June 22, 2022

ECC Student and Administrator Receive Adult Education Awards

The Illinois Adult and Continuing Educators Association awarded Elgin Community College Associate Dean of Adult Education Marcia Luptak the annual Administrator of the Year Award and ECC student Aurora Morales Aguirre of Streamwood , the annual Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year award.

IACEA – the voice of adult education in Illinois – provides leadership, representation, and advocacy to adult education and literacy practitioners to advance, unify, and professionalize the field.

Luptak was nominated for the Administrator of the Year award by ESL supervisor Holly Lawyer. Rachel Taylor, Adult Basic Education Center/Adult Secondary Education Supervisor, and Collen Stribling, Ed.D., ESL teacher, wrote letters of recommendation in support of the application .

Luptak has been part of the IACEA organization since 2014 and served on its board from 2016 to 2018. “It is such an honor to have been nominated by my colleagues for this award,” said Luptak. “I truly appreciate the dedication and resilience of our students, staff, and faculty. The past two years have been tough for us, and I am blessed to work with such amazing people.”

“Marcia is committed to ensuring that our adult education program, students, faculty and staff are successful,” Lawyer said. “Those who work with Marcia know that she appreciates, respects and appreciates them. She brings out the best in others and is truly an inspirational leader.”

Aguirre was nominated for the Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year award by Erin Vobornik, Adjunct Professor of ESL, John Karnatz, Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies, and Stacey Shah, Associate Professor/Librarian of distance learning. Aguirre is the first ECC student to win this award since 2014.


“Aurora didn’t let her lack of experience or her fears stop her,” Shah said. “It was amazing to see her skills and confidence grow over the semester in her work and the support and encouragement she gave to her peers and collaborators in the classroom.”

Apart from being a student, Aguirre is also raising a family, working and caring for her sister, who is currently battling cancer.

“Receiving this award means a lot to me because it was one of my dreams to go back to school,” Aguirre said. “It’s not easy to go to work, take care of a house and go to school. This award has been worth it and I am very grateful to my teachers.”

Currently, Aguirre plans to pursue a career related to business or administration.

For more information on ECC Adult Basic Education courses, visit elgin.edu/academics/adult-basic-education/.