Alumni Notes 



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  • Matthew Gregurich ’52: After earning an associate degree at JJC attended Lewis University but was unable to continue with his education due to the military draft. Gregurich served in the US Army for two years. After being discharged from the army, he worked 27 years for Material Service as foreman in the fabrication of heavy equipment. In 1962 Gregurich opened a machine shop which is still in business today. His shop, General Machine & Tools, is accredited by the US Department of Labor. Gregurich says “JJC provided a kick start” in his preparation to start and run his own business


  • Harry Resis ’65 After earning an associate degree at JJC attended Michigan State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in financial administration. Resis was also the team manager on the defending National Champion Spartan football team. He embarked on a 37 year career in the investment filed, spending 20 years on investment banking while working at Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros. Paine Webber Resis was a managing director at Scudder Kemper Investments, and head of US fixes income at Henderson Global Investors, retiring in 2005. Currently, he is a member of the CFA society in Chicago and a FINRA arbitrator. Resis says, “I owe JJC a tremendous debt of gratitude. Attending the school allowed me the financial flexibility to get a 4 year degree from a Big Ten university.”  While at JJC, he was co-captain of the state champion baseball team in 1965. That success gave him the confidence to excel in future endeavors. “The curriculum was perfect for me. I was able to transfer most of my credit and turn around a lackluster high school record.” 
  • Douglas Botkin ’66 After earning an associate degree at JJC continued on to earn a PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics from UT Health (Houston, TX) in 2009. Botkin trained for two years at the UT Medical Branch in Galveston, TX as a Postdoctoral Scholar and also served as president of the Organization of Postdoctoral Scientists. He recently accepted a position as senior scientist with Enterprise Advisory Services. Doug works onsite at NASA – Johnson Space Center in the microbiology laboratory as environmental microbiology lead.


  • Jim Ridings ’71 has published his 20th book of Illinois history in March 2012, “Wild Kankakee,” a history of wild tales and events in the history of Kankakee. His book “Cardigg: Ghost Town on the Prairie,” about the lost coal mining town in Livingston County, is now in its second printing. Ridings’ most acclaimed book is “Len Small: Governors and Gangsters,” the first book written about Len Small, governor of Illinois in the 1920s, who is arguable the most corrupt politician in state history. Ridings’ books have won three awards from the Illinois State Historical Society, and Ridings was presented a 2006 Studs Terkel Humanities Award from the Illinois Humanities Council.


  • Mary Wagner '80 was elected as a national delegate to represent Hawaii at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, SC.


  • Tom Wise, Ph.D. ’93 After earning an associate of arts degree from JJC, Wise went on to earn a bachelor of science in organizational management with a dual major in human resource management from the University of St. Francis. He also holds a master in business administration specialized in management, and most recently has completed a Ph.D. in organizational management with specialization in information technology management from Capella University. Wise currently teaches part-time at Villanova University in the MS Engineering Computer Science program. His day job is Director of Quality Management with Comcast Corporation. Tom is a member in good standing and a ASQ certified manager of quality and organizational excellence since 1997 and a Project Management Institute Certified Project Management Professional since 1998. “I completely believe the junior college experience is a wonderful way to get started in one’s education. I have encouraged my own children to begin their education through a junior college program as well; to be sure they get a great start in college.” Wise would like to add that he met his wonderful wife in class at JJC, and has been happily married for 23 years.


  • Michelle Christerson ’01 After earning an associate of applied science degree in nursing from JJC, successfully passed the nursing board exams on the first try. Soon after graduating, Christerson gained employment at Advocate Christ Medical Center on the trauma unit. Currently, she works as a Corrections Nurse at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet. “Most of my teachers were doctorate prepared. I was so impressed with the college. My, daughter, Sarah also just received her associate in arts from JJC…”
  • Steven Powers ’08 After earning an associate of applied science degree in fire science from JJC, was accepted into the Fire Academy at the Chicago Fire Department. This has “been the best job in the world” says Powers. He credits JJC for providing him with skills and life lessons that have helped him succeed. Powers hopes to one day come back to JJC and teach the next generation of firefighters.
  • Kevin Egan ’11 After earning an associate of science degree from JJC, Egan went on to UIUC and is in his junior year in the nuclear engineering program. Enjoying much success after his transfer from JJC and having recently been inducted into the Alpha Nu Sigma honor society for Nuclear Science and Engineering, he feels that his time at JJC prepared him for this transition into the university level. “I had all the basic knowledge and skills that one would need entering into their junior year at a university.” Egan states he would not have made it without the support of two “awesome” professors and other staff at JJC. Specifically, he credits professors Hogan (physics) and Tuskey (math) for helping him prepare for the engineering program.

© 2012 Joliet Junior College

Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431-8938
Phone: (815) 729-9020