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Spotlight on Faculty & Staff

In the Spotlight: Stephanie Poczos, Director of B.A. in Applied Communications program

stephanie 2To say communications has changed in the past decade is putting it lightly. The social media explosion, the proliferation of mobile technology, and the overall driving force of the Web have created a seismic shift in the way information is released and consumed.

It can be daunting — particularly to generations who didn’t grow up with their eyes already glued to a smartphone. But an exciting new program at NLU is preparing students to navigate the evolving world of communications today and thrive in a wide range of careers, no matter what their background.

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NLU broadens global education outreach in 2014

shutterstock_129922415Chicago regularly ranks high on lists of “most global cities” compiled by journals and research groups for its role as a major center in international business, travel and immigration — making it an ideal site for the continued evolution of a new kind of outreach at National Louis University.

Building on a core mission of providing access to high-quality degree programs for students from diverse backgrounds, NLU is also seeking to become part of the larger global conversation about education, contributing to meaningful policy changes and adopting new innovations and approaches to better inform the work of its own faculty.

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In the Spotlight: Carol Burg, Senior Enrollment Advisor, NLU Florida

Carol Burg 2For those visiting Florida, it might seem like the perfect place to live: sunshine, beaches and tourism destinations. But like any other state in the U.S., Florida must also provide infrastructure and services to its residents — including public education. And with that comes some unique challenges.

“I’ve gotten lost looking for schools that don’t register on my GPS,” laughs Carol Burg, Senior Enrollment Advisor for NLU Florida. “They literally put schools in the middle of orange groves in Florida. So there’s a lot of opportunity, but there are different challenges — unusual challenges that a person used to working in the Chicago Public Schools area would never imagine.”

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What do you hope to accomplish in 2014?

2014A new year brings new plans and new goals. At National Louis, our faculty and staff continue to work hard in the pursuit of providing high-quality education and services to our students — and with that comes a wide range of tasks and projects, inside and outside the classroom.

For me in 2014, I will continue to work on making this blog a platform that best represents the University by showcasing the voices and stories of our students, faculty and staff. Some others at NLU shared their professional plans for the new year below. We’d love to hear yours, too. Feel free to add them in the comments!

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Chicago 3.0: Propelling Chicago’s education system forward

shutterstock_102586190Recently the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the results of its Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a leading survey of education systems conducted every three years and taken by 15-year-olds in 65 countries. The results revealed that U.S. student scores are stagnant while other countries’ are improving. With this in mind, for the U.S., and Chicago specifically, to become more capable of impact on a global scale, we need to fortify our foundations through education. From a local perspective, we need a “Chicago 3.0” plan.

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In the Spotlight: Wendi Gearing, Vocational Leader for P.A.C.E.

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2014 is shaping up to be a big year for NLU’s P.A.C.E. program.

P.A.C.E. — the Professional Assistance Center for Education for young adults with multiple learning disabilities — runs a two-year program that helps students build life skills and gain a greater sense of independence. And a big part is placing these students in meaningful internships to prepare them for future careers. Wendi Gearing oversees that effort and hopes to expand internship sites further in the new year after securing partnerships in 2013 with Mario Tricoci salon, Crafty Beaver hardware and Unleashed dog daycare, to name a few. In addition, she said P.A.C.E. will continue to grow its strong relationship with Rush University Medical Center — one that’s led to the hire of former students.

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Improv is finding a home at NLU

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Chicago remains the undisputed capital of improv comedy — a place that for decades has attracted top talent, developed it on local stages, and sent it along to television and the big screen. With a priority on audience engagement and performing in the moment, improv also develops skills that have real applications off stage. It’s an idea that’s catching on at NLU.

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In the Spotlight: Danny McGuire, Assistant Professor & Assistant Director of NLU’s Criminal Justice program

Danny McGuire 2As one of NLU’s newest employees, Danny McGuire is definitely staying busy. You’ll most often find him roving Chicagoland as a key part of the outreach effort for the University’s successful new Criminal Justice program, which launched in 2012.

In his visits to cadet explorer groups, community colleges and local police departments, Danny stresses the importance of higher education, no matter what his audience — curious teenagers, college transfer students or working police — not only for one’s career but as an extension of service, a chance to do something more. It’s a concept he knows well.

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Perspectives on early childhood education (videos in English & Spanish)

Teri Talan, Ed.D., Director of Policy Initiatives at NLU’s McCormick Center, recently discussed the importance of early childhood education and the challenges faced in this area, as well as how parents and entire communities can make a positive impact.  This program aired on Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

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