Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

December 3, 2007

Latino Resource Center
to host ‘Christmas Posada’

NIU’s Latino Resource Center invites the campus community to celebrate the holidays with a tradiational “Christmas Posada” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5.

This event is sponsored by O.L.A.S., M.A.S., De Mujer a Mujer and L.C.A.C. and is hosted by the Latino Resource Center and office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development. 

The event will include a traditional “asking for posada,” in which the participants sing Christmas carols and experience the complex blend of traditions and religious beliefs that come together in Latin American cultures. Afterward, return to the Latino Resource Center to celebrate with traditional food, drinks and music.

Although tamales, arroz, mole, hot punch and rice water will be provided, participants are encouraged to bring a favorite dish to share in a potluck.

To attend, RSVP by Tuesday, Dec. 4, to Javier Talavera at

Law Library announces
hours for holidays, break

The David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library has announced its hours through Jan. 13.

The law library will extend its hours for reading period and final exams, ending Thursday, Dec. 20. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays.

The library is open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The library is closed Saturday, Dec. 22, through Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Hours in the first part of January are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Regular hours resume Monday, Jan. 14.

Call (815) 753-0505 for more information.

Provost seeks deserving honorees
for undergrad teaching, instruction

The time has come to begin the nomination process for the 2008 awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching and instruction.

Nomination guidelines and forms are available online.

Grants to support research, improve
undergraduate instruction available

The Committee for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education is administering four different types of grants to support research in and projects for the improvement of instruction in undergraduate courses.

  • Instructional Research and Improvement Grant
  • Student-Originated Instructional Research and Improvement Grant (requires a faculty sponsor)
  • Microcomputer Software Acquisition Grant
  • Project for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education

Multiple copies of the guidelines for these grants have been sent to each college and department office and are available online. Please use the current forms and not previous forms you might have retained.

All proposals must be submitted to the committee by Tuesday, Jan. 22. Projects must be accompanied by approval from the department chair and college dean.

All expenditures apart from salary must be made by June 1. Normally, salary associated with projects will be paid May 16 through June 15 regardless of when the work is actually completed.

WNIU to air holiday specials

In addition to holiday music heard throughout the season, Classical WNIU is pleased to offer the following specials:

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6: Handel’s “Judas Maccabeus”
Celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, with the entire oratorio performed in all its glory by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & UC Berkeley Chamber Choir. The program includes preconcert comments from conductor Nicholas McGegan.

9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 17: Concordia College Christmas Concert
For 80 years, the small Lutheran Evangelical school out on the prairie, Concordia College, has had anything but a small vision when it comes to celebrating music. With a choir and orchestra of more than 400, the Concordia College Christmas concert attracts capacity crowds from all faiths to celebrate the season and the promise it holds. For this Christmas, listen to nationally-renowned conductor René Clausen as he leads the pure, youthful voices in a concert called “On Our Way Rejoicing,” a potpourri of familiar and traditional works intertwined with music that brings new sounds and meaning to the season.

9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18: Welcome Christmas!
The annual Christmas concert from VocalEssence, recognized internationally as one of America’s premier choral groups.

9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19: Chanticleer Christmas
A Chanticleer Christmas celebrates the mystery and wonder of Christmas with an elegant blend of traditional carols, medieval and Renaissance sacred works, and moving spirituals.

9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20: St. Olaf Christmas Festival
The St. Olaf Christmas Festival is one of the oldest and most cherished celebrations of the holidays in the United States. Begun in 1912, the festival is a worship service of hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections that celebrate the birth of Christ. Featuring more than 550 student musicians, it takes place on the St. Olaf campus in Northfield, Minn.

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20: Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” Suite
Enjoy the entire ballet, performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Vladimir Ashkenazy.

9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21: Echoes of Christmas
Over the years, the Dale Warland Singers have provided magical performances for this season to listeners across the country. Drawing upon the archive of those live performances, Warland and host Brian Newhouse bring old and new treasures to listeners looking for Christmas inspiration.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21: Handel’s “Messiah”
From the stunning solos, to the majestic and powerful effects in the Hallelujah Chorus, this performance steeped in tradition is guaranteed to set the Christmas mood.

8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22: Christmas Storytime
Sit back, pour the hot chocolate and let your inner child emerge this holiday season. Steve Blatt features a special program of enchanting music and beloved stories narrated by popular artists. Enduring classics accompanied by legendary orchestras will evoke memories of Christmas past, and set the stage for a blissful holiday. Highlights will include: “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” performed by the Boston Pops, John Williams conducting with actor/comedian Robin Williams narrating; Brother Heinrich’s “Christmas” by John Rutter, performed by the City of London Sinfonia & Cambridge Singers, John Rutter conducting and Brian Kay narrating; and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, David Zinman conducting and actor Kevin Kline narrating. Rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24.

9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24: A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols
From the chapel of King’s College in Cambridge, England, the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service (Biblical readings and music) as performed by the 30-voice King’s College Choir.

10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1: New Year’s Day from Vienna
Direct from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, the most popular classical music concert in the world: the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day concert. The conductor this year is Georges Prętre.

Visit for more information. WNIU is the classical music station of Northern Public Radio, the broadcast service of NIU.

WNIJ to air holiday specials

89.5 WNIJ is pleased to offer the following seasonal specials in its program lineup:

6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2: “Chanukah: A Time for Schtick”
An hour of high jinks and fun, including some great jokes for the holiday season, features veteran comedian Shelley Berman of TV’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Boston Legal;” Cathy Ladman, one of the country’s funniest moms and in great demand as a stand-up comic, recently seen Off-Broadway in “The JAP Show: Princesses of Comedy;” and the witty and multi-faceted musician/performer, Peter Himmelman.

6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9: Peter Ostroushko’s Heartland Holiday Concert
Peter Ostroushko’s Heartland Holiday concert celebrates the spirit of the season from a multi-cultural perspective. Ostroushko is a master fiddler and mandolin and guitar player, and his musical journey features traditional and ancient carols.

6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16: J.R. Sullivan’s Home for the Holidays
Re-visit the first WNIJ Christmas special produced with Jim Sullivan and friends from 1994. Join us for an hour of holiday music and seasonal stories, presented by some of Rockford’s favorite performers, past and present.

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20: A Paul Winter Solstice Concert
From the cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, Paul Winter, one of the original world musicians, is back again with a unique exploration of the solstice tradition in cultures near and far. Hosted by John Schaefer.

1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23: J.R. Sullivan’s Hometown Holiday
Rockford native J.R. Sullivan returns home for his 14th annual holiday celebration, recorded live on stage in Rockford. This year’s show reunites the remarkable talents of Stephen Vrtol III, Linda Abronski, Shawn Wallace, Megon McDonough, Randy Sabien and, making her debut with the Hometown Holiday cast, Holland Zander.

6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23: Jonathan Winters’ “A Christmas Carol”
A public radio tradition hosted by NPR’s Lisa Simeone. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens’ holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. 

10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24: Echoes Sonic Seasonings
This year’s Sonic Seasonings takes listeners through a winter landscape drawn from Norwegian fjords, Irish dales and Northeastern mountains and foothills. It’s not just carols, but original music evoking the season’s time-stopping silences and chilled landscapes. Host John Diliberto dusts the snow off his boots and pulls up a chair with the musicians, drawing out revealing tales and Christmas memories to enhance the intimate concert setting.

10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25: An Echoes Christmas
Just when you thought you were sick of Christmas carols, find new ways of hearing some ancient sounds for the day with recent music by Andreas Vollenweider, Al Petteway and Amy White, Banshee in the Kitchen and more.

Noon Saturday, Dec. 29: The Capitol Steps New Year’s Edition of “Politics Takes a Holiday!”
The Capitol Steps’ annual awards ceremony roasts all of 2007 to a tasty crisp. Join Don Imus, Al Gore, the guy who had TB but still got on an airplane, Rudy Giuliani, Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton and many more as the Capitol Steps bring the year in review. You should look forward to 2008, but not before you make fun of 2007 first.

6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30: WNIJ’s 2007 Year-In-Review Special
The WNIJ Newsroom looks back at some of the significant local stories of 2007, including the summer floods, the closing of Cavel International in DeKalb and the resignation of U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert.

10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31: An Echoes Techno-Tribal New Year’s Stomp
Echoes kicks out the jams for a New Year’s Eve Techno-Tribal celebration, forming a seamless path into the new year, with music that dances in your head. John Diliberto matches beats and mixes atmospheres, riding the pulse of some of the newest ambient, lounge and techno-tribal music, creating the ultimate New Year’s Eve chill-out room.

Visit for a complete program schedule, plus information on other news and events heard on 89.5 FM. WNIJ is the NPR News/Talk station of Northern Public Radio, the broadcast service of NIU.

Alumni Association to explore
natural wonders of Costa Rica

NIU’s Alumni Association is heading to Costa Rica this spring.

Unsurpassed natural beauty awaits travelers on this exploration of Costa Rica’s natural wonders. This tropical and secure paradise features lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, cloud forests, abundant wildlife, dynamic volcanoes, vanishing ecosystems and warm and hospitable people. It’s nature’s museum waiting for you to explore.

Visit the Alumni Association Web site or call (815) 753-1452 for more information.

PCSW seeking nominations
of outstanding women students

NIU’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women is accepting nominations for the 2008 NIU Outstanding Women Student Awards. This recognition process, begun in 1980 as the Women’s Student Leadership Awards, is intended to foster the development of leadership among women students, both graduate and undergraduate.

The nomination deadline is Monday, Dec. 17.

For details regarding eligibility, criteria and the nomination procedure, visit or call (815) 753-0320.

To access the nomination form, visit

Kishwaukee Concert Band
to present Christmas concert

The Greater Kishwaukee Area Concert Band will present “An Old Fashioned Christmas” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The concert will be held in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall inside NIU’s Music Building. The concert is sponsored by The Medicine Stop in DeKalb.

John Hansen will direct the all-volunteer band in many familiar Christmas carols and songs, and Gavin Wilson will be the guest vocalist. The concert is free, and the auditorium is accessible to all.

Local chorus, brass band
to join for Christmas cantata

The DeKalb Festival Chorus will join forces with the Prairie Brass Band to perform Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas cantata at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall inside NIU’s Music Building.

Several traditional, and not-so-traditional, seasonal songs also will be featured. 

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the door or from any Festival Chorus member.

Faculty Development to host
Teaching Effectiveness Institute

NIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center will host the Spring 2008 Teaching Effectiveness Institute from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, in the Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center.

The theme is “Promoting Active Learning Through Blended Courses.” Presenters are Alan Aycock, Amy Mangrich and Tanya Joosten, all from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Learning Technology Center. Aycock is associate director; Mangrich and Joosten are instructional design consultants.

A blended/hybrid course uses a blend of face-to-face as well as online teaching and learning activities. Successful teaching of blended courses requires rethinking and redesigning face-to-face courses, creating new learning activities and effective integration of online and face-to-face components.

This transformation requires learning new skills necessary to manage online interaction successfully, incorporating methods of assessment and effective use of the interactive and organizational tools found in Web course management systems.

The workshop is open only to NIU faculty and staff. Advanced registration is required and available online. The deadline to register is Friday, Dec. 21. Please contact the center if you do not receive a response or an e-mail confirmation of your registration within two working days.

Registered participants will receive workshop materials, lunch, refreshments and certificates of participation. Those who register and are unable to attend should inform the center by Monday, Jan. 7, so that those on the waiting list might have the opportunity to attend.

Call (815) 753-1085 for more information. 

Community School of the Arts
offers financial aid for spring

Students ages 18 and younger who want to pursue their study of the arts, but who cannot afford the full cost, are invited to apply for financial aid for the spring semester.

The NIU Community School of the Arts offers a wide variety of art, music and theater classes, including private music lessons and ensembles. The deadline for financial aid applications is Monday, Jan. 7.

All classes and lessons are taught on the NIU campus in DeKalb.

The NIU Community School of the Arts is sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Approximately 80 teachers offer lessons on most musical instruments as well as in art and theater. More than 600 community people from nearly 50 towns and cities travel to DeKalb each semester for lessons and classes.

Application forms are available at (815) 753-1450 or online at The NIU Community School of the Arts is located in Room 132 of NIU’s Music Building.

Foundation seeks proposals
for 2008 Venture Grants

The NIU Foundation, which looks forward to supporting faculty and staff in the pursuit of excellence in research, teaching, and outreach to the larger community, invites applications for the 2008 Venture Grants.

All proposals must be received in the Foundation Office (Altgeld 135) by Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. Awards will be announced no later than the first week of April.

Foundation officials anticipate awarding two to four grants at a minimum level of $5,000 and up to $25,000, with a total amount available of $55,000. All faculty and staff from units within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the Division of Administration and University Outreach and Intercollegiate Athletics are eligible to apply.

For complete information about the grants, as well as application information and forms, visit the NIU Foundation Web page. Contact the Foundation with questions at (815) 753-7539.

Human Resource Services
to host annual blood drive

Human Resource Services will host its annual blood drive Wednesday, Dec. 5. It will be held in rooms HR166 and HR178 of the Affirmative Action and Diversity Resources section of the HR building.

The blood drive will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Average time for blood donation is 45 minutes. 

Heartland Blood Centers will conduct the blood drive. HBC is a community blood center open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It provides and delivers all blood products to local hospitals for total patient care. HBC works toward collecting more than 100,000 units of blood annually, and at least 1,900 donors are needed each week to meet this need. One blood donation can save up to three people since the pint is broken down into three distinct components – plasma, platelets and red blood cells.

Appointments can be made by calling (815) 753-6000. Walk-ins also are welcome, but appointments will be taken first. Donors should remember to bring a photo ID to the drive. Each donor will receive a free pair of “Drop Everything Donate Blood” boxer shorts.