Nursing for Men, Bilingual Financial Aid

January 25, 2010

Nursing for Men

Boy Scouts is for boys. Nursing can be, too. That's the message behind Saturday's First Aid Merit Badge Day at Harper College, an event led by male Harper nursing students and graduates aimed at marketing the still-female-dominated career field to local Boy Scout troops. "We realized many young men make judgments early-on about acceptable careers. By providing male nurse role models, we hope to prevent some of the preconceived notions," Nursing Professor Kate Kniest says. "Nursing is a female-dominated profession, but male nurses add a valuable dimension to the care of patients." The event, from 9 am until noon on Saturday, January 30, will showcase the College's state-of-the-art Nursing Lab and allow the Scouts - primarily middle schoolers from Chicago's suburbs - a chance to practice first aid techniques on Harper nursing manikins and on each other. The Scouts also will hear from male nursing students enrolled in Harper's program, and from recent graduates. The day supports the Scouts' advancement toward Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scout program, and gives the boys hands-on exposure to the nursing profession. "We hope to help them realize what an important and challenging profession nursing is," Kniest says. "It's good for them to have a positive experience like this, and to hear at a young age from men who've chosen the nursing profession." Statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health show that fewer than 6 percent of U.S. RNs are male. At Harper, 10 percent of current nursing students are male.


Media Note: This event is not open to the public, but reporters and photographers are invited to attend. Kniest and other Harper experts are available to talk in advance or afterward about the benefits of pursuing non-traditional gender careers and about nursing as a male profession. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Bilingual Financial Aid

Harper College is offering a series of workshops aimed at helping potential students navigate the murky waters of financial aid - whether they speak English or Spanish. The dual-language Financial Aid Workshops, geared toward high school juniors and their parents, will feature information on financial aid eligibility, the FAFSA application process, deadlines, the varying forms of federal and state aid and Harper scholarships for new freshmen. Those who aren't eligible for financial aid will get tips for researching other scholarship options online. Participants also can receive onsite help filling out the FAFSA. The first workshop, offered in Spanish only, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 11 at Wheeling High School, 900 S. Elmhurst Road in Wheeling. Two more bilingual workshops, offered in both English and Spanish, will be held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, February 21 at Rolling Meadows High School, 2901 W. Central Road in Rolling Meadows, and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11 at Palatine High School, 1111 N. Rohlwing Road in Palatine. "Financial aid can be intimidating even for the savviest person. Offering the pertinent information in Spanish can be helpful to parents, in particular, when it comes to understanding the details," says Juanita Pérez Bassler, a Harper College Recruiting Specialist. "We offer these workshops to let high school students know that college really is an option, and to let them know we're here to help." The workshops are free, but seating is limited. For details or to RSVP, visit or contact Pérez Bassler at 847.925.6940 or To complete the FAFSA at the event, students must bring a driver's license, social security card and 2009 tax information (tax returns should be completed first).


Media Note: Harper's Director of Student Financial Assistance, Earl Dowling, is available for interviews on financial aid topics. His answers to frequent questions, including details on the new FAFSA form changes, are available in video form on Harper's web site,, under the Financial Aid tab. For interviews or for more Harper financial aid information, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Unemployment Aid

Illinois' unemployment rate jumped to 11.1 percent in December, the second-worst in the Midwest. Harper College has a head start on helping turn those numbers around. Every month, the College's Career Stimulus program serves up a career-boosting package of expert job-hunting tips, networking opportunities and information sessions on everything from starting a business to managing stress and acing interviews - strategies that already have helped participants land new jobs and reenergize their employment search. "I have recommended your class to everyone I know," participant Brett Batchelder told program coordinators after a session focused on effective networking. "It has really been worthwhile." The January edition of Career Stimulus is at 9:30 a.m. Friday, January 29 in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The program will feature a keynote address from David Krull, who has managed multi-million dollar projects, won awards for project management and logged more than 25 years of experience with local, national and global companies. He'll address the tools and know-how needed to succeed in today's competitive job-hunting market. "This month's meeting, like the others, is the perfect outlet for those who feel like they're at the end of their job-hunting rope," Adult Learning Special Assistant Nancy Wajler says. "David Krull is skilled in business and in technology, and he's also passionate about mentoring others who need help navigating the job hunt." The event also will include a legislative briefing from State Representative Mark Walker of Arlington Heights, who also will take participants' questions. Networking groups and breakout sessions on job-hunting strategies, money and stress management also are on the agenda. The program is free to first-timers. Subsequent sessions are $10. Memberships are available for $85; they include a year of meetings, materials for and admission to an intensive NetWorthing session focused on making networking work for you, and free one-on-one sessions with Harper's career coach. Participant Bruce Cruz took advantage of the workshops and coaching sessions to transition from a job as a systems analyst to a career in healthcare. The workshops "identified my career interests and passions," he said, "and the career coach helped define and detail how to pursue them." Visit


Media Note: Previous Career Stimulus participants are available for interviews. Harper's Adult Learning Special Assistant, Nancy Wajler, also is available for comment on the success rate of today's job club programs and why they work - or don't. To book interviews, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Documentary and Lecture

