Stevenson Middle School 7th Grader Selected to Serve as Triton’s President for a Day

Watt-MooreQualities of inspiring role models and leaders was the theme for Triton College’s President for a Day challenge, which brought seventh grade students from District 89 schools to campus for a day of activities on Monday, Nov. 13.

 Prior to their visit, students participated in an essay contest in which they wrote about leaders whom they admired. Stevenson Middle School (Melrose Park) student Shantiah Watt was selected as the winner, earning her the honor of President for a Day. She chose NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson as the subject for her essay.

 “I wrote about Katherine Johnson because she is very similar to me,” Shantiah said. ”She is an African American woman good with Science and Math, and she is a great role model.”

 The students visited several areas of campus during their visit, including the newly renovated East Campus Greenhouse and the Engineering Technology lab. Triton faculty and staff engaged the group in discussions on sustainable gardening and sustainable building practices, highlighting how these concepts are present in their everyday lives.

 The group also enjoyed lunch with Triton College President Mary-Rita Moore, during which they discussed qualities that make good leaders and role models, highlighting the subjects of their essays.

 “The students of District 89 schools were thoughtful and engaging, and I truly enjoyed spending time with them,” President Moore said. “I am confident that they will succeed in any path they choose, and I hope to see them back campus as visitors and students in the near future.”

 For Shantiah however, the day didn’t end there. As part of her presidential duties, she reviewed college materials and offered positive input. She also provided feedback about programs currently under development at Triton that will provide additional support to students.

 “It was a lot of responsibility, and I was into that,” Shantiah said of her experience. “There were also fun parts.”

 The President for a Day challenge is part of the Office of the President Initiatives aimed to strengthen relationships with students and community members from within the Triton College district. We look forward to expanding the initiative to include other schools and organizations within Triton’s district.


Hellcab, Directed by Triton Faculty Sommer Austin, Premieres at Den Theatre Tonight

hellcabA special 25th anniversary production of the classic Chicago play Hellcab will have a decidedly ‘Triton College’ flavor. A production of Agency Theatre Collective, Hellcab premieres Friday, Nov. 17 at Chicago’s Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.

 Playwright Will Kern’s Hellcab, which tells the story of a day in the life of a Chicago cab driver as she encounters some of the city’s strangest characters just days before Christmas, is directed by Triton College Performing Arts faculty member Sommer Austin.

 “I think it’s the type of play that a lot of people will enjoy even if they are not necessarily ‘theatre goers,’ because it has that kind of appeal to everyone, and it’s a working class story,” Austin said.

 In addition to Austin, Hellcab’s cast includes Triton Theatre Department costume designer Kate Jacobsen, while theatre faculty member Andrew Gallant serves as the play’s technical director and Triton Theatre Department department lighting designer Ellie Humphrys will serve in the same role for Hellcab.

 Furthermore, Triton faculty member Patrick Kane and automotive students assisted in securing and transporting the automobile that will be featured in the play.

 “Kane was instrumental in helping us figure out the engineering challenge of getting this car dismantled and up to a second story theatre, and we are grateful for his talents as well as those of the automotive students,” Austin said.

 Austin and Gallant have taught performing arts classes at Triton College since 2012, while playing prominent roles in Triton’s Theatre Department. Austin established the Tritonysia play festival in 2017, featuring short plays written by Triton College students, faculty, staff and community members. Gallant has directed several plays at Triton, including the Fall 2017 production of Waiting for Lefty.

 Austin is the co-founder and managing director of The Agency Theater Collective and co-founder/owner of Green Shirt Studio.

 Opening night for Hellcab is Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The performance schedule is Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Dec. 17. Tickets are pay-what-you-can for all performances. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call the Den Theatre Box Office at 773.697.3830.

For more information on Triton’s Visual, Performing and Communication Arts Department, call (708) 437-6915, Ext. 6932, or visit

Triton Awarded $650,000 Grant to Support Students Pursuing Geo-Engineering Careers


A new program at Triton College will provide scholarships, mentoring and other resources to students pursuing careers in geology, environmental science, engineering and related fields.

The GENIUS (Geo-Engineering Innovations through Undergraduate Scholarship) project is supported by a five-year grant of $650,000 through the National Science Foundations Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program. Nearly $400,000 in grant funds will support student scholarships, with the remainder of the funds to cover equipment, research, mentoring and other support services.

“We are highly pleased to support the efforts of the faculty, Dr. Sheldon Turner & colleagues, and the Grants Office in the development of a relevant program of study with scholarship opportunities and resources for capable students to create positive, environmental impact within our communities” said Triton College President Mary-Rita Moore.

 The GENIUS project will help mitigate the regional need for more and better prepared geoscience and engineering technology graduates. The 10-year projected growth rate in Illinois for geo-engineering occupations is between 15 percent and 20 percent, which is substantially higher than the national average for all occupations.

“Theres a big workforce need,” said Triton College science professor Dr. Sheldon Turner, the grants principal investigator. “There is a growing number of environmental science jobs out there and we are excited to take the lead on preparing students to succeed in tho

se roles.”

