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All posts by Pam DeFiglio

‘Buddy System’ Propels Two Teachers Toward M.Ed. Degrees With pretzels, veggies and memes, two Wheaton District 200 teachers cheered each other on

Lisa Virgilio, left, and Lynda Gilgenbach used the buddy system to keep each other on track and motivated as they studied for their M.Ed. degrees at National Louis University.

The swimming pool at Lisa Virgilio’s vacation hotel beckoned invitingly. But back in the Chicago area, her friend and study partner Lynda Gilgenbach was Skyping Virgilio in the hotel, ready to talk about a group project for a graduate education class. And thus, she kept Virgilio on track with schoolwork even during vacation.

“We motivated each other to complete our master’s degrees so we could graduate together, as we are from the same district (Community Unit School District 200 in Wheaton, Illinois),” Virgilio said. Continue reading »

Commencement Brings Smiles, Joy to College of Professional Studies and Advancement Grads They hear words of wisdom from CEO, student veteran

From the moment graduates of National Louis University’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement streamed into the Arie Crown Theater at Chicago’s McCormick Place on June 24, 2017, they created an air of exuberance for the 131st Commencement. Students smiled broadly as they took their seats, and the cheering only got louder as the ceremony went on.

Guest speaker Richard “Rick” Davidson, an NLU alum, president of the Everest Group, LLC and former  president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, focused the graduates’ attention on decisions they make each day that show their true characters. Continue reading »

NLU’s National College of Education Students Graduate With Style Dom Belmonte, Jasmine Adams speak at June 24 Commencement

Nancy Zhu, National Louis University’s Lincoln Laureate, left, and Jasmine Adams, student speaker at NLU’s National College of Education Commencement, both graduated June 24, 2017.

Wearing black gowns and decorated mortar boards, graduates of National Louis University’s National College of Education processed into the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago June 24 for the 131st Commencement.

Guest speaker Dominic Belmonte, CEO of the Golden Apple Foundation, got the ceremony off to a thoughtful and moving start. Quoting artists from Shakespeare to Rickie Lee Jones, he urged teachers to think of themselves as first responders to their students, and to know that for a child, three years of receiving ineffective teaching creates a deficit from which many never recover. Continue reading »

NLU Introduces Pathways Program on National Higher Ed Platform; Other Universities Can Replicate Dhupelia explained Pathways program; aimed at students who might not otherwise attend college

Aarti Dhupelia, shown here speaking to National Louis University’s Harrison Professional Pathways students, told the higher education community about the program on a national Academic Impressions webinar.

Less than two years after National Louis University developed the innovative Harrison Professional Pathways program, it received national attention.

Aarti Dhupelia, NLU’s vice president for strategic initiatives, explained the program’s goals and design to representatives from other universities on a webinar produced by Academic Impressions, which provides professional development resources to colleges and universities nationwide. Continue reading »

After Decades of Addiction, Student Graduates at 56: ‘This One’s For You, Mom!’ Arnita Mock-Harris' mom didn't live to see Commencement, but had strong faith her daughter would escape addiction

As a child, Arnita Mock-Harris resented her mother for being a single parent. She wanted a dad and a family life like the ones she read about in storybooks, and blamed her mother for failing to make that happen.

“I was a child– what did I know?” asked Mock-Harris, 56, now a mother of two and grandmother of four, who is graduating from National Louis University with a B.S. in Health Care Leadership.

“I did not understand the challenges my mom and dad faced, and why should I? In the era I grew up in, children knew nothing of their father’s and mother’s personal business. Continue reading »

Sun-Times Highlights Ph.D. Student’s Art Therapy: Dolls4Peace Addresses Grief Rochele Royster helped students at 55 CPS schools process violence by making 1,409 dolls to honor gun victims


When National Louis University doctoral student Rochelle Royster helped open an art exhibit of hand-created dolls meant to commemorate victims of Chicago gun violence on June 10, the Chicago Sun-Times was there to cover it.

The article “Dolls Commemorate Lives Lost to Gun Violence,” by Mitch Dudek, described the 1,409 dolls, so far, mounted on a wall of the Hyde Park Art Center. Royster, a Chicago Public Schools special education teacher and art therapist as well as student in NLU’s Community Psychology Ph.D. program, enlisted the help of people at 55 CPS schools and five universities to hand-make each one. She explained the process of making them was therapeutic for people living in violence-wracked communities. Continue reading »

Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Leaders Graduate at NLU Nonprofit professionals completed course at NLU

Seventeen Chicago-area non-profit professionals came together June 8 at National Louis University to celebrate their graduation from the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement’s Nonprofit Leadership Program.

NLU and HACE partnered to develop the curriculum for and present the program, which is designed to develop leadership and professional skills in emerging non-profit leaders. Continue reading »

Mother And Daughter Graduating Same Day With Same Degree Demetria Randle and Raven Hoffman Will Attend Commencement June 24

Raven Hoffman, left, and her mother Demetria Randle will graduate from National Louis University on the same day, June 24, 2017. They’ll also be receiving the same degree–B.A. in Psychology.

It’s not often that a mother and daughter duo graduate from college on the same day, and rarer still that they graduate with the same degree.

Demetria Randle, 47, and her elder daughter Raven Hoffman, 24,  will be doing exactly that, however, at National Louis University’s Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 24 at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theater. Each will receive a B.A. in Psychology degree. Continue reading »

To Meet Employment Demand, NLU Launches Applied Behavior Analysis Program Will prepare behavior analysts to help people on autism spectrum and with other conditions

Jennifer Klapatch Totsch, Ph.D., has joined NLU as director of the Applied Behavior Analysis program.

Have you considered a rewarding career working with children on the autism spectrum and people with various other conditions which can be helped with applied behavior analysis?

National Louis University is launching Master of Science (M.S.) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to meet growing employment demand for credentialed behavior analysts. Students may enroll now for the program’s Fall 2017 start.  Continue reading »

Help Students Learn EdTech; Get Learning Technologies Credential This Summer You can choose from face-to-face or online courses for this four-course credential

If you’re an educator or technology coach eager to become highly proficient in using up-to-the- minute technologies to help your students learn, this is for you.

This summer, National Louis University is offering the Learning Technologies Credential, which is designed for educators and technology coaches who want to build their capacity, teaching strategies, and teaching resources through hands-on experiences with cutting-edge learning technologies. Continue reading »