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Regent Weekly

Monday, September 20, 2010  
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U.S. Constitution is a powerful document
A message from college president Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Earlier this summer, the longest serving senator in United States history died. Sen. Robert Byrd from West Virginia was in office from 1959 until his death in June. Whether you participated in the Forum event in Maddox on Friday, or merely reflected on the Constitution and its 223 year history, it is easy to connect Constitution Day and Senator Byrd. It was through his legislative work that Constitution Day is cemented in its current form.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the third Sunday of May as "I Am An American Day" to recognize those who attained American citizenship. Congress, in 1952, enacted a law and repealed the resolution established by President Roosevelt. The law prescribed the date to September 17 as "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day." In 2004, Senator Byrd initiated a successful bill that added two requirements for the September 17 observance of the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution:

-Federal agencies and departments must provide their employees with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution. 

-Educational institutions that receive federal funds must hold an educational program on the Constitution on September 17 each year for students.

According to a U.S. Department of State publication, Outline of U.S. Government, "the primary aim of the Constitution was to create a strong elected government, directly responsive to the will of the people.” It goes on to say that "the continuing job of the Constitution and the government it created is to draw disparate interests together, to create a common ground and, at the same time, to protect the fundamental rights of all the people.”

The Constitution is a powerful document, created to serve a very complex country comprised of an extremely diverse citizenry. Senator Byrd symbolized the great complexity of our country. At varying points in his life, Senator Byrd espoused segregation, filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and supported the Vietnam War. In his later years, Byrd was a supporter of civil rights measures and was a strong critic of the Iraq War. Much as our country has evolved on a variety of issues, so did Senator Byrd. When I reflect on the Constitution, I think of its enduring ability to protect the individual freedoms of those I both agree and disagree with, while simultaneously promoting the solidarity and strength of one united nation.

Have a great week!

Robert L. Head, Ph.D.

Obama names RC trustee to panel
President Obama has appointed Sunil Puri, a Rockford College trustee and alumnus, to the President’s Council on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a body to help them get increased access to and participation in federal programs. Puri is the president and sole owner of First Rockford Group, Inc., a real estate development firm he founded in1984. In addition to serving on the RC board, he sits on the board of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting here in 1982.

Book-signing is Sept. 29 for 3 profs
A book-signing with the three RC professors who wrote the book, "We Are a College At War: Women Working for Victory in World War II” is set for September 29, noon – 1 p.m. in the college bookstore. Come and visit with authors Catherine Forslund, history; Mary Weaks-Baxter, English; and emerita professor Christine Bruun, psychology.

They did the Ironman!
Congratulations to GA Tony Hardin and Chad Zeman, cross country/track coach, for completing the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon in Madison recently. It’s an amazing accomplishment considering it’s a 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike ride; and 26.2 mile run. Well-done, guys!

Employee has knack for photography
Deb Dietz, business office, knows more than just crunching numbers. She is also a very accomplished photographer. Recently she found out that two of her nature photographs were awarded a place in the Nygren Wetland Exhibit and Benefit presented by the Natural Land Institute, Sept. 24 from 7 p.m.–9 p.m. at the Burpee Museum. If you attend, you can vote for Deb’s photos in the People’s Choice awards. For more on the event, see

Football players help with Golden Apple event
Thanks to members of our football team for helping the Golden Apple Foundation last Thursday carry apples to waiting cars of volunteers at the Logli’s on East State Street. The apples were then delivered to teachers in the area in appreciation of their efforts.

Meet our September employee of the month
Congratulations to our September employee of the month, Cece Bristol, director of health services. Cece says the best part of her job is the versatility…having the ability to do so many different things within the nursing profession. One of her nominators had this to say about her: "Cece goes above and beyond the call of duty. She shows compassion, understanding, and a true interest in everyone.” Congratulations, Cece!

Rockford College Gears up for the Collegiate Learning Assessment

This fall, Rockford College first-year students will have the opportunity to take the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). The CLA is a nationwide, cutting-edge indicator of the quality of the undergraduate education that measures fundamental outcomes of student learning and the value added by colleges and universities.

Specifically, the CLA measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning, problem solving, and written communication skills. Students’ personalized score reports will tell them where they stand on key attributes of academic and professional success compared to their peers. The college’s score report will tell us how our students perform compared to students at other schools, as well as improve academic and co-curricular offerings. The CLA, along with other periodic assessments of student learning, help us verify that our students learn what we want them to learn. Faculty and staff are asked to encourage first-year students to participate in this important assessment.

First-year students have numerous chances to take the CLA throughout September and October. For more information on assessment dates and times, or to sign up, students can contact Heather Snider at 815-226-4186, or at Participants will be eligible to win an iPod Touch, a Magellan GPS, and more.

For more information about the CLA, visit:

RC rocks with successful alumni

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:

S: Successful Alumni.

Learn more about just a few of our chemistry/biochemistry graduates (excerpt from the Alchemist ’10):

Cesar Kenaan (biochemistry, ’06) writes from graduate school at the University of Michigan, "It’s been a very busy and productive academic year! I had successful public and private candidacy exams in January and May respectively, and recently co-authored a manuscript on protein conformational dynamics to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. I was also the recipient of a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research award in March 2009. This past summer, I had the opportunity to mentor a talented undergraduate chemistry student and, as a result of the positive experience, I’m seriously considering academia as a future career.”

Josh Ryan (biochemistry, ’08) is a product applications specialist at Cole-Parmer in Vernon Hills, Ill. He does technical support for their products, which range from peristaltic pumps to pH meters to GC-Mass Spec instruments. He’s the unofficial "go-to guy” for chemical questions; he works directly with the sales divisions in New Zealand and the UAE.

