Skip navigation

Rhaina Cohen, a Northwestern University undergraduate with a passion for gender equality and policy, and Chelsea Glenn, a summa cum laude 2013 Northwestern alumna with a passion for social change, were awarded Marshall Scholarships in late November. The double win marks the fourth time that Northwestern has claimed two of the highly prestigious international scholarships in the same year.

Cohen, an American studies major from East Brunswick, New Jersey, will study comparative social policy for two years in a master’s program at the University of Oxford.Glenn, who majored in economics and international studies, is currently a Fulbright-García Robles Scholar in Mexico City, conducting research on the effects of easily accessible consumer credit on household welfare. As a Marshall Scholar, she hopes to spend one year at Oxford in a master’s degree program in development economics and one year at the University of Sussex working on a master’s in globalization in development.

We recently caught up with Cohen and Glenn to discuss their reaction to the honor and what lies ahead:

Where were you when you heard the news and what was your reaction?

I was sitting in a cab, riding back to Evanston from O'Hare, when I noticed a voicemail. The chair of the selection committee, who interviewed me that morning in New York, had left a message congratulating me for winning the scholarship. I was shocked and trembled for a few minutes while I called to share the news with my family. I don't think I stopped smiling that night.

When I heard the news, I was sitting at my desk back in Mexico City. I was surprised and excited, but mostly, I felt really relieved! I Skype called my parents, but they didn't pick up, so the first person I could get ahold of was Beth Pardoe from NU's Office of Fellowships. Considering the monumental help and support she gave me throughout the process, Beth was a pretty worthy first responder!

What does receiving the Marshall Scholarship mean to you?

When I learned that I had won the award, as overjoyed as I was for the experience in the UK that lies ahead for me, I felt I had done right by the Northwestern faculty and Office of Fellowships staff who supported and pushed me throughout the application process. They encouraged me to be both bold and thoughtful in my thinking and confident and precise while speaking. The way I see it, this scholarship serves as a testament to the work of a group of people to whom I feel indebted.

The Marshall means several really crucial things for me. First, it provides me the opportunity to pursue what I love for two years, offering me access to globally oriented development programs which will hopefully challenge my perspectives and understanding about the field and push me to become a wiser and more thoughtful practitioner. Second, the Marshall inducts me into a rich and diverse community of current and past scholars who are pursuing fabulous work in a multitude of sectors around the globe. I feel so privileged to join such a deep and accomplished intellectual community, which I hope to engage with and learn from both during my two years in the UK and beyond. Finally, the Marshall allows me to directly and immediately apply my Fulbright research to my Master's study, which will help me better understand and analyze the data I am collecting in Mexico City.

excites you the most about this opportunity?

  I'm most excited to participate in Oxford's traditions: joining a choir, spending evenings in the Oxford pubs where famous authors used to meet, attending formal hall dinners, listening to speakers at the Oxford Union, and being surrounded by bright students from all over the world.

Glenn: I am most excited to join the globally oriented intellectual community at my academic institution. The programs to which I am applying boast both faculty and students from around the world, and I look forward to learning about their variety of experiences, perspectives, and knowledge.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ll be studying while in England?

I plan to study comparative social policy at Oxford, concentrating on policies that promote gender equality that include public child care, paid family leave and paid sick leave.

Glenn: I will be studying development economic theory and how the market and the government interact to either promote or inhibit development. I most likely will reorient back toward Africa, specifically East Africa. (My senior thesis was on Ethiopian refugees; however, I am currently researching in Mexico.)

How has your Northwestern experience helped prepare you for this success?

More than any other part of the University, Northwestern’s American Studies program has prepared me for the kind of work I expect to do at Oxford as well as in journalism. From the close-knit, self-directed program that fosters close relationships between faculty and students, I’ve gained an appreciation for learning from others (earlier this quarter, a professor told our class that learning is a social activity. That idea has stayed with me) and studying any subject that piques my curiosity.

