Flor M. Reza, Candice Graddy, Phillip Lucas and Cherry Blakley, and College of Graduate Studies and Research Dean Michael Stern).

Noteworthy at Northeastern: Creating future professors

Friday, December 6, 2019

Northeastern Illinois University participates in a state program that is designed to increase the number of minority, full-time, tenure-track faculty and staff who work in the state’s public and private colleges and universities. Read about this year’s program fellows, a College of Arts and Sciences climate change initiative, a record #GivingTuesday fundraising effort, upcoming holiday dance concerts and more in this week’s Noteworthy at Northeastern.  

Around the Commons  

Meet the DFI fellows

Northeastern is hosting four fellows during the 2019-20 academic year as part of a state program that is designed to increase the number of minority, full-time, tenure-track faculty and staff who work in the state’s public and private colleges and universities. The Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois program was launched in 2004 to address low rates of African American and Latinx faculty in the state’s two- and four- year institutions of higher learning. This year’s Northeastern fellows are Flor M. Reza, Candice Graddy, Phillip Lucas and Cherry Blakley (pictured above with College of Graduate Studies and Research Dean Michael Stern).

Confronting Climate Change

The College of Arts and Sciences will offer more than 60 courses that in some way address the issue of climate change during the Spring 2020 semester. Confronting Climate Change is a faculty-driven initiative that spans disciplines from the arts to the natural sciences. “As the College of Arts and Sciences at a regional, comprehensive, public university, we’re supposed to serve the region,” Acting Associate Dean Tim Libretti said. “We’re supposed to take part in being a resource for our region by helping to address and solve problems in the area to improve lives.”

The book jacket for Bilingualism with the title in white on a black field and multi colored dots behind


Professor Emerita of Linguistics Shahrzad Mahootian has published “Bilingualism,” a book that addresses what it means to be bilingual, how people become bilingual, and how learning multiple languages can impact children’s cognitive development. Mahootian, who co-authored the textbook “Language and Human Behavior: An Introduction to Topics in Lingusitics,” believes language and dialects are ways to connect to the world, forms of expression and “gifts to be proud of.” She especially feels that children can benefit greatly from bilingual education.

#GivingTuesday record

Northeastern just had its most successful #GivingTuesday ever! Almost 240 people gave to the NEIU Foundation for a total of $66,588.85 that will go toward scholarships and programs. Over the course of the entire #GivingTuesday campaign, the NEIU Foundation raised a grand total of $72,852.76. If you missed out on #GivingTuesday, you can still contribute at neiu.edu/GivingTuesday.  

And there’s more!

In the media  

National headlines

NBC News interviewed Associate Professor of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies Lance Williams for a story about the Chicago Police Department in the wake of the firing of Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "When crimes are committed, people think there's no one there to help them get justice,” Williams told NBC News. “They think, if I get robbed, detectives don't seem to follow up and don't communicate. People feel like they don't have any other way to get justice, so they might take justice upon themselves and retaliate.”  

Also in the media ...

  • Voyage Chicago featured alumnus and former Communication, Media and Theatre Instructor James Blair.
  • The Daily Herald reported on Northeastern’s partnership with High School District 214 on Educator Prep, a program that prepares high school students to become teachers by offering dual-credit opportunities, postsecondary support, guaranteed student-teaching placements and, upon graduation from college, interviews in District 214 or one of its partner districts if positions are available.
  • The Pioneer Press mentioned Northeastern’s partnership with Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401 in a story about the district’s need for substitute teachers.
  • The Associated Press quoted Associate Professor of Economics Michael Wenz in a story about the obstacles to building a casino in Chicago.
  • CAN TV hosted BIG Center Director Margaret Johnsson to talk about the upcoming Pitch Nights on Dec. 9 on the Main Campus and Dec. 11 at the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education published a letter to the editor from Literacy, Leadership and Development Professor April Nauman in defense of Colleges of Education.  

To do

‘The Nutcracker’

The Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s popular re-creation of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” in collaboration with Northeastern, is back for four performances. The performances will take place at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets are $35 and $20 at the NEIU box office. Tickets are $10 for NEIU faculty, students and staff at the Welcome Desk (one ticket per ID).

Concierto Navideño

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern, will perform its annual Holiday Concert/Concierto Navideño at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in the Auditorium. Featuring the full company, youth company and guest artist Jose Barrios, the performance will include favorites from the company’s repertoire including Dame Libby Komaiko’s “La Era Romantica” and an excerpt from the critically acclaimed “Mar de Fuego.” Tickets are $20, $25 and $30 at the NEIU box office. NEIU faculty, students and staff receive a $5 discount with valid ID.

Coming next week!

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