Latest News: The Weekly E-Newsletter

Weekly Update

Monday, January 11, 2010  
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Moving forward with revised
mission, vision statements

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

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Welcome to 2010! I hope that you enjoyed the holidays and had ample opportunity to celebrate and rejoice with family and friends. Although we are experiencing a period of severe cold and ample snow, there is nothing like the excitement and energy that accompanies the beginning of a new semester.

Much of the current national news centers on efforts to explore and prioritize the major issues facing the United States; all a part of a dialog to determine what type of country we want to be. Roger Ferguson, CEO of TIAA-CREF, stated in a discussion with Council of Independent College presidents last week that he sees the national agenda focused on financial stability, healthcare and education. I truly hope that education is as prominent in the national agenda as Mr. Ferguson believes it to be.

One of the many things I did over break was to read a great deal of material that will help prepare me for our campus conversations on mission and vision. Much like the need to define what type of country we want to become, it is our turn to discuss what type of college we aspire to be. One of the more intriguing articles was a report on a longitudinal study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, which compared results of access and persistence from the past two decades. The interesting findings of the study included the following:

  • There has been no change in the persistence rates of high school students from the 1992 cohort to the 2004 cohort.
  • Rates of bachelor’s degree completion by all income levels continue to decrease with a more pronounced drop in the lower economic segments of our population.
  • As finances continue to be a challenge, tuition and financial aid will drive enrollment decisions for families.

The findings provide little new news for us. There is indeed a trend of fewer high school graduates seeking a traditional four-year college education, with more and more families selecting a two-year college experience to either reduce costs or hasten the time to careers.

Our discussions on mission and vision, particularly vision, will have these dynamics as a part of the environment that we must succeed in. And succeed we will! In thinking about my vision for Rockford College, I find myself identifying what it is that we do well and how we might leverage these strengths for greater appeal to the markets that we serve. As you prepare yourself for our future planning sessions, I ask that you consider the same questions. What are our strengths and how are they best translated for prospective students and families, given the current and future environment?

Have a great week!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Rockford College designated a top service learning school
Rockford College has been listed in The Guide to Service Learning Colleges & Universities, a publication that lists the top service learning colleges in the U.S.

Compiled by Student Horizons "Beyond the Books” program, the publication lists colleges that make extraordinary efforts to engage students in class activities that take them into the community to give them first-hand experience in their field of interest.

According to Student Horizons, the colleges it spotlights "offer gold-standard experiential learning opportunities and have made a commitment to make them accessible and vital to all students.”

The goal of Beyond the Books is to fill the need for comprehensive information for future and current college students to learn about the wealth of experiential learning opportunities available, discover opportunities that will enhance and define their educational experience, and find schools that offer the types of opportunities they are looking for.

For more information about Student Horizons and Beyond the Books, see

Jane Addams Fellows named at Rockford College     
Thirteen students have been named Jane Addams Fellows at Rockford College. As Jane Addams Fellows, students work eight hours per week on community engagement activities at the college’s Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement, and another two hours volunteering in the community. The group includes: Nicole Strautz, Mayra Yanez, Brittany Salvador, Amy Collinsworth, Alix Sauld, David Gray, Jen Eller, Jenna Warren, Jeni Swanson, Alsyssa Doering, Melissa Swaziek, Emily Blaha, and Ashley Dearth.  Congratulations, everyone!    

Employees of the Month for November, December named
A maintenance worker and IT staffer have been named the college’s employees of the month for November and December. Mike John, maintenance technician, is the honoree for November. A nominator says: "Mike works behind the scenes daily to ensure all of our students have working showers and sinks. He consistently steps out of his role to help in other areas as well to make sure the campus runs smoothly.”

Roslynn Roberts, an application supervisor in the IT department, is the top employee for December. Says one nominator: "Roslyn works tirelessly to ensure that our technology works correctly. With the recent upgrade, she spent days on and off campus…daytime, overnight, early morning, late evening…all to ensure the campus community would be connected and ready to perform their daily functions.”  

Congratulations, Mike and Roslynn!

Where’s Robert?
January 11 – January 17, 2010

January 11        Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary Video

January 16        Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast Keynote Speaker

January 16        Alumni Association Board Meeting

New assistant director named for BSMS program
The new assistant director of the BSMS program is Donna Harvey. Donna is located in the BSMS office on second floor Burpee. We’ll tell you more about Donna in a future issue. 

RC art prof exhibits in out of town venue
Dave Menard, assistant professor of art, recently presented a solo art exhibit of 10 drawings in the Spencer Gallery at the University of Arkansas, Monticello. The work was a series entitled "Bread and Circuses,” revolving around the myth of the American suburban dream.

