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Meet the Dual Credit Staff

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Susan Ros

Dual Credit Program Coordinator

When Susan Ros was growing up in her native Macomb, Ill., her parents embedded into her at a young age the importance of education to succeed and have more opportunities. Natives of Cambodia, her parents fled the genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Moving to Macomb, they worked factory jobs and wanted their children to have a better life than they did.

Inspired by her parents’ example, Ros today promotes the value of a college education to Lake County high school students in her role as Dual Credit program coordinator at CLC. Among her duties are scheduling courses, managing student enrollment and leading orientation sessions for staff and students. The favorite part of her job, she said, is assisting students in their initial college experience and working with a diverse group of students, parents, faculty and staff.

A graduate of her hometown Western Illinois University, Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and justice administration, with a minor in sociology. After working in Massachusetts as retail loss-prevention manager and a campus safety officer, Susan decided to switch to higher education, where she could make a difference in the lives of current or prospective students.

“Both of my sisters work in higher education, and when I saw how highly they spoke about the opportunity to work in academia, I wanted to continue on the same path,” Susan said. She took a job as an academic affairs coordinator for a Massachusetts acupuncture school before returning to Illinois and joining CLC in 2014.

Susan, who said she enjoys working with both students and faculty, views her own life experience as an example of the life-enriching power of a college education. “Being open to change has given me the opportunity to relocate and build connections that will stay with me for a lifetime,” she said. “The path that I traveled would not have been possible without my college experience and education.”

Her schooling continues, she said, as she plans to earn a master’s degree and continue to work in higher education.


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Carolyn Brugioni

Dual Credit/College Readiness Program Coordinator

When Carolyn Brugioni meets with area high-school students to discuss college life, she finds that many are grateful to her for demystifying an unfamiliar world.

“At one high school, three seniors stayed after my presentation and asked great questions, such as the meaning of credit hours or the difference between an associate and a bachelor’s degree,” said Carolyn, a program coordinator for the Dual Credit and College Readiness programs. “They said they did not know who to ask because their parents and family did not go to college and it all seemed so overwhelming. Speaking with students makes me realize there is such need in our community for all of us to partner alongside these young men and women to help them prepare, plan and to mentor them from start to finish.”

In addition to speaking at area high schools about the College Readiness and Dual Credit programs, Carolyn also is involved with Taste of College and Jump Start. The programs give junior-high and high-school students a chance to sample college life and coursework. Indeed, the chance to help young people see college as a bridge to a better future is what Carolyn likes the most about her job. After all, she crossed that bridge herself.

A graduate of Highland Park High School, Carolyn became the first female in her family to graduate from college when she earned a degree in English from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She worked in sales and training for a pharmaceutical company for several years and then became a stay-at-home mom. Years later, she re-entered the job market and found that every position of interest to her required at least a bachelor’s degree. “The job hunting reaffirmed to me how important it is to have a college degree,” recalled Carolyn, adding that her daughter attended CLC before transferring to a four-year college, a path Carolyn’s high-school age son plans to follow.

Carolyn said she’s proud of first-generation students who can’t wait to start college. “I know their path even getting to high school graduation may have been difficult, and I hope I can help make their transition to college easier,” she said.


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Sarah Stashkiw

Manager – College Readiness, Dual Credit and Jump Start

As manager of CLC’s College Readiness, Dual Credit and Jump Start programs, Sarah Stashkiw oversees a team that helps inspire area youth to turn the dream of college into an achievable goal.

The College Readiness program provides information to help families and students – from elementary through high school age – attain success at CLC or any college. The Dual Credit and Jump Start programs, respectively, enable students to enroll in college-level courses in high school or take college developmental courses in the summer following high-school graduation. In all of the programs, students learn critical time-management and study skills needed for success in high school, college and beyond.

Helping others, and promoting the value of a college education, both come natural for Sarah. Her father has been a philosophy professor at a local four-year college, and her mother is a retired social worker. “Giving back has always been part of my life,” said Sarah. “I’ve really been fortunate to come from a family that stressed the importance of a college education. My parents led by example and stressed how it’s really important to share our talents.”

At Libertyville High School, Sarah served on teen court, which is an alternative to formal juvenile court that assigns counseling or humane treatment of peers charged for the first time with non-violent offenses such as retail theft or drug possession. Diagnosed at age 13 with diabetes, Sarah also volunteered in her high school years as a counselor for a camp designed for children diagnosed with diabetes. “I helped them understand that you can have a normal camp experience and that diabetes doesn’t have to be focus of your life,” she said.

Following high school, Sarah’s spirit of serving others continued at Iowa’s Cornell College, where her volunteer activities included a countywide teen court program. She later graduated from Cornell with a B.A. in psychology with minors in philosophy and Spanish. Later, she earned a Master of Education degree in teaching and learning from DePaul University. “Being in classes and exposed to people from all backgrounds, doing group projects, was impactful for me,” Sarah recalled.

In her current position, Sarah said she finds it “incredibly rewarding” to build relationships with area high school students and watch them succeed. “What really strikes me, especially in working with first-generation students, is that so many of them want information, and will do whatever it takes to be successful,” she said. “They don’t necessarily know the steps at first, but we show them the way, and they are so grateful.”