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Fall 2012 Task Force Members

Through the Reinvention initiative, everyone at City Colleges – faculty, students, college advisors and other staff members – is collaborating to ensure students can obtain the skills necessary for 21st-century careers or pursue further education at four-year institutions. Take a minute to meet our task force members and learn more about their goals for Fall 2012. Throughout the semester, Reinvention will focus on improving occupational and transfer pathways to promote academic and career success, among other things.                 

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“I’m in it for the students, who are at the center of what we do” at City Colleges, says Daniel Forbes. A faculty member who has taught business, management and entrepreneurship classes at Kennedy-King College since 2005, he is "proud to help serve our students and the community at large in more effective and efficient ways."

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Edgar Gonzales, a Marketing and Management student at Harold Washington College, joined Reinvention to contribute to making positive change in his own college system. In Spring 2012, he reached out to more than 850 potential GED and ESL students, encouraging them to apply for the “Gateway to the City Colleges Program.” The program gives GED and ESL students the opportunity to begin their college careers at City Colleges while completing an adult education program. This fall, Edgar is looking forward to seeing the results of his marketing and recruitment outreach efforts for the Gateway Program.               

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As one of Reinvention’s student members, Zakeia Hampton found the initiative’s focus on fostering student success appealing. She is currently pursuing her A.A. degree, and would like to have a career in business. Zakeia, the student trustee of the City Colleges of Chicago Board, is most excited about seeing how Reinvention projects impact students during upcoming semesters.

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Thomas Higgins joined Reinvention to learn more about the “important processes that enable students to attend college and support my teaching in the classroom.” Professor Higgins has taught chemistry since 1998 at Harold Washington College, where he was recognized as a distinguished employee during the 2010-11 academic year. He is looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the student transfer process, which he can then share with his students and colleagues.                 


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A professor of mathematics at Olive-Harvey College since 1979, Keith Jordan joined Reinvention because he believes the initiative offers the opportunity to “address issues and bring about meaningful change.” Professor Jordan is driven to help students “effectively matriculate through their selected course of study into their career of choice.”                 

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A summer 2012 Gateway scholar who completed ESL courses at Daley College, Elizabeth Marquez is interested in beginning a student club for Gateway students—adult education students transitioning to college-credit courses—and encouraging people to continue their education. She became a U.S. citizen in August 2012, and plans on transferring her City Colleges credits to a four-year university and eventually becoming an art teacher.                

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Latanja Moody is joining Reinvention to improve City Colleges by creating processes that will “help our students to better navigate the waters of higher education and more quickly reach their academic goals.”  An adjunct instructor at Truman College since 2006, she has taught math classes along with other courses like the College Success Seminar to support student success. As a member of the Teaching and Learning task force, she’s looking forward to developing and implementing district-wide plans to improve the transfer rate of students to four-year institutions, and the success rate of Foundational Studies students to college-level courses.             
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Kevin Scavuzzo has served the adult education population at Daley College for 11 years in various capacities. He has taught multiple levels of ABE, GED, and ESL, focusing on creating innovative and dynamic classroom learning experiences. Kevin hopes to make valuable contributions to assist the adult education population in the achievement of their goals, to assist in their transition to college-level coursework, and to sustain their presence on our campuses through degree attainment.            

Jewel Younge, the former and founding Chair of Olive-Harvey College’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, joined Reinvention to “establish a premier model for remediation services in open admissions colleges and universities.” Bringing more than 15 years of classroom experience to the table, Jewel continues to work to meet the goals of Reinvention and improving outcomes for all City Colleges of Chicago students.       ​      


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Sabrina Bailey, a Chemistry and Physical Science instructor at Wright College, joined Reinvention to take an active role in the changes taking place at City Colleges. Sabrina is driven to develop clear pathways for students to transition to the workforce or a four-year institution. While participating in Reinvention, she will review the Hospitality and Culinary program.


