Navigating Job Fairs, Promoting Peace (Corps)

March 01, 2010

Navigating Job Fairs

With unemployment still at near-record levels, job fairs have become jammed with hopeful applicants. Harper College this month will hold its first-ever seminar on navigating the daunting events. The new Pre-Job Fair Workshop is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, a week ahead of the College's Spring Job Fair. "We've found that people often come to these fairs unprepared. They walk in and are lost as to how to proceed," says Kathleen Canfield, Harper's Career Center Director. "Our goal is to provide participants with proven tips and tricks so they can seize the opportunity for success and get the most out of meeting face-to-face with employers." The Workshop, held at the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine, will include 10-minute resume reviews - performed by qualified Harper staff, career experts and volunteers from other colleges - and a series of job-related workshops covering interviewing skills, resume building, job search resources, common job-hunting mistakes and current job market opportunities. The event is free and open to all; no registration is required. Parking is available in Lot 13. The College's Spring Job Fair runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 12 in the Wellness and Sports Center, in the lower level of Building M. The Fair features more than 50 employers from various career fields, including public safety, finance and healthcare. That event also is free and open to all. Visit


Media Note: Harper experts are available to offer tips for making the most out of job fairs. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Promoting Peace (Corps)

After graduating from college, Harper College Associate English Professor Richard Johnson spent two years working at a school in Burkina Faso, teaching English, coaching volleyball and soccer and launching a student playwriting group that involved toting students across the border to Ghana to perform. He says the Peace Corps experience was life-altering, and he's encouraging others to sign on now. Johnson will share his adventures and provide a Peace Corps overview to students and prospective volunteers as part of a 49th Anniversary celebration next week. Peace Corps - which has logged some 200,000 volunteers since its 1961 inception, including several Harper employees  - has now been expanded to allow those with associate degrees to work overseas as volunteers in areas like information technology, skilled trades, youth development, health and agriculture. A session explaining how to access Peace Corps via an associate degree is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 2 in Room A243, Building A; that event will feature other former Corps volunteers who, like Johnson, now work at Harper. Johnson will deliver his program at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, also in Room A243. "I think people should know what an amazing experience it is to remove oneself from this country and get a good look at who and what we are from the outside. We become better people, and ultimately better citizens, of this country and this world," Johnson says. "I am a teacher now because of the Peace Corps, and I'm a better teacher for it. It's in my blood." Harper's two Peace Corps sessions, part of the national Peace Corps Week observance, are sponsored by the College's International Studies Committee. It's the first time in several years that the group has hosted events on the Corps, and Eric Bohman, one of the event's organizers, says there couldn't be a better time. "There's a lot of discussion in education now about growing career fields that focus on international relations and nation-building," Bohman says. "The Peace Corps is an excellent opportunity for students to launch a profession in this area." Nationally, Peace Corps Week is an opportunity for thousands of current and former volunteers to celebrate the agency's legacy, share insights from their experiences and encourage others to continue the program's success nationally and abroad. Harper's sessions are free and open to all. For details, contact Johnson at 847.925.6429 or For more on the Peace Corps, visit


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


Green Kids

Going green isn't just for grown-ups. This summer, Harper College will launch a new kids-only certificate program focused on all aspects of green living, from recycling and composting to alternative energy sources and organic gardening. The program, part of the 2010 InZone kids' enrichment camp, allows students to visit green farms, grow and taste-test their own green foods, try their hand at green yoga and examine green products they can use at home. The classes culminate in a "Green Warrior" certificate. "Being green actually is easy, and it's just as important for children as it is for the rest of us," Youth Program Coordinator Kevin Hahn says. "Our Green Warrior certificates will represent children who are dedicated to learning new techniques designed to help make a difference in the world, one community at a time." The Green Warrior program is open to kids ages 11 to 14; registration begins Friday, March 5. Harper's Summer 2010 InZone also includes other sophisticated offerings, including in-depth courses in graphic design and sculpting that mimic college classes. A new Film Academy also is on the menu, giving students a chance to explore acting and make a professional movie with help from a film company at the course's end. InZone annually features about 250 courses to pique kids' interest; classes cover sports, fishing, music, fashion, dance, cooking, reading, science and more. The camp is open to kids ages 8 to 14. "InZone is designed to help children experience brand-new activities and further develop existing skills in a variety of real-life areas," Hahn says. Courses run Monday through Thursday; the Green Warrior certificate program, like the other class offerings, begins June 14 and runs through mid-August. Before- and after-camp care is available. To register for Green Warrior courses or other InZone programs, or for more details, including a complete schedule, call 847.925.6300.


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


Free Ultrasounds

The Harper College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is seeking volunteers interested in receiving free ultrasounds. Available tests include obstetrical ultrasounds (participants must be at least 18 weeks pregnant; they will receive a copy of the images), carotid artery ultrasounds (participants must be at least 50 years old), venous ultrasounds of the lower legs (participants must be at least 18 years old) and echocardiograms (participants must be at least 18 years old). All exams will be performed by students on state-of-the-art equipment, under the supervision of a registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. The free tests, lasting about an hour each, are non-diagnostic. Volunteers will not receive a medical report, but will be instructed to follow up with a doctor if abnormalities are suspected. Volunteers are needed through May 1. Ultrasounds have been used since the 1950s and have no known harmful effects. Harper's program conforms to all patient safety regulations. To schedule a free ultrasound appointment, call 847.925.6104.


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


President Chairs Rotary "Classic"

New Harper College President Dr. Kenneth Ender is wasting little time becoming involved in charitable causes in the northwest suburbs. Dr. Ender will serve as the honorary chair and featured speaker of Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates Rotary Club's annual "Classic" fundraising dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. "We are very pleased to have Dr. Ender serve as honorary chair and lend his expertise and passion to our fundraising efforts," says Bill Kelley, Chairman of the Classic Committee. "Since he's new to the area, we were a bit unsure about asking him to serve as chair, but he jumped right in, which shows his commitment and support for worthy causes in the district." The Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates Rotary Club raises funds for a variety of causes throughout the northwest suburbs. Past Rotary grants have been awarded to Alexian Brothers to help build a Children's Hospital wing, the Woodfield Area Children's Organization, the Children's Advocacy Center, the Kenneth Young Center and the Hoffman Estates Police Department, for its Childcare Seat Program. The Rotary also funds college scholarships and P.A.L.S., a literacy program for at-risk children. "The Rotary plays a crucial role in extending a helping hand to families and children in need here in the northwest suburbs," Dr. Ender says. "I am honored to be asked to assist with their fundraising efforts." To buy tickets to the "Classic," become a sponsor or learn more about the Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates Rotary Club, call 888.768.2796.

Press Contact: Phil Burdick, Assistant Vice President for Media and Government Relations, 847.925.6183,

Bilingual Financial Aid

Harper College is offering a series of sessions 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 workshops, offered in both English and Spanish, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 6 in Room Y203, Building Y on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine; 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11 at Palatine High School, 1111 N. Rohlwing Road in Palatine; and 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18 and Thursday, April 22 in Room Y203, Building Y. "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," Harper Recruiting Specialist Juanita Pérez Bassler says. "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, participants 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 via 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,


President's Ball

A dinner-and-dancing gala aimed at raising tens of thousands of dollars for Harper College student scholarships, programs, and educational experiences will be held on Saturday, March 6 in Schaumburg. The President's Ball, hosted by Harper's Educational Foundation, will feature live music and remarks from both a Harper scholarship recipient and College President Ken Ender, who will discuss how student success can bolster an entire community. Bob Fiorani, an Educational Foundation board member and a retired vice president at Square D/Schneider Electric, also will address attendees. Tickets are $250; tickets for a live raffle, which boasts a $2,500 grand prize, are $25. Sponsorship opportunities also are available. Since its inception in 1973, Harper's Educational Foundation has supported the College and its students with dozens of scholarships, programming and other financial contributions. "Today, our Foundation is working even more diligently in the face of decreased state funding and increased demand for higher education opportunities," says Catherine Brod, Harper College Educational Foundation Executive Director. "Our success has come from building strong relationships with others in our community. Our President's Ball is another excellent opportunity to make new connections and bring our community together for the purpose of championing the College and our students." The College's most recent Foundation gala, held two years ago, raised $500,000 for Harper students. The ball will start with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, 1551 Thoreau Drive North. Dinner and dancing will follow. Event Co-Chairs are Fiorani and his wife, Roberta, of Barrington; Mike and Sue Gilfillan of Arlington Heights; and Jack and Linda Lloyd of Palatine. To RSVP, or for more information on gala sponsorships or other donation opportunities, visit


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


Photo Opportunities

Event: "Tide of Poseidon" massive balloon art aerial sculpture, created by visiting artist

Date: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays through Thursday, March 18

Location: Art Exhibition Space, Room C200, Building C

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


Event: Pre-Job Fair Workshops and Resume Reviews

Date: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3

Location: Wojcik Conference Center

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


Event: President's Ball

Date: 6 p.m. Saturday, March 6

Location: Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center

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


Event: Spring Job Fair, featuring more than 50 employers

Date: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 12

Location: Wellness and Sports Center, lower level of Building M

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,