Karen Dixon, Ph.D. (biology, chemistry, ’95) was assistant director for program development at the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC) at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, but she’s decided to make a lifestyle change and now teaches and makes glass art full-time, at Dixon Glass Gallery and Studio in Birmingham, Ala. She remains an integral part of Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus (PICK), a preventable type of brain damage caused by severe newborn jaundice. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular genetics at UAB and conducted postdoctoral research on bilirubin toxicity in the brain.

Mark Zelman, Ph.D. (biology, ’85) is associate professor of biology and chair of natural sciences and mathematics at Aurora University in Aurora, Ill. Mark earned his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology at Loyola University Chicago. He teaches microbiology, cell biology and senior capstone, and supervises student research. In his "spare time” he wrote an introductory pathophysiology text,"Human Diseases: A Systemic Approach,” the 7th edition of which came out in January 2009.

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

September 20:
Meeting with Embry-Riddle

September 21:
Meeting with Excel Lewis, Xcel Academy

September 21:
Scholarship Day Ceremony, Fisher Chapel

Washington Semester Program now accepting applications for spring 2011

The Washington Semester is a cooperative program that Rockford College and over 230 other colleges and universities have with American University in Washington, D.C. It consists of intensive study and experiential learning, involving special projects in Washington (and, for some sections, overseas) and course work at American University. A typical program would include two units of seminar; an internship with a government agency, interest group, or private company; and either a research project or an elective course.

The program is open to students pursuing virtually any major. Spring 2011 offerings include sections in 10 areas of concentration. Those that are based entirely in Washington, D.C. are focused on American national politics, foreign policy, journalism and new media, justice and law, and transforming communities. The sections that include a foreign travel component focus on global economics and business, international environment and development, international law and organizations, Islam and world affairs, and peace and conflict resolution.

Participation is generally geared to juniors and seniors, but sophomores may also apply. Applicants should have a Rockford College GPA of 2.5 or better. Washington Semester classes count toward graduation as Rockford College course work.

Deadline for spring semester nominations is November 12, but nominations are accepted on a rolling admission basis. The program has typically provided some financial assistance for Rockford College nominees.

If you wish to apply for the spring 2011 Washington Semester Program or want more information about it, please contact Prof. Jules Gleicher, political science, in Scarborough Hall, Room 111; 815-226-4029. You can view the program’s website at

Scholarship Day on tap

Rockford College hosts its annual Scholarship Day ceremony tomorrow (Sept. 21) at 4 p.m. in the Fisher Chapel.

Scholarship Day recognizes our students and many of the merit-based scholarships that they receive. Several of the scholarship contributors will be on hand to present. If you have been notified that you are receiving a scholarship, you are urged to make every effort to attend. A reception with cookies and punch will follow immediately in the narthex of the chapel.

The event, normally held in the Maddox Theatre, will be held this year in the chapel due to set construction for the upcoming play, "The Robber Bridegroom.”

Stop into Burpee lobby for a hot beverage
It’s hard to believe summer is dwindling away and fall is almost upon us…good news though for the hot beverage machine that was installed in Burpee, Main Floor, last spring. As the temperatures fall and the cold winds start to blow, warm up by stopping by the Burpee machine for a premium or decaf coffee, café mocha, hot chocolate, hot tea, French vanilla or hazelnut cappuccino. 

Illinois Basic Skills Workshop for fall 2010

Dates for the Illinois Basic Skills workshop presented by the Rockford College Learning Center are as follows:

Writing - Wednesday, September 29
Grammar - Wednesday, October 6
Reading - Wednesday, October 13
Math - Wednesday, October 27
Math - Wednesday, November 3

Two sessions are slated: Noon-1 p.m. or 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
To register, please call 815-226-4087 or e-mail
If you are not a Rockford College student, there will be a $10 fee per class. Space is limited. Location is room 114 in Starr Science.

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

Today: Special Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum celebration, 4 to 6:30 p.m., 411 Kent St., Rockford. Tinker will celebrate its second-place finish in the "This Place Matters” competition. Free admission. Refreshments will be served. 815-964-2424;

Sept. 21: "An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe,” two shows, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica. Performed by Duffy Hudson, who brings Poe to life in a unique one-man play. Cost is $15. This event is a fundraiser sponsored by the Pecatonica School District. 815-239-1242;

Sept. 23: "Jazzin’ It Up” with Carl and Dianna Cole, 6:30 p.m. at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St., Rockford. Includes performances by Dorothy Paige-Turner, Jodi Beach, Julian Swain and others. Free.

Sept. 25: An Evening with Clutch Cargo: A Party with a Purpose, 7 p.m., Giovanni’s Restaurant, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Proceeds to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Siena on Brendenwood. Party includes dance lessons by Arthur Murray Dance instructors at 7 p.m. with dance at 7:30 p.m., appetizers at 8 p.m. and dance contest at 10:30 p.m. Cost is $45 a person. 815-399-6167.

Sept. 26: The Ethnic Heritage Museum’s Lithuanian Gallery, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, is honoring local artist Roland Poska from 2-4 p.m. Poska has lived in and continues to work in Southwest Rockford. He will demonstrate, on a small scale, the process and materials he uses to create his unique art. Free.

RC in the news

  • Our birthday party for Jane Addams at the Belvidere oasis last week brought out the media in droves. Among them was WNTA radio, the Rockford Register Star, Channel 17 and Channel 23.
  • Our football players helping cart apples for the Golden Apple Foundation were pictured in the Register Star Friday.

Community Search
Calendar of Events

Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

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