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Faris Al-YamiCongratulations to our final ROCK SOLID REGENT for this semester, Faris Al-Yami. Faris is a freshmen nursing major from Najran, Saudi Arabia. He was nominated by Dr. Mehmet Dik, Chair, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. Dr. Dik shared that Faris has done a superior job in his Math courses. He is always prepared and a regular participant in class discussions. Faris is helpful to his classmates in many ways. He helps others with course work and he also assists domestic students with understanding his culture.

Faris has served as a Global Ambassador and international student orientation leader, welcoming new students to the RU campus. The Office of Global Affairs shared that he is “always willing to lend a helping hand.” Additionally, Faris is the Vice President of the Saudi Arabian Club, a member of the Multicultural Club and a member of the Saudi Arabian Soccer Club.

RU has been a great place for Faris to study. He is appreciative of the closeness of the campus community and how people get the opportunity to really know each other well. Faris desires to be a great nurse and eventually become a top healthcare provider. Congratulations to our ROCK SOLID Regent, Faris Al-Yami.

Joshua DavisJoshua Davis from Chicago, Illinois is our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the week. Joshua is a freshman computer science major and was nominated by Dr. Mehmet Dik. He is an active participant on the football team as well as the Minority Male Mentoring Program. Dr. Dik describes Joshua as a “role model student in and outside of the classroom.” He is a servant to others which is displayed in his actions as he gladly helps many students on campus. His work in Math 224-Statistics has been exemplary and he currently holds the title “Statistics King.” This title is given to the most successful male student in the class.

Joshua appreciates the very close-knit community at RU. During his first year he has discovered that there are so many free resources available to students. He also is thankful that the faculty and staff are willing to help you in any way possible. After graduation from RU Joshua would like to pursue a career in the IT security field. Congratulations, Joshua, on being a ROCK SOLID REGENT!

Congratulations to our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the week, Alondra Torres from Rockford, IL. She is a freshman biochemistry major and was nominated by Dr. Mehmet Dik, Chair, Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. Dr. Dik shared that Alondra has done an amazing job academically and socially as a first year college student. Throughout the semester Alondra has been an “exemplary student”. Her work has consistently exceeded course expectations. Additionally, she is involved in many campus activities and organizations including, CAB, Spanish Club, Multicultural Club and the soccer team. She also finds time to work as a part-time certified Nursing Assistant.
For Alondra RU has been a great place to study. She is thankful that she is able to attend college close to home. Alondra shared that “family is very important to me and being able to be here when they need me is crucial”. Additionally, she is thankful that RU offers her majors, Biochemistry as well as French. Alondra also likes the small campus because it has allowed her to develop strong relationships with faculty, staff, and students from all over the world. After graduation she plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician or a family practitioner. Congratulations Alondra on being a ROCK SOLID REGENT!

Abigail Brandon from Rockford, Illinois is our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the week. She is a senior physical education major and was nominated by Associate Professor Tammy Schiek. Professor Schiek shared that Abigail is a dedicated and hardworking student who leads by example. She is respected by her professors and peers. She works diligently both in and out of the classroom. Abigail was recently spotted painting the Meltfest game board for her Senior Seminar class. This is just one example of her sense of responsibility, dedication, and leadership. She is not afraid to “step up to the plate”! She consistently exemplifies what it takes to be a successful student.
Abigail says that the “personal atmosphere” is why she enjoys studying at Rockford University. She feels that the professors try to get to know you as a student instead of a number. Faculty truly try to guide you through your experience and help in any way they can. Additionally, Abigail shares that the community on the RU campus is very friendly and welcoming. While walking from classes or entering the student center, “I am greeted or receive a smile”, which she knows is hard to find on other campuses. After graduation she plans to substitute teach and build relationships in the schools while she pursues additional endorsements on her teacher licensure. Eventually she would like to obtain a middle school physical education position in a Rockford Public School where she can spread her passion for living a healthy lifestyle. Congratulations Abigail Brandon, on being a ROCK SOLID REGENT!

Congratulations to our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the week, Lauren Johnson from Belvidere, IL. She is a senior biochemistry major and was nominated by Dr. Kyle Stedman and Dr. Gidget Tay. Dr. Stedman shared that Lauren is a master of perception. In class and in the Writing Center, she reads a piece of writing and instantly gets what’s going on, with an ability to suggest complex areas for growth in just the way the writer needs to hear it. Additionally, her own writing is powerful and starkly gorgeous.
According to Dr. Tay, Lauren has an amazing thirst for knowledge. She doesn’t just want to know the facts but also why they occur the way they do. The questions she asks in class are insightful and thought provoking. Lauren works in the organic synthesis research lab where she continues to learn new lab techniques and grow as a chemist and scientist.
In addition to serving in the research lab and as a Writing Center Consultant, Lauren also plays the ukulele and enjoys rowing as well as poetry. For Lauren RU has been a great place to study. She enjoys the beautiful landscape our campus offers with lots of old trees that remind her that someday she will be old and wise. Additionally, Lauren proudly shares, “the Starr Science building is my home”. Everyone struggling with material can gather and the professors are available to guide the students through the struggle that is real: the dissolution of ignorance and birth of knowledge. After graduation she plans to move on to graduate school. Congratulations Lauren on being a ROCK SOLID REGENT!

