Elina Wlaznik

Assistant Director, Campus Activities Board

Elina Wlaznik

What year did you start working at NIU?

Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
Hometown: Naperville, IL; Currently live: Rockford, IL

What is your job title?
Assistant director of Campus Activities Board

Where did you attend school? What degree(s) did you earn?
I received my undergraduate degree from NIU in elementary education and my master's degree from Illinois State University in college student personnel administration.

Describe your typical day—what do you do while at work?
I love that my typical day is…well, there isn't really a typical day in my work! I enjoy that I get to help students every day to create such fun events on campus for everyone to participate in! My best days are when students I've never met stop by my office with an idea and I can help them figure out how to see that idea to fruition. 

What do you like about working at NIU?
NIU is an exciting place to work because there are so many wonderful Huskie alumni who have come back to work at NIU. The love for NIU runs deep within our community, and I am happy to work alongside so many professionals who care so much about our students. I enjoy seeing us continue to challenge one another and be challenged by our students to have an incredible passion for making NIU a true home to all Huskies. 

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
I would encourage all students at NIU to ask questions! If you live in the halls, talk to your CA or your hall director, and any student is encouraged to come to the Student Involvement area in the Holmes Student Center ground floor to talk with the staff to help with any questions you may have about navigating life as a college student. 

What is your favorite campus event?
I love our Week of Welcome on campus! The Welcome Holmes Event was a huge success with thousands of students flooding the Holmes Student Center all night long. This event quickly became one of my favorites, and I am excited it has been established as a new tradition at NIU.

In what ways do you see your colleagues help foster student success?
My colleagues work to foster student success every day as we help students navigate policies and procedures to host events that better the experience of life as a Huskie.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?|Move-in has always been one of my favorite times on campus. It is so exciting seeing students and their families embark on such an amazing journey together as students move to DeKalb! My first move-in working at New Residence Hall my excitement for directing traffic was caught on camera by one of the NIU photographers - it's fun to have a visual memory of such a great day!

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved my experience in my clinicals and student teaching in undergrad! I am currently still working in education, just with college students. I appreciate there are so many ways educators can contribute to the community both in and outside the classroom. 

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 have served in leadership roles within professional organizations in the past but am currently a member of the Association of College Unions International. I have attended the national conference for ACUI the last two years and I have learned a lot of practical skills to bring back to my department and student team. During the pandemic it has been especially important for me to have this place to discuss trends, successes, and failures with my colleagues across the country.

What community organizations are you involved in?
I am involved in my church and am looking at more ways to get involved with my local community since I moved mid-pandemic! 

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I love being outside so I enjoy taking walks and spending time with my nieces and nephews. A good game night with friends or cooking with my husband always help me recharge.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I believe there is a place at NIU for everyone - it may take some time and intentionality, but there is a home here for all Huskies. 

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