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Alumni Focus

From Singing Telegrams to Academic Coaching Alum overcomes ‘not that smart’ stigma, now provides specialized academic coaching

Susan SchaeferGrowing 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.

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Education Champ, Real Estate Guru to Deliver Commencement Speeches

On Saturday, June 24, 2017, National Louis University will recognize the exceptional work of student graduates at its 2017 Chicago campus commencement ceremonies.

Dominic Belmonte, Golden Apple Foundation CEO, will deliver the keynote speech at National Louis University’s  commencement for National College of Education (NCE) graduates.

Rick Davidson, an NLU alum and former president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, will address the College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA) graduates. Davidson currently heads Everest Group, parent company of Everest-Troop Real Estate. Continue reading »

Dazzling in Sunshine State, Alum Named ‘Teacher of the Year’ William 'BJ' Ivey, who earned two NLU degrees, receives the award

Sarasota County School District Teacher of the Year William “BJ” Ivey, a double NLU alum, is shown at the awards banquet with his mother Jo, left, and wife Samantha, both also teachers.

With 52 schools and nearly 4,800 teachers, competition to win the Teacher of the Year award in the Sarasota County (Florida) School District is tremendous.

In February, National Louis University alum  William “BJ” Ivey was named one of three finalists, and at an April 5 school district banquet, he topped the competition to become Teacher of the Year for 2017-18. Continue reading »

NLU Alum Surprised With Golden Apple Award for Teaching Officials bring award, reporters to fourth-grade teacher Andrea Beaty's classroom

NLU alum Andrea Beaty was teaching in her fourth-grade classroom recently when officials from the Golden Apple  Foundation arrived to present her with the  prestigious 2017 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Beaty, who was surprised and emotional upon receiving the award, teaches fourth grade English and Language Arts, science, social studies, math, and social emotional learning at Serena Hills Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Ill. in the South suburbs. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education at National Louis University.  Continue reading »

Alum Finds His Teaching Paradise Teacher, cut loose from rural school district, lands new job at small island school

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.

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Alumni Tell How They Got Jobs, How NLU Prepared Them for Careers College of Professional Studies and Advancement alumni share journeys with future students

 

Enrolling in college is an act of hope for a brighter future. It can be reassuring to prospective or newly-enrolled students, though, to hear from other students about how they landed rewarding jobs after they graduated.

To connect the dots between enrolling and reaching the point of succeeding in a good job, National Louis University’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement organized an Open House Alumni Speaker Panel event on Feb. 1 at NLU’s Chicago campus. Continue reading »

NLU Alum Helping Chicago Police, Fire, Respond to Mentally Ill The advanced training should help to prevent harm to mentally ill or others

A screenshot from the ABC7 News feature shows NLU alum Leslee Stein-Spencer talking about how Chicago firefighters, police and paramedics will get training in how to deal with situations involving the mentally ill.

Often, police, paramedics and firefighters respond to 911 calls and find a person in crisis or a chaotic situation. Sometimes, the person at the center of the situation is not a criminal intent on malice, but a mentally ill person in a panic.

In order to de-escalate the level of tension, calm the situation and prevent harm, the Chicago police and fire departments are providing training to personnel on how to respond to the mentally ill. NLU alum Leslee Stein-Spencer, Director of Medical Administration and Regulatory Compliance for the Chicago Fire Department, is at the center of these efforts. Continue reading »

Tribune, WGN Feature Smith’s Book About His Sister’s Murder, Justice Rick Kogan interviewed Alum, Written Communications Director Joanne Koch

Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan has written a column about NLU alum Robert Emmett Smith’s journey from wrestling emotionally with the fact his sister had been murdered, a long dormant period when the murder remained unsolved and the turmoil of the killer’s trial.

In “New book details South Side family’s story of murder, heartache and– eventually–justice,” Kogan also included the key role played by Joanne Koch, Ph.D., during Smith’s time in the Master of Science in Written Communication program, which she directs. Continue reading »

NLU Doctorate Prepared Mitchell to Lead Joliet Junior College Joliet Junior College president draws on nearly two decades at JJC

mitchell_judy_8766Go 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 »

Faculty, Alums Champion Community Schools, Release Book Carlos Azcoitia and Ted Purinton co-edited the book, with chapters by three alums

communityschoolsazcoitia

Carlos Azcoitia listens to a speaker, while Ted Purinton looks over notes at the “Creating Engagement Between Schools and their Communities” event, held at NLU’s North Shore campus Nov. 4.

The vision of schools as thriving community centers, enjoying camaraderie and bustling with activities for students, parents and other community members, took center stage at an NLU book release party Nov. 4.

Carlos Azcoitia, Ed.D., distinguished professor of practice at NLU, and Ted Purinton, Ed.D., dean of the graduate school of education at American University in Cairo, and former chair of NLU’s Department of Educational Leadership,  led a panel discussion on the book they co-edited, “Creating Engagement Between Schools and Their Communities: Lessons from Educational Leaders” (Lexington Books). Continue reading »