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Weekly Update

Monday, August 10, 2009  
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Campus visit, customer service key to recruiting students

During the summer, members of the Executive Council or their designees are taking turns writing the President’s column. Today, we hear from Kyle Pucko, athletic recruiter for the college. 

Rockford College’s viewbook is sent to prospective students who request more information about the school.  Included in this book is a snapshot of Prof. Mehmet Dik tutoring a pair of students; a scene you could find in most college promotion pieces.  If a prospective student from Stephenson County requested a viewbook from every college and university in Illinois north of Interstate 80, by the end of the week there would be a stack of 85 viewbooks on the kitchen counter. Professor Dik, along with the Rockford students seeking extra help, would be lost somewhere between Trinity College of Nursing and Saint Xavier University.  The best way, and the only way a student can genuinely experience Rockford College is through the all-important campus visit.

As an employee of the college, driving into campus every day, parking in Lot A, and walking into the admission office has become somewhat of a routine.  I  forget the exact same drive, park, walk ritual is one that many wide-eyed prospective students make for the first time every day.  They meet Ella Stenberg for the first time ever, shake in their Nikes as they sit across the table from a college head coach, and sample the college’s dining hall menu as if they were writing a review for Food magazine. 

Most of the time the visit runs like a well oiled machine: student arrives, student asks questions, student tours and student eats lunch. Other times, your ability to play the hand that’s dealt to you is put to the test.  Meet Dan, a soccer recruit from Plainfield North High School, who schedules a visit for August 13:

2:45-Meet with Professor Dik (Starr Science)

3:30-Late lunch with Ben Shaw, men’s soccer coach (Lion’s Den)

Guests:  Mother and father (will need meal passes)

Fast forward to August 13:

11 a.m.: Central time zone, office phone rings: 

“Hey Kyle it’s Dan, I know I was supposed to be here at 2 o’clock but I found out I have to work tonight so I left earlier than originally planned.  I’m standing in parking Lot A but don’t know where to go from here.”

“Dan, not a problem, just walk up the hill to the big triangular looking building and I’ll meet you inside.”

“Okay sounds good, oh and my parents couldn’t make it, so I brought four of my friends with me.”

You can see how the morning schedule quickly changed once Dan showed up three hours early with four of his friends. While one admission counselor talks with Dan and his friends, behind the scenes some of the other admission counselors are putting together a new agenda coordinating meeting times and tours for the students.  Turning a student away or making them wait until we are ready is never an option.  Providing the best customer service will set us apart more than any viewbook picture could possibly illustrate.  There isn’t one member of the Rockford College community that doesn’t impact the campus visit experience.

So, if you have ever met with a prospective student, said hello to an athletic recruit, or picked up a piece of litter on the way into the office, thank you.

Kyle Pucko
Athletic Recruiter

Help bring rail service to Rockford

Join citizens and businesses from Rockford and the entire tri-state region on the growing list of supporters for the Northwest Illinois Rail Coalition on It doesn’t cost anything to sign on as a supporter. Your family, friends, or colleagues can sign the petition online or print it out as a copy to circulate around the neighborhood or gatherings. Petitions can be returned to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 308 W. State St. or via fax at 815-987-8122.

Matt Phillips is Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Matt Phillips, associate vice president of operations, for being named the Employee of the Month for July. Says Matt about his job: “Not one single day here has been like any other. My role allows for a constantly changing set of challenges and always drives me to learn new things.” Among the comments received supporting Matt’s nomination was this one from a fellow employee:  “Matt is an outstanding employee who consistently goes above and beyond to keep this campus running smoothly.” The Employee of the Month program is sponsored by the CARE Committee.

New faculty ready to go
We are pleased to welcome the following new faculty to the college:
  • John Burns, Modern & Classical Language – Spanish
  • William Gahan, English
  • Susan Smith, Education
  • Kimberlee Wagner, Education
  • Catherine Vandre, Biology

You’ll have a chance to meet these new faculty members, if you haven’t already done so, at the pre-college conference Aug.14.

