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Commencement

Commencement Speakers Offer Inspiring Stories One survived a refugee camp to enter Harvard; one fights to help children

Two speakers with powerful stories will address NLU graduates at Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, June 12.

color72dpi2Mawi Asgedom, who survived war in Africa, a refugee camp and personal tragedy, persevered and graduated from Harvard University.  He is an author and inspirational speaker, motivating students to leadership and success. He will speak at NLU’s National College of Education Commencement.

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9 Things to Do (and Not Do) Before Graduation By Melissa Simmons, Graduate Assistant, Office of Student Experience

 

You killed it with your final project on the Theory of Feminism, but you still have to attend class. Your workload has dwindled, but you still have various miscellaneous assignments. You’re in the homestretch, but not quite there yet.

If you are in this educational gray area, then chances are you’re graduating this summer. With an epidemic of “senioritis” and graduation fever sweeping through the campuses, the always-prepared Office of Student Experience has your back when it comes to your big day. Enjoy these pre-grad tips and comment if you have any do’s and dont’s of your own. Continue reading »

When Dad Spoke To Alum In a Dream, She Listened Writer Beth Schaefer teaches at NLU, founded a publisher and even a fake university

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 5.16.21 PMWhat does it mean when a deceased parent appears to you in a dream, but you can’t hear the words they’re saying?

NLU alum Beth Schaefer divined the meaning right away. Her dad was telling her that even though she had a career going in corporate writing, she could no longer silence her creativity, which was trying to emerge, writes Rick Kogan in the Chicago Tribune.

Schaefer, who earned her M.S. in Written Communication degree from National Louis last year and now teaches in the program,  grew up in a gifted family. With her mother an actress and a vocalist on Chicago’s club scene and her dad a fiction and poetry writer, the arts and creativity colored her universe. Schaefer herself had taken to the stage as an award-winning singer-songwriter earlier in her career. Continue reading »

Business School in Poland Graduates 400, Enjoys High Tech Business Incubator NLU is exploring more collaborations with WSB-NLU in southern Poland

 

WSB-NLU3graduation2015By Judah Viola, Dean of NLU’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement

I recently traveled to Poland to represent NLU leadership at the commencement ceremonies of WSB-NLU (Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu – National Louis University). The name  translates as “Higher School of Business.”

WSB-NLU graduated approximately 400 students this year in bachelor’s degree programs in business, computer science, political science and psychology. It also graduated students in master’s degree programs in business and computer science. Continue reading »

Cousins Who Didn’t Know They Were Both NLU’ers To Graduate Together They didn't realize both were attending National Louis

Jannae Jenkins and Darlene Cook

Jannae Jenkins Simmons, left, and Darlene Cook are first cousins, but were unaware they were both attending NLU until a surprise meeting. They will graduate together in the same Commencement ceremony June 20.

Darlene Cook went to National Louis’ Commencement Fair on May 27 to get information about the graduation ceremony and have her picture taken in a cap and gown. While she was waiting in line for the photo, however, she got a huge surprise.

“I looked up and there was my first cousin,” she exclaimed.

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Husband and Wife Graduate Together—For the Second Time They'll walk at NLU's Commencement June 20

 

DanaRobertBurrisCan higher education be romantic? While some couples need long walks on the beach or a glass of wine beside a crackling fire, Cupid shot his bow right through a syllabus at Dana Jocic Burris and Robert Burris.

The two met when they were undergraduates at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. They walked in the same Commencement ceremony to get their undergraduate degrees — his in secondary education and hers a double major in family and consumer sciences and marketing. With the diplomas out of the way, they got married in July 2010. Continue reading »

Student Speakers Aim To Inspire At Commencement Rencher, Patel To Speak; Martinez, Lawson To Speak

graduationmortarboardsGraduating students and their families will hear the stories of a fellow student’s perseverance when they attend National Louis University commencement exercises.

For Illinois students, commencement will be held  Saturday, June 20. Wisconsin commencement will take place May 29, and Florida commencement will be June 12.

In Illinois, Sabrina Rencher, who is obtaining her B.A. in Criminal Justice, will be the speaker for the College of Professional Studies and Advancement (formerly known as both the College of Management and Business and College of Arts and Sciences) commencement.

Poonam Patel, who is obtaining her M.Ed. in Specialized Endorsements, will speak at the National College of Education commencement in Illinois. Vanessa Hurtado, who will receive her B.A. in Elementary Education, will be the singer and perform the national anthem.

In Florida, the speaker will be Nancy Martinez , who obtained her Ed.D. and is participating in commencement with 16 other students from the first doctoral cohort at NLU Florida. Kendall Louise will sing the national anthem at the ceremony.

In Wisconsin, the student speaker will be retired U. S. Army Sgt. Garry Lawson, who is obtaining his Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership degree. In 2014, he was recognized by the Department of Defense Troops to Teachers program as one of 48 exemplary teachers across the country that year. He is a Special Education Teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools.

NLU alum D’shaunta Stewart, who holds an M.Ed. in Teaching, Learning and Assessment,  is back for a return engagement at the Wisconsin commencement after singing the national anthem at last’s year’s graduation.

The university called for students to audition for the speaker roles a few months ago, and a committee evaluated speakers based on their speaking quality, articulation, grammar, stage presence, the degree to which they presented inspiring messages and other factors.

Students are not paid to be speakers; however, Jose Marroquin, associate director of NLU’s Student Services Department, said they often use the speaking engagement as professional development, and many list it as a distinction on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. They’re also honored as part of the party on the platform at commencement exercises.

“Students who audition tend to be seeking some sort of public speaking experience, or they may have a non-profit, church or volunteer group they’re trying to get exposure for,” Marroquin said.

“Many of them also tend to have a strong personal story, such as ‘I wasn’t meant to pursue higher education but I did, and I persevered.'”