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Meet the Professors

Ruth Belec-Olander
Instructor, Certified Nursing Assistant

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2011; previously taught as a CLC adjunct; also taught nursing at Lake Forest Place, a retirement community in Lake Forest; worked in health information technology at several agencies.

Education: B.S.N, Loyola University Chicago; M.S.N., Marquette University.

Mary Buckner
Instructor, Nursing

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2007; previously taught as an adjunct at Harper College; served as a nurse for 19 years at Highland Park Hospital.

Education: B.S.N., University of Iowa; M.S., Northern Illinois University; Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Rush University.

Most memorable student: I once taught an older student, a woman who deferred her dream of becoming a nurse for 20 years. When I worked with her, she was so thrilled to be in the program she would come to clinical every day with new information she had looked up the night before, based on our discussions and experiences. She was so motivated that it was inspiring.

Debbie Krachtus
Instructor, Nursing

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2006. Professor Colver previously ran the CLC nursing lab and taught at CLC as an adjunct.

Other professional experience:
She is a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and Certified Medical Surgical Nurse RN (CMSRN).  Professor Colver was a NISOD teaching excellence award recipient in 2016. Her nursing career has included experience in areas such as critical care, medical/surgical, outpatient surgery, gastroenterology, and pain management.

B.S.N., University of Illinois-Chicago; M.S.N., Regis University-Denver.

Imelda Forsberg
Instructor, Basic Nurse Assisting

Education: B.S.N., Saint Paul University; M.S., North Park University.

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2003; previously taught at CLC as on temporary basis. Professor Harrison previously was director of nursing at Victory Lakes Continuing Care Center in Lindenhurst. Her nursing career also has included experience in areas such as medical/surgical, geriatric and long-term care nursing, as well as nursing administration.

Education: B.S.N. and M.S.N., University of Michigan.

Becky Hawarny
Instructor, Nursing

Specialties: Nursing simulation, using high-tech mannequins to simulate patient conditions in a hospital-like setting, which takes place in a lab at the Grayslake campus.

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2012; previously taught at several universities, including Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. and Chamberlain College of Nursing in Chicago.

Education: B.S.N., M.S.N., Oakland University.

Barb Hunt
Instructor, Nursing

Specialties: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Oncology - Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse; Education - Certified Nurse Educator.

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2003; previously taught at CLC in continuing education.

Other professional experience: Clinical experience includes working at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, where her positions included staff development, patient education coordinator, CPR coordinator and inpatient/outpatient oncology staff nurse. She also has experience as an orthopedic/neurological staff nurse at United Hospitals in St. Paul, Minn. She was awarded the Excellence in Patient/Public Education Award by the Oncology Nursing Society and has presented oncology nursing certification preparation courses.

Education: B.S.N., University of Minnesota; M.S., North Park University-Chicago; Ph.D. in Nursing coursework at Loyola University-Chicago.

What inspires me about my field: In the time I have been an oncology nurse, cancer treatment has improved so much that cancer is now considered a chronic disease—something you live with—rather than a terminal disease. It is an exciting time to be an oncology nurse! I have more than 20 years of clinical experience and I share with students real-life situations to help them learn. I endeavor to inspire students to strive for excellence and to discover their maximum potential.

Dunia Iordan
Instructor, Nursing

Education: B.S.N., Olivet University; M.S.N., University of Phoenix.

Main goal in teaching: Emphasize that professional nursing education is a continuous, life-long learning process. My teaching goal is to stimulate intellectual curiosity, promote critical thinking and heighten awareness of cultural diversity in all settings.

Cindy MacDonald
Instructor, Nursing

Specialties: Nursing Education, Family Practice, Medical Surgical Nursing.

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2004.

Other professional experience: Prior to teaching at CLC, worked in Intensive Care (Burn Unit) and the ED as an RN. Later taught pathophysiology, pharmacology and medical surgical nursing at Saint Anthony College of Nursing followed by full time employment as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a private physician office. After joining CLC in 2004, continued as a part time family nurse practitioner.

Education: Diploma in nursing, Saint Anthony School of Nursing; A.S., Rock Valley College; B.S., Northern Illinois University; M.S., Northern Illinois University; Post Masters Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate, Northern Illinois University; Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

What inspires me to teach: What inspires me most to continue on my path of nursing education is when I experience the “ahh ha” moments; the point when students put it all together and gain a true understanding of the many complex components of the art and science of nursing. 

Lucia MacDonald
Instructor, Nursing

Specialties: Oncology, Hospice, Palliative Care.

Teaching experience: Clinical educator, medical/surgical nursing Vista Medical Center; Adjunct faculty, Oakton Community College; Hospice Clinical Educator, Hospice of the North Shore.

Education: BSN University of Pennsylvania; MN University of Pittsburgh.

Carmella Mikol
Instructor, Nursing

Teaching full time at CLC since: 1980; she has combined her decades of teaching with working part time as a nurse and nurse practitioner in Lake County. Professor Mikol also has served as a reviewer of a nursing textbook. In 2009, she was one of eight Americans to present at a World Health Organization conference in New Zealand. She discussed the findings of her study on amusement park injuries, stating that amusement parks are generally very safe, but injuries occur primarily because children and adults are doing things on a dare and often ignore safety rules.

Education: B.S.N., Loyola University Chicago; M.N., University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; also completed the pediatric nurse practitioner program at the University of Wisconsin.

Specialties:  Mental health; HIV and AIDS.

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2005; previously taught at CLC as on temporary basis; also has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Utah.

Education: A.S., Weber State College; B.A., Utah State University; B.S.N. and M.S., University of California, San Francisco; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Janet Racina
Instructor, Nursing

Specialties: Nursing education; health promotion.

Teaching experience: Prior to teaching at CLC, she taught at Harper College and Elgin Community College.

Education: A.S., Truman College-Chicago; B.S.N. and M.S.N., Northern Illinois University; F.N.P., Olivet Nazarene University.

Mary Scheffler
Instructor, Nursing

Specialties: Cardiology nursing.

Teaching full time at CLC since: 2008.

Subjects taught at CLC: Nursing fundamentals, medical-surgical nursing and advanced medical-surgical nursing (clinical).

Other professional experience: Currently working part time as an RN with Centegra Home Health Care. Worked on a step-down unit at Condell Medical Center, caring for open-heart patients. Certified nurse educator, advanced practice nurse, and adult clinical nurse specialist.

Education: B.S., University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse; A.D.N., College of Lake County; M.S.N. University of St. Francis; M.A.Ed., University of Phoenix.

What inspires me about my field: I love to watch the students learn and grow in their nursing experience. Nursing is such a great field with so many opportunities for students to expand and continue to learn once they leave our program.