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NLU’s Magazine for Alumni and Friends





Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. Take a moment to notice these three remarkable women


Rose Johnson ‘79 “Thanks, National College of Education”




A Kindergarten Teacher’s Generosity A life defined by altruism


Dean’s Perspective Research advancing classroom practice


Doctorate Prepared Alum to Lead At the first public community college in the U.S.


Dean’s Perspective Faculty who serve and enlighten


Alum Sinks Teeth Into Director Role She defines her leadership in terms of character


NLU Grad Dreams of Fusion Restaurant She mixes business savvy, cutting-edge culture


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National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


Honoring an Icon of National Louis University She stands among the remarkable women who graced this institution


NLU Students: Positioned to Make a Difference Meet three National Louis students


‘Granting’ New Avenues for Impact Helping students succeed in higher ed


P.A.C.E., 30 Years Later Three decades of helping young adults with learning and developmental disabilities



Treasuring NCE Professor identifies NCE’s defining characteristic


What’s New With NLU Alums?


Robert E. Smith ‘13 and ‘15

15 CONTACT website | nl.edu/alumni email | alumni@nl.edu phone | 312.261.3166 facebook.com/nationallouis twitter.com/nlu_alumni instagram.com/nationallouisu

19 National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017



I hope you took a moment to notice the three remarkable women gracing the cover of this issue: Elizabeth Harrison, Edna Dean Baker and Linda Tafel. Many who recognize these individuals and are familiar with their contributions will agree that they have truly impacted the history of this institution, and we celebrate who we are today because of their impact. Others may be unfamiliar with this trio, or perhaps may only know one or two. The reason we are featuring these women together on the cover is their similarities in character, commitment and vision. The depth of their combined influence is boundless. As founder, Elizabeth Harrison set the stage for the significance this University has had on education. She created a college to train women to teach kindergarten primarily in immigrant communities. The seed that she planted in 1886 is flourishing in the programs, partnerships, initiatives and actions of the present.

We welcome you to stay engaged between semi-annual issues of this magazine by visiting nl.edu/alumni.

Her student, assistant, successor and close confidant, Edna Dean Baker, forged the school ahead during difficult political and economic times. She possessed the same pioneering spirit, and under her leadership of nearly 25 years, the school flourished into the National College of Education. Fortune once again fell on our shoulders when just a few decades later, National College of Education had another incredible teacher, visionary, leader and highly respected influencer in its midst. For 33 years, Linda Tafel, Ed.D., dedicated her life to NCE, the education of its students, the advocacy of higher education and the mission of her two role models, Miss Harrison and Miss Baker. I invite you to learn more about Linda in this issue’s, “Honoring an Icon” (pg. 10). “…to learn how to prepare yourselves to serve humanity in a better, wiser, nobler way...” was the challenge Miss Harrison put forth. As president, I have the privilege of witnessing the impact of these women at National Louis and the influence their commitment and actions have had on our students and alumni in creating their own legacies while serving others.

Best regards to all,

Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., President


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017



I decided in about 1973 to return to school 17 years after college in order to fulfill requirements for the Illinois Teaching Certificate. I chose the National College of Education because it had a good reputation of educating teachers and its location in Evanston was excellent for me. At first I was just going to complete the two required courses in the teaching of primary math. After doing well in the two courses taught by the great mathematician, Lola May, Ph.D., I decided I should press on to finish a Master of Education degree with an emphasis on reading. Attending classes at night so that my husband could be with our daughters, it took six years to finish my master’s degree. My teaching certificate and my Reading Specialist certification enabled me to attain positions in both school districts in Evanston, Ill. The latter certification allowed me to teach kindergarten through 12th grade. My students, at all levels, succeeded in acquiring the skills needed at later points in their school careers. My comfort level with my teaching abilities gave me the strength to expand my career into more community work around the education of children. It culminated with my seeking elected office as a school board member twice and board president during my final two years on the board of education of Evanston School District 65. Two of my professors remain my good friends today. Thanks, National College of Education/ National Louis University.

