Share Tweet Share Email

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day May 3, we asked students who are about to become teachers to tell us what they liked about their favorite instructors here at NIU. Here’s what they had to say.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”2″ gal_title=”Teacher appreciation”]

Date posted: April 29, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on In appreciation of those who teach teachers

Categories: Latest News Liberal Arts and Sciences

Aaminah Khan

Aaminah Khan

“Allies in Interfaith” is the next Diversity Dialogues focus.

To make NIU a more welcoming and inclusive environment, discussion about different belief systems is important, said said Vernese Edghill-Walden, NIU senior associate vice president for Academic Diversity and chief diversity officer.

“Being a member of one belief system does not mean you can’t be an ally to other groups or other belief systems. Listening and understanding what we have in common, and what makes each belief system different, can bring groups together to work toward shared values and common goals,” Edghill-Walden said.

Allies in Interfaith is planned to foster dialogue about understanding the intersections of interfaith and how people can work together without judgment.

Writer and activist Aaminah Khan and Katie Gordon, program manager of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University, will lead a discussion and workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, on why this work is important and how to create an inclusive environment with the help of allies and interfaith communities on campus and off. The event takes place in the Regency Room of the Holmes Student Center.

NIU is continuing the interfaith dialogue begun a few years ago.

“Discussions about interfaith have been ongoing,” Edghill-Walden said. “Over the past couple years, NIU has been having dialogues about interfaith and shared values. It started with the Common Reading Experience of ‘Acts with Faith’ by Eboo Patel.”

The Office of Academic Diversity and the Diversity Dialogues committee reached out to Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core – NIU hosts a student chapter IFYC’s Better Together organization – that suggested Khan and Gordon speak at Allies in Interfaith dialogue.

Katie Gordon

Katie Gordon

Gordon is the program manager of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute as well as an interfaith services coordinator with Division of Inclusion & Equity, both at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Gordon uses program-centered on interfaith dialogue and cooperation as a tool to create a more accepting, understanding, and inclusive campus and community.

Khan is an Australian-born activist of Pakistani and Turkish descent currently living in the United States. A staff writer for The Rainbow Hub, Khan’s work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Black Girl Dangerous, The Progressive and elsewhere.

The format for the dialogue will begin with Khan and Gordon speaking about their backgrounds and what they bring to the discussion. Following that, case-studies will be discussed in round-table groups, each of which later will report its findings to the larger audience.

“We really wanted to have this larger conversation,” Edghill-Walden said. “This is a continuation of NIU’s commitment to inclusive excellence by providing a space where students, faculty, staff and the community can have an honest dialogue about how we can be an ally, and how people with different beliefs and identities can work together for the common good.”

For more information, call (815) 753-9400 or email [email protected].

Date posted: April 13, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Diversity Dialogues takes on interfaith issues April 21

Categories: Centerpiece Communiversity Digital Signage Events On Campus Students

SAAMApril is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

NIU is committed to ensuring that all members of its community, including guests and visitors, have the right to learn and work in the safest possible community and environment, and to be free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual assault.

The university community is hosting a variety of uplifting, educational and engaging events to help bring awareness to the problem of sexual violence.

Real Talk: Until it Happens to You
Tuesday, April 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
New Residence Hall, Community Center 121C

This open discussion about myths and truths of sexual assault on campus and globally and will focus mainly on what the audience wishes to discuss.

LGBTQ Sexual Health & Crafts
Wednesday, April 13, 5:30 p.m.
Neptune East

During this queer-centered sexual health program provides an opportunity to engage in discussion about communication and consent in sexual relationships, and ways to lower risk when going out. Participants also will be invited to craft barriers for diverse bodies as well as your very own barrier carrier.

speakupgethelpBystander Training
Thursday, April 14, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
DuSable Hall 240

Learn how to get involved and be an active bystander in the educational workshop focusing on awareness, motivation and skill-building behaviors to safely intervene in incidents of interpersonal violence.


Sexy Survivor: Sexual Empowerment after Trauma
Thursday, April 14, 5 to 7 p.m.
Holmes Student Center Illinois Room

This creative and interactive dialogue around survivors of sexual abuse/assault focuses on how to navigate safe, empowering, sexually healthy lives. Participants will gain tools and strategies to engage in meaningful conversations surrounding sexual assault, consent and how to help others through a sexual assault instance.

Real Talk: Sex? Yes Please
Monday, April 18, 7 to 9 p.m.
Neptune Central 120 (Smart Classroom)

Join in an interactive discussion around the issues and practices of affirmative consent.

