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Kondenar named to honor society's All-USA Academic Team

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 06, 2018

Bernard Kondenar, a College of Lake County student from Antioch, is one of 20 students named to the All-USA Academic Team sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society for community college students. He will receive a $5,000 scholarship and recognition at the PTK President’s Breakfast during the American Association of Community Colleges’ convention April 30 in Dallas.

Students are nominated for showing intellectual rigor and demonstrating academic achievement, leadership and civic growth. “I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity to continue my education. I intend to live up to the promise that comes with receiving this honor,” said Kondenar.

He will graduate in May with A.A.S. degrees in sustainable agriculture and horticulture production in addition to an Associate in Arts degree. In the fall, he plans to transfer to Bernard Kondenar and beehiveLake Forest College to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, and later earn a master’s degree and pursue a career in international environmental policy.

“I am not surprised that Bernard has been named to the All-USA team,” said Bob Remedi, Ed.D., CLC biology professor and PTK advisor. “He is smart, motivated, personable and he’ll be successful at any goal he wishes to achieve.”

In addition to serving as the Board of Trustees student trustee in 2016-17, Kondenar (pictured, with managed beehive) helped design and build CLC’s 10-hive apiary, which played a role in the college receiving Bee Campus USA status in March. He was a member of the Honors and CLC Scholars programs and participated in CLC’s semester-abroad program in China last fall.

Kondenar’s other awards include a PTK $7,500 Hites Scholarship and having his essay selected as CLC’s entry in the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s 2018 Paul Simon Student Essay Contest. In the essay, Kondenar cited the “extraordinary power of relationships” within the community college environment to help him change careers affordably while he juggled roles as a husband and father of three young children, one of whom incurred high medical costs. “I believe that each small contribution I make, each positive example I set, each time I pay what I have received forward, I am creating a ripple effect,” he wrote.

The contest winner will be recognized in June at the ICCTA’s annual awards banquet in Springfield and will receive a cash stipend of $500 for the fall semester.