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Veterans and Military Program

General Steve Curda Adds ‘Rock Star’ To His Resume NLU prof and Illinois department director sang onstage with band Cheap Trick

Steve Curda, Ph.D., sang onstage with Cheap Trick’s frontman Rick Nielsen at the band’s recent appearance.

Steve Curda, Ph.D. has an impressive resume. He’s director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. He holds the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army, having returned from commanding the Pacific fleet. And he’s on hiatus from his NLU role as associate professor, teaching courses in Educational Technology and serving as Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Affairs. Continue reading »

Student Veterans Help Others Transition to Civilian Life National Louis University students direct peers to benefits, jobs

Jamal Williams and Keith Reynolds.

National Louis University student veterans Jamal Williams, left, and Keith Reynolds host a table and provide information to help other student veterans transition from the military to civilian life.

Military-connected students at National Louis University know it takes guidance, as well as persistence, to successfully transition from a military career to one in the civilian world.

Some of them tried to bring information and resources for doing so to their fellow students this month. Jamal Williams, Keith Reynolds, Bianca Elmore and LeShawn Daniels staffed a table to welcome student veterans and military-connected students. They are members of the NLU Chapter of Student Veterans of America. Continue reading »

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Recognizes NLU Alum’s Employee Excellence Darrell Williams '16 becomes first DISA employee to win two agency awards in the same year

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

Darrell Williams, Mentor of the Year

DISA Director, VADM Nancy Norton top, poses with NLU alum Darrell Williams as he wins Mentor of the Year

DISA and Joint Force Headquarters – DOD Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN) employees around the world recognized outstanding performance and excellence by military and civilian individuals and teams during the 2017 calendar year.

This year, National Louis University alum Darrell Williams received Mentor of the Year and his branch won Human Capital Support Services Team of the Year.

The annual awards ceremony took place March 29 at DISA Headquarters and was broadcasted using Global Video Services, the agency’s video-teleconferencing solution offered as a DOD enterprise service, allowing employees across the agency to participate. Continue reading »

Meteorologist, U.S. Marine Stacey Dixon Embraces Next Path: Teaching For Women's History Month, we're profiling NLU's Dixon, the Marines' first female science officer

Meet NLU military veteran Stacey Dixon, Ed.D.

U.S. Marine (ret.) Stacey Dixon works in National Louis University’s Veterans Center, where she follows her passion for helping veterans reintegrate into civilian life. After a 21-year military career, mostly as a scientist, she also wants to teach young people life skills, character development and financial literacy in addition to academic subjects. She’s particularly interested in teaching young people in neighborhoods like Chicago’s South side Englewood, where she went to high school at Lindblom Tech.

Stacey, who obtained her doctoral degree in 2015, serves as a great resource to aid NLU’s military-connected students with any question or challenge that might arise.

What prompted you to enter the military?

My brother Oren joined the Marine Corps, and when he came back on leave I admired the way he had transformed into this great person–very confident, determined and focused. I wanted to be that person. He always talked highly of the Marine Corps and what it was doing for him. I wanted to do the traveling and experience the same things he did. Continue reading »

Military-Connected Students Attend Student Veterans of America Conference in Texas They did professional networking, learned about internships, community engagement

Antonio Mannings and three other National Louis University student veterans attended the Student Veterans of America national conference in January in San Antonio, Texas.

Advocating for student veterans was on the minds of four National Louis University students when they traveled to San Antonio, Texas to attend the Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference.

Antonio Mannings, Cole Brewer, LeShawn Daniels and Nina Ellison made the trip in January in order to connect with other veterans, bolster NLU’s chapter and support veterans’ education success. Continue reading »

NLU Veterans Volunteer at Shedd Aquarium’s Veterans Garden

Stacey Dixon, Ed.D., NLU Veterans and Military Program coordinator, from left, Steve Curda, Ph.D.,Special Advisor to the President for Veteran and Military Education and student veteran Thomas Lopez joined in the volunteering at the Shedd veterans garden.

The Shedd Aquarium established a Veterans Garden to honor Chicago-area veterans in the fall of 2015, and veterans, Gold Star mothers and other volunteers have been working since then to cultivate it.

On Nov. 16, NLU’s Veteran Resource Center (VRC) staff, student veterans, and other volunteers joined together for a day of service to prepare the garden for its winter rest. Continue reading »

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 »

Veterans Leader To Receive Honorary Degree at Commencement Steve Goodwin serves as Chair of NLU Veterans Advisory Council



Steve Goodwin will receive an honorary degree at Commencement on June 12 for his extraordinary service to veterans.

An inspiring veteran and business leader who has played a key role in leading National Louis University’s veterans program will receive an honorary degree at Commencement on June 12.

Steven R. Goodwin, senior vice president and portfolio management director at Morgan Stanley, has exemplified service and dedication to veterans and military members. Continue reading »

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 »