The Illinois Adult and Continuing Educators Association awarded Elgin Community College Associate Dean of Adult Education Marcia Luptak the annual award for Administrator of the year and ECC student Aurora Morales Aguirre of Streamwood the annual Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year Award.
The IACEA — the Voice of Adult Education in Illinois — provides leadership, representation, and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners to advance, unify, and professionalize the field.
Luptak was nominated for the Administrator of the Year Award by Holly Lawyer, supervisor of English as a second language. Rachel Taylor, adult basic education center/adult secondary education supervisor, and Collen Stribling, Ed.D., professor of English as a second language, wrote reference letters supporting the nomination.
Luptak has been a part of the IACEA organization since 2014 and served on their board from 2016 to 2018. “It is such an honor to have been nominated by my colleagues for this award,” said Luptak. “I truly appreciate the dedication and resiliency of our students, staff, and faculty. The last two years have been challenging for us, and I am fortunate to work with such amazing people.”
“Marcia is committed to making our adult education program, students, faculty, and staff successful,” Lawyer said. “Those who work with Marcia know she values, respects, and appreciates them. She brings out the best in others and truly is an inspiring leader.”
Aguirre was nominated for the Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year Award by Erin Vobornik, English as a second language adjunct faculty, John Karnatz, communications studies adjunct faculty, and Stacey Shah, associate professor/distance learning librarian. Aguirre is the first ECC student to win this award since 2014.
“Aurora did not let her lack of experience or fears stop her,” Shah said. “It was amazing to watch her skills and confidence grow over the semester in her work and the support and encouragement she gave her peers and collaborators in class.”
In addition to being a student, Aguirre is also raising a family, working, and taking care of her sister, who is currently battling cancer.
“Receiving this award means a lot to me because it was one of my dreams to go back to school,” said Aguirre. “It is not easy to go to work, take care of a house, and go to school. This award made it worth it, and I am so grateful to my teachers.”
Currently, Aguirre plans to pursue a career path related to business or administration.
For more information on ECC’s Adult Basic Education classes, visit elgin.edu/academics/adult-basic-education/.