The twelve students who attended ILSAMP

Friday, March 2, 2018

Northeastern Illinois University was well represented at the 2018 Spring Symposium in STEM, with nine students earning awards for their research. Find out who was recognized at the symposium, who was honored at Northeastern’s 16th Annual Black Heritage Awards and much more in this week’s edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern!

Around the Commons

Awards at STEM symposium

Northeastern sent 19 students and four faculty and staff members to the 2018 Spring Symposium in STEM in Lisle, Ill., on Feb. 23 and 24. The symposium was sponsored by the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ILSAMP). Nine students earned awards at the symposium. They were:

  • Juliet Salivo, first place for oral presentation in Chemistry
  • Co-presenters Yadira Alonzo and Diana Morales, first-place poster presentation in Math/Physics
  • Jacob Manlucu, tied for first-place poster presentation in General Biology
  • Alexandra Lopez, tied for first-place poster presentation in General Biology
  • Omar Payan Parra, first-place poster presentation in Molecular Biology
  • Oscar Coronel, first-place poster presentation in Environmental Science
  • Andrea Saavedra, second-place poster presentation in Environmental Science
  • Kerald Gonzalez, third-place poster presentation in Molecular Biology

Student Center for Science Engagement (SCSE) Academic Success STEM Coach Rey Ayon presented a workshop on making successful applications to STEM internship and graduate school programs, and SCSE Director Joel Olfelt and Earth Science faculty Jean Hemzacek and Ken Voglesonger accompanied the students.

Black Heritage Awards winners pose on stage at the Carruthers Center.

Black Heritage Awards

Fourteen members of the Northeastern community and two organizations were honored during the 16th Annual Black Heritage Awards ceremony on Feb. 23 at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. Find out who was honored at this year’s awards and view photos from the event.

Four CPS students visit a table during the Black History Month Celebration and College Experience.

Black History Month Celebration and College Experience

Northeastern hosted about 150 Chicago Public Schools students from five different high schools (Robeson, Team Englewood, John Hope Academy, Julian and Corliss) on Feb. 27 for a Black History Month Celebration and College Experience. The event was organized by Chicago GEAR UP of the Center for College Access and Success and Coordinator of African American Student Recruitment Alice Pennamon. The visiting students—most of them African American or Hispanic—heard welcome remarks from Student Government Association President Ashlei Ross, listened to freshmen Javonti Mordican and Donyea Bell and McNair Scholars alumnus Anthony Walker talk about their experiences at Northeastern, and explored possible career experiences. The following internal and external organizations and departments contributed to the success of the event: the Department of Art, the Department of African and African American Studies, the Department of Biology, El Centro, the Department of Earth Science, the Department of Justice Studies, the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, the McNair Scholars Program, the Student Center for Science Engagement, the Department of Social Work, First Year Experience, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Caucus, Sigma Gamma Rho, Omega Delta Phi, SACNAS, The Voice newspaper, the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce and writer, producer, director, photographer and scientist Olayinka Hassan.

Illinois Academic Decathlon

Northeastern will host more than 120 high school juniors and seniors for the Illinois Academic Decathlon State Championship on March 10. The University Honors Program, which is coordinating the event, is seeking volunteers. Sign up online by March 6, or email, or drop by B 141 on the Main Campus.

STEAM Conference in Guatemala

Center for College Access and Success Director of STEM Initiatives Aaron Cortes will present workshops on coding and underwater robotics and implement the STEAM Conference that he has developed within his STEM precollege program from March 8-10 at the Escuela de Formación de Profesores de Enseñanza Media de la Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. Cortes will be joined by his institutional partner, Marcelo Caplan of Columbia College Chicago. During their visit, Cortes and Caplan will present other workshops at a number of schools and universities, and will meet with government officials to promote STEAM education.

Advocacy for Northeastern

Interim President Richard Helldobler and a delegation or Northeastern representatives attended the Illinois Public Universities Higher Education Reception in Springfield on Feb. 28. The event was a joint reception hosted by alumni associations from all of the state public universities and was attended by university presidents, alumni leaders, members of the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner. The next day, Northeastern appeared before the Senate Appropriations II Committee to present its budget and capital requests.

And there’s more!

In the media

Faces of DACA

As the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains in question, the Chicago Reader told the story of a number of local recipients, including those of Northeastern students Yadira Alonso and Monzerrath Gaytan. “The biggest struggle ... is being undocumented and always trying to stay positive,” Gaytan told the Reader. “I just think that there's this stereotype that we're here, not doing what we're supposed to. We're trying to go to school. We're trying to make a living.”

Also in the media ...

  • The Daily Herald previewed the One Earth Film Festival, which will screen “Island Earth” on Northeastern’s Main Campus on March 6.

To do

The three members of the West Pointers band pose on a bench.

Jewel Box Series

The East Pointers, with special guest Liz Carroll, will perform March 9 as part of Jewel Box Series. There’s a reason—beyond their dazzling musicianship and wildly entertaining live shows—that The East Pointers have connected with audiences across the globe, making new, original roots music the hippest, most vibrant thing going. ​Fiddler/singer Tim Chaisson, banjoist Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron write about real life, sketching out its joys and sorrows in vivid strokes. That palpable authenticity makes their instrumental tunes practically cartwheel and infuses their lyric-driven songs with poignancy.

Black Women’s Leadership Summit

the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, the Department of African and African American Studies and the Angela Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs will co-host the Bi-Annual Black Women's Leadership Summit from 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 2 in Alumni Hall North. This year’s theme is Black Women Activist-Scholars and Liberation Praxis, and the special guests are Janae Bonsu, Zoe Spencer, Eve Ewing and Lakeesha Harris.

"Island Earth" movie poster shows blue text over a white background.

‘Island Earth’

The One Earth Film Fest will screen “Island Earth” at 7 p.m. March 6 in Alumni Hall. The event is free (plus complimentary parking on the fourth floor of the Parking Facility), but reservations are recommended. Directed by Cyrus Sutton, “Island Earth” is a rich, complex tale of a young scientist's journey through the corn fields of GMO companies and loi patches of traditional Hawaiian elders. This event also includes a screening of the five-minute film “The World of Convenience: Plastic Bottles” by Northeastern student Stephanie Teresi. After the “Island Earth” screening, join in a conversation about urban agriculture with Nick Lucas, Programs Manager of Advocates for Urban Agriculture; Katie Daniel, Director of Operations and Development at Family Farmed; and LaManda Joy, Executive Director of the Peterson Garden Project. Seamus Ford, Co-Founder of Root Riot Urban Garden Network, will facilitate. This event is sponsored by the NEIU Green Fee Committee and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.

Mark your calendar!


For NEIU students

Whether you’re interested in upcoming events, wondering about deadlines or looking for photos of fellow Golden Eagles, the NEIU Students Facebook page has it all. If you are a currently enrolled student, NEIU Students is a must-follow to make the most of your time at Northeastern.

Do you have a story tip? Let the public relations office know!
Mike Hines, Director of Public Relations and Web Communications,, (773) 442-4240