Colleen Lammel-Harmon wears a mask on a Lake Michigan beach.

Friday, July 31, 2020

A Northeastern Illinois University graduate student is already putting her education into practice at the Chicago Park District, and don't forget about hitting the greens—in person or virtually—to support NEIU scholarships. Read these stories and more in this week’s edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern. 

Around the Commons

Fearless ambassador keeps Chicagoans moving

Colleen Lammel-Harmon is in the middle of pursuing her Master of Public Health (M.P.H.). She came to Northeastern with nearly two decades of experience in the Chicago Park District in health and wellness, now serving as the senior project manager of health and wellness. To the dismay of many Chicagoans, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Chicago’s 570 parks were closed. As stay-at-home orders were being lifted, the Chicago Park District was faced with a challenge: how to reopen safely, especially along the lakefront. Since June, the Chicago Park District has had Social Distance Ambassadors along the lakefront trail and, so far, the response to Lammel-Harmon and her team has been pretty positive. “We need to still be physically active,” Lammel-Harmon said. “We need to get outside for mental health reasons. There’s no better place than the parks.”


President Gloria J. Gibson has announced a new program to forgive some debt for students who left Northeastern in the past five years without earning a degree elsewhere. This program, funded by federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief money, will forgive the debt of students who owe $3,000 or less in loans and fees, clearing the way for them to re-enroll. Enrollment Services has reached out to the more than 600 students who are eligible for this program with the goal of enrolling them for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester.

48th annual Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event

The NEIU Foundation will host the 48th annual Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event at Wilmette Golf Club in Wilmette, Ill., on Aug. 3. This annual fundraising event will be a little different this year as Northeastern follows state public health guidelines and virtual fundraising options, but the spirit of the event will stay the same as always. The event raises funds for the Kane scholarships, which have provided support to nearly 300 NEIU students in every college of the University. It is named for late Athletic Director Charles “Chuck” Kane, who claimed Wilmette Golf Club as his home course.

Social Justice Leadership Housing Award

Northeastern has launched the Social Justice Leadership Housing Award for incoming freshman and transfer students who positively impact their university, career and communities. Students participating in the program will be given one year's free housing in The Nest. “Providing free housing to eligible students while giving them the tools to make a difference in the world is a win-win situation,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. “It’s also an innovative approach to how we recruit and prepare tomorrow’s leaders.” Earlier in June, Northeastern launched the George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship as an additional avenue for Northeastern to reinforce its commitment to preparing students to promote social justice and to make a difference in their communities.

New Multicultural Student Orientations

In partnership with Undocumented Student Resources, the Angelina Pedroso Center will host a New Multicultural Student Orientations from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 18, via Zoom. This free program is designed to support incoming students of color, first-generation, undocumented, and LGBTQ+ students during their transition to NEIU and is supplemental to the new student orientation. All registered participants will receive the link to the Zoom meeting one week before the program. For questions regarding the program, contact Dear Aunaetitrakul at

And there’s more!

Events at home

Though most buildings are locked, Northeastern has adapted by creating remote events and promoting the work of our students, alumni, faculty and staff. 

Next Steps for Admitted Transfer Students

Northeastern’s Transfer Center will host a virtual presentation on Next Steps for Admitted Transfer Students from 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4. Registration is required. Questions can be directed to Patricia Rodriguez at (773) 442-4139 or

TRIO Student Support Services

TRIO Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) will host virtual information sessions from noon-1 p.m. Aug. 14 and Aug. 28 via Google Meet. TRIO SSS programs are free academic and professional development programs for students who are income-eligible, first-generation, and/or who have disabilities. Members benefit from academic advising and support, TRIO scholarships, career planning, test preparation, and scholarship and financial aid guidance. Questions can be directed to

‘The Better Life’

Watch Communication, Media and Theatre student Mara Galeno’s play, “The Better Life,” as part of Be Bold Productions’ Short Play Festival. The play features current Northeastern students and alumni. “The Better Life” begins around the 42-minute mark. 

View all of Northeastern’s future events at Please email to submit events for consideration in future editions of Noteworthy at Northeastern. 

In the media

  • Lynda Gibson’s (B.A. ’11 Psychology) research was featured in an article by IIT, where she recently earned her Ph.D.
  • Professor Emeritus of Earth Science Charles Shabica interviewed by the Chicago Tribune for an article about the rising water level of Lake Michigan and its impact on homeowners. 
  • Professor of Urban Community Studies Lance Williams was featured on WGN Radio in a segment discussing “How will the George Floyd case change the world for African Amercians?”
  • Professor and Chair of the Department of Literacy, Leadership and Development Howard Bultinck was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune for a story about how parents are finding new ways to educate their children during the pandemic. 

Student Support Spotlight

Student Counseling Services

Students are welcome to contact NEIU’s Student Counseling Services to set up an appointment to talk either by phone or their online platform for teletherapy. To access NEIU’s Student Counseling Services, call (773) 442-4650 or send an email to The hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours, students may also reach a counselor for more urgent consultation by calling the main number and pressing “2” during the outgoing message.

Food drive

Northeastern’s Alumni Association will host a drive-through food drop-off to support the University’s Student Pantry from noon-3 p.m. Aug. 10. The pantry has altered its delivery of services due to COVID-19. Students are now able to order food online. A food donation bin has also been placed at the University Police station to collect needed items throughout this time as other drop-off locations are now closed. Monetary contributions are being collected online to support the Student Pantry and the Student Emergency Fund. Student Pantry questions may be directed to Christopher Maxwell at

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