Mercedes SanchezMercedes Sanchez from Elgin, Illinois is our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the week. She is a junior psychology major and was nominated by Maria Diemer, Assistant Director for Global Affairs. Maria shares that Mercedes is an extremely hard worker who consistently performs her duties above and beyond what is expected. She is punctual, detail oriented and able to manage large events very well. For the past two years she has assisted the Office of Global Affairs (OGA) with welcoming and organizing twenty-five students from Mexico for one month of study. She set up a centralized communication system for all of the new international students and the OGA staff. She serves diligently as a Campus Liaison to our international students.
In addition to her work in OGA Mercedes also serves as a Spanish Tutor, Vice President of the Multicultural Club, Vice President of Spanish Club, Treasurer of Craft Club and an Orientation Leader. RU has been great place for Mercedes to study due to the diversity of students we have. She feels that everyone connects in a deeper level that allows her to grow personally and academically. Also, she appreciates the great family like atmosphere that is cultivated by access to great guidance and support from professors and staff. After graduation, Mercedes plans to attend graduate school with a continued focus in psychology. Congratulations Mercedes Sanchez, on being a ROCK SOLID REGENT!

SarahOeltjenThe Rock Solid Regent for the week of October 3 is Sarah Oeltjen. Sarah is a sophomore business administration major with an emphasis in finance. Sarah was nominated by Maria Diemer, Assistant Director of Global Affairs. She is from Westerstede, Germany and originally came to RU to study English as a second language. Maria Diemer shared that since arriving on our campus Sarah has proven herself to be a great student, leader, and employee. She consistently maintains a high GPA while working as a global ambassador to new international students and participating in the Multicultural Club and Craft Club. Additionally, Sarah recently served as an orientation leader for new students arriving on campus this semester. Sarah enjoys attending RU because the faculty members care about students and are willing to help if a problem arises. She enjoys the small classroom sizes which allows her to ask teachers questions directly. Furthermore, Sarah enjoys being a residential student because in Germany “living on campus” is not offered to students. She is very appreciative for having so many people around her who are willing to help. She feels that RU has now become a second home for her. Sarah is not exactly sure what she will do after graduation. Currently she is considering continuing her education to earn a Master’s degree in Business. Her ultimate goal is to one day own her own business. Congratulations Sarah, you are a ROCK SOLID REGENT.

MalcolmEngelbrechtMalcolm Engelbrecht from Belvidere, Illinois is our ROCK SOLID REGENT for the week. Malcolm is a junior biology major and was nominated by Dr. Gidget Tay. He currently serves as the president of RU’s Science Club, Alpha Helix. Additionally, Malcolm works as a peer tutor and is setting an example for his peers by currently holding the highest grade in his organic chemistry course. Dr. Tay shares that he is a very organized student and a strong leader. Malcolm appreciates that his professors are always available to provide him with help outside of class. He feels that these positive interactions with his instructors are a major contributing factor to his successful studying routine. Attending graduate school after graduation from Rockford University is a current goal for Malcolm. He plans to attend medical school and work towards a doctorate degree. Congratulations Malcolm on being a ROCK SOLID REGENT!

Heatheroconnor-150x187Congratulations to the first Rock Solid Regent for the fall semester, Heather O’Connor!

Heather was nominated by Donnette Tinsley, Director of the Jane Adams Center for Civic Engagement. She is a junior psychology major with a minor in human development. Donnette shared that she is excited to see how Heather has developed as a strong confident leader during her time at RU. As a Jane Adams Service Fellow, her leadership skills continue to improve, she mentors others and has a passion to “empower” others.

During her time at Rockford University Heather has been able to successfully balance her academic endeavors with extracurricular activities. She is an active participant in the Craft Club, Intervarsity, Black Student Union and she regularly attends Rock Solid Lifestyle meetings and events. Additionally, she serves as a Jane Adams Service Fellow and a Resident Assistant for Emerson Hall.

One of the reasons that Heather loves studying at Rockford University is the small class sizes. She is appreciative that she attends a small institution where everyone knows each other. She shared that every faculty member she has had contact with, genuinely cares about students. Heather believes that every student has the opportunity to succeed with the resources that RU has to offer. After graduation she plans to attend graduate school to further her education. Again, congratulations to Heather for being a Rock Solid Regent.


A full schedule of Admission events are planned to help interested students and their families learn more about all that Rockford University offers. The complete listing of events can be found on the Admission campus events calendar.

Visit days take place during the fall and winter months. During these events, you can tour campus, enjoy lunch, chat with a professor, speak with financial aid, and chat with a coach. Learn more about our Visit Days >>

Interested students are also welcome to schedule a personal visit. When you schedule a personal visit, you’ll enjoy many options such as a campus tour, complimentary lunch, attending a class, meeting with a faculty member, speaking with a financial aid representative, staying overnight in a residence hall, chatting with a coach, and attending a performing arts or athletic event. We tailor each visit to our prospective students and their interests. To schedule a personal visit, please contact the Office of Admission at 815-226-4050. Or you can schedule a visit right now >

Visit Rockford University and discover what being a Regent is all about. Reserve your spot today!