Northern Illinois University - Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

April 11, 2014

President BakerBAKER REPORT: Celebrating excellence and building thriving communities

Building thriving communities is among the pillars of student career success that I often talk about when I represent NIU in various capacities. This week is no different.

Yesterday morning, I joined WLBK radio in DeKalb to talk about communiversity initiatives and working together towards bold futures not only for our students, but also our university and the city as well. Our futures are truly inextricably linked.

In that spirit, I invite members of the community to participate in Celebrating Excellence, which recognizes the many accomplishments and contributions of NIU students, faculty, staff and alumni to the university’s mission throughout the year. These activities and recognition ceremonies—which begin Saturday with NIU Cares Day and lectures by Nancy Lublin—provide excellent examples of what can be accomplished when we all embrace the concept of student career success in living our mission. Most of the functions are free and open to the public.

After Thursday’s radio appearance, I traveled to Rockford for an online chat interview with the Rockford Register Star. Rockford is an important community for NIU; not only is it home to NIU-Rockford, where over 2,000 students attend classes in person or online, but it is home to approximately 1,500 students that attend classes in DeKalb each semester in addition to the 14,000 NIU alumni that live in the area.

NIU is Rockford’s four-year public university. In partnership with Rockford area business, government and civic leaders, NIU’s Rockford engagement staff is pursuing an ambitious set of goals aligned with the goals of the community to increase the educational attainment of its citizens and enrich their quality of life; positively influence the area in terms of health, wellness and safety; and enhance the culture of innovation, building its reputation as an international city.

In keeping with these goals, I also visited with other Rockford education leaders: Alex Stagnaro-Green, regional dean at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, and Rockford University President Robert Head. Both were receptive to collaborating in the future to meet the Rockford area’s educational needs and aspirations. Congratulations to newly-appointed Rock Valley College President Mike Mastroianni. I look forward to working closely together in support of one another’s institutions to ensure success for the students and the region we serve.

I hope to see you at one or more of the Celebrating Excellence activities in the coming weeks as we approach the end of another semester and the new beginnings that take place with graduation.

To bold futures!

Doug
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Top Stories


NEWS

Celebrating ExcellenceNIU Celebrating Excellence event to begin Saturday
NIU's second-annual Celebrating Excellence event—which begins Saturday, April 12, and runs through May 1—has more than tripled in terms of the number of functions highlighting the many accomplishments and contributions of NIU students, faculty and staff to the university’s mission during the academic year.

Alden: Campus invited May 1 to Global NIU Summit
Members of the NIU community have a long tradition of participation in a variety of international activities. We have every reason to be proud of the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students in the global arena.

SPS recognizes 2014 recipients of Presidential Awards for Excellence
Four members of the Supportive Professional Staff (SPS) have been chosen to receive the university’s Presidential Awards for Excellence.

NIU PLUS: Three general education models served up for taste testing
The PLUS force has released a variety of potential curricular reforms in response to the declining enrollment and student disinterest of our existing general education program. It is important for the entire NIU community to seriously consider these changes for us to make NIU a competitive destination of choice for both first-year and transfer students.


STUDENT LIFE

Undergraduate Research & Artistry DayUndergraduate Research and Artistry Day planned April 22
NIU’s Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning will host the fifth annual Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

Still time to apply for Study Abroad programs
Still looking for something to do this summer? There is still time to apply for our summer 2014 study abroad programs.

NIU Robotics Club defends 'Most Innovative Design' title
For the second time in as many years, the NIU Robotics Club engineered the “Most Innovative Design” at the annual AMD Jerry Sanders Creative Design Competition.


ALUMNI

HomecomingNIU Homecoming 2014 set for Oct. 11
A weekend of festivities welcoming alumni back to campus will be highlighted by the Huskie football team’s game versus Mid-American Conference West Division foe Central Michigan at Huskie Stadium.

Alum chef finds right ingredients on second try
During his NIU days, award-winning chef Paul Kahan studied computer science. A career in culinary arts hadn’t crossed his mind. Today, Kahan runs seven Chicago restaurants, including the nationally known Blackbird, avec and the Publican.

Ready for some football? Huskie Bowl fun starts April 19 in 'The Yard'
Students, alumni, fans and friends are invited Saturday, April 19, to check out the 2014 Northern Illinois University football team AND get a glimpse of what’s in store for fans prior to every game in “The Yard” this fall at the 2014 Huskie Bowl Spring Football Game.


SPORTS

SportsMore broom action! Softball sweeps weekly league honors
NIU softball players Shelby Miller and Jessica Sturm were named Mid-American Conference West Division Player and Pitcher of Week respectively.

Gymnasts Gotlund, Stepp finish strong at NCAA regionals
NIU gymnasts Kim Gotlund and Amanda Stepp closed out the 2014 Huskie gymnastics season with solid performances Saturday at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional in Fayetteville, Ark.

Klonowski earns MAC honors as one-hit shutout lifts Huskies over Toledo
Alex Klonowski tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout – the first for NIU since April 1, 1997 at Valparaiso – helping Northern Illinois to a 7-0 victory over Toledo Sunday afternoon in earning MAC West Pitcher of the Week honors.


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