Share Tweet Share Email

Photo of a U.S. passportNIU International Affairs has announced a record 11 Cobb Fellowships this year.

The fellowships will allow NIU faculty to establish new collaborations through travel to international destinations, including China, Kenya, Israel, Madagascar, Myanmar and South Korea.

“Cobb fellowships stimulate collaboration across borders to facilitate faculty research and long-lasting partnerships,” says Brad Bond, dean of the NIU Graduate School.

The Cobb program is funded through an endowment that was established from the estate of Lillian (“Pauline”) Cobb, who served as the first chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1930 to 1966.

It is a competitive grant program designed to promote the active involvement of tenured and tenure-track NIU faculty members in international travel that will enhance their on-campus programs.

The specific invitational priorities of the Cobb Faculty Travel Fellowship program may be adjusted each year to support particular aspects of the university’s strategic plan and mission. For the 2016 competition, two invitational priorities were identified: International Research Collaboration and New Study Abroad Program Development.

The 2016 Cobb Fellows

Abu Bah, Department of Sociology, who will travel to Kenya to develop the Center for Media, Democracy, Peace, and Security at Rongo University College in Kenya. Bah co-founded the center with Fredrick Ogenga.

Jon Briscoe, Department of Management, who will travel to Slovenia to work with Robert Kase at the University of Ljubljana to develop a cross-culturally valid scale of career success meanings.

King Chung, School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, who will travel to the Philippines to develop a study abroad research and service program for audiology students.

Courtney Gallaher, Department of Geography, who will travel to Tanzania to develop a study abroad program for environmental sciences students to focus on environmental management and physical geography in East Africa.

Photo of a globeIn-Sop Kim, School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, who will travel to South Korea to collaborate with Korean professionals on speech treatment options for patients with apraxia of speech.

Judy Ledgerwood, Department of Anthropology, who will travel to Cambodia to develop a study abroad program for community college faculty and NIU students to study in Cambodia and to increase collaborations among Cambodian institutions, NIU and U.S. community colleges.

Melissa Lenczewski, Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, who will travel to Myanmar to educate and train local students, faculty and professionals on groundwater development, well construction, well head protection and groundwater quality/sampling.

Mark Rosenbaum, Department of Marketing, who will travel to Israel to explore how Israeli Jews, Arabs and Druze internally grapple with the issue of working together with “adversarial” service providers.

Linda Saborio, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, who will travel to Costa Rica to develop a study abroad-internship program there.

Karen Samonds, Department of Biological Sciences, who will travel to Madagascar to develop a new collaborative research site in the region of Tsaramody, Sambaina Basin.

Lei Zhou, Department of Finance, who will travel to China to use data from the nascent but fast growing Chinese bond market to test if investors differentiate credit rating agencies (CRAs) based on their perceived reputation.

Date posted: April 7, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on International Affairs announces 11 Cobb Fellowship recipients

Categories: Business Faculty & Staff Global Graduate School Health and Human Sciences Humanities Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Science and Technology

hmongNIU’s Pick Museum of Anthropology has launched a new collaborative exhibition, “Storytelling: Hmong American Voices,” to run through December 2016.

A special opening reception featuring refreshments and live music will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the museum, located in Cole Hall on the NIU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Co-curated with a 20-member Hmong Community Advisory Council, the exhibition explores what it means to be Hmong American. How has Hmong life changed since refugees first entered the United States in the 1970s? What does it mean to be Hmong American today? Through objects, audio recordings and personal stories of Hmong Americans, this exhibit immerses visitors in the material culture and social issues of Hmong American communities.

“Growing up as a second generation Hmong American enabled me to realize that I am a part of a special generation of immigrants who bridge the old and young in tradition and change,” artist Koua Yang says. “With the celebration of 40 years of being in America, now is a great time to take a step back and re-evaluate what’s changed so that we can have a conversation about what traditions are.”

Included in the exhibition are memories and experiences of particular Hmong families who came to DeKalb in the 1970s and later moved to rejoin family members in other parts of the Midwest. Long Yang remembers arriving in DeKalb from Thailand on Jan. 2, 1979.

