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Weekly Update

Monday, April 26, 2010  
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Open house at 5100 to showcase newest technology
A message from Dr. Robert L. Head, Rockford College President

Dear students, faculty and staff,

The weeks leading up to commencement are always full of activities. Last week brought several distinguished speakers to Rockford College, including Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki (Japan), Ambassador Don Pramudwinai (Thailand) and Congressman Don Manzullo. Hosting our international guests was an honor for Rockford College and I thank all of you who were able to participate.

Da Chen, a New York Times bestselling author, will be on campus Thursday. His public forum will be in Maddox Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Da Chen will describe his life’s journey from growing up in an environment of poverty and political persecution in China, through his migration to the United States and Wall Street.

A much anticipated event this spring is the opening of our new space at 5100 E. State St. All students, faculty and staff are invited to a reception on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The new expansion includes just over 9,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the art teaching and learning spaces. The design is centered on adult learners and their unique set of wants and needs. I asked Matt Phillips and Bonnie Johnson to describe the facility from their perspectives. Some of the features that Matt and Bonnie report include:

- Two large collaborative classrooms with occupancies of 36 and 26 respectively.
- Three classrooms designed for 18 students each in a U-shaped configuration.
- One 20 seat computer classroom.
- Three breakout rooms and two conference rooms designed for students to work on group presentations and other class assignments; and for faculty to meet with students before or after class. - Located throughout the space is soft seating and lounge furniture to encourage students, faculty and staff to gather and socialize.
- Coming later in May will be a snack bar located just outside the classrooms. Coffee, cold beverages, as well as salads, sandwiches and wraps will be available.
- The classroom technology includes the standard "smart technology” in use in Scarborough, Starr Science, and Clark, and is defined as a permanently mounted projector, laptop connection, DVD/VCR, speakers, screen, and easy to use control panel. A new component, interactive whiteboards, will be installed. Three interactive whiteboards will also be installed in existing academic buildings shortly after the 5100 building opening.
- The need to bring 5100 E. State Street into our campus network provided the opportunity to escalate our long-term goal to connect Rockford College with a fiber-optic backbone to the Internet. The long awaited fiber connection brings a faster, more stable source of Internet service, strengthening our technological infrastructure while increasing our capability to connect with a global community. It is important to point out that our fiber-optic connection is due to a partnership with the city of Rockford and NIU through their implementation of fiber down State Street.

There are a number of exciting events on campus and I hope to see you at some of them. Have a great day!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Join us for 5100 open house Wednesday
As Dr. Head mentioned in his column, here’s your chance to see our new classroom facility at 5100 E. State St. before anyone else sees it! Come to the special open house for students, faculty and staff this Wednesday (April 28) from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the facility. Free cookies, coffee and punch. The facility will house our graduate programs and the BSMS program, and will have state-of-the-art classroom technology. No RSVP necessary and you can come and go as you wish! See you there!

Student Government selects officers
Rockford College Student Government is pleased to announce the Executive Board officials for the upcoming school year. They include: President: Samuel Randall; Vice President: Donny Young; Treasurer: Amber Joyes; Secretary: Hannah Schweder. Congratulations and good luck in your new roles.

Busy week for Career Services
This week may go down as one of the busier ones for career services director Kelly Cooper. Here is what’s going on:

Today, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Career Services is holding its first "Pizza and a Passion for Teaching Event.” At this event in Regents Hall, they are hosting 10 of our elementary education alums to discuss teaching strategies and provide suggestions to our current elementary education student teachers. Our alumni office is also participating. Including our faculty and staff, they expect around 60 people attending. The goal is to help our current student teachers network and gain advice for their first year of teaching as well as for the job search process.

Additionally, on Thursday the office is hosting its second annual Speed Networking event with the Rockford Area Career Clearinghouse. Some 21 employers and a local networking group will be participating compared to only 14 employers last year. Last year this event was a success, and it is hoped it’ll be a success this year. Not only does this event allow students the opportunity to network and practice their interviewing skills, but it also allows them to learn about potential internships and jobs in the Rockford area. Furthermore, employers get the chance to mentor students and also find potential candidates.

Get to Know Me
Occasionally, we introduce you to new employees at the college. Today, we feature David Schneider, athletic recruiter.

Just got engaged to a wonderful woman who works at Saint Anthony as a RN ~ Julie Spielman. No brothers or sisters, and definitely no children for a few years. I was raised by a wonderful mother and grandmother.

Professional/educational background:
After going to Augustana for a trimester, I returned to Rockford and got my AS and AA from Rock Valley College. Then I transferred to Rockford College and graduated with my BS in Business Administration with a focus in Management.

Interesting fact about me:
I played the cello for 6 years. I played Lacrosse during my short time at Augustana (about 5 months).

The favorite thing about my job is…
The favorite thing about my job is going to be getting to work close with all the coaches on campus, and dealing directly with student athletes. Also, I don’t have to move my office too far and still get to be around the wonderful admission crew.

Well, I’m a huge sports fan especially with the White Sox and Bears. Also trying to get to every MLB field with my bride-to-be while picking up a shot glass, stuffed mascot, and a mini baseball bat from all teams while there. (If you’re wondering, she’s more about the stuffed mascot and the mini baseball bat.)

Best-selling author Da Chen to speak at Rockford College Thursday
Da Chen, an award-winning author who grew up in poverty in China and whose family was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, will speak at Rockford College April 29, 7:30 p.m. in the Maddox Theatre. His topic is entitled "From Suppression to Wall St. to Random House.”

Da Chen has written such books as "Colors of the Mountain,” a New York Times bestseller, "China’s Son,” "Sounds of the River,” "Wandering Warrior,” "Brothers,” his most recent book, and "My Empress,” soon to be released from Random House. All are memoirs that deal in some way with his experience growing up in Mao-era China and are being read in places as varied as college classes and grade schools. Da Chen’s talk is free and open to the public, though tickets must be reserved through the Rockford College box office, phone 815-226-4100.

Dr. Head to lead book discussion
As part of the ninth annual "Literary Evening Downtown” on May 1, Dr. Head will discuss the book, "The Good Soldiers” by David Finkel, a chronicle of a 15-month deployment in Iraq. The event will be held at the Rockford Woman’s Club. His discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information and more, see

Psych class invites in young children
Children ages 2 through 5 are invited to the Child Development class on May 3, from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in the Psychology Lab (Starr 235). All children must be accompanied by one or more adults. The class has several activities planned for the children. These activities will demonstrate principles of cognitive development, language development, moral development, and gender role development. The activities are designed to be enjoyable for the children. If you plan to bring a child (or children) to the Preschool Day, please contact Prof. Belinda Wholeben, psychology, at Include the name and age of each child that you will accompany.

Where’s Robert?
Here’s what President Head is up to this week, April 26 – May 2.

April 27:
Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ "In Youth We Trust” Reception

April 28:
Rockford College Business Luncheon with keynote speaker Tim Morris, retired president, Hamilton Sundstrand

April 28:
Open house for 5100 E. State St. facility for students, faculty and staff

April 29:
Da Chen Forum Lecture, Rockford College’s Maddox Theatre

April 30:
Good Morning Rockford with Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 5100 E. State Street

April 30:
Golden Apple Excellence in Education Banquet

May 1:
Leading a discussion of "The Good Soldiers” for the Literary Evening Downtown, Rockford Woman’s Club

Award-winning poet to speak here Thursday
John Bradley, the author of several books of poetry and the editor of numerous anthologies, will read his poetry in a free event April 29, 6 p.m. in the Rockford College Lion’s Den.

Bradley is the winner of the 2009 Cleveland State University Poetry Center's Open Competition for his book "You Don't Know What You Don't Know.” He is also the author of "Terrestrial Music” and "War on Words” and editor of "Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath,” a poetry anthology. He is the recipient of two NEA fellowships in poetry and a Pushcart Prize. Bradley teaches at Northern Illinois University.

The reading and presentation is sponsored by the college’s literary magazine, Black Hole, White Light. For more information, e-mail Ed Phebus at

Next HEARR forum May 6 at RC
The third and final installment of the HEARRR community lecture series will be held at Rockford College, May 6, 6:30 p.m. in Regents Hall. Focus of the event will be "A Strategy for Rockford” and will feature Max Reim, partner and principal with Live, Work, Play, a Toronto-based development consulting firm. To reserve a place and for more information, see

Using ad dollars wisely is next Leadership Cafe topic
"Getting the Most Bang from Your Advertising Buck” is the topic of the next Leadership Cafe at Rockford College’s Burpee Center, April 28 at noon. Guest speaker is Pam Maher, principal with KMK Media Group, Rockford. The discussion will include getting the most advertising at the price you want; the most effective advertising vehicles for your message; and options to paid advertising. It is free to Rockford College students, faculty and staff. The talk is sponsored by the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE) at Rockford College. For more information or to RSVP, call NICNE at 815-394-4384.

Dance studio show set at RC
A dance studio show will be presented by the Performing Arts Department on April 29, 7 p.m. in the college’s Clark Arts Center dance studio. Students will perform various styles including tap, ballet, jazz and modern dance. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the box office at 815-226-4100.

Music recital today
Stop into Maddox Theatre today at 4 p.m. and be treated to a student recital sponsored by the performing arts department.

Out and about
A list of community events that would be of interest to Rockford College employees and their families

April 26 – 19th Annual RAMI Awards, 6 p.m. at Tebala Shrine. Local musicians in 30 categories will receive top awards. Cost: $7. See

May 2, 3 p.m. – Community Holocaust Commemoration program in Fisher Chapel. Candle lighting, educator awards and student poetry awards will be followed by "Remnants,” a one-man play written and performed by Henry Greenspan. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Rockford.

Until May 6 – "Haiti Frame by Frame,” 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. at Katie’s Cup, 502 Seventh St. Photo exhibit by Dustin Waller captures day-to-day life in Haiti.

RC in the news

  • The forum with two foreign ambassadors last week on campus was covered by Channels 13, 17, and 23 plus the Rockford Register Star.
  • A joint project between RC and St. James School in Belvidere was covered by the Register Star last week. Psych students here are helping the kids lobby for a law that would allow 4-day school weeks.
  • Forum speaker and environmentalist Kimberly Grey was interviewed by Channel 13 last Tuesday.
  • Our Green Expo was covered by both Channel 13 and 17, the latter of which also did a live shot for the evening newscasts.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

Songs & Sonnets: A Renaissance Christmas

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