September 2020 | Southwestern Illinois College

Chantay White-Williams and Belle Hamm earn SWIC Faculty Member of the Year Awards

A passion for teaching, expertise in their subject matter and drive to help their students succeed are what made Chantay White-Williams and Belle Hamm the obvious choices for the Southwestern Illinois College full- and part-time Faculty Members of the Year Awards, respectively.

White-Williams is a full-time SWIC Associate Professor of English whose academic career has spanned more than 16 years. She embraces the culture of all students and uses creative and diverse material when teaching English and literature courses. White-Williams is a champion for underrepresented students. She developed and launched a course on African-American literature, has advocated to offer minority students more student-centered programming and also rallied to acquire special seating and software updates in computer classrooms for students needing accommodations.

She served as the English and Film Department Chair from 2012-2016; 
served as the Two-Year College English Association 2016 Midwest Conference chairperson; helped establish the Committee on Race and Ethnicity; hosted and assisted in the planning of the English Department’s conference on their Accelerated Learning Program; previously worked as the Computer-Assisted Instruction Coordinator in charge of the computer labs in the Liberal Arts Building; and received the English and Film Department Wonder Women Award while serving as the department chair.

Southwestern Illinois College Associate Professor of English Chantay White-Williams, left, of St. Louis instructs Anastasia Ottinger of Shiloh during her English class. White-Williams was named Full-time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020 by the college Board of Trustees.

SWIC Associate Professor of English Chantay White-Williams, left, instructs Anastasia Ottinger during her English class. White-Williams was named Full-time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020 by the college Board of Trustees.

“SWIC has a great many faculty who serve our students and our larger community in an exemplary fashion; however, White-Williams does it in a way that is consistent, year after year, with a thoughtful approach,” said SWIC English and Film Department Chair Steve Moiles. “The college is fortunate to have her in our ranks.”

When she isn’t teaching, White-Williams enjoys reading, volunteering with the Madison County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and spending time with her family. She also loves all things Star Trek.

She earned her Bachelor and Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is a member of the National Association of Developmental Education, National Council of Teachers of English and International Literacy Association and the Alpha Kappa Sorority-Upsilon Phi Omega chapter.

White-Williams currently lives in St. Louis City and has three sons, Marquis, Jonathan, and Jalyn; and two grandchildren, Jonathan, Jr. and Brooklynn.

Hamm is a part-time Adult Education Instructor who has been with SWIC since 2014. She is always eager to help students realize their potential. Hamm makes it a priority to establish a safe, non-judgmental environment within the classroom which helps nurture learning and self-esteem. She also takes into consideration the mental health and special needs of her students.

Hamm goes above and beyond to help her students succeed. Her extra measures include: individualized instruction, special testing accommodations, finding third-party financial resources, scheduling advocates to assist students in their daily living and medical needs, plus being available outside of classroom hours to meet with learners

Hamm has served as a High School Equivalency instructor at the SWIC Red Bud Campus, has become a certified Standard Proficient instructor by the Illinois Community College Board, trained new instructional personnel, established quality services within the Randolph County area and has become well-known as a community leader and resource for her students and community. It is Hamm’s personal mission to serve others and has proven she truly is making a difference in her students’ lives.

SWIC Adult Education Adjunct Instructor Belle Hamm
SWIC Adult Education Adjunct Instructor Belle Hamm was named Part-time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020 by the college Board of Trustees.

“My teaching philosophy is to show students the potential I see in them, even if they don’t see it in themselves and to give them a reason to be proud of themselves,” said Hamm. “I always strive to look for a reason to tell a student I am proud of them because many of our students have never had someone to express pride in them. As a result, I have been able to establish a safe classroom environment and a good rapport with students because they know I truly care about what happens to them in and out of the classroom.”

In her free time, Hamm enjoys volunteering at nursing homes, crafting, crocheting and spending time with her two Yorkies, Ollie and Sophie.

She earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is Middle School Certified in Language Arts K-9 and Mathematics K-9 and has her Standard Proficient Math Certification.

Hamm and her husband, Kelly, live in Sparta. They have two children, Grace and Luke.

White-Williams and Hamm were also nominated by the college for the Illinois Community College Trustee Association’s Outstanding Full-time and Part-time Faculty Member of the Year honors.

