Battle of the Twin Presidents, Fuel for Thought

The rivalry was born six decades ago. This year, it hits Harper College's football field. 

Battle of the Twin Presidents

The rivalry was born six decades ago. This year, it hits Harper College's football field. Identical twin brothers Kenneth and Steven Ender - who took over as presidents of Harper College in Palatine and Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich., respectively, in 2009 - will see their football teams go head to head Saturday, October 23 in Palatine when Kenneth Ender's Harper Hawks take on Steven Ender's GRCC Raiders in the epic, second annual football battle aptly dubbed the "Twin Bowl." "Throughout our lives, my twin brother and I have enjoyed healthy competition, and we're certainly still rivals - although mostly all in fun," Kenneth Ender said. "Now, we're competing for supreme football bragging rights. I think we all know this is where it gets serious." The brothers will be on the field for a twin coin toss; the winning team will take possession of the Twin Bowl trophy: identical football players perched atop a loving cup. The game is at 1 p.m. at Harper's field, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Admission is free. A free pregame reception will begin at 11 a.m. outside the Building A main entrance, and will feature Hawks giveaways; music from WHCM, Harper's on-campus radio station; the College's Pom and Dance Team; face painting and an alumni tent. All are welcome, but local twins in particular are invited to attend and participate in just-for-twins activities, including an on-field halftime photograph with the twin Drs. Ender and the Twin Bowl trophy. Twins interested in attending should RSVP to Fredia Martin, Community Relations Specialist, at 847.925.6701 or Harper's football team was the 2008 NJCAA National Champion. The Hawks are 1-5 this season; GRCC's squad is 6-1. "Our team's having a tough year," Kenneth Ender said, "but this is an important game, and they'll be ready to play." For more information, including video and pictures, visit

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


Fuel for Thought

The 2009 film FUEL asks a nagging question: Can energy ever be consequence-free? Director Josh Tickell, the biofuel activist behind the movie, will take up that question and others at a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 20 at Harper College. The discussion, focused on the use of alternative fuels and hosted by Tickell and his wife, actress and author Rebecca Harrel Tickell, will follow a special 5:15 p.m. screening of the film in Room E106 of Building E on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. FUEL, the Audience Award winner for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, explores ideas on ending the U.S. dependence on oil and switching to alternative fuels. Originally titled Fields of Fuel, the film was reedited to address controversies that arose about the environmental and humanitarian impact of ethanol. The movie includes interviews with a wide range of environmentalists, policymakers, educators and celebrities, including Woody Harrelson and Sheryl Crow. The Harper screening comes amid national headlines on the topic; following 10 attacks this month on oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO vehicles in Afghanistan, members of the House Armed Services Committee are urging a new look at renewable fuels and the possible creation of biodiesel on military bases. The FUEL screening and lecture are free. For more, visit

Media Note: Friday, October 15 is National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day - an observance created in 2002 to create consumer awareness about alternative fuels and the vehicles that can run on them. For Josh Tickell interview requests or other media questions, contact Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627 or


Rising from Ashes

Rebecca Darr, Executive Director of WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger), will discuss the summer fire that destroyed the Palatine-based organization's resale shop - and the steps that have been taken to rebuild after the blaze - at a Harper College-sponsored panel discussion this month focused on the importance of disaster preparedness. The breakfast session, from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday, October 21, also will feature Mike Loesch of the Elk Grove Village Fire Department, Sue Smedinghoff of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Harper College, and Tom Morrison, owner of ServPro, a fire and water restoration business in Elk Grove Village. Harper's Fire Science Program Coordinator, Sam Giordano, will serve as moderator. "Our goal is to provide a real-life, compelling story of a local business that truly sustained a disaster - and what did, or what could have, happened had they had a preparedness plan in place in advance," says Smedinghoff, a business advisor who helped organize the panel. "We hope this will serve as a call to action among local small business owners to develop plans beforehand that can help protect their assets, their livelihood and their employees' jobs." WINGS lost one of its resale shops in June in a blaze triggered by a violent storm. The store has not yet reopened. The panel discussion - hosted by Harper in conjunction with the Greater O'Hare Association and the Elk Grove Village and Itasca chambers of commerce - is the final installment in the College's disaster assistance program, which aims to prepare local businesses for potential natural and manmade disasters through a series of special workshops, outreach and training. Statistics show 25 percent of small businesses never reopen following a major disaster; 80 percent that don't recover within a month are likely to go out of business. The cost for the panel discussion is $15, which includes a hot breakfast buffet. It will be held at Belvedere Banquets, 1170 W. Devon Ave. in Elk Grove Village. To register, call 630.773.2944 or visit Harper's Small Business Development Center provides free resources and one-on-one counseling and advice - including help drafting business continuity plans for disaster preparedness purposes - for area small business owners and entrepreneurs. For appointments, call 847.925.6520.

