Campus Buzz


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

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RMU Illinois football team starts gearing up for fall

We may be looking for spring, but the RMU Illinois football team is already thinking about fall. Here are a few shots of the Eagles testing out Morris Field on Friday during a few scrimmages - and it was cold! While we're at it, mark your calendar now - Homecoming is set for October 11, 2014. Students, help spread the word!

RMU Football Practice

Students, faculty and staff recognized for extraordinary contributions in Proclamation Ceremony

Students, faculty and staff were recognized for extraordinary efforts at the Proclamation Ceremony held on Friday at the RMU Athletic and Convocation Center in Arlington Heights.  Congratulations to the following individuals.  We are proud of your efforts on behalf or Robert Morris University!

Cindy Byrd, business professor at the RMU Peoria campus, was honored for her article published in an issue of Peoria InterBusiness Issues.  She used three episodes the television serious “Undercover Boss” to illustrate strategies that can help improve employee engagement.  “I’ve long held as a belief about organizations that branding happens on the inside; how a company treats its employees is extremely significant.  It’s the internal brand.”

Coach Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas, coach of the RMU Eagles Gold Hockey Team, was recognized for his work in the RMU hockey program and as the 2012-13 Central States Collegiate Hockey League’s “Coach of the Year.”  Under Coach Adrahtas’ direction, the Eagles were the only team in the ACHA in 2012-13 with a winning record against the two teams ranked #1 in the nation.

Four RMU students represented the group, “Eagles Soaring for Change.”  The 21-member (and growing) organization has helped raise money and awareness for such organizations as the Salvation Army, the National MS Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Toys for Tots and more.  The have taken an active role in monthly awareness causes and rallied students at the Elgin campus to participate. Ashley Koessl, Tanya Vargas, Rebecca Cox and Christopher Nicolai accepted the proclamation.

The RMU Homecoming Committee, Lora Timmons, Megan Smith Eggert, Nick Jarmuz, Lindsay Parrish and Lauren Joyce Hensel, were recognized for organizing the first annual homecoming with a Spirit Week at all campuses, a pep-rally ad pre-game activities at the Athletic Convocation Center.  Their efforts laid the groundwork for a fall tradition at Robert Morris University that builds a sense of community, spirit and collegiate atmosphere.  Megan Smith and Lindsay Parrish accepted the proclamation.

Dr. Raman Patel’s MGT 590 class participated in the GLO-BUS competition, a computer-based strategy simulation that is modeled to reflect the real world character of the digital camera industry.  When one of the companies in the class, “Champion Cameras” stood tied for first place worldwide in November, there were 2876 companies from 170 colleges participating worldwide.  Their company had a perfect score on investor expected target, and a perfect score on Best in Industry performance.  Students Lindsay Dahl, Ashley Jackson and Latosha Turner accepted the proclamation with Dr. Patel.

RMU’s Residential Advisers ad the staff of the University Center were recognized for their efforts in creating a “Day of Kindness,” which encouraged students to branch outside our campus and residence halls and spread overall good will.  As part of the campaign, students created the UCanLead Series, and UCService Series, in addition to volunteer activities for the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Lurie Children’s Hospital.  Those attending to receive the proclamation included:  Marlene Levine, Bob Brophy, Tulani Myers, Bryan Ellis, Miranda Perry, Bianca Bater, Shay Robinson, Quintina Mangyen and Adam Knapp.





Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas of Wheeling Recognized by RMU Board of Trustees

Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas, head coach of the Robert Morris University Illinois Men’s Gold Hockey team, was honored by the RMU Board of Trustees in recognition of his being chosen by his coaching peers as the 2012-13 Central States Collegiate Hockey League’s (CSCHL) Coach of the Year.  This is the second time in three seasons that Coach Adrahtas has been selected for this esteemed honor. He was presented with a framed proclamation from the Board at a ceremony at the RMU Athletic and Convocation Center in Arlington Heights this past week.

