Harper Named to Military-Friendly List, Holocaust on Film

Months after establishing a new Student Veterans Association - a group offering support and camaraderie to the growing ranks of veterans on campus - Harper College has been named a Military Friendly School, an honor lauding universities and colleges nationwide for their efforts to embrace America's veterans-turned-students.


Harper Named to Military-Friendly List

Months after establishing a new Student Veterans Association - a group offering support and camaraderie to the growing ranks of veterans on campus - Harper College has been named a Military Friendly School, an honor lauding universities and colleges nationwide for their efforts to embrace America's veterans-turned-students. The title, given to the top 15 percent of surveyed American colleges, universities and trade schools, was announced by G.I. Jobs magazine this week. "We've always been dedicated to helping our veterans succeed, but this distinction shows someone else recognizes our efforts," says Thomas Warfield, Harper's Veterans Assistant. "Having veterans on campus benefits all of us - they bring a unique perspective and different experiences to the table - and we want to do all we can do to be a friendly and welcoming place for them to advance their education." The distinction comes on the heels of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides tens of billions of dollars in higher education tuition money for veterans and has driven tens of thousands of American to the nation's colleges. The Military Friendly Schools list offers a trusted recommendation for the best schools for those veterans to attend, G.I. Jobs publisher Rich McCormack says. "It is the gold standard in letting veterans know which schools will offer them the greatest opportunity, flexibility and overall experience," agrees Derek Blumke, president of Student Veterans of America and a member of the Academic Advisory Board that helped determine the list's methodology, weighting and criteria. Harper stood out in part for its on-campus veterans programming, which includes the new Student Veterans Association. Michael James Tumilty, who served six years in the U.S. Air Force before enrolling in Harper's Nursing program, helped found the Harper group and is now serving as its president. "Veterans benefit tremendously from colleges that are understanding and accommodating, and Harper is one of them," Tumilty says. The College's veterans enrollment climbed by more than 22 percent from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009. A full list of Military Friendly Schools will be distributed in September to veterans and active-duty military. Visit http://militaryfriendly.com/schools/.


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

Holocaust on Film

In the 65 years since the Holocaust, Americans' perception of that grim period in history has been shaped by a variety of media - including, Harper College Associate Professor Richard Middleton-Kaplan suggests, literature and film that puts a Hollywood ending on an unspeakable tragedy. "On this continent, we've unfortunately tended - as we often do - to put a more positive spin on tragedy than may really be reality," says Middleton-Kaplan, a Holocaust expert who has presented internationally. "That skews history, and it can be problematic, particularly since many people get their historical information more from movies than history books." Alongside Harper Assistant Professor Leslye Hess, Middleton-Kaplan will take up the topic this fall in a new Harper class addressing American's perception of the Holocaust - a course examining various books and movies and, specifically, their endings. Among the questions students will consider is whether Americans too often put optimistic faces on stories - even the bad ones - and, if so, what that says about our culture and our impressions of Holocaust and history. Films used in the class will include the Academy Award-winning movie Schindler's List, the film adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank and the 1999 Robin Williams movie Jakob the Liar. Middleton-Kaplan points to Jakob the Liar as a key example of the course's content: originally an especially grim East German novel and film, the story had a feel-good alternate ending when it hit American cinemas. "Likewise, in the 1959 film version of Anne Frank, you never see them actually go to the concentration camp," Middleton-Kaplan says. "The camera simply pans up to sky and sunshine." The class will review historical footage from the Holocaust and read newspaper accounts dating from 1933 to post-World War II as an examination of reality versus its portrayal in mass media. The course, "Illusions and Illuminations: American Perceptions of the Holocaust," combines a literature and a history class into one team-taught section, allowing students to discuss the same topics from the perspective of two different disciplines. The class (course numbers HST 112-HL1 and LIT 112-HL1) runs from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays starting Monday, August 23. To enroll or for more, call 847.925.6707.

Media Note: The Holocaust ended - and the Nuremberg Trials began - 65 years ago this year. Reporters are invited to sit in on the new Harper Holocaust course; Richard Middleton Kaplan also is available for interviews regarding the Holocaust or Jewish history. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

Free Veterans Event

Representatives from more than 20 military-friendly service organizations will join forces at a Veterans Resource Night geared toward helping veterans, active-duty military, National Guard, reserves and their family members get the help that they need. The free event, hosted by Harper College in conjunction with State Rep. Fred Crespo, is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 8 in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The first of its kind in the area, the event will feature local, state and federal agencies - including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Alexian Brothers Medical Center Veterans Program and Vet Center, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the VFW - and comments from Dan Grant, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. Representatives from Harper's Admissions, Access and Disability Services and Veterans Services departments also will be on hand, and the College will showcase its newly founded Student Veterans Association. "These service men and women do so much for us and for our country. It only makes sense for us to give back to them in this capacity," says Thomas Warfield, Harper's Veterans Assistant. "Untangling your benefits and understanding what resources are out there to help you can be hugely beneficial to those who have served in the military. That's our goal with this event." For more information on the free event or to RSVP, visit www.harpercollege.edu or call Warfield at 847.925.6000, ext. 2195.


Media Note: For advance interviews with event participants or veterans planning to attend, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Training for Emergencies

Emergency Management Specialist Diane Logsdon got her start through volunteering. Transformed by the powerful and tragic Mississippi flooding in 1993, she threw herself into helping others weather the aftermath of disasters, eventually signing on with the Red Cross to ensure she could help in any situation. She had 1,245 hours of training already behind her when she enrolled in Harper College's Emergency Management program, intent on bolstering her work further with theory and research. That decision, she says, landed her a host of new contacts and delivered a broad base of knowledge that helped her stand out from the crowd. Now a graduate of and an instructor in Harper's program, she says the Emergency Management courses can prove a good fit no matter your end goal - particularly in a time when natural disasters and terrorism continue to dominate the news headlines. "The bottom line is, only 17 percent of the population truly feels well-prepared for an emergency. There's so much to it, and there are so many benefits to understanding emergency management," says Logsdon, who owns her own consulting firm that helps develop emergency response plans. "Whether you're already employed in the field or you're just curious about the disaster stories you see on the news and want to know what it all means, these classes can help."  Harper's two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in Emergency and Disaster Management includes courses in crisis management coordination, disaster preparedness training and emergency plans and procedures. Graduates can land jobs as emergency response specialists, emergency planners, firefighters or police officers or hazardous materials specialists.  Students also can choose only select courses in an effort to better understand the field, and the program now includes a Public Information Officer component to help train agency spokespeople. "Environmental and natural disasters have claimed the lives of thousands of Americans and wiped out entire towns," says Sam Giordano, who heads up the program. "Our program is intended to further prepare men and women who already have emergency management jobs, but we're also here to help the general public understand the intricacies of disaster response and help them know what to do."  For more information on Harper's program or individual Emergency Management classes, visit www.harpercollege.edu or call 847.925.6112. Classes start the week of Monday, August 23.


Press Contact: Melanie Krakauer, Media Relations Intern, 847.925.6000, ext. 2561, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Lessons from the Fulbright

Jill Izumikawa spent two weeks in Korea this summer touring universities and government buildings, meeting educators and students and participating in cultural events as one of only eight United States Fulbright grant recipients for international education administrators. Now back on campus, the Harper College international student coordinator says the journey fostered a stronger sense of connection with all the students she serves - and helped her develop new strategies for working with the dozens of students from across the world who study at Harper each semester. "It made me realize there's so much more I could do to connect with our students individually," says Izumikawa, who hosted a meal for Harper's 40 Korean international students upon her return and now plans to offer more of those student-centered feasts. "Personal interactions that perhaps reach beyond an office or a typical classroom are such an important part of the international student experience." Izumikawa says she'd like to begin chatting with Korean students via video conference before they arrive at Harper - something that can be coordinated by the Fulbright Commission in Seoul - and, separately, has hopes of partnering with Korean universities she visited to perhaps encourage American students to study the Korean language there. "I'm so fortunate to have had this experience to examine the Korean culture up-close, because it makes me realize more than ever the importance of promoting our international program and encouraging cultural understanding," she says. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge powerful relationships and make sure we have the right formula in place here to help these students succeed." Harper annually hosts about 150 students from around the world. Izumikawa used her Korean trip to represent both the United States higher education system and Harper specifically, touting the College as a top option for international students as Harper embarks on a new era under the leadership of a new president. The daughter of a military family, Izumikawa grew up in England and, as a college student, was an international student herself, studying in Mexico and, along the way, cementing her love for international education.

Media Note: A video interview with Jill Izumikawa on her Fulbright experience can be found on Harper's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLh4fQ-moo0 amp;feature=channel

Press Contact: Melanie Krakauer, Media Relations Intern, 847.925.6000, ext. 2561, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

Free Classes

Harper College is daring you to learn something new. As part of its first-ever Celebration of Learning Month, the College's Continuing Education Department is giving Northwest suburban residents a chance to dabble in a new skill - for free. On Thursday, August 19, Harper will offer a unique fair of free mini-classes covering everything from language instruction and cinematography to calligraphy, drawing, photography and glassblowing. The sessions, open to all, will run between 30 minutes and 2 hours, providing a sneak peek into Continuing Education's fall catalogue. The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. in Building V on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. "This is a great way to get the feel of different classes and interact with our instructors and potential classmates," Continuing Education Marketing Specialist Kari Hill says. "Every semester, we offer a variety of great courses, and we really want to showcase that. Our hope is that people will try things for free and, of course, want to come back to learn even more." For a full schedule or to RSVP, visit harpercollege.edu/ce or call 847.925.6300.

