Henry Ford College Alumna Launches Honors College at Lewis and Clark Community College in Illinois

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Jennifer Cline

Henry Ford College (HFC) alumna Jennifer Cline is helping to launch the Honors College for this fall at Lewis and Clark Community College (L&C) in Godfrey, Ill.

“You get the students to think big. We can connect to the bigger, outside academic community through the idea of a classroom,” said Cline, of Alton, Ill, an asst. sociology professor at L&C and the co-founder/coordinator of the L&C Honors College.

The first person in her family to graduate from college, Cline repeatedly directs the credit for her success to the Henry Ford II Honors Program at HFC. She stated that retired HFC Honors Program director Dr. Nabeel Abraham and HFC English professor Pedro San Antonio played a significant part in her life.

“Prof. San Antonio was a great person and influence in my life. I never felt that any teacher cared about me as a student until I had him. I did an independent study with him. Teaching was what I wanted to do, thanks to him. I really appreciated how (Abraham) ran the Honors Program. I doubted myself so much as a student, but the Honors Program taught me not to doubt myself. I think the beauty of a community college is it’s a place to nurture students who might be bright but otherwise have not had a chance to fulfill their potential,” she said.

Cline earned her associate degree in Liberal Arts from HFC in 2004. She transferred to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies in 2008. In 2009, she earned her graduate degree in Sociology with a concentration in Gender, Sexuality and Society from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the Netherlands. Additionally, she completed some coursework at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Cline looks back fondly at her experiences at HFC, which changed her life for the better – something she cannot reiterate enough.

“I appreciate the diversity very much at HFC. I learned so much about many religions, being in class with Muslims and Christians alike. Even though I learned a lot about academics at Cornell, I attended classes with people who had six kids and whose ages ranged from 16 to 60 during my time at HFC – that’s invaluable,” said Cline.