the Canton Campus.

The ball camps will be held on the Canton Campus at the ball fields or the Multi-Purpose building.

For more details, cost, and to register, visit or the Spoon River College Athletics Facebook page.

Summer Camps at Spoon River College

Summer Camps at Spoon River College
Summer Camps at Spoon River College

Spring 2021 President’s List for Full-time Students

Spoon River College congratulates the following full-time students who were named to the President’s List in recognition of their academic achievement in completing 12 credit hours or more of college-level classes and earning a grade point average of 3.6 – 4.0 during the Spring 2021 semester.

Astoria: Noah A. Gorsuch, Breckon K. McKinney, Areal K. Smith, Trinity L. Taylor, Justice M. Westlake

Bartonville: Caden S. Davis

Bath: Gabrielle K. Carlock

Blandinsville: Audrey Kennelly, Joshua L. Miller

Bowling Green, KY: Trevor A. Dennis

Browning: Jacob R. Miller

Bryant: Baylee K. Mayberry, Emily S. Wise

Bushnell: Jamie S. Edwards, Dalice R. Fawcett, Jalyn K. Fayhee, Lillian K. Powell

Cambridge: Cade V. Franks, Cole G. Franks

Camden: Collin E. Shelts

Canton: Breanna K. Amerine, Jacob C. Barnard, Paula A. Baughman, Anthony A. Becker, Garrett W. Brant, Skylar T. Burgard, Bradyn A. Cunnyngham, Maggie A. Eveland, Cassidy R. Fawcett, Regina L. Featherston, Kaitlyn R. Geltmacher, Chelsea L. Jansen, Aimee J. Kalb, Jason M. Licklider, Sam Mason, Grace E. Mayall, Brandon R. McGraw, Allison R. Mortland, Sydney K. Munson, Bailey Norton, Anna K. O’Brien, Sophia C. Oaks, Lauren E. Oldfield, Nattalee D. Pierce, Isabelle M. Raymer, Brenen P. Seward, Hannah G. Snook, Brady M. Sprout, Collin A. Suddeth, Josiah C. Theobald, Owen P. Watson, Page A. Welker, Claire Wheelwright, Sam R. White, Nathan A. Williams, Haley D. Woodcock

Cantrall: Gracie L. Henrikson

Channahon: Jacob M. Allgeyer

Chillicothe: Jansan L. Davis, Brady D. King

Colchester: Kyah J. Beck

Cuba: Hannah N. Burdess, Brady R. Carpenter, Madison M. Draughn, Madison P. Easley, Makayla A. Gilpin, Sloan L. Miller, Zach J. Settles, Addyson N. Williams

Danville: Emma M. Bogen

Ellisville: Aja M. Lawson

Fairview: Caitlyn R. Collier, Nathaniel J. Jennings, Ian J. Lister, Chelsea D. Steck, Luke A. Stuckey

Farmington: Aidan M. Crusen, Austin M. Marinich, Andrea G. Pollitt, Brennan Potter, Jessica M. Reynolds, Merdith K Stufflebeam,

Griggsville: Tucker A. Kunzeman

Havana: Alana G. Boggs, Tyler S. Fornoff, Benjamin Friedrich, Reggan R. Hall, Matthew A. Schaad, Gage K. Shawgo, Colin D. Sullivan, Tory R. Wickman,

Industry: Jason B. Eskridge

Joliet: Dean C. Procarione

Las Vegas, NV: McKenzy R. Wheeler

Lewistown: Kadee M. Bainter, Kruze D. Chasteen, Lydia Cripe, Dorinda B. Lange, Luke C. Lange, Zoe L. Lutes, Ethan D. Mikulich, Kirsten N. Shawgo, Avery E. Smith, Jainee M. Sours, Tysin E. Stone, Kaitlyn M. VanPelt, Curtis H. Watson

Littleton: Alex Triplett

London Mills: Audrey S. Tarochione

Macomb: Nicole L. Ackley, Chloe Barnes, Kia J. Davis, Emma J. Gilliand, Jordan R. Graham, Daniel K. Hammond, Sierra L. Keeffer, Kelsie J. Larson, Travaughn L. Miller, Marc O. Musser, Timothy J. Polllock, Breanna L. Rhoads, Tessa J. Sargeant, Kevin R. Shelton, Luke S. Silberer, Lunden H. Skaggs, Grace A. Stufflebean, Casey L. Sutton, Shuai Zhao

Maquon: Grace A. Bridson

Marietta: Renda S. Milleson

Memphis, TN: Chancey D. Jackson

Mount Pulaski: Benjamin C. Frike

Mount Sterling: Andrew A. Hughes

Oak Forest: Bradley S. Miller

Peoria: Blake R. Fengel

Rushville: Jacob A. Berrier, Ashley N. Bollinger, Macaela G. Goodrich, Fletcher Higgins, Michael E. Hillyer, Remi K. Irwin, Matthew A. Little

St. David: Caleb M. Keithley, Logan R. Owens

Shorewood: Noah M. Johnson

Smithfield: Peter Howerter

Springfield: Kira E. Brown

St. Louis, MO: Alex G. Schmidt

Tucson, AZ: Luka Gelb

Vermont: Kianna B. Gilson, Rodge D. Heaton, Justin S. Parks

Verona, Italy: Giulia Cianfriglia

Washington: Noelle A. Hobbs

Spring 2021 President’s List for Part-time Students

Spoon River College congratulates the following part-time students who were named to the President’s List in recognition of their academic achievement in completing at least 12 credit hours of college level courses at SRC and who were enrolled in six to eleven credit hours and earning a GPA of 3.6 or higher during the Spring 2021 semester.

Bath: Anissa Blakeley

Blandinsville: Stefanie A. Miller

Browning: Emma A. Howell

Bushnell: Makyna J. Ebbert

Camden: Whitley J. Cooper

Canton: Isabella J. Alig, Halle Bair, Brooke E. Brown, Trista N. Buskirk, Elizabeth A. Crowhurst, Emily Dailey, Abbigale A. DeRenzy, Alexander J. Dornberger, Sada Eveland, Sabrina R. Geier, Ashley H. Gillette, Erin N. Gosnell, Jace W. Gudzinskas, Sylvia R. Hecox, Olivia C. Hinds, Angel Jenkins, Harvey Johnson III, Isabella G. Kees, Jake D. Nebergall, Chloe Nelson, Emma D. Orwig, Bethany M. Pankratz, Addison L. Postin, Elizabeth R. Rosich, Olivia Spahn, Andrew T. Tarvin, Alexa Varvitsiotis, Gage J. Wallick, Derek B. Wilcoxen, Connor J. Willcoxen, Edward D. Wise,

Chandlerville: Sarah A. Dyson

Colchester: Alix A. Potter

Cuba: Abigail G. Corsaw, Carmen C. Pratt

Elmwood: Courtney D. Roudebush

Fairview: Kendra C. Hartstin, Jacob A. Schleich

Farmington: Jill R. Ifft, Keith H. Ifft

Germantown Hills: Ainsly L. Garren

Havana: Brant E. Bastien, Macie L. Froman, Olivia F. Herbst, Krista R. Koke, Sydnie Linder, Kaley R. Meyer, Brooklyn M. Richardson, Ellie Roat, Taylor F. Stockham

Kilbourne: Kristen Nall

Lewistown: Clay A. Beekman, Brenna L. Clark, Kate L. Heffren, Kerrigan R. Lane, Robert W. Micklus, Kaylynn J. Prater, Elizabeth A. Reed, Alyssa R. Rose, Kennedy E. Sidwell, Evan J. Spotloe, Katelyn R. Wickert

Littleton: Marguerite R. Higgins

London Mills: Samuel A. Howard

Macomb: Joshua M. Behary, Harvey T. Bland, Jr., Brennan C. Brady, Riley L. Creasey, Braeden G. Duncan, Kaitlyn R. Ellis, Valerie C. Hale, Diana M. Hanks, Leighton N. Holthaus, Serenidy L. Howard, Jennie R. Ismail, Elijah S. Keck, Tatumn E. Lantz, Makenna R. LeFebvre, Caleb A. Lorenzen, Christina L. McElhiney, Ellen L. Meixner, Aaron D. Meunier, Madison M. Overstreet, Elizabeth Polley, Jennifer S. Reedy, Jackson R. Rhoades, Jacob L. Rouse, Laine E. Torrance, Ainsley M. Walter

Plymouth: Audrey R. Shelor, Wesley J. Shelor

Roseville: Sean I. McIntyre, Sr.

Rushville: Taylor J. Crook, Isabel M. Escapa, Austin J. Hamby, Henry N. Mordiva, Jared R. Pearce, Joseph W. Phillips, Madisyn P. Quinn, Sabrina R. Vining, Abigail G. Wright

St. Louis, MO: Timothy L. Reynolds, Jr.

Table Grove: Kristy C. Boggs

Vermont: Chloe S. Cracraft

Spring 2021 Dean’s List for Full-time Students

Spoon River College congratulates the following full-time students who have been named to the Dean’s List by achieving a 3.0 – 3.5 grade point average for 12 credit hours or more of college-level classes during the Spring 2021 semester.

Astoria: Chad H. Cameron, Emily A. Cox

Bardolph: Ethan C. Stambuagh

Bath: Jacob D. Blakeley

Blandinsville: Savannah K. Jackson

Bushnell: Bradley J. Promisson

Canton: Elizabeth M. Adami, Irene L. Adami, Levi D. Allen, Hannah R. Atchley, Kelsey L. Bentzinger, McKenna N. Bergstralh, Mykaela A. Billington, Faith M. Demler, Allie Diefendorf, Kyle L. Doubet, Stephen D. Eskridge, Jacob W. Essex, Cheyann R. Eyman, Faith M. Haley, Corrine V. Hamill, Tara B. Haynes, Bradley E. Henseler, Mackenzie J. Hess, Alize N. Hoffman, Bobbi A. Jamison, Johnathon C. Jorgensen, Mason J. Keets, Kailey E. Link, Joseph S. Matthews, Luke A. Miller, Damian L. Minder, Jayden A. Montana, Machaela N. Morse, Kaleb J. Owens, Lydia G. Painter, Trey M. Passmore, Khloe R. Piles I, Carson J. Powers, Sienna E. Rader, Alanna R. Siepel, Erik W. Sivertsen, Alexander E. Smith, Zachary A. Stremmel, Sarah E. Vogel-Patterson

Chicago: Joshua X. De Leon

Collinsville: Carson A. Richardson

Cuba: Quentin D. Gilpin, Dustin A. Howarter

Essex: Nathan J. Smith

Fairview: Abigail P. Clemons

Farmington: Dash P. Anderson, Kurstin N. Bohanan, Colby V. Evans, Leslie A. Martin, Jonathon D. Starnes, Taylor S. Thompson, Mary R. Toothaker

Fiatt: Alonza W. Bradley

Galesburg: Matthew R. Cox

Gary, IN: DaKei D. Hines

Greenup: Michael P. Flier

Havana: Harrison J. Allen-Witt, Jacob A. Haarman, Kristina A. Payton, Alexander J. Showalter, Erin C. Smith

Holly Hill, SC: Traveon M. Davis

Industry: Jaylen L. Lyttaker

Jefferson, SD: Pedro J. Marinez

Kingfisher, OK: Logan H. Rutledge

Knoxville: Grant D. Hise

Las Vegas, NV: Rachelle A. Bickel

Lewistown: Kyle A. Gravitt, Amy Shaeffer, Kyle L. Simpson

London Mills: Maelee R. Hanks

Macomb: Jacob T. Armstrong, Rachel A. Bosworth, Abigail L. Cebuhar, John R. Crawford, Trenton R. Ford, Sarah A. Hood, Jennifer L. Kirksey, Jacob T. Kreps, Michael F. Mitchell, Ryleigh K. Patnode I, Jacob Pritchard, Willaim F. Uppinghouse, Trevon T. Wells, Miah A. Zarello

Millstadt: Jack M. Toenjes

Minooka: Zachary W. Petrinos

Morris: Cole M. Laurie

New Holland: Mark E. Maaks

Oakland, KY: Micale B. Mee

Orleans, IN: Sydney L. Owens

Peoria: Joy E. McDaniel

Pittsfield: Nicholas A. McConnell

Plainfield: Dylan T. Miller

Prairie City: Henry E. Kliffmiller-Fowler

Rushville: Alexandria J. Lamm, Tanner S. Lewis, Austin M. Lindsey

Smithfield: Rachel M. Slater, Keera L. Virag

St. David: Griffin K. Noe

Summerville, SC: Rashad T. Brown

Vermont: Andrew T. Butcher

Wilmington: Justin T. Colwell

Spring 2021 Dean’s List for Part-time Students

Spoon River College congratulates the following part-time students who were named to the Dean’s List in recognition of their academic achievement in completing at least 12 credit hours of college level courses at SRC and who were enrolled in six to eleven credit hours and earned a GPA of 3.0 − 3.5 during the Spring 2021 semester.

Astoria: Charity R. Robinson, Jennifer D. Briney

Augusta: Sydnee M. George

Banner: Brian W. Richardson, Katy L. Bucco

Bryant: Ruthie A. Kearney

Canton: Amanda L. Hedges, Amanda McClaskey, Austin R. Corsaw, Bailey R. Pierson, Brady I. Smith, Emma S. Franklin, Ethan B. Rice, Jacob D. Buczko, Joel G. Fleisch, Kamryn R. Bybee, Karina R. Hernandez, Krysten M. Powell, Kyle A. Johnson, Lukas D. Zumstein, Makenna L. Eveland, Mallory O’Brien, Olivia M. Parkinson, Ruby L. Davis, Sydney J. Hannam, Wesley T Swise

Cuba: Collin J. Brooks, Emily A. Derry, Madisyn A. Duckwiler

Fairview: Erynn M. Tinder

Farmington: Cole J. Riggen

Frederick: Hannah J. Spencer I

Glasford: Jessica B. Schabatka

Hanna City: Laurel A. Keyt

Havana: Gillian E. Minor, Jessica L. Britton, Kennedy C. Cleer

Ipava: Makenna G. Bollinger

Lewistown: Abigayle J. McAdams, Elmira Abazi, Isabella J. Clary, Robert Goode II

Liverpool: Dustin T. Knowles, Taylor J. Bastian

Macomb: Alvaro J. Eneria, Amanda Martinez-Nateras, Cameren Irvin, Dana L. Wesley, Dana P. Cobix, Desmond D. Boyd, Devon A. Simpson, Ebony E. Berry, Elizabeth N. Raines, Gretta Nolan, Jared D. Sappington, Jennifer L. Chenoweth, Jessica E. Campbell, Kylie K. Barclay, Leslie Agbefe, Madelyn N. Thurman, Megan R. Dodge, Moriah C. Adermann, Nathaniel T. Wilson, Nicholas G. Dranes, Tricia Burkholder

Peoria: Jai’Renee McCoy

Pittsburg: Sydney R. Billington

Rushville: Ethan W. Downs, Stacy Demaree, Katelyn G. Ingles, Tristin L. Rodriguez,

Smithfield: Ethan L. Yaste, Hannah N. Hildenbrand

St. David: Atoya M. Jones, Christian E. Frew

SRC Student Athletes Recognized for Academic Excellence

Spoon River College congratulates these student-athletes for recognition of their academic excellence.

