Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Northern Today - March 3, 2008

Campus begins healing process,
resolves to move together forward

Memorial service draws thousands

Words, said Barbara Peters, cannot diminish the grief.

Yet the words of Peters and her husband, NIU President John Peters, and of so many dignitaries and members of the NIU family, were what soothed the pain. Words of unity and courage calmed the anxiety. Words in song and prayer stirred our faith and renewed our hope.

“This past week, I have seen despair and I have seen hope. I have seen deep sorrow of the five victims’ families, but I have seen your courage, and I have seen your strength,” President Peters said. “Our tragedy has touched people in all walks of life and in all corners of the world. We are not alone. We are not islands, but bridges; bridges to each other and bridges to the world.”

Twelve thousand people, many dressed in Huskie cardinal and black, filled the Convocation Center for the Feb. 24 memorial service to remember the students lost Feb. 14 and to honor those who were wounded and shaken. Another 3,000 found seats in the overflow viewing spaces. Countless others watched on TVs around the nation and even in Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq.

Families, friends, faculty, staff, alumni and dignitaries, including Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, all came to pay tribute to “the memories of five beautiful young people who are not with us tonight,” Peters said.

To the right of the stage stood five flower-draped memorials to Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, Julianna Gehant, Ryanne Mace and Daniel Parmenter. To the left of the stage stood the NIU Chamber Choir, who with Director Eric Johnson provided angelic harmonies.

Ribbons adorned every shirt. The arms of warm embrace enveloped every friend and loved one. The expression of “Forward, Together Forward” – and, indeed, that resolve to move forward – resonated from every pair of lips and from every soul.

“We are older today than we were yesterday, and in that we have lost a bit of our youth,” said Cherilyn Murer, chair of the Board of Trustees, “but we have gained wisdom and fortitude. Each person who has been touched by this will always carry a bit of it in their hearts.”

NIU was ready and eager to welcome students back to campus for the resumption of classes, Murer said.

“There is a quiet that has befallen our campus with each tear that has been shed,” she said. “We look forward to hearing their voices.”

“We are all in need of comfort now, but take heart. We will find it. We will find it in the eyes of our faculty and students,” added Judy Santacaterina, the adviser from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who spoke on behalf of the entire faculty. “We will continue to teach and learn. We will heal. We will prevail.”

Student Association President Jarvis Purnell talked of the “confusion, anger, sadness and disbelief” from the “event that has changed all of our lives.” Students are “frightened,” he said, “but not afraid to take action.”

“I’ve had the chance to experience something incredible: the Huskie spirit,” Purnell said. “Never stop believing in it.”

Durbin and Blagojevich spoke of the victims – “Heaven welcomed five souls,” the governor said – and of their plans to teach and work, of their military duty, of their musical talent, of the immeasurable pride they brought to their families.

Catalina, Dan, Gayle, Juliana and Ryanne are lost, Blagojevich said, but still loved. He urged the crowd “to capture some of their promise, their decency, their optimism.” Teach a child. Make some music. Serve your country. Hold someone’s hand.

“Their memory is a blessing because it compels us all to search for meaning,” Blagojevich said. “We are not to understand God’s design, but to live in it.”

“From that tragic moment on Feb. 14, America has been with you,” Durbin added. “This great university will rise from this sad event to be even stronger and ever more committed to changing the world for the better.”

President Bush sent his greetings and encouragement through Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“May our sadness and grief not cause us to look downward, but to look outward,” Leavitt said. “When we are serving others, it heals us.”

And like the gentle snowflakes that started shortly before Thursday’s five minutes of silence and ended shortly after, Sunday night’s memorial seemed to bring the heavens into a building constructed for basketball games and rock concerts.

Eddie Williams, vice president for finance and facilities and chief operating officer, offered an invocation that begged God for “grace and mercy to help broken hearts; grace and mercy to uplift downturned heads; grace and mercy to heal all bruised spirits.”

“We pray that there will emerge from this place a collective response that will not be silenced, that will not be deterred,” Williams said. “We will not let darkness alter or extinguish our light.”

Indeed, as the audience rose to sing the alma mater near the end of the service, thousands turned on small flashlights that illuminated the arena like stars in a sky that no longer mourns.

Memorials turn Commons into place of quiet reflection

Frigid winds whip the red and black cloths draped over the ends of the murals in the Martin Luther King Memorial Commons.

Yet the stream of visitors coming to look, or to leave messages, or to simply share in the experience, is not deterred.

What they discover is uplifting and heartbreaking and, ultimately, reassuring: We will get through this together – forward together.

There truly are too many condolences to read; they intersect one another in all sorts of colors produced by the numerous Sharpies made available. Some are in foreign languages. Some are passages from the Bible. Some are quotes from Gandhi.

“Stay strong.” “We will never forget.” “We are all in this together.” “We are strong. We are NIU.” “I’m sorry. I’m praying.” “God Bless NIU.” “Stay positive.” “Huskies Rise.” “Redefine community.” “Salukis support their fellow dawgs.” “Mourn today. Live tomorrow.” “Peace and love.” “Why? NIU ’84.” “NIU – sleep in heavenly peace.”

By the noon hour Wednesday, Feb. 20, the hundreds of autographs left since Feb. 14 have completely covered four murals, two each on the double-sided easels. Well-wishers have begun to fill in a fifth mural. There is still room under the red-and-white-striped tents for a fourth easel.

Some of their thoughts are not in words.

A couple teddy bears lie on the paved grounds of the Commons. There are roses and heart-shaped candles. There are ribbons, both real and drawn. There is a Huskie paw. There is a Huskie angel sketched in green. There are five red hearts, cut from construction paper and strung together with black yarn, with one word printed on each: “Today we are all Huskies.”

Someone has left stacks of booklets titled “The Way to Happiness.” Another man reading the murals wears the jacket of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. A lone TV news crew films the murals and seeks interviews.

“I wanted to see it,” says Joseph Verstynen, a graduate student in speech-language pathology. “Being a student here, it felt proper to come out and give my thoughts and respects. It’s very touching, very real. It’s unfortunate that it takes such a tragedy to get people to show such an outpouring of emotion, but it’s here. There’s a lot of goodness in people.”

Kimberly Johnson, supervisor of the supplemental instruction program in the ACCESS office, made her first trip to the murals Wednesday.