Kimberly Hitchcock
, an adult educator at Truman College, joined Reinvention in September 2012 to help form new adult education programs. The courses she has taught since joining City Colleges in 2002 include ESL (all levels), Office Skills, and Career Planning and Job Readiness for GED students. She holds a master’s degree in teaching English as second language, and has studied Spanish, French and Hindi, and spent time in Bolivia and India.   


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An adjunct faculty member who has taught Introduction to Business and the College Success Seminar since joining CCC in 2011 Meyshar Levi is most excited about reviewing and restructuring CCC’s business programs and helping to smooth students’ transition from college to careers. This is vital, she says, because students’ primary reason for attending CCC is to “get a job.” Meyshar, who holds a master’s in business administration, also hopes to share with students the insights she wished she had while working toward a college degree.

Marcia MedemaF.jpgMarcia Medema is excited to be part of Reinvention because, as she says, “we have the opportunity to develop career pathway bridge programs that enable adult learners to transition into College to Careers programs that lead to jobs with family-sustaining wages.” She sees her work during Fall 2012 as the culmination of years of effort to develop sustainable bridge programs. Before working in Reinvention and in the District Office’s adult education department, she spent more than 20 years in adult education and workforce development. She lives in downtown Chicago, but frequently travels to Indiana to be with her five children and her grandchildren.​             

Patricia Moore is proud to be a part of Reinvention because the initiative promotes student development and achievement by “addressing problems that have afflicted the City Colleges for numerous years by developing holistic solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to future conditions.” Patricia, a college advisor at Daley College, is looking forward to analyzing all career pathways available to students through CCC’s academic programs, and creating a system that will allow future CCC employees to forecast the viability of courses and programs.                

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A nine-year Daley College mathematics faculty member, Sonia Ramirez joined Reinvention in Spring 2011 to contribute to the changes needed to better serve students. During her first term with Reinvention, Sonia was part of the team tasked with reviewing occupational programs such as manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation, distribution and logistics. During her second term, she hopes to continue working on occupational programs to assure program quality and create opportunities for students to succeed in their careers.                 


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A six-year veteran of the District Office’s Department of Research and Evaluation, Janice Dantes joined Reinvention because she wants to play an active role in supporting positive changes at City Colleges. She shares Chancellor Hyman’s vision of promoting a culture of data-driven decision making, and wants to promote greater access to information and transparency to support CCC leadership.             

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Lynnel Kiely has been with Reinvention since its inception in Spring 2010. Lynnel responded positively to the original “Case for Change” campaign with anticipation that she would have a central role in revitalizing City Colleges of Chicago. This fall, she is confident her “Taleo” talent management project will begin to contribute to the culture change needed in City Colleges’ human resources policies and procedures.         



Michael Maltenfort, a ten-year Truman College mathematics faculty member, was initially skeptical of the objectives of the Reinvention initiative. He joined Reinvention in Fall 2011 with the aim of taking a direct role in the changes taking place. Michael has since worked on refining the tenure process for credit faculty members and is very proud of improvements made to the Talents of Teaching, which he hopes will soon guide faculty development.       


Jennifer Meresman joined Reinvention because she believes faculty members provide an important classroom-based perspective that is “invaluable” to proposing “realistic and practical” solutions to City Colleges’ challenges. A member of Harold Washington College’s English, Speech and Theatre Department, Jennifer has taught at CCC since 2006. She is currently working on redesigning CCC’s tenure process, which she thinks will encourage new faculty to “develop a habit of career-long commitment to growth, reflection and excellence.               


A faculty member in Harold Washington College's Criminal Justice Department, Ian Sharping believes that his participation in Reinvention will help improve his students' experience at City Colleges. Since joining Reinvention in Spring 2012, he has helped create a comprehensive plan to institute a compliance training program to ensure CCC faculty and staff "receive the highest level of training available." In Fall 2012, Ian will work with a team to improve CCC's strategic planning and budgeting process, in coordination with the Finance Department and Research and Evaluation Department.               

