Reality Check, Autism Speaker

Buying a new home - or selling a current one - is no easy task in today's rough-and-tumble market. Harper College will offer tips for making it work in a free seminar, "Real Estate in Turbulent Times: What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know," aimed at navigating 2010's realty reality.


Realty Check

Buying a new home - or selling a current one - is no easy task in today's rough-and-tumble market. Harper College will offer tips for making it work in a free seminar, "Real Estate in Turbulent Times: What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know," aimed at navigating 2010's realty reality. The session, led by Re/Max Broker Associate Rita O'Connor, is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 15 in Room A242b, Building A, on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. It is the latest offering in the 2010-11 Harper Heritage Seminar Series, a collection of free monthly sessions sponsored by the College's Educational Foundation. The series covers a wide range of topics, from September's realty how-to session to saving for college, understanding the estate tax, dealing with end-of-life issues like ethical wills and advanced directives and estate planning for second marriages. The series is in its second year; sessions are led by volunteers as a public service to the Harper community. O'Connor is a broker associate with Re/Max Unlimited Northwest in Palatine, and has logged three decades selling real estate. She is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago and a former Certified Financial Planner. Session participants are asked to register in advance. To register, visit or call 847.925.6490.


Future free seminars include:

Saving for College: For Your Children and Grandchildren - 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 6. A team of presenters will cover the basics of planning now for future higher education costs.


Estate Planning for Second Marriages - 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 17 and noon Thursday, November 18. Attorney Robert Glorch will discuss the intricacies and unforeseen challenges that can arise in estate planning amid the realities of remarriage and blended families.


Income Tax Strategies - 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 8. Ahead of the income tax season, accountant Craig Levin will deliver strategies for getting the most out of your returns.


Market Update and Outlook - 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 19 and noon Thursday, January 20. Harper Economics Professor Getachew Begashaw will address America's economic realities.


Estate Tax Update: Impact on Legacy Planning - 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 23 and noon Thursday, February 24. Attorney Robert Glorch will cover the latest Estate Tax laws.


Real Estate in Turbulent Times: What Every Buyer/Seller Should Know - 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 and noon Thursday, March 17. Real estate broker associate Rita O'Connor addresses savvy trick for navigating a tough realty market.


Charitable Giving: What to Know When Making a Difference - 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 and noon Thursday, April 14. Attorney Robert Glorch will team with Katherine Sawyer, Associate Executive Director of Harper's Educational Foundation, to provide an overview of what to look for in a charity when deciding how to distribute your donations.


End of Life Issues: Ethical Wills, Advanced Directives and Family Discussion - 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 4 and noon Thursday, May 5. Lawyer Bruce Roberts, an estate planning expert, will offer an explanation of end-of-life issues and tips for addressing them with family.


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


Autism Speaker

For three decades, Jane Thierfeld Brown has focused her research on students with autism and Asperger Syndrome and their experiences in higher education. She's used that knowledge to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorders explore college options before enrolling, and navigate the college scene once they're there. This month, she'll bring her expertise to Harper College for a community seminar on those issues and others, addressing the realities of college life, life adjustments and the ensuing career transition from the perspective of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Brown's talk, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, September 14 in the College's Performing Arts Center, is free and open to the public, and will conclude with a question-and-answer session. Sponsored by Harper's Access and Disability Services Department in cooperation with Passage, an Asperger advocacy and support group, the seminar will kick off a trio of Harper discussions on Asperger Syndrome and autism; later conversations will specifically target College counselors, faculty, and student activities and student affairs staff. Brown's visit comes amid a continued increase in Asperger and autism diagnoses and increased news headlines addressing the disorders. "These will be timely discussions and important discussions that, as a higher education institution that strives to serve all members of our community to our greatest ability, we must have," says Tom Thompson, Director of Disability Services. "The community forum in particular will provide us an excellent chance to have tough questions answered by a true expert." Brown is director for student services at the University of Connecticut School of Law and co-director of College Autism Spectrum, a support organization for students on the Autism Spectrum, their families, and the schools and colleges they attend. She also authored "A Professional Guide to Students with Asperger Syndrome." No RSVP is required for the community forum. For more information, call 847.925.6266.

Media Note: Jane Thierfeld Brown is available for interviews in advance of and during her Harper visit. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, at 847.925.6159 or to arrange an interview time.

Training Magicians

Professional magician Mark Presley will bring his illusion and sleight-of-hand tricks to new apprentices this fall in a first-ever Harper College "Mastering Street Magic" class. The course, offered through the College's Continuing Education department, will help budding magicians transform common items - including cards, coins and strings - into impressive magic tricks using the same methods as celebrated illusionists Chris Angel and David Blaine. "We'll cover every aspect of a great magic performance, from proper form and technique to stage presence and humor," Presley says. "The class is a great introduction to magic, and perfect for beginners." Presley is an award-winning magician and boasts more than 30 years of industry experience. His class is geared toward adults, and will be offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, from September 7 to October 12. To register or for more information, visit

Media Note: A video overview of the class, including a sampling of tricks that will be taught, is viewable on Harper's YouTube channel:

Press Contact: Melanie Krakauer, Communications Assistant, 847.925.6000, ext. 2561,


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." Harper College, named to G.I. Jobs magazine's Military Friendly School list this summer, is serving a record number of veterans this fall semester. More than 360 veterans are enrolled at Harper now. 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,

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 of Baroque, Renaissance and Middle Ages music 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 will perform a sampling of what was considered "pop" music in Renaissance France during the long reign of Francis I. French composers of the time developed a unique song form that was nationalistic in both poetry and music; advances in 16th century printing techniques made those songs and dances accessible to ordinary people throughout Europe. Early music is defined as songs created in the mid-18th century and before. The Chicago Early Music Consort performs on period instruments in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. Members include Gary Berkenstock, recorder, crumhorn, racket and dulcian; Ken Perlow, viols and crumhorn; Phillip W. Serna, viola da gamba/vielle; Stephanie Sheffield, soprano; and Russell Wagner, viols and crumhorn. Their Harper concert is free and open to all. For more information, call 847.925.6568, or visit

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

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,


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: 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,


Event: Community Seminar featuring Autism Spectrum Disorders expert Jane Thierfeld Brown

Date: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, September 14

Location: Performing Arts Center

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