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Catalyst is published by the Communications & Alumni offices within the Institutional
Advancement division.

Letters to the editor, feedback and feature suggestions are welcome. Deadline for correspondence to be considered for the next issue of Catalyst is March 15, 2017.

Contact information: Office of Communications, 815.394.5041 or

Cover. President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., on the campus of Rockford University on the day we celebrated his inauguration as our 18th president. (For more, see inauguration story on Page 4.)

Editor: Rita Elliott
Designer: Monna Ohme

Alumni Association Board

Welcome and congratulations to our new board members:
Mitchell Faith ’16
Elizabeth Mundy-Hemmerich ’05
Jenifer Swanson-Shelton ’11
Mara Steinhour ’98
Tom Wojewodzki ’14
Anthony Scandroli ’02

Other board members:
Carlos Fulcher ’96
Courtney Geiger ’02, Secretary
Dawn Niehaus Gile ’02
Kerstin Grey ’03/’11
Robin Hartsell ’93
Jamie Jones ’01
John LiCausi ’04
Tom Lifvendahl ’70
Tom Massari ’98
Joel Moore ’00, Alumni Trustee
Kirk Mueller ’01
Susan Ouchterloney ’79, Vice President
Bettyann Pappenfus ’81
Brooke Peterson ’07
Jim Reynolds ’95
Joe Siok ’90
Scott Stoll ’01, President
Kristin Ketchum Tews ’97
Damir Utrzan ’11

Wilma Frailey Hoesly ’39, June 8, 2016
Betty Idtse Reynolds ’43, Sept. 10, 2016
Marian Weisenberger Alexander ’44, Sept. 2, 2016
Carolyn “Connie” Stolz Bennett ’45, Oct. 24, 2016
Clara Wilkinson Robinson ’47, Aug. 7, 2016
Rosemary Trelease Day ’47, Sept. 7, 2016
Maureen Harden Herd ’51, Oct. 4, 2016
Lois Sachs Johnson ’55, Sept. 1, 2016
Florence Bute Lenox ’55, Oct. 5, 2016
Dr. Jane Roscoe Thomas ’56, Nov. 28, 2016
Beverly O’Brien Capone ’58, Sept. 29, 2016
Sanatkumar Shah ’62, Oct. 21, 2016
Marlow Lee Dodge ’64, Oct. 3, 2016
Jerry D. Stevens ’65, Nov. 1, 2016
Gertrude E. Kiegel ’66, June 9, 2016
Martha Emily Desmond ’66, Aug. 18, 2016
Peter Suits ’67, Jan. 7, 2016
Donald Victor Faith ’68, Aug. 9, 2016
Barbara Feeney Powers ’69, Aug. 2, 2016
Robert Earl Petersen ’70, Aug. 7, 2016
Mary E. Gonzales ’71, Oct. 30, 2016
Geraldine Scott Malone ’73, Oct. 8, 2016
Elizabeth McGregor Deason ’74, Aug. 24, 2016
Thomas Doran ’74, Sept. 1, 2016
Jay Howard Stiteley ’76, July 23, 2016
Joan Fry Becknell ’78, Oct. 10, 2016
Melvin L. Schallberg ’80, Aug. 16, 2016
Patrick D. McCarren ’80, Aug. 31, 2016
Kathryn Clark Wilhelm ’89, Oct. 12, 2016
David Lee Ross ’91, Sept. 15, 2016
Sonal Kapur Puri ’06, Aug. 2, 2016

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With a little preparation, planned gifts can be made now to immediately support Rockford University’s needs or they can take effect in the future as a way to leave your legacy.
Anyone can make a planned gift. Consider these three popular options:

A gift in your will or revocable living trust.

Work with your attorney to include a few simple sentences in your will or living trust. Plus, you can change your mind at any time because this gift doesn’t go into effect until after your lifetime.

A gift of your retirement plan assets.

By naming us as the primary beneficiary on the designation form for a percentage (1–100) of your account’s final value, you can make a tax-wise gift to support Rockford University.

A gift of your bank or brokerage account.*

By placing a payable on death or transfer on death designation on your bank or brokerage account, you can name our organization to receive the funds.

