Tag: City-centered

North Park Joins Community in Providing Much Needed Supplies to New Arrivals

North Park University gave away clothing, blankets, and supplies to more than 225 newly arrived migrants from Mexico and Venezuela who are currently housed in a former military base nearby.

Students, faculty, and staff at North Park University last month gave away clothing, blankets, and supplies to more than 225 newly arrived migrants from Mexico and Venezuela who are currently housed in a former military base nearby.

The 60 volunteers, comprising North Parkers and representatives from the North Park Community Association, Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office, Aramark, and other community groups, collected and distributed the items. They also hosted a lunch for the new arrivals—which included men, women, and children—featuring traditional Latin American food.

North Park held the event in Hamming Hall, and items distributed included coats, shoes, gloves, hats, undergarments, and blankets. Once news of the event spread through the community, people stepped forward to contribute. One local woman, a knitter, heard about the effort on social media and sent a message to her fellow knitters across the country. They responded by providing 500 hand-knit hats for the migrants. A group from Highland Park heard of the event and brought 10 carloads of donated clothing.

Tables and chairs set up in Hamming Hall for the attendees to enjoy a meal together.The event was an apt reflection of North Park’s mission, according to Tony Zamble, director of University Ministries.

“We are preparing students for lives of significance and service,” Zamble said. “Part of our mission is giving students the opportunity to experience the idea of God’s glory for neighbor’s good. These people are our neighbors; it’s a no-brainer that we would be involved.”

So many people donated, Zamble said, that the group hosted a second, smaller-scale event at Peterson Elementary School several days later. Zamble and Vice President for Student Engagement Frank Gaytan said they hope this event is a spark for similar efforts. One idea in discussion is developing student-led English language classes for the migrants.

“We do these things intentionally because it really is who we are,” Gaytan said. “And not just this single event with the migrants, but we want our students to serve all our neighbors, Chicago, and the world. This is who we are.”

In September, the City of Chicago approved the $1.5 million purchase of the former U.S. Marine Corps facility at 3034 W. Foster Ave. to house 500 migrants for up to 60 days each.

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High School Visit Day

High School Visit Day is a great way to get a jump-start on your college search. Designed specifically for current high school sophomores, juniors, and their families. This is a great opportunity to discover North Park and see if it is the right fit for you.

Highlights:
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about the college admissions process and financial aid
-Eat in our dining hall and get a glimpse of what life looks like as a Viking

RSVP

Event Schedule

Choose NPU Day

Don’t wait to start your life at North Park University. All admitted students and their families are invited to Choose NPU Day. Experience daily life as a Viking! If you haven’t decided where to go this fall, this is your chance to ask questions, get to know our campus, and learn how North Park is the right fit for you.

Guests will experience the feeling of community at North Park. You’ll hear why current students fell in love with life on our campus and get to meet your future classmates. Learn everything you need to know about orientation, financial aid, housing, advising, and class registration so that you’re prepared to take the next steps in your college search journey.

RSVP

Event Schedule

February Viking Preview Day

Viking Preview Days offer you a firsthand taste of the North Park University experience by allowing you to connect with our community and learn about our vibrant student life. Viking Preview Days are an ideal opportunity for students to take the next step in their college journey and discover what makes North Park special.

Highlights:
-Attend “Coffee with Coaches” and learn more about Viking Athletics (optional)
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about your admissions application and financial aid

RSVP

Event Schedule

November Viking Preview Day

Viking Preview Days offer you a firsthand taste of the North Park University experience by allowing you to connect with our community and learn about our vibrant student life. Viking Preview Days are an ideal opportunity for students to take the next step in their college journey and discover what makes North Park special.

Highlights:
-Attend “Coffee with Coaches” and learn more about Viking Athletics (optional)
-Are you a first-generation college student? Attend a session designed just for you! (optional)
-Connect with faculty from your intended major
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about your admissions application and financial aid

RSVP Schedule

October Viking Preview Day

Viking Preview Days offers you a firsthand taste of the North Park University experience by allowing you to connect with our community and learn about our vibrant student life. Viking Preview Days are an ideal opportunity for students to take the next step in their college journey and discover what makes North Park special.

Highlights:
-Attend “Coffee with Coaches” and learn more about Viking Athletics (optional)
-Are you a first-generation college student? Attend a session designed just for you!
-Connect with faculty from your intended major
-Explore our campus oasis on a tour led by North Park students
-Get all your questions answered about your admissions application and financial aid

REGISTER Schedule

North Park’s Center for Civic Engagement To Empower Community Leaders, Enrich Student Learning

North Park University launches Center for Civic Engagement.

North Park University has launched the Center for Civic Engagement, an outgrowth of its Catalyst 606 program in which the university’s faculty and students will work with community leaders to strengthen the important work they’re doing in Chicago’s neighborhoods. As part of the initiative, North Park will also offer a Public Policy major beginning in fall 2023.

“The main idea is to build more of a city-centered ethos on campus, and to augment North Park’s commitment to the just flourishing of cities by honoring the work that is going on in neighborhoods,” said Richard Kohng, assistant vice president for the Center of Civic Engagement.

The center enacts this mission through four core divisions: the Catalyst Hub; the Community Assets and Program Evaluation Consortium; the Community Development Hub; and through public policy engagement.

“The Center for Civic Engagement elevates North Park’s unique distinctives as a Christian, city-centered, intercultural university,” North Park President Mary K. Surridge said. “Faculty and students learning and working alongside community leaders across Chicago is yet another example of North Park living into its mission of preparing students for lives of significance and service.”

As part of the center, faculty will provide their specialized expertise to community groups for a reduced fee. For instance, Assistant Professor of Psychology Amy Governale will provide at-cost guidance on program development for organizations that lack the resources to do so themselves.

“A lot of locally led groups don’t see the money they should from grants or philanthropy,” Kohng said. “This will help level the playing field.”

Students will be involved as well, via the Catalyst Hub. Since 2017, students have participated in a designated civic engagement block every Wednesday afternoon. The schedule allows immersive learning experiences to be incorporated into classes across the curriculum, Kohng said.

Building on Catalyst’s success, the new program will incorporate a consortium that allows students to work on real-time projects that benefit community groups. For example, a business class might work on a marketing campaign for a fundraising drive, or a math class could analyze data related to program participants.

The center will be led by a board of community leaders from across the city, and with the guidance of partner Transform Capital—a nonprofit lending initiative cofounded by Paul Hawkinson, a professor in North Park’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management.

Learn more about the Center for Civic Engagement

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Book Announcement: “Market Cities, People Cities” Co-authored by University Provost, Michael Emerson

Released by NYU Press, April 2018.

Newly released by NYU Press is Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of Our Urban Future, co-authored by Michael Emerson, Provost of North Park University, and Kevin T. Smiley.

About Provost Emerson

From the Publisher

From the publisher:

Book Cover of Market Cities, People CitiesAn in-depth look at the urban environments of Houston and Copenhagen

How are modern cities changing, and what implications do those changes have for city inhabitants? What kinds of cities do people want to live in, and what cities do people want to create in the future? Michael Oluf Emerson and Kevin T. Smiley argue that western cities have diverged into two specific and different types: market cities and people cities. Market cities are focused on wealth, jobs, individualism, and economic opportunities. People cities are more egalitarian, with government investment in infrastructure and an active civil society. Analyzing the practices and policies of cities with two separate foci, markets or people, has substantial implications both for everyday residents and future urban planning and city development.

As twenty-first century cities diverge, Market Cities, People Cities is essential for urban dwellers anxious to be active in their pursuit of their best cities, as well as anyone looking to the future of cities around the world. ”

NYU PRESS

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Student Blog: Platforms for Change at Stateville Prison

“You have an incredible opportunity to be a platform of change. That’s all I am. God is using me as His platform in here, but you can be a platform for the people on the outside.”

This is a student blog post submitted by Thomas Cellilli, C’17. Thomas is a Biblical & Theological Studies major.

Thomas Cellilli

“You have an incredible opportunity to be a platform of change. That’s all I am. God is using me as His platform in here, but you can be a platform for the people on the outside.”

I shook his hand at least four times during our short conversation after the North Park Gospel Choir sang for and with the men of Stateville Correctional Center. He was sitting down, and I stood hunched over to hear his raspy voice through the roar of dialogues going on around us. He poured his heart out to me, and we laughed at our little connection—his middle name is the same as my first name, Thomas. We didn’t talk about why he was in prison, or how long he had previously waited on death-row. We simply looked each other in the eye as human being to human being—no walls or prison bars separating us—and basked in the joy of connectedness we have in Jesus Christ our Lord who turns our Thomas-doubt into belief. He encouraged me with this: “It doesn’t matter where you start, even if its doubting. It only matters where you end up.”

