Campus Buzz

Catch up with what's happening around campus at RMU!

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Junior Achievement and Robert Morris University: A Lasting Partnership

Each year, Junior Achievement of Chicago holds a fund raising and networking event for its friends, supporters and partners. This year's event - an evening of Wine Tasting - was particularly special for RMU. The University was recognized as the recipient of the Bronze US President's Volunteer Service Award, in appreciation for the thousands of volunteer hours contributed by RMU students, staff and faculty to Junior Achievement. President Mablene Krueger and several business faculty members were present to receive the award from JA President Sandy Daffe and Maria Ramos, vice president.

Larry Nieman, dean of the School of Business Administration, maintains the strong JA partnership, mainly through RMU's connection with Maria Ramos, vice president for Central Operations at JA and a member of the business advisory board. The event took place at the Prudential Building and the area included a beautiful terrace that overlooked Millenium Park and the city skyline.


RMU Hosts the Return of “On the Table”

Robert Morris University hosted the first On the Table for 2016. Sponsored by The Chicago Community Trust, On the Table is a civic engagement initiative that provides a platform for Chicago area residents. It is designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience for participants. Forty community leaders participated in the discussion of Realizing the Potential of Chicago Neighborhoods. Among those in attendance was Deb Mell, alderman of the 33rd Ward, Laura Washington of the Chicago Sun Times, Michelle Russell of TEAM Englewood Community Academy, Lauren Miller of Robert Morris Univesity and Vanessa Vergara of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, which co- sponsored the event. Laren Choolijian of WBEZ and Dometi Pongo of WVON served as moderators.

Lunch for the attendees was prepared by Robert Morris culinary students, under the direction of Chef Instructor Carolyn Conglis.


CPS Principals Visit RMU

On Friday morning, RMU welcomed CPS principals to a workshop that focused on promoting computer science throughout their schools. Bill Waas, CEO of the Illinois Technology Foundation (ITF) and RMU advisory board member, welcomed educators and talked about the need for computer science in all careers, not just those in technology. Basim Khartabil, dean of the School of Technology and Media, spoke about the University's approach to computer science and the successful partnership it has formed with ITF. Nicole Cafillio, executive vice president at RMU then spoke about the connection the University has had with CPS students over many decades. She focused on RMU's recent ranking by Money Magazine as the #1 Best Value University and the advisory program that helps keep students on track from freshman year to graduation.


Robert Morris University's Spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony

On Saturday, April 23, the Robert Morris University Class of 2016 attended the commencement ceremony at the Athletic Convocation Center in Arlington Heights. A beautiful spring day set the stage for a standing room only crowd as graduate and undergraduate students received their diplomas and honors, culminating their programs of study at RMU. Here are a few candid shots from Saturday's event. For more, go to and pick your favorite!


Sigma Beta Delta

On April 20 the School of Business Administration at Robert Morris University Illinois inducted nineteen students into Sigma Beta Delta, for the fall quarter. Sigma Beta Delta is an international honors society for business, management, and administration students who achieve academic excellence.

The following students were inducted: from Chicago –Sid Aitelhadj (60634), Yuliana Alcantar, (60632), Emily Bernard (60607), Mayam Jacobo (60638), Justyna Cizadlo (60638) and Brooklyn Kerlin (60605); Stephanie Bird and Amanda Daley of Oak Forest, Mikayala Driscoll of Peoria, Amairani Garcia of Wheeling, Mikayla Guernsey of Fulton, Irene Hastings of Gurnee, Gregory Jones of Evanston, Tucker Mucha or Orland Park, Jack Piecuch of Willow Srings, Liliana Quiroz of Waukegan, Rodges Redmond III of Bellwood, Rebecca Sparkman of Loves Park and Terra Ringo of Pueblo, CO.

To be invited to join Sigma Beta Delta, a student must be within the top twenty percent of the students in the School of Business Administration. Sigma Beta Delta recognizes the scholastic excellence and academic achievements of business students at the baccalaureate and graduate level in colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad.


JA High School Competition Day

Robert Morris University has had a long partnership with Junior Achievement of Chicago. Many RMU students have taken the opportunity to volunteer with the organization in Chicago Public Schools and as participants in JA's many programs for high school students.

