It’s not an exaggeration to say NIU and its beloved Huskies have been part of nearly every aspect of Pettee Guerrero’s life since she arrived on campus in 2012.
Since then, she’s been both an NIU student and employee. Guerrero worked her way from undergraduate and intern Research Experience for Undergraduates researcher, to her current position as Ph.D. candidate and director of the National Safety Education Center at NIU.
But love for the Huskies goes beyond campus life. Her home is adorned with NIU decorations.
She’s also well known for the elaborate signs she holds at football games, and was featured on ESPN for her flair. The day before her first child was born, she was in the stands cheering. And when it came time for her daughter’s first birthday party, of course it was Huskie-themed, and held at a tailgate on game day.
“Before kids I used to travel to away games and support the team. Players knew me because of this. Many on campus still remember me for my Huskie love,” she said. “I am a Huskie through and through.”
Guerrero said her love for all things NIU stems from her early years here.
She earned her first degree in technology from the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, and says her success as a Huskie was fueled by technology chair Cliff Mirman, who passed away in 2018.
As a student, Guerrero was an intern for the STEM Outreach department, then got a full-time job upon graduation. In March 2017, she became the director of the NSEC, one of only 26 OSHA Authorized Centers.
“I absolutely love NIU and the dynamic we have,” she said. “This is the place I would say transformed me from a student to adult and prepared me very well for this transition.”