North Central News

North Central College holds prominent place in local media during tumultuous times in politics and business

Kelly Murphy

Feb 26, 2021

North Central College’s subject-matter experts continue to provide important analysis on current events even as the College builds new relationships with lasting impact on campus and beyond. Here is a recap of North Central in the media in February:

North Central’s partnership with Illinois Institute of Technology to fast-track students to engineering graduate degrees gains media attention

North Central College and the Illinois Institute of Technology have announced a partnership that provides a seamless and accelerated pathway for North Central undergraduate students seeking admission into graduate master’s degree programs at Illinois Tech’s Armour College of Engineering. The agreement enables prospective applicants to take upper level and graduate courses at Illinois Tech while enrolled at North Central, and to consult with Illinois Tech’s Office of Graduate Admissions for advice on preparing applications and meeting requirements for various Illinois Tech graduate degrees.

This new partnership caught the attention of both media outlets and higher education consortiums:

Media Outlets

Higher Education Consortiums

Dr. Suzanne Chod authors article on First Lady Jill Biden’s doctorate degree in History News Network

Dr. Suzanne Chod, associate professor of political science, penned an op-ed in the History News Network. The column, published December 20, 2020, focused on the now First Lady Jill Biden’s doctoral degree and Joseph’s Epstein’s dismal of the meaning of ‘Dr.’ as it relates to doctoral degrees, which was discussed in his op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal.

Here is an excerpt from her op-ed:

“Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden.” 

By now, most have either read or read about Joseph Epstein’s Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” Mr. Epstein asserts that the meaning of a doctoral degree has been lost over time because it has become so much easier to get one. The author, though, never earned one himself. He laments throughout his article about how he was regularly called “Dr.” but rejects the title. As he says to Dr. Biden directly, “A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.” He mocked Dr. Biden’s dissertation as “unpromising,” by not only including the title, “Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs,” but pointing out the fact that she earned it from a state school, the University of Delaware. For a field he is eviscerating as elitist, he sure seems to be one himself. Mr. Epstein, your snobbery (and hypocrisy) is showing. 

The Wall Street Journal editorial page editor, Paul Gigot, defended Mr. Epstein’s article saying “There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism.” Mr. Gigot accused the Democratic Party generally, and the Biden-Harris team specifically, of orchestrating outrage, asking, “Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue?” Claiming misogyny is a minor issue is not new, and I suppose this one case of this one article’s overtly misogynistic content might not get so much attention. However, this is not simply a case of a privileged, elitist, condescending op-ed in a major newspaper. It is endemic of the systemic and institutional sexism in both our country and academia. This one person’s hot take on Dr. Jill Biden is not what really drove Michelle Obama to post on social media about this, it did not create the wave of women posting about their doctorates. 

Click here to read the full op-ed in the History News Network.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo interviewed on the concept and impact of protest music in Naperville Sun

A Naperville woman found a melodious method for voicing her opposition to a proposed subdivision on what once was Nokia property on the city’s far north side. “Wooden Houses,” a song written and performed by Phyllis Betenia, is a throwback to the protest tunes of the 1960s that called for defending the environment and valuing nature. Rather than waiting for her voice to be heard, Betenia instead drew inspiration from folk musician activists like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bob Dylan to reach a broader audience.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, interviewed with the Naperville Sun to share how using music to get across a view has long been a part of political discourse.

“Rallies and marches often feature music to stir emotions and chants—a form of music—to create a sense of unity within the crowd,” said Dr. Caliendo. “What makes music so popular is it can go anywhere. Unlike theater or visual arts, music is one of the most portable art forms.”

Click here to read the full article on the Naperville Sun.  

Dr. Jelena Sanchez weighs in on current job market trends in Zippia

Given the change of course that has happened in the world, there are many expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. Dr. Jelena Sanchez, assistant professor of Spanish, served as an expert on a panel discussion with Zippia, a career networking site, where she shared what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.

“Some of the biggest trends we’ll see in the job market given the pandemic center around translators and interpreters to work in public health, health systems, social services and human resource management due to the disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among persons identifying as Hispanic or Latino, according to the CDC,” said Dr. Sanchez. “Bilingual language skills are urgently needed in disaster response jobs for example, attorneys, credit analysis, loan officers, mortgage underwriters, and paralegals for loan processing, mortgage underwriting and credit analysis. There is a growing demand for bilingual graduates headed for government jobs in immigration and citizenship. Furthermore, according to a recent study by Stanford University, an astounding 42% of the U.S. labor force is working from home, this has caused a change in many careers. Spanish graduates have embraced remote work and flexible global jobs in customer service, social media, and customer service.”

Click here to read the full article on Zippia.

Caliendo discusses second impeachment trial of Donald Trump on FOX 32 Chicago

The trial will begin Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET with a Senate debate and vote on whether it's constitutionally permissible to prosecute Trump since he is no longer in office. Under an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell, four hours will be divided evenly between the impeachment managers and Trump's counsel to present arguments regarding the constitutionality of the trial — followed by a vote.

The opening arguments would then begin at noon Wednesday, with up to 16 hours per side for presentations. Equal time will then be provided for the senators’ questions, closing arguments and deliberations.

Stephen Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago on Monday, Feb. 8 and Tuesday, Feb. 9, where he discussed how this trial might play out.

“They’re going to have a short discussion tomorrow about the constitutionality of having a trial for a president whose no longer in office and then arguments in earnest on the merits,” said Dr. Caliendo. “Sixteen hours allocated for each side to start on Thursday morning. So you know, within that time, we don't know for sure if we're going to get witnesses. The Democrats who are bringing the case, the impeachment case from the House will have an option to ask for a vote on whether there should be witnesses. And they have not tipped their hand whether or not they'll be seeking that or not, and it's not even clear if they have decided whether they want have witnesses yet or not; so, we'll have to see how that plays out.”

Click here to watch the full February 8 interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Click here to watch the full February 9 interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Chod examines Trump’s second impeachment trial on WGN

As the second impeachment trial for Donald Trump got underway, many saw House managers clearly arguing that this trial is more than just about the former president, but that it sets a precedent for future generations that no matter when it occurs during one’s term, even in the last weeks of presidency, the acting president is not above the law. Suzanne Chod interviewed with WGN news where she shared what stood out to her compared to the last impeachment trial.

“What I found interesting, as you just reported, is that this impeachment is much simpler; that it is one article and it seems to be more cut and dry than the first impeachment trial,” said Dr. Chod. “What I found really interesting was that the defense of the former president seems to be quite similar to the defense when he was impeached a year ago. It is a politically motivated to hate on the left because they are afraid of his political power, they are afraid he could win another election, it’s retribution for him winning the 2016 election, so while the trials are playing out differently in regard to substance, the defense is quite similar. It didn’t really hold up all that well the first time, and I don’t think it’s going to hold up well this time at all.”

Click here to watch the full interview on WGN news.

Caliendo dissects never-before-seen video of Capitol siege as it relates to Trump’s second impeachment on FOX 32 Chicago

As the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump continued to take the media spotlight, House managers methodically began laying out their case against the former president, calling him the inciter-in-chief. Stephen Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago to break down all the highlights from the trial and discuss the never-before-seen video and audio footage of the Capitol insurrection.

“I think it’s really a 21st century trial,” said Dr. Caliendo. “I mean, lots of multimedia presentation footage that we hadn’t seen or heard before is quite dramatic. What I think is interesting is the trial isn’t just about what happened on January 6 during that riot, but months before. It is important to show that it was not a spontaneous event. If you argue there was a spontaneous event that you hinged everything on what the president said that particular day, I think what House managers are trying to do is illustrate that this is something that the president had laid out for a long time, starting with his claims that he could not lose the election unless it was rigged, and that was months before the actual election.”

Click here to watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Caliendo analyzes day three of Trump’s second impeachment on FOX 32 Chicago

As House prosecutors have rested their case against former president Trump, they finished arguing that he should be impeached for inciting an insurrection. It ended with the warning that former president Trump could do it again if he is not convicted. Stephen Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago where he discussed takeaways from day three of the impeachment trial.

“It was another day, a second day of powerful testimony,” said Dr. Caliendo. “Remember, the first day was mostly legal arguments and they laid out their case and they didn’t use all the time they had. They certainly made the point at the end: not only did this happen, but it could happen again if we don’t do something. And we have some responsibility, and that’s where they left their side of the case.”

Click here to watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Caliendo discusses Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s resignation on CBS 2 Chicago

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is the longest-serving lawmaker in Illinois history, but now, his time in Springfield is coming to an end. He announced his resignation on Thursday, Feb. 18. Many saw this outcome as inevitable – and had expected Madigan’s resignation for the past month since he ended his campaign to continue as House Speaker.

For half a century, Springfield was Madigan’s kingdom. As the powerful and longest-serving House Speaker in not just the state’s history, but the country’s, Madigan had tremendous influence over what laws passed, who got elected – and, as the head of the state’s Democratic Party, who got campaign money.

But Madigan’s fiefdom began to crumble last summer when he was implicated as “Public Official A” in a scandal in which ComEd officials admitted to paying out bribes and doling out jobs to those who supported him.

Stephen Caliendo interviewed with CBS 2 Chicago, where he discussed the connection to Madigan’s involvement in the scandal and whether it was the cause for the resignation or if it was just time to be done.

“It’s impossible to know how much this is related to some of the trouble that’s swirling, and how much of it’s related to, it’s simply time,” said Dr. Caliendo.

Click here to watch the full interview on CBS 2 Chicago.