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Ariana Carbajal can’t wait for summer camp. As a second-year graduate student in the Speech-Language Pathology program, Carbajal will have the opportunity to take what she has learned in the classroom and apply it to help children ages 3 to 8.

“I have worked in summer camps before but never in one targeting speech and language,” Carbajal said. “It’s a great opportunity to put my skills to practice and help campers stay on track with their speech and language skills over the summer while having fun!”

NIU’s Speech-Language Pathology program is excited to offer On Track, a speech and language summer camp for children ages 3 to 8. The four-week camp is supervised by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and conducted by a team of graduate students enrolled in the NIU Speech-Language Pathology program.

“Programs like this are important for a few reasons,” said Emily Palmer, NIU Clinical Assistant Professor and Speech-Language Clinic Coordinator. “It provides children the ability to continue progressing with their speech and language skills over the summer, and it allows children the ability to interact with peers and engage socially while working on targeted goals.

In turn, Palmer said, the camp provides graduate students firsthand experience coordinating group speech therapy which is very common in the field of Speech-Language Pathology.

“The camp includes children in the same group with varying severities and diagnoses,” Palmer said. “Our graduate students learn how to manage each child’s individual goals and needs while maintaining the group experience; this requires a high degree of flexibility and ability to modulate in the moment.”

The On Track camps are designed for children with mild to moderate articulation, phonological, and language delays or deficits and will provide enrichment and maintenance of speech and language skills.

“This is a great program for children to maintain and improve on existing skills during the summer when they might not usually receive therapy,” Palmer said. “For children who receive services privately, this is also a wonderful program to increase the frequency of therapy for potentially quicker gains.”

Each week, the sessions incorporate a theme to target various skills like building vocabulary, grammatical concepts and phonological processes. In addition, each session provides campers with both group and individual activities.

“I am looking forward to our weekly themes,” Carbajal said. “We will be having crafts and lessons all revolving around a fun theme each week. I am so excited to set up our crafts and decorations to motivate our campers.”

Along with allowing children an opportunity to improve their speech and language skills, Carbajal said the camp promotes inclusivity.

“We don’t often stop and think about the levels of accessibility and inclusivity in summer camps,” Carbajal said. “In this camp we will be centering activities around speech and language and making it a safe and fun environment for children to work on their goals and continue their growth even while school is out for summer.”

The camp takes place July 7 and runs through July 30. Children ages 3 to 5 meet Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., and children ages  6 to 8 meet Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

All sessions are held at NIU’s state-of-the art Speech-Language Hearing Clinic, located at 3100 Sycamore Road in DeKalb.  COVID-19 precautions (masks, physical distancing, hand washing) will be strictly enforced in accordance with CDC and NIU guidelines. For more information, email Emily Palmer at [email protected]

Date posted: June 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Stay on track at NIU’s summer camp

Categories: CHHSnews Communiversity Faculty & Staff Homepage Uncategorized

Dawn Brown

Dawn Brown, NIU Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, is the 2021 American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Minority Faculty Development Scholarship Award winner.

“I am both honored and excited,” Brown said. “Receiving this award has strengthened my resolve toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in physical therapy education, research, and clinical practice.”

Brown said the award empowers her to remain vigilant in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in physical therapy no matter the obstacles that threaten to dismantle it.

“I am committed to being a part of the solution for ensuring that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants reflect the racial and ethnic identities of the patients whom we treat,” Brown said.

Brown earned her bachelor’s and master’s from Northwestern University, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Alabama State University. With a plan to earn her Doctor of Education from NIU within the next year, Brown said she will be better positioned to concentrate her research on diversity, equity and inclusion in physical therapy education and practice, as well as diversity leadership in higher education.

“My focus is not only toward recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority faculty and students,” Brown said. “My goal is to ensure that their experiences within physical therapy programs and clinical settings are positive and rewarding, instead of marginalized.”

Sherrill Morris, chair of the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, said one of Brown’s most impressive attributes is her mentorship and support of any and all people with whom she comes into contact.

