Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

May 4, 2009

Community School announces
schedule of spring recitals

The NIU Community School of the Arts has announced the spring recital schedule.

Soloists, ensembles and high school seniors are all featured on the stage of the Recital Hall and Concert Hall in the Music Building in May and June. Most performances end with a reception. All are free and open to the public.

  • The guitar students of Eric Schroeder, teacher of traditional and Suzuki guitar, perform in the Recital Hall at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 4. Following at 8 p.m. is the adult recital for students who are 15 years and older. 
  • The junior string orchestra, CSA Symphonette, performs at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. CSA Sinfonia, the full orchestra for high school students, performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 6. Both ensembles perform on the stage of the Concert Hall and are directed by Linc Smelser. Auditions for next year’s CSA Sinfonia are Saturday, May 30.
  • The piano students of Mei Li perform at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8, in the Recital Hall. 
  • The Suzuki violin students of Ann Montzka-Smelser, Karen Weckerly and Laurie Rodriguez perform at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9, on the stage of the Concert Hall.
  • CSA Children’s Choir, under the director of NIU faculty member Mary Lynn Doherty, concludes its first year with a performance at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, in the Recital Hall.
  • The cello students of Linc Smelser perform solos at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16. At 3 p.m. that day, the piano students of Georgia Price and the violin students of Laurie Rodriguez perform. The guitar students of Quentin Dover perform at 6 p.m. All performances are in the Recital Hall.
  • The Suzuki piano students of Marilyn Montzka and Susan Breitner perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 17, in the Recital Hall.

Six high school seniors are performing solo recitals this spring. All performances are in the Recital Hall.

  • Bill Schoenberg performs on viola, flute and voice at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 12.
  • Francie Weberpal performs on violin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 25.
  • Jim Zucker performs on clarinet at 7 p.m. Friday, May 29.
  • Dylan Larson performs on flute at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 30.
  • Lucas Ruff and Chelsea Miller perform on violin at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4.

Sponsored by the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, the NIU Community School of the Arts is a year-round program of private music lessons, ensembles and classes in music, art and theatre for children and adults. Summer registration has begun.

For more information, visit or call Renee Page at (815) 753-1450.

MCTI to begin May 11

NIU’s annual Multicultural Curriculum Transformation Institute is scheduled for the week of May 11.

All faculty and teaching staff are invited to attend the open sessions. All sessions are located in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center except for Wednesday’s plenary workshops, which are held in the Sky Room.

Monday, May 11

  • “NIU Student Demographics,” workshop by J. Daniel House; 11 a.m. to noon.

Tuesday, May 12

  • “Including Women and Girls in Curricula: Content and Feminist Pedagogy,” by Debbie Smith-Shank, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
  • “Class” by James Brunson and Regina Curry, 10:45 a.m. to noon
  • “Religion” by Sabiha Daudi and Leroy Mitchell, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13

  • “Plenary Workshop” by AnaLouise Keating, 9 to 10:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 14

  • “Race/Ethnicity,” by Andrew Otieno and Andres Hijar, 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. to noon

Friday, May 15

  • “Queer: Does It Matter?” by Josh Adair, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Schedule is subject to change. Check for the latest.

Steam shutdowns scheduled

Maintenance on the steam distribution equipment will force two shutdowns in May.

  • West campus: 8 p.m. Monday, May 11, through 4 p.m. Friday, May 15.
  • East campus: 8 p.m. Monday, May 25, through 4 p.m. Thursday, May 28.

Domestic-use hot water and steam/hot water heat will not be available. For more information, call Kevin Howard at (815) 753-6090.

Community School announces
auditions for fall ensembles

Auditions for the 2009-2010 CSJazz Band and CSA Sinfonia are scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Placement auditions for the summer String Chamber Music Camp also are scheduled on this day and time.

Call the office of the NIU Community School of the Arts at (815) 753-1450 for a time assignment and details. All rehearsals and performances are in the NIU Music Building.

CSJazz Band is a top regional high school jazz band that rehearses Sunday evenings throughout the school year. Players ages 14 to 20 of trumpet, trombone, saxophone, percussion, piano, bass and vocals are needed. Saxophonist Donnie Norton, NIU jazz alumni and experienced director, is the director. 

CSA Sinfonia is a full orchestra that rehearses Wednesday evenings throughout the school year. Players ages 14 to 20 of strings, woodwinds, percussion and brass instruments are needed. Linc Smelser, conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and cello teacher, is the director.

String Chamber Music Camp is a summer program for string players ages 12 to 19 interested in playing in small ensembles. The camp is scheduled for the afternoons of Monday, July 6, through Thursday, July 9. Campers enjoy rehearsals, music theory and history classes, a master class with the Avalon Quartet and a recital on Thursday. There is a sight-reading party scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. Violinist and chamber teacher Laurie Rodriguez directs the camp.

For more information about these NIU Community School of the Arts programs, as well as the many other ensembles, lessons and classes available for people of all ages, visit or call Renee Page at (815) 753-1450.

University Writing Center to move
to Founders Library for summer

NIU’s University Writing Center (UWC) will be located in Founders 302 from Monday, May 18, through Thursday, Aug. 6. The Stevenson South location will be closed for both intersession and summer school. 

UWC is a place for all writers at NIU – undergraduates, graduates, staff and faculty – to talk one-on-one about their writing with trained consultants. Writers can discuss topics and ideas, clarify writing assignments and identify strategies for planning, organizing and developing drafts.

Center consultants help writers identify better ways to use language, learn appropriate methods for persuading readers, integrate critical reading and thinking skills into written form and discover ways to effectively use and document sources. Additionally, UWC consultants help writers recognize the different types of writing required for various disciplines as well as prepare résumés and applications for internships, scholarships or careers.

Many faculty have established relationships with the UWC by providing copies of assignments, notes about specific expectations and syllabi. Faculty also frequently ask UWC consultants to visit their classrooms for presentations on topics ranging from specific assignment strategies to general writing and documentation skills to an overview of UWC services and policies.

Consultants also can provide feedback for faculty on their syllabi, class assignments and/or rubrics.

For brochures that explain the hours and services or to arrange a class visit by UWC consultants, call (815) 753-6636 or visiting

Faculty Development to offer
Teaching Effectiveness Institute

The Fall 2009 Teaching Effectiveness Institute is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 13, and Friday, Aug. 14, in the Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center. The event is sponsored by the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center.

Day One is designed to introduce faculty to basic principles of teaching, offer information about support resources related to teaching and discuss how faculty deal with students’ needs. It is geared toward an audience who is new to teaching and to those wanting to refresh their knowledge of teaching fundamentals.

Participants will have opportunities to network with both new and experienced faculty at NIU. This institute will include interactive presentations by NIU faculty and staff.

Among the day’s 10 topics: “Planning an Effective Syllabus,” “Strategies to Energize the Classroom Experience,” “Managing Academic Integrity,” “Students with Emotional and/or Behavioral Concerns,” “Accommodating the Needs of Students with Disabilities.”

Day Two – “Teaching Strategies to Help First-Year Students Do Their Best” – will feature speaker Constance Staley, professor of communication at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

According to recent reports, many new college students accept disengagement over engagement and less academic investment over more. When faced with a demanding course, the easiest solution is often to give up or change majors. What can those who value higher learning do to help students with lower expectations dig in and grapple with the challenge? How to raise the bar?

Some of the day’s six topics include “Understanding General Principles of Engagement and Disengagement,” “Introducing Initial Teaching Strategies that Generate Motivation and Engagement” and “Designing Specific Hands-on Teaching Strategies for Kisesthetic Learners.”

These workshops are open only to NIU faculty and staff.

Registered participants will receive workshop materials, lunch and refreshments and certificates of participation. Advanced registration is required by Friday, July 24, and early registration is encouraged. Register online for Day One and/or Day Two.

Call (815) 753-0595 for more information.

NIU to host conference
on first year of college

“Strengthening the First Year of College: Embracing Collaborative Partnerships,” a drive-in conference for the Midwest region, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25, at NIU.

The 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.

John Gardner, founder and senior fellow of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, will deliver the keynote address. Plenary speaker is Betsy Barefoot, co-director and senior scholar for the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

A call for programs, registration and other conference information is available online. The deadline for proposals is Friday, July 31. Call (815) 753-1535 or e-mail for more information.

Assessment Services unveils
online ‘Assessment Manual’

NIU’s Office of Assessment Services has introduced a new resource: NIU’s Assessment Manual.

The Assessment Manual is a compilation of assessment tips, tools and resources from NIU, other universities, experts, committees and higher education boards. Its contents are designed to provide assistance to those who are new to assessment as well as those who are experienced.

