All posts by Danielle Laban

Danielle Laban

About Danielle Laban

Danielle is the Director of Student Experience at National Louis. She's an experienced student affairs professional who is focused on student success. Danielle earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Northern Colorado and her Master of Arts at Roosevelt University.

Grow your Student Experience this Spring; Give Back, Too The Winter blues are over, and we've planned plenty to get you out and about with your NLU Family with anything from service projects and professional development, to concerts and family art!

140512-NLU-CHICAGO-CAMPAS-MICHIGAN-AVE-41_smallIt’s spring outside. It might finally be here to stay. Around National Louis, it feels like things are just getting started. There are so many things to look forward to this term and we’re certain to keep you busy until the glory days of summer are upon us. Spring at National Louis is easy as 1, 2, 3.

#1 – Treat Yourself to Some Enlightenment & Professional Development

  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and activities are well under way. We will be focusing on important topics such as Healthy Relationships, Dating Violence, and Bystander Intervention. National Louis is actively working on policy changes, programming and training to ensure we have a safe and respectful environment for student learning.
  • Online Webinars are scheduled in April and May for the following topics: Domestic Violence, Overcoming Procrastination, and Making the Transition from Student to Professional. Join us from the comfort of home or work!
  • Is your LinkedIn profile polished, professional and ready to impress employers? Workshops are scheduled in Chicago, Wheeling, and Lisle the last week of April. Do not miss this opportunity, as it will help you prepare for the Spring Career Expo in Chicago on May 12th.

#2 – Show a Little Love to your Community

  • Donate to the NLU USO Drive and Support our Troops as we collect donations to send care packages overseas.
  • Join the Office of Student Experience during our Month of Service in May for a variety of community service projects including: assembling safe sex kits on May 6th, donating blood at the Lisle campus on May 13th, or visiting a high school and speaking to minority students on May 15th.
  • Looking for other ways to volunteer, or not sure what’s out there? Stop by the Virtual Volunteer Fair! Our Civic Engagement Team will be in Chicago April 28-30 from 12-6pm in the 6th floor Student Center. Not convinced? Check out our webinar Lead as You Lend a Hand on May 4th at 12pm where we will discuss how and why NLU students should be civically engaged.

#3 – Be a Part of the Inspiring NLU Family

  • April is also dedicated to Faculty Appreciation. Please take a minute to nominate a great faculty member for our annual Excellence in Teaching Award, post a Shout Out to recognize a faculty member who inspires you, and post a #nlufaculty selfie on Twitter with your favorite faculty!
  • Give back to NLU and become a SafeZone Ally. This special training program equips our students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to support the LGBTQ community on campus. RSVP: adasilva1@nl.edu.
  • Our NLU Family Day at the Art Institute of Chicago is May 16th.  All NLU community members and their guests will be granted free access to the museum. May 16th is also the Art Institute’s Family Festival; there will be activities all day for the whole family.
  • Join us for a little musical fun as we see RAIN: A Beatles Tribute at the Bank of America Theater. These Broadway in Chicago tickets will be on sale in May for $10. A limited number is available so let’s Come Together for a great night on May 21st.
  • For our graduating students, you will not want to miss Countdown to Graduation on May 27th in Chicago and May 28th in the suburbs (Lisle). Get your picture taken in a cap and gown, pick up a special graduation gift, and there will be fun activities for the whole family. Look for more details soon!

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.

How to be Merry & Bright During the Holidays Valuable Advice from the NLU Counseling Center

snowmansandThe holiday season is filled with expectations of cheer and bliss.  From decorations and carols to gift-giving and time with family, the messages we receive are that we should be jolly during this time of year.  For many people, however, the holidays can bring about a great amount of stress and anxiety. Oftentimes there is an unspoken pressure to buy just the right gift to make your loved one happy.  Other times it’s reconnecting with family that brings up difficult feelings, unhealed wounds.  Just beneath the surface of society’s messages of abundant bliss and good cheer is the reality that with joy comes sorrow.

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Meet the National Louis counseling team; they are here to help you!

Did you know that National Louis offers counseling services? With free support groups and mental health workshops, as well as affordable individual, couple and family counseling, there are plenty of ways to get extra support this school year.

Ask Us Anything
One quick way to get support is to send an email to counseling@nl.edu with any question that you have. Your question will be answered within 24 hours by our trained counselors and you may find the answers, resources or relief that you are looking for. No question is too strange, and you might be surprised that you’re not the only one with the same concern!

Meet Your Counselors
The counselors at the NLU Counseling Center are well trained and dedicated to bringing lasting change to people’s lives. They are empathic, creative and focused on helping individuals, couples and families develop insight and health. Any of them are available for consultation. Simply email counseling@nl.edu for more information.

Counseling1David Klow, LMFT
David is the owner of Skylight Counseling Center and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. David works creatively and collaboratively, drawing on ancient wisdom and modern practices to bring lasting transformation to people’s lives.

Counseling2Kristen Snell-Anzalone, LPC
Kristen works with adults, children, and couples.  Her focus is on individuals with histories of trauma, depression/mood disorders, parent-child attachment problems, spirituality, and women’s issues, particularly perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, work-life balance, and mind-body-spirit integration.

Counseling3Kathleen Farrell, AMFT
Kathleen believes that change comes from within.  As an experienced, compassionate therapist she has had tremendous success at empowering clients to effect positive change.  In addition to being a therapist, Kathleen is a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She values the connection between the mind and body and enjoys working with clients to strengthen this connection.

Counseling4Kevin Lanham, LPC
Kevin focuses on empathically tuning into the client’s story and collaborating with the individual to create transformative change. Kevin aims to meet the needs of each client and discover how therapy will produce change in his or her life. Kevin’s interests include working with men, couples, anger management, depression, communication skills, and developing a sense of self-worth.

Counseling5Kate Engler, AMFT
Kate works with couples, families and individuals from diverse populations who want to live more fulfilling lives by addressing and helping to solve relationship challenges. She has a particular interest in working with those experiencing life transitions such as adolescents, couples moving into new phases of their relationship, and women exploring the “what’s next” in their lives.

Counseling6Johanna Davenport, Clinical Intern
Johanna works with adults, couples and families from diverse backgrounds who are seeking therapy to improve their lives. She focuses on individuals who have a history of trust issues, problematic relationships, substance abuse, work-life balance, depression, anxiety, low-self esteem, and transitions, particularly with twenty-somethings.

Our Next Event
Please join us for the next Mental Health & Wellness Workshop on Monday, October 27th from 4pm-5pm in the Chicago Campus Atrium. This month’s topic is on how to deal with feeling alone. When we can relate deeply and effectively with others, we become more effective in our lives, academics and work. Yet most of us don’t know the skills to be our best in our relationships with others. Learn how to instantly touch, move and inspire others and become more effective in your relationships with teachers, classmates and loved ones. More information is online available here.

This is a Free event. RSVP and join us for a chance to win a $25 e-campus gift card.

Why I Love NLU Students

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Wow. What a start to Fall 2014. I just love our students. Honestly, they are the reason I get up in the morning, bounce along on the train and take a lovely walk from Union Station. I’ve been in Student Affairs for close to 15 years and I still get excited each new school year, including goose bumps of excitement as the buzz of returning students infects the campus.

I’m proud to say that I hope to be the NLU Difference. In a previous blog, I shared some of my vision for the National Louis Student Experience this year.  Last week, the Student Experience Team visited each campus with gifts, food and excitement to tell you all about our plans for this year. We had such a great time conversing with students, trying out a little Zumba (don’t worry, we won’t quit our day jobs), and displaying our blue and platinum pride.

Here are the top 3 reasons why I love NLU students:

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Find Balance and Support through NLU Counseling Services

With the start of a new school year it is important to create healthy beginnings.  Yet, even with good intentions of being productive, procrastination can kill academic success. When we put things off, we become less effective and often stressed at the notion of completing the task at hand. Distractions can creep in and we are left to scramble to stay on track. This pattern can lead to burn out and becoming fried as a student.

It is possible to end this pattern! Connecting to your motivation is the one secret to permanently ending procrastination once and for all. As the school year starts it is important to connect to why you are in school in the first place! Can you clarify what is important to you and why you want to succeed? Reminding yourself of your intentions and staying motivated will eliminate procrastination once and for all!

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Experience a fresh new school year with the NLU Student Experience Team.

Jose Reyes, Amanda DaSilva, Danielle Laban and Jose Marroquin

Jose Reyes, Amanda DaSilva, Danielle Laban and Jose Marroquin

I recently went to Target, seeking a pool toy for my daughter. A simple “splasher ball” was my quest. Little did I know, Target had decided that it’s no longer summer, but “back to school” season. Even as an adult, I still get excited about the energy and planning that goes into preparing for a new school year. Much like the first of the year, and our tradition to set New Year’s resolutions and start fresh, I feel that a new school year opens the door for a new and exciting year of learning. Now, when I walked up to the school supplies where the summer seasonal items were just one week prior, I had a moment of panic. Summer is just slipping away, and my panic quickly turned to excitement. Here’s why. I have some exciting things planned for National Louis this year.

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Fostering a child’s dream to learn

shutterstock_69781339In my February blog, I shared and reflected on how my childhood memories of my parents pursuing their education played a critical role in my love of learning and my career choices. Now that I am a parent, I feel the significance of my child’s education and the significance to build a life for my child that centers on education. I recognize that my family has a fortunate advantage due to my career choice; however, this does not lift the weight of importance in each of our roles to educate our children.

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Striking a balance between student and parent

shutterstock_64834870My father graduated with his Bachelor’s when I was 10 and my mother successfully completed several art classes throughout my childhood. Their dedication and effort to grow through education is one of my strongest childhood memories.

Both of my parents pursued their education while I was a kid. It was a different time then, and I was fortunate enough to join them in class often. I would sit in the back, reading, drawing or doing Mad Libs. I strongly believe that their modeling played an integral part in my desire to pursue my education but also to serve in higher education. It is possible to involve your children in your learning and be a successful student while striking a balance as student and parent. This balance can become an art form with some of these helpful tips:

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Make a New Year’s resolution to use student services

shutterstock_158970188They say that hindsight is 20/20. I think of this each time I speak to new students and gush about the many services available to them. I always wish I could get these students just as excited as I am. Why? Because hindsight is 20/20, and I wish that someone had encouraged me to use all available resources when I started my own studies.

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