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KCC > Community > College Info > From the President > Executive Leadership Team

Executive Leadership Team

Dr. John Avendano

President and CEO

Dr. John Avendano, who has more than 30 years of community college experience, was named the sixth president of KCC in 2009. Avendano has served in leadership positions with the Illinois Council of Public Community College Presidents and the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium President’s Council. Currently, he is in his sixth year as the presidents’ liaison for the Illinois region of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. In 2014-15, Avendano served as co-chair for the United Way of Kankakee County fund drive and numerous other local boards. From Waubonsee Community College, Avendano has received several honors and awards: Fab 40, Distinguished Alum, and Athletic Hall of Fame. He has been recognized by Phi Theta Kappa as a Distinguished Administrator and was a Shirley B. Gordon Award recipient. In addition, Avendano is in the Illinois State University Educational Administration and Foundations Hall of Fame. Avendano holds an associate degree from Waubonsee Community College, a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in continuing education from NIU, and a doctorate in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State University.

Dr. Michael Boyd

Vice President for Instructional and Student Success

Dr. Michael Boyd is a results-oriented educational leader who focuses on enhancing outcomes through strategic planning and continuous quality improvement. Boyd joined KCC’s staff in 2014 as vice president for instructional and student success. He is the college’s chief academic officer, responsible for administering credit and non-credit instruction, adult education, and workforce development programs. Boyd serves on the board of directors for the Manteno Chamber of Commerce. Before KCC, he worked at Illinois Central College, most recently as associate dean of English, humanities, and language studies. He served as the college’s Six Sigma Black Belt. As a professor of English and Humanities, Boyd was awarded the ICC Thomas K. Thomas Endowed Teaching Chair award in 2007. Boyd also has been a high school English teacher and football coach. He has three degrees from Illinois State University: a bachelor’s degree in English education, a master’s degree in English studies and a doctorate in English studies.

Dr. Vicki Gardner

Vice President for Finance and Administration & Board Treasurer

Vicki Gardner has taken on increasing responsibilities during a career spanning more than 34 years at KCC. As vice president for finance and administration since 2002, she oversees college operations including finance, human resources, institutional technology, police and security, physical plant, and environmental and institutional sustainability. Also at KCC, Gardner has been a grant accountant, director of accounting, and director of information & finance. She is on the board of the Community College Business Officers national organization, is vice president of the Illinois Community College Chief Financial Officers, and is on the Illinois Community College Board Finance Advisory Committee. Gardner serves on the board of the Kankakee County Training Center for the Disabled Foundation, and is president of her church’s Parish Council and finance committee. She is a past president of the United Way of Kankakee County board. She has an associate degree from KCC and two degrees from Olivet Nazarene University—a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Business Administration. She has a doctorate in community college leadership from Ferris State University.

Kelly Myers

Executive Director of the KCC Foundation

Kelly Myers began at KCC in 2011 as executive director of the KCC Foundation, where her expertise includes management of major gifts and alumni relations. She previously was assistant director of institutional advancement at Joliet Junior College. She is a past member of Zonta and served as a Kiwanis member for many years. Currently, Myers is on the Bishop McNamara High School Development Advisory committee. She also is a frequent blood donor. Myers holds a Master of Leadership Studies degree from North Central College in Naperville.

Kari Nugent

Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Kari Nugent is responsible for the college’s creative team, including advertising and social media. In all, Nugent has more than 25 years in marketing and business-related positions. She joined KCC’s staff in 1999 and has held positions in advising, instruction, recruitment, the college foundation and marketing. She accepted her current position in 2004. Prior to KCC, Nugent was a marketing professional at McClier in Chicago. In the community, Nugent serves as chair of the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley board. She also is on the board of directors for the Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health, and Mattea’s Joy. She has a bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Julia Waskosky

Dean of Student Development and Services

Julia Waskosky began her career with KCC in 1995 and has had roles at KCC including academic advisor, director of TRIO Student Support Services, and dean of Learning Services. She is the college’s Title IX coordinator. Waskosky is a me​mber of the Sexual Assault Response Team for Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, the Illinois Community College Chief Student Services Officers; the Athletics, Legislative, and College Completion/Student Retention & Success Task Force; and the Developmental Education Advisory Council for the Illinois Community College Board. Waskosky has written articles for professional journals and has been a featured speaker at local and national conferences. She has received the National Council of Instructional Administrators Instructional Leadership Award and the Exemplary Initiatives Competition Award. Along with being a KCC graduate, Waskosky has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (magna cum laude), and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from Olivet Nazarene University. She also has a developmental education specialist certificate from the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University.

