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Cancelled Event: Mayoral Candidate Lightfoot To Appear at NLU She'll speak to a town hall meeting organized by nonprofits against gender-based violence

UPDATE: This event has been canceled. Lightfoot’s campaign told organizers she had a scheduling conflict.

National Louis University students and the general public are welcome to hear Lori Lightfoot, one of two candidates in the Chicago mayoral runoff election, speak about gender-based violence at a town hall event Friday, March 22 at 4 p.m., with doors opening at 3:30 p.m.

The other candidate in the mayor’s race, Toni Preckwinkle, declined an invitation to appear. Organizers say they provide all candidates the same opportunities and are not making an endorsement.

The event is being organized by four nonprofit organizations which address gender-based violence. They include Resilience, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Life Span and the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. They say attendees will have the opportunity to ask the candidate questions.

The event is free, but register here. It will be held at National Louis University’s Chicago campus at 122 S. Michigan Avenue. NLU’s Office of Student Experience brought the event to NLU.

Alum Halle Rubin Named Early Childhood Educator of Year She's hailed for making teachers, staff, parents, kids feel valued and heard

It’s clear now that Halle Rubin, who earned her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis  University in 2016, was never meant to sell janitorial supplies to schools.

Rubin, who recently won the 2018 Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award,  took that sales job after she got her bachelor’s degree, but after just three weeks, she realized she loved interacting with the kids in the schools. Selling chemicals, not so much.

Rubin told The Preschool Podcast the story of coming to the realization that she wanted to become a teacher. It’s a podcast from HiMama, a software company for the early childhood education field.

‘Best decision I ever made’

“So I, instead of getting another bachelor’s degree, I was like, ‘Let’s go for it. Let’s go get my master’s.’ And I decided to enroll in National Louis University, and I graduated with my Master’s in Early Childhood Administration. It was the best decision I ever made and I’m so, so happy with the career that I chose,” she said on the podcast.

She taught two-year-olds and pre-schoolers, and then was asked to become assistant director at the center where she worked.

‘Cannot stress how much she does for us’

Kinga Tomczyk, a teacher at the school, wrote this about Rubin in nominating her for the award: “Each and every day, Ms. Halle radiates with love and passion for the field. Not only does she work long, and stressful hours, but comes in on weekends and holidays to make sure all of her classrooms sparkle, teachers have the right materials to make their lesson plans come to life, and to ensure the school is looking its best.

“Even after receiving her Master’s, Halle continues to further her knowledge in the field so that she can share her knowledge with her staff. She pushes her staff to think in different ways and challenges themselves as educators, but also finds ways to be comforting and supportive to the personal needs we each have. I cannot stress how much Ms. Halle does for us. She has only been our Director for 9 months, and to many of us, she has become our angel of inspiration, ultimate support, and light of positivity.”

The Early Childhood Educator Award received 111 nominations for the 2018 award from around the globe. The public voted to whittle them down to 10 nominees, and experts from the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Zero to Three, Child Care Aware America and other esteemed organizations selected Rubin as the winner.

Hear Halle Rubin on The Preschool Podcast

Learn more about National Louis University’s Master’s in Education programs

ABC7 Shares Kendall Student’s Dream, Trotter Scholarship Segment featuring Rochelle Trotter, Kendall student Brande Gilbert will be shown on-air on March 2

Brande Gilbert, a student at Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University, received a scholarship from the Charles and Rochelle Trotter Endowment. She appeared with Rochelle Trotter on ABC7’s Heart and Soul show.

It’s hard to overestimate chef Charlie Trotter’s influence on the Chicago, national and even international restaurant and food scenes. After his untimely passing in 2013, the New York Times declared he had “remade the culinary landscape.” 

That makes it a great honor for Brande Gilbert, a student at Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University, to receive a scholarship from the Charles and Rochelle Trotter Endowment. Continue reading »

James Beard Foundation Picks Kendall Alums as Awards Semifinalists

It’s always exciting for chefs, restaurateurs and food lovers when the James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists are released. This year’s crop includes two alums of Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University among the Chicago-area nominees.

  • The foundation named Kendall Alum Beverly Kim of Parachute as a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category.
  • In the Best New Restaurant category, the foundation named alum Jennifer Kim‘s Passerotto as a semifinalist.

See the complete national list of semifinalists here.

Learn more about the culinary arts program at Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University



How to Get Rid of Garlic Smell? Kendall Faculty Give Tips to Magazine consulted Kendall College chef instructors on how to spiff up

The editors at, a popular national food blog, celebrated Garlic Week recently by exploring garlic bread, garlic beef, garlic knots and…you get the idea.

By the end of the week, they had a burning question:  if you’ve been cooking with, um, odorous foods like garlic or fish, how do you get the smell off your hands? Continue reading »

How Jenny Turned Grieving Into Helping Others in Their Toughest Hours NLU staff member asking for cell phone chargers for hospice patients' families

When Jenny Fitzgerald volunteered to make blankets for Journeycare, a hospice, at National Louis University’s May Month of Service a couple of years ago, she had no idea it would lead to a journey involving her father and mother, her dog Cupcake and an admirable quest to gather phone chargers to help families of patients who were living out their final days.

After that day of volunteerism, Fitzgerald, assistant controller and assistant treasurer at National Louis University, witnessed the health of her father, Michael Shawn Fitzgerald, decline. She suggested to her mother that he enter JourneyCare. In 2017, he went into JourneyCare’s Marshak Hospice CareCenter in Glenview, Illinois. Fitzgerald remembers a lovely barbecue his team organized for their family in its healing garden. Continue reading »

Two Kendall Alums Make News for Desserts and Brewery Pendola praised in Tribune, Ike and Oak announced in Daily Herald

One alum elevates a new brewery’s offerings to gastronomic heights; the other earned praise for putting her own spin on lavish Southern desserts. Michael Reid and Rebecca Pendola, both alumni of Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University, have been featured in the news lately. Continue reading »

Black History Event To Feature Leaders Who Speak Truth to Power DelMarie Cobb, Maze Jackson to share historical perspective on African-American life and culture in Chicago


What can today’s students and recent alumni learn from two distinguished journalists and political strategists who have been intricately involved for nearly three decades in helping African-American political candidates gain office?

All are invited to attend the “Common Historical Challenges on Uncommon Ground” discussion event Thursday, Feb. 21 to find out. The event will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the McCormick Foundation Atrium on National Louis University’s Chicago campus, 122 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

“All four of these individuals (panelists and moderators) are leaders in the Black community and they lead in different ways,” said Jacqueline Samuel, Ph.D., director of National Louis University’s Master’s in Public Administration program and an alum of NLU’s Community Psychology doctoral program.

“We want our students to see that. Some of these speakers lead with the power of the pen, or the power of the mic. Then you have the quiet leader who knows how to bring voices together and unleash the wisdom in the room, and finally, you have the soldier, out there waking up everyone and mentoring at the same time.  I am not going to say who is who– you have to come to listen to them speak to figure it out– but I guarantee you will hear some very thought-provoking discourse.”

The panelists

Delmarie Cobb. A journalist and public affairs, political consulting and media relations strategist, Cobb has owned her firm The Publicity Works since 1990. She is also the president of Deleco Communications Inc., a television production company, which produced the award-winning newsmagazine program STREET LIFE on PBS affiliates. In 2016, Cobb served as the Illinois press secretary for the presidential bid of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She also served as a consultant to candidates Jesse Jackson, Bill Bradley and Dan Hynes.
Maze Jackson.  Jackson is a WVON radio personality, and his bio on the station’s website is as follows. “Political strategist, media personality, and urban marketing pioneer, Maze has a diverse array of experience in the worlds of business, politics and community engagement. Maze has spent over 20 years lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies. Maze has been featured on ABC, CBS, The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, and a variety of other high profile media outlets, and is featured weekly on WVON.”

The moderators

Deveda Francois, Ph.D. Francois is an alum of NLU’s Community Psychology doctoral program, an  NLU adjunct and subject matter expert in issues about gender, race and culture.  Her dissertation was on “From the Doll House to the White House: Black Women and their Hair and Body Images.”  She is interested in discussing how historical challenges in Chicago impact the Black community.
La’Shawn Littrice, Ph.D. Littrice is also a graduate of NLU’s Community Psychology program,  an activist and an advocate for fighting for the rights of youth. She has spoken out on the  Laquan Mc Donald case.
“When I talk to potential students they always tell me they want to be a change agent,” Samuel commented. ” Well, this is they why you start.”

Condolences: NLU Faculty Member, Alum, Curriculum Creator Nancy Naughten earned master's degrees in education, taught at elementary, middle school and college levels

Nancy Naughten, a lifelong educator who earned two master’s degrees at National Louis University and taught here for 15 years, passed away in early February at age 69.

Naughten started her career teaching at elementary and middle schools, including St. Raymond’s School in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and Glenview District 34 schools.  In her first teaching position, she was a primary reading teacher. In order to learn more ways to meet the needs of her young readers, Naughten earned her first master’s degree in reading at Roosevelt University.

After 10 years as a reading teacher, Naughten accepted a position as an instructional specialist and reading coordinator in Glenview District 34, where she worked for 12 years. In this position, she developed an understanding of how teachers could provide educational opportunities to reach and teach young adolescents.

District 34’s Springman Middle School changed from being a junior high to a true middle school while she was working there. Springman is now a Horizon Award Middle School. This was a pivotal time in Naughten’s career which prompted her to earn a master’s degree in Middle-Level Education at National Louis University.

She began teaching at National Louis University in 2003, and earned another master’s degree as an educational specialist. Her passion was creating curriculum that engages and motivates students to want to learn.

Naughten wrote two of the Middle-Level endorsement courses for online learning which were later approved as Quality Matters Courses. Hundreds of NLU students earned their middle school endorsement in these courses.

Naughten enjoyed teaching for many reasons. She enjoyed working with energetic new teachers and those who were coming back for the Middle School Endorsement. She agreed with the philosophy of Parker Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach, “After three decades of trying to learn my craft, every class comes down to this: my students and I, face to face, (or online) engaged in an ancient and exacting exchange called education.”  Naughten retired from NLU in June 2018.

The National Louis University community extends condolences to Nancy Naughten’s family and friends.

Continue reading »