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Weekly Update

Tuesday, April 14, 2009  
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A message from President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.
On college athletics and athletes

Dear students, faculty and staff,
Last week was a very active time for news regarding collegiate athletics. The week began with national championship games for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s and women’s basketball. The explosion of television coverage of sporting events and an advertising revolution over the past thirty years has strongly influenced Division I athletics. For a number of reasons, I have concerns about Division I athletics. The core values and structure of Division III are more congruent with the concept of participants being student-athletes and I will continue to work within our conference and on our campus to assure that this is the case.
One leader in the reform movement over the past several years is Myles Brand, currently the president of the NCAA. Dr. Brand was presented with a Distinguished Service Award last week by the American Council on Education (ACE). As stated in its press release, ACE presented the award to recognize Brand’s “successful push to build measures of academic accountability for student-athletes at the NCAA.” Having followed the work of Dr. Brand, and knowing his fierce commitment to balancing the role of athletics within higher education, ACE could not have found a more deserving recipient.
I am pleased that Rockford College participates at the Division III level. According to the NCAA’s stated philosophy, “Division III places highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of all students' academic programs.  They seek to establish and maintain an environment in which a student-athlete's athletics activities are conducted as an integral part of the student-athlete's educational experience.”
Most of you received an email last Monday from Cory Espensen recognizing 60 of our student-athletes who have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Cory’s acknowledgement was in conjunction with the celebration of National STUDENT-Athlete Day, a program of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. To all of the student-athletes so honored last week, I add my congratulations.
Have a great week!
Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

RC students team up with St. James kids on campaign to curb shoplifting
“Don’t Start: Preventing Youth Shoplifting” is a shoplifting primary prevention program being developed through a community partnership between Rockford College and St. James Catholic School in Belvidere. The project will continue the work of Project Citizen, the state winning entry for 2008, by developing and executing a prevention program for 6th and 7th grade students in Belvidere.  The RC students will serve as authors, mentors and role models for the youth empowering them to take a direct role in improving the stability of their community. Campus Minister Elaine Sharpe is coordinating the project.

Student leadership awardees being sought
Nominations are due to Student Activities on April 17 at 5 p.m. for the 2009 student leadership awards.  Awards will be given in the following categories:
  • Outstanding Service Project
  • Innovation in Programming
  • Outstanding Program
  • Outstanding Resident Advisor (RA) Program
  • Outstanding New Club/Organization
  • Outstanding Club/Organization
  • Selfless Helper & Unsung Hero Award
  • Outstanding Support for the Rockford College Community
  • Outstanding Club/Organization President
  • Outstanding Resident Advisor (RA)
  • Association of Student Leaders (A.S.L.) Achievement Award
Awards will be presented at the Annual Leadership Awards Banquet Sun., April 26 at 6 p.m. in Grace Roper Lounge. Contact Student Activities at if you have any questions.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Last Thursday, Rockford College held its first “Take Back the Night” rally to recognize and give voice to victims of sexual and domestic violence and their supporters. The event drew more than 40 people.  During the rally, T-Shirts from the Clothesline Project were on display and T-shirts were available for decorating.  There are still T-shirts left if you would like to create one to represent either your own experience or that of another survivor. Just stop by the Lang Health, Wellness and Counseling Center during the month of April to do so.  T-shirts can be taken with you or displayed at Lang as you choose. Information on sexual and domestic violence and counselors are also available at Lang.

Prof. Schiek to present ‘Last Lecture’
Tammy Schiek, assistant professor of physical education, will present the “Last Lecture” on April 14 at 4 p.m. in the Fisher Chapel. It’s an opportunity for her to reflect on life as if this was going to be her last message before passing.
The Last Lecture is based on a concept developed by Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch who delivered the talk “The Last Lecture: A Celebration of Life” on facing terminal pancreatic cancer. Schiek was nominated based on nominations from students, followed by narrowing down the finalists, and then another vote by students.  The event is sponsored by the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JAACE).   

Speaking of the ‘Last Lecture’
RC President Dr. Robert Head will take part in a discussion on the original “Last Lecture” book by Randy Pausch during an event sponsored by the Rockford Public Library May 2.  Dr. Head will discuss the book from 7 p.m.—7:45 p.m. at the Rockford Women’s Club in downtown Rockford. He is one of 16 local leaders to take part in this year’s “Literary Evening Downtown.”

Cinco de Mayo is theme of final Global Community Hour
The Kobe Regent’s Center for Global Education will be holding its final Global Community Hour, Tues., May 5 – Cinco de Mayo!  They will be going to Mexico with their tour guide, student Mariana Rosas.  Join them May 5th in their new location, the Grace Roper Lounge, for their last trip of the semester.

Dr. Head will present commencement address at Defiance College
Our president, Dr. Robert Head, will be the Defiance College (Ohio) commencement speaker Sun., May 10.  Dr. Head at one time served on that college’s board of trustees.  He will also receive an honorary degree during the event. 

Student Showcase is Thursday
This year’s Student Showcase features seven poster displays from Prof. Mehmet Dik’s math class  on Thurs., April 16 in the Library Lobby from 11 a.m. – noon.  From 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in the Lion’s Den, Dr. Susan Porterfield’s English 364 class will present a poetry reading.  All are invited to attend.

Looking for job opportunities? Try speed networking
A “speed networking event” sponsored by Rockford College as well as NIU and the Rockford Area Career Clearinghouse will be held April 16 from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Katie’s Cup located at 502 7th St. There will be 10 Rockford College seniors as well as 10 seniors from Northern Illinois University participating in addition to 20 local companies being represented. This event is designed to help students meet with employers, practice their interviewing skills, and make connections in our community. It will also help employers meet potential candidates for positions and provide students with advice for their job searches. The sponsors are still looking for five more RC students, so if you’re interested, contact Kelly Haugen, career services director at 

Fastest growing countries is Great Decisions topic
Join the next Great Decisions discussion April 16 from noon – 1 p.m. in Scarborough 101. Topic is: “Rising Giants: The world’s fastest growing countries.”  Great Decisions is sponsored by JACCE. All are invited to attend. 

Rockford College observes Green Week April 20-24
The environment will be on the minds of the Rockford College community during Green Week at the college, April 20-24. Here is the schedule of events:
Monday 4/20
7 p.m. Presentation in Regents Hall by Steve Ettlinger, entitled “Twinkie Deconstructed” on the real truth behind processed foods. 
Tuesday 4/21
Student Alix Sauld will be visiting a couple of Rockford area schools to read to kids and have them decorate a banner in honor of Earth Day.
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (TENTATIVE) Regent Athletics Getting Excited (RAGE) to have a bags tournament in Burpee Commons
4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Green Expo in Regents Hall featuring vendors who use or promote environmentally-sound products and services.  Co-sponsored by the college’s Rotoract chapter.
Wednesday 4/22
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Canvas bag decorating under the library overhang - students will be able to decorate their own canvas bag.
6 or 7 p.m. "An Inconvenient Truth" movie and discussion in Starr 207
Thursday 4/23
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Flower planting under the library overhang using empty yogurt cups collected from students, faculty and staff.
Friday 4/24
9 a.m. Students will plant trees around campus – they will be working on the triangle area near A-lot at this time and will possibly be working in other areas that afternoon
All week students will be collecting aluminum cans and using the money from recycling them to adopt a rainforest (2,500 sq. ft. for $10) or replant trees in areas damages by fire, insects, or disease ($1 per tree). They will be asking students, faculty and staff for unique ways to go green. Names will be drawn for the green ideas and that person will win a prize.
Green Week is sponsored by JACCE. 

And the Iron Chef winner is… 
Winner of this year’s Iron Chef challenge to bake the best pizza was Team Pucko with their unique “Garbage Plate Pizza.” The team combined a surprising array of toppings including macaroni salad, ground beef, and French fries. Team members included Kyle Pucko (head chef), Chris Ann Moore, Claire Marlatt, Rebecca Miziniak, Brian Babcock, and Erin Alden.

RAGE sets annual 5K Walk/Run
Regent Athletics Getting Excited (RAGE) is hosting its 2nd Annual Regent 5k Walk/Run Sun., April 19 at 10 a.m. (April Weekend). The event will be held on campus, and sign-up takes place at Seaver Gymnasium. Entry fee is $3 and donations are accepted. All proceeds will be donated to the local Special Olympics Foundation. Come out and support RAGE, represent Rockford College and accomplish a goal for yourself!
Note you do not have to run the 5k, as participants are also encouraged to come out and walk. Anyone and everyone is welcome to take part in this race: students, faculty, staff, family, friends, and even local Rockford runners. Prizes will be awarded to the first five women and first five men, as well as five random drawings for participants. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation without participating, you are more than welcome.
If you have any questions about the 5k or RAGE, contact Tony Hardin ( or Coach Balon (

RC in the news
Did you happen to catch the following during the past week?
  • Robert Evans, associate professor of business, economics and political science, was quoted in the Rockford Register Star Saturday about the rising number of bankruptcies being filed in the region.

  • Dr. Fred Rezazadeh, professor of economics, was quoted in the Register Star Sunday about the ramifications of urban sprawl.

  • Sheryl Head, wife of college president Dr. Robert Head, was featured in the Register-Star’s Foundation publication.  The Head’s have devoted one bedroom in the house to family memorabilia, including a 100-year-old quilt made by Sheryl’s great-great grandmother.   

  • Ray Baker, professor of business, economics, and accounting, was quoted in the Register Star Sunday about personal finance and the need for more financial literacy.

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