Coach Adrahtas was recognized for the team building skills he instills in his student athletes both on and off the ice.  The Eagles Gold team has set or tied a record for regular season victories three seasons in a row.  In 2012-13, the team achieved its highest season ranking in RMU history, holding the #2 spot in the nation for four weeks.

The Eagles Gold team also excels academically:  half the team had GPAs over 3.5 and several maintained a perfect 4.0.  Coach Adrahtas has inspired the team to become involved in charity events and student activities.  Graduating players have returned to participate in the RMU hockey program as assistant coaches and supporting the team at home games.  In honoring the coach, the Board indicated, “Coach Adrahtas bends over backwards to be of assistance and guidance to his players, not only while they are here but after they graduate.  He is a mentor to his student-athletes in every sense of the word.”


RMU Gold Hockey Team Coach Adrahtas



Paralegal students inducted into LEX Honor Society 

Robert Morris University Illinois is pleased to announce that the following students have been inducted into Lambda Epsilon Chi (also known as LEX), a national academic honor society for paralegal students.

From the Chicago campus:  Joyce Bonner (60653), Eric Coronado of Oak Forest, Brooklyn Kerlin (60605), Naomi McNeal-Dawkins (60643) and Miguel Melendrez of Sunnyvale, CA. 

From the Orland Park campus:  Maribeth Bonko of Mokena, Gerardo Bravo of Chicago Heights, Keanu Calumpang of Tinley Park, and Ryan Funk of Orland Park.

From the Springfield campus:  Maralee Hanners of Sherman, Illinois.

According to their charter, “Lambda Epsilon Chi recognizes students who have demonstrated superior academic performance in an established, qualified program of paralegal/legal assistant studies.”  The RMU students who qualified are in good academic standing, needing a minimum of a GPA of 3.5 in their paralegal courses.

RMU extends congratulations to these students for their academic achievement and commitment to the paralegal profession.




Check out the Robert Morris University Illinois Jazz Ensemble performing at the State Street Gallery!



Galleria Jazz Café Concert Series

Robert Morris University is proud to announce the debut of the Galleria Jazz Café Concert Series. The 45-minute weekly concert series will feature the RMU Jazz Ensemble performing in the University’s State Street Gallery.   The first Galleria Jazz Café Series will debut on Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 5pm and continue through the end of April 2014.

The RMU Jazz Ensemble will feature music to include “Blue Train” by John Coltrane, “April in Paris” by Vernon Duke, “On Green Dolphin Street” by Bronisław Kaper, and “The Pink Panther” by Henry Mancini.  The RMU Jazz Ensemble includes undergraduate students who represent the School of Business, Institute of Culinary Arts, and the Institute of Technology and Media.

The concert series is free to attend and is open to the public.  The RMU Jazz Ensemble is directed by Patrick Keelan.   For more information, please contact Michael Zaremba, Director of Performing Arts, at 312.935.4404 or   


Theater at Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University is proud to announce Theater as the University’s newest performing arts addition.  The Theater Ensemble will stage three full-scale performances every year beginning in Fall 2014.  Weekly practices will be held at the Chicago Campus, and performances will be staged at the Arlington Heights Campus Auditorium.

Students who participate in theater will be engaging in a community that emphasizes learning new skills and teamwork.  Students will develop talent in multiple disciplines to create a successful production, including acting, directing, music, dancing, costume design, lighting and set design. 


Alumni Honored in Saturday's Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Alumni were nominated by faculty members for recognition of their academic excellence, volunteerism, leadership, generosity of spirit, contributions to their community, and activism as an RMU student.


Congratulations to (left to right) Natasha Granholm, BBA '98; Tony Frais, BBA '13, Chris Fryzek, BBA/MBA '13, Victor Herrera, AAS '97, MIS '09; Nina Rodriguez, MBA '12; James Poole, BBA/MBA '10; and Rosie Thompson, BBA '11, MBA '13. 

  Saturday's honorees pictured with the faculty who nominated them.  


