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Prof Develops Domestic Violence Prevention for Hotel Industry Former Chicago Police Department sergeant Cynthia Schumann addressing problem


Cynthia Schumann, Ed.D., community policing sergeant for the Chicago Police Department and adjunct professor at NLU, is an expert in domestic violence prevention.

Travel blogger Nancy D. Brown couldn’t sleep because the screaming voices of a man and woman came right through the wall of her hotel room. The couple, who were in the next room, were engaging in a heated fight, which threatened to turn violent.

Brown called the hotel’s front desk when she heard a baby cry, but the hotel receptionist didn’t quite know how to handle the situation. Eventually, Brown learned that Cynthia Schumann, Ed.D., an NLU adjunct professor as well as a community policing sergeant at the Chicago Police Department,  developed a online training course on domestic violence prevention for managers and front-line workers in the hospitality industry, which has unique risk factors for domestic violence.

“Domestic Violence no longer remains behind closed doors,” said Schumann, as quoted in Brown’s blog. “That is why it is important to realize, recognize, respond and refer to acts of domestic violence, their victims and their abusers appropriately, safely and knowledgeably.”


Grads: Turn LinkedIn Connections into Networking Opportunities

By Consiglia Intile, Assistant Director of Career Services 

LinkedIn_logo_initialsAs a job seeker, you may come to dread the very notion of networking with valuable LinkedIn connections. After all, these people may hold the keys to your career, provided you make the right first impression. To help remedy your nerves and provide a nice confidence boost, let’s explore some common do’s and don’ts of connecting on LinkedIn.

Do: Research your potential networking contacts and their companies

This is the first step job seekers should take prior to any conversation that is started on LinkedIn or any other networking venue. Job seekers should review the employer’s and the connection’s page and identify something they enjoyed reading or found interesting or instructive. These items can serve as the basis for an initial conversation. Also, adding a question about their background experience can show your connection-to-be that your intent is to learn from them. Forming a friendly relationship in which you are appealing to your connection’s expertise is often an effective way to network.

Do: Prepare questions in advance of the conversation

This is an important piece of any networking conversation. Often, networking should be treated as an informational interview. Job seekers should focus on starting the interview with a general professional greeting, and use questions such as “tell me how you got started in this field?,” “What was your background before entering the field?,” “What do you find most rewarding/challenging about your field?,” and “What can I do to prepare for a career in this field?” Having questions like these prepared in advance shows the employer that you respect their time and shows you put effort into making this conversation productive.

Don’t: Leave the ball in their court

After conducting an informational interview, don’t leave it up to your connection to stay in touch. It is very important to follow up with your contact by sending a thank-you letter afterwards. To ensure your thank-you letter is effective, write down your thoughts and impressions of the meeting and address anything that you might have missed during your conversation. Sending this letter can bring about a closer tie with this contact which can result in a recommendation or future opportunities with their company.

Don’t: Expect or ask the connection if they can help you get a job

This is a very common question many job seekers ask their connections on LinkedIn. Asking this too early or at all may come across as desperate or insincere which will cause your connection to think this is the only reason  you contacted them in the first place. This should be avoided at all measures on LinkedIn because it is seen to be very unprofessional. The goal is to make a great first impression with your contact, have a thought-out discussion with them in hopes they would think of you when there is an open position for which you are qualified. If you made an impact on the employer or connection, they may contact you about available positions.

NLU Ranked Among Safest Universities in Illinois crunched student and public data, ranked NLU 6th in state

140512-nlu-chicago-campas-michigan-ave-3The issue of campus safety has made headlines in the past year, but a recent ranking confirms that National Louis University is one of the safest schools in Illinois.

Reboot Illinois reported that, a rankings website which factors both student surveys and publicly-available data into its rankings, has listed NLU as 6th in the state for campus safety, with a possible score of 4.2 out of 5.

The 4.2 score was higher than many of the other universities, large and small, public and private, urban and suburban, on the list. There are 148 colleges and schools of higher education in the state, according to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. 

See full information here.


ABC7 Covers NLU’s Reach Gala and Awards Karen Jordan emcees, introduces four awardees

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 1.12.21 PMNLU’s annual gala Reach Awards fundraiser was featured on ABC7 News Tuesday, minutes after the event itself took place.

Karen Jordan, an ABC7 News anchor, emceed the event, introducing NLU President Nivine Megahed, as well as other dignitaries.

NLU presented its Pioneer Award to former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Reach awards to three alumni.

Duncan is familiar to Chicagoans because he served as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 to 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as education secretary. He served for about six years in the post, and stepped down in December to join a non-profit which focuses on jobs for urban youth.

Matthew King, M.Ed., a change leader in education,  won the National College of Education’s Reach award. He has served as executive director and principal at EPIC Academy College Prep Charter High School since 2009.

Jacqueline Samuel, Ph.D., a community psychologist and champion of affordable housing, human services and safe conditions for the South Chicago neighborhood, won the College of Professional Studies and Advancement’s Reach award. She directs the Chicago Public Schools’ Safe Passage program.

Amanda Leftwich is a graduate of NLU’s P.A.C.E. program, geared to students with learning disabilities. She credits P.A.C.E. with teaching her life skills so that she can take public transportation, live in her own apartment and work full-time at an early childhood center/daycare at Rush University Medical Center.

View video of the ABC7 coverage here.


Two Students Receive Awards from Honor Society The National Society for Leadership and Success provided scholarships to Lankah, Long

The National Society for Leadership and Success, a student honor society, honored two of its members in the NLU community with scholarship awards.


Samuel Lankah received a National Society for Leadership and Success scholarship.

Samuel Lankah received the Emerging Leaders Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. He will be earning his Master’s in Healthcare Administration degree next month.