On April 15, nearly 400 high school students from the Chicago area participated in JA High School Competition Day, hosted by RMU. Many RMU students, faculty and staff members helped out as interviewers, judges, and facilitators for the day-long event. Check out this short video which captures the high school students - all dressed for success - as they experience JA's "You're Hired Workplace Skills Challenge" and the annual JA Titan Competition.

Professional Development Week

It was Professional Development week at Robert Morris University, but the amazing panels of speakers for Morris Graduate School of Management weren't the only groups spreading expertise and practical information for RMU students.

MGSM had three days of speakers. On Tuesday, a panel spoke on Employment Trends; on Wednesday, on Cyber Security, and on Thursday, on Innovation. Grad students and alumni gathered in the auditorium for great discussions and valuable information from people who take the classroom concepts in these areas and put them to use every day.

Nursing and Health Studies students participated in a Healthcare Symposium at the Chicago campus on Thursday. The panel of speakers included Dr. Matthew Pittman, a surgeon with Northwestern Medicine, Anita Halvorsen, ACHE Regent for Metropolitan Chicago and adjunct professor at Rush University, Dr. Steven White, forensic pathologist and Assistant Medical Examiner for Cook County, Dr. Lynn Reede, senior director of Professional Practice for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and Thomas Medford, Integration Branch Chief with the US Department of Homeland Security - FEMA. Students from different RMU campuses and medical programs attended the symposium.

Loreli Hand of the School of Business Administration organized a special event called "The Marketers' Career Fair." Students met with employers from such companies as LaSalle Network, Rise Interactive, Vitamin T, Anderson, Werner Co. and others as they investigated the employment outlook in the marketing world.

It was a great week for RMU students to learn more about the career opportunities that await them as graduates!


RMU Spring Career Fair a Big Hit on Campus

The sixth floor commons area was filled with students, employers and faculty - all ready to help RMU students prepare for the real world by talking with companies that were interested in hiring new grads.

The convenience of the location helped many more students find out what companies are hiring and what they are looking for in prospective employees. Businesses in the food and entertainment fields, health care, technology, insurance, finance, law enforcement and many more were represented. Career Services staff and many faculty members were very busy registering students and helping them as they made their way to the many tables sponsored by the companies.


Robert Morris University Illinois Accounting Students Take Part in VITA Program

For over ten years, Robert Morris University students have been providing a valuable service to the Chicago community by participating in the Volunteer Individual Tax Assistance Program (VITA). This year they have helped prepare nearly 1000 tax returns – at no cost to the individuals.

Dr. David Knutsen, Accounting Curriculum Chair, and Professor Karen Novey, School of Business Administration faculty member, have been supervising accounting students who have successfully completed the Individuation Taxation course. The students are certified by an IRS established program and have also received an 80% or higher on the advanced exam administered by the IRS, which qualifies them to prepare individual tax forms. All returns have been prepared in confidence and are reviewed by qualified instructors before they are filed.

“We have worked with about 500 individuals so far,” said Professor Novey. “And each person has a state and federal return to file. Some people from Indiana may have three returns, so it has added up quickly.”

The team of students and faculty members have been working on tax returns every Monday and Wednesday afternoon since February 8th in the Robert Morris University ICenter at the Chicago campus.

“The VITA program has always been a great experience for our students,” explained Dr. Knutsen. “It’s an opportunity for them to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world. Experiential learning and service to the community has turned out to be a great combination!”


RMU Grad Student Receives Much by Giving

Camealia Daniels is working on her Master of Management Degree in Sports Administration and has found an opportunity to put her classroom experience into practice through volunteering. Last year, she learned of a program called ProCamps Worldwide which offers students volunteer opportunities at their Sports Camps. After applying, Camealia was assigned to the September session at Taj Gibson’s Camp at the Joy of the Game facility in Deerfield. Taj Gibson plays for the Chicago Bulls and participates in basketball camps for elementary and high school students.

Camealia helped out in set up and preparation for the camp, as well as for the camp itself. She worked on preparing the marketing materials, in the event store and organizing as the camp got underway. As the result of applying marketing skills that she learned in an undergrad marketing course with Professor Bodlak, Camealia said she exceeded the expectations of selling autographed photos which benefited charities.

ProCamp continues to reach out the Camealia for volunteer work as more sports camps are scheduled. “I’m elated to give back to my community,” she said. “I’ve learned it is my moral responsibility to help someone else in crossing the bridge that I too had to cross.”


Almost, Maine

The Robert Morris Theater Ensemble presented "Almost, Maine" - a play by John Cariani - on April 8 and 9 at the RMU Athletic Convocation Center. The play is a series of short stories that center on the residents of a fictional town in Maine. Under the direction of faculty member Gerry Dedera, RMU students did most of the blocking, technical preparation and general rehearsals at the Chicago campus, then brought the whole production to Arlington Heights mid-week to prepare for the two performances. With students in many different programs of study, the ensemble managed to work out their practices over the past couple months as they continued with classes and prepared for finals. Great job on "Almost, Maine," Eagles! Looking forward to more student productions

For more photos from "Almost, Maine," go to​


Professional Development Week

Morris Graduate School of Management proudly announces Professional Development Week, April 12, 13 and 14. Each day will feature a topic and expert speakers in the field. The panel discussions will be held in the auditorium at the Chicago campus from 6 to 7 pm each day. All MGSM deans, faculty, staff alumni and students are invited to attend.

On April 12, four panelists will discuss Employment Trends. Andre Allen, IT Leader, will facilitate the discussion with Diana Smith, director of Technology Staffing at Brilliant; Craig Watson, Managing Principal at Effective Talent and Doug Gilman, vice president of Digital Channels and Enterprise Services at AON. They will discuss general employment trends in industry and the skills and experiences companies look for in a candidate.

On April 13, Tina Hauri, president and co-founder of Bradford Garrett Group will moderate a discussion on Cyber Security. Panelists include Arlan McMillan, Chief Information Security Officer at United Airlines; Amy Bogac, director of IT Security Operations for Walgreens, David Kovarik, director of Information & System Security/Compliance at Northwestern University; and Erick Decker, Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Chicago Hospital. The panel will focus on cyber crime, shortage of cyber security specialists and education and awareness.

The final event on April 14 will focus on Innovation and how to create innovative work environments. Carl Zuhl, strategy consultant for Business Models, Inc., will moderate a panel including E.G. Nadham, Chief Technology Strategist of the Central Region for Red Hat; Maura Shea, senior director of Strategic Innovation for the YMCA of America; and Wayne Bulmahn, Chief Information Officer of Unite Here Health.

Shot @ Life

Members of RMU’s United Nations Association Student Organization (UNA-USA), and interested faculty, staff and students, gathered in the auditorium on Monday, April 4 to hear representatives speak on “Shot @ Life,” and to undergo training in support of the program. Rebecca Maxie, a Grassroots Officer for Shot@ Life, part of the United Nations Foundation, presented an overview on the group’s advocacy efforts to reduce vaccine-preventable deaths around the world. “Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children in developing and hard-to-reach areas of the world,” she said.

Students are trained to build relationships with their respective members of Congress and to build community support for the work of Shot @ Life.

Dr. Monique Herard, faculty member and moderator of UNA-USA at Robert Morris, was instrumental in organizing the event. She indicated that the program provides experience-based learning that benefits students in all majors and aids in the development of leadership skills. Dr. Natan Mendes of the RMU School of Nursing and Health Studies felt the effort promotes advocacy at the best level – through student involvement.


Judgment Call

One of our very own RMU Alumni will be performing in a play, Judgment Call, this weekend!

Judgment Call focuses on Detective Frank Cordova, a ruthless figure who impulsive actions while on duty caused the death of an unarmed young black man. Cordova's disreputable behavior leaves fellow law officers, Officer Roger Vornick and Officer Vernon Mitchell in the line of fire as their actions come into question by their peers, protesters and the media. As scrutiny increases, Officer Vornick struggles with upholding the "Universal Police Code" or shedding light on the truth regarding the incident.