Mardi Gras Celebration

Mardi Gras!  In French, it means "Fat Tuesday," referencing the last day to celebrate and indulge in fancy food before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

In the Student Center on Tuesday, RMU students put on some shiny beads, feathered masks and sampled some King Cake. Certain pieces of King Cake have a little plastic baby baked inside - they were the winning slices for more Mardi Gras hats.

Despite the cold outside, it was like New Orleans inside, with live music by a Creole band. A great way to take a study break!




Read the latest edition of MGSMessenger here!


Chicago Shorts Festival Calls for Entries

If you attend college in Illinois, grab your camera and start shooting. Those of you in Wisconsin and Indiana, you’re included too. Robert Morris University Illinois invites all college students to participate in The Chicago Shorts Festival.  Together with DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago, the schools are encouraging would-be filmmakers to create short films that take on a conceptual approach to the theme of “Planet at Risk.” What defines YOUR planet?”  The films will be screened at each school and the culminating event with the announcement of the festival winners will be at the Gene Siskel Theater on April 14, 2014.

Artist Shelley LaMantia, Dean of Experiential Development Through the Arts at Robert Morris, has been working with students in organizing the event.  “To have a theme for a film festival is not common,” she said.  “We are trying to encourage students to think conceptually by suggesting that they put themselves into the question of ‘what is your planet?’  They should make it personal – where does this idea begin? In your home, neighborhood, at work, at school?  And where does risk enter the picture? Is it trying to juggle time, is your environment? Your planet and the risks to it are not summed up by natural disaster and endangered species. It’s much, much more. And it can be uplifting and motivational, or perhaps a humorous approach to a very broad question.”

In addition to the fame that will accompany the winning entry, there will be $1,000 in cash prizes.  It is free to enter and free to attend the screenings.  Submissions will be accepted February 15 through March 15, 2014.

Students are directed to begin the application process through the Festival website: and can email questions to


Designing for Good

With the holiday season a month gone, the scramble to finish Christmas shopping or plan family events are comfortably in the past.  We may be struggling with the weather, but at least we don’t have to dash out to the store for those Daniel Green slippers we forgot to buy for Aunt Louisa. 

Thinking back to December, a group of RMU students found themselves in their own scramble:  they had an assignment for a class and once completed, the effort wouldn’t only result in a final grade.  They didn’t know it at the time, but they would end up getting much more in return than they gave.

Mary Russell is a graphic arts professor and this past quarter, she has been teaching freshmen.  She decided to challenge them with a unique project.  The assignment was to create a project – as a group – that resulted in something that benefited the community.

Usually, students step into an art class and are expected to create a design projects that will highlight their own individual talents, and will ultimately take a prominent place in their final portfolios.  The opportunity Ms. Russell placed before them was one that required them to not only work as a team, but to also take their own egos and personal gain completely out of the picture.

The results were amazing.  In just three weeks, the students came up with the idea of creating a coloring book for kids. Their intended organization was Ronald McDonald House. Each student created a page and together they compiled a book called “Holiday Rascals.”  They all agree that the process was just as important as the final product.

“Learning and working with the Illustrator program really mimicked what we would do in a design firm,” said one student.  They started out with a bit of chaos, “but once we figured out our roles, it all came together.” 

As most students will affirm, team projects are instrumental in the learning experience at Robert Morris.  Sometimes the team clicks instantly – other times it doesn’t.  One person may do most of the work or another doesn’t seem to make his or her deadlines.  Most teams look for strengths and talents in their members.  The best experiences are when everyone helps one another and can ultimately take pride in the best result.

The group managed to get the project completed before Christmas.  They worked with the copy center at RMU and had 100 copies ready for the kids at Ronald McDonald House by December 23.  “They were very happy with the gift,” added Ms. Russell.  “It was a small but very much appreciated item for the kids to find on Christmas morning.”


