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Community Engagement

Voting on National Louis University Campus Up in 2018

National Louis University, along with 1,000 other institutions, participated in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) through the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. The study provides reports to participating colleges and universities, like NLU, which use them to support political learning and civic engagement, as well as to identify and address gaps in political and civic participation. National Louis University reported that student voting on campus was up in last year’s election, increasing to 47.9 percent in 2018 from a rate of 39.1 percent in 2014. The full campus report can be viewed here.

The report is part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or NSLVE, conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. The study shows that nationwide,the voting rates at participating college campuses doubled on average compared to the previous 2014 midterm. In 2018, the Average Institutional Voting Rate (AIVR) among campuses in the study was 39.1 percent, nearly 20 percentage points higher than 2014’s average turnout rate of 19.7 percent. Turnout increases were widespread, with virtually all campuses seeing an increase over 2014.

This report is vital to NLU, indicating an increase in the dedication and engagement of the political sphere by our students. The report provides NLU administrators the data review to implement innovative ways to engage students on a deeper, larger level. National Louis University is committed to educate, promote, and support students’ engagement and commitment to vote. To learn more about this study and other NLU civic engagement within the community, visit the NLU Civic Engagement Center.

Surge Institute, Empowering Leaders of Color, Names NLU’s Perez a Fellow

Alison Regalado Perez, Associate Director of Undergraduate Enrollment and Partnerships in the Undergraduate College, has been named a 2020 Chicago Surge Fellow through the Surge Institute, whose mission is to educate, develop, and prepare leaders of color in the field of education.

The Chicago-based Surge Institute selected 25 young leaders, including Perez, for its yearlong program, which includes executive skill training, leadership development, and exposure to respected leaders and policymakers in education. Fellows will develop their own leadership and advocacy skills and will also complete individual capstone projects.

Perez joined NLU UGC Enrollment team in May 2017, and has since been working to increase enrollment by establishing strong partnerships with college access focused organizations within high school districts. According to Perez, her goal with the partnerships is to “increase awareness of NLU and of all the fantastic supports we offer to students so that they feel confident that NLU is a good fit for them.”

The Surge Institute will deepen Perez’s skills for her NLU career. Perez indicates that she is looking forward to everything she will learn at the institute. “I want to grow my professional skill set and develop my voice and executive presence so that my work can have a deeper and more meaningful impact on students,” Perez said. “I am also looking forward to gaining the resources and supports to meaningfully show up for students every day on every project and be part of a community that supports and guides me to build an education system that will change the lives of young people.”

Congratulations and good luck on this new endeavor, Alison!

Find out more about NLU’s Undergraduate College

See the complete list of 2020 Surge Fellows.

Senator Durbin Visits Dr. Fromm Reed’s Neighborhood Group

The old notion about professors living in an ivory tower is fading fast.

Suzette Fromm Reed, Ph.D., is bringing her expertise in Community Psychology to a forward-thinking Chicago neighborhood organization called the Resilient Belmont Cragin Community Collaborative. Fromm Reed, a researcher and associate professor, developed and formerly chaired National Louis University’s Community Psychology doctoral program.

Recently, Fromm Reed took part as U.S. Senator Dick Durbin visited the Resilient Belmont Cragin group to discuss how it is using a strategy called Community Resilience to help residents cope with difficulties resulting from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Continue reading »

Kendall Chef, Students Demo Sustainable Fish Recipe at Shedd Aquarium

We know you’re wondering, so let’s address this right up front.  The cooking demonstrations at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium do not use any of the actual fish in the Aquarium’s collection.

Instead, Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at National Louis University partners with Shedd Aquarium to demonstrate recipes using species that are sustainably fished. Continue reading »

Mayor-elect Lightfoot Names NLU’s Aarti Dhupelia to Transition Team

Aarti Dhupelia

National Louis University’s Aarti Dhupelia.

Chicago’s Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot has named Aarti Dhupelia, vice president for undergraduate education and dean of the undergraduate college at National Louis University, to Lightfoot’s education transition team.

“I am honored and excited to serve the city in this way, through bringing my own K-12 and higher education perspectives to the table as well as through helping to ensure the voices of our committee and the broader community are heard,” Dhupelia said. Continue reading »

Celebrate Gender Empowerment Month at NLU

Throughout the month of April, National Louis University students, faculty and staff are welcome to join in community-wide events with exciting activities to grow your allyship, understand each other and be empowered by the experiences of others.

Gender Empowerment Month will bring speakers, workshops, and documentaries to campus. Throughout the month, the NLU community will be challenged to grow, engage in enriching discussions and help us celebrate our opportunity to be empowered. Events will take place in Chicago, Wheeling, Goose Island and Lisle. We will also be streaming several events online to allow everyone in our community to participate. 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 »

How To Change the World? Students to Ask Politicians, Activists Two state legislators, two civic activists coming to answer students' questions Feb. 4

Two National Louis University students who want to change the world will facilitate a discussion with Chicago-area leaders who have taken steps to make society better. The Monday, Feb. 4 event will feature Illinois Sen. Robert Peters, a Democrat from the 13th District; Illinois Rep. Lamont J. Robinson Jr., a Democrat from the 5th District; Alex Boutros, a community organizer with the nonprofit Chicago Votes, and Karla Castilla-Morin,  manager of the Issues in Action program with the nonprofit Mikva Challenge. Continue reading »

Video: Prof’s Project Helps Engage Veterans, Prevent Suicides Cari Stevenson says grant-funded project helps veterans express emotions

Veterans in PhotoVoice project.

Three of the veterans in the PhotoVoice project preview a photo. Cari Stevenson ’17, a National Louis University alum and adjunct professor, facilitates the project at Kankakee Community College with a grant from the Movember Foundation.

Click. Robert Perez, a military veteran, takes a gorgeous photo of a river flanked with trees. Click. He takes another of the neat rows of a mid-summer cornfield. Click. And a photo of the faithful brown dog following him around, tongue hanging out.

He’s participating in the PhotoVoice project, which encourages veterans to bond by capturing photo images that have meaning for them. And a new video features Perez, his fellow veteran friends and two National Louis University professors. 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 »