Message from the Director


I’m so excited to welcome you as acting director for the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies, truly a one-of-a-kind program. Our unique mission, straddling local/regional nonprofits and national/international NGOs as well as the nuts-and-bolts and critical thinking, social justice and hands-on opportunities, brought me from City University of New York (CUNY) back to my native Illinois and back to my roots working in nonprofits.

Our diverse students have unique learning experiences both inside and out of the classroom, in internships, on boards of directors, fundraising and through a homegrown organizing weekend retreat called POWER. I continue to be inspired by students’ dedication and connections they make to the community, to broader issues and to one another. Our alumni continue to do very well — while doing good. They come back to mentor current students, offer guest lectures, and support student internships and jobs.

Teaching and service are enhanced by cutting-edge research in the center, on humanitarian aid; migration; nonprofit management; disasters; diversity, equity and inclusion; antiracism; and community organizing and engagement. The center has convened international gatherings of scholars working on NGOs, which led to a book series on NGOs, and is poised to build on this leadership.

That said, the center is most known, and rightly so, for our collaboration with local and regional nonprofits, student interns, community engagement projects, community organizing, strategic planning sessions, and both online and in-person events bringing research-based resources to local nonprofits. We look forward to continuing this partnership with nonprofits and other institutional partners — please reach out!

Keeping this unique and truly special gathering place of being good at doing good, addressing both the why and how, has always been a collective effort. I invite you to join in — stop by the office (Zulauf Hall, room 114), email or call 815-753-4410.

I look forward to working with you!


Mark Schuller
Acting Director