A Moraine Valley Community College student is one of four to receive the Outstanding Community College Student Award from the Illinois Geographical Society.

Recognized for excelling in geography classes within the past year, Jenna Staszewski, of Worth, was nominated by Dawn Wrobel, her geography instructor.

“I am very proud of Jenna. She was such a standout student,” Wrobel said. “Jenna took several classes with me, and I watched her bloom. She was a good student on paper and a leader in class projects.”

Staszewski was proud to receive this award. “I worked really hard in class and was so inspired. I learned a lot about so many countries all over the world,” she said.

Staszewski, who has been active in Phi Theta Kappa and the Go Green! Club, will graduate from Moraine Valley in May 2020. She plans to transfer to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she will study zoology. She aspires to a career with animals and conservation. “I’d like to be the next Steve Irwin but with mammals. He was one of my idols—always so loving and caring with animals,” she said.

A graduate of Stagg High School, Staszewski chose Moraine Valley for its convenience, affordability and instructors.

“I heard a lot of good things about the professors and how reputable they are. So many also teach at universities, so being at Moraine Valley is like getting that university education for less than half the cost,” she said.