Keith Karlson, of Chicago, is one of five alumni inducted into the 2016 Alumni Hall of Fame at Moraine Valley Community College.
Karlson earned an Associate in Arts degree from Moraine Valley in 1997, a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, a master’s degree from Ball State University, and a juris doctorate from DePaul University College of Law.
“To be named to the Alumni Hall of Fame—well, it’s very humbling and flattering,” said Karlson, a partner in the law firm of Reimer Dobrovolny & Karlson LLC in Hinsdale. While at Moraine Valley he was active on the Speech Team, with the College Bowl and wrote for the college’s literary publication “The Mastodon.” “Without my experience on the Speech Team, I have no idea how my life would have turned out. I learned to write well and really develop my skills as a public speaker. I developed confidence as a communicator—and communication is the cornerstone of my profession.”
Karlson concentrates his practice in the area of public safety labor law, constitutional rights of public employees, and public section pension law representing police and fire unions in Illinois and Indiana. In addition to performing numerous pro-bono hours for disabled police officers denied federal benefits, Karlson serves as secretary on the board of directors for the American Blues Theater, deputy general counsel for the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association; and as a volunteer speech coach at Moraine Valley and North Central College.
“We welcome Keith to the Alumni Hall of Fame,” said Patricia Trebe, assistant director of annual giving and alumni relations at the Moraine Valley Foundation. “Keith is the example of the true mission of Moraine Valley. He came here without a direction, yet it was here that he found his way. He has gone on to earn three degrees, and in his profession fights for people who feel they don’t have a voice. We are proud that he comes back to Moraine Valley as a Forensics coach where he continues to give back.”
In addition to Karlson, the newest members are Kathleen Kawoski, of Oak Forest; Gina Leahy, of Justice; Nicole Selvaggio, of Oak Lawn; and Dr. Daniel Geiter, of Chicago.