Share Tweet Share Email

Furthering a commitment to recruit a diverse and qualified pool of job candidates, NIU has expanded services to help university departments advertise open positions.

NIU has secured “job packs” with 16 prominent media vendors to advertise to a broader and more inclusive audience. The use of job packs is a cost effective and efficient way for NIU to advertise all open positions on a company’s job board for one flat rate.

In addition, media vendors scrape the university’s job board for positions and automatically advertise those positions on their respective sites. 

Not only will the new job packs reduce the time and effort it takes to get a position advertised externally, but they are also budget friendly. The advertising they provide will be offered free of charge to departments.  

Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Education (AAEOE), under the umbrella of Academic, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI), was intentional in selecting job pack vendors who reach broad and diverse audiences,” said Roselyn Snell, ADEI executive director, Affirmative Action officer and Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator.

“The use of job packs will help our departments cast a wide net to attract a qualified and diverse applicant pool. As an Institution, we are committed to equal opportunity and this is another demonstration of NIU’s commitment to recruiting a diverse and inclusive workforce.” 

The effort represents the ongoing efforts of leaders throughout campus to work together on proactive, affirmative steps to reach underrepresented and minority groups who may be interested in working at NIU.

It aligns with the university’s Affirmative Action Plan to build a more inclusive and diverse workforce and minimize underrepresentation of minority groups and underrepresented groups at NIU.

It also reflects the university’s mission to value and practice equity and inclusion, as well as President Lisa Freeman’s goals regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. One of those goals calls for continued efforts in the recruitment and hiring of qualified, diversity faculty and staff, and the job packs further support NIU’s commitment to removing barriers and allowing more access.

The wide range of vendors, together, represent a diverse and inclusive advertising plan that may minimize implicit bias in how NIU selects vendors and advertises open positions at NIU, Snell said.

Not only do the venues themselves reach wide audiences, but several also include a large database of several hundred other diverse avenues and venues for advertising positions, said Alan Clay, associate director for Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.

Most of the vendors in the job packs will automatically scrape NIU’s job board on an unlimited, daily basis, Clay said, and NIU will have the ability to continually assess how many candidates are accessing the sites to make revisions if necessary.

“Another benefit is it kind of takes a lot of the burden away from departments of having to look at all the different types of advertising venues,” he said. “In the past, they’d have to do the research themselves, which can delay the process. Having these job packs at their disposal can take that burden away.”

Below are the media vendors that NIU has procured job packs with:

·         Chronicle of Higher Education

·         HigherEdJobs

·         Academic Keys

·         Diverse Issues in Higher Education

·         Asians in Higher Education

·         Blacks in Higher Education

·         Hispanics in Higher Education

·         Disabled in Higher Ed

·         LGBT in Higher Education

·         Native Americans in Higher Education

·         Veterans in Higher Education

·         Circa (formerly Local Job Network)

·         Women and Higher Education

·         Inside Higher Ed

·         Monster

·         Chronicle of Philanthropy

Date posted: February 24, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on AAEOE expands services to recruit diverse, qualified workforce

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Uncategorized

As a review of NIU’s learning management system quickly progresses, now is the time for campus feedback.

The university currently uses Blackboard as its learning management system, or LMS, to deliver web-based courses and facilitate teaching and learning. In the final year of a three-year contract with Blackboard, NIU is conducting a formal evaluation of available LMS systems.

As part of the LMS review process, vendors have been invited to provide virtual demonstrations via Zoom to the campus community.

The schedule of demonstrations has been set for the end of February and beginning of March, with the first demonstration taking place at 1 p.m. Feb. 23. Dates and details for how to participate are available on both the LMS Review website and in the NIU Calendar.

“The entire NIU community is welcome and encouraged to participate,” said Jason Rhode, executive director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. “We want faculty, instructors, staff and students to see these different products and give feedback.”

Among its many uses, Blackboard serves as a tool for departmental communication to students on events and program deadlines, storage of course materials and student portfolios, delivery and tracking of employee training and more.

Huskies are encouraged to provide input on their current satisfaction with Blackboard, as well as any features desired in a learning management system moving forward.

While use and overall satisfaction with Blackboard remains high, NIU hasn’t conducted a formal evaluation of other LMS systems in many years. If it is determined NIU should remain with Blackboard, a move to the newer version of the platform, Learn Ultra, eventually would have to be made, Rhode said.

“This is an opportunity for those who haven’t yet tried out the new Blackboard Ultra course experience to get a taste of what it’s like and a great opportunity to see the next generation of what’s out there in terms of future technology for online teaching,” Rhode said.

Along with Blackboard (Learn Ultra), the upcoming vendor demonstrations include D2L (Brightspace) and Instructure (Canvas).

“Thanks to NIU’s membership with Internet2, the university is able to leverage Internet2’s Net+ program to evaluate the top three LMS providers in the market,” said Matt Parks, chief information officer in the Division of Information Technology. “A big benefit of this partnership is securing heavily discounted, best-in-class, pricing from each of the LMS providers.”

An advisory committee of faculty, instructors, staff and students formed by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and the Division of Information Technology has created review criteria, as well as a website to provide the most up-to-date information about the review. The website includes an overview and history of Blackboard at NIU, usage dataproject overviewtimeline and task force information, among other details.


Date posted: February 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Huskies invited to check out top vendors as part of LMS review

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

NIU’s Pick Museum of Anthropology received the 2020 Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM) for the exhibition, Swept Under the Rug during the organization’s recent awards ceremony.

The judges noted that this was an amazing example of the power of community collaboration. “Safe Passage approached the Pick Museum about doing an exhibit, and from there it became a true collaboration with Safe Passage members providing content and insight, while Pick staff guided the transformation of ideas into exhibits, while keeping the power of Safe Passage voices.”

The IAM Awards Committee stated they “were also impressed that the exhibit presented options for all visitors to engage with difficult subject matter in their own way—from quiet spaces to process information to banners allowing allies to show support, all experiences were considered valid and important.”

Christy DeLair, museum director, emphasized the exhibits fit with the museum’s mission “to inspire activism for social justice,” adding, “We are delighted to receive this recognition from IAM, particularly as it acknowledges the value of community-centered curation. I hope this project will inspire other museums and community groups to think creatively about how they can work together.”

“This was a fantastic opportunity for a community collaboration that was driven by Safe Passage to address issues that are of concern nationally and locally,” said curator Rachelle Wilson. “This exhibit was especially impactful on our communities because it highlighted needs right here and helped visitors rethink how they talk about sexual misconduct and assault.”

Though sexual assault affects every community, the topic historically has been considered too taboo to engage with outside of dedicated spaces. The stigmas related to sexual assault often result in victim blaming, lack of support, and lack of resources that lead to the re-traumatization of survivors of sexual assault.

Swept Under the Rug, which was open from Sept. 29 –Dec.  9, was curated by staff members at Safe Passage with artistic content developed and created by sexual assault survivors of all ages. Swept Under the Rug aimed to shed light on the widespread impact of sexual violence on survivors in our local community and created space for conversations.

The exhibit was divided into three main installations – “What Were You Wearing” featured clothing representative of outfits survivors were wearing when they were assaulted; “Touched” addressed the aftermath of these attacks through illustration on mannequins of embodied memories of non-consensual contact; and “When a Child Speaks” shared the experiences of young survivors through painted works on canvas.

“We feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to provide a platform to survivors while educating the community through Swept Under the Rug,” said Kendal Harvell of Safe Passage. “The exhibit was incredibly impactful for two main reasons – survivors felt safe to share their experiences with family and friends, many for the first time, and visitors gained a new perspective on the impact of sexual violence and the needs right here in our own community.”

Date posted: February 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Pick Museum of Anthropology receives top honors from the Illinois Association of Museums

Categories: Community Faculty & Staff Homepage

Jack Tierney, ’75, M.S.Ed. ’78, serves as the treasurer on the NIU Foundation Board of Directors. Recently, Tierney volunteered to do a series of videos that explain how the NIU Endowment Fund is managed.

From an early age,  Jack Tierney, ’75, M.S.Ed. ’78, was keen on making good investments.

As a high school senior, he had to be practical about the cost of his education. The oldest of his family’s five children in Oak Park, Illinois, Tierney was used to paying his own way. He had worked to afford his tuition at Fenwick High School, a private all-boys school, and he knew it would be no different with college.

For Tierney, it came down to getting the best bang for his buck.

“I decided to stay close to home and go to Northern,” he said. “I didn’t want to take out any loans, and I knew that Northern was always thought of being a pretty good value. Even as a teen, I knew NIU was a high-quality school, so that helped cement the deal for me.”

Ever the numbers guy, Tierney decided to go into the College of Business as a marketing major by the end of his sophomore year. While taking classes, he was always busy with part-time jobs, working at a shoe store and a gas station while getting solid grades.

However, Tierney had an artistic side, too. In addition to being active in Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in the early 1970s, with well-known alumni and dear friends Dennis Barsema and Tom Pomatto, Tierney was on the music scene as one half of the singer/songwriter duo Sklare & Tierney.

“I started playing guitar with a friend of mine—a doctoral psychology student named John Sklare,” he said. “We began playing acoustic guitars and were both singing. In the summer of 1974, we tried to make a go of it. For four or five nights a week, we would play gigs in the DeKalb and Rockford areas, as well as the Chicago suburbs. We wrote songs and also performed covers. We were making pretty good money doing that, and it helped pay for my classes.”

Keeping the music dream alive a little longer, Tierney remained on campus to earn his master’s in business education before becoming a business teacher at McHenry High School in McHenry, Illinois, followed by Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois, where he was also the assistant varsity basketball coach.

Deciding he felt drawn to the finance world, Tierney then made a move into a sales position with 3M before pursuing a career as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in downtown Chicago. In this role, he worked with individual investors and small businesses on their financial goals, earning his securities licenses on the job. He then moved to Van Kampen Merritt Investments, which later became Invesco Ltd., where he worked for 36 years. Tierney was executive director of the Unit Trust Division before his retirement last year.

Since 2000, Jack has been an active advocate and generous supporter of NIU, stepping up to different leadership positions where his specific skills could make the biggest positive impact.

He became involved with the NIU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors in 2000 when, after donating some funds to the University and filling out an update about his career for the association, he was approached about being a part of the board.

“I got a call, and they wanted to know if I was interested in being on the board. I told them that I didn’t know if I was or not,” he said with a smile. “At that time, I worked full-time, I often travelled for work, and I had kids in high school, but the board and I decided to do some interviews to decide jointly if I was a good fit. Once I saw the potential of the association, I wanted to be a part of it.”

Tierney became president of the board in 2007 and remained working with the board through 2012. During this time, the association grew tremendously in terms of offerings and communications to alumni.

“That experience was a really good one,” he said, “and it was what originally got me involved with volunteering at Northern. My wife and I went to a lot of functions at the University, and we were a part of an international trip to France, making several great friends along the way.”

Tierney then moved on to join the NIU Foundation Board in 2013—a volunteer role that has allowed him to play to his strengths.

Tierney, who is currently the chair of the NIU Foundation Investment Committee, is also the board’s treasurer. He and his wife Cheri are generous NIU supporters, having founded the John F. and Cheryl L. Tierney Endowment in the College of Business. Now, Tierney’s work on the Foundation Board expands further on their commitment.

“When you see how the endowment fund is managed through the NIU Foundation, and the long-term success we’re trying to accomplish, it’s remarkable,” Tierney said. “The money for the endowment fund goes for scholarships, endowed professorships, building funds, and other things that can make NIU a better institution. With the work we are doing, we are helping students now, and 50 years from now, to pay the costs of college, which just continues to go up. It’s a difficult proposition for students to get through without scholarships or some other form of assistance, so it’s an important endeavor for the NIU Foundation to be there to provide for students.”

There are plenty of reasons why Tierney believes in the work the foundation is doing. Besides the obvious financial assistance it provides to students, it also provides real-world learning experiences for finance students.

“The Student Managed Portfolio allows seniors and graduate students to work under the Finance Department Chair Gina Nicolosi to manage a small portion of the endowment fund. This is real money, and the students can buy and sell stocks and funds. It’s a terrific internship for anyone who would want to go into investment management or other fields, and the students do a great job! It’s a successful program from every aspect you can imagine. The students walk away with tons of experience, and the returns they come up with on the investment portfolio are fantastic.”

Tierney also touts the values of the foundation and the board’s desire to be good corporate citizens in the community.

“Over the last few years, we have included environmental, social and governance guidelines into the management of the endowment fund,” he said. “We are not only trying to make a good competitive rate of return, but we want to step up to be leaders in the philanthropic world, investing in what matters most to all of us.”

Tierney continues to work with the Foundation’s gift officers to help educate alumni and friends of the University about how their gifts go on to change students’ lives. Most recently, Tierney volunteered for a series of videos that explain how the NIU Endowment Fund is managed. These short messages help donors and those who are considering giving to the University understand how their gifts are invested to ensure long-term impact.

Jean Godlewski, director of finance and strategic initiatives for the NIU Foundation, has had the pleasure of working closely with Tierney in his board roles. She has seen Tierney’s transparency and outgoing nature opens the door with potential donors.

“Jack is an exceptionally talented and accomplished investment professional with a grasp of a very broad knowledge in endowment,” Godlewski said. “He is also really good at facilitating conversation and, because of his unique background in investments and teaching, he’s great at getting ideas across and explaining how institutional fund management works. He’s able to do this in a way that instills trust and faith in the process. We are so happy to have him working with us in this capacity.”

Even as Tierney goes above and beyond to give back to the University, he sees it as a natural extension of the investment he made years ago, when he was working side jobs on campus to pay his tuition.

“When I look back on my life, I was involved with Northern as an undergraduate student, a grad student, an alumnus, and as a volunteer. My son Kevin went to NIU and met his wife Shelby there,” he said. “Being a Huskie has been part of my life since I first was out of high school, and it feels good to have had that lifetime relationship. I have met so many people over the decades who ‘bleed red and black,’ and they are proud of what they have accomplished. They know a lot of it started with Northern.”

For Tierney, supporting NIU has been a sound investment—one that fulfills him personally and is amplified again and again in the larger Huskie community.

“I couldn’t have volunteered at NIU without the support of my wife of more than 38 years, as her support allowed me to put in the time and treasure that we have committed to the University,” Tierney said. “I think that with any volunteer activity, you generally get more out of it than you put into it. It’s been so satisfying to see the impact that the foundation is able to make on people’s lives.”

Date posted: February 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Jack Tierney, ’75, M.S.Ed. ’78, invests in NIU’s future

Categories: Alumni Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

P.J. Fleck
P.J. Fleck, student-teacher!

P.J. Fleck will never forget his semester as a student-teacher at Clinton Rosette Middle School.

It was Spring 2004, and the wide receiver for the NIU Huskies football team had tried to postpone that classroom immersion – he was training for his shot at the NFL, after all – but Professor Pamela Farris put her foot down.

Her words to Fleck were to the point.

“She said, ‘No, you’re not. You’re finishing school,’ ” says Fleck, who earned his B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education that May, “and if you knew Pam Farris, you know that you did what she said.”

And so began a period when Fleck rented two apartments, the one he still had in DeKalb and the one in Oak Brook where he actually slept.

Each morning, the future head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers rose at 4 a.m. for his first workout of the day. By 5:20 a.m., he was driving to DeKalb to begin a full day of student-teaching around 6:45 a.m.

When school dismissed in the afternoon, Fleck hopped back in the car, returning to Oak Brook for his afternoon workout. He followed that with planning for the next school day – and the next school week – before a final nighttime workout and five hours of sleep before it all began again.

That schedule “tested my commitment,” he says, but his perseverance throughout those months confirmed to him that he could return whatever life punted his way.

“I’m going to be prepared if I go to the NFL, and then I’m also going to be prepared if I’m going to be an educator and teach,” Fleck remembers thinking. “That’s why I feel like I can handle anything – because of what I went through as a student-teacher.”

Fleck would go on to accomplish both, of course.

He signed as a free agent in 2004 with the San Francisco 49ers and played pro ball for two seasons in the City by the Bay, and, throughout a coaching career that began in 2006 at Ohio State, he has taught the skills of football and life to hundreds of young men.

P.J. Fleck
P.J. Fleck

Now Fleck, named the NIU College of Education’s Spring 2021 Educator in Residence, will talk about “Winning in Football, Winning in Life” during a free, online keynote address from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 3. → RSVP online!

Launched in Spring 2019, the Educator in Residence program invites successful alumni to give back to NIU and the College of Education by sharing practical tips and tools to prepare students for life after graduation.

“We are thrilled and honored to welcome P.J. Fleck, one of our most well-known alumni, as our Educator in Residence this spring. I am a firm believer that teaching is coaching, and that coaching is teaching, and P.J. certainly has endorsed and exemplified that in his career,” Dean Laurie Elish-Piper says. “As dean, I am proud that he got his start here, and as someone always striving to improve myself and the lives of those around me, I am eager to hear his advice on how we all can become ‘elite.’ ”

Fleck will explore critical concepts of people, vision, process, result and response to illustrate how he continually builds on his Elementary Education degree to motivate, develop and support college athletes as they focus on teamwork and mutual goals.

His job is challenging but rewarding.

“I have 130 players between the ages of 17 and 23. They come from all demographics, all financial backgrounds, all ethnic backgrounds, all religious backgrounds. I’ve got to teach 130 players a culture, a program, a standard – in 130 different ways every day,” Fleck says.

“We have people who have 4.0s. We have people who have 2.0s. You put them all together in this room, and it’s like a community,” he adds, “and that’s what I think educational classrooms are – they’re a community.”

P.J. Fleck and ESPN

Elite! P.J. Fleck, the 2019 Big Ten Coach of the Year, joins ESPN’s Maria Taylor to talk Golden Gopher football.

Coaches and teachers, he says, “get to determine what that community’s like. You get to create the energy, and the purpose, and the passion, and the time spent on making sure people get it, or you could be like other people and say, ‘Eh, it’s just not worth it.’ But these are human beings – they’re all worth it – and it’s up to us as educators to find a way to have them get it.”

Mistakes are essential to the process, Fleck adds.

“You’re not going to be perfect. You’re not going to make all the right decisions. We actually define failing as ‘growth’ and failure as ‘quit,’ ” he says.

“Failing is OK, and I’m here to get everyone to fail. I’m here to push the standard – push the envelope – and when you do reach something, I’m here to make it even the next standard harder for you to reach,” he adds, “and so there’s this constant movement of growth by every single individual as an individual, and there’s this constant movement and growth through failing and succeeding as team.”

He’s navigated calm and choppy waters since joining the coaching ranks but remains steadfast to his now-famous mantra of “Row the Boat” – a philosophy that helped him heal from the passing of his second son, Colt, who died from a heart defect shortly after he was born Feb. 9, 2011.

Between 2006 and his arrival as head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos in 2013, Fleck changed employers several times, working for Ohio State, Rutgers and his alma mater NIU on the college side, and in the pros for the now-Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

During his first season in Kalamazoo, the Broncos went 1-11.

Three years later, however, Fleck and the team finished the 2016 season with a No. 12 ranking, a 13-1 record, a conference championship and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

In Minnesota, where he was named head football coach Jan. 6, 2017, he has led the Gophers to unprecedented heights. In 2019, the team won 11 games for the first time since 1904, securing seven Big Ten victories for the first time in school history, beating two Top 10 teams, winning a Jan. 1 bowl game (the first since 1962) and ending the season ranked No. 10.


“They always say that you’re never ready to be a head coach. You think you’re ready to be a head coach until you are a head coach,” he says. “It’s the same thing with student-teaching. You’re never really ready to teach until you teach, and the greatest form of mastery of something is teaching.”

Although Fleck’s official title is “head coach,” it’s only one of many tags he applies to himself regarding the young athletes in his care.

Parent. Dad. Uncle. Teacher. Educator. Disciplinarian. Life coach. Mental health specialist. Emotional support system.

Years before this life, however, back in his suburban hometown of Sugar Grove, he described himself with four words: “Kind of a runt.”

Make no mistake, however, about the motivation lurking in those four words.

“I was always the ‘King of the Toos’ – too small, too short, too young. That’s kind of the story of my childhood,” Fleck says. “I was a very, very active child. I was involved in everything, to the point where my mom took me back to the pediatrician numerous times, saying, ‘There’s something wrong with this child. He has too much energy. He cries all the time. He just won’t settle down.’ ”

What did bring focus was competition, whether on the playground, at the local YMCA or even in a pottery class with his older sister.

“Baseball. Football. Basketball. Soccer. Any sport to get me out of the house,” he says. “I loved all sports. I always loved to compete. I wanted to be the best at anything I did. If I started something, I wanted to be the best.”

Although Fleck played four sports throughout his time at Kaneland High School, where he helped the football team to earn back-to-back state titles, it was the gridiron that settled him most.

Football appealed to him with – foreshadowing intended – its connection to life.

“There are only so many games. In high school, there are nine. In college, there are 12. You work all year round for these small, three-hour, once-a-week, one-time-a-season opportunities, so everything matters,” he says. “Basketball, there was always two days from now. Baseball, you could always play the next day. With football, it meant more because it was weekly. If you lost on Friday night in high school, you had to wait ’til next Friday night to make that right.”

Go Huskies!
Go Huskies!

It also extended – for seven long days – the raw emotions borne from each game.

“There was this massive joy with a win, and this massive pain with a loss, and I was drawn to that. As a competitor, you’re drawn to that … to that deep, deep enjoyment when you win and that deep, deep pain when you lose,” he says.

“When that’s the one thing that connects you, and knowing that life’s like that – that there’s going to be things out of your control that happen, and you’ve got to respond to it, and you’re got to respond to it now – I think that’s what drove me to football more than any other sport,” he says. “It fits life so much. It teaches you how to be able to grieve, cope, have success, fail, grow. It teaches you all those things that life’s about.”

A challenge to his natural competitive spirit also propelled Fleck toward his eventual pursuit of an Elementary Education degree from NIU.

Recess was, of course, his favorite part of school. Then, he says, Miss Jacob took that away.

“I wasn’t a great student early. I struggled to read. My third-grade teacher, Miss Jacob, changed my life forever because she called me out. She was the first teacher to ever call me out on me faking to read, or me faking to be smart. She called me out – and she kept me from what I loved, which was recess, to read with her,” Fleck says.

“I didn’t have any attention span to sit there, but she gave me things that I would enjoy reading or enjoy learning about, and she almost tutored me in a way that I would understand it. She took the lessons she was teaching everybody else and, during recess, she’d take that and use sports to teach me those lessons,” he adds.

“She taught me that there are numerous ways to learn, and that there are numerous ways to learn lifetime lessons. She took my cultural way of learning – and made it a lifetime lesson that changed my life.”

Go Huskies!

P.J. Fleck ranks No. 3 all-time in the Huskie Football Record Book for pass receptions, with 179 catches for 2,162 yards.

When choosing his college major, he remembered how elementary school – “the most pure, real, joyful time in my life” – had helped him manage some of his shyness and insecurity.

Playing sports also offered that, he says, but it was teachers who instilled the confidence that he could overcome those feelings.

“I felt safe at school,” Fleck says. “I remember pure joy. I remember creativity. I remember just being outside from morning ’til night. I remember my teachers being the people I wanted to be like. I had great influencers in my life who made it fun, who made learning worth it – and I remember the ones who didn’t – but I wanted to be someone who changed people’s lives. I wanted that for me like Miss Jacob had been for me, or Miss Dalton had been for me, or Pamela Farris had been for me.”

He also remembers the rush his teaching debut at Clinton Rosette, even though it had caused him great anxiety.

“When you’re in your clinicals, and you’re going through those three semesters, student-teaching was what I feared the most. I thought, ‘I can socialize. I can talk. I know the information. I feel like I’m creative. But how can I get 30 sixth-graders to learn 30 different ways during a 50-minute lesson?’ That’s hard, and to me, that was the exciting part,” he says.

“When you get that first opportunity to teach that first lesson, that’s a grand slam. You always remember that,” he adds. “I think I taught ancient Rome. All our students were in togas. We were building our ancient cities. In education, you need to use all the senses. If you have a really good clinical teacher, they’ll allow you to do that.”

P.J. Fleck

P.J. Fleck at the 2019 Goldy’s Run, which raises money for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Such a “collision” of topic, creativity and personality combine for the kind of “educational magic where people really learn.”

As a college football coach, Fleck hopes his players are learning life lessons to “be real, be you, be yourself, to be the best versions of themselves, to know that they are special” – and that true success requires, of course, teamwork.

His players hear about “humanity education” that goes beyond “textbook education.”

They hear about vision, hopes, dreams, aspirations – and believing in those. They hear about drawing from their past to create their future. They hear about leading – players and coaches together.

“To get to where you want in life, you’re going to have to earn it. But you’re also going to need other people to get there. We all can’t do it alone. If you’re real, and you’re authentic, and it’s the real you, you’re going to attract the right people to who you really are. We need to attract the right people who can help us to get where we need to go,” he says.

“That’s what I hope people get from me. It’s not the wins. It’s not the losses. It’s the moments and memories of those wins. It’s how you got there. It’s the stories of the people who came from nothing, and maybe didn’t trust and didn’t love and didn’t know what family was, and by the time they got out of your classroom, or the time they were done playing for you as a coach, they can do all things now,” he adds. “I think that’s the biggest thing in teaching and coaching. It’s about giving – and serving.”

Date posted: February 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Educator in Residence P.J. Fleck to share lessons of football, life in March 3 talk

Categories: Alumni Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

Thank you Tina for going out of your way to help course schedulers to enter summer and fall courses using the correct campus codes. Your help is appreciated and we know you put in a lot of hours on making sure everything was accurate and ready for the students.

Applaud a Colleague

Date posted: February 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Tina Moran – Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning

Categories: Applause

Paula helped us create inviting and informative web-based landing pages for the virtual interview days for both our Clinical and School Psychology graduate programs. She was incredibly responsive and her skills resulted in organized and successful days for our candidates, and for us, too! Thank you, Paula!

Applaud a Colleague

Date posted: February 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Paula Meyer – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Categories: Applause

NIU Doctor of Physical Therapy program faculty members Dawn Brown, Nicole Bettin, Bob LeBeau and Joy Robackouski showed they’re experts in the field during a virtual competition held Jan. 15.

In celebration of American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Centennial anniversary, the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) and APTA’s Academy of Education hosted a Jeopardy-style game night via Zoom which drew teams from across the country.

“I decided to enter the NIU Doctor of Physical Therapy program into the virtual Jeopardy-style game as a means of having fun and testing our knowledge,” said Brown, who was the team captain. “I recruited several faculty members, and we were on a four-way phone call during the game so we could discuss answers to the questions.”

About 20 teams representing physical therapy programs from across the U.S. participated in the event. Teams were presented with a total of 25 questions within five separate categories related to physical therapy education and the physical therapy profession.

“We didn’t really prepare, simply relying on our knowledge of the profession’s history as well as our expertise in physical therapy patient management,” Brown said. “The game was a little intense because the rounds were held at lightning speed, but we all had fun as we scrambled to find the answers to the questions.”

Was it a job well done?

The NIU team earned second place, which included a winning prize of two free registrations to the APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) conference which takes place throughout February. The team opted to gift the prize to two Huskie students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and after a lottery drawing, students Mishka Harrisingh and Nick Pedraza were awarded the conference prizes.

“After all, what good is winning if you can’t pay it forward?” Brown said.

Learn more about NIU’s Physical Therapy program.



Date posted: February 18, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on It’s a Jeopardy-style event for NIU Physical Therapy Faculty

Categories: CHHSnews Faculty & Staff Homepage Uncategorized

Tallman PBR can design

Joe Tallman, a graduate of the illustration program in the NIU School of Art and Design is one of five finalists in Pabst Blue Ribbon’s contest to redesign their cans. Tallman’s entry was one of thousands submitted and he made the cutdown to the top 25 designs and has advanced to the final five.

You can vote once per day until midnight Pacific time on February 24 at All five of these designs will be commissioned by PBR over the coming year with cash prizes paid for second and third prize. The winning design will earn $10,000 and see their art on millions of cans all over the country starting this fall.

Tallman told Rockford’s WREX that the design he submitted to Pabst is inspired by Marvel comic book artist Jack Kirby, particularly the background which features Pabst Blue Ribbon bottles flying through space.

More of Tallman’s work can be found on his Instagram and website.

Date posted: February 18, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Art and Design alumnus Joe Tallman advances in Pabst Blue Ribbon can design contest

Categories: Alumni Faculty & Staff Homepage Uncategorized

A team of students from the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders took top honors in the first-ever Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA) ethics video contest.

Madelynn Parrott, Megan Nordstrom, Emily Atchison, Tiffany Jacob and Gracie Strohm are executive board members of NIU’s Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA), and the creative team behind the winning video.

“I am extremely proud of our students,” said Allison Gladfelter, assistant professor and COMSDA adviser. “Advocacy and ethical care are essential components of a successful speech-language pathologist or audiologist, and I’m thrilled to see our COMDSA students exhibiting these skills so early in their careers.”

Students Madelynn Parrott, Megan Nordstrom, Emily Atchison, Tiffany Jacob and Gracie Strohm of NIU’s Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA) were the creative team behind the winning video.

Students were tasked with creating a video centered on an ethical dilemma that a novice audiologist or speech-language pathologist could face. The video needed to be created online to maintain social distancing, include possible resolutions for the ethical dilemma and be less than five minutes in length.

“Our video focused on ethical deliberation in social media use,” Nordstrom said. “Especially during the pandemic, where technology is so prevalent in our lives, it is more important than ever to be mindful about how our actions affect others.”

For their efforts, the students earned a $100 prize along with a prize package that includes therapy materials for the university. Gladfelter said along with the recognition, the students earned much more.

“Our students gained a deeper understanding of the ethical implications of decisions they make while engaging in social media, which will certainly improve the quality of care they will one day offer their own clients.” Gladfelter said. “My hope is that they also had some fun connecting with each other and picked up a little confidence in themselves along the way.”

Watch the winning video created by the COMSDA team.

Date posted: February 17, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders students take home top honors

Categories: CHHSnews Faculty & Staff Homepage Students Uncategorized

Experts from NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences and the DeKalb County Health Department will join Chief of Staff to the President, Matt Streb, to answer questions and address concerns related to the COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.

“There are understandably a lot of questions surrounding the vaccine,” Streb said. “We thought this would be a great opportunity for our community to hear from experts who can answer some of those questions and bust some of the myths surrounding the vaccine.”

Streb will moderate the one-hour webinar that features Beth Squires, Public Health program coordinator for the College of Health and Human Sciences; Susan Caplan, chair and associate professor, NIU School of Nursing; and Cindy Graves, director of Community Health and Prevention and Health Promotion and Emergency Preparedness for the DeKalb County Health Department.

“There is so much information out there, and we are learning so much as we continue through the pandemic,” Squires said. “Having this touch point – where we can share up-to-date and accurate information – is important so people can be as educated as possible.”

Along with an overview of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the experts will discuss how vaccinations will impact an individual’s daily life and provide an overview of DeKalb County’s vaccine distribution process. The webinar will conclude with the experts fielding questions from attendees.

“You’ve got people who are ready and want the vaccine and you have others who are skeptical and have reservations,” Streb said. “Both groups will learn something from this panel.”

In addition, Streb said the webinar is an important platform to talk about what life will look like going forward – once a significant number of people are vaccinated.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel but it is going to take some time,” Streb said. “Even with the vaccine available, we are still going to be in this mask-wearing, social-distancing state for a while and the panel will explain why.”

Date posted: February 17, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Expert panel to provide overview of COVID-19 vaccines

Categories: Centerpiece CHHSnews Community Faculty & Staff Students Uncategorized

Professor Michael Papka from the Department of Computer Science.

Computer Science Professor Michael Papka, director of NIU’s Data, Devices, and Interaction Laboratory (ddiLab), was recently named among the recipients of the 2020 Secretary of Energy’s Honor Awards.

The awards recognize U.S. Department of Energy employees and contractors for their service and contributions to the department’s mission and the benefit of the nation.

Papka holds a joint appointment with Argonne National Laboratory, where he serves as a senior scientist and division director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF).

He and Argonne colleague Katherine Riley, ALCF director of science, were recognized as part of the High-Performance Computing (HPC) Resource Team, which received an Achievement Award from the Secretary of Energy. They were part of the team that mobilized supercomputing resources to accelerate research into treatments and strategies to combat the pandemic.

The Honor Awards represent one of the highest DOE honors for an employee or contractor. Papka’s work also has been recognized at NIU. Last year he was named a Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professor. The award is the university’s top recognition for outstanding research or artistry.

Date posted: February 16, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on DOE recognizes computer scientist Michael Papka with Honor Award

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage