Destined to Empower Others
In May of 2014, Claudia Hernandez earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Northeastern Illinois University. It was the first major step in realizing her lifelong goal of becoming a social worker—a goal born from tragedy. When she was just seven years old, Claudia’s father passed away unexpectedly. “My father’s death made me a sensitive child,” Hernandez said. “I remember crying in bed every night and out of nowhere in my second-grade class. For that reason I was referred to the school social worker. Her help during that time motivated me to become a social worker.”
Building a foundation for success
As a professor in Northeastern Illinois University’s Department of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies, Nicole Holland is passionate about the success of her students. But she knows firsthand that success in a university classroom doesn’t happen without plenty of preparation.
Teaching language through hip-hop
Tony Pozdol didn’t exactly launch his college career as standout scholar.
Tannika Moore helps students map out their academic future
Tannika Moore is excited to help students on their path toward success beyond high school. “I didn’t initially see myself teaching kids in this capacity, but I am so grateful that I get a chance to do so,” she said. “It’s so rewarding.”
'Let me be an example'
Rachel Hall’s story could be one of sadness and tragedy. She endured a troubled childhood in Columbus, Ohio. She’s been a homeless mother. And in 2005, three weeks after her husband died, her mother passed away too. Hall has every reason to be a story of sadness and tragedy, but she refuses. “I have no regrets,” she said. “I’m supposed to be here.”
The Saturday morning professor
According to Alireza Dorestani, associate professor of accounting at Northeastern Illinois University, his greatest scholarly accomplishment isn’t his three master’s degrees or his two Ph.D.s—one in economics and one in accounting. It’s not his 10 publications in refereed journals or the 12 presentations he’s given in the last four-and-a-half years alone. It’s not even the teaching awards he’s earned—the College of Business and Management Excellence in Teaching Award or the Northeastern Illinois University Student Choice Award.
A little empathy goes a long way
Every morning after breakfast, Chielezona Eze, associate professor of English at Northeastern Illinois University, spends three hours reading and writing. “Those are holy hours,” Eze said.
Fighting for Veterans’ Rights: The remarkable journey of Rodrigo Garcia
In 2006, Rodrigo Garcia was lifting weights with a friend at the Northeastern gym. Garcia had just come off five years of service in the Marine Corps, during which he had three separate deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Having spent the majority of his last five years on military bases and in combat zones, Garcia was having a tough time adjusting to life at Northeastern.
The Golden Apple Fellow becomes the student
Every year since 1986, the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching selects 10 outstanding teachers in the Chicago area to be recipients of this prestigious award. In 2013, Gregory Regalado, ’05, was one of those 10 teachers.
If you live in Chicago, chances are you know Shencheng Xu.
If you’ve ever walked past the Music Box Theatre or sat in the sun beside the statues of the “Happy Family” in the Healing Garden at Ronan Park, or if you’ve ever dropped your kids off at Avoca West Elementary School or glimpsed “Gourd Man” in Village Green Park, you’re familiar with the work of Shencheng Xu. Since he began teaching sculpture at Northeastern Illinois University in 2003, Xu has been selected every year—that’s 12 straight years—to have his art publicly displayed around Chicago.