Alumni Spotlight Archive
Instructor/Coordinator, Triton College Engineering Technology Department.
I was a member of the United States Army Reserves, and honorably discharged in 2002. I received an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Triton College, and a bachelor's degree in occupational and practical art education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a concentration in engineering technology. I graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a master's degree in December of 2007.
I was recognized as employee of the fall 2008 semester, an award presented to an individual nominated by a Triton College colleague who shows outstanding service and commitment to our institution's performance standards. In 2009, I was recognized by Triton College President Patricia Granados as a Five Pin Recognition Award recipient for ongoing dedication and random acts of effort toward the college's overall success.
What would you describe as your strong suit?
I have a passion for working with people, guiding and navigating them to attain their life's goals and helping them improve their quality of life.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
My biggest obstacles were the language barriers I experienced when I first came to the United States in the 1970s from the country formerly known as Yugoslavia.
As a female I have had to overcome assumptions and presumptions in a male-dominated field over the years, it was always challenging for me, but due to my extremely positive attitude, I always kept going.
How has Triton College impacted your life?
I am inspired everyday, understanding that through my work, I serve the greater good of all of my students as well as the many community members whose paths I cross. Knowing this gives me a good feeling and pushes me every day to be better and do more.
As a student at Triton College, I was very thankful that my primary instructor, Mr. Pete Fricano, gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as an intern at Elkay Manufacturing, a Broadview-based engineering company, where eventually I was fortunate enough to be hired full-time. That job helped pay for a majority of my education. I learned a lot from Fricano regarding how to handle students and assist them with their studies as they pursue not only a college education but a successful career. I try to pay this forward everyday.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
My best advice is: avoid negativity. Don't listen to anyone negative. If they say "you can't," tune them out and say "yes, I can," and show them that almost anything is possible if you work hard at it. She believes a person is their own competition in the game of life and to win they have to know them, accept them for who they are, and make the best of it all!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I value playing with my 2 children in my spare time, and I love fixing things. I appreciate any opportunity I get to watch a good sci-fi flick, my favorite type of movie. When time allows, I enjoy getting out, enjoying good weather and taking long drives with my husband and children.
What are your plans for the future?
My short-term plans for the future include using my God-given gifts and talent to help students and Triton College in any way I can, and my long-term plans are to retire form Triton and become a volunteer instructor at a grade school, helping the children be strong students.
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