Photo of 2021 Northeastern graduates at Commencement wearing blue caps and gowns and yellow stoles. The student in the foreground is wearing a Northeastern face mask, while others wear black face masks.

Noteworthy at Northeastern: Making the grade

Friday, December 17, 2021

Northeastern Illinois University has received a three-notch upgrade to its credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service, which marks a major improvement for the school’s financial outlook. There’s also a recap of Commencement and more in this week’s edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern. 

Around the Commons

2021 Commencement Recap

Northeastern Illinois University alumnus Miguel del Valle called on graduates to support those who seek higher education during the University’s Commencement ceremonies on Dec. 12 at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago. “I urge you to find ways to advocate for those who have a strong desire to pursue higher education, a higher education that provides them with the opportunities to open doors that will now be open to you” del Valle said in his pre-recorded address. Sunday’s ceremonies marked the first time in nearly two years Northeastern has held in-person Commencements. As is tradition, del Valle—the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus—delivered remarks to the graduating class. 

Use #NEIUgrad on social media to share Commencement photos, NEIU stories and send congratulatory messages to our class of 2021! 

Northeastern receives credit upgrade from Moody’s

Northeastern Illinois University has received a three-notch upgrade to its credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. This marks a significant turnaround in the financial outlook of the University. “This credit rating upgrade recognizes the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of the Northeastern Illinois University community during a challenging time for higher education in Illinois and throughout the country,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. “The credit rating upgrade is a significant win for the University.” 

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!

  • All Northeastern Illinois University locations will be closed for December Break beginning Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 and will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
  • Professor of Anthropology Russell Zanca published a chapter, "Labor," in Central Asia: Contexts for Understanding, edited by David W. Montgomery (University of Pittsburgh Press). 
  • NEIU Libraries Reference Coordinator and Humanities Librarian Mary Thill co-authored an article titled “It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts: Analyzing Student Use of Sources in Composition Research Papers” in Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Vol. 16 No. 4. 
  • Tamaya Levy (current student, M.A. Linguistics) was selected as a recipient of a Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics Travel Grant by the Linguistics Society of America. The annual meeting is scheduled to be held in January 2022 in Washington, D.C.
  • 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.

In the Media

  • Professor of Urban Community Studies Lance Williams was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times discussing the City of Chicago’s safety plan spending. 
  • Northeastern’s credit boost review by Moody’s was posted on Yahoo!

COVID-19 update

During the week of Dec. 8, 2021, seven students and four employees reported positive COVID-19 tests. Four students and three employees were on campus. Since March 2020, a total of 76 employees and 356 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. 15, 2021, 90% of currently enrolled students and 99% of active employees at Northeastern Illinois University are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Other COVID-19 updates

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

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