Students elected to student government posts
Four students at Rockford College have been elected to leadership positions in the college’s Student Government. They include Khetsiwe Dlamini, president; Alyssa Doering, vice president; Karla Gale, secretary; and Amber Joyes, treasurer. The organization advances ideas to enhance the learning and social environment for Rockford College students. 

RC psych profs conduct research on nurse burnout
Dr. Belinda Wholeben, psychology, presented research on nurse burnout recently to hospital administrators from the Chicago area at a meeting in Oak Brook. The report, entitled "Burnout and Deferred Empathy among Critical Care Nurses: A Multi-Site Study,” was conducted in four Chicago area hospitals. The study showed how hospitals could benefit by understanding the relationship between nurse burnout and deferred empathy.  Prof. Christine Bruun, psychology department chair, also collaborated on the study.

Haugen-Cooper named to magazine advisory board
Kelly Haugen-Cooper, director of career services, has been named to the advisory board for Rockford Woman magazine, joining seven other women for a one-year term. The group helps to shape the magazine through their observations and suggestions.  

Speakers to touch on censorship, democracy in talks at RC  
Rockford College hosts two speakers this month who will cover the gamut from censorship in the media to our belief in Democracy.

  • Peter Phillips, professor and department chair of sociology at Sonoma State University, will speak January 25, 7 p.m. in the Maddox Theatre on the topic "Media Democracy in a Time of Truth Emergency.”  Phillips is director of Project Censored, a watchdog group that monitors censorship in the media. The group has published nine editions of "Censored: Media Democracy in Action,” and has also written the Project Censored Guide to Independent Media and Activism” as well as "Censored 2009,” a compilation of censored stories from the previous year. 
  • On January 28, Alan Ryan, warden of the New College at the University of Oxford will pose the question: "Do We Really Believe in Democracy?” in a talk at 7 p.m., also in the Maddox Theatre.  Ryan has taught philosophy and politics at universities around the world. His books include "The Philosophy of John Stewart Mill” and "The Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Property and Political Theory.” A fellow of the British Academy, he is a long-time contributor to The New York Review of Books and to magazines and newspapers in Britain, in particular Times Higher Education, where he writes a monthly column.

Both talks are free, though a ticket is required. For more information, call the Rockford College box office, phone 815-226-4100. The speakers are part of the college’s Forum Series. To see the full line-up, go to

Princeton Review seeks student feedback
Have you always wanted to be a leading voice within your academic community?  Here’s your opportunity.

The Princeton Review invites you to speak out about daily academic and social life at your school by being a part of this year’s student survey.  Spread your insights on what life on your campus is all about: favorite classes, extracurricular activities, sports and clubs, school traditions, professor/student interaction, residence life, food…you get the picture.

The survey is online and takes only a few minutes to fill out.  All undergraduates who complete it will be entered to win the "$5,000 for Your Thoughts" Sweepstakes!  To complete the survey and enter the sweepstakes, please use your school-issued e-mail address to log into their site at:

SAS hours extended this week
Just a reminder that Student Administrative Services will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. until Thursday this week. Friday hours are 8:30 – 5 p.m.    

Preparing for the GMAT
Classes to help you prepare to take the GMAT will be held Mondays, January 25 – February 22 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Those enrolled need to purchase the book, Cracking the GMAT – 2008 Edition published by the Princeton Review. Fee for the class is $50 for RC students. For more, call the Rockford College Learning Center, phone 815-226-4087.

MUSE now available at Colman
Colman Library reports that they are now offering access to Project MUSE. MUSE provides online access to a library of over 400 high-quality journals from the humanities and social sciences; the library’s subscription provides full-text access to about 200 of these titles. The link to MUSE may be found on the library Web site at Click the link "Databases by subject area” – MUSE is listed under General Topics. (Off-campus access is being worked on and may not be available yet.)

JACCE coordinator to appear on telethon
Lindsay Kent, coordinator of the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement, will be interviewed live during the Salvation Army telethon tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:45 p.m. on Channel 17.  JACCE works closely with the organization during the year on special projects and volunteer efforts. The telethon runs from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.  

Out and about
Periodically, we’ll tell you about upcoming events in the community which may be of interest to the Rockford College community and their families.

  • Fri., Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m..: Harmonica Jam sponsored by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Held at Cliffbreakers. Call 815-965-0049.
  • Sat., Jan. 16, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Rockford Dance Co. performance of "Peter and the Wolf” at Sullivan Theatre (former New American Theatre). Call 815-963-3341.

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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