Welcome Josh Collins

Josh CollinsJosh Collins has joined LLCC as assistant vice president of business relations. He began his new duties Aug. 3.

Collins previously served as interim CEO of the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance and the director of business and community development at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. He is a certified economic developer through the International Economic Development Council.

“We are so pleased that Josh Collins has joined LLCC. He has extensive experience with businesses in the community and has been involved with the college’s program advisory committees for years,” said Karen Sanders, vice president of advancement and LLCC Foundation executive director. “With his leadership, we look forward to building and strengthening our business and industry partnerships.”

Collins earned a bachelor’s degree in political studies from University of Illinois Springfield.

Welcome Iván Pagán

Iván PagánIván Pagán joined LLCC on July 1 as director, student success. He has over 30 years of experience in higher education and has directed a tutoring center, advising center, center for student success and learning center. Iván earned master’s degrees in accounting and educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in teaching English as a second language from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. He can be reached at ivan.pagan@llcc.edu. Welcome, Iván!

Welcome Adam Watkins and Brenda Elliott

Adam WatkinsAdam Watkins, from St. Louis, has joined LLCC as dean of arts and communication. He began his new duties July 1. Dean Watkins comes to LLCC from East Central College in Union, Missouri, where he served as chair of the fine and performing arts department. He was honored as the Missouri Community College Teacher of Excellence Award Winner in 2017. In addition, he is a mixed media artist, curator and musician. His work deals with the notions of the post-pop culture that we live in and the constant re-contextualization of it alongside his own personal translations of Derrida’s theories on ontology regarding the future, the past, “ghosts,” being and machines. Adam earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury, England, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Webster University in St. Louis. He can be reached at adam.watkins@llcc.edu. Welcome, Adam!

Brenda Elliot

Brenda Elliott joined LLCC Wednesday as director of apprenticeship programming. She has over 30 years of experience in marketing/business development activities, project management, computer CRM database management, computer training management, software training and event planning. Brenda earned a bachelor’s degree in business/marketing from Millikin University. She can be reached at brenda.elliott@llcc.edu. Welcome, Brenda!

Welcome Jamil Steele

Jamil SteeleJamil Steele joined LLCC Monday as director of adult education and literacy. He has over 20 years of experience in adult education as an instructor, manager, director, professional developer and state administrator. Jamil earned a master’s degree in education focusing on curriculum and instruction as well as instructional technology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He can be reached at jamil.steele@llcc.edu. Welcome, Jamil!

Welcome Chris Russell

Chris RussellChris Russell joined the college Monday as chief of police June 1. He recently retired as a lieutenant from the Springfield Police Department after 25 years of service. He is a graduate of LLCC, Illinois State University and Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command. He can be reached at christopher.russell@llcc.edu. Welcome, Chief Russell!

LLCC welcomes new dean of English and humanities

Dr. Joel DykstraJoel Dykstra, Ed.D., from Roswell, New Mexico, has joined Lincoln Land Community College as dean of English and humanities. He began his new duties May 18.

Dr. Dykstra comes to LLCC from the New Mexico Military Institute where he served as associate dean of the humanities division for eight years. He also taught Arabic and Spanish at NMMI for 15 years and was involved in the leadership of the school’s participation in HLC’s Student Persistence and Completion Academy and the development of an early warning system. In 1999, Dykstra enlisted in the U.S. Army as an Arabic linguist. He served with the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and was deployed twice after 9/11. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant professor of Spanish at Northwestern College in Iowa and Colorado Mesa University.

“Dr. Dykstra’s extensive experience both in the classroom and as an administrator will serve him and our college well,” said Vern Lindquist, Ph.D., vice president of academic services at LLCC. “LLCC is happy to welcome him and his family back home to the Midwest.”

Dykstra is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a doctor of education degree in community college leadership from Texas Tech University. He attended Michigan State University and the University of New Mexico for graduate studies and attended Calvin University and Grand Valley State University for undergraduate studies.

Welcome James Good and Alexander Young!

James GoodJames Good joined the college as building custodian on March 30. He previously worked at Shop-n-Save for 19 years. He has also recently been employed as a sub custodian for District 186. He can be reached at james.good@llcc.edu. Welcome, James!



Alexander YoungAlexander Young also recently joined LLCC as building custodian. He comes to us with experience working on the custodial crew at the University of Southern Mississippi while he studied there. His wife, Carley, works as a student success coach here at the college. Alexander can be reached at alexander.young@llcc.edu. Welcome!

Welcome Cassy Taylor

Cassandra TaylorCassy Taylor has recently joined LLCC as a child development assistant. She previously worked at Care-o-sel in Virden for 12 years and has a total of 23 years childcare experience. Cassy has an associate degree in early childhood development. She can be reached at cassandra.taylor@llcc.edu. Welcome, Cassy!

Welcome Max Yanor

Max YanorMax Yanor has recently joined the college as a police officer. He previously worked as a 911 dispatcher for the Chatham Police Department over the past year, and as security for Memorial Hospital and a volunteer EMT and firefighter for the last two years. Max is a graduate of Glenwood High School and an LLCC alum. He can be reached at max.yanor@llcc.edu. Welcome, Max!

Welcome Doc Usher

Douglas "Doc" UsherDouglas “Doc” Usher is a new a full-time training specialist for truck driver training at LLCC. He drove for TMC for seven years and mostly recently worked here at the college as a part-time trainer. Doc is a graduate of LLCC’s truck driver training program. He can be reached at douglas.usher@llcc.edu. Welcome, Doc!