“Dr. Brown aspires to create an inclusive community of learners, works collaboratively with students, faculty, and professional colleagues to develop strategies that eliminate learning barriers and create a culture of civility,” Morris said. “She is highly deserving of the APTA Minority Faculty Development Scholarship Award.”

Date posted: June 21, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Dawn Brown earns American Physical Therapy Association Minority Faculty Development Scholarship

Categories: CHHSnews Faculty & Staff Homepage

Report includes a comprehensive profile of the nonprofit sector, impact of COVID-19

McHenry County is home to nearly 2,000 nonprofit organizations of all sizes. A new, comprehensive study conducted by Northern Illinois University provides a glimpse at their structure, funding, programs, challenges and the impact of COVID-19.

The Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies at Northern Illinois University and Not-For-Profit Resources, Inc. collaborated on the study, which provided one NIU undergraduate student with valuable hands-on research and nonprofit experiences.

“Northern Illinois University has been an ongoing, valuable partner to our organization for several years,” said Laurie Bivona, program and outreach director for Not-for-Profit Resources.

“When determining how to gather data that would be a catalyst in creating the services and resources needed to help our McHenry County nonprofits recover and grow from the pandemic, there was no question that the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies would be an integral component in this journey,” Bivona added.

Study highlights include:

  • More than 50% of nonprofits stated their greatest professional needs currently are resource sharing and training.
  • 56% of nonprofits are delivering their programs and services to a greater extent due to COVID-19.
  • More than 26% of McHenry County nonprofits operate with a budget of less than $100,000. Thirty-six percent of nonprofits have budgets over $1,000,000.
  • Nearly 90% of nonprofits measure or evaluate their programs and service.
  • Nearly all nonprofits utilize volunteers (91%) and 75% have paid staff. About two thirds of all nonprofit employees live in McHenry County.
  • COVID-19 caused significant disruptions in nonprofit activities, particularly related to fundraising. Nearly 70% of nonprofits lost revenue from fundraising events and near 39% reported declining direct contributions. Overall, nonprofits report an estimated loss of $10 million due to the pandemic.

“Nonprofits as a whole are a hardy lot and are used to ‘doing a lot with very little.’ COVID-19 revealed that they are truly the backbone upon which essential services are delivered in a time of need,” Bivona said. “The study illustrates how much they stepped up to the plate and how vital they are to our community.”

Alicia Schatteman, director of the Center and the principle investigator for the study, strongly believes in documenting the nonprofit sector in order to get a true picture of a community.

“Nonprofit organizations provide essential services, which only increased in many cases during the pandemic. While often unseen, this study serves to highlight the size and scope of the nonprofit sector.”

Studies like the one conducted for McHenry County can be utilized in strategic planning, Schatteman added.

“This study can be used by the government and business sectors to understand the scope and depth of the nonprofit sector, whose work contributes to strong communities working alongside the other sectors,” she said. “Thriving communities need all three sectors working together and planning for the future.”

As the community and the nonprofits continue their recovery from the pandemic, the study results will serve as a foundation for advocating for access to greater resources and funds. Bivona hopes the study will serve as a catalyst to building greater cooperation between nonprofits, funders, government, business and the community.

The report can be accessed on either the Nonprofit and NGO website or the Not-For-Profit Resources website.

Not-for-Profit Resources is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, playing an integral role in bringing best practices, professional development workshops, funding resources, networking opportunities and equality awareness to McHenry County nonprofits. Learn more at .

The Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies is an interdisciplinary academic unit that connects students, faculty, researchers and nonprofit organizations across Northern Illinois. Created in 2010, The Center hosts the only nonprofit undergraduate program offered at an Illinois public institution to educate the next generation of nonprofit and community leaders. The Center brings the latest research to the nonprofit sector in the form of community-based research assistance, professional development, networking and student engagement.

For more information about the survey methodology or NIU’s Nonprofit and NGO Studies call 815-753-4410 or email [email protected].





