Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years right here on our blog and on social media. Be sure to check here every Friday and follow us on all of our social media platforms as we will be posting unique content across all media throughout the year!
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Today’s 50th Friday covers the year 2009.
RVC Grad Wins Faculty of the Year
On January 9, 2009, Erin Fisher, then Assistant professor of Psychology, became the first RVC graduate to win the RVC Faculty of the Year award. Fisher was described as an advocate for her students, consistently supportive of her colleagues both professionally and personally, and a person full of compassion, intellect, and honesty. Fisher’s remarks when accepting her award reflected on those of Russian educational psychologist Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky who described teaching as “rousing minds to life.” Embracing this belief, “I am blessed to wake up every morning and want to go to work,” Fisher said. “I am also privileged to work with some of the very best faculty.” Known by her students for her sense of humor, Fisher commented, “If I’m not having fun teaching, they’re not having fun learning.”
Fisher is now Professor of Psychology at RVC. Since Professor Fisher’s win in 2009, only one other RVC graduate has won the Faculty of the Year award. Can you name that person? (see answer at the bottom of this 50th Fridays post)
Déjà vu: New Website Debuts
On January 30, 2009, the college unveiled its new website at rockvalleycollege.edu with a “cleaner look” that was “easier to navigate.” Just this week we launched yet another new web design with… a cleaner look that is easier to navigate. But this one is also mobile-friendly!
A snapshot of what the new RVC website looked like in February of 2009.
Introducing RVC Alerts
In February 2009, the college made the RVC Alerts mass notification system available to RVC students and employees. The free service allows students and employees to choose to receive voice calls, text messages, and/or email notifications in the event of a college closing or emergency. RVC Alerts is one of many methods the college has in place to notify students and employees in an emergency. You can learn more at rockvalleycollege.edu/alert.
The Social Network
On February 23, 2009, Rock Valley College launched its official Facebook page and followed a few months later in June of 2009 with its official Twitter account. The college now has nearly 9,000 likes on Facebook, over 3,500 followers on Twitter, and has tweeted over 4,200 times. You can also find RVC on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Periscope!
RVC Faculty Member Inducted Into Alumni Hall of Fame
On September 27, 2009, Jenny Kosinski (class of 1995), then Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Science Department Chair, became the first RVC faculty member inducted into the RVC Alumni Hall of Fame. She was inducted along with Chris Beck (class of 1986) and Steven Gunderson, D.O. (class of 1969). The Foundation also recognized its second Pacesetter Award winner in 2009, Sarah-Eva Carlson (class of 1999).
Jenny Kosinski served as SHAPE Club Advisor for many years – a social science student organization that supports community service projects, scholastic achievements, and social outlets. Under her leadership, SHAPE was voted Student Organization of the Year in 2004 and she was selected Distinguished Club Advisor of the Year. In addition, she spearheaded a campus-wide recycling program involving many segments of the Rockford community with an “Ensuring Environmental Kindness Campaign.” She also works closely with many area social service organizations to maintain an ongoing service learning project for her students each semester. Kosinski is now an Associate Professor of Sociology at RVC.
After graduating from Rock Valley College, Chris Beck attended Northern Illinois University where she earned her B.S. in Business Management and her Masters of Business Administration degrees. She is currently a Human Resources Consultant, Career Transition Consultant, and Executive Coach in the greater Atlanta area. In addition to her human resources career, Beck was a Rock Valley College adjunct faculty member who taught Human Resources Management. Her community involvement included Board of Trustee membership at Rock Valley College, and Board of Director membership at Janet Wattles Center, Janet Wattles Center Foundation, Family Counseling Services, Rockford Area Society for Human Resources Management, Children’s Development Center, and Rock Valley College Foundation.
Following graduation in the RVC class of 1969, Dr. Steven Gunderson attended Drake University, COMS-DesMoines University and the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for residency training in anesthesiology. Dr. Gunderson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center where he also serves as the Medical Director. He previously served as the Vice Chair and later Chair of the SwedishAmerican Health System Department of Anesthesia prior to developing the Surgery Center in 1994. He was appointed to the RVC Foundation Board in 2010 where he continues to serve. He served in the US Navy Medical Corps and received the Navy Achievement Medal for outstanding performance.
Sarah-Eva (Carlson) Marchese went on from Rock Valley College to earn her bachelor’s degree in history from Augustana College. She earned a master of letters from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and a master of arts in War Studies from the University of London, England.
She has served as the Vice President of Business Development for DMC Worldwide in New York City, and the Launch Coordinator of Investors YOU also in New York. In 2011 she founded her own company, Cegras, a business development consulting firm and platform for entrepreneurial ventures in San Diego. Most recently, she founded Mott & Spry, a Chicago-based company that “believes it’s possible to apply your style to your flowers using technology and facts, and that that type of personalization makes the best type of design possible.” For example, Mott & Spry has a feature called the School of Floral Arts which offers courses for brides and other casual flower lovers to take to design their own floral style and describe it to their florists.
Left to right: Jenny Kosinski, Chris Beck, Dr. Steven Gunderson, Sarah-Eva (Carlson) Marchese
Newer, “Greener” PEC Unveiled
A ribbon-cutting and open house was held for the newly remodeled Physical Education Center on September 30, 2009. Completed in August of 2009, the $13 million renovation project provided a significant and much needed upgrade to the original facility that was built in 1973. In addition to providing improvements desperately needed for RVC’s athletes, the new PEC expanded the resources for the Fitness, Wellness, and Sport curriculum. The remodel included five modern “smart” classrooms and a lecture hall that seats 96. The remodel also included a new the state-of-the-art Fitness Lab, a bigger and better Dance/Exercise Studio, more accessible entrances and restrooms, a new wood gym floor, and a multi-purpose athletic surface with a 1/10 mile three lane track and interchangeable volleyball and basketball courts. Locker room facilities were also enlarged and upgraded, and a new scoreboard and concession stand were added for game days.
The entire building was designed and built with a focus on energy efficiency. A “Green Build” philosophy was incorporated and allowed the college to obtain Gold level L.E.E.D. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. To help reach this goal, the facility was built by utilizing recycled products in its construction to drastically reduce energy consumption. RVC’s Physical Education Center was not only the first LEED Gold Certified facility in Winnebago County, but also the first Illinois Community College facility to achieve gold level certification.
The ribbon-cutting for the newly remodeled Physical Education Center was held on September 30, 2009.
Belvidere Students Get Running Start
In the fall of 2009, Belvidere District #100 and Rock Valley College began an exciting new partnership- the Running Start program. Running Start began as a program for qualified students from Belvidere High School and Belvidere North High School to attend RVC for their junior and senior years of high school .The courses taken were for dual credit, meeting the requirements for both a high school diploma and an Associate Degree simultaneously.
Abby Becker is one of many student success stories from RVC’s Running Start program since its inception in 2009.
National Night out at RVC
On August 4, 2009, the Rock Valley College Department of Public Safety (now RVC Police Department) hosted its first National Night Out event on the main campus. The event promotes community and police partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. Law enforcement, firefighter, and emergency service exhibits and demonstrations, child ID and self-defense/safety booths, face-painting, games, and giveaways were a part of RVC’s 2009 event. National Night Out is celebrated annually by over 15,000 communities in all 50 states.
RVC Chamber Singers Perform at White House
The Rock Valley College Chamber Singers were selected to perform at the White House on Thursday, December 17, 2009. A highly competitive selection process of many months culminated in the announcement.
“The Chamber Singers were actually at the finish line on early November, when I received an e-mail saying that the RVC Chamber Singers were propelled to the top of the list due to their extraordinary musicianship,” said Paul Laprade, associate professor at Rock Valley College. “I was proud of them, for they achieved this only on the basis of their ability.”
Approximately 1,500 choirs from across the country were considered and only 12 were selected.
Trivia answer: The other RVC graduate to be named Faculty of the Year since Erin Fisher was the first in 2009 was Crystal Dinwiddie (2013).
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