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Near the spot where Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant take their practice cuts while waiting to bat during a Cubs home game, Brittany Zeoli flashed a smile with Wrigley Field’s iconic scoreboard gleaming in the distance behind her.

Zeoli is new to NIU, but was born a Cubs fan. The combination came together for the McHenry native who jumped at the chance to make her first tour of Wrigley Field while connecting with fellow Huskies.

“I thought it was a great way to meet Cub fans,” Zeoli said while leaning on Wrigley’s brick wall near the home dugout.

Zeoli and a contingent of approximately 50 people from the NIU family and the community soaked it all in during a tour of The Friendly Confines on a muggy, but generally pleasant, August afternoon on Chicago’s North side. The group blended a mix of Cubbie blue and Huskie red during an hour or so of learning about the 103-year-old ballpark’s history and seeing it up close in a less-frenzied state compared to a game day.

“You notice a lot more of the details,” said Lori Bross, an alum who works in Biological Sciences.

Bross didn’t hesitate to book a spot on the sold out “Travel with the Professor” tour of Wrigley after hearing about it. Bross, her sister and NIU retirees Barb Ball and Kristi Rhodes wore shirts commemorating the ballpark tour and the total solar eclipse which took place during the group’s visit.

Each person received a special pair of glasses to view the eclipse; however no unique eyewear was needed to appreciate Wrigley’s visual beauty from the terrace boxes, bleachers and press box. A stroll beneath the left field stands offered a peek at the new Cubs bullpen location – no dancing relief pitchers were spotted – and a display case highlighting the magical 2016 season that finally ended the Cubs World Series title drought.

The ballpark’s physical evolution, including the most-recent changes to add video boards and fully renovate the bleachers, was a focal point of the tour that informed and entertained this group of Huskies. Yet, the highlight for most came in the moments spent on the playing field’s edge inside the park’s famed brick walls and within the Cubs dugout.

“It was so small. It was like I was back in Little League,” Sports History Professor Stanley Arnold, who has taught at NIU since 2002, said.

Arnold, who acknowledged his allegiance to the Philadelphia Phillies, appreciates the significance of Wrigley as part of an era from which only Fenway Park in Boston is its peer. After the tour, Arnold said the renovations did well to modernize and preserve the ballpark, keeping it as original as possible in a neighborhood setting unlike any other sports facility around.

“You get the field, the ivy … but on a game day, it’s a neighborhood of baseball,” he said, adding that when the Cubs play “it’s like an open house” with a multitude of people converging in Wrigleyville.


Date posted: September 13, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on A beautiful (and unique) day at the ballpark for NIU alums, staff

Categories: Centerpiece Events Faculty & Staff Students Uncategorized

The Northern Television Center (NTC) has undergone a transformation in the past year, thanks to a generous donation from WTTW Chicago of four new sets. These new sets allow students to get more creative in the types of shows they produce, and Beni Enas, general manager of the Northern Television Center, said students are already busy planning news shows and segments when they begin the studio portion of their work in about a month.

NTC is at the core of broadcast journalism at NIU, and the advanced studio production facility is where students produce local news, sports and entertainment feature programming for community. The signature production, “NTC News Tonight,” is a 30-minute, “live” newscast recorded every Thursday afternoon. The full-length program includes a weather segment and a sports segment covering NIU athletic programs. The live weekly newscast is broadcast on Channel 14 and YouTube.

Enas came to NIU a year ago from WTTW, and her contacts there have been supportive of her role working with students. They donated four sets to the studio center, and their set and lighting designer came out and re-did the studio’s entire lighting grid.

Derrick Young, Director of Engineering Production for WTTW/WFMT said that the donations are seen as an investment.

Because the students are our future, and we hope to keep them motivated and engaged,” he said.

“Before we had a newscast and weather wall but now we have four different areas to shoot from,” Enas said, explaining the additional sets include an interview area that allows for roundtable discussions and a weather center.

“It looks completely different than before and allows the students to have a lot more flexibility during live shows, she said. “As far as the show goes and producing, it’s now limited only by their imagination, and students are busy coming up with a lot of show ideas in terms of what we can do.”

A new director has also joined the NIU Television Center. Chris Poole will now work with students as a full time director of the newscast, which Enas said should help students to take their productions to the next level.

“There has been so much change in the last year and we’re excited to showcase it,” Enas said.


Date posted: September 13, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on Northern Television Center receives generous donation from WTTW Chicago

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Students Uncategorized

The NIU Steelband will kick off the 30th Anniversary season of Chicago Sinfonietta with concerts Saturday, Sept. 16 and Monday, Sept. 18.

Take a trip to the Caribbean with NIU’s Steelband. Fall in love with the stunning athleticism of Chicago’s own Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Experience two world premiere works. All without leaving (the edge of) your seat.

Plus, get interactive pre-show and during intermission with BRIDGE. Explore the sounds and sights of this exciting program by taking your adventure out of the hall. Move with the rhythm and learn to play the harp and steel drum with students from Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Steel Orchestras, The People’s Music School, and friends of the Sinfonietta.

The performance Saturday, September 16 at 8 p.m. is at Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., in Naperville on the campus of North Central College.

Monday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. the performance will be at Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Ave., in Chicago.

Purchase your tickets online here.  Use the promo code NIU to receive 20% off, and tickets for NIU students are available for $10.

Date posted: September 12, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU Steelband headlines 30th anniversary season of Chicago Sinfonietta

Categories: Faculty & Staff Homepage Students Uncategorized

The 10-day count for the new academic year provided some promising signs.

The best news was that NIU welcomed 1,852 new freshmen to campus for the 2017-18 academic year, an increase of nearly 3 percent over last year. There was also 2 percent growth in enrollment at the College of Law, 1 percent improvement in overall student retention and 20 percent jump in new doctoral students.

This marks the first time in six years that new freshman enrollment at NIU has increased, a significant achievement in light of the difficult recruiting environment in Illinois.

“The number of high school graduates and community college students in our state has been on the decline for several years, and uncertainties created by the two-year budget stalemate has Illinois students choosing out-of-state schools at a record rate,” Vice President for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications Sol Jensen noted. “In fact, we were one of the few public universities in the state to overcome those hurdles this year and make some gains.”

Continuing a trend of improving academic profiles, the incoming class posted the highest mean grade-point average in more than a decade at 3.28. NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman was encouraged by the growth of the freshman class and the increased student retention. “We are excited to see improvement in those areas despite these challenging times,” Freeman said. “It demonstrates a renewed confidence in NIU that is the result of contributions from every corner of the university.”

[bctt tweet=”NIU welcomed 1,852 new freshmen to campus this year, an increase of nearly 3 percent over last year.” username=”NIULive”]

Despite those gains, total enrollment on campus declined by 5 percent. As has been the case for the last several years, much of the decline was due to an incoming class that does not offset the losses created by a large graduating class.

“That is a trend that we anticipate will continue for at least another year,” Jensen said. “But we are hopeful that larger incoming classes—paired with our successful retention efforts—will soon turn that around.”

Key to meeting that goal will be an expansion of the more targeted, personalized and focused marketing efforts the university has implemented in the past year to better inform students about all that NIU has to offer, Jensen added.

Date posted: September 12, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU sees 3 percent jump in new freshman enrollment

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Students

Please remember that when you log in to your NIU accounts and use NIU tech resources, you need to practice safe password-keeping.

The Division of Information Technology wants to make sure your information is protected by encouraging you to create strong passwords that can not be easily guessed by cyber attackers. Did you know that security experts are now recommending that you use passphrases instead of a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols?

Read more about steps you can take to protect your sensitive information in this Security Awareness newsletter. Go Huskies!

Date posted: September 12, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on DoIT encourages password security

Categories: Homepage

The School of Art and Design offers a unique opportunity to see art exhibitions in four university gallery spaces in one evening, and attend the naming of the Student Art Gallery.  The progressive art crawl begins at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, September 14 on the main campus at the NIU Art Museum located in Altgeld Hall.  The crawl continues just a short walk from Altgeld Hall to two gallery spaces in Jack Arends Hall (the visual arts building), and concludes at Gallery 215, located at 215 Fourth Street in DeKalb.

Annette and Jerry Johns

At 6 p.m. a brief ceremony will be held to officially name the student gallery space in Arends Hall the Annette and Jerry Johns Student Art Gallery.  Jerry Johns taught more than 6,000 students in more than 30 years as an assistant professor of reading in the NIU College of Education. Annette Johns focused her work on philosophy, education and the arts. Together the couple, who have been married for 53 years, have impacted the lives of thousands of learners all over the world.  In 2016, the NIU Foundation honored Annette and Jerry with the award for High Impact Philanthropy in recognition of their lifelong commitment to giving.

Art crawl times and exhibition descriptions:

5:00 – 5:30 p.m. – NIU Art Museum, Altgeld Hall

Objectifying the Photograph
A group exhibition of contemporary artists broadening our definition of photography.
The artists’ work addresses the materiality, substance and objecthood of photography—drawing attention to the production and alteration of images in our postmodern digital age.

This exhibition is co-curated by NIU School of Art and Design Assistant Professors Jessica Labatte, Photography and Mike Rea, Sculpture and includes artists: Pamela Bannos, Alex Chitty, Joshua Citarella, Jeanne Dunning, Min Kim Park, Letha Wilson and Hyounsang Yoo.

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Jack Arends Art Building

Construct: Contemporary Artists Exploring the Built Environment, Jack Olson Gallery

Curated by Peter Van Ael (Anthony Adcock Michelle Bosak Frankie Flood, Gerry Guthry, Ania Jaworska, Roland Kulla, Jessica Meuninck, Noritaka Minami)

6:00 p.m. – Dedication of the Annette and Jerry Johns Student Art Gallery

Behind Closed Curtains: A Selection from the NIU Student Association Art Collection

Curated by Jessica Bryant and Peter Van Ael.

6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Gallery 215, 215 Fourth Street, DeKalb

Student Exhibit: A Community of Ideas
Curated by Jessica Bryant featuring School of Art and Design student selections and the work of the Women’s Studies Center
Student Co-op Gallery: Art Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

Date posted: September 11, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on School of Art and Design hosts Art Crawl and Student Art Gallery Naming, Sept. 14

Categories: Arts Centerpiece Community Events Faculty & Staff Students Visual Visual and Performing Arts

With more than 50 majors and 70 minors available at NIU, it can be tricky to select just one or two academic and career paths. A good place to start is the Majors & Minors Fair on Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

Sponsored by the Academic Advising Center, the Majors & Minors Fair includes representatives from every college at NIU and about 35 academic departments, student services offices from around campus, workshops and more.

At the fair, students will explore in more detail what NIU has to offer, whether that is learning more about a major or department they are aware of or discovering a totally new opportunity, said Carly Tucker, graduate assistant for the Academic Advising Center.

Tucker said even students who have already declared a major are encouraged to attend, as they might learn about opportunities in a second major, minor or certificate program that could enhance their skills. The fair is also a good place to connect with student services such as the NIU Honors Program or NIU PLUS.

Students who plan to attend are encouraged to come prepared with a list of questions and an idea of which departments they’re most interested in exploring.

“But they should also come with an open mind and be willing to talk to different departments to explore new opportunities they were not aware of,” Tucker said.

For more information about the fair, call 753-2573.


Date posted: September 10, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on Majors and Minors Fair ready to help students make big decisions

Categories: Events Faculty & Staff Homepage Students

Local residents, including NIU students, can now receive free, non-emergency help and referral for a wide range of services via the county’s new 2-1-1 program.

Students can dial 2-1-1 from any phone (including cell phones) and be connected with a trained operator who will connect them with any of a number of different social services.  Rent or utility assistance, mental health services, day care, disability resources and drug/alcohol rehabilitation are just a few of the resources available.

2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can also be accessed from the web at  There is no fee for the service, and all inquiries remain strictly confidential.  Operators are trained and certified for coordinated program referrals and disaster recovery.  They provide help for the homeless, those in abusive relationships, people battling addiction, and those seeking information about transportation, education and job training options.  Virtually anyone needing any type of help can receive guidance and referrals from the 2-1-1 staff.

NIU is itself a provider of many services available to community members, including legal assistance, counseling, literacy help and speech and hearing services.  Along with more than 80 local service providers, the university offers a variety of programs at low or no cost to both students and local residents.

DeKalb County 2-1-1 is coordinated by the Kishwaukee United Way and funded by grants from area institutions and foundations, including NIU.  For more information, contact Dawn Littlefield at the United Way, (815) 756-7522.



Date posted: September 6, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on DeKalb County 2-1-1 service offers help to NIU students, community

Categories: Community Faculty & Staff Homepage Prospective Students Safety Students

A new exciting pathway to earn an MBA degree with an international twist will launch at NIU – and span the globe – beginning with the Spring 2018 semester.

The pathway touted as the International MBA involves a partnership between the university and top-ranked educational institutions in China, Italy and Germany. Beyond DeKalb, students will spend a semester each at Sapienza University in Rome, SRH Hochschule in Berlin and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China, to earn degrees and certifications, as well as develop business contacts, here and abroad. At the DeKalb campus, students will join the cohort of students in the current Fast-Trak MBA program.

Assistant Dean Ann Carrel noted “This takes the global experiences for our students to a different level, creating phenomenal value that will persist for a long time during their professional careers.”

“This program is very unique,” Anthony Preston, Director of Global Programs for the College of Business, said in noting only four similar models of earning an MBA exist at U.S. institutions. “We’re actually ahead of the game.”

Preston joined NIU in 2011 and said he’s long thought of leveraging our global academic partnerships to create a model that blended the idea of integrating cultural experiences while studying overseas with the benefits of a business learning experience that generates impactful internships that lead to job opportunities and a “large network” on an international scale, Preston explained.

Getting to this point took two years filled with Skype sessions, phone calls and coordination among the four schools with NIU College of Business as the lead throughout the process. Among the highlights, all students will receive in-state tuition and the ability to graduate in a little more than 18 months with certificates in business management from Sapienza (Italy) and finance or economics from Southwestern (China), in addition to MBAs from NIU’s nationally ranked program and SRH Hochschule (Germany).

In addition, all students pursuing the International MBA pathway are guaranteed an internship in Germany. Preston said the program is exploring business partners in various countries to create avenues for employment for graduates of the program. A three-country alternate pathway to earn an NIU MBA is also available to accommodate certain requirements for Chinese students, while also accounting for the preference of many American students to study in Europe.

“Such innovative experiences designed to create lifelong value for our graduates exemplifies how our faculty and staff remain laser-focused on student success,” said Dean Balaji Rajagopalan.

The new model will be available to students in January 2018 with the first class at Barsema Hall. Preston expects “most of our students will be international students or young professionals,” with significant interest from prospective students in China. He hopes to see about 15 students join the program’s first run.

“I wish I was a student again. I’d love to be a part of this program,” Preston said. “We’re very excited at the College of Business. We’ve had great support from faculty, staff and the leadership at NIU at all levels. We’re ready to go launch.”


Date posted: September 6, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU set to launch a new pathway to earn an MBA – Four-Country MBA program

Categories: Business Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Global Students

The other is the tremendously successful director of Intercollegiate Athletics at a Division I, Football Bowl Subdivision university that has scored several conference championships in recent years.Both are co-teaching a course this fall in the College of Education, providing students with a real-world, from-the-trenches, theory-meets-practice view of the business side of college athletics – and what these two have lived could fill more than any textbook.

Sean T. Frazier

Sean T. Frazier, associate vice president and director of NIU Intercollegiate Athletics, and Chad McEvoy, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, will team up to teach LESM 341: Administration of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“How many students can say that they have had a leading industry practitioner and a leading scholar involved in teaching their class?” says McEvoy, who previously worked in the “front offices” for the Iowa State Cyclones and the Western Michigan Broncos.

“I’m excited about that kind of dynamic classroom environment. I’ve wanted to carve out some time from my schedule to contribute to our teaching mission, and I have some background in college athletics,” he adds. “I reached out to Sean because I thought it would be an interesting way to deliver this class. We can rely on his wealth of experience and expertise.”

Frazier was game.

“This is a course,” Frazier says, “that fits right up the alley for potential sports administrators, and especially those individuals who want to know more about the collegiate side of things, from the standpoint of a practitioner who runs a FBS-Division I program. We have one of those programs here – and it makes sense that myself, our coaches and our student-athletes help out.”

Introduced last semester, the LESM 341 course introduces students to contemporary and important issues in intercollegiate athletics.

Among them: philosophies of athletics, the place of athletics in the educational curriculum, the relationship between men’s and women’s programs, budgeting, facilities, equipment, personnel, event operations management, fundraising, public relations, governance, compliance as well as other legal matters.

Guest speakers, including many of Frazier’s senior staff, department heads and coaches, and tours of athletics facilities pump up the syllabus.

Chad McEvoy

“Students are really going to get the best of understanding the theory and research as well as the cutting-edge, industry best practices,” McEvoy says. “We have 20 students, a fairly small group that will promote lots of discussion and good engagement.”

Frazier expects those classroom conversations will include plenty of questions, from how he negotiates coaching contacts and multimedia rights to how he got his start and what he would count as his greatest moment.

NIU’s A.D. has taught before – courses in higher education leadership, policy and analysis, sometimes with a sport management component – during his stops at the University of Maine, the University of Wisconsin and Merrimack College.

He now finds himself eager to return to that vocation, even if for just one hour a week.

“When Chad brought this to me, it was something of a no-brainer for me. To sit in a classroom and facilitate a conversation about topics students are reading about is a passion of mine,” Frazier says.

Calling himself “not an old, but a seasoned administrator,” he believes the KNPE class will offer an exclusive peek inside college athletics operations: “This is what it took to get to Game Day, this is how it continues to evolve during Game Day, and this is what happens after Game Day.”

Some students might realize their career paths lies elsewhere, he adds, but others are equally as likely to grow even hungrier to follow his footsteps. Frazier knows he would have had he been provided a similar opportunity during his undergraduate days at the University of Alabama.

“Had I someone who was a sitting A.D. at any level come in and say, ‘You could do this. This could be an opportunity for you,’ I probably would’ve gotten into this earlier rather than stumbling backward into it,” says Frazier, who worked in health care and earned a master’s degree in social work to help people with substance abuse issues or developmental disabilities.

McEvoy and Frazier are eager themselves to become students – of each other.

“I’m looking forward to understanding more about how Sean leads NIU Athletics,” McEvoy says, “and how some of the things we would pull out of a textbook, out of research or out of industry publications actually impacts NIU and other athletics departments on a daily basis.”

“Chad is a fascinating guy. I’ve learned a lot from him during our interactions,” Frazier adds. “I want to see how he articulates, communicates and runs a classroom of young people. In the future, that’s going to be something I want to pursue more. Sitting in the chair as A.D. is a passion but probably not a lifelong thing. I want to impart knowledge to the next generation.”

Date posted: September 6, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on McEvoy, Frazier set to co-teach KNPE course in college athletics

Categories: Centerpiece Faculty & Staff Sports Students Uncategorized

Carolyn Cannon standing outside her business, MC Framing.

The campus and community have partnered this year in a visible effort to extend a warm welcome to new and returning Huskies. NIU officials offered Huskie welcome signs to DeKalb business owners, and they responded enthusiastically. Those signs can now be seen displayed throughout the community.

Sol Jensen, Vice President of the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications, said the effort reflects the university’s pride that DeKalb is home to NIU, and is an example of the strong relationship between the city and campus. Jensen began his role at the university two months ago, and said he’s been impressed by that relationship and the clear desire to grow even closer.

“I think it’s really important to show that our community—and all those who have been visiting DeKalb for move-in and Corn Fest—is a very special place,” he said. “Having the signs around the city is a great way to welcome our NIU students, faculty, and staff — whether returning or new — and let them know that this entire community is their home and we’re excited for them to be here.  We want this simple initiative to only be the beginning of many new and larger partnerships.”

Jensen said his department had an unexpected but good problem when they ran out of the original batch of welcome posters in just 90 minutes and had to quickly print more. His staff have been racing to keep up with demand.

“In general, we have so much Huskie Pride here at NIU and we are eager to share that with others,” he said. “With that said, we had no idea the response was going to be so strong.  We’re thrilled with the support from the local community and business owners.”

Carolyn Canon, owner of MC Framing in downtown DeKalb, is one of many local business owners who offered to post the welcome signs. Canon said her family has deep roots with NIU, so the welcome effort felt natural. Born and raised in DeKalb, Canon’s parents were both professors at the university. Her husband holds three degrees from NIU, and Canon, her daughter and son-in-law are all proud NIU alumni as well.

“We hate to see the students leave at the end of the year, because things get so quiet,” she said. “We’re glad when they’re here, and so this welcome effort comes naturally.”


Date posted: September 4, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on Campus and community welcome Huskies home

Categories: Centerpiece Community Faculty & Staff Students

Dr. Chen with award

Northern Illinois University’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology is home to a number of exceptional organizations.

One notable organization is the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE). Recently, the chapter was awarded the 2017 Chapter Recognition Gold Award.

“Our mission is threefold: connect, experience, educate,” chapter president Shekinah Bergmann said. “First, we seek to connect NIU industrial and systems engineering (ISYE) students with alumni and community members in our profession. Next, provide opportunities for our students to experience what they have learned in class. Lastly, we take opportunities to educate the next generation about ISYE.”

Getting the coveted Gold Award wasn’t easy. After a period of waning participation and falling behind other university chapters, the NIU IISE chapter worked hard to reverse the trend, going from red to national gold status in just one year. The chapter accomplished this feat by keeping connections with senior and graduate executive board members, touring different companies and hosting a number of guest speakers from places like Northwestern Medicine, Caterpillar and West Monroe Partners. These events boasted some of the highest attendance in the chapter’s history.

“This year raised the bar by providing students the ability to witness Lean Six Sigma in multiple fields: food production, healthcare, and manufacturing,” Bergmann said. “We also brought our knowledge to the next generation through speaking events at Sycamore High School and hosting a booth at STEMfest.”

The chapter has already begun planning for the coming year to keep up its positive momentum. Any student, especially those in engineering and technology, can learn a lot from joining IISE, chapter advisor Gary Chen said. Students can connect with industry leaders, learn about systems engineering tools and methods like Lean Six Sigma and volunteer. For information on joining, reach out to Chen at [email protected].

Date posted: September 4, 2017 | Author: | Comments Off on Industrial engineering student group earns national accolades

Categories: Accolades Awards Engineering and Engineering Technology Faculty & Staff Homepage Students