Mario Vankinscott, 2014 MIS/MBA MGSM alumnus, auditioned for the play and got the role of Officer Vernon Mitchell, bringing to life the impact that law enforcement has on the overall community.

Judgment Call takes place on March 17, 18,19, & 20 at Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 60th and Cottage Grove.

To purchase tickets or view the trailer, visit the play's website at:


Robert Morris University Holds Reception for Emirati Artists at “Past Forward” Exhibit

Artists who have contributed pieces of contemporary artwork to the “Past Forward” Exhibit currently on display at the Robert Morris University State Street Gallery, 401 S. State in Chicago, were welcomed at a reception in the gallery on Thursday evening, February 25.

Attendees met the artists, were given commentary on the multi-media works and treated to a buffet of Middle Eastern foods.

The artists also participated in a panel discussion on their work, the increasing prominence of art in the United Arab Emirates and the emphasis on art education in schools. “The UAE is a young country, only 44 years old,” explained His Excellency Consul General Majid Al Suweidi as he introduced the speakers. He commented that the importance of promoting UAE art adds to the image and profile of the country and young artists are integral in this effort. The artists explained how they became interested in art, the influences they had in studying art in different countries, and their passion for promoting contemporary art to the people of UAE, as well as around the world.

The exhibit continues through March 10.


ICenter Project brings Bears Legend to RMU

To diehard Bears fans, Otis Wilson is a name synonymous with victory – Super Bowl Victory, that is. Going back to the 1985 Super Bowl, Wilson was a linebacker on the championship team, part of the famous Super Bowl Shuffle video and known to instill fear in the hearts of the opposing team as the main blitzer in the Bears’ 46 defense.

Otis Wilson hasn’t been one to rest on his laurels since winning his Super Bowl ring and the foundation of the Otis Wilson Charitable Association is proof of his determination to give back and pass forward to today’s youth. His organization provides health and fitness programs for at-risk youth in Chicago Public Schools and Park Districts, empowering them to lead healthy lifestyles.

Wilson’s daughter, Chyla Wilson, serves as executive director of the association. In the fall, she reached out to Dr. Natan Mendes with their desire to raise funds for their programs. Through the ICenter, RMU students created an assessment program to highlight ways to focus on marketable aspects of the foundation to enhance their development efforts.

Last week, Otis and Chyla Wilson, along with other family members, attended the students’ presentation at the Chicago campus. Dr. Mendes and Deanna Ho participated in and oversaw the students’ work, which was received very favorably by the Wilson family.

Way to go Eagles!!


This week we celebrated Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras!

Students got a taste of King Cake in the Student Center today and, according to tradition, the baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it hidden in his/her slice of cake.


Robert Morris University Illinois and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Sign Memorandum of Understanding, Cementing New Educational Partnership

Robert Morris University Illinois (RMU) and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) have created a partnership through the establishment of an advanced graduate level program for students pursuing a doctoral degree in business psychology. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a nonprofit university, and one of the leading institutions devoted to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences.

The agreement between the two schools provides a post-graduate path for Robert Morris University students in the School of Business Administration program. As undergraduates, students will be granted admission to The Chicago School upon fulfilling application requirements, the completion of specific coursework, and a minimum GPA. With the objective of completing a Ph.D. in Business Psychology, students will begin graduate work at The Chicago School during the last 36 quarter hours of their Bachelor of Business Administration program at RMU, and complete doctoral studies at TCSPP. Undergraduate degrees will be conferred by RMU and the PhD by The Chicago School.

Both Robert Morris University Illinois and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology are regionally accredited institutions. The new program is intended for RMU management students to matriculate to The Chicago School during their senior year to complete a PhD. Together the schools are providing a new pathway for doctoral study to college students in the greater Chicago area. 

“We are pleased to provide the opportunity for advanced graduate study in business psychology to our students,” said Larry Nieman, dean of the School of Business Administration. “Forming relationships with institutions such as The Chicago School encourages our students to think beyond a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Facilitating the process helps to ensure their success."

