Northern Illinois University

Northern Today


October 20, 2008

NIU Art Museum Director Jo Burke and Assistant Director Pete Olson recently attended the Illinois Association of Museums’ (IAM) annual conference and picked up two “Superior Achievement” honors given to the museum by IAM in the “Scholarly Publications” and “Exhibition” categories. 

Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints

The scholarly publication – exhibition catalogue “Revisiting Modern Japanese Prints: Selected Works from the Richard F. Grott Family Collection” – was designed to accompany the exhibition in spring 2008 of the same name.

(NIU’s other honor came for the spring 2008 exhibition “Examining Audubon.”)

IAM Awards Chair Beth Carvey’s reasons behind the publications award include its well-written and informative text, professional look and design and especially the “collaborative element of the project through the involvement of students, faculty, museum staff and university publications.”

Members of that honored group include Burke; Assistant Professor Helen Nagata; Professor Emerita Helen Merritt; students from Nagata’s Asian Art Seminar for fall 2007 who wrote essays for the catalogue; Jessica Schultz, publications editor; and designer Barb Kolb.

“The high caliber of this project would not have been possible without the support of the NIU Foundation through a Venture Grant and the James and Helen Merritt Foundation of the NIU School of Art,” Burke said. “The catalogue enlightens viewers by bringing the joy that collector Richard Grott discovered in the prints to those who view and read the catalogue.”

The award-winning catalogue can be viewed and purchased at the NIU Art Museum.

Jason Rhode, assistant director of NIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center has received the 2008 SLATE Star Award.

Jason Rhode

Rhode has made tremendous contributions to the group and Web-based education through his innovative workshops on state-of-the-art Web-based technologies, engaging tutorials and a willingness to share his expertise and experience with others.

SLATE is the Midwest Blackboard Users Group created from the concept that all institutions deploying and/or currently using Web-based components to enhance their teaching and learning activities, have the same questions, the same challenges and the need for the same solutions.

A broader and more accessible and dynamic support system can be established by drawing together the expertise of the people involved in the entire academic experience and those designing, supporting and using these applications: faculty, support staff, systems administrators, instructional designers, librarians and students.

Current membership comes from K-12, higher education and the corporate sector.

SLATE currently has 60 participating regional and global institutions among K-12, higher education and the corporate sector; NIU is one of the eight core institutions that established SLATE in 2002. The group meets each month at a participating institution to share best practices in web-based education and challenges.

The SLATE Star Award “was established in 2004 as a way to recognize an individual who has shown leadership, demonstrated initiatives, presented new ideas, improved procedures, established effective relationships or provided substantial resources that have affected the success and promotion of SLATE, the educational experience and/or the general Blackboard Community of Practice.”