Latest News: The Weekly E-Newsletter

Weekly Update

Tuesday, May 19, 2009  
Share |
Faculty, staff do have an impact on students

During the summer, members of the Executive Council will take turns writing the President’s message. Today, we hear from Jennifer Nordstrom, Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Admission and Marketing.

Dear students, faculty and staff,

It is always with mixed emotions that I look forward to commencement each year. I am excited to see the graduates walk across the stage, ready to move on to the next chapter in their lives. On the other hand, I am a bit saddened to realize that this may be the last time I see many of the students I have come to know. 

Working in admissions, I have had the privilege of assisting students in their decision-making when it comes to selecting a college. It is always extremely rewarding to see the students who have selected Rockford College at ROAR events, and later at check-in for orientation. It is not unusual to receive expressions of gratitude from students at those times. They are happy, excited and a bit nervous to be joining our community, and are grateful for the assistance they received to make it to that point. What is unusual is what happened at commencement last year. As the students stood to walk to the stage to receive their diplomas, a graduate looked at me and mouthed the words, “thank you.” 

Reflecting on that experience, I realize that we don’t always recognize the ways we influence people, or that what seems natural to us can mean a lot to someone else. In this year’s commencement address, Jonathan Fiechter ’69 spoke of his experiences during his first few years at Rockford College. Do you think that Dean Gross could have ever imagined that the student he met with every other week for poor grades would one day become Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund? Or that Professor Rogers would imagine being cited in a commencement address as the person who led to Mr. Fiechter’s discovery of economics and thus a force behind his success?

To this year’s graduates, I congratulate you on your accomplishments. I encourage you to take a moment to thank those whose actions made an impact on you during your college career, whether it be a family member, friend, fellow student, faculty or staff member, or a work supervisor. For the Rockford College community members our graduates leave behind, know that you have made an impact upon many of our graduates…who knows, you just may have inspired RC’s next Nobel Prize winner! 

Have a great week!


Staff among those graduating yesterday
Four RC staff members were among the 500 graduates at commencement yesterday at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. They are Ella Stenberg, Admission Office (BSMS); Robin Kenney (Music Academy), B.S. in accounting; Karla Hunter (Business Office), MBA; and Juliana Barker (Athletics), B.S., physical education – sports management.  Congratulations to these staff members and to all graduates! By the way, a gallery of photos taken over the course of the entire commencement day will be posted on our Web site ( in about a week! 

Two tie for top Phi Beta Kappa honor
It doesn’t happen very often, but two students tied for the Phi Beta Kappa prize, given to the society member with the highest cumulative GPA. This year, the honor is shared by Matt Brynteson and Ammar Al-Saraf.  Congratulations, gentlemen!

Global education conference set for June 11-12
Rockford College will be the site of a Global Education for the 21st Century conference June 11 and 12. Keynote speaker is Marc Prensky, an internationally-acclaimed speaker, writer, and educator. Business leaders from throughout the area will also be invited to participate. This is an excellent opportunity to participate in the conference as an attendee or presenter. Presenters can attend the conference at no cost on the day of their session. For details, including conference highlights, registration form and presenter letter/proposal form, contact Dr. Michelle McReynolds at 226-3390 or

RC grad receives teaching honor
Donnette Dean, a 2007 graduate in our education program with a master’s in instructional strategies, was recently named “2009 Teacher of the Year” in the Frankfort, IN, school district.  This is another testament to the quality of our education department, which has also produced an Illinois state teacher of the year, and many local Golden Apple winners!     

Getting to Know Me: Kyle Pucko, Athletic Recruiter

  1. Where are you from originally? 
    I grew up in Rochester, NY which is about an hour east of Buffalo.

  2.  Where did you attend college and what was your area of specialization?
    I attended the State University of New York at Geneseo and studied English and secondary education.

  3. Where did you work prior to coming to Rockford College?
    Rochester City School District, East High School

  4. Tell us a little more in depth about your position.
    As an athletic recruiter I work closely with both athletics and admissions to get athletic recruits interested in Rockford College.  During travel seasons, I spend most of my time in high schools speaking with student athletes and high school coaches about our athletic programs.   

  5. What are your favorite aspects of your job so far?
    I enjoy the challenge of figuring out new ways to attract high school athletes.  Most of the student athletes I work with are being contacted by other schools; what can Rockford do to stand out from the crowd?  I also love the travel and getting to know a new part of the country while being involved with athletics. 

Business plan competition top grant winner announced
Midway Village & Museum Center has been named the winner of the annual Business Plan Competition sponsored by the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence at Rockford College. The organization was judged to have the best plan to build earned income through innovative business strategies. It received a $6,000 prize for its efforts. Two other area nonprofit agencies—Family Counseling Services and the Arc—received $3,000 and $1,000 awards respectively. The program is funded with the help of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.    

It’s Art on the Lawn time
Rockford College’s annual Art on the Lawn is slated for Sun., June 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. It features more than 50 artists from throughout the region showing a variety of art, from acrylics to jewelry. Cost: $3 per person; children under 12 free. Food and drink available; free parking. For more information, call 815-226-4032.  

Congratulations, Shawn Klein!
There’s a new addition to the Klein family. Shawn, an instructor in the philosophy department, and his wife had a baby boy, Samuel Eli, May 12. Congratulations, Shawn! 

Author and artist to have book-signing at Burpee
Local artist and author Charlotte Hackin will have a book-signing for her new book today, Mon., May 18 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Burpee lobby.  The book, Stay Young to 100 presents some wise advice for living life to its fullest. It is filled with personal experiences, wise sayings, useful exercises, organic diets, and self-help steps. Charlotte, who is in her 90s, served one term on the Rockford Park District board starting when she was 81. Besides her passion for art, she has been a teacher, TV host, and life coach. 

In the News
Did you happen to catch any of the following during the last week or so? 
  • RC ESL students and students from JACCE visiting the Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza last week on Channel 13.  …more
  • Stories on NICNE’s Business Plan Competition in the RRS and a nonprofit summit in the RRS and on Channel 23.  … more
  • A nice photo spread in the RRS on Sunday covering the recent RC Business Luncheon.
  • Commencement coverage in the RRS and on Channels 13, 17, and 23.  …read more
  • Not one but two “Get to Know Me” features in the RRS last week…Michelle Griggs (Kobe-Regent’s) and student Danielle Rudesill.                                                                              
* When available, we will include the links to stories listed In the News.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

Latest News