Latest News: The Weekly E-Newsletter

Regent Weekly

Monday, November 29, 2010  
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A time to celebrate, be inspired, and work
Occasionally, members of the college’s Executive Council share messages in the newsletter. Today we hear from Bern Sundstedt, vice president for institutional advancement.

We’re here - a couple-four days removed from Thanksgiving. Our tickets are freshly punched for the express train to New Year’s Eve with stops along the way at Chanukah and Christmas. Wait a second, while I pick the last of the broccoli rabe from between my teeth. Theeeeerrrre we go.

Now what are we to do? I hate to bring you down, but in the words of the great Russian playwright Anton Chekov, "We must work.”

Isn’t that the hardest thing to do amid all the glitz and shopping and food and fun and family? Let me offer up a little message that I hope will inspire us all to keep our collective noses to the grindstone in our push to complete the semester.

Here we are - students, faculty and staff – all part of an interesting family – a 163-year-old family. In many ways we hold just as significant a relationship with this family, as we do with the flesh and blood we will be spending time with over the next several weeks. It is from our RC family that I sometimes like to draw inspiration while wending my way through holiday distractions and working in support of the college.

I like to think of Charles Spafford, who mortgaged his home so that our college could be located in Rockford. I like to think of alumnae who donated stamps in the Post-Depression so that a library could be built on the old campus. I like to think of Blanche Walker Burpee and President John Howard who along with others secured for us an entirely new campus, on which we currently live and learn.

Of course there are personal inspirations that help keep me on the straight and narrow. There’s my great grandmother Ida, and Fred Peterson and others who modeled lives to which I could aspire. I am sure you all have your own "Freds and Grandma Idas,” and can conjure up your personal RC inspirers.
So in the coming weeks of finals and year-end business take time to think about those from whom you gather inspiration. Use their strength to keep you focused on whatever goals you need to achieve and if those people are living, let them know how you feel.

Who knows? Maybe we can all serve someday as inspiration for those who follow in succeeding generations of our RC family.

Now, get back to your double-clicking, Cyber-Monday shopping.

Have fun along the way, but don’t forget to work.

Bern Sundstedt `77
VP for Institutional Advancement

SAAC collects more than 4,000 cans for the needy

Rockford College athletics would like to thank everyone for assisting our student-athletes and athletics staff in the 2010 NAC Cans Across the Conference competition.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a handful of graduate assistants fulfilling their leadership projects took the lead in the organization of the collections, the CANstruction trophy building and the loading up and dropping off of all items to the Salvation Army and the Rock River Valley Pantry.

Working as a team, the group was able to collect and donate a total of 4,037 non-perishable items prior to Thanksgiving to help those in need.

Their totals for this year were enough for a 2nd place finish in the NAC competition, and has brought the grand total to 14,338 non-perishable items donated to our community in recent years.

In addition, congratulations to our women’s soccer team for their internal RC athletics can collection competition championship for the 2nd straight year.

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

A graduate of our MBA program and a successful professional in the community, Mark Samuelson is a program manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Mark says this about his experience at RC:

"The MBA program at Rockford College offers class sizes that encourage dynamic discussions between both student and professor and student-to-student. As other professionals from around the area are enrolled in the program, you experience both academic advancement and a deeper understanding of people and businesses within the Rockford area. One of the best assets is the connections you make – both in and out of the classroom. Frequently throughout the program, graduate students are asked to lend their skills in assisting local non-profit organizations. My interactions with these community members helped in the development of my personal leadership style, and communication continued post-graduation.”

Learn more about how RC Rocks at

RC professor/authors to sign their new book at Barnes & Noble

If you haven’t picked up the book "We Are a College At War: Women Working for Victory in WWII,” here’s your chance to pick it up and have it signed by the authors. Professors Mary Weaks-Baxter, English and Christine Bruun, emerita professor of psychology, will be at Barnes & Noble at Cherryvale Mall, December 4 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. A third author, Prof. Catherine Forslund, history, cannot attend the event but will be at the bookstore earlier to sign copies of the book. The book-signing will be done is conjunction with Womanspace, a local nonprofit that will benefit from a portion of book sales on December 4. 

Get to know Me: Jan Figa, Library Director

Occasionally, we feature new faculty and staff so you can get to know them better.

Family: Mostly passed

Hometown/position(s) (before RC): Science & Engineering Librarian, UT–Arlington; Librarian, Baker College of Muskegon; Mathematics/Physics Librarian, University of Michigan; Mathematics Librarian, Michigan State University; Science & Engineering Librarian, Illinois Institute of Technology. Have also taught science at several of the aforementioned schools.

