RVC Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Nick Jury
We recently caught up with RVC alum Dr. Nick Jury, who currently works as a Science Policy Analyst at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institute of Health (NIH). We chatted about his job with NIH and specifically what roles he and the NIH have been playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nick also takes us back to his time at RVC and how it shaped his future.
We had the opportunity to catch up with an RVC alum (class of 1995) whose book “Perfect Run as No. 1” was recently published. The book chronicles the 2009 season of the University of Findlay men’s basketball team, the last perfect season at any level of NCAA men’s basketball.
In 2011, Rock Valley College launched Running Start, a program that allows select, qualified, academically motivated students enrolled in Illinois District 511 public high schools an opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and associate degree concurrently by attending Rock Valley College full-time during their junior and/or senior years of high school. Since its inception nine years ago, over 500 students have graduated from Running Start. Currently 242 students from 11 high schools are participating in the program.
We recently caught up with Janet Saldana, a graduate of the Running Start program, to talk about her experience. Janet graduated from Belvidere High School and with her Associate in Science degree from Rock Valley College in 2012. She went on to attend Duke University in the fall of 2012.
Janet was happy to share the story of her journey with us.
Rock Valley College recently graduated 1,158 students this spring, and as always, we’re inspired by the stories we’ve heard along the way! Has Rock Valley College changed YOUR life in some way? We want to hear about it. We would love for your story to be shared with others on our blog, website, and social media.
In her audition speech for the student commencement speaker selection panel, Lesly Chittavong channeled her inner Fresh Prince by saying, “Let me tell you all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.”
For many years, Jessica Johnson had a recurring dream. She was trapped in a strange house with no doors or windows. There was no way out. She estimates she had that dream at least 20 times over the years. Two years ago, she had that dream again, but this time it was different. This time the house had doors and windows and she was able to leave. She invited other people who were trapped in the house to come with her. Some followed and they fled into the woods near the house. Eventually they encountered a mountain and started to climb it. As Jessica climbed and climbed, the others who were following her started to give up and went back down. The higher Jessica climbed, the more people below her gave up. When she reached the summit, she was alone to enjoy the beautiful view.
To Jessica, this new version of the dream was symbolic of her finally breaking free from feeling trapped in a dark place and finally rising to the top with a clear view of a more beautiful life in front of her.
And she has Rock Valley College to thank for it.