Date posted: June 21, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU and McHenry County collaborate on nonprofit study

Categories: Community Faculty & Staff Homepage Liberal Arts and Sciences Uncategorized

For weeks, partners across campus have been planning for the two-day event designed to bring the Huskie family together in celebration and support of NIU.

Interested in learning what it’s all about? Join BFA Acting Candidate, Kate Drury, ’23 on a journey though campus that illuminates the heart of the movement. We guarantee, it’s three minutes well spent.


Huskies United has the support of alumni and donors across the country, including alumnus Ray Banks, ‘86 and Dr. Eric Erickson who created the Huskies United Banks-Erickson Challenge. When 1,000 gifts are made, their gift of $150,000 will be unlocked into the totals to support student scholarships.

During Huskies United, NIU employees may consider supporting the Student Emergency Fund which provides critical dollars that assist with student needs such as rent, medical expenses, food, utilities and technology. The Student Emergency Fund has been awarded to over 3,600 students and has helped them persist at NIU in their pursuit of their college degree.

In addition to the Student Emergency Fund, there are many NIU departments and programs participating in Huskies United.

The first Huskies United event was held in June 2020 and raised nearly a half million dollars from more than 1,500 gifts.

“We were blown away by the generosity,” says Michael Adzovic, senior director of operations and annual giving. “We hope this year’s event is another example of how powerful this community can be when we move NIU forward together.”

We hope you’ll join us when Huskies United begins at 4:25 p.m. on June 23.

For more information, please visit the Huskies United Website.

Date posted: June 21, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on The NIU Foundation Huskies United day of giving event kicks off tomorrow, June 23!

Categories: Alumni Community Faculty & Staff Homepage

Lynda Ransdell has been named the new dean of NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS). She will assume the role on July 1.

Lynda Ransdell will assume the role of dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences on July 1, 2021.

“I’m delighted that Dr. Ransdell will be joining my leadership team,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Beth Ingram. “She is an accomplished researcher, grant writer and teacher. We were impressed with her demonstrated commitment to the success of students, faculty and staff.”

Ransdell joins NIU from Northern Arizona University, and will replace Beverly Henry, who has served as interim dean since January 2021.

“I’m excited to join the NIU family,” Ransdell said. “I was very impressed with the leadership team, and the faculty, staff and students with whom I interacted during the interview process.”

The College of Health and Human Science at NIU promotes health and well-being through scholarship that integrates teaching, research and service. The college includes programs in five schools: Allied Health and Communicative DisordersFamily and Consumer SciencesHealth StudiesInterdisciplinary Health Professions and Nursing, as well as the Department of Military Science.

“The quality and variety of health-related programs offered in CHHS impressed me from the start,” Ransdell said. “I love the location of NIU, and opportunities to partner with health organizations in the area to decrease health disparities, increase health equity, and advance NIU’s mission.”

Ransdell earned her Ph.D. in exercise and wellness science from Arizona State University. She also holds a master’s degree in exercise and sports studies from Smith College. Prior to Northern Arizona University, she held positions as dean and professor at Montana State University and associate dean at Arizona State University.

Since earning her Ph.D., Ransdell’s research has focused on physical activity and public health in underserved populations including physical activity measurement, behavior and intervention design. She has also studied physical profiling, monitoring, and injury prevention in elite female athletes. She has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has garnered over $5 million in research grants.

In addition to leading, she is looking forward to getting to know the Huskie community.

“I look forward to working with everyone, and returning to face-to-face learning in the fall,” Ransdell said. “Please stop by and say ‘hi’ as I’d love to start meeting everyone sooner rather than later!”

Ransdell is an avid ice hockey player and fan, and is ready to embrace the hearty Midwest winters.

“I’m thinking something like ‘Skating with the Dean on East Lagoon,’” Ransdell said. “It could be a new Huskie tradition.”

Date posted: June 21, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Meet the incoming dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences

Categories: CHHSnews Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

The NIU Board of Trustees last week approved promotions and tenure for more than 40 faculty members, recognizing their years of hard work and commitment.

Promotions and granting of tenure are serious decisions that involve rigorous evaluation of faculty scholarship, teaching and service.

