Rock Valley College

Student Commencement Speaker

Jillian Chamberlain Student Speaker for 2019 CommencementWe are excited to announce that the 2019 Student Commencement Speaker will be Jillian Chamberlain! 

Jillian is the first in her family to graduate from college, making this accomplishment extra special for her family. Thanks to the RVC Running Start program, she will graduate from college one day before she will graduate from Belvidere North High School.

This surely comes as no surprise to anyone who knows her. Jillian was nominated for the honor of Student Speaker by seven different people, including RVC faculty and staff, and community members.

Just a sampling of the glowing remarks from her nominators includes descriptions of Jillian as “highly motivated and dedicated,” “a natural born leader,” “someone who exemplifies the skills and attributes of a life-long learner,” “bright and talented,” “accomplished and gifted,” “extremely intelligent,” “gifted with a keen sense of confidence,” and “remarkably courteous.”

Jillian was also praised for having an involvement in extra-curricular activities that reaches “far beyond any scale of normalcy.” At RVC, she served as Vice President of RVC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter and played a crucial part in researching and implementing PTK’s “Honors in Action” project. She also volunteered at numerous chapter functions and coordinated the PTK flower sales at the high school graduation ceremonies held on campus last May. Additionally, she served on the RVC Campus Activities Board, and could often be found supporting RVC events and causes on campus and in the community.

She remained committed to staying involved at her high school by participating in Student Council, Key Club, DECA International Career Development Program, Choir Board, Best Buddies, North Way Mentor Program, Student Council (including as District Liaison 2016-2018), Student Ambassador, Blue Tube, and Green Club. Jillian also participated in track and cheerleading at Belvidere North.

Academically, Jillian is an exemplary student. She achieved recognition on the President’s List in the fall 2017 semester and on the Dean’s List in the spring and fall 2018 semesters at RVC, was named an Illinois State Scholar, and has earned recognition from the National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, English Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and International Thespian Society.

On top of all that, Jillian somehow finds time to give back to her community. She has volunteered for the Boone County Drug Prevention Coalition for four years, is active with her church youth group, including helping renovate the City First Church amphitheater, and attended an International Leadership Conference in the summer of 2018.

Last summer she also worked as an intern for State Representative Joe Sosnowski. She gained valuable experience making and responding to constituent calls, attending political and social events, assisting with coordinating events, writing essays and blogs on current topics, and comparing legislative documents.

Jillian will be attending the University of Kentucky this fall where she will major in Political Science. She aspires to attend law school, earn her Master’s in Public Administration, and forge a career as an attorney and eventually as a judge.