Research and Innovation Advisory Council

The Research and Innovation Advisory Council (RIAC) provides insight and counsel to the Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships (VP-RIPs) regarding the research, scholarly, innovative, and creative activities of NIU faculty and staff. General functions of the RIAC are: 


The Council will facilitate information sharing and promote constructive dialogue between RIPs and research community stakeholders.


As needed, the VP-RIPs will consult with the Council on issues relevant to the operation, safety, and development of the university research enterprise. Many such requests will be accompanied by an explicit charge. Areas of consultation may include and are not limited to:

  • advice about areas of research, scholarly activity, innovation and creative work that should be a target of University investment;
  • identification, evaluation, and recommendation of solutions to issues that inhibit faculty productivity; or
  • advice regarding specific policy, safety, and procedural research issues.


Christina Abreu

Professor and Director
Center for Latino and Latin America Studies

Jahred Adelman

Associate Professor
Department of Physics

Betty Birner

Department of English

Julie Crouch

Center for the Study of Violence and Sexual Assault

Mark Frank

Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences

Jim Horn

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry

Rebecca Houze

Associate Professor
School of Art and Design

Holly Jones

Associate Professor
Department of Biology

Nestor Osorio

University Libraries

Kathleen McFadden

Department of Operations Management and Information Systems

Todd Reeves

Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Technology

Iman Salehinia

Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Karen Samonds

Assistant Professor
Department of Biology

James Schmidt

Department of History

Mansour Tahernezhadi

Professor and Associate Dean
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

Matt Wilson

Associate Professor
School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


Gerald C. Blazey, Chair

Vice President
Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships

Sarah McGill

Chief Financial Officer
Division of Administration and Finance


Karinne Bredberg

Assistant Director
Innovation and Commercialization

Ximena Burgin

Associate Director
Research Support

Cathy Cradduck

Assistant to the Vice President for Research
Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships

Dara Little

Assistant Vice President
Sponsored Programs Administration

Shannon Stoker

Acting Director
Research Compliance, Integrity and Safety