Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Northern Today - October 9, 2007

‘Concept Papers’ sought
for strategic planning initiative

Faculty and staff with ideas about new programs, approaches or investments in support of NIU’s key strategic planning imperatives are encouraged to submit brief concept papers on those ideas by Friday, Oct. 26.

As the name suggests, concept documents do not need to be fully matured proposals – in fact, they should not exceed two pages at this stage. What they must include, however, is the kernel of an idea with potential to address one or more of the strategic imperatives outlined earlier this month in President Peters’ State of the University Address:

  • Preserve, strengthen and extend NIU’s teaching and learning environment;
  • Develop a strategy for investing in multidisciplinary scholarship and artistic clusters;
  • Strengthen and extend NIU’s regional and global impact; and
  • Make NIU an institution of first choice for faculty, staff and students

Concept papers should be submitted to the deans and/or vice presidents of submitters’ respective units by Friday, Oct. 26, and should address ways in which suggested ideas would improve an existing program or procedure or create a new initiative, procedure, program, curriculum, system or process. Successful concepts also will identify the need for whatever change they suggest, as well as potential benefits to the institution and advancement of its strategic imperatives.

For more information on NIU’s strategic planning process and concept paper guidelines, visit the Great Journeys Strategic Plan Web site at www.niu.edu/strategicplan.shtml.

NIU takes leadership role
in new homeland security alliance

Eight public universities from across the state have joined forces to create the Illinois Innovative Delivery of Education Alliance - Homeland Security.

It pushes Illinois to the forefront of efforts to provide students and professionals with the education required to help America prepare for, and respond to, emergencies of all types.

Signing on as charter members of the alliance are NIU, Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Governors State University, Chicago State University and Illinois State University.

Under the cooperative agreement, a student at any alliance university will be able to enroll in online homeland security courses offered at any other member institution without concerns about billing, transfer of credits or other issues typically related to taking courses at another school. Students will not have to be admitted to, billed by or visit the institution offering the course.

“The process for students will be transparent, just as if they were enrolling in a course offered by their home institution,” said NIU Vice Provost Earl “Gip” Seaver, who was elected to serve as chair of the board that will oversee the alliance.

Other NIU personnel helping to lead the organization are retired NIU Professor Ellen Parham, who is serving as state coordinator for the alliance. Mary Pritchard, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, and Anne Kaplan, vice president for Administration and University Outreach, serve as principal investigators on the project. Alan Robinson, the director of outreach for the College of Health and Human Sciences, is the NIU campus coordinator for the alliance.

Members of the IDEA-HS chose to band together for several reasons.

All faced the challenge of meeting an important educational need, and none had the resources to create a program to quickly meet that need from scratch. Furthermore, member institutions realized that by working together they would be able to provide their students access to top experts from around the state.

“The need is so great and the issue so important that the participating universities felt compelled to find innovative ways to address this issue,” Seaver said. “We quickly realized that by using the latest technology we could improve the quality of the education we provide, while at the same time avoid the expense of creating individual programs that duplicate services. It’s a win for everyone involved.”

The goal of the alliance is to help meet the growing demand for individuals trained to prepare for, react to and recover from all types of emergencies, from natural disasters to pandemics to terrorist attacks. Such individuals are needed to fill jobs with agencies at all levels of government and in private industry.

Job descriptions run the gamut from chemists trained in reacting to chemical attacks or industrial accidents to architects and engineers who ensure the safety of infrastructure to business operations experts who create and execute continuity plans to ensure that a company can remain viable during and after a major emergency.

Currently, three of the alliance schools have programs in place that allow students to earn certificates or degrees in topics specifically related to homeland security:

  • NIU – five graduate level certificates (biochemical sciences, cyber-security, environmental and hazards risk assessment, health science and manufacturing and industrial technology), with undergraduate certificates available in all of those areas except cyber-security
  • EIU – graduate level certificate in technology security
  • WIU – bachelor’s degree in emergency management, minor in homeland security

Classes will be available online beginning in the fall semester of 2008 with offerings from NIU, WIU and GSU. Alliance schools are working to develop further online courses to expand the catalog.

The work of the IDEA-HS is funded by a grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Avalon Quartet settles in, charges up

Only six weeks into their tenure in the NIU School of Music, the Avalon Quartet is feeling comfortable and energetic.

As the foursome gather for an afternoon rehearsal, eight days before their Oct. 10 official debut as NIU’s string quartet in residence, the mood is light and the laughs come easy.

The sparse environs of violinist Blaise Magniere’s second-floor studio show just how new to NIU these professors are. There is none of the diplomas or concert posters or framed photographs or ancient masks or stacks of CDs and cassettes typical of the offices of their faculty colleagues.