NJCAA All-Academic First Team (4.0)

Jansan Davis (volleyball, Chillicothe, IL)

Benjamin Fricke (baseball, Mt. Pulaski, IL)

Gracie Henrikson (volleyball, Athens, IL)

Noelle Hobbs (softball, Washington, IL)

Allison Mortland (softball, Canton, IL)

Grace Stufflebeam (softball, Macomb, IL)

Kaitlyn VanPelt (volleyball, Lewistown, IL)

Tory Wickman (baseball, Havana, IL)

Addyson Williams (softball, Cuba, IL)

NJCAA All-Academic Second Team (3.8-3.99)

Jacob Allgeyer (baseball, Minooka, Il)

Kyah Beck (volleyball, Colchester, IL)

Kira Brown (softball, Springfield, IL)

Giulia Cianfriglia (softball, Verona, Italy)

Cade Franks (baseball, Ridgewood, IL)

Tucker Kunzeman (baseball, Griggsville, IL)

Dean Procarione (baseball, Minooka, IL)

Alex Schmidt (baseball, St. Louis, MO)

NJCAA All-Academic Third Team (3.6-3.79)

Emma Bogen (volleyball, Danville, IL)

Hannah Burdess (volleyball, Lewistown, IL)

Kaitlyn Geltmacher (volleyball, Good Hope, IL)

Noah Johnson (baseball, Shorewood, IL)

Brady King (baseball, Chillicothe, IL)

Sloan Miller (softball, Cuba, IL)

Sydney Owens (softball, Orleans, IN)

M-WAC Academic All-Conference (3.5+)

Jacob Allgeyer (baseball, Minooka, IL)

Kyah Beck (softball, Springfield, IL)

Emma Bogen (volleyball, Danville, IL)

Kira Brown (softball, Springfield, IL)

Samuel Buduris (baseball, Minooka, IL)

Hannah Burdess (volleyball, Lewistown, IL)

Giulia Cianfriglia (softball, Verona, Italy)

Caden Davis (baseball, Bartonville, IL)

Jansan Davis (volleyball, Chillicothe, IL)

Cade Franks (baseball, Ridgewood, IL)

Benjamin Fricke (baseball, Mt. Pulaski, IL)

Luka Gelb (basketball, Tucson, AZ)

Kaitlyn Geltmacher (volleyball, Good Hope, IL)

Gracie Henrikson (volleyball, Athens, IL)

Noelle Hobbs (softball, Washington, IL)

Noah Johnson (baseball, Shorewood, IL)

Brady King (baseball, Chillicothe, IL)

Tucker Kunzeman (baseball, Griggsville, IL)

Bradley Miller (baseball, Oak Forest, IL)

Sloan Miller (softball, Cuba, IL)

Allison Mortland (softball, Canton, IL)

Sydney Owens (softball, Orleans, IN)

Dean Procarione (baseball,Minooka, IL)

Timothy Reynolds (baseball, St. Louis, MO)

Alex Schmidt (baseball, St. Louis, MO)

Grace Stufflebeam (softball, Macomb, IL)

Kaitlyn VanPelt (volleyball, Lewistown, IL)

Tory Wickman (baseball, Havana, IL)

Addyson Williams (softball, Cuba, IL)

NJCAA All-Academic award winners must have completed 2 full-time semesters of college work, participated in at least one season at the varsity level at the college from which he/she is nominated, and have a minimum of 24 semester-hours completed in the current academic year.  Remedial/developmental course work cannot be used to meet the requirements of this award.

EDA Invests $1.5M in CARESAct funds to Boost Workforce Development at Spoon River College

​WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Spoon River College, Canton, Illinois, to purchase training equipment and renovate the college’s Vocational & Technical Education Center (VOTEC). This EDA grant is expected to create 275 jobs, retain 125 jobs, and generate $500,000 in private investment.

“President Biden is laser-focused on fortifying American’s workforce so that our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment at Spoon River College will help close gaps in the talent pipeline for the region’s important manufacturing and logistics clusters and ensure future economic resilience.”

“The Economic Development Administration supports community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will provide specialized training equipment and revamped facilities to enhance Spoon River College’s curriculum for workers in fields that will grow in the wake of the pandemic.”

