December 5, 2012


E-newsletter for Alumni and Friends

NEIU Foundation
Northeastern Illinois University

Governor Pat Quinn Attends NEIU El Centro Groundbreaking

Wearing a hard hat and with a shovel in hand, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn joined other dignitaries, trustees and administrators at Northeastern Illinois University for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site where a new NEIU El Centro Campus will be constructed.

After more than 40 years of serving students and the community in leased space, the NEIU El Centro Campus will have a new, permanent home on the Northwest Side of Chicago.

The new NEIU El Centro Campus will be built at 3390 N. Avondale Ave. in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood. The location consists of more than three acres of land bordered by Henderson Street and Drake and Avondale avenues.

With this new facility, NEIU plans to expand its academic and community programming. Students, faculty, staff and community members will have access to a higher education environment with modern facilities including technology-enhanced classrooms, wet and damp laboratories, a student lounge and study spaces, a computer lab, a resource center and library, meeting rooms and gathering spaces, faculty and staff offices, and an outdoor, third-floor terrace. Read More  

Photo: (L - R) Alderman Ray Colon (35th Ward); El Centro Director Maria Luna-Duarte; NEIU Trustee Carlos Azcoitia; NEIU Student Alejandra Tafoya; Ill. Governor Pat Quinn; NEIU President Sharon Hahs; Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez; and Lead Project Architect Juan Moreno, JGMA

College of Education Celebrates Reaccreditation Visit, Earns National Award, Moves Education Credentials Online

The College of Education (COE) recently hosted a visiting team from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) programs for the purpose of seeking reaccreditation of the College. The COE earned high marks in all six categories evaluated by NCATE. In addition, it received the highest level of recognition in the standard of diversity.

Grow Your Own
The National Association for Multicultural Education selected the COE's Grow Your Own (GYO) Teachers program for the 2012 Rose Duhon-Sells Program Award. GYO partners with the Chicago Public Schools and neighborhood community organizations in some of Chicago's most distressed neighborhoods to support community members as they work toward a bachelor's degree and teaching certification. The program provides scholarships, transportation stipends, childcare and textbooks for these students, who commit to returning to their neighborhoods to teach.

Free Online Career Portfolio
To help alumni and students in their job searches, NEIU offers a FREE online career portfolio service from College Central Network. This service allows alumni and students to store scanned documents, including transcripts and letters of recommendation. Career Advising will be phasing out the paper credentials they currently have on file. If you would like to retrieve your paper credentials, click here and complete the form by April 30, 2013.

5 Facts About Year-End Giving to NEIU

5. Gifts to the NEIU Foundation are tax deductible.

4. Giving has never been easier! Gifts can be given by phone, mail or online, and the NEIU Foundation accepts gifts of cash, check, credit card and assets.

3. Gifts can be designated to a specific college, department or program, or to the Leader Fund.

2. NEIU receives only a percentage of its funding from the State of Illinois, and the rest is made up through student tuition, federal grants and private contributions. These additional contributions help give NEIU the edge of excellence that led to its top 10 "Best Investment in the U.S." Newsweek ranking this year.

1. Gifts made to the NEIU Foundation help students in financial need achieve their academic goals.

Read More about how charitable giving impacts NEIU.

Alumni joined TV Star Wilmer Valderrama for CHCI's Ready2Lead Chicago 2012

TV star and CHCI spokesman Wilmer Valderrama

Alumni teamed up with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and actor Wilmer Valderrama (star of "That '70s Show") for the 2012 Ready2Lead (R2L) Chicago event. R2L is a one-day program that prepares Latino high school students for college by motivating them to complete high school, empowering them to serve and lead in their communities, and instilling a belief that a college education is achievable. R2L Chicago 2012 was held at NEIU on Saturday, October 13, and drew more than 150 high school students. Read More  

President Sharon Hahs Elected to HACU Board, Signs Public Colleges Pledge

In November, President Sharon Hahs was one of five new members elected to serve on the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) governing board. HACU represents more than 400 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Read More 

In September, Hahs joined nearly 500 public four-year institutions in pledging to increase the number of baccalaureate degree-holders by 3.8 million by 2025. By signing the "Project Degree Completion" pledge, the institutions agree to help 60 percent of adults in the U.S. earn a four-year degree by 2025. Read More 

Supporting America's Veterans

NEIU has been named a Military Friendly School by "GI Jobs" for the second year in a row. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace students who are military service members, veterans or spouses, and ensure their success on campus.  

NEIU recently established the "Valuing Veterans Pledge," a new commitment to support student veterans. The pledge states that NEIU will improve outreach to and recognition of veterans. Read More 

Alumni Association Events

Alumni are invited to apply for the Dr. Bernard J. Brommel Doctoral Scholarship. This scholarship assists NEIU College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education graduates who are pursuing doctoral studies at other institutions. The application deadline is December 7, 2012. Click here for the Brommel Doctoral Scholarship link to download the application. 

Save the Date for the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day! Alumni, students and friends are invited to volunteer for the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day on Monday, January 21, 2013. NEIU will be volunteering at Lafayette Elementary in Humboldt Park. Additional information, service times, project details and registration information coming soon.

Save the Date for the NEIU Community Piano Recital and Music Career Connection Lunch
Join us for an NEIU Community Piano Recital and Music Alumni Career Connection Day. Music alumni and their piano students are invited to participate in this community piano recital program. This inaugural recital will serve to showcase alumni and students and celebrate their outstanding achievements. The recital will be held on Saturday, February 23 at 2 p.m. in the Recital Hall, and a reception will follow. For more information contact Susan Tang at (773) 442-5905.

Music Alumni Career Connections Lunch
Before the recital, the NEIU Alumni Association will host an Alumni Career Connections Lunch. Join fellow music alumni in mentoring current music students. If you are interested in attending the lunch and serving as a Career Connections mentor, email or call Melissa Thompson at (773) 442-4207.
2012 Distinguished Alumni Award
Ann Lata Kalayil, Ph.D. (B.S. Computer Science '82), has been named NEIU's 2012 Distinguished Alumna of the Year. The award will be presented at the December 2012 Commencement Ceremony.

Kalayil is the Great Lakes Regional Administrator of U.S. General Services Administration, an appointment she earned in January 2011. As the regional administrator, Kalayil oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency responsible for the property, fleet, IT and procurement management of the federal government in the Great Lakes region. Kalayil is the first woman and Asian-American to serve as regional administrator of the General Services Administration in this region.

Kalayil is active in many community and civic activities dealing with education policy, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, and documenting Asian-American history. A Leadership Greater Chicago fellow, Kalayil has also served on several government task forces.

The Northeastern Illinois University Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest alumni honor the University bestows. Past recipients include Daniel L. Goodwin (B.A. '66), chairman and CEO, The Inland Group, Inc.; Mirta Ramirez (B.A. '72), founder of ASPIRA of Illinois; The Honorable Luis V. Gutierrez (B.A. '76), congressman 4th district, U.S. House of Representatives; Jose A. Rico (B.A. '99), director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics; Rae Lewis Thornton (B.A. '91), Emmy Award Winning AIDS activist and speaker; and Dr. Robert Jordan, news anchor/reporter for WGN-TV News and owner of Jordan and Jordan Communications, Inc. 

Civic Engagement at NEIU

In October, NEIU took its place as a leader in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement when it was one of only 50 institutions in the nation to be named a Civic Learning Leadership Institution by NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. As a participant in NASPA initiative, NEIU will continue to develop partnerships to increase each student commitment to being engaged and active citizens, serving their communities and undertaking leadership roles both on and off campus.

In anticipation of the 2012 election, 11 students were trained to work voter registration tables on campus. NEIU also partnered with Rock the Vote to register NEIU students to vote on campus. NEIU also sponsored student Roger Byrd to participate in the Democratic National Convention and student Sarah Paulis to participate in the Republican National Convention.

Several NEIU alumni hold elected offices in city, county, state, and national government:

U.S. Congress
Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (4th District)

Illinois General Assembly
Senator William Delgado (2nd District)
Senator Pamela J. Althoff (32nd District)
Representative Maria Antonia "Toni" Berrios (39th District)Representative Sara K. Feigenholtz (12th District)
Representative Laura B. Fine (17th District)*

Cook County
Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough

Chicago City Council
Alderman George Cardenas (12th Ward)
Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward)
Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th Ward)  

*Newly elected in 2012
**Newly elected in 2012; formerly State Representative (7th District)

Hunger is Not a Game

Student Leadership Development hosted the 4th Annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at NEIU November 12 - 16. Each year, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness co-sponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week the week before Thanksgiving. NEIU takes part in this nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness in Chicago and around the world. Read More

Senator Delgado Speaks at "Welcome Back"

(L - R) Toni Scott, College of Education; Senator Delgado, Ellen Larimore, NEIU Library

Senator William Delgado provided the keynote address at an NEIU "Welcome Back" event, hosted by AFSCME 31-Local 1989, in October. Delgado spoke to students encouraging them to complete their degrees and to follow their dreams. "The best advice I can give is to never give up," said Delgado. "Follow your heart. Don't let obstacles become impenetrable barriers. If someone says you can't do something, prove them wrong." Delgado earned a bachelor's degree from NEIU in criminal justice. He was active in various school activities, including the Union of Puerto Rican Students. Read More

Save the Date! 41st Annual Kane Golf Outing  

The 41st Annual Chuck Kane Memorial Golf Outing will be held on Monday, August 19 at the Highland Park Country Club. The event includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, cocktail hour, a dinner and awards program, and a silent auction. Read More


Faculty and Staff Research Symposium

On November 16, more than 60 faculty presented original research and creative activities at the annual Faculty and Staff Research and Creative Activities Symposium. This event provides an opportunity to bring together faculty from different disciplines to share the work they have conducted individually or through multidisciplinary and/or collaborative work. This year, four emeritus professors participated by chairing sessions, and  Professors Emeritus James Lucas, music, and Steven Riess, history, presented their original work. Read More  

NEIU Foundation Scholarship Webpage

The NEIU Foundation offers more than 90 scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need and/or academic merit. The current Foundation Scholarship Opportunities brochure is now available online. Click here to view/print the brochure. The Foundation is grateful for the generous philanthropic gifts that support these scholarships for NEIU students.   



NEIU Foundation Welcomes Board Members, Celebrates 2012 CEO of the Year Nominee



  Janice Howse
     Janice Howse

   Alyssa Jacobson
    Alyssa Jacobson

Neal Fenwick
     Neal Fenwick

The NEIU Foundation recently welcomed two new Board members.

Janice Howse is the Chicago District Sales Manager for Manufacturing at Grainger. She is an experienced sales, marketing and operational executive with more than 25 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies where she has built and led high-performance teams in healthcare and industrial supply markets. Previously she has held positions at Baxter International and Baxter Healthcare. 


Alyssa Jacobson is a Financial Planning Specialist at Stevens Wealth Management, where she prepares and presents financial analysis and projections to clients, monitors client portfolios, and helps direct the firm's marketing plan. Previously she held a position at Kingsley Perkins and Company.


Current Board member Neal Fenwick, EVP and CFO, ACCO Brands Corporation, was a finalist for the 2012 Chicago CFO of the Year Award in the Large Public Companies category. Fenwick has served as CFO of ACCO since the company's inception as a public company in August 2005. Fenwick has served the NEIU Foundation as a Board member since 2008.


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