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Alumni Focus

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 »

Single Mom Triumphed Over Domestic Violence, Earned MBA Grit, family support helped this alum thrive after years of fear

124c215_edit-v2Robin 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.

Continue reading »

Alum Sinks Teeth Into Director Role at Prosthodontists’ Association Caradine-Poinsett earned two degrees at NLU

caradinepoinsett1_webLinda 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.

Continue reading »

Love Writing? Meet Writers, Get Inspiration and Cake at MOSAIC Party Oct. 24 Authors, writers from Tribune and Sun-Times will share tips

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-33-02-pmIf you are a writer, you know the most important reason for eating cake: to allow a few more minutes of procrastination while you stare at a blank screen.

Beat that procrastination problem Monday evening, Oct. 24, at the MOSAIC Writers’ Party at National Louis University’s Chicago campus, 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. You’ll get so much inspiration from four well-known writers that you won’t need excuses to start writing that first paragraph. Continue reading »

Building Better LGBT Acceptance in Schools Alum Outlines Need for LGBT School District Employee Affinity Groups

By NLU Alum Kevin O’Connor ’98

10362858_766626973382288_1854493922962478078_nThe 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 »

Alum’s IDEA Wins ‘School Librarian of the Year’ Award Todd Burleson ’98 created a libratory at Chicagoland school

 

2016 School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Todd Burleson, Hubbard Woods School, Winnetka, IL (School Library Journal, September 2016) (PRNewsFoto/Scholastic Inc.)

2016 School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Todd Burleson, Hubbard Woods School, Winnetka, IL (School Library Journal, September 2016) (PRNewsFoto/Scholastic Inc.)

If lightbulbs actually went on over people’s heads like they do in cartoons, the one over the head of Todd Burleson ’98 would be blindingly bright. Burleson has created not only a new concept, but a new word to go with it: Libratory, a library that blends into a laboratory, maker space, place to encourage creativity and hub of design thinking.

For his creation, School Library Journal and Scholastic Library Publishing have recognized Burleson with their School Librarian of the Year award. Continue reading »