The manual contains nine chapters:

  • Overview
  • NIU Assessment – past, present, future
  • Good Practice
  • Getting Involved – campus wide assessment
  • Implementation
  • Special Topics – diversity, disabilities, distance learning
  • History of Assessment
  • Other Resources
  • Glossary

University of Memphis professor
to speak on ‘learning on computers’

Art Graesser, of the University of Memphis, will present “Learning with Conversational Agents on Computers: Cognition, Emotion, and Metacognition” at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 7, in 01F Gabel Hall.

This event is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Study of Language & Learning (IISLL). For more information, contact or call (815) 753-5793.

Community School to host
Webcast with Libby Larsen

NIU’s Community School of the Arts will host an interactive Webcast featuring world-renowned composer Libby Larsen from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, May 11, in Room 202 of the Music Building.

The event is free and open to the public.

The topic of the Webcast is “The Changing Landscape of Arts Education,” and the focus is on the new technologies that are changing accessibility and methods of teaching the arts. Also speaking is arts educator David O’Fallon, CEO of the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.

The event has received a grant from the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and is broadcast from the MacPhail Center. Other host sites are in Champaign, Chicago, St. Louis and Milwaukee. 

For more information, contact Renee Page, NIU Community School of the Arts, at (815) 753-1450.

CLA workshop to cover
local impact of globalization

NIU’s Civic Leadership Academy will host a workshop Thursday, May 14, titled “The Local Impact and Realities of Globalization.”

This workshop explores the influence of globalization on leadership roles in local communities, and presents different strategies for coping with the challenges and maximizing the opportunities of increased competition and interconnectivity in the global economy. Participants will better understand economic development and workforce development theories which maximize the competitive advantage of local places in an increasingly global world.

Case studies from other cities and regions will be used to demonstrate emerging best practices and an interactive dialogue process will be used to help participants understand new techniques that can be used to more effectively lead their communities in this era of globalization.

Presenter: is Rebecca Steffenson, a visiting assistant professor in the NIU Department of Political Science.

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

Recreation Services offers
summer fun at Pup Camp

NIU Recreation Services invites children ages 6 to 12 for a summer of fun at Pup Camp.

Nine week-long sessions begin Monday, June 8, and run through the week of Aug. 3. A variety of exciting activities and themes are planned to keep the summer interesting and educational. Campers will swim daily, create arts and crafts, play games and sports and participate in numerous field trips that enhance the weekly theme. 

Camper registration forms, themes, dates and prices are available at For more information, contact camp coordinator Ashlea Wilson at

Faculty, staff urged to update
telephone directory information

NIUTEL will not mail individual faculty/staff directory information change forms this year.

The new online directory provides a self-service format. Employees now can update their work information, as well as choose to hide or display personal (home) address and phone number, by accessing the directory Web site. 

To update work-related information:

  • Go to
  • Click on Login, located on the top right of the red toolbar.
  • Enter Novell ID and password.
  • Click on Self Service, then Request Resource, then Continue.

Employees can update: Directory Title, E-Mail Address, Alias Address, Office Address/Location and Office Telephone Number. To make updates:

  • Click on the type of change you wish to make.
  • Enter the updated information.
  • Click on Submit.
  • When all updates have been completed, log out.

Personal employee information is hidden by default and requires the employee to change that status in order for it to be displayed. Personal information that remains hidden in the online directory will not appear in the Communiversity 2009-2010 Telephone Directory. To display this information:

  • Log in as outlined above.
  • Click on Edit Your Information, then Display, then Save Changes.

To change personal address or telephone information, contact Human Resources Services at (815) 753-6000.

All updates (work-related and personal) must be made no later than Monday, Aug. 3, in order to appear in the Communiversity 2009-2010 Telephone Directory. For more information or assistance, contact NIUTEL at (815) 753-0963.

Faculty, staff volunteers needed
for Opening Day activities in August

What better way to show Huskie Spirit than by sharing it with someone else?

Volunteers are needed to help more than 3,000 students move into the residence halls Thursday, Aug. 20. Opening Day begins at 9 a.m.

The Division of Student Affairs also needs faculty and staff volunteers to help with two more events: Huskies Helping Huskies and House Calls.

Huskies Helping Huskies: Volunteers will be stationed at kiosks across campus on Monday, Aug. 24, and Tuesday, Aug. 25, to answer students’ questions or direct them to particular destinations on campus.

House Calls: Volunteers will greet first-year students at assigned residence hall floors the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 25. The volunteers will welcome the students and answer any questions they might have.

Volunteer registration is available online. Volunteers will receive additional information over the summer. Members of the Operating Staff who wish to participate can request release from their normal duties. Staff participation is subject to supervisory approval and should not interfere with normal operational needs of the university.

