Experts and Insights graphic, new speaker series featuring MCC faculty

Experts and Insights

A Speaker Series Featuring MCC Faculty…

This free educational series is a unique opportunity to connect MCC employees, students, and residents to cutting-edge topics that directly impact our local economy and community. The speaker series is free and open to the public but registration is requested. 

If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, contact the Access and Disability Services department at (815) 455-8766 or

Missed a lecture? Watch past lectures »

When OCD Hits Home

September 21, 2023 at 6 p.m.

Robin Deak

Many people are affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)—but it is often a misunderstood diagnosis. Using facts, examples, and personal stories, we’ll dive deeper into what OCD looks like in real life and discuss treatment options for this common disorder.

Register for When OCD Hits Home »

About Robin

Robin Deak, MCC instructor

Robin has taught psychology at MCC for 20 years. Before teaching, she worked for 13 years in social services with various diverse populations. Robin has an associate degree from Harper College, a bachelor’s in psychology from Illinois State University, and a master’s in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University. She was named MCC's Adjunct Faculty of the Year in 2011, and the MCC Full-Time Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) Faculty of the Year in 2021. She has been a co-advisor for the MCC Student Social Science Club for 12 years. Outside of work, Robin enjoys being with family and friends, coaching softball/baseball, and drumming at her church, and the Chicago White Sox.

Jekyll and Hyde Revisited

October 19, 2023, at 6 p.m.

Ted Hazelgrove and Jim Gould

Get in the Halloween spirit with a new take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This well-known work of gothic fiction provides more than just a frightful horror tale: it’s a profound meditation on the duality of good and evil within us. Using role play, film clips, readings, and more, we’ll examine the story's historical background and interpret how the respected Dr. Jekyll loses control of his psyche to the loathsome Mr. Hyde.

Register for Jekyll and Hyde Revisited »

 About Ted and Jim

Ted Hazelgrove

Ted taught writing and literature at MCC for more than 25 years, with an emphasis on Shakespeare and Greek and Roman mythology. He received an MFA in poetry from the University of Arizona and has been an aspiring poet for most of his life. Ted is an avid amateur musician and has an insatiable curiosity for anything new.

Jim Gould

Jim taught for 33 years in the Department of Philosophy at MCC. For 20 years he team-taught classes with Ted Hazelgrove, combining literature and philosophy, like Lord of the Rings and Hunger Games. Jim is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed articles in philosophy, theology, bioethics, disability studies, and higher education curriculum. Since his retirement in 2020, Jim continues to publish in disability studies and serves on the boards of several disability groups and healthcare committees.

Putin's War

November 16, 2023, at 6 p.m.

Ribhi Salhi

In early 2022, the Putin regime cited security concerns to take military action against Ukraine. We’ll dive deeper into this conflict—Russian ambitions, Moscow’s fears of Western domination, and the idea of proxy war. We’ll also discuss expected scenarios, where the US stands, and whether China has an interest in modeling the same war against Taiwan.

Register for Putin's War »

About Ribhi

Ribhi Salhi

Ribhi Salhi, Ph.D. is a faculty member in the Political Science Department at MCC. Since starting with the College in 2008, he has taught classes in Comparative Government, International Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy, International Terrorism, and U.S. Government. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policies and Administration from Walden University, his M.A. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University, and an M.A. in International Relations from Roosevelt University. He is an active member of the Illinois Political Science Association.

He is a three-time recipient of Outstanding Faculty of the Year awards and a three-time nominee for the statewide Illinois Community College Trustees Association's Outstanding Adjunct Faculty award. (2013, 2017, 2022). He is nationally certified by the U.S. Institution of Peace and Diplomacy for teaching Human Rights.

In his free time, he enjoys soccer games and cardio classes.

A History of Blues Culture

January 18, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Pat Gaughan and Nancy Maio

This lecture/live music presentation explores the role oppression played in the development of the blues, from slavery to Jim Crow laws and civil rights struggles. The spirituals, work songs, and slave songs that evolved into the blues are performed live with visual depictions. We’ll also cover the Delta Blues style, the migration North, and the development into Classic Blues.

