JJC Blog

13 Things You Didn't Know About Your JJC Professors

Posted by Sam Ritz on Oct 17, 2016 8:56:24 AM

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Do you really know your professors at Joliet Junior College? Although you may see them on campus MWF, many of them have talents and interests outside of the classroom, too. 

Which professor had a recording contract in the 1990s? Who has been to six continents? One professor has 14 brothers and sisters - can you guess who? 

Discover these little-known facts about thirteen of your favorite JJC professors below.


13 things you didn't know about your professors banner andy chlebana chef culinary arts jjc joliet junior college
Andy Chlebana
Professor, Culinary Arts

Chef Andy Chlebana met his wife, Heather, in 1993 while they were both first-year students in JJC's culinary arts program. He also recently appeared on the TV show, Spring Baking Championship - and won first place!

  

13 things you didn't know about your professors dr. deb fitzgerald debbie department chair nursing jjc joliet junior college
Dr. Debbie Fitzgerald
Department Chair and Professor, Nursing
Dr. Deb Fitzgerald had a professional recording contract in the 1990s. The album was never released, but every now and then she still listens to a few of her favorite songs. 

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors tamara brattoli english world languages jjc joliet junior college
Tamara Brattoli
Professor, English and World Languages; International Education Coordinator

Professor Tamara Brattoli started traveling internationally at age 16 when she visited a friend in Germany. Since then, she has studied abroad in France, been sent to Slovakia as a Peace Corps volunteer and visited every continent except for Antarctica.

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors greg foster welding jjc joliet junior college
Greg Foster
Professor, Welding
Professor Greg Foster played basketball until the age of 42, starting when he was in second grade.

 

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors linda blanco mathematics math jjc joliet junior college
Linda Blanco
Professor, Mathematics
Professor Linda Blanco, who is an avid runner, was once on a billboard for the Chicago Marathon (pictured to the left above). She met Olympic marathoner, Ryan Hall, in 2008. She is a part of Team World Vision and on Oct. 9, at age 64, she went after her seventh Chicago Marathon to raise money for water projects in Africa.

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors maria anna rafac architecture construction management engineering jjc joliet junior college
Maria Anna Rafac
Professor, Architecture/Engineering/Construction Management
Professor Maria Anna Rafac has been a motorcycle biker since 1992. A few of her co-workers in the Technical Department (Cheryl Upshaw, Mike Wolverton and Joe Thomas) also ride motorcycles.

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors chef mike mcgreal culinary arts jjc joliet junior college
Mike McGreal
Department Chair and Professor, Culinary Arts

Chef Mike McGreal has two Great Danes - together, his dogs' weight is 310 pounds!

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors eileen mckee vet tech veterinary technology jjc joliet junior college
Eileen McKee
Professor, Veterinary Technology
Professor Eileen McKee's passion is wildlife. She spent three months in Thailand and Laos working with a conservation NGO (specifically working with bears). At JJC, she helps coordinate study abroad options for vet tech students, including a trip to Belize last year and an upcoming trip to Guatemala. McKee is also known for her "tripawd" dog, Wolf, who was featured in a WGN segment earlier this semester. Students from JJC's orthotics/prosthetics program are working on making him a prosthetic leg.

  

13 things you didn't know about your professors joanne brunner mathematics math jjc joliet junior college
Joanne Brunner
Professor, Mathematics
Professor Joanne Brunner volunteers with the As Good As Gold Golden Retriever Rescue, where she fosters and takes care of sick golden retrievers until they are adopted. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity's Global Village program, where she organizes and leads trips to help provide housing to the less fortunate. She has been to Romania, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Malawi, Africa. 

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors mary sue gurka technical jjc joliet junior college
Mary Sue Gurka
Associate Professor, Technical

Associate Professor Mary Sue Gurka is an avid gardener, and has made homemade pesto and bruschetta from her garden. She also grows zinnias and enjoys sharing them with her friends at JJC.

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors cris trillo english world languages jjc joliet junior college
Cris Trillo
Professor, English and World Languages; Men's Soccer Coach

Professor Cris Trillo graduated from high school in Tangier, Morocco. He is fluent in five languages: Arabic, French, Spanish, English and Italian.
 In addition, he is also an avid deep sea diver and a spear fishing enthusiast. 

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors chef paul bringas culinary arts jjc joliet junior college
Paul Bringas
Professor, Culinary Arts

Chef Paul Bringas has 14 siblings (He's number 4).

 

13 things you didn't know about your professors tammy miller ag agriculture jjc joliet junior college
Tammy Miller
Professor, Agriculture

Professor Tammy Miller grew up on a farm showing pigs and has judged many livestock shows.  She is the only female to ever judge a major barrow show in the state of Texas. In addition, she is a mom to 10-year-old triplets - Hannah, Holden and Hayden.

 

 

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