“Being the first Hmong family in DeKalb, (the) language barrier coupled with isolation from relatives and other Hmong families had been the most depressing experience in the first few months of our arrival,” Long Yang says. “Members of the United Lutheran Church of DeKalb had given my family warm welcome and great support, including money for food and clothing, a fully furnished apartment, and everyday transportation to and from ESL classes at Kishwaukee College.”

IMG_9303Visitors to the exhibition will be able to view traditional Hmong clothing, learn about concepts of family and memory, play Hmong music on a Qeej-Hero interactive game, see beautiful Hmong storycloths from the museum’s collection and learn about the distinct sewing traditions.

“Working with the Hmong American community to collaboratively develop this exhibit has been a truly eye-opening experience for me,” curator Laura McDowell Hopper says. “I’ve been continually touched and surprised by the Hmong Community Advisory Council’s willingness to share their stories, material culture and family photos for display. The Council Members’ enthusiasm in working with our museum has resulted in a powerful exhibit that offers visitors a glimpse into the successes and challenges of this unique community.”

Other exhibition highlights include:

  • Paj ntaub, the Hmong word for “­flowery cloth,” is used to describe a variety of intricate Hmong textiles. While living in refugee camps in the 1970s, women invented story cloths, a unique type of decorative textile they could sell to financially support their families. This new style of paj ntaub uses small, colorfully embroidered figures to tell stories about Hmong life, traditions and history.
  • Musical instruments. The qeej (pronounced GHENG) is an ancient wind instrument that the Hmong people have played for thousands of years in celebrations, for entertainment, and in funerary rites. Traditionally constructed entirely by hand, the qeej is fashioned from a vertical resonator built from hollowed-out hardwood sections pierced by six differently sized bamboo pipes (ntiv) that are tonally connected to the Hmong language.
  • Silver jewelry. Traditionally Hmong people wear elaborate jewelry made of alloy and or silver melted from old French coins. The coins are often attached to colorful and elaborately stitched sashes or bags worn around the waist. Contemporary Hmong silverwork combines traditional motifs with modern aesthetics.

In 2012, the museum was relocated from the Stevens Building to nearby Cole Hall, where a new state-of-the-art facility delivers invaluable engaged-learning experiences for students and community members alike. Now home to more than 20,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects, the museum planned its golden anniversary celebration to remember its history, strengthen the NIU campus and community relationships and spotlight the contemporary relevance of anthropology.

The museum specializes in cultures of Southeast Asia, New Guinea and the Southwest and Plains Native Americans, but also holds smaller collections from Africa, modern Greece, Mesoamerica and South America. Strengths include textiles, baskets and ceramics from throughout the world.  With a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and programs, the Anthropology Museum is a cultural destination for residents and visitors to DeKalb.

The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.  Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, contact museum director Jennifer Kirker Priest at (815) 753-0230 or [email protected].

Date posted: March 28, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on ‘Storytelling’ celebrates 40 years of Hmong history in America

Categories: Arts Centerpiece Events Latest News Visual

The NIU Department of Communication is preparing to raise the curtain on its popular Reality Bytes Independent Student Film Festival in Cole Hall 100.

Free and open to the public, the 15th annual festival will feature student-film screenings from 9 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 6.

Kevin Mukherji

Kevin Mukherji

Actor, filmmaker and producer Kevin Mukherji will be the special guest speaker from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 7, the festival’s final night. Winning films will be announced that evening as well.

Mukherji, an NIU alumnus, has worked alongside a variety of noted actors and directors in his career, including Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s “The Terminal,” and Ashley Judd and Luke Perry in John McNaughton’s “Normal Life.” Mukherji also directed the feature psychological drama, “Death And Taxis,” and the feature documentary, “American Storytellers,” with John McNaughton, Harold Ramis, John Sayles and Forest Whitaker. His television credits include “Without A Trace,” “Arrested Development” and “Shameless.”

During his NIU visit, Mukherji will talk about his current documentary project on animal and human rights titled, “IAMYOU.”

As a student at NIU, Kevin studied under (professor emeritus) Jeff Chown, and they kept in touch on Facebook over the years.

“When Jeff heard Kevin was producing a documentary, he suggested him for Reality Bytes,” said NIU Board of Trustees Professor Laura Vazquez, who teaches digital media production and theory in the Department of Communication.

Vazquez started Reality Bytes in 2001 and serves as director of the festival. It was created to give film students the opportunity to competitively screen their work.

“The films get better and better each year as the festival grows in renown,” Vazquez said. “We have two outstanding high school films that we are screening, and we continue to get submissions from around the world.”

Vazquez and her students watched 50 films in all this year and carefully selected 17 for festival screening. They include films from Australia and Russia, as well as from film schools across the United States.

Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite films each night, and a “Best in Show” award will be given in each film category. Patrons will also be given the chance to win door prizes from businesses in the DeKalb area.

More information about the festival is available on Twitter @NIURealityBytes and Facebook or by contacting coordinators at [email protected].

Date posted: March 25, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Actor, filmmaker and alum Kevin Mukherji to speak at Reality Bytes film festival

Categories: Latest News Students

From left: Matt Feuerborn, dean of Career Technologies at Kishwaukee College; Mark Lanting, vice president of instruction at KC; Laurie Borowicz, president of KC; Doug Baker, president of NIU; and Promod Vohra, dean of the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

From left: Matt Feuerborn, dean of Career Technologies at Kishwaukee College;
Mark Lanting, vice president of instruction at KC; Laurie Borowicz, president of KC;
Doug Baker, president of NIU; and Promod Vohra,
dean of the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

Officials from Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College signed an agreement today to create a smooth transfer program between the institutions for students interested in pursuing a university technology degree.

Kishwaukee College President Laurie Borowicz and NIU President Doug Baker signed the agreement. It will allow Kishwaukee College students who are enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science degree track in select programs to transfer to NIU and complete a Bachelor of Science in Technology degree with an emphasis on applied manufacturing technology.

“Advanced manufacturing is on a rebound in our region, and Kishwaukee College and NIU are working together to prepare the next generation of leaders in this field,” Baker said. “NIU has been a top destination for community college transfer students in Illinois for many years. This agreement, in particular, once again demonstrates the spirit of close cooperation between NIU and Kishwaukee College as we work to ensure student career success.”

Also signing the document were Anne Kaplan, vice president of NIU Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development; Promod Vohra, dean of the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology; Mark Lanting, vice president of instruction at Kishwaukee College; and Matthew Feuerborn, dean of Career Technologies at Kishwaukee.

Under the new agreement, Kishwaukee College students who are enrolled in the AAS degree track in Automated Engineering Technology /CNC, Automotive Technology, Collision Repair Technology, Computer-Assisted Architectural Design, Computer-Assisted Mechanical Design, Diesel Power Technology, and Electronics and Computer Technology will be able to transfer to NIU and complete a bachelor’s of science degree in applied manufacturing technology.

Laurie Borowicz

Laurie Borowicz

“Kishwaukee College is extremely pleased to be partnering with NIU, to provide an option for students to start at Kish and complete an applied manufacturing technology degree at NIU,” President Borowicz said. “It demonstrates how we are working collaboratively to meet local employer demands for a highly skilled workforce.”

Students who elect to follow the new program must meet NIU’s General Education requirements as well in math, science and introductory technology classes as specified in the NIU catalog. These courses can be completed at Kishwaukee College or NIU.

In addition, NIU will provide most upper-division coursework required for the degree in a rotating online format.

The two institutions will provide coordinated advisement and transcript review to ensure a seamless transfer process. In addition, the NIU Technology program academic adviser will meet or communicate with each applicant to the new transfer program prior to admission.

For more information on the new AAS-BS transfer agreement, contact NIU Department of Technology chair Cliff Mirman at (815) 753-0531 or [email protected]; or Kishwaukee’s Feuerborn at (815) 825-2086, ext. 2840 or [email protected].

Date posted: March 22, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU, Kishwaukee College sign Tech Program transfer agreement

Categories: Engineering and Engineering Technology Faculty & Staff Latest News Students

ThinkstockPhotos-498188740With powerful supercomputing abilities and a support team in place to help users, NIU’s new Center for Research Computing and Data (CRCD) is poised to usher in a new era of big-data scientific research on campus.

Just consider some of the center’s ongoing projects:

  • Assembling and annotating the genomes of two species of petunia.
  • Modeling the impact of urbanization on regional climate in East Asia.
  • Developing applications for next generation nuclear physics experiments.
  • Aligning genome sequenc
  • All Posts
  • es of human, primates and mammals to obtain evolutionary relationships.
  • Developing image reconstruction software using Proton Computed Tomography, which tracks the pathways of protons as they travel through a human body.

The center is available for use by faculty, staff and students whose research requires high performance computing. Typically, that means projects that involve complex modeling and simulations or parsing of huge data sets that would be unwieldy for ordinary computers.

“By offering high performance computing to our campus, the CRCD will strengthen NIU research, scholarship and artistry across all disciplines,” says Jerry Blazey, interim vice president of Research and Innovation Partnerships. “I urge the NIU community to take advantage of this tremendous resource.”

NIU computer science chair Nicholas Karonis has been tapped as acting CRCD director.

ThinkstockPhotos-179781021“If you have a research idea or project that might benefit from high performance computing, we want to be there to assist you in any way possible,” Karonis says. “Supercomputers already play a large research role in engineering and the natural sciences, and their usefulness is extending into the arts, humanities and social sciences as well.

“For students who are pursing research, access to this center can be an invaluable part of their education, regardless of the discipline,” he adds. “Students will get hands-on experience learning high performance computing applications. These skills are no longer a luxury. They’re a necessity to be competitive in research and in the labor force.”

The center is operated through a joint effort between the divisions of Research and Innovation Partnerships and Information Technology. It grew out of the acquisition of a high-performance computer cluster in February 2012, which was used to ramp up on-campus capabilities to sort and analyze large quantities of research data.

The hybrid GPU/CPU supercomputing cluster has a capacity of more than 35 teraflops, meaning it can do more than 35 trillion calculations per second.

Scientists have already used the computing cluster, dubbed “Gaea” (pronounced GUY-uh), for the mythological Greek goddess who was the mother of all, on research that has resulted in about 50 publications, Karonis says. Another 49 projects involving 96 users are ongoing.

In addition to Gaea, the new center also offers use of a cloud computer cluster and a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) system, frequently used to make sub-second calculations in the financial industry.

“In a broad sense, high performance computing makes possible a wide variety of projects that were previously impractical because the time required to find a solution was prohibitive or the size and scale of the project was too large to fit in the memory of a laptop, desktop or workstation,” says NIU physics professor Bela Erdelyi, acting deputy director of the center.

ThinkstockPhotos-122573276NIU computer science professor Kirk Duffin, research associates Caesar Ordoñez and John Winans, and Karonis are all members of the high performance computing support team, which can help students, faculty or staff determine how supercomputing can assist their research needs.

NIU physics chair Laurence Lurio can attest to its utility. His research team members used the supercomputer cluster for real-time analysis of X-ray images that they were measuring at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

The experiment involved taking rapid x-ray movies of scattering from protein suspensions. The goal was to better understand the origins of eye-diseases such as presbyopia by gaining insight into why the fluid properties of the eye-lens change with age.

“We were measuring a thousand images per second, and without a supercomputer we would not be able to understand the results as they were generated in real time,” Lurio says.

Students and faculty members who would like to schedule an appointment to discuss a potential project can email [email protected] or contact Karonis directly at [email protected].

Date posted: March 21, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Scientific discovery, Generation 2

Categories: Engineering Faculty & Staff Humanities Research Science and Technology Students

USPAS Director Bill Barletta (left) and NIU’s Mike Syphers.

USPAS Director Bill Barletta (left) and NIU’s Mike Syphers.

Michael Syphers, a senior research professor of physics at NIU, received quite a surprise when he traveled recently to the University of Texas, Austin, to teach a course for the U.S. Particle Accelerator School (USPAS).

Syphers has taught similar USPAS courses for nearly three decades with little fanfare. During the school’s opening night ceremonies Jan. 24, the organization honored an unsuspecting Syphers with a special award for his exceptional contributions in teaching at USPAS sessions.

“We call it the Iron Man Award – it’s the first time we’ve given it out,” says Susan Winchester, USPAS manager, adding that both Syphers and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Don Cossairt were given the service awards.

“Mike has taught more courses and more students than any USPAS instructor,” Winchester says. “Many big names in the field credit him with helping them decide on a career in accelerator physics.”

One of those big names is John Byrd, program head of the Center for Beam Physics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. As a Ph.D. student at Cornell University in 1988, Byrd was working on experimental particle physics when he took a USPAS course co-taught by Syphers.

“Everybody has a few critical moments in their lives that they can look back on and wonder how they got so lucky,” Byrd says. “Choosing to go to the USPAS and getting Mike as a teacher is one of the pivotal moments in my career.”

After completing the course, Byrd went to his advisers and told them he wanted to change his field of study to accelerators. “I finally felt like I had found what I wanted to do,” Byrd says.

Michael Syphers teaching a course at the most recent U.S. Particle Accelerator School held at the University of Texas, Austin.

Michael Syphers teaching a course at the most recent U.S. Particle Accelerator School held at the University of Texas, Austin.

USPAS provides graduate-level training and workforce development in the science of particle beams and their associated accelerator technologies that are not otherwise available to the scientific and engineering communities.

Twice a year, the organization conducts two-week-long graduate and undergraduate level courses at leading U.S. universities. Since it began in 1987, the school has trained thousands of people from across the world in accelerator technology and design.

“At most universities, if they offered accelerator physics and beam technology courses, maybe one student would be qualified to take it, and the course would get canceled,” Winchester says. “So we open our three-credit-hour courses up to students from across the world. We see on average 150 students. Mike’s class is usually the biggest.”

Syphers has been with the school since 1988 and has taught more than 500 students. He also co-authored a textbook, “An Introduction to the Physics of High Energy Accelerators,” which was first published in 1992, has become a standard in the field and is used in USPAS courses.

“It is a matter of extreme pride and honor for the beam physics group in the NIU-Fermilab accelerator research cluster, for the Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Development in the Department of Physics and for the entire NIU community to have an active research colleague honored for pedagogy in such a national forum. We can only aspire to grow from here,” says Swapan Chattopadhyay, professor and director of accelerator research at NIU and a member of the senior leadership team at Fermilab.

Syphers came to NIU in September, accepting a joint appointment with the university and Fermilab. Previously, he served for five years as a physics professor at Michigan State University. Before that, he had a long career as a scientist at several U.S. National Laboratories, predominantly at Fermilab.

“I came to NIU as a research professor to help engage NIU students in accelerator science and promote the field, building upon my strong ties with Fermilab,” Syphers says.

He added that he has always been interested in education. Before entering academia, USPAS fed this passion.

“It was a great honor to receive the ‘Iron Man’ award, and it has been very rewarding to hear all the congratulatory feedback from my friends and colleagues in the field,” Syphers says. “It is amazing how many people you can affect in that length of time.”

Date posted: February 11, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on The ‘Iron Man’ of accelerator physics education

Categories: Awards Did You Know? Latest News Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Science and Technology

Anna Quider

Anna Quider

Anna Quider is not only representing NIU’s best interests in Washington, D.C.

She also is playing a lead role in advocating for scientific research funding to our nation’s universities.

Quider, NIU’s director of federal relations, recently was elected secretary of the board of directors for The Science Coalition, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization of more than 60 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities.

As secretary, she also serves on the coalition’s four-member Executive Committee.

“This provides a good opportunity to highlight NIU’s leadership role in national conversations about research,” Quider said.

“I am proud to join the leadership team of The Science Coalition, a leading national voice dedicated to securing robust federal investments in fundamental science and technology research,” she added.

“We live in a time of unprecedented scientific advancement and this coalition works to ensure researchers across the country have the funding they need for continued progress. With its diverse research enterprise, NIU is well positioned to benefit from and to uniquely contribute to leadership of the coalition.”

Quider took on the role of NIU’s federal relations director in 2014. She is well-versed on the topic of science, having earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and astronomy, in religious studies and in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Marshall Scholar.

The Science Coalition logoIn the past, Quider has served as a principal investigator on a Hubble Space Telescope research project and as an elected member-at-large on the Executive Committee of the Forum on Physics and Society, a unit of the American Physical Society. She also worked previously on international science issues at the U.S. Department of State.

“Anna has done an outstanding job representing NIU in Washington, and we are very lucky to have her on our team,” said Jerry Blazey, interim vice president of the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships. “She’s well versed in science policy, and I’m delighted to see she has taken a leadership role on the national stage for science advocacy.

“In her new role with The Science Coalition, she will be at the forefront of efforts to sustain the federal government’s investment in science,” he added. “Ultimately, that investment pays off for all of us by helping to develop new knowledge and technologies, which improve our lives and strengthen our economy.”

Date posted: February 4, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Anna Quider elected to Science Coalition board of directors

Categories: Engineering Faculty & Staff Grant Getters Humanities Latest News Research Science and Technology

SeaStudents can learn about educational opportunities across the globe during the upcoming Spring Study Abroad Fair.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Glass Gallery in the Holmes Student Center.

NIU Study Abroad representatives will be available to answer questions on any programs offered directly by the university or with co-sponsors.

Students also will have the chance to visit information tables and talk to professors leading about 20 upcoming faculty-directed programs, including NIU at Oxford, history and culture programs in Japan and Spanish-language programs in Argentina and Spain.

For more information, call (815) 753-0700 or email [email protected].

Date posted: February 2, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Spring Study Abroad Fair set for February 11

Categories: Digital Signage Events Global Latest News On Campus Students

Omar Chmaissem

Omar Chmaissem

Scientists from NIU and Argonne National Laboratory are reporting this week in the journal Nature Physics on the discovery of exotic magnetic structures in iron-based superconductors.

Superconductors exhibit amazing properties: When cooled below certain temperatures, they conduct electricity without energy-sapping resistance. But the best known superconducting materials can operate only below 218 degrees Fahrenheit under ambient pressure – and the cooling process itself is expensive.

Today, superconductors are used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) devices, in the transportation industry and in scientific-research equipment, including particle accelerators.

But for decades, scientists have been sought to develop higher temperature superconductors, which could revolutionize the energy industry and lead to many more applications, such as powerful supercomputers and devices that now only exist in the imaginations of science fiction writers.

“Unconventional superconductivity, or superconductivity that doesn’t conform to conventional theory, has in recent years been discovered in iron-containing materials,” NIU physicist Omar Chmaissem says.

In the new Nature Physics publication, Chmaissem and NIU physicist Dennis Brown, along with Argonne scientists and NIU graduate physics students Keith Taddei and Matthew Krogstad, report findings that explain the nature of a novel magnetic ground state in iron-based superconductors.

Dennis Brown

Dennis Brown

Understanding the nature of this magnetic ground state is of paramount importance in unveiling the mechanism behind their high-temperature superconductivity, the researchers say.

The research team recently had discovered the existence of a previously-unknown magnetic phase. By combining neutron diffraction and Mössbauer spectroscopy, they were able to unambiguously solve the exotic ordering of the novel magnetic ground state. NIU contributors assumed major roles in the experiment, from the design to execution to data analyses, Chmaissem says.

The textbook-quality results establish the itinerant character of magnetism in iron-based superconductors, and also provide the first conclusive demonstration of metallic magnetism’s wave-like properties.

“Besides its rarity, the importance of this discovery is that it settles a long debated question related to the exact origin of superconductivity in these materials,” Chmaissem says. “Magnetic fluctuations play a primary role in mediating the stability of the superconducting state.”

Date posted: January 29, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Scientists discover exotic magnetic structures in iron-based superconductors

Categories: Faculty & Staff Latest News Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Science and Technology

Cover of CHOICENIU’s English Department is hosting a workshop for graduate and undergraduate students interested in publishing as a career.

The event, which is free and open to all in the university community, takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 20, in Cole Hall 106.

It will provide one answer to the question, “What can you do with an English degree?”

Irving Rockwood, former editor and publisher of Choice, a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries that is used by librarians nationwide to select books, and Linda Manning, director of NIU Press, will share a brief history of the industry and career opportunities for aspiring publishers.

With a combined total of more than 50 years of experience, NIU alumni Rockwood and Manning will provide a practical overview of the major types of presses, such as trade, educational and professional publications, as well as challenges and changes in the publishing industry.

Rockwood and Manning also will address different career paths and the kinds of work publishers do. Individuals interested in book or magazine publishing, or pursuing careers in academic or commercial publishing, are invited to attend.

Space for the workshop is limited; individuals should register for this free event by emailing [email protected].

Date posted: January 28, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on Here’s something you can do with an English degree

Categories: Alumni Communiversity Digital Signage Events Faculty & Staff Liberal Arts and Sciences On Campus Students What's Going On

Rosemary FeurerNorthern Illinois University professor Rosemary Feurer, an expert on U.S. labor history, is among the scholars featured in a two-hour PBS documentary that aired Tuesday on WTTW Channel 11.

The American Experience film, titled “The Mine Wars,” takes viewers into the coal miners’ bitter battle for dignity at the dawn of the 20th century. The struggle over the material that fueled America led to the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War and turned parts of West Virginia into a bloody war zone.

Feurer’s research interests focus on labor issues and conflict within the context of U.S. capitalist development.

She manages the largest website on labor history in the United States and another site on Mother Jones.

Date posted: January 26, 2016 | Author: | Comments Off on History professor featured in PBS documentary

Categories: Faculty & Staff Humanities Latest News Liberal Arts and Sciences Research

research-glassCreating new knowledge about the subatomic world. Shedding light on how stress alters the response to stimulants. Discovering evidence that cities can spawn thunderstorms. Revealing the risks of traffic-generated air pollution.

Faculty at any university would be proud of creating such diverse and impactful research. Amazingly, however, this is the work of NIU students in physics, psychology, geography and public health who are winners of the Graduate Council best thesis and dissertation awards for the 2014-15 academic year.

“The quality of this research really speaks to the quality of our students and their education,” said Bradley Bond, Dean of the NIU Graduate School. “It’s exciting to see NIU students take what they learn in the classroom and from their faculty mentors, expand upon that knowledge and make significant contributions of their own to science and society.”

Stephen Cole

Stephen Cole

The Outstanding Dissertation Award and a prize of $750 prize went to Dr. Stephen Cole from the Department of Physics for his analyses of subatomic proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first analysis focused on WZ boson signatures in subatomic proton-proton collisions. In a second analysis, he worked with a colleague to pioneer and verify techniques used to combine the systematic uncertainties from two different experiments at the collider.

“Dr. Cole has brought great credit to NIU,” said his adviser, Professor Gerald Blazey, who is also the university’s Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships.

“Stephen wrote an extremely strong thesis on two important electroweak measurements,” Blazey said. “His work directly appears in two highly cited publications, has and will contribute to numerous other papers, and has been noted and presented on the international stage.”

Additionally, three $500 prizes for the Outstanding Thesis Award went to:

  • Eden Anderson from the Department of Psychology for a project examining the interaction of stress and methamphetamine in female rodents.“The thesis project was quite sophisticated for a master’s project and required that Ms. Anderson become proficient in rodent behaviors, surgeries and neurochemistry to measure the brain level of the chemical dopamine,” said Professor Leslie Matuszewich, chair of Anderson’s master’s committee. “Her master’s thesis is the first to examine the interaction of stress and stimulant in females and provides novel and critical data for the field.”
  • Alex Haberlie from the Department of Geography for his research focusing on the connection between thunderstorm initiations and sprawling urban communities. In addition to being published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, his work received substantial media attention.The results present the first evidence that urban areas initiate thunderstorms more often than the surrounding rural areas on a climatological time scale,” said Professor Walker Ashley, Haberlie’s graduate adviser. “He also was the first to characterize the climatological spatial distribution of thunderstorm initiation around a large urban area in different wind patterns, times of the day and days of the week.”
  • Disa Patel with her adviser, Professor Tomoyuki Shibata

    Disa Patel with her adviser, Professor Tomoyuki Shibata

    And, Disa Patel from the School of Nursing and Health Studies (Public Health) for her assessments of traffic-related particulate matter exposures and individual intervention efforts in Indonesia. Acute respiratory infections and pneumonia are the leading causes of death in children under the age of 5 in that country.

    “She provided a scientific basis for potential interventions that reduce the public’s exposure to air pollutants, and these findings can be generalized to other low and lower-middle-income countries that face similar air quality issues,” said her thesis director, Professor Tomoyuki Shibata.

The students will be honored at a reception in Altgeld Hall on April 19, 2016.

Date posted: December 17, 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Spectacular student research

Categories: Campus Highlights Latest News Research Science and Technology Students