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Spotlight on Faculty & Staff

Can Academics Solve the Tricky Problem of Global Illiteracy? Two NLU Profs Give It Their Best Shot

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Across the globe, 781 million adults cannot read or write, according to UNESCO.

Is it crazy to think academics can help developing nations solve that problem, even as those nations grapple with hunger, disease, lack of infrastructure and other quagmires?

Not after an enthusiastic conversation with Anthony Cree, O.A.M., an NLU visiting professor, and Professor James O’Meara, Director of NCE Program Analysis and Development  at NLU. The two Australian-born professors, who organize conferences which attract heads of state and education ministers from around the globe, talk passionately about how raising literacy levels can raise standards of living, improve health and spark learning in struggling nations.

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WBEZ 91.5 interviews NLU Professor Lauren Heidbrink on the influx of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. from Central America

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.08.46 AMWBEZ reporter Odette Yousef interviewed Lauren Heidbrink, Ph.D. on her book, titled Migrant Youth, Transnational Families and the State: Care and Contested Interests, and her recent field study work in the Departments of San Marcos and Quezaltenango in western Guatemala. Dr. Heidbrink is an anthropologist, Co-Director of the NLU Public Policy program, and teaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department.

Full story and interview available here.

Teaching is an art, not a science

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.21.20 AMJohn Paulette, an adjunct professor at NLU, contributed to the Chicago Sun-times “Summer School,” series in which area teachers weigh in on the big challenges facing education. As a mentor to young teachers, Paulette shares his insight on the need for teachers to find “their true teaching selves.” Read more.

NLU Professor offers unique insight into the realities of unaccompanied migrant children

heidbrinkblogWith an unprecedented increase of Central American migrant children to the U.S., there is an urgent need to examine the realities of children beyond their initial apprehension by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. While the issue has recently garnered widespread attention, the following insights remain absent from the national conversation:

  • Detailed accounts of conditions within Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities,
  • Discussion of the long-term impacts of migration and detention on children, and
  • Experiences of children and their families following deportation.

Migrant Youth, Transnational Families, and the State, by Lauren HeidbrinkIn her book, Migrant Youth, Transnational Families and the State: Care and Contested Interests, NLU Assistant Professor Lauren Heidbrink, Ph.D. takes a timely look at how young migrants navigate the legal and emotional terrain beyond apprehension while examining essential areas surrounding this issue. Over a three-year period, she observed operations in 12 facilities, interviewed over 100 migrant youth from 19 countries both in detention and following release, and interviewed over 350 stakeholders in the U.S., El Salvador, and Guatemala.

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In the Spotlight: Monica Haydee Ramos, Student Success Coach

Monica Ramos“I came to the U.S. with the dream of providing my family with a better quality of life and the ability to help others through education and empowerment.”

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.

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A new chapter for online learning at NLU

shutterstock_97376669The 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.

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Giving credit where credit is due: The NLU transfer credit team

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NLU’s transfer team: (l-r) Danielle, Hanna and Anita

Maybe you’ve seen the NLU billboard on the Tri-State, perhaps you’ve heard our advertisements on The Mix (yeah, I love Eric and Kathy, too), or possibly you’ve even attended one of our events. So, you already know that NLU is a great place for transfer students. Here’s the deal on what happens behind the scenes when you transfer to NLU and the fantastic tools and team that help you make the most of your credit.

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In the Spotlight: NLU’s Early Childhood Education team

shutterstock_113421283In the past couple of years, early childhood education has received massive attention in the U.S., from the heights of power on down.

President Barack Obama has called for universal preschool for four-year-olds in his last two State of the Union addresses, which has so far led to 30 states increasing funding for early childhood education and the federal government giving an additional $1 billion to Early Head Start. Bill de Blasio, the newly elected mayor of New York City, is also pushing for citywide preschool for children, and other mayors and governors have joined in the movement.

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Supporting the pathway to post-secondary education and careers

shutterstock_150378902I am pleased to have the opportunity to tell readers of the NLU blog a little bit about my work. As a community psychologist, I am interested in strengthening partnerships between schools, families and communities. In particular, I am interested in strengthening the connections between K-12 education, post-secondary education and training, and employment in low-income communities. I am collaborating with the Chicago Public Schools Department of Family and Community Engagement to support the activities of the Community Action Council in Bronzeville.

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In the Spotlight: Stephanie Poczos, Director of B.A. in Applied Communications program

stephanie 2To say communications has changed in the past decade is putting it lightly. The social media explosion, the proliferation of mobile technology, and the overall driving force of the Web have created a seismic shift in the way information is released and consumed.

It can be daunting — particularly to generations who didn’t grow up with their eyes already glued to a smartphone. But an exciting new program at NLU is preparing students to navigate the evolving world of communications today and thrive in a wide range of careers, no matter what their background.

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