Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Northern Today - June 17, 2008

Thursday groundbreaking scheduled
for proton treatment, research center

A groundbreaking celebration for the Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center – the first cancer treatment and research center of its kind in Illinois – will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at the facility site in suburban West Chicago.

The $159 million state-of-the-art center will be located at 777 Discovery Drive in the DuPage National Technology Park, about 30 miles west of Chicago.

Proton therapy is an advanced, highly effective form of radiation treatment, utilizing proton beams to treat cancer. Non-invasive and painless, it is a preferred treatment in many adult and pediatric cancers.

The Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center is scheduled to begin treating patients in 2010.

Northern View gets its due at opening ceremony

In a case of later definitely being better than never, NIU held an opening celebration for the Northern View Community earlier this month.

The actual opening occurred last August, but its significance was washed away, quite literally. Residents, who began arriving Aug. 22, had to be evacuated the next day when massive storms flooded the area, leaving the buildings briefly surrounded by water. The subsequent clean-up and completion of last-minute work prompted the rescheduling of any celebration.

Conditions were much better Thursday, June 5, when university dignitaries formally dedicated the first new buildings for student housing at NIU since 1968.

Designed specifically with families and non-traditional students in mind, Northern View is comprised mostly of two- and three-bedroom apartments suitable for families. The mix of residents during the first year consisted primarily of families, law students, international students and graduate students for whom residence halls were not a viable option.

“This beautiful facility, with its fabulous grounds, allows us to welcome and embrace all of our students,” said NIU President John Peters. “It creates a place where those returning to college after being in the workplace can pursue their education without having to sacrifice living with their families. It has been a tremendous addition to the university.”

Northern View, which replaced the former University Apartments, was designed with particular attention to the needs of the non-traditional student populations that it serves. The complex includes a community center with a computer lab for studying, a play room and playground for children and a recreation area for adults.

“Balancing classes with the demands of raising a family is challenging,” said Barbara Giorgi-Vella, a member of the NIU Board of Trustees. “By providing such a wonderful facility to help meet those needs, we are setting our students up to succeed. Northern View allows students to keep their families close by and to draw upon them for support, and that can be very important.”

The $20 million project was built through a public-private partnership with Collegiate Development Services, a not-for-profit, Texas-based organization that offers turn-key real estate development services to colleges and universities across the country, specializing in residence halls. The complex is owned by Collegiate Development Services but managed by NIU Housing and Dining. It was designed by BLDD Architects.

“The success of this project was a true team effort, and we have been very excited about and pleased with our partnership with Collegiate Development Services,” said NIU Executive Vice President Eddie Williams, who also praised the efforts of the Division of Student Affairs that helped ensure a successful launch for the complex.

Kelly Wesener, executive director of Housing and Dining, echoed Williams’ praise of her staff. Despite its waterlogged start, she said, Northern View has been a tremendous addition to student housing.

“We have needed a facility like Northern View for many years,” Wesener said. “It has allowed us to upgrade our services to some important segments of our student population, not just improving their housing options, but also helping to create a community and a support network for them. Getting a new facility online is always a little bit challenging, but it has clearly been a success.”

Parking Services now part of Public Safety

In a move aimed at simplifying customer service and increasing safety, Parking Services is now part of NIU Public Safety.

“After the parking services coordinator resigned this spring, we decided that this would be a good opportunity to more closely coordinate parking and safety issues,” said Bob Albanese, associate vice president for finance and facilities, whose responsibilities included parking until this change. “It just makes sense for Parking Services and Public Safety to be more closely aligned.”

Previously, the relationship between those two units confused some people.

On the one hand, Parking Services was charged with the administration of parking permits, maintenance of lots and creating policies to govern parking. On the other, those who patrolled the lots looking for parking violations reported to Public Safety.

The difference was not always obvious, sometimes leading to frustrations for individuals who didn’t know which office to visit, Parking Services or Public Safety.

Under the new structure, anything having to do with parking now occurs at the Parking Services office at Lincoln Terrace and Normal Road. The new director, when hired, will report directly to Chief of Police and Public Safety Donald Grady.

The new arrangement also will allow Public safety to be more influential when making decisions about upgrades to campus parking facilities, ensuring that the design takes into account safety features such as adequate lighting, the use of proper landscaping to allow for natural surveillance and other safety considerations.

“Where parking is located and how it’s designed improves the public’s ease of movement and contributes to public safety,” said Lt. Todd Henert who is helping to guide the transition, “so this is a natural fit.”

Nutrition professor lends hand,
students to healthy Elgin effort

NIU professor Beverly Henry is helping to make her hometown of Elgin a healthier place to live.

Henry, who teaches nutrition and dietetics in the School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences, represents NIU on the leadership team for Activate Elgin. The group is part of a YMCA effort called “Activate America: Pioneering Healthier Communities.”

She attended the third annual Pioneering Healthier Communities Learning Institute earlier this month in Rosemont to gain ideas and skills that will take Activate Elgin to the next level.

“Personally, it’s great to see my home community getting on the health bandwagon. The Rotary Club of Elgin just made a five-year commitment to Activate Elgin, and that’s big,” Henry said. “Also, I can watch my students get involved in program assessment and the health fair. It’s fun to give them that opportunity to practice in the real world.”

Students in Henry’s FCNS 429 course are assigned to work at a September health fair in Elgin open to the public. Students from her seminar on nutrition and dietetics meet with children at U-46’s Highland Elementary School to discuss good eating habits and to survey their diets.

Among the goals promoted to students and their families: eating breakfast more often, enjoying meals with their full families and engaging in physical activity during the school day.

The YMCA launched the PHC project in 2004 as a community leadership initiative to raise the visibility of lifestyle health issues in the national policy debate and to encourage and support local communities in developing effective strategies to promote healthy lifestyles.

So far, 46 communities including Elgin and Rockford have fielded teams to answer the call.

According to the YMCA, its teams are:

  • changing the environment of after-school programs implemented by the Y and other community organizations to include physical activity and healthy snacks
  • influencing policy makers to put physical education back in schools and include physical activity in after-school programs
  • building new (or enhancing existing) walkways and bike paths
  • providing opportunities for residents to purchase and consume fresh fruits and vegetables

The work is funded through an annual appropriation of $1.4 million from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Henry, whose school is housed in the NIU College of Health and Human Sciences, was recruited as a dietitian who also is an academician with research and evaluation skills. Others on the leadership team represent the City of Elgin, the Elgin Park District, the Elgin Public Library, the Kane County Health Department and two local hospitals.

They’re talking about walkways, bike paths, parks, farmer’s markets and more. Two events have been scheduled in conjunction with the Y, including “American on the Move Day” and a one-mile walk with Elgin’s mayor.

“We’re really trying to build on what we have,” Henry said, “and to make information available to families.”


Daniel Reynolds once again can add “Faculty of the Year” to his list of titles, as conferred upon him by members of the Class of 2008, who elected him for the distinction.

Reynolds also received the honor from the classes of 1989, 1991, 1997 and 2003.

“Professor Reynolds was one of the best professors I ever had,” class Speaker Adam Watson said. He is intellectually challenging without resorting to intimidation, he uses his wide knowledge of the classics, history and literature to inform his teaching, and he includes the perfect amount of wit and cynicism in his lectures. Further, he is very accessible and truly cares about the well-being and future success of his students.”

Reynolds joined the College of Law faculty in 1982 and primarily teaches in the areas of professional ethics and conduct, contracts and legal history. He is co-director of the College’s Summer Study Abroad Program at the University Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV in Agen, France, and last fall he co-coordinated the college’s first-ever program for foreign law students. During his tenure at the college, he also has served as interim dean and associate dean.

Reynolds received his bachelor of arts degree from University of Nebraska and his law degree from Creighton University.

Chiller project continues near Adams,
Swen Parson; part of parking lot closed

Construction crews will continue working to install chilled water lines beneath Normal Road this week, with work mostly in the area of Swen Parson Hall and Adams Hall. Work on the project will continue throughout the summer, and Normal Road is expected to remain closed until Aug. 1.

Parking Lot 10, and the northeast quadrant of Lot 5 (at the Campus Life Building), is closed for staging of materials for the project. To offset the loss of parking spaces in Lot 5, Campus Parking Services is allowing Blue Permit parking in Lot D (west of Neptune Hall) until Aug. 15. For more information, contact Campus Parking Services at (815) 753-1045.

Pedestrian crossings will be maintained throughout the project, though the location of crosswalks might change periodically.

Caution is urged when walking or driving around any of the construction work due to heavy equipment and truck traffic. Work is scheduled between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

WNIJ to unveil new programs

Beginning Tuesday, July 1, listeners of WNIJ will hear some changes on the Northern Public Radio station, including the return of Bob Edwards to the local public radio dial.

Northern Public Radio also plans to begin streaming online at and by July 1. This feature is scheduled to coincide with the debut of re-designed station Websites, where visitors also can sign up for a new E-Newsletter to stay informed of station happenings.

Programming changes include:

“Here & Now” (noon weekdays, beginning Tuesday, July 1)

For one energetic hour each weekday, “Here & Now” combines the best in news journalism with intelligent, broad-ranging conversation to form a fast-paced program that updates the news from the morning and adds important conversations on public policy and foreign affairs, science, technology and the arts, from film and theater to music, food and more. A notable roster of guests joins “Here & Now” host Robin Young.

“Sound Opinions” (noon Saturdays with a rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Sundays, beginning July 5)

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary and exclusive interviews and performances. Add a huge pile of records old and new. The result is “Sound Opinions,” the world’s only rock ’n’ roll talk show.

Based in Chicago, “Sound Opinions” is hosted by music journalists Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. Every week, “Sound Opinions” fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from cutting-edge underground rock and hip-hop, to classic rock, R&B, electronica, worldbeat or just about any other genre. It’s public radio’s answer to inquisitive and adventurous music fans hungry for exposure to new sounds. 