“Today felt right,” Johnson says. “There’s more time to read everyone’s thoughts, and to put mine up.”

She calls the memorials “moving” and “appropriate.”

“It shows the families of the students we lost that we’re backing them,” she says. “We support them in their time of need.”

Linda Stoklasa, a sophomore fashion merchandising major, passes by the mural for the first time Wednesday as she returns to her room in Neptune Hall.

She opens a Sharpie and ponders her tribute, but no words come.

“I can’t think of anything to write yet, so I’m going to come back,” says Stoklasa, who describes the surroundings as sad. “Thankfully, I have a big tree blocking the crosses from my window.”

The crosses, one for each of the fallen students, stand on the western bank of the nearby grassy hill that separates the Commons from the Neptune Hall area. Visitors who want a closer look at the memorial must risk a slippery climb up the icy slope, and there are hundreds of shoeprints and boot prints leading along the incline.

Flowers, U.S. flags, necklaces and ribbons adorn all five crosses; a pair of red-framed sunglasses hangs from Daniel Parmenter’s cross.

Around the crosses grows a snow-dusted pile of offerings: Countless floral bouquets. Stuffed animals. Candles. Angels, both porcelain figurines and a doll. A helium-filled red balloon. A red NIU baseball cap. A typewritten poem in a frame. A heart with angel’s wings and photos of the five: Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, Julianna Gehant, Ryanne Mace and Daniel Parmenter.

Diane, a woman from Oak Brook with no connection to NIU, made the drive on this cold morning simply to express her sympathy in some way. The memorials, she says, are lovely.

Her friend Jim, shivering in an unzipped leather jacket, seems to have a stronger reaction. A lone tear streaks down his right cheek and freezes immediately in the bitter winds.

Counseling available for faculty, staff

NIU’s Employee Assistance Program has beefed up its counseling staff to accommodate the increased need for services.

Individual counseling sessions and group workshops are being conducted on campus and at the NIU outreach centers for faculty and staff impacted by the Feb. 14 incident. The workshops will continue through this week, said Deborah Haliczer, director of employee relations.

“Many, many faculty and staff have contacted us,” Haliczer said. “So we have increased the availability of counseling for our employees by temporarily adding additional staff members, who are mostly volunteers. We’ve had amazing offers of support from among our NIU faculty and professional staff and retirees who have clinical backgrounds.”

Haliczer, who also helped lead training sessions for faculty and staff in preparation for the return of students this week, noted that everyone at NIU has been affected in some way.

“Many people on campus were called into duty to help out during the emergency,” she said. “What’s amazing to me is just how many faculty and staff came to the aid of students and colleagues. The term, ‘not in my job description,’ was not part of that day. People did things that no one ever thought they would do. I’m just so proud of everyone.”

The recovery and healing process will take time. “While certainly people are saying they want to get back to my work, there are others who are going to need support services,” Haliczer said.

NIU employees who think they might need to talk about the events, or for other assistance, are encouraged to call the Employee Assistance Program at (815) 753-9191. NIU insurance plans have provisions for counseling, and the state’s managed care group provides three free sessions to university employees.

“You have to take care of yourself first, so we’ve been looking at ways of doing that,” added Nancy Apperson, coordinator of the Employee Assistance Program.

“It’s important that people get good sleep, and if they’re not, call us,” she said. “We’ll set up individual appointments. Also, remember to drink water, which helps to dilute some of the caffeine we might be drinking. Exercise triggers endorphins and also is an important part of well-being.”

Additionally, a “peace room” has been established in Room 231 of the Holmes Student Center for students, faculty and staff to go for some quiet time. The room is being staffed by campus ministers.

Northern Star reporters cover
Cole Hall shootings, help victims

Jeff Merkel doesn’t see himself as a hero, but he says he met some on Feb. 14, 2008.

The 30-year-old former Navy corpsman had just exited Swen Parson Hall when he saw students near the library running toward him.

They were screaming, “Shooter!”

“At first, I thought it was a prank,” he says. “When they ran into Normal Road to flag down a (University Police) squad car, I took it seriously.”

Merkel walked back into Swen Parson. He went directly into a classroom. He told the professor and students to turn off the lights and lock the doors.

He left the building and walked in the direction the students were running from. He called his wife and told her, “I love you.” Then the senior journalism major, a reporter for the student paper, the Northern Star, took out his notebook and went to work.

In front of Cole Hall, Merkel saw a shooting victim sitting near a fountain, being attended to by a police officer and students. He met up with the Star’s city editor, Katie Trusk, who already was interviewing people and pointed him toward a witness.

After overhearing a scanner report of wounded who had run to Neptune Hall, Merkel and Trusk made their way to the residence hall. That’s where they found bloody footprints. And that’s when Merkel put his reporter’s notebook in his back pocket.

“I knew Katie was there taking notes,” Merkel says. “The main concern was making sure these guys were going to be taken care of.”

Trusk adds, “Jeff went into Marine mode.”

Navy corpsmen serve as medics alongside the Marines. Merkel had served tours in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was trained in how to treat victims in mass casualty situations.

He picked up a first-aid kit and pair of gloves that he had found near a police officer. “I said, ‘I’m a Navy corpsman, I’ve seen this stuff before,’ ” he recalls.

He handed a pair of gloves to Trusk, who says she put away her notebook as well. She also had training in first aid.

“There’s no way you can walk into the situation and be 100 percent reporter,” Trusk adds. “There’s no way you can do that.”

Merkel bandaged one victim’s head. In all, he dressed wounds or assisted three people with injuries and gathered them at a central staging area to wait for paramedics.

He notes that the wounded had significant help before he and Trusk even arrived. NIU students, including an Eagle Scout and lifeguard, had been using their first-aid knowledge while helping victims.

“I had the first aid kit and a little experience, but the first responders did an amazing job,” Merkel says. “Everything clicked. Everyone did what they were supposed to do. I was just one part of that.”

He heard that each of the three victims were treated and released that night.

There were heroes there that day.

Northern Star’s student-journalists
professionally tackle Feb. 14 challenge

“Our students are finishing up the paper. They’re doing 8 pages, no ads. The first story went up on the Web site at 3:59 p.m., less than an hour after this started. All day, our students have come through as the whole world watched. While they were turning out their own stories and photos, we must have been interviewed by every news outlet in the free world and beyond.” — e-mail to Northern Star alumni from adviser Jim Killam, 12:20 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15

Stacey Huffstutler, a photographer for the Northern Star, heard the news immediately after her Spanish class in DuSable Hall as she chatted with the professor.

“I had my camera with me because I was supposed to go photograph a cat being checked out at the vet for the paper the next day,” says Huffstutler, a junior journalism major. “I just grabbed my camera and said, ‘I work for the Star. I have to go.’ ”

Huffstutler ran outside the building toward Cole Hall but quickly returned when a friend told her that one of the wounded students had made it to DuSable.

“I just pulled out my camera and started taking pictures,” she says. “It was hard for me to understand what I was supposed to be doing because I didn’t understand the situation yet. I’d never been in that situation. I’m usually photographing a charity event or a rock show. At one point, somebody asked me to put my camera away. I said I felt obligated, and I continued to take pictures. I said I was sorry that it was happening, that I was trying to be most respectful and that I would use them in the most respectful way.”

Within a few hours, after she downloaded her images back at the Star’s office, news media around the world posted and published some of her photographs.

As a student of journalism, she felt pride. “At the same point, I felt bad. It wasn’t something to celebrate,” she says.

But “personally, as a student, I think it’s terribly tragic,” Huffstutler says. “I don’t think there’s anything that could’ve stopped it or explained it. It really made me reflect on everybody else all over the world who deals with violence on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in their lives. It’s really brought to my eyes what that does to a community and what that does to an individual.”

“It’s 5:30 p.m. Friday. World Media Avalanche, Day 2, seems to be winding down. You know there’s not much new information when the media starts reporting about itself. At one point late this morning it was impossible to take three steps in the newsroom without tripping over a TV camera crew. But it was never a bad or unmanageable situation – our students’ first priority was their own stories and photos, and that was completely understood. Pro journalists – including many Star alums – have been unfailingly gracious. They’ve also recognized that the incredible job our students are doing is indeed part of this story.” — Killam

Northern Star editor in chief John Puterbaugh knows Amie Steele, editor in chief of Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times.

Puterbaugh met Steele last year at a national conference for college newspaper editors. They ate dinner together with some of the others. He heard Steele speak at a conference session about Virginia Tech’s tragedy, the topic of which still merits at least one new story every day in her newspaper, she says. They exchanged cell phone numbers, and have talked periodically throughout the past year.

None of those encounters prepared him for Feb. 14.

“She sent me a message that day – a text message just telling me that her thoughts were with me,” Puterbaugh says. “I called her on Friday and talked to her for a little while. In a way, it was comforting to talk to someone who at least knows what we’re going through.”

Driving back to campus Thursday from a trip home to see his family in Indiana, Puterbaugh says the brief respite from NIU and the Star provided opportunity for reflection.

He’s given “maybe 20 or 30” interviews, including to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and “every TV station.” Nearly every reporter has asked the same question: “What was going through your head?”

“The answer is nothing. Nothing was going through my head,” he says. “We weren’t trying to coordinate or plan. We were just acting and reacting. That was everyone’s first instinct. We sorted stuff out later.”

Puterbaugh is proud of the staff. They’re a close-knit bunch of good friends who are always together, he says.

What they’ve experienced, he confirms, is terrible and amazing. What they’ve learned, he adds, is that “you’ve just got to do your best to react to the circumstances.”

“We don’t need to tell people it was a tough, hard experience. We all were doing what comes naturally to us in the most unusual of circumstances,” Puterbaugh says. “We realized shortly after we’d gotten started Thursday that the way the majority of us were going to get through this … was to come together and do what came naturally and to restore what bit of normalcy we knew.”

Yet the emotions, and the realization of that altered normalcy, eventually arrived.

“I told my parents I loved them for all the kids who could not, and that was tough,” he says. “When I got home and gave my parents my hug, and felt them hug me back, that brought me to tears, thinking of the parents who can’t do that now. Anytime I thought about the parents at NIU, that was too much for me. That what was brought me to tears.”

“Maria (Krull) and our advertising staff gathered here at the Star this afternoon to honor Dan (Parmenter) and comfort each other. There’s a bell on the wall in our ad department, that they ring when someone makes a sale. They ended their time together by ringing that bell for Dan.

About an hour later, the whole newsroom staff went to a room with no phones ringing and no outside journalists present, just to talk and decompress for about 45 minutes. Some needed a few minutes just to cry; all of us just needed to talk as friends first, journalists second. 

And then everybody went back to work.” — Killam, 5:52 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15

Jim Killam worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Beloit, Belvidere and Joliet before he became adviser to the Northern Star. He’d covered car accidents and house fires during his career, he says, but really nothing worse.

And yet the father of three, one of whom is a student at NIU, found himself dashing out of the Campus Life Building that afternoon along with the young journalists. The paper’s advertising manager handed him a camera on the scene; three or four of his photos graced the front page of the next morning’s USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post and more. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC used his pictures extensively the first night.

He soon returned to his role as adviser.

There were logistical questions about what to print, about updating the Web site, about whether to publish during the week of closure. There also were distractions. Professional media were “taking cues from us. We were the first media responders just because we were so close.”

And there were emotional issues. Dan Parmenter, an advertising sales rep, was among the dead.

“Dan’s desk is the same way it was before all this happened,” he says. “We’re not going to do anything with that for the time being.”

The weekend brought another chance to talk and to analyze – the Northern Star became the keynote event Friday at the Illinois College Press Association convention in Chicago, and a few members of the staff held a question-and-answer session – and a mandate to work. A 24-page issue was published Monday.

Like Puterbaugh, Killam is amazed by his staff’s professionalism.

“They sprung into action as soon as we knew something was going on. They’ve just done incredible work through this whole thing, and I am completely impressed and proud of them,” he says.

“You wouldn’t call any of this a good experience, but it’s been a good experience for them to see what life is like on the other side of a notebook or a microphone,” he adds. “And they’ve learned – a lot of them – that journalism is what they want to do. If you’re not sure about journalism, this is either going to tip it one way or the other.”

Killam also has outside confirmation of his pride.

During a Wednesday morning staff meeting in the Department of Communications, someone asked for the best source of accurate information.

“I said, ‘Read the Star.’ People started applauding. They realized these students have done such incredible work,” Killam says. “This campus may not realize exactly everything that goes on here, but they do need to know what a great job these students have done.”

NTC student-journalists: ‘We have
to put on a special newscast today’

For Allen May, general manager of broadcast news at the Northern Television Center, one of his missions in teaching is to impress on communications students the difference between academic theories and real life situations.

Since Feb. 14, that job has become both profoundly easier and immeasurably harder.

“What I try to do every day is reach them and explain to them that news is not something that’s an obscure classroom exercise. Events that are important enough to talk about are events that deeply affect our lives,” May said. “No words I could have ever spoken in a classroom could ever have come close to capturing the essence of this to them.”

Phones rang off the hook at the Northern Television Center, located near the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, shortly after the attacks.

Television news organizations from around the country, including the networks, were calling in search of information and video. NTC video, the first obtained from the scene, was transmitted to all the major companies.

“We had the very first pictures of all of the horrible events of that day,” May said, “partly because, just as a matter of circumstance, we had a student who was working on an unrelated story, walking across campus with the video camera assigned to him. When he saw students running, he stopped to try to assess what was going on. As emergency responders arrived, he just started videotaping.”

Students who remained at the broadcast center to answer the non-stop phones and to monitor the busy police and fire scanner traffic quickly understood that “the magnitude of all of these terrible events reached the entire world.”

At least three TV crews, including Fox Chicago and the ABC and NBC affiliates in Milwaukee, borrowed parts of the NIU station for temporary bases of operations.

And like their counterparts at the Northern Star, May’s students worked on their own newsgathering while providing interviews to professional journalists. One student appeared on Larry King’s CNN show. Another spoke with CBS anchor Katie Couric. A third gave comments to ABC’s Good Morning America.

The students realized well the importance of telling the story, he said, working until midnight the day of the violence.

“Friday, when we normally do not have a scheduled newscast, when the campus had been closed, I came in at 9 in the morning. A dozen students were waiting for me at the door,” May said. “When I said, ‘What are you doing here? Campus is closed,’ they said, in so many words, ‘We are not leaving. We have to put on a special newscast today, and we’re not leaving until we can.’ And they did that.”

Of all the “unprecedented, eye-opening and soul-changing” lessons the students learned, May said, is that this might prove the “biggest story in magnitude and impact they will ever cover.”

“They understood that the level of excellence they need to apply – the professionalism they needed to apply in terms of accuracy, in terms of fairness, in terms of sensitivity – is about as broad and as powerful as they’ll ever be challenged with,” May said.

“The other thing they learned is that it’s difficult as a journalist to try to communicate all of the news elements when the journalist isn’t personally affected by the story. Their goal, then, is to understand events from the perspective, and in the shoes, of the people who are part of those events,” he added. “Here, what they had to learn was that at the same time they themselves were so personally affected and emotionally affected by this, they had to develop a means of coping with the two roles they played.”

And they did an incredible job, said May, whose professional career in Chicago, Milwaukee and Toledo included covering Jeffrey Dahmer, the crash of a commercial jet airliner and “everything in between.”

“I know it sounds a little overstated,” May said, “but they reacted with the best journalists I’ve ever worked with, professionally or otherwise.”

The tragedy also brought May to a new point in his career.

One of the students in that Cole Hall auditorium was his; fortunately, she escaped without injury. She reunited with her professor Thursday, Feb. 21, at the moments of silence in the Martin Luther King Memorial Commons.

“She came up to me, put her arms around me and started sobbing,” May said. “This is one of those singularly overwhelming experiences when, in this case, a student breaks down in tears. I’m no longer a journalist. I’m no longer an instructor or a teacher.”

Boxes of welcome surprises arrive
at NIU Office of Public Affairs

The first cardboard box arrived Saturday morning, Feb. 16, the only clue to its origins a packing label with an unfamiliar return address in Alabama.

Inside, buried amidst piles of packing peanuts, was a treasure trove of simple survival supplies introduced in a handwritten card as “a practical token” of support during difficult times.

Sugar-free Ricola. Visene. Tums. Neosporin. Minty-fresh liquid gel Crest tooth paste and toothbrushes. Band-Aids. ChapStick. Kleenex moist wipes. Ibuprofen tablets.

To eat, there was peanut butter, Chips Ahoy, peanut butter crackers, raisins, peanut butter energy bars, Go-Tarts, Pringles, Ritz crackers, Lorna Doones, coffee grounds and handfuls of bags of Tazo Awake black tea.

And there were tablets of note paper, sticky notes, pens and even can cozies, all emblazoned with a variety of the proud logos of the University of Alabama. A final pull on the Styrofoam vault to remove it from the packing peanuts revealed a Crimson Tide cooler, the kind perfect for tailgate parties and picnics.

“We haven’t gone through anything as traumatic as what your university is going through, but we certainly can, as PR professionals, empathize with you,” said Suzanne Dowling, communications specialist in the Office of Media Relations at Alabama.

“Our office is, like yours, the crisis communications hub. We’ve gone through planning and we knew, in a drill, what we’ve like to do and what we like to have,” Dowling added. “A lot of it was just trying to put ourselves into your shoes and to know what we would want.”

They made a shopping list before Dowling and a colleague headed to their local Target.

“We had sort of a list, but we just started pulling stuff off the shelves: ‘Oh, that would be good. That would be good.’ In our office, we have a few things like crackers and Cup-a-Soup, but it was just more of a brainstorming thing: ‘What could they use if they couldn’t get away?’ ”

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, a pair of enormous boxes arrived, filled with 120 spools of red and black ribbon of two different widths. The sender: Berwick Offray, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of decorative ribbons and bows.

The package included neither a letter of explanation – though none was needed, of course – nor a bill.

Public Affairs staff members transported the ribbon to the Campus Life Building, where volunteers had set up tables to create 30,000 ribbons. By the end of work Wednesday, 17,000 ribbons had been made with donations from local merchants and with the gift from Berwick.

A day later? “It’s already gone,” said Becky Harlow, assistant director for the Parents’ Association and Volunteerism, part of Student Involvement and Leadership Development.

Looking back, Harlow said, the contribution from Berwick proved more than unexpected: It was necessary. “We thought we were pretty much set, but that shipment of ribbon actually came just as we were running low,” Harlow said.

“It’s outstanding. It’s touching,” she said. “We’ve been knocking ourselves out all over town trying to get ribbon, and here these people just send it, and that’s wonderful.”

Northwestern physician group
named clinical services provider
for NIU proton therapy center

State panel gives its approval to project

NIU has named Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation as its expected provider of clinical services for the $160 million proton therapy cancer treatment and research center to be built in the DuPage National Technology Park in Chicago’s western suburbs.

On the heels of the Feb. 26 announcement naming the expected service provider, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board in Chicago gave its approval for the project to proceed.

“We are here today in that spirit of hope and with constant focus on our mission,” NIU President John Peters said at the facilities planning board meeting. “This facility will stand in testament to our mission as a world class-educational, research and now, cancer treatment center.”

NIU Board of Trustees Chair Cherilyn G. Murer hailed the collaboration with Northwestern, saying that NIU’s expertise in advanced accelerator physics and engineering, coupled with the world-class cancer treatment experience of doctors from the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation in Chicago, would make NIU’s proton treatment center the best in the world.

“Our anticipated collaboration with Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation speaks to the high caliber of our endeavor,” Murer said.

“While patient focus will be our primary objective, the incredible byproducts we will offer through education and research in the form of medical, scientific and technology protocols will work to advance the human condition across the globe,” she added. “Ours will be far more than a community proton center to treat cancer. We envision the NIU facility as a regional and even national resource complemented through NIU’s work with Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratories, both world leaders in accelerator physics, neutron and proton therapies.”

Under the expected collaborative agreement between NIU and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, physicians who are full-time faculty members or researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine and are on the attending physician staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital will deliver clinical and related services at the new state-of-the-art cancer treatment center.

Officials expect the agreement to be finalized within three months.

The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board staff report issued last month found the NIU application for a certificate of exemption (COE) complete and in full compliance with requirements.

“We have done all that has been asked of us and much more. We are ready and eager to begin our new endeavor, and we look forward to fulfilling our mission of outreach and service to all the people of Illinois,” said John Lewis, project director and associate vice president at NIU.

Currently there are only five proton therapy centers in the country. Patients often travel hundreds or thousands of miles to receive the specialized cancer treatment.

Proton therapy is an advanced and highly effective form of radiation treatment utilizing proton beams. The beams are created by a particle accelerator that is housed in a structure the size of a football field.

The therapy is non-invasive, extremely precise and painless.

Unlike conventional radiation therapy, proton beam treatments destroy only the tumor leaving good tissues unaffected. It has been proven to be especially effective in treating prostate and head and neck cancers as well as pediatric cancers, where preservation of organs, systems and tissue during critical formative years is of utmost importance. The male African-American population is at particular risk for prostate cancer and suffers a higher incidence of the disease than other groups.

In keeping with its mission of public service, NIU has also negotiated a payment schedule with the Illinois Department of Public Aid for treating Medicaid patients and expects to offer its services to a full spectrum of applicants.

The facility will be known as the Northern Illinois Proton Treatment and Research Center, LLC.

Law school to host three dean finalists in March

Three candidates for the position of dean in the NIU College of Law will visit campus this month.

The trio includes a former president of the American Bar Association, a former associate dean from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and the former president and dean of the William Mitchell College of Law in Philadelphia.

Each candidate will be on campus for two days. During their visits each will be introduced to students, faculty and staff from the college. They also will meet with top university administrators as well as members of the NIU Board of Trustees.

Complete biographies of the candidates are available online.

The schedule of visits is as follows:

William B.T. Bock Jr. – March 4 and 5

William Bock served as associate dean for academic affairs at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago from 2004 until 2007 and was a member of the faculty there since 1983. In that role he was responsible for the academic programs of more than 1,100 students and worked with 60 full-time faculty and more than 100 part-time faculty members.

His years at the school included serving as director of the Center for International Business and Trade law, the LLM in Global Legal Studies and the LLM in International Business. He also led John Marshal through its first strategic planning process in 20 years. He has edited a book on human rights law in the European Union and has authored two textbooks/educational casebooks. He earned his juris doctorate at Georgetown University.

Karen J. Mathis – March 6 and 7

Karen Mathis is a business, commercial and estate planning lawyer with more than 30 years legal experience. She served as president of the American Bar Association from 2006 until 2007. In that capacity she served as spokesperson for the organization, interacting with media, the public, law schools, universities and governments.

Her professional experience includes serving as president of the law firm Hall & Mathis, which merged with McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter in 2004 to create a 230-lawyer, multi-state law firm where she worked as a partner until 2007. Her honors and awards include doctorate of law honorary degrees from five universities and a listing among the National Law Journal’s “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America.” She earned her juris doctorate at the University of Colorado.

Allen K. Easley – March 17 and 18

Allen Easley served as president and dean of the William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minn., from 2004 until 2007. In that role he oversaw 40 full-time faculty and more than 200 part-time faculty at the school, which has an enrollment of 1,100 students.

From 1991 to 2004 he served as associate dean for academic affairs at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kan. Easley has published articles cited in numerous law reviews and popular case books and has served as an invited panelist and presenter in numerous national and international professional conferences. He also has served on or led 15 site inspection teams for ABA and AALS over the past 14 years. He earned both his juris doctorate and his LLM from Temple University in Philadelphia.

NIU community invited to meet
additional library dean finalists

Public forums are scheduled to introduce members of the campus community to two more finalists for the post of dean of Northern Illinois University Libraries.

A forum will be held from 10 to 10:55 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, in Altgeld Hall Room 315 for finalist Edward Owusu-Ansah of the Kingsborough Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY).

A second forum will be held from 10 to 10:55 a.m. Thursday, March 6, in Campus Life Building Room 100 for Carole Kiehl of the University of California-Irvine.

Owusu-Ansah serves as the chief librarian and chairperson of the Robert J. Kibbee Library at Kingsborough Community College. He serves as the library’s advocate and spokesperson and manages library services, collections, resources and personnel.

Owusu-Ansah also serves as an associate professor at the college and as an adjunct associate professor in the graduate school of library and information studies at Queens College. He previously served as reference librarian, coordinator of information literacy and coordinator of library instruction at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, New York.

He holds a master of library science degree from Queens College and a Ph.D. in sociology from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary.

Kiehl serves as associate university librarian for the Information Technology and Technical Services Division at the University of California-Irvine. Her responsibilities include overall planning, budgeting, resource allocation and administration within the division, which includes 11 librarians and 55 staff members.

Kiehl has served previously as the libraries’ acting head of acquisitions and acting director of information technology. She also worked formerly as head of the Department of Bibliographic Services at Old Dominion University Library in Virginia.

She holds a Ph.D. in French from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and the equivalent of a master of library science degree from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in London.

Two other finalists for the library dean – Myrna McCallister of Indiana State University and Patrick Dawson of the University of California, Santa Barbara – visited campus earlier this month. All of the candidates’ vitas are posted online.

The new dean will serve as the chief administrative officer of University Libraries, which includes Founders Memorial Library, three specialized libraries on campus and libraries at NIU outreach centers in Naperville, Rockford and Hoffman Estates.

University Libraries houses 2.2 million volumes, with access to more than 22,000 periodical titles, and has an annual operation budget of about $9 million. The dean will oversee a professional staff of 30 and a support staff of 76.

NIU celebrates ‘enterprising women’
during 2008 Women’s History Month

The Women’s Studies Program at NIU is kicking off its celebration of Women’s History Month. The theme this year is “Enterprising Women.”

“I’ve always been impressed by the number of interesting and accomplished women at all levels at NIU, and I hoped that by making ‘enterprising women’ our theme for the year we would be able to recognize some of these individuals as well as women from outside the university,” said Amy Levin, director of the Women’s Studies Program at NIU.

The Women’s Studies Program, together with numerous other sponsors, has organized many programs and activities throughout the month that will examine the many ways in which enterprising women gain accomplishments, break new ground and make changes. NIU students have participated in creating many of this year’s events.

Featured events will include:

Monday, March 3

  • Diana Swanson will present “What is Feminism, Anyway?” – a lecture challenging stereotypes and misunderstandings about the nature and definition of feminism. The event will be held at 11 a.m. in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center.
  • Lesley Rigg will use her black-belt karate skills to teach women how to protect themselves. Her workshop will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Anderson Hall 102.

Tuesday, March 4

  • NIU’s fourth annual “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Sticker Day will again show the various faces of feminism. Stickers are available in Reavis Hall 103.

Wednesday, March 5

  • Bring your lunch and enjoy a presentation by Barbara Cole Peters on enterprising women at NIU. The presentation will begin at noon in the Adams Hall Chandelier Room. Dessert will be provided. The event is sponsored by the NIU Women’s Studies Program and Alumni Association.

Tuesday, March 25

  • “Necessary Feminists: The Feminist Presence in American Politics,” a public lecture given by Benita Roth, associate professor of sociology and women’s studies at Binghamton University, will discuss enterprising women in politics and the role of feminism and feminists in U.S. politics. The lecture will begin at 11 a.m. in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center. Roth also will present an informal seminar at 5:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room introducing students to the use of intersectional analysis in the study of social movements. Roth’s events are sponsored by the NIU Women’s Studies Program, Graduate Colloquium Committee and Department of Sociology.
  • Filmmaker Byron Hurt will give a showing of his film, “Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” at 7 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center. The showing will be followed by a discussion about hip hop music and masculinity. Seats are limited; call (815) 753-0329 to reserve.

All Women’s History Month events are open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, are free. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request; call (815) 753-6515. One week’s notice is preferred.

A complete schedule of lectures, exhibits, performances and other activities, along with listings of the many event sponsors, can be found online at For further information, call the Women’s Studies Program at (815) 753-1038 or email Rebekah Kohli at

Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser
to benefit Hope Haven shelter

NIU students have a way to feed you and the hungry in our community at the same time.

The 10th annual “Empty Bowls” project is scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, in the Chandelier Dining Room, 143 Adams Hall. Reservations are strongly recommended for either of the two seatings at 4:30 and 6 p.m.

A donation of $15 buys all-you-can-eat homemade soup and bread, a beverage and, while supplies last, a ceramic bowl hand-crafted by an NIU art student. A donation of $10 buys food and drink only. Additional donations are welcome.

All proceeds benefit the Hope Haven shelter in DeKalb.

The menu includes chicken noodle soup, broccoli-cheddar soup and minestrone soup. Guests also can munch on a variety of breads. Beverages include coffee, tea, iced tea and water.

“Hope Haven is just a great cause,” said Kyle King, president of the Student Dietetic Association and a nutrition and dietetics major. “We really like to help them out as much as we can. We have the resources and the people to do this sort of thing.”

Members of the Student Dietetic Association from the School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences (who do the cooking) and the NIU Ceramics Club from the School of Art (who make the bowls) organize the event, an international project that originated in Michigan:

For reservations or more information, call (815) 753-1543 or visit Wirtz Hall 118.

Accounting sets FY07 cut-off dates

Fiscal Year 2008 soon will close, and cut-off dates must be established.

These dates are mainly pertinent to FY2008 orders using General Revenue funds, but the same dating conventions are followed for those orders using other fund sources. Please keep in mind that the last quarter of the fiscal year is NIU’s busiest, with departments simultaneously preparing to close out FY2008 and processing, bidding and issuing orders for FY2009.

State law requires that all FY2008 General Revenue orders be completed, including all payments, by the end of the lapse period. Orders must be issued prior to June 30, 2008, and the goods received, invoiced and all payment paperwork turned in to Accounting not later than Aug. 7, 2008, regardless of dollar amount. This will allow time for processing and payment of invoices here or from Springfield by the Aug. 31 deadline. If it is known that delivery cannot be completed before the lapse period cut-off date (Aug. 7), the requisition can be cancelled or converted to a FY2008 requisition/order.

Accounting’s goal is to provide a uniform, quality service to all, but the cut-off dates must be strictly followed to enable the staff to achieve this level of service for each office and department. This includes meeting all legal requirements, including bidding and any required university approval processes.

Orders over $250,000: FY08 purchase requests above this level are now past the deadline. Please contact Accounting immediately if contemplating a purchase that has not been reviewed for Board of Trustees approval. Delivery by the Aug. 7 cut-off is required. FY2009 orders needed early in July will be required at the same time.