Register for A History of Blues Culture »

 About Pat and Nancy

Nancy Maio and Pat Gaughn

Pat Gaughan teaches World Music and guitar at MCC as an adjunct Music faculty and through Community Education. She received her Bachelor of Music from the American Conservatory of Music and her master’s in music from Northern Illinois University. Pat performs vocals and guitar on the folk music circuit throughout the Midwest with fiddler Nancy Maio.

Nancy Maio is a violin teacher and performs with several local orchestras including the Racine Symphony, the Festival City Symphony, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic. She is also a sought-after Irish Step Dance competition musician.

Bad Boys: Why We Love (and Need) the Movie Villain

February 15, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Jim Stockwell

Luke without Vader, Buzz without Zurg, Batman without the Joker. With all great heroes come even more important villains. Throughout the history of movies, villains make the films we love more lovable. We will examine the importance of the villain in story writing, discuss the qualities of a villain, and look at some of the most memorable movie villains.

Register for Bad Boys »

 About Jim

Jim Stockwell

Jim has been with MCC since the spring of 2003. He served 11 years as an adjunct before becoming full-time in 2014. He received tenure in 2017. He teaches Introduction to Film, Introduction to Speech, and Advanced Film. In the spring semester, he contributes to MCC’s twofer program, teaching Reel Minds. In addition to his class load, he coaches both the women’s and men’s tennis teams and advises both the Film and Chess Clubs. He wrote his first textbook, Appreciating Film, which he uses in all his classes.

Consciousness: Becoming Self-Aware

March 21, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Bill Zingrone

As infants and toddlers, we slowly build a model of the world, picking up concepts and becoming aware of who we are. We imagine the future and build memories, allowing us to plan our lives and achieve our goals as no other animal can. Discover fascinating details about how the input we conceptualize during these formative years creates our adult-conscious experience as we know it.

Register for Consciousness: Becoming Self-Aware »

 About Bill

Bill Zingrone Bill Zingrone has been teaching Introduction to Psychology, Human Development Over the Lifespan, and Child Development at MCC for more than 15 years. He graduated with his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Northern Illinois University in 2010, with research interests in Cognitive Development and Evolution. Bill is married with 14 grandchildren and is a hockey fan, author, and MCC alumnus.

Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon: The Divorce that Changed the World

April 18, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Sarah Sullivan

Henry VIII is best known as the English king who had six different wives. His efforts to divorce his first wife were made more complicated by the simultaneous turmoil in the Catholic Church and political upheavals across Europe. The story of Henry’s seven-year fight to secure a divorce is a hard-to-believe story that contains intrigue, sex, manipulation, and betrayal. We’ll uncover this surprising story until we get to the juicy ending.

Register for Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon »

 About Sarah

Sarah Sullivan

Sarah Sullivan is an instructor of History and Business and the Department Chair for History, Political Science, and Economics at McHenry County College where she has taught since 1997. She currently teaches US History and Women's History and loves sharing important historical stories that have been forgotten.

Insects: A Farmer’s Friend or Foe?

May 16, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Rich Tobiasz

Insects are ubiquitous. They bite, sting, irritate, and can transmit disease—but they also pollinate flowers, contributing significantly to food production. Are they friends or foes? Can or should they be controlled? Join us for this fascinating look into the world of insects.

Register for Insects: A Farmer’s Friend or Foe? »

 About Rich

Rich Tobiasz Rich grew up in Chicago where his grandmother taught him to garden organically. While he spent most of his working life as a nurse, paramedic, and fire chief, his passion has always been gardening. Today, he operates a small vegetable farm in Spring Grove with his wife, Wendy.  

He has taught at MCC, as he says, “for a long time,” first teaching First Responder, EMT, and Paramedic classes, then teaching in MCC’s Fire Officer program. A few years ago, he moved to the Horticulture/Agriculture department where he now teaches several classes, including Fruit and Vegetable Production, Specialty Crop Production, Introduction to Soils, Plant Problem Diagnosis, and Introduction to Plant Science. He has a master’s degree in crop science from the University of Illinois where he also volunteers as a Master Gardener.

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