Beginning in the fall 2018 semester, academically talented students demonstrating a financial need will receive a full tuition scholarship, along with intensive mentoring and coaching from Tritons expert faculty and staff. The program includes partnerships with area high schools, four-year colleges, and environmental and industry groups to involve students in hands-on projects that will demonstrate the importance of geo-engineering careers.

“The main thing were looking for is really motivated, high achieving students who have a financial need.

“We do want to get them early so we can help them through the whole program, Dr. Turner said.”

GENIUS program completers will be prepared to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a bachelors degree, or succeed in careers in which theyll help protect water resources and address other environmental issues.

The skills and knowledge gained in the environmental science program will be attractive to the myriad of environmental remediation firms and environmentally focused nonprofit organizations within the Chicagoland area.

“One of the big things in the Chicago area is finding all of the leaking tanks left behind by closed factories and gas stations and getting them out of the ground to protect our groundwater, as well as our rivers and Lake Michigan,” said Dr. Turner

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that promotes the progress of science and serves as a funding source for nearly a quarter of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.

Students interested in enrolling in the GENIUS program should contact Dr. Sheldon Turner at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3008, or email for more information.


Photo Above: Triton College Science Professor Dr. Sheldon Turner was the principal investigator for the NSA grant.

Blood Drive/Registries at Triton College

Help Save a Life on Oct. 26

 You have the power to save a life. Triton College is hosting a blood drive, marrow registry and organ and tissue donor registry from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Triton College campus in the Student Center Cafeteria on Thursday, Oct. 26.   

 Heartland – Blood Drive – Donors will receive a $5 Subway gift card!

 Become a Hero by participating in Triton College’s Health Services Blood Drive, hosted by Heartland Blood Center on the driveway, outside of the Student Center Cafeteria.  You should know that by donating your blood and time you will help to save the lives of cancer patients, critically ill newborn’s, severely burned patient’s, organ transplant patients, accident victims and many more who have illnesses requiring blood products. Your single blood donation can save the lives of up to three people. Walk-ins are welcome.

 You will need one of the following items with your name and photo as a form of identification: student I.D., work I.D., state I.D., driver’s license or passport. Prior to donating blood, it’s important to eat a good meal and drink plenty of water!

 Please share this information with your colleagues, students, friends, and family and encourage them to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, call Heartland at 800-786-4483 or visit

 Life Goes On – Organ and Tissue Donor Registry

 Take a powerful step towards helping to save and improve the lives of others, by enrolling in the Illinois Donor Registry, hosted by: Illinois Secretary of State’s Organ and Tissue Donor Program in the Student Center Cafeteria.

 The need for organ donors has never been greater. In the United States, there are more than 114,000 people currently in need of organ transplants. And each year, thousands of people die while waiting for a transplant, because no suitable donor can be found for them. But you can help!  Registering to be an organ donor is a charitable act that costs nothing. One donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 25 people.

Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed. For more information on the Organ and Tissue Donor Program please call 1-800-210-2106 or go online to

 Be The Match – Marrow Registry

 You have the power to heal, the power to save a life.  Take the first step and join the Marrow Registry, hosted by:  Be The Match in the Student Center Cafeteria.

 Every year, thousands of patients are diagnosed with leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases. On any given day, more than 6000 patients worldwide are searching for a donor. Only 25-30% of patients stricken with leukemia and other blood-related diseases can find a match within their family, the other 70-75% of the patients depend on the stem cell donation of a complete stranger to save their lives.

 Recent advances in transplantation technology that use peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection—a safe and non-invasive way of collecting lifesaving stem cells from a donor–has given patients hope, and has saved thousands of patients.  

 You could be the one to save a life.  All you have to do is get your cheek swabbed, so your cells can be tested to see if they match the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type of a patient waiting for a donor.  Then they will place you on their donor list.  When you’re a match, you’ll be called to help save someone’s life.

 Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed. To join, you only need to be between the ages of 18 and 60, be willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet the health guidelines.   For more information on the Marrow Registry please call 1 (800) Marrow-2 or go online at or contact Anna Bialach  847-260-2713 or

Family Fun Fest at Triton – Sept. 30

Fall FerstA chill in the air, leaves changing colors and kids heading back to school are sure signs that fall is upon us. Celebrate this wonderful time of year with an action packed day of fun and activities at Triton College’s Fall Family Fun Fest. The annual event is Saturday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in Triton’s Botanical Gardens located on the east side of campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., in River Grove. 

The fun-filled event includes games, activities and exhibits designed for adults and children of all ages. Get creative at the noodle necklace and mask-making stations and show off your skills with the jumbo ring toss, bucket toss and youth obstacle course. 

The Great Triton Treasure Hunt encourages families to work together to figure out clues that take them to various areas around Triton’s campus. Each child who completes the challenge and visits all locations will receive multiple prizes. “Operation Lifesaver” offers an inside look at how police officers protect us and the fire safety exhibit will provide some great tips for keeping the family out of harm’s way. 

Be sure to check out the Fun with Legos™ exhibit, play the ‘Mexican Lottery’ and commemorate the wonderful event with the family photo booth. 

Food prepared by students of Triton’s Hospitality Program will be available for purchase at the event. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth at the sugar cookie decorating station. 

 The event is FREE to attend and open to the community.

For more information, call (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3867.