Rose Henton

Director of Coordinated Education, Training and Outreach Programs

Rose Henton

What year did you start working at NIU? 

Where is your hometown? and where do you live now? 
Danville, Illinois (hometown), and Sycamore, Illinois (now). 

In what department do you work? 
Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Education (AAEOE), Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Where did you attend school? What degree(s) did you earn? 
Eastern Illinois University (B.A. focused on criminology) and North Park University (M.S., nonprofit management) 

If you attended college, were you a first-generation student? 
I am the first in my family to graduate from college. 

Describe your typical day—what do you do while at work? 
There is no typical day in my position, and that is what keeps it fun and exciting. I am a part of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Education (AAEOE), which reports to Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI). I lead the coordinated education area, which includes an assistant director, program coordinator, extra help and student worker. Together, we develop training that takes place in person, online and virtually; establish policy; research and analyze data; facilitate a violence prevention program; assist with ADA accommodations; and much more. There is never a dull moment.

On any given workday, I am shuttling off to multiple meetings, developing and reviewing training content, coordinating the multiple components of trainings, writing articles for various newsletters, writing and managing a grant, updating websites, meeting with staff, and developing ways to communicate the various topics within AAEOE to the campus community. In addition, we’re in the development stages of an ADEI outreach plan where our unit will serve as subject matter experts and train other constituents, including municipalities, universities, school systems, not for profits, etc. ADEI has a wealth of talent, education and experience that we want other communities to be able to access.

What do you like about working at NIU?
In Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion there continues to be so much to learn. I always say I am a lifelong learner, and ADEI pushes me into new and different spaces. It inspires me to learn more and challenge myself every day.

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
College is a great experience. You may never interact with people from other countries or backgrounds in the way you will in college. Take the time to learn who you are and examine the world you came from and where you want to be. This is a wonderful time to explore.

What is your favorite campus event?
Orientation is a favorite event of mine. Meeting new students and their parents is very rewarding. Showing them that Huskies are friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming is what new students and their parents need to see and feel.

In what ways do you see your colleagues help foster student success?
All over campus I see my colleagues assisting students in learning about the campus, solving problems, tutoring or just listening. Sometimes it's just a pat on the back, but that makes the difference for a student who is away from home for the first time and needs to know we are here to help.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
My favorite memory of NIU is moving my daughter from Danville, Illinois, to campus in 2003. Feeling the new student move-in experience again and seeing all the opportunity and promise coming to campus made me feel as if I wanted to go back to that time. Then I came to my senses and wished her well.

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 be a police officer. I majored in criminology and found there were multiple areas to choose from in criminology, sociology and social work. This led to me working in social services for more than 20 years. For 10 of those years, I investigated elder abuse. So, I was able to use my criminology background. It was a rewarding position that led me to an opportunity to become executive director of another organization that I also felt passionately about. In my position at NIU, I am able to use the education, experience and knowledge from my past positions while learning every day. 

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 am a member of the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA). They offer a variety of educational opportunities to assist with my personal professional development. I am also a member of the American Grant Writers Association (AGWA), which provides not only educational opportunities for grant writers, but also ways to network with other grant writers. I am a member of the NIU Black Faculty and Staff Association, which is dedicated to raising awareness of Black issues on campus. All these organizations help me maintain my education and knowledge in areas needed for my position, and they are also organizations I am interested in.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I enjoy traveling throughout the United States and other countries. Examining the architecture, experiencing the art, learning different customs and the adventure of getting out of my typical life. I have met interesting people and eaten a variety of food that a country or state is known for. This helps me to relax and enjoy the moment.

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