March 27, 2017
Vol. 39, Issue 4
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Open House Success

Images of GSU's undergraduate open house with the admissions team and a wide shot showing potential students talking to faculty and staff

The place to be on March 25 was GSU! Record numbers of prospective freshmen and transfer students attended the Undergraduate Open House. They learned about the admissions process, academic programs, financial aid, housing, and student life on campus. In addition to the various presentations, representatives from the Admissions and Recruitment and Financial Aid offices were on hand to answer questions.

The 20 percent increase in attendance at this Open House over previous information sessions illustrates the continued and growing interest in the quality, affordable education opportunities offered at GSU.  

Money for Your Education – Foundation Scholarships Available

Don't miss an opportunity to apply for scholarships that can help you pay for your education. The list of GSU Foundation Fall Scholarships has been posted, with more than $150,000 in funding available to qualified GSU students. Application criteria vary by scholarship, so check out the list to discover which scholarships you may be eligible for. Click here for more information.

Deadline to apply is Friday, April 14.

ERT Seeking Bilingual Volunteers

Responding effectively to an emergency on campus includes communicating with the entire campus community. The GSU Emergency Response Team is seeking bilingual staff and faculty who would be interested in providing support and assistance in case of an emergency.

If you would like to volunteer, please email Randi Schneider. Please specify the language(s) you speak and when you are usually on campus.

New Thermostats

On Friday, March 24, the Executive Committee of the GSU Board of Trustees met for a special meeting to approve a contract for the purchase and installation of wireless pneumatic thermostats. These thermostats will allow for significant efficiencies and cost savings in campus buildings A – E. 

The special meeting was necessary to meet a project completion deadline for a grant opportunity which will cover much of the cost of this contract.

Tornado Drill – Tuesday Evening

GSU will be participating in a Tornado Drill on Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. Everyone on campus at the time is required to participate. 

If you are on campus, please proceed to the nearest tornado shelter and stay there until a member of the campus safety team directs you to leave the shelter. Faculty members who are in class at the time are asked to guide their students to the nearest shelter. While the drill will cause a brief disruption, participation is imperative to ensure preparation and assessment of campus readiness. 

Tornado Drill resources are available online. For more information and resources, please visit the Emergency Management webpage.

Campus Inclusion Team hosts a Lunch & Listen at the Listening Wall  

Picture of the listening Wall placards with questions and answers printed on them.

You are an important part of this community, and we need to hear from you. Please join the Campus Inclusion Team, Thursday, March 30 from noon – 1 p.m. in the Lakeside Lounge for an hour of meaningful discussion. You will share your perspective on the campus climate and provide valuable feedback on policies, practices, and procedures that impact campus culture. We will listen. We will also provide popcorn, but bring your own lunch.

The CIT is a campus committee designed to be proactive, thinking and planning strategically, so that Governors State University can strengthen and live its mission within and beyond the GSU community. For questions about the CIT, please contact Drs. Rupert Evans and Maristella Zell.

GSU Food Service Survey

Arena Food Service, Inc. is seeking your opinion and feedback about the food service and vending program at GSU in a survey

No identifiable information will be collected in, or when taking the survey. The survey's goal is to help improve the services and offerings provided by Arena Food Service, Inc.

Click here to take the survey. The survey will be available from March 27 – April 11.

Barnes and Noble Befriends the GSU Library

Barnes & Noble logo

In a unique effort to highlight the university and raise funds for the library, the Friends of the Library will host a book fair at Barnes and Noble in Orland Park on Saturday, April 8. A percentage of anything purchased, with the exception of gift cards and e-books, on that day at the Orland Park Barnes and Noble will be donated to the Friends. This includes books, CDs, DVDs, NOOK, and items from the café. 

If you can't visit the Orland Park location, provide the voucher number 12114591 at checkout at other stores on April 8 or online from April 8 – 13 and your purchases will be applied to the fundraiser.

Visit the Orland Park store between 6:30 – 8 p.m. and you will have the opportunity to hear Eric Nicholson of the GSU Library perform some of his music in the Barnes and Noble Café. Eric, whose music is often inspired by literature, recently performed at the Jerry Garcia Foundation and Why Hunger in San Francisco.

