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Innovation

Visionary Sees a Need, Partners With NLU To Create Human Services Management Program Vincent Pettinelli worked as a psychotherapist, started a $350 million company providing human services, found a persistent problem, proposed a solution

By Pam DeFiglio

When Vincent Pettinelli was building PeopleServe Inc., a business he had founded to provide human services to people with disabilities, the elderly and other clients in need, he faced a conundrum.  The enterprise, which eventually grew into a $350 million company, needed management talent.  He promoted competent psychologists and other specialists into management roles, but most of them failed because they lacked management knowledge.

Pettinelli, who had started his career as a psychotherapist and had worked with people with disabilities before he got into management, was explaining this challenge to his financial advisor, Joe Kunze, a couple of years ago. Continue reading »

‘Play Fest’ Puts Students’ Drama, Writing On Stage April 22 Come experience screenplays, plays and live literature

In a flourish of creativity at National Louis University, 10 students are seeing their writing shaped by actors and directors and expressed on the stage.

Three of them have written screenplays that touch on themes such as coping with adversity, struggles in relationships and trying to overcome the odds. Two others have written plays about how historical events touch people’s lives and finding strength amidst challenging circumstances. All will be presented as staged readings by actors on stage. Continue reading »

NLU To Offer Computer Information Systems, STEM Programming Through HSI Grant

NLU and Morton College stakeholders discuss the Computer Information Systems program the HSI STEM grant will make possible.

In the future, National Louis University students will design and build software,  thwart hackers, use a mobile-first approach to web design, create virtual worlds and smash barriers in the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

It’s all coming about as the HSI  STEM Program gears up to start its work at National Louis University. The U.S. Department of Education awarded HSI grant funds to NLU a few months ago, and NLU is hiring staff to direct the program. Its overall goal is to increase Latino students in STEM fields, and staff have begun creating a new undergraduate program in Computer Information Systems (CIS) at NLU. Continue reading »

NLU Launches Master’s in Human Services Management; Mark Doyle to Lead Doyle, with academia, government, nonprofit background, developing program to help human services pros move up

Mark Doyle will launch and lead NLU’s M.S. in Human Services Management program.

No matter which part of the growing human services field people work in — child welfare, aging, mental health, homelessness, intellectual disabilities or others — they have specific skill sets such as social worker or substance abuse counselor.

As the human services field expands, more  such  professionals are getting promoted into management. But they lack the skill set needed for administration, and consequently many get frustrated, and often fail.  For this reason, National Louis University is launching the Master of Science in Human Services Management program, slated to start in Fall 2017. Continue reading »

Ribbon Cutting Hails Partnership of Year Up Chicago, NLU First Year Up Chicago students starting at NLU this month

Year Up students and NLU and Year Up personnel watch as Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. and Jack Crowe cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce the NLU-Year Up Chicago partnership.

A young woman named Crystal Martinez took the microphone at a partnership celebration between National Louis University and Year Up Chicago to tell what her experience with Year Up has been like.

“Before Year Up, I was working a dead-end job at minimum wage. I had no career path,” she said at the Jan. 12 event. Continue reading »

Tech Companies, Universities Connect To Better Prep Students for Jobs Tech companies want soft-skills, problem-solving ability, lifelong learners

161129-america-urban-campus-roundtable-020In an employer’s ideal world, universities would prepare students for their careers with the right mix of foundational knowledge, skills and practical experience that hiring companies seek. Instead, however, many potential employers, at least in the tech industry,  are finding that hiring and training newly-minted graduates can be a bumpy process.

In an effort to stem the disconnect and communicate about how universities can give students the preparation employers seek, the Illinois Technology Association convened a “Forecast Roundtable” event on Nov. 29. America’s Urban Campus, a consortium of 22 Chicago universities (including National Louis University), and World Business Chicago acted as co-conveners. Continue reading »

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

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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 »

NLU Partners With Year Up To Ready Students To Achieve Program uses education, internships to prepare struggling youth to work

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Year Up alum Brahulio Ignez, from left, Cook County state’s attorney candidate Kim Foxx, NLU President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., Year Up Executive Director Jack Crowe and Year Up alums Charlotte Norman and Steven Cannon pose for a photo at the Year Up breakfast on Oct. 14.

The young people who find themselves at Year Up, a non-profit which offers 18-24-year-olds a yearlong preparation for the working world, have many different stories. Some had parents who had died, or were too ill to take care of them. Many lived in challenging neighborhoods where they didn’t know people who had steady jobs and stable home lives. Most of them didn’t have plans for college or a career, and some barely had enough income for day-to-day life.

All of them eventually heard about Year Up, and in a defining moment of their lives, applied and were accepted. Year Up partners with educational institutions to offer six months of education and six months of internship in a business. After they complete the program, 85 percent of graduates become employed or enroll in higher education within six months. Continue reading »

Learning How Domestic Violence Victims Feel Students take part in 'In Her Shoes' Domestic Violence Experiential Training

My name is Roz, and I’m married to Marty. We have two kids. He gets mad, picks fights over my cooking, criticizes me and starts hitting me. He has broken my nose, and one time he broke my rib, too. But this last fight we had was the last straw, and I’ve had it. I want to leave him.

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An NLU student playing the role of a domestic violence victim tries to decide what her next step should be. Her teammates can talk to her, but she has to carry her own suitcase and “children,” in the form of stuffed animals.

On a quiet Thursday morning at NLU’s Chicago campus, Criminal Justice student Gelissa Nealon is playing Roz’s role during an experiential training exercise called “In Her Shoes.” Advocates for domestic violence victims in Washington state developed the training, and based it on the experiences of real people. Continue reading »

New to National Louis: Inclusive U Written by Courtney Brinson, Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Experience

shutterstock_318054821With the fall term off to a great start, an excellent way for students to develop themselves as well as contribute to the development of our University learning community is through Inclusive U! Inclusive U is a program designed to engage students, staff, and faculty in unique professional development opportunities geared towards improving skills and knowledge around inclusivity and positive civic engagement. Continue reading »