Orders of $25,000 up to $250,000: FY08 purchase requests in this dollar range must be in the Accounting office no later than April 11, 2008. General Revenue-funded orders in this range are approved at the presidential level but must be bid, approvals given, ordered and delivered, with invoicing completed by Aug. 7, 2008.

Orders under $25,000: FY08 purchase requests under $25,000 should be received in the Accounting Office and Procurement Services no later than June 2, 2008. Requests received after this date will be handled on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the buyer. Where competitive opportunities exist, buyers will seek competitive quotations to obtain the best pricing and delivery.

Purchase Requests using FY2008 General Revenue (02) funds in any amount for new purchases will not be accepted for processing after June 2, 2008. If the purchase request has not been received in Accounting by June 2, it may not be processed as an FY2008 order. The same rule will apply to all FY2008 purchase requests regardless of fund sources used.

Orders from other than General Revenue funds: All goods and/or services from orders funded from locally held funds must be received and/or services completed and invoice dated by June 30, 2008, to be expensed in FY2008. If received after that date, any charges will be expensed to your FY2009 budget.

If there are questions, call now. It also is difficult to handle last-minute orders, so submit purchase requests immediately. Being “late” can mean no purchase order and no products when they are wanted or needed.

FY2009 purchase requests, either for open orders or for specific purchases, also can be submitted now. Doing so helps to ensure needs for FY2009 can be met efficiently and in a timely manner.


Malcolm L. Morris, interim dean of the NIU College of Law, has been elected into the 2008 Class of Academy Laureates by the Academy of Illinois Lawyers. The Laureate Award, the supreme honor bestowed by the Academy, is given to those lawyers deemed to exemplify the highest ideals of the profession as demonstrated by their pervasive record of service to the law and the public.

Founded in 1999, the Academy of Illinois Lawyers has honored 80 attorneys with the distinction of being a Laureate.

The purpose of the Academy is to enhance the honor and dignity of the ISBA by recognizing lawyers who exemplify values, standards and ideals of the best of the legal profession. Laureate candidates must be members of the ISBA and have practiced law primarily in Illinois for at least 25 years. Morris will join five other award recipients in Chicago for induction April 8.

Morris has been a professor at the College of Law since 1978; his areas of teaching include trusts and estates, estate planning, property, and e-commerce. He has served as associate dean of academic affairs since 2003, and in 2008, he assumed the position of interim dean.

In 2007, Morris was named among the National Notary Association’s (NNA) list of “The 50 Most Influential People in Notarization in the Last 50 Years.” 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 is the reporter for the Revised Model Notary Act, which will have proposals designed to foster electronic business transactions.

He also was the reporter and a principal draftsman for the Model Notary Act of 2002, as well as the Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility (1998). In 2006, Morris served as an expert witness before Congress on a notary bill. In 2001, the NNA honored Morris with its prestigious Achievement Award.

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 received 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, Dean 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.

In addition to other work, Morris directs the Sophomore Summer Institute, a program he developed that is hosted at the NIU College of 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, he directed the Program for Minority Access to Law School, a cooperative effort with the other public law schools in Illinois to assist minority undergraduates prepare for admission to law school.

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.

University Archives staff seeks
documentation of Feb. 14 incident

NIU’s Regional History Center/University Archives has the mission of preserving and documenting the history of the university, including the tragic Feb. 14 event.

Although staff members already have been working with various departments on campus, they need to expand their outreach by asking faculty, staff, students and the larger university community to share their items and to spread the word.

No item is too small to be included in the archives, including e-mails, correspondence, poems, official documents, class projects, photographs and videotape.

For more information, or to share, contact the Regional History Center/University Archives in Room 400 of Founders Memorial Library or call (815) 753-1779 during regular office hours.

What’s cooking at Ellington’s?

On the menu at Ellington’s this week: Arabian Nights is scheduled for Tuesday. Tropical Paradise is the theme for Wednesday. Home Sweet Holmes takes over Thursday.

Arabian Nights features red lentil soup and Lebanese tabouleh salad for starters, shawarma and stuffed grape leaves for entrees with stouf and macerated apricots and nuts for desserts. Each table also will be served hummus and pita bread.

Tropical Paradise features Jamaican carrot soup and tropical island salad for starters, Caribbean chicken with honey pineapple sauce and linguine with black beans and Caribbean sauce for entrees and gilled pineapples with cinnamon vanilla ice cream and coconut meringue pie topped with whipped cream and strawberries for desserts. Each table also will be served sparkling apricot-pineapple punch.

Home Sweet Holmes features Waldorf salad and French onion soup for starters, asparagus and cheese-stuffed turkey breast served with rosemary roasted garlic potato puree and baked ditalini with three cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes for entrees with apple pie a la mode and blueberry and maple-pecan granola parfaits for desserts. Each table also will be served warm whole-wheat dinner rolls with honey butter.

Seating is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with service until 1 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. Ellington’s is located on the main floor of the Holmes Student Center. Call (815) 753-1763 or visit to make reservations.

CLA workshop to address
new civics, responsibilities

Thursday’s Civic Leadership Academy workshop provides an opportunity to explore group and individual leadership roles and responsibilities in the civic environment.

Topics for the March 6 event will include understanding the need for civic responsibility, exploring the nature of citizen participation, changing demographics, societal trends and techniques for involving different groups in the civic enterprise. The workshop also will examine current trends affecting the northern Illinois region, including the region’s role in the global economy and the shifting demographics of the region. This workshop is one of two core sessions required to earn a certificate.

This workshop will be co-presented by Robert Gleeson, director of the Center for Governmental Studies and associate director of the Regional Development Institute, and Greg Kuhn, senior research associate.

Registration and more information about CLA and its upcoming workshops is available online.

NIU to hold assessment expo

NIU will hold its first Assessment Expo from 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday, March 7, in the Heritage room of the Holmes Student Center.

The event is designed to highlight successful assessment practices on campus. There will be posters and a panel of speakers from departments across campus sharing their experiences with assessment. These departments have been selected by the University Assessment Panel as having outstanding assessment practices in one or more of their programs; three of these departments will be awarded a $500 cash prize to use in their future assessment efforts.

Contact the Office of Assessment Services at or (815) 753-8695 for more information and to register.

