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The Success of Triton College and Benedictine University’s Partnership Comes Full Circle at Nursing Alumni Reception


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The academic partnership between Triton College and Benedictine University was celebrated at an Aug. 10 dinner reception, recognizing the continuing success and education of alumni of both institutions who hold a bachelor’s degree and higher in nursing.

Alumni from both Triton and Benedictine and administrators and professors from each institution attended the Triton College/Benedictine University Nursing Alumni Reception that was held on Triton’s main campus in River Grove.

Guests networked with fellow nursing alumni and Benedictine and Triton representatives, prior to sitting down to dinner with Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados and Lisa Scalessi, director of alumni relations at Triton.

“We salute our alumni,” Dr. Granados said. “The collaboration and cooperation between Triton College and Benedictine University has proven to provide an excellent and affordable education for our students and community. The efforts between the two schools have further enhanced educational opportunities and programs that are offered locally to our residents and it is wonderful to see that the partnership between the two schools is positively impacting the lives of our students.”

“I am very grateful for the opportunity tonight to celebrate the accomplishments of our Nursing alumni from both Triton College and Benedictine University,” Scalessi said. “The achievements of our alumni are a testament to Triton’s commitment to lifelong learning and student success.”

Triton College and Benedictine University affords students the opportunity to continue their higher education pursuits for select bachelor and graduate degree programs without leaving the Triton campus by offering courses in the University Center.

Alumni who held associate’s degrees in Nursing from Triton College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Benedictine University attended the reception, in addition to a couple of alumni who are pursuing a Master of Science degree in Nursing through Benedictine. Information about scholarship opportunities at Benedictine and learning opportunities through Triton’s Continuing Education course offerings for health professionals were available to guests.

Alesha Young feels like a lifelong student, as a two-time graduate of Triton College. She received her first associate’s degree in Hospitality for Hotel/Motel Management from Triton. But when the hotel industry faltered following 9/11, Young returned to Triton to pursue a degree in nursing.

Now, Young is on the verge of completing her Master of Science in Nursing degree at Benedictine, with the ultimate goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. She credits the partnership between Triton College and Benedictine University for her smooth transition into the field.

“When I decided to pursue nursing, I was aware of the partnership that Triton College shares with Benedictine University’s nursing program,” she says. “And I knew that partnership would be beneficial for me in that it provided me an avenue following my associate’s degree.”

Julie Fountain, who is also an alumna of Triton and Benedictine, received her certification in nursing assistance in 1991 and surgical technology in 1995 from Triton. Her achievements have led her to receive the Evelyn R. Simmers Scholarship, an endowment for students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing from the Department of Nursing at Benedictine University.

“I’ve come a long way from Triton,” she says, having worked as a school nurse, surgical technology nurse, and currently, as the Occupational Health Nurse at Arlington Park Racetrack. “Triton gave me my foundation for my nursing career that carried on with me to further my education, and I’m grateful for that and the scholarship.”

Benedictine University Professor of Nursing Dr. Ethel Ragland said the collaboration with Triton College is “critical” in preparing students to become nurses. “Triton has been very supportive of nursing education, and our partnership with Triton is a very strong model that is unique to Illinois,” she said. “We’re positioning nurses to be very marketable for jobs.”

For more information on Triton College’s Nursing Program, contact Health Careers Information Specialist Toni Johnson at (708) 456-0300, ext. 3844.

To learn more about Triton College’s University Center and the select nursing degrees offered at Triton through Benedictine University, call (708) 456-0300, ext. 3813.

About the University Center
Triton College’s University Center, developed under the leadership and vision of Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados, hosts offices for partnering four-year colleges and universities that offer students the opportunity to continue their higher education pursuits for select bachelor and graduate degree programs without leaving the Triton campus. Currently, partnerships are established with National-Louis University, Benedictine University, Governors State University, Southern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University. Each university has an office and staff in the University Center, located in the Learning Resource Center, Room A-105, on Triton’s main campus in River Grove. Visit www.triton.edu for more information.

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