Baker Report: Have a great summer!

washington-monumentAs the academic year comes to a close and Northern Illinois University students depart campus, donating gently used furnishings and clothing on their way out, I want to wish everyone well and encourage them to make the most of their summer.

Summer is a tremendous opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience, earn money for college, explore faraway lands and give back to their communities, and I’d like to provide a few examples of NIU students who are using their time in this way.

  • Members of the NIU chapter of Engineers Without Borders leave for Mexico Sunday to continue their work with iCATIS, focusing on alleviating water quality issues.
  • Three political science students – Steffen Canino, Patrick Gallagher and Daejzonna Muschamp – are participating in a summer internship in Washington, D.C., through the Washington Center and each will a receive scholarship worth more than $6,000 for their work.
  • Graduate student Sarah Lindley and senior Nick Schofield will intern at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Lunera Lighting, helping to develop LED lighting solutions that benefit the environment and promote energy savings.
  • Five Community Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) will travel to Tanzania, where they will learn about and work directly with NGOs while contributing to the ongoing construction of the Nyegina Library and Community Resource Center.
  • Three NIU SAE teams will compete in international competitions during the coming weeks: Formula SAE in Brooklyn, Mich. from May 13 to 16; Mini Baja in Portland in Oregon from May 22 to June 1; and the NIU Supermileage Team in Marshall, Mich., from June 4 to 5. We wish all of our Engineering & Engineering Technology students luck in these events!
  • Lacey Pietsch and Jessica Sandlund both interned with DeKalb-area nonprofit organizations in the spring through the NGOLD-DCNP Internship Program. Adventure Works and CASA will hire Lacey and Jessica on for paid internships this summer.
NIU alumna Rachel McBride in Tanzania
NIU alumna Rachel McBride in Tanzania

Of course, there are many more students – too numerous to list here – taking full advantage of the opportunities NIU offers to study abroad, participate in internships near and far and take part in service learning activities this summer.

Thank you to the NIU faculty and staff who have fostered this engagement among our students, and many thanks to our alumni for sharing their time, talents and expertise with our students. Being a part of the “NIU network” has provided our students with amazing opportunities for mentoring, internships and, for recent and soon-to-be graduates, a start in their careers.

I invite you to join us the evening Wednesday, June 17, for NIU Night at U.S. Cellular Field as the Chicago White Sox play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7 p.m. game.

Wishing everyone a great summer and looking forward to welcoming students back to our smoke-free campus Aug. 21 for the start of Welcome Days.

Forward Together,

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