Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

September 14, 2009

PRP nominations sought

Nominations are being sought for NIU’s 2010 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. 12.

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. 2.

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 is available online.

Latino Heritage Month
activities begin Tuesday

Several events are scheduled this week in celebration of Latino Heritage Month.

Latina Portraits: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. The Latino Resource Center and the Jack Olson Gallery invite visitors to come and enjoy photography by NIU student Wendy Palma that depicts Latinas’ struggle for parity. This event will take place at the Latino Center, 515 Garden Road.

Meet-and-Greet with “Crafting Maya Identity” artists: 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. The Latino Resource Center, the art history department and Alpha Psi Lambda invite visitors to welcome contemporary Yucatán Mayan artists from Mexico. It’s a great opportunity to interact with Mayan artists and learn more about their artwork and their culture. The meet-and-greet will take place in the Latino Resource Center.

El Grito: 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept.17. Come for a fun-filled day of free food, games and music to celebrate Latin American Independence Day. All are welcome. El Grito, sponsored by the Latino Resource Center and Alpha Psi Lambda, will take place in the Latino Resource Center.

Conexión Comunidad Fiesta Comunitaria: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19. Meet and interact with the residents of the DeKalb community. Conexión Comunidad will host a block party with delicious food, beverages, music, folklorico dancing, games and prizes. The address for this event is 637 N. 11th St. in DeKalb.

For more information about any Latino Heritage Month events, contact the Latino Resource Center at (815) 753-1986, log on to or visit 515 Garden Road.

Flu shots offered

NIU will offer free flu shots to any full- or part-time faculty or staff with health care coverage through one of the State of Illinois Health Care Plans including the HMO. Retired employees and survivors with State of Illinois health care coverage, not yet eligible for Medicare, also are eligible to receive the free flu shot.

Flu shots will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the Holmes Student Center, Duke Ellington Ballroom.

Participants must present state health insurance cards and NIU OneCard IDs and be prepared to provide the last four digits of their Social Security numbers to receive free flu shots. Adult dependents and other also can receive flu shots at a cost of $37 each. Flu shots for children younger than 19 must be received at the DeKalb County Health Department.

For more information, call (815) 753-9191.

Students invited to seminar
on Word 2007 Citation use

NIU’s Off-Campus and Non Traditional Student Services office and The Writing Center are offering a free seminar for students on how to use the Word 2007 Citation application. This function makes writing research and other assigned papers easier.

The seminar is important for undergraduates and even more so for graduate students, who might have several papers to complete in a single semester. Faculty and staff also are encouraged to attend.

The seminar is scheduled from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Learning Center on the lower level of Gabel Hall.

Blood drive scheduled

Phi Sigma Biology Honors Society, the Pre Professional Association and the Chemistry Club will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, in the Holmes Student Center Capital Room.

Refreshments will be provided after the donation, and every donor will receive a free pair of flannel pants.

To schedule a time to donate, contact Kate Krise at (815) 821-5688 or by e-mail at Walk-ins also are welcome.

Alumni Association plans
trip to Paris, Normandy

Join NIU’s Alumni Association on a trip to France next March. This travel program combines the ambiance and culture of Paris with the history and geography of Normandy.

Whether it’s the lovely tree-lined boulevards with their animated cafes or the brilliantly illuminated monuments and squares or the exciting nightlife, Paris is inviting. The “City of Light” offers a vast array of scenic, cultural, culinary and emotional experiences.

Normandy is a distinct region on the northern coast of France famous for the D-Day landings of June 1944. Normandy also offers the beautiful French countryside with deep river valleys and forests, fine manor houses, thatched cottages and picturesque seaport villages.

Geology hosts fall colloquia

The NIU Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences has announced dates for its Fall 2009 Colloquia, co-sponsored by NIU’s Graduate Colloquium Committee.

All talks will be held at 4 p.m. Fridays in Davis Hall 308. For directions and updates to the schedule, visit Call (815) 753-1943 for more information.

  • Sept. 18: Bill Goodway, EnCana Corp., Canada, 2009 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Honorary Lecturer of the Year for North America, “The Magic of Lamé.”
  • Oct. 2: George Roadcap, Illinois State Water Survey, “Geochemistry and Microbiology of Extremely Alkaline (>12) Ground Water in the Calumet Slag-Fill Aquifer.”
  • Oct. 9: Interesting images from this summer
  • Oct. 16: Fabien Kenig, University of Illinois-Chicago, title TBA
  • Oct. 30: Pat Baldwin, NIU, “Using Dendrochemical Analysis of Shrubby Tree Species as a Tool in Forensic Hydrology,” and Andrew Greenhagen, NIU, “Laboratory Investigation of Pharmaceuticals in the Subsurface Environment.”
  • Nov. 6: Craig Lundstrum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Magma Differentiation by Top Down Crystallization-Reaction.”
  • Nov. 13: Meredith Ayers, NIU, title TBA
  • Nov. 20: Mark Frank, NIU, “Gold and Copper in Magmatic Systems.”

International Programs hosts
series of brown bag lunches

The Division of International Programs will host its Fall 2009 Brown Bag Series from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays in Faraday West, Room 300.

Attendees are invited to bring lunch and listen to speakers covering a variety of topics such as international perspectives, cultural diversity and study abroad experiences.

Upcoming lunches:

  • Sept. 17: Rey Ty presents “Orientalism and Postcolonialism: Meaning, Challenges and Opportunities in Learning, Conducting Research, Publishing and Teaching about People of Other Societies and Cultures.”
  • Sept. 24: Eric Hunting presents “1.5 Billion and Counting: Diversity within Islamic Culture and Society.”
  • Oct. 1: Cynthia Paralejas presents “International Students and Online Education.”
  • Oct. 8: Kurt Thurmaier presents “Integrating Service Learning and Study Abroad in Tanzania.”
  • Oct. 15: Mark Rosenbaum presents “Reflections of a Fulbright Scholar in Cambodia.”
  • Oct. 22: Lynn Richards presents “It’s Not Just a Good Idea – It’s the Law”
  • Oct. 29: J.D. Bowers presents “Crossing the Divide: Research, Teaching and Learning in a Divided Society.”
  • Nov. 5: Siew-Sim Chin presents “Being in the World: Narrating the Intersection of Spirituality and Global Identity.”
  • Nov. 12: Shiraz Tata presents “Managing Stress Related to Culture Shock: Going Through the Transacation Process.”
  • Nov. 19: Jean-Philippe Schmitt presents “The Psychological Effect of Studying Abroad.”

For other details, contact Heesun Majcher, director of the International Student and Faculty Office, at (815) 753-8275 or

Secretary of State to bring
mobile office to campus

NIU students, faculty, staff and local residents can renew driver’s licenses and state IDs, purchase their annual vehicle license plate stickers, register to be an organ and tissue donor or conduct other transactions at a mobile office coming to campus.

The mobile office will visit campus from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, in the lower level of the Holmes Student Center. Other fall dates include Monday, Oct. 19, and Monday, Nov. 16.

Acceptable forms of payment include personal checks, cash, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards. Other services available include vehicle title registration and parking placards for persons with disabilities.

A complete list of acceptable forms of identification is online.

Student Fulbright application
deadline is Friday, Sept. 25

The deadline is approaching for 2010-11 Student Fulbright Program applications.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships on a competitive basis for graduating college seniors, graduate students and artists to study abroad for one academic year.

NIU students seeking more information should contact Deborah Pierce, Fulbright Program adviser and associate provost of International Programs, at (815) 753-1989 or General information on the program also is available online at

Applications must be submitted both electronically and in hard copy to Pierce (Williston Hall 406) by Friday, Sept. 25. For the national deadline, applications must be received at the Institute of International Education (IIE) electronically by Oct. 19, and in hard copy by Oct. 21. The IIE administers and coordinates the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.

For more than 60 years, the federal government-sponsored Fulbright U.S. Student Program has provided future American leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to study, conduct research and teach in other countries. Fulbright student grants aim to increase mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange while serving as a catalyst for long-term leadership development.

About 1,500 grants are awarded annually. The program currently operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships are now available to more than 40 countries. Fulbright full grants generally provide funding for round-trip travel, maintenance for one academic year, health and accident coverage and full or partial tuition.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application and hold a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent by the beginning of the grant.

In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets this basic eligibility requirement. Professional applicants lacking a degree but with extensive professional study and/or experience in the field in which they wish to pursue a project may also be considered.

NIU Foundation issues call
for Venture Grant proposals

The NIU Foundation is calling for proposals for its annual Venture Grants, to be awarded in late fall of 2009. 

Venture Grants back NIU faculty and staff in their commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and affecting positive change in the larger community.

The grant program will focus support toward the university’s strategic planning initiatives. Grantees will be selected based on their potential to advance two of the plan’s major imperatives.

  • preserve, strengthen and extend NIU’s teaching and learning environment
  • strengthen and extend NIU’s global/regional impact

Based on the strength of applications, as determined by the NIU Foundation Grants Committee, more than one proposal can receive funding. The combined budget for FY2010 is $35,000. This is for one-time, short-term (one year maximum) funding.

To be considered for FY2010 grant awards, proposals must be received in the Foundation Office, Altgeld 135, no later than Wednesday, Oct. 14. Applications and forms are available online.

All faculty and staff from units within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the Division of Administration and University Outreach and Intercollegiate Athletics are eligible to apply. Awards will be announced in mid-December.

For more information, contact Diane Johnson at (815) 753-9469 or via e-mail at

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 Faraday West, Room 200.

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

BOT professor nominations sought

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 (

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.