December 2020 - January 2021
In This Issue
  • ACI's Work and Life Skills Boot Camp, Friday, Jan. 29
  • Student Scholar: Loislove Boakye, Knox College
  • ACI Career Mentoring Program Recruits for Spring 2021 Semester 
  • Planning Underway for ACI's Benefit Reception April 16
  • Siemens Joins ACI's Corporate Partners
  • Please Save These Dates
  • From ACI Corporate Partner Ardeo Education Solutions: One Powerful Promise Can Boost College Access and Enrollment 
  • Support Students at ACI Member Colleges and Universities With Financial Gifts
The Right Image, The Right Information: Preparing for and Presenting to Employers
ACI’s Virtual Work and Life Skills Boot Camp, Friday, Jan. 29
Speakers will meet students via Zoom webinar at the Jan. 29 boot camp.
Registration is open for ACI’s winter virtual Work and Life Skills Boot Camp, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Zoom webinar platform. Built on the theme, "The Right Image, The Right Information: Preparing for and Presenting to Employers,” the full day of seminars seeks to equip students to assimilate corporate culture; secure and successfully complete job interviews; dress for success; practice good email etiquette; understand what talent acquisition managers are looking for in candidates; and budget effectively on an entry-level salary. Click here to register. Registrations will be accepted through Jan 27. For questions about registration, contact Cindy Morales at
The Jan. 29 boot camp presentations include:
  • A Good Fit: Leah Wallace, vice president, Workforce Development-Diversity and Inclusion, Citi, and ACI board member, and a panel of Citi’s young professionals will explore the concept of "corporate culture," how it influences workers’ day-to-day behavior, manner of dress, etc., and how a new hire can learn and integrate with corporate culture – even if they are onboard and working remotely.
  • Getting the Interview Right: Lynn Hazan, president, Lynn Hazan & Associates, Inc. will explain how a successful job interview starts when students assess their own strengths and articulate their brand and story, and decide what type of job they want. Once they research and screen companies where they might want to work, there are critical steps they can take to prepare for interview success.
  • Dress for Success: Ashley Campos, founder, Ashley’s Consult with Style presents a show-and-tell explaining how young professionals can create a budget-friendly professional look, reflects the culture of the organization where they will work and allows the young person to feel with their own identity and sense of style.
  • The Secret Life of Talent Acquisition Managers: Celeste Quinn, talent acquisition coordinator at Illinois Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial, Leah Wallace, vice president, Citi, and Lyn Bulman, executive vice president, global human resources, Fellowes Brands (retired) and ACI board chair reveal what talent acquisition managers look for when they search for/assess young talent, as well as some secrets of making a great impression on prospective employers.
  • Email Etiquette in the Remote Work World: Dr. Maribeth Hearn, director, Career Success Center, University of St. Francis knows the value and impact of email communications, especially when so much work transpires in the digital space. Reviewing the dos and don'ts of email communication, Hearn challenges students to examine and improve their email habits, looking at tone, formality or lack thereof, the audience to which the email is directed, as well as practical issues, such as signature blocks and ccs.
  • Financial Literacy 101: Life on an Entry Level Budget: When young professionals first launch their careers on an entry level salary, how do they construct a budget that funds all the essentials, makes student loan payments, and maybe leaves a little to have some fun? A team of young professionals from Citi outline budgeting basics and share their personal experiences designing a lifestyle on an entry level budget.
Most boot camp sessions will be recorded and will be made available to ACI member institutions.
Join us Jan. 29 ACI's Work and Life Skills Boot Camp!
Launched in 2019 with a First Opportunity Fund grant from Council of Independent Colleges, ACI’s Work and Life Skills Boot Camps are targeted to low-income, first-generation and students of color who may not have the networks and role models to advance their career objectives. "We’ve designed the curriculum for seniors who will enter the workforce next summer," explains ACI Executive Director Mick Weltman. "However, ACI boot camps are open to all students, regardless of when they’ll graduate, and the sessions can help younger students build career readiness."
