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Weekly Update

Monday, August 24, 2009  
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Special recognition for members of our community

 A message from Robert L. Head, Ph.D., President

Our first week of the academic year proved to be a great time for external validation of the importance and vitality of Rockford College. Two announcements were released and it is my pleasure to share them with the entire community.

We learned early in the week that three of our colleagues secured an agreement for the publication of a book that significantly honors women and the legacy of Rockford College. Chris Bruun, Catherine Forslund and Mary Weaks-Baxter have completed their work, We Are a College at War: World War II, 20th Century Feminism, and the Jane Addams Legacy. The book will be published by Southern Illinois University Press with an expected release in fall 2010.

According to Dr. Weaks-Baxter, “The book argues that a women’s movement based on the political concept of care and rooted in Rockford alumna Jane Addams’ legacy persisted through the war period and beyond. While highlighting voices from the Rockford College community, the book weaves together letters, speeches, newspaper stories and ads, personal recollections, and photographs with national historical context and analysis to show more generally the ways in which young American women and college students were involved in the war effort.”

We look forward to the availability of this book, which not only highlights the historic legacy of Rockford College, but continues the legacy through the good work of Drs. Bruun, Forslund and Weaks-Baxter. Congratulations to each of you!

On Thursday, Senator Dick Durbin announced the appointment of John McNamara to a national committee. John is one of eleven citizens appointed by Congress to serve four-year terms as members of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. The committee was created in 1986 “to be an independent and bipartisan source of advice and counsel on student financial aid policy to both Congress and the Secretary of Education.”

In his announcement, Senator Durbin stated, “John’s long history of public service and current position as a college administrator makes him an important voice in efforts to make college affordable for all students. As the father of six children who attended college, John understands the importance of higher education and the financial burden many families take on to provide a world class education for their families. John is a fantastic addition to the Committee and I look forward to working with him to make college education more affordable.” Congratulations to you, John!

Have a great week!

Convocation has long history
The President’s Opening Convocation on Friday marked the formal opening of the academic year with a traditional faculty recession in full regalia and remarks by President Robert L. Head. More than 500 students, staff, and community members attended. The convocation has been held for many years, so it’s a tradition that is truly enduring. 

Students take ‘The Plunge’ this past Saturday
About 150 students participated in “The Plunge” Saturday, a day traditionally set aside for first-year students to delve into the community to work on community service projects. The students worked at eight locations including Aldeen Park, Burpee Museum, Discovery Center Museum, Zion Development, Tinker Swiss Cottage, YWCA, Rockford Rescue Mission, and Midway Village. Students enjoyed a Rockford Riverhawks baseball game later in the day.  

RC’s McNamara named to federal panel on financial aid
John McNamara, the college’s vice president for college development, has been named to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, according to an announcement from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). The committee is an independent and bipartisan source of advice and counsel on student financial aid policy for both Congress and the U.S. Secretary of Education.

McNamara served as the mayor of Rockford from 1981 --1989, when he joined William Charles Investments, Ltd.  He has worked part time in various roles at Rockford College, assuming his current position in 2006. 

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance works to ensure that higher education is affordable for all students. As a member of the committee, McNamara will help develop policy recommendations and independent analyses on all aspects of student assistance programs.

The advisory committee is composed of 11 members appointed by members of Congress and the Secretary of Education for a single term of four years. Committee members come from across the nation and include financial aid officers, students, college presidents and administrators, officers of guaranty agencies, and leaders of national educational associations.

RC will house Americorps/VISTA members
Goodwill Northern Illinois is proud to announce a partnership with Rockford College that will help bring fresh and innovative programs to Rockford and the Northern Illinois area. Goodwill has hired three AmeriCorps VISTA members who will research and develop programs needed in our community with the goal of fighting poverty. Rockford College has generously agreed to house the AmeriCorps members in their campus housing. This support will allow the VISTAs to live and work in an engaging and vibrant atmosphere while they work in our community.

New feature on Web site for prospective students
Rockford College is on the leading edge when it comes to connecting to prospective students on the Internet. RC’s online chat button on the college Web site (www.rockford,edu) lets people chat live with an admission counselor during normal business hours. The idea is the brainchild of RC Marketing Director Cassie Swanson.

Athletics is making a difference on campus and off
Did you know that the athletics department has 38 staff members or that their responsibilities are wide-ranging? This is just some of what was learned about the department during a recent presentation at the RC staff meeting last week. Department members consider themselves: educators, mentors, counselors, coaches, recruiters, budget managers, leaders, colleagues, and organizers. They say they do what they do to strengthen and grow the college, help student-athletes develop, and because they love what they do!  There are a total of 197 students-athletes or 26 percent of all full-time equivalent students. They represent 19 majors and 40 percent earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. Congratulations to the athletics department and our student-athletes! 

NICNE to host former LA Times editor, Drucker Institute head
The Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE) housed at Rockford College is hosting Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute on September 14, 11:45 a.m. at Giovanni’s Restaurant in Rockford. Wartzman is the former business editor of the Los Angeles Times and the driving force behind “The Wal-Mart Effect” which won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2004. As head of the Drucker Institute, Wartzman spearheads a think tank that promotes effective management and ethical leadership across all sectors of society using the principles of Peter F. Drucker, considered the father of modern management. Cost for the event, which marks NICNE’s 5th year, is $50. Call NICNE for more, phone 815-394-4384.  

RC math profs co-host conference in Turkey
Our faculty’s expertise is truly international in scope. Math professors Filiz and Mehmet Dik co-hosted an international math conference August 4 -12 in Istanbul, Turkey. Mehmet was one of the organizing committee members, and both he and Filiz were members of the Scientific Committee of the conference. The event was a collaboration between the math departments at RC and Maltepe University. Faculty from both institutions are now working on a book which will include selected and refereed papers presented at the conference. The book will be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in Great Britain.

