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Weekly Update

Monday, September 14, 2009  
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RC’s relationship with Kobe College in Japan expanded

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

On Saturday, September 12, a group of educators met in Chicago to discuss several issues in higher education. I participated in a panel discussion on “Educating in the Digital Age: The Impact on Liberal Arts Institutions.” Joining me on the panel were seven other educators from a variety of institutions, one being Dr. Kazuko Matsuzawa, the chancellor of Kobe College.

We are all familiar with Kobe College, a sister college since the early 1900’s. Kobe College and Rockford College are connected through Kobe’s founding. In 1873, two missionaries, Julia Dudley (a Rockford College graduate) and Eliza Talcott (a Rockford native), founded a Christian school for girls in Japan. The school later became Kobe College. Kobe continues to operate as a liberal arts college for women.

This was the second time that I had the opportunity of meeting with Dr. Matsuzawa. She is an extraordinary individual, who is not only the leader of Kobe, but also a staunch guardian and supporter of the legacy shared by our two institutions. During the conference, Dr. Matsuzawa announced that she would be retiring on March 31, 2010. She has been connected to Kobe for more than 50 years as a student, a teacher (cultural anthropology), an administrator, and for the past eight years, as chancellor. On April 1, Dr. Mori will become Kobe’s new chancellor.

Dr. Matsuzawa is passionate about her work in connecting Japan and the United States through education. She tells the story of her love of America being ignited at an early age. As a young girl, she owned a doll – one that had blue eyes and blond hair and had been shipped to her as a token of friendship from the United States. Shortly thereafter, her father became concerned about the doll being in their home, as it was during World War II and America and Japan were at war. While her father wanted the doll destroyed or hidden, Dr. Matsuzawa fought to retain the doll as a symbol of friendship, and she was successful.

Through the years, Dr. Matsuzawa through Kobe College and Kobe College Corporation has provided opportunities for Japanese students to study in America, with many choosing Rockford College. She has also facilitated faculty exchanges, bringing many language instructors to several American high schools and colleges to advance the teaching of Japanese language and culture. During our first meeting, Dr. Matsuzawa and I discussed a modification in the long-standing agreement between our two institutions. That agreement has been completed and in addition to the traditional opportunity for Kobe students to study at Rockford, it now allows Rockford College students to study in Japan.

I congratulate Dr. Matsuzawa on an outstanding career and for her many accomplishments.

Have a great week!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D., President

Helpers with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
About a half-dozen Rockford College alums, students and staff are on the crew of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show as they work on a new home for a family In Lena.  Our folks are pretty accustomed to this having built over a dozen homes for Habitat for Humanity over the years. The group includes alumni Patrick Young, Matt Adams, Angie Past, and Erin Kenney Glovinsky (along with her father) student Amy Collinsworth, and maintenance employee Craig Houghton and his wife. Are we missing anyone? Let us know and we’ll include them next time!

Prof. Matt Flamm attends conference in Poland
Matt Flamm, philosophy, was one of a group of scholars invited for the fifth annual "American and European Values" conference at Opole University in Opole, Poland (a 3 hour train ride from Krakow) in June. The conference is archived here:

Flamm’s installment of the conference series was titled "John Dewey at 150: Art, Culture, Society."  Conference co-organizer Chris Skowronski, Flamm, and renowned Dewey scholar Larry Hickman are currently editing a selection of essays from the conference to be published by Rodopi Press (2010).

Title of Flamm’s presentation and contribution to the pending volume is "Pragmatic Moralism and the Politicization of Philosophy."  It is an examination of George Santayana's criticism of the philosophy of John Dewey.

Flamm and Professor Skowronski have also co-edited two previous volumes of essays together, one on George Santayana and the other on *American and European Values*, each published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.  (Amazon links here: and here:

Scholarly work aside, Prof. Flamm is also gaining accolades around campus. He has been named Employee of the Month for August for his work as assistant professor of philosophy and arts and humanities division chair. An avid musician, he also coordinates the college’s Open Mic held every Thursday night in the Lion’s Den. The Employee of the Month program is sponsored by the college’s CARE committee.  

Scholarship Day is Sept. 22; more than 80 recipients to be recognized
The college’s third annual Scholarship Day is slated for September 22, 4 p.m. in the Maddox Theatre. This event will recognize more than 60 scholarships and their 80+ recipients. All of the scholarships to be presented are either scholarships for which there is a working relationship with the donor(s) or sponsoring organizations, or are named-scholarships important to the legacy and history of Rockford College. Many of the donors or organization representatives will be on hand to present the scholarships. A post-event reception will immediately follow the ceremony in the lobby of Clark Arts. Everyone is invited to attend.

Hadley to talk on CO2 emissions legislation
Prof. Fred Hadley, chemistry, will be heading down to Rochelle on September 17 to speak to the League of Women Voters on “cap and trade” legislation for CO2 emissions.  The legislation, called the Waxman-Markey bill, is working its way through Congress. A representative from industry will present that side of the issue. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the VIA room behind the First National Bank drive thru located on Hwy 38 one block east of Hwy 251.

Bachelor’s in nursing one option for students in online program
Rockford College is among several colleges serving as a completion program for students enrolled in the Northern Illinois Online Initiative for Nursing program. The initiative involves a combination of online nursing theory courses and clincial experiences in a campus lab or hospital setting. Students who complete the program receive an associate of applied science degree. Rockford College is an option for those students wanting to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing once they have completed the program.    