I am the president of SCROG, the umbrella organization for several fledgling web-based enterprises.

Professional/educational background: M.S., University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science; Ph.D., University of Illinois Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics; M.Sc., University of Oxford Mathematical Institute; B.S., University of Central Florida Department of Mathematics

Areas of academic interest or specialization: Scholarly communication, mathematical modeling, 18th century French literature and history.

The favorite thing about my job is…meeting people.

I collect things.

Where's Robert?

Important items on President Head’s calendar for this week.

November 29   Rockford College Wassail Party

November 30   Facilitator at NICNE Dialogue

December 1     Meeting with Dr. Caesar Mickens, District 205

December 3 & 4    Rockford College Board of Trustees committee meetings & full board meeting

Make a child’s holiday; donate to Giving Tree

Time is flying by and Christmas is just around the corner. Meantime, 18 children are still waiting for you to choose them for the Giving Tree, an annual event to collect gifts for area children whose families cannot afford to give them gifts. Stop by The Giving Tree in the Starr Science lobby and choose a name today! 

Seeing a play in Spanish by RC students? Si!
Does visiting a Chilean beach in December sound like fun? If so, "El Delantal Blanco” ("The White Apron”) is the play for you! Presented in Spanish by the students of Rockford College, the play has multiple ties to current issues of social class and prejudice. "La Señora” a high-class woman who is relaxing on the beach with her maid and son decides to try trading places with her servant. Little did she know this trip to the beach would become such a learning experience. See it December 3, 6 p.m. in the Scarborough auditorium. Admission is free. 

Literary magazine to be released tomorrow
Come out to the Lion's Den tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5 p.m. to pick up your copy of this semester's edition of Black Hole, White Light, the campus literary magazine. Stay to read your favorite poetry, prose, or to hear others. Spoken Word Open Mic sponsored by the Literary Magazine!

Wassail party this afternoon
All students, faculty and staff are invited to the annual Wassail Party today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Forrest Cool Lounge, located on 3rd floor Burpee. Warm up to the special wassail brew, watch the lighting of the Rockford College tree at 5 p.m. and join in on some carols. The Vocal Collective will also perform. 

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

World AIDS Day: Light For Rights, Wednesday, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Event begins with a "Light for Rights March” from Midtown District to Memorial Hall at 5:30 p.m. at 201 Seventh St. The "Light for Rights Candlelight Ceremony” is 6 to 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St. This year’s World AIDS Day theme is "Universal Access and Human Rights.” 815-961-1269;

Step Up! Take the Pledge Against Violence, Wednesday, 6 to 9 p.m., Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center. The evening will feature speakers including Jody Raphael from the DePaul Law Center, and past Zonta International director Kerry Dixon Fox. These two women will speak out about gender violence locally and internationally, and the importance of men’s voices in the discussion. Cost is $22, $25 at the door and includes dinner. 815-397-8846;

Rockton Christmas Walk, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, downtown Rockton. On Friday, highlights include Lighting of Luminaries from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Village Green Park. Santa will visit at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Lighting of Katie’s tree at 7 p.m. and the Lighting of Village Green Park.

Artists’ Ensemble’s "Moon Over the Brewery,” Friday, 8 p.m., Rockford College, Cheek Theatre. Miriam is a superstressed single mom. She waits tables by day and paints by night while doing her best to raise her daughter, Amanda, who has a genius IQ and an imaginary friend. Then there is Warren, the shy mailman who just might be the guy both Amanda and her lonely mother really need. Performances will continue through Dec. 19. Other performance times are 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Cost is $28, $26 for seniors and $10 for students. 815-904-2277;

Downtown Holiday Festival, Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m., downtown Rockford. The evening starts with a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall. Local artists, students and interior designers will be participating in a holiday window display competition in storefront windows along the 100 to 500 blocks of East State Street. Santa will arrive on a one-horse open sleigh, kids can enjoy holiday stories by Borders, and carolers will provide musical entertainment. 815-218-3661;

RC in the news
· A column by President Head on the value of a four year education appeared in the Rockford Register Star’s opinion page yesterday.

· Several nominees for the Register Star’s Excalibur Award have RC connections. Attorney Tom Johnson is a former college trustee who says if he had $1 million, he would give some of it to Rockford College to develop a K-12 curriculum on Rockford history. Also nominated were Jim and Pam Keeling. Keeling is a current trustee who is also active in the college’s "Half the Sky” effort. The third nominee is Kent Mallquist, who is also a former RC trustee. The winners will be announced Thursday.

· Pam Clark Reidenbach, NICNE director, was quoted in a Register Star story yesterday about non-profit mergers.

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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