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Marilyn Frank-Stromborg

Picture of Marilyn Frank-Stromborg

Class of 1960

Sycamore became home to Marilyn Frank-Stromborg’s family in 1949 after her father, Dr. Irving Frank, completed his work with the Indian Health Service in Seattle, WA and established his medical practice in Sycamore while Marilyn’s mother, Professor Rosanne Frank, began teaching at the NIU School of Nursing. Marilyn’s father and husband, Dr. Paul Stromborg, later founded Kishwaukee Medical Associates in Sycamore.

Graduating from Sycamore High School in 1960 was only the first of many educational accomplishments for Marilyn Frank-Stromborg. After high school, Marilyn studied at NIU, where she received her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry in 1964, and then at New York Medical College, where she received her Master of Science in Nursing and her Registered Nurse license in 1966. She took a short break from school to serve in the U.S. Air Force’s 806th Medical Group Nursing Corp from 1967 to 1970, then began her academic nursing career while continuing her education at Rush University in Chicago. At Rush University, she earned her Adult Nurse Practitioner license in 1974. She concurrently pursued her Doctorate in Educational Psychology at NIU, which she was also awarded in 1974. Twenty years later, in 1994, Marilyn graduated cum laude from NIU’s School of Law with her Juris Doctor.

Marilyn began working as a professor in the NIU School of Nursing in 1978. She retired as Chair of the School of Nursing in 2004. During that time, she:

  • was named Distinguished Research Professor in 1997, only the second woman at NIU to have received the honor.

  • published 86 articles in both national and international nursing journals.

  • wrote seven books and 35 book chapters.

  • received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award twice.

  • secured 3.5 million dollars in grants.

  • was appointed to the Illinois Board of Nursing, where she served from 2000-2005.

  • was appointed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.

  • was appointed to a National Cancer Institute (NCI) subcommittee on education as well as installed as a permanent member of the NCI committee that evaluates all cancer clinical trials in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

  • received the prestigious Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Distinguished Researcher Award in 2005.

  • received national recognition from Pace University and the American Nurses Association.


After retiring from NIU, and a full decade after earning her J.D., Marilyn started her legal career as an Assistant States Attorney in the DeKalb County State’s Attorney Office. She left the State’s Attorney Office to become the DeKalb County Drug/DUI Court Coordinator, a position she held until she retired from her legal career in 2014. It was, in large part, due to Marilyn’s hard work and dedication to the DeKalb County Drug/DUI Court that the National Drug Court Institute in Washington, D.C., designated it as a Mentor Court, one of only ten programs to be designated as such in the U.S.

In addition to her professional work, Marilyn made time for significant community service through work with: DeKalb County Hospice; American Cancer Society; Illinois Cancer Council; Family Service Agency; DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center; CASA; NIU American Inns of Court and the Sunrise Kishwaukee Rotary

Marilyn still calls Sycamore home. She and Paul have two sons, Nels and Daniel, and three grandchildren. She and Paul both retired in 2014, which means that Marilyn is now only working a few days a week doing research for the DeKalb County Circuit Clerk.

Dr. Marilyn Frank – Stromborg – 2014 Inductee SHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame

  • 2014

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