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Weekly Update

Monday, March 23, 2009  
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From President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

RC doing its part to increase the number of college grads

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama addressed Congress and shared his goals and plans for education.  The boldest of the goals was tied to higher education and challenged the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020. It is encouraging to hear a clear goal for educational attainment articulated. One recent report in the Chronicle of Higher Education compared President Obama’s declaration of this goal to John F. Kennedy’s commitment in 1961 to put a man on the moon by the end of that decade. Various accounts, depending on which age group is measured, have the U.S. at either fifth or tenth in the world currently.

President Obama points to actions within the stimulus package as catalysts for movement towards the goal. Specifically, he points to the increase in Pell Grants and the increase in tax credits for tuition payments. While these are welcomed actions, they will not alone help the U.S. achieve President Obama’s goal.

We, too, must find ways to accelerate our growth in student enrollment and our number of graduates. The economic crisis presents uncertainty and ambiguity in the short term, but we will not allow it to cloud our long term perspective. There are opportunities available for us through entrepreneurship, some of which are currently in process. I am grateful for the work of Professor Lou Ferroli and the Education faculty for developing a Reading Specialist program; a high quality academic offering with significant opportunity for student enrollment. Likewise, Professor Bob Evans and the Business faculty have developed a specialized curriculum for a local company. When the contract is finalized, the courses will provide the anticipated participants with a solid business foundation and a seamless transition to our MBA Program.

Two other opportunities are worth mentioning. Todd Free, Cece Bristol and Jennifer Nordstrom are working on ways for Rockford College to successfully enroll veterans who are eligible for tuition benefits under the new Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. This program is geared to benefit veterans who have served after September 11, 2001. Rockford College is exploring partnerships with area agencies to comprehensively provide education and supporting services for those to be enrolled.

While not directly of assistance to the attainment of President Obama’s goal, we continue to work towards international partnerships that will have more students from abroad on our campus.

Welcome to spring and have a great week! 

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.


RC grads stand out
Two Rockford college graduates were honored recently for outstanding achievements in their field. Penny Spears, a math teacher at Belvidere Central Middle School and ’02 RC elementary education grad, was named one of five Golden Apple winners for exemplary teaching. And Robert Schafer, a ’65 grad, was honored with the Manzullo Award in Manufacturing, sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.  Schafer works in the aerospace industry. Congratulations to these two fine graduates! 


Spring is in the air!
And the Rockford College Residence Hall Council (RHC) wants to help you usher it in!
They’re kicking off a fantastic Flower Blub Fundraiser, available to everyone on campus. There are so many options- Lilies, Geraniums, Dahlias and Daffodils, not to mention Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers and Strawberries!
So no matter whether you want to bring spring into your life by planting a garden, putting a bloom on your kitchen table, greening up your office or cheering up your dorm room, this is the perfect way to do it!
If you’re hoping to get your hands on these great flowers and garden delights, e-mail The Resident Hall Council and they’ll be sure to meet up with you and give you a chance to look through our catalog!
The funds RHC raises will be going to jump start a number of exciting new initiatives around campus, and we are grateful for your support in our fundraising efforts.
Want to make sure you get a chance to view our catalog? Look for the ones posted around campus, and send an e-mail to to set up a time for a club member to meet with you.

International Food Fair around the corner
Mark your calendar for Sat., April 4 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. That’s the date of the popular International Food Fair in Regent’s Hall. Join the Multi-cultural Club for delicious food, entertainment and prizes. Some 18 dishes from 17 countries will be served! Want to help out? You will be offered a free meal if you help serve food during this long-awaited event.  Admission is $8 in advance; $10 at the door; $3 for students and kids). If you are interested in serving, contact Khetsiwe Dlamini at


Recent Employee of the Month
The next time you see Ginnie Weckerly, human resources manager, congratulate her. She is the most recent Employee of the Month, based on nominations from faculty and staff.  One staff member described Ginnie this way: “She is pleasant and gracious as well as professional and knowledgeable in all that she does. She has a way of making even the most difficult situations easier just by the obvious way that she cares about all of us as employees.” 
Congratulations Ginnie Weckerly, the February Employee of the Month!   


Next in the Student Success Series
As you are ending the year and preparing for summer, the next Success Series workshop will help you in your student organization transition successfully so you don’t take a step back at the start of next year. “Club Transition” will be held on April 1, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room, 2nd floor Burpee. Plan now to attend!  