Student expresses deep emotions through canvas
Art student Kristy Luck already has a head start doing what she’s good at – painting. 

The RC student is an accomplished artist who has an art show through September 30 at A Movable Feast in Rockford’s Edgebrook Center. Her work reflects what she calls “narrative scenes with heavy dramatic undertones” as depicted in faces and figures.

“I choose imagery that portrays an emotion that has some role in my life but is not necessarily autobiographical,” she says.

Luck, who says she always listens to music when she paints, uses mostly acrylics, because it’s a “forgiving” medium and its fast-drying quality suits her impatient nature.  She gets her inspiration from artists like Shirin Nashat, Mark Tansey, Jenny Saville, and most recently, Fairfield Porter. She also turns to photography for ideas on the use of color, lighting, and shadows.

In some respects, Luck considers herself an editor. “I am quick to scrap a painting if it isn't going anywhere. I've worked on pieces for more than a month and then decided it wasn't working and primed over it. I just think it’s important not to keep a bad painting simply because you've invested time and supplies.”

After graduating from Rockford College, Luck plans to pursue a graduate degree in painting at Rhode Island School of Design, and hopes to teach after that.

Get to Know Me: Alicia Hurkman 

Name: Alicia Hurkman

Job title: Residence Hall Director, Cummings Complex

I moved to Rockford from Andover, Minn. which is about 35 minutes north of Minneapolis. My mom (Cindy), dad (Ted), and brother (Chad) still reside in Andover and are some of the most important people in my life.

Professional/educational background:
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May 2009 with a degree in marketing communications and a minor in business administration. At UW-River Falls I was a resident assistant for two years and the student manager for Building Tomorrow, a non-profit organization.

Interesting fact about me:
During my four years at UW-River Falls, I spent 3 ½ months studying in Europe with a program called the International Traveling Classroom. I also spent three weeks in Kampala, Uganda with the non-profit, Building Tomorrow doing service work.

The favorite thing about my job is…
The favorite thing about my job is that I get to interact with students on a daily basis. I really enjoyed my college experience and want to help students at Rockford College grow and develop as individuals, as well as student leaders.

I love to dance, scrapbook, travel, spend time with my family and friends, watch hockey, take pictures, read, go to the zoo, play softball and volleyball, go to concerts, and be outdoors.

Volunteer experience can provide hidden opportunities
Here are some ideas for turning your volunteer opportunities into something more. First, use the volunteer experience as an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and perhaps develop an expertise that you haven’t been able to tap in previous experiences. This will help to build your portfolio and show your depth of skills and outgoing attitude. Volunteering can be as valuable as an internship and provide a bridge between work experiences.

You often hear about the importance of networking and what better time to network than volunteering to expand on your contacts. Getting out and meeting new friends from different walks of life can help you make new connections or a new friend.

As a volunteer, you’ll find yourself gaining a new perspective on life and seeing the good in people around you. Many volunteers will tell you that they get the most reward by the positive reinforcement they receive from “giving back.”

As an added benefit, volunteering can also provide a new direction for people who want to advance in their career. You may enrich your life by developing a new facet of it through volunteering and the new people and experiences that you encounter. 

Take in Artists’ Ensemble…it’s right on campus! 
Rockford College is fortunate to have a resident theatre company right in its own backyard with Artists’ Ensemble Theater, which performs in the Maddox Theatre.

The troupe opens its 2009-2010 season on September 11 with the world premiere of the new play, Jeeves in Bloom, written by Margaret Raether and based on the delightful characters created by English humorist, P.G. Wodehouse.

Jeeves in Bloom runs September 11–20 in the Maddox Theatre. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Thursday tickets are $18. All other shows are $26, $24 for seniors, and $10 for students. There is also a 5@5 student rush ticket program where full-time students may purchase any unsold tickets 5 minutes before curtain for just $5. Tickets may be purchased online at or call 815-394-5004.

Catch the world premiere of Jeeves in Bloom at AE before it makes its Chicago debut in January of 2010 at First Folio Theatre.

Intramurals is for everyone
Along with the start of classes also begins the fall 2009 intramural season. A calendar of events can be found on the intramural bulletin board located in Burpee near the dining center or in the glass case located outside the fitness room in Seaver gym. You can also access the intramural calendar on the Rockford College Web site. Just click on to get all the dates, times, and rules of the events going on this fall. 

To kick off the year there is a faculty/staff vs. students 16" softball game on Thursday, August 27 at 5:30 p.m. on the softball field located behind Seaver gym. Team sign-ups are currently underway. You do not need a glove to participate as 16" softball does not use one. If you’re interested in playing, e-mail Cory Miller, intramural coordinator at Deadline for entries is Wednesday, August 26 at 5 p.m.  

Where’s Robert?
Each week, we give you a glimpse of President Head’s schedule. Here’s what’s on tap for this week.

8/24    Rockford Public School District 205 Convocation

8/26      Hosting a delegation from Kobe College

8/27      Board of Trustees Finance Committee meeting

8/28      Hosting a delegation from Regent’s College

Sing out loud; join RC choirs
If you’re looking for a challenging and fun musical experience and one or more credit hours, consider joining one of the college’s choirs. See Prof. Timm Adams in the Clark Arts Center. 

RC in the news
Did you happen to catch the following in the news this past week?

  • Coverage of the first day of fall semester on Channel 13.
  • Photos of the President’s Opening Convocation in the Rockford Register Star.
  • Coverage from various media of “The Plunge” this past Saturday.  
  • Pam Clark-Reidenbach, director of NICNE, was the author of a column in the Register Star last week about the value of nonprofit organizations to the community.

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

Community Search
Calendar of Events

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FORUM: Babes In Arms

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

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