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Lake Land College’s Alumni Association inducts five into the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Society

The Lake Land College Alumni Association recently inducted the Distinguished Alumni Society (DAS) Class of 2013.  The inductees were Adam Bohnhoff (class of 2004) of Effingham; Matt Bowyer (class of 1995) of Perryville, Mo; Carol Jo Fritts (class of 1974) of Greenup; Chris Rennels (class of 1999) of Urbana; and Terrall Stewart (class of 1976) of Toledo. The Distinguished Alumni Society recognizes alumni who have utilized the Lake Land experience to make an imprint on his or her profession or community. 

Bohnhoff is a design engineer for the Upchurch Group, Inc. and he graduated from LLC with an associate degree in science, majoring in civil engineering technology. 

“The environment at Lake Land allowed me to keep focused, learn effectively and to readily get help with difficult courses,” Bohnhoff said. “Another contributing factor was the tuition costs and the location. The tuition was very affordable compared to a four-year school which meant that I was able to pay for my education on my own.” 

Bohnhoff credits instructor Tonia Timlin for influencing him while at Lake Land. He said that Timlin was particularly supportive and instrumental in becoming an engineer, especially after taking her statistics/dynamics course. 

Bowyer currently works as a wildlife management biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He graduated with an associate degree in science, majoring in biological science. 

“I always tell the young students I work with to start at a community college and take their core classes, then transfer,” Bowyer said. “At the time I didn’t realize what a valuable experience going to Lake Land College was. Completing the core classes in a smaller classroom environment with quality teachers helped me prepare for more advanced classes in my major later in my academic career. Because of the great start I had here, I am fortunate to have a job that I love and enjoy going to work every day.”

Bowyer credits instructors like Lucinda Horton and Jack Browning. He said that Horton, who was his adviser and biology teacher, provided him guidance to pursue a career he always wanted. Likewise, Browning his former mathematics teacher, allowed Boywer to have a greater understanding of difficult subjects. 

Fritts is the president and CEO of First Neighbor Bank and chairman of the board of First Neighborhood Bancshares, Inc.  While at Lake Land, she earned a certificate in practical nursing. 

“My nursing degree has been beneficial in my career in banking with my co-workers and customers,” said Fritts. “Lake Land was an affordable way for me to begin my continuing education and provided a road with no boundaries and no end.”  

Fritts credits Ron Sanderson, who she said encouraged her to transfer to Eastern Illinois University. She said without his influence she most likely would not have transferred and finished a four-year degree. 

Rennels is the owner of Davis-Houk Mechanical in Urbana and received an associate degree in engineering science from Lake Land. 

“I would have never been able to transfer to the University of Illinois engineering school if it hadn’t been for the education I received at Lake Land College,” Rennels said. “I found myself as well as others who transferred from Lake Land to have a head start in a highly competitive environment at the U of I.” 

Rennels credits former instructors Sam Houston and Chuck Weick, who he said were both very helpful and important to him during his time at Lake Land. Rennels said that both instructors could simplify difficult concepts into language he could better understand, something that made his learning experience at the college very special. 

Stewart is the vice president of operations at Anamet Electrical, Inc. He graduated with an associate degree in applied science, majoring in business management. 

“At the time I was attending Lake Land College, I did not fully realize the amount of influence it would have on my life and career. I have on numerous occasions used the knowledge I gained from Lake Land College in making real time business decisions,” he said.

Stewart credits instructors like Max Jaeger, Jan Kidd, Dave Stapleton and Hal Kottwitz, who he said had a very obvious passion for teaching and took an interest in the welfare of each individual student.

The guest speaker for the induction ceremony was 2007 Distinguished Alumni Society member Michael Neal, Charleston. Neal is an administrator for the Department of Corrections. 

This Class of 2013 will join 68 others who have been inducted into the Lake Land College Distinguished Alumni Society since its introduction in 2007.




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