Elizabeth “Beth” Squires
Program Coordinator for Public Health
What year did you start at NIU? 2019
Which department do you teach in?
Public Health; I teach Introduction to Public Health.
Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
I’m a proud Huskie through and through. I graduated from NIU in 1994 with a B.S. in Community Health, emphasis in Health Administration and in 2003 with a Master of Public Health with a specialization in Health Promotion.
Were you ever undecided, and/or did you change majors?
I did start my undergraduate studies undecided. I focused on completing my general education requirements first and explored majors during my first two years at NIU. I found Community Health by looking through the undergraduate catalog and talking to an advisor.
What advice would you give to students either just starting their college journey or currently attending NIU?
Take advantage of all the free resources available to you: tutoring, the Writing Center, student resource centers — and get involved in a student organization or activity. There’s lots to do on campus.
What do you like about working at NIU?
I really enjoy teaching students and helping them begin their professional careers. In addition, there are amazing and passionate colleagues at NIU who make working and collaborating a pleasure.
Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
I have completed two faith-based health assessments at churches in the Chicago suburbs with the help of students. We surveyed adult congregation members on their health behaviors as well as reported health conditions. The results of the surveys are being used to design education and promotion programs to improve the health of the church congregations. I am currently working with a church in Naperville with a group of students and the church nurse to develop programs to promote physical activity, healthy eating, depression and anxiety awareness, stress management, and promotion of adult vaccines (influenza, pneumonia, and shingles vaccines).
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
Hanging with my friends in the residence halls. I lived at Stevenson Hall and Lincoln Hall. I am still friends with those I met 30 years ago. We bonded over beer nuggets and studying!
What’s the most important thing you could tell a prospective student about NIU?
NIU is a great place to live and learn. You will meet some incredible people who will become lifelong friends. You will have some amazing professors and instructors who have a passion for what they teach and for learning. You will get an excellent education that will provide a great foundation for your career. Plus, NIU has the coolest mascots, Mission and Mini-Mish, who you will get to meet.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I went from wanting to be a doctor, then a nurse, then to just helping people. Through research on the options, I found public health and it is where I belong. I recommend that students research the many different majors that are available here, talk to advisors and faculty about career options, and trust their instincts on what major to choose.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I love to walk my dogs, Menlo, a retired racing greyhound, and Sierra, a husky/corgi mix. I also love to read, watch movies and TV shows on many different streaming services, and listen to music. I also try to sew when I can!