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Weekly Update

Monday, July 27, 2009  
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In a real sense, we are all educators

During the summer, members of the Executive Council or their designees will take turns writing the President’s column. Today, we hear from Matt Phillips, associate vice president of operations. 

The process for writing this column began with the collection of bits and pieces of information in preparation for a general update on the operations departments.  That process was abandoned when I realized updates on the operations departments are about the only time this campus hears from me.  “So, why not try something different?” I asked myself.

Some of you have heard me tell the story of JFK and the NASA janitor.  Whether true or a tale spun to make a point, the sentiment is spot on. 

JFK was touring a NASA facility in the early 1960’s when he happened upon a man holding a mop.  President Kennedy shook the man’s hand and asked, “…And what is it that you do here?”  The man, somewhat in awe at standing next to the President, answered “I’m sending a man to the moon, sir.”

The story is one of solidarity of purpose, and the NASA janitor had it figured out.   He knew what many of us lose sight of, no matter what our particular role is, we are a part of the larger goal.  Whether we stand in front of a classroom and lecture, process mail, market our school, serve food, build theatrical sets, teach music, crunch numbers, coach baseball, process loan paperwork or any of the other myriad functions that make this institution work, we are educators. 

Many of us don’t often think of our jobs in this fashion, but when it comes down to it, we are all educators.  Together we make it possible for men and women to better themselves through a liberal arts education. Every day, no matter how unrelated the task at hand may seem to us, this is our goal. 

And to our students:  You are each a part of this tradition of learned men and women.  You have chosen to attend an institution of higher education.  You have made a conscious choice to learn more about the world and to do so within the company of others in the same pursuit.  Please know that those of us who work at Rockford College have high hopes for you.  We are proud of your accomplishments thus far and we look forward to hearing about your many adventures as alumni of this institution.

In a time of 24 hour media bombarding our senses with images of economic crises, budget woes, job market blunders, war and diplomatic challenges across the world, it is easy to lose sight of what is important.  To us here at Rockford College, the education of generation after generation of students is what is important, and we must not lose sight of that.

I look forward to August 15th when our First Year students move onto campus with their faces full of hope and possibility.  I see no reason with the understanding that we are here working towards the larger goal of education, why our faces can’t be just as full of hope and possibility.

Best regards,

Matthew D. Phillips

More on reaccreditation
To see the college news release on the HLC reaccreditation, click here.

Admissions’ Regent Wednesdays are a hit!
As you may know, the admissions department has been conducting Regent Wednesdays this summer for prospective students.  This visit program has become increasingly successful from week to week.  July 22’s focus on the student athlete event was the most successful yet with 31 people in attendance.  Kudos to Kyle Pucko and Rebecca Miziniak of the admission staff for leading this event and to all of the coaches and other admission staff who supported the day’s activities.  The next Regent Wednesday is this Wednesday, with a focus on health and sciences.  If you know of anyone who might like to attend a Regent Wednesday, more information and online registration can be found at this link: And thanks to the admission office for finding new and creative ways to bolster our recruiting!  

Get to Know Me: Chris Kindschi, Head Women’s Soccer Coach
Name:  Chris Kindschi
Job title:  Head Women’s Soccer Coach
Family:  Wife, Miranda, Dogs – Maggie and Max
Professional/educational background:
  • BS in chemistry and secondary education certification from Beloit College.
  • Currently working on a master’s in education with an emphasis on higher education leadership.
  • Beloit College - Student Affairs (Residence Life, Learning Resource Center, Women’s Soccer Asst. Coach)
  • School District of Beloit (professional educator, varsity boys and girls soccer coach)  
Interesting fact about me:
I am related to John Dillinger.
The favorite thing about my job is…
It is a combination of education, student development, and soccer – all things that I enjoy being a part of.  “Find something you like to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I believe that I have finally found what that something is!

Watching movies, listening to music, cooking, eating, working in my yard, going to Walt Disney World, traveling, reading, and of course, anything related to soccer!

Summer Splash potluck Aug. 12
Make plans now to attend Summer Splash, a potluck for all Rockford College employees and their families August 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the Burpee Commons.  Games, food and fun! Beverages, hot dogs, and brats will be provided. Please bring a dish to pass (it is a potluck after all!). Not only will there be delicious food, but there will also be activities for kids, bean bags, water balloons and more.  RSVP to the CARE Committee by August 7.

Help spring Cassie from jail
Cassie Swanson (Mktg/Special Events) has agreed to sit in jail while she waits for her friends and colleagues to bail her out as part of the annual MDA Lock-Up.  It all takes place August 6 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. at Road Ranger Stadium.  For more or to contribute to the cause, see

New Student Orientation not far away
New Student Orientation August 15 – 18 looks to be chock full of both informative and fun activities for our new students. The event has days centering around themes starting with “A New Beginning” and then on to “Getting to Know You” and “The Road to Academic Success,” culminating with “Motivation, Inspiration, Jane Addams.”   The event is coordinated by the Office of Student Success and Retention under the leadership of Donnette Tinsley.

A note from Cesar Kenaan
Cesar Kenaan, a 2006 RC biochemistry grad wrote recently to update us on his graduate studies at the University of Michigan. Says Cesar:


It's been a very busy and productive academic year! I had successful public and private candidacy exams in January and May respectively, and recently co-authored a manuscript on protein conformational dynamics to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry ( was also the recipient of a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research award in March 09 ( All of this would have been impossible without the preparation and mentorship I received at RC, so I feel deeply indebted to its faculty and especially to Drs. Hadley, Breiter, Ward and Weaver. Recently this summer I had the opportunity to mentor a talented undergraduate chemistry student and, as a result of the positive experience, I'm seriously considering academia as a future career.

All my best to you and the faculty in the chemistry department.



RC in the news
You might have had a chance to catch the following in the news in the past week or so.
  • Prof. Fred Rezazadeh, economics, was quoted extensively in a Register Star story last Sunday on hopeful signs the economy is improving.
  • John McNamara, VP for College Advancement, was interviewed on July 22 for his reaction to Rep. Dave Winters bid to become lieutenant governor. McNamara served as Rockford mayor for several years and is often called on to offer his insights into local, state, and national politics. 
    RC grad Jeremy Hoyer, a CPA at RSM McGladrey, was featured in a Get to Know Me column in the Register Star.   

The Weekly tries to provide links to stories if and when they are posted on the Web.

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