Rock Valley College

52nd Commencement Exercises at Rock Valley College May 11

Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Media Contact: Dave Costello, 815-921-4516

Rock Valley College will graduate 1,158 students this spring, and 516 of them will participate in RVC’s 52nd annual commencement exercises on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the Physical Education Center (PEC).

Speakers at this year’s ceremony will include 2018 RVC Faculty of the Year award winner, Professor of Speech Amanda Kieper, and student speaker Ryan Wilcox.

Kieper was honored in March as the 30th recipient of the Rock Valley College Faculty of the Year award.

She is a graduate of Rock Valley College and earned her Master’s degree in Communication from Northern Illinois University. She later earned a second Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Classes Kieper has most recently taught at RVC include Fundamentals of Communication (SPH 131), Interpersonal Communication (SPH 201), and Leadership Development (HUM 250). Kieper regularly monitors local, national, and international news to provide timely, relevant, and memorable examples to bring content to life in her classroom, and searches for provocative and intellectually stimulating materials that will increase motivation and sharpen critical thinking skills for her students.

She has also been a dedicated leader of students outside of the classroom. Two years ago she founded SOS (Students of Service), a student organization focused on peer-to-peer crisis intervention to identify students in crisis who need help to stay enrolled at RVC. SOS has raised money to help students pay for books, worked with RVC’s TRIO Student Support Services to keep the food pantry in the Student Center stocked, donated to Toys for Tots, offered bus passes and transportation for students who are challenged by accessibility to RVC locations, and has served as a liaison between students and local organizations who can assist with crisis intervention options.

Wilcox was nominated by a fellow student for this special honor and was selected after auditioning his speech before a panel of judges made up of RVC faculty and staff. Twelve students were nominated this year and 10 chose to audition their speech for the judges.

Wilcox earned recognition on the President's or Dean's list every semester he attended RVC. He was the Editor in Chief for the Valley Forge and a member of the Students for Responsible Environmental Sustainability club. He has been actively involved in student life at RVC, attending many events organized and supported by the Student Government Association and the Campus Activities Board. Ryan has also been a student worker in the CLI faculty support office. Away from campus, he serves the community twice a week as a mentor for a group of middle-school students.

Media Advisory: Reporters/photographers/videographers covering the RVC commencement are advised that venue access will be restricted when the ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m.  If you wish to interview students or college personnel, we request you arrive early. Interviews can also be conducted after the ceremony. Video and still photographers will be allowed to take pictures from around the PEC prior to the ceremony. However, when commencement begins, all picture-taking will be restricted to a designated "photo area" and this policy will be strictly enforced.