Acting classes slated by Artists’ Ensemble
Artists' Ensemble Theater, which is based at the college, announces several classes in the month of October. The AE Academy, as it’s called, offers classes for age 10 and up in performance taught by working professionals in a safe and supportive environment. Classes include:
  • Getting Out of Your Own Way - Adult Acting (ages 18 and up). Teacher: Stephen F. Vrtol. 4 sessions: 10 a.m.– noon Saturdays: October 3, 17, 24, 31 in Maddox Theatre. Cost: $70
  • Fighting the Good Fight - Stage Combat (ages 16 and up). Teacher: Richard Raether. 4 sessions: 1–2:30 p.m. Saturdays: October 3, 10, 17, 24 in Maddox Theatre. Cost: $70
  • Ready, Set, Act! - Youth Acting (ages 10–13). Teacher: Erin Spears. 4 sessions: 2:45–4:15 p.m. Saturdays: October 3, 10, 17, 24 in Maddox. Theatre. Cost: $60
  • Playing the Action - Teen Acting (ages 14–18). Teacher: Richard Raether. 2 sessions only: 2:45–4:15 p.m. Saturdays: October 17 & 24 in the Dance Studio at Rockford College. Cost: $30 
For more information or to get a registration form, go to the AE Web site: or call their box office at 815-594-5004.

Where’s Robert?

Each week, we give you a glimpse of Dr. Head’s schedule for the week. Here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • Sept. 14: NICNE 5 year celebration and welcome to the speaker from the Drucker Institute
  • Sept. 14: Meeting with the Higher Education Alliance of the Rock River Region (HEARRR) at Rock Valley College
  • Sept. 16: Quarterly meeting of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council 
  • Sept. 17: Hosting breakfast with area legislators     

Singers selected for this year’s Vocal Collective
Congratulations to this year’s Vocal Collective, a select group of singers that performs on campus and at other venues. The group includes:

Soprano                       Alto                              Bass                             Tenor
Jillian Christenson    Hannah Church        Mike Bloom                  Brian Duncan
Katy Jenkins                Marjorie Daly             Matt Casey                   David Jacobs    
Reesa Morala             Mackenzie Graham  Michael Palmenderi   Ramaad Morris
Cayla Solsberg           Cassie Henwood     Andrew Pollock           Mark Westphal
Carissa Wilson           Sarah Hillis               Daniel Switzer
                                       Mariah Thornton

Also, the Regent Players will be hosting a huge Garage Sale on campus in a couple of weeks. Watch for details. 

Two speakers this week on campus
Don’t forget the two prestigious speakers appearing at the college this week:
  • Timothy Sandefur, a senior staff attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation will kick off a new season of speakers sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship at Rockford College on September 16, 6 p.m. in Scarborough 220. Sandefur’s topic is “Market Entrepreneurs and Political Entrepreneurs: Some Legal and Constitutional Issues.”
  • Gary D. Glenn, an expert on constitutional issues, will present a talk coinciding with Constitution Day at Rockford College on September 17 at noon in the college’s Maddox Theatre. Glenn, whose talk is entitled, “Does the Constitution Still Matter? And, if so, how?" is an emeritus professor at Northern Illinois university. 

Help RC soccer team; buy a jersey t-shirt
The college’s soccer program is selling jersey t-shirts with proceeds going toward the program. You can buy these shirts directly online until September 18 by going to

Music academy faculty to give recital
Make plans now to attend a free recital featuring two faculty members from the Music Academy of Rockford College, Stephanie Pedretti, flute, and Sarah LeFleur, piano. The recital, entitled “An Afternoon in Vienna” takes place Sunday, September 20 at 3 p.m. in the Fisher Chapel on campus. Hear music by favorite Viennese composers including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and Strauss. It’ll be a delight to your ears!  

Walk for a good cause
Last year many students and sports groups participated in Rockford's annual Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk. This year they are trying to raise even more money, and it is hoped the Rockford College community will play a vital role by participating again this year. The walk is Saturday, October 17 at Martin Park in Loves Park. It’s a quick 4-mile walk with an optional Pink Champagne Brunch afterward.

The money raised goes to help woman and their families who need assistance after being diagnosed with breast cancer; it goes for further research of treatment, and many other types of assistance for those who cannot afford check ups or treatment.

If you are interested in signing up a team or in volunteering on that day, contact Jaclyn Carlson via e-mail at; stop by the mail desk in Burpee where there are registration forms; or go online at and click on Rockford. Carlson will be setting up a team online so if you would like to join her team you may also contact her. Is anyone else taking part in the event? Let us know!

RC portal is there for you…so why not use it?
Here’s a reminder about the RC portal, This powerful tool offers the college community the chance to post items for sale, lost items, sign-up for RC Alert and much more. Check it out today. And ask yourself when you are thinking of sending a message to the entire campus community: “Couldn’t this be better handled in”

RC in the news
  • A “Get to Know Me” column in the Rockford Register Star last week featured Sandra Welte, 66, who among other things, is a violin student at the Music Academy of Rockford College.  Just goes to show that you’re never too old too learn to play an instrument.

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

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Student Music Recital

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