“Each of these faculty members has demonstrated excellence in artistry and scholarship, a dedication to NIU’s students, and a desire to reach beyond the borders of NIU’s campus to improve the lives of the people of the region, state, nation and world,” Provost Beth Ingram said.

“Every one of these faculty members has demonstrated success in teaching our students,” she added. “I want to say congratulations to each and every one.”

The principal purpose of tenure is to safeguard academic freedom, which is necessary for all who teach and conduct research in higher education, according to the American Association of University Professors. Tenure also serves society and the common good by protecting the quality and integrity of teaching and research and thus the quality and integrity of institutions of higher education.

The following faculty tenure and/or promotions will be effective July 1.

Promotions from associate professor to professor

Scott Balcerzak, English; Meghann Cefaratti, Accountancy; Lara Crowley, English; Aleksandra Giza, Art and Design; Jennifer Gray, Health Studies; Janice Hamlet, Communication; Mitchell Irwin, Anthropology; Jeffrey Kidder, Sociology; Melanie Koss, Curriculum and Instruction; Michael Kushnick, Allied Health & Communicative Disorders; Michelle Lilly, Psychology; Shanthi Muthuswamy, Engineering Technology; Janet Olson, Allied Health & Communicative Disorders; David Paige, Curriculum and Instruction; Nicholas Pohlman, Mechanical Engineering; Mark Riley, Accountancy; Diane Rodgers, Sociology; Alecia Santuzzi, Psychology; Kheang Un, Political Science; Stephen Vilaseca, World Languages and Cultures; Donna Werderich, Curriculum and Instruction; Corrine Wickens, Curriculum and Instruction.

Promotion from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure

Hamed Alhoori, Computer Science; Shannon Becker, World Languages and Cultures; Mandy Faretta-Stutenberg, World Languages and Cultures; Melissa Fickling, Counseling & Higher Education; Jeremy Floyd, Theatre and Dance; Benedito Fonseca, Jr., Electrical Engineering; Allison Gladfelter, Allied Health & Communicative Disorders; Furkan Gur, Management; Andrea Guzman, Communication; Ryan Hibbett, English; Jennifer Jacobs, Kinesiology & Physical Education; Lisa Liberty, Special & Early Education; Mark Mellon, Accountancy; Matt Pickard, Accountancy; Eunju Rho, Public Administration; Iman Salehinia, Mechanical Engineering; Daniel Sibley, Family and Consumer Sciences; Matthew Smith, World Languages and Cultures; Shupei Yuan, Communication; Haiming Zhou, Statistics and Actuarial Science.

Tenure Only at the Rank of Associate Professor

Daniel McConkie, Law; and David Rosenfeld, Law.

Date posted: June 21, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on More than 40 NIU faculty up for tenure, promotions

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Uncategorized

The Society for the Study of School Psychology has awarded Logan Riffle, a psychology Ph.D. student, a research grant to assist with the completion of her dissertation.

Logan Riffle

The Society for the Study of School Psychology has a unique role among school psychology organizations, a mission that is devoted exclusively to recognizing and promoting scholarship and research. One of their initiatives is the Society of School Psychology Dissertation Grant Awards, which promotes excellence in research training in school psychology and enhances the capability of students to pursue productive research careers that advance the science of school psychology.

Riffle’s dissertation project examines the extent to which social anxiety and social media rumination account for (or explain) the relationship between cyberbullying victimization and depression in middle school students.

Social media rumination, a relatively new area of study, is the extent to which individuals think about their social media. While the association between cyberbullying victimization and depression has been established, additional research is needed to determine what specifically accounts for this link.

Being the victim of cyberbullying may lead to negative outcomes where the victims dwell on their social media. A secondary focus of the study is to examine how these associations look different between boys and girls. Such work will help to inform cyberbullying prevention and intervention initiatives.

Riffle, a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, has worked in schools with students from early childhood to high school while completing graduate coursework. She is currently finishing her third year in the School Psychology Ph.D. Program, under the mentorship of Professor Michelle Demaray.