Visit nl.edu/reach National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


A Kindergarten Teacher’s Generosity By Nicholas A. Love

was very aware of each child and what their needs were,” said her sister, Esther Bullock. “She had an awful lot of compliments from parents. Letters, gifts — she was so involved. It just meant a lot to her, the children. She was certainly dedicated.” Perhaps an extension of the dedication to her students, Mary Bullock’s perennial walk to work was never interrupted by howling winter weather. She was always reliably punctual and ready to teach. It was Mary Bullock’s commitment to education that drew her to the National College of Education, where she also received a master’s degree in ’64. “[She was] always interested in early childhood education — that’s why she went to National,” explained her sister.

Mary Bullock ‘54 Mary Bullock ‘54, who passed away in the summer of 2016, lived a life defined by altruism. She dedicated four decades of her life to the kindergarteners at North Elementary School in the Villa Park school system in Dupage County in west suburban Chicago. The attention she gave her students was unparalleled. “She was a very sensitive person. She

“She enjoyed being there. She enjoyed the curriculum — it was what she wanted there, and it met her needs,” recalled Esther Bullock. “She went to all kinds of different places — Hull House [a settlement house in Chicago, Ill.] — she really got a good approach to different kinds of teaching environments.” Mary Bullock left a portion of her estate to the National College of Education. The next generation of NCE-trained teachers will start their own 40-year careers, thanks in part to the generosity of Mary Bullock. “[Mary] liked people and was interested in doing anything she could to help people,” said Esther Bullock.

Are you committed to helping future educators? Call 312.261.3166 to learn more about planned giving.

Mary Bullock, back row, far left, standing with other members of the 1954 Association for Childhood Education at the National College of Education.


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017

SCENES FROM NCE NLU Doctorate Prepared Mitchell to Lead Joliet Junior College By Nicholas A. Love

If you go back nearly


With this issue of the NLU alumni magazine, we celebrate our students, faculty and alumni who inspire leadership and embody the National College of Education’s (NCE) mission to develop excellent educators across their careers. NCE faculty’s unparalleled commitment delivers significant contributions to our classes every day, and the impact extends far further. Faculty research and scholarship is advancing classroom practice, and school and community leadership.

»» Distinguished Professor of Practice Carlos Azcoitia, Ed.D., in

his edited volume, “Creating Engagement Between Schools and Their Communities: Lessons from Educational Leaders” distills lessons from building community partnerships into a series of insightful essays by NLU alumni Francisco Borras ‘06, Karen Carlson ‘82, Judith Dymond ’14 and others. »» Professor Mark Newman, Ph.D., co-authored “Geography as Inquiry: Teaching About and Exploring the Earth as Our Home.” »» An essay by faculty members Ayn Keneman, Ed.D., Sherri Bressman, Ed.D., and their team appeared in “Voices from the Field: Collaborative Innovations in Early Childhood Educator Preparation.” The essay focused on transfer pathways between community college and NLU. We’re building partnerships with schools, districts and educational associations, including new programs in District 214 and Chicago Public Schools, where we are striving to support the need for more special education and ESL/bilingual education teachers. We’re working with the Golden Apple Foundation and other high-impact education reform organizations to support the ongoing development of teachers and leaders across our educational system. Every day, National College of Education students, faculty and alumni make a difference for countless children. We’re looking for help organizing groups of alumni in schools and communities. Interested? Reach out to us and get involved.

Rob Muller, Ed.D., Dean of the National College of Education

two decades, you’ll be able to find NLU alum Judy Mitchell ’12 somewhere at Joliet Junior College (JJC). She originally set foot at the first public community college in the U.S. as a student. Now the president of JJC, she’s leading the very community that fostered and encouraged her growth. In a previous life, Mitchell was a stay-at-home mom on hiatus from a 10-year corporate career. Planning to transition back into full-time work, she enrolled at JJC in order to hone her competitive edge before jumping back into the corporate world. However, instead of moving back to the corporate world like she had planned, she began a whole new career at JJC. She started as an administrative assistant in the mid-1990s and worked her way through a number of promotions. In 2005, she was named director of business and auxiliary services. Those who were around Mitchell during her steady advancement at JJC encouraged her to set higher and higher goals. So when an NLU faculty member was invited to JJC to discuss community college leadership, the encounter eventually led Mitchell to pursue an Ed.D. in Community College Leadership at NLU. The doctoral experience was “intense” but a “perfect fit,” explained Mitchell. “I graduated from NLU in June of 2012 and received a vice-president role in August.” After nearly four years of service as vice president, Mitchell was offered the opportunity to serve as interim president for the junior college. She was appointed as JJC’s ninth president less than a year later. Mitchell is deeply grateful for the opportunity to give back to a community that has given so much to her. “Not only do I work at an institution that has believed in me, but having the opportunity to help and support students of every age is truly a gift like no other,” said Mitchell. “I am proud of our students and our community, and that is what keeps me invested.” National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


SCENES FROM CPSA Alum Sinks Teeth Into Director Role at Prosthodontists’ Association By Nicholas A. Love

NLU alum Linda Caradine-

DEAN’S PERSPECTIVE >> CPSADeansOffice@nl.edu

The College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA) has received some exciting attention over the past months. CPSA professors were featured on major news platforms like CBS 2 News, DNAinfo, “Good Day Chicago” and “Chicago Tonight” for their expertise and commitment to bettering our communities.

»» NLU’s Doug Schreder, Ph.D., an associate professor in the

MBA program, was showcased in the “Who’s Who in Executive Education” feature of the Daily Herald Business Ledger. »» Adjunct professor of criminal justice Cynthia Schumann, Ed.D., was interviewed by DNAinfo for her work educating hotel managers on best-practices for handling domestic violence in hotels. »» Wytress Richardson, Ed.D., associate professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, was featured on Fox 32’s “Good Day Chicago” explaining “Five Signs A Clique Is Making Your Daughter Miserable.” »» In response to the results of 2016’s contentious election, NLU’s Claudia Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology, and Susan Thorne-Devin, LCSW, assistant professor in Counseling, leveraged their expertise by preparing a list of “Tips to Keep the Election Results From Spoiling Your Family’s Thanksgiving,” which was featured in the Chicago Tribune and on WTTW Chicago’s “Chicago Tonight.” You’ve seen our faculty first hand, so you understand when I say that it’s the quality of our instructors that makes CPSA such an exceptional college. All this recognition simply reflects what we already know to be true: our business, human services and social sciences faculty have a wealth of experience and skills to share and a passion to do the work of serving and enlightening everyone they come into contact with — whether it’s in the classroom, in the community or in the newsroom.

Judah Viola, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Advancement


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017

Poinsett, Ph.D., recently took on the role of executive director of the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) in Chicago. It’s one of a string of successes for CaradinePoinsett, who attended NLU for her B.S. in Health Care Leadership in 2005 and her

“I truly believe that my academic experience helped to shape the leader I am today.” MBA in 2007. She has used those two degrees as a launching pad for further education and a career. She earned a Ph.D. and a law degree while taking on roles of increased leadership at prestigious membership associations. Caradine-Poinsett held leadership positions with the College of American Pathologists, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America-Midwest. She also worked as an associate director of an American Bar Association section and as executive director of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. “I was always impressed with many of the professors who taught my classes, mainly because they were in leadership roles within their organizations,” CaradinePoinsett said of her experience at National Louis. “I truly believe that my academic experience helped to shape the leader I am today.” In her newest role at ACP, an international non-profit prosthetic dentistry professional association, she’s focusing her academic and career experience on developing strategy, promoting new technologies and building out professional development. Even with her long list of credentials, Caradine-Poinsett defines leadership primarily in terms of character. “I believe leadership is first, and foremost, about a willingness to serve. In addition, a true leader recognizes that she or he cannot possibly know everything. Therefore, it takes humility to accept that realization and then surround yourself with strong, competent individuals that you trust.”

NLU Grad Dreams of Fusion Restaurant By Nicholas A. Love

Forget everything you think you know about “lunch ladies.” Mix in a dash of business savvy and a splash of cutting-edge culture and you have Gabrielle Aguilar. This recent grad, who holds a B.S. in Management, is a nutrition services manager for a local middle school of around 300 students in Evanston, overseeing a staff of five. She’s responsible for all the business functions of the school’s cafeteria, such as tracking inventory and generating profit and loss reports. It’s impressive, but everything you might expect. What may surprise you is Aguilar’s plan for launching a “total experiential destination” restaurant. “I’ve always been involved in food and beverage and hospitality. Right now, working in the school district, I’m still in nutrition and nutrition services. So the business management program is helping me in my career choice right now. But what I like more is its helping me to plan for my future goals to open my restaurant,” said Aguilar. “It’s helping me with creating a process, from beginning to end, so that I have that end result that is fruitful.” That end result is inspired by Aguilar’s family. Combining her Haitian background with her husband’s Mexican heritage, her dream is to bring these cultures together in a restaurant space that could pass as an art gallery. “Frida Kahlo meets voodoo,” Aguilar joked. Even with all of her skills, all of her determination and all of her vision, Aguilar would not have made it past the hurdle of getting her business degree without support from the very same family that inspired the plans for her restaurant. “Without all of these components, all of these people, all of this support — I wouldn’t be able to do this at all. My aunt, my father, my step-mother and my husband, they’ve really come together to say, ‘We believe in you, we support you and this is how,’” she explained.

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


Incredible Teacher Visionary Historian Dedicated Friend Widely Influential


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


Few have exemplified the essence of National Louis University like Linda Tafel, Ed.D. She stands among the iconic women who graced this institution and made a lasting mark. When the request for stories about Tafel, who passed away in the late spring of 2014, was sent out — responses came pouring in from colleagues who knew her best. By far, there were too many fantastic quotes to print, but what she meant to the NLU community became abundantly clear. Incredible Teacher Tafel dedicated her life to teaching, and 33 years to NLU. And despite holding what seems like nearly every title National Louis had available, she was always a teacher first. Creative, insightful and unflappably positive, colleagues said she had a knack for bringing out the best in people. “When Linda spoke, everyone listened,” explained Educational Leadership assistant professor Linell Monson-Lasswell, Ed.D. Visionary Historian Tafel was an Elizabeth Harrison fanatic. With over two decades of research into NLU’s history, Tafel possessed invaluable historical context covering not only the school’s founder but many of her successors. (“She could tell you every story about every [NLU] president,” mused Dan Buckman, Ed.D., assistant professor in the Educational Leadership program.) Channeling the lessons of innovation she learned from Harrison, Tafel continually pushed for innovative teaching strategies that characterize the National College of Education today. Dedicated Friend In addition to the deep respect Tafel’s colleagues expressed for this hero of NLU, they also shared their deep affection.

She was known to many not only as a mentor, but as a friend. She took a disarming, relational approach to teaching and leadership. It didn’t matter if you were a student or a fellow faculty member — she went out of her way and took the time to connect on a personal level. She had a “dedication to everybody,” expressed Buckman. Widely Influential Not surprising for a woman known for her deep relationships, Tafel was widely well regarded in the educational leadership community. Whether attending an education conference or visiting local school districts, “…many teachers ran up to her so excited to see her. The same thing happened in whatever district she visited,” Monson-Lasswell recalled. In the world of education, it seems Tafel was something of a minor celebrity.

“The world is a better place because Linda Tafel was here. They don’t make too many Linda Tafels.” DAN BUCKMAN, Ed.D. ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, NCE Linda Tafel spent so much of her life deeply immersed in the life of education pioneers like Elizabeth Harrison that she became a heroine of higher education herself. Buckman summarized it best when wrapping up his thoughts about Tafel: “Did Linda have any bad traits? I guess, since she was human — but I can’t think of any.”

Linda Tafel, first row, center, poses with faculty members from the National College of Education.

Linda Tafel speaking to a crowd in Evanston, Ill.

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017



NLU STUDENTS: POSITIONED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE National Louis University alumni and students are among an elite group of difference-makers. Last year, National Louis University’s degree programs in teaching, counseling, psychology, human services, healthcare leadership and more propelled the school to a Money Magazine national list of “10 Colleges Whose Graduates Say They Make the World a Better Place.” Seventy-seven percent of NLU graduates responding to a PayScale.com survey said their careers are meaningful and help others, compared to a national average of 54 percent of all alumni responding to the same survey. While some consider helping others a virtue in itself, research is increasingly indicating that it contributes to overall life happiness, according to PayScale.com surveys and the United Nations’ World Happiness Report research.