We are delighted to have the opportunity to serve the students of Robert Morris University,” said Michele Nealon-Woods, Psy. D., president, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “Our suite of business psychology programs prepares graduates to assume high- level responsibilities in today’s global and multicultural business environment.”

Robert Morris University Illinois and Morris Graduate School of Management have also established post-graduate programs for its students with John Marshall Law School and Cardinal Stritch University Milwaukee.

Robert Morris University Illinois is a not-for-profit, baccalaureate and graduate degree granting institution, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.* The University serves over 4500 students interested in getting an education in business, graphic arts, nursing and health care, culinary and computer studies at its main campus in Chicago, as well as at locations in Arlington Heights, DuPage, Elgin, Orland Park, Bensenville, Springfield, Peoria, Schaumburg and Lake County. In all communications, please refer to the university by its full name, Robert Morris University Illinois. For more information, call 800-RMC-5960 or visit the web site at

*Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60602, 312-263-0456.

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit, private university devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences. The university serves nearly 4,500 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles and Irvine); and Washington, D.C., as well as through online programs. A member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, TCSPP is recognized for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. With more than 20 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology education. To learn more, visit

RMU Alumna Rachel Story Speaks During Brown Bag Lunch Series

On January 28, 2016, at Robert Morris University’s Chicago campus in room 803 at 12:00pm, alumna Rachel Story presented students and faculty with her experiences as a Peace Corps member and how volunteering has helped her career as part of RMU’s Brown Bag Lunch Series.

Rachel Story, RMU Alumnus, graduated in 2012 with both a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and her MBA. While attending RMU, she was involved with many organizations, including S.I.F.E, Students in Free Enterprise, and The Greater Chicago United Nations Association (UNA). She joined the Peace Corps in 2013 after meeting a recruiter while working with The Greater Chicago UNA. Story’s presentation was focused on how volunteering can be a great way to network and find other employment options. She says, “Volunteering helps guide you in the direction of your career path.” During her time in the Peace Corps, Story worked in Eastern Ukraine, in cities including Donetsk and Khartsyzsk. She spent three months training in a small village with a host family, learning the culture and language of the country. After that she spent the rest of her time traveling to different cities and teaching people about job skills and economics, finally ending in Donetsk. Here she taught economics at Donetsk National University. She also took on her biggest project, creating a handicap accessible playground.

Sara O’Neal, Director of Alumni Advancement, has been inviting RMU alumni back to share their experiences with current students. When asked why she invited Rachel, Sara said, “I knew Rachel from back when I was an Academic Advisor. She was friends with one of my students, and when I heard about her returning from the Peace Corps, I felt that would be great for the students to hear.” Story is being awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award for her service in the Peace Corps and her contribution to the communities in Ukraine and RMU.

For more stories and information about the Peace Corps, visit For more information on future alumni events, feel free to contact Sara O’Neal at

  Rachel Story (left), Sara O'Neal (right)      

Getting it done...

Some people see a need and think for a moment, “I wish I could help.” Others see a need and quickly move into action.

Tracy Stancil is the Operations Crew Chief for RMU’s DuPage and Lake County campuses. In addition to taking care of classroom equipment, making sure the walkways are clear of snow, managing incoming and outgoing mail – and a variety of other things – Tracy has become very involved in reaching out to the community. And she is also successful at getting staff and students to join her in this effort.

During the time leading up to the holiday break, large boxes were set up at both campuses to collect clothing and toiletries for the homeless. Students brought in jackets, gloves, hats and backpacks – which Tracy organized and packed on her own. By Christmas morning, she had assembled 36 care packs that included clothing, snacks, toiletries and cosmetics.

“I know that a lot of homeless people in Chicago and Elgin could benefit from these items so I loaded up my car and distributed some in the Elgin area, and then brought the rest to a PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) location.” The Elgin PADS staff were very grateful for the contribution, but Tracy didn’t stay long enough to bask in the gratitude. “It really isn’t necessary for them to do a formal thank you – I just put the packages together knowing that it might help some people who could really use the items to feel a little better about themselves.”

Her plans for next year? “To fill bigger collection boxes and reach out to even more people in need!” Thanks to all the students and staff members who contributed items for the donation on behalf of Robert Morris University.