Presidential Engagement Professors - NIU - Office of the President

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The Inauguration of Douglas D. Baker - 12th President of Northern Illinois University

Presidential Engagement Professors

Laurie Elish-Piper, Andrea Molnar earn honors as 2013-17 Presidential Engagement Professors

A literacy expert who has developed strong partnerships with area schools and an anthropologist whose work in Southeast Asia has earned her the trust of both villagers and government officials are this year’s NIU Presidential Engagement Professors.

Laurie Elish-Piper of the Department of Literacy Education and Andrea Molnar of the Department of Anthropology were chosen to receive the prestigious designation – an honor based on President John Peters’ call for “engagement with the community through partnerships that benefit both NIU and the region.”

Laurie Elish-PiperLaurie Elish-Piper is a professor of Literacy Education, director of the Literacy Clinic and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy. She was recently elected to the board of directors of the International Reading Association.

Elish-Piper works with schools to enhance the effectiveness of district reading specialists, and to help them develop effective tutoring programs for at-risk readers.

Andrea MolnarAndrea Molnar is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, East Timor and southern Thailand.

Molnar’s work revolves around issues of religion, politics and cultural change, and has its roots in deeply personal experiences: She and her family escaped communist Hungary when she was a child, and subsequent experiences in refugee camps instilled a lifelong concern about the interactions of dominant and subjugated groups. Read More >