Troubled Waters- September 10

The newly formed Institute of World Affairs & Trade at Rockford University (IWAT) will host its first of many community discussions on critical issues affecting our region. IWAT will present “Troubled Waters in International Trade: Impact on Northern Illinois Community” from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on September 10th at the Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main Street, Rockford. The event is free and open to the public.

The discussion on international trade will focus on how the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit), and trade disputes between US-China and Korea-Japan could significantly impact most local businesses, manufacturing or service, agriculture, and investors.

Mark Tokola, former US Senior Foreign Service Officer, Minister Counselor of Political Affairs to the US Embassy in the UK and current VP of Korea Economic Institute of America, and Roxana Idu, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor of Economics, Puri School of Business, Rockford University, will provide insight on the topic with Manzullo moderating the session.

“The benchmark of a successful democracy is an informed citizenry, and institutions of higher learning have often carried the responsibility to serve as a facilitator of dialog and convener of great minds,” said IWAT director, Catherine Forslund, Ph.D. “Rockford University has a long tradition of not only producing thoughtful graduates positioned to lead their organizations, communities and world but also providing its public with a forum to exchange ideas. Such community conversations help us carry on that tradition.”

“The goal of IWAT is to help invigorate education, conversation and action about some of the most pressing issues facing our community, region and world,” said Donald Manzullo, J.D., senior advisor and associate director of IWAT. “Our approach – in this session and those in the future – is continue to explore those issues relevant to our region through special events, seminars, debates and guest speakers.”

To RSVP for the event, call 815-543-5550 or e-mail

The Institute of World Affairs and Trade at Rockford University is a non-partisan public policy organization dedicated to thought-provoking and useful exploration of global issues and their impact on local, regional, national, and global levels.

The Institute expands and externalizes conversations about wide-ranging subjects related to global affairs and international trade. By facilitating conversations around topics most pressing to the social and economic situations our region shares with the world, IWAT promotes greater public knowledge and global perspective.

 IWAT is being led by its director, Catherine Forslund, Ph.D. and senior advisor and associate director, Donald Manzullo, J.D. Forslund is the Isabel Ross Abbott Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Rockford University and Chair of the Department of History, Politics, and International Studies. Manzullo is the former President and CEO of Korea Economic Institute of America (2013-2018) and U.S. Congressman representing Northern Illinois (1993-2013).

Click here to download the flyer!

​Clearing the Air about Radon- October 9

The University of Illinois Extension will host “Clearing the Air about Radon” on October 9, 2019, where program participants will learn what radon is and how it enters a home, the danger it poses, and how a home can be tested for radon.  Discussion will also include information about reducing the radon levels in a home, including contact information for licensed radon professionals in the area that can help homeowners through the process of testing and mitigation.

“Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that could be building up in your home,” warns Jay Solomon, Energy and Environmental Educator with University of Illinois Extension. “Unlike other harmful gas, radon does not have any immediate impacts on you. It creates damage over time leading to lung cancer risks, through exposure to elevated levels. ” 

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. This colorless, odorless gas is found in many homes throughout Illinois.   “The only way to know the radon level in your home is to conduct a test of the home,” Solomon continued. 

Plan to attend one of the “Clearing the Air about Radon” workshops to learn more about this silent foe. Two workshops will be held on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.  University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County will hold their workshop at 1 p.m. at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau, 1350 W. Prairie Dr., Sycamore, IL; and University of Illinois Extension Boone County will hold their workshop at 6 pm at the Boone County Extension Meeting Room, 205 Cadillac Ct. Ste. 5, Belvidere, IL. 

Registration is $10 per household and each household will receive a set of informational materials and a radon test kit through an Illinois Emergency Management Agency Radon Awareness Grant. 

Pre-registration is requested to attend one of these Radon programs.  To register for either location, please visit our website at: or by calling University of Illinois Extension in DeKalb County at (815) 758-8194 or Boone County at (815) 544-3710.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Extension office.  Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

Seed Saving Program - September 9

Seed saving is the practice of saving seeds from vegetables, grain, herbs, and flowers for use from year to year in your garden.  This practice has a long history and has recently started to regain popularity among gardeners.  It takes a bit of knowledge and proper planning in order to be successful with seed saving and now is the perfect time to start saving seeds from your gardens.  Join University of Illinois Extension Boone County Master Gardeners for a FREE presentation and learn the history, methods, and planning techniques for saving seeds from the garden.

This presentation will be on Monday, September 9 at Ida Public Library located at 320 N. State Street, Belvidere.  It will be from 6:00-7:30pm.  While this is a FREE program, participants are encouraged to register by Friday, September 6.  To register, contact Ida Public Library at 815-544-3838.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Boone County Extension office at 815-544-3710.