North Central College - Naperville, IL

Faculty select Steve Oliveri as 2010 Lincoln Laureate

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306,

Nov. 8, 2010—Steve Oliveri of Crystal Lake, Ill., has been named North Central College’s 2010 Lincoln Laureate, an annual award that honors outstanding seniors at four-year degree-granting institutions in Illinois. North Central faculty selected Oliveri as the College’s top senior for his excellence in curricular and co-curricular activities.

Governor Pat Quinn presented Oliveri with a medallion, certificate of achievement and a check for $250 on Nov. 6 at the House of Representatives in Springfield.

“I can think of very few students who have had such a positive impact on the campus and the surrounding community, while at the same time maintaining such a stellar record in the classroom,” says Steve Macek, associate professor of speech communication and coordinator of urban and suburban studies.

Majoring in convergent interactive media with a minor in broadcast communication, Oliveri has a near perfect grade-point average and is involved in many areas of campus life. At North Central’s student-run radio station WONC-FM 89.1, he’s assistant manager, four-year host and producer of one of the station’s most popular shows “Local Chaos,” webmaster and first-place winner of the 2009 Student Silver Dome Award for best use of interactive media.

He’s also a resident assistant, bassist for a jazz ensemble and Concert Winds, actor and technical hand in multiple theatre productions, and a student representative on a faculty search committee. He’s been highly involved in ministry and service at North Central, doing short-term service trips abroad and serving as social media coordinator and organizer for The Union, a very successful weekly venue in Naperville for performance and social justice issues.  

As part of an academic research project, Oliveri traveled in summer 2010 to Kenya and Nairobi’s notorious Kibera slum to research a community radio station called Pamoja FM with the goal of understanding the station’s impact and influence on the people of Kibera. He plans to turn those interviews, as well as recorded programming from the station, into an audio documentary and present his research at conferences and online. “I have a simple interest in telling people’s stories, especially those who would not otherwise have a voice,” he says.

After graduation in June, Oliveri wants to work in public media, where he hopes to tell other people’s stories and bring attention to social justice issues.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.