For all of us in Higher Education and Student Affairs, 2020 was a uniquely challenging year. But, like we do at NIU, our institution and students have faced each new hurdle with Huskie grit.
The Division of Student Affairs continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our Huskies. I want to share with you some of the exciting work we’ve done to enhance campus for students.
As NIU’s chief student affairs officer, I have been working with a fabulous team to establish wrap-around student services as an important component to the Office of the Dean of Students.
The Center for Student Assistance (CSA), part of this effort, opened last January in the Campus Life Building. As a one-stop-shop for student support, it quickly became the hub for all questions and concerns related to the pandemic in 2020. The CSA has fielded literally thousands of calls over the past year, nearly half of them related to questions about COVID-19. And thousands of Huskies received millions of dollars in support as part of a newly established emergency fund.
The Campus Life building is also now home to the Disability Resource Center. Not only is this location right in the heart of campus, but the first-floor location makes it a new perfect new home for the DRC.
I hope more Huskies will be spending time on campus soon, enjoying the freshly renovated Holmes Student Center. Since late 2019, new offerings at the HSC have included QDOBA, Starbucks, The Depot convenience shop, The Grill at Huskie Den, an updated Huskie Books and Gear store, a wide-open lounge space for studying and more.
The HSC has never been a more popular space for students, with The Organization and Student Involvement Space (OASIS) on the redesigned ground floor also housing the Student Government Association, the Campus Activities Board, Fraternity and Sorority Life and support for Student Organizations.
It is everyone’s wish to find more normalcy this year with the rollout of a vaccine for COVID-19, and in the meantime we are all persisting in doing our part in Protecting the Pack at NIU and safeguarding the communities in which we live. May you have a safe and successful 2021!
Kelly Wesener Michael, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Chief Student Affairs Officer and Dean of Students
Northern Illinois University
HESA student named
NASPA Rising Star
Jayla Hill, a student in NIU’s Higher Education and Student Affairs M.S.Ed. program and graduate residence hall director for New Hall, was named a Graduate Student Rising Star by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She is the second Huskie in a row to earn this distinction!
Huskies win awards
from housing association
NIU Assistant Director for Residential Facilities Danielle Hernandez (Young) and undergraduate Community Advisor Marianna Carr were honored last fall with awards from the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO) and the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (GLACURH).
Student Emergency Fund