Road work on campus this week
Road crews will be working on our campus roads this week. Currently, crews are working on the side road at Clark Arts Center and regular traffic will not be disturbed. As the day progresses they will be working on the road between Starr Science and the Refrigeration Plant. At this point, there are no plans to close the road to traffic, but please use caution and drive safely. Tomorrow, they will likely be closing the back road to campus as asphalt work begins on that stretch.

Help serve pancakes to students
Orientation preparations are in full swing for Fall Orientation 2009! The traditional Pancake Breakfast for First-Year Students is scheduled for Mon., Aug. 17 from 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.! If you would like to serve or assist in the dining room for this event, contact Donnette Tinsley director of student success and retention at 226- 4004. 

Bob Reaven helping to create mural for downtown
Bob Reaven, our new copy center coordinator has another new gig to keep him busy. He’s been hired by the city of Rockford, through their group supporting the arts downtown called the ELEMENT, to art direct and oversee the production of a mural to hang downtown. The purpose of this project is to provide a public art experience for local high school students, while adding artistic character and value to the downtown Rockford landscape. The mural’s design is based on a series of paintings he is currently working on. The mural’s official unveiling will take place this Thursday at 11 a.m. at the 5 Spa, 508 E. State St. Parking is available across the street in the City Hall lot.

Get to Know Me with Mavjuda Mahkamova
Name:     Mavjuda Mahkamova

Job title:  Research Analyst
Professional/educational background:
My undergraduate degree is in accounting from Tajik State University of Law Politics and Business. Just a year ago I received my Master of Business Administration degree in finance from Rockford College.
Prior to coming to the United States, I worked for two international non-profit organizations:
1. Microfinance program of ACDI/VOCA in Tajikistan, with a goal to deliver sustainable financial services to small and micro enterprises in Tajikistan and to set the standard for good microfinance practice.
2. Alternative to Conflict program of CHF International, designed to provide employment and economic opportunities for young people in northern Tajikistan.

I also have experience in teaching. I worked as an instructor of Introduction to Accounting and marketing courses at Russian New University ROSNOU (Tajikistan Branch), and as an instructor of a payroll accounting course at Rasmussen College here in Rockford. 

Interesting fact about me:
Besides English, I speak fluent Russian and Farsi (Tajiki). Currently, I am learning the Arabic language.  

The favorite thing about my job is…

….working on exciting and challenging projects. I am surrounded with intelligent, talented and dedicated people. It is very delightful to work in this environment. I am very happy to be part of the Rockford College family. 

I get pleasure from cooking and baking for my family and friends. I like to read psychology books. I enjoy learning about different cultures, religions and languages.

Where’s Robert this week?
Here are some interesting events and meetings on the calendar for President Head this week: 

  • 8/11 Hosting Jiangsu Polytecnic University representative on campus
  • 8/12 Speaking at Youth Build America of Rockford commencement ceremony
  • 8/14 State of the College presentation at Pre-College Conference
  • 8/15 President’s Opening Ceremony & Welcome to Rockford College as part of New Student Orientation

Behind the Myths at Discover Center
Mark your calendars and save the date, October 3, to see Grant Imahara and Kari Byron from the Discovery Channel hit show, MythBusters. The Discovery Center Auxiliary is bringing Imahara and Byron to Rockford for a fundraising event to benefit Discovery Center Museum.

It's a tough job separating truth from urban legend, but the MythBusters do just that. Each week the Mythbusters team takes on several myths and use modern-day science to show you what's real and what's fiction. Just like the great educators at Discovery Center, they do more than explain how something may or may not be scientifically possible. Through trial and error they actually demonstrate it!

Behind the Myths will be held at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. The dynamic duo will spend 90 minutes talking about their exploits on the show. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions. Tickets for the 90-minute interactive talk can be purchased online at

<> or through the Coronado Box Office at 815-968-0595. Ticket prices are $55, $40 and $20. Check Discovery Center’s Web site as additional details become available at

RC in the news
Did you happen to catch any of the following in the media last week?
  • John McNamara (VP-College Development) was interviewed by Channel 23 for his reaction to the confirmation of Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
  • RC alumna Rebecca Fetter is the newest contributor to Arts4All, a blog sponsored by the Rockford Area Arts Council. She has studied modern dance, jazz, and choreography for 17 years in the area.  See the blog at

The Weekly will provide links to stories when they are posted on the Web.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

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