Neighbors in the News: Oakton administrator receives top Phi Theta Kappa award

  • Karl Brooks, vice president for Student Affairs, Oakton Community College.

    Karl Brooks, vice president for Student Affairs, Oakton Community College. Courtesy of Oakton Community College

Posted3/10/2022 6:00 AM

• Karl Brooks, Oakton Community College's vice president for Student Affairs, was selected by the international Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to receive a Distinguished College Administrator Award at the society's annual convention in April.

Brooks is being honored for working in support of student success and directly with student leaders to solve problems on campus and in the community.


"I am honored and humbled to be recognized with this prestigious award," Brooks said. "Such recognition would not be possible without the vision, integrity and support of Oakton's dedicated staff, faculty and student leadership."

As vice president for Student Affairs, Brooks is responsible for overseeing the activities of several offices that directly serve Oakton students: Athletics, Career Services; Counseling and Health Services; Enrollment Services; Access, Equity and Diversity; Recruitment and Outreach; Registrar Services; Student Development; Student Life; and Student Success.

Brooks also serves as a member of Oakton's President's Council.

Brooks previously served as dean for student success at Joliet Junior College and as a student leadership institute director at DePaul University. He holds a doctoral degree in education from DePaul University, a master's degree in education from Drake University, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from North Central College.

Attorney Brian I. Warens has become a shareholder at Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law.
Attorney Brian I. Warens has become a shareholder at Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law. - Courtesy of Lavelle Law
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• Attorney Brian I. Warens has become a shareholder at Schaumburg-based Lavelle Law.

Warens, who works with clients concentrating in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, special needs planning, estate and gift tax, guardianship and probate, has been with the firm since 2013.

"We are pleased to acknowledge the significant and continued contributions Brian has made to our firm over the last decade," said managing partner Ted McGinn. "As a shareholder, Brian will take a more active role in helping us grow the firm and continue our mission of providing exceptional legal services."

Warens graduated cum laude with a degree in psychology from Loyola University, and received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he served as Faculty Fellow to Jonathan P. Decatorsmith before moving on to serve as interim director for the Tax Clinic at the Center for Economic Progress.

• Bill Hermes, Dave Cavanaugh and Jeff Sheppard, the ownership group of Light the Lamp Brewery, 2 S. Lake St., Grayslake, were awarded the 2021 Business Leaders of the Year Award by the village of Grayslake's Economic Development Commission Feb. 2 at the Grayslake Area Chamber of Commerce's chamber board installation and awards ceremony.


The award is presented annually by the Economic Development Commission to an individual or individuals whose contributions promote economic development in Grayslake.

Hermes, Cavanaugh and Sheppard have made continued investment in the local economy through the establishment and expansion of their business, which has resulted in the restoration and enhancement of a vacant historical building in the downtown area.

Their investment has added jobs and created economic activity in the area, increasing the overall vitality of Grayslake's Village Center.

• Bridget Nauman of Antioch was a member of the University of Alabama's cheerleading team that took home its third Division 1A all-girl national championship at the 2022 UCA and UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.

The three-day competition took place at ESPN's Wide World of Sports, with teams from across the country at all levels participating in the event. Teams were judged based on stunting, tumbling skills, crowd-leading abilities and overall performance.

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