Educator in Residence

Our Educator in Residence program invites successful alumni to give back to NIU and the College of Education by sharing practical tips and tools to prepare students for life after graduation.


B.S.Ed. Elementary Education, 2004
Educator in Residence, March 2021

"The reason I’m an educator is to get people to be accountable and responsible for their actions: responsibility, trust of what that means, and then belief – belief in yourself, and the belief in the program. Nobody can get you to where you want to go if you do not believe in yourself at all, and you’ve got to learn how to be able to believe in yourself first before you can believe in somebody else’s vision."

Jim Suttie

M.S. Kinesiology, 1971
B.S.Ed. Physical Education, 1970
Educator in Residence, October 2020

"Coaching is more motivating, telling kids that they can do it – the mental side – whereas teaching golf is more of the mechanical stuff. There are no limits with golf. If you don’t have the hand-eye coordination, you can only go so far, but I haven’t ever seen anyone who can’t get better."

John M. Dunn

M.S.Ed. Physical Education, 1969
B.S.Ed. Physical Education, 1967
Educator in Residence, October 2019

"There’s humanity all around you, and somehow we have to help all of us understand that some of the best interactions you can have in life are nodding. Saying ‘hi.’ Smiling. Greeting another human being. A simple smile or ‘hello’ can open up all kinds of things. I’d argue that you can be the agent of change. You can take the person who’s having a really lousy day, smile at them and be the person who might start to lift them a little bit so that they begin to feel a little bit better about where things are going and what’s happening. Try it. I’ve seen it work."

Denise A. Bunning

M.S.Ed. Special Education, 1989
Educator in Residence, April 2019

"I was a teacher before becoming a mom of two highly allergic boys. My special education teaching skills were a blessing as I navigated through understanding how the boys’ food allergies would not only affect their day-to-day life, but also how it affected them in schools, both academically and emotionally. At NIU, I learned how to communicate with, and teach, students from all walks of life, a skillset I put to use every day as an advocate for food allergy awareness."

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Graham Hall 321

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Contact our director of advancement to learn the various ways you can give to the College of Education.

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