The surprise biologist
Anthony Smith likes to think of an organism like a finely tuned car. An automobile’s power-train control module—or main computer—acts as the brain to a central nervous system, interpreting signals and sending out responses. “In a car, there are sensors that determine the temperature of the engine, just like your skin senses temperature,” Smith said. “That information is then interpreted by the brain, which later sends output signals to elicit a response, like whether to withdraw from the temperature source.”
Accounting adds up for Anna Davydova
Anna Davydova isn’t worried about setting career goals—at least not yet. On track to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northeastern Illinois University in 2018, Davydova is focused on only one thing: passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.
A fearless future teacher
When Becca Peterson arrived at Northeastern Illinois University in 2014, the transition to college was a shock. After all, she had enlisted in the Air Force only one year earlier after graduating from Lane Tech College Prep High School. After an unexpected medical discharge, Peterson found herself planning to spend the next four years on a college campus, not an Air Force base. “I really had no idea what college I wanted to go to,” Peterson said. “After the Air Force, I felt confused about what to do.”
A world of opportunities
Whether she’s studying political science, interning for a state senator, attending the Democratic National Convention or traveling abroad, Anna Augustyn immerses herself in politics any way she can.
Rock your way to the top
If you ask Michael Angelo Batio about achieving success, he’ll tell you it boils down to one thing: choosing to finish. And he would know.
Pursuit of the highest education
John Gomez does not settle and will not settle—even after he earns his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. “Ever since I was little, the one thing I have always wanted to do—which I know is kind of odd—is that I’ve always wanted to go to college,” said Gomez, who naturally is a member of the University Honors Program. “I really value education. I think it’s so important for people to be educated—not necessarily just to get a job but just to better yourself.”
A career path to smile about
If you ask Wanda Nguyen about her career plans, she does not hesitate with her answer: She will graduate from Northeastern Illinois University, attend dental school and eventually become an orthodontist, she says. And then she smiles. Nguyen hasn’t always been so quick to smile. As a child, she was teased and bullied by her classmates for having crooked teeth. She became shy and withdrawn. But after receiving orthodontic treatment at 21, Nguyen’s self-confidence skyrocketed.
A mission for education
Oscar Ramírez never had a Latino teacher growing up. Not in grade school, not in middle school and not in high school. Nunca. That all changed when Ramírez, the son of Guatemalan immigrants, enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University. “I suddenly had Latino teachers,” Ramírez said. “I would visit my professors during office hours and talk to them. They opened my mind and made me believe I can do anything.”
‘We knew her when’
As Alaa Basatneh sat in the gallery for President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address—a mere 15 seats away from first lady Michelle Obama—she couldn’t stop thinking about the Supreme Court justices. “It felt surreal. The energy in that room,” Basatneh said. “All of the lawmakers, the officials, the cabinet, the justices. I kept looking at the justices and thinking, I want to see expressions on their faces. They’re supposed to be neutral.”
When research grabs international headlines
Mass shootings are contagious. That was the headline-grabbing conclusion of a research project that Maryam Khan began working on when she was a senior at Northeastern Illinois University. Almost as soon as the paper was published by PLoS ONE journal in July 2015, lead researcher Sherry Towers’ phone began to ring with calls from news outlets such as NBC, NPR and The Washington Post.