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Weekly Update

Monday, February 22, 2010  
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RC is doing many great things; let’s talk it up

Occasionally, members of the college’s executive committee write columns for the weekly newsletter. Today, we hear from Jim Sagona, interim vice president for enrollment management.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

I am happy to be with you over the next few months as the college searches for a permanent vice president for enrollment management. My interim responsibilities required that I take on a task that I’ve been putting off way too long: cleaning the home office. I recently moved some books and came upon a classic higher education text I read earlier in my career. I had put it aside on the shelf after the initial read knowing some day it might be interesting to reflect back on its research results and to see if anything is different as a result of the discoveries. It’s been nearly 25 years since Ernest Boyer’s book, "College: The Undergraduate Experience in America,” was published. This important work from the research conducted by the Carnegie Foundation became a template for college and university self-examination in the late 80’s leading to initiatives in curriculum review and revision, outcomes research and student assessment, as well as social and service goals as part of educational enterprise.

I stopped cleaning the office and took a few hours to peruse the book once again. It all came back to me. I found myself thinking that this work is not so dated and its precepts still apply to today’s undergraduate college. The last 11 pages (Epilogue; A Guide to a Good College) contain summary insights I suggest are as applicable today as they were in 1987.

Boyer rejoices in the tension between individuality and community as a hallmark of the undergraduate experience. He contends: "The college is committed, on the one hand, to serve the needs of individual students, celebrating human diversity in many forms, encouraging creativity and independence, and helping students become economically and socially empowered. A college of quality is also guided by community concerns. It has goals that are greater than the sum of its separate parts and reminds students, in formal and informal ways, that there is an intellectual and social community to which they are inextricably connected.”

Could Boyer have been talking about Rockford College? As I re-read his words, I couldn’t help but think of my first five days on the Rockford College campus. I observed first-hand caring commitment for the values, interests and needs of individual students with a level of enthusiasm from faculty and staff that larger colleges can only dream of providing. As important, I witnessed a Rockford "community” engaged in learning, challenge and service. Maybe it was helped by the cup of coffee I bought from Student Government to help Haiti victims but I was taken by the sense of "globalism” in my social exchanges with students who saw beyond self and valued their responsibility in the larger world. In those first few days, I met students for whom activism means unselfishness. They are learning for a purpose. They may not see it right now but they have the capacity to improve our world. I saw the college fostering programs and services aimed at individual needs and talents while promoting engagement with others and community effort.

It made me want to shout to the campus that you should be PROUD of what you are doing here. Colleges with MUCH greater resources are doing MUCH less for our world. It made me think that Rockford College responds to Boyer’s notion of "tension” by fostering the synergy of individuality with the strength of community. What a great place to be yourself yet recognize your value to our world!

More people need to know what Rockford is doing on this hill. You are not just changing lives, you are improving our community – our world. Okay, so now comes my pitch. Can you help me let more people know about Rockford? Don’t you have a friend that you think could prosper here? Is there a cousin, a daughter, a son, a neighbor, a baby-sitter who should know what a great college Rockford truly is? Can you invite them to come see your world at Rockford – just for a day? The admission staff is ready to help you with their visit. Just let them know. I am convinced that if more students and parents could see what I have experienced in only five days on campus they would be impressed.

I put Boyer’s book back on the office shelf but I won’t wait 23 years to pick it up again. The goals he proposes for undergraduate education are timeless and we would do well to periodically remind ourselves of them as institutional missions evolve and new economic challenges cause us to respond and persist. Rockford College is a wonderful exemplar of academic rigor and community. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from you.

Have a great week!

Jim Sagona
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management



Bern Sundstedt is Employee of the Year
Fifteen-year RC employee Bern Sundstedt was introduced as "employee of the year” at the annual faculty/staff appreciation dinner Friday night in Regents Hall. Sundstedt is director of development and alumni relations for the college, an important role in generating support for RC. He was cited for his hard work and commitment, which have made a difference in the college’s ability to serve students. Sundstedt was chosen from among 11 other nominees who were previously named "employees of the month.” Congratulations, Bern!



Don’t forget internship fair tomorrow
Make plans now to attend the Internship Fair sponsored by the college’s career services office tomorrow (Feb. 23) from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. in Regents Hall of the Burpee Center. The event features some 39 area employers looking for interns. All majors are welcome as the employers represent different business classifications. Bring plenty of resumes and dress professionally to make a positive impression! Questions? Call career services at 815-226-4022.



‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ set in Maddox this week
The play "A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare will be performed February 25 – 28 in the Maddox Theatre, with performances Thursday – Saturday at 7: 30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Directed by performing arts professor Deb Mogford, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a romantic comedy that portrays the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with the Duke of Athens, Theseus, the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.

Tickets are $10 general admission; $7 for students and seniors. For more information, call the Rockford College box office at 815-226-4100 or see www.rockford.edu/?page=TheatreSeason.



Nursing students teach first graders about health
Students enrolled in Nursing 314-Child Health Nursing will be presenting health topics to first grade students at Barbour School, a bi-lingual school, during the spring semester. The first group to present gave presentations on the five senses on February 11. Students presenting included Patricia Cazy, Kara Kenyon, Chaney Bell, Wendy Carter, and Justin Slagle. Comments received from the teachers were "You both went above and beyond. Thank you for doing such a great job," "The kids loved you!" and "You did a great job incorporating your knowledge of animals with the five senses. The children could really relate."

There were three classrooms and either one or two students presented their own teaching plan on the five senses to the students. Two other presentations are planned focusing on "identifying ways people change as they grow" and "identifying the food groups in the food pyramid."

This was a collaborative effort between Prof. Marilyn Greer and the teachers as they discussed the Illinois Teaching and Learning Standards and correlating them to the Power Standards for Rockford Public Schools.



Business office hires new accounting manager
The business office will have a new accounting manager starting March 1. Justin Krueger has been hired for the position replacing Liz Sandine who decided to stay home full time to care for her new daughter. Krueger is a CPA with over five years of public accounting experience in higher education and not-for-profit accounting, and he comes from the CPA firm of Sikich, LLP here in Rockford. We thank Liz for her 4+ years of service at Rockford College and wish her well in the future. We would also like to thank Matt Sweet, who has been temporarily filling in for Liz during the search for her replacement; his last day here will be March 18. Matt will be joining the same CPA firm Justin is coming from (Sikich, LLP) in June and will be sitting for his CPA exam later this spring. We wish Matt much success in his new role as well.



FDA official to speak here today
An official with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will address the Rock River chapter of the American Chemical Society at its next meeting today at 7:30 p.m. in Starr Science Room 201.

Dr. Scott Goldie is a regulatory health project manager for quality within the Office of New Drug Quality Assessment, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA. Topic of his talk is "How a Molecule Becomes a Drug.” His talk is free and open to the public. (Goldie is also speaking to students at 2 p.m. today.)

Among other duties, Goldie participates in the development and documentation of policies and procedures related to new drugs and investigational drug applications. Prior to joining the FDA, Goldie was a senior scientist in pharmaceutical analysis at the former Shire Laboratories where he developed and validated analytical methodologies in support of drug delivery formulation development.


Service Thursday with JACCE
If you're interested in joining the Jane Addams Center for its next service Thursday event with the Rockford Rescue Mission on Thursday of this week, contact them at 815-394-4382. The event will take place between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.



Where’s Robert?
Here’s a list of key activities on Dr. Head’s schedule for the week.

February 22 Reading at Marsh Elementary School for the Rockford Public Library’s Annual African-American Read-in

February 23 Tour & meeting at Rockford Career College

February 24 Higher Education Alliance for the Rock River Region (HEARRR); Presidents’ meeting with Mayor Morrissey at Rockford College

February 25 Alignment Nashville meeting at Anderson Gardens

February 26 Rockford Association for Minority Management Banquet

February 28 Alumni Gathering in the Clark Art Gallery and Rockford College’s play "A Midsummer Night's Dream”



Works of black writers to be read in event at RC
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 college’s 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 mperry@rockford.edu. Also check out this year’s African American History Display in the Burpee Center focusing on the Harlem Renaissance. The display includes some of the best-known black artists, writers, musicians, and intellectuals alongside their works.



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 hsnider@rockford.edu. Thank you in advance for your participation.



‘Developing social confidence’ is program topic at Lang
A free program on developing social confidence is slated at the Lang Center today at 2 p.m.



Out and about
Here are some calendar items for events that may be of interest to the Rockford College community and their families.
  • "The Wedding Singer” Wednesday, February 24 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Call 815-968-0595 for more.
  • "Eclectica,” an eclectic/world group, performs at the Mendelssohn Club Saturday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. Call 815-964-2238 for details.


RC in the news
In case you didn’t see the fine profile of President Head today in the Rockford Register Star, you can see it here. He is featured as this week’s "Newsmaker” in a story, a Q&A, and an online video.

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