Interim dean, College of Health and Human Sciences
What year did you start working at NIU?
Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
I'm from the Chicago area and now live in St. Charles, Illinois.
In what department do you work?
Dean's office, College of Health and Human Sciences
What is your job title?
Where did you attend school? What degree(s) did you earn?
NIU, 1983, B.S. nutrition, dietetics and food science; UIC, 1989, M.S. medical dietetics; LUC, 2003, Ph.D. higher education.
Describe your typical day—what do you do while at work?
My typical day involves lots of meetings and working with great groups of administrators, faculty and students. Besides routine matters, we are looking for ways to meet NIU's goals and keep everyone learning, growing and safe. Besides meetings and projects, this semester I co-teach an honors seminar about one of my favorite topics, interprofessionalism in health sciences. The students are great. I also work with my health sciences doctoral students to support their success.
What do you like about working at NIU?
NIU offers great opportunities to learn about teaching and research while providing service to the community. The sky is the limit once you decide on your particular interest areas. I enjoy working with my colleagues; every day I learn something new. And working with the students shows me how far one can go with determination and persistence.
What is your favorite campus event?
Graduation! All the smiling faces.
In what ways do you see your colleagues help foster student success?
They help foster student success by being open to students' questions and ideas; giving students feedback, career mentoring and letters of recommendation; and bringing students in as partners in their research.
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
My favorite memory is the opening weekend of our Ph.D. in health sciences in August 2015. We worked hard to develop a program that would meet the needs of individuals from all different backgrounds and professions. It was rewarding to see them take the leap of faith to begin their doctoral journey with us.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I wanted to work in pediatric nutrition to help parents know what, when and where to feed their children. As a clinical nutrition supervisor, I realized how much I liked working with staff and students, so I came to NIU in a faculty role and then became an administrator.
Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
I belong to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Educational Research Association.
It is great to develop relationships among leaders in our field from across the country. Plus, there are great professional development opportunities.
What community organizations are you involved in?
Right now, I am a member of the Kane County Medical Reserve Corps and a nonmedical volunteer at the vaccination clinics.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
Especially this past year, I take a lot of walks outdoors. I like to read mystery novels and cross stitch, too.