Tag: prospective students

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

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

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

Fall Visit Day

Join us for Fall Visit Day and get an in-depth look at the classroom experience. Students and their families are welcome to explore our beautiful Chicago campus and learn about the value of a North Park education.

Highlights:

-Learn from our accomplished faculty and experience our innovative academic programs firsthand
-Tour our state-of-art science labs including, but not limited to Nursing Sim Lab and Carlson Athletic Training Center
-Pick and choose your activities from a list of hands-on workshops led by faculty
-Take a student-led campus tour of our urban oasis

RSVP Here!   SCHEDULE

Seniors Complete Graduate-Level Research as NPRESS Presentations Resume In-Person

A university tradition, NPRESS provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to complete graduate-level research over eight weeks with a North Park faculty mentor.

The North Park Research Experience for Summer Students (NPRESS) resumed in-person this summer on Wednesday, September 1, in the Helwig Board Room. A university tradition, NPRESS provides undergraduate students the opportunity to complete graduate-level research over eight weeks. Students apply along with a faculty mentor, proposing their research projects. The following four seniors were selected to be a part of the 2021 cohort:

  • Erinn Borg, Psychology
  • Vladimira (Mira) Cechova, Psychology
  • Damaris Cifuentes, Exercise Science
  • Jason Andrew (JDrew) McGovern, Biblical and Theological Studies

Erinn Borg

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Gray

Erinn Borg studied the impact of telecommuting on student job-satisfaction and work-life balance. She conducted field research with 50 students enrolled in summer courses at North Park.

Mira Cechova

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kathryn O’Toole

Vladimira (Mira) Cechova

Mira Cechova researched college students’ psychological well-being (PWB) to understand the influence of online coursework, self-efficacy, motivation, and a growth mindset. Through her project, Cechova quantified how the transition to online learning during a pandemic affected college students and their PWB. Her presentation also offers solutions to how the University may better support a population that already struggles with stress.

Cechova applied for NPRESS per Dr. Yoojin Choi’s recommendation, who encouraged Cechova to pursue this unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience. In addition to learning valuable research skills, Cechova highlights the ability to strengthen relationships with faculty, “NPRESS is a great way to interact with faculty in a more professional way rather than just student/teacher interactions. We have some amazing faculty at NPU, and I wouldn’t have been able to get this research done without them.”

Encouraging students to apply for NPRESS, Cechova says, “NPRESS is honestly an amazing and rewarding experience, and I have so many good things to say about it. I think there’s no better way to really understand research than to jump in and participate first-hand in both planning and executing a research project. This is something you will never regret.”

Damaris Cifuentes

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bryan Cobb

Damaris Cifuentes

Damaris Cifuentes investigated the relationship between Reactive Strength Index (RSI) and an upcoming injury screening tool called the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS). In order to directly identify injury risk, specifically anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, she assessed poor biomechanical jump-landing techniques. Modifying the current LESS procedure, she aimed to create a more sport specific demand within the test as well as a more accurate injury risk assessment.

Cifuentes, interested in pursuing a career in biomechanical research, learned about NPRESS through Dr. Cobb. Cifuentes is grateful for the opportunity to partake in graduate level research as an undergraduate student. “I was able to gain more exposure to different types of technology commonly seen in the biomechanical field, which was very helpful as I was able to get hands-on experience. I consider Dr. Cobb a good mentor as he has pushed me to excel in my academics as well as my desired career path,” said Cifuentes.

JDrew McGovern

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Boaz Johnson

JDrew McGovern researched social, historical, and religious issues in Colombia, Central America. Additionally, he utilized a theological foundation to analyze and critique a peace-building project called SEHPAZ in El Bagre, Colombia initiated by North Park graduates, Julio and Katie Isaza. Focusing on the themes of creation, sin, and the Gospel, JDrew offered further solutions and a model for participating in the mission of God and restoring ‘shalom’ in Colombia as well as other parts of the world.

“All four NPRESS 2021 students made a great impression on the gathering of faculty, staff and students, showing high quality graduate-level research,” said Dr. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson, the chair of the NPRESS 2021 Final Presentations. 

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North Park University Selects Francisco X. Gaytán, Ph.D. as New Vice President for Student Engagement

From President Mary K. Surridge: I am delighted to announce today that the Executive Committee of North Park University’s Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, has approved the nomination and appointment of Francisco X. Gaytán, PhD, as Vice President for Student Engagement (VPSE).

From President Mary K. Surridge:

Man in navy suit and gold tieI am delighted to announce today that the Executive Committee of North Park University’s Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, has approved the nomination and appointment of Francisco X. Gaytán, PhD, as Vice President for Student Engagement (VPSE). Dr. Gaytán will join the President’s Cabinet, partnering with and reporting directly to the President, beginning August 23, 2021.

As the University’s chief student development officer, the VPSE provides leadership for the development and implementation of all student engagement planning and policy as well as the budget management and overall supervision of staff in the Center for Student Engagement. Within this role, the VPSE coordinates across all Student Engagement units—Dean of Students, Student Activities, Housing and Residence Life, Health Services, Counseling Support Services, University Ministries, Diversity and Intercultural Life, Student Success, and Career Services and Internships.

Dr. “Frank” Gaytán is a person of expressed Christian faith and has been an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church for nearly 10 years. He is very enthusiastic about the mission and opportunity to serve North Park, to lead our student engagement staff, and to be a strong strategic senior partner with the president and her Cabinet now, and in the years to come. A skilled and strategic student life administrator and a champion for student success, Dr. Gaytán has a proven track record of dramatically improving student retention rates, closing equity gaps in retention, and improving student completion and success. Dr. Gaytán brings deep understanding and connection for our Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Chicago, and has proven experience in successfully managing the external funding available to HSI’s through federal grants.

Dr. Gaytán emerged as the premier candidate from a strong pool of finalists, after well-attended campus forums and dozens of submitted feedback forms that overwhelmingly supported his candidacy.

I have full confidence in Dr. Gaytán’s leadership and our partnership — and in his ability to support and advance our Christian mission and our commitment to the success of every student.

Dr. Gaytán comes to us from Northeastern Illinois University, where he served most recently as Associate Provost for Student Success and Retention — the University’s lead student engagement strategist.

Through innovative advisor training, and strategic management of financial aid, academic and financial barriers, and improved coordination and communication, he and his team improved first year to second year retention rates by 20.5 percentage points (a 44% increase in retention) in just three years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University, master’s degrees from Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD in Applied Psychology from New York University.

A highly engaging team-builder and collaborator, he brings more than 20 years of professional experience in higher education, more than a decade of teaching experience and eight years of progressively more complex administrative responsibilities. He has drawn on his own experience as a first-generation college student from a Mexican immigrant family to be a culturally competent role model for students and colleagues. He is an accomplished researcher, a proven administrator, and the right person to engage our students and staff at this important time in the history of our 130-year-old institution, as we create our future together through North Park Next and emerge as a model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.

During his interview process, Dr. Gaytán expressed admiration for what he called “the parallel history” that Swedish immigrants to Chicago in the late 19th Century share with the current wave of immigrants from Latin America — education, community, shared values and a sense of purpose — students seeking a life for themselves that they could translate to leadership and service to their communities.

Dr. Gaytán shared his enthusiasm for our future in this way: “I am delighted to join the North Park University community during this exciting time in its history. As a first-generation college student from an immigrant family, I know firsthand the path that twenty-first century students take in pursuit of their dreams of a better life through education for themselves and their families. North Park’s Christian values, commitment to the city of Chicago, and its increasing diversity called me to this position. I look forward to working with the Student Engagement team to make North Park a university that is known for providing all students an opportunity for growth and success that they can then carry out and share with the world.”

I have full confidence in his ability to lead our excellent student engagement staff as we bring new energy, focus and strategies to student success through enhanced intercultural connections, improved retention rates, graduation rates, and career placement. Dr. Gaytán’s Curriculum Vitae is linked here.

Dr. Gaytán was selected after a national search conducted by a diverse committee of colleagues representing North Park faculty, staff, administrators, and students, in partnership with Academic Search.

The University is deeply grateful to Dr. Mahauganee Shaw and Dr. Thomas Shandley of Academic Search; to our Search committee co-chairs Melissa Vélez-Luce, Chief of Staff and Ingrid Tenglin, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources; and to our search committee members, Joseph Butler, Director of Student Services; Laura Ebner, Director for Health and Wellness; Dr. Al Kamienski, Professor of Finance; Dr. Richard Kohng, Director of Civic Engagement, Catalyst Hub; Ja’Vida Morris, Associate Director of Admission Services; Dr. Gwendolyn Purifoye, Associate Professor of Sociology; and Brooklynn Seals, President, Student Government Association.

Finally, my deepest gratitude and respect goes to Vice President Andrea Nevels. VP Nevels returned to North Park just as she was settling into a well-earned retirement, and she has served our students and our Cabinet with dedication, compassion, and wisdom. I am grateful for her leadership.

Dr. Gaytán’s appointment accelerates our momentum as we approach the 2021-2022 academic year. Please join me and the Cabinet in welcoming him to our community!

Mary K. Surridge
President

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North Park University Selects Michael S. Carr, Ph.D. as New Provost

From President Mary K. Surridge: I am delighted to announce today that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for North Park University has approved the nomination of Michael S. Carr, Ph.D. as Provost and chief academic officer, responsible for leading the university’s faculty and full academic program.

From President Mary K. Surridge: I am delighted to announce today that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for North Park University has approved the nomination of Michael S. Carr, Ph.D. as Provost and chief academic officer, responsible for leading the university’s faculty and full academic program. Dr. Carr will join the President’s Cabinet, partnering with and reporting directly to the President, beginning July 1, 2021.

As chief academic officer, the Provost provides leadership for the development and implementation of all academic planning and policy as well as the academic budget; reviews and approves academic appointments; and makes recommendations to the president on promotion and tenure decisions. Within this role, the Provost coordinates across all academic units—College of Arts and Sciences; School of Business & Nonprofit Management; School of Education; School of Nursing & Health Sciences; School of Music, Art and Theatre; School of Professional Studies; and Theological Seminary.

Dr. Carr is a person of active and expressed Christian faith and has been active for over 20 years in his Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregation.  He is very enthused about the mission and opportunity to serve North Park, lead our faculty and be a strong strategic senior partner with the president now, and into the decade to come.  He has measurable and demonstrated success in academic program development, personnel management, budget management, and strategic partnerships across higher education in the city of Chicago.  He has demonstrated success with articulation agreements with two-year community colleges (an important and growing transfer market for North Park) and was the candidate with the deepest understanding and experience with a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in Chicago.

Dr. Carr emerged as the premier candidate of our campus community from a strong pool of four finalists, after well-attended campus forums and more than 200 submitted feedback forms that overwhelmingly supported him.

I have full confidence in his leadership, our partnership, and his ability to support and advance our Christian mission.

Dr. Carr comes to us from National Louis University in Chicago where he has served as Deputy Provost responsible for advancing change leadership across the academic enterprise and providing direction and executive oversight that promotes academic excellence and positive student outcomes. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University, his master’s from Ball State University, and his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He is an accomplished scholar, a proven administrator, and the right person to serve in this vital role at this important time in the history of our 130-year-old institution, as we create our future together through North Park Next. I have full confidence in his ability to lead our excellent faculty as we enhance and expand our academic portfolio aligned with student interests and employer needs and emerge as a model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.

NLU is a designated Hispanic and Minority Serving Institution (HSI, MSI) serving nearly 10,000 students annually at the undergraduate and graduate levels at multiple campuses and online. Among many other accomplishments at that institution, Dr. Carr co-led the development of Accelerate U, a new division focused on the creation of stackable credentials aligned with the bachelor’s degree and employer needs; developed the 2030 Strategic Plan Pillar “Preparing Our Students for the Future of Work”; worked with faculty to develop a strategic plan for research and scholarship; and worked with the Faculty Senate Chair and committees to develop Senate yearly goals and update policy revisions as needed. Dr. Carr also mobilized the university’s remote learning response to the pandemic and led NLU’s preparation for the 2021 HLC comprehensive site visit.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at a university which aligns my personal and professional values.  I look forward to working with the tremendous faculty and the collective community as North Park University becomes a model of urban, Christian education through community engagement and impact.”

Dr. Carr was selected after a national search conducted by a diverse committee of colleagues representing North Park faculty, staff, administrators, and Board of Trustees, in partnership with Academic Search. His Curriculum Vitae is linked here.

The University is deeply grateful to Dr. Andrea Hamos and Dr. Mahauganee Shaw of Academic Search; to our Search committee co-chairs, Anthony Scola, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing and Dr. Cindy Hudson, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences; and to the members of the search committee: Yoojin Choi, Professor of Biology and Director of Summer Science Academy; Gregory Crawford, Board of Trustees and Adjunct Faculty, School of Business and Nonprofit  Management; Peggy Kotowski, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Baccalaureate Program Director; Maya Durham Rayner, Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design; Aaron Schoof, Senior Director of Data and Administrative Services; Kelly Potteiger, Professor of Athletic Training; Andrea Nevels, Vice President for Student Engagement; Michael Johnson, Professor of History; and Rochelle Robinson-Levant, Associate Dean, School of Business and Nonprofit  Management. I also thank all in our community who participated in the campus forums.

With deep gratitude and respect to Dr. Craig Johnson for his service and leadership as Provost over the last 18 months, we look forward to his engagement with Dr. Carr in a productive and successful transition.

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North Park University Successfully Completes the 2020–2021 Academic “Year Like No Other”

Together, we did it! Read President Mary K. Surridge’s end-of-year message to the campus community.

Together, we did it!

With thanksgiving and glory to God, we offer congratulations to our North Park graduates, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. We have completed this very challenging 2020–2021 academic year safely and successfully—and with much to celebrate as we head into summer.

The glorious scene on campus on Saturday, May 8, celebrated the graduating class of 2021, with FOUR consecutive in-person commencement ceremonies on the field of the Holmgren Athletic Complex. By the end of the day, 447 degrees were conferred upon 445 graduates—293 undergraduate and 154 graduate degrees!

The remarkable achievements of this resilient class will be forever noted as part of the rich history and strength of our university. Our graduates displayed the persistence and perseverance to succeed. We have much to be grateful for, and much to respect and admire in this outstanding class.

If you could not attend this past Saturday, I encourage you to join the celebration at 10 am on Saturday, May 15, 2021, for the full Virtual Commencement Ceremony at www.northpark.edu/live.

As one of the few universities in the Chicago area to pursue an in-person commencement, it was a fitting wrap to this academic year and provides acceleration and momentum to propel us forward.

2020–21 Reflections 

With hope in God’s protection and provision, and the courageous endorsement of our Board of Trustees, we reopened our campus in the fall of 2020, kept Covid-19 cases to a minimum, and worked together to ensure educational progress. In December we celebrated a very moving virtual Festival of Lessons and Carols: “A Light in the Darkness.” We returned in January for a spring semester that was even safer and provided an even more vibrant campus life, including a fire pit, hot chocolate, snowball fights, Viking athletics, and concerts.

Our gratitude and respect go to our Pandemic Response Team for their thoughtful, comprehensive planning and careful execution of our Covid-19 plan. That group, comprising a few dozen faculty, staff, and senior cabinet members, worked tirelessly all year to create the best possible learning and living environment for both remote and in-person learners. They monitored every guideline and case number and adjusted policies successfully. Our students faithfully observed the safety protocols, focused on their studies and campus activities, and helped each other keep moving. It was North Park community collaboration at its best.

What a year it has been!

  • In April, loyal North Park alumni and friends mounted a triumphant Blue and Gold Day, raising $225,184 for student scholarships.
  • Last week, 501 students were committed to North Park for Fall 2021 by College National Decision Day—up from 384 students this time last year. 
  • We jumped 22 spots in the 2021 Midwest regional rankings of U.S. News; ranked 14th of 87 Midwest schools in social mobility; and we were one of only 17 Midwest schools cited for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” by our peers.
  • We are creating our future together through North Park Next with a collaborative, campus-wide strategic review of all our programs and resources. 
  • And, thanks to great work and community participation, we had a very positive campus experience with our HLC on-site visit for reaffirmation of our accreditation—and we await a final report at the end of June.

And it all culminated in our Commencement celebration on May 8!  Now we head into summer with strong momentum and high hopes for a close-to-normal semester for students in the fall.

Thanks to all for a job well done! To paraphrase the message painted atop one North Park graduate’s mortar board Saturday: 

We did our best—God did the rest!

Mary K. Surridge

President

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