Brought to you by the Office of Orientation and Family Connections at NIU Spring 2017
Welcome Huskie Families On behalf of the NIU Huskie community and Orientation and Family Connections, we are pleased that you are proud Huskie Families! NIU is a community which prides itself on providing unique opportunities, resources and great programs while establishing strong relationships not just with students, but also with parents and family members. As we end the spring semester and start the wonderful summer season, we hope you are able to spend quality time with your student. Please encourage them to take that next step in securing an externship, internship or work on their network for a full-time job once they have graduated. For those of you parents and family members who have a student graduating; congratulations! You made it!
Family to Family Member By April Arnold, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (NIU Alumna ’85) and Rick Arnold (NIU Alumnus ’83)
As “Double Huskies,” we feel a sense of pride in having our son Richard attend NIU. The Arnold family history goes back three generations with a grandfather (also named Richard Arnold) who was hired in the late ’60s to create and chair the School of Theatre and Dance. This led him to a university tenure of 30 years in teaching, just at NIU alone.
We’re excited to share the spring edition of the magazine. You’ll find numerous articles that highlight the NIU Experience. We hope you will find this edition interesting and informative.
We realize that this kind of lineage isn’t always common, but what rings true for our family is that we all believe in the power of education and what it provides. We now have the joy of seeing our son discover and grow with confidence toward his future path.
Don’t forget, Family Weekend is Sept. 8-10. Online registration will be available the first week of June. Please check our website (go.niu.edu/familywknd) for the entire schedule, FAQ, hotel accommodations and parking directions. We have some wonderful activities planned that incorporate both the university and the local DeKalb community.
Richard will be a junior this fall in the College of Business working to complete his degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing. During his first year, he embraced his independence and got involved
Please feel free to utilize the Orientation and Family Connections office throughout the summer if you have any questions, comments or concerns. And be sure to Like us on Facebook at Orientation and Family Connections.
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Have a fantastic summer!
Best Regards, Kesha Williams Associate Director, Orientation and Family Connections
Football Game with grandparents – (from left to right) Richard Arnold, Dorothy Arnold, April Arnold and Dr. Richard Arnold (NIU emeritus faculty).
The Family Connection — Spring 2017
For the Love of Jewelry Julie Goldberg - Parents Endowment Scholarship Recipient By Bethany Wood, Family Connections Intern
Julie Goldberg is the 2017 NIU Parents’ Association Endowed Scholarship Award recipient. She is a junior metalwork, jewelry design and digital fabrication major. She has participated in community service with her family, has over a 3.0 GPA and demonstrated the impact that her mother had on her education. Julie grew up in Miami, Florida with a hard working mother, Melissa Goldberg, who instilled the importance of freedom of speech. Melissa affirmed to Julie that if change is what you want, you must act upon it. One of Julie’s most vivid memories was a peaceful protest that she and her mother were a part of. Julie reminisced, “My mom was really active about making flyers.” At the time the city was trying to build huge cell towers within their community. The goal was to collect signatures for a petition to stop the towers from being built. Initially Julie was mortified by the experience, but afterward she felt empowered. “We did something good, and it felt really powerful.”
found NIU. NIU had one of the best programs for jewelry creation in the country, and also offered one of the most affordable tuition rates for out of state students. After much deliberation and exploration of degree options, Julie and Melissa finally decided to travel across the country to visit DeKalb for the first time. Shortly after, Julie began her undergraduate career at NIU, and found tremendous support from the faculty and classmates she met. She respected the instructors who worked tirelessly to ensure that all students had the resources
Now back at NIU with only three semesters to complete before graduating with a B.A., she is closer than ever to her goal of creating beautiful jewelry as an occupation. Julie has come full circle in her educational endeavors as she looks toward graduation, and has received great support from many NIU faculty. Jamie Obermeier, one of Julie’s professors, shared that in all of her years of teaching, she has never worked with a student so capable of success. “Julie is hard working and dedicated to her craft. When I give demonstrations, Julie is at the front of the class absorbing everything. Her ability to think and design is also way ahead of her level,” said Obermeier.
Community service has always been important to Julie, but her vocational passion is beading and metal work. Julie’s infatuation with art began in after school programs. Beading became one of her favorite activities. Eventually, she discovered that she could incorporate metals into her work, and her enthusiasm for metal work and jewelry design took off. She explained, “You can’t really master all of [metal work and jewelry creation]. You are either really good at stone setting, and then you are just okay at everything else. There’s just so much to it that you can never really get bored. I think that’s why I’ve stuck here; because there is always more to learn.” With the love and support of her family, specifically from her mother, Julie decided to pursue higher education after graduating from high school. Based on her childhood and young adult experiences, Julie knew that she wanted to identify a school that offered a degree that would allow her to continue expressing herself through her enthusiasm for metalwork and jewelry design. This proved to be a challenge because there were not many options in higher education for this field in Julie’s home state of Florida, or the rest of the country for that matter. During her college research, Julie
decided to leave NIU. With the aid of her mother, Julie left Illinois to move to Georgia as she continued to pursue an art degree. However, after only being there a short time, she quickly realized that this new institution was not helping her grow as an artist, and she felt that she was not being pushed to learn anything new about art design. Furthermore, she was living paycheck to paycheck as a waitress, and without the same support that she found at NIU. Julie found herself looking for a more fulfilling experience. After heavy contemplation, she decided to reach out to NIU. The faculty in the Art Department were excited about the possibility of Julie’s return, and did their best to encourage her to come back.
they needed in the classroom, even if there were budget constraints. She had also established a diverse group of friends who helped her feel a sense of belonging within the DeKalb community, although she was hundreds of miles from home. Despite enjoying her stay in DeKalb, she still waivered in her desire to get a degree. Julie understood that a degree was not essential to create art, and that it was hard to commit to school when she was thinking, “Do I really need this?” After a couple of semesters, Julie
Although her story doesn’t follow the cookie-cutter standard, Julie believes that without deviations, she would have had a poor experience. Taking that hiatus from school increased her passion and her happiness. Nonetheless, even with all of her success through change and struggle, she is forever grateful of her mom. “I would not be here without my mom. She supports everything I do including art, leaving school; all of it.” Julie is grateful her mom allowed her to learn of positive experience as well as negative adversity. Julie stated that her greatest lesson was knowing how to be versatile. “You don’t have to go to school for one thing, and that is your path forever. You better yourself and grow to find what you love.”
The Family Connection — Spring 2017
Career Services Helps with Academic and Career Indecision By Brian Pillsbury, Assistant Director for Career Services
Since he first came to NIU, President Baker has made Student Career Success an ongoing, keystone goal for the NIU experience. Faculty, staff and students have incorporated this objective into several facets of academia, student life and post college planning. For some students however, student career success is encumbered by a lack of academic and career direction. It can be difficult to take steps toward career success if you do not know what your career goals are. Academic and career indecision can negatively affect motivation, the completion of career management activities like internships, and even commitment to earning a degree. When you envision a college student with career decision-making difficulties, you might picture someone who has not declared a major, or someone who changes majors several times. And certainly these students are present at colleges and universities across the country. But career indecision can be a factor in the lives of other students as well. These students might have committed to a major prematurely and are now discovering that it is not a good fit with their skills, interests or values. Or they might have chosen a major because they enjoyed it or did well in some introductory courses, but they had not given much
thought to their career direction. Choosing a major is a prerequisite to graduating from college, but choosing a career is not.
consistently shown to be a valid and reliable measure of career interests for a broad, diverse population of college students.
At Career Services, our professional career counselors are skilled in the process of helping students move from undecided and lost to decided and committed to an academic and career path. As experts on career indecision, career assessment and career planning, we partner with students in a supportive environment to identify decisionmaking difficulties and initiate plans to overcome them. We help students understand the relationship between their education and their future career paths. After working with one of our career counselors, students often have a much better sense of who they are, what they want and how to achieve their goals.
Students who complete the SII, which is available for a small materials fee, receive a comprehensive 14-page report describing their career interests and identifying specific career options. Our career counselors conduct a personalized interpretation of the SII report that incorporates information gathered from the student in a previous career counseling session as well as the student’s in-the-moment reactions and feedback. Together, counselor and student make sense of the results and apply them to academic and career options.
A significant component of the career counseling process is helping students clarify what they are most interested in, and how those interests are related to the choice of major and career. To that end, we are proud to offer the Strong Interest Inventory® (SII), a career test that measures a student’s level of interest in career options, academic options, work environments and other areas relevant to career choice. The SII has been
Counseling for career decision-making is available at Career Services for all interested students. Anyone needing assistance identifying academic or career options, or adding definition to their career goals is welcome to schedule an introductory appointment by calling 815-753-1641. We are hopeful that family members will help us spread the word about these services to students who could benefit from them. Anyone needing additional information should contact Dr. Brian Pillsbury, Assistant Director, at 815-753-9180.
The Family Connection — Spring 2017
Greek Life: There’s more to it than you think! By Morgan Brickley, Associate Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life
As we near the end of the academic year, it’s important to look back and celebrate some of the successes we’ve had. But it’s also important to look forward and see how our students’ experiences have prepared them for life after college. One such experience that 12 percent of our students choose to have during their time at NIU is membership in a fraternity or sorority. “Greek Life” is truly an incredible experience that contributes to student career success – but it is also a lifelong commitment to values, friendships and civic engagement. If you have a son or daughter involved in one of the 47 fraternities or sororities on campus, or if you are a member yourself, you might already have an idea what it means to “Go Greek.” If you are completely unfamiliar with fraternity and sorority life, you might have some ideas about it, but no personal knowledge of Greek Life. No matter your level of understanding, hopefully this article will help offer some perspective on the wonderful experiences your student can have in a fraternity or sorority, and will keep you from saying, “It’s all Greek to me!” Before sharing some success stories about current and past Greek Huskies, here are some lesserpublicized factoids about Greek Life: -Students in fraternities and sororities maintain higher GPAs than non-Greeks at most campuses nationwide. -90 percent of students who Go Greek are still enrolled their senior year, compared to 70 percent of non-Greeks (Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors, Vol. 2, Iss. 1). -It’s a connection for a lifetime! Too often you meet Greek alumni who say, “I was in a fraternity/sorority in college.” When really it should be, “I am a member of a fraternity/ sorority, and still feel connected to my organization and my school.” -At NIU in the 2016-2017 school year, the 47 Greek chapters donated more than 20,000 hours of their time to community service projects in the DeKalb area. -NIU’s Greek chapters hosted more than 200 alcohol-free social or educational events in the 2016-2017 school year. Sometimes Greek Life is painted in a very partycentric light, particularly in movies and on TV. While there are certainly social aspects of fraternities and sororities, there is so much more to it than that. To elaborate on some experiences that students in our
community have had, here are specific examples from current and alumni Huskies. Amanda Santucci: Graduating Huskie Affiliation: Alpha Phi, Panhellenic Association Joined: As a first-year Leadership: Most recently served as sorority chapter president for the 2016 calendar year; changed her projected career path to pursue a degree in higher education administration. Her sorority involvement opened her eyes to the field of student affairs, and has set her up for a graduate assistantship during graduate school. Kyle Lietz: Current Student (sophomore) Affiliation: Phi Kappa Psi, Interfraternity Council Joined: As a first-year Leadership: Current president of his fraternity. Serving in this leadership role has opened Kyle’s eyes to the responsibilities of managing people and running an organization. These skills will be valuable to him as he moves into the work environment after college, setting him up to lead teams and solve problems in ways many recent graduates cannot. Kevin Mui: Graduating Huskie Affiliation: Kappa Pi Beta, United Greek Council Joined: As a first-year Leadership: Currently finishing term as chapter president. Kevin is serving as a student leader, while also working part time at a technology company in the Chicago suburbs. He hopes to turn that into a full-time job after graduation, where he can utilize management and organizational skills he picked up from his fraternity leadership roles. Ashley Felton: Current student (senior) Affiliation: Delta Sigma Theta, National PanHellenic Council Joined: As a junior Leadership: Served on council leadership for NPHC; nursing student with a very rigorous course load. As Ashley moves forward with a career in nursing, she can lean on her team building and problem-solving skills learned from leadership roles within Greek Life. While your student has many involvement opportunities to choose from during their time at NIU, few will prepare them for life after college in the same way as Greek Life. The leadership skills and friendships our students take away from Greek Life will carry them into career success and lifelong friendships after they leave NIU. For more information about Greek Life and fraternities and sororities at NIU, visit www.niu.edu/fsl.
The Family Connection â€” Spring 2017
NIU Department of Police and Public Safety By Officer Maria Christenson, NIU Department of Police and Public Safety
Time flies. Here we are at the end of another productive school year. While we will shortly begin preparing for next semester, I would like to take the time to highlight some of the events and accomplishments our department participated in and provided to you, the students and the rest of the university community. During the holidays, our department worked with DeKalb Family Services to collect and distribute toys, and we gave the toys to the children at Safe Passage. The department was able to collect enough toys for all the children at Safe Passage. The NIU Police Department gave over five A.L.I.C.E. (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) Active Shooter classes throughout the spring semester. Our department aims to educate our school officials and students to be prepared in case of an active shooter/ active threat situation. Our department also helped the Sycamore Police Department train over 300 staff members from the Sycamore School District on A.L.I.C.E. procedures. We also partnered with the DeKalb Park District and hosted a second Hero Daughter Dance. Some of our officers accompanied young girls who do not have father figures in their lives for a night of dancing and entertainment.
On March 31, 2017, we hosted our third annual Women of the Shield ceremony. We hold this event to recognize women in law enforcement for their bravery, valor and commitment to the communities they serve. This year we partnered with Dress for Success, which is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing the support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. We are also completing our first year as members of the Bigs in Blue Program. This program is a partnership between NIU Police and Public Safety and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Illinois to mentor at-risk youth. Twelve officers, ranging from our Police Chief to patrol officers, have enjoyed developing relationships with their Littles. The program has been well-received by both the Bigs and the Littles. The officers are dedicating their time to ensure that these Littles benefit from a mentor who can guide and support them as they make decisions for success. We are also in the process of having 100 percent of our officers CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) prepared. CIT is recognized as the leading training for preparing officers to respond effectively to calls involving subjects with
NIU now has Emoji and Sticker Apps Please visit go.niu.edu/emoji to see how you can download these fun emojis and stickers!
mental health issues, thereby promoting a higher degree of safe outcomes for all parties involved. So far, we have trained about 90 percent of our department on CIT. We had our second Citizens Police Academy this year, which again was a huge success. This program is part of our departmentâ€™s focus on expanding our communitybased efforts. It is our hope that these efforts will open the lines of communication between the community and the police department. Our objective is to produce informed citizens, and to give them an overall understanding of the operation of the department. All of the participants were very happy. They stated they learned a lot about policing, and were glad to be part of the program. This year we worked closely with the DeKalb Police in the Greek Row area. We have a copolicing program that has increased the proactive/ preventative patrols striving to provide increased safety for those who live off campus. Lastly, as a department, we are dedicated to the safety of our students and their guests. In addition to the police services, we offer on-campus foot escorts by our student patrol; we provide residence hall security from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.; and at night, we offer a safe ride home on our fixed route service Safe Line.
The Family Connection — Spring 2017
Engaged Students Collaborate with DeKalb to Build a Thriving Cool College Community By Jennifer Groce, Director for Community Affairs
NIU parents can be proud of the great communiversity your students call home in DeKalb. NIU student input is encouraged by the DeKalb community, and student ideas are taken seriously by City leaders in an effort to build a thriving, cool college community. Recently, NIU student leaders took community input to a historic level, and the community couldn’t be more “Proudly DeKalb” as result. On April 24, Student Association Speaker Christine Wang and Student Association Director of Governmental Affairs Caleb Janowski presented a summary report of NIU student recommendations for improvements to downtown DeKalb. The report was based on NIU student input given during a recent community tour; City/student conversation; and an online survey that was jointly planned by NIU Students, the City of DeKalb and Proudly DeKalb. Wang and Janowski presented student recommendations to the DeKalb City Council along with Chris Jackson, Management Intern for the City of DeKalb and NIU Masters of Public Administration student, who
Christine Wang - Speaker for NIU and SA member
addressed implementation efforts for the City. In April 2016, the DeKalb City Manager initiated an outreach to NIU Student Leaders in order to establish a direct communication link between the City and the students. The purpose was to receive feedback from students on a variety of issues. The collaboration identified the need to form a student work group to serve as a professional liaison for NIU students. Primarily working through the Student Association, which serves as the voice of the student body to the administration, the NIU Student Leaders Group was created. In September 2016 at the start of the new academic year, the City Manager and other staff members began monthly meetings with the NIU Student Leaders Group. These meetings established that there was a general lack of student knowledge regarding downtown DeKalb. Students did not know what stores or events existed in the downtown, and many lacked the knowledge of the downtown business
district boundaries. With this knowledge in mind, staff began planning a downtown student community conversation to help identify how to bring students to the downtown and how to make DeKalb, in the words of NIU President Doug Baker, “A cool college town.” The event was held February 1, and the student report was based on this event. NIU students reported to the DeKalb City Council that five themes were derived from the conversations. The themes included; communications, street and sidewalk lighting, downtown transportation, weekend activities and sense of community. A full link to the report can be found at http://il-dekalb.civicplus. com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/ Item/3690?fileID=11691. Due to the success of the community conversation with NIU students, discussions are underway to schedule the event annually in February and September. The City and the NIU Student Leaders Group will continue to work to advance the initiatives outlined in the report during regularly scheduled meetings.
Caleb Janowski - Government Affairs for NIU
The Family Connection — Spring 2017
The Talk: Summer Time Title IX By Rose M. J. Henton, Director of Coordinated Education, Training and Outreach Programs, Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance, Human Resources
April is a beautiful time on campus. The smell of fresh cut grass, daffodils in bloom and new little goslings chasing mother goose are welcome changes from the cold winter months. However, April can also be a time of significant stress for your student. End of the year research papers are due, finals are looming, their home away from home must be packed up and they are leaving new friends for the summer. All this can cause your student to feel anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed and just plain worn out. They may even bring some of these feelings home with them. Don’t be alarmed but, do be aware. Once your student is home and has rested up a bit, take them out for breakfast or lunch. This is your time to find out all that has happened this past year. Remember, each year is new and different; filled with challenges, obstacles and enjoyment. Focus on what their campus experience has been and what they learned outside of the classroom. Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance is a resource to help students learn more about Title IX and sexual misconduct, improve student safety, decrease risk and inform students how they can look out for each other. Each student has taken an online module concerning sexual misconduct. Some took Haven-AlcoholEDU while others took Title IX training in Blackboard. Ask your student what they remember about the training. This way, you will know if they are retaining any information and taking their safety seriously. You may even learn something yourself. Ask your student how they would help another
student in need. It could be a friend or stranger. What if they see there is a potential for assault, coercion or harm of some kind? If it is a potential assault, whether sexual or otherwise, does your student know how to handle such a situation? They can call the police, step in safely and try to diffuse the situation or ask others for help. Remind them that they have the power to foster change. Some serious situations on college campuses involve social media. Continually remind your student that while social media can be an effective tool, it can also cause major problems. Talk to them about what is appropriate to share and what is not. When social media is used to spread rumors, post inappropriate pictures or comment on a person’s sex life, this can go against laws and policies focused on harassment or exploitation. Remind your student, no matter the age, that too much alcohol can play a role in making the wrong decisions. When someone is incapacitated they can’t give consent, direct what happens to them or make sound decisions. If they have a serious issue with substance abuse, help is available on campus.
“Focus on what their campus experience has been and what they learned outside of the classroom.”
Lastly, make sure your student knows that you care. Judgement and scolding can cause them not to seek your help when they need it the most. Be open, listen, respond sensibly and help walk them through their first steps in the real world without you. Building this new kind of relationship will pay off long into the future and not only help them, but alleviate some of your concern as well.
Family to Family Member Continued from page 1
with school activities through a student organization related to his intended profession in marketing. He also sought out two internships during his second year. These opportunities have helped him learn, network, volunteer and expand his horizons while building his NIU family of friends. Not every NIU experience has been what he anticipated, but through the process of doing, he is determining what he likes and what he doesn’t. That’s what the college experience is about. For that matter, that’s what life is about. We are pleased to see him become such a fine young man, and know that what he has received from NIU thus far is an opportunity to experiment, find his
voice and create a path for life after college. If nothing else, we hope he realizes that every day brings a continuing opportunity to absorb information and choose from a variety of answers to solve whatever the task is at hand. We believe Richard is learning all of these things and more here at NIU, as we did the same many years ago.
Rick Arnold, April Arnold and Richard Arnold.