North Central News

North Central College takes to the media spotlight in March

Kelly Murphy

Mar 30, 2022

The month of March was yet another milestone for North Central College’s subject matter experts (SMEs), as they continue to garner media attention across Naperville, Chicago and across the nation. From stories of international conflicts to a U.S. Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings, the College’s political scientists have been at the helm of “breaking news.” On a regional and local scale, North Central’s fine and performing arts, marketing and education departments have generated quite the buzz among media inquiries.

Muck continues to analyze most significant war in almost 80 years on major networks in Chicago and outlets nationwide

Russia’s war in Ukraine has stretched on for more than three weeks, a relentless bombardment of the country’s cities and towns that has led to more than 800 civilian deaths, destroyed civilian infrastructure, and forced more than 3.3 million people to flee Ukraine, creating a new humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Back in Chicago, William Muck, professor and chair of political science, continues to be in high demand from media outlets to help break down the war as developments continue to be underway.

Click the links below to check out the media coverage (story continues after this list):


Gems shares sports business expertise on March Madness with WalletHub

Every March, the nation becomes obsessed with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. While this 68-team basketball frenzy has been known to create many teams into “ones to watch” the rest of the nation tries their hand at betting—whether for the first time or as a yearly tradition. However, there is far more to the March Madness tournament than just basketball. While money often plays a role in the tournament as much as the love of the game, WalletHub analyzed the spectacle of March Madness, from tip to title with a special emphasis on finance.

Gerald Gems, professor of kinesiology emeritus, was interviewed by WalletHub to provide some more-educated insights to the basketball phenomenon.

“The economic impact is enormous, bringing millions of dollars to the host city by way of hotel reservations, restaurant bookings, transport networks, and entertainment venues,” said Gems.

Click here to read the full interview on WalletHub.

Across Naperville media, North Central College shares its new educational partnership with Illinois Network of Charter Schools

North Central College’s School of Education and Health Sciences and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies have forged a partnership with Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) to promote character education. The partnership will provide a 20 percent tuition discount for educators employed by INCS charter schools who enroll in select master’s degree programs at North Central.

The new partnership caught the attention of some media outlets across Naperville:


Caliendo and Chod examine confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Jackson

The Senate Judiciary Committee endured a week of high-profile confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in its 233-year history. While Democrats have the votes to confirm President Joe Biden’s high court nominee on their own, the hearings are critical to the White House goal of securing at least some Republican support and shoring up the court’s credibility.

Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was interviewed on FOX 32 Chicago on March 21, where he addressed what to expect from the first day of hearings and what type of questions she’ll face regarding her record. Suzanne Chod, professor of political science, interviewed with WGN-TV on March 22, where she also examined the confirmation hearings for the SCOTUS nominee and what the public can take away from the process.

As the confirmation trial neared completion, both Dean Caliendo and Professor Chod were tapped again by FOX 32 Chicago and WGN-TV to provide analysis and explain the next steps in the process. Dean Caliendo was interviewed by FOX 32 Chicago on March 24, where he discussed the grueling process of the Senate confirmation hearings. Professor Chod was interviewed by WGN-TV on March 25, where she addressed the importance of Senator Joe Manchin being the key vote in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Click here to watch Dean Caliendo’s full interview on FOX 32 Chicago (March 21).

Click here to watch Professor Chod’s full interview on WGN-TV (March 22).

Click here to watch Dean Caliendo's full interview on FOX 32 Chicago (March 24). 

Click here to watch Professor Chod's full interview on WGN-TV (March 25).

Drake discusses importance of physical spaces to business success and social wellbeing in Daily Herald

Carly Drake, assistant professor of marketing, penned an op-ed in the Daily Herald. The column, published March 20, 2022, focused on how important it is for business to consider physical spaces, as they have a sizeable impact on the business’ success and overall social wellbeing.

Here is an excerpt from her op-ed:

The spaces around us have enormous impact on our well-being, and the role of businesses in curating those spaces is not to be underestimated.

The appearance of a physical space, such as an office or retail showroom, is not just an opportunity for branding, but for doing good. To take care of their employees and customers, business practitioners must consider the nature of their environment beyond the products and services they offer.

There are three elements to consider.

First, design elements. These elements refer to how a space looks. Here, we might pay attention to the building structure and location, furniture, signage, menus and other printed materials, and color schemes.

Second, atmospheric elements. These elements refer to how a space feels thanks to its lighting, smell, texture, and temperature.

Third, social elements. These elements refer to how a space's design and atmosphere communicates, implicitly and explicitly, who is welcome (or not). Social elements include neighborhood surrounding the business, its current clientele or staff, and accessibility.

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Daily Herald.

Caliendo provides analysis of President Biden’s State of the Union address on WGN-TV, ABC 7 Chicago and FOX 32 Chicago

Addressing a concerned nation and anxious world, President Joe Biden vowed in his first State of the Union address to check Russian aggression in Ukraine, tame soaring U.S. inflation and deal with the fading but still dangerous coronavirus.

Biden declared that he and all members of Congress, whatever their political differences, are joined “with an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.” He asked lawmakers crowding the House chamber to stand and salute the Ukrainians as he began his speech. They stood and cheered. It was a notable show of unity after a long year of bitter acrimony between Biden’s Democratic coalition and the Republican opposition.

Dean Stephen Maynard Caliendo was asked by WGN-TV to serve as an expert guest to help provide analysis throughout their entire coverage of President Biden’s first State of the Union address. Dean Caliendo also served as a subject matter expert on both ABC 7 Chicago and FOX 32 Chicago, where he examined key takeaways from the State of the Union address.

Click to watch the full coverage on WGN-TV.

Click to watch the full interview on ABC 7 Chicago

Click to watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

North Central College’s Chords for Kids Concert captures media attention in Naperville and Chicago

After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, North Central College brought back its annual Chords for Kids concert, a special event for those with special needs. This one-of-a-kind experience welcomed children with special needs and their families to come and enjoy a night of music and fun. Adopting the motto, “Wiggles Welcome,” this free event encouraged children with special needs to be themselves at a concert where parents do not have to worry about typical concert etiquette.

The concert is a fun ‘night on the town’ for families and was featured across media outlets in Naperville and Chicago: