Thomas Pavkov

Chair, School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Thomas Pavkov

Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
My hometown is Erie, Pennsylvania. I now live in Aurora, Illinois.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
I went to Northwestern University and have a Ph.D. in human development and social policy.

What do you like about working at NIU?

I like being able to be involved in the community engagement and research activities throughout the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and the College of Health and Human Sciences

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Take care of yourselves during these challenging times and reach out if you need help.

Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
I coordinated the creation of the Child Development and Family Center (CDFC) through the merger of the Child Development Laboratory and the Campus Child Care Center. Recently, I was involved in a statewide evaluation of the Preschool for All Expansion (PFAE) program and was actually able to obtain funding for a new PFAE program now located at the CDFC.

What is your favorite campus event?

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
The people I've met who share a commitment to the success of their students. 

Who has influenced your professional path?
Probably my father and Dan A. Lewis, my academic mentor at Northwestern.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I think I thought I'd be a lawyer and work for the FBI. No, I'm not working for the FBI. What changed my path were mentors and associates along the way who spawned an interest in public policy and related research. 

What community organizations are you involved in?
I'm active in my faith community, the Christian Youth Theater-Chicago diversity workgroup and 1st Kids of Northwest Indiana.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I don't relax much. When I do it would be biking or walking.

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