North Central College - Naperville, IL

Mary Blaha

A biochemistry major, Mary never feels isolated when she encounters a new challenge.

“One of the great things about North Central College is that students get to know each other really quickly. The science center feels like one big family, which is great because you always have peers around to study with and learn from,” she says. “As a biochemistry major, you don’t want to do all your schoolwork alone.”

There’s also another group Mary can always count on—her professors.

“Their doors are always open and they’re always willing to help, regardless of their office hours. Honestly, I’ve never bothered to learn office hours because I’ve always been able to just stop by when I have a question. And you can talk about more than just classes. I recently discussed my thoughts and insecurities about changing careers and received great advice and amazing encouragement. I feel like I have multiple advisors who really care.”

Mary plans to apply to medical school. As an officer of North Central’s Pre-Health Organization, she helped bring to campus guest panelists that included admission committees from various medical schools.

“It’s a great way for students to get their names and faces out there and learn what these schools are really looking for,” she says.

Student researchers test out newly renovated science research lab

A new research lab in North Central College’s Kroehler Science Center is designed to encourage greater collaboration among students and faculty.

A Kroehler Science Center lab that has been home to dozens of student and faculty research projects  now boasts a renovated interior that’s more conducive to collaboration and long-term projects. The lab was completely gutted to redesign the space and accommodate new flooring, updated furnishings and improved storage and shelving.

“It’s much easier to collaborate with people from different labs and overall, everything is much more organized,” says Scott Blaszak ’14, a biology major. “The redesigned space is better situated for conducting research.”

National Science Foundation honors North Central College President Troy D. Hammond

North Central College President Troy D. Hammond is being honored by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

North Central College President Troy D. Hammond is one of some 63 outstanding alumni of the National Science Foundation’s highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) to be honored and profiled by the prestigious organization upon the occasion of its 60th anniversary.

Samantha DeWerff earns Outstanding Major in Biochemistry Award

Samantha DeWerff received the Outstanding Major in Biochemistry Award during the 2013 Honors Convocation at North Central College.

Samantha DeWerff, daughter of Dennis and Vickie DeWerff of Normal, Ill., was awarded the Outstanding Major in Biochemistry Award during Honors Day May 14 at North Central College.

A senior, Samantha is majoring in biochemistry at North Central College. She is a graduate of Normal Community West High School.

North Central College’s science alumni, guest speaker share careers

Michael Chapman, Ph.D., professor in the school of physics, Georgia Institute of
Second annual Science Alumni Event hosts guest speaker Dr. Michael Chapman, Blake Young ’04 and Allison Beckham ’09 on their career experiences.

In what has become an annual tradition during Cornerstone Week, North Central hosted its second Science Alumni Event May 16. This year’s program featured guest speaker Michael Chapman, Ph.D., professor in the school of physics at Georgia Institute of Technology, and alumni Blake Young ’04 and Allison Beckham ’09. 

New Ruge Fellows “humbled” by honor

North Central College has named three Ruge Fellows, rewarding outstanding teaching of senior faculty.

North Central College has rewarded three faculty members for their outstanding teaching by naming them Ruge Fellows. Mara Berkland, associate professor of speech communication, Stephen Maynard Caliendo, professor of political science, and Nancy Peterson, professor of chemistry, were recognized at the April 25 faculty meeting by R. Devadoss Pandian, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty.

“Teaching is an art and a science,” he said. “These professors have an enthusiasm for working with students and a passion for their discipline that’s unfathomable.”

Tara Madziarek '09

Tara Madziarek is certified as a registrant of the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM), which endorses professional microbiologists in food safety and quality, pharmaceutical and medical device and biological safety microbiology at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels.

Students from any college may enroll in summer credit courses at North Central College

Students attending any college or university can enroll in summer credit courses at North Central College.

Students attending any college or university can enroll in summer credit courses at North Central College.

Registration is underway for a variety of academic courses that most often can be applied toward graduation requirements at a student’s home institution. Details on the various programs and applications can be found online at or by contacting the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education Admission at 630-637-5840.

Verandah courses

Verandah experiences are intellectually and personally stimulating for students and faculty.

Undergraduate research

Students gain valuable skills conducting research on the effects of caffeine.
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