Alumni Spotlight

Tribune’s Critic’s Choice Award Goes to Kendall Alum Jennifer Kim Chicago Tribune critic Phil Vettel named her 'Rookie of the Year'

Jennifer Kim.

Detail from Chicago Tribune photographer E. Jason Wambsgans photo portrait of Kendall College at National Louis University alum Jennifer Kim.

Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel has been impressed with Jennifer Kim’s restaurant Passerotto ever since he first reviewed it last summer, 10 weeks after its opening.

This week, he bestowed his Chicago Tribune Critic’s Choice award on Kim, an alum of Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University. She earned his “Rookie of the Year” award for Passerotto’s debut. Continue reading »

Golden Apple Selects 3 NLU Alums as Finalists for Teaching Award Prestigious non-profit selected just 32 teachers in Illinois as finalists

 

Golden Apple, a prestigious Illinois nonprofit which bestows highly-sought-after awards for exemplary teaching, has selected three National Louis University alumni as finalists for its 2019 awards.

For the first time, the organization has expanded the eligibility for its Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching to include all of Illinois. In a highly competitive process, Golden Apple received more than 550 nominations of excellent high school teachers from 71 Illinois counties. The organization asked master teachers, who recognize instructional best practices and professional standards, to narrow the pack down to  32 high school educators selected as finalists for the award. They represent just  6 percent of the nominees. Continue reading »

Alum Aida Flores, Educator, Running for 25th Ward Alderman She faces four candidates in Feb. 26 race to succeed Alderman Danny Solis

Chicago’s 25th Ward has gotten a deluge of publicity lately with news about outgoing Alderman Danny Solis. Solis recently resigned as chairman of the city council’s Zoning Committee after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that federal prosecutors have prepared a document outlining wrongdoing and corruption on his part.

Months ago, however, Solis announced he would not run for office again, and one National Louis University alum, Aida Flores ’10, and four other challengers stepped up to run for the 25th ward alderman’s seat. Gazette Chicago has the details. Continue reading »

Virgin Hotels Promotes Kendall Alum to National Post Growing company named Owen Deignan Director of Food & Beverage Operations

Owen Deignan, Kendall College at National Louis University alum and Director of Food & Beverage Operations for Virgin Hotels.

Virgin Hotels, a hotel brand owned by noted business person Sir Richard Branson, has promoted Owen Deignan,  a Kendall College at National Louis University alum, as the Director of Food & Beverage Operations for the growing company.

Deignan will be responsible for the food and beverage operations of all Virgin Hotels, including the Virgin Hotels San Francisco, opening in 2019.

Deignan earned his AAS in Culinary Arts at Kendall and has worked with a number of food and beverage visionaries. He brings more than two decades of experience to his new post.

Virgin Hotels released a statement which said Deignan will work closely with the senior leadership team to develop and execute Virgin’s strategic plan to drive growth and profitability in the culinary space, largely focusing on the evolution of the Commons Club concept and developing individual dining destinations in future Virgin Hotels.

Jay Wetzel, Vice President of Virgin Hotels Food & Beverage, remarked, “Owen was instrumental in the success of Commons Club and crafting the seasonal strategy for Cerise at Virgin Hotels Chicago, which has seen unparalleled success this year. In addition, Owen has proved that strong leadership skills, pinpoint focus and comradery are the key ingredients in building a great team.”

Continue reading »

Alum Lamont Robinson Jr. Elected to Illinois House He obtained his MBA from National Louis, opened a small business

Lamont Robinson Jr.

NLU alum Lamont Robinson Jr. won election to the Illinois House of Representatives, 5th District.

National Louis University alum Lamont Robinson Jr., who earned his MBA  in 2012,  won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in the Nov. 6 election. He’ll represent Illinois’ 5th District, a long, narrow swath that runs from the Near North Side south to 79th Street on the South Side, largely centered around State Street and Michigan Avenue (see map). The seat became vacant when Rep. Juliana Stratton agreed to run for lieutenant governor on gubernatorial hopeful JB Pritzker’s ticket, a gamble that paid off when they won last Tuesday. Continue reading »

Alum Receives Fulbright Award To Teach English in Algeria Kennan Daoudi, M.A.T. 2015, will be helping to build cultural connections

Kennan Daoudi

Kennan Daoudi ’15, who received his Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University, received a Fulbright award to teach English in Algeria.

Congratulations to National Louis University alum Kennan Daoudi, M.A.T. ’15, whose love of teaching, foreign languages and international cultures is taking him far.

Daoudi, 27, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  He will be working with local teachers in Algiers, Algeria at its polytechnic school helping Algerian university students improve their English. His mission also includes strengthening cultural connections between the U.S. and Algerian people.   Continue reading »

NLU Alum Earns NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award Darrell Williams '16 selected by Office of the Secretary of Defense for recognition of his contribution to equal opportunity

(This story was submitted by Darrell Williams and written by Marcus Johnson, public affairs specialist at Defense Information Systems Agency)

NAACP Board Members with NLU alum

NAACP Board Members pose with NLU alum Darrell Williams as he earns NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award

Darrell Williams, chief of military personnel in the DISA Operations Center, received the Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award during the 109th National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Convention in San Antonio July 17.

The award recognizes individuals who distinguish themselves by promoting the tenets of civil and human rights, equal opportunity, human relations and public service.

Williams earned the prestigious award for promoting civil rights, and was honored alongside fellow recipients from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard Bureau.

Continue reading »

Applause! Writing Students’, Alums’ Plays Appear on Chicago Stages Lucy Pabst's short play will appear at Skokie Theater this weekend

Lucy Pabst, a graduate of National Louis University’s M.S. in Written Communication program, will have her short play produced at the Skokie Theater.

The curtain is going up on “Frances, My Mensch,” a short play written by recent National Louis University graduate Lucy Pabst, on Friday, Aug. 17 during a play festival at the Skokie Theater. It is one of three plays written by students or graduates of the M.S. in Written Communication program to be produced recently on Chicago-area stages. Continue reading »