Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

In Brief

September 21, 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.

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.

Nobel Peace Prize winner
visiting campus Tuesday

Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú, an activist for indigenous Guatemalans whose personal story of triumph brought their plight to the world’s attention, will visit NIU and deliver a public lecture Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The Nobel Laureate will deliver an hour-long talk on her life experiences beginning at 7 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center.

Menchú was awarded the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to protect the rights of indigenous peoples during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996). Only 12 women have received the Nobel Peace Prize in its more than 100-year history.

CHANCE Program to host
fall ice cream social Tuesday

NIU’s CHANCE Program will host a fall ice cream social from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the CHANCE lobby of Williston Hall. All are welcome.

Chinese ethnomusicologist visits
School of Music through Oct. 13

Renowned ethnomusicologist Yao-Hua Wang, a professor at the National Fu-Jian Normal University in China, is visiting the NIU School of Music through Tuesday, Oct. 13.

During his visit, Prof. Wang will lecture about Chinese music on topics such as traditional Han court music, religious music and the folk music (instrumental, vocal and narrative genres) of various regions in China. Chinese music theory and philosophy also will be discussed in his lectures.

A prolific author in both Chinese and Japanese, Wang has published hundreds of monographs and journal articles on traditional Chinese music, Japanese Okinawan folk music and Nanyin, the classical chamber music of the Han tradition. He also is the chief editor of a series of college music textbooks on Chinese and world music.

His Chinese lectures will be delivered to MUSC432/532 (Music of China) from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 202 of the Music Building. Jui-Ching Wang, instructor of this class, will translate.

Wang also will give a public workshop on different styles of folk songs in China from noon to 12:50 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in Room 171 of the Music Building.

All the events are free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail

Campus invited to celebrate
Center for P-20 Engagement

NIU faculty and staff can learn more about the university’s P-20 initiatives from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the P-20 Poster Expo in the auditorium of Altgeld Hall.

Faculty and staff will present more than 50 posters that offer a glimpse of projects, internships, community services and other activities at all levels from pre-school to graduate study (“P-20”). The posters come from five colleges, NIU Outreach, the Office of Pre-Collegiate Programs and other units that deliver education and training programs and services in local schools, workplaces and communities.

Lemuel W. Watson, executive director of NIU’s Center for P-20 Engagement, will begin a discussion about how the new Center for P-20 Engagement can best serve and empower NIU personnel and the surrounding communities across the region.

In response to questions about what is meant by “engagement,” Watson will conduct NIU’s first large-scale discussion of engagement as a “modus operandi” that brings shared benefits to local communities and to NIU. Last year, the Carnegie Foundation awarded NIU the Community Engagement classification, recognizing the university’s extensive involvement with partners throughout northern Illinois.

Guests will include NIU personnel, local and regional superintendents, school district grant writers and representatives from key educational organizations as well as from government, business, industry and community agencies.

For more information, e-mail or call (815) 753-1403.

NIU Philharmonic to present
‘Psalm’ for Gamelan, orchestra

The NIU Philharmonic, under the direction of conductor Lucia Matos, will present its first concert of the semester at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

On the program are Sibelius’ “Karelia” overture, Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5” and “Hollow Psalm, for Javanese Gamelan and Orchestra” by NIU alum David Gordon. Gordon will attend the concert; School of Music professor Brian Hart will introduce and interview Gordon during the intermission.

Gordon composed “Hollow Psalm” in 1998 for the Chicago Sinfonietta and the NIU Gamelan Ensemble. Since that time, he has revised the work extensively, producing what is essentially a brand new composition. At some points, the orchestra and gamelan flaunt their tuning differences; at other points, they manage to find common ground.

The concert, which will be broadcast by NIU Media Services with four cameras, is free and open to the public. The auditorium is accessible to all. For more information, call (815) 753-1551 or (815) 753-1546.

Thailand foreign minister
will visit campus next week

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a talk by Thailand Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who will visit campus next week.

The foreign minister’s talk will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, in Wirtz Hall 101. The post of foreign minister is equivalent to the post of secretary of state in the United States.

“He’ll be talking about continuing cooperation between Thailand and the United States in the areas of education, economics and foreign affairs,” said Deborah Pierce, associate provost of International Programs at NIU.

“The foreign minister wanted to visit NIU because he’s impressed by what we do here in Thai studies,” she added.

NIU Political Scientist Danny Unger, who specializes in Thai politics, arranged for the visit. Narong Sasitorn, Thailand’s consul-general in Chicago, will be accompanying Piromya.

SPS Council to host
SPS after-hours event

Members of the Supportive Professional Staff are invited to join fellow SPS for a time of socializing, networking, good drink and tasty treats.

The event takes place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in the Thurgood Marhsall Gallery of Swen Parson Hall.

