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Anthony Smith in a laboratory setting smiling and holding a glass bottle and dropper

The surprise biologist

Anthony Smith likes to think of an organism like a finely tuned car. An automobile’s power-train control module—or main computer—acts as the brain to a central nervous system, interpreting signals and sending out responses. “In a car, there are sensors that determine the temperature of the engine, just like your skin senses temperature,” Smith said. “That information is then interpreted by the brain, which later sends output signals to elicit a response, like whether to withdraw from the temperature source.”
Becca Peterson holds two books in the library.

A fearless future teacher

When Becca Peterson arrived at Northeastern Illinois University in 2014, the transition to college was a shock. After all, she had enlisted in the Air Force only one year earlier after graduating from Lane Tech College Prep High School. After an unexpected medical discharge, Peterson found herself planning to spend the next four years on a college campus, not an Air Force base. “I really had no idea what college I wanted to go to,” Peterson said. “After the Air Force, I felt confused about what to do.”
John Gomez

Pursuit of the highest education

John Gomez does not settle and will not settle—even after he earns his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. “Ever since I was little, the one thing I have always wanted to do—which I know is kind of odd—is that I’ve always wanted to go to college,” said Gomez, who naturally is a member of the University Honors Program. “I really value education. I think it’s so important for people to be educated—not necessarily just to get a job but just to better yourself.”

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