College Savings Answers, Entrepreneur Help

March 15, 2010

College Savings Answers

Statistics show the cost of college tuition, room and board at four-year public institutions rose by 30 percent from 1998 to 2008 - and it's still growing. This spring, Harper College will host a free seminar showing parents, grandparents and others how to financially prepare for the impending price of higher education. The "Saving for College" session is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21 in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The event will offer tips and advice from college experts and professional advisors, who will cover the basics of saving for higher education and provide tools to help attendees navigate the college savings process. "Whether the young person in your life is 4 or 14, it's not too early - or too late - to start investing in their education," says Katherine Sawyer, Associate Executive Director of the Harper College Educational Foundation. "Saving that money, though, can be daunting, particularly amid rising tuition and a gloomy economy. This seminar will give attendees the confidence and know-how they need to start saving the right way." The event, hosted by the Harper Heritage Society's Professional Advisor group - an offshoot of the College's Educational Foundation - also will include Harper financial aid experts. To register, call 847.925.6490 or visit and select the Professional Advisor Seminar Series. For more information, call 847.925.6490.


Media Note: Reporters are welcome to attend the event and talk with participants about the task of saving for college amid shrinking financial aid resources and rising tuition costs.


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


Entrepreneur Help

Making a small business flourish can be a tough task, particularly in a downturned economy. But it's not impossible. With an eye on helping small business owners compete and excel in a continued rough-and-tumble climate, Harper College is hosting Entrepreneur's Quest 2010, a daylong seminar filled with expert tips on marketing, sales, branding, business strategies and the latest technology. Social media trends - including details on promoting businesses, boosting sales and improving customer service via networks like Facebook and Twitter - will be among the topics. This year's edition also will include a panel discussion offering strategies and wisdom from successful, seasoned entrepreneurs. "Staying in business can be difficult struggle for any small business owner anytime, but especially in a time when America is still battling the effects of a devastating recession," Small Business Development Manager Bonnie Richter says. "This workshop will offer strategies for surviving and thriving despite economic challenges, and competing in the nation's new business landscape." If small businesses fail, many jobs go, too: more than 70 percent of jobs are created by small businesses like the ones targeted by Harper's Quest event. Sam Glenn, an author, comedic speaker and founder of the motivational resource company, will serve as the keynote speaker. Glenn's new book, "A Kick in the Attitude," offers tips for using positivity to achieve success. The event also will feature Mike Muldoon, a marketing and management professor and president of a consulting and business coaching practice. Entrepreneur's Quest 2010 runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24 at the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine. The cost is $60 for those who register by April 1, and $75 afterward. That includes lunch. To register or for more information, visit, call 847.925.6520 or email The event is sponsored by the Small Business Development Center at Harper College, which provides free resources and one-on-one counseling and advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs. For appointments, call 847.925.6520.


Media Note: The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Harper College has had many success stories, even in the midst of a downturned economy. To interview successful entrepreneurs for this story or others, or for comments on small business start-up tips, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Deaf Institute Dedication

In 2005, the Kimball Hill family pledged $200,000 to support programs and resources for deaf and hard of hearing students at Harper College. In the five years since, those funds have been invested to create a technology-rich classroom and learning laboratory, develop in-class captioning services, purchase assistive listening devices for students, provide additional tutoring, allow out-of-district students easier access to Harper's program and support a summer program helping deaf and hard of hearing students transition to their first college semester. In recognition of those advancements, Harper this month will formally dedicate the Kimball Hill Family Deaf Institute - a comprehensive program offering education, resources and support to deaf and hard of hearing students across the suburbs, the state and the nation. A reception will be held on Thursday, March 18, allowing attendees to see firsthand the innovations Harper provides, learn more about College's deaf and hard of hearing programming and hear from successful program graduate Katie Romano. Romano, 24, of Bartlett attended Harper for two years before transferring to Gallaudet University, playing on the College's soccer team and taking mainstream courses with the help of interpreters and note takers. "This Institute is yet another example of how donations made to Harper can improve the education and lives of our students and enhance our contribution to the community," says Catherine Brod, Executive Director of Harper's Educational Foundation. "We are grateful to the Kimball Hill Family for this generous gift, and are excited to share with others all the amazing things the funding has helped us achieve for this student population." Members of the Kimball Hill family - including Harper College Trustee Diane Hill and TK Hill, a nephew who is deaf, will be on-hand for the hour-long event; representatives from local high school programs and supporting agencies for the deaf and hard of hearing also have been invited to attend. Harper has provided programming for deaf and hard of hearing students since 1973, serving about 50 students each year. The program, which boasts services and instructional support well beyond those that are mandated, draws enrollments from local communities, other parts of Illinois, neighboring states and the world. To learn more about the Kimball Hill Family Deaf Institute, or to make a contribution, call 847.925.6490 or visit


Media Note: This event is not open to the public, but reporters and photographers are encouraged to attend. Students, staff and faculty of the Kimball Hill Family Deaf Institute are available for interviews in advance of, during and after the event. To arrange an interview, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


A Visit with Salinger

In the mid-1970s, "The Catcher in the Rye" already was a hit, and its author, J.D. Salinger, already was a literary legend - and an undeniably private man. It was in that decade that Harper College Professor Greg Herriges made up his mind to meet and speak with the famously reclusive author, eventually becoming one of few people to ever accomplish the task. Herriges details his cross-country journey - and the once-in-a-lifetime Salinger encounter and conversation that ensued - in his book, "J.D.: A Memoir of a Time and a Journey." He'll read from the book and discuss his adventure at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, March 18 in Harper's Drama Lab, Room L109, Building L. The event, a tribute to the late Salinger, is free and open to all. Salinger's January death left Herriges temporarily stunned; he noted afterward, "It walloped me, because there has always been a Salinger, and suddenly, there wasn't." Over the years, many Salinger fans made the trek to New England to visit the author; most were turned away. Today, amid speculation that Salinger had locked away a safe filled with unpublished texts, Herriges says he believes the author did indeed leave work behind. But "how much there is and what the content is about is all a matter of intense conjecture. We'll have to wait and see," he says. For more information on his reading, call 847.925.6242 or visit


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


Acing Alpaca

Amanda Joseph is only in her first year of Harper College's fashion program, and she's already making a name for herself. The 19-year-old Palatine resident beat out dozens of other competitors from colleges and universities across the nation and Canada to take second place at a recent national competition requiring contestants to design a cutting-edge textile from alpaca fibers. The honor scored Joseph a $750 scholarship, a trip to Nashville, Tenn. to collect the prize, and bragging rights among a field of entrants from schools like the Art Institute of California, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and Kansas State University. Joseph drew inspiration from the image of a melting glacier field to create her piece: a brushed, woven alpaca fabric on which she incorporated an additional technique: marbling the fabric with paints. The annual Fiber to Fashion Design Competition is sponsored by the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. Alpaca, though not widely used in fashion, is similar to cashmere in its substantial price and luxurious texture. "Contests like these draw some of the best talent there is in the area of fashion and textile design," says Donna Sculley, Joseph's textiles instructor. "The fact that Amanda won as a first-year student speaks to her notable skill and potential in the industry, and showcases the kind of talent we attract here at Harper. We're excited to see what the future holds both for her and for us." Harper students have come up winners at the contest before. Most recently, student Yulia Kersten earned first place in the 2009 competition's textile category for her felted alpaca fabric, and took home a Consumers Choice Award. In 2008, a trendy knee-length alpaca coat designed by student Olga Pasman of Schaumburg won the top prize in the contest's fashion category and was manufactured afterward and sold online.


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




Harper College will offer three more public stagings of Urinetown, the Tony Award-winning, go-green satire about the fallout from a drought and a water shortage. Remaining showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21 in the College's Performing Arts Center. Urinetown, written by Greg Kotis, draws on his experience as a student traveling Europe on a tight budget; in Paris, he encountered pay toilets and had to limit his bathroom trips for lack of cash. The musical tells the story of a town where a water shortage has made private toilets unthinkable. Instead, all restroom activities are conducted in public toilets controlled by a corporation that requires them to pay for restroom use or be banished to the Urinetown colony. "The reality of Urinetown is that it slyly explores issues that are so fundamentally part of the American fabric," says Harper Professor Laura Pulio Colbert, who is directing the play. "It is exuberant, ridiculous satire at its finest." The play, which won three Tonys, also lampoons the Broadway musical form. Tickets are $15 for general admission, with discounts for students and seniors. Call 847.925.6100 or visit


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


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,


Photo Opportunities

Event: Reading by and conversation with Professor Greg Herriges, who met the famously reclusive author J.D. Salinger and detailed the experience in a published book.

Date: 12:15 p.m. Thursday, March 18

Location: Drama Lab, Room L109, Building L

Press Contact: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6533,


Event: Kimball Hill Family Deaf Institute dedication

Date: 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 18

Location: Room D115, Building D

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

Media Note: This event is not open to the public.


Event: "Tide of Poseidon" massive balloon art aerial sculpture

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: 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,