NLU Prof: I’m Here to Listen, See World Through Your Eyes Oxford Blog describes NLU Prof Mark Larson's conversational approach to oral histories

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.47.48 AMMark Larson was interviewed twice by the noted Chicago-based interviewer Studs Terkel.

“I know what it is like to be listened to for an extended session and with intense curiosity,” Larson wrote in the Oxford University Press blog. ” I believe everyone deserves a chance to be heard that way.”

Thus Larson, an assistant professor of education in National Louis University’s National College of Education, has started his own blog, American Stories Continuum, to showcase the oral history interviews he conducts–about 200 so far. Continue reading »

Taking Stock During Black History Month Higher Education Plays a Role in Realizing Two Families' Dreams

 

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Akilah Bradford explores life possibilities with her high-school-aged daughter, and tells her not to limit herself.

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Kimberly Michaelson, from left, Kathy Broome, Michael Cobb and Georgia Bozeday.

History isn’t shaped only by wars and political leaders. It’s also about the choices individuals make to change life for themselves and their families.

Each of us, by choosing to get a bachelor’s or advanced degree and pursue a career in our chosen field, is staking a claim for a life we want. We to set higher possibilities for our children’s generation. And taken together, we are a force that shapes societies, cities and economies.

In honor of Black History Month, we asked two African-American National Louis University alumnae to reflect on how the past and present, and their experiences at NLU, shaped their lives and those of their families. Continue reading »

Prof Tells BuzzFeed Autism Group Went Too Far She joined others saying Autism Speaks' rhetoric was controversial

Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization for people with autism, recently marked its 10th anniversary by asking its social media followers to comment on what the organization has done in its decade of existence.

While it got some praise, according to BuzzFeed News, it largely got backlash for its statements to parents of autistic children that autism is a severe condition that can cause bankruptcy, cause parents’ marriages to fail and “can rob you of your children and your dreams.” Continue reading »

NLU Alum To Head DuPage County NAACP Veretta Rice Yancey got her Master's Degree in Education

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 5.15.32 PMNLU alum Veretta Rice Yancey, whom a colleague described as having “a passion for social justice and serving youth,” has been elected president of the DuPage County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It serves DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties, according to the Naperville Sun.

Yancey,  a Naperville resident, got her bachelor’s degree from North Central College and her master’s degree in adult education from National Louis University. Continue reading »

Biden Praises Student Veterans; Conference Frames Service As Career Asset SVA Stresses Need to Know What You’re Entitled To, Improving Mental Health Resources

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National Louis University student veterans and staff attended the Student Veterans Association conference with SVA CEO D. Wayne Robinson in San Antonio, Texas, in January.

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National Louis University student veterans and staff attended the Student Veterans Association conference in San Antonio, Texas, in January.

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The entire delegation of student veterans from Illinois posed for a photo during the Student Veterans Association conference in San Antonio, Texas, in January.

 

Written by Francesca Weaver-Chaney and Anne Gunderson

More than 1,200 student veterans, including some from NLU, watched with anticipation as Vice President Joe Biden approached a conference  podium in San Antonio, Texas, to speak.

“You are the finest group of warriors the world has ever known,” he told them.

The audience of students previously and currently serving in the five branches of the military stood to applaud Biden. Many said afterward they had once again gained pride in being a part of this nation’s military. Continue reading »

All Work and No Play There's more to life as a student beyond that computer, textbook, and classroom.

Everywhere you look, there’s a flyer trying to catch your attention, a text with the latest news, and an email asking you stop by an event. You’re a busy student, so why should you stop and take notice of the events and activities on campus?

Being a college student is such a special opportunity. Not only are you a sponge for new information, but are also gazing dreamily towards your professional future. No matter your age, being a student is exciting as you work hard and diligently towards a more knowledgeable and skilled you.

Thinking back to my college experience as a young undergrad, often the first memories that come to mind are the interesting people I met and the experiences I had. College is not only a place where you can build your skills and learn the content necessary to advance yourself professionally, it’s a place where you can experience pride. Pride in your achievements, pride in the opportunities to challenge yourself to experience new things, pride in the educational home you’ve chosen for yourself.

While I had a traditional college experience of living in the dorm, working on campus as an orientation leader, and changing my major half a dozen times I look back with strong emotions of pride. When I sit here writing this blog, I’m reflecting on a few of the fondest and proudest memories:

  • Being recognized for outstanding female leadership on campus
  • Matt, one of my closest friends started out as my RA
  • Serving as a campus sexual assault advocate
  • Learning the art of walking backwards while giving campus tours
  • Volunteering at a local women’s shelter

You may not realize it today, but the experiences you’re having will become the emotions you will experience when you reflect on your time here.  Some of the examples I shared are silly, but they demonstrate just how each interaction and each experience is an opportunity.

I challenge you to think about how you’ll look back on your time at NLU. There are many ways you can get involved. Join or start a student organization, become a Safe Zone ally, attend professional development workshops, participate in the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success, join us for a family friendly event, or volunteer on campus.

Do not miss out on the opportunities you have today to meet new people and experience new things, all in a journey of developing a greater you. After all, you’re already on that path; why not put a little icing on the cake?

Looking to experience more? Contact studentexperience@nl.edu.

Viola Posts Tips To National Association Blog

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.07.16 PMJudah Viola, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences within NLU’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement, recently published a post on the American Evaluators Association blog.

Viola provided tips to build an independent consulting practice specializing in program evaluation and collaborative community research.

You can see the post by clicking here.

 

Crain’s Proclaims Hilsabeck’s Promotion to Provost NLU's administrator featured in 'People on the Move'

 

Hilsabeck, Alison_lowres.JPGCrain’s Chicago Business magazine has taken note of one of National Louis University’s new leaders.

Its “People on the Move” column for Jan. 29 announced the promotion of Alison Hilsabeck, Ph.D., to provost.

National Louis University’s announcement of the move said Hilsabeck came to NLU in 2003 as Associate Dean for NLU’s National College of Education.  She served as NCE Dean and then Executive Dean from August, 2004 through June, 2014 when she accepted the position of Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Faculty Development and Research.

In September, Hilsabeck agreed to serve as Interim Provost.

Hilsabeck brings a history of rich experiences and roles prior to joining NLU.  She served in various positions at Northwestern University for 18 years, including Associate Director for the Master of Science in Education Program and as Assistant Dean in the School of Education and Social Policy.  In 1992, she took a leave from Northwestern to serve as a research consultant for the Third International Math and Science Study with Dr. David Wiley, chief psychometric advisor for that study.

She is the 2012 recipient of a Luminary Leadership Award for her work as board chair for the Eleanor Women’s Foundation, a hundred plus-year-old non-profit organization which provided career and housing support services for low-income women (it has since merged with the Chicago Foundation for Women).  She has served on various external committees and task forces including serving as the co-chair of the Council of Chicago Area Deans of Education, serving on the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education’s committee on 21st Century Schools of Education, and serving on AACTE’s national task force on teacher retention.

Hilsabeck holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and a Ph.D. in Educational Processes from Northwestern University.   Her doctoral work focused on the stratification of collegiate attainment.

In announcing to faculty and staff Hilsabeck’s being named as provost, NLU President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., wrote, “Over the last few months (as interim provost), Alison has demonstrated her continued passion, commitment, and skill as a leader.  Coupled with her deep knowledge about NLU and our culture, her focus on collaboration and striving for excellence, it quickly became obvious that Alison is the right Provost for NLU.   Accordingly, I am thrilled to appoint her to this well-deserved role.”

Are They Really All Named Charlie? How Reading Teachers Teach Complexity A 7-Year-Old Looking At A 'Je Suis Charlie' Crowd Asks an Obvious Question

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Jan. 11, 2015.
Credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com

By Susan McMahon, Ph.D.,  professor in Reading and Language at National Louis University

The other day, I was shopping at one of the major national stores, waiting in line to check out.  Ahead of me was a mother with three children—a toddler, one about 5, and the oldest maybe 7.  The oldest was looking at the magazines that lined the left side of the check-out lane.  There were a couple with pictures of the French standing together holding the sign “Je suis Charlie.”