David W. Cagle

Director of Human Resources

David Cagle has been the director of human resources at KCC since 2007. In this position, he directs and coordinates all college human resources operations, including recruitment and selection, Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunities, benefits and compensation programs, employee relations, and the personnel records system.  He has been on the board of directors for Commonwealth Credit Union for the past 25 years. Prior to KCC, he worked in human resources for the County of Kankakee, Kankakee County Training Center, and St. Mary’s Hospital. During his tenure on the board for the United Way of Kankakee County, he was recognized as the organization’s Kankakee County Volunteer of the Year. He has a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in public relations and a Master of Business Administration degree from Olivet Nazarene University. Cagle has also earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.

Michael O'Connor

Director of Information Technology Services

As director of information technology services, Michael O’Connor is responsible for the college’s information technology team and oversees the planning, implementation and operation of all technology initiatives. His career providing technology solutions to both industry and higher education has spanned more than 29 years. He began his career at KCC in 2002 as the college’s network system coordinator and was promoted to director in 2008. He is an alumnus of Aurora University, with a bachelor’s degree in computer science/business information systems. O’Connor also holds various industry certifications.

Sheri Cagle

Associate Dean, Health Careers

After joining the KCC staff in 1990, Sheri Cagle was named associate dean for health careers in December 2012. At the college, her other roles have included adjunct instructor, professor and clinical coordinator for nursing programs. Prior to joining KCC’s faculty full-time, she worked for Riverside Medical Center and ABC Pediatrics. Cagle serves on the Riverside Medical Center Oakside Board and as Allocation Committee Chairperson for the United Way of Kankakee County Board. She received the United Way “Rookie of the Year” award in 2015. Cagle has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Olivet Nazarene University and a master’s degree from St. Xavier University.

Paul R. Carlson

Associate Dean, Business & Technology

Paul Carlson started at KCC in 2000 in the Office of Corporate and Continuing Education as a computer instructor. He assisted in the development and delivery of KCC’s first online courses. He has been the administrator in charge of the Business/Technology Division since 2008. Recently, Carlson oversaw the move of several programs to the college’s new Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center. Before joining KCC’s staff, he was a software development training supervisor for CCCIS, Chicago. Carlson also has been a senior training consultant for Whittman-Hart, Chicago; and a U.S. Air Force instructor based in Denver. Carlson has a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Master of Education degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Dr. Francesca CatalanoDr. Francesca Catalano

Associate Dean of Math, Science and Engineering

Dr. Francesca Catalano joined the KCC staff in 2016. She has taught a wide breadth of courses in biology, law and ethics. Catalano has experience at both traditional universities and with online teaching. She has been a university administrator since 2010, and was previously a faculty director for the American Public University System. She has presented her research at national meetings on topics including connectivism/social learning, faculty development and various diversity initiatives. She volunteers for an all-breed dog rescue and also works to educate the public about the importance of spay/neuter. Catalano holds three degrees from Loyola University Chicago, a bachelor’s degree in biology, a degree in medical technology and a doctorate in molecular biology. She also earned a juris doctorate from the DePaul University College of Law.

Dr. Sheldon WalcherDr. Sheldon Walcher

Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Sheldon Walcher has more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience—most recently as associate dean of English and Academic English as a Second Language at College of DuPage. Walcher has also been an adjunct instructor at Salt Lake Community College and director of composition at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2010, Walcher was hired by Roosevelt University in Chicago to direct the Composition Program and develop a graduate credential in the Teaching of Writing. Walcher has a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Penn State University, a master of science degree in higher education administration and policy from Northwestern University, and a doctorate in English (rhetoric and composition) from the University of Utah. Walcher is committed to initiatives which improve the academic success of historically underrepresented students. In addition, he has presented on writing, technology, and higher education issues at several national conferences.

Mary PosingMary Posing

Assistant Dean of Continuing Education and Career Services

Mary Posing is a lifelong resident of the community served by KCC, and she has more than 20 years of workforce development experience at KCC. Currently, she is responsible for administering the college’s noncredit instruction, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, customized business and industry training and placement functions for employers and students. In 2012, Posing was awarded the Professional of the Year Award by the Illinois Community College Training Resource and Information Network. In addition to her role at the college, Posing served as an ambassador for more than 15 years with the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce and she currently serves on the board of directors for the Kankakee County Humane Foundation. She has an associate degree from KCC, a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in communications and training from Governors State University.