Awards & Honors

Alumni who have been outstanding in their professional field and provided service to the community may be honored through the Distinguished Alumni Award.

2020 Distinguished Alumni


Portrait of Linda Deering Dean

Linda Deering Dean

Linda Deering Dean has achieved outstanding success in the field of healthcare leadership. With over 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Linda most recently served as President and CEO of Advocate Sherman Hospital. Through her exemplary leadership and passion for change, Linda increased patient, physician, and employee satisfaction while decreasing employee turnover during a time of financial challenges, downsizing, building a new replacement hospital, and joining a major health system.

Before her work at Sherman, Linda served as the Vice President for Patient Services and Chief Nurse at Delnor-Community Hospital, where she led their outcomes to top tier performance. During her tenure, both Delnor and Advocate Sherman Hospital received the prestigious Magnet Designation awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.   

Linda aspired to be a nurse at a young age and began her journey at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she earned a nursing diploma. She earned an Associate in Arts and Science degree at Elgin Community College and then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nursing at Northern Illinois University. While working as a full-time nurse, wife, and mother, she quickly learned the value of community college support to advance her education and achieve her professional dreams.

2019 Distinguished Alumni

Portrait of Dean Follmann

Dean Follmann

Dean Follmann, PhD grew up on a dairy farm in Udina, Illinois, the youngest of six children. While attending Elgin Community College, he worked mornings at the Pingree Grove bull barn and evenings at Ponderosa Steak House. He graduated from ECC in 1977 with an Associate of Arts degree in psychology. Follmann continued his studies at Northern Illinois University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and psychology and a Master of Science degree in mathematics. He earned a PhD in statistics in 1985 from Carnegie Mellon University.

Follmann’s professional career started at the Center for Naval Analyses, a think tank for the U.S. Navy, where he worked on weapons systems reliability, logistics, and workforce planning. At the National Institutes of Health, Follmann studied cardiovascular disease and led an infectious disease and immunology group.

Currently, he is associate director for biostatistics at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where he specializes in the design and analysis of clinical trials that improve human health, especially infectious diseases in Africa.

He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistical Society and has published over 200 manuscripts in biology, medicine, and statistics. Follmann mentors other scientists and frequently shares his expertise as a guest lecturer.

Follmann benefited from ECC’s small classes and flexible hours. He was inspired by ECC’s dedicated faculty, who provided a rigorous, yet supportive learning environment. ECC sparked his interest in academics and laid the foundation for his lifelong career.

We are proud to honor Dean Follmann, PhD as the 2019 recipient of the Elgin Community College Distinguished Alumni Award.