RMU Illinois Men's Bowling Team receives championship rings from President Viollt

Players and coaches of the RMU Illinois Men's Bowling Team from the Chicago campus were invited to the President's Office on Wednesday, January 29 to receive their championship rings from President Michael Viollt.  The occasion celebrated the 2013 USBC Intercollegiate National Championship and the 2013 NAIA Invitational Championship.  President Viollt extended his best wishes to the team for bringing another championship to RMU, and added his hope for another successful season.



Robert Morris University Illinois Signs Articulation Agreement with MacCormac College Chicago

RMU Provost Mablene Krueger and MacCormac College Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Mary Ann Rowan, Ph.D., signed an articulation agreement today, allowing associate degree MacCormac graduates to transfer to RMU as juniors. To complete a bachelor’s degree at RMU, MacCormac students need to complete 96 quarter hours of RMU coursework.

Additionally, students will receive the RMU two-year guarantee, which allows them to take as many courses as desired, but only pay for two academic years. They are also eligible for a scholarship of $2000 per quarter for six quarters.

MacCormac College offers associate degrees in such legal and business oriented programs as court reporting, paralegal studies, criminal justice, business and entrepreneurship. These programs of study easily correspond to the freshman and sophomore classes in RMU baccalaureate programs in Business Administration in Management or Professional Studies in Law Enforcement or Law Office Administration.

“Robert Morris is pleased to offer a seamless transfer experience to MacCormac graduates,” said Provost Krueger. Dr. Rowan added that, “MacCormac College is honored to be entering this agreement with RMU and is delighted with the opportunities this provides our graduates.”

For further information on transfer opportunities at Robert Morris University, call 800-762-5960 or consult the website,

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 7000 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.

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

Representatives of Robert Morris University Illinois and MacCormac College gather for the signing of an articulation agreement between the schools. Left to right from RMU:  Nicole Farinella, Sr. VP for Enrollment Management;  Catherine Lockwood, VP for Adult Undergraduate and Graduate Education; Stella Mach, Dean of Student Information; Mablene Krueger, Provost; Paula Diaz, Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Mary Ann Rowan, Ph.D., Dean of Academic and Student Affairs of MacCormac College; Larry Nieman, Dean of RMU's School of Business Administration; Andy Berger, RMU Director of Admissions; and Peter Murray, Program Director, General Education of MacCormac College.     Mablene Krueger, left, and Mary Ann Rowan, right, sign the Articulation Agreement between Robert Morris University and MacCormac College.   Nicole Farinella and Mablene Krueger of RMU give Mary Ann Rowan and Peter Murray of MacCormac College a tour of the Chicago campus, including the RMU Institute of Culinary Arts.    


RMU Painting Guild Tours Pilsen Studio

The Robert Morris University Painting Guild provides coaching and tutoring for a select number of students who desire to pursue and advance their artistic talents, regardless of their programs of study.  Robert Hutchison, art faculty member, provides much of this direction and he often enlists the knowledge and expertise of area artists in exposing guild members to different styles and experiences of those who make their livings as artists.

Recently, Mr. Hutchison took guild members to the studios of Oscar Luis Martinez in the Pilsen Art District of Chicago.  The students heard first hand of Mr. Martinez’s philosophy, style and technique as an oil painter of the abstract.  “My artwork is about creating the appearance of stories and dramas that are based on reality, dreams and the imagination,” he explained.

Also on display in his studio is the work of artist Paul Sierra. Much of Mr. Sierra’s work depicts tragedy and disaster, with a distinctive reminiscence of woodblock prints by Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige.  A native of Cuba, Mr. Sierra feels that, “art has provided me a means for leaving the past behind; not getting lost in the limbo between the old and the new.”



8th Annual Roto Grip Eagles Baker Challenge

Once again, the RMU Eagles dominated the 8th Annual Roto Grip Eagles Baker Challenge in Addison this weekend. The Chicago women's team came in first of 22 and the Chicago men's team was first of 24. Our women's Peoria team came in 4th place and our men's Peoria team came in 16th. The Springfield women ranked 12th, the Lake County women ranked 22nd. The two-day tournament with 24 colleges and universities literally took over Stardust Bowl as student athletes, coaches and a huge contingent of parents and fans crammed the facility. RMU parents attended in great numbers - not only to cheer on their sons and daughters, but to raise funds in support of the University's bowling program with a successful raffle of donated prizes. Way to go, RMU Eagles and RMU Parents! We're proud of you!


