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news from Rockford University and beyond • spring 2015

Grace Roper Lounge looking toward the lobby and the Den café.

Burpee Student Center makes its debut Rockford University first announced its plan to reclaim the Blanche Walker Burpee Center as a studentcentered space on July 1, 2013, the date Rockford College transitioned to Rockford University. Built in 1963, the building was originally intended to function as the student center and hub of campus life and activities. Since the early 1980s, the building went through a series of reconfigurations in order to house various administrative departments, leaving very little space devoted to student-centered functions. Construction began in May of 2014. This past spring, with openings dedicated to the students on March 16 and on May 15 for the broader public, the astonishing Emeriti Trustees John Whitehead renovations to the and Georganne Eggers ’49 attend the Burpee Student Center opening. 25,000-square-foot space were officially revealed. The center now provides state-of-the-art amenities that identify this revitalized space as the heart of campus and the intersection of activity for students and visitors. Joining President Robert L. Head and the Rockford University Board of Trustees at the May opening was special guest Emeritus Trustee and Honorary Alumnus Mr. John Whitehead. John is the grandson of Blanche Walker Burpee, for whom the building is named and the remarkable alumna and long-time trustee who in 1928 had the foresight, fortitude and savvy to secure the University’s current location. Mr. Whitehead also served as a long-time and valued trustee of Rockford College from 1961 to 1989; a The Den café space with the bookstore in the background.


monumental time of change for the institution. He was on the Board as the old campus transitioned to the new, and was an integral part of this campus coming to fruition. Dr. Head noted, “In so many ways, what’s old is new again which is very much the case for this unique space. It’s wonderful to walk through here at any given time of the day and see the space being used and enjoyed exactly as it was intended. We were lacking that very crucial common space that could naturally serve as the intersection of activity for students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors. I’m proud to say, mission accomplished.” Renovations to the building will continue over the summer with a second phase of upgrades taking place on the second floor to include new flooring, wall coverings and ceilings for the corridors, dining room flooring, reorganization of offices and conference room space, and an expanded print services area.

inside this issue p4

day of giving p5

commencement p6

athletics p8

biology spotlight p10

gala p12

faculty news p15

class notes p19

RVC-RU scholarship 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 Fall 2015 issue is September 4. Contact information: Office of Communications, 815.394.5041 or

Cover: An RU tradition, Graduates and their families celebrate outside after the 2015 Commencement ceremony held on Sunday, May 17 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in downtown Rockford.

President Robert L. Head announces retirement President of Rockford University, Robert L. Head, Ph.D., announced he will retire June 30, 2016, the date his current contract concludes. Dr. Head joined the University in June 2008 and serves as the institution’s 17th president. Dr. Head announced his intentions in late February to provide ample notice to the Board of Trustees and to allow for a well-planned succession process to begin. “It is a great privilege to serve as the President of Rockford University. As I have often said, I cannot imagine a more meaningful life’s work,” Dr. Head said in a statement shared with the campus community on Monday, February 23. He also shares, “There is still much to be accomplished over the next 16 months. The opportunities before us are abundant and we will leverage the positive momentum we have earned.” Board of Trustees Chair Thomas A. Muldowney ’74 notes, “Rockford University has experienced tremendous and transformative success under Dr. Head’s leadership. Along with the monumental transition from Rockford College to Rockford University in 2013, the numbers alone speak volumes: total net assets are at their highest levels since 1990, our endowment has President Robert L. Head enjoyed steady growth, we have concluded eight consecutive years with positive operating income, enrollments are at 20-year highs and “There is still much to $13 million in capital improvements have been be accomplished over completed. Moreover, these are just a few the next 16 months. The remarkable examples of what has been achieved opportunities before during Dr. Head’s tenure. His commitment to improving every facet of our students’ experience us are abundant and has resulted in an irrefutable legacy of progress for we will leverage the this proud institution and its mission.” To further positive momentum we assist in the transition, Dr. Head has agreed to have earned.” serve on a part-time basis as special counsel to support the University’s significant on-going fundraising efforts. The process of initiating a national search for the 18th president of Rockford University has begun with a 13 member search committee made up of trustees, faculty, staff and a student representative in place, along with firm Hyatt-Fennell. Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Jim Keeling serves as chair of the committee. Prior to joining RU, Dr. Head was previously president at Urbana University in Ohio. Dr. Head is on the boards of SwedishAmerican Health System, Keith Country Day School, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Rockford Rotary Club, Alignment Rockford, Blackhawk Area Council Boy Scouts of America, The Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Kobe College Corporation, the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, and the Associated Colleges of Illinois. He also serves as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 9 and is a member of the Steering Committee for Transform Rockford. Dr. Head and his wife, Sheryl, have three adult children. 3

Inaugural Day of Giving supports scholarship at RU Wednesday, April 29, 2015, marked Rockford University’s first-ever Day of Giving: #RUNeedsU! For 24-hours, alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends from across the globe were asked to accept the challenge and help change the lives of students through scholarship and the University’s Charter Fund. The day’s efforts resulted in $11,311.75 being raised from 110 donors, 50 of whom donated to the University for the first time. Online Day of Giving events are a growing trend among higher education institutions across the country and provide an efficient way to engage donors via social media. Supported by video clips from several members of the campus and community, and fun challenges that help increase the impact of every dollar given, the events rely heavily on social media to spread and share the news of the day. Day of Giving events have also proven successful in gaining new donors that

Over 500 students wrote touching thank you notes to RU donors.

Many students signed a Day of Giving banner to show their support.

appreciate the opportunity to follow the progress of the day through social media channels and easily give online. Rockford University also used this day to help educate students about the important role philanthropy plays in the overall success of the institution – noting that tuition covers about 84 percent of the total cost of education for each student, philanthropy covers the rest. Several signs were placed throughout campus to highlight how philanthropic efforts support every facet of the campus. Students also had the opportunity to sign a “Thank You” banner and fill out thank you cards for those that donated to support the day. Charter Fund Coordinator Meredith Stoll notes, “We saw an incredible cross section of people participate, but we were so impressed with our students. Hundreds of students wrote heartfelt thank you notes to donors and many gave as well.” We look forward to continuing to grow #RUNeedsU through a 2016 Day of Giving next spring. The University humbly thanks all of the alumni, friends, students, employees and generous donors for making our first Day of Giving Rock Solid.

Rock Solid Learning and Fun Center for Learning Strategies SUMMIT Discovery Day Camp July 13-17, 2015 World Awareness Program July 20-31, 2015 Learning Garden July 13–17, 2015 • August 10-14, 2015 Register today! Call 815.226.4087 or visit 4

161st Commencement Ceremony held May 17 Rockford University’s 161st Commencement Ceremony was held on Sunday, May 17, at 2:00 p.m., at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in downtown Rockford. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Management Studies, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Business Administration degrees were awarded to approximately 385 students – 279 undergraduate degrees and 106 from our graduate programs. This year’s diverse class comes from 30 states and 9 countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, China, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Palestine, Mexico and Ukraine. Noted journalist Laura Ling provided the keynote address which was met with a standing ovation from the graduates. In August 2009, the world watched as former president Bill Clinton landed back in the United States after securing Ling’s release, along with her colleague Euna Lee, from captivity inside the most isolated country on earth: North Korea. Ling had been reporting on a story about the trafficking of North Korean women when she was violently apprehended by North Korean soldiers along the Chinese-North Korean border. Sentenced to 12 years in a labor prison, Ling endured months of captivity, which ended with a dramatic and unexpected turn of events. Before her capture, Ling spent more than a decade shining a light on untold stories from around the

world. She started her career in journalism as a producer at Channel One News and then joined Current TV as head of its journalism department. She also worked as a correspondent covering issues including slave labor in the Amazon, Mexico’s drug war, Internet censorship in China, and women’s rights in Turkey. She is also the host of E! Investigates, a series of hour-long shows that tackle hard hitting stories. Ling is co-author, with her sister, journalist Lisa Ling, of “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight To Bring Her Home.”

Speaker Laura Ling visited with degree candidates as they waited for the ceremony to begin (below center).


Regents Welcome a Trio of New Head Coaches The Regents welcome three new head coaches to the Football, Basketball and Volleyball programs, ushering in plenty of excitement for the coming 2015–2016 seasons. Jim Schroeder took over the RU football program in December after spending the previous 10 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. Schroeder brings an impressive coaching background to Rockford, especially on the defensive side of the ball. During his tenure at Benedictine, his defenses were regularly at or near the top of the conference. In each of the past three seasons Schroeder’s defensive units have finished no lower than third in Coach Schroeder the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in any of the four major statistical categories. In the past two seasons, he has led the Eagles to the top ranking in the NACC in pass defense (2014), total defense (2013), scoring defense (2013) and rush defense (2013). He has also coached the NACC Defensive Player of the Year in three of the past four seasons and has had 45 players voted All-NACC since 2008. Rockford University Director of Athletics Kristyn King states, “Jim Schroeder was an integral part of the Benedictine football staff that helped to build that program the past 10 years, and we are excited that he will bring his knowledge, goals, passion and hunger for success to Rockford University. He is committed to building a program of solid young men academically and athletically, and we believe he will create excitement on our campus as well as on the competition field.” “I am both honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead the football program at Rockford,” Coach Schroeder commented. “We are going to create a structured environment for our players that is focused on helping each member of the program reach his potential on the field and in the classroom.” Rockford opens its 2015 football season on Saturday, September 5 in Appleton, Wis., at Lawrence University.

Coach Weber ’10/’12


Andrew Weber took over as the interim head men’s basketball coach and then subsequently had the interim tag removed shortly after the conclusion of the season. Weber had spent the last five years working his way up the coaching ranks at RU before ultimately becoming the school’s head coach in early March. Coach Weber has significant local

ties which will serve him well moving forward. He is twice a graduate of Rockford University earning both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from RU. Weber is also a graduate of Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford. “As an alumnus and a native of the Rockford area, he has a passion for the University as well as the Rockford community, which is a true bonus,” King stated. Coach Weber notes, “RU is a special place and I look forward to playing a role in developing the entire studentathlete on and off the court. We have a great foundation here and I’m excited to continue to build a program the entire Rockford community can be proud of. It means a lot to me to be able to lead a program that I have been a part of for the past seven years as both a student-athlete and a coach.” As of right now, the men’s basketball team is slated to open the 2015–16 season at home on Friday, November 13 against Eureka College. Women’s volleyball welcomes Curt Sivertsen who brings more than 17 years of head coaching experience at the club, high school and collegiate levels. His collegiate coaching stops include holding head coaching positions at Missouri Valley College and Northland College along with being an assistant coach at the University of Iowa. In his two seasons Coach Sivertsen at Northland, Sivertsen engineered a nine-fold increase in overall wins along with helping move the LumberJills up the conference standings from last to fifth place in just one season. Most recently Sivertsen has been coaching at the high school level where he holds a 41–17 overall record including coaching Ashland to its highest conference finish in school history last season. “As an Illinois native with a chance to return home and be closer to family and friends, this is an exciting time for me,” Coach Sivertsen stated. “I am honored to be the next head coach of the women’s volleyball program at RU and look forward to the opportunity to build a rock solid volleyball program. When I met with the team and the individual athletes, they did a great job in expressing their pride, enthusiasm and commitment to success. Their desire to succeed was very evident in our conversation and I’m looking forward working with them. The Rockford University women’s volleyball team will begin its upcoming season in late August or early September.

ahasb marks 20th milestone The Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break celebrated its 20th year of participating in the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge this spring in Starkville, Miss. 38 people from the University including eight alumni, 24 undergraduate students, three graduate students, one faculty member and two staff members participated. The volunteers worked on a home for a chosen Starkville family. Participants were also able to see the houses that they built last year and visit with the families that live there now. As always, the University’s group stayed at Camp Seminole Boy Scout Camp. Meals were provided from local churches for lunch and dinner and the camp provided participants with a variety of activities to go along with their sleeping accommodations.

The annual Student Showcase took place on Wednesday, April 22. A variety of academic achievements from the 2014–2015 school year were displayed in the newly renovated Burpee Student Center. Senior seminar projects, undergraduate research, poems, short stories, artwork and performances from an assortment of majors and minors were featured.

Dave Kubacki ’15 stands by the sign thanking RU for 20 years of service (above). Building is in process in the top photo.

Pictured above (l–r) are Chelsea Callahan and Sania Joseph. Both nursing majors, their project centered on diabetes. Neil Moallem’s project (above left) was titled The Monte Carlo Method – an algorithm that’s used for probability to predict outcomes – like flipping a coin or rolling a die.


Rockford to Florida to Nicaragua – eventful semester for CBS dept. Biology Professors Sean Beckmann and James Marshall took students Amanda Bonavia, Matthew Davis, Brenda Finkbeiner, Maja Lewis, Michelle Scott, and Laurel Snyder to Florida as part of course BIOL 327: Field Ecology of Florida this past January 7–17. Dr. Beckmann shared the following about this unique hands-on learning experience. “During the trip we worked closely with biologists from several state parks throughout the state of Florida. We visited sites throughout the state, starting in the panhandle and making our way south to Key Largo before heading back home. In the process we visited Apalachicola National Forest, St. George Island, Amelia Island, Blue Springs State Park, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Reserve, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve, Lake Okeechobee, Everglades National Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Sanibel Island. We visited a number of ecosystems including a prairie, sand dunes, scrub, natural springs, and a coral reef among others. Our group conducted a number of different activities including sampling water throughout the state, catching and observing frogs and reptiles, studying plant transects, and collecting leaf litter and invertebrates from a number of habitats. We also studied a number of native Florida animals including pigmy rattlesnakes, Florida manatees, gopher tortoises, Florida scrub jays, and American alligators. Our goal in the process was to introduce students to a number of ecological research techniques and ecosystems in their natural habitats. In the process we wanted to allow students to see environments and have experiences that they may never otherwise have. In particular, we wanted to teach them about things that they can’t see here in northern Illinois. This was an incredible opportunity to

(back, l–r) Matthew Davis, Prof. Sean Beckmann, Amanda Bonavia, Michelle Scott, Maja Lewis, Brenda Finkbeiner, and Laurel Snyder. (front) Prof. James Marshall.


create an immersive and hands-on educational experience while introducing them to careers and opportunities that they may not know existed.” The Nicaragua Connection Dr. Marshall regularly takes students to Severson Dells in the fall to band birds as part of their field research projects. The students’ work also crosses into research with Dr. Beckmann to learn more about what migratory pressures may be causing some birds to eat invasive honeysuckle plants (kind of like junk food for birds); testing blood samples to determine sex and if birds are carrying Lyme disease. It’s good activity away from the class room that is also fun and interesting. And, just maybe, this work could aid in larger birding research activities. Defying the odds, this particular outing did just that and in a major way. Bird No. 268013793 was netted and banded last fall at Severson by Dr. James Marshall and his students. Five months after being tagged by Dr. Marshall and defying probability, Photo courtesy of Michigan Tech: Moises Siles, this same bird was Amber Roth’s banding assistant from Michigan recaptured 2,000 Tech, holds the Golden-winged Warbler in his hand at Reserva El Jaguar in Nicaragua. miles south in a Nicaraguan coffee plantation that doubles as a bird preserve. It’s safe to say, this colorful juvenile is now the most famous Goldenwinged Warbler the world has ever known. Amber Roth, the Michigan Technological University researcher who caught this ambitious little fellow in Nicaragua was very excited, and with good reason saying that catching a warbler that someone else banded is “like a one-in-a-million long shot.” Now tagged with a geo-locater, this Golden-winged Warbler that started its journey in Rockford will now help provide valuable information about the importance of migratory stop-over sites for birds of concern. Michigan Tech reached out to Dr. Marshall and the University to help tell this unique story. “Connecting the Dots With a Golden-winged Warbler” has been shared throughout the aviation and research community. This unique story was also featured in Rockford Register Star Reporter Brian Leaf’s story “Bird’s visit to Rockford made it an international star” and featured recently in ScienceDaily’s Featured Research section.

The one in a million catch by Dr. Marshall has a side note. The Warbler wasn’t his first! He’s also had a Baltimore Oriel he banded caught in Veracruz, Mexico. “Sometimes you just get lucky,” Dr. Marshall shares. That appears to be a bit of an understatement. Resources for more information: Michigan Tech story: stories/2015/april/connecting-dots-golden-wingedwarbler.html Rockford Register Star: article/20150508/NEWS/150509537 ScienceDaily: releases/2015/04/150408100520.htm

A Florida Parks Service Wildlife Biologist explains how waves and jetties impact beach formation and beach erosion along the Florida coastline.

gearing-up for new ru bike share program The Physical Education Senior Seminar class is hoping you can contribute to a new University bike share program that will further enhance campus life. A combination of new bikes and recycled bikes will give students, commuters and faculty the luxury of having access to bikes at all times. Bike ports have been strategically placed around campus so that all students have access to a bike. Physical education majors and student volunteers will participate in the up-keep of this program. Students will work with some of the surrounding bike companies to learn proper training in basic maintenance skills. The RU Bike Share program is looking for monetary contributions or gently-used bike donations. Donations are welcome anytime and there will also be set collection times during this year’s Orientation week beginning August 15 and during Homecoming@Reunion Weekend on October 10 at the Bike Share tent before the football game. For more information, contact Coordinator of Alumni Affairs Carla Potter at

RU announces promotions Christina (Tina) Anderson has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of business & chief financial officer. Ms. Anderson joined Rockford University in 2005. Along with her administrative duties, she also teaches several courses in accounting each year at the University. Ms. Anderson holds her bachelor of science degree from Northern Illinois University; an MBA, Rockford University; and is a C.P.A. and C.I.A., State of Illinois. Ryan Cushing has been promoted to Director of Information Technology at Rockford University. He was previously the assistant director of information technology at the University. Mr. Cushing has been a part of the Information Technology department since 2007. He earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Northern Illinois University and an MBA degree from Rockford University.


we THReW OUR HEADs BACK AND CACKLEd IN DELIGHT! On Saturday, February 21, 2015, more than 240 Rockford University alumni and friends donned their “science chic” evening wear for Gala 2015 Mad About Science. What’s science chic? We were hoping that guests would give a nod to the science theme by grabbing their lab coats, beakers and safety glasses… they did not disappoint! We knew a few supporters had been waiting for the moment to dress up as their favorite Mad Scientist and bring their creature to life. Over $53,000 in Gala proceeds will be used to support upcoming modernizations to the Starr Science Building, including enhanced classrooms and lecture halls along with the acquisition of select scientific instrumentation which will advance learning for all students. Given the increased enrollments and the importance surrounding our programs in the College of Science, Math, and Nursing, it is vital to address pressing needs in Starr to help us remain competitive in attracting the best and brightest students in those fields. The “formula” for a night of science fun kicked off with sipping Prosecco donated by Five Forks, and also included unique specialty beverages, wonders of science appetizers, bidding on silent auction packages from dozens of generous donors, listening to the manuallymixed grooves of DJ DAS, smiling big in the openair photo booth, and participating in wacky science demonstrations hosted by Discovery Center Museum and Rockford University science students. We swirled in sumptuous food and unique beverages, all while celebrating RU’s commitment to the sciences. Kerry provided tasty drinks and popcorn flavorings, and for dessert, guests were treated to some of the new Ben and Jerry’s ice cream products, including a special coffee flavor that Kerry was instrumental in bringing to market. Kerry also donated the treat-filled gift bags that attendees took home at the end of the night. Especially important to the night was the amazing in-kind contributions we received, which made the night come alive and enhanced the guest experience. They helped us reduce our costs and maximize benefits for our students. In fact, Thermo Fisher Scientific pitched in and provided


much of our ambience – from many of the center pieces and petri dishes for the salads, right down to the biohazard accessories on the chairs and the specimen jars for handmade slime made under the watchful eye of our Science Docents from Discovery Center. Slowly poured in was entertainment. For those of you who frequent events at Rockford University, you know that it’s almost expected for our talented Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Bern Sundstedt ’77, to break into song at least once during the evening. This year he put together a little ditty fashioned around the Gilbert and Sullivan tune from “Pirates of Penzance” entitled “I am the very model of a modern major general” with a twist to “They are the very model of a modern science oracle.” VP Sundstedt was accompanied by three very talented RU performing arts students: Addison Clearwood, Catherine Searcy and Macy Smith. Their rendition received a standing ovation and more than a few good laughs. Honorary co-chairs Fred ’01H & Maxine Hadley added more than a dash of generosity as they enthusiastically threw their support behind the efforts of the Gala. Fred said it best, “During my 30 years as professor of chemistry at Rockford University, Maxine and I loved staying in touch with those alumni who had gone on to establish successful lives and careers in and out of science. Like proud parents, it’s wonderful to see them grow and surpass their teacher. A real game-changer for most was their ability to engage Honorary co-chairs Fred ’01H in one-on-one research and Maxine Hadley. supported by great faculty and modern facilities. With our new crop of young faculty, it is imperative that we continue that work. That’s why Maxine and I offered our support to this great night and the University’s commitment to making the Starr Science facility and the learning contained therein as strong as it can be.” Heat ingredients slowly, and BOOM, instant fun!

Thank you Sponsors, Guests & Volunteers! The support and contributions of the evening’s sponsors are deeply appreciated and fundamental to our efforts in providing the kinds of opportunities that for 168 years have been a hallmark of Rockford University, changing the lives of our students and all those with whom they have come in contact. In addition to the generous underwriting gifts from those sponsors listed below, we also would like to thank Kerry, Five Forks, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Meridian for their meaningful in-kind contributions to the event. With all their help, Mad About Science came “alive.” Student volunteers played a huge role in enhancing the guest experience. More than 40 philanthropically-inclined current students gave up their night to assist with the coat check, valet parking, science demonstrations, serving the innovative dishes, silent auction, and raffle support. The night is about them and couldn’t be successful without their time and talents. Their volunteering is a testament to the value they place on the generosity of others.

gala sponsors Einstein Sponsor Thomas ’74 & Rosemary Muldowney Curie Sponsors Medical Pain Management Services Rockford Anesthesiologist Associated, LLC Sodexo SwedishAmerican Health System Newton Sponsors Alpine Bank ARAMARK Bradley and Georgann Gummow Family Foundation Illinois Bank & Trust OSF Health Care Schmeling Construction Co. Freud Sponsors Cimco Recycling Loves Park, Inc. Dental Dimensions – Dr. Kris Tumilowicz Forest City Gear Dr. & Mrs. Robert L. Head Midwest Aero Support, Inc. Rockford Health System Rockford Orthopedic Associates The Morrissey Family Businesses Williams-Manny Woodward

good news for nursing The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program successfully completed its accreditation review by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), earning full accreditation through 2019. The BSN program has grown to accommodate 80 new students per year. RU Nursing graduates are noted for routinely scoring well above the national average on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). This February, Associate Professor of Chemistry Bill Doria and a group of students traveled to Kerry Ingredients to learn more about the science of food prep. While there, they were able to watch a food scientist prepare several dishes that would be served during this year’s Gala. The interactive demonstration allowed the class to apply their knowledge of science to the culinary world. While watching the demonstration of food prep, the students were exposed to how the combination of certain ingredients can change the overall composition of food when cooked. The overall product depends on the variables of heat, time, and the measurement of these ingredients to make the perfect product. There was also a brief tour of the facility, showing some of the office spaces where a lot of the work and research is conducted, as well as the work space where many different beverages, such as coffee, fruity drinks, and alcoholic beverages are created. RU students were able to see from a seasoned barista just how important the art of coffee making is. Through measurements and different flavors, the students were able to taste test an enjoyable and uniquely flavored coffee mixture on this visit. Learning about the creativity of food and beverage while also getting to taste the final products was an invaluable experience that allowed students to see how the core concepts of science can be applied to real life situations, such as food and beverage, in the work place. RU students at Kerry.

faculty notes & student news

Earth Day Luncheon 2015 award winners: (l–r) Michael Hoefer; Ashley Brown; Amanda Bonivia; Professor Emeritus Fred Hadley, Ph.D.; Richard Louv; Sierra Delahanty; Ashley Rodgers; Professor Deb Breiter, Ph.D., and Lori Gummow (Executive Director of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful).

Alpha Helix, a science club at Rockford University, was awarded the 2015 Hutchcroft Youth Award for Environmental Excellence by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful during an April 2 Earth Day Luncheon (see photo above). The award is bestowed upon an individual or group of youth exhibiting a commitment to improving the environment and is named in recognition of late Rockford University Chemistry Professor Alan Hutchcroft. The NURS406 Clinical Experience class, along with Associate Professor of Nursing Nola Addante, spent time in Rochelle, Ill., to help with the continuing clean-up efforts after devastating tornadoes tore through the area in April. Students helped on a farm north of Rochelle moving debris, raking, burning, and walking through cornfields picking up debris. They even found an 8x10” baby picture in the middle of the field that belonged to the farm’s owners. Sean Beckmann, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biology, attended the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference in Bloomington, Ind., this past March. He presented two posters with students Paige Clough, Aleksandra Kuljanin, Hayden Pehl and Amanda Bonavia related to activities funded by FacultyStudent Summer Research Grants. Dr. Beckmann will be attending the annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in Jacksonville, Fla., this June to present his paper “The impact of urbanization on genetic variation in the cotton mouse, Peromyscus gossypinus.” Students Michael Hoeffer, Hayden Pehl and Ashley Rodgers will also be presenting research on the prevalence of Lyme disease in rodents in northern Illinois.


Assistant Professor of Physical Education Ann Boe presented an adapted P.E presentation called “101

Ways to Use a Hula Hoop” at the Raising Star Student Achievement Convention in St. Charles, Ill., in December. The topic helped individuals both in the P.E and regular classroom who needed ways to adapt activities for special populations. Lydia Gerzel-Short, Ed.D., assistant professor of Education, recently presented at the National Field Experience Conference 2015 held at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. “Virtual Supervision of Early Field-Based Experiences” explored the feasibility of asynchronous virtual supervision during early teacher field-based experiences of teacher candidates. Dr. GerzelShort also presented at the Council for Exceptional Children 2015 Convention and Expo held in San Diego, Calif. “Family Partnership In A Multi-Tiered Systems of Support” examined the importance of family involvement in student learning and achievement within the Response to Intervention framework. Professor of Political Science Jules Gleicher presented a public lecture at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., entitled “The Play of Personalities at the Federal Convention of 1787” this past March. Jacob Hardesty, Ph.D., assistant professor of Education (far left) and Michael Perry, Ph.D., associate professor of English (left), attended the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in New Orleans, La., in April 2015. Dr. Hardesty presented a paper entitled “Syncopated Strains of Jazz: The Victorian Generation Gap and Representations of 1920s College Life in Popular Media.” Dr. Perry presented “Borrowing Stephen King’s Toolbox: The Serious Business of Creative Writing and Becoming a Writer in the Creative Writing Classroom.” Stephen Hicks, Ph.D., professor of philosophy speaking engagements: April 10-12, Cancún, Mexico, “E. G. West’s Education and the State”; April 13-14, Cancún, Mexico, APEE Conference, “Corruption in Business—Does Regulation Lessen or Increase It?”; April 19-25, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Junior Achievement Argentina; April 29-May 1, Jekyll Island, Georgia, “Responsibility and the Financial Crisis”; May 24, Miami, Florida, Fundación para la Responsabilidad Intelectual; June 19-22, Nashua, N.H., Atlas Summit, “The Three Best Arguments against Liberal Capitalism”; July 26, Hong Kong, China, Conference on Neo-Enlightenment: Art after Postmodernism, “The Next Revolution in Art”; July 29-31, Nanjing, China, Conference on CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance, “Entrepreneurship’s Relationship to CSR.”

Clare Landry – 52 years and counting! Adjunct Professor Clare Landry ’61, MAT, recently celebrated 52 years of teaching with Clare Landry works with a student in the University’s Center the learning center. for Learning Strategies. His remarkable tenure was celebrated at an open house held in Clare’s honor this past December and attended by his wife Grace, students, faculty, staff and friends. Clare earned a master’s degree in reading techniques and counseling & guidance from Rockford College in 1961. The following year, he joined the Saturday staff at the then-named Rockford College Reading Clinic and the rest, as they say, is history. Clare’s unquestioned passion for teaching and learning has had an immeasurable impact on thousands of students over the years. However, as much as Rockford College has benefited from his dedication, so have many others.

Clare spent more than 30 years teaching and serving as principal of elementary schools in South Beloit and Rockford. He retired from his administrative duties with Rockford Public Schools in 1987, and moved into fulltime teaching in community college programs and with programs at RCLC. An outdoor enthusiast, Clare was hired as a ranger naturalist in Montana’s Glacier National Park in 1964. For 43 seasons, Clare, with family in tow, fulfilled duties with the National Park Service as an interpreter for the Division of Visitor Services and Interpretations. More than an educator, Clare is a mentor and an active partner with the students in their learning experience. By helping students improve their skills, Clare offers his students hope, self-esteem, academic success and a bright future. Clare celebrated his 85th birthday in April and has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. More about Clare’s enduring legacy of teaching and learning can be found on the Center for Learning Strategies page located on the University’s website, http://www.rockford. edu/academics/cls.

Brian Huels, MST, CPA, assistant professor of Economics, Business, and Accounting, is pursuing a doctorate of accounting at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. Roxana Idu, Ph.D., assistant professor of Economics, Business, and Accounting, presented a session on the use of economics experiments in economics pedagogy at the Teaching Economics Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., in February. Dr. Idu also participated in a panel discussion, Economic and Political Upheaval in Asia: Shifting Alliances and Impact on America. It was moderated by the Honorable Donald Manzullo, U.S. House of Representatives 1993–2013, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific; President and CEO, Korea Economic Institute of America. The panel discussion was the inaugural event hosted by the Rockford University Global Affairs Council. Shawn Klein, Ph.D., assistant professor of Philosophy has a new publication, “Steve Jobs and Philosophy: For Those Who Think Different.” The publication is the latest in Open Court’s Pop Culture and Philosophy series. The chapters are thoughtful, mostly philosophical, examinations, from different points of view, of Steve Jobs’s life and work, and their impact on our culture and the way we live. The chapters range from discussions of entrepreneurship to aesthetics to education and to ethics. Dr. Klein shares, “We live very much in a world Steve Jobs created. The book was a way to explore the man and the ways he has influenced all of (continued on p14)

Excellence in teaching awards were presented by Provost Siconolfi to Assistant Professor Brian Huels (top) and Adjunct Professor Jennifer Jenkins ’09. Nominations for these awards were submitted by faculty, staff, students and alumni.


our lives.” Dr. Stephen Hicks is one of the featured contributors. This publication is currently available on Joseph Kobylas, Ph.D., professor of Spanish, retired this year after 22 years of service to the University. Dr. Kobylas was honored as a Professor Emeritus of Spanish at the 2015 Commencement ceremonies. Professor of English Susan Porterfield, Ph.D., was invited by WNIU/WNIJ to share her insights about “that moment when you know you’re a poet” as part of their Perspectives series and in honor of National Poetry month in April. Stephanie Quinn, Ph.D., associate professor of Modern and Classical Languages, will be pursuing an academic tour of classical Italian sites through the Vergilian Society during the month of July. Jon Skalski, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology led a participant idea exchange titled “Teaching Psychology Online and Genuine Relating: Ethical and Practical Considerations” at the 37th Annual Meeting of the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology in Florida in January.

RU undergraduate Stephanie Klemm was awarded $1,500 from Sigma Xi Committee on Grants-in-Aid of Research on her project: Photodynamic Therapy as an Alternative to Antibiotics Against Ocular Infections. Stephanie’s grant will fund a research project expanding on her previous research with Chemical and Biological Science Profs. Bork and Skwor using photodynamic therapy (PDT), the use of light-activated chemicals, to treat bacterial infections, especially antibiotic-resistant populations. This grant will focus on combating ocular bacterial infections using PDT. These grants are highly competitive and only 17% of applicants receive any level of funding. Please join us in congratulating Stephanie Klemm on her successful grant, as well as her current research progress which was presented in Arizona in November, 2014 at the International Sigma Xi Research Conference analyzing PDT against bacterial populations Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.


Associate Professor of Education Lynn Stafford ’14, MAT, conducted a parent session on “Navigating the IEP Process” at GiGi’s Playhouse, an achievement center for individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the community.

faculty & student news

(continued from p13)

Assistant Professor of English Kyle Stedman, Ph.D., attended the Computers and Writing Conference at UW-Stout in Menomonie, Wis., in May. Professor Stedman will be led a workshop and served on an academic panel during this conference.

Philip Soosloff, professor of art, was chosen, based on nominations from students, to present the “Last Lecture” on April 23. The lecture was part of the spring Forum series and inspired by the concept developed by Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch who delivered the talk “The Last Lecture: A Celebration of Life” on facing terminal pancreatic cancer. Soosloff’s talk was entitled “Finding the Moments; connecting the dots between life and art making.” For 30 years, Professor Soosloff has been creating and exhibiting his art. During this time he has found a way to balance his professional life with his personal. He talked about how his everyday life influences and is connected to the art-making process. The Last Lecture is sponsored by the University’s Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JACCE).

Assistant Professor of Nursing Cheryl Troxel ’04, BSN, MSN (far left), attended a workshop entitled “Critical Thinking and Test Item Writing” in March 2015 in Kansas City, Kan. Also attending the workshop was Assistant Professor of Nursing Jennifer Grobe ’03, BSN, MSN (above right). Professor Grobe also completed and passed the Certified Nursing Educator Exam.

Kimberlee Wagner, assistant professor of Education, presented a paper entitled “Building Capacity in Guided Reading Instruction Using Ongoing Staff Development” at the Literacy Research Association conference in Marco Island, Fla., this past December. Professor Wagner was also featured in a news story on WIFR 23 News, “Gender Gap in Reading Widening,” that aired on April 24.

class notes David E. (Gino) Cox ’73 and Marylyn Miranda are pleased to announce the birth of their second son together, Alessandro Giovanni Miranda Cox on March 15, 2015. Amazon has not yet sold out of electronic copies of Gino’s first self-published mystery/suspense novel, “The Black Pill,” despite numerous favorable reviews. George Harnish ’78 was on the Kilted Snow Weasels snow sculpting team that won the 2015 State People’s Choice Award at the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition in Rockford. Jim Graber ’81 was promoted to senior vice president at Rockford Bank & Trust in Rockford. Steve Lawler ’81 is an Episcopal priest at St. Stephens & The Vine in Ferguson, Mo. He has been a panelist and speaker at a number of local and national events about racial reconciliation, and recently had a piece on the Episcopal Church’s “Voices” site on healing after the Ferguson conflict. He is also an organizational psychologist and teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. David Kittel ’85 and his longtime partner, Jason Geiger ’06, married in August of 2014. They adopted their son, Frederic James, in November. Jeff Colborn ’86 is a senior manager at Accenture in Raleigh, N.C., and was recently picked to lead the project to convert Exelon nuclear power plants from paper to Apple tablets. Maintenance accounts for about half the work that goes on at nuclear facilities and workers carry binders with 100 to 500 pages of information, such as instructions, diagrams and lists of materials and equipment. Workers not only need that information to perform complex procedures, but they also relied on paper to keep records of work performed. Ironically, these materials were created digitally first and then printed out for use in the field. He has worked almost 30 years in nuclear power operations, starting with Exelon in 1984. A computer science graduate of Rockford University, he specialized in IT and moved to Accenture from Raleigh-based Progress Energy when it merged with Duke Energy in 2012. Carol Behmer-Colborn ’85 has been using her degrees as a lay person for many years, working with first time moms in various capacities in ministry and in the community. Karl Swanson ’88 was promoted to executive vice president and chief lending officer at Rockford Bank & Trust in Rockford.

20, 2014. “We live in Palos Heights, Ill., and I currently own a business, ‘Miss Angie’s Music,’ which provides early childhood family music classes for children ages 0–7 and their families. I teach at different park district locations in the south suburbs of Chicago. I am also a lead vocalist with the Becca Kaufman Orchestra and perform regularly with the band on weekends.” Michele Lind ’96 was promoted to assistant vice president and investment officer at Alpine Trust & Investment Group. Patricio M. Aguilar ’01 celebrated five years since the inception of her Chicagoland technology company, Media Moon, LLC. Jamie Jones ’01 lives in Chicago, Ill., and works for the PUBLIC Hotel as the Training and Development Manager. She is active in CrossFit and enjoys running half-marathons. Jamie joined the Rockford University Alumni Association Board in September 2014 as a way to stay involved and give back. Todd Kozuszko ’01 visited campus on January 30, 2015, to speak to students. A deputy U.S. Marshall, he is a criminal investigator and handles “Hope,” an explosives detection K-9. Hope is one of only 16 K-9s within the U.S. Marshall Service. She can detect 19,000 different types of explosives and firearms. Together, they conduct search warrants, security details, sweeps of buildings and events. Karen Fallon ’02 is a kindergarten teacher at Alden-Hebron Elementary School in Hebron, Ill., and was selected by the regional newspaper as an Everyday Hero. Fallon, who has taught at the school since 2002, often pays out of her own pocket to make sure needy students have basic needs. It’s a philosophy she learned from her father at an early age, and it’s one of several reasons – including what her nominator calls Fallon’s outstanding teaching skills, and her very journey to become a teacher – why the “Northwest Herald” selected Fallon’s nomination as an Everyday Hero. Jennifer Vause ’02 (elementary education) is the Artistic Director and Co-Owner of Evolve Dance Company in Rockford, Ill. Evolve is celebrating its 10th anniversary, first opening in the summer of 2005. Classes for dancers ages three through adult are held year round. Evolve also offers competition teams that travel regionally and nationally. Evolve holds its annual recitals in June at Rockford University in Maddox Theatre. Jennifer has traveled around the country serving as a judge for several competition companies. She considers herself a very lucky person to be able to share her passion for dance with many and do what she loves, teach dance. Her mother, RU Emerita of Education Professor JoEllen Vause has worked with Jennifer as Co-Owner since Evolve opened. Jody Beilke Booher ’04 went to NIU College of Law and graduated in 2007. She is employed with the law firm of Barrick, Switzer, Long, Balsley & Van Evera, LLP in Rockford, where she recently became partner. She focuses her practice on general civil litigation, from business and financial

Julie O’Rourke ’91 was promoted to executive vice president and senior trust and investment officer at Alpine Trust & Investment Group. Angie Wendt Pope ’95 was married on Oct. 21, 2012, to Ty Pope, and gave birth to a daughter, Carol Laurin Pope, on Sept.

(Name in orange indicates alumni association board member.) (continued on p16)


(continued from p15) affairs to personal injury. She is currently involved with the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau Young Leaders group and Healing Pathways-Cancer Resource Center. Frank Dyke ’04 is a graduate of Rockford University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He has lived in Rockford with his wife, Elaine, since 1999 and served in local political positions. After spending 10 years in sales, Frank is now working for a company that restores ex-military jets in Rockford. He also volunteers as Aerospace Education and Public Affairs Officer with Rockford’s Civil Air Patrol squadron. Aaron Nester ’04/’06 is assistant coach for the women’s basketball program at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Stacie Talbert Scott ’04 MBA joined the Board of Directors of the Rockford YWCA. She is employed with the Rockford Public Schools as the executive director of budget and purchasing. Stacie has more than 20 years of experience in government and not-for-profit finance and management, including budgeting and financial planning, accounting and financial reporting, debt and treasury management, operations, process improvement, and internal and compliance auditing. She is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, received a 2012 Booker Washington Center “25 Black Leaders to Watch” award, and was a 2009 Rockford Chamber of Commerce “40 Leaders Under 40” award recipient. Christina (Tina) Anderson ’05 MBA has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of business & chief financial officer at Rockford University (see p9 for more details). Mark Samuelson ’05/’10 received an Involvement Values award at the annual Leadership meeting of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Mark was one of three winners of this highly competitive and prestigious award. He is being recognized for working to seamlessly and successfully integrate operations within the business and across the globe while effectively leveraging its global footprint to best serve customers. At the same time, he remains mindful of the impact business decisions have on employees and works closely with those affected to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect throughout integration-related initiatives. Aaron Veach ’05 is now working in the film industry doing stunt, voice over, and acting work in southern California and appeared in an NFL ad during the 2015 Super Bowl. He was featured as a British Buckingham Palace guard in a 60-second commercial for the NFL’s #SuperBowlRally campaign. Veach said he was disappointed that many of his scenes didn’t make the final cut, but is hopeful a re-edited cut will include more of his screen time. Devon LaRosa ’06 was appointed the new principal for Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, Ill. Devon also holds two masters degrees from National Louis University, one in curriculum and instruction, and one in academic leadership. He participated in the Harvard Graduate School


of Education’s Leading 21st Century High Schools Institute and is currently a doctoral candidate at Aurora University. President Head presents a framed copy of the Catalyst article from December 2014 that featured James Ford ’09 MAT. James was the keynote speaker for the Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., of the Greater Rockford Area’s 11th Annual Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast in Rockford on Jan. 17, 2015. The annual event is hosted each year at Rockford University. Nicole Mazza ’09 MAT has been hired at Junior Achievement as program manager. She will work with schools, businesses and volunteers to present Junior Achievement programs to students in southwest Florida. She will also be responsible for maintaining relationships with stakeholders, working with Junior Achievement’s Advisory Board, recruiting new businesses and schools, training volunteers on program implementation, and assisting in raising support for Junior Achievement special events. Tiana Cooper McCall ’09 MBA joined the Board of Directors of the Rockford YWCA. Tiana has more than 13 years of experience working in social services, both in Illinois and Georgia, and has worked at mental health agencies, foster care and adoption services, adolescent residential facilities, a community college, and elementary schools. She is currently working for the Illinois Department of Human Services. Tiana is a graduate of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Rockford” program, is a recipient of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce “Top 40 Leaders Under 40 Award,” and a nominee of Who’s Who “Rockford Top 25 African American Leaders to Watch.” Jody Meggos ’09 MAT was appointed as elementary school principal in the Alton school district. Meggos started her teaching career in 2000 as a kindergarten teacher at JB Johnson Elementary School. She has also taught kindergarten at Lewis & Clark Elementary School, second grade at West Elementary and Gilson Brown, and she taught third grade at North Elementary School. In 2013, she was assigned to the position of assistant principal at East Elementary School. Haley Ann O’Kraski ’10 is engaged to Ross David Lentman. She is employed at Woodland School as a fifth-grade teacher. The couple will be married June 27, 2015, at Metamora Fields. Ryan Cushing ’11 has been promoted to Director of Information Technology at Rockford University. He was previously the assistant director of information technology at the University (see p9 for more details). Chris Benson ’12 is currently working at Zenith Cutter in Loves Park, Ill., in sales.

Jake Maliszewski ’12 is currently working at Ward Group in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is a financial analyst and provides consulting to insurance companies. Recent RU graduates Julia Wetzel ’15 and Chris Holke ’14 both won awards for their paper presentations at the Wisconsin Regional Conference of the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta held on April 24 and hosted by Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. Ms. Wetzel’s paper “A Connection to the Past” was given the prize for best paper in the Classics. Mr. Holke won for “Issues of Leverage: The Effect of President Jimmy Carter’s Human Rights Foreign Policy on U.S.-Soviet Relations” as the best paper in international history.

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

new alumni Coordinator Please welcome our new Coordinator of Alumni Affairs, Carla Potter. Carla is a Rockford native and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Organizational and Corporate Communication. She has over 15 years experience in customer support services. Carla was also on the planning committee for the 2015 Gala. She will be a strong addition to the team and looks forward to meeting everyone.

save the date for alumni reunion


Save the date, don’t leave it to fate. Our Dr. Seuss-inspired weekend will start such a trend. Special reunion activities planned for those zeros and fives. But all Regents are invited to come and share their lives!

The Alumni Association Board is seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to represent different decades and geographic locations. Board terms are three years in length with quarterly meetings.

October 9 & 10, 2015

If you would like to become more involved and help make Reunion a great time for your class and everyone else, please contact the Alumni Office at or 815.394.5111. Visit for more information.

Alumni who are interested in becoming Alumni Association Board members should contact Coordinator of Alumni Affairs Carla Potter at Recommendations or self-nominations must be received by July 10, 2015. To read more about the board and to view a list of current members, go to alumni/association

ru alumni authors “A Sunday Kind of Love” by David Benjamin ’72. “Aqmeri’s Coat” by Linda Durham ’93. “Pachacuti: World Overturned” by Lori Eshleman ’75. “Ink, Stink Bait, Revenge, and Queen Elizabeth” by Steven W. May ’63 and Arthur F. Marotti. “Chaos in the Classroom 1” by B. L. Moran ’77. Are you an alumni author? We’d love to share your publications in Catalyst. Please send information to: Alumni Office, 5050 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108 or email


Alumni Gatherings Rockford. On January 1, 2015, a group of RU alumni gathered at Panera in Rockford. RU through the generations! Pictured at left (l–r) are Sean Marlow ’08 and Grace Moone Marlow ’10 (classmates at RU), Richard McMullen ’87, Grace Meenen McMullen Geeding ’45 (mother of Richard and Grace Ann), Helen Mathre Anglemire ’45 (friend of Grace McMullen since junior high), Grace Ann McMullen Moone ’79, and Rick Field ’80 (RU classmate of Grace Ann). “What a great time we had together!”

San Diego. Janie Hopson ’65 graciously offered to host an alumni gathering in her home on January 6, 2015. Guests included RU President Robert L. Head, Sheryl Head, Larry Houts ’64 (pictured right), Allen Reibman ’90, Sandra ’73 and David Gutzwiller, Kemi Williams ’73 and James Euphrat (pictured left and center), and Jillian Swan ’00. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather, delicious food, and memorable conversations.

Florida. Three alumni gatherings, hosted by President Robert Head, were held in Florida over spring break. Joining alumni, studentathletes, and the Vocal Collective at each event was Bern Sundstedt ’77 (VP for Institutional Advancement), Denise Noe (AVP for Institutional Advancement), Eric Fulcomer (VP for Enrollment Management), Timm Adams (Associate Professor of Music), Kyle Stedman (Assistant Professor of English), and Brandon Michaud (Manager of Vocal Collective). • Guests cheered on the Rockford University baseball team in Fort Myers. Alumni included Debra Fuhler George ’74 and Tyler Abercrombie ’00. • A reception at the Bradenton Country Club and performance by Vocal Collective was enjoyed by Dawn Hallsten ’73, Don Mateer, Paul and Nancy Rostowsky ’85, Vida Pollock Parent ’37, Chris Parent, Janet and Ray Baker ’05H, and Linda Durham ’93.

In addition to performing at the three alumni gatherings, Vocal Collective performed at the nonprofit Give Kids the World (Kissimmee, Fla.) as part of a service outreach.

in memoriam Dorothy Cramer Guilford ’37, Nov. 30, 2014 Mary Giddings Lawsing ’37, Nov. 12, 2014 Barbara Allen Meyer ’38, Jan. 21, 2015 Beatrice Jones Winkler ’40, Jan. 15, 2015 Barbara Jordan Clark ’41, Jan. 22, 2015 Jeanette Tarkington Stokely ’41, Jan. 14, 2015 Sara Coburn Woolley ’41, Jan. 14, 2015 Ruth Hutchison Bates ’42, March 11, 2015 Barbara Merrill Bruesch ’44, Aug. 8, 2014 Ruth Carlson Lindahl ’44, Jan. 14, 2015 Margaret Jones Sanders ’44, Feb. 15, 2015 Joan Dunwiddie Aishton ’47, Dec. 27, 2014 Mary Hamilton Klos ’47, April 3, 2015 Beverly Pratt Lindgren ’47, March 25, 2015 Marjorie Smevog Maney ’48, Jan. 2, 2015 Richard Bonaguro ’50, Jan. 9, 2015 Carl Schelin ’50, Dec. 3, 2014 Bob Stacey ’50, Dec. 25, 2014 Mary Cahn Wolf ’51, March 30, 2015


• Naples guests enjoyed lunch at the Club at the Strand and a presentation by President Head and a Vocal Collective performance. Attendees included Al and Lynn Andreini ’98, Patricia Randolph, Ben and Mary ’85 Healy, Whitey and Jeanne Marinelli ’94, Ronald Peterson ’62, Ala Gahlbeck, Ted & Terry ’86 Ingrassia, and Angelo and Virginia Spoto.

Barbara Barackman Wille ’53, Jan. 14, 2015 Alice Healy ’56, March 4, 2015 Janice Rapley Clabuesch ’60, Feb. 26, 2015 William Fosbender Jr. ’62, March 23, 2015 Nicholas Contaxes ’63, Nov. 30, 2014 Patricia Van Alstyne Olson ’65, March 3, 2015 Federico Rivera ’66, Jan. 2, 2015 Diann Gerrity ’68, Dec. 31, 2014 Sally Kullberg Hirst ’68, Dec. 22, 2014 Lawrence Toscano Sr. ’68, Jan. 1, 2014 Keith Hall ’69/’72, Dec. 27, 2014 Joseph Rembusch ’70, Dec. 25, 2014 Norman Cohen ’71, Jan. 16, 2015 James Doty ’72, Dec. 26, 2014 Judith Keifer Ganser ’72, March 16, 2015 James Kotche ’79, Dec. 27, 2014 Marie Meiresonne ’84/’90, Jan. 27, 2015 Teresa Waller ’86, March 20, 2015 Timothy Bederka ’91, March 5, 2015 Terrence Schwiesow ’01, April 2, 2015 Mary Manring ’08, Jan. 16, 2015 Randall Toone ’09, Jan. 27, 2015

introducing Rvc-Ru Scholarship Fund Rockford is are fortunate to have two institutions of higher education in the immediate area. Both offer the community a wealth of opportunities academically, economically and culturally. Together, Rockford University and Rock Valley College have a tremendous impact on every citizen’s quality of life in the Rock River Valley. Many Regents spent their first college years at Rock Valley College before continuing on at Rockford University. The long-standing partnership with Rock Valley College (RVC) has proven to be valuable to so many students and the University is excited to create a new scholarship as an additional way to provide RVC graduates a seamless transition to RU. Jim Pirages ’75 (RVC) and ’77 (RU) shares, “Like many, I did not live on campus. I commuted to school while holding down a job. My academic experience which started at RVC and continued at Rockford University shaped my future in so many ways. Chief amongst them at RU was my career path. As a history major in my senior year, a professor sat me down one day and said, “Well, Jim, from here you’re either going to law school or business school.” He was straight with me and helped give me the direction I needed when I wasn’t sure what to do. That was the sort

of personal experience that led me to Rockford University, and it was that nudge that helped me make my way to Southern Illinois University for law school. We are inviting everyone, but especially graduates of both RU and RVC to support this new scholarship to benefit future transfer students. Many students at RVC wish to stay home and continue their education. A scholarship at RU dedicated specifically to assist RVC transfer students will provide additional opportunities for students to do just that. Jim goes on to say, “As a product of both schools and as a person vested in our community, I urge you to join me in giving to this important fund. By investing in students that share so much in common with us, we are investing in the future of Rockford.” Scholarships will be awarded annually from the fund’s proceeds. Please consider supporting students that share so much in common with you. Feel free to use the envelope provided in Catalyst and write “RVC – RU” in your check memo or on the envelope itself.

women leaders on campus The Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JACCE) recognized women leaders on campus with the Young Leader Award and Women’s History Month Recognition Award in a ceremony held March 31. Recipients were honored for their efforts in bringing social change to society. Hazel Koch Professor of English Mary Weaks-Baxter, Ph.D., and Director of Center for Learning Strategies Jeanne Grey, received the Women’s History Month Recognition Award. Dr. Weaks-Baxter is the Community Based Learning Coordinator and assists faculty to utilize Community Based Learning in their classroom. She emphasizes that college is not only for learning, but also for developing how to think critically and to challenge the status quo. She encourages her students to learn as much about social issues as they can and to not be afraid to address those issues. Director of the Center for Learning Strategies Jeanne Grey provides more than just academic support to Rockford University students. Many students come to her with anxiety related to school or personal life. She offers support by listening, questioning and, if necessary, referring those students to professionals who can further help.

Award recipients (l–r): Edina Mesanovic, Mary Weaks-Baxter and Jeanne Grey.

The Young Leader Award was given to junior Edina Mesanovic. Edina is a junior nursing student, president of the Muslim Student Association, secretary of Multicultural Club, and a member of many other organizations on campus. She empowers her peers through her encouragement, kind nature and actions. Through her involvement on campus she supports the community and advocates for social justice and change. 19

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

summer 2015 Events – don’t miss these!

Upcoming fall 2015 Events –

Rockford Chamber Founder’s Day Celebration. Wednesday, July

Mark your calendars now!

15, 2015, 5–7 p.m., Burpee Student Center. Hosted by Rockford

University, Founder’s Day is a premier Business After Hours networking event that celebrates the Chamber’s 105th birthday and its founding members, as well as thanks Chamber members for their annual support. The Chamber will also induct new members into the Northern Illinois Business Hall of Fame. As a founding member, Rockford University is proud to return for the third consecutive year as the title sponsor.

Center for Learning Strategies. See p4 for summer learning opportunities for youth.

RU Youth Athletic Camps All camps are run by coaches, players and staff members. For more information, visit or call 815.226.4085.

Regents Youth Baseball Camp (grades 3–8), June 22–25 or June 29–July 2, 2015

GOLF PLAY DAY. Monday, August 3, 2015, Timber Pointe Golf Club. For more information and to support the student-athlete experience call 815.226.4085.

REUNION 2015. October 9–10, 2015, “Oh, the Places You’ve Been” – this Seuss-inspired weekend will have tons of activities for the zeroes and fives, but all Regents are welcome!

HOLIDAY SHOPPING BUS TRIP. Sunday, December 6, 2015, Chicago Water Tower Place & Michigan Avenue.

fall 2015 performing arts season

Youth Summer Basketball Camp (grades 3–8): July 13–16, 2015

For tickets or information, please call the Box Office at 815.226.4100 or visit Dates and locations subject to change.

Regents Youth Soccer Camp (grades K–8): July 13–17, 2015

“Seesaw,” Oct. 1–4, 2015, Maddox Theatre The Second Annual Rockford City Dance Festival, Oct. 9–10, 2015, Maddox Theatre

We hope you’ll join us!

“On the 20th Century,” Nov. 12–15, 19–22, Maddox Theatre, musical, RU and Artists’ Ensemble

Check out often for details about the University’s many diverse offerings throughout the semester.

Winter Concert, Dec. 4, 2015, Maddox Theatre

and more!

athletics • lectures • performing arts • art exhibits 20

Other performing arts events: • Student Directing Scenes, Oct. 2, 2015, Cheek Theatre • Senior Seminars, Dec. 5–6, 2015, Cheek & Maddox Theatres • Music Recitals, Sept. 21, Oct. 12, Nov. 2 (classical, Fisher Memorial Chapel), Nov. 30, 2015, Maddox Theatre • Dance Workshops, Dec. 3, 2015, Dance studio

15-0156 Catalyst3_FY15

Catalyst Spring 2015  
Catalyst Spring 2015