Journalist David Wilson began tracing his roots six years ago. His transatlantic journey, and the surprising discoveries that came with it, are the focus of an acclaimed documentary that explores the legacy of slavery and the pursuit of racial reconciliation. Wilson, 32, will personally share his experiences at a Harper College lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, February 8 in the Building J Theatre on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Wilson's quest to explore his background took him from his Newark, N.J. birthplace to Ghana in Africa, where his ancestors had been put on a slave ship. He eventually discovered the plantation where they'd been enslaved, and found their modern-day descendants - one of whom also was named David Wilson. "In my film ("Meeting David Wilson"), the other David Wilson asks me where I think I'd be if my ancestors hadn't been brought to America as slaves," Wilson says. "I respond this way: America would have been a far different country had it not been for the contributions of African-Americans." Wilson's documentary was released in 2008; he's now launching, a video-centric web site devoted to community news about African-Americans. Harper will offer two free showings of his documentary, "Meeting David Wilson," at 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, February 2 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 3 in Room A242, Building A. Tickets for his February 8 lecture are $7 for general admission, with discounts for seniors and students. For tickets or more information, call 847.925.6100 or visit


Press Contact: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627,


Veterans' Support

Michael James Tumilty served six years in the United States Air Force before enrolling in Harper College's Nursing program and joining the growing ranks of veterans-turned-college students. It's a sharp change of pace - but he's finding support and camaraderie in Harper's new Veterans Club, a group aimed at helping veterans forge relationships with other former military men and women who now are taking classes on campus. The fledgling club, led by Assistant Political Science Professor Bobby Summers, will look to recruit members and boost its numbers at the annual Spring Semester Club Expo, from noon until 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 27 in the Student Center on the main floor of Building A. "Veterans who join will have a place where they can come together and be among others who can relate to their experience," says Tumilty, of Algonquin. The number of Illinois veterans attending Harper College increased by more than 22 percent between fall 2008 and fall 2009. The Post-9/11 Veteran's Educational Assistance Act of 2008 drove more veterans to college campuses statewide, promising them help in achieving a college education. "Many veterans are taking advantage of that, and it's up to us to help them find success in every way that we can," says Thomas Warfield, who assists student veterans in his role in Harper's Office of Student Financial Assistance. The club's first meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, January 28 in Room A243, Building A. The National Survey of Student Engagement, among other studies, has shown that college students who participate in co-curricular campus activities are more immersed in their college experience and have better success rates than other students. The Veterans Club needs at least 10 members to be officially recognized by the College's Student Activities Department. The group will be one of nearly three dozen campus organizations seeking to recruit members at the upcoming Expo. For more information on the clubs or the Expo, call 847.925.6242 or visit


Media Note: Veterans Club members and adviser Bobby Summers are available for interviews relating to Harper's club and the importance of veterans' support on college campuses. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159 or


Creating Internships

There are many Harper College students who'd like to have internships. And, Harper College Career Center Director Kathleen Canfield says, there are plenty of Chicago-area businesses that would like to have interns. The College is working to bring the two together. On Friday, February 5, Harper will host its first-ever Employer Connection Breakfast, uniting College faculty and administrators with dozens of Chicago-area employers in an effort to hammer out promising internship opportunities for Harper students. More than 200 Northwest suburban employers were invited, representing a range of career fields - from healthcare and engineering to interior design, marketing and finance. "Our role as an educational institution is to do all we can to prepare these students for solid future careers," Canfield says. "We're trying to attract employers to this event that haven't worked with Harper before - in the hope that, together, we can get students in the door of great companies." Some area businesses don't realize Harper students are available, or don't know how such internships would work, Canfield said. Internships can prove invaluable for students, providing them with work experience and helping them beef up their resumes in a competitive job market.


Media Note: This event is not open to the public, but reporters and photographers are welcome to attend and talk with Harper faculty and administrators and local employers. The event will include a presentation on the benefits of hosting interns. Harper experts also are available to talk about the importance of internships in college students' academic careers. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, at 847.925.6159 or


Photo Opportunities

Event: Spring Semester Club Expo

Date: Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 27

Location: Student Center Lounge, main floor of Building A

Press Contact: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627,


Event: First Meeting of Harper's new Veterans Club

Date: 2 p.m. Thursday, January 28

Location: Room A243, Building A

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Event: Career Stimulus job-hunting support group

Date: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, January 29

Location: Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Event: First Aid Merit Badge Day. The event, for area Boy Scouts, will be led by male students and grads of Harper's nursing program, with an eye on breaking the career's gender stereotypes.

Date: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, January 30

Location: Harper College Nursing Lab, Room X228 in the Avanté Center

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Event: Computer Kids Program. Elementary District 21 students whose parents are in Harper literacy courses are able to learn digital concepts and computer technology in this new class.

Date: 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through March 17.

Location: Harper College Northeast Center, 1375 Wolf Road in Prospect Heights

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,