Northern Lights Ambassadors

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We Rely on the Kindess of Others

My roommate once lost his wallet on an NIU bus. He had over $100 in it and his ss card in it. He was worried that things were about to get worse, more than they already were. I waited with him for the next bus to arrive hoping that it would have same driver. The bus stopped and we got on.

Within seconds a girl came up to my roommate, presented him with his wallet, and left. Neither of them spoke a single word. I was shocked and I guess so was he. He opened up the wallet slowly and looked through it’s contents; he looked up and smiled. The girl had not taken a single thing out of his wallet, not the ss card, not the credit card, not even a single dollar. Shocked twice in one day. The girl could have taken the whole wallet without consequence but she chose to return it.

A random act of kindness.

It may seem silly but I believe in the phrase “what goes around comes around”. I believe that if you help out others people will be more likely to help you out, even strangers. I have heard a bunch of stories were seemingly random people help others out…for no reason. And that’s awesome! Doing random acts of kindness can make anyone’s day and it (hopefully) motivates others to do the same.

One act of kindness I did was helping a lost couple find a building on campus. I was doing homework when they asked another person for directions. Sadly, the other person was of no assistance. I overheard and offered to take the couple to the building myself, as I was going to that building for class anyway.

Someone would have eventually helped them out but there was no reason why I shouldn’t have done anything and was my good deed for the day.

These random acts need to continue because it makes the college experience, and life itself…a little easier.









I ♥ NIU because it’s way cooler than my high school.

No one told me what to expect when coming to NIU or maybe they did and I just didn’t listen. But this school has so many great opportunities that students should take advantage of.

My first day here, NIU seemed cold and kind of scary. But my CA encouraged me to venture out, to make friends, to go become a part of something. And that’s exactly what I did. I made friends, became part of Neptune’s Hall Council, and became part of a Latino support group.

Meeting new people who share dreams like I do and who are just as motivated to succeed, is something that drives me to do more here at NIU. I’m shy but I enjoy meeting new people and learning about their lives. I enjoy meeting new people because it means less time spent alone in my room.

I’ve met a lot of people through the various programs I have been a part of. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given and grateful that other people want to help me succeed at NIU.

I never thought that I would be helping freshman in a support group, or helping students get excited about research or engaged learning, or helping students with residence hall life. One year ago my goal was, and still is,  to become a role model for younger students, to encourage them to study hard and to go above and beyond. Countless people have encouraged me and now I feel like it’s my turn…and NIU has given me the chance to make that difference.

I can honestly say, coming to NIU was one of the best decisions I have ever made….and that’s why I ♥ NIU.

Peace and ♥


Have Fun, Stay Safe

Two of my favorite things to do during my free time is shooting pool and playing soccer. Usually I go to the huskie den at least once every two weeks with a friend or two for a couple hours. I also enjoying playing video games. I bought my first gaming system and sometimes I play by myself on lazy Sunday mornings but usually I round up some guys and we play fighting games and stuff. When it was nice outside (shorts weather) a few friends and I would play pick up games at the soccer fields by the engineering building. I’m not very good but it’s stress relieving and there’s nothing like getting some blood pumping.

As an NLA I got to volunteer to help out with the Homecoming game. It was the first NIU game I’ve been too and it was a lot of fun. I drove people around in golf carts all night. While it was difficult due to drunk people walking in the middle of the street I realized that some of the alumni were actually really cool. The majority of them treated me with the upmost respect and thanked me more than once.

I haven’t been able to make it at to any games since due to homework and my involvement with other organizations but I do plan on attending the black out game before thanksgiving break. I’m hoping for a big turn out and a victory too!

Staying safe is something that I hear repeated over and over again. I personally feel safe on campus if I follow a certain set of rules. First, I try not to have my phone in my hand while I’m walking (sometimes I do during broad daylight). I also do my best to turn my head and look to see what is happening around me. I also try my best to avoid walking off campus on my own. I don’t feel as safe walking off campus than on campus. Every time I go off campus I do my best to go with a friend or two. Maybe something that people don’t think about when they think about safety is crossing the street. I’ve noticed that some people don’t look both ways before crossing and assume that cars will see them and slow down. I don’t trust drivers while I’m walking because what if they decided to text or not pay attention the moment someone decides to cross the street?

Police Chief Tom Phillips brought up a few of the safety tips I have mentioned above. But he also talked about staying away from areas that look shady. He also mentioned scammers. He told us to be very cautious when strangers try to sell us thing or offer us “money help”. He told us to just try to stay away from them and lie to them if confronted. Another thing he mentioned though was that if we ever saw anything suspicious we should just call the police.

I’m just gonna keep doing my thing WHILE being safe

Peace out



Getting Involved

Outside of being an NLA, I am also involved with a few other organizations on campus. Probably the biggest time commitment I currently have is being a Community Advisor in one of the Residence Halls.

I love being a CA; I met a lot of new people and I get to help freshman get used to college life. To be honest, the position isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be like. This is not an easy job as I thought it was. It’s hard knowing that I am kind of responsible for what happens on the floor. It’s also hard when the students don’t pick up after themselves in the hallways or in the bathrooms. It’s hard when students don’t respond to me the way I wish they did. But I think this position is completely worth it. Through all the stuff I’ve been through I’ve had to strengthen my communication skills and my leadership skills.

An engaged learning opportunity that I am very excited for is the LSMCE Conference in Indianapolis. This conference is for minority students in the STEM fields. I’m really excited for this conference because I’ve never been to a STEM conference before. I’ve attended motivational/inspirational conferences but never one based around minority students in STEM. The conference is going to be this Sunday! I’m doing my best to prepare all my stuff and pack before hand that way I won’t be doing things last minute. I hope everything turns out great.

These opportunities mean nothing if I don’t something away from them. I believe that my CA position and my opportunity to attend a STEM conference will definitely impact my career success (for the better). From the CA position I am learning conflict resolution and the ability to create an inclusive climate where everyone can live comfortably. The conference will help me get out of my shell and meet knew people. I will be also learn new things from valuable speakers that in turn will also help me in the future.

There are so many opportunities out there and I plan to make the most out of them.


Peace out


First Few Weeks……Exciting stuff

So….personally this semester already seems a lot tougher than last semester. I’m taking 5 classes and they add up to 18 credit hours.  Along with that I’m doing my best to participate in the few organizations I’m in. Being a student is a full time job, at least I think it is. This is how I break It down

Classes + SóL meetings + NLA meetings + CA duties+ research + studying = need to have major time management

At first I didn’t think it was too bad but the classes have started to take their toll.

Currently I am taking STAT 350, a statistics class that isn’t very fun. This class is my least favorite class because I don’t enjoy numbers that much. Stats isn’t like physics or engineering, I feel like Stats is just pure raw numbers. There is one equation I did learn though

STAT 350 + 8am = NOT GOOD

Then after that I have ELE 340 which is a course that deals with electric power systems. This class, I really enjoy right now because it is mostly review of last semester. The professor is also very laid back, a quality that I think is pretty cool. He also  goes over a lot of example problems and gives reasonable homework.

I’m also taking CSCI 240, an introductory course to the C++ computer language. I imagined it like being a hacker in the matrix with a bunch of green zeros and ones. But it’s actually really boring….Neo would be ashamed of how boring the class is.

The hardest class that I’m taking right now though is the dreaded…….ELE 315, signals and systems. This class is a monster, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and always keeps me on my toes. The professor seems to know what he is talking about but to do the homework requires an extensive review of the book, very extensive. The class seems like a math class because of the formulas involved, but no problem in the class needs to be solved with any kind of brute force calculation. All the problems need to be solved conceptually, something I struggle with sometimes. The thing I do enjoy is that what I’m learning in this class relates to what I’m doing research on this year. I hope I learn a thing or too.


Hopefully things look out,

Peace out




My short life story

My name is Miguelangel Marchán, but most people just call me Miguel. I’m an electrical engineering major from the college of engineering. I am a part of the student/civic engagement in the Northern Lights Ambassador program.

I was born in Aurora, Illinois and raised there for most of my childhood. At the age of 10 I moved to Oswego, Illinois. I live with my dad, mom, sister, and brother. I am the oldest sibling and I do my best to look after them. I consider myself family oriented, they support me and I support them. I am the first person in my family to go to college and at times my family doesn’t understand my achievements….but they support me all the way and I won’t let them down. 

But I don’t spend all of my time worrying about college. Video games is something that I like to do in my spare time. I find it good for releasing stress and socializing with other people. While I don’t play for hours on end I can’t say I haven’t spent a lot of time in front of a screen. I also like being active. When I was younger I played soccer for years. It kept me fit and for me there’s nothing like the feel of running around trying to beat the opposing team. Even it’s just kicking the ball around with a few friends it never gets old. A fairly new interest for me is comic books. I really like the old retro look of 60’s and 70’s comics as well as the artwork of modern ones. Knowing about comics has allowed me to relate to other comic/superhero fans. But one thing that I really enjoy is fishing with my Pa. I’m not good at it and I always catch really small catfish;what I enjoy most is just sitting on a tree waiting for a bite. For the few hours we go, I just forget about my problems for a while, and take in some fresh air.

My first choice for college was not NIU. I had my heart set on U of I in Urbana but I had absolutely no way to afford it. I was very upset and reluctantly chose NIU (my third choice). Fortunately, I love my decision! I am grateful for all of the people I’ve met and all the opportunities that are available.

I chose to be an NLA because I really want to serve as a positive role model for students. Coming to school for the first time can be scary; seeing people who are active in the community is something that made me less afraid. I am most excited about meeting new people (donors, alumni, students)!

One of the most meaningful experiences for me here at NIU was becoming a CA. I worked so hard my freshman year by getting involved in my hall council and doing research. The process for becoming a CA also had multiple interviews. I thought I wouldn’t make it but I did. I’m excited for my new position and for making an impact in the lives of my residents.

Go Huskies!



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