Commencement Details

My wife and I are forward to heading to Atlanta this next week for my commencement ceremony on March 1st. We’ll be flying into Altanta Thu. afternoon, 2/28, with my in-laws and my dad. My brother who is currently stationed at Barksdale AFB in Shrevoport, LA is going to try to make it over as well if his schedule permits.

We’re going to try and get a bunch of sight-seeing in before the ceremony on Saturday afternoon. It should be a lot of fun! For those who are interested and want to try and sneek a peek at the commencement ceremony, it will be webcast live on Saturday, 3/1 at 2PM CDT. More details are at

Students 2.0

This video by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University, creatively and powerfully looks at today’s students and how they are changing the world of learning and education.

What steps should be taken to engage students of the 21st century? Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts and reflections.

Biographies of Fallen NIU Students

Biographies of the 5 fallen NIU students are now available on the NIU memorial site at

Apparently, the young man who died, Daniel Parmenter, was actually shielding his girlfriend from the attack. Click here to read the complete story.

NIU Campus Shooting Tribute Video

There are many tribute videos springing up on YouTube memorializing the recent tragic events on the NIU campus. Here’s one of my favorites thus far:

Update on Events at NIU

As some of you are aware, I have been putting in a lot of hours over the past few days as my department has been helping prepare resources for NIU faculty and assist with various logistics involved in dealing with the tragic events of the past week. For example, my office has created a handout for faculty on “Teaching in Times of Crisis” as well as compiled numerous resources for teaching after crisis. His office has also setup a new blog that they’ll be using as yet another way to communicate with NIU faculty and provide support resources moving forward.

You may or may not have heard on the news of the incredible efforts that are going on at the campus to respond to this tragedy and help faculty and students deal with the issues. A few of these efforts include:

  • NIU administrators have been in close communications with Virginia Tech and University of Arkansas officials, among others.
  • Many NIU offices, including Student Affairs and Counseling and Student Development Center, have been working night and day since the shootings
  • 300 counselors will be on campus for the first day of classes [Mon., 2/25] with the goal of having 1 counselor in each class for the first day. The recent memo from the Provost provides more details.
  • All NIU faculty as well as staff who work directly with students will be involved a 2 hour counseling session in preparations for welcoming students back to class. The complete schedule of sessions is here.

There are many other efforts going on behind-the-scenes that you may not ever hear about in the news but are further examples of why NIU is such a great university. After witnessing first-hand the response, I couldn’t be more impressed with the level of student support and safety on the campus. I’d have absolutely no reservations with someday sending my child to school at NIU.

The outpouring of support from other institutions as well as colleagues and friends has been overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who has expressed your support and been praying for the students, families, faculty and staff of NIU.

For those who have blogs or other sites and would like to help honor those who have lost their lives in this tragedy, NIU has made a memorial graphic available that can be posted on any site. The image is available here. When posting the image on your site, please make it a link to the NIU memorial page at