For more information, visit or contact Wendy Rodriguez at (815) 753-9651 or

Alumni Association unveils
travel for summer, fall, winter

From the Galapagos Islands to Martha’s Vineyard, the NIU Alumni Association Travel Program is on the move.

Travel to Iceland in July to be surrounded by some of the most awesome scenery found on this planet.

In September, it’s off to the East Coast to discover some of America’s treasures in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Fall is the ideal time to see the East Coast in all of its autumn splendor.

For the truly adventurous, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is planned for December. Experience the biological diversity of the islands that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution from the luxurious comfort of an expedition-style cruise ship. 

Visit for more information about these and all other travel destinations. 

Retirement reception planned
for Education’s Nina Dorsch

NIU’s College of Education is hosting a retirement party for Nina Dorsch from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center.

Dorsch is co-chair and associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. The program will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Annuitants to attend broadcast
of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’

Members of the NIU Annuitants Association and fans of “A Prairie Home Companion,” broadcast each weekend on 89.5 FM-WNIJ, have the opportunity to see Garrison Keillor and watch a nationally broadcast performance Saturday, June 20, at the Ravinia Festival.

The group departs DeKalb at 1:30 p.m. and will have time at the festival grounds to visit one of the restaurants or enjoy a picnic before taking their seats in the pavilion for the 4:45 p.m. show. The group will depart the festival grounds in Highland Park about 7:15 p.m. to return to DeKalb.

Space and more information are available from Steven Johnson at More details about the NIU Annuitants Association can be found at

Nehring Gallery hosts
‘Peter Squared’ exhibition

The final exhibit of the 2008-2009 gallery season is a significant show of drawings and prints at the Nehring Gallery, in the historic bank building on the corner of Lincoln Highway and Second Street in downtown DeKalb.

“P2: Peter Squared” is a collection of contemporary artwork by NIU artists Peter Olson and Peter Van Ael that was assembled to coincide with the Southern Graphics Council, held last month in Chicago.

Olson, assistant director of the NIU Art Museum in Altgeld Hall, holds a master’s degree in printmaking and has accumulated a wide record of exhibitions. He works with an ornithological theme conveying a sense of his vast knowledge of species found in Illinois, Oregon and Costa Rica. Visit for more information.

Olson will share his expertise in bird walks from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, May 10, at Wilkinson-Renwick Marsh on Annie Glidden Road.

Van Ael, coordinator of the Jack Olson Gallery on the second floor of the NIU Visual Arts Building, comes to residency in Illinois with an extensive exhibition record from Belgium and throughout the United States. Van Ael’s specialty is reduction wood cuts in which the wood block is carved, inked and printed; it then is further carved to develop the design in layers of intense hues. For more information and visuals, visit

The public is invited to a free reception to meet the two artists from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, and to participate in their gallery talks beginning at 5:00 p.m. Additional viewing hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays through May 2, and by appointment at (815) 758-1351.

Artworks are available for purchase from the artists, and a drawing for one print by Olson and one by Van Ael will be held to benefit the gallery.

Free parking is available on-street and in the city lots to the south. Entrance is under the logo awning at 111 S. Second Street to use the stairs or elevator to the second floor. All ages are welcome.

Volunteers needed for track meet

Volunteers are needed Saturday, May 9, to assist with NIU Athletics’ Inaugural Track and Field Meet. E-mail Sue Hansfield at with name and contact information.

Trip planned to ‘Twelfth Night’
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming will sponsor a trip Wednesday, June 3, to Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” performed at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

Depart from the Normal Road entrance of the Holmes Student Center at 2 p.m. and return at approximately 12:30 a.m. Explore Navy Pier and enjoy dinner on your own before the performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $85 or $55 for students. Fee includes theater ticket and transportation. Parking is available at the NIU visitor parking lot for a $5 fee.

For more information, contact (815) 753-5200 or

ACT test prep scheduled

Registration is open for ACT test prep scheduled for four Saturdays in May.

Classes meet from 9 a.m. to noon May 9, May 16, May 23 and May 30 in the Monat Building, 148 N. Third St. in DeKalb.

The program covers English, math, reading and science reasoning. The final session covers a sample testing of an actual retired ACT test and scoring.

Cost is $175 (or $200 one week before start of class) and includes instruction, textbook, CD-ROM and retired ACT tests. It does not include registration to take the actual ACT test.

For more information, contact Mark Pietrowski at (815) 753-1456 or