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


Firefighter Training

Harper College is hosting more than 100 local firefighters in an extensive fall training exercise allowing them to practice the rescue of fallen, lost and trapped colleagues in large buildings. The drill, scheduled to run through the end of this week in Buildings G and H on Harper's main campus, will involve on-duty firefighters from the Palatine and Rolling Meadows fire departments and the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District - all departments that may be called to Harper in the case of an actual emergency. They'll have to locate and remove victims - both mannequins and real firefighters playing the victim role - who may be low on air, tangled in wires or trapped by various other debris or obstacles. "The rescue of a firefighter is one of the most challenging problems we face," said Paul Wallis, a Palatine Fire Department Division Chief coordinating the drill. "Training like this helps our officers with decision-making, and helps them see how their crew performs the assigned tasks. If an officer sees someone struggle, the officer knows he needs to work with that crew member so it will be done right when it's real." The training, Wallis said, also will better prepare area firefighters for an incident on Harper's campus. Wallis' first fire as a Palatine lieutenant was in a basement storeroom of the College's Building A; though the smoke prevented him from seeing into the room, his familiarity with the area's layout - a byproduct of fire inspections he'd done previously on campus - provided the confidence to crawl in and find the fire. "On-campus training gives us an opportunity to train on tactics for similar-sized buildings," he said, "and helps us get to know the campus better." Buildings G and H are undergoing renovations, and are not currently in use.

Media Note: Reporters and photographers are welcome. For exact times and specific locations, Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Unemployment Comedy

Losing your job isn't funny - but Marc Mulvey's take on life after the pink slip is. Mulvey, an alumnus of Harper College's "Career Stimulus" job-hunting support program, will bring his standup comedy version of unemployment's ups and downs to the Harper stage in an 8 p.m. show on Friday, October 22 in the Wojcik Conference Center amphitheater. Inspired by a comedian Career Stimulus hosted in 2009, his routine, "Transition This!," uses Mulvey's own story as its base - beginning with his termination, when his facility was shut down and his work was outsourced - and parodies the generic unemployment journey, from the lines delivered by unapologetic bosses to the reality check when you're stuck at home afterward. "Sometimes," he says, "you just have to laugh at what you went through in this recession." Mulvey, of Palatine, is a former production manager with a computer science degree who was laid off after 20 years in the engineering industry. He rediscovered his passion for comedy - and discovered his newest career path - when he signed on for Career Stimulus, a monthly networking and career-boosting program Harper launched in 2009 to offer post-layoff help to northwest suburban residents. He's now busy promoting his show, and was invited to perform as part of Zanies' "Rising Star Showcase" on October 11 in Chicago. "In times like this, people can get so serious that they lose their perspective," Mulvey says. "I think humor can help you keep your composure." Doors for "Transition This!" open at 7:30 p.m.; the Wojcik Conference Center is on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Tickets are $15 for general admission, with discounts available for Career Stimulus members. The show is open to all. For tickets or more information on the comedy show, call 847.925.6100 or visit For more information on Career Stimulus, visit or call 847.925.6438.

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

Zumba for All

Harper College will offer a free, open-to-the-community "Passionately Pink Zumba" class at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 14 in the Building M Gymnasium on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The one-hour course, offered through the College's yearlong "Wellness Lives Here" wellness initiative, is part of a continued effort to promote a healthier campus and community, and ties into National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Participants are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer research. Zumba is a dance fitness program fusing Latin and other international music with easy-to-follow moves for an energetic workout that incorporates cardio moves and muscle toning and strengthening. Created in the 1990s, the classes - recognized by leading fitness educators but intended to make exercise fun - now are offered throughout the world, and the popularity is growing. Participants are encouraged to RSVP for the Zumba class. To reserve a spot, email

Media Note: Harper's previous free Zumba course drew dozens of community members, including senior citizens and children, who danced for an hour. Photographers are welcome.

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


Book Drive

Through the end of October, the Harper College Library is collecting children's and young adult books as part of its 17th annual Young Readers Book Drive. The books will be donated to South Campus, a therapeutic day school in Palatine. Community members are encouraged to drop new or gently used books at the Harper Library (Building F). Collection boxes also are located throughout the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine, and at the College's Northeast Center, 1375 S. Wolf Road in Prospect Heights. Call 847.925.6584 with questions.

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


Photo Opportunities

Event: Community Zumba lesson

Date: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 14

Location: Building M Gymnasium

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


Event: Firefighter training

Date: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, October 13, 14 and 15

Location: Buildings G and H (call for specific times and locations)

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


Event: "Transition This!" comedy show

Date: 8 p.m. Friday, October 22

Location: Wojcik Conference Center amphitheater

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