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Weekly Update

Monday, March 30, 2009  
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From President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Retiring prof reflects on her 27 years of teaching

Dear students, faculty and staff:

During last month’s Faculty Staff Appreciation Dinner, we recognized the outstanding contributions made by faculty and staff in continuing the legacy of Rockford College as a very special place. My thanks, once again, to all of you for inspiring and leading our students through their chosen academic programs and for service to one another. It is always a pleasure to hear the story of those who dedicate significant portions of their lives to our college. Specifically, it is through their engagement at various times in Rockford College’s history that I learn more of the true legacy of our college.

One of our special honorees last month was Biology Professor Dr. Martha Pippitt, who is retiring after 27 years. In fact, she began teaching a few courses even before this period of time. How does one begin on a professional journey of love and commitment? Dr. Pippitt confesses to being inspired by her parents, especially her father who told her that a woman can do anything if she sets her mind to it. A high school teacher encouraged her and sparked her passion for biology.

While there is a true love for her work, Martha recounts the highlights at Rockford College in terms of relationships. Students she taught and mentored over the years continue to keep in touch with her. This bond is what is most important to her. Martha is now at the stage when she is occasionally teaching the children of former students.

When asked what the future holds, Dr. Pippitt flashed back to the advice she received from her graduate school advisor: “Think about things that are of interest to you and focus your energies on them.” Two things that are rising to the top of the list of possibilities are to become more engaged in the Audubon Association and finally getting around to cleaning the garage.

Martha continues to be an extraordinary colleague and someone who is fully ingrained in the fabric of Rockford College. Dr. Pippitt, we wish you the very best as you focus on those interesting opportunities of the future.

Have a great week!


Robert L. Head, Ph.D., President


Check into Liberal Arts Honors program
In Fall 2009, the Liberal Arts Honors Program will again begin its sequence of core courses with HPLA 201--The Ancient and Medieval Worlds.  Professors Patricia Walters and Jules Gleicher, with guest appearances by assorted other faculty members, will escort the class through the works of Homer, the Hebrew Scriptures, Thucydides, the classical Greek dramatists, Plato, Aristotle, Vergil, Tacitus, the New Testament, and Saint Augustine, as well as providing some exposure to ancient art and science.
The official prerequisite for admission to the Honors Program is an ACT score of 27 or a college GPA of 3.35.  If you think you might be interested, please feel free to contact Dr. Gleicher at ext. 4029. Some sample past Honors Program course syllabi are posted on the HPLA bulletin board, on the office level of Scarborough Hall.


Do you have the skills employers are looking for?
Find out now by signing up to take the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). The CLA measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem-solving, and written communication skills.  According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers in Job Outlook 2009, the top 10 skills and qualities employers look for in potential employees include communication skills, strong work ethic, teamwork skills, initiative, analytical skills, computer skills, flexibility and adaptability, interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and technical skills. 
Students who take the CLA will receive a copy of their results as well as information about how their scores compare with other students at Rockford College and at other colleges across the country. Students who do well on the CLA can put their results on their resumes for future employers to see.  In addition to receiving their individual results, all CLA participants will be invited to an end-of-semester pizza party and be eligible to win a Nintendo Wii.
To register for the CLA, please contact Heather Snider at or 815-226-4186.


RC grad is candidate in M.P. 
Joe Terrell, a Rockford College graduate, is running for the position of Village President of Machesney Park.  When Terrell was here, he was president of the Young Republicans on campus. The election is April 7. 


Klein is quoted in Wired Magazine  
Shawn Klein, who teaches philosophy, was interviewed recently by Brendan Koerner of Wired Magazine for their April issue. He writes a column called, "Mr. Know-it-All," and had a question regarding Sports Ethics and contacted Klein for some input.

The online version is here:

He is also mentioned (along with Rockford College) in the answer to the second question (2nd paragraph of that section).

Klein wrote more about the issue at his blog:


Preparation techniques for the GMAT
A class designed to help you prepare for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is being held by the Rockford College Learning Center. Please be prepared to attend all classes with the required text at each session: Cracking the GMAT – 2009 Edition, the Princeton Review.  You may register for the 10 hour review by calling 815-226-4087.


