Training Student Leaders, Observatory Birthday

Solid leadership skills matter more than ever in the competitive job market, and Harper College is helping students stand out from the crowd.


Training Student Leaders

Solid leadership skills matter more than ever in the competitive job market, and Harper College is helping students stand out from the crowd. The second installment of the College's free Leadership Challenge - a yearlong training program filled with interactive group exercises, community service opportunities, workshops and projects aimed at making students more effective leaders both on campus and beyond - kicks off with an open-to-all event at noon Wednesday, September 1 on the campus' Quad, between Buildings L, F and D. Last year's launch drew nearly 50 interested students, including a community member who so liked the idea of the program that he enrolled at Harper simply so he'd be eligible for the training. "Our goal is to enable students to turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes," says Student Activities Coordinator Chris George, the program's facilitator. "Those leading job interviews now are increasingly questioning candidates about their leadership experience. They want to hear solid examples of how these graduates took the reins on key projects and made a positive difference." The program, a spinoff of the popular book "The Leadership Challenge," aims to give students - who often are called upon for a variety of duties at the College level - a solid foundation in leadership, ethics and professional etiquette. Among the program's offerings this academic year: advice from a panel of Harper alumni, a time management workshop, a seminar with "The Leadership Challenge" co-author Barry Posner and a crash course in public speaking. "To become a true leader, you have to do more than sit through a single class," George says. "It's about getting out there and really experiencing leadership and practicing it." Harper students have a year to complete the program; that requires participation in Leadership Challenge activities and involvement in clubs, organizations or committees. It also requires the completion of a student portfolio that includes reflections on their experiences at the end of the year. The kick-off event, running from noon to 2 p.m., will include team activities and games. For more information, call 847.925.6242 or visit and search "Leadership Challenge."

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

Observatory Birthday

Harper College will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its popular Karl G. Henize Observatory with a free, open-to-the-public birthday party from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, August 28 at the observatory, on the north side of campus near the Euclid Avenue entrance. The event will include cake and, afterward, a public viewing of the night skies. Stargazing, either through the observatory's main telescope or others set up on the College's lawn, will be available from 8:30 to 10 p.m. The observatory - named for Henize, an astronaut and Northwestern University associate professor who logged nearly 200 hours in space before his death in the early 1990s - has been a draw for years among Northwest suburban residents, who flock to Harper for regular public viewings through the spring, summer and early fall. It was constructed with the help of private fundraising efforts, with donations coming in from Harper's Astronomy Club and Student Senate, the Educational Foundation, community members and community groups and local chapters of the National Space Society. The observatory anniversary comes as popularity in Harper's astronomy program increases: an early enrollment count shows the number of students enrolled in Fall 2010 astronomy courses is up more than 12 percent from Fall 2009. For more, contact Kelly Page, Associate Professor, 847.925.6794 or

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

Bolstering Businesses

The key to having loyal, engaged employees: trust. Harper College will offer an overview of the simple but crucial link between trust and business success at a "Building an Environment of Trust" seminar from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 15 at the Wojcik Conference Center on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The session is the latest in Harper's 2010-2011 "Grab the Ring" Leadership Seminars series, a collection of four-hour programs on topics ranging from motivating and developing others to resolving conflict, leading high-performance teams and setting appropriate performance expectations. The training-and-networking program is geared to rising suburban business leaders; participants can design their own program by choosing the seminars that best fit their needs or attending all nine. "Business continues to evolve, particularly in a time when America is climbing out of a recession," says Maria Coons, who oversees Harper College for Business. "This series will help local leaders learn best practices, meet the demands of their current positions and increase productivity so they can get their business where it needs to go - even in tough times." Harper College for Business, which provides training, development, tuition help, small business support and more for employers throughout the Northwest suburbs, is sponsoring the annual training series in partnership with Development Dimensions International, a talent management company. Sessions are facilitated by a Harper College for Business consultant. The cost is $149 per session; that includes breakfast and materials. To register, or for a complete list of upcoming seminar topics and dates, call 847.925.6640 or visit


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

Going for Baroque

The Chicago Early Music Consort will offer a free concert at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, September 7 in Harper College's Performing Arts Center on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The group, which performs throughout the Midwest, will deliver a program of Baroque chamber music as well as melodies from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Performers include Stephanie Sheffield, soprano; Joel Spear, lute/theorbo; Gary Berkenstock, recorders/other early winds; and Phillip W. Serna, viola da gamba/vielle. Serna recently received the Early Music America Outreach Award, a national honor lauding artists for excellence in early music outreach or educational projects for children or adults. In 2006, Serna initiated the Viols in Our Schools program - an effort aimed at making period-instrument performance on viols (a family of bowed, stringed musical instruments used frequently in Baroque and Renaissance music) a vital part of schools in states including Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Texas. The Chicago Early Music Consort Harper concert is free, and the public is welcome. For more information, call the College's Music Department, at 847.925.6568.


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


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 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,

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 is taking 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.

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,

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, visit or call 847.925.6112.

Press Contact: Melanie Krakauer, Media Relations Intern, 847.925.6000, ext. 2561,


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 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,


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

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


Photo Opportunities

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

Date: Noon Wednesday, August 25

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

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


Event: 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Karl G. Henize Observatory

Date: 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, August 28 (Stargazing from 8:30 to 10 p.m.)

Location: Observatory, on the north side of campus near the Euclid Avenue entrance.

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


Event: Kick-off of 2010-2011 Leadership Challenge student leader training

Date: Noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 1

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

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


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,


Event: Harper Hullabaloo. The annual student back-to-class expo will include representatives from a host of Harper clubs and organizations and a collection of free activities, including tarot card readings, free prizes, a handwriting analysis station and airbrush tattoos.

Date: 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 14

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

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