Rockford University invites applicants for the position of Graduate Assistant in the Urban Education Program. The graduate assistant for the Urban Education Program in the Education Department has duties involving research and data collection related to accreditation, clerical activities related to the support and revision of course materials for existing and new courses, and the maintenance of records for the Education Department. This is a year round position, to begin 8/1/18, working approximately 25 hours per week. Benefits include up to 21 hours of tuition remission per academic year and a monthly stipend.

• Assist in planning activities for the Education Pathways Program
• Assist with clerical activities related to clinical and student teacher placements
• Assist in sending out and analyzing results from surveys
• Research for articles on specified topics related to urban education and other disciplines
• Assist in the creation and revision of materials for class use, including PowerPoint presentations, checklists, and rubrics
• Conduct clerical work such as copying and disseminating materials; filing; and preparing, editing, and revising documents
• Complete record keeping of the Education Department’s assessment information, course syllabi, and course scheduling
• Maintain and populate the Department of Education’s social media accounts
• Other duties as assigned

• Bachelor’s degree
• Admission into the Rockford University Graduate Program. Priority consideration will be given to applicants matriculated in the MAT Program
• Excellent computer skills and proficient in Microsoft Office

Please submit cover letter, resume and list of three professional references to

Education Pathway RPS students 2018The Rockford Public School District 205 School Board recognized 20 seniors at last night’s board meeting who have committed to participation in the Education Pathway program at Rockford University. The students come from high schools East, Jefferson, Auburn and Guilford.

First introduced in the spring of 2016, Education Pathway students could first began enrolling in the program in the fall of 2017. The Education Pathway program’s goal is to attract RPS 205 students to the teaching profession specifically to stay and work in RPS 205. The program begins in the middle school with seventh and eighth graders discussing a teaching career. It continues in high school with an education pathway, then transitions into a college degree program through Rockford University at a significantly reduced cost. If hired in RPS 205, program graduates can also receive a master’s degree in urban education cost-free from Education Pathway RPS Students 2018_2Rockford University. 

Rockford University congratulates the incoming Education Pathway students and commends them on their decision to pursue a career in education. 

Read more in Rockford Register Star’s article – Rockford Public Schools celebrates first full class of future teachers




Rockford University invites applicants for a tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor of Computer Science. A Master’s degree in Computer Science or Information Systems is required; but a Ph.D. is preferred. Candidates that are ABD will be considered. Applicants must be able to teach in the core Computer Science curriculum. Prior full-time college teaching experience is highly preferred. Enthusiasm for teaching in a small-university liberal arts setting is essential.

The position will be offered at the assistant/ associate professor level and will begin August 2018. Applications will be reviewed starting immediately, and will be accepted until the position is filled. Please send curriculum vitae, a statement of teaching philosophy, all related transcripts graduate and undergraduate and list of three professional references to
Rockford University’s search committees and hiring managers are especially interested in candidates who through their research, teaching, and/or service will contribute to the diversity and excellence of our academic community. Rockford University is committed to being an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Three Rockford University professors have received a $14,000 grant to study the spread of Lyme disease in northern Illinois from the Community Grants Program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL).

Associate professors of biology at RU — Troy Skwor, Ph.D.; James Marshall, Ph.D.; and Chemical and Biological Sciences Department Chair Sean Beckmann, Ph.D. — are collaborating on “Lyme Ecology in Northern IL: From Voles to Birds to Humans.” Funded for two years by the CFNIL, the project is an expansion of Dr. Beckmann’s research into how rodents can spread the disease, which yielded two previously unknown carriers of Lyme — meadow jumping mice and 13-lined ground squirrels.

Rockford University Associate Professor of Biology Sean Beckmann, Ph.D., holds a trap with a ground squirrel on Friday, May 26, 2017, at Distillery Road Conservation Area in Belvidere. Beckmann and a group of undergraduates collected rodent specimens to test for Lyme disease. ARTURO FERNANDEZ/RRSTAR.COM FILE PHOTO

“Ticks themselves are not born with Lyme disease,” Dr. Beckmann explains. “They have to acquire it by feeding on the blood of another animal that is infected. We call this a reservoir. For Lyme disease the traditional reservoir has been the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. However, Lyme exists in areas and ecosystems outside of the range of this mouse.”

Reports of Lyme disease have doubled in northern Illinois in the last 15 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Beckmann describes the region as “one of the hotspots for the disease in Illinois.”

“This increase in cases alone demonstrates a need to identify the reasons,” says Dr. Skwor, who wrote the grant proposal. “People who spend any time outdoors with prairie or wooded areas are at risk of acquiring Lyme disease, and with climate change the numbers could increase even more.”

In the majority of Lyme cases affecting humans, patients develop a bullseye rash with a fever, headache and chills. However, in 20 to 30 percent of instances, the rash is not detected, allowing the disease to progress with severe complications in the heart and joints, as well as neurological damage. Traditional medical treatments currently have little effect in the chronic stage of the illness, with symptoms known to arise even six months after the use of antibiotics.

Most studies involving Lyme, including previous research done by Rockford University’s professors, focus on identifying the tick-borne illness’ first or second animal carriers — typically the white-footed mouse and deer, respectively. Very few have expanded to test animal reservoirs’ blood serum for the presence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that indirectly causes the disease.

Rockford University Associate Professor of Biology James Marshall, Rockford University’s resident ornithology expert, conducts an ecology course in a state park during a class trip to Florida in January 2015. ROCKFORD UNIVERSITY PHOTO

The University’s research team will broaden its focus to birds with the hope of understanding how Lyme spreads within northern Illinois — whether birds are bringing the disease into the area and infecting ticks, or are being bitten and infected after arriving in the region.

“Little is known about what other mammals can serve as reservoirs of Lyme, particularly the role of birds,” Dr. Beckmann explains. “This is important, as birds can move from place to place and cover long distances much better than mice and may serve as mobile reservoirs.”

The researchers will partner with undergraduate students to trap and obtain blood and DNA samples from hundreds of animals to test for

the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi in the spring, summer and fall months over the next two years. With Dr. Marshall leading efforts to capture, test and release birds and Dr. Beckmann continuing his focus on rodent carriers while analyzing DNA and blood samples for the presence of Lyme-causing bacteria, Dr. Skwor will search for antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in the animals’ blood. Trap sites will include Rockford University’s campus and Severson Dells Nature Center in Winnebago County, as well as Boone County’s Distillery Road Conservation Area.

Collaborating with Texas A&M University Lyme expert Dr. Jon Skare, professor and associate head of the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Rockford University’s team will further explore whether robins — identified by the CDC as having only transient infections of Lyme — and potentially other species produce antibodies that could help make them immune to the disease. Dr. Skwor says although it’s “very hypothetical,” these birds’ natural ability to fight off Lyme could point to a potential human treatment.

Rockford University Associate Professor of Biology Troy Skwor, Ph.D., shows bacteria cells on a microscope slide in the lab at Starr Science Center in this spring 2017 file photo. ROCKFORD UNIVERSITY PHOTO

“We are thrilled to receive funding for this exciting project. It addresses Lyme disease in a holistic fashion, researching multiple vectors involved in the transmission of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi,” Dr. Skwor says. “Most studies analyze only one vector at a time from various parts of the world, making it difficult for scientists to understand the pathogen in a defined ecosystem. Our research study includes numerous vectors — some of them being new — as well as an additive feature assessing whether birds have been infected locally or outside northern Illinois.”

Rockford University is a four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. The University offers approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Education in Urban Education (MEd).

Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. RU is ranked as a Best Regional University – Midwest Tier One by US News & World Report and was named by the Princeton Review as a Best in the Midwest institution. The University currently serves approximately 1,260 full-and part-time students.

The mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow and endowment for the current and future needs of the people of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953, CFNIL has granted more than $65 million for charitable purposes in the region.

Adjunct Physics Instructor

03/05/2018 3:40 pm

Rockford University invites applications for adjunct instructors to teach courses and/or laboratory sessions for Introductory Physics and/or Astronomy. The introductory physics course is designed to teach physics concepts in a two-course algebra-based sequence. The introductory astronomy course is designed as an introductory survey of astronomy.
The teaching load is expected to be 3 – 6 hrs. per week with flexibility on day/times to accommodate an adjunct schedule. This would be a great opportunity for an aspiring faculty member to be an instructor of record, or someone returning to physics after a hiatus, or a retiree who wants to enjoy teaching and learning again.

Minimum Qualifications:
Master’s Degree in Physics, Physics Education or related field from an accredited college or university required. Prior teaching experience is highly preferred. Enthusiasm for teaching in a small liberal arts university setting is essential.

Review of applications will start immediately. Interested candidates should e-mail a curriculum vitae, a teaching statement, and all related transcripts graduate and undergraduate to

Dr. Mehmet Dik

Founded in 1847, Rockford University is an independent, liberal arts institution dedicated to teaching. It is located in Rockford, IL, a city of 150,000 people about 85 miles northwest of Chicago. The University offers bachelor degree programs in over two dozen majors, masters programs in teaching and business, and educational programs for the citizens of our community. Rockford University is one of only twelve institutions in Illinois with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Rockford University is an AA/EOE employer.

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Two Rockford University assistant professors of chemistry—Gidget Tay, Ph.D, and Matthew Bork, Ph.D.—have been honored with 2018 awards from the American Chemical Society.

Gidget Tay

Dr. Tay received the Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award for the Rock River Section of the ACS, nominated both for her chemistry demonstrations at after-school centers and public libraries as well as her series of “educational videos that combine dance and chemistry to explain concepts that students find difficult,” according to the ACS.

Dr. Tay, who was a dance minor as an undergraduate, collaborated with Rockford University Performing Arts faculty and students to produce the latest video on her DanceChemistry YouTube channel. Her videos have tackled topics including stereochemistry, reaction rates, distillation and solubility, with the hope that this free content will “inspire a younger generation of future scientists” and “be used to improve scientific understanding from a creative viewpoint.”

Matthew Bork

Dr. Bork earned a Salute to Excellence Award from the Affiliated Chemical Society for his work revitalizing an annual Chemistry Olympiad for the Rock River Section of the ACS. Dr. Bork has coordinated the event for five years, adding a banquet to the yearly meeting and working to build relationships with local high schools.

Rockford University is currently accepting applications for a Graduate Assistant for the Regent Women’s Basketball program to begin May 16, 2018. Benefits include 21 hours of tuition remission per year, room and board. The successful candidate must be available to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and possess a history of successful playing experience, preferably at the collegiate level.


1. To foster, mold, guide, lead, and direct student-athletes towards a quality educational experience in order to obtain the ultimate goal of a degree.
2. To develop a successful collegiate women’s basketball program and individual coaching philosophy through recruiting, off-season programs, practice planning, and in-season execution.


• Recruiting phone calls, off-campus visits, setting up on-campus visits.
• High School visits, both in and out of state.
• Setting up and executing practices.
• Game and practice coaching.
• Individual student-athlete meetings.
• Weekly study table sessions.
• Set up individual tutoring and learning sessions through the usage of Rockford University programs.
• Classroom attendance and grade checks.
• Strength and conditioning supervision.
• Film breakdown of both practice and game film.


• Bachelors Degree.
• Acceptance into the graduate program
• Successful playing experience preferably at the collegiate level.
• Position specific knowledge of the game
• A valid driver’s license and personal auto insurance
• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
• Must be willing to take initiative and work hard
• Working knowledge of Strength and Conditioning

Review of resumes will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please submit resume, cover letter and list of three professional references to

Outside Scholarships

02/20/2018 3:38 pm

Many students use outside scholarships to help fund their education. High schools, community organizations, churches, employers and many others have outside scholarships that students should always be on the lookout for. All legitimate scholarship search engines and applications must be free and should not request any credit card or bank information from the applicant. Throughout the year our office receives information about outside scholarships opportunities and information on these are listed below. These scholarships are not offered or maintained by Rockford University.


Outside Scholarship Search Engines


Outside Scholarship Opportunities

  • ABWA Scholarship – Forest City Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association – scholarship to an individual living in Winnebago or Boone Counties – Application Due by March 14, 2018
  • RNPW Scholarship – One $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to a woman 23 years old or older, living in Winnebago or Boone County – Application Due by March 1, 2018
  • Brown, PC is now accepting applications for the firm’s National Founder’s Scholarship, a $500 stipend which will be awarded to a current U.S. undergraduate student earning their bachelor’s degree in business, with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship. Application Due by August 6, 2018
  • Blanche J. Martin Scholarship – Awarded to a full time student majoring in elementary education – Application Due by April 15, 2018


2018 Heart Art Gallery

02/15/2018 1:12 pm

Council of Global Affairs

02/14/2018 6:59 pm

Message to Rockford University Students from the Faculty

The faculty of Rockford University is committed to the teaching mission of the institution and thus to all our students. The faculty values and appreciates the diversity of religion, ethnicity, national origin, race, disability, and gender in our student body. The rich diversity present in our campus community enriches the educational environment by deepening our understanding of the world and better equipping all students to be global citizens. We, the members of the Rockford University faculty, wish each of you to know that you have our support in your efforts to grow, learn, and fulfill your dreams. We are glad you have chosen to study at Rockford University, and we value your contributions to the whole RU community. We are your teachers and we are here to help and support you.

Council of Global Affairs

 The Council on Global Affairs is a group of faculty and staff who have volunteered to meet regularly to discuss issues and activities of global significance on campus. Current members include Sam Bandy, John Burns, Maria Diemer, Mehmet Dik, Catherine Forslund, William Gahan, Julie Griffith, Ron Lee, Marilen Loyola, Andy Newgren, Matt Phillips, Stephanie Quinn, Luis Romero, Deepshikha Shukla, Jean Swindle, and Gidget Tay. 

Global Faculty Fellow

Program Chair and Associate Professor of Physics, Deepshikha Shukla, Ph. D. is the current Global Faculty Fellow at Rockford University. With her experience in the education systems of India and the US, she is passionate about creating a culture where domestic and international students, faculty and staff symbiotically co-habitate. Assimilation of international students at RU and promoting international experience for the entire campus lies at the core of her initiatives. Internationalization is her ‘mantra’.”

Flags Displayed on Campus

Currently we are displaying the flags of Germany and India.

Cross-cultural Classes

Cross-cultural classes are designed for international English as a Second Language students (ESL) and undergraduate/graduate native English-speaking students studying at RU. The aim of these classes is to help the ESL students to be confident and improve their level of fluency in English in addition to helping native English-speakers gain valuable information about other cultures and people.  The international and RU students bring their own ideas and thoughts shaped by their cultures. The classes are an exchange where both ESL and RU students discover and get to know each other. This class provides an excellent atmosphere of mutual sharing and cross-culture communication. Students build new relationships and acquire a sense of achievement. 

Symbiotic dialogue between Cross-cultural Psychology class and ESL students. 

Global Connections Newsletter


Global Spotlight Award


Congratulations to our Global Spotlight Student of the Month!

Nominate a student to be our Global Spotlight Student of the Month!


A student who has demonstrated a commitment as an agent of cross-cultural change will be selected monthly. Students may be domestic or international and nominated by any staff or faculty member. Criteria are as follows:

  1. The student has participated in school or community activities that are cross-cultural.
  2. The student has demonstrated a commitment to advancing cultural awareness.
  3. The student functions as a cross-cultural agent of change.

Recipients of the award will be asked to participate in a recorded interview designed to increase cross-cultural awareness across campus.