When service members enroll in the armed forces, they sign a code of conduct in which they pledge to give their lives in defense of the country if called upon to do so. As U.S. citizens who benefit from the sacrifice our service members make every day, it is important to ask ourselves what we can do to support them — especially as more troops return from active duty. It is critical not only to identify advocates for them, but to be an advocate who helps them transition to civilian life. What is our code of support for military troops and veterans?
Those are the words of Monica Haydee Ramos, Student Success Coach at NLU — a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, and a first-generation college student who earned her B.A. in Education and Human Development from the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA) before coming to Illinois eight years ago.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. After high school, I went to college but had to take a break to care for my mom, who was ill at the time. During that period, I had a lot of student debt to pay back, and I saw an ad on TV about how the Army could help with student loans, so I decided to pursue it. I loved the Army and the structure of it. Most people don’t love boot camp, but I did. While in the service, I spent most of my days in a giant vault, dismantling weapons. I also was able to travel a lot while in the Army and spent my last tour of duty in Egypt. I was in the military for a total of eight years and am 49 now.
Little did I know seven years ago when I was finishing a full-time career and retiring as an elementary school principal in Cary, IL, that I would be now working on a project in Broward County, FL, that focuses on the sexual health and safety of 13- to 21-year-olds in our community. Our schools are now facing major decisions in regard to the health and sexual education of our students.
In my role as a research technician for the ICFI/Center for Disease Control project with Broward County Public Schools called DASH — Division of Adolescent and School Health Enhanced Evaluation Survey — the following information comes to the surface:
We already learned from Emily Drake that the first step to any job search is getting to know yourself. What do I do next? Take action! Communicate, communicate, communicate. Now is the time to put your money where your mouth is to effectively share who you are, why you are credible, and why you are interesting.
Here are 3 ways to Take Action:
Michael Bahi, a member of the ESL STEM Success Grant cohort B and a teacher in Niles Township High School District 219, was recently published in the latest issue of “ITBE Link,” the quarterly newsletter of Illinois TESOL-BE. His article, “A Deceiving Counting System,” deals with the numbering system used in Arabic and the difficulties for those from Arabic language backgrounds in mastering the “Arabic numerals” used with English. You can read it here.
Recently we talked with JoAnn Fisher, Department Commander, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Department District of Columbia, NLU alumna and a member of National Louis University’s Veterans Program Advisory Council. She shared interesting statistics about the DAV, as well as resources for disabled veterans.
According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, in 2012 more than 3.5 million U.S. military veterans had a service-connected disability. This number has greatly increased since 1986, when there were approximately 2.3 million veterans with service-connected disabilities. With a significant number of current disabled veterans, it is important that this population knows what resources are available to them and how to access them.
When I attended NLU for undergraduate studies, I was enrolled in the B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences (ABS) program, and it was an incredible experience. This interdisciplinary program is accelerated and intended for adults with significant life experience who have completed previous college coursework. The program is taught using a cohort model, which means I went through the entire program with the same group of students. There was such a trust and bond that formed that the cohort became like my new extended family.
The power of online learning in higher education is undeniable. Classes hosted via the Web grant more flexibility to students — particularly working adults, who are trying to juggle their studies with busy lives. They give faculty the chance to bring in other media — video, audio and message boards — to better engage students. And institutions may benefit by increasing their reach beyond campus without paying for new buildings in other locations.
This year NLU has presented a strong lineup of programs to support our intellectual community.
In the fall we brought you TEDx, a series of independent TED talks exploring teacher voice. We also hosted Startup Weekend, where an NLU alum and Dean Chris Cassirer were part of winning entrepreneurial ventures. Twice a year we partner with the Golden Apple Foundation and Chicago Shakespeare Theater to host a series of symposia on the changing landscape of the education system.