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The Weekly Update

Monday, December 08, 2008  
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RC Weekly Update
December 8, 2008

Greetings! This is the first issue of our new weekly online newsletter designed to keep you informed of news around the Rockford College campus. I especially want you to be aware of the great things being accomplished in the college community. Your contributions to the newsletter are welcome, as are your suggestions on how we can make the newsletter more meaningful for you.  Should you have input, please contact me directly ( or Dr. Chuck Brown, Director of Communications and New Media at 815-226-3374 (

One of the concerns that I hear frequently, especially from the media, is how the current economic state affects the college.  The global economic crisis has created a great deal of anxiety for all of us. As I have said many times over the past three months, we are weathering the storm; being conservative in our financial decisions and supporting students and prospective students who seek a Rockford College education. There is no question that families and individuals will face challenges in a variety of areas, including paying for education. The good news is that, thanks to our many recruiting and retention initiatives, we exceeded our enrollment goals for the fall and our projection for the spring is also positive. As we look toward the fall of 2009, our recent Visit Day brought in more than 200 prospective students, which is more than Rockford College has hosted on a single day in quite some time.  We will continue to monitor the effect of the economy on our investment income and fundraising efforts.

Today marks the beginning of finals week. I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our students great success in the challenge before you. I also wish you a safe and enjoyable break between semesters. To our mid-year graduates, best wishes as you pursue the next stage of your life’s journey.

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Community health nursing students present. 
Students in the Community Health Nursing course made presentations last Tuesday on health-related projects they conducted in collaboration with health professionals in the community.  Some 21 students were involved in one of nine different presentations in the class, taught by Wealtha Helland. The projects were not only educational; they made a real difference for clients of the community agencies involved.

In one project with the Crusader Clinic Homeless Program entitled “Transforming Lives through Empowerment,” students Caitlin Livers and Jacqueline Gonzalez used creative approaches to engage members of the target population, including offering sugarless candy, assembling healthy snack bags from stores where homeless persons shop, comparing prices of healthy and unhealthy snacks, and interviewing staff at local sites feeding the homeless about nutritional needs of the homeless population. In screenings done afterward, several participants had improved blood sugar levels. And a partner of the homeless program, Promise of Life Temple, started offering fruit among the fare served to the homeless.

In another project, “Designing an OB Rapid Response Team,” students Judith Ferguson-Hauser and Alexandra Westen assisted nurse experts at Rockford Memorial Hospital develop an emergency response process to improve care for women experiencing  obstetrical hemorrhage.  Some of the ideas developed are being shared with hospitals in Illinois and the U.S. as other hospitals work to develop their own rapid response teams.

Really bookin’ it!
A Rockford College student who launched a book drive for several Rockford elementary schools got more books than she bargained for.  After a month-long campaign, education major Jennifer Torrence hauled in more than 1,500 books from bins she placed throughout the Rockford area. In late November, Jennifer delivered her books to Cherry Valley Elementary, Nashold Elementary, Summerdale Elementary, and Haskell School. Well-done Jennifer!

Talk about effort!
Rockford College student athletes collected some 6,750 cans of food for the Rockford Rescue Mission over the past month; their efforts culminated in the delivery of the cans on Nov. 24, just in time for Thanksgiving.  The can drive had extra meaning for the students: Rockford College was tops in can collection among the 13 schools in the Northern Athletics Conference!  But there’s more:
  •  The CANstruction competition brought in 1,000 food items for the Rock River Valley Pantry.
  •  A cardboard shelter competition, meant to simulate the conditions in which homeless people live, brought in five bags of clothes for the Carpenter’s Place homeless shelter.
  • Rockford College students served Thanksgiving dinner to more than 120 homeless people at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rockford.  

December Recognition Ceremony. Some 152 fall graduates were honored at this special event on Saturday.  Keynote speaker was Dr. Stephen Hicks, professor and chair of the philosophy department who spoke about “The Entrepreneurial Graduate.”  Both undergraduates and graduate students were recognized.

HIV/AIDS Awareness Event.  Anqunette Parham, an HIV/AIDS specialist from Crusader Health Clinic, spoke to students in the Lion’s Den last Monday as part of World AIDS Day.  The event included free goodies bags, interactive Q & A, and free confidential HIV testing in the Lang Health Center.  It was sponsored by the college’s Black Student Union.

Congrats to our recent Employees of the Month: Liz Bergstrom (Program Coordinator/Learning Center) for October; and Heather Snider (Enrollment and Retention Research Analyst) for November. Well-done!

Faculty involved.  Dr. Jules Gleicher (Political Science) attended the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association in Boston where he took part in two sessions.  He organized and chaired a panel on Constitutionalism and Federalism and presented a paper entitled “Did the Seventeenth Amendment Repeal Federalism?”  He also chaired and took part in a discussion about the political teaching of Plutarch.

Meantime…Jeff Hendry (Performing Arts) coordinated costume design for a production of “It Had to Be You” at the Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, Ill.  The play featured Cindy Williams and Eddie Meeka, who starred in the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley some years ago.

Coming up:
  • Senior Seminar Presentations in History. Dec. 9, 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Rare Book Room of the Colman Library.  
  • Faculty/Staff Holiday Party.  Dec. 10, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Burpee Center Regents Hall.
  • Regents Women’s Basketball.  Dec. 9, vs. Maranatha Baptist Bible College, 7 p.m.; Dec. 13 vs. Wisconsin Lutheran College, 2 p.m.
  • Regents Men’s Basketball. Dec. 11 vs. Maranatha Baptist Bible College, 7 p.m. 
Position Openings:
  • Athletic Director
  • Head Men’s Soccer Coach
  • Head Women’s Soccer Coach
For more information, contact Human Resources at ext. 4009.      

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