New Novel, Community Resources Fair

Harper College Assistant Professor Glenn Taylor turned to his home state of West Virginia for the inspiration for his first novel, a literary debut that made him a finalist for a prestigious national writing award and earned him the support of HarperCollins Publishers.

New Novel

Harper College Assistant Professor Glenn Taylor turned to his home state of West Virginia for the inspiration for his first novel, a literary debut that made him a finalist for a prestigious national writing award and earned him the support of HarperCollins Publishers. For his second novel, released on Tuesday, May 11, Taylor again draws on that state's rich history for a post-World War II story about a man, his community and the race and class issues that haunted the 1950s and 1960s American south. The Marrowbone Marble Company is a tale of struggle, loss and oppression, Taylor says - but also of faith and love over the course of three decades. It tells the story of Loyal Ledford, who works the swing shift tending furnace at a West Virginia glass factory and courts the boss' daughter until Pearl Harbor is attacked, setting his life on a new course. The book is published by Ecco, a division of HarperCollins. Taylor's debut novel The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart was featured as part of Barnes  amp; Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" collection, and made Taylor a 2008 National Book Critics Circle awards finalist - putting him in the company of authors like Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike. Taylor, who has taught English and fiction writing at Harper since 2002, was born and raised in Huntington, W. Va., and attended Ohio University. He earned a master's in fiction writing from Texas State University. He lives in Mount Prospect with his wife and three sons.


Media Note: For interviews with or high-resolution pictures of M. Glenn Taylor, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,

Community Resources Fair

Since the recession began, Diane Carter-Zubko has manned the frontlines of a grim economic downturn. From her post in Arlington Heights' Illinois workNet office, the Harper College Workforce Career Coordinator has watched suburban residents wait daily in long, winding lines to apply for unemployment benefits. Hundreds also have walked through the door of her office - a Harper satellite providing information on resume-building and interview techniques, help enrolling in courses for extra job training or college credit, and tips on paying for college or securing scholarships. This month, she can suggest another helping hand: a Northwest Suburbs Community Resources Fair showcasing a host of local services and resources available to local residents struggling amid the economic crisis. The Fair, running from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, includes more than 50 exhibitors from human service agencies, addressing areas like education, food, housing, credit, utility assistance, employment and health and nutrition. Spearheaded by Mohammed Faheem of the Arlington Heights workNet Center, the Fair also will offer information on volunteer opportunities for those wishing to lend a hand themselves. "This is a wonderful opportunity to show local residents, particularly those who are unemployed, all the resources that are here for them when they need help," Carter-Zubko says. "These are people who are low on hope and low on options, and many of them never have been down this road before. We want to let them know we're all there for them." The Fair is hosted by Harper in conjunction with Illinois workNet, the Workforce Board of Northern Cook County, the villages of Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg Township District Library and the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It will be held in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The Fair is free and open to all; parking, in Lot 13, also is free. For more, call 847.437.9425 or email


Media Note: Reporters and photographers are welcome. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,, to arrange for interviews or coverage.


Campus Field Trip

More than 100 Palatine fifth-graders will get an in-depth look at college life - including tips from students and tours of facilities - as part of a Harper College initiative aimed at turning on local elementary and middle-school children to the prospect of higher education. The students, from Lake Louise Elementary School in District 15, will chat with Harper students, take a peek at classrooms and labs - including the College's newly unveiled simulation hospital for its healthcare students - and hear from staff about the benefits of attending college, whether on Harper's campus or elsewhere. Harper President Dr. Ken Ender also will meet with the children. "It is so important for these students to know that college is a vital option for them," says Catherine Brod, Vice President of Community Relations. "Having them here exposes them to an actual campus and can help inspire the desire to pursue college. We're always looking for ways to ensure that our local students know the benefits and the value of higher education." Harper annually hosts several hundred local students - some of whom could become the first in their family to attend college - as part of a broader community partnership and college readiness effort, working through programs like No Excuses University, a national initiative that encourages all children to consider college regardless of socioeconomic status or other potentially challenging factors. The campus field trips can include hands-on activities and - for older students - an up-close look at specific careers that college students are able to explore.


Media Note: The Lake Louise students will be on campus from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, May 14. Dr. Ender will visit the group at 10 a.m. in Room Z102, Building Z in the Avanté Center. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Returning to College

Harper College is hosting a series of free information sessions this spring and summer that can help potential adult students jumpstart or rekindle their college education - whether they're looking for a first degree or for retraining in a new area. Sessions addressing the College's Fast Track program - an accelerated, flexible program for adults- and specific career areas, including project management, emergency medical technology and phlebotomy, are among the options. To RSVP or for more information, visit Featured sessions are:


Getting Started: Just for Adults: An overview of options for returning adults in their 30s and beyond. 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 and Wednesday, June 9, Room A243, Building A.

Tech and Project Management:
Information on employment opportunities, job skills and credit and non-credit program options. 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, Harper Professional Center, 650 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg.


Emergency Medical Technology/Paramedic: Details on program requirements, curriculum and career options. 5 to 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, Room Z119, Building Z, Avanté Center.


Emerging Tech: Tours of labs and information on the nanotechnology and electronics engineering fields, geared to those already in the industry and those looking for a new career. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, Building Y, Avanté Center.


Phlebotomy: Information on Harper's 16-week phlebotomy program and student selection criteria. 5 to 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, Room Z119, Building Z, Avanté Center.


Fast Track Your Career: Information on Fast Track certificate and degree programs in business, management, marketing and computer information systems. 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, Room A243, Building A.


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


Harper Golf Open

The Harper College Educational Foundation will host its annual Golf Open on Monday, June 14 at the Inverness Golf Club, 102 N. Roselle Road in Palatine. The event, a fundraiser for student programming and scholarships, includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, a cocktail reception, an awards banquet and buffet dinner for $500. Those who don't wish to golf can attend the cocktail reception, banquet and buffet dinner for $125. Various levels of sponsorships are available. The Open also will feature a raffle (prizes include free rounds of golf) and a live auction for 2010 Cubs. vs. Cardinals and Sox vs. Cubs tickets. All proceeds benefit Harper's Resource for Excellence Fund, which bolsters the College with programming, scholarships and other support where it's most needed, in accordance with community needs. "Today, in the face of decreased state funding and an increased demand for community college services, we are even more grateful for the support we receive from our community through events like this one," says Catherine Brod, Executive Director of the Harper College Educational Foundation. "Our Golf Open is another wonderful opportunity to come together for the purpose of championing our students." The Open will kick off with a 10 a.m. registration and free golf clinic. The shotgun start is at 11:30 a.m. To attend, purchase raffle tickets, become a sponsor or make a donation, call 847.925.6490 or visit

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

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 equipment - like a wind turbine used for the Alternative Energy Certificate program. 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


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


Photo Opportunities

Event: Student Appreciation Day Bash, featuring comedic hip-hop duo Alfred and Seymour, a volleyball tournament, a live remote broadcast from the student radio station and more.

Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 12

Location: Harper Quad, between Buildings L and D

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


Event: High School Graphic Arts Competition. A panel of professionals and Harper faculty will judge submissions from local students. Students will 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,


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,


Event: Lake Louise Elementary School field trip to campus

Time: 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, May 14

Location: Across campus (call for best times and specific locations)

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


Event: Guitar Recital featuring students and alumni from the youth beginner guitar course

Time: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 15

Location: Building J Theatre

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


Event: Community Resources Fair

Time: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20

Location: Wojcik Conference Center

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