Press Contact: Melanie Krakauer, Media Relations and Marketing Intern, 847.925.6000, ext. 2561, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

Smooth-E Welcome

Stand-up comedian and rapper Eric Schwartz - also known as Smooth-E - will welcome Harper College students back to campus at noon on Wednesday, August 25. Schwartz uses tracks made popular by commercial artists and mimics their phrases and tonalities, turning the hits into unique music video parodies. With more than 14 million online views of his work already under his belt, Schwartz is becoming a regular on the front pages of YouTube with hits like as "Crank That Kosha Boy" (originally "Crank That (SouljaBoy)" by Soulja Boy) and "Knit Me Sweaters" (originally "Make Me Better" by Fabolous). Harper's Fall 2010 term kicks off Monday, August 23. Smooth-E's welcome-back performance is free and open to all. He'll perform on the College's Quad, outside Buildings L, F and D. For more, call Student Activities, 847.925.6242.


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

Hitting it Big

Accustomed to jamming in your garage? Harper College can teach you the tricks for getting your music heard. The College this fall will launch a new series of classes on the modern commercial music business - courses aimed at helping musicians understand what it takes to hit it big and arming them with the skills to do it. The "Get Out of the Garage" series includes classes on maximizing rehearsal time; clarifying your niche; marketing your music, designing websites and seizing social media opportunities to promote your band; and the fundamentals of sound recording. One course, "Mentored Rehearsals," grants students in-person rehearsal critiques from professional jazz pianist Ken Spurr, who will watch bands rehearse on Harper's campus and then work with them to hone their performance skills, music choices and arrangements and their overall look. Spurr, a regular on Chicago's music scene for more than a decade, has performed with major artists and recorded with others. "The whole focus of this series is to provide real ways for performing musicians in all genres to cultivate their skills and learn to better promote themselves and their bands," says Henrietta Neeley, coordinator of Harper's Community Music Center. "To succeed, you need to know the business of modern commercial music, including marketing and presentation, and that's what we're offering." Classes start the week of Monday, August 23. To register, call 847.925.6300 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/ce.

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


Special Needs Cooking

As a chef with more than two decades of culinary experience, John Filler recognizes the value of knowing how to cook. As the father of a 25-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome, he also recognizes the value of group learning opportunities for adults with special needs. Filler, Harper College's manager of dining and conference services, will blend the two this fall in a new College course that teaches kitchen safety, sanitation and cooking basics to special needs adults. "My daughter, Diana, asks sometimes if she can help us cook at home, and I realized that a class like this could be a great way for her to learn important skills while also meeting more of her peers," Filler said. "I think there is a tremendous need for this kind of instruction." He says the course, offered through the College's Continuing Education department, is the only one of its kind in the area. The class will teach beginning cooking techniques adapted to the students' needs. Students will learn to tear lettuce for salads, cut vegetables using a plastic serrated knife, create tasty sandwiches and whip up smoothies with the help of a blender. Filler also will teach sanitation and refrigerator organization; non-latex, powder-free gloves will be provided. "By introducing them to culinary skills in such a supportive atmosphere, I hope to ease any fears of the kitchen or of food creation," Filler says. "I want them to take what they learn and become great cooking assistants at home." The class will demonstrate basic recipes, but, by the course's end, the students also will create their own menus based on their newfound skills. "The fun," Filler says, "will be in seeing what they can create." Filler has been in the food service industry for 25 years, working in restaurants, hotels, the fast-food industry and retail food services. The class meets 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, August 24 through October 12. It's open to special needs adults ages 18 and older; the cost is $99. To register or for more information, call 847.925.6300.

Media Note: Photographers and reporters are welcome to sit in on a class. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu, to arrange a time.


Play Auditions

Auditions for Harper College's fall production of Irwin Shaw's "Bury the Dead" will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, September 8 and 9 in the Drama Lab, Room L109, Building L on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The play, directed by Professor Laura Pulio Colbert through the Harper Ensemble Theatre Company, will run November 12, 13 and 14 and November 19, 20 and 21. Auditions are open to community members; male and female actors of varying ages - from 18 to 65 - are needed. All roles are open. Auditions will require a prepared monologue from contemporary American theater. To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact lpulio@harpercollege.edu.

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


Photo Opportunities

Event: Open House featuring series of free open-to-the-public mini-classes. Sessions on French, cinematography, drawing, photography, glassblowing and more will be available for all.

Date: 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, August 19

Location: Building V

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


Event: First Day of fall term

Date: Monday, August 23

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

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


Event: Free performance by comedian/rapper Eric Schwartz (Smooth-E)

Date: Noon on Wednesday, August 25

Location: Quad (outside Buildings L, F and D)

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


Event: Veterans Resource Night

Date: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 8

Location: Wojcik Conference Center

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