39th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival with Ensemble Espanol

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater has launched its 40th-year celebration at Northeastern Illinois University. As if that weren’t enough to get excited about, the University also announced a major film society partnership, prepared for a new graduate certificate program and collected more awards.

Around the Commons

Spanish passion

Ensemble Español has kicked off its 40th year at Northeastern with the 39th American Spanish Dance & Music Festival. The yearlong party will include the company’s first performances in Spain, a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a show in a 4,000-person amphitheater in the historic city of St. Augustine, Fla. Closer to home, the city of Chicago will give a stretch of Bryn Mawr Avenue an honorary name designation in recognition of Dame Libby Komaiko in August. Find out how much the company has accomplished—and where it’s going next—in the cover story for the new In Common magazine!

Roll out the silver screen

The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre has partnered with the Northwest Chicago Film Society to make Northeastern the institutional home for the NWCFS screenings of 35mm film prints. The screenings will be integrated into Northeastern’s film studies courses, which serve more than 200 students each semester. The Chicago Tribune’s movie critic, Michael Phillips, immediately reported on the news.

A new graduate certificate

The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages department will offer a graduate certificate program beginning in fall 2015. The certificate will provide practical skills and knowledge to individuals who wish to teach adult English language learners. It is designed for teachers, tutors, or volunteers who want to work at community colleges, community-based programs, vocational programs, and private language schools or universities in the U.S. or abroad.

Congratulations, Student Affairs!

The Division of Student Affairs has won the 2015 Gold Hermes award for Internal Communication Campaign for the Student Affairs Orientation videos. There were more than 6,000 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and several other countries in the Hermes Creative Awards 2015 competition. Student Affairs also won two Publicity Club of Chicago Silver Trumpet Awards, for the 2013–14 Student Affairs Annual Report and for Orientation Videos.

Visiting the United Nations

Justice Studies Professors Cris Toffolo, Nancy Matthews and Shelley Bannister took eight students to Geneva, Switzerland, from May 7-15 to learn about the United Nations system—particulary its role in trying to improve human rights. The group attended as the United States went through its second University Periodic Review.

And there’s more!


  • The NEIU Foundation has released a new video capturing the true impact of giving to Northeastern.
  • Assistant Professor of Philosophy Alfred Frankowski will participate in a July 10 panel discussion titled “Genocide, Agency and the Nation-State After Auschwitz” at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He also will present a paper titled “Toward a Hermeneutics of Survivors of the Rwandan and Burundi Genocides.”

In the media

Spreading the word

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Daniel Lopez co-wrote an op-ed piece for Diverse Issues in Higher Education about institutional leadership for undocumented students. “Good conscience, smart economics and professional values combine to compel postsecondary educators to institutionalize holistic supports for undocumented students,” the piece reads.

Also in the media ...

  • NBC News included Rita Moreno’s speech to Northeastern’s graduates in its roundup of prominent Latino speakers during commencement season.
  • Social Work major Monisha Johnson was featured by LIFT Chicago after volunteering her hours there.
  • The Examiner quoted Economics Coordinator Michael Wenz in a column about the May jobs report.
  • The Chicago Tribune profiled Sam Fazio (M.A. ’94 Gerontology), whose singing voice has been compared to Harry Connick Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
  • Fox 32 interviewed Justice Studies Instructor Maurice McFarlin Jr. at El Centro for a report on gun violence and homicide in Chicago. Inner City Studies master’s graduate LeVon Stone Sr. also was interviewed for the story.
  • The Final Call quoted Carruthers Center Director Conrad Worrill in a story about black women’s interactions with law enforcement.
  • The Windy City Times reported on the Latin United Community Housing Association hosting its first Bringing Resources Home Fair for LGBTQ youth at El Centro.

To do

‘With Two Wings’

Stage Center Theatre will present “With Two Wings,” by Anne Negri, on June 19 at 7:30 p.m. and June 20 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. In a fantasy world where people have wings, the play follows a young boy named Lyf who lives an isolated existence with his parents in the safe nest of their home deep in the woods.

Mark your calendar!


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Mike Hines, director of public relations, m-hines@neiu.edu, (773) 442-4240