Bailey Rhoads

Northern Lights Ambassador

I <3 NIU!

The second week of February is going to be a week filled with huskie love! The NIU Foundation and Alumni Association is putting together the very first “I ❤ NIU” week and the NLAs get to be a part of it. Here is a sneak peak of why I ❤ NIU…

I heart NIU…
1. because it has given me so many opportunities, experiences, and memories.
2. because it is the place where I have met life-long friends.
3. because it lead me to research.
4. because of the Altgeld castle.
5. because of the unlimited resources.
6. because NIU is my second home.
7. because it’s only 2 hours away from home.
8. because of the diversity.
9. because my favorite color is red.
10. because of the atmosphere
11. because NIU has allowed me to soar.
12. because NIU is helping me find myself.

Coming from an all-but great high school experience and straight to NIU has done wonders for my outlook on people. People are generally good. This is a statement I thought I would never hear myself say. NIU has taken some of the pessimist out of me. I witness random acts of kindness on campus daily…just another reason I ❤ NIU.

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Meet Bailey…



Hi everybody!

My name is Bailey Rhoads. I am a sophomore Biological Sciences major with a pre-med track at Northern Illinois University. I am very involved at NIU! I am in the Research Rookies program (follow my Research Rookies blog here), University Honors, and now I am a Northern Lights Ambassador. I also peer mentor first-time undergraduate researchers, have an undergraduate research assistantship, and I work at the office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development!


I am going to graduate with my B.S. in Biological Sciences. Apply to medical school and get my M.D. in either pediatric oncology or rheumatology. IF ONLY IT WERE THAT EASY. Put simply, I can’t image doing anything else with my life. It’s not about the money, it’s not about the title, it’s not because it’s what my parents want me to do, it’s because its what I want to do and what I feel I am meant to do.


Growing up in a small town and attending a small high school (there were 45 students in my graduating class!) made me want the big university experience. I visited many universities and originally planned on attending DePaul University. On a whim, my mom and I decided to visit NIU. I didn’t even have to get out of the car to make the decision that I would soon become a huskie!

NIU gives me a sense of comfort. I am about two hours away from home and to me, two hours is perfect! I am close enough to go home on weekends and far enough to get the “going away” college experience. There are also an endless amount of opportunities and people willing to help you every step of your college experience. However corny it may sound, NIU has changed my life and allowed me to meet truly amazing people. Most importantly, NIU makes me happy.


The Northern Lights Ambassadors program is extremely important to me. I think it’s one of the most important programs NIU has to offer. As an NLA, I get to serve as an ambassador for my college, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and participate as a member of the Communications Committee. I get to volunteer at campus events, represent NIU, support my college, and talk to alumni, students, and parents. I wanted to be a part of the program to share my real story without having to edit my hardships and personal struggles. This program gives me a chance to be me. Overall, I want to give back to a place that has given so much to me and maybe get that unsure freshman to think “If she can do it, I can do it.” I am excited, thankful, and honored to be an NLA!

Follow me on my second year journey at NIU!


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