Harper College

Distinguished Alumni on Their Advice to Future Alumni

Each year Harper College recognizes the achievements of highly accomplished alumni at its Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. This year’s honorees range from a decorated firefighter, to a compassionate hospice nurse, to a self-starting veteran. When asked what advice they have for future Harper alumni, they were quick to offer their wisdom. Here’s what they had to say.


Ann Portmann photoAnn Portmann

Give back to the instructors who supported you, by giving to their current students. Reach out to them and offer to speak to their students and welcome the opportunity to mentor students in your current workplace.


Scott Lietzow photoScott Lietzow

Take advantage of all the opportunities Harper College provides.  Your time at Harper is short, but as long as you get involved, you will have memories that last a lifetime. If you take full advantage of your time, you will be surprised at what you have learned and the friends that you have made. I have some of my fondest memories at Harper because I didn’t let time slip away. 


Joseph McEnery photopJoe McEnery

Your Education will open many doors in your future. The more you learn, the more doors you will be able to choose from.


A.J. Collier PhotoA.J. Collier
My advice to current and future Harper students is to be all-in. It’s easy to show up for class and leave as soon as it’s over, but part of the complete college experience is to, in fact, experience it. Get involved in something or, better yet, somethings! Make a friend or, better yet, friends! Though I met my wife while at Harper, so this is one area where the singular is just fine.


Dr. Craig Winkelman PhotoDr. Craig Winkelman

I believe education is the key that opens doors of opportunity. My advice to future Harper alumni is to always be willing to learn new things, at any age or time of life. Additionally, don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time and step through new doors of opportunity.


Attend the ceremony

Join us on Thursday, October 22 in honoring the accomplishments of these five amazing individuals at the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Virtual Ceremony. Learn more about them and register today.


Last Updated: 3/14/24