Students in blue T-shirts spell out NEIU in the grass.

Friday, April 24, 2020

As Northeastern Illinois University nears the end of the spring semester, the University community showed its pride on social media while helping bring attention to the Student Emergency Fund. Read about the fund that is bringing much-needed financial support to students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, student and faculty publications, upcoming virtual events, ongoing PPE efforts and more in this edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern. 

Around the Commons


The Division of Institutional Advancement hosted the annual #ProudToBeNEIU fundraiser via social media on April 23. The goal of this year’s campaign was to highlight the Northeastern community as well as encourage giving to the Student Emergency Fund. To date, the Student Emergency Fund has awarded $42,485 to 157 Northeastern students.

"I would like to thank all the donors for helping NEIU students during these hard times,” one award recipient said. “I am a student myself who received emergency funds. I am grateful for all the help and money I received as with it I was able to afford to pay rent, bills and food. … With the help of the funds, I was able to afford the basics. I hope other students will be able to receive some type of assistance."

You can still share why you’re #ProudToBeNEIU on social media! Please visit the Student Emergency Fund website to learn how to apply for assistance or donate. 

Climate and culture survey ending Monday

As part of its efforts to embrace a culture of inclusion, Northeastern is evaluating its living, learning and working environment with a climate and culture survey that runs through 11:59 p.m. April 27. (See the breakdown of participation on the NEIyou site.) When the survey closes, the resulting assessment will allow NEIU to improve its campus climate by addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities identified in the assessment. All students and employees are encouraged to take the anonymous survey and then enter an awards drawing.

And there’s more!

Events at home

Though its buildings are locked, Northeastern has adapted by creating remote events. 

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

  • The Daily Herald and Chicago Tribune reported on the continued efforts of Northeastern and other institutions to create face shields for area medical personnel. Art faculty members KT Duffy, Nate Mathews and Ali Seradge were joined in this effort by former NEIU Art Instructor Juan Fernandez and Eric Fuentes, who is the makespace coordinator at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and adjunct instructor at Elgin Community College.

Alumni leaders

The Alumni Association has launched a webpage to share stories about the work Northeastern graduates are doing related to COVID-19. 

Sumayh Aldakeel looks into the camera.

This week’s featured alumni leader is Sumayh Aldakeel (M.S. ’17 Biology). Aldakeel is currently working with the Saudi CDC conducting whole genome sequencing on COVID-19 positive cases in Saudi Arabia. Her team, lead by Dr. Albarrag, published the genome sequence last month, which is now available on GISAID and Nextstrain. “Whole genome sequencing of the entire virus is essential to pinpoint the transmission pattern, evolution occurrence and vaccine development,” Aldakeel said. “Sharing the sequence data helps to build a public database for the scientific community to facilitate research aiming to combat and understand the virus. NEIU provided me with mentorship and resources to be a scientist ready to contribute to research globally.”

Those interested in sharing are encouraged to complete the COVID-19 Stories form

Student Support Spotlight

Alumni Association

Northeastern’s Alumni Association hosted drive-through food drop-offs on April 13 and 23 to support the University’s Student Pantry. 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 as other drop-off locations are now closed. Anyone wishing to make monetary contributions are encouraged to do so through the Student Emergency Fund. Student Pantry questions may be directed to Christopher Maxwell at

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