RC’s Sundstedt steals the show at Park District’s 100th gala
You would never have recognized Director of Alumni and Development Bern Sundstedt at a performance coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Rockford Park District last Friday night in the Maddox Theatre. Dressed in shorts with a sandal on one foot and tennis shoe on the other, he took the audience of almost 500 through a history of the district in song. The presentation was written by former RC theatre prof Rufus Cadigan. 

Women’s History is showcased on 2nd floor Burpee
A walk-through exhibit of famous women in history is on display on the 2nd floor of the Burpee Center. Local women who have made their mark are also included. This is National Women’s History Month. The display is sponsored by the Kobe Regents Center for Global Education.   

Prof. Gleicher attends seminar
Political Science professor Dr. Jules Gleicher attended a Socratic Seminar, "Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty," sponsored by the Liberty Fund, in Indianapolis, March 20 and 21. During the conference, Gleicher and 13 other scholars from various disciplines discussed Randy E. Barnett's book of the same title.

Deadline for poetry prize is tomorrow
Just a reminder that submissions for the Colleen Holmbeck Poetry Prize sponsored by the RC English Department and the Academy of American Poets is tomorrow, March 31. Named for Colleen Holmbeck, a 1956 RC graduate and advocate of the arts on campus, the prize offers a monetary award of up to $100. Winners are listed in the academy’s newsletter. Send entries to Campus Box 298 and include a cover sheet with your name and contact information, and blind copy of each poem. Limit entries to no more than five entries per person. For more information, contact English Professor Dr. Mary Weaks-Baxter at ext. 4079.

RC in the News

Did you see the following Rockford College people in the news this past week? 

·       Psychology Professor Dr. Christine Bruun, featured in the Rockford Register Star’s “Get to Know Me” column March 25.

·       A photo in the Register Star of art student Jenna Warren working on a project and enjoying the outdoors on a nice day March 18.

·       Political Science Professor Bob Evans was interviewed by Channel 17 on March 23 about city budget deliberations and delays in passing the budget. 

·       The Register Star ran a fine story March 26 on the crew of our Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break, which featured interviews with students and staff. 

Get your appetite up for International Food Fair!
International students at Rockford College will cook up some native dishes for students and visitors during the college’s annual International Food Fair, April 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. in Regents Hall of the Burpee Center on campus.

Sponsored by the college’s Multicultural Club, the event will feature some 18 different dishes prepared by Rockford College students representing 17 countries including China, Swaziland, Rwanda, South Korea, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Turkey, and France.  They will be assisted by Chartwells, the college’s contracted food vendor.  Last year, the event attracted more than 200 people. 

“As international students, we enjoy preparing dishes from own country and sharing these with our American friends,” says Khetsiwe Dlamini, a Rockford College student and president of the Multicultural Club.  

Admission to the event is $8 for advanced general admission; $3 for students; and $10 at the door.  Advanced tickets may be purchased at the Rockford College box office located in the Clark Arts Center.  The box office is open Monday – Friday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.  For more information about the event, contact Dlamini at

RC sets ‘Take Back the Night ‘ event
Rockford College hosts “Take Back the Night” April 9 to raise awareness of the problem of violence against women. The event starts with a gathering at 4:30 p.m. in the Grace Roper Lounge of the Burpee Center on campus followed by a march around campus at 5 p.m. and inspirational ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

The college is holding this event in collaboration with Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All activities are open to the public and both women and men are encouraged to attend.

Parking for the event is in parking lot “A” and is wheelchair accessible.  For more information, e-mail Hannah Stravers at


Learn to stay healthy at CHIP-O-Rama
Chip-O-Rama, an expo of the CHIP program alumni featuring locally available healthy products and services is set for April 5, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. in Rockford College’s Burpee Center.

The CHIP program (Coronary Health Improvement Project) is aimed at helping people develop, maintain or restore a healthy lifestyle.  The expo includes vendor booths, healthy foods such as soups, workshops on health and wellness, chair massages and acupressure for a modest fee, health screenings, door prizes, and a silent auction.  

Chip-O-Rama is free and open to the public; free parking is available in campus parking lot “A.”  For more information, call Sheila Snider, executive director of the CHIP alumni group at 815-394-5016 or e-mail   

There are some 5,000 CHIP graduates in the Rockford area.  The CHIP alumni group is housed in the lower level of the Burpee Center.


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