Unlike their formal (and clean-shaven) publicity shots, violist Tony Devroye and cellist Cheng-Hou Lee are sporting a few days’ worth of whiskers. A small hoop earring clings tightly to Lee’s left lobe. Devroye mentions that he has a Thursday morning gig playing on Oprah Winfrey’s show in support of a singer. “Think you’ll get a free car?” asks violinist Marie Wang, wearing pink and blue tennis shoes.

During a later discussion of Wednesday night’s program, devoted to works by French composers, the group’s native of France quickly halts the discussion. “That makes it great right there,” Magniere says.

But these young musicians are deeply serious when it comes to teaching, performing and spreading the word about the excellence of the NIU string program.

Chosen in the spring to replace the internationally renowned and now-retired Vermeer Quartet, which called NIU home for more than 30 years, the Avalon Quartet promises to delight and challenge audiences while it coaches and grooms the chamber music performers and teachers of tomorrow.

An all-school convocation is scheduled for Tuesday to introduce the group to music students, faculty and staff.

“It’s going great so far. I’m happy with every aspect. There’s an openness and an eagerness. We sense a supportive environment, and that’s not something you find everywhere,” Devroye says. “We’re pleased with how well the school is run – bringing in guest artists, scheduling concerts and juried performances for our students, the interaction between faculty.”

“The students are helpful to each other,” Lee says. “They’re interested in how others are doing, sharing experiences. We sense a real community.”

Avalon members spend three days of each week on campus, cramming their schedules with student lessons, quartet rehearsals and, of course, paperwork. The other two days are left open for longer rehearsals and outreach.

In two weeks, they will journey to a high school in Elmhurst to perform for the orchestra, lead master classes and attend sectional practices. They hope to book more high school visits for December and January, and also are working to arrange their return to Midwest Young Artists.

Committed to coming to campus as often as possible this year to get the program off to a good start, they’re keeping their travel relatively light, although concerts are scheduled in Michigan, Tennessee and Chicago, where the series is produced by the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

They’re also talking with some NIU School of Music faculty, including clarinetist Greg Barrett and pianist William Goldenberg, about possible collaboration.

Meanwhile, they’re eager for the day when a new student quartet in residence comes to NIU. The Avalon Quartet, formed in 1995 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, served that role in the late 1990s under the Vermeer’s tutelage.

“NIU gave us a real place to focus on what we wanted to do. We didn’t have any teaching responsibilities,” says Wang, who earned her master’s degree here. “It was very intensive.”

“Intense” is a description that also can apply to the opening of the Avalon’s 2007-08 season, which begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the NIU Music Building.

The concert is free and open to the public, and the building is accessible to all. Call (815) 753-1546 for more information.

On the all-French program: “String Quartet in G major, Op. 1, No. 1” by George Onslow, “String Quartet ‘Anisi la nuit’ ” by Henri Dutilleux and “String Quartet in F Major” by Maurice Ravel.

Devroye says Onslow, a 19th century composer, has “slipped into obscurity.”

“We came across this piece and liked it. It was totally fresh to our ears, but still in this style we know so much,” Devroye says. “It has a dated feel, like a museum piece. It was a different kind of challenge for us to bring it to life.”

“It kind of takes you back to that time,” Magniere adds.

The Dutilleux, on the other hand, is a complex 1976 composition that Magniere says embraces “the French tradition of being fascinated with sound and timbre.” The audience can expect a short discussion about the piece beforehand.

Finally, the Ravel is the “pinnacle of French chamber music for the early 20th century,” Devroye says. “It’s one of the first string quartets I fell in love with when I was 14 or 15 years old.”

Though it might seem like a music history class – three distinct pieces with a shared heritage that demonstrate the road from the turn of the century to more-modern times – the Avalon members say the concert is more of a declaration of principles for their residency.

“We hope there’s an open mindedness to a piece I’m sure has never been performed here before,” Devroye says. “We like border-pushing. It won’t be the last time we bring something unfamiliar to the stage.”

Law school appoints interim dean

NIU’s College of Law has announced that Associate Dean Malcolm L. Morris will serve as interim dean starting Jan. 1 until a permanent dean is appointed.

Morris will fill the vacancy left by LeRoy Pernell, who will assume the deanship at the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando. Pernell has served as the NIU Law dean since 1997.

Morris has been a professor at NIU Law since 1978 and has served as associate dean of academic affairs since 2003. His areas of teaching include trusts and estates, estate planning, property and e-commerce. He has authored numerous law review articles as well as many practitioner-oriented works.

Morris also directs the Sophomore Summer Institute, a program hosted at NIU Law in partnership with the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO).

Designed for undergraduates interested in attending law school, the primary goal of the program is to help low-income, minority or disadvantaged students succeed in law school. Previously the only program of its kind for the past five years, the Institute at NIU Law is used as a model by CLEO to develop similar programs at other institutions.

