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All posts by Pam DeFiglio

Educators Reward Students Learning Second Languages With ‘Seal of Biliteracy’ NLU hosts as Illinois takes lead in adopting the new seal, which acknowledges and values second-language acquisition

 

SealofBiliteracyIn a world of global business and communications, speaking more than one language is viewed as a valuable skill. NLU and the Illinois State Board of Education are helping to recognize and reward learners who acquire a second language, or multiple languages, by promoting the Seal of Biliteracy, a nationwide initiative.

More than 150 educators from across Illinois came to NLU’s Lisle campus recently to learn how to bring the Seal of Biliteracy program to their school districts.

Jason Stegemoller, Ph.D., associate professor in National Louis University’s ESL and Bilingual Education programs, and Tina Paduck, Ed.D., an NLU adjunct professor who also works for the ISBE Department of English Language Learning (DELL), played a key role in holding the symposium at NLU.

Biliteracy Lisle

More than 150 educators from across Illinois attended a symposium on how to implement the Seal of Biliteracy. It was held at NLU’s Lisle campus.

“Illinois has taken the lead as one of the first states to adopt legislation to implement Seal of Biliteracy programs,” Stegemoller said, adding that the gold Seal of Biliteracy on students’ diplomas or transcripts will reinforce biliteracy’s value, and a students’ skills, to businesses competing in a global environment.

Participants learned how to create pathways to biliteracy and implement Seal of Biliteracy programs in their own districts. The Seal of Biliteracy initiative promotes biliteracy and open doors to global citizenship.

“The ability to speak more than one language is a huge asset that has many cognitive, economic, and social benefits, plus it strengthens connections to family and ancestors,” Stegemoller said.

“The Seal of Bilteracy is a concrete action to demonstrate the value of bilingualism, which recognizes the hard work that goes into acquiring a language or maintaining and developing a heritage language.”

NLU plans to offer college credit to high school graduates with the Seal of Biliteracy on their transcripts, and faculty will actively promote it and spread the word, Stegemoller said.

Learn more about the Seal of Biliteracy at http://sealofbiliteracy.org.

 

Craft Your 60-Second ‘Elevator Pitch’ for Employers Grads, as you seek employment and attend job fairs, practice that pitch

By: Paula Rucci Voigt, Career Advisor at National Louis University

Elevator WomanWalking up to a potential employer at a job fair or networking event and knowing how to start the conversation can be intimidating, if you’re not prepared. As NLU students and alumni prepare for the upcoming Spring Career Expo, an “elevator pitch” is no doubt on their minds. Knowing how to grab an employer’s attention, and keep it, is a valuable networking and interviewing skill. You’ll want to be able to deliver a clear summary 30 seconds  to one minute in length consisting of your background, experiences and goals. Here are some key steps to keep in mind as you develop your perfect pitch.

Start with a Concise, Value-Added Intro

After offering a firm, comfortable handshake and a smile, begin by conveying the basics to give context to your pitch. This will orient the listener and help them stay focused on what you’re saying. Begin by stating your name, your major or industry, and a concise blurb about what you do or your future goals. Don’t rely on boring job titles to describe your unique set of skills; instead, use a descriptive phrase that emphasizes the value that you bring to the table. Continue reading »

How do you develop Administrative Leadership skills? When promoted into administration, writer found two resources helpful

shutterstock_290031071Enjoy this blog post from NLU’s McCormick Center for Early Leadership blog. In a recent Whole Leadership post on the McCormick blog, Teri Talan introduced administrative leadership by considering its definition and importance. This led Tarah Kadzielawski to wonder, how do you improve administrative leadership skills? She reflects on her experience as a strong teacher who was promoted into administration. She shares her journey, the advice she’d give her younger self, and her favorite resources for developing administrative leadership.

by Tarah Kadzielawski

READ MORE FROM THE WHOLE LEADERSHIP BLOG SERIES

In last week’s Whole Leadership post, Teri Talan started us in a new direction, Administrative Leadership. My personal background is similar to many other program leaders in our field—I was a strong teacher who was promoted into administration. In my personal experience with administrative leadership, I felt I could handle pedagogical leadership and thought I had many leadership essentials; however, I knew I was in need of some support and resources to build up my administrative leadership skills. (In hindsight I’m sure I was in need of more resources for pedagogical leadership and leadership essentials as well, but that is a different blog post.)

To build up my administrative leadership skills, I turned to the resources at my disposal. There were director’s networks—I was involved in—related to different funding sources such as Head Start and state pre-K. However, these didn’t provide the administrative leadership skill development that I sought. Two professional learning opportunities that I participated in did help develop my administrative leadership skills: Continue reading »

Bold Film Takes Honest Look At Mental Illness, Profiles People Who Recovered NLU hosting the only Illinois screening, discussion of 'Healing Voices'

invite2In the social action documentary “Healing Voices,” three people who recovered from severe mental illness reveal what the experience was like for them, and how they healed. The producers used that as a springboard to examine “what we talk about when we talk about mental illness.”

All are invited to see the film premiere at its only Illinois screening, at National Louis University’s Chicago campus, Friday, April 29, followed by a discussion of the issues. More than 100 sites worldwide will show the film at its non-theatrical release that day. Doors at National Louis, 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill, will open at 6 p.m. for popcorn and networking, with the screening to begin at 6:30 p.m. A discussion will follow until 9 p.m. Admission is free.

While some mental health patients say psychiatric medications saved their lives, and the director wanted the movie to be apolitical, some of those profiled in the film recovered from serious mental illness without drugs. The documentary tracked their progress over five years. One said mental illness is when “mind, body and spirit are in discord.” Another said he viewed the voices in his head as a gift, but his therapist did not share that interpretation. Continue reading »

NLU Criminal Justice Student Hired As Roselle Police Officer Aggie Wajda came to NLU with the goal of working in law enforcement

SchakAndAggieWajda

Richard Schak, director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program and retired Chicago Police sergeant, attended student Aggie Wajda’s swearing-in ceremony as a Roselle Police Department officer.

Congratulations to Agnieszka (Aggie) Wajda, a student in NLU’s Criminal Justice program and U.S. Navy veteran, who has been hired by the Roselle Police Department as a police officer.

“From the moment we met Aggie, she made it clear she wanted to become a police officer,” said Richard Schak, director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program, who attended her swearing-in ceremony in Roselle. Continue reading »

Scientist Outlines Climate Change Dangers in Earth Week Event Seth Darling of Argonne National Lab calls for changes to reduce CO2 threat

 

DSCN0641 - Version 2The story of climate change ranges from drilling holes in Arctic ice to measure Earth’s air temperatures over the past million years, bracing for the jump in the use of fossil fuels as China and India industrialize and predicting which coastal cities will be submerged due to global warming.

But mostly, climate change is the story of energy—where we get it, how we use it and whether it’s renewable, said Seth B. Darling, Ph.D., who holds a joint appointment as a scientist with the Argonne National Laboratory and as a Fellow in the Institute of Molecular Engineering at University of Chicago.  He presented a “Global Climate Change: The Path to a Sustainable Future” lecture April 20 at the Lisle campus to mark Earth Week, and NLU Environmental Committee representatives also led discussions of his points at the Wheeling campus. Continue reading »

EdNewsDaily Asks NLU’s Lorch: How To Land That First Teaching Job? Janet Lorch offers solid tips to grads looking for their first classroom

EdNewsDailyAs a fresh crop of teachers prepares to graduate this spring, EdNewsDaily featured an Industry Expert Interview with NLU’s Janet Lorch, C.A.S., about how to find one’s first teaching job.

Lorch provided advice on the top three characteristics principals are looking for when hiring teachers, suggested professional organizations to join and named books and resources she felt would be helpful.

She also offered counsel on getting classroom experience and what to do to get to know principals and others in the education field. Whether you substitute teach, volunteer, coach or otherwise become involved in a school district, she said, the trick is to make connections so that you are seen as a person rather than just one resume in a stack of them.