“Here in Illinois, we know how important our community colleges are, not just for opening doors for individuals, but also maximizing economic growth across the state as a whole,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “From the get-go, the Biden-Harris Administration has identified our nation’s community college system as a major source of strength, and I am so grateful to see that commitment backed up by this significant investment in Spoon River College’s workforce development programs. As governor, I’m committed to building on Illinois’ long history of maintaining a high-quality, skilled workforce so we maintain our manufacturing prowess for generations to come, and this EDA grant will go a long way in supporting jobs in the Canton region.”

“Community colleges like Spoon River are uniquely positioned to help close the skills gap, put people back to work, and fill critical shortages at growing businesses and manufacturers,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “This EDA investment will help create jobs and bolster Central Illinois’ workforce as it recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m proud to support this federal funding and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois’ communities.”

“Our local communities and educational institutions have been hit hard by this pandemic,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “Federal investments like these help create opportunities that spur economic development and support colleges as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. I will keep working to help secure additional investments that strengthen communities across our state.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Spoon River College Celebrates Graduates at 60th Commencement

“With 2020 behind us and 2021 half over, this group of graduates has had to be more resilient, more determined, and more patient than those before them.”

Those were the words of Spoon River College faculty association president Todd Thompson, giving a nod to the disruption caused by the pandemic as he addressed graduates and viewers via video during the virtual ceremony that aired on YouTube May 14 in celebration of the College’s 60th commencement.

SRC student Bailey Norton did the same when she spoke. “I think I can speak on behalf of the entire student body when I say that we never imagined we would be attending class every day with a mask on our face, or even taking part in a virtual graduation. We are living through history each and every day.”

Despite it not being a traditional ceremony, graduates were still honored and awards were still presented.

Dean Missy Wilkinson recognized students who were nominated to the All-USA Academic Team and also named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Illinois Academic Team. Chosen on the basis of academic achievement, volunteer work, campus activities, honors and awards, this year’s All-Illinois Academic Team members were transfer students Madison Draughn and Travaughn Miller, and career and technical education students Aja Lawson and Devon Simpson. Simpson was also recognized for being named a 2021 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, the first of its kind to support students as they plan to enter the workforce upon the completion of a degree or certificate.

Recognized for academic excellence were Phi Theta Kappa members who have maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while at Spoon River College. Those students were Piper Denny, Madison Draughn, Desiray Meyer, Sophia Oaks, Caitlin Patterson, and Ethan Stambaugh.

Student Achievement Award recipients, announced by Dean Holly Norton and Dean Brad O’Brien, were transfer student Travaughn Miller, and career and technical education student Alex Schmidt.  These awards are given to students who show individual initiative, personal development, and have made progress toward their achievement of goals, along with participation and success in college extracurricular activities.

Following the student awards, President Oldfield recognized faculty members for teaching excellence.

Michael Maher, sociology faculty, received the Illinois Community College Trustee Association Full-Time Faculty Award. “Besides teaching excellence, this award recognizes the ability of a teacher to take a personal interest in students, and to inspire enthusiasm through their teaching techniques,” said Oldfield.

Sarah Strode, nursing faculty, was the recipient of the H. Truman Standard Award. “Besides teaching excellence, this award recognizes meritorious service to the institution and displaying the College’s core values of caring, respect, integrity, fairness, and responsibility,” Oldfield said.

In closing, President Oldfield talked about the changes and challenges brought about by the pandemic. “Two of the many lessons we have learned during this COVID pandemic are resilience and adaptability. Being able to adapt to any circumstance you are faced with is a skill that will take you far in your life. You have been asked to adapt to change and embrace uncertainty. I am confident that the knowledge you have gained from your instructors and self-confidence you have developed will help each of you continue to be successful.”

The virtual commencement can be viewed on the Spoon River College YouTube channel at

In addition, three stage walk-throughs were held May 11 for students who wanted the opportunity to wear their cap and gown and receive their diplomas with a limited numbers of family present. That event can also be viewed on the College’s YouTube channel, and additional pictures have been posted on the Spoon River College Facebook page.