Megan Nordstrom wears many hats.
Whether leading a group of Northern Ambassadors, running a Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA) or Music and Memory organization meeting, or directing hundreds of Huskie Marching Band members during a performance, she wears them well.
Described by faculty and peers as enthusiastic, hard-working, and a leader who leads by supporting others, Nordstrom adds another accolade to her already impressive resume this month: NIU’s Student Lincoln Laureate.
Each fall, one senior from each of the state’s public and private four-year colleges and universities is chosen to receive the Student Lincoln Laureate, which honors their excellence in both curricular and extracurricular activities.
“It’s an honor to represent the university as the Lincoln Laureate,” Nordstrom said. “I am especially grateful and appreciative that my professors recognize the work that I am doing across campus and took it upon themselves to nominate me for the award.”
Nordstrom is majoring in communicative disorders with minors in deafness rehabilitation and family and child studies. And while her involvement in extracurricular and co-curricular activities is extensive, she’s managed to maintain a 3.9 grade point average.
“I’ve been impressed with her ability to maintain such a high level of academic excellence while simultaneously engaging in numerous research activities, holding leadership positions in many extracurricular organizations and clubs, and servings in a myriad of volunteer and work experiences across campus,” said Allison Gladfelter, associate professor of speech-language pathology.
Gladfelter said Nordstrom embodies the values exhibited in life by Abraham Lincoln: academic excellence, a dedication to serving others, and an understanding of the importance of social justice and honor for all.
“Her local, state, and national leadership accolades reflect the level of excellence worthy of a Lincoln Laureate,” Gladfelter said.
A quick look at Nordstrom’s resume demonstrates that she doesn’t only join a student organization, she dives in, learns and ultimately leads. The list of leadership positions includes president of the Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA) and of the Music and Memory Student Organization, student coordinator for the Autism Caregiver Group and for the Northern Ambassador program, and drum major of the NIU Marching Band, to name a few.
Thomas Bough, director of NIU’s Athletic Band, calls Nordstrom “one of the most active, successful, committed student leaders within the NIU Athletic Band program.”
“From the very start of her role as drum major, Megan’s engaging personality and seemingly boundless energy have made her one of the most effective student leaders in the band,” Bough said. “She is truly a servant-leader, who often takes time out of her own schedule to set up equipment for the band, help the drumline, and encourage other students.”
Nordstrom, a 21-year-old native of Galva, Illinois, said the past four years has been a time of growth, personally and professionally.
“I have had the opportunity to grow as a student in the classroom, as well as a leader on campus in my classes, organizations, and even in my on-campus job,” Nordstrom said. “I believe that NIU is a perfect place for students who want to get involved and/or hold leadership positions. Everyone is very encouraging on campus – students and faculty alike.”
With graduation coming in May, Nordstrom is busy applying to graduate schools with plans to become a certified speech-language pathologist and work in an elementary school setting. As she reflects back on being selected as NIU’s Student Lincoln Laureate, Nordstrom brims with enthusiasm and gratitude.
“I genuinely love going to NIU, being involved on campus, and being a Huskie,” Nordstrom said. “That makes the award so special.”
Nordstrom’s piece of advice to fellow Huskies is something she embraced from the moment she stepped on campus.
“Get involved on campus; there is a club or an organization for everyone,” Nordstrom said. “It’s a great way to make friends with others who enjoy the same thing you do and a great way to spend your time as a student. There is more to school than just going to class.”
Due to the pandemic, the annual Student Lincoln Laureate Convocation in Springfield will not take place. There will be a meet and greet reception hosted by President Freeman at NIU for Nordstrom and fellow nominees on Oct.21.
Other finalists for the NIU Student Lincoln Laureate included Jeremy Knoll (history and economics), Cameron Simpson (English and history), Katherine Hahn-Boisvert (communications) and Kaylen Platt (mechanical engineering, graduate mechanical engineering) and nominees Dioco Reyes (medical laboratory sciences), Gwen Bresnan (world languages and cultures/German/political science), Gwen Papke (nutrition, dietetics and wellness), Emma McMahon (nonprofit and NGO studies/sociology) and Binal Amin (public health).
Source: NIU Today CHHS News