North Central News

North Central College completes a prolific summer of media appearances

Kelly Murphy

Aug 31, 2021

With summer coming to an end and the beginning of the academic year underway, North Central College returns to campus bolstered by a sustained presence in local and national media in August 2021. The College’s subject-matter experts continue to capture the spotlight with insights on the most important news of the day while new administration members brought excitement along with them in their new roles at the College. Last but not least, the College celebrated national recognition from Read on for more highlights of North Central in the media in August.

Caliendo interviewed regarding the latest developments in Afghanistan on WGN-TV

As the capital of Kabul, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, American and Western forces mobilized to evacuate their citizens and Afghan allies. More than 95,700 people have been airlifted out since August 14. However, as many as 1,000 Americans are still in the country, and thousands of people are crowding at the airport, waiting to be evacuated.

With the deadline for U.S.’s withdrawal looming, intel officers warned of imminent terror threats and the U.S. government told American citizens to avoid the airport. On August 26, explosions killed more than 100 people outside the Kabul airport. Officials say 13 U.S. service members and at least 90 Afghan citizens were among the dead, leaving over 140 other people injured.

Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, interviewed with WGN-TV to discuss the latest developments in Kabul.

“It’s terrible and so saddening, but it’s also not surprising,” said Caliendo. “It’s going to be a balancing act on the Biden administration’s part to decide how they’re going to move forward, how quickly they’re going to pull everyone out of there, and of course, what comes with those who get left behind.”

Click here to watch the full interview on WGN-TV.

Jessica Brown shares excitement for her new role in media outlets

Earlier this summer, North Central College announced the appointment of Jessica Brown as the College’s new vice president for student affairs and athletics, a position that is part of the administrative leadership team as a member of the President’s cabinet. Now, with the start of a new academic year upon us, Brown is ready to assist students any way she can.

Brown was featured in the Daily HeraldNaperville Sun and Naperville Patch, where she explained that she feels ready for the challenge as she transitions to a new environment.

"North Central College is an elite institution with a rich community," Brown said. "My goals and priorities are to ensure that all students are supported through two essential areas: athletics and student affairs. I am excited to assess and develop initiatives that will continue to support all of the college's students."

Click here to read the full article in the Daily Herald.

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

Click here to read the full article in the Naperville Patch.


North Central moves up in ranking and receives mentions in Naperville Sun and WBBM-AM Radio 

North Central College is ranked the 23rd best college or university in Illinois by, climbing two notches on the website’s 2022 annual list compared to last year. Nationally, North Central made a fairly large jump among the 1,600 schools reviewed, climbing from 655th in the country on the 2021 list to 603 this year, data shows.

Niche evaluates colleges and universities based on several factors, including academics and admissions numbers and financial and student life data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education. It also takes reviews from students and alumni into consideration, the organization said.

North Central College’s ranking was featured in the following media outlets:


Muck addresses breaking news in Afghanistan across Chicago TV networks

Thousands of people are desperately trying to get out of Afghanistan, as a result of the Taliban seizing control over Kabul, the country’s capital of about 5 million people. The rapid takeover left the world stunned. That includes the thousands of Afghans who fled their homes and believed that Kabul—a city with US troops and western presence—would be a safe haven. But when the Taliban took control of the city, thousands of Afghans rushed to Kabul’s international airport, where international evacuation flights were taking off. And things quickly spiraled into chaos.

Bill Muck, professor of political science, interviewed across three broadcast networks in Chicago—the third top rated media market in the country—to provide analysis on the situation unfolding overseas.

Click here to watch the interviews:


Kelley discusses newly launched wind ensemble in the Chicago Tribune

This fall, North Central will launch a new wind ensemble, the Naperville Winds. This group, directed by the College’s associate professor of music and assistant director of bands Sean Kelley, will bring 85 professional musicians from around the Chicago area together for a dynamic musical experience.

“This is something I have always wanted to do,” said Kelley. “Our mission at North Central is to offer students professional level experience with a repertoire they need to know and (show them) how to teach it.”

Click here to read the full article in the Chicago Tribune.

Gordon shares excitement for new role at the College in Forbes Alert & Diverse Education

North Central College’s Dr. Rebecca Gordon, assistant vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion and Title IX/504 coordinator, continues to be in the media spotlight. Now two months into the role, serving as the College’s first-ever chief diversity officer, Gordon was featured in both Forbes Alert and Diverse Education.

“I am excited for the opportunity to bring an intersectional lens to our work removing systemic barriers to the success of minoritized students, faculty, and staff and at the senior College leadership level,” said Gordon. “While I recognize the challenges ahead of us, I have confidence in the foundation the College has built to launch meaningful changes through the Strategic Plan, the DEI Task Force, and the Athletic Diversity Council, as well as the activism of our students. I appreciate the collaborative relationships I have developed with faculty, staff, and students who have an unwavering commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This is an exciting time to be a Cardinal at North Central College.”

Click here to read Gordon featured in Forbes Alert.

Click here to read Gordon featured in Diverse Education.


Muck and Chod discuss testimonies surrounding the Capitol Insurrection on WGN-TV

The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol kicked off its first high-profile hearing Tuesday, July 27 with harrowing testimony from officers who experienced firsthand the violent events of that day at the hands of a pro-Trump mob. The vivid testimony puts witness accounts on the record and a national spotlight on the insurrection, once again forcing a reckoning over the tragic events of January 6 for lawmakers on Capitol Hill as well as the American public.

North Central College political science professors Bill Muck and Suzanne Chod were interviewed on WGN’s Political Report with Paul Lisnek, where they shared analysis on the testimonies.

“It’s going to be really difficult to keep politics out of this process,” said Muck. “I fully assume that the committee is going to be cautious and careful in trying to avoid those pitfalls.”

Click here to watch the full interview on WGN News.