To see the full article, click here. 

Conference Uses Law, Arts, To Reframe and Seek End to Racial Injustice Acts by public authorities examined as torture, genocide for Americans of color

160408-racial-justice-conference-017A diverse group of musicians, Harvard Law School students, artists, academics and activists came together April 8-9 to take a long, hard look at racial injustice at the “Racial Injustice: Terror, Torture, and Trauma/Collaboration, Resistance, and Liberation” conference held at NLU.

Manifestations of racial injustice, such as police beatings, police shootings and outsized  incarceration rates for people of color,  are viewed as routine by many Americans, if they think of them at all. But conference participants sought to declare they are not “normal” and to reframe them as torture and genocide.

A team of Harvard Law School students discussed the definition of torture and said some of the human rights injustices forced on people of color by public authorities meets the definition. Continue reading »

NLU Opening Doors to Education for Urban Youth Dr. Legler takes high schoolers on tour of corporations, hopes to inspire them

ADM sign[1]

King College Prep High School students visit the offices of Archer Daniels Midland in Chicago. The visit was arranged through Pathways to Success.

While many Chicago high school students can see the towering office buildings downtown from their neighborhoods, they may never have been inside one, nor known anybody who works in one.

NLU’s Ray Legler, Ph.D., is hoping to make these buildings–and the possibility of someday working in a stable career position  in such a place–more real for urban youth.

Legler, assistant professor of psychology, recently led a group of students from Dunbar  Vocational Career Academy High School to visit the downtown offices of Deloitte Consulting. The following week, he accompanied a student group from King College Prep High School on a visit to the offices of Archer Daniels Midland.

Deloitte conf2[1]

Students from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School visit the offices of Deloitte Consulting through a visit arranged by Dr. Ray Legler’s Pathways to Success project.

The visits encompassed part of Legler’s Pathways to Success project, which is funded by a seed grant from National Louis University. He focuses on Chicago’s near-South side  Bronzeville community, and collaborates with the Bronzeville Community Action Council. They aim to expose high school students, including those at King and Dunbar, to the world of college and rewarding, stable, well-paying careers. This includes helping the schools build relationships with local colleges, universities, and businesses.

The field trips to employers offer students the opportunity to learn about businesses they might not be aware of and the chance to think about their future careers. During the recent visits, the students had the chance to tour the facilities, learn about what the company does, and interact with company employees over pizza.

Students in the program learn about various careers, the education and skills required for these careers, and the range of salaries that they can expect to make in various occupations.

ADMboard room back[1]

King College Prep students sink into the executive chairs in ADM’s boardroom.

One student from King High School commented, “I really enjoyed today’s presentation and tour. I feel like I can have a future in the careers that were mentioned, so this really brought light to my future because I’m very undecided and unsure about what I’d like to major in. So today was very helpful to me.”

A Dunbar student said, “I would love to come back. I had a great time. You really opened my eyes to many different things. Things that I really didn’t know anything about, and I would love to work here in the future because the salary you guys make is awesome!”

Psychologists Declare Racial Injustice A Form of Torture Dr. Brad Olson organizing April 8-9 conference on Racial Justice

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 3.42.52 PMWhen police beat people of color to obtain a confession, or when prison guards isolate them in solitary confinement, sexually abuse them, refuse them medical treatment or otherwise inflict cruel and inhuman punishment on them, that constitutes torture, says NLU’s Dr. Brad Olson, along with Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

Olson, who recently won a national award from the Society for Community Research and Action for his crusading anti-torture work over the past eight years, is helping to organize a Racial Justice Conference  April 8-9. Other faculty in NLU’s doctoral program in Community Psychology will also participate in the event, to be held with the Racial Justice Action Group at NLU’s Chicago campus.

They will discuss a statement just released from Psychologists for Social Responsibility, which says that cruel, inhuman and/or violent acts committed by public officials against individuals and communities of color within the United States constitute torture when they cause severe mental or physical pain and suffering. Continue reading »