Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

March 23, 2009

What’s cooking at Ellington’s?

On the menu at Ellington’s this week: Isla del Sabor is scheduled for Tuesday. Bem Vindos! takes over Thursday.

Continuing 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.

Isla del Sabor features Caribbean sweet potato and black bean salad or callaloo soup for starters, spiced chops with mango-mint salsa or grilled tofu in Caribbean coconut curry marinade for entrees and key lime meringue pie or mango sorbet for dessert. Each table also will be served Caribean salsa with blue tortilla chips.

Bem Vindos! features creamy hearts of palm soup or Brazilian potato salad for starters, black beans and turkey stew or sweet potato-stuffed eggplant for entrees and coconut custard or tropical dessert for dessert. Each table also will be served French loaf and butter.

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.

Wellness Fair scheduled

NIU’s annual Campus Wellness Fair, co-hosted by Employee Assistance and Recreation Services, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

More than 75 providers from the campus and community will be in attendance to provide free information, screenings and activities for fair attendees. All are invited. Admission is free.

E-waste recycling will be provided by NIU’s Task Force on the Sustainable Campus Climate. Bring your e-waste to the fair or sign up for a timeslot (at the fair) to drop off your e-waste.

Visit for more information.

Baccalaureate Review group
to host two more open forums

The Baccalaureate Review Task Force will hold two more open forums to give the NIU community additional opportunities to provide input regarding the university’s baccalaureate goals.

NIU’s Strategic Planning Initiative has identified general education reform as a priority for the institution. The first phase of this reform is a review of the university’s baccalaureate degree goals: What skills, knowledge and abilities should NIU graduates achieve? What values and ideals should be promoted?

The two remaining open forums will last 60 minutes and will be held:

  • Wednesday, March 25: 10 to 11 a.m., Altgeld Hall, Room 315 (Board of Trustees meeting room)
  • Thursday, April 16: 3 to 4 p.m., Altgeld Hall, Room 315 (Board of Trustees meeting room)

Those unable to attend an open forum but who want to share ideas can read and respond to the Baccalaureate Review Online Survey at

Clarinetist Greg Barrett to play
music from Denmark, Finland

NIU clarinet professor Greg Barrett once again has invited his colleagues to join him at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, in the Recital Hall for an evening of music from Denmark and Finland.

Barrett and School of Music faculty members Amy Rhodes (bassoon), John Fairfield (horn) and JeongSoo Kim (piano) will perform works by Pylkkanen, Nielsen, Koppel, Kuusisto, Sibelius and Ahmas. The recital is free and open to the public, and the auditorium is accessible to all.

Inspired by the music of Jean Sibelius, Barrett has developed a wide-reaching interest in Finnish music and culture. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs sponsored his research in Finland to meet with contemporary composers of works for the clarinet.

An associate professor of clarinet and chamber music, Barrett is a master teacher and performer. He has presented recitals and classes throughout the United States and in Austria, China, Finland and Japan. He currently performs with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Ars Viva Symphony. He has been bass clarinetist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and with numerous other orchestras in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Virginia and the Carolinas.

Call Lynn Slater at (815) 753-1546 for more information.

Judge John W. Darrah to give
2009 Francis X. Riley Lecture

The NIU College of Law will welcome the Honorable John W. Darrah, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, to present the 16th Annual Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism.

Judge Darrah will present his lecture at 3 p.m. Friday, March 27, in the Francis X. Riley Courtroom inside Swen Parson Hall. This year’s lecture will include a special rededication ceremony of the Francis X. Riley Courtroom, featuring Phase One of the newly renovated courtroom. In addition to serving as one of the school’s main classrooms, the courtroom plays host to major speaking engagements and court visits.

Darrah was nominated by former President Clinton and approved by Congress to the U.S. District Court in 2000. Prior to his federal appointment, Darrah served as a circuit court judge in the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County. Previous to his judicial appointment, he was a partner in the law firm of Ryan & Darrah. His career also has included service as chief of Criminal Misdemeanor and Juvenile Divisions at the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, an attorney in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and special assistant to the Illinois Attorney General. 

Darrah served on the faculty as an adjunct professor at the NIU College of Law from 1976 until 2006. For 30 years, he taught numerous courses including criminal law, evidence, property and trial advocacy.

The Francis X. Riley Lecture on Professionalism was established in 1994 to honor Professor Emeritus Riley, who devoted his life to the law and legal education. The lecture series brings distinguished speakers to NIU to discuss current issues relating to the legal profession. Professor Riley died Sept. 14, 2006, at age 93. This lecture series serves as part of his legacy at the College of Law and within the legal community.

A reception will follow the lecture. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public. One hour of MCLE credit will be given to eligible attorneys.

First-Year Composition students
to showcase writing projects 

The First-Year Composition Program is sponsoring a forum for NIU students to share their writing publicly.

The Showcase of Student Writing will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, in the Regency Room of the Holmes Student Center.

“Students have been working hard to create projects that display the writing and research they have completed in courses taught by First-Year Composition instructors,” said Stephanie Kummerer, an instructor in the Department of English.

The projects include aspects of visual rhetoric ranging from videos, posters and brochures to games and presentations.

April is LGBT Awareness Month

Education, activism, art and entertainment are all part of the calendar of events for April’s celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Awareness Month.

A new art installation focused on the themes of pride, empowerment and community is taking shape at the LGBT Resource Center; there will be multiple dates in April for participation. The fifth annual Ally Awards reception takes place Thursday, April 2.

  • Activist Mia Mingus will visit campus Wednesday, April 15, to present “Wrong is Not My Name: The Intersections of Disability, Queerness, Race and Gender.”
  • Author Toni McNaron will speak Thursday, April 23, and Friday, April 24, to address contemporary gay and lesbian writing, and lingering homophobia in academia.
  • Two current NIU students will present Tuesday, April 28, about their internships in national LGBT organizations and their involvement in fighting for LGBT equality on the national stage.
  • Students in Professor Debbie Smith-Shank’s “LGBT Issues in Art” course will mount an exhibit in downtown DeKalb from Wednesday, April 15, through Saturday, April 25.

Many other events are also planned throughout April. Full details about all events are available by visiting the online calendar of events at Request a printed or electronic copy of the calendar by contacting the LGBT Resource Center at (815) 753-5428 or

NIU Jazz Ensemble to perform
annual spring concert April 9

The School of Music will host the NIU Jazz Ensemble Concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

The ensemble is directed by Ron Carter. The concert features special guest artist Benny Golson, jazz master, saxophonist, composer and arranger.

The concert is free and open to the public. It is cosponsored by WNIJ, the Northern Star, NIU Center for Black Studies and NIU Jazz Studies.

For more information, e-mail

NPR continues spring campaign

WNIJ (89.5 FM) will continue its Spring Membership Campaign through Friday, March 27.

During this time, listeners are encouraged to become members by making financial pledges of support toward the public radio programming they value. Of special concern this season is the station’s need to replace a storm-damaged antenna, which affects reception in the outlying areas of WNIJ’s broadcast range.

The daily schedule on WNIJ (89.5 FM) features nationally renowned NPR News programs such as “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “The Diane Rehm Show” and “Fresh Air.” Popular weekend programs include “Car Talk,” “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” “A Prairie Home Companion” and “The Saturday Blues.” 

Throughout the campaign dates, radio hosts will direct listeners to call a dedicated “Pledge Line” staffed by volunteers. The radio station Web site also is quipped to receive secure pledges online at

89.5-WNIJ is a service of Northern Public Radio, the broadcast service of NIU.

HSC to host exhibition
of Steve Thiel’s artwork

NIU’s Holmes Student Center Gallery will be home to the art of the late Steve Thiel this week.

The exhibition will host some of Thiel’s more recent paintings and photographs. At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, a group of family and friends will host a reception that will include selected readings of his poetry. The reception and reading are open to the public.

Thiel, who died Jan. 13, first came to NIU as a business student but changed his major to art in order to satisfy his creative bent, philosophical disposition and artistic output. He wrote, painted and photographed, trying to capture the ephemeral qualities of his surroundings. People, places and nature were his favorite subjects in photography; in painting, he delved deeper into physics and philosophy.

As a means of supporting himself as an artist, Thiel worked at NIU’s Information Technology Services. It burgeoned into a career that spanned more than 27 years – all of it with NIU Information at (815) 753-1000. He was the unofficial “voice of NIU,” literally and figuratively as he guided callers around the university.

Call (815) 753-5803 for more information.

CLA workshop to cover
government finances

NIU’s Civic Leadership Academy will host a workshop Thursday, March 26, titled “Understanding Your Government’s Finances.”

This workshop is designed to give participants a critical understanding of the processes, policies and politics that surround governmental budgeting and finance. A public budget is about policy choices – how much money, how to raise it, how to spend it and how to account for it. Because bud­gets are about choices, they reflect the priorities and values of those who shape them.

After this introductory survey of public budgeting and financial management, participants will leave with a full appreciation of the ideas, concepts and techniques important to leader­ship’s understanding of budgets and financial management.

Brian Caputo, director of finance for the City of Aurora, is the presenter.

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

PCSM seeks nominations
for Deacon Davis Award

The Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities is accepting nominations for the 2009 Deacon Davis Diversity Award.

Created in 2004, the award recognizes NIU students, faculty, staff, academic units, offices, programs or organizations for significant contributions made to the improvement of the status of minorities on campus. Nomination forms and complete information regarding the nomination process are available online at

Nominations must be received by Friday, March 27, and should be accompanied by a letter of support from someone other than the nominator. The Deacon Davis Diversity Award is a non-monetary award that will be presented Wednesday, April 15, during the annual PCSM Spring Banquet.

Educational psychologist to speak
at graduate research conference

Gregory Schraw, professor of educational psychology at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, is the keynote speaker at the 2009 Graduate Student Research Conference on Education, Learning & Human Development.

Schraw will address “Six Characteristics of Effective Learners” at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in the Capitol Room South of the Holmes Student Center.

A reception for Schraw will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 27, at Tapalaluna, 226 E. Lincoln Hwy.

The Graduate Student Research Conference takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes three research paper sessions, a poster fair, workshops and other events, including a breakfast discussion with Professor Eduardo Vidal-Abarca of the Universtiy of Valencia (Spain). Pre-registration is required for attendance, but is free for NIU students, faculty and staff.

Register online by Friday, March 20. The event is co-sponsored by the Graduate Colloquium Committee, the College of Education and the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. Call (815) 753-4404 for more information.

Science fair judges needed

Volunteers are needed Saturday, April 4, to serve as project judges for the Region V IJAS Science Fair.

The judging of the high school and junior high projects lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with lunch included. Contact Mark Pietrowski at (815) 753-1456 or via e-mail at to obtain a form to become a judge.

NIU to host series of forums
regarding NCAA recertification

NIU is engaged in recertification of its athletics program. A campus-wide committee has undertaken a self-study to ensure the integrity of its athletics operations, and the final draft of the self-study will be posted on or about Wednesday, April 1.

As part of the certification process, three public forums will be held to give members of the campus community the opportunity to comment on the self-study. All students, faculty, staff, alumni and interested parties are welcome to attend the forums. Those who cannot attend the forums but would like to comment are encouraged to submit feedback online.

Forums will be held:

  • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, Holmes Student Center, Illinois Room
  • 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, DiBiase Board Room, Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, DiBiase Board Room, Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center

For Thursday’s forums, parking is available in Lot 35 free of charge to the public.

For further details, contact Tom Krepel at (815) 752-8362 or via e-mail at

Trip planned to I&M Canal

Join the Lifelong Learning Institute in a fascinating and picturesque trip Friday, April 24, through regional and national history: A professional tour guide will take participants on a day-long tour of the Illinois-Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor.

The opening of the 100 mile-long canal in 1848, from Chicago to LaSalle-Peru, linked the Gulf of Mexico with the Great Lakes and launched Chicago on its greatest period of growth. While eventually superseded by the Sanitary and Ship Canal, a rediscovery of the old canal and the communities along it has resulted in an impressive array of restored buildings, landscapes and historic sites. 

Participants will go to the St. James of the Sag Church in Lemont, the headquarters of the I&M Canal at Lockport. Members will visit the marvelously restored Gaylord Building along with a small museum devoted to the canal as well as the Public Landing Restaurant, where they will have lunch. Afterward, they will continue on a driving tour of Lockport and the Joliet Museum, featuring a replica lock used on the I&M and a Route 66 Experience Exhibit.

The trip will depart from the Normal Road entrance of the Holmes Student Center at 8:15 a.m. and return at approximately 6:30 p.m. Fee includes professional guide, lunch, entrance fees and transportation.

The field trip is open to everyone in the community, while LLI members, NIU Cardinal & Black Alumni members and University Women’s Club members are eligible for a discounted rate.

For more information or to register for the field trip, contact the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming at (815) 753-5200, online at or in person in Room 152 of the Monat Building, 148 N. Third St.

A minimum of 25 registrants is needed by Friday, April 10, to offer this trip.

LGBT Resource Center seeks
nominations for annual awards

NIU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center invites members of the campus community to participate in the awards and contests that recognize leadership and achievement related to the LGBT community.

The awards include the Ally Awards, LGBT Essay Contest, Eychaner Award for Outstanding Contributions on behalf of the LGBT Community and recognition of graduating LGBT students. 

Information and nomination or submission forms are available online. Deadlines range from Wednesday, March 18, to Tuesday, March 31. Award recipients will be recognized at the annual end of year Award Dinner during LGBT Awareness Month in April.

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

Oxford professor to speak
on Lincoln’s purpose, power

Richard Carwardine, Rhodes Professor of American History at St. Catherine College and incoming president of Corpus Christi College at Oxford University, will speak Monday, April 6, at NIU.

Carwardine is the author of “Abraham Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power” and the winner of the 2004 Lincoln Prize. In 2008, he was elected to the Order of Lincoln by the State of Illinois.

His lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Room of the Holmes Student Center.

The event is hosted by the University Honors Program. It is sponsored by a grant from the
Abraham Lincoln Illinois Bicentennial Commission and endorsed by the Illinois Library System Director’s Organization.

For more information, visit