A female student with brown hair in a braid and wearing a green shirt

Friday, June 29, 2018

Northeastern Illinois University is filled with so many inspirational stories. This week, we highlight a Special Education major who is on a mission to empower individuals with disabilities. Read about Victoria Valentine and much more in this week’s edition of Noteworthy at Northeastern.

Around the Commons

A special education

Victoria Valentine (pictured above) always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but it wasn’t until she volunteered at a summer camp during sixth grade that she realized she wanted to pursue special education. During the camp, Valentine was assigned to work with a young autistic boy and began to see the world from his perspective. Read about Valentine’s journey as she moves closer to earning her Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Northeastern next year.

Hall of Famer

2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner William Pollakov has been inducted into the GAMA International Management Hall of Fame. It is the highest honor given by the financial services industry to recognize an individual field leader whose professional career has been spent building a field organization and serving the industry. Pollakov, an honorary member of Northeastern’s Beta Gamma Sigma business honors society, is president and CEO of The Pollakov Financial Group Inc., one of the premier financial services organizations in California. He also is the president and founder of the Bikes for Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that has given away more than 36,000 new bikes to disadvantaged children. Pollakov graduated from Northeastern in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education: Physical Education.

And there’s more!

  • Northeastern will host a One Stop Enrollment Express from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall on July 18. Departments from across the University will come together to help students prepare for the fall semester.

In the media

How to Raise a Human

NPR is in the middle of a monthlong project titled How to Raise a Human, in which its reporters travel the world to seek ideas to make parenting easier. As part of its reporting, NPR visited Professor Emeritus of Psychology Suzanne Gaskins in a Maya village in Mexico. Gaskins has spent much of her career studying how Maya moms in the Yucatan raise helpful children. “Some of the approaches families use in other cultures might fit an American child's needs better than the advice they are given in books or from the pediatricians,” Gaskins told NPR. Gaskins was quoted in three stories covering the topics of getting children to do chores, secrets of a Maya super mom and how to get kids to pay attention.

A tribute to a trailblazer

A book published last year about Northeastern Vice President Emeritus of Student Affairs Melvin C. Terrell has gained renewed interest after it was highlighted by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. “Advancing Equity and Diversity in Student Affairs: A Festschrift in Honor of Melvin C. Terrell” is a volume in Information Age Publishing’s book series “Contemporary Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Achievement.” “[Terrell] was one of the original architects for student affairs and academic affairs working together,” Jerlando F. L. Jackson, a book co-editor, told Diverse. “And what he did, by being able to speak the language and be contributor to the academic mission, he was able to build bridges that others were able to see, follow, model and cross over.”

Ensemble effort

Ensemble Español’s 2018 American Spanish Dance & Music Festival performances at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts were a tremendous success, and the news media took notice. The Flamenco Passion: A Tribute to Jose Greco’s 100th Anniversary performances drew coverage from the Chicago Tribune, See Chicago Dance, WTTW, Univision, WGN, Dance Magazine and Splash Magazine. With all of this success, it is no surprise that Ensemble Español’s’ Raised in Chicago match campaign has raised $349,000 to date with a year left to go.

Still painting at 95

One of Northeastern’s oldest living alumni is still making news at age 95. Nancy Weinberg (B.A. ’82 Art) was featured by Chicago Jewish News for her incredible portraits. “When painting, I feel very committed. I forget my aches and pains, forget anything negative,” she told the Chicago Jewish News. “It’s a healing process, challenging but healing.”

Also in the media ...

  • Inside Higher Ed published the names of Northeastern’s newly tenured faculty members.
  • WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” invited Professor Emeritus of Economics Edward Stuart onto the program to discuss the trade dispute between the United States and China.
  • CUInsight reported that alumna Ximena Granda (B.S. ’05 Accounting) has been appointed to the Northwest Community Credit Union Board of Directors.

To do

High School Band Camp

The Department of Music and Dance will host its first Summer High School Band Camp from July 22-27. Northeastern faculty, staff, students and alumni will work together to provide a weeklong day camp with a spectacular experience. Registrants may use promo code BCscholar100 to receive a full tuition scholarship. The University community is invited to the camp’s final concert at 5 p.m. July 27 in the Auditorium.

Mark your calendar!


President Gloria J. Gibson smiles while talking with students.


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Do you have a story tip? Let the public relations office know!
Mike Hines, Director of Public Relations and Web Communications, m-hines@neiu.edu, (773) 442-4240