Operating Staff extends deadline
for outstanding service nominations

The nomination deadline for the Outstanding Service Award has been extended to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 7.

Presented each year to up to four NIU Civil Service employees, the objective of this award program is to recognize individual Civil Service employees who have demonstrated outstanding service and have made significant contributions to the university community.

A $1,500 award, which is considered taxable wages and subject to payroll deductions, and a plaque will be presented to each recipient of the award at the Annual Operating Staff Service Awards Banquet in Spring.

For details, including nomination forms, visit

Bookstore to close for inventory

University Bookstore will close for inventory from Monday, March 10, through Wednesday, March 12. Regular store hours resume Thursday, March 13.

Kishwaukee Concert Band to play
March 16 concert of Irish songs

The Greater Kishwaukee Area Concert Band will present “Echoes of Erin” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 16, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. 

The concert is sponsored by Gordon and Virginia Rasmussen. The all-volunteer band will play many Irish songs under the direction of John Hansen. The concert is free, and the building is accessible to all.

Students with disabilities can apply
for Izzo-Inge Family Award scholarship

NIU is proud to offer the Izzo-Inge Family Award for Students with Disabilities for the 2008-2009 academic year. This scholarship was made possible by a generous gift from Charmaine Izzo-Inge and David Inge. 

The scholarship is available to students who will be full-time (minimum 12 hours a semester), degree-seeking juniors or seniors at NIU.

Candidates must possess a grade point average of at least 2.5/4.0 and demonstrate a significant disability that affects the cognitive process. Qualified disabilities include learning disability, traumatic brain injury, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), deafness or hard of hearing, visual impairment or other disabilities that affect the cognitive process.

Preference will be given to students who exhibit financial need (as determined by the Student Financial Aid office) and plan to teach special education. Students who do not exhibit financial need nor plan to teach special education are still encouraged to apply.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 1. For an application and/or more information, please contact the Office of the Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences, Wirtz Hall 227 or call (815) 753-1877 or TTY (815) 753-3000.

LGBT Resource Center calls
for Ally Award nominations

NIU’s LGBT Resource Center, the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and the LGBT Studies Program are seeking nominations for the fourth annual Ally Awards.

The awards recognize individuals, departments and groups who have shown support for the LGBT community over the 2007-2008 school year. The Ally Awards were created to recognize the many ways people make NIU a better place for LGBT students, faculty and staff. All nominees who are qualified receive the award. 

Nomination forms are available online. The deadline for nominations is 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 7. Recipients will be recognized during LGBT Awareness Month in April.

For more information, contact the LGBT Resource Center at or (815) 753-5428.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
with NIU’s Alumni Association


PCSOGI, Prism seek nominees
for annual Eychaner Awards

The NIU Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PCSOGI) and Prism of NIU are seeking nominations for the Eychaner Award, which is presented annually to recognize individuals affiliated with NIU who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender community.

The award is presented in two categories, one recognizing contributions made by an NIU student and one recognizing the contributions of a faculty or staff member or an NIU alumnus/a.

A full description of the award, including eligibility and nomination guidelines, is available online at The Web page also includes a list of past recipients and a printable nomination form.

The nomination deadline is 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 21. For questions, contact the LGBT
Resource Center at (815) 753-LGBT(5428) or

Geology department announces
spring colloquia schedule

NIU’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences has announced the schedule for its Spring 2008 Colloquia.

All talks will be held at 4 p.m. in Davis Hall 308 unless otherwise noted and are co-sponsored by NIU’s Graduate Colloquium Committee. Call (815) 753-1943 or click here for schedule updates and more information.

Friday, March 7: Enrique Gomezdelcampo, Bowling Green State University, “A Modified DRASTIC Model for Siting Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Williams County, Ohio”

Friday, March 28: Sallie Greenberg, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois carbon sequestration, title TBA

Friday, April 4: Bryce Willems, Northern Illinois University, “Jokulhlaups of Disenchantment Bay, Alaska: Actions of a Misbehaving Glacier” / John Sosulski, Northern Illinois University, “Utilizing Ichnology to Understand the Depositional Environment of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, during the late Oligocene and early Miocene”

Friday, April 11: Cliff Clark, Sr. Division Geologist/Geophysicist, Cohort Energy Company, “Exploration Trends in the U.S. Domestic Energy Industry with an Emphasis on Shale Gas Developments”

Friday, April 25: Beth Aarestad, Northern Illinois University, “CH3OH in high-pressure phases of H2O: Implications for Ice-rich Planets”

Faculty Development offers
grants for training activities

NIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is offering grants of up to $2,000 each annually to regular continuing faculty (tenured and tenure track).

The purpose of the grants is to encourage and support faculty development activities that directly benefit the applicants’ departments, colleges and/or the university. Equal matching funds from the applicants’ academic units or appropriate external sources are required.

Five copies of each proposal, including the proposal cover sheet, accompanying letters of support and other relevant documents must be submitted to the Grant Review Subcommittee, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, by Friday, April 4, for activities scheduled between July and December 2008.

Complete proposal guidelines and cover sheet can be obtained online. Tenured or tenure-track faculty who plan to submit proposals by the April 4 deadline and need more information are encouraged to register and attend the grant-writing seminar that will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 5. Register online or e-mail

SPS employees encouraged
to apply for development grants

NIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center and Human Resource Services are offering grants of up to $1,000 each to Supportive Professional Staff (SPS) pursuing professional development activities that benefit the individuals as well as their academic units.

Proposal guidelines and other information are available online. Five copies of each proposal, including other relevant documents, must be submitted to the SPS Awards Committee, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, by Friday, April 18, for activities proposed between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2008.

SPS who plan to submit a proposal by the April 18 deadline and need more information are encouraged to register to attend the grant writing seminar from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, April 4. Register online or e-mail

Alumni Association to travel
to Holland for Spring Break

Join the NIU Alumni Association for a beautiful Spring Break trip to Holland from April 19 to 27.

Vibrant flower gardens, quaint villages and windmills await. Spring is the most popular time to visit when the tulips and other bulb flowers are spectacular. This touring itinerary includes visits to the Anne Frank House, Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Keukenhof Gardens and the annual Flower Parade in Noordwijk.

Visit or call (815) 753-1512 for more information.