Seniors finish up their college careers with symposium presentations

Seniors finish up their college careers with symposium presentations

For graduating seniors at Rochester College, one last challenge stands in their way nine days before graduation: Academic Symposium.

An institution-wide project for all graduating seniors, Academic Symposium, which started in 2003, is an event where RC seniors present their capstone projects in either a formal classroom project or a more informal poster session where students summarize their projects to interested visitors.

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Campus store discounts RC apparel while transitioning to new name

Campus store discounts RC apparel while transitioning to new name

Jennifer Pyszk, campus store manager, said she is no longer ordering merchandise that displays Rochester College or RC. “We will continue to sell what we have but at a discounted price. Everything with RC on it is now 30 percent off the marked price. We hope this allows everyone to grab a few more things that are RC before it's too late!”

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Evolution of Shield

Evolution of Shield

Many colleges and universities have their own school newspaper or magazine that they publish for students to read. Here at Rochester College, we have our own called Shield. Back in 2000, Lora Hutson and Rochester College founded Shield. Over the past 18 years, there have been many changes that have taken place. After reading this article, hopefully you will see how Shield has evolved, the additions that have taken place and the benefits of taking Shield as a class.

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Who is Sharia Hays? A New Face in Community Living

Who is Sharia Hays? A New Face in Community Living

Sharia Hays, RC’s new assistant dean of community living, comes to Michigan after eight years as director of residence life at Mississippi College, a Christian university in Clinton, Mississippi. Prior to that, she was a residence hall director at Baylor University.  

Hays attended George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, for her bachelor’s degree and then earned her master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, where she is currently working on her doctoral degree.

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Who Let the Puppies Out?

Who Let the Puppies Out?

“Bella! Bellaaaa,” says junior Griffin Burton. It seems as though this kind of event that occurs when Burton opens her room to a guest happens all too often. Bella, a yellow lab and Burton’s Leader Dog in training, has squeezed her way out of the gap that Burton has created in the doorway and has darted into the hall to greet me. Burton has just returned from work, and before that, golf practice, and is not amused in the least. I put my notebook, phone and pen in one hand, and help funnel Bella back into Burton’s room in Barbier with the other.

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Residential life changes give students more responsibility

Residential life changes give students more responsibility

Rochester College residential students are experiencing two substantial changes this year with no curfew and open-house policies.

For the first time in the school’s history, freshmen, who primarily reside in the Alma Gatewood Residential Hall, don’t have to be back in their dorm rooms by midnight on Sundays through Thursday nights and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Jennifer Perreault joins staff as assistant professor

Jennifer Perreault.jpg

by Lily Cochenour
Staff Writer

What brought you to RC and why do you choose to work here?

Actually I was looking for a place to teach. I've always wanted to teach because I've taught nurses at the hospital but I never had the time. They didn’t have the time; they had their patients. They didn't have time to sit down and learn the things I was trying to talk about. So I started doing clinicals, and doing clinicals I was like, wow, that's all these students had time to do, was learn. So then from there, I was like 'let me go even deeper and be in the classroom' but you have to have your master's degree for that. So I said as soon as I get my master's degree, [RC] is where I want to work. There is just something about this school—the students, the faculty—it’s very welcoming and it’s a very good environment. When I was taking the students to clinics, even the hospital [professionals] would say: "Where are these students from? They are so nice, they are so polite, they really want this." I thought: "That’s where I want to work. Where people want us to come back and be there." I’m asked all the time, "When are you bringing the Rochester students back?" So it’s really nice.

Describe what you do on a typical work day.

Usually I get into the classroom, if I’m doing a lecture class, a half hour before. My students will already know what chapters we are going over. So they will have already read, and I’ll pull out the important things in that chapter. If I have a hour lecture, I’ll just pull out what’s really important and explain it in a deeper level. I’ll bring in real life situations. So I will come in teach my lecture class, answer any questions, and that’s a lecture day. On a lab day, I will explain a skill, show how to do a skill, and they will practice their skill. Another day would be a clinical. A clinical day, I will take them to the hospital. They will each get a patient and I will teach them how to be a nurse—how to safely pass meds, how to care for patients, how to talk to doctors. Everyday is different, lots of questions.

What have you learned about RC since being here?

That faculty wise, the administration is really here for us. That everybody has the student's best interest first. It's obvious. Whatever time is expected of you, everybody gives it more time because we want the best for our students. That’s what I noticed and I can't stress how nice everybody is here. And it's a genuine nice. It’s not just a "hi." It's a “hi, how are you?”

What is your proudest achievement in life?

Getting my master's degree because I started at OCC to be a nurse and I got my associate's degree and at that point I was done. I said I'm good I'm happy with my associates degree and i never ever planned on going back to school. I thought, "oh my gosh a master's degree is so far from anything that I could obtain," but then I see more doors are going to open, if I get my bachelor's degree. If you look at all these other jobs, a bachelor's degree is required.  So after that, I figured I'm done because I don't think I can do a master's degree. So then I said I might as well try it because now it's saying bachelor's degree required, master's degree preferred. When I got it [master's], it was a very proud moment for me because I never thought I could do that.

Where did you work previously? Tell me about that job and responsibilities.

I worked at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac as a registered nurse for almost 10 years. Then I also worked at Dorsey Nursing School for two years with the LPN program so I can get practice to come here.

Where did you grow up? Describe.

I grew up in Troy, Michigan, in a house my mom and dad bought one month before I was born. We lived there until I was 18 years old. Unfortunately then my parents split. Then I stayed with my mom. My house was right next to my elementary school, so I'd be sitting and I heard the bell ring and I go to school. I would come home for lunch and my mom would make me lunch. From kindergarten to fifth grade, my house was the first house across from the school. My mom did daycare for the teachers.

What is your pet peeve in the workplace?

 Probably disrespect. If I see anybody disrespect anybody, if I'm disrespected, that's my biggest pet peeve. There's no reason for it or talking behind someone’s back. If you have something to say, you should bring it to the person. It just has so much drama. If you have something you have to say, say it in a respectful way.

What are your hobbies? Exotic? Stress-relieving?

I went to school forever. I didn't have time for a lot of hobbies, but I enjoy going on vacation.

Tell me about your pets. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

I have a nine-year-old Mini-Schnauzer named Bailey. Actually I bought her for my mom because she really wanted a dog. For her birthday, I bought her a dog. Two years later, she passed away, so now Bailey's my dog. She goes to dog daycare when I work long days  because as a nurse I work 12, 13, 14 hour days and you can't leave a dog home that long. I take her to doggie daycare and she plays. Definitely dog person; actually I’m allergic to cats.

What do you go home to everyday after work?

Usually making dinner or going out to dinner, preferably going out to dinner. I go home, deal with dinner, and then spend at least an hour or two at night preparing for the next day.

What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today? What did you learn from that experience? What advice do you have for others?

Maybe an obstacle when I was younger is the confidence level—telling myself that I can't do something, that it's too far out of my reach. Just do it. I never really fully bought into that when I was younger. I think it's the confidence level and always thinking I don't know if I can do this. I wish I had the confidence I have now, back then. maybe then I would have done everything a little bit faster. If I would have built my confidence faster, I would have been where I am a little bit sooner. I'm just happy that I'm where I'm at.

Who is your biggest influence? Role model?

My mom. My mom was the role model, very strong, independent, always did what had to be done and got things done, treated people right, took care of us.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Tripping in front of a whole bunch of people. I was wearing flip-flops walking into a building. My flip-flop caught the runner in between the door, and I tripped and fell in front of everyone. My books went flying. I was so embarrassed.

Theatre shows range from serious looks at life to light-hearted stories

By Abby Metty
Guest Writer


With productions focusing on the serious to the light-hearted, Rochester College theatre department will entertain and challenge its audiences throughout the 2017-18 season.

The season begins with “Wit,” which tells the story of a woman who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and reassesses her life throughout her the course of her illness. She moves from looking at life through a rational viewpoint to one of humor and insight. The next productions of “Wit” are Thursday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 1.

           The second show this semester is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which will run on the weekends of Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-19. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved stories, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” features four characters who decide to enter the forest to get away from an overbearing father. They find the forest inhabited by warring factions of fairies and a blundering group of actors. Soon, all these lives begin to intertwine.

    Annika Huey, a junior theatre major, is appearing in both fall productions. She says she is excited to perform in “Wit” since it is her first show since she returning from studying abroad in Europe. She also will be a fairy in the upcoming production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

    The first show of the spring semester is “Proof,” which is about a troubled young woman who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father. Following his death, she has to deal with new emotions, relationships and a discovery of her father’s mysterious notebook. “Proof” will run the weekends of Feb. 8-11 and Feb. 15-18.

The fourth and final show of the theatre season will be “Into the Woods,” which takes storybook characters and brings them together for a timeless and enchanting piece. The show will run on the weekends of April 12-15 and April 19-22.

RC Theatre performances are created by a variety of individuals on campus, from faculty and employees to students and alumni. Tickets for individual shows are $5 students, $12 for adults in advance, and $15 for adults at the door.

For more information on each production and to buy tickets, go to