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Regent Weekly

Monday, September 13, 2010  
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Jane’s colleague, Ellen Gates Starr, also deserves plaudits
A message from college president Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

I enjoyed meeting students, alumni and friends at two celebrations of Jane Addams’ 150th birthday last week, one on campus and the other in Chicago. Fortunately, I enjoy birthday cake as I am scheduled to be at the Belvidere Oasis tomorrow at 11 a.m. for another Jane Addams birthday party.

As I reflect on her life and accomplishments, I am drawn to the comparative anonymity of Addams’ close associate, Ellen Gates Starr. Starr also attended Rockford College (then Rockford Female Seminary) and was a co-founder of Hull House. While not achieving the fame and notoriety of Addams, Starr had a long and impressive life as a social reformer. She remained with Hull House for much of her life and took active roles in Chicago's early labor union movement and campaigns to reform child labor laws. Starr was a member of the Women’s Trade Union League and helped organize striking garment workers. Both Addams and Starr were strong advocates for the rights of women. Ellen Gates Starr and Jane Addams were both remarkable women with Rockford College ties who went on to do transformative things. Due to their efforts to change the status quo, our country is a far different place than it was in their time.

Study cites change in higher ed demographics

One trend that speaks to a changing United States of America is in the area of higher education, once the strong domain of males. The National Center for Educational Statistics recently released the results of a new study on educational achievement that speaks to the growing disparity in gender within higher education. The study includes a 10 year period, from 1998 to 2008, and reports that the number of women earning doctorates increased by 68 percent. As of 2008, women accounted for the majority of all degrees: associate (62%), bachelor’s (57%), master’s (61%), and doctorates (51%). Given the trends at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, you can anticipate an increasing gap at the doctoral level in the future. The disparity in high school graduation rates with men finishing at much lower rates than women is a major factor in this gender gap. If you are interested in reviewing the complete report of the study, you will find it at The National Center for Educational Statistics’ website:

On another matter, the first Regents Ball took place on Saturday evening. It was a very successful event and my thanks to the organizing committee and the many sponsors and guests, including all of the faculty and staff who attended the festivities. Likewise, I am grateful for the enthusiastic efforts of a large number of students who served in various capacities. Future announcements will be made on how this year’s proceeds will benefit the performing arts department and on the opportunity to have Regents Ball 2011 benefit other areas.

Have a great week!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Jane Addams 150th Birthday Celebration
Jane Addams, a pivotal force for social reform in Chicago and the rest of the U.S., will be remembered on her 150th birthday at a celebration tomorrow (9/14), 11 a.m. to noon at the Belvidere oasis on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Rockford College, where Addams graduated in 1881 as the class valedictorian, and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, site of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of new immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It will feature a birthday cake for attendees, free food and beverages, singing of happy birthday led by the Rockford College Vocal Collective, informational displays, and local Jane Addams re-enactor Amy Nyman. There will also be remarks from Rockford College President Robert L. Head and representatives from the Jane Adams Hull-House Museum and Illinois Tollway Authority. Area governmental leaders have also been invited.

"We are pleased to celebrate the birthday of one of our most illustrious alumna,” said Head. "The trail that Jane blazed created a legacy of civic engagement, which is demonstrated every day by our students, graduates, faculty and staff.” 

RC mentioned on NPR show
Speaking of Jane Addams, she was the subject of a recent Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. During Diane’s interview with the author of a new biography on Jane, Rockford College was mentioned. You can hear the show here:

Great opportunity for science students
The International Bioenergy Days conference is offering full conference registration for just $50 to all students (non-student rate is $650).

A minimal investment of $50 will offer you:

Admission to all conference sessions
Entry to the Expo
All meals & events
Industry tours

The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and engaging the youth in critical efforts toward alternative energy is crucial to the future of clean technology.

IBED 2010 is eager to have a strong student representation, which is why this special rate is being extended to you.

Top reasons to attend:

Learn the latest in bioenergy, including clean energy economics, technological advances and commercialization issues and possibilities.
Rub shoulders with industry experts and city and state officials.
Meet and talk to peers from around the world.
Take part in our networking activities and make valuable connections for your future career.
Get the full experience of an international conference at a very low cost.
See bioenergy technologies in action at the industry tours.

Valid student identification must be provided upon checking in at the conference.

The fourth annual International Bioenergy Days conference (IBED) will be held September 26-29 at the Coronado Theatre.