Friends of NIU Libraries
presents ‘John Deere Story’

The Friends of NIU Libraries invite the public to attend a talk titled, “The John Deere Story: Building a Frontier Business,” presented by Neil Dahlstrom at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Dahlstrom, co-author of “The John Deere Story: A Biography of Plowmakers John and Charles Deere,” will provide insight into the first 70 years of John Deere – from the “invention” of the steel plow in 1837 to becoming the largest steel plow manufacturer in the world by 1900.

The program is free and will be held in the Rare Books and Special Collections department on the fourth floor of Founders Memorial Library. Free parking is available after 7 p.m. in the Visitor’s Parking Lot located on Carroll Avenue.

For more information, call (815) 753-8091.

Northern Public Radio seeks
volunteers to field pledge calls

NIU’s public radio stations, WNIJ and WNIU, need volunteers to help answer pledge drive phone calls during the Fall Membership Campaign.

WNIJ (89.5 FM) will fundraise during various hours between Friday, Oct. 16, and Friday, Oct. 23. Weekday morning shifts start as early as 6 a.m. with Monday through Thursday evening shifts ending at 7 p.m. There are some mid-day and weekend hours to fill as well.

Classical WNIU (90.5 FM) will fundraise on just one day, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28.

E-mail for more information about pledge drive volunteering at the Broadcast Center, 801 N. First St. in DeKalb.

International Programs seeks
nominations for 2009 awards

The NIU Division of International Programs is seeking nominations for two awards that will be presented this fall during the annual International Recognition Reception.

The “Outstanding International Educator Award” honors an NIU faculty or staff member who has contributed significantly toward international education at the university. The Division of International Programs will recognize the award recipient with a travel reimbursement of $500. 

The 2009 award recipient will have made sustained contributions to the enhancement of international education through teaching, research, public service and student-service efforts. The deadline for submitting completed nominations is Friday, Oct. 16.

The second major honor, the award for Outstanding Contribution to International Education at NIU, recognizes the academic unit or support unit that made the most significant contribution toward international education on campus during the last academic year. The deadline for submitting completed nominations is Friday, Oct. 23.

The International Recognition Reception will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room. Deputy Provost Harold Kafer will speak at the event.

More information on the awards and nomination forms are available online at or by calling Sara Clayton at (815) 753-9526.

Nehring Gallery exhibits
‘Women in War’ posters

DeKalb’s Nehring Gallery opens its 2009-10 season with “Women in the War Effort: WWI & WWII Posters” on display through Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The exhibition is the sixth annual showing of vintage posters from the collection of John S. Wright. This year’s posters represent nine themes – WWI Posters, WWI & WWII Exhibit Introduction, Buy War Bonds, Nurses, Women in the Factory and the Farm Fields, Farm and Garden Food, Women in the U.S. Military Services, Security and German Mothers.

A reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, with remarks by Wright regarding his poster collection.

A Wednesday noon series of gallery talks also is scheduled:

  • Sept. 23 – Dale Cozort, local author
  • Sept. 30 – Rosemarie Ostberg, retired U.S. Navy control officer
  • Oct. 7 – Foster Looney, retired U.S. Navy pilot
  • Oct. 14 – John S. Wright, collector
  • Oct. 21 – J.D. Bowers, professor, NIU Department of History

As in the previous poster shows, a drawing will be held for a poster donated by Wright with proceeds benefitting Nehring Gallery.

The Nehring Gallery is located at 111 S. Second St. in the Nehring Center for Culture and Tourism. Beginning this season, the gallery will be open for special events and tours only or by appointment; call (815) 758-6363. Groups are welcome. The accessible entrance is located under the Nehring Gallery awning.

Nehring Gallery is operated cooperatively by the DeKalb Park District, the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts and the NIU Division of University Outreach. For further information, visit

Fair to showcase diverse
suppliers of products, services

Procurement Services and Human Resource Services invite faculty, staff and student organization officers to attend NIU’s fourth annual Supplier Diversity Networking Fair.

Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center, the fair will showcase products and services from 100 businesses primarily owned and operated by minorities, females and/or persons with disabilities.

Visitors can compare and sample a wide variety of quality products and services in a low-key, non-pressure setting. They also can enjoy free breakfast, a lunch buffet, give-aways and door prizes.

To register, e-mail name and position title, department/organization and the names and titles of those attending to by Tuesday, Oct. 6. Registration also will be taken at the door.

For more information, visit or call (815) 753-6000.

Users of mainframe services
prepare for service discontinuation

Most active users of CICS, TSO, Wylbur or other mainframe services already know that all services related to the mainframe are being discontinued at the end of the semester.

Users of these services who either are unaware of this initiative or have not spoken with an ITS representative should contact the ITS helpdesk immediately to obtain assistance. E-mail or call (815) 753-8100.

ITS Helpdesk offers tech tips

The ITS Helpdesk is offering clues and tips that will enable faculty and staff to identify hoaxes and urban legends. Two minutes is all it takes to become informed.

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.

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. 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

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.

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 (