Beth Triezenberg, a 2015 graduate of Moraine Valley Community College, has received the 2021 Chief Counsel Award for Outstanding Paralegal Support presented by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Office Technology along with the Small Database Administrator Certificate and the Business Skills Certificate, and is a paralegal specialist for the IRS office in Chicago.

Exemplary work skills earned her this distinction, and she was recognized at the IRS In addition, she and her coworkers earned the Chief Counsel Award for Litigation Team of the Year. She also earned the Office Professional/Student of the Year award while at Moraine Valley.

“This is really unheard of for a second-year paralegal to win this award,” said Triezenberg, who was recognized for her contributions in facilitating a teleconference trial. “The attorneys were in Washington D.C., and I was in Chicago. With the environment we’re in, we had to do a Zoom trial. It was really interesting to get witnesses ready to testify, take care of document management and do whatever the team needed,” she said.

Becoming a paralegal was not on Triezenberg’s radar when she decided to return to college, but she credits Moraine Valley and more specifically Cathi Predl, Office Technology Program coordinator, Internship coordinator and Paralegal Studies Program coordinator.

“My son had just graduated high school and started at Moraine Valley. I was in between jobs, and thought, what the heck, I’m going to go to college, too,” she said. While attending classes, Predl told Triezenberg about an internship with the IRS. She went for the interview and was offered the position before she got off the train on her way home.

“This wasn’t the career I was looking for, but Cathi thought I would be a good fitand thanks to her I went, and look where I am now,” said Triezenberg, who graduated with her son and serves as a member of the Paralegal Program Advisory Board at Moraine Valley.

She had once believed returning to college might be too difficult for her. Turned out, Moraine Valley was the perfect place. “Being a little older and in school with all these younger people — you know my son’s age — I was worried. But I ended up with a 4.0 grade point average. I loved and the teachers were wonderful. It was a really amazing experience,” she said.

Predl called Triezenberg a model student. “She did everything and was very conscientious. Beth not only had good technical skills, but she had excellent personal skills and was always a professional. I’m not at all surprised she won this award after only two years in the field.” While Triezenberg credits Predl and the college for her success, Predl believes it’s a combination. “She had the skill, the drive and the work ethic. I gave her the path.”


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