Featured Adult Learners

Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services (OCNTSS) works to welcome, incorporate, and promote non-traditional students in the NIU community. This includes recognizing those students who have taken a different path, taken extra steps, persevered over struggles or simply have a great story to tell about their academic and life journey. Recognizing the contributions that these students provide to NIU fosters their sense of visibility and advocacy on campus, in addition to encouraging a stronger presence on campus. These nominees will be considered for our annual Eli Whitney Award.

To learn about the initiative click on the criteria link below.

Featured Adult Learners Nomination Criteria

To nominate  complete the following form

Featured Adult Learners Online Nomination Form

Patrick Lynch


Previous Studies: Daley Community College, A.A.

Degree Obtained: Communications Major B.A., Emphasis in Media Studies

Patrick Lynch is an excellent example of a Northern Illinois University non-traditional student. He is a resilient young man that excels in time management and productivity. He identifies as a transfer student as he received an Associate’s in Arts degree from Daley Community College, located in Chicago. Upon graduation from Daley, Patrick gained a dynamic 3.6 GPA and graduated on the Dean’s List. In 2012, Patrick transferred to NIU as a Communications Major with an emphasis in Media Studies. Patrick’s journey through NIU peaked upon his graduation in December 2014.

Patrick prides himself in his strength to persevere through life events that some people are just not able to face. This was evident through him working three jobs while completing his degree! Jessica Alford, OCNTSS Graduate Assistant, describes Patrick as “persevering, inspiring, and a reminder that hard work pays off.” Patrick has also been willing to volunteer for many OCNTSS projects and events, in order to help connect other non-trads to campus.

 In the near future, Patrick sees himself moving to California and flourishing in his career as a sound designer, music producer, or a gaming designer.

Personal Motto: “Live one day at a time! Do what can today, and worry about the other trivial things later.”

Advice for fellow Huskies: “Look at life as a test; prepare and work your hardest, but then don’t dwell on the score you might get.”