Photo of three Northeastern students in a science lab

Noteworthy at Northeastern: Breaking barriers in STEM 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Northeastern Illinois University is thrilled to announce it has received a five-year, $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of students who complete STEM majors and help diversify the STEM workforce! Read about this and more in the latest edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern.  

Around the Commons

U.S. Department of Education awards $5 million grant to Northeastern Illinois University

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a five-year, $5 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions - Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (HSI - STEM) and Articulation Program grant to increase the number of students who complete STEM majors and contribute to diversifying the STEM workforce.

The senior personnel leading the grant at Northeastern are Acting Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Physics Sudha Srinivas, Director of the Student Center for Science Engagement (SCSE) and Associate Professor of Earth Science Kenneth Voglesonger, and Project Director of Title III HSI STEM Grants Brittany Pines.

The grant will support the development of ARCOS: Advancing Research and Career Opportunities, a collaboration with Harold Washington College. “If we don’t create a diverse STEM workforce, we’re missing out on talent, we’re missing out on skilled scientists and researchers; we’re handicapping ourselves if we don’t do that,” Voglesonger said. “At NEIU, we’ve shown that when we work with a diverse group of students, they go on to have great success. They perform extremely well in our summer research program, they go on to excellent jobs, excellent graduate careers. They prove the point that by not having groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM fields, it’s a lose-lose because people are missing out.”

NEIU For You

Beginning in Fall 2022, Northeastern Illinois University will cover the cost of four years of tuition for eligible students through the NEIU For You scholarship. “As a university dedicated to serving those who are commonly underserved, we have a responsibility to ensure every student who wants a college degree has the opportunity to earn one,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. NEIU For You launched in Spring 2021 and covered the cost of one year of tuition for first-year, full-time incoming freshmen. It is now expanding to support students financially through the first four years of a bachelor’s degree. More than 300 new freshmen took advantage of NEIU For You in Fall 2021. One of those students, Ashley Garcia, said the scholarship is allowing her to pursue a degree in Computer Science. “With my tuition covered by the NEIU For You scholarship, I am focused on getting good grades, not working full-time to pay off student debt,” Garcia said. “Success, to me, is having financial freedom. Northeastern is giving me all the resources I need to be able to succeed in college and beyond.” 

And there’s more!

  • Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (ChicagoCHEC) is accepting applications for the 2022 ChicagoCHEC Fellows program through Feb. 28. 
  • Show your Golden Eagle pride with a free NEIU lawn sign! Signs are available at the NEIU Welcome Desk on the Main Campus on a first come, first served basis.

To do

Undergraduate Open House

Join Northeastern’s Admission’s Office for an Undergraduate Open House from 4-6 p.m Dec. 8. The evening will allow prospective students to meet with admissions representatives and financial aid counselors to ask questions and discover all NEIU has to offer! Advance sign-up is requested. 

Student Art Sale

The Art + Design Department hosts the Annual Student Art + Design Sale from Dec. 6-10 in the Fine Arts Center Gallery. All proceeds go directly to students.

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Friday
  • 10 a.m.-noon; 3-5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday
  • 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Wednesday

Master’s Hooding Ceremonies: By Invitation Only

The College of Graduate Studies and Research hosts a celebratory event to recognize August and December 2021 graduating master’s degree students. Students will be hooded with their master's degree-specific academic hood. This is an invitation only/ticketed event.

View the NEIU events calendar for additional information on all upcoming events. 

In the media

Holiday shopping during the pandemic

Professor Emeritus of Economics Edward Stuart was interviewed by WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” discussing the U.S. economy as the holiday shopping season begins. 

Alum featured as part of JP Morgan Chase & Co. Second Chance Agenda

Eddie Bocanegra (B.A. ’12 Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Work) is featured in a new video about JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s Second Chance Agenda, which will expand its efforts to give people with criminal backgrounds across the U.S. support to reenter the workforce, their communities and local economies. 

COVID-19 update

During the week of Nov. 24, 2021, eight students and one employee reported a positive COVID-19 test. Two of the students were on campus. Since March 2020, a total of 70 employees and 334 students have self-reported to the University that they tested positive for COVID-19. Employees and students who feel sick should stay home. If you test positive for COVID-19, students should immediately notify Student Health Services, and employees should notify their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources. Additionally, faculty and staff are required to report positive and presumptive student COVID-19 cases and exposures to Student Health Services. When someone who has been on campus tests positive, Northeastern works with the Chicago Department of Public Health to determine the appropriate response, which differs greatly depending on the situation. We continue to follow Chicago Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines as we ensure proper protocols and preventative measures are in place for the health and safety of our students and employees.

As of Dec. 1, 2021, 89% of currently enrolled students and 98% of active employees at Northeastern Illinois University are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Vaccine clinics

Northeastern has partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide on-campus COVID-19 vaccine clinics through Dec. 13. The clinics are free and open to everyone age 12 and older for first or second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to be vaccinated. Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen (J&J) vaccines will be available. The CDC recommends everyone ages 18 and older get a COVID-19 booster shot. Boosters will be available to eligible recipients who are 18 and older and completed their initial Pfizer or Moderna series at least six months ago, or completed their Janssen (J&J) dose at least two months ago. Advance sign-up is recommended. 

Other COVID-19 updates

Stay up to date on everything regarding COVID-19 by visiting the Return to Campus website. 

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