Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Northern Today - October 27, 2008

College of Business to host conference
on Turkish role in future of energy

Turkey’s increasingly important role in the global economy, especially regarding energy, will be the focus of a half-day conference Wednesday, Nov. 12, at NIU.

The primary speaker will be Kenan Ipek, counsel general of the Republic of Turkey in Chicago, who will present a talk titled, “Turkey and Its Neighborhood: Political and Economic Prospects.” Joining him in the program will be Patrick Hope of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The event is co-sponsored by NIU’s College of Business and the Central Asian Productivity Research Center and is the latest in the CAPRC series on global energy security.

The program will focus on the economic and political role of Turkey within a global perspective. Topics to be covered will include turmoil in the Caucasus, the Balkans and the Middle East, volatile commodity prices and rising energy security concerns.

Turkey is emerging as a major player on the world stage. The country’s strategic location makes it a natural “energy bridge” between major oil producing areas in the Middle East and Caspian Sea regions on the one hand, and consumer markets in Europe on the other.

The country also is a growing economic power and by 2014 is expected to account for 50 percent of the European Union’s per capita income. Turkey also has become an increasingly attractive country for foreign investors with more than $42 billion in foreign investment in the last two years alone.

The event will be held in the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and a breakfast will be available. Speakers will begin at 10 a.m. and the program will conclude at noon, followed by lunch. Tickets to attend the conference, but not lunch are $8 for affiliates of NIU and CAPRC and $15 with lunch. For non-affiliates, tickets are $15 without lunch and $25 with lunch.

For more information, or to register, call (708) 246-5556.

‘America’s traveling schoolmarm’ visits NIU,
transports students to one-room school life

Susan Webb, known as “America’s traveling schoolmarm,” visited campus Oct. 7 and 8 to guide 25 undergraduates from the College of Education along a brief historical journey into the late 19th century.

Students in a “History of American Education” class entered the reconstructed Milan Township one-room school, where they settled into desks designed for small children.

Before them stood Schoolmarm Webb, wearing a self-designed black dress and an antique broach resembling the clothing of schoolmarms at the turn of the last century.

“Susan Webb’s presentation was both instructive and entertaining,” said Lucy Townsend, curator of the Blackwell History of Education Museum. “I am so fortunate that she was able to fit NIU into her busy schedule.”

Using artifacts and graphics, Webb led students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, listen to poetry, solve arithmetic problems on the blackboard, analyze photographs of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and read aloud from the famous McGuffey readers.

She also told humorous stories of life in rural Midwestern communities and showed the class a 1908 photograph of her father and uncle standing in front of their one-room school in Missouri.

Webb also entertained students and faculty in a reception hosted by the interdisciplinary Museum Studies Certificate of Graduate Study Program Committee and the Blackwell History of Education Museum. She recounted her experiences as a country school re-enactor in Virginia, Connecticut and Alabama, including the methods she used to research the lives and memorabilia of those who attended and/or taught in country schools.

“I’m called ‘America’s traveling schoolmarm’ because I travel to different parts of the country to make historical presentations,” Webb said. “Most historical re-enactors perform in only one school museum.”

On this trip, Webb traveled from her home in Birmingham, Ala., to her alma mater, Clarke College, in Dubuque, Iowa, where she gave a presentation.

From there, she went on to Ames, Iowa, where she participated in the ninth annual Iowa country school preservation conference. A charter member of the Country School Association of America, she regularly makes presentations at the association’s annual conferences.

Webb also makes presentations throughout Alabama under the auspices of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

What’s cooking at Ellington’s?

On the menu at Ellington’s this week: The Italian Vineyard is scheduled for Tuesday, Crumpets takes over Wednesday and Steel Drum Café concludes the week Thursday.

New this semester is the option to enjoy wine with your meal. One red and one white wine choice will be available with meal service. Wine will be selected for the menu based on wine-and-food pairings made by the students. Wine selections will range from $4.50 to $6.50 per glass.

The Italian Vineyard features Italian skewers or minestrone soup for starters, chicken cacciatore or roasted vegetable lasagna for entrees and cheesecake tart or tiramisu for dessert.

Crumpets features barley cheese soup or spinach and pear salad with sherry and Stilton cheese for starters, beer-battered tilapia with roasted red-skinned potatoes or vegetarian shepherd’s pie for entrees and mixed berry trifle or apple cobbler a la mode for dessert. Each table also will be served fresh-baked blueberry, raspberry white chunk and apple cinnamon scones with raspberry jam, apple butter and freshly prepared whipped butter.

Steel Drum Café features sunny coconut shrimp or crunch corn fritters with lemon cumin yogurt for starters, spicy Jamaican jerk chicken with pineapple rice or “moros y cristianos” (Cuban-style black beans and rice) for entrees and refreshing key lime pie parfait or fresh cool breeze fruit cocktail for dessert.

Seating is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with service until 1 p.m. The cost is $9 per person. Ellington’s is located on the main floor of the Holmes Student Center. Call (815) 753-1763 or visit to make reservations.

Academic Advising Center
to host Exploring Majors Fair

The Academic Advising Center will host the Exploring Majors Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

Designed for all students who want to learn more about majors, minors and other academic opportunities, the fair offers a chance to speak with faculty members and staff from each of NIU’s academic units in a centralized location. Additionally, the program provides departments with an opportunity to showcase particular majors, minors and programs to a broad group of NIU students.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to promote this event in classes and in conversation with students. The Exploring Majors Fair is for all students exploring their academic options, not just for those who are currently without a major.

Call (815) 753-2536 or visit for more information.

WRC welcomes voters Nov. 4
for celebration, election returns

The Women’s Resource Center will sponsor a Voter Appreciation Day and election-watching party from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, inside its building at 105 Normal Road.

Stop by throughout the day for food, prizes and fun; watch the election returns in the WRC lounge.

For more information, call (815) 753-0320.

Free workshops to explore
questions of tight finances

Do you wish you could spend money freely and not increase your debt? Do you feel you are spending too much money each month but there is nothing you can do about it?

Is your spouse constantly nagging you about spending too much money? Are other poeple always telling you to cut up your credit cards?

NIU’s School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences and The Family Center of NIU, both part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, are offering two free workshop sessions to explore these challenging issues.

“It’s Your Money” is offered from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 13, in Room 103A of Wirtz Hall. Call (815) 753-0031 for more information and to register.

Cheer on NIU’s volleyball team
with University Women’s Club

The University Women’s Club invites all members, spouses and friends to join the contingent of UWC fans Friday, Nov. 7, to cheer on the NIU women’s volleyball team at the Convocation Center. Game time is 7 p.m.

Funds raised at the UWC garage sales have been used to purchase new jerseys for the team. Everyone is invited to join the UWC group to check out the new uniforms and root for the Huskies.

For more information, contact Sharon Tourville at

Music's Graham to offer
tips on purchasing pianos

Piano expert David Graham will present a short workshop at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, on how to purchase a piano. The workshop, titled “Piano Primer: What to Know When Buying a Piano,” takes place in the Recital Hall of the Music Building.

Topics covered include staying within a budget, how to consider the space needed for the instrument, discussion of a realistic budget, what to listen for when trying out instruments in the store, resources (books and Web sites) and rental options.

Graham has been a piano technician for a number of years. His training in piano technology was at the Moody Bible Institute, and he served an apprenticeship with Virgil Smith in 1980. He has been a craftsman member of the Piano Technicians Guild since 1983. He has worked as a piano technician for NIU since 1983 and for the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1982. He has recently been trained to work on European pianos (including Fazioli) and works for Pianoforte Chicago.

There is a fee of $15 for the workshop; registration is required. For more information, call (815) 753-1450 or visit

Kishwaukee Symphony plans
musical trip ‘to the movies’

A movie-themed concert to benefit the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building.

Concertgoers will enjoy the red-carpet treatment, complete with “paparazzi,” spotlights, movie characters for photo opportunities and other surprises. The orchestra’s performance features soundtrack pieces from “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Theme from the Elephant Man” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

A pre-concert champagne and chocolate reception begins at 6 p.m. Admission is $15 per person.

Other fundraisers will include a silent auction and raffle of silver-screen related items, one week in a Florida condominium and much more.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens age 62 and older, $10 for students with valid ID and $5 for children age 12 and younger.

Visit or call (815) 756-3728 for more information.

CSA Sinfonia to perform

CSA Sinfonia performs a wide array of music at its first concert of the season at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building. The concert is free and open to the public.

The selection includes “American Salute” by M. Gould, several pieces by the inimitable Leroy Anderson and orchestral movements of by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Schubert and Tchaikovsky.

Directed by Linc Smelser, the group performs classical pieces as well as some contemporary music. Smelser is the conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Sinfonia members are from DeKalb, Sycamore, Oswego, Batavia and St. Charles. Members audition in spring for a place in this high-quality regional orchestra. There are still a few open spaces in this year’s ensemble; those interested in learning more should call and may be invited to audition.

For more information, call (815) 753-1450 or visit

CSJazz Band to perform

The NIU Community School of the Arts presents the first CSJazz Band concert of the season. 

This top-notch jazz ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in the Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building. The concert is free and open to the public.

Among the music to be performed are tunes by Charles Mingus, Sammy Nestico, Henry Mancini and Thelonious Monk. Performing in this concert are high school players from DeKalb, Sycamore, Elburn, Geneva, Poplar Grove, St. Charles and Somonauk.

Directed by Doug Stone, the group plays tunes by classic and contemporary jazz composers, including Stone himself. An accomplished jazz saxophonist, Stone is founder, leader and member of the Stone/Bratt Big Band that performs in the Chicago suburbs and was heard in DeKalb recently when the group performed at the CSJazz spring concert.

CSJazz band members audition in spring for a place in this top regional jazz band. The audition date for the 2009-2010 group is on May 30, 2009.

For more information, call (815) 753-1450 or visit