Young Researchers, Latino Summit

With his backpack tossed on a laboratory counter and a grin on his face, Mount Prospect resident Corey Yarbrough describes what he's up to this semester: Working alongside Harper College Chemistry Professor Dan Stanford, he'll spend hours each week - outside of class - reducing a complex molecule under intense light.


Young Researchers

With his backpack tossed on a laboratory counter and a grin on his face, Mount Prospect resident Corey Yarbrough describes what he's up to this semester: Working alongside Harper College Chemistry Professor Dan Stanford, he'll spend hours each week - outside of class - reducing a complex molecule under intense light. It is, he says with a grin, "knowledge for the sake of knowledge." It's also a unique opportunity. Yarbrough is part of Harper's 2010-11 undergraduate research program - a yearlong study that gives students the rare chance to perform hands-on, real-world, independent research projects in the College's state-of-art labs. "These opportunities typically aren't available to community college students," Chemistry Professor Tom Dowd says, "or even to freshmen and sophomores at four-year colleges." The program was launched in 2005 with a National Science Foundation grant; five years later, with help from subsequent grants and Harper funding, it's flourishing. About five dozen students have signed on since the program's inception, including this year's class of 12 researchers. The program's roughly 50 alumni all have gone on to pursue a four-year degree in a related discipline, earning more than $300,000 worth of scholarships to transfer colleges and universities along the way. Dipti Patel is among the graduates; Patel, one of Harper's first research students left Harper in 2004 and graduated this May with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. She credits Harper, and Professor Stanford, with jumpstarting her passion. "I loved chemistry because of it," she says. This year's researchers will dedicate about 10 hours weekly to their projects throughout the academic year. They'll also have the chance to research with professors and undergraduate students at four-year colleges this summer; Yarbrough will spend his time at Hope College in Holland, Mich. At the year's end, they'll present their projects to 100 or more Harper professors, industry professionals and others, and may also travel to regional or national conferences to formally present their findings. "Not a lot of students our age," Yarbrough says, "get to do this level of research in laboratories like this."

Media Note: Research students are available for interviews and photographs in the labs. Contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Latino Summit

Harper College will host more than 300 Latino high school freshmen Friday, November 19 at an event aimed at motivating them to stay in school and piquing their interest in higher education. The ninth annual Latino Teen Summit will allow the students to hear bilingual presentations from Latino professionals, college representatives and current Latino students from several area colleges, including Harper. The teens also will be able to begin making plans for life after high school, and discuss opportunities for success. "Many of these freshmen will go on to be first-generation college students. They need to see others just like them who've been successful," Recruiting Specialist Juanita Bassler says. "We want to motivate them to stick with their education, and inspire them to set goals for high school, college and beyond." The end goal, she says, is to increase the number of Latino students who apply to Harper and other colleges and universities. The National Center for Education Statistics shows Latino youths are more likely than any other demographic group to drop out of high school. Nearly 30 percent of Latinos ages 16 to 24 were dropouts in 2000, compared with about 7 percent of Caucasians in the same age bracket. The Teen Summit, sponsored by Harper and Oakton Community College, will include students from nearly a dozen local high schools, including Elk Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Buffalo Grove and Wheeling. "If we can keep them in school, help them graduate and expose them to higher education, we will all benefit from a better-educated society," Bassler says. A separate Latino Summit for high school juniors and seniors will be held in the spring.

Media Note: This event is not open to the public, but reporters and photographers are welcome to attend. This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Lourdes Ferrer, an education consultant who has more than 30 years of experience in educational administration and consulting, public speaking and research. She has been interviewing hundreds of middle- and high school minority students to discover the underlying reason for their achievement struggles and determine what schools can do to help them improve. For details or to arrange interviews, contact Melanie Krakauer, Communications Assistant, 847.925.6000, ext. 2561, or

Making 'The Cove'

The National Geographic photographer-turned-filmmaker behind a 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary on dolphin slaughter will speak at Harper College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 23 in the Performing Arts Center on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Director Louie Psihoyos will discuss the making of The Cove, which was filmed partly in secret - using cameras disguised as rocks - and portrays the annual killing of dolphins in a Japanese national park from a conservationist's point of view. The film, described as an "eco-thriller," earned the 2009 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, and was named one of the 15 Greatest Adventure, Investigative and Nature Documentaries of the 21st Century by Outside magazine. The documentary's narrative was continued this fall through a new three-part miniseries, "Blood Dolphins," that aired on Animal Planet. Harper will offer two free screenings of The Cove, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 22 in Room E107, Building E, and at 2 p.m. Tuesday, November 23 in Room L109, Building L. Tickets for Psihoyos' lecture are $12 for general admission, with discounts for students and seniors. For tickets, call 847.925.6100.

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


Eating the Reading

What would your favorite novel look like in food form? Maybe it would be a creative treat: "James and the Giant Peach" depicted by a large, spherical peach-flavored cake. Or perhaps it would be a savory interpretation: an omelet with ham plated up for Shakespeare's "Hamlet." Local residents are invited to cook up a concoction of their own as the culinary meets the literary at noon on Friday, November 19, at the Harper College Library's third annual Edible Books Contest. The competition requires participants to translate books into food - and make favorite reads even more appetizing than they already are. A slate of judges will critique each creation, and prizes will be awarded in five categories: Most Literary, Best Pun, Best Adult's Book, Best Children's Book and Most Popular, as voted by the crowd. All entries will be eaten afterward. "We just thought it would be a fun way to show off a different side of the library," says Michele Ukleja, Coordinator of User Services at Harper's Library. "We want avid readers to use their imagination, and cook up a book so good you'll literally want to devour it." The contest is open to all. Entry forms are due by Wednesday, November 17, and are available at the Library, Building F on Harper's main campus in Palatine, or online at

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

Adult Financial Aid

Casimir Kwiatkowski used to think financial aid was only for teenagers. Now, as a 56-year-old dad and Harper College student, he's discovered the reality: It can be for him, too. The Hanover Park resident is studying business through the College's Fast Track program for adults - and getting funding help through a much-appreciated grant. "I think a lot of adults don't know that they can get help," he says. "I didn't know until I filed." With an eye on helping others like him through the process, Harper this fall is launching College Money 101 - a series of free workshops specifically showcasing the financial assistance options available to adult college students. The seminars will offer information on financial aid and scholarship eligibility for the Spring and Summer 2011 semesters; the different types of federal and state aid; application steps and guidelines; and the variety of available online grants, loans and scholarships. Attendees also will have help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form - the first step in receiving financial aid. "There are so many adults who have been putting off college because they don't think they can afford it," Recruiting Manager Phil Mortenson says. "They're often surprised to learn that they qualify for financial aid - even if they're only part-time students. These workshops are intended to help them understand the process, get the assistance they need and start on their dream of a college degree." Sessions run from 5 to 6 p.m. and from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 16 and Wednesday, December 8 in Room I225, Building I, on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. All adult students (ages 25 and older) interested in enrolling at Harper are welcome. To complete the FAFSA at the event, participants will need to bring a driver's license, social security card, and 2009 tax information, including the federal tax return and W-2 forms. Harper's Office of Student Financial Assistance annually awards $20 million in federal, state, institutional and privately funded financial aid. The College this year received a record number of aid applications - including many from a growing number of adults looking to return to college or attend for the first time. Each free workshop is limited to 30 attendees. To RSVP, call 847.925.6058 or visit

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

Ethics Bowl

Should voting in America be compulsory? Should spanking a child be a crime? Those issues will be among those addressed as part of the 2010 Upper Midwest Regional Ethics Bowl - a Harper College-hosted competition that will draw 16 teams from more than a dozen colleges across the Midwest. Harper will be the only two-year school represented; the College finished in fourth place in 2009. The all-day competition runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 13 in Building L on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Ethics Bowl is a contest centered on case studies in ethics; students study the issues, take a view on what they believe should be done and prepare an answer - with a goal of explicitly showing that they appreciate, and have considered, arguments on both sides of the issue. "Ethics Bowl is intended to build awareness of ethical issues in all aspects of society," says Assistant Professor John Garcia, who heads up Harper's Ethics Bowl team, "and to develop students' ability to think critically about those issues." The Harper event is a qualifying competition for the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, which will be held in Cincinnati in March 2011. Harper's squad is recruited from philosophy courses; an Ethics Bowl club on campus also provides competitors.

Media Note: Media are invited to attend, but only the final match can be recorded. For best photo opportunity times and specific competition locations, contact Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159,


Veterans Day Play

More than 200 pairs of boots belonging to Illinois soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq will be on stage as part of Harper College's fall production of Bury the Dead, a play offering perspectives from major U.S. military conflicts dating back to World War I. The production, which opens a day after Veterans Day - on Friday, November 12 - tells the story of six dead soldiers who rise up from the grave, asking to rejoin the living. "This play boldly asks us to consider the worth of each of these young lives and the impact their loss had on those left behind," Director Laura Pulio-Colbert says. "I hope that we, as an audience, can rise above our political views to consider the cost that comes as a result of war." In addition to the onstage boots - from the American Friends Service Committee's acclaimed Eyes Wide Open exhibition - Harper's updated staging of the 1936 play will include music and projected images from the six major U.S. conflicts of the last century. Vietnam veteran Curt Renz of Arlington Heights - who lost a high school friend, college roommate and childhood buddy in that war - will be among the actors. The boots on Harper's stage will include those of Christopher J. Boyd of Palatine, Kevin Grieco of Bartlett, William Newgard of Arlington Heights, Adriana Salem of Elk Grove Village and William Chaney and Jakub Kowalik of Schaumburg. Harper's Bury the Dead production will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, November 12 and November 19; 8 p.m. Saturday, November 13 and November 20; and 2 p.m. Sunday, November 14 and November 21. Tickets are $15 for general admission, with discounts for seniors. For tickets, call 847.925.6100, or visit

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

Photo Opportunities

Event: College Ethics Bowl

Date: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 13

Location: Building L

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


Event: Harper College student researchers in action

Date: Call for best times and dates

Location: Avanté Center

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


Event: Edible Books Contest

Date: Noon on Friday, November 19

Location: Library

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


Event: Latino Summit, featuring 300 local high school freshmen

Date: Friday, November 19 (Call for best times)

Location: Across campus

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


Event: Lecture from The Cove Director Louie Psihoyos

Date: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 23

Location: Performing Arts Center

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