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Student Veterans

An NLU Student Veteran Transitions Into the Civilian Workforce Manning Shares Her Career Journey, Tips for Fellow Veterans


By Paula Rucci Voigt, NLU Career Services Advisor

Manning_Natalyia[1]Transitioning to a new career is exciting but can also be intimidating, and can be especially so for veterans. With nine years of U.S. Air Force experience, Natalyia Manning, a National Louis University student who has just recently graduated with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management, knows first-hand about the additional challenges veterans face when moving from a military career to a civilian one. Continue reading »

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth Visits NLU, Code Platoon She met officials, toured Veterans Center, offered resources to student veterans



U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, from left, NLU Provost Alison Hilsabeck, NLU Library Dean and NLU Library Dean Rob Morrison listen as veteran Derreck Mansheim talks about his education plans. Rod Levy of Code Platoon is at right.

NLU welcomed Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth to its Veterans Center on May 5. Duckworth, a Democrat representing Illinois’ 8th Congressional district, which includes the Schaumburg and Elk Grove Village area, met NLU Provost Alison Hilsabeck, Assistant Provost Ignacio Lopez, CPSA Dean Judah Viola, Library Dean Rob Morrison, student veteran Pablo Garcia and others.

Duckworth, who had been deployed to Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois National Guard and lost both her legs in a 2004 helicopter crash, had been invited by Rod Levy, executive director of Code Platoon, a non-profit organization which teaches veterans to code in order to prepare them for jobs as software developers. Code Platoon classes meet in classrooms at NLU’s Chicago campus. Continue reading »

NLU Criminal Justice Student Hired As Roselle Police Officer Aggie Wajda came to NLU with the goal of working in law enforcement


Richard Schak, director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program and retired Chicago Police sergeant, attended student Aggie Wajda’s swearing-in ceremony as a Roselle Police Department officer.

Congratulations to Agnieszka (Aggie) Wajda, a student in NLU’s Criminal Justice program and U.S. Navy veteran, who has been hired by the Roselle Police Department as a police officer.

“From the moment we met Aggie, she made it clear she wanted to become a police officer,” said Richard Schak, director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program, who attended her swearing-in ceremony in Roselle. Continue reading »

NLU Heralds the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ Education Law NLU's statement on the new legislation, which replaces No Child Left Behind

By Rob Muller, Dean of National Louis University’s National College of Education, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education.


President Barack Obama greets eighth-grader Sofia Rios and the other stage participants prior to a bill signing ceremony for S. 1177, Every Student Succeeds Act, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Dec. 10, 2015. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.

We are pleased to note the December 10 enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the long overdue successor to No Child Left Behind. After years of negotiations and political gridlock, this bill is the result of a bipartisan effort that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and House, and signed by the President.

The new law’s provisions regarding teacher evaluation, standards and accountability, investments in early childhood education, innovation and other priority initiatives are worthy of note.

The new law shifts primary implementation responsibility from the federal to state and local government, providing us with a significant opportunity to address some of the shortfalls of No Child Left behind, while simultaneously reaffirming our commitment to high standards and educational excellence for all learners, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic or educational advantage. We hope that state and local leaders will take advantage of these changes to support what is best for our students, and effective educational practice.

For over 100 years, the National College of Education has been an innovator in preparing educators to help all students succeed. In coming months, we will be working with our colleagues in Illinois and nationally to ensure that the law’s enactment provides for the best educator and teacher preparation possible.

To help make that possible, we’ll be in communication with the more than 50,000 National Louis University education graduates across the state and nation. We’re looking forward to ESSA’s effective implementation in the best interest or America’s students, teachers and families.

Veterans Center Opens At NLU Will give military students a one-stop shop for services, study, lounge


Veterans, National Louis University staff and others listen as student veteran Derrick Mitchell sings the national anthem a cappella on Veterans Day at the opening of NLU’s Robert R. McCormick Foundation Veterans Center and Lounge.

Great things, such as National Louis University’s Veterans Resource Center and Lounge, start with “aha!” ideas.

The Veterans Resource Center, which opened Nov. 11 at NLU’s Chicago campus at 122 S. Michigan Avenue, is one of those great things. Funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, it will give military students a one-stop shop for everything from their first visit, when they’ll meet staff and learn about benefits and financial aid, to subsequent visits, when they’ll enroll, get career guidance and receive academic help, to their all-purpose hangout during their student years.

They’ll be able to study, use computers and printers, grab a snack and chill with other veterans and military-connected students. Continue reading »

Prieto Brings Leadership as He Continues Important Veterans Program Work His training, military expertise help in supporting military students


Ramon “Ray” Prieto is the Director of Veteran Student Coordination at National Louis University.

Ramon Prieto joined NLU three months ago as Director of Veteran Student Coordination at National Louis University. With a strong leadership and military background, along with experience in training and operations management, he has “hit the ground running” in his role of making more student veterans and military-connected students aware of the benefits of NLU’s Veterans Program.

We sat down with Prieto for a chat.  Continue reading »

Coleman Hopes Detective, Special Agent Experience Leads to FBI Career As a father, employee, husband and reservist, Student Veteran Maurice Coleman survived college on little sleep, but succeeded


Maurice Coleman, right, poses with Jimmy Wang Yang of the WWE.

Maurice Coleman, an active NLU student veteran, just graduated with his bachelor’s degree, and has an approximately 15-year record of accomplishment with the military. He hopes to parlay that into an FBI or similar career. We had a chance to ask him a few questions.

What prompted you to enter the military?

When I left high school, I wanted to do something positive. My brother was already in the military, and it was a great thing for him. I knew it would help me with school, and let me be part of something bigger than myself. I was thinking I could become an FBI agent. Continue reading »

Student Veteran Aggie Wajda Designs Her Way To Justice Career Five years in the Navy transformed her from 'shy' to leader


By Kellie Kennedy

Agnieszka (Aggie) Wajda initially pursued dreams of becoming an interior designer, but realized that she had a different calling. She joined the U.S. Navy, which opened her eyes to skills and talents that she didn’t know that she possessed.

Her work in the military also increased her interest in continuing her higher education so that she could achieve her dream of becoming a police officer. In just a few months, Aggie will achieve this dream. Learn more about Aggie’s experience at National Louis University (NLU) and the Veterans Program. Continue reading »

After saving lives in combat, student veteran Derrick Mitchell hopes to save lives in hospitals In this Student Veteran Spotlight, Mitchell explains how military service shaped his career goals


derrick_mitchell.jpgAs a combat medic, Derrick Mitchell sometimes had to run into battle to pick up fallen soldiers and administer emergency treatment. Now, pursuing his Master’s in Health Services Administration at NLU, he plans to continue assisting with medical care—without the combat—by working in healthcare or hospital administration.

Serving our country was almost a given for Mitchell, 32, who started at NLU in April, 2014.  He has five family members who served, including his parents and grandfather.  In this recent interview, he told us why service was a life adventure, and how it’s shaping his education and career. Continue reading »

Columnist Cites NLU Veterans Program As National Model Student veterans' engagement rates, employment rates are rising

veteranschart-380x380NLU’s Veterans Program is getting national attention for its results.

Michael Schindler, a columnist for, an online news partner of The Seattle Times, referenced NLU in a column about offering military-connected students resources to help them succeed.

“Studies show that when community-based resources collaborate with college-based services, veteran involvement and graduation success rates improve considerably,” he wrote May 31. Continue reading »