Bill Kurtis speaks at Northeastern Illinois University's 2014 Alumni Reunion on Oct. 17.

Friday, October 24, 2014

This just in to the Northeastern Illinois University newsroom: Legendary broadcaster Bill Kurtis headlined the 2014 Alumni Reunion. We’ve got details on his lecture and other news (but no weather or traffic reports) from around the University right here.

Around the Commons

Bill Kurtis headlines reunion

When Bill Kurtis delivered the commencement address at Northeastern’s graduation ceremony in 1979, the theme of his speech was climate change. More than 35 years later, the legendary broadcaster and lifelong conservationist returned to the University for the 2014 Alumni Reunion, and he still is looking out for our well-being. Check out photos the two-day reunion’s events on Facebook and Flickr.

Student travel awards

Several students received student travel awards this month from the NEIU Foundation’s Leader Fund. They are:

  • Gail Krahenbuhl and Nathan Steele, to present at the Midwest Modern Language Association Conference in Detroit
  • James Major, to present at the American Name Society conference in Portland, Ore.
  • Phu Duong, to present at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in San Antonio, Texas
  • Megan Wittekind and Andrea Uruqhart, to present at the Association for Middle Level Educators in Nashville, Tenn. They will be joined by alumna and Chicago Public Schools educator Alia Hollister.

‘Let me be an example’

Rachel Hall’s story could be one of sadness and tragedy, but she refuses to live that narrative. At age 47, Hall reinvented her life to study elementary education at Northeastern. Eventually, she wants to earn a Ph.D. and teach the next generation of teachers, particularly in minority communities.

And there’s more!

In the media

Hello, prime minister

The India Post published a photo on Page 34 of Rohit Joshi from the Learning Support Center meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sept. 28 in New York City. The caption mentions that Joshi even told Modi about Northeastern’s population of students with Indian roots!

Also in the media ...

  • Gerontology program director Lisa Hollis-Sawyer was quoted in a Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette story about seniors caring for their parents.
  • Political Science department chair Jeffrey Hill was quoted by the Straits Times in a story about Hillary Clinton’s political future.
  • The Sun-Times quoted Economics assistant professor Scott Hegerty in a story about what Ebola fears mean for businesses—particularly when it comes to travel.
  • The Chicago Tribune published a story about Susan Tang, assistant professor of Music, who will appear at the West Suburban Music Teachers Association November meeting.
  • Victor Montañez of the Center for College Access and Success is mentioned in a DNAinfo Chicago story about a documentary series titled “The School Project” that will premier Oct. 28 at the Chicago History Museum. He will sit on a panel for a post-screening discussion.
  • Kirkus published a positive review of English professor Bradley Greenburg’s new book, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed.”

To do

Day of the Dead

The Pedroso Center has invited all university community members to bring mementos from their loved ones who have passed away to be a part of its Dia de los Muertos community altar display from Oct. 27-Nov. 26. On Oct. 30, the Pedroso Center will host a reception and discussion of the history and significance of the holiday with sugar skull decorating and face painting from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

More El Centro tours

In conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, JGMA architect Juan Moreno will lead two tours of the new El Centro building—one in English and one in Spanish—on Nov. 10.

Mark your calendar!

  • Presidential Lecture Series: Omar Yamini (free), 11 a.m. Oct. 24, Auditorium
  • NEIU Jazz Quintet (free), 3 p.m. Oct. 28, Recital Hall
  • Harvey Katz (solo member of Athens Boys Choir) performance (free), 3 p.m. Oct. 28, Golden Eagles
  • The World on Your Plate (free), 3 p.m. Oct. 29, Student Union Room 103
  • Guitar Showcase (free), 3 p.m. Oct. 30, Recital Hall
  • Civic Advocacy in Agriculture (free), 3 p.m. Oct. 30, Student Union Room 103
  • Susan Tang on piano (free), 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Recital Hall


Meet Frank Gaytan

The assistant professor of Social Work is a champion on Twitter. He focuses on issues of college access for first-generation college students and practices that work well at colleges and universities for retaining and graduating those students, especially minority and Latino students. He also likes to tweet about pop culture as it relates to increasing Latino demographic in America. Drop him a tweet and say hello!

Do you have a story tip? Let the public relations department know!

Mike Hines, director of public relations,, (773) 442-4240