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Northeastern Voices

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Claudia Hernandez at the new El Centro construction site

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.”
Alireza Dorestani, associate professor, accounting

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.
Shencheng Xu, associate professor, art

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. 



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