North Central College in the News

North Central takes to the airwaves on politics, economics, health and more

Kelly Murphy

Feb 28, 2023

North Central College’s subject matter experts continue to be a trusted source for insightful analysis on current events and issues that affect the entire Cardinal community as well as the world at large. In February, local, regional and national media alike looked to our faculty for their views on the political news of the day, economic impact at the grocery store, and social matters captivating and dividing the nation. In addition, the College received significant media attention for the efforts of Cardinal students in athletics, music and community activism. Here is a recap of North Central in the media in February:

Caliendo and Muck address anniversary of War on Ukraine on FOX 32 Chicago

Ukraine’s leader pledged to push for victory in 2023 when he and other Ukrainians marked the somber anniversary of the Russian invasion that upended their lives and Europe’s security. On a day of commemorations, reflection and tears, the Ukrainian president’s defiant one captured the national mood of resilience in the face of Europe’s biggest and deadliest war since World War II. Zelenskyy, who has himself become a symbol of Ukraine’s refusal to bow to Moscow, said Ukrainians proved themselves to be invincible during “a year of pain, sorrow, faith and unity.”

Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and William Muck, professor and chair of the political science department, both interviewed on FOX 32 Chicago throughout the week of the one-year anniversary of the War on Ukraine.

Watch the full interviews below:

Decker gives economic perspective in U.S. News & World Report: Just why are eggs so expensive?

As inflation continues to be on the minds of many Americans, grocery prices are rising at a record pace. Rising milk, egg and margarine prices have contributed to grocery prices in the four weeks to 19 February rose 17.1% from a year ago, the highest rate since its records began in 2008. Food prices began to surge last year when the war in Ukraine triggered a huge rise in energy costs and disrupted supplies of grains, vegetable oils and fertilizer. While prices at supermarkets have risen, all of the big chains are competing fiercely to maintain their market share amid the cost of living crisis.

Ryan Decker, assistant professor of economics and director of the Center for Financial Literacy, was quoted in U.S. News & World Report, where he provided an economic perspective as to why eggs—specifically—are so expensive.

“Eggs are such an integral part of an American diet that most people buy eggs regardless of the price,” said Decker. “As the price of eggs increases, we’ll complain more, but we’ll still buy them. That's what's keeping the prices high. If everybody’s buying expensive eggs, the farmers and retailers don’t have a lot of incentive to lower the price, especially if that means taking a hit on their own profits.”

Read the full story in U.S. News & World Report.

Caliendo weighs in on Georgia Trump grand jury on FOX 32 Chicago

A special grand jury that investigated election interference by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia recommended indictments for multiple people on a range of charges in its final report, most of which remains sealed. Special grand juries in Georgia do not have indictment powers. Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., has led the investigation and will decide what charges to bring before a regular grand jury.

Caliendo was interviewed on FOX 32 Chicago, where he weighed in on the Georgia Trump grand jury, focusing on whether the former president is likely to be indicted.

Watch the full segments:


North Central College’s annual Feed the Need anti-hunger event generates Naperville media buzz

A volunteer team of thousands packed North Central College's Res/Rec Hall over Presidents Day weekend to pack more than half a million meals for children facing hunger worldwide. The Feed the Need Illinois event, benefiting Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a Christian anti-hunger nonprofit, returned to North Central College’s campus Feb. 18-19. Volunteer groups and individuals from across DuPage, Kane and Will counties will work in two-hour shifts over the weekend to pack FMSC MannaPack meals, which consist of a specially formulated blend of dehydrated vegetables, vitamins, soy protein and rice.

The annual event generated media attention across Naperville:


Caliendo analyzes Lightfoot’s misstep in a press event on NBC 5 Chicago

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing fierce criticism for comments she made while campaigning, suggesting that Black residents should vote for her or not vote at all. Seeking to build support on the city's South and West Sides, Lightfoot spoke at a rally inside Greenwood Oasis church in the city's Grand Crossing neighborhood, addressing Black voters. Challengers were quick to react, with some calling the comments an "affront to the democratic process," "dangerous.”

Caliendo was quoted on NBC 5 Chicago, where provided insight on what Lightfoot’s comments tell voters.

“It’s a three person race, so voting for any of the other six is essentially a wasted vote," Caliendo said. “It’s essential that people go out and vote and vote for her, because if they stay home or vote for one of the other six it’s the same as voting for Garcia or Vallas.”

Watch the full story on NBC 5 Chicago.

Chicago media outlets feature North Central women’s wrestling team’s quest for a national championship

Using the momentum from an incredibly successful fall season, the North Central College athletic teams continue to build on those achievements throughout the New Year. The women's wrestling team hosted the National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Coaches (NCWWC) Regional Championship for the first time and were able to showcase the College, the team, and the emerging sport of women's wrestling to local and regional audiences. This is the second-straight season where the Cardinals will be sending all 15 women to the national tournament. They will look to claim their first national title in program history on Mar. 3-4 as they travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the NCWWC National Championships.

The team’s journey toward a national title was captured by Chicago media outlets:


Caliendo analyzes State of the Union address on WGN-TV

President Joe Biden addressed the nation in early February at a high-stakes moment for his presidency. With a likely reelection campaign ahead, Biden touted his administration's successes even as he faces a rough road with a divided Congress, GOP-led investigations, the battle for Ukraine, furor over policing, the threat of China, and the risk of a recession.

Caliendo spoke with WGN-TV, where he provided analysis on the State of the Union address, identifying some of the momentous remarks.

Watch the full interview on WGN-TV.

Keating co-writes column on history of Jane Addams Homes in Chicago Sun-Times: ‘It’s hallowed ground and worth remembering’

Ann Keating, Dr. C. Frederick Toenniges Professor of History, co-authored a column in the Chicago Sun-Times. The piece, published February 7, 2023, focused on its earliest days as a home for Black and white working class Chicagoans now serving as an inspiration for rebirth of the city for all its citizens.

Here is an excerpt from her column:

“The site of the latest phase of the Roosevelt Square redevelopment at 925 S. Ada Street was recently described as “hallowed ground” by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, referring to the parcel’s previous use as public housing. This part of the mixed-income development includes the renovation, as the National Public Housing Museum, of the only extant building of the original 32 that comprised the Jane Addams Homes.

In calling this site “hallowed ground,” Lightfoot spoke more truth than perhaps she realized. For over 180 years, the property has been in the service of the neighborhood, with a rich history that is worth remembering.”

Read the full column in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stoor-Burning details her work teaching fellow physician assistants worldwide for WGN-TV & WGN-AM Radio

It’s been said that challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. For Ericka Stoor-Burning, adjunct assistant and senior lecturer of physician assistant studies, the meaning came quite by chance during a trip to Honduras as a physician assistant when she saw a need. She helped document the condition of patients, which wasn’t being done in a meaningful or lasting way. Her guidance was being used even six months after she left Honduras—it was growing on its own. That growth lit a spark and a mission: To help others learn in under-resourced areas in unconventional ways.

“I feel compelled to help them because they’re my peers,” she said. “They may be in a different country, they may be on a different continent, but they’re PAs and I’m a PA so let’s help each other.”

Watch the full interview on WGN-TV and listen on WGN Radio:


Annual Gospel Extravaganza event featured on NCTV17

North Central College’s student-led group, Voices of Praise (VOP), celebrated their 35th annual Gospel Extravaganza concert at Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville. Gospel Extravaganza is a time to celebrate the unity of African American culture and religion. The gospel music featured has Christian roots and stems from popular hymns sung by Africans during slavery. The songs often tell a story of hope which inspires the audience to stay strong and continue to forge ahead.

At this year’s Gospel Extravaganza, the group performed various hymns, poems, and songs all devoted to honoring African American history and heritage. Joining VOP onstage were Wheaton Gospel Choir, Lewis University Gospel Choir, and Davonte Sanders, a spoken-word artist and North Central College alumni. VOP also honored their outgoing seniors; President and Choir Director Angel Tovar, Treasurer Jeredie Sinzinkayo, and Member Dejanae Phillips, all of whom joined Voices of Praise their freshman year. Gospel music is heavily rooted in legacy and excellence, and Voices of Praise is excited to continue carrying on that tradition of sharing gospel music with the North Central Community as well as the community at large.

Watch the full feature on Naperville Community Television (NCTV17).

Caliendo discusses Chinese spy balloon and other aerial objects on FOX 32 Chicago

When a Chinese spy balloon floated across the U.S. in early February, it ignited a firestorm of concern on Capitol Hill and led to the cancellation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip to China amid already fraught relations between the two countries. China has maintained it was a weather balloon that veered off course. But the balloon was doing something much more sinister, according to the U.S. There have since been a number of other incidents involving flying objects, raising even more concern.

Caliendo talked with reporter Tia Ewing of FOX 32 Chicago on what surveillance, if any, might these aerial objects be capturing.

Watch the full interviews on FOX 32 Chicago: