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John Hulseberg works as a painter in the Physical Plant and contributes to a variety of areas on campus.

“It just feels right!”

For NIU staff member John Hulseberg, those four words capture perfectly the reason he donates to Northern through the NIU Foundation. There were other reasons, too, and after additional consideration, Hulseberg was glad to share:

“Contributing financially to a variety of areas on campus is a no-brainer for me. The Operating Staff Dependent Scholarship provides financial help for my fellow staff members’ children who attend NIU. My wife, Laura, earned her master’s degree in art and design education last summer. Our daughters continue to participate in programs through the Community School of the Arts, and we love the wide variety of exhibitions at the Art Museum”, he said. “Lastly, I earned my MPA degree in 2014 and will forever be thankful for the opportunity to graduate from such a prestigious and highly ranked program.” 

Hulseberg came to NIU in 2006 and works as a painter in the Physical Plant.  He also serves as Operating Staff Personal Advisor and is NIU’s representative to the State Universities Civil Service System’s Employee Advisory Committee. Hulseberg’s work and involvement have allowed him to collaborate with a wide variety of staff members at NIU, and his Huskie family has made quite the impression on him.

“Watching how the entire University continues to adapt and evolve to the changing landscape of higher education in Illinois is truly impressive,” he says. “Collectively, our institution has become stronger and more unified in its effort to ensure our students fully experience NIU’s values and mission. I am thankful to be able to go to work every day to a place full of so much energy, critical thinking, collaborative learning, artistry and discovery.” 

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who exudes as much Huskie Pride as Hulseberg, and he hopes to instill that same pride in today’s students. “I am hopeful NIU’s graduates will remember their time positively. No matter where life takes them, they will always be Huskies.” 

One way to exhibit Huskie Pride is by making a financial gift through the NIU Foundation.  “Taking ownership in the place you work is truly rewarding and satisfying,” Hulseberg shares. “Literally, giving that extra little something can help make all the difference in the world to both current and future students.”

Move NIU Forward during Huskies United June 24-25

You can join Hulseberg in moving NIU forward June 24-25 by making a gift during the NIU Foundation’s Huskies United event.  Huskies United will begin at 4:25 p.m. on June 24 and will run for 1,895 minutes, a nod to the university’s founding year. The campaign will focus on raising support for the university’s strategic funding priorities including emergency student funds, diversity, equity and inclusion, scholarships, and research, artistry and innovation.  

You can also help spread the word as an NIU Social Media Ambassador.  Sign-up at

For more information about Huskies United, visit the website at or email [email protected]

Date posted: June 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Moving NIU forward: Why John Hulseberg gives back

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Students Uncategorized

Stephanie Richter, director of faculty development and instructional support at NIU’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

It’s safe to say Stephanie Richter is an expert’s expert on Blackboard Learn, an important virtual learning environment for educators and the platform at the heart of NIU’s pivot to remote learning this spring in response to the pandemic.

Richter, director of faculty development and instructional support at NIU’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, has been deeply involved in the Blackboard Community for more than a decade. She is often sought out by other institutions for guidance on use, implementation and providing support to faculty for using Blackboard for teaching and learning. Along with other CITL staff members, she also has been recognized with awards for NIU’s implementation of Blackboard.

Now Richter is stepping up her involvement. She recently was selected to be a member of the inaugural Blackboard Community Leadership Circle, a small client-led governance/advisory board positioned to lead and influence community initiatives for Blackboard.

“This is a well-deserved recognition and elevated opportunity for Stephanie to provide input into Blackboard Support Community initiatives,” said Jason Rhode, NIU executive director of extended learning and chief online officer.

“Her new role gives NIU an important voice in the future development of Blackboard Support,” he added. “The insights and support expertise of Stephanie and her team in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning have been vital to supporting faculty and students as they made the quick pivot to remote teaching and learning.”

Members of Blackboard’s CLC are selected by an internal committee comprised of Blackboard leaders from various functions of the business. Once selected, members will contribute to the mission in a variety of ways and can be appointed to one of six leadership committees.

“My involvement with the Blackboard community helps CITL better serve NIU’s faculty and students,” Richter said. “I am privileged to have the opportunity to learn about Blackboard’s future direction and development plans, and to advocate for changes that improve the teaching and learning experience in Blackboard.”

Richter also founded and serves as co-leader of the Chicago-Area Blackboard User Group, which facilitates sharing of practices among Chicago-area and other Illinois institutions who are also Blackboard clients.

Date posted: June 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Stephanie Richter named to Blackboard Community Leadership Circle

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage

Now, more than ever, teachers are concerned about engaging students and making learning relevant to them, whether that learning happens in school or at home, in person or online.

This July, NIU STEAM’s virtual summer institute will offer educators four weeks of flexible, interactive professional development to help them integrate STEAM learning into any subject. The virtual institute begins July 6, and educators can sign up for a single week for $50 or all four weeks for $175. Registration and more information are online at

STEAM refers to science, technology, engineering, art and math, but STEAM learning is more than just addressing each subject individually. Instead, according Kristin Brynteson, director of professional development for NIU STEAM, it is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that can be applied in any subject area.

“STEAM learning is about helping students follow their curiosity, promoting creativity, engaging in problem solving and making real world connections,” Brynteson says.

“We’ve been talking to teachers, she continues, “and we’ve found that STEAM learning and project-based learning (PBL) can be very well suited for an online or blended classroom, where students can work on different projects, either independently or with their classmates, exploring some of their own interests in a unique way.”

Attendees can expect to spend about six hours per week engaged in a blend of live sessions and self-paced activities. Each week will include a live panel discussion with classroom teachers, as well as an opportunity to work in small groups in a coaching situation with NIU STEAM team members.

The sessions include:

  • Week 1, July 6-10 – STEAMing it Up Anywhere: Tips and Strategies for Promoting STEAM Learning In and Out of the Classroom
  • Week 2, July 13-17 – STEAMing UP Math: Building Mathematical Practices through Authentic PBL
  • Week 3, July 20-24 – STEAM Stories: Connecting to STEAM through Literature, Narratives and Non-fiction
  • Week 4, July 27-31 – STEAM and SEL: Social Emotional Learning Using the NIU STEAM Essentials 

Registration and more information are available at With questions, contact Kristin Brynteson at [email protected].

Date posted: June 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU STEAM Virtual Summer Institute helps educators incorporate hands-on learning, even in the online classroom

Categories: Alumni Community Faculty & Staff Homepage Uncategorized

NIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is offering selected audiology services through July. Patients may schedule curbside or drop-off hearing aid repairs at the clinic, 3100 Sycamore Road in DeKalb.

Call 815-753-1481 for same-day, curbside service. Drop-offs are accepted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Warranties and standard service rates apply, and patients will be billed.

For both curbside and drop-off services, patients should put their devices in a sealable plastic baggie with their name and a phone number where they can be reached for pickup.

There is a drop-off bin at the clinic’s front door to place the baggie, and a doorbell to ring to alert staff. Patients are asked to then return to their vehicle (audiologists will not be available for in-person consultation at this time). They will be contacted for pickup (typically the same day for curbside, one to two days for drop-offs). All devices/baggies will be disinfected prior to return.

The clinic will also be taking requests for in-person appointments for device reprogramming or fit problems, to begin in mid July. Diagnostic appointments scheduling will follow. Call 815-753-1481 to request services.

All patients will be screened both on the telephone and at check-in for appointments, following Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Health recommendations for COVID-19 prevention. All staff and clinicians are also screened daily and wear appropriate protective equipment while in contact with your devices. All clinic visitors will be required to wear a mask.

For more information, please call 815-753-1481 or email [email protected].

Date posted: June 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Drop-off, curbside hearing aid services available at NIU clinic

Categories: Communiversity Faculty & Staff Homepage

NIU faculty, staff and students are getting adjusted to working from home which means many hours will be spent in front of a laptop or desktop computer. This will inevitably result in neck and back or even hand and wrist pain. Research has shown an ergonomically designed workstation is instrumental in allowing you to effectively accomplish work while preventing work-related injuries due to strain and overuse. Research has also shown that workstation stretches and strengthening reduce pain in these areas when performed consistently.

Clinical Assistant Professor Dawn Brown from NIU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

We asked Dawn Brown, clinical assistant professor for NIU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program and certified ergonomist assessment specialist, to share some tips to reduce pain in these areas:

Computer Workstation

  • Chairs should have:
    • 5 wheels.
    • Back support.
    • Allow your feet should be flat on floor.
  • Computers should have:
    • Monitors centered slightly above eye level and an arm’s length away from face.
    • Keyboards positioned so elbows are 90 degrees and shoulders perpendicular to the floor.
    • Ability to slide your knees under keyboard tray or desk.
    • If you are using a laptop, consider a laptop stand and extended keyboard.

Stretches and Strengthening:

  • Take 30 second stretch breaks after every 30 minutes of computer work.
  • Roll shoulders backwards.
  • Turn your head side to side.
  • Stretch out your forearms and legs.
  • Do standing back extensions.
  • Do shoulder blade squeezes.

Additional workplace wellness tips can be found at the American Physical Therapy website.

If you have additional questions, comments, or concerns regarding these recommendations, or would like to make an appointment to be examined by a physical therapist at the NIU PT Clinic, please contact Brown at [email protected].

Date posted: June 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Ergonomics and working from home: PT professor shares tips

Categories: CHHSnews Faculty & Staff Homepage

As their culminating experience at NIU, five digital marketing graduate students helped ease the burden placed on small businesses during the pandemic-related shutdown.

Mya Groza

The students in MKTG 684 – Capstone Application in Digital Marketing taught by Mya Groza, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Marketing in the College of Business, provided businesses with the digital transformation they needed to stay relevant.

To earn Master of Science degrees in Digital Marketing, seven of Groza’s 11 students took a client-based approach to their capstone projects, as opposed to a more research-based approach.  

Five students worked directly with small businesses this past spring to develop websites and social media campaigns.

Their efforts took on added meaning as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic hit and most small businesses had to physically close their buildings.

“The importance of digital technology was just amplified,” said Groza, a member of the small business task force DeKalb County UNITES (DeKalb County University and Neighbors Investing Together for Economic Success).

The task force of NIU and DeKalb County leaders formed in response to the pandemic to help small businesses remain viable during a period of restrictions and economic uncertainty.

Recently, Groza and fellow members conducted a survey to help gauge consumer sentiment right here in DeKalb County. One finding highlighting the importance of digital tools for small businesses is 70 percent of consumers either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that small businesses without websites are viewed as less credible. 

Groza is happy NIU graduate students were able to give small businesses the essential tools they needed to connect during a time of isolation. While beneficial to small businesses and entrepreneurs, the experience was engaging and educational for students, she said.

“There were so many benefits,” she said. “They helped small businesses in a time of need and also have something to put in their portfolios. When they’re applying for jobs, they can point to these websites and say, ‘I did this.’”

Graduate student Kristen Killian, the enrollment communications coordinator in the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications at NIU, redesigned a website for Big River Hardware in Sugar Grove. The small business has a product line involving antique radio restoration and unique guitar parts.

Along with transforming the website, Killian provided the business with resources to maintain the website for years to come.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in the middle of this project, it allowed me the extra time to dedicate to re-designing their website,” she said. “Because of that, it made me feel like I helped a small business that could possibly be affected by economic effects of the pandemic.”

Awarded the outstanding graduate student award in digital marketing this past spring, Kellsie Mohr of DeKalb worked with Wired Nutrition of DeKalb to create a new website for the business.

Opened in 2019, the business previously had marketed itself solely through Facebook.

A customer of Wired Nutrition, Mohr asked owner Kimberly Zepeda if she’d like to collaborate.

“I was super excited,” Zepeda said. “A website was something we wanted, but I didn’t know how to go about doing it. Because we had built a connection through the customer base and had become friends, I knew what kind of person she was and I knew my website would be done to the best of her ability…

“It was amazing. She really listened to what I wanted and created it. I love it,” she said. “It was definitely an asset we were missing.”

Along with finishing her capstone project, Mohr found it rewarding to help a small business. With an undergraduate background in sociology, she said helping people always has been a top priority.

 “Especially during all of this, with everything so uncertain, it was definitely something that brightened my day,” Mohr said.

Among other graduate student projects, Faiza Aslam created a new website for Ashley’s Pizza in Rockford; Milan Brown worked on a social media campaign for Crème De La Brim; and Jeremy Johnson helped Opticways with the creation of a website (no longer active).

Date posted: June 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Digital marketing grads tackle needs of small businesses during pandemic

Categories: Business Community Communiversity Engagement Faculty & Staff Homepage Prospective Students Students Uncategorized

When you ask Sandy López’s children how many siblings they have, they often respond, “There are only two of us, but our NIU family is huge!”

