Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Amy Levin
Amy Levin

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News Release

Contact: Rebekah Kohli, NIU Women’s Studies Program
(815) 753-1044

February 19, 2009

Women’s History Month goes green

Full slate of NIU activities planned in March

DeKalb, Ill. — Nearly two dozen programs and activities are on tap at Northern Illinois University for Women’s History Month in March. This year’s theme is “Women, the Environment and Sustainability.”

“This is a timely theme, considering all the efforts to go ‘green’ and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Amy Levin, director of the Women’s Studies Program at NIU. “People attending our events will have opportunities to build solar panels, learn about drilling techniques used in environmental investigations and find out what NIU does to recycle.”

Women’s Studies also will be offering its first Women’s History Month event for alumni in Chicago. And Levin is pleased with the continued momentum of “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Sticker Day. In its fifth year, the campaign has received national attention, with a number of other institutions following NIU’s lead.

A complete schedule of lectures, exhibits, performances and other activities can be found online at Some of the highlights include the following.

Monday, March 2

  • The month-long celebration kicks off with a self-defense workshop presented by Lesley Rigg, who will teach women how to protect themselves. The workshop is from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. in Anderson Hall 102.

Tuesday, March 3

  • Northern Illinois University will celebrate its fifth annual “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” Sticker Day, which aims to reveal the diverse faces of feminism. Stickers are available in Reavis Hall, Room 103.
  • Recycling specialist Mary Crocker will discuss NIU’s efforts to be an “earth-friendly” campus at noon in DuSable Hall, Room 276. Members of the public are invited to bring a brown bag lunch and join in the discussion.

Thursday, March 5

  • Kimberly Lombardozzi, sustainability manager for the Mohawk Group, and Mari Anne Wohlfeil, commercial sales manager with Dal-Tile Corporation, will explore the challenges of attaining environmental sustainability in building and manufacturing. This discussion will take place at noon in DuSable Hall, Room 302.

Tuesday, March 17

  • Tiffany Holmes, associate professor and chair of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will give two presentations on the ways that art and technology can combine to encourage ecologically responsible behavior. Her first presentation, “Greenmedia Futures: Art & Technology to Promote Sustainability,” begins at noon in Holmes Student Center’s Heritage Room, followed by “DIY Eco-Tech: Solar Panel Sculptures,” beginning at 2 p.m. in the Heritage Room.

Wednesday, March 18

  • Janet Smith, associate professor of urban planning and policy and co-director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood & Community Improvement at the University of Illinois-Chicago, will give two presentations focusing on the challenges that women with low incomes and women of color encounter in finding environmentally sustainable housing. The first presentation, “Trading Off or Trading Up for Housing?” begins at 2 p.m. in Room 100 of the Campus Life Building, followed by “A Woman’s Place is in a Green Kitchen,” at 6 p.m. in Holmes Student Center's Heritage Room.

Thursday, March 19

  • NIU alumna Jolene Skinner will give a keynote talk about her work with Dell’s award-winning work-life program. Skinner is a talent management senior consultant for Dell. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago - Marquette Room, 720 South Michigan Ave. A reception will follow Skinner’s talk. The event is free for NIU Alumni Association Cardinal and Black members and $10 for non-members. Registration is required. Visit to register online or call (815) 753-1452. For more information, contact the NIU Alumni Association at the number above or send an e-mail to

Wednesday, March 25

  • Melissa Lenczewski, associate professor of geology and environmental sciences at NIU, will showcase a method of drilling for soil and water in environmental investigations using the geology department’s Geoprobe 6600. Participants will gain hands-on experience with the drill. The demonstration will begin at 5 p.m. in Eco-Park (north of Stevenson Towers). For safety reasons, all participants must wear jeans and closed-toe shoes. Hardhats, safety glasses and ear plugs will be provided.

Thursday, March 26 

  • Margaret Asalele Mbilizi, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling , Adult and Higher Education and director of International Initiatives, will discuss her sustainable livelihood-improvement program for women in Malawi. She will describe practices that facilitate community involvement in poverty reduction while empowering women and girls to take control of their lives. Her talk will begin at noon in the Holmes Student Center's Regency Room.

All events are open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, are free. Sign language interpreters will be provided upon request; call (815) 753-6515. One week’s notice is preferred.

Event sponsors include the NIU Women’s Studies Program; Graduate Colloquium Committee; Alumni Association; College of Engineering and Engineering Technology; School of Art; Division of Public Administration; Department of Political Science; Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences; and Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education.

For more information, call the Women’s Studies Program at (815) 753-1038.

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