Students, college and university faculty and staff, and ACI trustees can register here as individuals, and may attend the boot camp’s full day of seminars or choose to attend specific sessions. At campuses offering in-person learning, career services teams are encouraged to organize group viewings of the Jan. 29 boot camp. ACI is offering grants of up to $100 (depending on the size of the group) to help with costs for lunch or snacks. For information about group viewings and related grants, contact Cindy Morales, ACI manager of operations, at
ACI’s final Work and Life Skills Boot Camp for this academic year is scheduled for Friday, March 26. That session will look at technology careers for students from liberal arts institutions.
Loislove Boakye
Knox College
ACI General Scholarship 
Loislove Boakye is a senior at Knox College, majoring in biology.
When she was a child, Loislove Boakye (BWA-chay) spent much of her time in hospitals. Born prematurely in the United States to parents who are from Ghana, Boakye had to deal with a variety of health issues. That experience, particularly the care she was given, helped influence her career choice. "I always knew I wanted to be a physician," she says. "That's why I'm majoring in biology, hopefully to go to medical school." Now a senior at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, Boakye hopes to become a cardiac thoracic surgeon or an emergency room surgeon.
When she was four years old, Boakye and her family moved to Ghana. "My Mom wanted us to understand where she grew up -- to understand her language, to speak it," Boakye says. "I think that is the main reason why we moved to Ghana, just to understand her culture." Her mother was in Ghana earlier this year for her own mother's funeral. Because of the pandemic, she was forced to remain in the country for eight months before she could return to the United States and Chicago in September, Boakye says.
ACI Career Mentoring Program Recruits for Spring 2021 Semester 
Two students from each ACI-member college are eligible to participate
ACI's Career Mentoring Program
ACI is recruiting mentees and mentors for the spring-fall 2021 session of its Career Mentoring Program, which matches college students with business mentors who can help them prepare to launch their careers. The two-semester, spring-fall 2021 career mentoring session will begin Jan. 15, and conclude Nov. 19.
A virtual program, ACI’s Career Mentoring Program calls for bi-weekly meetings between mentors and mentees. The goal is to help students translate classroom learning to the workplace and build networking, professional development and communication skills.
Career services offices of each of ACI’s 26 member colleges and universities may nominate up to two students with junior standing to be mentored for the spring semester of their junior year and the fall semester of their senior year. Nominations are due by Jan. 22. Once selected, nominees will be provided with a link to the application to be matched to a mentor. They will have the opportunity to identify goals for their mentoring relationship.
ACI is also recruiting mentors from businesses. Applicants are asked to state their level of experience, the type of job they do and in what industry they work. They also may indicate their interest in mentoring a student of color, first-generation student or a low-income student. Once accepted, mentors go through online training provided by Mentoring Complete, ACI’s partner in the Career Mentoring Program. Individuals interested in becoming mentors should visit Mentoring Complete's website to apply.
Already, after only one semester, ACI is receiving positive feedback about the program. One mentor shared, "I am very excited and happy to let you know that we would like to mark the current engagement as successfully completed since the mentee successfully landed with a job offer and has accepted. She participated in this program for help in preparing resume/job interviews."
Launched in 2020, ACI's Career Mentoring Program is funded in part through a National Venture Fund grant from the Council of Independent Colleges, Washington, D.C. For more information about ACI’s Career Mentoring Program, contact Executive Director Mick Weltman, or at 312-263-2391, ext. 1.
Planning Underway for ACI's Benefit Reception April 16
ACI's 2018 Benefit Reception was held at University Club of Chicago.
ACI's annual Benefit Reception is scheduled for Friday, April 16, and as in 2020, this will be a virtual event. Emceed by former television anchor and ACI board member Rob Johnson, this year's online event will likely feature student talent, student testimonials and a few surprise guests.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll, not only on campuses, but also on the students attending ACI-member schools," said Constance Willoughby, ACI director of conference and scholarships, who is also managing and organizing this year's Benefit Reception.
