Creative in the Community

First Impressions Count, Ellington Ballroom, NIU

Lynn Batalden recently assisted NIU STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) with a project built around a dystopian novel called Quarantine, by Lex Thomas. The culmination of this project involved
hundreds of high schoolers locked in an abandoned high school to play out some scenarios from this popular sci-fi book. They learned about viruses, economics, and more, while participating in costume contests, market trading, and a food drop much like the one in the book. (Click the link for an video overview of the project).

Lynn was interviewed on video about the effects of stress on the body in order to help the students cope with the effects of sudden stress. You can read a condensed version of this in the first article for our March newsletter.

Mark Mattson once again emceed the annual Literacy Banquet for the DeKalb Sycamore Bookcase project, which provides 50+ personalized, custom-made oak bookcases, fully stocked with books to preschool aged kids in need each April. This project is led by former mayor of DeKalb, John Rey, and has provided over 400 bookcases in the nine years since the project began.

Mark also particpated in the First Impressions Count event through NIU’s JobsPLUS program. This event took place in the Duke Ellington Ballroom at NIU. University students get a chance to practice their communication and interpersonal skills while meeting NIU alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the local business community. Mark actually helped design this program through his work at the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. It began as an offering for DeKalb High School students, has moved to the university level, and there are plans to also adapt it for middle school-aged kids as well. Mark also began his term as the chair of the chamber’s board of directors this year.

#NIUAlumniAssociation #NIUJobsPLUS #ProudlyDeKalb


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