North Central News

Landmark accomplishments and key national issues highlight North Central College in the media in September

Kelly Murphy

Sep 30, 2021

Between annual rankings, anniversaries and breaking news, North Central College’s subject matter experts continue to capture the spotlight of media outlets regionally and nationally. Here’s a recap of what our faculty were talking about with the press and what we achieved in September:

Chod talks about the Obama Presidential Center groundbreaking on WGN-TV

A South Side plot of land is about to become the site of historical construction. After years of blueprints and court battles, the first shovels turned in Jackson Park Tuesday to begin physically building the Obama Presidential Center. The $500 million facility that has been six years in the making is being built on the South Side, not far from where the Obamas first met and had their family. The Center will include a museum and a new branch of the Chicago Public Library, as well as a public plaza and recreation center. The former president said he wants the space to become a hub for activism and social change.

Suzanne Chod, political science professor, interviewed on WGN-TV, where she discussed the significance of the groundbreaking and how it will stand out among the other Presidential Libraries.

“Normally when we think about a presidential legacy, political scientist and pundits, we measure by policy, we measure by how many Supreme Court justices are federal judges the president appointed,” said Chod. “But, what former President Obama is trying to build with his legacy and in partnership with former First Lady Michelle Obama, is building future generations of leaders. He sees his legacy and this Obama Presidential Center as the focal point of that and is a place of gathering, of activism, of civic participation, and a way to build capital to feel connected.”

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

Caliendo discusses takeaways from the Senate hearing on the military withdrawal from Afghanistan on FOX 32 Chicago

In their first appearance before Congress since the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the nation's top military leaders candidly admitted to lawmakers that they had recommended to President Joe Biden that the U.S. should keep a troop presence there, appearing to contradict his assertions.

The testimony by Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, was at odds with Biden's comments earlier this year that his military commanders did not recommend keeping a residual force.

The revelations came during a six-hour hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee where Milley also characterized that the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan had been "a strategic failure" and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin acknowledged that it was time to acknowledged some "uncomfortable truths" about the two decade U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.

Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, addressed the takeaways from the hearing on FOX 32 Chicago.

“There’s so much involved in foreign policy decisions,” said Caliendo. “I think from a military perspective it’s always going to be somewhat different from the political perspective, and that’s where I think we saw some conflict yesterday on Capitol Hill.

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

Chod addresses the Supreme Court’s upcoming abortion case in an op-ed in the Naperville Sun

Suzanne Chod penned an op-ed in the Naperville Sun. The column, published September 24, 2021, focused on the Supreme Court having already decided to take a case about the viability precedent this fall, following the attention given to the recent Texas law (SB8) that criminalized abortions after six weeks.

Here is an excerpt from her op-ed:

Each Supreme Court majority opinion ends with the same four words: “It is so ordered.” But, with Roe v. Wade (1973), has it been? Will it still be in about a year?

The misunderstanding of what the Supreme Court ordered in Roe has been at the center of the debate over abortion rights for decades. The court did not prohibit states from banning abortions; nor did the ruling provide iron-clad legal protections for “late term” or “partial birth” abortions.

What it did do, though, was establish a right to privacy, state that fetuses are not people and therefore do not have 14th Amendment protection, and allow states to decide their own abortion regulations after the first trimester and when the fetus is viable.

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Naperville Sun.

Cardinal First—North Central's first-gen program—receives national honor and makes headlines

Excelencia in Education, the nation's premier authority on efforts to accelerate Latino student success in higher education, named Cardinal First—North Central College's program for first-generation college students—as a national finalist for the 2021 Examples of Excelencia. This recognition was given to only 21 programs nationwide out of 145 program submissions representing 23 states and Puerto Rico. Cardinal First is the only Midwestern program in the baccalaureate category, and one of just two programs in Illinois, to be recognized as a finalist.

Cardinal First’s national recognition has captured the attention of media outlets across Naperville.

"Cardinal First is committed to advancing outcomes for all first-generation students, including our increasing population of first-gen Latino students," said Julie Carballo, director of first-generation initiatives, veteran and military-affiliated student services. "This recognition represents the tireless and passionate work of so many involved with Cardinal First since its launch in 2015. It is also an honor to see the success of our first-gen Latino students recognized and celebrated; they are remarkable and a tremendous asset to our campus."

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

Click here to read the full article in Naperville Community Television (NCTV17).

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

President Troy D. Hammond shares insights on the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking in Naperville media outlets

North Central College has been ranked among America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report for the 27th consecutive year. The annual U.S. News rankings are widely recognized as a marker of excellence in higher education. North Central ranked No. 19 out of 157 schools in the Best Regional Universities Midwest category. The College ranked highly in two other categories: No. 8 for Most Innovative Schools, which includes schools making “cutting edge” improvements on their campuses in the areas of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology and facilities; and No. 15 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes institutions with a strong commitment to teaching undergraduate students.

North Central President Troy Hammond interviewed with the Naperville Sun, where he shared his insights on the latest U.S. News ranking. The College was also featured in the Naperville Patch.

“For us to be such a top regional university integrated right now into downtown Naperville provides such amazing advantages to the college and town,” said Hammond.

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

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

Lambert details the pandemic’s strain on nursing homes in The 19th

Nursing homes were closing before the pandemic: more than 550 from June 2015 to June 2019, more shuttering each year than the previous one, affected by staffing shortages, high costs and a decline in occupancy.

But the coronavirus pandemic has hit nursing homes particularly hard, killing more than 186,000 residents and staff and pushing the industry into what experts have warned is its “worst financial crisis in history.” Now, only one in four of the country’s 15,600 nursing homes is confident it can survive the coming months, according to a recent survey.

Meegan Lambert, assistant professor of occupational therapy, interviewed with The 19th, where she emphasized the need for a major shift in how Americans plan — or don’t plan —for aging and any complications that entails.

“People don’t realize all that goes into the day-to-day care,” Lambert said, noting that a typical nursing home has a dietary staff to prepare three hot meals daily, nurses to administer medications throughout the day and others to facilitate social activities. “One or two family members might have to do what it takes a whole village to do. They can quickly become burnt out with trying to meet the emotional, social and physical needs of their loved one.”

Click here to read the full story on The 19th’s website.

Ericka Stoor-Burning recalls memories of viewing the apocalypse that was 9/11’s Ground Zero 20 years ago in the Naperville Sun

Hours after the World Trade Center's two towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies Ericka Stoor-Burning was at Ground Zero in Manhattan. Twenty years later, the former paramedic/EMT — now a professor at North Central College in Naperville — can vividly recall how the place looked, how it smelled, those small and sometimes sickening details that were stark reminders of the nearly 3,000 lives lost.

"You could see all the soot caked on their faces. The only area with no soot was where tear lines had formed," she said.

Click here to read the full article on the Naperville Sun’s website.