This was my second visit to Stateville Correctional Center with the Gospel Choir, and I have been infinitely blessed by the love and encouragement of the inmates to which we have ministered. North Park’s Gospel Choir has visited the prison three times to sing for the inmates: once with the Touring Ensemble and twice with the larger choir. The Gospel Choir’s relationship with Stateville is largely indebted to the continued work of Dr. Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom who has been teaching classes to undergrads, graduate students, and inmates inside of the prison. Her class, Peace, Justice, and Restoration, “explores the theological and ethical foundations of justice ministries…[and] probes the grounds of the claim that ‘justice is central to biblical religion.’”

Thanks to the efforts of the North Park faculty, the Gospel Choir has been allowed to interact and sing with the inmates on multiple occasions. I am no singer, nor do I claim to be, but singing praises to our God with those who are in prison has been one of the most powerful experiences in my Christian walk to this day. Both last semester and this semester, I was moved to tears on several occasions as God’s Presence filled the theater at Stateville while we proclaimed the miracles and wonders of our One God.

I implore my brothers and sisters in Christ who had seen firsthand what powerful works God is doing behind bars and those who have been moved by this witness to continue praying for the men of Stateville. Hebrews 13:3 commands us, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body” (ESV). Neither walls, nor bars, nor cells, fences, chains, nor isolation can divide the body of Christ. It is our job as brothers and sisters to use what platforms God has given us to speak out against injustice and pray for Heaven to come down to earth.

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North Park University Announces Chicago-Based Learning Program Catalyst 606_ _

The new curriculum redesigns the University’s weekly schedule to allow for faculty-guided excursions, starting fall 2017.

The new curriculum redesigns the University’s weekly schedule to allow for faculty-guided excursions, starting fall 2017.

What is Catalyst 606__?

CHICAGO (March 8, 2016) — Catalyst 606__ is North Park’s Chicago-based curriculum. Students learn outside the classroom, exploring the city during staff- and faculty-guided excursions.

Innovative. Off-Campus. Hands-on. Credit-earning.

The Catalyst programs at North Park unite the city and students together in the form of civic engagement and exposure to current science and the arts. Dates and facts about the labor movement in a textbook become alive with visits to the historic Pullman Foundation; financial accounting becomes relevant in visits to the Loop’s financial district; economics becomes visible in a tour of manufacturing company; art and culture open eyes with attendance at operas and exhibits.

In addition, Catalyst 606__

  • is a Chicago-centered urban experience.
  • is intentionally intercultural.
  • offers hands-on learning.
  • provides cultural and educational experiences in the city.
  • blends theory and practice with applied academics.

On your Mark, Get Set, Go: Wednesday Afternoons

“Chicago is our classroom and all Chicagoans are our teachers” has been a long-standing North Park approach to learning. Starting fall 2017, Wednesday afternoons will be designated for exploring the city of Chicago. Students will have at least two opportunities per afternoon course to explore Chicago and enrich their learning across academic disciplines.

Catalyst 606__: Semester

For students who would like a more immersive experience beyond a Catalyst class, there’s the Catalyst 606__ Semester. Designed for students early in their undergraduate years, all classes for a full semester focus on the dynamic city of Chicago.

In a Catalyst 606__ Semester, students:

  • take classes together in a cohort setting.
  • share a common set of courses.
  • complete an assigned practicum experience with a local community-based organization to gain valuable work experience.
  • learn from the diverse fabric of the city through its residents, walking tours, museums, performances, and local dining.
  • investigate issues impacting urban areas.

During the semester, students will view the city through different lenses, disciplines, and perspectives, while they serve and participate in its flourishing. There is also the option to take other courses outside of the cohort to fulfill additional requirements specific to programs.

Apply for Catalyst 606__ Semester

Why Now?

A broad understanding of city infrastructure is essential as companies, government, and nonprofits prepare for a population shift to cities.

  • 66% of the world’s population will live and work in urban areas by 2050.*
  • Cities will grow by more than 2.5 billion people; most human population growth going forward will be urban.*
  • Hands-on learning experiences in the very environment where change is happening— this is a top priority and initiative for North Park.

What’s the Name All About?

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and each neighborhood has a unique story to tell. The “606__” represents the base of all Chicago zip codes. Every Wednesday, there’s the opportunity to fill in the last two digits, like the coordinates in an ethnographic map. Using these coordinates, students will learn from the city and contribute to community goals.

more about Catalyst 606__

*United Nations Report, World Urbanization Prospects

 

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