Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association

NEIU Office of Alumni Relations, serving 87,000+ alumni.

A team of dedicated professionals leads the Office of Alumni Relations, whose goal is to facilitate meaningful and resourceful alumni programs that attract, engage, develop and connect Northeastern alumni. Visit us at the Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Center located east of Parking Lot D near the 3701 West Bryn Mawr Avenue entrance. The Alumni Center offers parking spots designated for alumni, an alumni library, computers and free Wi-Fi access.

Operating as usual


Alumna of the Week: Gabriela Mata

Gabriela Mata (B.A. ‘16 Latino & Latin American Studies and Spanish, M.A. ‘22 Education Leadership, Higher Education) is a double alumna of NEIU. Since 2022, she has worked at Morton College in Cicero as the Director of College Community Experience.

While pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Mata interned at NEIU’s Student Leadership Development during the 2014–2015 academic year. She contributed to developing new student programming initiatives such as Greek Appreciation Week and social media marketing for major events, among other activities. She was also selected for the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Undergrad Fellowship Program in 2015, which helps to increase underrepresented professionals in higher education. Mata later pursued her Master's degree at NEIU while working at Morton College.

In her current position, she is responsible for overseeing the One Stop Student Service Center, where students can access student services from different departments in one location. She also helped to create and implement new programming and student resources, serving as the chair for the Women’s Empowerment Conference and the Morton College Panther Pantry. Prior positions at the college included overseeing student clubs and activities as the Student Activities and Leadership Assistant, and later as Director of Student Activities.

Mata was recently featured, along with her husband, on the Alumni Association’s “‘N Love at NEIU” series, highlighting NEIU alumni couples.


Alumna of the Week: Lisa Cooper Gavin
Lisa Cooper Gavin (B.S. ‘90 Marketing and MBA ‘99 Business Administration) is a double alumna of NEIU and former Director of the NEIU Office of Alumni Relations.

She served as the Director of Alumni Relations from 1996 to 2003. “In my 6 years as Director, I am proud to say that there were many initiatives I was able to spearhead, including expansion of our print magazine to its first electronic version (E-Zine) and the implementation of the department's first independent database to improve outreach to our alums,” Gavin reflects.
Gavin started the Class Gift Scholarship program in 1996, which continuously supports NEIU students.

To learn more about the legacy of the Class Gift scholarship program, please visit

Gavin currently serves as President of Next Level Coaching Inc. and CEO of Money Success with Lisa Inc.

Photos from Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association's post 02/28/2024

💛 💙 To those who fell 'N love at NEIU 💙💛

Valentine’s Day may be over, but we still wanted to showcase our three couples who entered our contest and won! Thank you to the alumni who shared their NEIU love stories with us.


Alumnus of the Week: Eric Echevarria

Eric Echevarria (B.A. ’18 Interdisciplinary Studies) is Chief of Police at the Peoria Police Department and the son of Puerto Rican parents. Prior to joining the Peoria police force, he served as a Marine in the U.S. Marine Corps and enjoyed a career spanning over 20 years at the Elgin Police Department. Echevarria is the first bilingual lieutenant in Elgin police history.

In 2020, he was appointed to serve as the Elgin Police Department’s first Hispanic Police Commander in an effort to increase diversity in hiring. Shortly thereafter in July 2021, Echevarria joined the Peoria Police Department.

In February of 2024, Governor J. B. Pritzker appointed Echevarria to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state agency “dedicated to improving the administration of criminal justice.” To read more about how Echevarria will serve in this new capacity, please visit

Photos from Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association's post 02/20/2024

The Office of Alumni Relations really enjoyed attending Community Night last week at CCICS! Thank you to for having us and thank you to everyone who stopped by our table.

✨Want the NEIU Alumni Association at your event? Email us at [email protected]. ✨


Alumni of the Week: Javonti Mordican

After graduating from Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, Javonti Mordican went on to earn his degree from NEIU, being highly engaged within the student organizations and culture on campus.

Mordican (‘22 B.A. Community Media and Theater) became a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity during his time at NEIU, and still represents them, as an alumni, to this day. He also worked at Stage Center Theater, assisting with many productions.

During his time as a student, Mordican was part of the NEIU Student Government Association. He served on the Board of Trustees as a Student Trustee from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022.

Mordican has won several scholarships and awards during his time at the school, winning the George Floyd scholarship in 2022. During his final year, he won the Student Lincoln Laureate Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, which are awarded to students “for their leadership and service in the pursuit of the betterment of humanity and for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.”

Since his graduation, Mordican currently works as a Development Team Coordinator at the Lincoln Park Community Service, a multi-house organization that helps to house some of Chicago’s homeless population.

On February 28, 2024, he will be representing Alpha Phi Alpha as an alumni at the Bulls Black History Month Halftime Show. He will also be in the pregame portion of the show.


🏒 Calling all former NEIU Hockey Athletes! 🥅

Questions? Please contact [email protected].


Last month our office visited El Centro and this month we are visiting CCICS!

We hope to see lots of alumni and community members TONIGHT at CCICS Community Night. Come say hi!

We will have merch and information about the NEIU Alumni Association.

Photos from Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association's post 02/14/2024

To: YOU!
From: NEIU Alumni
Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️

We are still collecting your N love at NEIU stories! Please fill out this form: (or click the link in our bio) for a chance to win prizes from us! 😍

Evelyn Figueroa | Chicagoans of the Year 02/09/2024

Alumna of the Week: Evelyn Figueroa

Dr. Evelyn Figueroa (B.S. ‘95 Biology) graduated from NEIU, the first person in her family to do so. She later earned a Ph.D. from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).

In 2005, Dr. Figueroa went back to UIC to work as a faculty member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine with a focus in Family Medicine, Children’s Health and Women’s Health.

Figueroa founded the Figueroa Wu Family Foundation with her husband Alex Wu in 2017. The Foundation “works for community wellness, targeting hunger, fighting racial and economic inequities, and providing an inviting space for learning and cultural engagement.” This helped to spawn several efforts to help those in the Pilsen community and the greater Chicago community.

In 2018, Dr. Figueroa launched the Pilsen Food Pantry and serves as Executive Director. The success of the Pilsen Food Pantry inspired the Pilsen Little Free Library, which is primarily for children's books, a free Medical Access Closet for those that need medical items, and a Free Clothing Store for gently used clothing available to distribute to members of the community.

Dr. Figueroa was recently honored in the Chicago Magazine Chicagoans of the Year issue in recognition of her work with the migrant community. The article titled, “Migrant Welcome Wagon,” highlights her efforts to aid the migrants within the city of Chicago, providing them with food and other important resources.

To read more about Dr. Figueroa’s commitment to her community, please visit

Evelyn Figueroa | Chicagoans of the Year Photograph: Sandro Photograph: Sandro Chicagoans of the Year Evelyn Figueroa The Migrant Welcome Wagon By Heidi Stevens Photography by Sandro November 15, 2023, 6:00 am   When busloads of migrants started arriving in Chicago, Evelyn Figueroa stepped up. More than 18,000 have come so far, most sent ...


Did you and your partner fall 'N love at NEIU? We are gathering and collecting your love stories as alumni and friends of NEIU!

Fill out the Google Form below for a chance to win fabulous prizes!


Alumna of the Week:Tatyana Bezinska

Tatyana Bezinska (MBA ‘19 Business Administration) graduated from American University in Bulgaria with a Bachelor of Arts, with a focus on Business Administration and Marketing.

After moving to the United States, she later went on to study at NEIU for her Master's. She became part of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society that is primarily focused on business programs.

She currently works at Dynamo Software, where she is a Project Manager, focused on Client Services.

Photos from Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association's post 02/01/2024

Some moments in January ✨❄️


Alumnus of the Week: In memory of Daniel L. Goodwin (B.A. ‘66 Education)

With great sadness, we share that Daniel L. Goodwin, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc., passed away on Friday, January 19, 2024, at the age of 80.

Mr. Goodwin graduated from Lane Tech High School and attended Northeastern when it was known as the Chicago Teachers College - North. At CTC, he met his wife Carol, where they both earned their bachelor’s degrees in Education, becoming part of the first class to earn degrees at what is known today as the Main Campus.

After earning a masters from Northern Illinois University, he taught in the Chicago Public School system. Following a change in career, he founded Inland Real Estate. To honor his passion for realty, in 2017, Mr. Goodwin was the first and only Illinois REALTOR® to be honored with the state association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

As a deeply connected alumnus of NEIU, Mr. Goodwin received Northeastern’s first Distinguished Alumnus Award, was the first chairman of the NEIU Board of Trustees (1996 - 2006), and made a commitment of $2.5 million to the University (2015), the largest single charitable gift in Northeastern’s history. In 2017, the NEIU Board of Trustees named the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education in his honor.

To read more about Mr. Goodwin’s life success, story, and commitments to NEIU, please visit the link below. The University will plan a commemoration of his life and legacy at an appropriate time in the future.


Attention all NEIUAA members! We want to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day with you!

We hope you'll join us for a cup of hot chocolate on January 31, 2024. RSVP at

Did we mention this is a free event...? ☕👀

This event is open to NEIUAA members. You must present your membership card to participate.

Want to join, but not a member? Sign up today! Visit for more information.


Come visit us at El Centro campus today from now until 5pm!

Alumni: Come learn about the NEIU Alumni Association membership and purchase some NEIU merchandise!

Students: Come learn about our scholarship opportunities! 💵


Alumnus of the week: Robert Jordan

Dr. Robert Jordan (‘94 Grad Speech) graduated with a B.A from Roosevelt University. During this time, he started to work at WGN Channel 9, as a news anchor reporter. Aside from two years in which he was on CBS as a newscaster, he stayed with WGN until 2016. He eventually went to NEIU to earn a master’s degree in Speech.

Long after graduation, NEIU honored Jordan with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011, given to alumni who have been recognized due to their achievements, and later spoke in the Fall 2011 Commencement ceremony.


Alumna of the Week: Becky Sarwate

Becky Sarwate (M.A ‘07 English) earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

After completing her degree, she worked in a variety of roles related to mass communication. For several years, she worked as an adjunct professor in the NEIU English Department. She was the president of the Illinois Women’s Press Association. She worked as a freelance writer in a wide array of online publications and wrote a book about the Chicago Cubs.

Since November 2021, she has worked as the Head of Communications at CEX.IO, a company that helps people with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.


Campus is closed from December 22, 2023 to January 1, 2024! We will see you all again in the new year! Happy Holidays! ❄

Photograph is circa 1977 - 1982.

Description: View of the Parental School Buildings from the Commuter Center (now the Student Union).

From the Collection of: History of the Chicago Parental School (Northeastern Illinois University) via

Best of Chicago 2023 Ballot 12/21/2023

Congrats Meagan Panici (B.A. '10 Art) for the nomination!

Best of Chicago 2023 Ballot Nominations run noon Oct. 15, 2023 to 11:59 PM Nov. 7. Finalists on this ballot are determined by nominations. Voting on the most nominated finalists will begin noon December 13, 2023, and run through 11:59 pm January 14, 2024. Our Best of Chicago issue is February 22, 2024!


Starting on Friday, December 22nd, we will be offering a 15% discount on ALL NEIUAA memberships levels!

Start the new year right by showing off your membership that you can use all. year. long.🎉

Visit our website at or click the link in our bio!


Congratulations to our December 2023 graduates! Welcome to the NEIU Alumni Association! We are so excited you are here.

Wherever your journey takes you, we will always welcome you home.

Don't forget to connect with us on LinkedIn to share your post-graduate success!

Photos from Northeastern Illinois University's post 12/09/2023

Commencement Day is Sunday, Dec. 10!

Get ready to welcome our newest graduates by sharing your Commencement photos below! ⬇️


Alum of the Week: Jamie L. Enge

After graduating from NEIU with a Masters of Education, Jamie L. Enge (MA‘13 Inner City Studies) received a Masters of Arts from the Chicago State University, in School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. As of 2023, he received his PhD in Counseling from Regent University.

In 2022, the NEIU Alumni Association honored Enge with the Community Leadership Award at the Golden Gala and Alumni Awards. “Being at Northeastern Illinois University, being part of the Carruthers Center, I did not see myself as a statistic, I saw myself as a person. I saw myself as a person, achieving what I deserve, what I wanted, and really removing the barriers of filling as if I wasn’t good enough to be there.” He said in a video for “Proud to be NEIU” in 2022.

He has worked in different leadership positions, such as The Collegiate Black Male Network as the Chief Operating Officer. The network’s mission is to mentor African-American males in order to help them graduate.


Alum of the week: Matthew Reardon

Matthew Reardon (B.A '12 Philosophy and Economics) graduated from NEIU with a double major. He participated in student clubs during this time, having co-founded the NEIU Ethics Bowl Club, and was the president for a time.

He went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School. He was also active during his schooling in several different student groups related to law and altruism. One of them is the Harvard University Effective Altruism Student Group, a group that uses evidence and effective reasoning to help find ways to take actionable help in their community.

He eventually found a position at 80,000 Hours, a non-profit company that helps to advise graduating students between the ages of 20-40 in long-term career paths. He currently works as a Growth and Product Development Manager.


Thank you all for your participation in Giving Tuesday this week! We are so grateful for the generosity the community showed yesterday.

Missed Giving Tuesday? Our 28% discount to activate or renew a membership goes until Monday, December 4th! Don't wait - this deal won't last long!

Visit today for your opportunity to support us this season.


Alum of the week: Georgiann Davis

Georgiann Davis (‘04 Sociology) over the years has made significant contributions in the field of sociology.

After graduating from NEIU, she went on to earn a Masters in Sociology in the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois.

As a sociologist, her focus has been entrenched in intersex exploration as well as the intersection of medical violence and feminist issues. She has written in several journals and publications, such as The American Journal of Bioethics, The American Journal of Sociology, The Kaleidoscope of Gender along with other examples.

Due to her prolific work in several publications, she has won several awards for her effectiveness and effort. Her latest award is the 2022 Feminist Activism Award, which is awarded to Sociologists for Women in Society members who consistently use sociology for improving conditions for women in society due to efforts as a scholar-activist.


Happy Day of Thanks from the NEIU Alumni Team!

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