Rockford, Illinois

Distinguished Alumni Nomination

Rock Valley College established the Distinguished Alumni award to recognize alumni who bring the highest distinction to themselves, their community, and serve as a role model for Rock Valley College students. Candidates exemplify the qualities of outstanding character and citizenship. Candidates' achievements will be weighed by a selection committee, considering favorably those individuals who bring the greatest distinction to Rock Valley College.

Nomination and Selection Process

  • Nominations may be submitted at any time.
  • Nominations which are not selected may be held over for consideration another year.
  • Any faculty, alumnus, or other interested person may submit a candidate for consideration.


  • Nominees must be able to demonstrate how Rock Valley College has influenced their educational and career path. Preference will be given to those individuals who have completed a certificate or degree program at Rock Valley College.
  • All nominees must have completed a degree or certificate program, or have completed significant credit hours toward their future career field.

Nomination Requirements


  • A completed nomination form – all sections must be answered as completely as possible.


  • A brief biological overview and description of Rock Valley College's impact (total up to 2 pages).
  • Two letters of support from employers, civic leaders, colleagues, etc.
  • Support materials, including newspaper clippings, etc. (optional)

Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form (to be completed by Nominator)  

I wish to nominate the following individual for the Rock Valley College Distinguished Alumni Award:




RVC Distinguished Alumni

Chris Beck - Former RVC Board of Trustees member

Brent Bernardi - President, Alpha Controls & Services

The Rev. Denver Bitner, D.Min. – Pastor and Community Activist

JoAnn Burkholder, Ph.D. – Scientist/Professor, North Carolina State University

Stanley E. Campbell – Community Activist

Dan Carter – Director, Penn State University Theatre Department

Dr. Susan Sciame-Giesecke - Dean of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University

Dr. Steven Gunderson - CEO/Medical Director, Rockford Ambulatory Surgery

John R. Hackett, Jr. Ph.D. – Research Fellow, Abbott Laboratories

Kristine J. Hammerstrand – State Library System Director

Karen M. & Steven J. Herdklotz

Dr. Glenda R. Hildreth - Principal, Whitehead School

James J. Johnson - President, Minnesota State College- Southeast Technical

Rebecca A. Johnson, Ph.D. – Professor; Director of Center on Aging–University of Missouri

Jenny Kosinski - Rock Valley College Assistant Professor and Social Sciences Department Chair

Thomas G. Lichtenheld – Art Director and Children’s Author

Richard A. “Rick” Nielsen – Rock Musician with Cheap Trick

Barclay Olson – President, Greenlee Textron

James R. Pirages, J.D. – Attorney, Advocate for persons with disabilities and human rights

Martin Pocs – Business Leader

Steven B. Pugh – Chief of Police, Rockford

Kevin D. Rice – (posthumous award) Police Detective

Kimberla Lawson Roby – Nationally Published Author

William C. Roop - President & CEO, Alpine Bank

Shannnon M. Sheehan, Ph.D. – Researcher in animal/ nutritional science and ailments of the elderly

James R. Sullivan - Freelance theater artist

David L. Syverson – Illinois State Senator

Larry E. Young - Major League Umpire

Pacesetter Award Winners

Sarah-Eva Carlson - Investars (New York, New York)

David Nyquist - Department of Justice