“I’ve had an incredible experience at NIU and in the School Psychology Program,” she said.

Riffle, who is on track to graduate in Spring 2023, has a passion for all things school psychology — research, leadership and direct work with children and families in applied settings. Her specific research interests include bullying and cyberbullying behavior and associations with various outcomes such as academic achievement and internalizing issues. She is also interested in the assessment and treatment of trauma.

Date posted: June 21, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU School Psychology student receives research grant

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

Cynthia is consistently going above and beyond and helping others in improving not only the technical experience for students but also the course experience as well! For the online class I teach, Cynthia helped me revamp it into a more interactive and engaging experience that students will remember for years to come. Without her guidance, I could not have dreamed of achieving the experiences my students are now having in my course. Thank you Cynthia for all that you do for us!

Date posted: June 20, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Cynthia Paralejas – Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning

Categories: Applause

Keanen is dedicated and committed to ensuring that Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center is clean and safe. He identifies issues and potential issues to avoid bigger problems. Keanen is always happy and positive. He is a great coworker!

Date posted: June 20, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Keanen Buckle – Facilities Management and Campus Services

Categories: Applause

Daniel consistently goes above and beyond within the Office of Admissions and through professional organizations and committees. He has an important role with planning and implementing virtual and in-person events and tours. Professional staff members and our Northern Ambassadors truly respect Daniel for the knowledge, skills and optimistic attitude he brings to our team!

Date posted: June 20, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Daniel Tamayo – Undergraduate Admissions

Categories: Applause

Huge thanks to Amanda for all her work to keep the College of Business advisors ready for our new students at orientation. Your thoughtful, dedicated work behind the scenes is critical to our success. We couldn’t do this without your daily direction and organization of our lists!

Date posted: June 20, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Amanda Lepic – College of Business

Categories: Applause

Suzanne Degges-White

To put it mildly, Suzanne Degges-White is experienced at dealing with reporters.

Degges-White, who is chair of Counseling and Higher Education in the College of Education, has been featured in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, interviewed by campus public radio station WNIJ and has been a regular contributor to newscasts on Rockford television, and on Chicago television stations like Fox-32. She can also be heard sharing her thoughts with WBBM News Radio and the Afternoon News on WGN Radio. She also regularly pops up in major magazines and on various websites.

She has spoken on topics ranging from why we grieve the breakups of power couples, to how to talk politics with family and friends, to how to deal with conflict during COVID-19. Over the years she has been featured on television and radio, in print or online hundreds of times discussing dozens of topics.

But nothing quite prepared her for a phone call on Friday, June 4, when a producer from Good Morning America called her to ask if she would mind be interviewed for a piece the following morning. She got on GMA’s radar after being prominently featured in the New York Times earlier in the week discussing how to manage one’s “friendscape” following COVID.

With only 45 minutes notice she recruited Mary Kay Soesbe, Office Support Specialist to CAHE, into service to help her artfully arrange the area behind her desk that would serve as her Zoom backdrop and then took the call and discussed how the pandemic presented an opportunity to figure out which friendships in our lives we want to devote more time and energy to and which we might need to weed out.

The piece aired nationally the next morning as a cover story and was featured on the GMA website. It was later picked up on the local newscasts of ABC affiliates in Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Nevada; Savanna, Georgia; and Los Angeles.

“It was one of the biggest thrills of my professional life to be able to share my research on a national stage. It’s always gratifying when my academic research makes a difference to folks outside of my discipline and in everyday life,” said Degges-White.

It was also thrilling for her friends, family and colleagues to see Degges-White featured on a national network.

“Suzanne has a tremendous ability to connect with people and share insights in a way that is both entertaining and insightful,” said Joe King, associate director of Institutional Communications. “She is one of those individuals who truly showcases the excellence we have on the faculty here at NIU, so it was exciting to see her representing the university on such a big stage.”

Faculty interested in sharing their expertise with media can contact Joe King at 815-762-7425.



Date posted: June 15, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Degges-White featured on Good Morning America

Categories: Education Faculty & Staff Homepage