Above / North Central College is located in the heart of Naperville, Illinois, where banners fly high to help identify its state-of-the-art facilities with cutting-edge programs and presence near downtown and the historic district.
When the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced its second round of funding for the year, only eight Illinois institutions were awarded prestigious NEH grants. Among them, North Central College had the added distinction of having two separate faculty research projects awarded funding. One will lay groundwork for a new undergraduate health humanities minor at North Central. The other is a book about Italian immigration to the suburb of Chicago Heights, Illinois.
Dr. Shaheen Moosa, associate professor of philosophy and assistant dean of interdisciplinary initiatives, is the Project Director of the first grant, a $35,000 Humanities Connections award. Through faculty workshops, pilot courses, and consultation with community advisors and experts, Moosa will begin the “Building a Community of Care Through an Interdisciplinary Health Humanities Minor” project with co-project directors Dr. Jennifer Smith, chair and associate professor of English; Dr. Kristin Paloncy-Patel, program director and assistant professor of health science; and Dr. Mary Groll, MD, chair of the department of medical sciences.
“This grant will help us achieve our goal of connecting the humanities to matters of medicine and human health, which has proven to be effective in preparing future health care professionals to be more empathetic and avoid burnout,” said Moosa. “We believe the curriculum will be of interest to a broad range of our students, from future journalists, to policy makers, and business professionals who recognize the challenges facing health care in a tumultuous world.”
As Dr. Moosa and team begin project, Dr. Corsino aims to finish book
A professor of sociology, Dr. Louis Corsino is the recipient of the second grant — a $6,000 NEH Summer Stipend. With the funding, he will devote the summer to completing his book “’Hopelessly Alien,’ Italian Immigration to Chicago Heights, 1910-1950,” which explores the concept of hope as a force in the lives of immigrants.
As part of his research, Corsino has conducted more than 40 interviews with descendants of an original enclave of Italian immigrants to Chicago Heights, which by 1950 was one of the most Italian cities in the U.S. Corsino’s grandfather emigrated to the community in 1906 and Corsino grew up there. “My personal connections proved invaluable during the research phase. Now I look forward to writing the last chapter, the conclusion, thanks to the support of the NEH,” he said.
The question of what makes a good society is at the heart of Corsino’s research and his teaching.
“A North Central education is about expanding both curiosity and compassion,” he said. “We want our graduates to go on to make their communities, our country and the world better. By challenging common narratives about the striving and success of previous generations, they can understand the challenges that today’s newcomers face,” said Corsino, who has presented at the Italian American Studies Association and The Calandra Italian American Institute.
Abiódún Gòkè-Pariolá, provost and vice president for academic affairs noted, “This recognition by the National Endowment for the Humanities underscores the value and quality of their scholarship.”
The awards were part of the latest NEH funding round, with $35.63 million in grants going toward 258 humanities projects across the country. The NEH chose projects that “demonstrate the vitality of the humanities across our nation,” according to its April 18, 2023, announcement. The NEH is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. The Endowment awards grants to top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.
In other North Central College News…
North Central announces new Master of Nursing Program (MSN)
North Central College’s School of Education and Health Sciences (SEHS) has launched a Master of Science in Nursing degree program, which will begin in fall 2023. The program aims to inspire future leaders in the advancement of the profession and to promote the art and science of nursing in an inclusive, culturally sensitive, and evolving health care environment. The program will provide advanced education and specialization for current licensed registered nurses, at a time when there is a national nursing shortage.
The MSN program offers four graduate nursing tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Nurse Executive Leader and Nurse Educator. The program will also offer a Post-Masters APRN certificate for licensed registered nurses who only need to complete a set of courses that will enable them to sit for the Nurse Practitioner certification examination. The FNP track specifically prepares nurses to become experts in all facets of patient care, disease management, and health promotion. The PMHNP track trains nurses to perform biopsychosocial assessments and diagnose patients with psychiatric and mental disorders across the lifespan. The nurse executive track coaches nurses to manage patient services and health care systems, and to make ethical and professional decisions that align with the health care organization. The nurse educator track trains nurses to teach necessary clinical skills and patient care.
Since May 22, 2023, candidates interested in any of the MSN program options have been welcomed to submit their application through the NursingCAS | The Centralized Application for Nursing Programs. Matriculating students must have earned a BSN from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program and hold a nursing license.
“North Central College continues to be a leader in building distinct, high-demand programs that provide health care solutions to societal problems,” said Dr. Marci J. Swede, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences at North Central College. “This is an opportunity for the College to build on its successful track record of growing advanced clinical health care programs that are rooted in the liberal arts traditions and that strongly adhere to evidence-based medical practice, while at the same time emphasizing a humanistic and relationship-centered approach.”
The College’s MSN specialty tracks integrate the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) essentials and support the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation standards to provide a robust population-focused curriculum that fosters the advanced knowledge, skills and abilities to develop the advanced nursing role. The College will provide both part-time and full-time options for each of the MSN specialty tracks. Upon completion of the MSN program at North Central College, graduates will be eligible to sit for a specialty-focused certification examination provided by specified national credentialing centers.
“One of the things that sets North Central College’s MSN program apart from other online graduate nursing offerings is the community-based focus,” said Dr. Mary Groll, MD, MS, chair of the department of medical sciences at North Central College. “We are resolutely committed to train competent advanced practice nurses who understand complex patients and systems, while providing innovative solutions to the current nursing shortage.”
“North Central College’s MSN program is committed to equipping future nurses to shape the future of health care through a student-based approach that focuses on preparing graduates to be competent and compassionate leaders who work as part of a broader health care team,” said Dr. Georgine Maisch, DNP, MSN, CHSE, RN, program director at North Central College.
For more information, visit northcentralcollege.edu/program/master-nursing.
Dr. Agnieszka Hanni joins College’s Senior Leadership Team
North Central College has appointed Dr. Agnieszka “Aggie” Hanni as its new vice president for enrollment management and marketing, serving as part of the institution’s senior leadership team and as a member of the President’s cabinet. In her role, Hanni will oversee student recruitment and admission, along with financial aid and enrollment-related marketing. She assumed her new position on June 1, 2023.
Hanni arrives at North Central College from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO), where she was associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, the university’s chief enrollment officer. She also chaired and co-chaired many initiatives at the institution, including the Student Success Council, and was a member of the Recruitment and Marketing Team/Strategic Enrollment Council, among other groups. Prior to UWO, Hanni was assistant director of enrollment at National Louis University.
“After conducting a thorough national search, Dr. Hanni was the search committee’s enthusiastic first choice to fill this critical leadership role,” said North Central College Interim President Dr. Donna M. Carroll. “Aggie brings a robust mix of professional experience, market strategy, and analytic depth, along with a collaborative style that aligns well with our Cardinal culture.”
A first-generation college student, Hanni immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Elmhurst University, and her master’s degree in the same field from National Louis University (NLU). At NLU, also earned a Ph.D. in community psychology and an Ed.S. in higher education leadership.
“I am very impressed by the outstanding academic profile of North Central College, its renowned athletic identity, and the obvious passion of faculty and staff for student success through transformative educational experiences,” said Hanni. “It’s a tremendous honor to be a member of this community and to build on North Central’s distinguished history.”
Reports submitted by Kelly Murphy, Director of Communication and PR, North Central College.