<P>11northern now winter 2016 By Dana Herra, ‘01 Congresswoman continues to give back to her NIU roots FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES When Matt Streb, chair of the NIU Department of Political Science, talks about Congresswoman Robin Kelly, one story inevitably comes to mind. Kelly, Ph.D. 04, was scheduled to speak to students in the departments leadership seminar, Streb recalls. When she agreed to the engagement, Kelly was not yet a candidate for Congress. But by the time the speaking date approached, she was deep in a highly competitive primary race for the seat she would eventually win in Illinois Second Congressional District. Robin was scheduled to come speak to my class about ten days before the primary, Streb says. She was speaking on a Friday, and I thought, ‘Theres no way shes going to come; shes in the middle of campaigning, and this is crunch time. So I called her that Monday and said, ‘I understand why you cant come out, and she said, ‘What are you talking about? Im still coming out. Not only did Kelly appear at the seminar as promised, Streb says, she spent a full two hours with the students before driving back to the Chicago suburbs for a fundraiser that night. Not a single kid in that class was a voter, none of them were from her district, but she came out and she gave them her full attention, Streb says. In addition to visiting campus to speak to students, Kelly sits on the NIU Alumni Association Board of Directors and the NIU Political Science Advisory Council. She also participates in the political science departments mentoring program and has taken on NIU student interns in her of?ce the last two years. Kelly took on her ?rst student mentee, NIU political science major Miki Grace, in the 2014-2015 academic year and has a new mentee this year. She says she enjoyed sharing her experience with Grace and loves the mentoring program, though she never had a mentor herself. When I think about some of my experiences at college, even though everything turned out OK, I can see where there were other paths that could have been taken or times when some advice would have been helpful, she says. I think mentors also provide the opportunity to broaden your horizons. Streb says when Kelly ?rst agreed to be a mentor, he thought her level of interaction with her mentee would be limited because of the geographic distance between Illinois and Washington, D.C. He says he was amazed at how much interaction they did have and at the quality of Graces mentee experience. He says Grace was Kellys guest at functions in both Washington and Illinois, and Grace says she was honored to stay with the congresswoman when she and her sorority sisters visited Washington for a week of advocacy on Capitol Hill. Over the summer, Grace secured an internship through the Congressional Black Caucus and was placed in Kellys of?ce. My experience was amazing, Grace says. I got the chance to go to a lot of brie?ngs on different topics. …To be there with people who are really young, really smart, and really driven inspired me to do some new things, and I learned a lot about the legislative process, constituent services, and of?ce culture. Streb says at least ten NIU students had summer internships in Washington in 2015, and they came from a variety of backgrounds and majors. Kelly, who holds a doctorate in political science, says her educational background actually makes her something of a novelty among her Congressional colleagues. You dont ?nd a lot of political science doctoral degrees in Congress, she says. But I think it did prepare me to work as a legislator. It prepares you to see both sides and be open-minded, which is very important. When youre voting, you have to at least be open-minded and respect other peoples opinions. Kelly sits on two Congressional committees – the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs – and on four subcommittees. She also serves on seven Congressional caucuses. In addition to her Congressional commitments and her work with NIU, she serves on the board of trustees at Bradley University, where she obtained her bachelors and masters degrees. She says she doesnt make a lot of board meetings at her alma maters, but if the Alumni Association needs anything of her, all it has to do is ask. I always wanted to work with young people, Kelly says. I love working with college students and being a cheerleader in their success, and Northern has provided me with an opportunity to do that. HUSKIES IN D.C.</p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/3/3/">Page-1</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/4/4/">Page-2</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/5/5/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/6/6/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/7/7/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/8/8/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/9/9/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/10/10/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/11/11/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/12/12/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/13/13/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/14/14/">Page-12</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/15/15/">Page-13</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/16/16/">Page-14</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/17/17/">Page-15</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/18/18/">Page-16</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/19/19/">Page-17</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/20/20/">Page-18</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/21/21/">Page-19</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/22/22/">Page-20</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/23/23/">Page-21</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/24/24/">Page-22</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/25/25/">Page-23</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/26/26/">Page-24</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/27/27/">Page-25</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/28/28/">Page-26</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/29/29/">Page-27</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/30/30/">Page-28</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/31/31/">Page-29</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/1137/pfuffguzq/32/32/">Back-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publications/1137/x/sitemap.xml" target="_blank">site map</a></LI> </UL>


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