Barbara Provost ’89 has every right to call herself a self-made woman. Directly out of high school she was on her own, making a living in Skokie, Ill. Now she’s a business owner with experience teaching in higher education.
Provost stands tall on a stack of good choices and grit. But, as she explained, it took more than just steady determination to get her where she is today.
“NLU provided me an entrée into a world that I didn’t think I could be a part of. And they did it with care and encouragement,” she said.
Rewind back to Provost in her late teens. She was putting in her time at work, but it wasn’t quite enough. “I quickly realized that others with degrees were getting promoted in the workplace,” she admitted. Continue reading
Todd Beadle ’11 received a double jump in his professional life thanks to encouragement from the NLU community. First it was his doctoral degree. Most recently it was his run for school board.
Beadle, who received an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 2016, was recently elected to the school board of the Brown Deer School District, a public school district serving four-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade students in Brown Deer, Wis.
Beadle is also the President/CEO of Saint Joseph Academy, a private Catholic elementary school and early childhood education center on the southside of Milwaukee, and a senior ministry advisor for Felician Services in Chicago, providing support to lay leaders working in Felician Sisters’ sponsored ministries across North America.
Amber Kelly ’15, Ph.D. in Community Psychology, knows the importance of making memories. So she’s back in her hometown of Cincinnati working on a new project that promotes family and community closeness.
“As a kid, I grew up going to the movies with my family — it was one of our favorite pastimes. I have seen my old neighborhood change, especially as businesses have left. This included the movie theater that I frequented with my family,” recounted Kelly.
Kelly’s project is FamilyFlickn, a series of movie-going experiences in the Bond Hill, Avondale and Roselawn neighborhoods of Cincinnati tailored to parents and their kids. This movie-going experience includes everything you might expect — popcorn, drinks and candy. But FamilyFlickn adds a little twist by showing these movies inside a party bus.
Growing up, Susan V. Schaefer ’02 didn’t believe she was smart enough to become a teacher. Now, with a little help from an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from National Louis University, she’s providing specialized education support to young students — helping them find confidence in their own academic abilities.
While she didn’t receive the encouragement and support she needed to pursue her dream of teaching, Schaefer still persisted into higher education. On the way, she discovered an aptitude for business. “In college I started a singing telegram company with my roommate that was pretty successful until the card shop in town bought a gorilla suit and started doing gorilla-grams and put us out of business,” she recalled.
Rob Groesbeck at a beach just down the hill from his school.
Imagine spending the last years of your teaching career on a remote island. Rob Groesbeck ’84, M.A.T. in Elementary Education, doesn’t have to.
Groesbeck found himself the victim of downsizing at his rural Michigan school district after 32 years of teaching mostly middle school science. While he was still too young to retire, Groesbeck wasn’t sure he would be able to find another teaching position. “…my prospects seemed bleak,” he recalled.
That was before Groesbeck found Beaver Island Community School (BICS). Located on Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan, BICS is a pre-K, K-12 public school with a focus on customized learning.
Go back nearly two decades, and you’ll be able to find NLU alum Judy Mitchell ’12 somewhere at Joliet Junior College (JJC). She originally set foot at the first public community college in the United States as a student. Now the president of JJC, she’s leading the very community that fostered and encouraged her growth.
In a previous life, Mitchell was a stay-at-home mom on hiatus from a 10-year corporate career. Planning to transition back into full-time work, she enrolled at JJC in order to hone her competitive edge before jumping back into the corporate world. Continue reading
Robin Usery Rose ’14, MBA, is a courageous single mom who persevered through and overcame domestic violence. Rose and her three daughters were all victimized, and one of the daughter’s reached out to NLU to share the story of how Rose survived and, through her experience at NLU, eventually thrived.
The abuse happened in the early 2000s, but it was several years before the family made it through. “It took us a while to clear the domestic violence out of our lives, but with the courage of my mom, we did it,” Rose’s daughter related.
Linda Caradine-Poinsett, Ph.D., recently took on the role of executive director of the American College of Prosthodontists in Chicago. It’s one of a string of successes for Caradine-Poinsett, who attended NLU for her B.S. in Health Care Leadership in 2005 and her MBA in 2007. She has used those two degrees as a launching pad for further education and a career. She earned a Ph.D. and a law degree while taking on roles of increased leadership at prestigious membership associations.
Caradine-Poinsett held leadership positions with the College of American Pathologists, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America-Midwest. She also worked as an associate director of an American Bar Association section and as executive director of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists.
By NLU Alum Kevin O’Connor ’98
The tables and seating areas were arranged in the elementary school cafeteria. Forty-five minutes later, as members of our founding organizing committee were greeting each incoming attendee, we were also setting up extra tables. By the start of the meeting, there were 150 people in attendance — more than we had expected.
Participants from the meeting left energized, eager to tell others and ready to move forward with GLASEN: Gay, Lesbian, and Ally School Employee Network for Broward County Public Schools in Florida. Continue reading
Gia Orr ’01 has found that her two degrees from National Louis University — one in education and the other focused on the helping professions — have given her a broad scope of knowledge that has propelled her career forward.
Orr, with her M.S. in Human Services Administration and a ’07 M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, currently wears many hats for the State of Illinois, mainly centered on empowering people and communities.