Huskie Minute – September 30, 2013

Dear Huskie Family Connections Member!

The following Huskie Minute features a few updates, events, and helpful tips to assist you and your student in having a safe and enjoyable fall semester. Beginning with the 2013 -2014 newly entering student group, ALL NIU families will begin receiving the Huskie Minute. Welcome to the Huskie Family!

In this issue

Fall Family Weekend Recap!

Fall Family Weekend, a whirlwind of fun! Thanks to so many who contributed to making Fall Family Weekend a success! Thanks for coming out to DeKalb, participating in events with your student, supporting the Fabulous NIU Football Team! Thanks to all the NIU entities who contributed by offering events, activities, and generally helping out to offer our NIU students and their families a fun and informative weekend. Especially, from the bottom of our Huskie hearts, thanks to the Office of Student Academic Success and the Student Involvement & Leadership Development Team. You are all so awesome! The weather was perfect too! We couldn't ask for more.

Please see our webpage for photo documentary of the regalia. Thanks to Rachel for her photography skills!

As we move forward, we reflect upon the weekend, with the desire to improve. Please look for a survey coming soon. We want to know what we should continue with and what we should embellish. Give us your ideas for Fall Family Weekend 2014! 

Homecoming 2013!

This year's Homecoming theme is "Generations of Pride." Huskie Family Connections is looking for NIU families who would like to march in the Homecoming 2013 Parade. Are you a multi-generational Huskie family? Mom, dad, grandparent alumni and current NIU student enrolled? Are you an NIU student or Alumnus with a "hopeful" Huskie in-the-making? Come join us! The Homecoming 2013 Parade will step-off at 5:30 pm on Oct. 11th. If you would like to join Huskie Family Connections, please contact Lynn at 815-753-9727 by 10/3/13. 

Huskie Can Make a Difference

Student Involvement & Leadership Development has launched the Huskies Can Make a Difference Campaign and we would love your student’s help! Huskies Can Make a Difference was designed to unite the NIU campus in continued service throughout the year and to show that even small acts can truly make a difference!

The campaign has two collection aspects: Huskies Can Build It! and Tabs Can Make a Difference. Huskies Can Build It! is a campus-wide can drive that began on September 20th, 2013 and will run through Homecoming 2013. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to ask their friends, families, and neighbors to contribute to the cause! Collections can be dropped off in the appropriate bins outside the Campus Life Building, Room 150 at any time.

Huskies Can Build It! also includes an optional homecoming competition to see who can build the most interesting structure out of canned goods and non-perishable food items! Each team will be paired with an engineering consultant from the NIU student organization Engineers Without Borders. Interested teams should register at

The other collection aspect is Tabs Can Make a Difference which involves collecting pop can tabs that will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House to help keep families together as their children receive important medical care. Last year, we collected 116 pounds (or about 150,000 tabs)! This year, we are reaching for the stars and hope to collect 1 million tabs and join the Ronald McDonald House ‘Thanks A Million” Club. Various collection bins exist on campus, but anyone interested in collecting tabs can drop off their collections in bins outside the Campus Life Building, Room 150 at any time.

If you have any questions about the Huskies Can Make a Difference campaign, please contact

Huskie Alternative Breaks (HAB)

Your student may be interested in Huskie Alternative Break! Northern Illinois University’s HAB program presents students with a non-traditional break opportunity where they can travel to perform service in another community around the United States!

HAB has been sending students to participate in community service since its founding in 2009, when compassionate Huskies joined together to provide their assistance in the wake of Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas. Since then, the program has dedicated itself to giving its participants a blend of direct volunteer service and exposure to the community, all while creating new and lasting friendships. Last year students traveled to Joplin, Mo., offering disaster relief and  Newark, N.J., where they worked with children and youth at an after-school program and assisted with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

This year, students will be serving over their spring break to provide affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity in Florida and assisting with trail maintenance in Georgia.

Please encourage your student to participate in this life changing opportunity. Many students come back having built lifelong friendships while developing their passion for helping others. For more information about Huskie Alternative Breaks, please visit and click on Huskie Alternative Breaks!

Upcoming Career Events – Please Encourage Your Student to Attend!

Oct. 14                  Workshop:  Navigating the Career Fairs and Creating Your 30-Second Introduction

Oct. 15                  Graduate and Professional School Fair

Oct. 16                  Workshop:  ABCs of Getting an Internship, *Sponsored by Kohl’s

Oct. 22                  Fall Internship Fair

Oct. 23                  Fall Job Fair

For times, locations, and event details, please visit

Building Great Futures at NIU’s Graduate & Professional School Fair

Please encourage your students to attend the fifth annual Graduate & Professional School (GPS) Fair on Tuesday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Holmes Student Center’s Duke Ellington Ballroom.   

Graduate or professional school is required for entry to many specialty positions and can help students further their career advancement opportunities.  The GPS fair will bring over 75 programs for students to consider, including master’s, law, and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields, including business, technology, education, psychology, and health care. 