News conference here last week unveils new career Web site
If you saw TV cameras and crews in and around Grace Roper Lounge last Thursday, it was because Rockford College hosted a news conference unveiling a new online job matching tool coordinated by the Rockford Area Career Clearinghouse (RACC). The new tool is called the Work & Intern in Rockford e-recruiting (WIRE) and allows current students and recent college grads an opportunity to look for local jobs posted by area employers. To visit the site, go to


Next Great Decisions topic: Border Patrol: Pakistan-Afghanistan
Learn about the political strife in the violence-prone area along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  You can learn all about it at the next Great Decisions discussion group April 2, noon- 1 p.m. in Scarborough 101. 


Need a passport?
Travel just about any place outside the U.S. requires a passport these days. Now you can get your passport quickly and easily at the Passport Fair March 24 in the lobby area near the mail room in 2nd floor Burpee. A representative from the U.S. Postal Service will be available to issue passports and anyone can get their passport with the appropriate paperwork. Stop down. You’ll never know when you’ll need it! 


Law, history prof to talk about Jefferson
The Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship is proud to announce its third and final guest speaker for Spring 2009, David Mayer, March 25, 2 p.m. in  the Severson Auditorium.
Mayer is Professor of Law and History at Capital University in Ohio, where he teaches courses in American constitutional history, English and American legal history, and intellectual property, as well as a seminar in Libertarianism and the Law. He has written The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (University Press of Virginia, 1994) and several articles in law reviews, history and political science journals.  Dr. Mayer will give a talk entitled “Thomas Jefferson and the `Holy Cause of Freedom’” in connection with Dr. Gleicher’s Political Philosophy of the American Revolutionary Era class. All who are interested may attend. We hope to see you there!

All babies welcome for Baby Day
The Child Development class is holding Baby Day on March 25 from 8:30 a.m. -- 9:30 a.m. in Starr 235.  Very young children (infants through age 2) of students, faculty, staff, and friends are invited to come to our class for an hour of fun. The child should be accompanied by an adult (parent, grandparent, other relative, or friend). Please bring books, toys, blankets, or other favorite objects to help the child feel comfortable. Many children of RC students, faculty, and staff have attended in the past. This is reported to be a positive, memorable event.  Please contact Prof. Belinda Wholeben by e-mail or phone (226-4018) if you are interested in bringing a child to Baby Day.


Callahan is new scheduling coordinator
Join us in welcoming Linda Callahan as our new campus scheduling coordinator.  Linda brings a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit world.  She has spent the last years handling the marketing and rental services for another institution in town and will be an asset in enhancing the capabilities of the scheduling office. Please continue to send all scheduling requests to as it is the only way scheduling requests can be made.


IT expert will talk about link between responsible citizenship, technology
William A. Wulf, former president of the National Academy of Engineering and assistant director of the National Science Foundation, will talk on “Responsible Citizenship in a Technological Democracy” here March 26 at noon in the Maddox Theatre. 
Currently the AT&T Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, Wulf is active in promoting knowledge of computer and engineering concepts to better understand issues affecting society. He says in spite of the fact the U.S. is so technologically dependent, many citizens do not know enough science and engineering concepts to be informed about such things as energy policy, climate change, electronic voting, and other issues.
Wulf’s talk, part of the college’s Forum Series, is free and open to the public, though tickets are required.  For tickets and other information, contact the college box office at 815-226-4100 or visit them in the Clark Arts Center. 
Later in the day, Wulf will also talk about blending information technology into the humanities in a presentation entitled “Digital Humanities” in the college’s Fisher Chapel at 8 p.m. The presentation, sponsored by the college’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, is free and open to the public.  


About the portal and the Web site
We use the terms college “portal” and college “Web site” often around campus, but do you really know what each represents?  The college portal, ( is for internal audiences only and typically includes information solely of interest to students, faculty and staff. It also now includes tabs for classifieds, forms, lost/found, access to IQ Web and e-mail, and a training schedule for faculty and staff.
The college’s public Web site ( is primarily for people outside the college such as prospective students, parents, interested citizens and the like.
Both the portal and Web site have distinct audiences and a good way to think of it is:  portal=inside; Web site=outside.    

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Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

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