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06/07/2017 10:58 am



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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

Share your GOOD NEWS with us!
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Pictures also welcome!

Giving made simple.


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.

Alumni Gallery

06/06/2017 9:37 am

Challenge Accepted

04/20/2017 1:03 pm

Thank you for your gift!

Your support means a lot to our campus.

Thank you for being READY on our Day of Giving!


Office of Development
Johnson Alumni Center
5050 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108
fax 815-226-4081
Denise Noe, Assistant Vice President

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Give a Gift

2016 Reunion Photo Gallery

03/07/2017 5:20 pm

Day of Giving

11/28/2016 10:20 am


Percent of 2017 Goal


Gifts from the RU Community


Percent of Total Givers



Over the last two years we learned that in one day we could engage alumni, parents, students and friends across the globe in rallying around Rockford University. We are ready to do it again.

Today’s the day! Join us for our third annual Day of Giving as we come together this year to support Rockford University’s participation in the Rubin Education Challenge. Every $ will be matched – doubling your impact. 

In December 2015, Rockford University and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) announced the University’s participation in the Rubin Education Challenge, a challenge grant offered by CFNIL to build scholarship endowments benefiting local students with financial need who attend local post-secondary institutions. The power of an endowed fund in addition to CFNIL’s automatic match of all gifts to this project make today an incredible day to be a Regent. Join us and become a part of a rock solid, dynamic solution for our students.​

 Alumni Matching Gift Challenge

Two Liners from Tom Muldowney ’74

Joining us today on our third annual Day of Giving is Immediate Past Board of Trustees Chair Tom Muldowney ’74. In the spirit of philanthropy and good fun, he has gifted us with a poetic musing.

On giving day, Eric pres has asked for help, in fact he really fidgets 
The day of giving’s underway,  he wants to reach 5 digits​

Get closer to your finals, to end the year’s a nice dream 
To make lighten up the load a bit, come over for some ice cream

It’s pretzel day, most curious, but do not get all twisted  
It’s also “ice cream’s free today,”  come here and get enlisted

Our day of giving helps us help, we think that you’d agree 
So we ask all our friends to help, call us and you’ll see

Come and get an ice cream cone, don’t be a wannabe 
Don’t miss the chance to make a gift, you’ll hear us cheer Whoopee!​

Some would say we set a bribe, incenting your donation
The folks you help will jump for joy in thanks and celebration

We’re really close to hurdle 1, the first one is 10 grand
You can help us pass that goal donate just as you planned

We need your help, so come to fore, no time to be demurring
You help us keep expenses low, for student’s it’s assuring

OK, the pres is really glad, you made the goal $10K
He says “let’s try for 20K ‘cause that’d make the day”​

Our thanks to Tom, his imagination, and his generous support to his beloved University. Thank you, Tom!




Office of Development
Johnson Alumni Center
5050 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108
fax 815-226-4081
Denise Noe, Assistant Vice President

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Give a Gift

Reunion Gift

11/21/2016 12:31 pm

Give a Gift

11/21/2016 11:21 am

Give a Gift

07/26/2016 10:53 pm



How Your Gift Helps Rockford University

Every gift makes a difference to the students and faculty. Unrestricted gifts allows Rockford University to make that difference by directing those funds to the areas of greatest need. You may also designate your gift to support a department, program, scholarship fund, or other area of your choosing.

Your gifts to Rockford University allow us to:
• Award scholarships for deserving students.
• Fund service-learning programs throughout the community and into the world.
• Acquire state-of-the-art technology.
• Help students make meaningful connections between liberal learning and civic engagement.
• Provide faculty with funds to stay current with new methods of teaching and learning.

Your Gifts Bring Our Mission to Life

Our mission is to educate men and women to lead responsible lives by means of a curriculum grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented and extended by professional and practical experience. Through the total academic and co-curricular experience, Rockford University strives to prepare students for fulfilling lives, careers, and participation in a modern and changing global society.

A Rock Solid education starts here. 


From IRA to Z, We Have Everything You Need to Know

We are proud to be able to offer resources that can assist you in many ways. From understanding how changes to tax laws can impact your charitable rollovers to planning for legacy giving, the link below can help.

Please visit to learn more! 


Special Initiatives

The Charter Fund

The Charter Fund is the annual giving program for Rockford University. It pays tribute to the document by which the University was created and to the individuals and organizations that support us in maintaining it. It is a source of pride for us and unites current students, alumni, parents and friends in transforming Rockford University in the 21st century. A gift to the Charter Fund supports students today.