For more information about SWIC visit

SWIC to Host Workshop for Parents of Future College Students Oct. 6

If you are preparing to send your son or daughter to college in the near future, the Southwestern Illinois College workshop, Parent 101, can help you understand the ins and outs of the college process.

This free in-person or online workshop will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 6-7 p.m. The event is open to the parents or families of future college students in eighth through twelfth grades.

The informational presentation will include:

– Timeline for preparing for college
– The financial aid process
– Earning college credit in high school  
– Transferring courses to four-year universities
– Cost saving benefits of education and training at the community college

To learn more and to register, visit:

For more information, contact the SWIC Admissions at 618-235-2700, ext. 5675, or toll free at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5675.

2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

Annual Event Will be Held Virtually on September 16th

SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) will present 27 Illinoisans and businesses with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award during a special virtual event on September 16, 2020 at 2 p.m.

The award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service.

“These past few months have shown us once again that volunteers are the beating heart of Illinois,” said Commission Executive Director Scott McFarland. “We are honored to be able to highlight just a few of the nearly 3 million people in Illinois who give back.”

The Commission received more than 215 nominations in six categories (adult, AmeriCorps, business, senior, Senior Corps, and youth) from the Commission’s five service regions across the state (East Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southern, and West Central). Commissioners reviewed the applications and selected 28 award winners.

Deserie Gibson

Deserie Gibson of Belleville, the Southern Award recipient for Senior Corps, began her volunteer service in the Senior Companion Program in 2006. She has provided more than 20,000 hours of service during the past 14 years, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. For the past eight years, Deserie visits her client, who has dementia, assisting with daily tasks and keeping her from harm. This client would have gone into memory care long ago if she didn’t have special attention from her Senior Companion.

Deserie feels “called” to help others. She spends her free time visiting others in a nursing home with their church ministry. She said, “Going where I can go, to help where I can help, is my mission.”

The impact that a Senior Companion can make in the life of one individual, keeping them from a nursing home for just one year, saves upwards of $75,000.

The following are the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients. More information about the recipients is on the Serve Illinois website at

East Central Award Recipients

Adult: Teresa Bachtold – Forrest
For service to Harvest Call

AmeriCorps: Jalen Butler – Springfield
For service to Springfield Urban League

Senior: Shannon Nosbisch – Dieterich
For service to Effingham Public Library

Senior Corps: Valerie Beguin – Towanda
For service to Fostering Dignity

Youth: Aja Capel – Urbana
For service to 4-H

Northeast Award Recipients

Adult: Scott Milliman – Chicago
For service to Literacy Volunteers of Illinois at Illinois Youth Center Chicago

AmeriCorps: Kiamara Rodriguez – Chicago
For service to Center for Disability and Elder Law

Business: Abbott Laboratories Legal Department – Abbott Park
For service to Ascend Justice

Senior: Donna Adam – Des Plaines
For service to Clean Up Give Back

Senior Corps: Shirley Cassens – Harvard
For service to Senior Services Associates, Inc.

Youth: Kiran Mohan – Buffalo Grove
For service to Crescendo for a Cause

Northwest Award Recipients

Adult: Dan Portz – Fulton
For service to River Bend CUSD 2-Fulton High School Robotics Program

AmeriCorps: Linda Bolls – Kewanee
For service to Abilities Plus

Senior: Ted Brolund – Rockford
For service to Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity

Senior Corps: Marjorie “Midge” Murphy – Rock Falls
For service to Dillon Elementary School

Youth: Lucy Kuelper – Rio
For service to #MoveOver Project

Southern Award Recipients

Adult: Michael Moyers – Herrin
For service to Christopher Elementary School

Business: PNC Bank – Fairview Heights
For service to East St. Louis School District #189

Senior: Melody Shimada – Carbondale
For service to Carbondale Public Library

Senior Corps: Deserie Gibson – Belleville
For service to SWIC Programs and Services for Older Persons

Youth: Elijah Gunter – Scheller
For service to Sesser Jr. Football

West Central Award Recipients

Adult: Daniel Luthi – Washington
For service to American Red Cross

AmeriCorps: Deja Jenkins – Galesburg
For service to Illinois Justice Corps/Knox County Courthouse

Business: JIMAX Group – Peoria
For service to Tireless Project

Senior: Joel Estes – Knoxville
For service to Blessings in a Backpack

Senior Corps: Lloyd Lawber – Griggsville
For service to Pike County All Wars Museum

Youth: Abigail Oakley – Quincy
For service to Quincy Art Center

Later this fall, nomination forms will be made available for the Commission’s companion awards program, the Governor’s Hometown Awards. The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact.

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.


Southwestern Illinois College is proud to observe the nationally recognized Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on Sept. 20-26. The annual awareness week was created to heighten public awareness, strengthen alliances, leverage resources, and increase the number of people who understand the vital role adult education and family literacy plays in our nation’s well-being.

The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy Department is a prominent supporter and contributor in helping raise awareness and aid in the fight against low literacy rates within the community. The college currently offers many classes and programs to assist adults such as Project Read, High School Equivalency test preparation, English as a Second Language, Vocational, Computer and Citizenship classes.  Some classes are offered FREE of tuition, for those who qualify. Other notable SWIC programs and special educational services are also available for residents ages 16 to 24 years old who need assistance earning their High School Equivalency Certificate, transitioning to college or finding employment.   

According to ProLiteracy, more than 36 million adults in the U.S. cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level; 43 percent of adults with the lowest literacy  levels live in poverty; children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of displaying behavioral issues or dropping out of school and 68 percent of adult education and literacy programs are struggling with long student waiting lists.

Volunteer opportunities are also available for the Project Read Adult Literacy Program. For more information on Project Read contact SWIC Project Read Coordinator Deborah Bruyette at 618-235-2700, ext. 5462, or via email at; or for SWIC Adult Education and Literacy information visit contact 618-235-2700, ext. 5323 or email

George Portz and the Roots of Bluegrass Cancelled at SWIC

The George Portz and the Roots of Bluegrass concert originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus has been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. The concert is not being rescheduled at this time.

For ticket refund information contact SWIC Student Life Director Amy Brockman at 618-222-5324 or email

For more information, call College Activities at 618-235-2700, ext. 5205.

Get a jump on filing 2021-22 FAFSA Oct. 1 using 2019 taxes

If you want to maximize the amount of student financial assistance for which you are eligible, then set your calendar for Oct. 1. That’s the day you can begin to file your 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Early FAFSA completion allows for additional funding opportunities such as the Illinois MAP Grant, which has limited funding.

“The application is a student’s first step in receiving financial assistance for college educational costs,” notes Financial Aid Director Jessica Evans. “Beginning Oct. 1, students currently attending or planning to attend Southwestern Illinois College can file their 2021-2022 academic year FAFSA using 2019 tax information. By filing in October, students can be considered for programs, like Illinois MAP grants, which have limited funding.”

Early FAFSA also allows students and families to have a better understanding of the aid they’ll have available to go to school, enabling them to make a more informed decision about their school choices and plan for a student’s or family’s contribution to the educational costs. To file online, visit

For more information or questions about early filing, call Financial Aid
at 866-942-SWIC (7942): Belleville, ext. 5558; or email

Roller skating – Z’Kaye Hall

Talent Statement:

“Hello, my name is Z’Kaye Hall and I have been rollerskating for about a year now, during quarantine I got to practice new skills. I’ve been wanting to make a roller skating video for a while now, and this was the perfect opportunity!

I also like to tumble and try new things on my bike and skates. Hope you enjoy the video! This video was edited by Z’necia Hall..” – Hall 

Submission Information

Title: Roller skating

Talent Name: Z’Kaye Hall


Covid-19 Workout – Solomon Hall

Talent Statement:

“I have been exercising, learning, and studying during quarantine. I have been doing my talent for a long time One thing I like about SWIC is the food in the cafeteria.”- Hall 

Submission Information

Title: COVID-19 Workout

Talent Name: Solomon Hall


Lauren takes on the professionals – Lauren Bardill

Talent Statement:

“Throughout these hard times, Lauren and Bentley have been offered many different opportunities together. One being showing at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington Kentucky at a Rated Show. They won against professionals from all over the United States.” – Bardill

Submission Information

Title: Lauren takes on the professionals

Talent Name: Lauren Bardill


Whip cracking – Duncan Quinn

Talent Statement:

“Hey, My name is Duncan. I have been whip cracking for 3-4 years now, and really love performing (preferable for a live audience:) ). I hope you enjoy the video. Have a great day!”- Quinn

Submission Information

Title:Whip cracking

Talent Name: Duncan Quinn