Harper Hospital, Unemployed Volunteer Program

April 19, 2010

Harper Hospital

Upstairs in Harper College's Avanté Center, a series of rooms has been transformed into a hospital wing - complete with stocked patient rooms, a nurse's station, a call light system, a birthing room and nursery, and a supply room where students can pull their own meds for ailing patients. It's real-life experience with a college-campus twist: the patients are talking mannequins that can be posed and programmed to simulate a variety of ailments, and students' medical techniques can be watched by professors and videotaped through one-way mirrors for critique later. The new simulation hospital - one of the first of its kind in the state - offers hands-on, team practice for students in Harper's healthcare programs by mirroring the workings of a real healthcare facility. Nursing students will be able to consult with cardiac technology students regarding particular patients, refer a "patient" to ultrasound students or work with peers in the dietary technician program. "Students are going to walk into a space that looks exactly like a hospital, and they'll do things exactly as they would have to do in a real hospital, because we want them to make real decisions and we want them to have to solve real problems," Simulation Coordinator Barbara Gawron says. "We've recreated a healthcare reality in a controlled, safe environment. They can practice and they can make mistakes, and they can learn in an atmosphere that teaches them so much more than traditional formats." Harper's simulation hospital will be formally unveiled at a VIP event scheduled for Wednesday, May 5. The public will have an opportunity to tour the area during a Health Careers Program event this fall. The revamped area will include a computerized system for charting medical records, iPod Touches that will be used as clinical reference tools, and a computerized medical administration system. The area also will allow faculty to set up simulations that mimic national and world healthcare issues; the simulation hospital could, for instance, become a mock triage wing for H1N1 cases. Harper nursing students already have been using mannequins and other simulation technology, but Gawron says the fully-stocked simulation hospital will step the experience up a notch. Students will be exposed immediately to a hospital format and be able to practice the skills they're learning day to day in an environment that replicates reality. Clinical requirements for Harper healthcare programs involving field work in hospitals or other locations will not change. For more information on Harper's healthcare programs, visit www.harpercollege.edu.

Media note: Students will use the virtual hospital for a simulation exercise from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 6. Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend. Healthcare students and faculty also are available for interviews. For details of the simulation, or to book an interview, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

Unemployed Volunteer Program

Good things happen when people volunteer. They gain confidence. They gain skills. They feel needed, and they realize their potential for doing good work. All of that can spill over into job interviews, giving volunteers a clear job-hunting advantage in a competitive market. That's the reasoning behind Catch 22, a new Harper College program that places unemployed Northwest suburban residents in volunteer positions - allowing them to build their resume, boost their confidence and get a foot in the door of a potentially new career. "When you're unemployed, a lot of people don't want to hire you," says Nancy Wajler, Adult Learning Special Assistant. "This new program is helping those who are out of work gain valuable experience, explore new passions and strengths, and show potential employers they can be valuable in the workplace. It can really increase their marketability." The program kicks off this month on a pilot basis, with volunteers working in various departments on Harper's campus. "Harper is a city within a city, with numerous opportunities for volunteers to expand their skills in various areas," Wajler says. The goal is to eventually take the program on the road, placing volunteers in businesses across the suburbs. The potential volunteer pool already comprises about 400 local residents with a variety of skills and employment histories. All are members of Harper's Career Stimulus program, launched last year to provide post-layoff help to local workers. The process used to link Catch 22 volunteers with internships will mirror the process of hiring a full-time employee. Applicants will meet with a Harper career coach to review their resume, undergo a background check, and be interviewed by their potential supervisor before a decision is made. Volunteers will work for 30- or 60-day periods, or be assigned to complete a specific project. "It's really a great situation for everyone involved," Wajler says. "This will provide invaluable experience for the volunteer, but it also will provide supervisors with additional help, at no extra cost." Catch 22 participants must be Career Stimulus members - annual memberships can be purchased for $85 - and have completed Harper's NetWorthing seminars on making networking worthwhile. The next Career Stimulus meeting is from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Friday, April 30 at the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road. Each monthly meeting includes networking opportunities and breakout sessions on things like acing interviews and building resumes. For more on Catch 22, contact Mahreen Mehdi at 847.925.6000, ext. 2388, or mmehdi@harpercolleg.edu. For more on Career Stimulus, visit www.harpercollege.edu.


Media Note: Catch 22 participants are available for interviews about the program. To arrange interviews with them or with Harper officials regarding the Catch 22 program, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Career Programs, Up Close

With an eye on training students for the jobs of the future, Harper College in 2008 renovated space in its Avanté Center and created a Nanotechnology degree program - the first of its kind offered by an Illinois two-year college. This fall, Harper will launch an Alternative Energy Certificate, giving students in the Electronics Engineering Technology program an environmentally focused option that can lead to new careers in a go-green world. Faculty and students involved with both programs will showcase their facilities and their technology at an Open Labs night scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13 in Rooms Y105 (Electronics Engineering Technology) and Y124 (Nanotechnology), Building Y in the Avanté Center. The event is open to the public, and will allow prospective students and others to talk with Harper's nanotechnology and electronics engineering technology faculty and get an up-close look at the equipment - like a wind turbine used for the Alternative Energy Certificate program - that's involved. Current electronics students also will be presenting their year-end mechatronics projects, and students in both programs will demo classroom technology. "These are two examples of career programs that are solidly future-focused," says Sally Griffith, Assistant Vice President for Career Programs. "They stress the skills students will need in tomorrow's world." Illinois is one of the leading research and development areas in nanotechnology, and local companies already have approached Harper students looking for interns and employees. Jobs in green industries, like alternative energy, also are on the rise. As part of the Open Labs event, Harper's growing Graphic Arts program also will be showcased. Classrooms, digital and traditional presses, and other technology will be on display. For more on Graphic Arts, Nanotechnology or Electronics Engineering Technology, visit www.harpercollege.edu.


Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Music Center Open House

Harper College's Community Music Center will open its doors for a free open house this month, giving the public an opportunity to hear student performances, win free music lessons and interact with the Center's teachers - all of whom are professional Chicago-area musicians. The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25 in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Harper's Community Music Center offers non-credit courses in theory, performance skills and sound recording, as well as group and private lessons for a variety of instruments, voices, ages and abilities. The open house will showcase the instruction through student performances, and the teachers will mingle with guests in the lobby. Drawings will be held for free trial lessons with Community Music Center instructors, and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 847.925.6659.


Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Faculty Recital

Harper College Adjunct Professor Hideko Amano will perform a solo flute recital at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24 in the College's Performing Arts Center. The event will feature works by a variety of composers, and put Amano - a suburban native who studied in Boston and in Paris before returning to teach in the Chicago area - back in the spotlight. Amano grew up in Schaumburg, and graduated from Conant High School in 1990. She taught at DePaul University for four years and has spent the last three years at Harper. The College regularly showcases its full-time and adjunct faculty through Faculty Recitals. All are open to the public. Tickets are $10 for general admission, with discounts for students and seniors. Children 12 and under will be admitted for free. For details on studying music at Harper, visit www.harpercollege.edu.


Press contact:  Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Disney-Style Success

Disney's secret to success isn't magic. It's a thoughtful approach to customer service, honed over a half-century of experience in the face of fierce competition and the public's ever-changing tastes and attitudes. Harper College will share tips and tricks from one of the world's entertainment empires at a special daylong Disney Institute aimed at arming local businesses for success as the economy begins its economic rebound. "Disney's Approach to Quality Service," hosted by Disney Institute facilitators, is geared to all types of businesses - from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies - and will help owners and others anticipate customer demands, exceed client expectations, understand the need for consistency and create a service plan that promotes Disney-level quality. "We're offering a rare chance to get Disney's success secrets straight from Disney," says Mark Mrozinski, Continuing Education Dean at Harper. "This program will challenge you to see your organization in a new light, and help you inspire your business leaders, energize your workforce and boost your bottom line." The session, offered through Harper's Continuing Education Department, is appropriate for all business sectors - from retail outlets and restaurants to healthcare providers, developers and government organizations. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29 at the Wojcik Conference Center on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $349. To register or for more information, call 847.925.6300 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/ce.


Media Note: Disney Institute leaders are available in advance of the program for interviews. They are able to offer tips for finding success amid a down - but rebounding - economy, and offer suggestions for preparing a business to thrive once the recession is over. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


College Savings Aid

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 aimed at showing parents, grandparents and others how to financially prepare for 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 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, visit www.harpercollege.edu/foundation and select the Professional Advisor Seminar Series, or call 847.925.6490 for more details.


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, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Entrepreneur Help

Making a small business flourish can be a daunting task, particularly in a difficult 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 go out of business, many jobs go, too: more than 70 percent of jobs are created by small business clients like the ones Harper is targeting at the Quest event. Sam Glenn, an author, comedic speaker and founder of the motivational resource company EverythingAttitude.com, 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 $75 afterward. That includes lunch. To register or for more details, visit www.harpercollege.biz, call 847.925.6520 or email sbdc@harpercollege.edu. 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, despite the poor 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, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Photo Opportunities

Event: Entrepreneur's Quest 2010 for small businesses

Time: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24

Location: Wojcik Conference Center

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Event: Community Music Center Open House, featuring student performances

Time: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25

Location: Performing Arts Center

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Event: Student Fashion Show Jury Session. Harper's fashion design students will present their work to a jury of 17 professionals, who will choose the garments for the 2010 Fashion Show.

Time: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 27

Location: Wojcik Conference Center

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Event: Rock Critics Greg Kot and Jim Derogatis of NPR's "Sound Opinions"

Time: Noon on Tuesday, April 27

Location: Room P205, Building P

Press Contact: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Event: Free Community Zumba Class

Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 4

Location: Harper Gymnasium, Building M

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

Media Note: The class is open to all. To reserve a seat, email dtenenba@harpercollege.edu.


Event: Simulation Hospital Open House

Time: 3:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May5

Location: Avanté Center (Call to confirm specific rooms and best photo times)

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Event: High School Graphic Arts Competition. A panel of professionals and Harper faculty will judge submissions from local high school students. Students will be able to tour Harper facilities.

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13

Location: Room Y128,Building Y,Avanté Center

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Event: Open Labs event showcasing Nanotechnology, Electronics Engineering Technology and Graphic Arts facilities.

Time: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13

Location: Avanté Center (Call to confirm specific rooms and best photo times)

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.