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Each day, the nine individuals who staff the phones for NIU Police and Public Safety answer hundreds of calls from the mundane requests for information to life-threatening situations. And they do it all in a calm and professional manner.

That is why, April 8-14, NIU Police & Public Safety is celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.

“Given that dispatchers are rarely seen, people don’t often give a lot of thought to the job they do, however when people pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1 they know that someone will be there,” said Colleen Quigley-McAllister, who supervises telecommunications for NIU Police. “They work days, nights, holidays and weekends, missing out on birthdays, dinners and family gatherings – and sadly this can be a rather thankless job. The dispatchers at NIU do a fantastic job, so we wanted to make sure that we recognize the contributions they make by observing this week.”

Sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, the week honors the thousands of men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render lifesaving assistance to the citizens of the United States.

In times of intense personal crisis and community-wide disasters, the first access point for those seeking all classes of emergency services is 9-1-1. The local, county and university public safety communications centers that receive these calls have emerged as the first and single point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during an emergency.

Date posted: April 9, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Have you hugged your dispatcher today?

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage

Senator Dick Durbin meeting with NIU administrators and students of Dream Action NIU in Altgeld Hall on March 27, 2018.

Senator Dick Durbin sat down Tuesday with leaders from DREAM Action NIU to update them on efforts to protect DACA recipients. While the information was complex, his message was simple: Don’t give up.

In a 30-minute session at Altgeld Hall, the Illinois Senator, who was the main architect of the Dream Act, met with DREAM Action NIU Co-Presidents Laura Vivaldo Cholula and Yeon Woo Kim, as well as the organization’s Community Outreach Chair Pablo Valencia. Durbin discussed the recent history of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has provided protection from deportation for individuals brought to America as children by parents who entered the country without inspection.

Barack Obama signed DACA into being as an executive order, but Donald Trump rescinded that order in September. The program officially ended March 5, but federal judges have ordered the administration to keep accepting DACA renewal applications while the courts weigh legal challenges over how the program was ended. Without DACA protections, an estimated 800,000 Dreamers could ultimately face deportation to countries and cultures that they may barely know.

In the meantime, Durbin continues to lead the fight to not just extend DACA, but also to provide a more permanent solution for Dreamers. “We can’t give up,” he told the students and a group of administrators gathered Tuesday. “This is a battle that we are committed to. It is going to work out.”

A student shares a picture on the phone with Senator Durbin.  The picture was from when she met the Senator for the first time – 17 years ago, when she was a toddler.

Durbin said that the most powerful contribution the students can make at this point is to continue telling their story to anyone who will listen. Allowing people to get to know them, and learning about how this would affect their lives, is the best way to change minds.

That is something that Dream Action is very good at, said Sandy López – Assistant to the Director Center for Latino and Latin American Studies and one of the advisors for DREAM Action NIU. In the past year alone, the group has held more than 30 training sessions for faculty, staff and students at NIU, at high schools, at community colleges and to mental health counselors and others across the region.

“It can be difficult being told, ‘Just keep doing what you have been doing,’ but Senator Durbin is 100 percent right about the value of humanizing the issue,” said López, who noted that the organization is scheduled to give another training session soon, this one at Kishwaukee College.

Also attending the meeting with Durbin were NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman, Director of the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies Christina D. Abreu, Chief Diversity Officer Vernese Edghill-Walden , Director of the Asian American Resource Center Michelle Bringas, and Director of the Latino Resource Center Luis Santos Rivas.

Date posted: March 28, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Durbin visits NIU to talk with Dreamers

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Parents Prospective Students Uncategorized

People who love movies love to talk about movies.

Scott Wickman

Sometimes it’s the plot. Sometimes it’s the acting. Sometimes it’s the cinematography or the music or the special effects.

But for NIU’s Scott Wickman and his cohort of film buffs – colleagues, students, longtime friends – the topic of conversation explores how movies portray issues of mental health and its professional treatment.

Wickman, an associate professor of Counseling in the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, is the co-creator of the “Mental Illness in Pop Culture” podcast, available for free through iTunes and heard around the world.

Now in its third season, the podcast currently features 22 episodes that dissect feature films, documentaries and even classic Saturday morning cartoons in the belief “that public

Adam Gregory

perception is both reflected and influenced by popular media.”

“Even though this is really fun to do, there’s an educational component to this,” Wickman says. “Listeners just feel like they’re sitting in the room with us, engaging in the conversation. We’re like the Siskel and Ebert of Counselor Education. It’s become an international phenomenon.”

Two of his frequent collaborators – Adam Gregory, an NIU Ph.D. candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision; and Leanne Deister-Goodwin, a consultant, group facilitator and public speaker on leadership and management who is also pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling – bring different perspectives.

Gregory, a seasoned cinephile, previously was a member of the Cleveland International Film Festival for five years. He also once drove from Cleveland to Detroit simply to watch “Brokeback Mountain” before the Oscars.

“I watch maybe five or six movies a week. It’s my self-care,” Gregory says. “This has never felt like work.”

Leanne Deister-Goodwin

Deister-Goodwin, on the other hand, calls herself “just a consumer” of movies. She became a fan of the podcast at the urging of Wickman, who had been her high school Spanish teacher in downstate Robinson.

Joseph Flynn, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction with an interest in pop culture, media and critical race theory, has joined the panel for Season Three.

Recordings are made in Wickman’s Graham Hall office on his Samsung phone. There are no rehearsals or preparation beyond watching the movies in advance; the conversations are unscripted and free-flowing with no set time limit.

Films discussed so far include classics such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Ordinary People” and “Harold and Maude” as well as contemporary works such as “Moonlight,” “Manchester By the Sea” and “Inside Out.”

Others include “Good Will Hunting,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

A December 2017 episode on “Looney Tunes” analyzed Pepé Le Pew’s predator tendencies, looked at gender identity issues concerning Bugs Bunny and mused that Wile E. Coyote has a schizoaffective disorder, positing that the roadrunner existed only in his mind: “It’s a compelling argument!” Wickman says.

Honesty and courage are key to the podcast’s authenticity. The panel members are candid when their life stories offer parallels to the characters and plots they are analyzing.

“Manchester By the Sea,” for example, is a 2016 film about a man’s struggle with unbearable grief. The recording of that podcast came only two or three days after Wickman lost two close friends; part of the discussion prompted Gregory to tell a story of when he answered his father’s cell phone one day after his father died.

Panelists wondered why no character in the movie suggested that the man, played by Casey Affleck, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal, seek professional help. They discussed themes of the movie – abandonment, forgiveness, suffering is universal – and hoped that healing came for the characters after the movie’s non-Hollywood ending.

During their recording session one week later on “The Soloist,” which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a print journalist who encounters Jamie Foxx, whose character is a homeless musical genius, it was Deister-Goodwin’s turn to share something personal – and to grasp again the power of the podcast.

“There’s so much of us in this thing. Being real, true and authentic is always our goal, and we try to bring that,” she says. “When I was young, I had some years of my adolescence when I lived in a van.”

Wickman believes that such revelations boost the podcast’s impact, along with the mix of professionals and students and the “split-level talking” theory of chatting with each other while simultaneously addressing a much larger audience.

Using film as the foundation helps as well. “We all watch movies. We just do,” Deister-Goodwin says, “and you can enjoy the podcast even if you haven’t seen the movies or know about counseling.”

Members of the panel, who clearly have become tight friends, also hold each other in high regard.

“Scott always makes sure that everyone’s voice is important and heard,” Deister-Goodwin says. “When you’re in an environment where you’re valued, and you’re heard, you want to give more. You really do.”

It originated with a course Wickman offered under the same name – Mental Illness in Pop Culture – that didn’t attract enough students to make it viable. Those who had signed up, however, still were interested and asked if it could become an independent study.

Ph.D. student Gregory was there, too, and had been ready and willing to co-teach with Wickman.

When the two met at Starbucks to brainstorm ideas of how to salvage the concept, they hit upon the idea of the podcast – something that now has reached ears on every continent except Antarctica.

NIU’s podcasters, meanwhile, have presented at a Chicago conference of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision; they’ve also been told that faculty at other colleges and universities have required the podcast as part of academic courses or have awarded extra credit for listening.

“It’s just an amazing adrenaline rush. I sit back and watch us go from 200 to 300 listens over a 48-hour period,” Wickman says. “It’s why I got into counselor education – to contribute knowledge and dialogue on these topics.”

Upcoming films will include “Still Alice,” “Room” and “Nebraska,” and Wickman is hoping that the podcast can also expand its scope.

“These are really compelling films, and we’re looking at them through a critical lens that helps certain elements pop out,” he says. “We all have ideas. We talk about what we’ve seen, what’s resonated with us. I have a dream that this moves us into other pop culture – songs, books, TV.”

Date posted: March 26, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Faculty, student podcast probes portrayal of mental illness in film

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

The Founder’s Memorial Library is set to become the hot new dining spot on campus.

Coffee & Bagels will replace the former Founder’s Café on the lower level of the library beginning April 9. The new dining destination will feature the combined offerings of Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

As the name implies, Einstein Bros. offers a selection of bagels and cream cheese (aka shmear), but that is just a start. The menu also includes a dozen breakfast sandwiches and eight lunch and dinner sandwich options.

On the coffee side of the house, Caribou will offer a selection of coffees, lattes, mochas and other coffee-based drinks, most available hot or iced. Many of the company’s signature line of specialty mochas will also be poured, along with teas, coolers and smoothies.

“As we sought out companies to partner with, we asked students what they were looking for. It was clear that they wanted ‘name brand’ companies that offered fresh, high-end food and quality drinks,” said Dan Koenen, executive director for Campus Dining Services. “We believe that Coffee & Bagels meets all of those criteria.”

Work on the new restaurant has been underway for a few weeks. It will have seating for 70 inside of the main dining area, which will have a “coffee house feel,” according to Koenen. There will be seating for another 20 customers just outside the restaurant.

Plans are in place to allow students to spend Flex Dollars and Huskie Bucks at Coffee & Bagels and eventually, the restaurant may even tie into the student dining plan, said Koenen.

The new dining destination will not only upgrade the options available at the library, but also will provide a place for hungry faculty, staff and students to grab a bite on campus while renovation work is underway on the lower level of the Holmes Student Center. That work will begin in early May and last for about a year, forcing the closure of the Blackhawk Café, Subway, the Center Market and Coffee Corner. New dining options will be available when the building reopens, including some national franchises, said Koenen.

Date posted: March 20, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Coffee & Bagels set to open at Founder’s in April

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Students

More than 600 faculty, staff and students had their professional portraits taken by NIU’s Institutional Communications photography staff at Career Services’ Fall Career and Internship Fair.

These portraits offer a professional first impression on LinkedIn, whether you are just starting your career or looking to expand your network. Additionally, they can be used on Outlook to put a friendly face to your name.

“We understand the importance of having a professional photo in today’s digital age and are pleased to offer annual opportunities to faculty, staff and students,” said Taylor Hayden, assistant director of digital content in Institutional Communications.

“The most efficient way for us to continue to offer this service is to invite faculty and staff to attend the photo booth at the career fairs,” said Hayden. “With two in the fall and three in the spring, faculty and staff will have five convenient opportunities annually to have their photos taken.”

Portraits taken in October are available for download in the Image Library. Please visit, find your image and download it. 

Better Because of our Campus Partners

Part of the success of the photo booth at the career fairs is the collaboration and partnership between Institutional Communications and Career Services.

“We appreciate our partners in Career Services, and we look forward to finding other ways to collaborate on key events and programs in the future,” said Hayden.

Document Services is another key partner, as they manage all photo reprinting services. Faculty, staff and students can now take advantage of the Document Services Storefront to order prints of photos.

Institutional Communications will have a photo booth at the Government, Public Sector and Social Services Job Fair on Wednesday, March 21.

Date posted: March 19, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Professional staff portraits offered by Institutional Communications

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage

NIU’s Board of Trustees last Thursday approved a plan to join with the University of Illinois on legislation that would tie stable state funding to greater accountability.

Trustees voted unanimously to partner with U of I on the Investment, Performance and Accountability Commitment, or IPAC.  Under the agreement, the state would agree to supply stable funding for five years. In return, the universities would agree to accept measureable accountability standards such as holding down student costs, meeting retention and graduation goals, and providing agreed-upon levels of financial aid to Illinois residents.

“IPAC is an innovative solution to ongoing financial challenges facing the state and its public universities,” said Acting President Lisa Freeman. “The measure would restore stable, dependable state funding for university operations over the next five years and ensure a tangible return by supporting Illinois students and programs that serve the needs of the state.”

“This compact between NIU and the state of Illinois is aimed at both restoring financial stability and boosting confidence in the value of an Illinois public university education,” said Freeman.

“We take seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of public funds, and we welcome the opportunity to show, in a regular and transparent reporting system, how those investments are paying off. For example, NIU has held tuition and fees essentially flat for five consecutive years. Our commitments to affordability and accessibility have benefited the state of Illinois because 95 percent of our students come from Illinois, and 85 percent of NIU graduates remain in the state to pursue careers or advanced study.”

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen said having NIU sign onto the IPAC legislation will strengthen public higher education’s call for an end to more than a decade of declining state funding.

“I am delighted at the prospect of NIU joining us to support this groundbreaking bill,” Killeen said.  “IPAC can provide the resources we need to plan our futures and fulfill our critical roles as engines of progress. Just as importantly, it sets high standards that hold our feet to the fire to repay the state’s investment.”

For NIU, those standards include a promise to not increase the base rate of undergraduate tuition and fees by more than the rate of inflation; to guarantee that at least half of new freshmen would be from underserved populations; that NIU would provide at least 20 percent of its annual state appropriation in financial aid for Illinois residents; that NIU would maintain at least a 75 percent first-to-second-year retention rate and at least a 50 percent six-year graduation rate; and that NIU would provide an annual report card on more than a dozen key quality indicators.

In return, the state would provide a fiscal year 2019 appropriation of $93 million for NIU, and would promise to continue consistent, full funding for five years. IPAC clarifies that appropriations would have to be approved by the legislature and governor each year, but if stable funding is not provided in any year of the agreement, the universities would not be bound by the accountability standards for the following year.

NIU Board of Trustees Chair Wheeler Coleman called IPAC “a move in the right direction.”

“Returning to stable, predictable funding is a critical ingredient for the long-term health of all of Illinois’ public universities,” Coleman said. “We’ve been listening to our governor and legislature, and understand that resource allocations are increasingly coming with calls for greater accountability. NIU is more than up to that challenge:  We’re anxious to tell the story of a university that provides real value to our state.”

NIU is included in revised legislation (HB 5845) introduced last Thursday and sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside). The Senate version is expected to be filed this week by Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), and supported by a bipartisan coalition of co-sponsors.

“This proposal would provide NIU and the U of I System with much-need, stable funding from the state legislature,” Cunningham said. “But it would also create accountability.  The funding would be tied to performance – and that is the kind of approach that is necessary given the state’s difficult budget situation.”

“I was pleased to hear that NIU has joined with the U of I to work toward a stable funding mechanism for higher education,” Zalewski said. “This is an important step in the process of ensuring that each Illinois student has a path toward success by staying in his or her home state.”

Date posted: March 12, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU joins U of I on accountability-based funding bill

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Uncategorized

Nearly a quarter of century after helping to create NIU’s first independent governing board, Bob Boey has decided to turn the page.  Today’s Board of Trustees meeting was his last, as the successful engineer, businessman and community leader has decided to retire.

“Twenty-two years is a long time,” said Boey, NIU’s longest-serving trustee.  It’s not easy to walk away from something you’ve spent so many years on, but I’m ready to wake up in the morning without any specific place to be or task to complete.”

Bob Boey speaking at commencement.

Boey was among the first people appointed by former Governor Jim Edgar to serve on NIU’s new board beginning in January of 1996.  Among the projects he helped oversee during the next two decades were construction of the Engineering Building, Barsema Hall, LaTourette Hall, the Latino Center, Campus Child Care, NIU-Naperville, the Convocation Center, the Barsema Alumni and Visitor’s Center, the Northern View Community and New Residence Hall.

Beyond building projects, Boey successfully helped lobby for NIU’s ability to keep its own tuition revenue rather than sending it to Springfield for reapportionment – a move that has helped NIU weather serious financial storms.  He served two terms as board chair, and also co-chaired two presidential searches in 1999-2000 and again in 2012-2013.

Throughout his time on the board, colleagues say he set the tone for respectful and productive interaction.

“Trustee Boey has served with uncompromising dignity and respect,” said current Board Chair Wheeler Coleman.  “The board will truly miss his commitment to our university and his understanding of the greater DeKalb-area community.  He is the essence of a true servant.”

“Bob Boey is the consummate gentleman,” wrote former trustee Cherilyn Murer.

“He is kind and always interested in others, and his devotion to our university has never wavered.  Each vote and each comment always rang true with the best interest of NIU at heart.  His contributions have been formidable.”

Bob Boey’s commitment to NIU predates his service on the university’s governing board:  In the 1980s when the University began offering engineering courses, Boey offered space at his company’s Sycamore campus for classes. Numerous engineering graduates have found employment with American Bare Conductor, a major manufacturer of copper wire, and former Sycamore mayor Ken Mundy credits Boey with having brought hundreds of jobs to his city over the years. Former NIU Presidents John La Tourette and John Peters have also lauded Boey for his business acumen, and community service contributions.

“Bob’s collaboration with us in establishing engineering, characterized his very supportive relationship with the university long before he became a member of the first Board of Trustees in 1996,” said former president John La Tourette.

“Bob was always willing to do whatever NIU needed him to do,” said former president John Peters.  “Even before coming on our board, he understood the important role that NIU plays in the community, and he supported the university 100%.  Once he was on our board, he offered wise counsel and, when we needed it, constructive criticism.”

Current board member Tim Struthers of DeKalb says Boey has set a strong example for aspiring community leaders.

“Bob has always stood out from the crowd on many fronts,” Struthers said.  “He’s a successful businessman, a world traveler, a cultured gentleman and a connoisseur of food like I’ve never seen.  Beyond that, he is highly devoted to his wife and two kids, and involved in advancing our community at a level that is second to none.”

“Bob’s 22-year commitment as a trustee is impressive and hard for me to truly comprehend.  I would conservatively estimate that he has given more than 12,000 hours – or six years of a full-time job – to his service at NIU.”

John Butler has served on the board with Boey for a decade, and said the retiring trustee has been a role model for effective, unassuming leadership.

“Over the years, I learned that Bob cares deeply about NIU and the success of its leadership, programs, faculty and students,” Butler said.  “He is an approachable and direct person who speaks truthfully and frankly, and is generous with his support and advice. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him.”

Boey’s role as a conduit to the larger community was born of deep involvement in DeKalb County development efforts.  He helped found the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, served on the boards of Kishwaukee Community Hospital, First National Bank of Illinois, and Kishwaukee College, and was a member of the City of DeKalb Planning Commission and the DeKalb Citizens’ Community Enhancement Committee.

Both Bob and Doris Boey have been generous philanthropists, serving on the NIU Foundation Board and the Kishwaukee College Foundation Board and spearheading several major fundraising projects.  Bob’s extensive community service earned him numerous awards, including the Humanitarian Award for Community Service and the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the NIU Foundation; the Clifford Danielson Outstanding Citizen Award from the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce; and the Friend of the Child Award from Community Coordinated Child Care (4C).

 “Bob’s involvement with NIU and the larger community is something that would be hard to replicate,” said current NIU Trustee Dennis Barsema.

“Bob Boey is the epitome of class and grace.  Over the span of the last three decades, his words and actions have been instrumental to NIU’s success. His demeanor has made him the ideal chair of numerous committees, and he has always found a way to exceed expectations.  And throughout it all, Doris has been by his side at every NIU and community event.  They make NIU better just by being part of everything we do.”

Bob and Doris have celebrated their own heritage by acting as mentors and advocates for Asian student at both Kishwaukee College and NIU.  In the early 2000s, Bob and Doris were instrumental in pushing the creation of both programming and a facility for Asian students on NIU’s campus.  They have attended and spoken at Asian American Resource Center events, and helped purchase needed equipment for the facility that has housed Asian Student programs since 2002.

“Bob Boey has been a strong and persistent advocate for the Asian American Resource Center at NIU,” said Acting President Lisa Freeman.  “One of my goals is to enhance the Center’s resources, and improve its facilities, so that it can grow and thrive. My commitment to that effort is in large part due to the compelling advocacy of Trustee Boey.”

For his own part, Boey says he takes pride in seeing how many NIU graduates go on to be successful advocates in their own communities.

“We’ve made a name for NIU nationally over the past couple of decades,” Boey observed.  “It’s not easy to walk away from work you’ve spent so many years on, but you know that others are prepared to take up the job, and maybe you’ve helped build the road that they’ll walk on in the future.”

“If I could give any advice to people who want to be community leaders, it would be to pay special attention to causes that support education at all levels. That’s the future.  And stay active in whatever you choose to support – being active is the key to being a good citizen.”

Date posted: March 7, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Longest-serving NIU trustee praised for vision, generosity, community service

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff

One day after Brett Coryell’s March 30 retirement from NIU, where he has led the Division of Information Technology for four years, he will embark on his next challenge.

It doesn’t involve computers – or even an office.

The university’s first-ever Chief Information Officer and vice president for Information Technology will arrive March 31 in Georgia to begin hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Stretching from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin, Maine, the 2,200-mile path typically requires five months to conquer. Those who don’t step off by April 1 are likely to encounter the brutal cold of a New England winter taunting them near the journey’s end.

Coryell says he’s ready.

Brett Coryell

“Hiking the Appalachian Trail is something I’ve had in mind for about 20 years, and that’s what I’m going to do,” he says.

“A year ago, I took a week’s vacation and did a little hiking in the Georgia section, and now I’ve changed up some of my hiking gear,” he adds. “The No. 1 thing is that I’ve been losing weight. In the last month, I’ve lost about 20 pounds. Probably the biggest thing you can do to prevent injury is to carry less – carry less on your body and less in your backpack.”

Belt-tightening is something Coryell has become familiar with at NIU since his arrival in March of 2014.

DOIT’s latest budget calls for $23.6 million, which is not only sharply down from the typical $31 million allocation of late but also reflects about $9 million in costs absorbed from other IT units on campus.

“My time at NIU is probably characterized most by the financial difficulties the university went through in the last four years,” Coryell says. “But I feel like I’ve wrapped up my work here at NIU: Budget-wise, we’re back in a place where we’re whole financially.”

Part of those savings come, of course, from printing. Around 1,400 printers were removed to shift NIU to Anywhere Printing.

“No discussion of my time here would be complete without talking about printers. It was certainly a big deal among the employees – and I will own it,” he says. “Nobody wanted to do that printer project. DOIT didn’t want to be the one taking printers off of people’s desks, but it really came to down to this: The university needed money, and we had many more printers than we needed.”

Recent figures reveal that printing has tumbled by 40 percent to 45 percent, he says, with 8 million fewer pages printed. “That’s a savings of $1.05 million,” Coryell says.

Further accomplishments include implementing “good project management discipline” throughout DOIT as well as protecting NIU’s computers from outside forces through changing IP addresses, adding firewalls, checking vendors and following federal guidelines.

“When I arrived here, all of our computers were on the public Internet. There was no real border defense between the wild, open Internet and our computers on campus,” says Coryell, who came to NIU after working in IT management roles at Emory and Purdue universities. “That’s changed over the last four years.”

He will miss his colleagues. “Everyone told me when I came here that what made NIU special was the people,” Coryell says.

“I’ve appreciated the willingness and dedication of people to try something new, and to work with me,” he adds. “We did a lot of hard things together, and anytime you can do a hard job well together, that’s a lot of fun. That’s something you can be proud of.”

“Brett served the university at a challenging time, made many difficult decisions, and shepherded them through to fruition toward the critical goals of strengthen our IT infrastructure and conserving university resources,” Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman says. “His impact will long-lasting, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The university will announce a succession plan at a later date.

Date posted: March 1, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Chief Information Officer Brett Coryell to retire

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff

End of Days: An Encyclopedia of the Apocalypse in World Religions” edited by Dr. Wendell Johnson, University Libraries, has been named to the American Library Association’s 2018 Outstanding Reference Sources List . The selected titles are considered among the most valuable published in the previous year and are highly recommended for inclusion in all library collections.

Date posted: February 28, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Wendell Johnson recognized by American Library Association

Categories: Accolades

There is a great need to diversify faculty at Illinois’ universities to reflect the student body and society to address educational disparity.

NIU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Education will host a statewide conference on Saturday, Feb. 24, for Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellows.  The all-day conference, titled Preparing Future Faculty, will consist of presentations, mini-workshops and roundtable discussions in an effort to inspire graduate students of color to consider the professoriate as a career path and to show students how to prepare for a career as a college professor. Among the topics addressed will be beginning the job search through conferences and networking; developing a curriculum vitae, teaching philosophy and research agenda; and seeking mentors.

“A quality college education is one that is centered on inclusive excellence — how well it values and engages the rich diversity of its students, staff, faculty, and administrators. In order to create and maintain that excellence, we need to create an environment that represents the varied backgrounds of the world we live in,” explains Janice Hamlet, conference coordinator and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs for CLAS. “A diverse faculty positively affects student retention and success by exposing students to the richness of human experiences and perspectives, teaching styles and diverse learning environments.”

The Preparing Future Faculty conference will present information about the professoriate at the various types of institutions of higher learning — community college, public liberal arts college, private liberal arts college and public research university. The fellows will learn about the expectations in the area of teaching, research and service required of professors in each type of institution. The conference will end with the graduate students sharing their research and engaging with a panel of current professors.

Graduate students of color from Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois –Chicago, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, DePaul University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, National Louis University, Loyola University and Northern Illinois University will participate.  

Conference activities will start in the Sky Room in the Holmes Student Center beginning at 8 a.m. For more information, contact Janice D. Hamlet, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at 815-753-7954.

Date posted: February 19, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on CLAS and COE host conference to diversify future faculty members

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Students Uncategorized

Sylvia Earle

Legendary oceanographer and TED Prize winner Sylvia Earle will visit DeKalb on Thursday, Feb. 22, for an Egyptian Theatre screening of “Mission Blue,” a film looking at her personal mission to save the world’s oceans.

Earle will make brief remarks prior to the film’s screening at 7 p.m. After the screening, she will take questions from audience members.

A National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence and former chief science officer for NOAA, Earle has spent six decades exploring the oceans. She has led more than 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater.

“Sylvia is the most famous and inspirational oceanographer in the world,” said Reed Scherer, an NIU Board of Trustees Professor of Geology. Earle’s company, DOER, built specialized gear used by Scherer and colleague Ross Powell in their Antarctic research.

“We’re honored that Sylvia is visiting DeKalb, especially since NIU students and the public will have an opportunity to interact with her,” Scherer added. “Sylvia tells a compelling story and is a particular inspiration to young women considering careers in science.”

The screening at the Egyptian is part of the Green Lens Film Series, a collaboration between DeKalb environmentalist Nancy Proesel, NIU scientists Scherer and Pat Vary, and NIU film scholar Jeff Chown.

Shot during a three-year period in numerous locations around the world, “Mission Blue” traces Earle’s remarkable personal journey, from her earliest memories exploring the ocean as a young girl to her days leading a daring undersea mission in the Virgin Islands.

The film weaves her unique personal history with the passion that consumes Earle today—creating a global parks system for the ocean. Earle believes that the ambitious plan is the best way to restore ocean health. But as she travels the Gulf of Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, the Coral Sea and beyond, the daunting challenges become clear.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Professor Scherer at [email protected].

Date posted: February 15, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Legendary oceanographer to visit DeKalb for film screening

Categories: Centerpiece Community Faculty & Staff Students

For the past decade, the recipients of NIU’s Forward, Together Forward Scholarships have embodied the university’s commitment to emerge from the darkness of Feb. 14, 2008, stronger than ever.

Intended to honor the spirit of those lost that day, the scholarships are given each year to up to five students who demonstrate not only academic excellence, but also strength of character, motivation, inspiration, integrity and a high regard for others.

The 2018 winners of the scholarships once again highlight the diversity, strength and integrity of the NIU student body.

  • Lianne Abellar is an elementary education major who is preparing for her future in the classroom by teaching refugees;
  • Megan Gardner, who is studying dietetics, plans to battle global hunger and hopes to change the world one meal at a time;
  • Margaret Hitchcock is an outspoken advocate on LGBTQA issues who works on behalf of that population on campus and in the broader community;
  • Edgar Lopez is a leader in the Latino community in Rochelle, who is already looking past graduation to the day when he can pay forward his NIU experience by supporting future Huskies.
  • Christine Wang, the speaker of the NIU Student Association Senate, has studied abroad in five countries, worked in government at the county and federal levels, and helped revitalized campus mental health programs is preparing for a career in public service.

The latest class of recipients brings the total number of beneficiaries of the Feb. 14th Memorial Fund to 50, each of whom has received a $4,000 scholarship.  More than 1,800 donors have given more than $745,000 to support the fund.

The five 2018 winners embody all of the best qualities of not just of the Huskies lost in 2008, but of NIU in general. Profiles of the Forward, Together Forward Scholars can be found in the NIU Newsroom.


Date posted: February 13, 2018 | Author: | Comments Off on Forward, Together Scholars excel and inspire

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Students