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Two students named to All-Illinois Academic Team

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 02, 2018

Kimberly Beckus and Bernard Kondenar have been named to the All-Illinois Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society for community college students. Both CLC students were recognized for attaining at least a 3.5 GPA, completing at least 12 college credits and demonstrating leadership ability.

Beckus and Kondenar will receive medallions and certificates at an April 11 PTK awards banquet in Springfield, along with nominees from other Illinois community colleges. Both are automatically nominated as candidates for PTK’s All-USA Academic Team; finalists will be selected in late February to become eligible for additional PTK scholarships.

Beckus, a Deerfield resident majoring in social work, is a member of CLC’s PTK chapter and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also belongs to the National Society of Leadership and Success honor society. Photo of Kim Beckus and Bernard KondenarAdditionally, Beckus is a volunteer with H.E.A.R.D. (Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf), a nonprofit organization that promotes equal access to the legal system for individuals who are deaf or have disabilities. (Photo: College of Lake County students Kimberly Beckus and Bernard Kondenar.)

“To be named to the All-Illinois Academic Team is an honor and a blessing,” said Beckus. She plans to earn an associate degree from CLC in May and transfer to Northeastern Illinois University to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work. Eventually, she plans earn a master’s degree in deaf counseling from Gallaudet University, a school for the Deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C. “My career goal is to bring mental health services to the Deaf community and advocate for their needs in the criminal justice system,” she said.

Kondenar is an Antioch resident who plans to graduate in May with A.A.S. degrees in sustainable agriculture and horticulture production in addition to an A.A. transfer degree. He spearheaded the design and construction of CLC’s campus apiary (bee colony), which played a role in the college receiving a national award for environmental sustainability. A vice president of CLC’s PTK chapter, Kondenar also has served as student senate representative, student trustee in 2016-17 and founder of the Horticulture Club.

“It’s very gratifying to be honored with this award and to know that my contribution has had a positive effect on others,” said Kondenar, who also operates a construction business. After graduating from CLC, he plans to transfer to Lake Forest College and earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Eventually, he wants to earn a master’s degree and work in international environmental policy.

For information on CLC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, visit