Professional Development Week

Each year, the Morris Graduate School of Management sponsors Professional Development Week, a series of workshops and guest speakers that allow students and alumni to gain insight from some top executives in the area. Robert Morris welcomed Dr. Greg Morris, Managing Partner of Morrishumml, LLC; Bill McClinton, Deputy Director of Human Resources of the Social Security Administration, and Latasha Gillespie, Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Caterpillar.

The series was capped by a reception in the Culinary Dining Room, complete with fabulous appetizers and desserts created by RMU culinary students. Attendees had the chance to network and mingle while enjoying a wonderful holiday spread.


RMU Student Honored
The weather outside was frightful on Sunday evening, but inside University Center on State and Congress, it was truly delightful. Students from Robert Morris, Roosevelt, Columbia and DePaul universities who participated in the UCan Lead series, a Leadership Development program, gathered for an award celebration called "Lights on the Terrace." RMU student Jennifer Davis completed the five-seminar program, each of which highlights a different area of social change through leadership.

In addition to recognizing the UCan Lead students, attendees participated in different holiday crafts, including "Make Your Own Outrageous Christmas Sweater," Gingerbread House Construction, ornament and stocking crafts, and enjoying holiday music, hot chocolate and an array of snacks and treats.

Congratulations to all the students from all the universities who participated in this wonderful program.



Following the Eagles

As the RMU Women's Soccer team traveled down to Alabama for the NAIA Championship Tournament, don't think that they made the trip alone. RMU students back in Illinois followed the games via computer feed in the Student Center.

Tuesday's fabulous win over Vanguard University in the second round was a great accomplishment for the team. RMU was ranked 20th and claimed a 2-1 victory over sixth seeded Vanguard.

In Wednesday's game against Northwood University in the NAIA quarterfinal, however, a win was not in the cards. The Eagles lost 2 to 1 during a rainy game at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

On behalf of the entire RMU community, great season, Eagles! Congratulations on getting RMU into the national tournament!

captions: Students follow Wednesday's RMU Women's soccer game closely on the televisions in the Chicago campus Student Center.

Students and athletes of different sports supported the RMU Women's soccer team.  



Holiday Festivities

It's the first week of winter quarter, and it's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas. Students at the Chicago campus enjoyed a buffet of holiday desserts as they managed a break in the Student Center in between classes. Nothing like some chocolate dipped strawberries or decorated gingerbread cookies to add some sparkle to a gloomy December day



Accreditors Visit Springfield and Peoria Campuses 

In November, RMU administrators and faculty and staff members of the College of Nursing and Health Studies from the Springfield and Peoria campuses welcomed accreditors from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). "It was a very successful site visit," said Blase Romence,
DC, Medical Assisting Program Director for RMU's Central IL Region. Site visit team members Lauren Perlstein, RN, MSN and Mindy McDonald, BS, CMA spent three days at the Springfield and Peoria campuses reviewing the RMU medical assisting program. It was a great review - congratulations to all involved in highlighting our wonderful central Illinois programs!  


Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations to RMU students who participated in the November graduation ceremony at Arie Crown Theater. You are now RMU alumni!

Check out our slide show of this special day: 


Peoria Eagles Unite to Help Washington

It was a great day for the RMU-Peoria Eagles today! The hockey team was joined by members of the women's hockey team and bowlers in their second day of helping the volunteers of Washington IL Tornado Recovery sort and organize food and clothing donations. The hockey team also donated $300 worth of toiletries to the cause.

