North Central College in the News

North Central football at the White House and expert analysis of political and social issues make headlines

Kelly Murphy and Olivia Rosenberg '25

Jun 30, 2023

Even with summer underway, North Central College and the College's subject matter experts (SMEs) have continued to be in high demand by news outlets, garnering media attention in Naperville, Chicago and across the nation. From stories on commonly misspelled words identified by the Scripps National Spelling Bee to a historic trip to the White House, the College has shined in the spotlight. Here’s a look at North Central's media coverage in June: 

North Central Cardinal football team visits White House, resulting in record media numbers

From Naperville to the South Lawn of the White House, members of the North Central College football team received well-deserved recognition in our nation’s capital.

The White House welcomed NCAA national champions from across the country on June 12, celebrating their accomplishments as part of College Athlete Day. The Biden administration invited every national champion from the past academic year, with 47 teams making the trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The White House frequently hosts champion teams from the world of sports, but College Athlete Day was the first time it hosted NCAA national champions from all three divisions.

It was a memorable moment for athletes and coaches who had already reached the pinnacle of their sport earlier in the season.

The inaugural event caught the attention of the media near and wide. Check out the following links to see the media coverage:


Smith and Patterson share expertise on commonly misspelled words in HuffPost

During the week of May 30, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington D.C. Beginning in 1925, the Spelling Bee pulls from the Merriam-Webster dictionary as students eighth grade and below compete by spelling complex words for the Scripps title.  

The recently held competition brought up the question of what words non-competitive spellers frequently get incorrect and why they are so commonly spelled wrong.  

North Central College’s Dr. Jennifer Smith, chair and associate professor of English; and Stuart Patterson, associate professor in the Shimer Great Books School, were quoted in HuffPost providing their expertise about why words get misspelled.  

Smith said students tend to mistake “definitely” with “defiantly,” while Patterson notes difficulties with differentiating “there, they’re and their.” 

Click the following media coverage links to read the full story: 

North Central’s receipt of two national grants featured in Positively Naperville and Naperville Patch

In the second round of funding for 2023, North Central College was one of eight Illinois institutions to have received National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) grants. Among them, North Central College had the added distinction of having two separate faculty research projects awarded funding. One will lay groundwork for a new undergraduate health humanities minor at North Central. The other is a book about Italian immigration to the suburb of Chicago Heights, Illinois. 

Dr. Shaheen Moosa, associate professor of philosophy and assistant dean of interdisciplinary initiatives, is the project director of the first grant, a $35,000 Humanities Connections award.  Through faculty workshops, pilot courses, and consultation with community advisors and experts, Moosa will begin the “Building a Community of Care Through an Interdisciplinary Health Humanities Minor” project with co-project directors Jennifer Smith; Dr. Kristin Paloncy-Patel, program director and assistant professor of health science; and Dr. Mary Groll, MD, chair of the department of medical sciences. 

As Moosa and her team begin their project, Dr. Louis Corsino, professor of sociology, aims to finish his. Corsino is the recipient of the second grant — a $6,000 NEH Summer Stipend. With the funding, he will devote the summer to completing his book “'Hopelessly Alien,’ Italian Immigration to Chicago Heights, 1910-1950,” which explores the concept of hope as a force in the lives of immigrants. 

These two prestigious grants caught the eye of two local Naperville media outlets. Check the following links to read the full stories: 

Caliendo, Muck, and Chod provide analysis of Trump criminal cases across Chicago networks

For the first 234 years of the nation’s history, no American president or former president was indicted. That changed in March 2023, when former President Donald Trump was charged with 34 felony counts in connection with hush money payments. Less than three months later, he was indicted again – this time on 37 felony counts for mishandling classified documents and impeding investigators. And two other ongoing criminal probes, both related to 2020 election interference, may prompt further indictments of Trump and his allies.

Throughout the month of June, North Central College’s political experts have followed and tracked the progress of the criminal cases made against Trump. Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. William Muck, professor and chair of the political science department, and Dr. Suzanne Chod, professor of political science, have aided the media in providing up-to-date analysis on what these criminal charges mean and their implications for Trump’s future. 

Check out the following media coverage to see the College’s experts in action:

Caliendo addresses Hunter Biden plea deal on FOX 32 Chicago

President Biden’s son Hunter has reached a tentative agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two minor tax crimes and admit to the facts of a gun charge under terms that would probably keep him out of jail. Any proposed plea deal would have to be approved by a federal judge. Both the prosecutors and the defense counsel have requested a court hearing at which Hunter Biden, 53, can enter his plea.

Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago’s political reporter Mike Flannery, where he addressed whether this plea deal will resolve Hunter Biden of all charges, or if additional criminal probes are likely ahead.

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Caliendo analyzes SCOTUS decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions on FOX 32 Chicago

As June drew to a close, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down affirmative action in college admissions, declaring race cannot be a factor and forcing institutions of higher education to look for new ways to achieve diverse student bodies. The Court's conservative majority overturned admissions plans at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest private and public colleges, respectively.

Caliendo was interviewed on FOX 32 Chicago, where he broke down the Court's decision on affirmative action and discussed what other rulings could come. 

Watch Caliendo’s appearances on FOX 32 Chicago at the following links: