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Spotlight on Faculty & Staff

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

Transfer team

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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NLU broadens global education outreach in 2014

shutterstock_129922415Chicago regularly ranks high on lists of “most global cities” compiled by journals and research groups for its role as a major center in international business, travel and immigration — making it an ideal site for the continued evolution of a new kind of outreach at National Louis University.

Building on a core mission of providing access to high-quality degree programs for students from diverse backgrounds, NLU is also seeking to become part of the larger global conversation about education, contributing to meaningful policy changes and adopting new innovations and approaches to better inform the work of its own faculty.

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In the Spotlight: Carol Burg, Senior Enrollment Advisor, NLU Florida

Carol Burg 2For those visiting Florida, it might seem like the perfect place to live: sunshine, beaches and tourism destinations. But like any other state in the U.S., Florida must also provide infrastructure and services to its residents — including public education. And with that comes some unique challenges.

“I’ve gotten lost looking for schools that don’t register on my GPS,” laughs Carol Burg, Senior Enrollment Advisor for NLU Florida. “They literally put schools in the middle of orange groves in Florida. So there’s a lot of opportunity, but there are different challenges — unusual challenges that a person used to working in the Chicago Public Schools area would never imagine.”

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What do you hope to accomplish in 2014?

2014A new year brings new plans and new goals. At National Louis, our faculty and staff continue to work hard in the pursuit of providing high-quality education and services to our students — and with that comes a wide range of tasks and projects, inside and outside the classroom.

For me in 2014, I will continue to work on making this blog a platform that best represents the University by showcasing the voices and stories of our students, faculty and staff. Some others at NLU shared their professional plans for the new year below. We’d love to hear yours, too. Feel free to add them in the comments!

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