Kimberly Swise is an Adult Education instructor at Truman College where for 11 years she has taught every level of ESL. While teaching, she presented to colleagues techniques to incorporate American fiction in the ESL classroom and took part in campus-sponsored Diversity Works training. Kimberly came to ESL teaching through her study of literature at the University of Chicago and Lake Forest College, her travels in Central America, her experience in social service and volunteer tutoring, and her love of the English language.                

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Rafael Torres has been part of City Colleges for 15 years, as a student, staff member and an adult educator, most recently at Truman College, where he has taught Spanish GED preparation and vocational bridge courses since 2007. He is looking forward to working with talented task force members to make CCC even better and improve student outcomes.


Vien Yadavongsy, one of Reinvention’s student members, wants to improve City Colleges by making it more efficient and accountable. As part of the Process, Operations and Governance task force, she’s helping to introduce Taleo, cloud-based talent management software, across all colleges, and is looking forward to seeing how it “fits into CCC culture.” A science student at Truman College, she plans on eventually studying environmental or atmospheric sciences at a four-year university.       


Athan Vouzianas, a math and engineering instructor at Harold Washington College, believes the “world was built on creativity, imagination, and inquiry.” Since joining Reinvention in Fall 2011, Athan has worked on developing Transfer Academy and other programs that link students to transfer or job opportunities after graduation. His goal for Fall 2012 is to continue identifying best practices and emerging trends in testing and placement.         


An academic support coordinator at Malcolm X College, Ramon Abrego hopes to help enhance current tutoring practices across the District during his time at Reinvention. Ramon is looking foward to the opportunity to create a New Tutor Onboard Packet that provides all tutors with an overview of their job duties and responsibilities. “It is important that we strive to increase our support resources to meet the varying needs of our student populations,” Ramon says.

Brenda Baker, an Adult Education Transition Specialist at Malcolm X College, joined Reinvention in Fall 2011 to represent the often unheard voice of the City Colleges Adult Education student. During her time with Reinvention, Brenda has had the opportunity to implement changes affecting both Adult Education and credit students, including promoting early registration, developing online registration, and improving satisfaction with the registration process.


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Brad Elwood, an advisor at Daley College since 2009, joined Reinvention with the goal of “transforming City Colleges of Chicago into a paradigm of educational quality, innovation, and student success.” Through developing the supportive role of college advising, Brad believes City Colleges can offer more personalized academic advising to students, helping them achieve their academic, professional and personal goals.                 


Alfredo Estrada, an advisor at Harold Washington College, joined Reinvention for several reasons. He is excited about the opportunity to conceptualize, develop and implement strategies for student retention, college persistence and program completion, and he’s also looking forward to helping streamline administrative processes for staff across the district, particularly those that impact college advisors on a daily basis.

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Melizabeth Santos, an Adult Education program coordinator at Wilbur Wright College, is looking forward to helping her task force develop programs to bolster student success, and pursue the four goals of Reinvention. She is motivated to expand the ever-growing collaborative programs between Chicago Public Schools and CCC. She thinks providing opportunities for Chicago's high-school students to experience college success will build their self-confidence and allow them to see education and learning as a lifelong continuum.            

Learn More

Reinvention Focus Areas



Adult Education                 






Student Services


Efficiency & Effectiveness


Reinvention Task Forces

Career & Academic Pathways              


Process, Operations & Governance


Student Support & Services


Teaching & Learning             


Reinvention Publications

Reinvention Chapter Two


Reinvention Chapter One


Reinvention Update_Faculty Development Week 2012_FINAL.pdfReinvention Update, Faculty Development Week 2012


Reinvention Recommendations, Spring Semester 2011


REI_Recommendations_2011_Spring_Supporting_Findings.pdfReinvention Recommendation Supporting Findings, Spring Semester 2011