SOUTH HOLLAND, IL—The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) announced last week the appointment of South Suburban College (SSC) President, Lynette D. Stokes, Ed.D. to its board. Dr. Stokes was one of just two new statewide appointments along with Dr. Larry Peterson, former President of Shawnee Community College, whom upon confirmation from the Senate will serve terms through June 30, 2021.
“It is truly an honor to be chosen by the Illinois Community College Board and a privilege to represent South Suburban College and my colleagues statewide during this critical time,” said Dr. Stokes. “I would like to thank the ICCB for the opportunity, as well as Governor J.B. Pritzker and Deputy Governor of Education Jesse Ruiz for their tireless efforts on behalf of education. They understand the critical role of community colleges, such as South Suburban College, in providing equitable opportunities to our community. I look forward to getting to work over the next year to address the challenges of the times and to advocate for our students.”
Having worked in public service for over 20 years, Dr. Stokes joined SSC in June 2013 as the Vice President of Academic Services and was named President on October 1, 2018. She has the distinction of being the first female President in the college’s 91-year rich history. Dr. Stokes has served as an advocate of youth in the child welfare system, taught elementary and community college education, and worked for equal rights organizations. Wanting to fulfill her desire to make a positive impact on the education of adult learners, Dr. Stokes earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change at Roosevelt University in 2004. This academic credentialing, coupled with the skills she gained while working at the then Operation PUSH, Community Mental Health Council and Ada S. McKinley Community Services, provided the foundation to propel her career into higher education as Dean of Adult Education and Dean of Instruction at City Colleges of Chicago, where she served for nearly 12 years prior to moving to South Suburban. In addition to serving as a presenter for several professional development events in Higher Education and Child Welfare, Dr. Stokes is the 2005 recipient of Roosevelt University’s Most Outstanding Dissertation of the Year; the 2009 recipient of the Kathy Osterman Award for Outstanding Supervisor given to public service employees in the City of Chicago; and 2014 recipient of the Chicago Defender’s Women of Excellence Award. In 2018 she was honored with the Egretha Education Award for Excellence in Education and the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE) Trailblazer Award. In 2020 Dr. Stokes was awarded the MLK Excellence in Education Award by the Southland Ministerial Health Network.
SSC is a community college located in South Holland, Illinois serving 21 communities including parts of the Chicago Southland and northwest Indiana. SSC provides a variety of support services and leadership opportunities to its students in addition to a wide range of academic program options. For more information about SSC, please visit www.ssc.edu.