Program tracks:

Best Practices and New Technology
Political Issues, Economic Resources & Public Policy
Applying & Implementing Bioenergy Technologies

To register or for more information, visit:

FEMA seeks those affected by flooding
On Aug. 19, 2010, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for seven counties in Illinois due to severe storms and flooding including Winnebago County. Support for the recovery from this disaster is available for the private sector community, including individuals, businesses and private non-profit organizations. This support is provided by the State of Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Within FEMA, the Private Sector Division in External Affairs is responsible for coordinating information among federal, state and local government representatives to identify needs and the resources available to businesses, private non-profit organizations and individuals.

The incident period for this disaster (the time frame during which damage or loss must have occurred) started July 22 and ended Aug. 7. Applications for disaster assistance will be accepted online at or by phone at 1 800-621-FEMA (3363) TTY 1 800-462-7585 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Oct 18. Individuals MUST apply through FEMA in order to be eligible for assistance.

RC Rocks with Knowledge
The Marketing department is running a campaign to remind the campus community and the public just how much Rockford College "Rocks.” We are all doing amazing work and the stories should be shared! Each week, look forward to a new letter of "R.O.C.K.S.” as it will represent an area in which we excel. Find out more at Should you have submissions, please contact Cassie Swanson at Here is this week's story:

K: Knowledge.

Every day, students are learning from our top notch faculty in the classroom. Learning happens outside of the classroom too! The clubs and organizations involvement fair happening on Wednesday is an excellent way to connect with other students that share some of the same interests as you. Whether you are thinking of an academic, professional, or just plain FUN club – check it out and get involved! The leadership skills you learn through clubs and orgs will serve you well in the future. 

Tinker needs your vote!
If you've already voted for Tinker in the "This Place Matters" $25,000 Community Challenge Competition, thank you very much. If you haven't had a chance to vote yet, please do so! With one week to go in the voting process, Tinker is holding onto 2nd place but with your help we can move into 1st place and win this competition!

Please take a moment and place your vote for Tinker. One vote is allowed for each of your e-mail addresses. Here is a quick link for you for easy access to the Tinker voting page:

Where's Robert?
A list of noteworthy events on President Head’s calendar.

September 14:     Jane Addams 150th Birthday Event, Belvidere Oasis

September 15:     Board of Trustees Executive Committee Meeting

September 15:     Meeting with Paul Nicolosi, Nicolosi and Associates

September 15:     Meeting with Alan Gibby, Keith Country Day School

Fall Club & Org Fair on tap
If you currently are a club or plan on starting a club, please mark your calendars for Wednesday, September 15 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Burpee Commons. That’s the day of the annual Fall Club and Orgs Fair. This is a very important time for your club. New and returning students will be here to learn information and become involved in your club. If you are currently not involved in a club or organization and would like to become involved, please attend the fair at the date and time above.

Out and about
Events that may be of interest to the Rockford College community and their families.

Wednesday: Rosie’s Birthday Party, 5 to 8 p.m., Clock Tower Resort, 7801 E. State St., Rockford. Features bakers and celebrities teaming up in a live cake-decorating event and auction. Cost is $30, $15 for ages 12 and younger, includes a light buffet dinner and dessert. You can also bid on cakes to take home and buy raffle tickets for prizes. Proceeds will help buy local kids birthday presents Reservations requested. Tickets may be available at the door. 815-543-7770.tember 8-9, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday: Curtain Up!, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford. A new kickoff event for Rockford’s arts and entertainment groups’ 2010-11 seasons. Attendees can talk to representatives from organizations and buy subscription and single tickets to performances and events at Curtain Up! Admission is free. The event will include free appetizers, cash bar, music by the Jim Hagerty Trio folk and bluegrass group, and ticket giveaways. 815-963-6765;

This weekend: Greenwich Village Art Fair, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. More than 120 juried artists in an atmosphere of art, music, wine and food. Family-friendly. Proceeds benefit the Rockford Art Museum. Cost is $3 in advance (available at Rockford Art Museum store or any Alpine Bank location) or $5 at the gate. Kids 12 and younger are free. 815-972-2870;

Saturday: Rockford Symphony Orchestra Opening Night with Jeffrey Biegelh, 7:30 p.m., Coronado Performing Arts Center, 312 N. Main St., Rockford. Biegel is an accomplished soloist and piano teacher who has performed with orchestras across the country. Cost is $18 to $56. Student tickets are $6. 815-965-0049;

RC in the news

  • The Jane Addams’ birthday bash here last week caught the attention of the Rockford Register Star, which had a story and a front page photo of the event.
  • Students working with guests at Carpenter’s Place, a resource center for the homeless, was covered by the Register Star and Channel 13. The students were involved in arts and crafts activities with the guests.
  • Forum speaker Amber Madison was the subject of stories in the Register Star and on Channel 17. Madison, as you recall, gave a talk last week on "Sexual and Relationship Health: Hooking Up and Beyond.”

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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