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faculty notes & student news Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator Tara Wood, Ph.D., was awarded the Community Based Learning (CBL) Innovation Grant for Spring 2017 as part of Rockford University’s commitment to providing students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to address the needs of the Rockford Community. Dr. Wood incorporated CBL into her RHET 102 Intermediate Rhetoric course by partnering students with The Literacy Council in Rockford, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the literacy levels and educational/employment opportunities for the Rockford region. Students worked on a project aimed at promoting the council’s fundraising efforts for the 14th annual Rockford Literacy Races marathon held in early May. The project consisted of researching literacy in the Rockford region and drafting researchbased profiles of adult learners associated with The Literacy Council that were used for promoting the sponsorship of runners for the marathon. Dr. Tara Wood was the lead author on an article published in the May 25 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Wood’s piece, “Why We Dread Disability Myths” is a critical response to an article published in April by Gail Hornstein titled “Why I Dread the Accommodations Talk.” Dr. Wood critiques

Hornstein for perpetuating dangerous and ableism myths about disability and disabled students. Dr. Wood donated the publication stipend for the article to the Society for Disability Studies.

In an article published May 30 titled “Ticked off: Lyme disease to be an issue this season,” Assistant Professor of Biology Sean Beckmann, Ph.D., shares with the Rockford Register Star | rrstar.com that he expects an increase in the local tick population this season after winter’s brevity and warmth. Pictured above, Dr. Beckmann and Taggart Venegas, biology major, trap a ground squirrel at the Distillery Road conservation Area in Belvidere, Ill., Dr. Beckmann and students collected rodent specimens to test for Lyme disease. Photo courtesy of the Rockford Register Star and photographer Arturo Fernandez.

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Catalyst - Spring/Summer 2017  
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