Moraine Valley Community College students Jackson Krol, of Homer Glen, and Ryan Krizek, of Summit, were selected for the Illinois Geographical Society Community College Student Geographer Award. They received their award from their instructor at the Illinois Geographical Society’s (IGS) annual meeting and awards ceremony April 29.

The IGS typically selects four students from around the state who excelled in one or more geography classes within the past year and have met GPA requirements.

Each year Dawn Wrobel, Moraine Valley adjunct geography instructor and lifelong member of IGS, nominates two students for the award. Over the past 18 years, Wrobel has had three of her students win. This year, both of her nominees were selected as winners. Wrobel looks for students who are passionate about geography and are excelling in the classroom.

“Ryan is known for his passion for history and his boisterous contribution to class discussions, while Jackson is known for his thoughtful and provoking class contributions. I look for more, though, such as volunteer experience when I am selecting who I nominate. For instance, Jackson has volunteered his time with his church and for food pantries. Overall, both students have a desire to help and be of service to others,” Wrobel said.

Both students noted they were humbled and shocked not only by their nomination but their selection as winners.

“I have worked hard throughout my education and have taken the necessary steps that enabled me to qualify for this award. I am passionate about geography because I believe we are currently residing on land that is not ours.  We have a responsibility to this land, to curate it and take care of it,” Krizek said.

“Being interested in the material makes it easy to come to class and feel passionate about what we are learning. Knowing Professor Wrobel took the time and care to write the letter on our behalf is awesome. It is great knowing someone believed in us and had faith in our abilities,” Krol said.


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