Throughout my four years at Northwestern, I benefited from an astounding set of University-provided resources and opportunities. I was able to intern at a non-profit in Cochabamba, Bolivia, with NU's Global Engagement Studies Institute and do independent research in Ethiopia on a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant. Northwestern's unique emphasis on student leadership opportunities provided me access to a plethora of resources, from a private leadership coach through NU Center for Leadership to various NU-sponsored student groups such as the Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights. The Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies hosted guest academics and practitioners almost weekly, who spoke about development work, human rights, and poverty. I am truly astounded by what a rich and personalized experience NU provided me, and of course, I am very grateful for how open my professors were to helping me along the way, especially Professors Jeff Rice, Galya Ruffer, and Brian Hanson. 

So how are you planning to prepare for two years abroad?

I'm trying to improve my understanding of history and current events in Europe. I regularly listen to the BBC and plan to audit a British history class next quarter. After I discovered that a store in Evanston sells clotted cream, I've baked scones several times. If you're generous, that could count as preparation too.

My Fulbright research in Mexico City is great preparation; although, Britain is basically the antithesis of where I live now. It will be cold. There will be a depressing dearth of 80-cent steak tacos. The beer will taste monumentally better but be three times as expensive. Before I arrive, I want to research more about all of the wonderful cultural idiosyncrasies and uniquely British experiences that the country has to offer. I lived in London for a summer, but I know woefully little about the rest of the country, and I am excited to explore it once I arrive.

Visit the Northwestern News Center for the
full story

Northwestern University is offering a new round of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in winter 2014, examining content strategy for professionals, life cycle environmental assessment, and fundamentals of digital image and video processing.

The three new courses follow Northwestern’s first three MOOC offerings, which debuted in the fall and drew interest from more than 68,000 students around the world. Northwestern partnered with
Coursera earlier this year to provide its MOOCs on Coursera’s digital platform to anyone, anywhere, for free. Learn more about the courses offered:

The Coursera model offers non-credit courses through a platform that allows open enrollment with no admissions requirements and no tuition costs.

“One of our primary goals in joining Coursera is to give our faculty the opportunity to explore new pedagogical and course delivery methods through MOOCs,” Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer explained.

“It has been fascinating to observe how creatively our first three MOOCs launched this fall have applied and plan to apply their online course materials to the learning experiences of Northwestern students on campus. Our undergraduate, graduate and professional students are gaining directly from these faculty members’ experimentation with new modes of teaching and learning.”


Read more about Northwestern’s partnership with Coursera.


Northwestern University faculty, students and alumni may submit videos through midnight January 15 to be considered as speakers at the first day-long TEDX NorthwesternU 2014. “Crossing Paths” is the theme of the April 12, 2014, event on Northwestern’s Evanston campus in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, organizers of the event announced.

Submissions for the TEDX NorthwesternU 2014 roster of nine “genius talks” will be in the form of one-minute videos with a brief description of the talk in 100 words. Candidates may also include in the description up to three supplemental examples of materials, such as links to video clips, published work, personal websites or an attached resume or CV. Details for submission are available


Three faculty, three alumni and three student speakers selected to deliver the 18-minute talks will be announced February 1 by the TEDX Executive Board of 12 students and faculty co-organizer Michele Weldon, assistant professor emerita of journalism at the Medill School.

Read the
full story

Northwestern University has received 2,828 Common Applications for the Class of 2018 under its early decision program — a 14.73 percent increase from last year, marking the ninth consecutive year that early decision applications have increased at Northwestern.

“We’re doing an excellent job of raising our visibility across the nation and the world,” said Michael Mills, associate provost for University enrollment, “through outreach by staff, student volunteers and faculty, and the president through his international travel.”

The University increasingly is being recognized nationally and internationally for the excellence of its students, the highly diverse education offered inside and outside the classroom, leading faculty research regularly covered in the news and a popular president, Morton Schapiro, who is well known for his expertise in the economics of higher education.

“Northwestern attracts students who are both creative and analytical and provides a left-brain, right-brain type of education that provides plenty of opportunities for them to explore multiple interests,” said Christopher Watson, dean of undergraduate admissions at Northwestern.

Visit the Northwestern News Center for the full story.

Northwestern University and the City of Chicago announced a new program to help Chicago Public School (CPS) students prepare for and gain admittance to selective colleges and universities. The Northwestern Academy is designed to help CPS high school students who are academically talented and qualify for the free or reduced lunch program with supplemental educational opportunities and support services to prepare them for highly selective colleges and universities.

“Northwestern Academy is an example of how an innovative partnership between one of the country’s top universities and CPS can expand access to high-quality education options and open the door to unique learning opportunities and experiences for our students,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.


The Academy will target students who qualified for but are not enrolled in a CPS selective enrollment school and are also enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program, a pool of about 1,250 students. A group of qualified students will be invited to apply, from which 50 CPS 9th-grader finalists will be identified annually.

“Northwestern is deeply committed to supporting Chicago Public School students and providing opportunities for a world-class education that will prepare these students for college and careers,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “Our involvement with Chicago schools is strong, far-reaching, and growing.”

By increasing engagement between Northwestern and the Chicago community, and contributing to Chicago’s reputation and competitiveness, the new program represents a significant step toward achieving the vision of the
University’s strategic plan

Visit the Northwestern News Center for the
full story

Related story:
Northwestern Trustee and Spouse Endow Scholarships for Chicago Public Schools Students

As the world celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela, Northwestern’s Richard Joseph, John Evans Professor of Political Science, and Medill Associate Professor Douglas Foster reflect on the life and legacy of the great South African leader. Joseph has devoted his scholarly career to the study of politics and governance in Africa. The author of “After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” Foster joined the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications faculty in 2004 to help build its South Africa Journalism Residency Program.

Following is an excerpt of Hilary Hurd Anyaso’s interview with Professor Joseph:

What do you hope future generations take away from Mandela’s life and legacy?
Nelson Mandela shows that the greatest values in life are not reducible to material possessions. He demonstrated not just the importance of leadership but also moral leadership. His life is a testimony to the extraordinary transformation one individual can experience under the most adverse circumstances. The personal growth he underwent during 27 years of incarceration took him to a politico-spiritual plane, which transcended even that of his own party. He emerged from prison to become not just South Africa's national leader but also a leader to the world. Look at the Middle East today. What if a Mandela were to emerge to help transform that morass?

What will you remember most about him?
My earliest political experience was the independence movement of Trinidad and Tobago, where I was born. I subsequently met, and studied the life and work of, many black leaders of the Caribbean, the United States and Africa. The opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela in June 1990 should first be seen in that perspective. He belongs to a long line of intrepid leaders of the African and black world. Some, such as Eric Williams of Trinidad, survived to lead their people and nations to political freedom. While others like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X of the U.S. perished in the struggle. Mandela’s triumph is also theirs.

What do you consider to be the most common misperception about Mandela?
He is such a benign figure that it can be forgotten that he is a freedom fighter. He and other ANC (African National Congress) leaders resorted reluctantly to armed struggle against a formidable foe, the apartheid regime. There is a video of the first President George Bush welcoming Mandela to the U.S. while giving him a lecture about the use of violence. When Mandela stepped up to the microphone to respond to President Bush, he threw off the cape of kindliness to show the still resolute leader of a freedom movement beneath it.

Following is an excerpt of Wendy Leopold’s interview with Professor Foster:

What made Mandela such an exceptional and beloved leader?

His combination of vision, steely pragmatism and insistence on reaching out to average South Africans. He was a nightmare for his handlers, in the presidency and after, because he would wander off, or order the motorcade to stop so that he could listen directly to the problems of poor people. He exercised radical empathy, not in a soft and fuzzy way but as a disciplined response to the trauma of that peculiar and extreme form of racial segregation known as apartheid.

Did you have occasion to meet him personally?

I got to know him mostly through his grandchildren because my book, “After Mandela,” centers on the question of what the next generation of South Africans will do with the freedom won in their name. Seeing him at home with his grandchildren, I was able to witness his mischievous quality up close.
I last saw Mandela at his home in Johannesburg where he greeted my son and me by saying, “It’s nice that young people still come around to see an old man even though he has nothing new to say.” We laughed, but with Mandela there was always a little needle in the jokes. In a way, he was challenging us to recognize how far he went in trying to create a new kind of society — nonracial, anti-sexist, non-homophobic, more egalitarian — and challenging the rest of us to do our part.

How do you view the future of South Africa without Mandela?

One of Mandela's big gifts and a large part of his legacy is to distinguish himself from so many other political leaders around the globe who spend much effort convincing us of their indispensability. Mandela very consciously worked to “wean us, like a good parent,” the phrase of the astute South African editor Ferial Haffajee. Mandela insisted on his dispensability, and he challenged the next generation to carry the dream forward.

Visit the Northwestern News Center to read the full interviews.

The Chicago architectural firm of Perkins+Will has been selected to design a new Biomedical Research Building for the Feinberg School of Medicine on Northwestern University’s Chicago campus, Northwestern officials announced on December 6.


The new Biomedical Research Building will be located immediately east of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center on the site ofthe former Prentice Women’s Hospital. Northwestern plans to construct approximately 600,000 square feet of research space starting in 2015 with eventual buildout of approximately 1.2 million square feet.

The Perkins+Will design features a curved glass exterior, with flexible floor plans for laboratories and a sunny “winter garden” areathat will bring natural light into the building.

“Northwestern University and Perkins+Will have created a building with a unique shape that has a poetry of design and will result in a work of beauty for the University and the community,” said Gordon Segal, who chairs the educational properties committee of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.

The new Biomedical Research Building will anchor the University’s research facilities and be the hub of a world-class research and development enterprise that attracts innovation and entrepreneurship. Construction of the new state-of-the-art center will create thousands of jobs, help find tomorrow’s cures, and generate approximately $3.9 billion in economic activity in Chicago in the coming decade.

Visit the Northwestern News Center for the
full story

Learn more about Feinberg’s plans to drive high-impact scientific and clinical innovation.




Northwestern Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips announced in November Northwestern Athletics' launch of the Otto Graham Society, a new fundraising initiative intended to serve as the catalyst for leadership annual giving to Northwestern Athletics.

Philanthropic in nature, the Otto Graham Society is a multi-year fundraising program, structured to ensurethe continued growth of Northwestern Athletics by providing additional resources to deliver a world-class experience academically, socially and athletically for all Wildcats student-athletes. 

The new program is named in honor of the legendary multi-sport All-American Otto Graham, who starred in football, basketball and baseball at Northwestern between 1941 and 1944. The former Cleveland Browns star was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

"Otto Graham truly was one of the best student-athletes in Northwestern history, so it's fitting to honor him and his accomplishments in this way," says Phillips. "He left a mark on our University in a way that very few have, and the Otto Graham Society will allow individuals to make a similar impact on NU student-athletes for generations to come."

Each member of the Otto Graham Society pledges to contribute his or her support for a five-year period to Northwestern Athletics. Membership begins with an annual gift of $25,000 and offers a second tier of giving at $50,000 annually. Fifty percent of the contribution will be allocated to the Wildcat Excellence Fund, while the remaining 50 percent may be designated to the athletic area(s) of the donors' greatest interests. 

Learn more about the Otto Graham Society and other opportunities to support Northwestern Athletics.

In a testament to the impact she has had beyond her sport, Northwestern women's lacrosse head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller has been named a member of Crain's Chicago Business' 2013 class of "40 Under 40" honorees. The annual honor roll, released on December 1, recognizes the most noteworthy and accomplished Chicagoland leaders from across all sectors of business and industry.

first launched its annual "40 Under 40" feature in 1989 and since then has recognized nearly 1,000 up-and-coming Chicagoans who have earned the title, including Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Rahm Emanuel (GC85), and Billy Corgan.

Amonte Hiller's on-field success since re-instating the Wildcats women's lacrosse program in time for the 2002 season speaks for itself: a run of seven NCAA championships in eight years between 2005 and 2012, five National Coach of the Year honors and four different players coached to National Player of the Year accolades.

But it is Amonte Hiller's lead role in growing lacrosse in Chicagoland and beyond that contributed to her selection to this year's Crain's "40 Under 40" list. Capitalizing on the exposure that has accompanied her program's run of championships, Amonte Hiller actively promotes women's lacrosse at the local level through her involvement in youth leagues and camps, coaching clinics, speaking engagements, and efforts to increase the game's TV visibility. 


Visit for the full story.

After sharing the award a season ago, Northwestern senior place-kicker Jeff Budzien has been named the outright winner of the 2013 Bakken-Andersen Big Ten Kicker of the Year and a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection, the conference announced this month.

Budzien and senior defensive end Tyler Scott received top honors for the Wildcats, with Scott closing his Northwestern career by earning second-team All-Big Ten accolades. Four additional 'Cats — junior linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo, junior safety Ibraheim Campbell, senior linebacker Damien Proby, and junior offensive lineman Brandon Vitabile — were named honorable mention All-Big Ten at their positions.

Budzien's honor caps a record-setting career for the Wisconsin native, one in which Budzien broke Northwestern standards for single-season field goals (23, 2013), career field goal percentage (.873), consecutive field goals made (17), career points scored (280) and most consecutive PATs made (136).

Visit for the
full story

A pair of Northwestern basketball players have been nominated for the 2014 Allstate Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Teams. Senior Drew Crawford from the men's team and senior Meghan McKeown on the women's team are two of the 202 nominees for this year's award.

In its second year, the Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams honor players at all levels of college basketball for leadership and charitable achievements. The final roster of 20 award recipients will be unveiled in February.

A team captain, Crawford has mentored at-risk teens at the Illinois Youth Commission while giving his time to many charitable organizations, including Relay For Life, Dance Marathon, Misericordia, Children's Heart Foundation, Be Positive Foundation, Project EXCITE, and the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association.

McKeown, also a team captain, has played a key role in the Northwestern women's basketball program's effort to raise autism awareness. She regularly participates in the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event at Soldier Field. She also interacts with local youths as part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee's annual Field Day and assists with youth basketball clinics among other charitable endeavors.

Visit for the story.

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art will feature two new exhibitions on January 17 when it opens for the first time since it closed for maintenance during the fall quarter. From images of factory workers in picket lines to Hollywood icons, the winter 2014 exhibitions at the Block Museum explore visual representations of class and society in America during the 20th century, particularly the 1930s.

The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929–1940
(Main Gallery, January 17 to June 22) focuses on American artists who protested against injustice and pursued social revolution through their work and activism in the 1930s.

Steichen | Warhol: Picturing Fame (Alsdorf Gallery, January 17 to April 6) examines the photography of Edward Steichen and Andy Warhol, artists whose portraits shaped the way social status and fame are defined through photographic conventions. The Steichen photos were a recent gift to the University from collectors Richard and Jackie Hollander.

Visit the
Block Museum Web site
for more information.


Medill sophomore Kelsey Adams and Communication senior Ethan Levine-Weinberg have been selected to serve as emcees of the 2014 installment of Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM). They are tasked with keeping hundreds of student dancers and volunteers energized throughout the inspiring 30-hour dance party, taking place March 7-9.


Both said they are extremely excited to be the faces of one of the country’s largest student-organized philanthropic efforts and to lead one of Northwestern’s biggest events of the year. This year’s marathon is particularly exciting, as it marks the 40th anniversary of NUDM.


Organizers announced Team Joseph as its primary beneficiary this past May. Team Joseph aims to fund cutting-edge research to find a treatment or cure for Duchene muscular dystrophy. This is the first time in NUDM history that the primary beneficiary is an organization fighting Duchene. NUDM is also supporting the Evanston Community Foundation as its secondary beneficiary for the 17th consecutive year.


Learn more about Dance Marathon.

The Northwestern University Leadership Circle (NULC) is hosting its third annual Emerging Leaders reception on January 27 at The Wit in Chicago. 


The event features a Northwestern "power couple" — Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer and actress Heather Headley (C97) and Promus Capital co-founder and former Wildcats football star Brian Musso (SESP98). Dominic Missimi, professor emeritus in theatre, will lead a conversation with Headley and Musso as they discuss their Northwestern connection as well as how they balance busy lives on stage and in business with family.


Emerging Leaders include NULC members who received an undergraduate degree in the past 25 years or a professional degree in the past 20 years. 


Learn more about how you can join the Northwestern University Leadership Circle.

In the wake of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” Northwestern alumni and friends showed themselves to be in a particularly generous mood on December 3 for the second annual Giving Tuesday. This is the first time Northwestern has taken part in the nationwide day of philanthropy that takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and the results were impressive.


By the end of the day, 238 people had made gifts to the University (including 165 undergraduate alumni), up from 62 on the same date in 2012. The surge in giving raised more than $93,000 to support Northwestern and its students.


Northwestern was one of more than 10,000 organizations taking part in Giving Tuesday, including universities such as Duke and the University of Chicago.



Learn more about how you can make an impact at Northwestern every day.

Take a walk down memory lane with “Past, Paper, Scissors: Scrapbooks from the Northwestern University Library Collections,” on display at the Main and Deering libraries through Jan. 3, 2014. The exhibit displays the best of the more than 250 scrapbooks that University Archives has collected from alumni of different eras — each displayed in an open-page spread, inside a glass box.


“I think it’s exciting and interesting to see how students lived back then and howthey documented it,” said Yvonne Spura, an archives assistant at Northwestern University Library and curator of the exhibit.


Some of the featured scrapbooks were created by notable alumni such as television host Lloyd Thaxson and football Hall of Famer Otto Graham. In addition to Northwestern-centric scrapbooks, there are displays from special libraries and collections, including one on Chicago’s Pullman strike of 1894. The cut-and-pasted history of Northwestern focuses on the themes of student life, sports, the performing arts, altruistic endeavors and life beyond Northwestern.


Each scrapbook is also available online on the library’s website, where viewers can virtually browse additional pages.


Visit the Northwestern News Center for the full story.

Dr. Charles Modlin, MD (WCAS83, FSM87) talks about the exciting construction, new academic programs, and unique opportunities at Northwestern.


Attending Northwestern was a childhood dream for Raheela Anwar (WCAS87), and today, her family proudly bleeds purple. In her ’Cat Tales podcast, she discusses her favorite memories and the lifelong bonds that revolve around her college experience.


In his ’Cat Tales podcast, Alan Wasserstrom (McC62) explains how coming from small-town Ohio to Northwestern changed his life: “When you hang in a pool of fish with bigger fish than yourself, you tend to grow, and Northwestern did that for me.”


As a student, Gabe Coleman (C92) wrote a piece for “The Daily Northwestern” on having a gay parent. More than 20 years later, and living in a state that just legalized gay marriage, he talks about the importance of being able to write such a cathartic piece in an environment like Northwestern.


Jeff Weinstock (C92), Andrew Barrett-Weiss (C92), and Peter Reynolds (SESP92). Three friends fondly reminisce about Jeff Weinstock’s previous secret identity: Willie the Wildcat.