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Weekly Update

Monday, June 01, 2009  
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Reflections on summer and a sabbatical

During the summer, members of the Executive Council will take turns writing the President’s message. Today, we hear from Dr. Stephanie Quinn, Executive Vice President and Dean of the College.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

When people think how educators spend their summers, they often conjure up a gap from the academic year’s work, three months of free time.  More often than not, that’s not the case.

Summer life is certainly different on a college campus than in fall, winter and spring.  Most of the undergraduate students are gone.  Most of the faculty governance work ceases, as do organized student activities and athletics.  Lots of us take vacations.  Regular office hours are different.  Some faculty offices are empty.  A number of people or organizations appear or re-appear each summer—get ready for the marching band, and various sets of children.

For some staff members, summer is even busier than the academic year.  Audits have to be prepared, the last months of enrolling the fall class are intense, and a great deal of summer work goes into planning for students’ arrival in August.  Faculty members prepare next year’s courses, do scholarly and creative work, and many teach in summer session—some classes started the day after Commencement.

My good fortune this summer is to have eight weeks of a study leave.  This is the first time I have had a genuine study break in lots of years (I took a year off to write my dissertation in 1982, and the book I published in 2000 was done on mornings, weekends, and vacations.)  Eight whole weeks seems like a gift from the gods of ancient Olympus!

My project is to research and write a report on three topics:  (1) current thinking about the liberal arts in higher education; (2) current trends in thinking about the role of higher education in U.S. society; and (3) specific curricular trends across the country and especially in schools like us.  The report will support Phase Two of the college’s strategic planning.

Several people have already sent me books and articles, and thank you very much.  Please everyone if you have bibliography, do send it along, either through e-mail or leave it in the Academic Affairs Office in Colman.  I would also very much like to talk with anyone who has thoughts about these questions.  Just send me an e-mail message and we’ll arrange a cup of coffee,

Every best wish for a wonderful summer.

-Dr. Stephanie Quinn

RC student receives Heart of Harlem Award
Nick Blitch, a student at Rockford College, is among four people to receive the Heart of Harlem Award given by the Harlem School District. Blitch, from Machesney Park, won the community volunteer award. He volunteers at extracurricular activities at Harlem Middle School such as student council and athletic events. The 2008 Harlem High School graduate has been involved with several fundraisers and raised more than $1,500 at a 24-hour run event at the middle school. “This award is my Oscar,” said Blitch after receiving the honor. 

Phantom Regiment readies for new season
Those sounds of drums and brass you’ve heard around campus recently can mean only one thing: the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps is back. The internationally-acclaimed group holds its preseason camp here in preparation for the upcoming season of competition around the U.S. Camp starts after school is out here and this year, runs until June 14. The corps is based at Rockford College, with offices in the lower level of Burpee.  You can see the Phantom Regiment in action at their annual Show of Shows set for June 19, 7:30 p.m. at Boylan High School.  Admission is $15 - $55; $2 off ticket price if purchased in advance. Call 815-226-2836 or go to

Conference to focus on technology in education
“Global Education for the 21st Century” is the theme of a conference June 11-12 at Rockford College designed to give teachers strategies for keeping pace with rapid changes in technology.

Teachers and others in education can hear experts talk about the use of technology in education, participate in a variety of breakout sessions, and visit with educational vendors on site. Keynote speaker on Thursday is Marc Prensky, internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and instructional designer. On Friday, the closing keynoter is Linda S. Tafel, professor and department chair of educational leadership at National-Louis University. 

Cost for the entire two day conference is $100; the cost is $60 for one day, and $25 to only attend Prensky’s talk with continental breakfast included. To register, contact the Regional Office of Education Office (ROE) at 815-636-3040. The conference is co-sponsored by the ROE Kids program, the Golden Apple Foundation, IASCD, PDK, Retired Teachers of Winnebago County, ADK, and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Art on the Lawn is June 14
Rockford College hosts the annual Art on the Lawn, Sun., June 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. featuring more than 50 artists from throughout the region. The juried event gives visitors a chance to view and purchase fine art, including oil paintings, acrylics, watercolors, prints, pencil drawings, glass, metal sculpture, exotic woods, fiber arts, jewelry, photography, ceramics, mixed media, sculpture, digital art, fiber, and functional art.

Admission is $3 person; children 12 and under are free.  Food and drink are available for purchase throughout the day and there is ample, free parking. The event will be held on the college’s Burpee commons.

This is the third year Rockford College has hosted the event on its campus. For more information, call 815-226-4032 or see

New program for fall
Starting this fall, Rockford College adds Reading Specialist to its list of some 70 majors, minors, and concentrations. The new program joins others in the education area, including elementary education and special education.

RC grads among the top young professionals in Rockford
Six alums from Rockford College are part of a group of 40 young professionals named to its 40 Under 40 list for 2009. They include:

Tracy Beard `97, Savant Capital Management

Cindy Harris `95, KMK Media Group

Stacie Talbert `04MBA, Rockford Park District

Jim Turmo `03MBA, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Aaron Wilson `98, WIFR-TV

Wester Wuori `92, Rockford Health System

Three of these honorees continue to have special connections to the college. Jim Turmo teaches a class in project management as part of the MBA program and is chair of the MBA Advisory Board. Wester Wuori serves on the board of the Rockford College Alumni Association.  And Cindy Harris has been very supportive with career counseling by taking part in a career counseling/alumni event in February that linked alumni with English majors together with current students. Wester was a part of that English panel as well.

Summer is and go around the world
If you’re interested in meeting people from other cultures and have 30 minutes a week to spare, consider becoming a conversation partner with our ESL students. Conversations help these students with their English and will help give you a better understanding of their culture. For more information, contact the ESL Office, phone 815-226-4138.

The college is fortunate to have students from all over the world, including South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Vietnam, Senegal, Mexico, France, China, Ecuador, Swaziland, Mongolia, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and others.  

New school board member is RC grad
One of the new faces on the Rockford School District 205 Board of Education is Lisa Jackson, who majored in nursing at Rockford College in 2001 with a minor in human development.  She is currently a medical case manager and adolescent case manager for Health Support Services with the Winnebago County Health Department. Jackson was elected in April and joins veteran school board member and RC political science associate professor Bob Evans on the board.

Commencement photos on Web site
Check out the great commencement photos on our Web site ( You’ll see a banner at the bottom that will get you to the gallery. And check back often for additional photos!

Congratulations, Stacy!
Our best wishes to Stacy Simms (SAS), and her husband on the birth of a boy, Austin.  

Camp Rockford hosts teachers in June
From June 15 - June 26, students will be on campus for Camp Rockford.  Camp Rockford originated as the residency requirement for our MAT instructional strategies students and today serves as a fine professional development opportunity for educators.  Geographically, the students come from various locations around the state, but we also have many local educators attending the classes. Burpee, Scarborough, and Starr will be the building locations for the Camp Rockford students. Say “hi” to these students when you see them.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

Songs & Sonnets: A Renaissance Christmas

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