Karli Johnson

Karli Johnson

Saturday, April 23, (doors open at 9 a.m.)
Altgeld Hall Auditorium

Among the several esteemed speakers at this event is Karli Johnson, co-founder and board member of EVA Alliance. A survivor of domestic violence, sexual violence, bullying and trauma, Johnson uses humor, storytelling and audience participation to engage crowds with these challenging topics. Visit TedXNIU for tickets and more information.

Take Back the Night
Tuesday, April 26, 6 p.m.
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 615 N. First St., DeKalb

Safe Passage invites all to make a stand against sexual violence in the community. The event begins with a brief rally and march to downtown DeKalb. Following the march is a Survivor Speak-out, a chance for survivors to share and for the community members to express solidarity.

Denim Day
Wednesday, April 27, all day

In this rape prevention education campaign, students and the NIU community are asked to make a social statement by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. The campaign originally started with the women of the Italian Parliament who came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with a victim whom the Italian Supreme Court felt helped her rapist take her jeans off, implying consent.

Photo of a microhponeReal Talk: Behind the Lyrics
Wednesday, April 27, 7 to 9 p.m.
Stevenson Towers South 185 (Fish Bowl)

Join the discussion of how pop culture, such as songs, movies and TV, hide the ways that sexual violence is enacted upon victims every day.

Bystander Training
Thursday, April 28, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
DuSable Hall 240

Learn how to get involved and be an active bystander in the educational workshop focusing on awareness, motivation and skill-building behaviors to safely intervene in incidents of interpersonal violence.

Date posted: April 7, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Categories: Communiversity Digital Signage Events Latest News On Campus Students

Timothy Brandner and Ariel Owens

Timothy Brandner and Ariel Owens

The first in NIU’s series of Diversity Dialogues began, appropriately, with the First Amendment.

Students, faculty and area community members gathered Wednesday in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium for “The First Amendment, Free Speech and Lawful Assembly.”

The panel discussion kicked off the series designed to give the university community to place to talk openly and honestly on complex and important matters.

“We intentionally chose the topic of the First Amendment as it is the cornerstone of our liberty as a nation, and we want to confirm our commitment to that precious right as a university. A university is a place where ideas are shared, developed, argued about and socialized. The challenge is how to maintain our commitment to this fundamental liberty, and maintain the respectful fabric of our community,” NIU President Doug Baker said in his opening remarks.

The panel included Yale Law School Senior Research Scholar Frederick M. Lawrence; Mark W. Cordes, interim dean of the NIU College of Law; and students Ariel Owens and Timothy Brandner, both members of the NIU Student Association. NIU Law professor Yolanda M. King moderated.

Baker set the tone for candor in the dialog by mentioning an issue that surfaced in 2012 when an NIU employee found a noose in a work area on campus. He said a symbol of intolerance and bigotry, such as a noose, may be allowed under the Constitution of the United States, but using such symbols to discriminate is not.

Frederick M. Lawrence, Mark W. Cordes

Frederick M. Lawrence and Mark W. Cordes

“The use of such a symbol to illegally discriminate or harass another person in the workplace is not condoned by the university. I want to be clear that NIU denounces the use of a noose or any other symbol rooted in hatred and oppression to unlawfully harm the rights and liberties of others,” Baker said.

Each member of the panel spoke about what the First Amendment meant to them, specifically with regard to free speech and the right to assemble, addressing in particular the need for tolerance even when speech is offensive.

“The First Amendment means I have to tolerate a lot of speech that I strongly dislike,” Cordes said. “Whether it’s mere annoyances… or deeply offensive speech … or sometimes speech that even marginalizes people, we have to tolerate this and we have to commit to it. But that doesn’t mean we have to remain silent.”

Members of the panel also discussed responsibilities to others regarding free speech, and each spoke of striving for a shared understanding.

“It’s vitally important that we learn to disagree without delegitimizing one another,” Lawrence said. “The goal is not to agree with everyone … but to find some level of common ground.”

Brandner addressed the question of how the university and the community work together to promote civility, saying the university has the obligation to educate students of their rights and what works society.

“We need to make sure that students, or anybody seeking to protest on campus, is aware … of what will work in an academic civil environment,” Brandner said.

Diversity DialoguesSeveral of the more than 100 audience members asked questions of the panel regarding the intent versus the impact of speech; ensuring campus speakers are open to dialogue; reconciling religious speech that is racist or homophobic; and when free speech becomes harassment.

One education student asked how to become role models of free speech for children.

“People should be speaking out, should be writing books, articles, op-eds about it … talk about in classrooms. Educate children how to express themselves,” Lawrence said.

Keep the conversation going. Here are ways to continue the Diversity Dialogue:

Date posted: March 24, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Diversity Dialogues panel takes on the First Amendment

Categories: Latest News

yogaA film screening, panel discussion and several information events are set to recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, scheduled from Sunday, Feb. 21, through Saturday, Feb. 27.

The following events are sponsored by the Counseling & Consultation Center; Wellness Promotion; Center for the Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality; Campus Recreation; Housing & Dining; and the School of the Family, Consumer & Nutrition Sciences.

  • Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the information table at the Holmes Student Center, near TCF bank. Learn about eating disorders, how they are treated and how you can find help or help a friend.
  • Tuesday: 6 to 8:30 p.m. A documentary screening and discussion of “THIN” takes place at Reavis Hall, room 103.
  • Wednesday: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Experience eating with joy and have fun busting eating disorder myths at Joyful Eating, Campus Recreation lobby.
  • Wednesday: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Learn for individuals who have worked toward recovery from an eating disorder.
  • Thursday: 8 to 10 a.m. Students are encouraged to show their real selves during the “I Woke Up Like This” photo booth at the dining centers of Neptune, New Hall, Stevenson and Gilbert. Take a morning selfie at one of the booths or take your own and post to social media tagged #bodypositiveNIU.
  • Thursday: 7 to 8 p.m. Join Yoga for Every Body at Campus Recreation, Activity Room 1 for a body-loving yoga class. No prior yoga experience necessary.
Date posted: February 19, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Be Body Positive for Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Categories: Communiversity Digital Signage Events Health and Human Sciences Students What's Going On

Registration is open for a three-day course to become a certified (C-OHC). An OHC’s perform occupational audiometric testing for noise-exposed workers, and enforce worker compliance with hearing conservation programs. The course is March 16-18 at the NIU Health, Wellness and Literacy Building, 3100 Sycamore Road, room 2305.

OHCs work in a variety of settings and many are onsite, company employees acting as safety personnel or healthcare workers. Others are employed by hearing conservation or occupational health service providers and travel to different companies. They can also work in occupational health clinics, government agencies and military installations.

Topic instructors are experts in their fields. Practicum instructors are clinical assistant professors in NIU’s Doctor of Audiology program.

For questions and further details about the course, contact Danica Billingsly or Diane ScheckLong.

There are registration fees. Open to students, recertification candidates, and non-students. Click here to register.


Date posted: February 18, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on CAOHC Certification course offered

Categories: Briefs Health and Human Sciences What's Going On


Maryann Abendroth is conducting research on those who care for family members with Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers at Northern Illinois University are studying the impact on family members who are providing care for persons with Parkinson’s disease. The study focuses on determining caregivers’ risk for strain and physical illness.

Assistant professor of nursing Maryann Abendroth is the principal investigator for this study. She says it is crucial to give voice to caregivers because their needs must be addressed. “They are often vulnerable to illness and may be at risk for strain but not realize it due to their focus on the needs of the person with Parkinson’s disease.”  Better assessment of caregiver well-being can help health care providers address the needs of the caregiver.

With funding from the American Nurses Foundation, this study is well underway; however, the research team is seeking additional caregivers to participate in the study.

Eligible participants:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Caring for and living in the same household as the person with Parkinson’s disease
  • Having access to the internet

The only obligation is completion of an online survey that will take approximately 15-20 minutes. All responses are confidential and names are not identified.

If you are interested in participating, please visit this link to learn more and to take the online survey that is connected to a secure site.

Please share this information with others who may wish to participate.

Date posted: February 10, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Caregivers sought for Parkinson’s study

Categories: Grant Getters Health and Human Sciences What's Going On

La Tortuga FoundationThe Health Professions House is collecting new, unused, toothbrushes for a special project that is part of an alternative spring break trip.

School of nursing instructor JoEllen Ryan, along with 10 NIU students and two recent graduates, will travel to Chiapas, Mexico over spring break to provide free health assessments and treatment to the Mayan communities there. Since there is no available healthcare in these areas, the group will stress health education and illness prevention. Part of that will include the importance of brushing your teeth and its impact on nutrition and general health. The overwhelming majority of this people have never had a toothbrush.

Toothbrushes can be brought to Wirtz, room 227, through Feb. 19. For more information about the toothbrush drive email Sandi SplanskyFor more information about the Chiapas healthcare project, visit the Latortuga Foundation’s website or facebook page.



Date posted: February 3, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Share a smile with Mexico: Toothbrush drive underway

Categories: Briefs What's Going On

dee dee downie

Dee Dee Downie

Dee Dee Downie, an NIU doctoral student in the Ph.D in Health Sciences program, will present “Fighting Ebola One Day at a Time: An NIU Doctoral Student Responds to West Africa,” at the College of Health and Human Sciences Scholarly Exchange Meeting.

The meeting begins at noon Monday, Feb. 1, in the Wirtz Hall 104. It is free and open to the public.

Downie, who holds a master’s in public health, is a CDC Public Health Advisor, Field Assignee and works for the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. She recently was deployed to West Africa.

“t has been a life-changing experience for me to see case counts from the evening news become faces of friends and people I worked with. I felt my American misconceptions fall apart in an instant and found a hope that I did not expect,” Downie says of her experience in Africa. “Bridging career with personal, the experience of global public health has the potential to inspire, encourage and gently remind us of all that we have to give as public health professionals.”

For more information, call (815) 753-0031 or email [email protected].

Date posted: January 28, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Ph.D candidate to talk about front lines of Ebola fight

Categories: Announcements Communiversity Digital Signage Events Faculty & Staff Global Health and Human Sciences On Campus

Members of the Harmelodics a cappella group rehearse for the ICCA quarterfinals.

Members of the Harmelodics a cappella group rehearse for the ICCA quarterfinals.

Chances are nearly pitch perfect that some NIU students will advance to the Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) quarterfinals after Saturday’s competition.

After all, 35 Huskie singers will perform.

NIU is home to three a cappella groups: The Huskie Hunks, NIU Northern Sound, and Harmelodics. All have been invited to compete in the ICCA, a global tournament showcasing the art of student a cappella.

Groups have been rehearsing for months, culminating in “hell week” leading up to Saturday’s 7 p.m. tournament at Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago.

“In the beginning it sounds like a train wreck, but when you get it together, it’s cool to see the results of everyone working together,” says Mollie Wang, a junior rehabilitation services major and president of NIU Northern Sound.

Each group performs three songs they have arranged and choreographed as a team. Judges primarily will evaluate vocal performance focusing on arrangements, tone, and soloists, but also review appearance and choreography.

This will be a return trip to competition for the Huskie Hunks, and they are thinking big.

harmelodics-2“We’re always aiming high. We were second at quarter finals – the dream is to make it to finals,” says Dustin King, a junior business major and member of Huskie Hunks.

It’ll be the first time competing in ICCA for the Harmelodics. They’ve selected a saving-the-world theme, with songs about heroes.

“We took a lot of time selecting it. It’s 110 percent positivity, love and music incorporated into everything we do. We’re really excited to compete,” says Harmelodics member Eileen Lennon, a sophomore marketing major.

NIU’s performers will face seven other groups from the University of Chicago, Loyola University, and Oakland University. The top two finishing groups will advance to the ICCA Great Lakes Semifinal

All three groups will be performing their ICCA sets at a special NIU ICCA Send-off Show 7 p.m. Friday at the Choir Room of the Music Building. All are welcome.

Date posted: January 20, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Three NIU a cappella groups invited to international competition

Categories: Arts Did You Know? Digital Signage Music Students What's Going On

For the 18th year, the Annual Northern Illinois University Holiday Choral Concert filled Boutell Memorial Concert Hall at the campus’ music building with the gorgeous, seasonal music.

NIU’s Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and University Chorus performed along with the DeKalb Community School of the Arts Children’s Choir and the DeKalb Festival Chorus at the Ensemble Recital Series Dec. 6.

More than 150 singers and musicians performed songs selected to highlight celebration, praise and joyfulness, said Eric A. Johnson, director of choral activities at NIU’s school of music.

“Through music, we are finding ways to call out for peace and unity,” he added.

Featured in this video is Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Cantata 191: Gloria in Excelsis” performed by Chamber Choir and instrumentalists from NIU.

Chamber Choir members:
Soprano: Deanna Frances, Jeanne Mingus, Brittani Moore, Xitlaly Serrato; alto: Elaine Bennington, Alex Dawe, Nicole Tolentino, Bailey Wulf; tenor: Ryan Fry, Christopher Jackson, Evan Suitts, Gavin Tidaback; bass: Joseph Domino, Mick Gehr, Christopher Hagendorn and Jordan Pedigo.

Ensemble players: Hanna Bingham, Joanna Nerius, violin; Carolyn Snyder, viola; Kayla Steger, cello; Joe LaRocca, Jian-An Kuo, flute; Vicki Long, bassoon; Marianne Kim, harpsichord; Brady Gaskin, Taylor Beekman, Sam Oliveri, trumpet; Kyle Flens, timpani

The Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and University Chorus will perform 3 p.m., March 6, at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, NIU’s music building. Visit the school of music calendar for more information.


Date posted: December 22, 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on A song in celebration of the season

Categories: Arts Music