Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

August 31, 2009

State of the University Address
scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10

President John G. Peters will present his annual State of the University Address at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009, in the auditorium of Altgeld Hall.

Members of the NIU community should make plans to attend this informative presentation. The president’s address also is streamed live on the Internet at

Direct questions or concerns to the Office of Special Events at (815) 753-1999 or via e-mail at

LGBT Resource Center
to host Open House Days

NIU’s campus community is invited to Open House Days at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, through Thursday, Sept. 3.

The LGBT Resource Center is located inside Room 706 of the Holmes Student Center.

In addition to learning about the center and meeting the staff, visitors can make rainbow sand art bottles or postcards for the “Art of Liberation” community art project.

Full details about the open house and all other events are available by calling (815) 753-5428, e-mailing or visiting the LGBT Resource Center Web site.

Community School invites children
to popular ‘Art Express’ program

Introduce your child to the wonderful world of art this fall in the popular Art Express class, offered by the NIU Community School of the Arts.

Children create original works of art in this fun and intensive class taught by NIU School of Art education students. This class is offered for children ages 4 to 12 and meets from 1 to 3 p.m. for five Saturdays beginning Sept. 12. All materials are supplied.

Teachers are students in the art education program at NIU; they are supervised by faculty. The curriculum changes every semester.

Contact the office (Room 132 of the Music Building) for an application form. For more information, call (815) 753-1450 or visit

Nominations invited
for Lincoln Laureates

Administrators, faculty and staff are invited to nominate an outstanding NIU student for the Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award. The NIU Student Laureate will represent the university at a special ceremony in the Illinois State Capitol this fall.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, Sept. 14.

To be considered, a student must be an undergraduate who will graduate during the 2009-10 academic year (December 2009, May 2010 or August 2010). The NIU Student Laureate should have an NIU grade point average of 3.5 or higher and should have demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities.

Visit for more information about this prestigious honor and to access the nomination form.

Give children fundamental motor
skills through KNPE program 

NIU’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education will offer an early-childhood motor development program.

The eight-week program for children ages 3 to 5 runs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays from Monday, Sept. 14, through Wednesday, Nov. 4. The program costs $100 and is held in Anderson Hall.

The program curriculum includes learning movement concepts, developing fundamental motor skills, coordination, swimming and rhythmical abilities as well as games and fitness, program director Clersida Garcia said.

For more information, call Garcia at (815) 753-1400 or e-mail

Community School offers lessons
on piano, guitar for adults, children

Fulfill your lifelong desire to learn to play an instrument while getting to know other like-minded adults at the NIU Community School of the Arts this fall.

All classes take place in the Music Building.

“Group Piano for Adults” is a group class for beginning piano students ages 18 and older. The class meets from 6:15 to 7:10 p.m. for 12 Mondays beginning Sept. 14. Teacher Susan Breitner Hurm is a longtime piano teacher who has experience teaching children and adults. She teaches Suzuki and traditional piano lessons for the community school.

“Guitar Basics” teaches the fundamentals of guitar for adults and teens ages 13 and older. Beginning Sept. 16, the class meets from 6 to 6:55 p.m. for 12 Wednesdays. Teacher Quentin Dover is a graduate of NIU and has taught children and adults for many years. A second section of this class also is available for children ages 9 to 12 from 5 to 5:55 p.m.

“Electric Guitar for Beginners” is a new class offered this fall for those ages 14 and older who want to transition to or learn the electric guitar. The class meets for six Mondays, beginning Oct. 5. Teacher Lisa Baker is a graduate student at NIU where she studies with Fareed Haque. She has taught and performed for many years in Nashville.

These and many other classes and ensembles are offered at the NIU Community School of the Arts this fall. The office is located on campus in Room 132 of the Music Building. For more information, call (815) 753-1450 or visit

PTP nominations sought

All letters of nomination for the 2010 Presidential Teaching Professorships should be submitted to Vice Provost Earl “Gip” Seaver, Office of the Provost, Altgeld Hall 220, no later than Monday, Sept. 28.

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 of 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 2010 recipients will be announced next spring.

Speaker will explain impact
of exercise on literacy, learning

Paul Zientarski, chair of the Department of Physical Education at Naperville Central High School, will speak Wednesday, Sept. 30, on “Understanding the Science Behind the Impact of Exercise on Literacy and Learning.”

Zeintarski’s lecture is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in DuSable Hall 204.

The speech is sponsored by NIU’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy (CISLL). For more information, e-mail

Nominations sought for
2009-10 BOT professors

Provost Ray Alden has called for nominations for the 2009-10 NIU Board of Trustees Professorships. Nominations are due Friday, Sept. 25.

The professorships were established in 2007 by President John Peters and the Board of Trustees to recognize those tenured professors who:

  • have achieved a consistent record of excellence in teaching, scholarship or artistry, service and outreach and academic leadership;
  • have earned a national or international reputation for professional achievements;
  • and are deemed likely to make continued and substantial contributions in higher education.

In considering the qualifications of nominees, special emphasis will be placed upon those who are renowned scholars or artists and have engaged students in their research and/or other professional activities.

Up to three professorships can be awarded each academic year; the 2009-2010 awards will be made at the Faculty Awards Recognition Ceremony in April 2010. The recipients will receive a stipend of $10,000 per year that will be renewed annually during the five-year period term of appointment as Board of Trustee Professors.

The responsibilities of the professorship include delivering the Board of Trustees Professorship Lecture; participating in workshops for the professional development of junior faculty and in activities that advance the university’s reputation and mission; maintaining an active program of teaching, scholarship or artistry, and service; and submitting a report detailing activities and accomplishments during the award period.

Additional information about the nomination process and the professorships is available online. Application portfolios should be submitted electronically to the Office of the Provost, Kathleen Carey (

Women’s chorus offered

Women’s Chorus (AURA) is offered from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays in Room 171 of the Music Building.

This small choral ensemble is open to faculty, staff and students (both undergraduate and graduate) for one credit under course number MUSC 290 (undergraduate) and MUSC 590 (graduate).

The group will become a female vocal jazz ensemble this year, and the first program will feature songs made famous by great women jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holliday.

No auditions required. Music-reading is not essential, but a good ear for music is helpful. Call Director Glenda Cosenza at (815) 751-2301 with questions or for further information.

Community School of the Arts
begins classes, ensembles, lessons

NIU’s Community School of the Arts begins fall semester classes, ensembles and lessons in August and September. Information is available online and by mail about the many options for programs for children and adults.

The teachers in the community school are NIU arts faculty, professional teachers who live in the area and NIU students and graduate students, all of whom specialize in the area that they teach.

Traditional music lessons, taught on a weekly basis, are available on all instruments. Lessons using the Suzuki approach in violin, piano and guitar are available to young children. Group classes are taught in guitar and piano for adults and children. Music classes for young children are taught for children between the ages of 1 and 5.

Children and teens are invited to join a variety of ensembles, including a children’s chorus, a string ensemble, a full orchestra, a brass ensemble and a jazz band.

Financial aid is available for students 18 and younger who want to pursue their study of the arts, but who cannot afford the cost. Applications are available online and by calling the office. The application deadline for financial aid for fall semester is Monday, Aug. 31.

Learn more about the program, take a free sample music lesson or participate in a variety of classes and ensembles between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday, Aug. 29, at CSA O’Rama. All activities for CSA O’Rama take place in the Music Building at NIU. A full schedule is available online or by calling the office.

The NIU Community School of the Arts is sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Approximately 80 teachers offer lessons on most musical instruments as well as in art and theater. More than 500 community people from nearly 50 towns and cities travel to DeKalb each semester for lessons and classes.

Call (815) 753-1450 or visit for more information. The NIU Community School of the Arts is located in Room 132 of the Music Building.

University Women to hold
annual fall reception Sept. 23

The University Women’s Club of NIU will hold its annual fall open house from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the home of President and Mrs. Peters, 901 Woodlawn Ave. in DeKalb.

The University Women’s Club invites every woman associated with the university, whether she is a current or retired faculty or staff member, or the wife of a current, retired or deceased faculty or staff member, to join this long-standing organization of NIU women.

Meet people with a common interest in NIU, participate in distinct interest groups, enjoy social events and support the club’s philanthropic endeavor of providing scholarships to deserving NIU women students.

Art Museum opens three exhibitions

The Northern Illinois University Art Museum will open three exhibitions Tuesday, Aug. 25. All run through Saturday, Oct. 10. An opening reception is scheduled for 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept 10, with an artists’ talk planned at 6 p.m. in Altgeld Hall Room 315.

Elona Van Gent will present an artist talk at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in Jack Arends Hall/Visual Arts
Building Room 111. Jessica Gondek will present a curator’s talk at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the gallery.

  • Imperfect Models: Jessica Gondek, Paintings and Prints. Since the dawn of the machine age, artists have struggled with the dynamics of hand vs. machine, artificial vs. natural, and the dichotomy of traditional medium with the variety of expression that technology allows. The fall Art and Technology Suite highlights artists who embrace technology as a partner in their creative process. Jessica Gondek, curator of the group exhibition Dimensional Figures and Environments: Artists Engaging Technology and an asssociate professor at Loyola University, is featured. Gondek begins with compositions created via 3-D modeling programs that are then collaged and overprinted to reinterpret and humanize the computer-generated forms. The intermingling of hand and mechanical approaches in the work prompts a collision between intuition and computation.
  • Karen Hanmer, Retro Tech. Chicago artist Karen Hanmer looks back at early forms of technology to
    see their impact on us. Of her work, she writes: “My sculptural books and installations fragment and layer content to mirror the experience of personal and cultural memory.” Her History and Technology series of artist books link the creative process of the artist with that of the inventor, explorer or scientist through first person accounts and archival photographs and artifacts. She combines the ancient act of book-binding with the high-tech use of the computer to create her work.
  • Dimensional Figures and Environments: Artists Engaging Technology. This exhibition features three artists who conceive spaces and figures mediated through computer software tools as part of their creative vocabulary. Both Gerald Guthrie and Elona Van Gent use 3D-modeling software to develop sculpture, digital prints and animated works. Gloria DeFilipps Brush creates photographs from built models that are transformed using computer technology. These artists use technological art tools as partners in their image-making processes and forge new creative territory. New media such as digital printmaking and photography, rapid prototyping and animation are represented in the range of works included in the exhibition.

Located on the west-end first floor of Altgeld Hall, the galleries are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment for group tours. Exhibitions and lectures are free; donations are appreciated.

The exhibitions of the NIU Art Museum are funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, the Friends of the NIU Art Museum, and the Arts Fund 21. For more information, visit or call (815) 753-1936.