"We're inspired by our students' resilience and dedication to higher education, which fuels our goal to advance our programming -- especially in today's climate of social distance, financial strain and alarming drop-out rates," she added. 
The event will highlight the successes of ACI programs, Willoughby says. These include ACI's Peer Mentoring Program, designed to help retention and graduation rates on 11 member campuses through peer-to-peer guidance; ACI's Scholarship and McGraw Emergency Financial Aid Program which helps alleviate the financial strain of college-related expenses for students most at-risk; and the College-to-Career Program which helps prepare ACI students for life after college through boot camps, career mentoring and micro-internships.
For more information about the April 16 Benefit Reception, contact Constance Willoughby at or 312-263-2391, ext. 4, or Mick Weltman, ACI executive director at or 312-263-2391, ext. 1.   
Siemens Joins ACI's Corporate Partners 
Siemens --
ACI welcomed its newest corporate partner, Siemens, in November 2020. Siemens is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years.
Corporate partners provide funding for ACI's professional development conferences, and they offer products and services relevant to higher education.
According to its website, Siemens' higher education focus is on "campus environments that are safe, secure and comfortable, while being energy efficient and sustainable." The company also focuses on security, fire safety, power and financing services relevant to higher education.
ACI now has 10 corporate partners. Other corporate partners include Ardeo Education Solutions, Baker Tilly, Bon Appetit, Degree Insurance, Expense Reduction Analysts, Michael Best, PNC, Paycor and Sikich.
Please Save These Dates 
  • Monday, Jan. 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. ACI office is closed.
  • Friday, Jan. 29: Work and Life Skills Boot Camp, "The Right Image, the Right Information" (see story in this newsletter)
  • Friday, March 26: Work and Life Skills Boot Camp, "Technology in the Workplace, Across Careers and Industries" 
  • Friday, April 16: Presidents Forum
  • Friday, April 16: Board of Trustees Annual Meeting
  • Friday, April 16: ACI Benefit Reception, University Club of Chicago
From ACI corporate partner Ardeo Education Solutions
One Powerful Promise Can Boost College Access and Enrollment
Ardeo Education Solutions
Cost and student debt are top of mind for students and their families, especially for those who are first generation and low-to-moderate income. In a year of unprecedented disruption, institutions like Rochester University are providing their prospects with peace of mind. Listen to this 30-minute webinar recording to find out how Rochester reached record enrollment in fall 2020 with the help of Ardeo Education Solutions’ powerful promise.
Support Students at ACI Member Colleges and Universities With Financial Gifts
To give to ACI, visit
The COVID-19 pandemic has put many families under extreme financial stress. Countless students and parents have lost their jobs, and some students have had to delay their college educations. There are students who urgently need financial help. Your gifts can make it possible for these students to launch or continue their college careers.
ACI is a charitable organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to ACI are tax-deductible, as described in the Code. ACI welcomes cash gifts, online giving by credit card and gifts of stock. Be sure to consult your tax advisor/preparer for definitive guidance before engaging in any transaction.
To make an online gift, visit ACI's Giving webpage and choose how you prefer to designate your donation. Or, contact Mick Weltman, ACI executive director, at 312-263-2391, ext. 1, or write to
ACI Member Colleges and Universities 
Augustana College - Aurora University - Benedictine University - Blackburn College
 Concordia University Chicago - Dominican University - Elmhurst College - Eureka College - Illinois College
 Illinois Wesleyan University - Judson University - Knox College - Lewis University - McKendree University
 Millikin University - Monmouth College - North Central College - North Park University
 Olivet Nazarene University - Principia College - Quincy University - Rockford University
Saint Xavier University - Trinity Christian College - University of St. Francis - Wheaton College

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