The faces of (from left) Kaleb Bakari Autman, Timothy Jefferson and Donovan McKinley

Friday, January 29, 2021

Northeastern Illinois University has named its first George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship recipients: three students who are active in promoting equality in their communities. The University also has received a grant to partner with City Colleges of Chicago for an Equity Transfer Initiative. There are lots of upcoming events next week, including several celebrating the start of Black Heritage Month. Read about this news and more in this week’s edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern.

Around the Commons

George Floyd Social Justice Scholarships

The George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship was created in response to Floyd’s death and the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and numerous Black Americans who were tragically and senselessly killed. Their deaths sparked mass protests throughout the country and around the world last summer—in the midst of a global pandemic—as demonstrators called out systematic racism, inequality and injustice, and urged communities to put forth intentional programs geared toward a greater focus on social justice. In the first year of the George Floyd Social Justice Scholarship, the University awarded $5,000 each to three outstanding students: Kaleb Bakari Autman, Timothy Jefferson and Donovan McKinley (pictured above). While all three students are now connected by this scholarship, they have their own unique views of social justice and have taken different paths to promote equality in their communities.

Equity Transfer Initiative grant

The American Association of Community Colleges has awarded Northeastern and the City Colleges of Chicago an Equity Transfer Initiative (ETI) partner grant. This partnership will improve the transfer process from the City Colleges to Northeastern. It is the only grant in the state and one of 16 partnerships from 13 states, representing 17 community colleges and 19 universities. The ETI aims to increase transfer rates for African American, Hispanic, adult, and first-generation learners. It is being launched by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Institutions (APLU). Through the ETI, colleges will see improved completion rates by ensuring that the alignment of programs includes completing the associate degree.

And there’s more!

  • Assistant Professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Senyung Lee co-authored "The Effect of Additional Time on the Quality of Argumentation in L2 Writing Assessment: A Mixed-methods Study,” which has been published in Language Assessment Quarterly.
  • Human Resource Development Program Liaison Shirley J. Caruso was cited in the 2020 edition of “Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide.”
  • The Department of Communication, Media and Theatre has published its 2020 ComMuniTy newsletter.
  • The National Institutes of Health MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) U-STAR Program at Northeastern is currently accepting student applications for MARC Scholar appointments. Applications are due Feb. 1.
  • Northeastern’s Nuevas Voces 10-Minute Play Festival and Contest is accepting submissions for its fifth annual contest through Feb. 1.
  • Northeastern’s Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) program is seeking applicants for the 2021-2022 DFI Fellowship. Applications are due by Feb. 12. 
  • The ChicagoCHEC Research Fellows Program is accepting applications for the 2021 summer cohort through Feb. 28. 
  • The Student Government Association is seeking Senators and Council of Clubs Representatives. Students interested in these positions should complete the SGA Interest Form.
  • Northeastern’s library is seeking student submissions for “Sheltering in Place: NEIU Archives COVID-19 Documentation Project.” All current Northeastern students as well as alumni who were students during the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms are encouraged to submit pieces to the archive. 
  • Northeastern’s student media organizations are currently recruiting students. Any students interested in participating can fill out the NEIU Student Media Interest Form. Additionally, the Northeastern Programming Board and Student Government Association are hiring student workers. Students interested in any of these opportunities can contact Student Media Coordinator Dennis Sagel at for more information.

To do

Black Heritage Month

The Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs and the Black Heritage Month Committee invite the University community to celebrate Black Heritage Month 2021 by participating in a series of virtual events. Next week’s events include: 

To view the complete schedule and sign up for more events, visit the 2021 Black Heritage Month website

Coming Next Week

Student Support Spotlight

Student Counseling Services

Have you taken a moment this week to check in with yourself or do a self-care activity? Even learning calming breathing techniques can go a long way, or taking a few minutes in the morning when you wake up without looking at your phone. To explore more, check out other activities below:

Student Counseling Services has provided some tips for helping individuals manage anxiety and worry they may be feeling, and listed some important resources. Students are welcome to contact 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 between 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.

Student Food Pantry

The Student Food Pantry has a new partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and will now be able to offer fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to canned and other non-perishable items. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the Student Food Pantry will continue its online ordering service through a new system and steps to complete orders are available on the Student Pantry website. Hours of operation are 1-4 p.m. Monday and Thursday. For questions, please contact Chris Maxwell at

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