Rock Valley College
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