There is a chance you recognize the name or face of one of ECC's newest hires, Elissa Kojzarek. Elissa spent the last 10 years working for the United Way of Elgin and was in charge of ECC's annual campaign drive as well as the United Way representative on the Project Backpack committee.
Now the communications specialist with the Marketing and Communications Department, Elissa handles the college's primary social media feeds. You'll likely see her popping in and out of various campus events for a quick picture and post. She's also the person to contact if you have an event or program happening, an award to announce, or a great student project to share through social media and/or with the news media. Elissa also assembles the Spartan Review. If your department has an announcement or update that needs to get in front of staff and faculty, send Elissa the details.
In her two short weeks here, Elissa has noticed one thing that sets ECC apart. "Everyone I have run into so far genuinely loves their job supporting the students and the community." Read on to learn more about our newest Spartan:
In your words, what do you do at ECC? I'm still figuring that out! I am the lead on our main social media channels, responsible for the Spartan Review, and assist with copywriting. Right now, my main job is getting to know the college layout, whose office is where, and remembering which lot I parked in today.
What are the priorities that you wish to accomplish first at ECC? First, I'm working on updating this questionnaire. After completing it myself, I think there are some ways to update the form and try to find out some new things about the faculty and staff not yet profiled. If you haven't completed one before, be prepared because I'm coming for you soon.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day? I'm fortunate to have worked with Dr. Sam for many years under my United Way hat. He was always passionate about supporting community programs and services. I would spend the day finding out what else ECC could do to support local health and human services in our district. The families helped today could be our students of tomorrow.
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you? I'd want the glamour of old Hollywood, so Joanne Woodward or Rosemary Clooney. Although my husband's grandmother was convinced I look like Vanna White!
What's on your "bucket list?" Great white shark cage diving. I almost did it in New Zealand, but we didn't have time. One day, I WILL get that accomplished.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? I love to read. I devour books. Our family (my husband and two young sons) likes to go for walks or explore outdoor spaces—we just recently got a membership to Morton Arboretum. I took up cross-stitch a few years ago in honor of my grandma.
What's one fact we should know about you? I'm a Navy brat. My dad was career Navy, so we moved around my whole life. I was born in Arizona and lived in South Carolina, Iowa, on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, and Minnesota. Then I graduated high school from Jakarta International School in Indonesia. But I'm Midwestern to the core—my entire family is from a three-county radius in Iowa.
Where was the best place you've traveled? Or where would you like to visit? I've traveled a lot, but hands down New Zealand is the best. My sister and her family currently live there, so I have an excellent excuse to visit there every other year. I'd love to go to Iceland or take my family to Indonesia to show them where I used to live.
What's something about your job that others should know? I want your content! Every department has something that needs to be shared or a message to get to students or the community-at-large. I want our social media and internal communications to remind people just how much ECC offers students and the community.
What was your favorite class in school (could be elementary, high school or college)? My favorite classes were the political science and international studies classes with Dr. Steffen Schmidt at the REAL ISU (Iowa State University). He did not sugar coat anything. He was funny, real, and upfront about life, politics, international affairs, college bureaucracy—you name it. I took every class he taught during my undergrad.
What was your first job out of school? I took my political science degree and went to work as a Financial Technician (accounting assistant) for the USDA's vet laboratories also located in Ames, Iowa. That makes sense, right? And now I work in communications!
What quote best describes your philosophy? "Mornings are for coffee and contemplation" –Hopper from Stranger Things. This means I need some time in the morning to caffeine up and think about my day because without a plan, I'm not going to get anything done.
Complete this sentence: "I enjoy working at ECC because … " I get to continue supporting work that makes lives better in our community. And I love education, so why not work somewhere that I can take classes anytime!