2013 Distinguished Alumni
Each year, the Alumni Association (HCCAA) will recognize an individual who through their accomplishments, both personally and professionally, personifies the values of the College which include a "can-do" attitude, a respect for diversity, and ethical decision-making.
2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Deborah Fedor delivered the 2013 commencement address, sharing her personal story of success and demonstrating how Heartland positioned her for a rewarding career. Fedor is the fifth recipient of the annual award, which recognizes individual career achievements and positive community impact while exhibiting Heartland values.
At age 38, Fedor was happily married to her husband, David. But beyond the joy married life brought her, she always felt a burning disappointment that she never achieved her dream of becoming a nurse. Her husband used to regularly encourage her to try her hand at college, but she felt she was too old, too removed from high school, and not smart enough.
In 1992, Fedor took a position as an Administrative Secretary to the Department Chairs at Heartland, which turned out to be a life changing experience. Surrounded by educators and people that really loved what they did, and being ever more encouraged to take some courses, Fedor realized she wasn't too old, too removed from high school, and was passionate about learning.
"It is NEVER too late to learn, NEVER too late to work toward achieving your dream."
During her time as a student at Heartland, Fedor was a Presidential Scholar and on honor roll. She earned an associate of applied science degree in nursing in May 1996.
The now-retired nurse spent much of her career in pediatric nursing at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center and at Carle Clinic. She also worked five years as a nurse with the McLean County Health Department, administering services under the federal Women, Infant and Children program. Fedor also worked to improve immunization rates while at the county health department.
Fedor and her husband David have established a scholarship that benefits students enrolled in HCC’s nursing program. Additionally, they have created a scholarship to support students in the The Heartland Academy for Learning Opportunities (HALO) Program that provides access to higher education for students with intellectual disabilities in a supportive yet challenging learning environment.