In June 2010, the Alumni Association Board of Directors voted to confer an annual award recognizing the accomplishments of VanderCook alumni in the early stages of their teaching careers. The Roseanne Rosenthal Excellence in Teaching Award was established to honor alumni who have made outstanding contributions to music education in the first five years of their professional lives. VanderCook’s president, Charlie Menghini, commended the board’s decision. “The Roseanne Rosenthal Award is a wonderful addition to the college's recognition program. Dr. Rosenthal's contributions to the college have played an important role in the institution’s re-emergence as a leader in music education.” he said. “This award will certainly mean a great deal to all who receive it and will inspire VanderCook alumni to continue to bring excellence in teaching, strength in character, and a passion for music to their classrooms."
Alumni are encouraged to present candidates for consideration to the alumni board. A faculty committee reviews all nominations and selects the recipient. The award is presented annually at the Alumni Meeting and Reception.
Chris Nakielski M.M.Ed. 2009
Heather Marshall M.M.Ed. 2012
Heather Marshall, formerly of New Castle, IN, is currently in her second year of teaching instrumental music at the MSD of New Durham Township School Corporation in Westville, IN. In 2010, she completed her undergraduate coursework at Ball State University and went on to enter VanderCook College of Music's Masters and Certification program. During her summers, Marshall has worked at Eastern Illinois University as a camp counselor for the Smith Walbridge Clinics and at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Muskegon, MI as both a counselor and as a unit director. Marshall has had the honor of being part of the Conn-Selmer Institute Volunteer group for the past three years, where she has been able to work closely with the Institute faculty, the Conn-Selmer staff. Marshall received the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfona Award for "Outstanding VanderCook Student" in 2012 and was also the 2012 recipient of the VanderCook "Esprit de Corps" award for "Positive contributions to the musical and social environment of VanderCook College of Music."
Steven Sanders B.M.Ed. 2009
Steven Sanders graduated Valedictorian of the class of 2009. While at VanderCook, he was involved in many extracurricular ensembles in addition to his band, choir and orchestra requirements: jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble and VanderCook’s vocal jazz group, to name a few. Sanders student taught at the University of Chicago Lab School and Valparaiso High School. Currently, Sanders is director of bands at UIC College Prep. He considers it a privilege to have had the opportunity to build this now 200-member program from the ground up. 95% of the students at UIC started playing their instruments in 9th grade, and it is Sanders’ goal to "close the achievement gap" in order to make UIC College Prep's music program the elite program in the City of Chicago.
Andrew Collins B.M.Ed. 2006
Collins is a member of the music faculty at Metea Valley High School in Aurora, IL where he conducts the Cecillian Singers, Bass Chorus, and Varsity Singers, in addition to Madrigals and Vocal Jazz. He also teaches AP Music Theory. Before teaching at Metea, Collins served from 2006-2011 as Director of Choirs and Music Theory at H.D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, IL. Choral ensembles under his direction received many honors - including two invitations to perform at the IMEA All-State Conference and an invitation to perform at the National School Board Association's National Conference, held in San Diego, CA. Collins also serves as one of two IMEA District IX Chorus Representatives and holds professional affiliations with IMEA, MENC, and ACDA.
Adam Hill B.M.Ed. 2005
The inaugural Roseanne Rosenthal Excellence in Teaching award was presented to Adam Hill. Hill is the band director at Romeoville High School in Romeoville IL. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Hill is a member of the Chicago Bears drum line and the Chicago Bulls “Stampede” drum line, and is currently the director and music arranger of the Pioneer Indoor and Independent WGI marching percussion ensembles. He continues to arrange music, judge, clinic, and teach at schools throughout the Chicagoland area.