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catalyst news from Rc and beyond • spring 2013

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Scholarship with Heart Established in 2000, the Dr. Janice Sikorski Pfeffer Endowed Scholarship has opened doors and worlds of opportunity for a growing group of talented young women whose studies in math and science follow in the legacy of one of our nation’s medical research pioneers.

inside this issue

Naperville Alumni Gathering Thurs., April 25, 2013, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Maggiano’s Little Italy (1847 Freedom Dr., Naperville, IL 60563), $10/person. For more information, call 815.394.3756 or e-mail Izzy Burke at

A Global Affair


Art Gallery Exhibit March 29–April 26, 2013, “The Exquisite Menagerie: Recent Work by Michael Noland & Betsy Youngquist”

Performing Arts Theatre Production April 25–28, 2013, “Meet Me in St. Louis” May Day Tea Thurs., May 1, 2013, 11:30–1:00 p.m., University Club of Rockford (945 N. Main St., Rockford), $25/person. For more information, call 815.394.5111 or e-mail alumni@ Art Gallery Exhibit May 3–19, 2013, “Senior Show”



Scholarship with Heart p9

Leadership Highlights p10


Regents Golf Playday Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, Timber Pointe Golf Club, Poplar Grove, Ill. For more information, call the Sports Information Office at 815.394.5050.


save the date for reunion @ homecoming: October 11–13, 2013

Department Spotlight

Make plans to attend Regent Royale, this year’s Reunion @ Homecoming. Plans are underway for gatherings and events that will bring you full circle to Rockford College. Stay in touch through our Rockford College Alumni Facebook page or find more information on our website at Special weekend activities will revolve around many of the classes ending in “3” or “8,” but everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. If you would like to become more involved and help make Regent Royale a great time for your class and everyone else, please contact the Alumni Office at or 815.394.5111. RC student in Ireland

Visit for more information.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Spring Phonathon Gifts play a vital role in the lives of students - from scholarships and athletics, to classroom technology and student activities.

Class Notes p14


Alumni in Residence Program Catalyst is published by the Communications and 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 Summer 2013 issue is May 15, 2013. Contact information: Office of Communications, 815.394.5041 or communications@

RC student Phonathon callers


Cover: Ashley Eggert ’14, along the banks of the Seine River in Paris, France. Summer 2012.

a global affair The desire of alumni to make an impact beyond the boundaries of the continental United States has been present throughout Rockford College’s 166-year history. From its inception, Rockford Female Seminary had a missionary spirit. Young women came to live and study in the rough terrain that was northern Illinois, absorbed what the Seminary had to offer, and then ventured out to follow their dreams in remote regions of the world and the frontiers of America. The very first young woman to receive a Rockford Seminary diploma on July 13, 1854, was Miss Anna Allen. She quickly hopped in a buggy, traveled to Beloit, Wis., that afternoon, and married the Reverend F.A. Douglass who had just received his degree that day from Beloit College. He had been assigned to represent the Baptist Missionary Union of Boston in India. That October, they sailed from Boston and for fifteen years they worked in Nolore, India, and other areas of southeast India, establishing schools and performing other missionary work. Several more decades of alumnae left the States to begin schools, churches, and YMCA movements in the faraway lands of China, Korea and Japan, including Eliza Talcott and Julia Dudley who founded Kobe College in Japan in 1875. Kobe and RC enjoy a close relationship to this day.

In 1919, under the presidency of William Arthur Maddox, concerted efforts began to bring the world to Rockford College. Mademoiselle Juliette L’Hostis accepted an offer to become RC’s first foreign fellow. She graduated from high school in 1911, taught at a girl’s school in Brittany, France, for five years and worked at the American YMCA headquarters in Brest for one year, making her ably qualified to come to Rockford, assist in the instruction of French, and receive her A.B. degree in 1920. After teaching at RC for two years she became an assistant professor of French at the University of California at Berkeley. Several programs and networks were established in the years following WWI and leading up to and following WWII that allowed for faculty and students to immigrate to the States, some escaping the potential of persecution or the brutal reality that had already been part of their lives. Presidents Maddox, Chalmers and Cheek did not shy away from engaging fully in the process and bringing to the College the best international professional talent available. Global Affair, continued p4


Global Affair, continued from p3

In the ’60s, several African students called Rockford home, including Selby Dlamini who came to campus in 1964. After graduating, he returned to his native Swaziland, furthered his education, and become the country’s minister of health. His daughter and former student body president, Khetsiwe Dlamini, returned to her father’s alma mater and made it her own, graduating in 2010. Many will also remember students from Iran and Iceland who were prevalent in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

Student room, old campus

We find today that providing our students an education that includes a rich global perspective is more Relevant and increasingly important than ever. In June 2008, former U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton, the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Thomas Kean, former governor of New Jersey and chair of the 9/11 Commission, discussed the importance of global education. In a widely publicized op-ed for the Christian Science Monitor, they wrote, “The United States cannot conduct itself effectively in a competitive international environment when our most educated citizens lack minimal exposure to, and understanding of, the world beyond U.S. borders. Ignorance of the world is a national liability.” In order to more effectively centralize and direct our current international resources, the College established the new Office of Global Affairs in late 2012. The office combines what were three separate functions: Kobe-Regent’s Center for Global Education (KRCGE), the English Language Institute (ELI), and International Admissions. The restructuring further supports an objective to expand the student population to include 100 international students by fiscal year 2015. This objective is contained within Strategy Two of the College’s strategic plan that calls for the College to distinguish itself through our commitment to the whole student experience. The Office of Global Affairs is led by Associate Vice President Matthew Phillips ’04/’06/’07. Over the coming months the College will work towards developing structures aimed at accomplishing our core objective of comprehensive internationalization while also working to further leverage faculty expertise and enhance international components in curriculum. The following will transition in both name and focus: • KRCGE will become the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS). Responsible for all 4

facets of outgoing and incoming student support, this area will focus on the internationalization of the institution. Specific focus will be on student and faculty participation in global programs both on campus and abroad. This office will be responsible for SEVIS administration.

Matthew Phillips ’04/’06/’07, Associate Vice President of Global Affairs

• ELI will become the English as a Second Language Program (ESL), a strong pathway program for international students into undergraduate and graduate programs. Three focuses are English language acquisition, cultural immersion, and academic preparation (American Higher Education). This program has the potential to attract many students from around the world interested in intensive English language programs. • International Admissions, formally coordinated through admissions will be handled in a new department, International Partnerships and Admissions (IPA). This area is responsible for developing relationships with partner universities around the world for exchange, dual degree and recruitment, in addition to developing relationships with representatives around the world to increase international student population on campus. Matt shares, “Having a global focus enriches every aspect of our campus. It changes conversations, broadens perspectives, and enriches our collective experiences at Rockford College. There is literally a world of opportunity out there for us to become a part of. I am extremely excited to be involved in these efforts and look forward to expanding the learning experiences we offer our students around the globe.”

RC students at the 2012 International Food Festival

International Food Festival Saturday, April 6, from 6–9 p.m. in Regents Hall. The event is hosted by the Multicultural Club and the International Students and Scholars office. Entertainment will be from regions such as Hawaii, Italy, Serbia and many more. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet with food from all around the world, including Puerto Rico, Japan, China, Hungary and more. For more information or to reserve tickets, see the calendar of events at or contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at 815.394.5112.

international students on campus Rockford College currently has 40 international students on campus, up from four students in 2010. Students represent 14 countries: China, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Rwanda, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, England, Tanzania, Germany, Japan, India, Iran, Yemen, and Vietnam.

Travel the world with RC Rockford College is hosting three trips abroad for our alumni and friends! Visit • Southwestern Ireland golf trip, May 4–12, 2013 Green grass, blue sky and white waves all meet here, which makes this part of Ireland a golf course designer’s dream. This Irish golf vacation includes rounds at Lahinch, Killarney, Tralee, Ballybunion and Waterville, with more golf in store for those who join our post-tour extension. Golfers’ traveling companions will enjoy sightseeing through Ireland on tours of the Cliffs of Moher, Ross Castle, the Ring of Kerry and more. Look for the Alternate Guided Sightseeing itinerary on each day of this tour. • Iceland: Reykjavik to the glaciers, August 3–8, 2013 From the moment you arrive, you’ll inhale Iceland’s refreshing air and an included tour of the country’s South Coast showcases Iceland’s otherworldly beauty. PLUS, gather with Iceland alumni – August 5, 2013!

RC student in Ireland

• Venice, Florence & Rome, September 19–30, 2013 This tour highlights three of our favorite Italian cities. Experience the majesty and romance of Venice, lose yourself in the history and art of Florence, and end your journey in Rome, where you’ll be engrossed in the history and the culture of the Eternal City. 5

Scholarship with Heart A native of Machesney Park, Ill., Ashley Eggert ’14, biochemistry major and art minor, had always been aware of Rockford College. “Growing up around Rockford, RC had always been a respectable name that everyone in the area knew,” says Ashley. It was because of that familiarity that Rockford College wasn’t on her radar when she began narrowing down her college choices. “I originally had goals of going far away,” she says. Staying in the area wasn’t part of her plan, but after touring Rockford College multiple times (initially for Education, then switching to Pre-Med, which required tours of different programs and buildings), she made a last-minute decision to submit her application.


Not knowing what to expect, Ashley was pleasantly surprised by a phone call from the College admissions counselor. She remembers, “He said that he really liked

my application, and thought I was a great candidate for a Presidential Scholarship, but the deadline for consideration was only two weeks away. He rushed me all of the information overnight, and urged me to submit it as soon as possible.” Before she knew it, Ashley was hard at work filling out the extensive Presidential Scholarship application and requesting letters of recommendation. After submitting her application, Ashley was invited to participate in the next step of the selection process, which consisted of a timed essay and an interview with Rockford College faculty and staff. “I felt like it had all gone well,” she says, “but I was definitely anxious to find out the results.” When the phone rang a few days later, Ashley was in another part of the house, and didn’t get to the phone before the answering machine had picked up.

“The message just said, ‘This is Rockford College. Please call us back.’ I was so nervous,” she recalls. Her nerves would find no relief, however, as once Ashley returned the phone call, she was greeted with an answering machine as well. After a torturous round of phone tag, Ashley heard news better than she was hoping for – not only was she accepted as a Presidential Scholar, but she had been selected as the recipient of the Dr. Janice Sikorski Pfeffer Endowed Presidential Scholarship; a scholarship which offsets the entire cost of tuition. “I was really giggly and freaking out on the inside, but trying to keep it together,” Ashley says. “Right after I hung up, I called my mom and we both started screaming together on the phone. I think my parents may have been even more excited than I was.” The Dr. Janice Sikorski Pfeffer Endowed Scholarship* was established in 2000, in memory of Dr. Janice Sikorski Pfeffer ’69 by her husband, Dr. Marc Pfeffer ’69 and fellow researcher Eugene Braunwald, M.D. Dr. Janice Pfeffer made significant contributions to the scientific community with her research on utilizing ACE inhibitors in the treatment of heart attack patients. Dr. Marc Pfeffer felt it only appropriate that her legacy continue in the form of a scholarship awarded to the best and brightest female math or science majors. To be considered for the Pfeffer scholarship, incoming female freshmen must meet all of the criteria of a Presidential Scholarship, which requires an entering

GPA of 3.65, and a 29 ACT/SAT score equivalent, and additionally declare their major as either math or science. Only one new incoming freshman is selected as the recipient each year, and the scholarship is renewed annually as long as a GPA of 3.5 is retained, and the student’s major remains math or science. While it may sound like a hefty load to bear, Ashley wouldn’t have it any other way, saying, “I knew I wanted to be involved right off the bat, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Eggert, continued p8

Dr. Marc Pfeffer delivers special Charter Day address Rockford College celebrated the 166th anniversary of the signing of its charter at a ceremony on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The College welcomed Dr. Marc Pfeffer back to campus to deliver the day’s keynote address. Dr. Pfeffer is a graduate of the Rockford College class of 1969. He went on to earn both his doctorate in physiology and biophysics and his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and then completed his internship, residency and clinical fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. He is currently the Dzau Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician in Cardiology. He also serves as the Medical Director of Partners Research and Education Program. In addition to his role as researcher in the field of cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, Dr. Pfeffer plays an active role in the academic development of trainees and junior faculty collaborating in trials. An internationally recognized expert in the field of cardiology, he was, in 2006, recognized by Science Watch as having the most ‘Hot Papers’ (highly cited) in all of clinical medicine. He is the recipient of the William Harvey Award of the American Society of Hypertension, the Okamoto Award from Japan’s Vascular Disease Research Foundation and the Clinical Research Prize of the American Heart Association. Dr. Pfeffer is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Dr. Pfeffer’s generosity and commitment to securing opportunities for more students like his late wife Janice to pursue their passion for learning in the sciences is deeply appreciated. During his visit, Dr. Pfeffer also engaged with local medical school students, physicians and RC students.

*In 2012, the Pfeffer Scholarship was reclassified and now stands on its own as a fulltuition scholarship in addition to the existing Presidential Scholarships. 7

Eggert, continued from p7

She began her freshman year by getting involved in InterVarsity, the campus ministry, and then found herself on the Cross Country team when the coach noticed her regular runs around campus. From cross country, Ashley got involved in running track, which then evolved into playing for the women’s soccer team. She began her sophomore year as a Resident Assistant (RA) and full-time fellow in the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement. She also started working on campus at the Seaver Center and as a caller for the annual Phonathons. Now a junior, Ashley continues as an RA, this year in freshman housing. She has also recently joined Alpha Helix, the science club on campus, as well as a brand new organization, Fashion Club. She maintains her position on the women’s soccer team, and continues to work at Seaver Center and Phonathon.

This past summer, Ashley received an RC summer research grant which partially funded a research project in Paris, France. She credits her scholarship as the reason she was able to attend. “Since I don’t have school payments, I was able to save and pay for costs not covered by the grant,” she says. During her two-week trip, Ashley and fellow classmates researched the European system of universal healthcare, conducting interviews with multiple nurses and patients. Utilizing the same research methods in the Unites States, they collected feedback on America’s current health care system upon their return. Ashley wrote a paper comparing the two different systems, and presented her findings early in the fall at Rockford College. For Ashley, this was not only the trip of a lifetime, but invaluable research experience as she begins to apply for undergraduate research programs and internships with big companies.

Every year, amidst her ever-growing to-do list, Ashley always finds time to write Dr. Marc Pfeffer a letter, telling him about her experiences at Rockford College and her most recent activities – though it always seems an impossible task to put into words the amount of gratitude she feels.

In April 2013, Ashley will take her MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), and begin applying for graduate schools in June. She lists her top choices as UW Madison, Cornell and the University of Boston. For graduate school, it looks as though Ashley will be going far away from home; something she’s very happy she didn’t do for her undergraduate degree.

“I’m overwhelmingly grateful,” she says. “I don’t know how to tell him ‘thank you’ enough; from me, from my family…three years into school and I haven’t had to take out a single loan.”

“I’m really glad I didn’t end up going away like I had initially planned,” she says. “Coming to Rockford College, I loved that it wasn’t overwhelming; it had a small school feel, and I wasn’t just a face.”

The benefits, however, extend to more than just her education. “Because of this scholarship, my brother has been able to attend Rock Valley College, and my parents have been able to pay for all of it. I’m very grateful because it’s been able to extend so far beyond me. It’s a huge honor.”

Although her parents are a mere 20 minutes away, Ashley jokes that she still has a hard time getting home to visit. “I don’t see them nearly as much as you’d think I would,” she laughs. With Ashley’s schedule, it’s easy to understand why.

Current Pfeffer Scholars Ashley Eggert ’14, Angela Martinez ’16 and Tanja Skakavac ’15 had the opportunity to meet Dr. Pfeffer during his recent visit to campus.


Leadership Highlights RC names Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D., as Vice President for Enrollment Management Rockford College President Robert L. Head, Ph.D., announced the appointment of Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D., as Vice President for Enrollment Management beginning March 4, 2013. He is responsible for management of undergraduate admissions, global affairs, athletics, retention, financial aid, registration and student billing. Dr. Fulcomer received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Toledo. President Robert Heads says, “Recruiting students who have every opportunity to thrive and succeed at Rockford College is of ultimate importance. Eric’s proven breadth of experience to successfully manage the increasingly competitive landscape of student recruitment will be of great benefit as we look to support the deliberate and sustainable growth of our institution.” Dr. Fulcomer most recently served as Mayor of the Village of Bluffton, Ohio. Prior to taking on responsibilities as mayor in 2012, Dr. Fulcomer worked from 1993 to June of 2012 at Bluffton University (Bluffton, Ohio) in a variety of leadership roles, including Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Life. Dr. Fulcomer expressed he was drawn to Rockford College for its stated mission of providing an education ‘grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented and extended by professional and practical experiences,’

stating, “The College’s commitment to preparation for life and vocation resonates with me. Rockford College is a well-respected and thriving institution and I look forward to being a part of the growth and change that Rockford is experiencing.” Dr. Fulcomer has also been active in the classroom, teaching courses in the undergraduate and master’s programs at multiple universities. He has taught courses in Bluffton’s MBA program and hopes to be able to continue teaching once settled in Rockford. Dr. Fulcomer and his wife Andrea, a physician assistant, have two school-aged children.

President Accepts Contract Extension Robert L. Head, Ph.D., 17th President of Rockford College, has accepted the Rockford College Board of Trustees’ offer to extend his current contract for an additional two years. Dr. Head’s contract will now carry through the completion of academic year 2015–2016, ending June 30, 2016. Charles Colman, Chair of the Rockford College Board of Trustees, said, “Under the leadership of Dr. Head, the College is enjoying its sixth year of a balanced budget, significant improvements to the campus, and despite some of the most economically difficult times for our nation, steady growth in enrollment. Robert and his wife Sheryl have also immersed themselves in a wide variety of area organizations, devoting their time and talents for the betterment of the community. The Board looks forward to continuing the positive momentum established under Dr. Head’s administration.” Dr. Head adds, “It’s been very satisfying to work side-byside with the College’s dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, Board and friends. We have worked hard and as a result, experienced many successes with many more to come. I’m excited to have this opportunity to continue our work that will further secure the legacy of this remarkable institution for generations of learners to come.”

Eric Fulcomer, Ph.D., Vice President for Enrollment Management

Robert L. Head, Ph.D., President


Go Regents!

by the 12 NAC baseball coaches. Rockford’s first home game of the year is a doubleheader on March 30 against Dominican University. First pitch is at noon at Aviators Stadium (formerly the Rockford River Hawks stadium) in Loves Park, Ill.

Baseball and Softball Prepare for Spring Trip to Kickoff 2013 Season The Rockford College baseball and softball teams will both begin their 2013 seasons with an annual spring trip from March 10 through March 16, 2013. This season, both teams traveled to Fort Myers, Fla., for their respective trips. Softball began its 10-game schedule on Sunday, March 10 and wrapped up on March 15. Baseball started its 8-game slate on March 10 and concluded on March 16. The baseball team had another very successful season a year ago and is looking for that to continue into its 2013 campaign. The Regents finished with a 23–18 overall record and a 17–5 record in Northern Athletics Conference play. This resulted in a second-place NAC finish and its fifth postseason berth in six seasons of play in the conference. Regents Head Baseball Coach Bob Koopmann picked up his 150th win at Rockford last season and holds an impressive 150–95–1 record as the Regents head coach. This year’s team will look a lot different than the one from last year, as the Regents graduated seven senior starters from that team but have a fresh new crop of talented players ready to step in and succeed. Rockford has finished 1st or 2nd in the NAC in five of the six seasons since joining the conference in 2007, but will have a chip on its shoulder this year as they were picked to finish 4th in the NAC this season in the preseason poll done 10

The softball team will look to continue its upward movement in the NAC this year. Rockford finished last season with a 14–24 overall record and a 9–15 NAC record finishing in 9th place. The Regents improved their win total by three games from the season prior and also moved up two spots in the NAC standings from 2011. Rockford was on the cusp of making the tournament in 2012 but found itself on the wrong end of numerous close games. The Regents lost seven NAC games by three runs or less last season, including three games by a single run. Regents Head Softball Coach Kristyn King is nearing the all-time wins record at Rockford College. King currently has 327 wins at Rockford as a head coach and 321 wins as the softball head coach. She needs just two wins to break the total coaching wins record of 328 and seven softball wins to break the wins record of 327 in a single sport. Currently both records are held by former Regents Head Baseball Coach Bill Langston. The softball team will once again have something to prove as it was picked to finish 11th in the NAC this season in preseason poll done by the 13 NAC softball coaches. Rockford will open its 2013 season on March 10 in Cape Coral, Fla., in a doubleheader against Medaille College. The Regents first home games of the season are on March 27 against MSOE. First pitch is at 3 p.m. at the Smith Athletic Field on the campus of Rockford College. Be sure to visit for information about any of our 17 NCAA Division III sponsored varsity sports.

class notes Judith Moyer Lundin ’47 resides in “The Cypress,” a retirement community in Hilton Head Island, S.C., with her husband, John, for whom she is now caregiver. JoBeth Wolf ’62 of Corrales, N.M., is still active in politics. She volunteers for the New Mexico Health Security Campaign, which provides medical care for most New Mexico residents in a co-op arrangement, paid for by Medicare, MedicAid, and each resident according to their ability to pay. JoBeth writes, “Jane Addams would have loved it.” James Peirce Tuthill ’69 provided four weeks of legal training to groups from the National Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he has been teaching in the JD and LLM programs for the past three years. Jim and his wife, Wendy Booth Tuthill ’69, recently returned from a trip to Iceland. Wendy continues her genealogical research for a book about the murder of her great-grandparents, by one another, on the streets of Quincy, Ill., in 1890. She has been locating Revolutionary War-era family tombstones in the pioneer graveyards of central Kentucky. J. Ross Hunter III ’71 and Carol Hempel Hunter ’71 welcomed their first grandchild, Jack Davis, on Oct. 30, 2012. The new grandparents are enjoying this stage in their lives! Ross continues to dabble in video editing in his spare time. He and co-producer Phil Audibert had their video “In the Season” screened at the 2012 Virginia Film Festival. The video’s trailer can be found at http:// Carol recently returned from a trip to India, and continues her work as the Academic Gifted Coordinator, ESol Coordinator, and New Teacher/Mentor Associate for the Orange County Virginia Public Schools. Denis Paiste ’75 received the Media Award from the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development for his coverage of the New Hampshire economy as a Senior Reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader in Manchester, N.H. His coverage was described as “thorough and fair” by Christopher Way, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director. Denis has covered business and financial news, health care, technology and entrepreneurship for 14 years. He is

currently serving as a science writer for the Materials Processing Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a plaque citing him “for his consistent and exemplary coverage of the New Hampshire economy.” Laurie Wieser Thibault ’75 is the Operations Program Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Steven Manson ’78 wrote that, as a biology major, his senior project was to study the behavior of the 13-lined ground squirrels, which he followed on the south lawn. He attended Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine after graduating from Rockford College, then settled in LaCrosse, Wis., after a pediatric residency. He and his wife, Peg, married for 35 years, have five children and eleven grandchildren. Steven is Chair of Pediatrics at Gundersen Lutheran Health System; is Medical Director for St. Clare Health Mission, which provides free care to the uninsured; is the medical lead in a medical outreach effort on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota; and is the chief investigator for the clinic’s vaccine studies. He enjoys reading about Rockford College, listening to RC radio (where he was a disc jockey in 1977 and 1978), and sends his best wishes to his fellow students and dormmates, the “C-Men.” William “Bill” Rider ’78 says, “After 23 years in Connecticut, my wife Sheryl and I have relocated to Breckenridge, Colo. – I caught the ski bug my junior year at Rockford College after joining the Ski Club. Any of those who travelled to Canada on the Spring Break Ski Trip of 1977 may recall some fond memories...or maybe not, as it was indeed quite the trip! If your travels bring you to the area for winter or summer fun, give a shout!” Dennis A. Dargel ’85 works as a Risk Management Specialist, and resides in Winnebago, Ill., with wife, Roxanne. Michelle Jackson Collins ’86 is Director of the NurseMidwifery Program at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn. After receiving her MSN in 2002 from Marquette University, she and her family moved to Marion, Ill., where she practiced as a certified nurse-midwife for two years. They then moved to Nashville, Tenn., where she practiced and taught in the Nurse-Midwifery Program at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing. Michelle received her Ph.D. in May 2012 from the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center in Memphis, and began as Director of the NurseMidwifery Program at Vanderbilt in August 2012. She was recently reminded of the great nursing education she received at Rockford College when her oldest son chose to attend Rhodes College, a private, liberal arts college in Memphis, Tenn. Class notes, continued p12


Class notes, continued from p11

Iain D. Johnston ’87 has been selected by the district judges of the Northern District of Illinois to fill the judicial vacancy created after the Dec. 31, 2012, retirement of U.S. Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney. After graduating from The John Marshall Law School, Iain was a judicial law clerk for Judge Philip Reinhard of the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He then became an assistant attorney general, rising to the position of unit supervisor of the Civil Prosecutions Unit. Thereafter, he joined Altheimer & Gray, where he became a partner in 2002. From 2003 to 2008, Johnston was a senior counsel at Holland & Knight. He is a founding member of the law firm Johnston Greene LLC, where he has focused on an array of government and commercial matters since 2008. Iain is expected to assume the bench in late spring and will have headquarters in the Stanley J. Roszkowski U.S. Courthouse in Rockford. Elizabeth Tourlentes Johnston ’88 is Director of Program Research & Development at Reading In Motion since June of 1993. Elizabeth is responsible for curriculum development and refinement, focusing on the use of data to drive instruction and inform her writing as the author of the curricula. Under her direction, Reading In Motion’s curricula and research have gained national recognition in the Journal of Educational Research (2000) and Evaluation Review (2003). Prior to joining Reading In Motion, Elizabeth was a member of Without Shoes Modern Dance Company in Rockford. She served as an artist in residence in the Rockford Public Schools, specializing in curriculum-based arts programs for students and teachers. Elizabeth has been awarded a U.S. patent for a visual arts design. She is married to Iain D. Johnston ’87.

Tyler Kruckenberg ’93 is the Manager of Branch Merchandising and Product Development for ABC Supply in Rockford, Ill. Tyler and his wife, Stephanie, reside in Rockton, Ill. Lisa Meador Chapman ’98 is the Executive Director of the Assault and Abuse Services of Stephenson County Office in Freeport, Ill. Lisa had previously worked as a Field Support Specialist at the University of Illinois’ School of Social Work. Pamela A. Steele ’99 was named by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as one of the finalists for the 2012–2013 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Finalists represent schools across the state and are selected from nominees through ISBE’s “Those Who Excel” Educator Recognition Program. Pamela, who received her MAT in Reading, is a teacher in the Oregon Community School District. Erin Zawlocki ’05 has been selected to move forward in the process for the 2013 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching for Winnebago and Boone Counties in Illinois. Erin received her MAT in Elementary Education, and is a Language Arts instructor at Eisenhower Middle School in Rockford. Kendra Schwendau Asbury ’06 has been selected to move forward in the process for the 2013 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching for Winnebago and Boone Counties in Illinois. Kendra received her MAT in Instructional Strategies, and is a Language Arts instructor at Belvidere Central Middle School in Belvidere, Ill. Jennifer A. Charlesworth ’07 resides in Rockford and serves as the Service Manager at BMO Harris Bank.

Tracy Dawn Coleman ’88 is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Katherine Walls ’08 has been selected to move forward in the process for the 2013 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching for Winnebago and Boone Counties in Illinois. Katherine received her MAT, with an Alternative Education Certificate, and is a mathematics instructor at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford.

Brian Dean Williams ’88 is the Physiology Manager at Gottlieb. Brian and his wife, Mia, reside in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Rebecca Foster ’09 is a teacher in the Decatur Public School District in Decatur, Ill.

Nat Rosenberg ’90 accepted early retirement from his position as Senior Vice President of Business Development at MasterCard Worldwide, after serving more than thirty years in the electronic banking industry (fifteen years with a privately-owned company and sixteen years with MasterCard Worldwide). Nat is especially enjoying this time with his family while he decides what he wants to pursue next.

Khetsiwe Dlamini ’10 is the Events Manager at “House on Fire” and resides in Mbabane, Swaziland.

Kirk F. Mueller ’91 received his MBA, with honors, in 2012 from Argosy University. He is the Regional Sales Manager for International Systems of America and resides in Manchester, Mo., with his wife, Denise, and son, Colin. 12

Chaney Marie Bell ’11 works as a nurse and resides in Fairview Heights, Ill., with her husband Kendrick. Kelsey Lovgren ’11 was honored recently as the WREX Teacher of the Week. Kelsey, a teacher at Guilford High School, Rockford, began teaching freshman science halfway through the last school year, and administrators say her short time in the classroom has already made a big impact on students. According to Assistant Principal Matt Kascio, “She has an innate ability to show them that it matters, and that she cares about them learning her subject or the subject that she’s teaching.”

Rachel Schupbach ’11 married Russell Brunner in May 2012 and moved to Dixon, Ill. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in English Literature at Bradley University, and welcomed a baby girl, Flora, in December 2012.

Welcome Lisa Bartholme, new Alumni Coordinator

Vincent Chiarelli ’12 was featured in a February 2012 article in the Rock River Times as “a 22-year-old who is focused, driven, respectful, calculating and intelligent…” Vince’s activities include guiding Rockford College Radio (WRCR), which had been silent for 20 years; operating his grandfather’s record label, Vincent Records (his grandfather was “Vince the Singing Tailor”); fronting a working band, the “Vince Chiarelli Band;” and pursuing an MBA at Rockford College. He also works as an accountant/ bookkeeper for many Rockford-area small businesses and performs original Italian and American music almost every weekend around the state-line area. Vince is engaged to Shayna Leber ’12, a nurse at Rockford Memorial Hospital.

We are excited to welcome Lisa Bartholme to Rockford College as the new Alumni Coordinator. Lisa brings with her more than 20 years of experience in special events and fundraising for area nonprofits. Owner of Bartholme Consulting, Lisa is responsible for some of our areas most successful and wellknown events, like the Arc’s Great Home Giveaway, which she has coordinated since its beginnings 20 years ago. Other recognized events include 100 Men Who Cook with The Literacy Council, Arc’s Chocoholic Frolic and Big Brothers Big Sisters Duck Race. Her work has generated more than $3.7 million net for local charity organizations.

Ashley Kohanyi ’12 is an Account Executive at Rick Wells Ltd. in Rockford. Ashley and her husband, Nathan, live in South Beloit, Ill. John Sole Jr. ’12 is a Technical Solutions Architect for Acuo Technologies, and resides with his wife, Sherri L. Sole’10, in Rockton, Ill. Danyel Sutton ’12 was married October 6, 2012, has changed her name to Danyel Sutton Leaf, and resides in Rockford. Matthew L.C. Weber ’12 is an Account Executive at WilliamsManny Inc., and lives with his wife, Lauren, in Belvidere, Ill. Nicholas Woodard ’12 and Jordan Wirth ’12 were married December 8, 2012. Nick is a Physical Education teacher at Christian Life High School, and Jordan is an RN at Rockford Memorial Hospital, both in Rockford. The newlyweds reside in Belvidere, Ill.

Lisa has spent many years in the area cultivating and maintaining long-term relationships with non-profits, donors, sponsors, volunteers and media. We look forward to her comprehensive approach and expertise to enhance efforts to develop new, meaningful and inventive ways to foster connections with our distinguished alumni. Lisa can be reached at 815.394.5111 or

save the date – reunion @ homecoming October 11–13, 2013 (see p2 for more)

Share your GOOD NEWS with us! Please send updates to Pictures also welcome!

in memoriam Florence G. Wolfe Sund ’31, Sept. 16, 2012 Bertha Taylor Prather ’38, Feb. 3, 2013 Barbara V. Wilde Bowerman ’39, June 2, 2012 Florence Warneke Dizikes ’39, Nov. 17, 2012 Alyce Sheldon Peterson ’39, Dec. 20, 2012 Marion Englof Broquist ’40, Jan. 2, 2013 Alberta L. Norton Seesland ’41, Jan. 9, 2013 Ruth Irwin Topping ’41, Jan. 24, 2013 Margaret Danielsen Dahlgren ’44/’73, Jan. 6, 2013 Gloria Lindgren Hawkinson ’44, Nov. 21, 2012 LaVerne A. Krueger ’44, Oct. 17, 2012 Elizabeth Siegfriedt Kehoe ’45, Sept. 6, 2012 Marilyn Young Shackelford ’49, Dec. 25, 2012

Evelyn M. Schilz Ahmer ’50, Aug. 16, 2012 Shirley M. Oberg Bliese ’51, Jan. 7, 2013 Monica E. Achilli Iorio ’57, Jan. 6, 2013 Thomas Elmore Jr. ’58, Feb. 2, 2013 M. Elizabeth Hancock Evans ’58, Feb. 14, 2013 Linda L. Steege Lillis ’63, Jan. 26, 2013 Verna Alm Anderson ’68, Sept. 25, 2012 Philip D. Anderson Jr. ’69, Dec. 31, 2012 Thomas David Worgess ’70, Nov. 24, 2012 Marilyn Joyce Zimmerman ’75, Oct. 7, 2012 Sharon A. Whitlow Stacionis-Leary ’80, Jan. 25, 2013 Mary Pearce Koroll ’84, Nov. 27, 2012 Margaret A. Marinangeli Kinion ’93, Jan. 3, 2013 Kenneth David Krull ’09, Feb. 20, 2013


Department Spotlight Office of Student Success and Retention Skills that students need to succeed in their college experience are as varied as their individual diverse backgrounds. Despite best intentions, any number of circumstances can cause a student to find it difficult to continue with their studies, be put at risk for falling behind, or even feel that their only option is to drop out of classes all together. The Office of Student Success and Retention works to alleviate any issues students may encounter by providing a valuable support network. Activities of the office focus on making the student experience successful by helping students who may face academic, personal or financial concerns. By removing obstacles that may prevent students from abandoning their studies, the ultimate goal is a proud walk across the stage at commencement. Rebecca Factor, director of the Office of Student Success and Retention, says, “Many times it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. It could be something as simple as going along with the student to address a question with their financial aid package, or offering to follow up on a grade inconsistency with an instructor. With the many pressures students face, helping them keep perspective on what the concern really involves empowers them to find the best solution.”

looking for alumni board members The alumni association board seeks individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to represent different decades and geographic locations. The board meets four times per year (Oct., Dec., Feb. and May). Board terms are three years in length. Interested? Please contact the Alumni Office at Recommendations or self-nominations must be received by April 2. To read more about the board’s aspirations and to view a list of current members, go to rockford. edu/?MeetAlumniAssocBoard


Plunge 2012, part of Fall Orientation

Factor explains that whether a student is relishing in living away from home for the first time, or feeling less secure in a new environment, using the residential experience as a resource for collaborative learning and for integrating social and academic life is an important aspect of the overall student experience. Students who struggle to establish meaningful connections with the people that surround them many times struggle with the entire collegiate experience. Sponsoring residence hall and commuting student programs that cultivate student and faculty interaction for social and educational purposes is a key piece to the overall puzzle. A popular program designed to help first-year students is the RC Mentor Connection which begins as part of Fall Orientation and continues throughout the fall semester. The program focuses on personal, academic and social development of our new students to enhance first-year experience. It’s led by three group leaders and 13 student mentors. Mentor groups meet the first four Thursdays of the fall semester followed by hosting at least two scheduled activities like a pizza party, bowling or tailgating at a football game. Survey data shows students feel this is a positive experience and many say they wouldn’t mind if it continued beyond their freshman year. The office also works closely with Student Administrative Services, Athletics, Lang Health, Residence Life and faculty to register students and stay on top of any potential concerns or delayed registrations. Applying a personal touch throughout all of these areas helps to recognize if a student appears to be at risk and can more quickly set in motion measures to proactively connect the student with the right services. With these comprehensive efforts in place, the Office of Student Success and Retention is making those important personal connections to provide support and help students persist to graduation.

Alumni in Residence Program The College was pleased to welcome Robert Walker ’73 and Chris Apel Walker ’74 to campus March 19–21, 2013. A Forum Series event on March 20 by Mr. Walker examined what projected population growth means for people, posterity, and the planet. He covered aspects of rapid population growth and its impact to alleviate hunger and severe poverty; the impact that climate change, water scarcity, and the rising costs of food and energy are likely to have on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and future development prospects; and explored more about how UN population projections, though widely accepted, are not written in stone, and that even small changes in fertility rates could dramatically affect future population projections.

Mr. Walker received his B.A. in Economics from Rockford College and his J.D. from the University Of Illinois School Of Law. He attended the University of Sydney in Australia under a Rotary graduate fellowship.

Also included in the week’s visit was time in the classroom with students and a student dinner, a visit with the local paper’s editorial board to discuss population issues, attending the Downtown Rotary as a guest, and a special presentation about Discovering Ravello at the Rockford Art Museum.

Robert Walker ’73

Chris Apel Walker received a bachelor’s of fine arts in 1974. She went on to work as the director of the Intown Gallery in Washington D.C. After time in Australia when Robert attended the University of Sydney under a Rotary graduate fellowship, the Walkers returned to the D.C. area and Chis became part-owner and director of the Prince Royal Gallery in Old Town, Alexandria for 12 years. Chris “retired” to follow her true love of painting the architecture and scenery of Italy, a task that she has pursued for the past 20 years. The result is a beautiful collaboration between Robert and Chris that pays tribute to Ravello, Italy. Discovering Ravello is a booklet born of the Walker’s passion for this picturesque region of Italy. The publication was researched and written by Robert, accompanied by 15 of Chris’ paintings and a drawing. The booklet recounts the spell that Ravello has upon famous artists, authors and composers. Chris has launched a website,, dedicated to her growing collection of paintings and sketches of Ravello.

alumni news

Robert Walker is the President of the Population Institute, where he directs the organization’s advocacy and public education activities, including its work on issues related to health, economic development, sustainability and the environment. Previously, he served for three years as President of Handgun Control, Inc. and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, and four years as legislative director at Handgun Control, where he led the lobbying campaigns that led to the successful passage of the Brady Law and the federal assault weapons ban.

The Alumni in Residence Program provides a valuable avenue to foster connections between our distinguished alumni and our current students. The program also uplifts the accomplishments and successes of alumni with the broader community, helping to ensure the legacy of Rockford College continues to grow. If you’d like more information about Alumni in Residence opportunities, contact Coordinator of Alumni Affairs Lisa Bartholme at or at 815.394.5111.

Chris Apel Walker ’74 with “The Sentinels of Ravello”


Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Rockford, IL Permit No. 389

Alumni Office 5050 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61108 phone: 815.394.5111 fax: 815.226.4081

Rockford College continues to celebrate teachers Earlier this academic year, Rockford College partnered with WREX, Rockford’s NBC affiliate, to sponsor the Teacher of the Week program, which each week recognizes a different outstanding teacher from the local region. As of this publication date, twenty-two teachers, including seven Rockford College alumni, from various towns and schools have received the special honor. Congratulations to them and their nominators! Because we have shaped and continue to shape great teachers through our undergraduate and graduate programming, we are proud to support such a positive and meaningful program. For more information, visit wrex. com, and tune into WREX every Wednesday to nominate and learn more about the next “Teacher of the Week.”

This past winter’s break provided an opportunity to make several exciting upgrades to the Burpee Dining area. This project, made possible by funds received through the state capital grant, has opened up the entire dining hall and transformed the food options available to our students. The changes include new lighting, flooring, countertops and cabinetry; an exhibition cooking station; improved deli service and touch-screen grill ordering. These changes are exciting and we look forward to working throughout the semester to fully utilize the new design to better serve our students.

new series highlights local “People you should know” Rockford College and the Rockford Chamber have partnered together to present the People You Should Know (PYSK) Talks. This series, highlighting a collection of weekly talks, features recipients of the Chamber’s 2011 and 2012 People You Should Know Awards. These forty-one honorees are now hosting talks every Wednesday (visit for a schedule) from 12–1:00 p.m. in the 5100 Building, room 122 located on the Rockford College campus at 5050 East State Street, Rockford. All talks are free and open to the public. Audience members are welcome to bring their own lunch, or purchase a lunch with their reservation. 16

Attendees are also invited to ask questions in a short Q&A session at the conclusion of each talk. Seating is limited to 50 attendees on a first-come firstserve basis. Registration is required. To register, go to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s website at If you are unable to attend, the talks will be videotaped and available on the Rockford College Community Education page. Questions can be directed to Lauren Kepler at lkepler@ or 815.226.4021. 13-0173 Catalyst3_FY13

Catalyst Spring 2013  

Rockford College magazine

Catalyst Spring 2013  

Rockford College magazine