History Department Faculty
||Catherine Forslund, Ph. D.|
Department Chair, Professor of History
B.A., University of Illinois
M.A., Washington University
Ph.D., Washington University
Catherine Forslund received her bachelor's degree in modern European history from the University of Illinois. After graduation, she pursued other careers, but wound up entering graduate study at Washington University in St. Louis where she earned her Master's and Doctorate in modern United States and U.S. diplomatic history. While in graduate school, Dr. Forslund taught as an adjunct as well as serving for several years as Chair of the Skinker-DeBaliviere Community Council and working in local and state politics.
Following her graduate work, Dr. Forslund taught U.S. History at College Misericordia, also a small liberal arts college. During three years there, Dr. Forslund directed the Honors Program and served as the History Club advisor. However, the lure of returning to the Midwest was enhanced by an opening at Rockford University, her mother's alma mater. She joined the RC staff in the fall of 2000.
Dr. Forslund teaches the survey of United States History, U.S. diplomatic, African-American, and women's history, courses in Modern Latin America, the Vietnam War era and will soon be introducing Modern Asia and Modern China history courses. In 2002, her revised dissertation was published as Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations by Scholarly Resources Press as part of its Biographies in American Foreign Policy series. As a result of this work, she has also been a commenter on several panels exploring various women's roles in American foreign relations.
Following the publication of her book, Dr. Forslund began work with editorial cartoons, giving conference presentations and later publishing two articles in refereed journals: "...Worth a Thousand Words: Editorial Cartoons of the Korean War,” Journal of Conflict Studies, Spring 2002 and "I’ll Be The Judge: Editorial Cartoonists View the Dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur,” The New England Journal of History, Fall 2003-Spring 2004. Additional editorial cartoon work included a presentation in 2004 entitled "Those Who Like Green Cheese Can Have It: The Space Program as Foreign Policy in Editorial Cartoons.”
Dr. Forslund has contributed to two recent encyclopedias: East Asia and the United States: An Encyclopedia of Relations since 1784, James I. Matray, ed., 2002 writing entries for Anna Chennault and Clare Boothe Luce and in 2006 to A Historical Dictionary of Sino-American Relations, Yuwu Song, ed., with entries for Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, George Frost Kennan, Civil Air Transport, and the Two China Policy. She also has entries for John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy in the Encyclopedia of the Cold War due.
A second book project, Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Modern Victorian First Lady, is currently underway as part of the Modern First Ladies series of University Press of Kansas, with publication expected in 2010. To do archival research for this book, Dr. Forslund was awarded a Sabbatical for Fall 2006 by Rockford University, but in addition, received a research grant from the White House Historical Association and a scholarly fellowship from The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History to help defray research expenses during her sabbatical semester.
Dr. Forslund served for over four years as advisor to Student Government, has been a member of the Campus Safety and Security Team, overseen student internships in history and been advisor to the RC chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society, and in 2001 began teaching First-Year Seminar and serving as a member of the First-Year Advising Team. Since 2003, she has served as faculty co-chair of the UnCommon Lives: Extraordinary Women in the Arts program at Rockford University. Her contributions were recognized in 2004 when she received the Excellence in Teaching and Campus Leadership Award.
Off campus, Dr. Forslund is a member of the board of Midway Village and Museum Center, serving on the Program Committee. In addition, she started working regularly as an Election Judge in Rockford city elections in 2001. She represents Rockford University in two local Teaching American History Grant programs, one in the Rockford city school district and another with the Woodstock school district, where she helps plan and present programming for training U.S. history teachers in middle and secondary schools. Since 1999, each summer, Dr. Forslund has participated in the scoring of Advanced Placement United States History examinations, and continues to work with the College Board as an AP consultant and Audit Reviewer.
David Sytsma, Ph. D.
Professor of History
B.A., Northern Illinois University
M.A., Northern Illinois University
Ph.D., Northern Illinois University
Sytsma was already on the faculty at Rockford University when he
received his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University in 1985. His areas
of concentration were in modern European history, Russian history and
British history. His primary interests are in the history of ideas which
is reflected in his undergraduate philosophy major and graduate work in
that field. He received his B.A. in 1971 and M.A. in history in 1979
from Northern Illinois University.
A small university and a
small department demands a generalist, and Dr. Sytsma has taught almost
twenty different courses at Rockford University. This diversity of
background helps, he believes, to tie things together in ways that make
sense for students. Currently he teaches all four sections of the
Western Civilization sequence and upper level courses in British,
Russian, German and Japanese history.
Dr. Sytsma has chaired the
Academic Standards Committee and the Curriculum Committee and has served
on a wide range of other faculty committees. He organized the Rockford
University chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society. He
has been chairman of the history department since 1998.
addition to teaching, Dr. Sytsma worked for many years in bookselling
and loves to read across a broad range of subjects and genres. He has
traveled fairly widely, especially in Europe. He is married to a
philosopher and has three daughters—an art historian, an M.D., and an