Applying to graduate or professional school requires advanced planning; students should attend the fair as early as possible in their college careers.  Even if students are unsure whether graduate/professional school is right for them, they should definitely plan to attend and explore these exciting opportunities.  NIU students can visit with recruiters from graduate programs across the nation without ever leaving campus!     

Students do not need to bring resumes and can attend the fair in casual attire.  NIU Career Services staff and representatives from partner offices will be on hand to answer students’ questions about graduate school planning.   Community members are also welcome to attend the fair; there is no admission charge.

Questions?  Contact Career Services at 815-753-1641, or visit

Leadership Academy

 Your NIU student is cordially invited to attend the fall semester Leadership Workshops.  Each workshop will last approximately 2 hours.

These workshops are a great way to expand your knowledge and understanding of leadership concepts, meet other students who are interested in leadership, and to engage in thought provoking conversations.  Be sure to join us this fall! Here are additional details on the workshops:

Creating A Shared Vision

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
3:00 pm  & 6:00 p.m.
Campus Life Building, Room 100
Sponsored by:  Student Involvement and Leadership Development 

Leadership and Succession Planning

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
3:00 pm & 6:00 p.m.
Campus Life Building, Room 100
Sponsored by: Student Involvement and Leadership Development

Becoming a Servant Leader

Tuesday, November 12,  2013
3:00 pm & 6:00 p.m.
Campus Life Building, Room 100. 
Sponsored by:  Student Involvement and Leadership Development

Common Reading Experience: ‘Acts of Faith’

Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation” has been chosen for NIU’s 2013-2014 Common Reading Experience. This book is being used in many NIU courses this fall, and your student may be reading and reflecting on the book in coming weeks.

The author of the book, Dr. Eboo Patel, will visit NIU on Tuesday, October 29, to engage with students, faculty, and staff and to give a public lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center.  Everyone is invited to attend.

Patel is the founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, an organization he founded to “catalyze, resource and network this generation of interfaith leaders, and watch them change the world.”

Acts of Faith” follows his path from adolescent apathy to his urgency to be a part of something during his college years. Through his serendipitous journey, Patel reflects on his own beliefs, his interactions with nonbelievers and believers of many different faiths, and his call to act on his own passion to develop the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC).

“Now that classes have started, it’s important to help students feel a sense of purpose and belonging on NIU’s campus. The Common Reading program, First- and Second-Year Experience, along with other campus organizations, can help new and current students find a sense of purpose and belonging on campus, while connecting with their peers,” says Abria Martin, student staff member of First- and Second-Year Experience.

Service is a main component surrounding this year’s Common Reading Experience. Students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to come together to volunteer a few hours of service for initiatives such as the annual CROP Walk to end hunger, working with children at a local shelter for the homeless, packaging meals families for hunger relief in Africa, and visiting with residents at area rehabilitation and nursing homes.

Other Common Reading Experience events are expected to include panel discussions, a lecture series and late-night activities on world religions and other belief traditions. 

During his presentations, Patel is expected to speak on the value of Ubuntu (human kindness) and the power of individuals from all backgrounds in service together.   A full schedule of Common Reading Experience activities will be announced on in October.

LGBTQ Resource Center

You may want to encourage your student to join in support for an inclusive NIU community with activities sponsored by the LGBTQ Resource Center.

Tuesday, October 1st (viewing)
View this 5th annual nationwide suicide-prevention awareness project that combats harmful rhetoric toward the LGBTQ community through the use
of positive, uplifting chalk messages. Co-Sponsored with Active Minds.

Wednesday, October 2nd
7:00 P.M.
Take Back the Night is a rally that raises awareness about domestic violence
and sexual assault. It helps spread the message that these issues will not be
tolerated in our communities! Together, we can change our culture and build
a society where all people are safe and respected, including women, children,
the LGBTQ community, minorities, and people with disabilities.
Sponsored by: Women’s Rights Alliance.

For more information:

Science Technology Math and Engineering

Saturday, October 19, 10 AM to 5 PM, Open to Everyone
NIU Convocation Center, DeKalb   
This year's STEMfest will include popular activities from past years and new surprisess to help K-12 students and their families have fun learning about STEM. Look for F.I.R.S.T. Robotics, Sci-Fi author Kat Falls, STEMfest's Book Fair, cow eyeballs, and more! Parking and admission are free.

Free Field Trip Event: Ender's Day at NIU
Wednesday, November 6, 8 AM to 2 PM, Open to grades 8+  
NIU Holmes Student Center, DeKalb
Students and school groups: join STEM Teen Read for a full day of hands-on activities and discussions on the scientific, technological, and ethical aspects behind the novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. You'll explore entomology, space travel, species specialization, kinestheology, art, and more. A limited number of travel grants are available to school groups on a first-come-first-served basis. Learn more and register.


Final Note

If you prefer to have this information sent to a different email address or to remove your name from our mailing list, please notify the HFC staff at or by calling 815-753-4444.