“Bob Edwards Weekend” (2 p.m. Sundays, beginning July 6)

One of public radio’s most familiar voices returns to WNIJ this July. Bob Edwards is the host of “Bob Edwards Weekend,” distributed to public radio stations by Public Radio International. As one of the original co-hosts to launch “Morning Edition” in 1979, Edwards’ latest program features in-depth interviews with newsmakers, journalists, entertainers and other compelling figures.

New voices debut on WNIU

WNIU (90.5 / 105.7 FM), the area’s only 24-hour-a-day non-commercial classical music service, will in July present a new roster of music hosts, including former NIU Huskie Bob Christiansen.

Northern Public Radio also plans to begin streaming online at and by Tuesday, July 1. This feature is scheduled to coincide with the debut of re-designed station Websites, where visitors also can sign up for a new E-Newsletter to stay informed of station happenings.

John Zech (5 to 9 a.m. weekdays) is a radio veteran with 21 years of broadcasting experience. He is an accomplished trombonist whose knowledge and love of classical music make him a perfect fit for a classical music series.

Zech speaks English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. His interests are broad, including tournament-level tennis, all forms of billiards and martial arts. He also boasts tremendous marketing savvy, having spent many years in management and sales for a Twin Cities-based multilingual communications company.

Jeff Esworthy (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays) hosted at WKSU-FM/Kent in northeastern Ohio from 1978 to 1995. He professes a widely diverse musical background.

As a teen, Esworthy developed a keen interest in the classical music of North India and studied sitar. In college, he studied anthropology; the music of India, Japan and Africa; and rural northern Thailand. He also has an interest in folk music, has played banjo in a southern string band and also plays fiddle.

Julie Amacher (1 to 3 p.m. weekdays) is the only four-time winner of the PRPD Announcer of the Year award. Her work as music director of KUNC/Greeley helped win that station the PRPD Flo Award for Best Station six times and the Fundraising Award twice. Amacher’s record of outstanding work as an announcer, programmer and producer at KUNC make her one of the most respected hosts in the public radio system.

Valerie Kahler (3 to 7 p.m. weekdays) hails from Mesa, Ariz., graduating from Northern Arizona University with a degree in performance as a cellist. She was a member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.

Kahler began her career in radio at KNAU-FM/Flagstaff in 1989 as program host and music director. During the summer of 1998, she worked for National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” Her interests in music cover many classical genres, pop, Broadway music and more.

Bob Christiansen (7 p.m. to midnight Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; 5 to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays) has been an announcer and program director for nearly 30 years. This Chicago-area native attended NIU and served as a music host at WNIU. He teamed up with Bill Morelock while at Northwest Public Radio, creating the nationally distributed “Bob & Bill” program.

In addition to his current work in classical programming, Christiansen hosts shifts on Minnesota Public Radio’s classical music stations, including hosting “The Opera,” a weekly program devoted to one of his personal weaknesses.

Suzanne Bona (“Sunday Baroque” from 7 to 10 a.m. Sundays) has been a classical music broadcaster since 1987. She’s also a professional, classically trained flutist. This avid reader, culinary explorer and cat lover is a true radio aficionado enjoying life sans TV.

NIU Art Museum prepares
to rent artworks for offices

It’s time for the NIU Art Museum’s annual “Art to Lend” program.

This exhibition of artwork from the permanent collection is available to hang in secure campus offices. To consider the selections, stop by the Altgeld gallery (first floor, west end) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, July 14, through Thursday, July 17.

As in previous years, works will be assigned by lottery based on preferred selections. The lottery drawing will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 17.

There are nominal fees for this service to cover part of the Art Museum’s incurred costs and for the direct care and maintenance of the collection, including matting and framing to make new selections available.

Check for more information on the rental policy.

For more information, contact Pete Olson at (815) 753-7867 or

Retirement reception planned
for Physics laboratory manager

Ben Dewey, laboratory manager in the Department of Physics, is retiring at the end of the month after 17 years of service to NIU.

A celebration is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, June 30, in Faraday West 300.

Alumni Association to thank
faculty, staff at Sox game

NIU’s Alumni Association will thank NIU faculty and staff for their support and dedication to the university by offering two-for-one pricing for an upcoming Chicago White Sox game Tuesday, July 1.

Join the Alumni Association in a private suite featuring indoor and outdoor open seating and continuous buffet and bar starting at 6 p.m. through the seventh inning stretch. Packages cost $125 and include two game tickets, all food and beverages and a wonderful atmosphere. Join us Tuesday, July 1, for an exciting baseball reception.

Call (815) 753-1452 to order.

Alumni Association to travel to Dalmatian Coast this fall

Discover Dalmatia’s ruggedly beautiful, island-dominated shoreline on this touring itinerary which takes travelers from Dubrovnik in southern most Croatia to Ljubljana, the beautiful capital city in Slovenia.

The trip begins Sept. 19.

The Dalmatian Coast offers an unmatched collection of Roman ruins, medieval towns, gorgeous rivieras, picturesque lakes, mountain views and idyllic islands. Visitors step back in time at beautiful Dubrovnik, an architectural gem that is more than 1,000 years old.

More information about this and other NIU Alumni Association Travel Programs is available online.