Coach Sanchez said "It was a great opportunity to give back to our community. Many friends of ours have been affected by the tornadoes in Central Illinois and we feel very fortunate to be able to help those in need." The Hockey team will be looking for more dates to volunteer their services. There is so much to do.


Congratulations RMU Graduates 


On Saturday, November 16, faculty, staff, alumni, students and families gathered in Arie Crown Theater for the fall commencement ceremony. Members of the 2013 graduating class of Morris Graduate School of Management and Robert Morris University received their diplomas as family members and friends watched proudly.  Best wishes to all graduates as you step into a promising future. More photos are available at

Robert Morris University Inducts Students to Sigma Beta Delta Honors Society

The School of Business Administration at Robert Morris University inducted 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 at the Chicago campus were inducted: Renee Ausberry (Chicago-60615), Mariela Garcia (Chicago-60652) and Andrew Preston (Chicago-60625); Veronica Serrano from Wheeling; Alex Sobel from Bartlett; Christopher Butorac from Lima, Ohio; Joshua Regnier from Enfield, Connecticut, and Tawni Vollmer of Tecumseh, Michigan.

The following DuPage campus students were inducted: Ebonee Adams, Dominic Partipilo and Tyler Karl of Aurora; Andrew Read of Naperville, and J. Alfredo Cuevas of West Chicago.

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.


November 8, 2013 Proclamation Ceremony

Prior to the Senior Manager’s Meeting on Friday, several groups and individuals were recognized by the RMU Board of Trustees for their efforts on behalf of Robert Morris University and its mission to offer professional, career-focused education in a collegiate setting to diverse communities.

The following were honored:

Carrie Roath Ernst, Director of Education, for implementing the institutional chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, the honor society for freshmen.   Dr. Faisal Akkawi and Dr. Kayed Akkawi, for their published books on database and server administration.   Lisa Contreras, Vice President of Information Systems and Arlene Regnerus, Vice President of Student Accounts, for developing a portal giving students earlier and ongoing access to Admissions, Academics and Financial Services.  
The RMU Medical Assisting Faculty, Dr. Manoze Kaushal and Dr. Denise Gray for authoring a Medical Assisting Practicum Guide.   Margarite Loew, faculty member, for her efforts in creating the partnership with John Marshall Law School for the Bachelor’s/JD opportunity.   Tony Frais, President of the Student Veteran Association, for his work in growing the organization and building a presence at RMU.   Brandon Neville of the Peoria Hockey team, for representing USA in the World Deaf Hockey Championships in Finland.  
The Eagle Scholar Mentors in Orland Park, for creating a mission statement, “Improving Student Relations One Mentor at a Time” and applying that philosophy to their work with students.Gina Guarascio, Madilyn Joyce, Pat Kustok, Rachael Miller, Greg Morrill and Andrew McByrd accepted the award on behalf of all the Scholars.   ICenter Students, for their project with Bar & Waitstaff, Inc., that developed web enhancements, social media, advertising and market analysis. Accepting the award were RMU students Christine Davis and Jeff Wuestenfeld, Professor William Bodlak and Len Kazmierczak of B&W.   Tim Reboletti, Karim Elkoneicy and Durga Kiran Melmpati, students who tied for first place in the GLO-BUS competition against 88 schools worldwide.  
Dale Lehman, Bowling Coach and Program Coordinator, Women’s Bowling Coach of the Year.   David Pyle, faculty member, Teacher of the Year on Lite-FM.   John Natanek, RMU Women’s Basketball Coach, NAIA Association of Independent Institutions Coach of the Year.   Jared Williamson, RMU Football Coach, NAIA Independent Coach of the Year.







Robert Morris University Illinois is a private, not-for-profit associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree-granting institution, accredited by the Higher learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, 312.263.0456). Robert Morris serves over 7000 students interested in getting an education that meets the demands of today's business, graphic arts, health care, culinary and technical world at its main campus in Chicago as well as at locations in Arlington Heights, DuPage, Elgin, Orland Park, Bensenville, Schaumburg, Springfield, Peoria and Lake County.