Staff, Interns, Volunteers
Saba Ayman-Nolley is Professor Emerita and former chair of the psychology department at Northeastern Illinois University. Her PhD in Developmental and Educational Psychology is from the University of Chicago. Her research has explored areas of non-verbal communication and creativity as they relate to Children’s understanding of social concepts and roles. She has been a board member of the Jean Piaget Society and its Vice-President of communications. She has also developed and implemented training programs and curriculum for teachers and parents. For the last ten years she has been an organizer of the Art in Response to Violence international conference. She has received over 10 research grants and authored over 75 presentations and publications.
Ron Browne is a retired teacher, reading specialist, and curriculum coach with Chicago Public Schools and member of the Chicago Baha’i Community, serving on its Local Spiritual Assembly. Prior to teaching, he was a professional journalist and also worked in the insurance departments of two rental and leasing corporations. He is also president of the North Beverly Civic Association, a community action organization, and coordinator of the International Human Relations Council, an interfaith, intercultural social action organization on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
Nozanin "Noza" Farrukhzoda
Nozanin “Noza” Farrukhzoda is currently majoring in Psychology and Pre-Physician’s Assistant (PA) at Northeastern Illinois University. Noza was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and moved to the United States of America at age 13. She recently started writing for NEIU Independent newspaper and enjoys investigating topics on: Psychology, Criminology, Forensics, Healthcare and Sociology. In her free time, she likes to write and spend time with her family.
Thomas J. Kernan is Associate Professor of Music History at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and is both a scholar of Lincoln and of American music. In recent projects he has addressed the musical memorialization of Abraham Lincoln as well as the history of concert audiences’ musical and extra-musical experiences. Tom’s articles and essays have appeared in the American Musical Instrument Society Newsletter, Grove Dictionary of American Music, and edited collections published by Routledge and Rowman & Littlefield. Tom’s research has earned him awards from the Abraham Lincoln Association and Abraham Lincoln Institute, and a Rudolph Ganz Long-Term Fellowship from the Newberry Library.
During the Spring 2021 semester he will teach the Martirano’s L’s GA to both undergraduate students in a Western art music survey and graduate students in a seminar examining performer discourse.
Dr. Ting Liu is an Associate Professor and GIS Coordinator at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Northeastern Illinois University. Dr. Liu’s research and teaching interests are with the applications of GIS and remote sensing in the urban environment.
Safira Newton-Matza is an Oak Park native and recent graduate from the American University of Paris with a BA in History. She will be getting her masters in the fall of 2021, and has a passion for working with non-for profit organizations, balancing historical perspectives and human rights advocacy.
Omid Nolley is an activist and organizer with a background in social work. He has devoted his life to advocacy for marginalized populations and raising awareness of social and economic injustice. Omid is trained in and conducts race & reconciliation workshops. He also works with youth with special needs, assisting them and their families to find support systems and resources for academic and life skills.
Composer, intermedia artist, producer and artistic instigator, Christophe Preissing creates music and sound for live, interactive, and immersive environments. His music has been praised by the Chicago Tribune as “brilliant” and “sound-crazy” and described as “John Cage on steroids." Over his 30-year artistic practice his work has engaged with current events and collaborators in order to educate himself and audiences at large. In 2012 he founded the creative collective NON:op Open Opera Works to further the development and production of intermedia, immersive, site-adaptive opera and stage works, and to cultivate and research co-creative processes and methodologies. In 2020 in response to the political, cultural, and social shifts taking place globally, he and NON:op have been focused on facilitating radical access, experimentation, and creativity across communities while working collectively towards a more just society. Currently all of his online, participatory, and interactive projects enable and facilitate individual and group agency in the creative process.
Susannah Renihan is a graduate student in the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University currently completing an MM in Vocal Performance. She is a Graduate Assistant for Music History assisting Professor Tom Kernan with the L’s GA project. Her research interests are in the music of Charles Ives and folksong, specifically the relationship between his compositions and identity. Susannah’s work often encompasses editing, writing, reading, grading, and working with students and faculty one-on-one. She hopes to continue her studies in Vocal Pedagogy and Musicology with a DMA in the future.
Robert "Rob" Strzok
Robert (Rob) Strzok is a student at Northeastern University where he studies geography and environmental studies with a primary focus on planning and development. Throughout his time at NEIU, he has used GIS and cartography to learn about the social, economic, infrastructural and political aspects of land use and city planning. In his free time, he is likely enjoying the outdoors or discovering new music.