Inclusion unleashed: Why Monique Bernoudy pays it forward in support of NIU students

A special memory of her 28 years at NIU? For Monique Bernoudy, that’s not an easy question.

Monique Bernoudy

“Wow, I have a scroll of memories,” she says. “Recently, it was seeing a student that I previously advised and who excelled as an Academic All-American and student-athlete return to NIU as our head football coach—Thomas Hammock. He loved his experience at NIU and has returned to pay it forward. Another was a recent connection I made with two different students I encouraged to take advantage of the Summer Research Opportunity Program. Both have excelled personally and academically and are tremendous leaders. They are grateful, and I am confident they will give back in the future to other Huskies.”

Bernoudy has worn many hats during her tenure at NIU and currently serves as the assistant vice president for Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The common sense of purpose and mission amongst the NIU community has been a highlight for her. “I love the collaborative spirit and focus on student success across the university. We are a Huskie family that works together to ensure the success of our students. Every employee plays a role that impacts me and our students every day. It is quite humbling.”   

Bernoudy believes strongly in the notion of paying it forward, which has led to her to make financial contributions through the NIU Foundation.

“I believe that donating to NIU is planting seeds that afford our students the opportunity to achieve their goals,” she shares. “I expect our students to leave NIU prepared to succeed in a diverse world domestically and globally. Further, I expect that they will become advocates for inclusivity and equity and use their skills and experiences to enhance the environments in which they live and work.” 

“Paying it forward is one of the most rewarding experiences in which you can be engaged.”    

NIU’s Day of Giving: 1,895 Minutes to Unleash a Huskie

On Tuesday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 8, you can join Bernoudy in paying it forward by making a donation during NIU’s first-ever Day of Giving. This 1895-minute period is designed to provide everyone who loves and cares about our campus community an opportunity to support areas they are most passionate about at NIU. That can include diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, student scholarships or a particular program area.  

This year’s Day of Giving theme is “Unleash a Huskie.” Through your support, you can help provide the resources necessary for current and future generations of Huskies to start, continue, and finish their education at NIU.  

“Donations to NIU provide exceptional experiences and opportunities for students to fulfill their dreams,” shares Bernoudy. “Join us in supporting dreams!” 

For more information on the Day of Giving event, visit the website or contact Natalie Troiani at ntroiani@niu.edu or 815-753-8198.  

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