Harper Film Wins at Berkeley Festival, College Savings Answers

Harper College Professor Kurt Hemmer and Media Productions Coordinator Tom Knoff spent a year turning footage from a 2002 campus visit by Beat Generation poet Ted Joans into a thoughtful documentary on his life, his work, and its effect on the litany of artists who knew him.

 

Harper Film Wins at Berkeley Festival

Harper College Professor Kurt Hemmer and Media Productions Coordinator Tom Knoff spent a year turning footage from a 2002 campus visit by Beat Generation poet Ted Joans into a thoughtful documentary on his life, his work, and its effect on the litany of artists who knew him. It paid off. The film, completed in 2009, has earned the duo the 2010 Berkeley Video and Film Festival's Grand Festival Arts Award. Hemmer and Knoff will travel to California this month to accept the award; the film, Wow! Ted Joans Lives!, will be screened Saturday, September 25 at the Berkeley festival. "We're really proud; we spent a long, long time working on this," Hemmer says. "At the same time, we're also happy just to provide a more public glimpse into the life of such a fascinating person." Joans, who was born in Cairo, Ill. and died about a year after his 2002 Harper visit, interacted with a list of people that read like a Who's Who of his generation, Hemmer says: He corresponded with Salvador Dali, met Tennessee Williams and Malcolm X, and is mentioned by Bob Dylan in a memoir. He spent a great deal of his life traveling the world - particularly Europe and Africa - and claims to have read his work in more African countries than any other American poet. Footage from his Harper visit is at the heart of Hemmer and Knoff's documentary, but the film also incorporates photographs from Joans' life, older footage of a 1950s reading in New York City, and scenes of two Harper students performing portions of his work. Hemmer and Knoff used funds from a Harper multicultural grant - intended to support work that promotes multicultural understanding - to make the documentary a reality. The Joans film is the third that Hemmer and Knoff have completed together; all have focused on Beat Generation writers, with a goal of showcasing their work to students and the public. The documentary will be used in Harper literature courses, and will, like other documentaries the duo have done, be provided for free to anyone who requests it. Requests for the previous films have come from across world. For details or to receive a copy, email khemmer@harpercollege.edu.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


College Savings Answers

The cost of college tuition, room and board at four-year public institutions rose by 30 percent from 1998 to 2008. It's still growing - and so is the United States' student loan debt, which reached $850 billion this summer, topping the nation's outstanding credit card debt. Harper College will host a free seminar aimed at showing parents, grandparents and others how to navigate the daunting college-funding process and financially prepare for the impending price of higher education. The "Saving for College" session is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 6 in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The event will offer tips from a panel of college experts and professional advisors. "Whether the young person in your life is 4 or 14, it's not too early - nor too late - to start investing in their education," says Katherine Sawyer, Associate Executive Director of the Harper College Educational Foundation. "Saving that money, though, can be daunting, particularly amid rising tuition and a bad economy. This seminar will give attendees the confidence and know-how to start saving immediately." The event is the latest in the 2010-11 Harper Heritage Seminar Series, a collection of free monthly sessions sponsored by the College's Foundation. The series covers a wide range of topics, from the latest estate and income tax laws to end-of-life issues like ethical wills and advanced directives. Sessions are led by industry professionals as a public service to Harper's community. To register, call 847.925.6490 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/foundation.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Storm Chaser

Most people seek shelter when tornadoes hit. Extreme storm chaser Reed Timmer, on the other hand, actively pursues the spiraling funnel cloud. He chases supercells, tornadoes and hurricanes, and lives for times when the weather is nasty. "I really do love it," he says, "especially if it's driving rain. Horizontal rain is the best." Timmer, who is kicking off his fourth season on the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, will bring the audience along on his adrenaline-rush ride during an appearance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 5 in the Harper College Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. His talk will examine his controversial obsession with Mother Nature's most dangerous side - and his denial that he's a wild-weather junkie. "I've devoted myself to science," says Timmer, a Ph.D. candidate in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. "I'm 90 percent scientist. If I were a thrill-seeker, I would be skydiving." Timmer, who traces his weather obsession to his childhood, said it all started when a severe thunderstorm dropped golf ball-sized hail in his backyard. Timmer has devoted his life to "seeing as many tornadoes as possible," and has captured more than 150 twisters on video that is later loaded on his website, tornadovideos.net. The website's popularity was one factor in the Discovery Channel asking Timmer to join Storm Chasers. Tickets for his Harper visit are $9 for general admission; call 847.925.6100 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/boxoffice for more information.

Press Contact: Terry Karow, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist, 847.925.6627, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.


Finding Your Way

Ask Fred Weiss about the practical applications of the subject he teaches, and he'll point to Google Earth: Its 3D maps and satellite imaging are real-world examples of the concepts he outlines to his GIS students. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. "Think of Google Earth, and then think a thousand-fold beyond that," says Weiss, who's heading up Harper College's fall GIS-focused course. "The applications of this field are pretty much endless." GIS (geographical information systems) technology allows users to view data in the form of interactive maps, making it easier to understand information and discover patterns and trends. Because it's applicable to so many areas - from business and marketing to science and government - GIS is among America's top emerging technological job fields. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook, overall employment is projected to grow much faster than average for GIS-related positions. "This class is perfect for adult students looking for a new career area," Weiss says, "or for students who already are established in a career but want to apply new concepts to what they do every day." Harper's course, offered through the College's geography department, will cover the GIS basics: what it is, how it works, and how it can be used in the real world. The class, GEG 151, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning September 22. Students who complete the GIS course and Harper's Market Research class - MKT 255, beginning Thursday, September 23 - can earn a Marketing Research Certificate. For details, email fweiss@harpercollege.edu or vmormino@harpercollege.edu or call 847.925.6700 for admissions help. Weiss holds a master's in geography and owns his own GIS company.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

 

Photo Opportunities

Event: Latinos Unidos dance lessons, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

Date: Noon Wednesday, September 22

Location: Student Center, main floor of Building A

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

 

Event: Alumni Baseball Game, featuring alumni and current Harper College baseball players

Date: Sunday, September 26 (Batting Practice starts at 1 p.m.; First Pitch is at 2:30 p.m.)

Location: Harper College Baseball Field

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.

 

Event: Latinos Unidos dance contest in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

Date: Noon Wednesday, September 29

Location: Student Center, main floor of Building A

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Specialist, 847.925.6159, kpohl@harpercollege.edu.