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Weekly Update

Tuesday, January 19, 2010  
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MLK Day has significant meaning for all of us
A message from Robert L. Head, Ph.D., President

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Welcome back from a long weekend, one in which we recognized the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker on Saturday at a community celebration recognizing Dr. King’s commitment to education. The event was sponsored by an external organization, was held in Regents Hall, and had nearly 200 guests in attendance. Mayor Larry Morrissey, a dozen ministers from all faiths and students from various institutions were present. One of the guests at my table included the newly elected president of our Student Government Association, Khetsiwe Dlamini. As I stood before the audience, it was clear to me that the legacy of Dr. King includes his commitments to youth, education and service. It was also clear that his contributions to our free and diverse society are immeasurable.

On another subject, I want to introduce to you Jim Sagona, our newly appointed Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management. Jim has over 35 years of experience in enrollment management and student affairs, all with institutions within private higher education. Both Ohio Dominican University and Neumann College enjoyed success with Jim’s leadership. He previously served in an interim capacity for me at a prior institution. I look forward to having him on board and ready to share his knowledge, experience and deep commitment.

Jim will serve until such time as we have a permanent Vice President. The search firm of R. H. Perry has been hired to assist in the search process and I anticipate having the position filled by June.

I asked Jim to share his thoughts regarding joining our community. What follows is just a hint of the passion and vision that Jim perpetually espouses.

"The world needs activists – always has and always will!  People who are willing to ‘step out’ of the ordinary and change the status quo are a part of every generation.  These are people who resist the pressure to be ordinary and just to fit in.  Activists challenge us to think differently - engaging our knowledge in history, the arts, and sciences in seeking and testing contemporary solutions for today’s challenges.  It’s easy to join in – it’s not so easy to stand out!  But standing out is just what Rockford College is about.  Being ordinary is not acceptable.  Being EXTRAORDINARY is the opportunity!

"I am very pleased to be joining the leadership of Rockford College even if only for a little while.  I have devoted my professional career of almost 40 years to small colleges like Rockford whose mission and character define them as places where extraordinary people learn to change our world. I am convinced that small colleges with a special mission like Rockford succeed in graduating remarkable people who change our world. The legacy of our alumni is proof of Rockford’s success and the prospect of teaching our new students to ‘step out’ is our hope for the future.

"I’m counting on the help of every community member to be engaged with pride in the recruitment and retention of EXTRAORDINARY students as we look to Rockford’s future.  Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.  I’m looking forward with excitement to meeting you in the coming weeks.”

Have a great week!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.
President


Story on RC Haitian student pays off
We thank Channel 23 for the fine story last Thursday on our Haitian student, Junior Exantus, who expressed a desire on camera to return to Haiti to check on his family after the devastating earthquake there. The next day, the college received a call from a local businessman (who wishes to remain anonymous) stating that he wanted to pay for Junior’s airfare to Haiti. The important point is not only the community’s generosity, but the fact that Channel 23 made it all happen.

Incidentally, Junior is seeking donations to repair and support an orphanage in Haiti where he worked before coming to the U.S. For more information, see www.threeangelshaiti.org.


Regional human service agencies to launch campaign at RC this week
Northern Illinois area nonprofit organizations are meeting on campus Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. as part of a new regional and statewide campaign to raise awareness that Illinois’ structure for providing high priority human services -- and the community jobs that deliver those services -- has been compromised by the current state budget crisis.

The campaign, organized by Illinois Partners for Human Service, the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence and the newly formed Human Services Advocacy Collaborative of Northern Illinois, comes at a time when nonprofit organizations – the primary providers of human services in Illinois -- are being forced to seek loans to keep their doors open because state payments for services run anywhere from six to 18 months late. Moreover, providers are under increasing pressure to provide the same level of service with fewer funds. And the state’s budget gap continues to widen.

Pam Clark-Reidenbach is the director of NICNE and is also involved in Illinois Partners. 


Counselors sought for After School Camp
An After School Camp (ASC) at Beyer Elementary School coordinated by student Megan McLaughlin is looking for counselors for the spring semester. Come and make a difference in the Rockford community by participating in this important camp. After School Camp meets Monday and Wednesday of the last week each month. Join camp organizers at Beyer on January 25 or 27 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. to see what ASC is all about. Training provides an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the program and your fellow counselors. Always free pizza, connections, and fun. Beyer Elementary is located at 333 15th Ave., Rockford.


Welcome to ‘Trayless Tuesdays’
As you may have heard, RC’s campus dining service is now going "trayless” in the dining room on Tuesdays. "Trayless Tuesdays” is based on the idea that people will take less (and leave fewer leftovers) if they have to carry the items instead of using a tray. Colin Mossop, general manager of the food service, says the goal is to make our carbon footprint smaller. Less water will be used to clean the tray (about one quarter gallon per tray). There will also be less food waste and less chemicals mixed into the wastewater.


H1N1 flu vaccine is free at Lang Center
Lang Health Center now has the H1N1 flu vaccine available at no cost to all students, staff and faculty members. Please stop by the Health Center at your convenience if you would like to get the vaccine. Lang Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Congratulations, Coach Zeman
Our heartiest congratulations and best wishes go out to Chad Zeman, the new Regents track and cross country coach. Most recently, Zeman was a graduate assistant for the two sports.


More on MLK Day
Students and staff from the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JACCE) honored the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day by performing community service work. They volunteered at the Goodwill store, the n-Factor, and the Rockford Rescue Mission. The effort was part of a nationwide "Day of Service” sponsored by the Corporation for National & Community Service.  


Athletic advisory committee repeats drive for soldiers overseas
The Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) will once again conduct a service project on behalf of our troops overseas. Last year it sent more than 25 packages to service men and women. Most were Rockford College alumni or family of current Rockford College staff and students. This year they hope to do the same. 

Over the next few months you will be seeing boxes and jugs around campus. The boxes will be used to collect items that you would like to donate (candy, magazines, games, cards, toiletries, etc.). The jugs will be there to collect spare change. Each package costs a good amount to send so SAAC needs to raise some money to be able to send these packages. If you have any service men or women who you would like the group to send packages to, please e-mail those addresses to Tim Patrick, SAACE advisor. The group will be collecting names and addresses over the last few weeks of March.


Speakers to touch on censorship, democracy in talks at RC
Rockford College hosts two speakers next week 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 www.rockford.edu/?page=ForumSeries.


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: http://survey.review.com/.


Call for photos of the day
Remember to send in a photo of the day for the college’s Web site. It will be posted on either www.rockford.edu or Facebook. Submit your photos to www.rockford.edu/?PhotoOfTheDay.


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.

  • Sat., January 23, 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. Civil War Symposium, part of the Winter Lecture Series at Midway Village Museum. Call 815-397-9112 for more.
  • Sat., January 23 – April 25, Rockford Biennial showcase at the Rockford Art Museum. Includes works by Robin McCauley, daughter of retired RC art professor Bob McCauley. For more, call 815-968-2787.  


RC in the news
  • Prof. Fred Rezazadeh (business and economics) was heavily quoted in the Rockford Register Star Sunday giving some context on manufacturing job losses and how the recession has affected young people.  RC students Francois O’Leary and Josh Papke were also quoted on their views of the economy and the hardships they’ve faced.  Click here for the complete story.
  • Student Junior Exantus from Haiti was featured in stories on Channels 23 and 17 and in a story in the RRS about the Haitian earthquake. He related his concerns about his family and the orphanage where he once worked.  Click here for the complete story.

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