Rubin Education Challenge

rulogo-191x75 ‌    CFNILlogohorizontal--new-374x75

In December 2015, Rockford University and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) announced the University’s participation in the Rubin Education Challenge, a challenge grant offered by CFNIL to build scholarship endowments benefiting local students with financial need who attend local post-secondary institutions. Together, Rockford University and CFNIL will build a $3 million endowment, with CFNIL matching every dollar contributed by the University and its donors. The program is named after Dr. Louis and Violet Rubin whose $24.5 million gift to CFNIL made the matching endowments possible.

Each year, Rockford University awards more than $10 million in institutional aid, scholarship and grants, including $2 million awarded directly to students from the region. These funds are part of the University’s commitment to our students. The Rubin Education Challenge provides additional flexibility within our existing financial aid commitments, further enhancing our ability to enrich academic and co-curricular programs for all students. An increasingly robust scholarship base benefits students, current and future, while simultaneously elevating the profile of the institution and our community.

Your gift will be doubled through the Rubin Education Challenge, but contributions to the Rubin Education Challenge must be received by January 4, 2018.



Rock Solid and Ready: The Campaign for Rockford University

Rockford University delivers an education grounded in the liberal arts, providing students with the best possible foundation for a broad range of lives, careers, and meaningful citizenship; it’s been that way since 1847. Over the past several years, with strong core support, we have completed the hard work, demonstrated our enduring value, and are now taking strategic steps to strengthen our position. Looking ahead, we aspire to be a beacon for this region and beyond as an institution that is increasingly nimble, adaptive, and accessible.

Now we need you to believe in and invest in our future. Through participation in Rock Solid & Ready: The Campaign for Rockford University, you will help launch an era of progress. You will see just how much your leadership support will enhance our campus environment and the student experience.

We are rock solid and we are ready. To join us, please contact Denise Noe today.


Office of Development
Johnson Alumni Center
5050 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108
fax 815-226-4081
Denise Noe, Assistant Vice President

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Give a Gift

Request a Transcript

07/26/2016 10:52 pm

Request a Transcript

The Registrar’s Office posts the class schedule for the University and is responsible for the administration of faculty policies on degree requirements and eligibility of Dean’s List and Distinguished Scholars.

Transcripts, enrollment and degree verification are handled through Student Administrative Services (SAS). All requests must be in writing with your signature. The Transcript Request Form may be typed out, then printed, signed, mailed, hand delivered or faxed. Please fill out this form in its entirety; unsigned and incomplete forms will not be processed. The fee is $5.00 per transcript; duplicate requests may result in multiple processing fees. Faxed requests must include credit card information. If you have any questions related to transcript request orders, please contact Student Administrative Services (SAS) at 815-226-4062 or

Transcript Request Form

Mail to:
Student Administrative Services
Rockford University
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL  61108

Fax to:

Additional Resources


Office of the Registrar
Howard Colman Library
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
fax: 815-394-5174
Anna Jattkowski-Hudson, Registrar

Student Administrative Services (SAS)
Nelson Hall--1st floor
5050 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108
Fax: 815-394-5174

Mon-Thurs - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Chat with an Admission Counselor

Alumni Referral Scholarship

07/26/2016 10:52 pm


Calling all Rockford University Alumni!

Alumni often look back at their Rockford University experiences as some of the most fulfilling and memorable of their lives. Now, someone you know can have this same experience and receive a $500 scholarship toward their first year at Rockford University.

The new student referral program, permits new students referred by Rockford University alumni to receive the $500 scholarship automatically upon enrollment. Of course, prospective students under the program still need to meet Rockford University admission requirements.

Referring a prospective student is easy. Once you make contact, have your prospective student complete an application for admission. On the application, there is a question that asks, “How did you hear about this institution?” The student must choose”Rockford University Alumna/us” and then enter your name in the “Other” box directly below. Upon admission and enrollment, the student will then receive the $500 scholarship toward the first year’s tuition.

This program is for students entering Rockford University for the first time as full-time, undergraduate students*. Students are eligible for additional financial aid if they qualify. This program does not apply to students recruited solely through college fairs or similar events staffed by alumni representatives. Four-year Alumni Grants of $500 per year are still available for dependents of Rockford University alumni.

For more details, contact the Admission Office at 815-226-4050, or e-mail the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Give a prospective student the same opportunity you had at this great institution. Refer someone today!

*Does not apply to the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Management Studies (BSMS) Completion Program


Office of Alumni
Johnson Alumni Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
toll free: 877-273-4368
fax: 815-226-4081
Kristyn King '89, Director of Alumni Affairs

Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm