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For nearly half a century, Shep Shanley has been introducing Northwestern to prospective students around the globe. And honestly, he says, in 49 years the job hasn’t changed much.

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“When you're in this position, as I am, as a mother who has lost a child, it never goes away. It's just sometimes you can bury it a little bit deeper than other days.” In 2016 Shapearl Wells’ 22-year-old son, Courtney Copeland, was found outside a Chicago police station with a fatal bullet wound in his back.

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Shapearl Wells Hero
Geneve Ong ’14 is part of the fight to address COVID-19 in Singapore. As the senior assistant director of strategic planning for the government in Singapore, she helps find relocation options for people who are unable to shelter in place safely.

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Sharmila Wijeyakumar founded Rahab’s Daughters to help victims of human trafficking in Illinois. She says there is an unprecedented need for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sharmila Wijeyakumar
Former Wildcat hurler Eric Jokisch finds fulfillment with the Korean Baseball Organization’s Kiwoom Heroes. In May, Jokisch returned to the mound at a time when many leagues worldwide could not conceive of resuming play because of the coronavirus — and he walked into an international spotlight.

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Members of the Class of 2020 from across the University reflect on their Northwestern experience in their own words.

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From Ruth Bader Ginsburg to John McCain, we’ve collected highlights from some of the best Northwestern Commencement addresses.

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Food truck operator Nizar Ku and friends created a “fund-a-meal” program to provide fresh, hot meals to those in need. They started delivering food to front-line medical workers but quickly shifted to feeding daily wage earners most affected by the lockdown, including Rohingya refugees, who often have no official status and find it hard to ask authorities for help.

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As president of the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFH), Stuart Schwartz '76 has been fighting an uphill battle to get food to everyone who needs it. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a dramatic increase in food insecurity, and Schwartz and his team are working tirelessly amid staffing, supply and distribution challenges so that no one goes hungry during the pandemic.

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An organization run by Northwestern students is working hard to keep Evanston’s small business owners afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Helped by a $100,000 contribution from the city of Evanston, Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development (LEND) is offering no-interest loans of up to $5,000 to entrepreneurs hit hard by the crisis.

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Lending a hand