North Central News

North Central College makes media headlines in April

Kelly Murphy

Apr 30, 2021

April was another active month for North Central College in terms of media attention. The College started the month by announcing a major partnership with several schools in the Midwest funded by major chemical company Lilly and their endowment.

Apart from that, North Central’s subject-matter experts tackled a variety of issues, appearing in print, on television, radio and online and weighing in on money matters, the College’s environmental activism, and major developments in the field of particle physics. Here’s a rundown on this busy month of media coverage:

Collaboration among North Central College, three other Midwest institutions, and Lilly Endowment, Inc. results in media attention across Naperville and Chicago

A collaboration among North Central College, Valparaiso University, the University of Evansville (UE), and Drake University has received a total of $10 million in grant funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. through the competitive Phase 3 of its initiative, Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. The grant will support the establishment of a shared, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with a single set of standardized business practices.

Valparaiso University and UE are two of 16 Indiana colleges and universities that will be supported by funding in the final phase of Charting the Future, an initiative designed to help colleges and universities in Indiana assess and prioritize the most significant challenges and opportunities they face as higher education institutions and develop strategies to address them. Valparaiso and UE are each receiving $5 million grants from Lilly Endowment through the Charting the Future initiative to support the collaboration with North Central College and Drake University.

This collaboration grant resulted in press attention in both the Naperville and Chicago media markets:

Click here to learn more about the collaboration grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

North Central physics professor and alumnus share their role in Fermilab experiment that could change what we know about the universe in Naperville Sun, and NCTV17

North Central College’s Paul Bloom, associate professor of physics, was one of 200 physicists whose work contributed to Fermilab’s Muon g-2 experiment, the results from which could be a game changer in particle physics, experts say. Fermilab, a U.S. Department of Energy facility located in Batavia, announced the long-awaited results from the experiment: the discovery of the subatomic particle muon, a more unstable and heavier cousin of the electron.

Bloom interviewed with the Naperville Sun, and Naperville Community Television (NCTV17), where he discussed his connection and the work he conducted on the experiment since 2017.

“We’re about to learn something new (about the universe),” said Bloom.

And North Central College students also played a role. Those who assisted him in his research helped him brainstorm and design an apparatus that attaches to the 50-foot-diameter magnetic ring at the heart of the experiment.

Darryl Watkins ’20 was one of Bloom’s student research assistants in 2017 and 2018, working on a system detecting leak rates in a vacuum chamber and construction of the aluminum apparatus, which is detachable from the magnetic ring.

“We had a very small part in this,” said Watkins. “There’s so much that goes in with it, but there is a small connection, there’s a little part of me in it. I’m thankful I had a chance to be a part of this. If the results hold, it will be the future of physics.”

Click here to read the full article in the Naperville Sun, on and NCTV17.

Colletti weighs in on fostering financial literacy across the U.S. in WalletHub

After the Great Recession, it became clear that more people needed to learn financial literacy. The housing-market collapse and following financial crisis reminded Americans of our obsession with debt and the dangers of quick access to finances for under-informed consumers. The importance for people to be smart about their finances has become even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, amid high levels of unemployment and restrictions on businesses.

Financial literacy is a growing area of focus for academics, from public-school policymakers to university researchers. John Colletti, adjunct assistant professor of finance, was featured on WalletHub, where he discussed his insight into the current state of financial literacy as well as what the federal government, states and parents can do to help society improve the overall financial literacy by state.

“First, policymakers should identify the goals a society wants to achieve when utilizing resources to achieve financial literacy across the population,” said Colletti. “Goals should include facilitating an understanding of managing household finances; preparing children for successful entry into the education system; developing individual tools to attain gainful employments; and foster the ability to pass along financial knowledge to the next generation.”

Read the full Q&A on WalletHub.

Ballard discusses the College’s solar installations and the benefits they bring to the community with NCTV17

In 2019 and 2020, Naperville expanded its Renewable Energy Program to provide more incentives to residential and commercial customers who go green. Those moves have resulted in massive growth in solar energy installations across town. While commercial installations have been more stagnant, some are taking advantage.

Kaitlin Ballard ’12, sustainability coordinator at North Central, interviewed with Naperville Community Television (NCTV17), where she discussed how the College has maxed out its rebate for its largest solar project—the grid on top of Residence Hall/Recreation Center.

“North Central College has openly embraced solar. We have four projects on campus,” said Ballard.

Click here to watch the full interview on NCTV17.

Towns shares insights into financial aid and waitlists at colleges and universities in

The end of college admissions season is approaching as high school seniors make final decisions about where to enroll for the fall. Or at least, the end is near for most applicants. After May 1, traditionally known as National Decision Day, thousands of others will stay stuck in limbo, hoping for a late acceptance off the waitlist at a coveted college.

Some families, meanwhile, are still coping with ripple effects of the pandemic, like financial pressures and health concerns, that may influence students’ decisions of where and even whether to enroll. So, while waitlists are nothing new, admissions offices have leaned more heavily on them than usual this year, packing them so they have backup options if students opt out.

Kevin Towns, director of financial aid at North Central, interviewed with reporter Joanna Nesbit at, where he discussed what to know about waitlists and how best to secure a spot at your dream institution.

“Regardless of your financial profile, doing some cost research can help you understand if the college is worth waiting for,” said Towns. “It also doesn’t hurt to ask if a college will “pre-read” your financial profile if it’s complicated, though not all colleges offer this service. Most importantly, be prepared. Ask yourself these questions: What can we afford? What resources do we have at our disposal to cover costs? Make sure you’re looking at the cost for all four years.”

Click here to read the full article on