Great summer news from DACC
Great summer news from DACC

DACC Celebrates Commencement 2019

DACC President Stephen Nacco, DACC VP Finance/CFO Tammy Betancourt, and President Emerita Alice Marie Jacobs
DACC President Stephen Nacco, Dr. George Richards, and DACC Foundation Executive Director Tonya Hill
Mrs. Sue Ewbank, Dr. Robert Ewbank, and DACC Foundation Executive Director Tonya Hill

DACC Foundation Receives Gift to Fund Mobile App

Dr. Robert Ewbank and his wife Sue are no strangers to the Danville Area Community College Foundation. They have been donors for more than 25 years, establishing their own scholarship 15 years ago. Student support is vital to the couple.

Recently, their support of DACC students took a new turn when they heard about the mobile app that the College plans to purchase to help students navigate online resources.  
The Ewbanks donated $20,000 to cover the first year and related expenses to put the mobile app in place, recognizing its value to student success and completion.

DACC Foundation Executive Director Tonya Hill said, “Dr. and Mrs. Ewbank have gone beyond scholarship support to touch all students with this student-success tool. They hope to inspire others to make gifts to support this project because of its significant impact on students.”

Approved by the DACC Board of Trustees at their April meeting, the mobile app by Unifyed will cost $18,664.91 for the first year. Subsequent years are slightly less, but still a substantial investment for the College.

The cost is worth it. “The app will become their (the students’) one-stop source for everything they would otherwise have to hunt around for on the Web site or through the self-service system or email or even in a hard-copy document,” says Stacy Ehmen, DACC’s Dean of Student Services. “The students who have reviewed this app with us say that having all of these services available by logging into this one app will make it really popular.”

The new mobile app will help DACC faculty and staff communicate with students where they are most comfortable and accessible—on their phones.  The app will provide every student with a cell phone access to all of DACC’s services, including tutoring, homework, financial aid, grades, and online classes. The plan is to have the app in place for a soft roll-out by the fall.

“A significant number of DACC students can’t afford laptops or computers. And access to Wi-Fi can get spotty in certain dead zones throughout Vermilion County,” reported Dr. Stephen Nacco, DACC President. “But almost all of our students have a cellphone in their hand. It’s the one piece of technology that crosses all technology barriers and socioeconomic lines.”

A team of DACC faculty and staff, led by Dean Ehmen and Asst. Dean of Student Services/Chief Diversity Officer Carla Boyd, reviewed several mobile apps and developers before settling on the Unifyed product. The team was comprised of Proffesor Kathy Hunter, Network Director Mark Barnes, Online Learning Director Maggie Hoover, Web Technician Jung Ae Merrick, Programmer/Database Administrator Brian Pollitt, and Systems Administrator/Programmer Jessica Miles. 

Hambelton Named Student Trustee

Ms. Holley Hambleton was elected Student Trustee at the April 9-10 student election. She was seated at the April 25 Board of Trustees meeting. 

Holley is an Armstrong graduate who played softball for DACC. She is featured in DACC's hallway banner promotion with the quote, "DACC is a Leader in Education becasue of the affordable, quality education in so many transferable fields."

Though she received a transfer degree -- Associate of Arts in Nursing -- in May 2019, she will contine to work toward an AAS in nursing education at DACC in the coming year. 

Employees of the Year: Dawn Nasser, Rickey Williams, Sr., Angel Fellers, and Judy Turner 

DACC's 2019 Employees of the Year Selected

The highlight of DACC's annual Employee Recognition event in April is always the announcement of Employees of the Year selected by nominations of students and colleagues. Nominations are accepted for Full-Time Faculty, Staff, Part-Time Faculty, and Support Staff. 
This year's winners were Prof. Rickey Williams, Sr., Criminal Justice, Faculty of the Year; Dawn Nasser, Coordinator of Campus and Community Resources/Academic Adviser, Staff of the Year; Judy Turner, Rhetoric Instructor, Part-Time Faculty of the Year; and Angel Fellers, Office Assistant in Math, Science, and Health Professions, Support Staff of the Year. 
Jan & Jerry Cockrell

DJC Alum Gives Back, Supports Student Success

Understanding that a little encouragement can go a long way toward giving a student the confidence he or she needs to be successful, DACC Alumni Association President Jerry Cockrell recently established the Dr. Gerald W. Cockrell Scholarship fund with a $10,000 endowment to the DACC Foundation. This fund will award an annual scholarship of $500 to a student who has overcome life obstacles and is looking to make a difference in their life and community.  

Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Cockrell is a 1973 graduate of Danville Junior College who parlayed an Associate degree in electronics, which was not designed to be a transfer degree, into a full professorship in Electrical Engineering Technology at Indiana State University. His academic journey led him to ISU as a transfer student where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees -- and met his wife, Jan – and then to Indiana University for a doctorate. After working briefly in industry, Jerry returned to academics as a Professor at ISU. He retired in 2012.   

Jerry credits DJC Professor Marion “Blacky” Blackburn with turning him from an aimless student searching for a career path, to ISU and the future in Electronics that provided so well for him and his family.  He says, “I want to have the chance to create a spark to succeed just like the one Mr. Blackburn provided me.”

Jerry and Jan have also established the Jerry and Jan Cockrell Academic Scholarship at their joint alma mater, ISU. Giving back and encouraging student success is very important to both of them.

“In my entire academic career as a professor, the one thing that brought me great joy was when a graduate would return to campus or write me a note thanking me for being a professor who impacted their life,” says Jerry. “That is a huge reward for anyone who pursues the teaching field. I guess with this scholarship, we will in a small way impact lives of students who are searching for future success and happiness.”
Prof. Sharon Waggaman
Prof. Viv Dudley

2019 Faculty Retirements:  Sharon Waggaman & Viv Dudley 

DACC bid a fond farewell to two veteran instructors this Spring with the retirements of Prof. Sharon Waggaman, 24 years as Manufacturing/Technolgy instructor; and Prof. Viv Dudley, 31 years as Marketing instructor. 

Dr. Jaya Nelson-Ellington Named DACC's 2019 Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Jaya Nelson-Ellington is a Danville native who started her education at DACC, transferred on without debt, pursued professional licensure, and returned home to serve the community that reared and supported her.

Dr. Nelson-Ellington, a minority female in a field that contains very few minorities or females,  exemplifies the community college experience of graduates returning to contribute to their home community. 

In service to the community, Dr. Nelson-Ellington provides free dental care to the underserved population on Dental Day and has established a scholarship to support other African-American females who wish to follow in her footsteps in pursuit of a dental degree.
DACC Nursing Faculty: Dr. Nicole Carter, Erica Johnson, Shannon Childers, Cathy Jo Srouofek, Angela Shaffer, Director Mimi Skinner, and Dr. Joanna Commons

DACC Nursing Receives ACEN Reaccreditation

On Mon., May 6, DACC received a letter from the national Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing to announce that DACC’s associate-degree nursing program has been reaccredited through 2026. The nursing department was cited for its “commitment to quality nursing education.”

The final report and accreditation follow a seven-month process that began last September, when a visiting team from ACEN came to DACC for three days to conduct its decennial review. Not surprisingly, the three-member accreditors were impressed with the caliber of DACC’s nursing program, which has improved the NCLEX nursing-licensure pass-rate for DACC grads to 88 percent.

Says President Nacco, “We commend Nursing Director Mimi Skinner, Dean Kathy Sturgeon, and the nursing Faculty. They worked with their advisory board and with one another to reengineer the program, thereby ensuring that DACC nursing stu-dents are thoroughly equipped to pass the NCLEX and are prepared for serving the public as registered nurses. Congratulations to our team in earning seven more accredited years for DACC.”

Iowa Wesleyan University Inks

3 + 1 Partnership with DACC

Danville Area Community College and Iowa Wesleyan University located in Mt. Pleasant, IA, announced a new 3 + 1 agreement in March. This new partnership allows students to complete three years of study at DACC, one year beyond the traditional associate degree, before transferring to Iowa Wesleyan to complete a bachelor’s degree. The DACC credits will transfer to Iowa Wesleyan’s online program for the fourth year of study, granting the student a bachelor's in one of several program areas.

The new articulation agreement allows Iowa Wesleyan to help students who are primarily place bound to complete bachelor’s degrees in IW’s highly ranked and rigorous online programs without leaving their jobs or moving. Transfer credits are seamless.

“We applaud Iowa Wesleyan University for reaching out across Illinois to partner with us in providing local and affordable bachelor’s degrees in Danville. For community college students, the 3 + 1 is a winning formula,” said DACC President Stephen Nacco. “Without leaving Vermilion County, students can earn their bachelor’s degree from a top university in high-demand programs like business administration, criminal justice, and human services. It’s a great gift to Illinois from our friends in Iowa.”

This 3 + 1 program expands the higher education opportunities for DACC students as it joins DACC’s existing 3 + 1 option with Franklin University. 

Are You a Member of the DACC Alumni Association?

The DACC Alumni Association was formed to assist in advancing the mission of Danville Area Community College.The Association maintains a continuing relationship between alumni and the college and strengthens the relationship between the College and the community.

Membership in the Association is open to all former students of DACC and DJC who have ever taken a class or workshop at the College, or any friend of the College.  Membership is available at annual ($50) or lifetime ($125) levels.

As a member, you are eligible to receive the following benefits:

Season passes to College athletic events -- Free

DACC Career Services/Resume Services

Use of DACC computer labs

DACC Bookstore discount – 10%

DACC Community Education class discounts – 10%

DACC Event ticket discounts - DACC Theater, DACC Musical performances – 10%

DACC Alumni Newsletter

Special DACC Alumni Events

DACC Alumni car decal

DACC Fitness Center discount – 10%

You must show your card at the time of purchase in order to receive the Association discount

The staff in the DACC Alumni Relations office, Vermilion Hall room 211, are available to assist the officers, board, and members of the DACC Alumni Association.  Contact this office with questions at 217-443-8798 or

Click here for Membership Form

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