Call for Submissions for the 2017 Faculty Authors Reception

The annual Faculty Authors and Sponsored Program Grant Recipients Reception will take place on Wednesday, April 12 from 2:30 – 4 p.m. on the Library Balcony. All faculty are invited to submit their works by Friday, March 31 for inclusion. Each member of the faculty has been sent information on how to submit works along with the submission form. Please contact Alexis Sarkisian for more information.

The Faculty Authors Reception is co-sponsored by the GSU Library, Friends of the Library, and Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.

Announcements and Events

March Madness Basketball at GSU

NCAA March Madness logo

The March Madness Basketball Tournament has come to campus. The GSU Program Council is hosting teams in a tournament competition on March 30 and 31, 6 – 9 p.m. in the GSU Gymnasium. Team registration is $25 in advance and $35 at the door. The event is open to the public. For more information, email or click here.

Tamales for Sale!

Tamales on a plate

Tomorrow, March 28 is the day to buy a delicious tamale lunch. The Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) will be offering chicken, pork, and cheese tamales for sale between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Hall of Governors. Sales are cash only and all proceeds support club activities.

Second Annual Reading Showcase

The Student Education Association is hosting a reading showcase on Monday, April 3, 2017. AdVANCEment Learning, a curriculum publisher, and Foundations 4 AdVANCEment, an Early Learning Academy in Steger, are sponsoring and leading the second annual "The Journey of a Book Starts with a Word" Reading Showcase at GSU.

This event is open to any child in the community in preschool through first grade and offers a variety of reading competitions. Participants will be assessed on essential components of reading, word recognition, and participation. All participants receive a T-shirt. Trophies and cash prizes are awarded to the winners of the various competitions. The purpose of this showcase is to foster children's lifelong love for reading, as well as encourage their curiosity and creativity.

The event will take place in Sherman Hall from 4 – 7 p.m. with registration and book fair beginning at 3 p.m.

To volunteer to assist with this event, contact Erin Peterson or Dr. Katy Hisrich. Click here for more information or to register a child.

Why Can't We Talk About it?

"Why can't we talk about it?" a public forum on mental health and wellness, will explore an important and often hidden issue on Tuesday, April 4, 12:30 – 3 p.m. in Engbretson Hall.

Guest speaker Erika J. Kendrick, a national spokesperson for suicide prevention, will discuss the pervasive stigma of depression and the need to change it by creating safe spaces for life-saving conversations. A panel discussion and mental health fair led with GSU students is also scheduled.

Shakespeare's "The Tempest" in The Sculpture Park

Title of Shakespeare's The Tempest on a poster

Instead of taking to the conventional stage, the GSU Theatre and Performance Studies students will present "The Tempest" in the renowned Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Performances are scheduled on Thursday, April 6 at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Moving the tale of magic, love, and revenge to the outdoors is the perfect place to explore the play's complexities. According to visiting Director Erica Vannon, "When I laid eyes on the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park here at Governors State University, I knew I had to direct 'The Tempest.' What better way to experience the magic of the island than to stumble through the park with the shipwrecked characters themselves?"

Tickets are $15 / $10 for students with valid I.D. at the Box Office. For tickets, information and the complete cast list, please click here or call 708.235.2222.

Happy Birthday, Billie! A Celebration of a Jazz Legend in The Park

In a day full of activities on Friday, April 7 from 10:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. in the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Director Geoff Bates takes a new look at the celebrated sculpture "Yes for Lady Day!" by Mark DiSuvero through the eyes of another Lady Day, Billie Holiday, on what would be her 102nd birthday.

This day of free events is part of the Chicago Southland's "Let Them Eat Jazz Festival," a multi-month celebration of jazz commemorating the centennial birthday of many jazz icons. S.A.M.B.A. is a newly formed arts and business collaboration, designed to showcase the power of the arts to drive people to the Southland region.

For more information and a schedule of the event's activities, click here. The celebration is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call 708.534.3085.

"The Four Hijabs" Screening and Discussion

Jamil Khoury and Dr. Manal Hamzeh
Jamil Khoury and Dr. Manal Hamzeh

Jamil Khoury, Founding Artistic Director from Silk Road Rising, will be on campus for the screening and discussion of "The Four Hijabs" on Tuesday, April 11 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. in Engbretson Hall.