Sandy López, coordinator of NIU’s Undocumented Student Support, donates to the university to make a difference in the lives of students.

That’s because López has been deeply ingrained within the NIU community for over 30 years dating back to her time as a student and continuing through 27 years of employment in a variety of roles on campus. In 2018, López joined the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) where she serves as Coordinator for Undocumented Student Support.

In her role, López creates a climate of respect for all by addressing emerging and complex issues surrounding undocumented and mixed-status students. When asked to share a special memory of her time at NIU, López offered the following:

“One of my favorite moments was attending the first Coming Out of the Shadows event at NIU. I will never forget the sense of pride and awe I felt as I witnessed students stand in the MLK Commons and declare their status so they could bring about change on campus not only for themselves but for their peers and future Huskies by countering stereotypes about undocumented immigrants and asking NIU to help eliminate barriers they were facing.”

López is also involved in several NIU student organizations and the community, serving as an advisor for Alpha Psi Lambda National Inc., DREAM Action NIU, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS).

With such active involvement at NIU, it’s no wonder that her children consider the NIU community part of their family. López’s husband is also a graduate of NIU.

Her many connections to NIU and strong belief in its mission, vision and values have created a resounding sense of Huskie Pride within López.

“I am a proud Huskie,” she shares. “And over the years the positive changes NIU has made continue to make me proud. From the Huskie Pledge to the new test blind admissions policy, NIU is making degree attainment in higher education more accessible for all!”

López unleashes her Huskie Pride through her donations and by serving as a Social Media Ambassador for the NIU Foundation.

“I donate because NIU changed my life,” she says. “I was the first in my family to attend college. NIU provided me with the resources and support to earn my degree and continue on at NIU as an employee for the past 27 years.”

As a Social Media Ambassador, López encourages others to support NIU by using social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. When asked what her message to potential donors might be, she says:

“Please donate to NIU—no matter the amount. If we all donate, we can make a difference in the lives of NIU students. Donate during Huskies United and encourage your fellow Huskies to do the same.”

Move NIU Forward during Huskies United June 24-25

You can join López in moving NIU forward June 24-25 by making a gift during NIU Foundation’s Huskies United event. Huskies United will begin at 4:25 p.m. on June 24 and will run for 1,895 minutes, a nod to the university’s founding year. The campaign will focus on raising support for the university’s strategic funding priorities including emergency student funds, diversity, equity and inclusion, scholarships, and research, artistry and innovation.

Date posted: June 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Moving NIU forward: Why Sandy López gives back

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Students Uncategorized


Krueger regularly gives back to NIU as an active alumna, often mentoring young women in business. It all comes back to a sense of gratitude Krueger feels for where she got her start.

It took Jill Krueger years to figure out what she wanted to do with her career, but when she found it, there was no going back. To Krueger, there is nothing better than making a business successful while improving people’s lives. 

As president and chief executive officer of Symbria, Inc., located in Warrenville, Illinois, Krueger leads the national developer and provider of innovative, outcome-driven programs that enhance the lives of the geriatric population. In her 25 years as CEO, Krueger has driven revenue at Symbria from $300,000 to $150 million, grew the company’s employee base to nearly 2,000, and spurred innovations in technology and analytical tools to support the service business.  

Later this month, Krueger will be recognized with the NIUAA’s Alumni Achievement in the Business and Industry Award.

“When I came to NIU, I changed majors a lot of times,” she remembered. “A lot of young students feel so much pressure to make a decision and have a solid career path, and I always tell them, ‘Don’t do that! Let opportunity come your way.’”   

Krueger began in fashion merchandising, then interior design, before settling into the world of finance. Not long after graduation, a connection through a friend of a friend led to her working for a company that developed, marketed and managed retirement communities.  

“A seed was planted, and I absolutely fell in love with what I was doing,” she said, “But not long after, Ernst and Whinney offered me an interview and, looking back, it was a key decision in my life. I moved to Tennessee and began working in public accounting.” 

From there, Krueger became a certified public accountant and moved back to Chicago to work for KPMG. She thrived there, moving up in management and making partner in just a few years. 

“In the early 1990s, there were not a lot of female partners, and that was really one of the biggest accomplishments of my career,” she said.  

While Krueger loved the work, she had a young daughter at home and struggled for a work-life balance. Still, when several Chicago clients came to her with the idea of forming Symbria, asking if Krueger would like to be its CEO, she turned them down. 

“I said, no!” she said with a laugh. “At that point, I felt proud about becoming a partner at KPMG and really loved my job, despite the long hours. So instead, I offered to help them find a CEO. The problem was that none of the people I interviewed had the vision I did for the company!” 

A year went by, with Krueger keeping up with a grueling schedule, and she finally decided to take the job. 

“I went from a huge resourceful accounting firm to a company that was just me,” she remembered. “Everybody has different strengths and mine has always been vision. I can kind of see the future of a business. Getting into senior living in the 1980s, it was just the beginning of the aging of America, and there was a lot to think about and plan for. At KPMG, I did a lot of strategic planning for my clients, but I was never there to execute the strategy. At Symbria, then and now, I have had such a desire to have a vision for our future and actually bring it to life.”   

Krueger knew she had found a role she would want for the long-term.  

“I can remember coming home at night and pushing my daughter on the swing set and just being so thankful to have the time to spend with family at night. That was so fulfilling to me back then. These days, it’s the team of talented people I get to work with every day that fulfills me. I love people, and I love partnerships and collaboration and being able to bring our grand vision to life. Symbria’s vision is really to provide rehab, pharmacy and well-being programs and services to promote the quality of life and independence of older adults, so it’s a feel-good vision.” 

Krueger is also experienced in corporate governance, currently serving as a director on publicly traded, privately held for-profit boards, and nonprofit boards. She currently serves on the Board of Capital Senior Living (NYSE: CSU) and the board of iMedia Brands, Inc., a NASDAQ: IMBI interactive media company.  

She also regularly gives back to NIU as an active alumna, often mentoring young women in business. It all comes back to a sense of gratitude Krueger feels for where she got her start.  

“I am forever grateful to my four-year education at NIU,” she said. “It started with the curriculum. I kept the books I had—Working Capital Management, Capital Budgeting—on a shelf in my office probably for decades and would refer to them. And the professors, in my opinion, even though it was a big school, they really took an interest in students. I’m not sure you find that at every University.” 

Date posted: June 10, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Jill Krueger, ’81, receives Alumni Achievement in Business and Industry Award

Categories: Alumni Faculty & Staff Homepage Uncategorized

Exciting things are happening for Associate Professor of Engineering Technology Shanthi Muthuswamy, Ph.D. In January 2020 she joined the executive committee as the vice president of the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), which has made history for the organization. “We have had only two female presidents in the last 68 years,” she said. “I am the first woman of color to join the executive committee as the VP.  I hope I won’t be the last!”  After completing her two-year tenure as the VP, she will continue to serve as the president of CICMHE for the following two years.

 The first woman of color VP

MHI is the nation’s largest material handling, logistics, and supply chain association with 800+ members.  The members are manufacturers of material handling, logistics equipment and supply chain management systems, who sell their products to end-users such as Amazon, Tesla, Walmart etc.  MHI develops solutions to common industrial challenges faced by its members and has 17 industry groups that work on product-specific market data and ANSI standards compliance standards. “Any company that needs material handling equipment to move their products, or logistics related solutions, will invariably be working with one of the MHI members,” she said.

MHI strongly values the importance of material handling education and partners with CICMHE to harness the knowledge and insights from academia. CICMHE is composed of 16 members drawn from faculty at leading universities and 5 members from the material handling Industry who are distributors, end-users and consultants. CICMHE is actively involved in developing the next generation workforce for the industry.

Some of the key events organized by CICMHE include: classroom days in which students from all over the country visit MHI’s industry trade shows such as PROMAT and MODEX to see the latest innovations in material handling technologies; a Material Handling Teachers Institute, which equips faculty with the most relevant strategies and techniques for teaching material handling courses; an International Material Handling Research Colloquium which brings together the researchers who are working on the current logistics, supply chain and material handling related challenges. The organization also conducts student material handling design competitions, and writes white papers and gives presentations on topics such as big data, Industry 4.0, etc.

Muthuswamy said that over the past several decades, CICMHE members have been the “gurus” of the material handling industry. “It’s an honor to be on the executive committee and follow in their footsteps. We have the power to make the material handling education better and shape tomorrow’s leaders!”

