News Roundup: Donations, Awards & Ribbon Cutting

Rasmussen roundup july 2015

As the cooler weather settles in, the college continues to heat up with events and recognition this quarter with donations aplenty to nonprofits, three recipients of the Waite Legacy Leadership Award and a new surgical technologist suite.

Check out what else the college and its campuses were up to in the last month—and don’t forget to visit the our Facebook page to get live updates throughout the week.

Annual leadership breakfast donates $5,000 to nonprofits

The Blaine campus continues to get creative with its annual leadership breakfast—this year donating more than $5,000 to a handful of local nonprofits. This year’s event was held on Oct. 21 at the Vadnais Heights Community Center and attracted more than 450 legislators, chamber and community members together to inspire and provoke conversation about women's leadership issues and topics.  

The theme was “leadership presence” and Mariann Johnson from the Institute for Mindful Leadership was the keynote speaker who focused her presentation on mindful leadership. Johnson explained how clarity, focus, creativity and compassion are the fundamentals of mindful leadership. She also shared how to integrate the practice of mindfulness-meditation and self-awareness into management and mentorship.

Following the keynote presentation was a panel discussion where Johnson was joined by Laura Beeth of Fairview Health Systems, Pam Borton of Borton Partners and Joe Kelly, MN director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The four shared their unique journey in leadership with the audience.

College honors 3 individuals with leadership award

Former Rasmussen College president Kristi Waite presented the Waite Legacy Leadership Award at this year’s Annual Leadership Breakfast Oct. 21 to three individuals for their exemplary leadership contributions.

The Waite Legacy Leadership Awards—established in 2015—are given annually to recognize above and beyond leadership contributions from a student, employee and external community leader and/or organization. The Waite Legacy Leadership Award criteria focuses on the success of a team and/or organization, the individual providing visionary, inspirational and collaborative leadership, their commitment to community success and for their integrity and ethical behavior.

Annikki Hockert, Blaine campus graduate; Jessica Koltz, career services advisor at Rasmussen College Rockford campus; and Joanne Kelly, executive director of United Way of Marathon County, were this year’s recipients. In addition to receiving the award, each recipient had the opportunity to designate a $1,000 donation to a local nonprofit in their name.

Hockert requested her donation go to Hope 4 Youth, a community-based organization out of Anoka County in Minnesota to help youth in need with life essentials and resources. Koltz’s donation will go to Rosie's Birthday Club in Rockford, IL. Rosie’s is a nonprofit organization of volunteers that provide a gift and a party to celebrate children who might not otherwise be recognized on their birthday. Lastly, Kelly’s will go to United Way of Marathon County, an organization that strives to build a stronger community and strategically invest in education, income and health priorities to improve lives now and into the future.

Infusing nature into the education experience

Early childhood education (ECE) directors and staff attended a one-day nature conference at the college’s Green Bay campus to learn about the benefits and implementation infusing nature into their ECE programs. Students were invited to attend to gain ideas and strategies to use in their classrooms once they enter the field.

“As educators, we want children and their families to get out of the house and outside to enjoy and learn about the natural world around them,” said Joyce Monfort, state program coordinator for the college’s School of Education.  

Research has proven that children who play in nature experience many beneficial characteristics, including functioning at a higher cognitive level, showing more compassion and higher physical fitness levels. Currently, there is a statewide initiative in Wisconsin to get the word out and help people understand the importance of studying the natural world so students and teachers can learn how to preserve it for future generations.

Attendees participated in interactive workshops where participants were provided hands-on opportunities to experience nature brought into the classrooms. Afterwards they could network and share ideas with each other about how they could apply this into their own classrooms and programs. 

Additionally, this conference granted teachers seven hours toward the total 15 hours needed of continuing education each year in Wisconsin.

Romeoville/Joliet campus unveils new surgical technology suite

A ribbon cutting was held at the college’s Romeoville/Joliet campus Oct. 15 to celecrate the opening of its surgical technology suite. The campus recently launched a surgical technologist associate degree program with classes beginning this past month.

Both the opening of the suite and the offering of the degree were important steps for the campus, as surgical technologists are one of the fastest-growing professions in the healthcare field and an integral part of the surgical care team, helping prep for and assist during a surgery. 

The new surgical suite provides students with hands-on learning capabilities so they can learn common procedures and technology used in the operating room as well as tactics for handling high-pressure situations. Critical skills developed in the surgical suite include proper sterilization of equipment, instrument preparation for surgery and collaboration with surgeons to ensure successful outcomes. 

“The surgical suite at our Romeoville/Joliet campus looks and feels much like an operating room, including instruments our students need to be familiar with when prepping and assisting during a surgery,” said Diane Nowaczyk, campus director, Rasmussen College Romeoville/Joliet. “Through this hands-on, practical setting, combined with an externship in a real-world healthcare environment, our graduates enter surgical technologist positions with the knowledge, skills and experience to become valuable members of a high-performing surgical team.”  

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Jennifer is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about learning and higher education and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

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