Dr. Manal Hamzeh, Professor of Women's Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies at New Mexico State University and author of the book "Pedagogies of Deveiling: Muslim Girls and the Hijab Discourse," will join us via Skype for the presentation. "The Four Hijabs" was inspired by Hamzeh's book.

This event is open to the entire GSU community. For more information on the short film, please visit

Global Lunch Series

The Global Lunch Series brings information and discussion of global topics to GSU. Each semester the Office of International Services (OIS) hosts the series of presentations by faculty, staff, and outside organizations during the lunch hour to encourage global awareness and add to the internationalization of our campus. The series concludes with a presentation on Land Acquisition in West Bengal, India on April 19, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in E-Lounge. Everyone is welcome. For schedule information, click here.

If you are interested in presenting or would like to suggest a topic, please email

Find a Job – Career and Internship Fair

The Office of Career Services will be hosting the annual 2017 Spring Career and Internship fair on Thursday, April 13, from 2 – 5 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts theatre lobbies and the Hall of Governors. This is your chance to meet with employers focusing in the areas of communications, technology, business, public administration, criminal justice, addictions studies, community health, and education. All students, alumni, and community members can attend for free.

For more information, contact the office of Career Services at 708.235.3974 or click here to see the latest list of registered employers.

Spring Open Market at GSU

The Civil Service Senate presents the Annual Spring Open Market on Tuesday, April 18 in the Hall of Governors. Vendors and Crafters will be offering an assortment of unique items – everything from clothing, purses, personal care items, unique jewelry, and much more.

Two Screenings of Documentary on Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

The Department of Communication Disorders is sponsoring the screening of "Who Am I to Stop It," a documentary film concerning the effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries, on Wednesday April 19 from 1 – 3 p.m. in Sherman Hall or 3 – 4:45 p.m. in the E Lounge. Following each screening, an interdisciplinary discussion will be held.

The filmmaker, a TBI survivor, offers an intimate look into disability, sexuality, spirituality, poverty, family, and community of individuals with TBI. GSU students, faculty, and the community are welcome.

For more information, contact Dr. Jessica Bonner at 708.534.4591 or Dr. Jennifer Armstrong for more information.

Honoring the Late Dr. Richard Lencki

Dr. Richard Lencki
Dr. Richard Lencki

Dr. Richard Lencki worked as a teacher and school psychologist for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) from 1960 to 1993. After more than ten years in private practice, Dr. Lencki joined the faculty at GSU in the Division of Psychology and Counseling. He is best known for training a generation of school psychologists in the Chicagoland area. A celebration of his work and contributions will be held on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Engbretson Hall.

For more information, email

Symposium on Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices

GSU is hosting the fourth annual Symposium on Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices in Higher Education on Friday, April 21 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the GSU gymnasium. The daylong symposium will explore ways in which mindfulness, meditation, and contemplative practices can be incorporated into academic settings to create learning communities. The event includes presentations, panel discussions, and experiential learning.

This symposium is free and open to the public. Six CEUs are available. Register here or contact Dr. Maristela Zell for more information.

Get Your Team Together for Relay for Life

Join us on April 28 as we raise money for the Relay for Life. Students, faculty, and staff create teams and fundraise all year long for the cause. Interested in creating a team? Email for more information.


Biodiversity Project Posters on Display

Biodiversity, the variety of plant, animal, and microbial life on Earth, keeps declining despite the recognition that biodiversity is essential to human rights.

Dr. Xiaoyong Chen, Professor of Biology, and Roxanne Brown, an undergraduate student in GSU's B.S. in Biology program, have completed a project that addresses biodiversity issues. The project provides the updated information in relation to how much biodiversity is there in the earth, why is biodiversity so important to the human rights, how does human health and well-being depend on biodiversity, what are the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services, industry, agriculture, leisure, and culture, why we concern the loss of biodiversity, and what we can do for the conservation of biodiversity?

Everyone is invited to view the posters derived from this project, which are on display along the walkway on the first floor in the F Building, March 27 – April 10. The project is supported by a 2017 GSU Intellectual Life Grant.

Workshops & Trainings

A wealth of workshop and training opportunities are available to students, faculty, and staff sponsored by a variety of university departments and committees.

Click here to learn more about the many trainings and workshops opportunities offered at GSU.

Faculty: If you have not already done so, it's time to have a new headshot photograph taken. Please refer to the schedule to find a convenient time.


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