Freshmen Year Experience

        My freshmen year I decided to live in Stevenson Hall. It was a very exciting experience because I had never been away from my parents for a long time period. In my adolescent mind, I was excited to be “free” from rules and ongoing daily lectures from my parents. I had a suite style room that I shared with 3 other ladies. I had an amazing experience where I was able to meet people that are my friends now. Although I did feel like I had freedom, I missed my family every so often. I would go home every two weeks. It was something that I felt like I had to do.

       My second year at NIU I decided to live in an apartment off-campus. This was a different experience than living in a residence hall. I had to cook for myself on a daily basis, which was new to me. At times I did not know what to cook so I had to call my mom for advice. Experiences like these prepare you for the “real world” early on. I felt like I was too far from campus so I decided to live closer to campus.

      This year, I currently live in a townhouse right on campus. I enjoy the convenient walk to every building.. My roommates are wonderful because they are all close friends of mine. Many of neighbors are people who I knew before. It’s like living in a small colonial town. I know when I graduate next year I will miss experiences like these where I was able to create unforgettable memories. NIU, you will be missed. 



Random Acts of Kindness at NIU

At NIU, everyone is very friendly. I have lost many things such as my glasses, phone, keys, my NIU one card. Every time I have been able to find these items because of the people who are honest and kind enough to return them. These types of random acts of kindness bring together the Huskie community. SImple things such as holding doors, paying a meal for a friend or a stranger, and returning lost items could brighten up someone’s day. We all have busy lives but that does not mean we can set aside some time to help each other out. At the end of the day our small acts of random kindness will be appreciated. What will your next random act of kindness be?

I <3 NIU!!

I heart NIU because it has given me experiences that have changed my life! Never would I have thought I would be conducting research  through the Research Rookies Program  with a public health professor, Dr. Ciesla and now the Undergraduate Research Assistantship with a physical therapy professor, Dr. Collins. These projects were presented at national conferences across the country. Thank you to the OSEEL office!

I have been able to meet wonderful people at NIU, including students and staff. I love hearing each and every one of their journeys and future goals, which are inspiring to me. The Latino Resource Center has always been a great center where you are able to go and meet new people who have the same culture and values as you. This is touching to me because I am away from my family which can be difficult during stressful times. I have been able to be involved with Adela de la Torre Honors Society, the first Latino Honors Society on campus. This is impactful to me because of the importance of Latino students successfully graduating from universities. 

This past winter break I was given the opportunity to participate in an externship, that was developed with the partnering of the University Honors Program and the NIU Alumni Association, at Advocate Sherman Hospital with the president of the hospital, Ms. Linda Deering. Ms. Linda Deering was a great mentor to me. These experiences have been truly meaningful to me. I am surrounded by great mentors who have supported me from the very beginning of my freshman year. As a future alum, I hope to be a mentor to NIU students. Also, thank you to the supporters who have helped fund programs for students. They have enriched my college career which I am extremely grateful for. 

Stay Safe NIU

As a college student at NIU you have to learn how to balance academics and the things you are involved in but you also have to relax and have fun. At NIU there are many things to do for fun such as attending sport events, going to the bowling alley at the Huskies Den, visiting the observatory in Davis Hall, as well as visiting DeKalb downtown. Currently, our football team is undefeated and we encourage you to attend the following home game on November 26th, 2013 at 6pm vs Central Michigan.  

Staying safe is also important while having fun. Making smart decisions is one way I stay safe on campus. I never walk alone at night and I make sure I always watch who is behind me. Police Chief Tom Philips visited us in last month’s NLA meeting and told us of a few tips to stay safe. He advised to never use your phone while walking because you are putting yourself in danger of getting it stolen. He also advised to not give anyone your pin to your credit/debt card even if they offer fast cash. Be aware of your surroundings everywhere you go and try to avoid listening to music while you walk because it is a distraction. Stay safe everyone!

Engaged Learning at NIU

              At the moment, FAST (First-generation Aspire to Succeed) and Adela de la Torre Honor Society have partnered up to recreate a “Parent University” to help parents of first generation students to become informed, educated, and assisted with the college process. The original idea and program was done by Mrs. Segundo at Aurora high school. This will be implemented at Sycamore high school but it is open to the community of Sycamore and DeKalb. There will be different sessions regarding college applications, financial aid, college life, and many more topics regarding higher education. There will also be a research component that will be added. Parents will participate in a survey study as well as group discussions to be able to learn how “Parent University” affects their perspective of higher education. The first sessions will begin Spring Semester. 

                Many parents of first generation students want to learn more but there are insufficient resources provided for parents. With this program parents will have the opportunity to become more educated over the topic and be able to help their child or children.

                This is very exciting to be a part of and I know that with this program more parents will become informed of the college process. I have conducted research in the past years and I am confident that we will have a successful program as well as data collection that will hopefully become published. With this experience, I will be able to practice working with first-generation parents and students. This is something I would like to do in the future as a physical therapist with public health. 

                 ”A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”-Colin Powell 

Beginning of the Semester!

I am currently enrolled in health promotion, medical terminology, introduction to rehabilitational services, evolutionary biology, and developmental psychology.

In my health promotion class I am very excited for a project we have to do which is to create our own plan to help a community through public health. I am also very excited for my introduction to rehabilitation services class as well as my medical terminology because it related to what I will be doing as a physical therapist. 

In the past I have taken many science courses such as chemistry and physics. I am almost done completing my general education requirements. My favorite class has been Disability in Society which is about learning about people with disabilities and how to be respectful towards them.

In the future, I will be taking more public health courses which will help me with my goal which is to create a preventive healthcare facility in a under served neighborhood in the city of Chicago. I will be able to promote public health as well as practice physical therapy. I am also looking forward to taking anatomy and physiology in the following year. These are very important classes for my major and for applying to professional school for physical therapy. 

During these past few weeks,  the Latino Resource Center has held many events such as Latin Chill and El Grito in honor of Latino Heritage month. Enjoy the photos!ImageImageImage


Introduction of myself

Hello everyone! My name is Elaine Rodriguez and I’m currently a junior with a major in pre-physical therapy and a minor in public health. I am part of the College of Health and Human Sciences. I am part of the student/civic engagement committee in the Northern Light Ambassador program. I am originally from Chicago. My immediate family consists of my mom, dad, and one older sister. My parents are originally from Mexico and migrated to the US before I was born. I love traveling, dancing, listening to music, going to concerts, and hanging out with friends. I am a first generation student with big dreams.

I chose NIU (Northern Illinois University) because it was an opportunity for me to be away from home and grow as an individual. I liked the fact that I would be away but yet still close to Chicago. I am very proud and thankful to have chosen NIU because of all of the opportunities it has provided me. I had never been this involved in any educational institution I have attended.

I chose to be an NLA to be able to assist new and current students in helping them become involved on campus. I want to be able to share all of the information and advice I have learned through my experiences. I am looking forward to meeting future and current students as well as their parents to be able to discuss all of the opportunities NIU has to offer for them.

The experience that has most stood out to me was when I was able to attend a national conference in Seattle, Washington last year to present my research poster. This experience made me realize that I can do anything that I set my mind to. The conference was incredibly informative, interesting, and eye opening. The best advice I give is to try your best and never give up! Go Huskies!!!