Leave a Lasting Legacy


Contact us today at 815.394.3756 or to learn more about the benefits of planned gifts.
*State laws govern payable on death accounts and transfer on death accounts. Please consult with your bank representative or investment advisor if you are considering these gifts.


Catherine Forslund, Ph.D.

Catherine Forslund

Department Chair and Professor of History Catherine Forslund, Ph.D., has published a chapter on Edith Kermit Roosevelt in “A Companion to First Ladies,” Katherine A. S. Sibley, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.

Jessica Williams and Mirela Papandreou

ESL Instructors Jessica Williams and Mirela Papandreou had news articles published in the Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages’ (ITBE) quarterly newsletter in the fall.

Joel Lynch, Ph.D.

Joel Lynch

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology Joel Lynch, Ph.D., recently was featured in an October news spot on DeKalb, Ill., public radio station WNIJ. His commentary on why people don clown costumes to scare others touched on the psychological motivations for one of the creepiest trends of 2016. 

Robert Evans

Bob Evans

Robert Evans, an associate professor of political science, department chair and associate professor of economics, business and accounting, was featured in an October 2016 “Perspectives” spot on DeKalb, Ill., public radio station WNIJ, sharing his thoughts on the issues presented by early voting in a general election.

Michael Perry, Ph.D.

Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, Associate Professor of English and Faculty Athletic Representative Michael Perry, Ph.D., was featured in a November 2016 “Perspectives” spot on DeKalb, Ill., public radio station WNIJ for his insights on superstition and the finally-broken Chicago Cubs curse, which he posits may never have existed in the first place. Perry and some of his students also hosted a panel discussion at Geek’d Con in Rockford, Ill., in October 2016 on what is entailed in inviting graphic novels into the greater literary tradition.

John Burns, Ph.D.

John Burns

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Languages & Religion John Burns, Ph.D., presented his poetry book titled “El mismo río” (Ediciones El Quirófano, 2016) at the Festival de poesía Ileana Espinel in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in November. Burns also contributed the essay “From Manifiesto to Manifestation: The Infrarrealista Movement on the Margins of Mexican Literary Culture” to the volume “Alternative Communities in Hispanic Literature and Culture” (Luis H. Castañeda and Javier González eds.), published by Cambridge Scholars in September 2016. Additionally, he presented on the poetry of Mario Santiago at the Andean Conference of Latin American Literature in La Paz, Bolivia, in September 2016 and “Manifestations of Cultural Identity in Latin American Literature and Culture” at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association’s annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2016.

Lydia Gerzel-Short, Ed.D.

Lydia Gerzel-Short

Assistant Professor of Education Lydia Gerzel-Short, Ed.D., has given presentations at several recent conferences, including two presentations at the Convention of the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children in Lisle, Ill., in November 2016; a panel discussion with two students and individual presentation at the International Council for Learning Disabilities Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in October 2016; and a caucus panel discussion and separate individual presentation at the TED Division of the Council for Exceptional Children 2016 National Conference in Lexington, Ky., in April 2016. Gerzel-Short also recently co-authored an article on strategies for working with paraprofessionals for “New Teacher Advocate” magazine with Northern Illinois University Chair and Professor of Special Education Greg Conderman.

Brian Huels

Brian Huels

Assistant Professor of Accounting Brian Huels was recognized by the Rockford (Ill.) Chamber of Commerce as one of the 40 Leaders under 40 at a celebration in November.

Jules Gleicher, Ph.D., Ron Lee, Stephanie Quinn, Ph.D.




Jules Gleicher Ron Lee Stephanie Quinn

Chair and Professor of Political Science Jules Gleicher, Ph.D., chaired and was discussant for a panel on “Politics and Rhetoric” at the annual meeting of the Illinois Political Science Association in Chicago in November 2016. Presenting papers for this panel were faculty colleagues Chair and Assistant Professor of Political Science Ron Lee and Associate Professor of Modern & Classical Languages Stephanie Quinn, Ph.D.


Tammy Schiek

Tammy Schiek

Chair and Associate Professor of Physical Education Tammy Schiek presented “Give Me a Break: Integrating Activity into the Classroom” at the Illinois Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Conference in Schaumburg, Ill., in March 2016, and at the Raising Student Achievement Conference in St. Charles, Ill, in December 2016.