“Momma, I can’t read this,” said the boy.

The mother temporarily turned her attention to the magazines and said, “It means ‘I am Charlie,’” then returned to piling her purchases on the conveyer belt and containing the other two children.

“Wow!  That’s a lot of people with the same name!” said the boy, who turned his attention to some plastic toys below.

This interaction between a mother and son was complete and appropriate.  She answered his question and he had gained some understanding of the meaning communicated by the picture.  The parent in me understood her response, as well as the need to keep the answer simple given the situation.

At the same time, the reading teacher in me had to think about how complex his question really was, and that in a classroom the teacher could use this as a means of exploring complex texts with her students.

Imagine a classroom in which a student brought in the same picture and asked the teacher the same question. She would have to decide whether to focus on just a literal meaning or delve more deeply into the interpretive or critical significance.

Certainly the age of the student would matter, so the teacher’s response may be as simple as that of the mother above.  At the same time, focusing on a literal meaning addresses only the functional purpose for reading.

Teachers understand that students need to learn to delve more deeply into complex texts.  For example, the Common Core State Standards require students to read critically to evaluate meanings.

Teachers question how they can identify “complex texts” and think they need entirely new sets of texts—which they may.  However, the pictures that filled the news after the terrorist attack in Paris were good examples of complex texts that could provide deep analysis and discussion in a classroom.  Let me explain.

Imagine any one of the many pictures published in the media with crowds of people holding a sign saying “Je suis Charlie.”  As adults, we immediately know that all those pictured are not literally named “Charlie” so we begin looking for other meanings.  However, students may only comprehend the literal.

A good reading teacher would lead students to a number of different, yet plausible reasons people whose name is Francois or Marie carried this sign.  This may include reading additional related articles about the terrorists who killed staff members at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper or killed Jewish shoppers in a grocery store a few days later.  By reading additional texts, teachers could help students understand that proclaiming “Je suis Charlie” was a way of speaking up for those killed, for freedom of speech in general, or for democratic values.  Therefore, the teacher would make clear that for each individual who chose to proclaim, “Je suis Charlie,” the meaning differed.  That varied meanings emerge from the same document is one characteristic of a complex text.

In addition to an interpretive stance, a good reading educator helps learners construct a critical meaning from complex texts as well.  In this case, she may ask students to consider what the political implications might be for large demonstrations in a city already attacked by terrorists.  Such discussions would enable students to discuss the potential increase in danger as well as the ramifications of doing nothing.  Through such instruction, a teacher could encourage readers to look for different perspectives on the same events, deepening their reading comprehension of multiple texts.

The busy mother in the checkout lane did not discuss all of these—nor should she have.  The mom answered her son’s question in the most appropriate way for the circumstances.  However, when asked the same question, a teacher needs to encourage students to move beyond a literal meaning.

Recent policies, such as No Child Left Behind, reduced reading to a response to “right there” questions on tests, focusing only on literal comprehension and emphasizing functional reading. As we move into an age of the Common Core State Standards, teachers are now being asked to enable students to think more deeply about the texts by examining claims and the subsequent support.

Therefore, teachers must push their practice to encourage students to read more deeply, to analyze and critique the ideas.  Are you ready to provide such instruction?   As a literacy leader, are you capable of supporting teachers who are looking for better ways to teach reading?   Both students and professors in National Louis University’s advanced reading doctoral program enjoy the thrill of working with such ideas and analysis. I can’t imagine doing anything more professionally rewarding.

 

Community College Undergrads Visit, Learn Early Childhood Education Options Profs brief them kindergarten teachers will need early childhood endorsement in Illinois

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About 35 Triton College students sang multicultural songs, critically examined children’s books and contemplated getting an Early Childhood Education degree at National Louis University when they visited the Chicago Campus for an Institute Day on December 1.

Continue reading »