“I’m so honored to have received this award; and it’s definitely a testament to the overwhelming support from my family, friends, and professors here at NLU,” he said.

Lankah works as a complex medical case manager at Bethany Christian Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His new master’s degree will expand his career options.

“I find myself more and more interested in either hospital human resources or compliance; so I hope to explore positions in these areas,” he said.

Lynn Long received the Student Leadership Program Grant from the Society, also in the amount of $1,000. She will earn her Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction next month, and plans to go on to earn her doctorate at NLU.

Long, whose Native American heritage is from the Ojibway tribe, is an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Indian reservation in Wisconsin. She hopes to someday work with tribal schools and Native American youth.

“My professors at NLU were supportive,” she said. “I can’t say enough about how they encouraged me and inspired me.”

NLU founded a chapter of the National Society for Leadership and Success in Fall 2014. It is the largest college honor society in the U.S., with chapters at more than 400 colleges and universities. The NLU chapter has more than 800 members.

Commencement Speakers Offer Inspiring Stories One survived a refugee camp to enter Harvard; one fights to help children

Two speakers with powerful stories will address NLU graduates at Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, June 12.

color72dpi2Mawi Asgedom, who survived war in Africa, a refugee camp and personal tragedy, persevered and graduated from Harvard University.  He is an author and inspirational speaker, motivating students to leadership and success. He will speak at NLU’s National College of Education Commencement.

Asgedom was only seven when he arrived in the United States in 1983. But by that time, he and his family had already endured civil war in their home nations of Ethiopia and Eritrea, and lived through three years in a Sudanese refugee camp. After settling in the U.S., both his father and brother were killed in separate drunk driver crashes not long apart. Giving the Commencement address at Harvard University at his own 1999 graduation launched him on a journey that led to writing his story in the best-selling “Of Beetles and Angels,” public speaking and appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show. He has developed inspirational courses for high school students on student success, college and career readiness, and leadership.

MarianWrightEdelmanMarian Wright Edelman, the first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar in the mid-1960s and who later went on to found the Children’s Defense Fund, has become one of the nation’s premier advocates for children. She will speak at NLU’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement Commencement.

For 40 years, Edelman and the Children’s Defense Fund have championed policies and programs that lift children out of poverty. The non-profit organization also works to  protect children from abuse and neglect, and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.

Edelman, who graduated from  Spelman College and Yale Law School, has written eight books about providing the best for children. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 2000.


Helping Transform Ordinary Kids Into Writing Enthusiasts IWP announces summer trainings, including all-new workshop

By Steve Zemelman, Ph.D.
NLU adjunct professor and director of the Illinois Writing Project

SteveNational Louis University’s Illinois Writing Project (IWP) is one of the most active and widely praised affiliates of the National Writing Project, a network of university-based professional development programs for educators. The IWP works with teachers across Chicagoland, providing workshops on teaching writing, summer leadership institutes, conferences, kids’ summer writing camps and consulting to help schools achieve in-depth improvement in writing instruction.

Accomplished IWP teacher leaders help teachers make writing meaningful and engaging for students. They guide teachers to organize their classrooms to address students’ individual needs and actively teach and support writing, rather than just make arbitrary assignments and mark them up with comments kids don’t learn from. Students’ writing becomes an authentic use of their voices to communicate with real audiences, and a tool for learning in all subjects. Kids begin to plead for more writing time, rather than moan about dreaded assignments.

Continue reading »

Student Takes 7th Place in NASA International Debate Competition Sarina Craig, president of NLU Debate Society, participated in online debate

Sarina Craig

NLU student Sarina Craig placed well in a NASA international debate competition.

Sarina Craig, president of the NLU Debate Society, recently finished in seventh place in the Top Speakers category in the Binghamton University 4th Annual Online Debate Tournament in conjunction with NASA Astrobiology Debates.

Craig and other students from around the world debated the resolution:  “An overriding ethical obligation to protect and preserve extraterrestrial microbial life and ecosystems should be incorporated into international law.”

Results from the tournament can be viewed here.

The tournament was an online tournament sponsored by NASA in order to further awareness about space exploration and space policy specifically relating to astrobiology. The tournament itself was hosted by Binghamton University in New York, and any high school or university could participate from around the world.

“The tournament was an online tournament sponsored by NASA in order to further awareness about space exploration and space policy specifically relating to astrobiology,” Craig said. “The tournament itself was hosted by Binghamton University in New York, and any high school or university could participate from around the world.”

Videos of Craig competing can be viewed at the Sarina Elizabeth Craig Youtube channel.

To inquire about the NLU Debate Society, please contact faculty moderator Danny McGuire at
Event: Classic Online Tournament


P.A.C.E. Grad Featured in Tribune For Receiving Alumni Award Amanda Leftwich is receiving the university's Reach award

AmandaLeftwichAmanda Leftwich, a graduate of NLU’s P.A.C.E. (Path to Academics, Community and Employment) program, is realizing her dream to work in early childhood education.

She’s the first graduate of P.A.C.E., a program designed to meet the transitional needs for young adults with multiple intellectual, learning and developmental disabilities, to be employed caring for infants and toddlers at a Rush University Medical Center daycare center. Continue reading »

NLU Donates Dresses to Realize Prom Dreams for Girls in Pilsen Partnering with Project Embrace, NLU gathered dresses, shoes, accessories

IMG_8120Students in NLU’s Association of Latino Scholars gratefully accepted shimmering satin gowns and dresses with yards of tulle throughout April, in an effort to help girls with limited financial resources attend their high school proms.

The Association of Latino Scholars partnered with Juana Ballesteros and Project Embrace, which have been helping girls in the South side Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods of Chicago to attend prom since 2011. Continue reading »