An active participant in the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Morris twice has received a Certificate of Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Association. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Association’s Austin Fleming Award.

Morris is a past chair of the ISBA’s Business Advice and Financial Planning Section Council and editor of “The Counselor,” an ISBA publication. Additionally, he is chair of the ISBA’s Committee on Legal Education, Admissions and Competence. On the national level, Morris served on the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education Bar Admissions Committee and chaired the Donative Transfers Section of the Association of American Law Schools.

Morris also has the distinction of being named among the National Notary Association’s (NNA) list of “The 50 Most Influential People in Notarization in the Last 50 Years,” which was printed in the May 2007 issue of its professional magazine, “The National Notary.”

He distinguished himself in the notary area by teaching the first law school class on notarization and co-authoring the first law school text on notarial law and practice.

Morris was the first editor of the NNA’s legal professionals’ publication. He also serves on the drafting committee as reporter for the Revised Model Notary Act, which will have proposals designed to foster electronic business transactions. He also was the reporter for the Model Notary Act of 2002, as well as the Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility (1998). Last year, Morris was a witness at a Congressional hearing considering a notary bill, and in 2001, the NNA honored Morris with its Achievement Award.

Morris received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also holds an LL.M. from Northwestern University.

Physical therapy grad students bring
wheelchairs, hope to rural Guatemala

In rural and poverty-stricken Guatemala, many of the Mayan people believe that a disability is a curse from God.

Adults are shunned. Children are abandoned. An already poor health care system offers no help at all.

“If you have a disability, you’re kind of looked at as an outcast,” said Hannah Wolff, an NIU graduate student in physical therapy. “Nothing is handicapped-accessible.”

But there is a ray of light for those in need.

Hope Haven International and Children’s Medical Ministries bring used wheelchairs to Guatemala, as well as to various other countries around the world, where volunteers refurbish and distribute them.

Part of that distribution includes fittings, the best way to maximize wheelchair functionality and comfort for the users. Children, especially, need proper fittings: They’re still growing, and the chairs need to grow with them.

“It’s real important to position them correctly,” said Nancy Nuzzo, a professor in the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, “so they can grow upright and can breathe right and function.”

For Wolff and NIU classmates Becky Wagner and Theresa Yanik, all of whom will graduate next May, the Guatemalan wheelchair distribution provided a perfect way to put their learning into action.

It also helped meet the program’s requirement of a research project before graduation. Nuzzo served as faculty adviser on the project, which earned approval from the Institutional Review Board.

The trio of students from the College of Health and Human Sciences were in Guatemala from Aug. 2 to Aug. 10, fitting patients for wheelchairs and other assistive devices, including canes, crutches and walkers.

A $500 scholarship from the Crofton, Md.-based Children’s Medical Ministries paid their airfare.

Wolff’s aunt and her sister, who also are physical therapists, and her father, who volunteered as a mechanic in the wheelchair repair shop, joined the travelers.

“We really wanted to do something meaningful to us and that we cared about,” Wagner said. “Being able to do physical therapy for these people is very meaningful to us.”

“There’s such a need down there,” Wolff added. “It just tears at your heart to see the conditions they live in, especially children, because they don’t have a chance.”

The students also conducted research, administered surveys to everyone who received a wheelchair while also taking questionnaires and health assessments to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, monasteries, orphanages and schools with therapy services.

Among the questions: How long had they waited for a wheelchair? How far had they traveled that day, and by what means? How did they get around previously? Were they carried? Did they crawl? Did they simply stay in bed? Did they know what was wrong with them? Were they receiving any treatment? What activities could they manage independently? What activities required help? Dressing? Bathing? Eating?

“We found a total lack of education on the part of the parents,” Yanik said. “They don’t know about hygiene, or prenatal nutrition. They’re putting coffee in their babies’ bottles.”

The results of those surveys are being compiled and analyzed; Wagner, Wolff and Yanik plan to present their findings in Washington, D.C., next April at a national conference for Children’s Medical Ministries.

They also hope to publish their official research in Physical Therapy Journal and a less-formal article in Physical Therapy Magazine.

Yet the task of asking questions and recording answers is not what glimmers so vividly in their memories.

They remember the small huts with tin roofs and dirt floors, or the families crammed into old cars. They remember the open air markets, and the villagers working the fields with machetes.

They think of a nun who had waited two years for a wheelchair; she had both knees replaced and no follow-up care. They think of their emotionally draining visit to an orphanage, home to children with physical and mental disabilities, some locked into stainless steel cribs.

“A lot of kids can’t even sit up,” Yanik said.

Thoughts of Sammy bring tears to their eyes. The 8-year-old orphan wears a helmet and still sleeps in one of the steel cribs, the bars padded to soften the blow while he bangs his head all day. When he’s outside the crib, though, he happily runs around the orphanage and hugs anyone he sees.

Such joy is common for all the orphans when visitors arrive.

“They just light up. They have so much personality,” Wolff said. “You can tell they don’t get a lot of attention.”

Meanwhile, the wheelchair repair shop operated by Chris and Donna Mooney’s Bethel Ministry is helping not only those with disabilities but all of the village’s residents.

Two of the men who work there are recipients of wheelchairs. Another worker is a former gang member who turned his life around. The former secretary, whose family was starving, was given English lessons so she could earn an accounting certificate.

“I was impressed by the selflessness of the people,” Wolff said. “They asked, ‘How can I serve? What can I give up to make this person’s life better?’ ”

Wheelchairs are fixed and cleaned, including the rust, and sometimes are equipped with seat belts or positioning straps. Power wheelchairs are adapted with foot controls or head controls for those who were unable to use their hands.

Fittings and distributions are a monthly event that attracts entire families. The workers also perform yearly checkups and routine maintenance on wheelchairs already distributed.

“One dad – his face was just beaming,” Wagner said of the distribution. “For them, it’s life-changing. Here in the United States, we take it for granted that if you’re disabled, you’re going to get a wheelchair. In Guatemala, there’s no guarantee.”

Wagner, Wolff and Yanik now hope to create awareness here at home.

“People don’t know the need for wheelchairs in these countries,” Wagner said.

“What percentage of wheelchairs gets thrown away?” Wolff asked. “There’s still a use. You can send them to Hope Haven.”

Visit http://www.childmed.org/ and http://www.hopehaveninternationalministries.org/ for more information.

Book by NIU’s Bonomo chronicles story
of NYC rock band that won’t fade away

NIU English Instructor Joe Bonomo has a fresh spin on the story of rock ’n’ roll road warriors. His new book, seven years in the making, delivers an in-depth look at “the best rock band you’ve never heard of.”

“Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band” (Continuum Books) is the authorized biography of the legendary New York City cult band known for its raucous live performances. The book is being praised by the likes of the New York Post and Chicago Sun-Times pop music critic Jim DeRogatis, who calls Bonomo’s work “compelling, well-researched and thoroughly riveting.”

The Fleshtones shared a label with R.E.M. in the 1980s and have been produced by the likes of R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Steve Albini, who also produced Nirvana. The band boasts connections to some of the biggest names in rock ’n’ roll. But the Fleshtones never cracked the Top 100 on the Billboard charts and never achieved commercial success.

Still, the Fleshtones haven’t had a single inactive year since its 1976 debut at CBGB, the New York club known as a launch pad for some of punk rock’s most influential bands, including the Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads.

Like others who have seen the band perform live, Bonomo was captivated when he first took in a gig in 1983 at a Washington, D.C., nightclub. The Fleshtones’ party-band reputation proved to be a double-edged sword, however. While fans reveled in the high-energy performances, many critics didn’t take the band seriously.

“In the late 1990s, it struck me that the Fleshtones are a great story of perseverance,” Bonomo says. “The band has been scorned and laughed at as much as it has been celebrated and accepted. The music industry essentially told band members to give up, but they never did. That in itself is inspiring.”

Bonomo says the band’s journey redefines the notion of success.

“This is not just the story of a cult rock ’n’ roll band but of men reminding themselves of what matters most to them. They followed their passions,” Bonomo says. “At the same time, the book provides a narrative history of the era and the indie-punk scene in the East Village of New York City.”

From 2000 to 2004, Bonomo traveled each summer to New York, where he interviewed band members and their associates. In 2001, he climbed aboard a rented van and traveled with the band on a five-day tour of Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Columbus. It was the Fleshtones’ 25th anniversary.

“That was an eye-opening experience,” says Bonomo, recalling that band members slept on promoters’ floors and in cheap motels. “They were still playing to good-sized audiences, but it was a reminder of the compromises they had to make at this point in their careers.”

In writing the book, Bonomo sought to take the reader along for the ride as well – through 30 years of hard work and hard partying, and through the triumphs and tragedies. Saxophone player Gordon Spaeth, who battled drug addiction and depression, took his own life in 2005.

“I tracked down Gordon in 2001 after he had left the band,” Bonomo says, “and he spoke with candor about his past.”

Bonomo still loves the Fleshtones’ music.

“They had a good shot at conventional success in the 1980s, but for whatever reasons, they didn’t make it,” Bonomo says. “I would argue that after listening to their best albums, people would recognize the Fleshtones as a great American rock band.”

Since completing the book, Bonomo has entered into a contract to write another, this one on rock icon Jerry Lee Lewis. Additionally, he has a book of prose sketches, titled “Installations,” that will be published by Penguin Books next year.

“I write among three areas of nonfiction – the autobiographical essay, lyric prose and biography – so it’s very gratifying to be actively publishing in these areas,” Bonomo says.

Bonomo came to NIU in 1995, along with his wife, Amy Newman, a professor in the Department of English. He teaches writing creative nonfiction and courses in literary nonfiction and modern and contemporary literature. In 2006 he became the first-ever recipient of NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction Award.

Haunted Physics Lab promises scientific thrills, chills

The NIU Department of Physics is inviting the public to experience the thrills and chills of science at the fifth annual Haunted Physics Laboratory.

The popular event, which in past years has drawn as many as 750 visitors, features more than 60 hands-on science demonstrations. It will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, in the lower level of Faraday Hall on the NIU campus.

Parking will be available in the NIU Parking Deck along the west side of Normal Road, about one block north of Lincoln Highway (Route 38).

“We view Halloween as an opportunity for a unique learning experience,” says Pati Sievert, coordinator of NIU’s Frontier Physics outreach program, which stages the event. “Science can be every bit as fascinating as ghosts and goblins.”

Under the watchful gaze of a likeness of Albert Einstein, whose eyes appear to follow guests, young people will discover the science behind fiber optics, Lava Lamps and more. Other displays include pumpkin pendulums, oscillating apples, infinity mirrors and glow-in-the-dark rocks and liquids.

In the darkened windowless laboratories, magnets float around a broomstick, a ghost levitates, sparks fly from an electrostatic machine and an eerie fog seeps from a “witch’s cauldron,” filled with a concoction of water and chilly liquid nitrogen. Visitors can don “rainbow glasses,” get creative with glow-in-the-dark face paints, ponder the lightning bolts in a plasma globe and make artworks that will only appear normal in funhouse-like mirrors.

A fog machine is used for visualization of lasers. Other light and optical displays include an electrical Jacob’s ladder. Volunteer students and professors will be on hand to explain the science behind the demonstrations.

Groups of more than 15 people are asked to contact Sievert in advance. She can be reached via e-mail at psievert@niu.edu. Sievert also is looking for volunteers to work at the event.

“We have had volunteers from local high schools in the past, and I would welcome hearing from high school teachers who would like to have their students involved,” she says.

An open house will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. that same day at NIU for area teachers interested in previewing the Haunted Physics Lab before families arrive. Sievert has run workshops for educators on how to create their own successful haunted labs, and presented on the success of the program to the American Association of Physics Teachers at its national meeting earlier this year in Seattle.

The Haunted Physics Lab is sponsored this year by NIU Outreach and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming, as well as the Department of Physics. Visit www.physics.niu.edu/physics/outreach/haunted_lab.shtml for more information.

Kudos

Rick Ridnour, the Enterprise-Rent-A-Car Professor of Sales in the NIU Department of Marketing, was featured Sept. 11, 2007, by Business Week in its “Favorite Professor” series.

The article appears in a Business Week series in which students are asked about their favorite professors and what makes them special.

“The Department of Marketing, the College of Business and indeed NIU as an institution are fortunate to have dedicated professors such as Rick,” said Tanuja Singh, chair of the Department of Marketing. “For us it is extremely gratifying (although not surprising) to hear such high praise for Rick. He has always been a role model for students, and it reflects in everything he does.”

Ridnour’s commitment to students has been recognized by NIU in the form of numerous teaching awards, including the Presidential Teaching Professorship.

Graduate School invites honorary-degree nominations

Rathindra Bose, NIU vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, is once again issuing a call for nominations for honorary doctoral degrees to be awarded from the university.

An honorary degree provides an opportunity for the university to recognize someone especially outstanding in a field of interest to the university. Recipients must be clearly exceptional among other outstanding persons in his or her field.

While a connection to NIU or the State of Illinois is not a requirement for nomination, any such relationship will be considered during the selection process.

A nomination must be accompanied by:

  • A supporting narrative that indicates the nominee’s distinction in business, education, the liberal arts and sciences, technology, the fine arts, other professional fields or public service.
  • One or more standard biographical statements from appropriate reference sources.
  • The current mailing address of the nominee.

Any person affiliated with NIU may submit a nomination. The Honorary Degree Committee encourages nominations by groups as well as by individuals. Nominators should alert all university departments and divisions related to the area of the nominee’s accomplishments and invite those units to provide the committee with input regarding the merits of the nomination.

This year’s nominations, with the required supporting information, should be submitted to Bose by Friday, Dec. 14.

Past recipients of NIU honorary degrees have included Hermann A. Grunder, director emeritus of Argonne National Laboratory; J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; distinguished historian and Pulitzer Prize-winner Arthur Schlesinger Jr.; astronomer Carl Sagan; and Leon Lederman, former Fermilab director and winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize in physics.

Jack Olson Gallery hosts ‘Materializations’ exhibition

The Jack Olson Gallery at the NIU School of Art is pleased to present “Materializations,” a photography exhibition guest curated by Andrew John Liccardo, an assistant professor of photography at NIU.

“Materializations” opens Tuesday, Oct. 9, and continues through Sunday, Nov. 11, in Room 200 of the Art Building. Three contemporary photographers are featured: Robin Dru Germany, Glenn Kawabata and Janet Pritchard.

The gallery will host a reception and curator’s talk on from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. Kawabata will host an artist’s talk at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct 10. Germany will host an artist’s talk at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. Both take place in room 111 of the Art Building. Germany and Kawabata will be involved in graduate and undergraduate student critiques during their visits to NIU.

The exhibition and special events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

NPR stations to conduct fall membership campaign

Northern Public Radio stations WNIJ and WNIU will conduct a fall membership campaign from Wednesday, Oct. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 20. During this time, listeners are encouraged to become members by making financial pledges of support toward the public radio programming they appreciate.

Classical WNIU (90.5 FM) broadcasts classical music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During a select set of WNIU fundraising dates, Oct. 10 to 13, classical music listeners will be encouraged to voice their support of the format by calling in a pledge.

WNIJ (89.5 FM), featuring such NPR news programs as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” will hold its on-air membership drive Oct. 13 to 20.

Throughout the campaign dates, radio hosts will direct listeners to call a dedicated “Pledge Line” staffed by volunteers. The radio station Web sites also are equipped to receive secure pledges online at either www.wnij.org or www.wniu.org.

Northern Public Radio is the broadcast service of NIU.

Jerusalem Post correspondent to speak Thursday at NIU

Yaakov Katz, military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, will present a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center.

Katz will speak on the war between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel’s current strategic situation in its aftermath, mainly focusing on Iran and Syria.

The event is sponsored by NIU Hillel and all are welcome. For details, contact Robert Rubinson, Israel intern and vice president of NIU Hillel, at silverdrummer@sbcglobal.net.

Bus trips scheduled by NIU Art Museum

Want to meet other art lovers, keep up with what’s happening in the art world, see innovative historical exhibits and travel without the hassle of traffic, tolls and parking?

Then Get-on-the-Bus and enjoy the ride.

The NIU Art Museum schedules the trip, makes the itinerary and arrangements. Riders simply need to sign up and prepay by the deadlines posted. All trips depart from the NIU School of Art parking lot at the northeast corner of Gilbert and College Avenue.

Saturday, Oct. 20: Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford

This bus trip primes us for the NIU Art Museum’s Spring 2008 shows: Ukiyo-e Prints from Richard F. Grott Family, Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints: Selected works from the Richard F. Grott Family and Ayomi Yoshida Installation.

Once in Rockford, lunch costs are on your own at Shogun Japanese Restaurant. Then enjoy the fall colors as you take a self-guided tour of the 14-acre Anderson Gardens for a taste of Japanese aesthetics in two different gardens: a formal Japanese garden in the style of the Kamakura period, 1185 to 1333 A.D., and The Garden of Reflection, a contemporary international garden with a strong Japanese influence. The Guest House and Teahouse are 16th century Sukiya style architecture. This fine example of Japanese culture was rated the No. 2 Japanese Garden in North America and Europe by the Roth Journal of Japanese Gardening.

The bus departs from DeKalb at 10 a.m. with return arrival at 4:30 p.m. Transportation and admission costs: NIU Art Museum members: $18; students/seniors 65 and older: $20; others: $22. Prepayment and registration deadline: Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Friday, Nov. 2: Sculptural Objects and Functional Art Chicago 2007, Museum of Contemporary Art, and/or River North Galleries Excursion

Join us on vans or a bus to the 14th Annual International Exposition of Sculptural Objects and Functional Art. Inside the Festival Hall of Navy Pier, nearly 100 international galleries and dealers will present masterworks bridging design and fine art. Special exhibitions “Offering Reconciliation” – ceramic bowls designed by 135 prominent Israeli and Palestinian artists on the theme of reconciliation – and “Contemporary Furniture at Crab Tree Farm” are included with your SOFA admission.

Meal costs and SOFA admission (students/seniors: $12; others: $15) on your own. From Navy Pier, take a free art trolley for an optional side trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art (no admission charged that day) or the River North Galleries District. The vans depart the School of Art parking lot in DeKalb at noon with return arrival at 8 p.m.

Transportation costs: NIU Art Museum members: $12; students/seniors 65 and older: $15; others: $18. Prepayment and registration deadline: Tuesday, Oct. 30.

To register for these trips, please stop by the museum on the first floor, west end, of Altgeld Hall, call (815) 753-1936 or e-mail Jess Witte at jrwitte@niu.edu. More information about the museum and its programming is online at www.vpa.niu.edu/museum. Payment may be made with cash, a check made out to NIU or a major credit card.

Payment must be made in advance to guarantee a seat on the bus. NIU Art Museum members receive discounts on our bus trips as well as access to Members’ Only Trips. Please note dates and prices of bus trips are subject to change, and trips are frequently added throughout the year, so please check the Web site for the most updated information. 

Interested in becoming an NIU Art Museum member? Membership entitles you to priority registration and discounted fees on Get-On-The-Bus Trips, first-class mailings of exhibition announcements, special members-only previews, receptions and special events, a subscription to Museum Notes newsletter, and a 20 percent discount on NIU Art Museum catalogues. Friend, or basic, membership rates are $25 for individual, $45 for dual, $10 for student, $15 for senior and $25 for dual senior. Sponsor- and patron-level memberships, at $100 and $250 respectively, include an artist print as a premium. Payment may be made by credit card, cash or check. Students must attach a current student ID to their membership application.

The NIU Art Museum can process membership over the phone at (815) 753-1936. Membership applications are also available at the museum or online: Print the online form and mail with your payment to the NIU Art Museum, 116 Altgeld Hall, DeKalb, IL 60115.

NIU professor, mother to exhibit artwork at DAWC

NIU professor Meryl Domina and her mother, Janice Greer, will feature their artwork in a mother/daughter show through Friday, Oct. 26, at the DeKalb Area Women's Center (DAWC) OnStage Gallery.

Domina, an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning, enjoys making art and feels that her strengths are in creating teaching situations that utilize creative activities. As principal and teacher at Sullivan House Alternative High School in Chicago, she created an environment that allowed formerly unsuccessful students to flourish. She also has served as creativity specialist at a religious school and lecturer in alternative/at-risk education at Indiana University, South Bend.

Domina has exhibited at Art Beat, the IUSB Library in South Bend, the Fine Arts Building Gallery, University of Illinois at Chicago Student Gallery and at American Educational Research Association conferences. Her work includes painting in acrylic, pen drawing and photography.

Greer is founder and executive director of Sullivan House Child Welfare Agency in Chicago. She believes her painting has encouraged her to be a risk-taker who is aware of the many alternatives available in any given situation.

She has taken art classes at the North Shore Art League, the University of Chicago Midway Studios, the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxbow and the Fine Arts Building Studio of Carol Dolan. Greer has exhibited at the Renaissance Gallery of the Chicago Cultural Center, the 57th Street Art Fair, Old Orchard Art Fair, the State of Illinois Building, the Beverly Arts Center and the Hyde Park Arts Center. Her current work involves collage, acrylic, watercolor and pastel.

The DAWC galleries are open each Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. or by appointment at (815) 758-1351, and are located at 1021 State Street in DeKalb with a parking lot one-half block south, off Eleventh Street. Call to use the accessible lift from the alley north of the building.

Financial system to go offline
for required maintenance, updates

NIU’s financial system for accounting, asset management, budgets, commercial receivables, procurement and receiving will be down Friday, Oct. 26, through Monday, Oct. 29, for the application of required maintenance and tax and regulatory updates.

Central Office staff will not be able to complete data entry, and checks, purchase orders and commercial invoices will not be produced during the shutdown. The shutdown also applies to the NIU Foundation.

Campus financial queries will be unavailable beginning at noon Friday, Oct. 26, but will be available when the system is restored.

Access to distributed financial, budgetary and increment reports should be unaffected by the shutdown.

Normal operations should resume Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Art faculty join in Biennial,
show studio arts, scholarship

NIU’s Art Museum will host the NIU School of Art Faculty Biennial from Tuesday, Oct. 30, through Saturday, Dec. 8.

The public is invited to an opening reception from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30. For details on lectures offered in conjunction with the exhibition, visit www.vpa.niu.edu/museum. The museum will close from Nov. 21 through Nov. 26 for Thanksgiving recess. 

The Faculty Biennial features recent work by the School of Art faculty, visiting faculty and members of the supportive professional staff in a variety of studio media including ceramics, design, drawing, fiber, illustration, jewelry, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video and visual communication. Research in art education and art history also are included.

Spanning all four galleries of the museum, this exhibition provides an opportunity for the
NIU and greater DeKalb/Sycamore community to discover or become reacquainted with the research, ideas and artwork of these faculty members.

The NIU Art Museum is located on the first floor, west end of Altgeld Hall. The galleries are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment for group tours.

Exhibitions are free; donations are appreciated. The exhibitions of the NIU Art Museum are funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, the Friends of the NIU Art Museum, and the Arts Fund 21.

For more information, visit www.vpa.niu.edu/museum or call (815) 753-1936.

Nehring Gallery seeks artists for holiday sale

Wanted: artists seeking holiday shoppers.

The Nehring Gallery is issuing a call for local artists to submit a sample of their work for inclusion in the annual juried show and art sale, the 2007 Holiday Artist’s Market. The Holiday Artist’s Market will be held at Nehring Gallery from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.

This event requires a $10 entry/jury fee. If invited to participate, a $15 space fee does apply in lieu of sales commission. To participate, please submit contact information, including e-mail address, a description of your work and three photographs or jpeg samples of your work with a $10 check written to the DeKalb Park District by Saturday, Nov. 3. Mail to: Holiday Artist’s Market, Nehring Gallery, 211 S. 2nd St. Suite #204, DeKalb, IL 60115.

Nehring Gallery is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Nehring Center for Culture and Tourism in the historic First National Bank building on the corner of Lincoln Highway and 2nd Street in downtown DeKalb.

Nehring Gallery is cooperatively operated by the DeKalb Park District and the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts Division of Outreach. An entrance accessible to all handicap is available and located at the 111 S. Second Street entrance.

October is LGBT History Month

NIU's annual celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History Month will kick off on Monday, Oct. 1, with the fourth annual Banned Books Week drawing at the LGBT Resource Center and an evening presentation by Mark Bowman, project coordinator of the LGBT Religious Archives Network.

Other events during the month include Ally Program workshops, “Transgeneration” movie and discussion series, LGBT Studies 3rd Thursday series and more. The month will conclude with the annual fall reception Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Full details about these and all other events are available by calling (815) 753-5428, e-mailing lgbt@niu.edu or visiting the LGBT Resource Center Web site at http://www.niu.edu/lgbt/resourcecenter/index.shtml.

PCSW, Women’s Resource Center
sponsor Oct. 19 networking luncheon

Did you ever wonder what Guanxi has to do with business dealings in China, or what is meant by “face” in Eastern cultures or when “yes” really means “yes” in a global negotiation setting? If you have ever been puzzled by signs that announce “Our wines leave you nothing to hope for” or “We take your bags and send them in all directions,” you are not alone. 

Cross-cultural communication involves more than just language. It is a study of a broad range of subjects ranging from non-verbal and verbal language to cultural adiaphoras.

Tanuja Singh, chair and associate professor in the Department of Marketing in NIU’s College of Business, will present “Global Communication – The Cultural Dimension” as the featured speaker at a Friday, Oct. 19, networking luncheon.

Held in the Chandelier Room of Adams Hall, the luncheon is co-sponsored by the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and the Women’s Resource Center. The cost is $8 per person. Reservations are due Tuesday, Oct. 9, at (815) 753-0320.

Singh’s talk offers you a glimpse of the role of effective communication in a global setting and offers strategies that would facilitate your next global assignment whether for business or for pleasure. It offers useful guidelines and basic frameworks that would help you understand how to avoid culture shock when dealing with business partners from other countries and help you enjoy cultural nuances when traveling to foreign destinations.

All NIU women - students, faculty and staff - are invited to gather informally over lunch. This is a chance to meet new people, see women you'd like to get to know better and gain the support that a network of contacts can provide.

For more information, visit www.niu.edu/women/PCSW.

International Programs seeks nominations for 2007 awards

The NIU Division of International Programs is seeking nominations for two awards that will be presented later this fall during the annual International Recognition Reception.

The Outstanding International Educator Award recognizes an NIU faculty or staff member who has contributed significantly toward international education at the university. The award also aims to heighten visibility and awareness of the internationalization of NIU.

The 2007 award recipient will have made sustained contributions to the enhancement of international education at NIU through teaching, research, public service and student-service efforts. The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, Oct. 19. See http://www3.niu.edu/intl_prgms/IntlEd07.htm for nomination forms.

Professors Jorge Jeria and Robert Self were the 2006 award recipients. The International Recognition Reception will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room.

The second major honor, the award for Outstanding Contribution to International Education at NIU, recognizes the academic unit or support unit that has made the most significant contribution toward international education on campus during the last academic year. This will be the third year International Programs has presented the award. Faculty Development and Instructional Design won last year.

The deadline for the nominations is Friday, Oct. 26. See http://www3.niu/edu/intl_prgms/deptaward2007.htm for nomination forms.

For more information about the awards, contact Sara Clayton at (815) 753-9526.

Ally Program to offer training workshops

The Ally Program is a campus-wide program designed to foster a welcoming and supportive campus environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students, faculty and staff by creating a visible network of allies.

NIU employees and students interested in volunteering for the Ally Program can learn more and can register online. The online form at http://www.niu.edu/lgbt/resourcecenter/programs/ally.shtml provides the specific workshop dates and times, and allows registrants to indicate first, second and third choices.

Training is divided into two two-hour workshops (Part I and Part II). Volunteers must attend both Part I and Part II. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. Multiple dates are available.

Part I 

  • 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17
  • 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6

Part II

  • 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24
  • 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13

The Ally Program is a program of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, Division of Student Affairs.