Awarded for virtual teaching solutions
But there is more exciting news for Muthuswamy, much closer to home. She was selected to receive NIU’s David W. Raymond Award for the Use of Technology in Teaching. She earned the award for the tutoring tool she created for the CEET called “5-Minute Solutions” – a series of videos 3-5 minutes long that quickly and succinctly explain essential concepts in the areas of engineering and mathematics. Students use them to review and refresh basic concepts to perform well in their assignments, quizzes, and exams.

“Students tend to forget some concepts over the summer and having the pre-req video packages help them refresh these ideas before taking the higher-level courses,” she said. These videos have made a difference! In the year after launching the videos, data collected from an engineering course showed an 11% increase in the number of students who got A’s & B’s, a 7% decrease in C’s & D’s, and 5% fewer students failed the course.

The award is presented each year by the Division of Academic Affairs in the office of the executive vice president and provost. The winner is a faculty member who has “most creatively and fruitfully implemented new teaching technologies.”

Muthuswamy started the 5-Minute Solutions project in 2016 with a couple of courses and worked up to 16 different undergraduate courses. There are currently more than 430 videos that have been viewed over 4,000 times. The videos are accessible to all CEET students through the Blackboard and are smartphone friendly. What makes these videos effective is that the content is based directly on the textbooks used for the courses.

Muthuswamy is scheduled, in the near future, to present on the 5-Minute Solutions project to the university.

Date posted: June 10, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Professor Muthuswamy named first woman of color VP for educational council

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage

Huskies. Never. Quit.

But sometimes they need a little help.

Providing NIU students that helping hand is the goal of the NIU Foundation’s Huskies United. The fundraising event will begin at 4:25 p.m. on June 24 and will run for 1,895 minutes, a nod to the university’s founding year. The campaign will focus on raising support for the university’s strategic funding priorities including emergency student funds, diversity, equity and inclusion, scholarships, and research, artistry and innovation.  

“In the wake of COVID-19, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the Huskie community,” shares Michael Adzovic, director of the Northern Fund.  “It’s been overwhelming to see such care and concern for our students.  That initial response from our faculty, staff, alumni, and friends was our inspiration to hold Huskies United.”

Much of that support has come through donations to NIU’s Student Emergency Fund. Since the fund was announced in March, nearly $150,000 has been raised to assist NIU students with emergency needs.   

In addition to the Student Emergency Fund, Huskies United will focus on three other strategic priorities for NIU—the Huskies United Fund, student scholarships, and diversity, equity and inclusion.  The Huskies United Fund provides financial resources for educational excellence, innovation, research, and artistry. Student scholarships ensure that students have the opportunity to attend, advance at, and graduate from NIU. Diversity, equity and inclusion provides many engaging educational experiences to work towards an inclusive campus where everyone respects the value and dignity of all its members. 

“All four funding opportunities allow the Huskie family to unite and help move NIU forward,” shares Adzovic.  “We’ve already had so many faculty, staff, alumni, and friends step forward to show their support during this time, and we know more will come together during Huskies United to show our students just how much they care.”

There are several ways the NIU campus community can get involved in Huskies United:

  • Social Media Ambassador. Social media ambassadors share messages and create excitement about Huskies United before and during the campaign.  You can sign up to be a Social Media Ambassador online.
  • Donate Your Parking Refund. All campus parking refund donations made in June will count in the Huskies United totals.
  • Payroll Deduction. NIU employees can create a payroll deduction gift online and have it count in the Huskies United totals.
  • Give Online June 24-25. Visit the Huskies United website starting at 4:25 PM on June 24 to make your gift online.

If you have any questions about Huskies United, please email the Northern Fund office at [email protected]

Date posted: June 10, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU Foundation to hold Huskies United event

Categories: Alumni Centerpiece Community Faculty & Staff Parents Students Uncategorized

Northern Illinois University announced today that it is among a group of 12 universities that have joined together to create the Esports Collegiate Conference.

Esports Collegiate will provide structure, scheduling and championship opportunities for its membership, with competition beginning in the 2020-21 academic year.

“We are proud to be one of the founding members of Esports Collegiate,” said NIU President Lisa Freeman. “The conference not only creates excellent competitive opportunities for our esports athletes, but also a business model for students to study as we build interdisciplinary academic programs at NIU, which will prepare our graduates to work in the esports industry.”

Joining NIU in the conference are University of Akron, Ball State University, Bowling Green State University, University at Buffalo, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Kent State University, Miami University, Ohio University, University of Toledo and Western Michigan University. While the membership of the ESC mirrors that of the Mid-American Conference, it is an independent entity that will operate separately from the MAC.

NIU has been active in the esports scene for the last seven years, starting with informal LAN parties in residence halls and growing into a club with more than 100 members by this past year. The organization got a major boost in the fall of 2017 when Dr. Freeman attended a meeting of MAC presidents, all of whom endorsed the creation of an independent esports conference. The following February, NIU launched the NIU Esports Initiative, which is housed in the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development. Around that time, the club also got a permanent home on the lower level of the Neptune North residence hall, allowing for more formal competition. Until now, however, students could only compete at the club level.

“To be part of a conference will really enhance our program,” said Esports Faculty Advisor Jeannine East. “It legitimizes esports and gives our students a chance to shine. They work very hard, and work together very well as a team, so they deserve this opportunity. We are grateful to the university, and to all of the organizers of Esports Collegiate, for all the work that it took to get us here.”

Being part of a certified conference brings with it not only prestige, but also greater support for the e-athletes. While they will not be eligible for scholarships, the gamers will have access to academic, personal support, group training and any other support needed to ensure their welfare, just like scholarship athletes on campus. The league competed informally this past spring, giving members of the Huskie esports community a taste of what is to come.

“The competition was definitely a step up in class and competing in a conference where the teams will get to know one another should take it to another level,” said Conner Vagle, who will serve as general manager for the team. Vagle attended NIU, spending three semesters playing competitively with the NIU Esports Club and one as president of the organization. He graduated in 2019 with a degree in communication, and also took classes that will be part of a new undergraduate minor in esports management starting at NIU this fall. The interdisciplinary program is designed to provide students with the knowledge needed to get a job in the esports industry, regardless of their majors.

In his role, Vagle will oversee the teams (one per video game, with 11 students total competing) and coaches, while coordinating relationships with trainers and others, scheduling non-conference matches and all other aspects of the team, freeing up players to focus on competition. He also will oversee the Esports Special Interest Community on campus.

Tryouts for the team will be held in the fall. Members of the team (which is open to all genders) will practice about 10 hours per week, Vagle said, with matches one evening each week and on Saturdays during the season. The conference will hold an exhibition season in the fall and kick off official competition in the spring of 2021. All of the team’s matches will be broadcast on the NIU Twitch channel.

For more information on the NIU esports team and the esports club, visit the NIU Esports webpage.

Date posted: June 10, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU Esports to compete in the Esports Collegiate Conference

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Prospective Students Sports Students

Strive for College, a national student mentoring nonprofit organization, has recognized Northern Illinois University for excellence in both outcomes and inclusion for low-income and first-generation college students.

“NIU has proudly served and deepened its commitment to a broad and diverse student population,” NIU Admissions Director Quinton Clay said.

“This comes as a result of student-centered prioritization, a commitment to researching and adopting best-practices, and careful analysis and positive receptiveness to feedback from NIU students and our community,” he added. “This spirit of continuous improvement and our desire to directly impact social mobility are pillars to our mission, vision and values.”

Strive for College identified outcomes and inclusion among its “critical benchmarks” for colleges working to improve trends among students who are the first in their families to pursue higher education or come from low-income households.

Those groups continue to be severely underrepresented on the nation’s college campuses, despite high educational aspirations. While over 80 percent of such students have expectations of going to college in the tenth grade, only 20 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 25, according to Strive for College. Its data-based measures of actual performance demonstrate a tangible commitment to students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

In the “outcomes” category, Strive for Five recognizes colleges that have seen high percentages of graduates (greater than 25%) from lower-income families who end up as higher-income adults.

In the “inclusion” category, Strive for College recognizes institutions where at least 25% of undergraduates receive Pell Grants, meaning at least 1 in 4 students come from low-income families.

More than 50 percent of NIU students are first-generation college students. Additionally, more than 40% of NIU undergraduates qualify for federal need-based Pell Grants, designed to help low-income students nationwide earn degrees.

Strive for College runs, an online community celebrating first-generation college students, and publishes the I’m First! Guide to College in support of first-generation college students. It also partners with colleges and universities to promote and strengthen their efforts on behalf of these students.

The nonprofit organization counts Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, American Express, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, UPS and The Common Application among its major funders and partners.

Date posted: June 10, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU recognized for excellence in inclusion and outcomes

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Prospective Students Students Uncategorized