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Weekly Update

Monday, February 15, 2010  
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Avoiding cynicism leads to positive impacts
A message from President Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Have you ever uttered, or at least thought to yourself, the old cynical phrase "I’m from the government and I’m here to help”? It became even more popular following President Reagan’s statement in 1986 that the phrase represented "the nine most terrifying words in the English language.” (D’Souza, Dinesh. 1997. Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader. p. 53). While I try not to be cynical, I have – once or twice – thought of this phrase as I worked through my income tax returns. This was one of my tasks over the past weekend. Trying to understand the purpose and rationale behind the annual tax law changes, particularly at the federal level, can bring anyone to the point of thorough frustration.

Tax preparation aside, I actively avoid allowing cynicism to negatively impact my life’s journey. Two people that I have met since moving to Rockford have supported this conclusion. Congressman Don Manzullo and Senator Dick Durbin have been active and committed supporters of Rockford College. John McNamara has been instrumental in working with our two representatives and securing significant commitments for federal earmarks. In fact, Congressman Manzullo and Senator Durbin have joined forces to support earmarks totaling $745,000 over the past three years. These funds have been used to upgrade our technology, classrooms and science equipment.

Senator Durbin was the driving force behind Rockford College’s participation in a U.S. Library of Congress (LOC) grant. As you will recall, this grant provides funding to help current and future educators learn to use the LOC’s collection of online primary sources to enrich classroom instruction. Congressman Manzullo brought attention and recognition to Rockford College by securing Christopher Hill, former U.S. Ambassador to Korea, and now the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq as a campus speaker. He has also hosted two Model Congress events at Rockford College for high school students within the 16th Congressional District.

I strongly believe that Rockford College is a major community asset. Having both Congressman Manzullo and Senator Durbin share this belief and actively seek to enhance our institution, is to our great benefit. In fact, I recently received a request from Congressman Manzullo’s office for a meeting, which was held last week. During the meeting, also attended by John McNamara and Stephanie Quinn, Congressman Manzullo shared a desire to assist Rockford College once again. He is in the process of securing three U.S. Ambassadors – Japan, Thailand and Jordan - for a panel discussion to be held on our campus. The tentative date for the event is April 19th. This will be a great opportunity for our entire community, particularly our students, to engage world leaders. More will follow on this exciting development as details are finalized.

Have a great day!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Hendry named new division chair
Prof. Jeff Hendry, performing arts, has been named the new chair of the division of arts and humanities, it was recently announced. He will maintain his teaching duties as well. Hendry succeeds Prof. Matt Flamm, philosophy, who held the position for three years. Our congratulations to Prof. Hendry on this appointment.

Ambassadors to visit RC in April
Through the efforts of Congressman Don Manzullo, Rockford College will host ambassadors from Jordan, Japan, and Thailand in mid-April. More information on this visit from the three ambassadors will be forthcoming. Clearly, this will be significant event for the college.

HLC document is a model
At recent staff and faculty meetings, Dr. Head reported that the college’s self-study report required as part of reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, was considered a model by the commission and will be displayed at the agency’s upcoming annual meeting. Well-done everyone!

Renee Smith is employee of the month
If you see Renee Smith, box office manager and administrative assistant for performing arts, congratulate her for being January’s "Employee of the Month.”

Says Renee: Customer service is my favorite part of the "box office manager” profession. I have a lot of experience interacting with the public in different ways and really enjoy serving in a way that helps people to decide what they want, understand what they’re getting, and then doing my best to make it a positive experience. I also enjoy passing on knowledge to my assistants and then watching them do a good job. The thing I like best about working at Rockford College is that every day for me is different. I have a wide variety of responsibilities, from box office to graphic design to faculty support, all of which keeps me on my toes and challenges me every day. I am also thankful for all of the great people around me who pop in and out throughout the day who make those challenges worthwhile.

Says a colleague: "She is incredibly hard-working, a self-initiator, and detail-oriented! She is always readily available, cheerful and very efficient.”

JACCE reaches out to agencies on "Service Thursdays”
The Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement is setting aside two Thursdays per month to assist local nonprofit agencies with various projects. JACCE has already stepped up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and is slated to help the Rockford Rescue Mission and Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful in the coming weeks.

Faculty, staff to be honored Friday
A host of RC employees will be feted this Friday at the college’s annual Faculty/Staff Appreciation Dinner. Among those to be honored for years of service include:

Five years:
· Deborah Dietz, Business Support Manager
· Elizabeth Drog, Technical Director/Production Manager
· Dr. Matt Flamm, Arts and Humanities Division Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy.
· Paul Hill, Adjunct Instructor in our English Language Institute
· Kelly King, Administrative Assistant in Safety and Security
· Jennifer Nordstrom, Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Admission and Strategic Marketing
· Monna Ohme, Graphic Designer and Coordinator of Print Services
· Pam Clark Reidenbach, Director of the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence
· Danny Stallons, Chemistry Lab Assistant
· Dr. Frank Weaver, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
· James Wrzek, Officer of Campus Safety and Security

Ten years:
· Robin Kenney, Administrative Assistant for the Music Academy
· Elaine Sharpe, Campus Minister

Fifteen years:
· Dr. Debra Dew, Associate Professor of Education
· Kathy Roushey, Audio Visual Technician in I.T.
· Ella Stenberg, Administrative Assistant for Admission
· Bern Sundstedt, Director of Alumni and Development
· Dr. Belinda Wholeben, Professor of Psychology

Twenty years:
· Jeff Fahrenwald, Director of the MBA Program & Associate Professor of Economics/Business/Accounting
· Cathy Kight, Executive Assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs
· Dr. Masoud Moallem, Professor of Economics and Business

Twenty-five years:
· Dr. Fred Hadley, Bergmann Professor of Chemistry

Thirty years:
· Dr. Fred Rezazadeh, Professor of Business & Economics

Forty years:
· Dr. Don Martin, Professor of Modern and Classical Languages
· Dr. Rao, Professor of Physics

· Dr. Christine Bruun, Professor of Psychology
· Phil Hjemboe, Library

Employee of the year: To be named!

You’re invited to take part in National Survey of Student Engagement
This spring, first-year and senior students will be invited to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The results of the survey will provide an estimate of what students gain from attending Rockford College compared to students attending other colleges and universities nationwide. The results will help Rockford College identify aspects of the undergraduate experience in which we excel and those that need improvement.

First-year and senior students will receive an e-mail providing them with instructions to complete NSSE. The first 25 students who complete the survey will receive FREE T-SHIRTS. All participants will be entered into a drawing for an iPod Touch and a Dynex 19 inch TV.

If you would like additional information about Rockford College’s participation in the NSSE, please contact Heather Snider, Coordinator of Institutional Research, at Thank you in advance for your participation.

Where’s Robert?
Here are some noteworthy items on President Head’s schedule for this week.

February 15 Rockford Park District Meeting

February 16 Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois

February 19 Rockford College Board of Trustees’ Committee Meetings

February 20 Rockford College Board of Trustees’ Meeting

Two Black History Month events on tap
Rockford College recognizes the contributions of African American figures in history by sponsoring several Black History Month activities this month. Two such events are listed below.

Re-enactor to portray Frederick Douglass
An actor portraying Frederick Douglass, an important figure in black history, will present a talk at Rockford College February 18, 4 p.m. in the Fisher Chapel. Steven A. Cole will re-enact Douglass in a portrayal that is free and open to the public. A native of Freeport, Cole, 55, has spent the last 12 years portraying Douglass. He says playing the late-Civil War era abolitionist and relating stories of those who fought defending our country is an honor and a privilege. The event counts toward Forum credit.

Works of black writers to be read
Students, faculty and staff at Rockford College will participate in a "Read Aloud of Black American Voices” in celebration of Black History Month, February 24, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Howard Colman Library. Sponsored by the Rockford College English department, the event will feature the works of black American writers, including Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., and Alice Walker among others. It is free and open to the public.

Kicking off the event is Sheryl Head, wife of college president Robert L. Head. Altogether, some 35 readers are expected to participate. Coffee and cookies will be served. For more information, contact Prof. Michael Perry at

As seen on Facebook
Student Amy Collinsworth, studying in Australia this semester, writes on her Facebook page: "I’m sitting on the balcony of my dorm in the sunny 82 degree weather staring at some beautiful palm trees. Some days I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to leave this place.”

Out and about
A listing of area events of interest to the Rockford College community.

Play, "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” Feb. 19-21 at Clock Tower Resort performed by the Boone County Players. Call 800-741-2963 for more.

Talk, "Rockford and the Golden Age of Magicians,” part of the Winter Lecture Series at Midway Museum Village. Feb. 21, 2 p.m. See for more.

RC in the news
  • The Rockford Register Star’s GO section story, "They Went/Mendelssohn Wine Tasting” mentioned two Rockford College folks. Rockford College senior Brian Doering (also a Music Academy alum) and Jacques Saint Cyr (Rockford College and Music Academy adjunct faculty member) played live music for this MPAC event. Click here for the complete story.
  • Ed Westervelt, a 78-year-old conversation partner in the college’s English Language Institute, was featured last Thursday in the Register Star’s PEOPLE section. Click here for the complete story.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

FORUM: Babes In Arms

FORUM: Babes In Arms

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

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