Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

September 8, 2008

President John Peters to deliver
State of the University Address

NIU President John G. Peters will deliver his annual State of the University Address at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Altgeld Hall auditorium.

A reception will follow in the Altgeld Hall foyer immediately after the address.

Call (815) 753-1999 for more information.

Memorial gathering scheduled
tonight for Christopher Markle

A memorial gathering will be held in the O’Connell Theatre at 8 p.m. this evening in honor of NIU School of Theatre and Dance professor Christopher Markle.

Markle died July 28. He was 53.

Markle started at NIU in 1998 as a teacher and as the artistic director of the school’s professional company, SummerNite. In 2004, he was promoted to “head of performance.” He was a beloved member of the NIU family.

“There will be people from Professor Markle’s past who will speak about his work,” said Alexander Gelman, director of the NIU School of Theater and Dance. “The evening is planned as a celebration of Christopher Markle’s life.”

The memorial service is open to the public. For more information, call (815) 753-8269.

Assessment Services posts
fall issue of ‘Toolkit’ newsletter

NIUs Office of Assessment Services presents the Fall 2008 issue of “Toolkit,” its quarterly nuts and bolts e-newsletter. “Toolkit” is specifically designed to assist the NIU community with practical assessment issues in a user-friendly format.

This issue features answers to frequently asked questions about NIU’s annual assessment update reports; a look at upcoming assessment events, including workshops to be presented Friday, Sept. 12, by Linda Suskie at NIU; and conferences at which NIU faculty and staff will present. Also featured are an online resource for rubrics; a matrix of assessment methods in use at NIU; and an introduction to Sonja Herington, who is in charge of college-level assessment and accreditation activities in the College of Business.

Back issues are posted on the Assessment Services Web site under “Toolkit.” Contributions to the newsletter are welcome at any time.

Women’s Resource Center
sponsors Selfless Saturdays

The Women’s Resource Center will sponsor this volunteer activity from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 13, in partnership with various DeKalb community organizations. Bagels and coffee, transportation and supplies will be provided. Meet at the Women’s Resource Center, 105 Normal Road, DeKalb.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Patrice Rounsaville at (815) 753-0320.

Upcoming dates:

  • Sunday, Oct. 12 – RAMP (to be held on Sunday as a kick-off for Homecoming week)
  • Saturday, Nov. 8 – Opportunity House
  • Saturday, Dec. 6 – Barb City Manor

Ally Program opens registration
for fall Ally training workshops

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

NIU employees and students interested in volunteering for the Ally Program can learn more and register online. The online form provides the specific workshop dates and times and allows registrants to indicate first, second and third choices.

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

Part I
Monday, Sept. 15: 9 to 11 a.m.
Monday, Sept. 22: 2 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 30: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Part II
Thursday, Oct. 9: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Monday, Oct. 20: 9 to 11 a.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22: 2 to 4 p.m.

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

Conference on ‘first year’
scheduled for Oct. 24 at HSC

NIU faculty and staff are invited to attend a one-day regional drive-in conference on “Strengthening the First Year of College: Purposeful Strategies for Pedagogy and Practice.”

The conference will be held Friday, Oct. 24, at the Holmes Student Center. The conference is co-hosted by Oakton Community College and Rock Valley College.

The early bird conference fee is $69. After Monday, Sept. 15, the registration fee is $79. A continental breakfast and luncheon are included. Registration and other conference information are available online or through Orientation & First-Year Experience at (815) 753-1535.

The keynote address, titled “Promoting First-Year Success through Collaborative Partnerships,” will be given by Charles C. Schroeder of Noel-Levitz, Inc. As a senior associate consultant for Noel-Levitz, Schroeder offers more than two decades of experience as an administrator, writer, and consultant on student affairs and the student experience. He is a past president of ACPA (College Student Educators International) and has published more than 70 articles and chapters in various refereed journals and books.

The plenary speaker, Trudy Bers, is executive director of research, curriculum and planning at Oakton Community College in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Bers’ research interests include the community college, the assessment of student learning outcomes and college choice for community college students and their parents.

This regional drive-in conference provides a forum for faculty, academic administrators and student affairs professionals to share ideas, resources and engaging pedagogy to enhance the learning of first-year students on two- and four-year campuses.

Concurrent breakout session topics include:

  • The Impact of Peer Advisors on Student Success
  • Getting First-Year Students to Get with the (Financial) Program
  • Building a Collaborative Orientation Model
  • Strengthening the College Experience for Commuter and Non-Traditional Students: A Glance at Current Trends and Successful Practices
  • Principles and Practices in Delivering Academic Advising for First-Year Students
  • Initiating a Common Reading Experience: Best Practices from the Field and Benefits for First-Year Students

Nominations sought for
Presidential Research Professors

Nominations are being sought for NIU’s 2009 Presidential Research Professorships, which recognize outstanding accomplishment and future potential in academic research or creative artistry.

Faculty members may be nominated, or may initiate their own candidacy, by submitting letters of nominations or self-nominations to James Erman, interim vice president for research, by Monday, Oct. 20.

The nomination and self-nomination letters must include the candidate’s qualifications in accordance with the award specifications. Four complete sets of application materials must then be submitted to Erman’s office by Monday, Nov. 10.

Up to three new Presidential Research Professors are designated each year. Upon appointment, each award recipient will receive a base-salary increment of $2,000.

Additionally, a grant of $5,000 will be provided during each year of the appointment, provided the recipient remains a full-time NIU faculty member. The grant money is to be used for scholarly activities. Award recipients also receive one semester of release from teaching and other non-research responsibilities. 

More detailed information on the award and on the call for nominations can be found at

DeKalb Festival Chorus
invites new singers

The DeKalb Festival Chorus invites vocalists to join for this season’s exciting performance of Daniel Pinkham’s  “Christmas Cantata, Sinfonia Sacra” (Dec. 7), as well as the Holiday Concert (Dec. 14) and Haydn’s “Theresienmesse” in the spring.

The holiday program takes shape around the beloved story by Dylan Thomas, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Robert Dean Ludden has been secured as the dramatic reader.

Rehearsals are held from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays in Room 171 of the NIU Music Building. Auditions are required; e-mail the director at to arrange a brief audition.

Rehearsals begin Monday, Sept. 8. Come before 7 p.m. to register. Adult membership costs $30. Full-time student membership is $15.

For more information, visit or call (630) 453-8006.

DAWC presents exhibition
of trailblazing NIU alumnae

A trio of NIU alumnae shares its passion for creative expression in a collaborative art exhibition, “Patterns of the Mind,” on display at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center during September.

While Linda Tillis (M.A. ’73, Ph.D. ’88), Diane Johns (M.S. Ed. ’06) and Jana Mirs (B.G.S. ’94, M.F.A. ’00) have known each other for years, this is the first time they have teamed up for a show. The exhibition features more than 60 wall-hung pieces, each one a tribute to the design process. Most are intimate pieces, spotlighting a detail on which the artist focused at that particular moment in time.

Tillis, an NIU retiree following 23 years of service as associate director of Student Housing and Dining, uses quilt-like patterns as a framework to embrace her expressions with color, design and objects of day-to-day experiences or fancies. She constructs her own patterns and has recently become particularly drawn to a “fractured” quilt pattern, which is featured in many of the pieces on display.

Johns, who currently serves as a thesis and dissertation adviser in NIU’s Graduate School, is using the show’s theme to delve into the world of the subconscious. In her latest series of quilts, she depicts several of the marvelous and magical elements which thread their way through her dreams. She uses color, printed pattern, the quilting stitch and other surface design to explore powerful images such as the tornado.

Mirs’ personal research into the concept of “home” – coupled with her intuitive use of design, color, scale and relationships – has resulted in a series of art quilts depicting fantastical houses and their environments. These are constructed from a variety of whimsical prints and sometimes populated by surprising creatures.

All three artists share a zeal for intense examination and artistic expression. Each juxtaposes geometric shapes and design imagery to make the familiar appear unfamiliar – and vice versa. All together, their patterns of the mind are worth navigating.

The public is invited to view the exhibit from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays, from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, or by appointment. An artists’ reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, and will include musical entertainment provided by violinist Ann Montzka and cellist Linc Smelser at 5 p.m. followed by a performance of the Bread & Roses Women’s Chorus at 6 p.m.

The DAWC is located at 1021 State Street in DeKalb. Parking is available in the paved lot off of Eleventh Street, one-half block south of the building. The handicapped-accessible lift can be reached from the alley north of the building. For further information, or to arrange a group showing, call Anna Marie Coveny, gallery director, at (815) 758-1351 or (815) 761-1735.

Peace Corps recruiter to visit

Hazel Domangue, recruiter for the Peace Corps, will come to campus Thursday, Sept. 18, and Friday, Sept. 19.

Domangue will attend the Study Abroad Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

From 5 to 7 p.m. that evening, she will host a general information meeting in Room 306 of the student center. This important session is one of the first steps in learning more about the process of joining the Peace Corps. Handouts are available; questions are encouraged.

On-campus interviews take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, in the Career Center (Room 260) of the Campus Life Building. Applications must be submitted and appointment must be scheduled by Friday, Sept. 12.

Contact Domangue at (312) 353-5224 or for more information.

Sept. 17 opening reception set
for exhibition by artist Montoya

Malaquias Montoya, one of the nation’s top Chicano artists, will visit DeKalb for the opening reception of an exhibition of his artworks.

The reception for Montoya will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Nehring Gallery, 111 S. Second St., DeKalb. The exhibit will run through Oct. 15.

Montoya’s works, titled “Globalization & War: The Aftermath,” depict the consequences of power and conflict. The artist’s 23 paintings and prints facilitate the understanding of the destruction, displacement and loss of culture brought on by man-made conflict. Each piece illustrates the human spirit in its most vulnerable state: fighting between obliteration and survival.

Montoya is a leading figure in the West Coast political Chicano graphic arts movement, a political and socially conscious movement. His works are in the collections of the Smithsonian, the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and more than a dozen other museums, libraries and universities.

“Malaquias Montoya is among the most prominent living Chicano artists,” says Emily Prieto, director of the NIU Latino Resource Center, the organizing sponsor of the event.

“His work is extremely powerful because the edgy imagery evokes many emotions in his audience, and all of the pieces are tied to social protest messages,” Prieto says. “Looking at his art pieces compels a person to do something to positively impact humanity.”

Other sponsors of the exhibit include the NIU Student Association, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Center for Black Studies, Center for Latino and Latin American Studies, Campus Activities Board, International Programs and Unity in Diversity.

More information on Montoya is available online at

Huskie Golf Day to benefit
NIU Women’s Golf team

The NIU Women’s Golf team will host its annual Huskie Golf Day Friday, Sept. 26, at Whisper Creek Golf Club in Huntley. Foursomes will be paired with NIU women golfers.

Check in takes place at noon with tee times from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $125 per player. A cocktail hour, awards and raffle follow play.

Registration deadline is Sunday, Sept. 19. Contact Women’s Golf Assistant Coach Ashley Anast at (815) 753-6668 or

Provost invites nominations
for Presidential Teaching Professors

All letters of nomination for the 2009 Presidential Teaching Professorships should be submitted to Vice Provost Earl “Gip” Seaver, Office of the Provost, Altgeld Hall 215, no later than Monday, Sept. 29.

Following receipt of a letter of nomination, the selection committee will invite each nominated faculty member to prepare materials in accordance with the published procedure. Only full professors with tenure and at least six years service at NIU are eligible for the award.

The Presidential Teaching Professorships were established in 1990 to recognize those outstanding teachers who have demonstrated over time that they:

  • instill and develop in students an intensity of inter­est in, and an apprecia­tion for, the value of the subject;
  • apply rigorous standards to student performance, in­spire students to become the best that they can be, and stimulate student growth;
  • command respect and esteem as a teacher rather than merely being popular;
  • demonstrate extraordinary commitment to students and their welfare, not only that the nominee is knowledge­able and prepared for class but is available to them outside of class for help with materials, for advising them, for listening to their concerns, and for assist­ing them with extra-class projects or activities;
  • explore and develop effective instructional methods and technologies;
  • work actively with students, faculty, and administra­tors to improve under­gradu­ate and/or graduate education at NIU, and other activities directed toward the im­provement of instruction.

The procedure calls for a rigorous and thorough portfolio review including contacting former students. The 2009 recipients will be announced next spring.

Nominations sought
for Lincoln Laureate

An outstanding undergraduate senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is chosen annually to receive the Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award. The University Scholarships Committee is requesting assistance in identifying the student graduating during 2008-2009 (August 2008, December 2008 or May 2009), who will be NIU’s recipient of this year’s award.

Lincoln Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in both curricular and co-curricular activities. The NIU Student Laureate should have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and should have demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities.

The person selected will represent the university at one of the most distinguished gatherings in the state, a special ceremony held in late October or early November in the House of Representatives of the Illinois State Capitol. Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich (or his designee), president of the academy, will present each Student Laureate with a Lincoln Academy Medallion and a check for $150. The ceremony will be followed by a luncheon. Nominator(s) of the recipient also will be asked to represent the university at this event.

Please be selective in your nomination: The person selected from NIU to receive this award should be the university’s most outstanding undergraduate senior student.

The nomination form and any supplementary pages should be returned to the Office of Scholarship Coordination/Scholarship Services, 245K Swen Parson Hall, by noon Friday, Sept. 12, for the nomination to be considered by the selection committee. 

Community School offers
Art Express on Saturdays

The NIU Community School of the Arts’ popular Art Express is free to children of staff, faculty and students. This class begins Saturday, Sept. 13, and runs for five weeks. The class is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m.

This innovative and hands-on program encourages creative thinking in children ages 4 to 12. Teachers are students in an advanced art education class working under School of Art faculty supervision.

More information and a registration form are available online at or by calling (815) 753-1450. Students and employees of NIU should indicate their status at the top of the form. Although the tuition fee of $30 is waived for children of NIU staff, faculty and students, a $15 program registration fee and the form should be sent to the NIU Community School of the Arts in Room 132 of the Music Building.

Alumni Association launches
new membership program

The NIU Alumni Association has launched a new membership program. Open to alumni and friends, the program is an excellent way to show support for, and pride in, NIU. Members enjoy many benefits on campus and in the community.

Membership opportunities are available at two levels: Cardinal & Black and Legacy. Visit for more information.

Alumni Association plans travel
to Hawaii, Northern Ireland

NIU’s Alumni Association has several exciting travel destinations coming up.

Celebrate the winter holiday season with a Hawaiian Escape. Warm trade winds and a traditional Hawaiian “Aloha!” await guests on this three-island touring itinerary. The islands of Maui, Hawaii and Oahu offer a vast diversity of landscapes, natural beauty and attractions.

Travelers also are invited to discover the jewels of Northern Ireland next spring. Don’t miss out on the charm and the zest that encompasses the Emerald Isle. Northern Ireland brings back the joy of touring with breathtaking Irish landscapes, historical forts and palaces, famous coastlines and ancient accounts that mingle myth and legend.

Visit for more information about these travel destinations.