KARYN KEENAN National College of Education

CARI STEVENSON College of Professional Studies and Advancement

Meet three National Louis students who are making a difference, finding meaning in their careers and are doing their part to make the world a better, happier place. [Are you making a difference? Email us at alumni@nl.edu to share your story.]


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017

BRYAN CANALES Harrison Professional Pathways Program

Karyn Keenan’s first job as an educator put her in a charter school on the North Side of Chicago and face to face with immigrant and refugee students who represent over 20 world languages. Determined to improve her ability to help these students navigate a new language in a new home, she turned to National Louis in 2012 to fill up her education-skills toolbox with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Keenan is currently working towards an Ed.S. in Administration

When Cari Stevenson, a full-time professor at Kankakee Community College (KCC) in Kankakee, Ill., read about high numbers of U.S. veteran suicides, she resolved to put time and effort into studying more. “I’m an educator, so what can I do?” Stevenson asked herself. Stevenson found her answer in the Ph.D. in Community Psychology program at National Louis. After a grant writing class at NLU, she possessed new skills and $21,000 in grant funding to use

When Bryan Canales’ family moved back to the U.S. from Honduras in 2011, Canales began high school as a freshman with little English language experience. “When you come into a new land, you’re like, ‘Wow, I have to learn the new language. It’s going to be hard for me.’ And it took a while to just learn it.” Canales put in the work to learn English, but he wasn’t sure if he had what it takes to succeed in higher ed. “‘Oh, college is hard!’ Every time people were telling me that or I was hearing that —

and Supervision and teaches at an elementary school in Winnetka, Ill. Although where she teaches has changed, she’s taken her passion for helping students with her. “It’s exciting to see students grow and have the ‘aha!’ moments — whether it is someone who builds up their confidence to participate, or mastering a new skill,” explained Keenan. “I love to see that — that happiness of learning something new and being able to do something new is really cool.” towards veteran services at KCC. That amount was subsequently nearly doubled. Thanks to Stevenson’s grant, her research and the partnerships she built with student veterans, KCC launched a student veterans’ lounge three years ahead of schedule. “For a couple of months, I would go in there and have tears in my eyes, seeing it come to fruition and seeing the students use it,” she confessed.

people were always breaking me down. Should I go to college, should I not?” Thanks to the encouragement of a persistent teacher, Canales, a self-professed “rule follower,” is now in the criminal justice program at National Louis. He wants to become a police officer when he graduates. From his perspective, law enforcement can sometimes get a bad rap. He hopes to help change that.


‘GRANTING’ NEW AVENUES FOR IMPACT What do Computer Information Sciences programming, increased Hispanic representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines, and more first-generation college students graduating and succeeding have in common? They’re all happening at NLU. This will be possible because of a Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) grant and a TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) grant, both from the U.S. Department of Education. NLU received the HSI grant in conjunction with Morton College in west suburban Cicero, Ill., to build University capacity and enhance support for Hispanic youth in Chicago, Cicero and the surrounding communities through coaching, teaching and mentoring students interested in technology-related programs. The grant will allow NLU to establish Computer Information

Sciences (CIS) programming and work with Morton to create a clear, supportive pathway to a bachelor’s degree in this essential STEM area. The EOC grant provides the investment needed to develop support for first-generation students who have left high school but have not yet entered college. Through community-based partnerships in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods of Chicago, NLU will work to increase access to higher education for traditionally underserved, first-generation, and low-income students and veterans who want to succeed in college but don’t have the resources. The support will help them start college, graduate and succeed. It is a badge of honor that NLU received these grants; the selection process is highly competitive. Obtaining these grants shows NLU’s commitment to creating a continuum of support that increases educational equity and opportunity for everyone. National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017





YEARS LATER P.A.C.E students from 1998-1999 lounging around at a beach in Evanston, Ill.

P.A.C.E. at National Louis University was one of the first key players in providing access to a college-like experience for young adults with multiple intellectual, learning and developmental disabilities. Now marking its 30th year, the P.A.C.E. program is considered one of the leading models of its kind. Originally founded as a solution for special education teachers who needed postsecondary options for their students, P.A.C.E. teaches employment preparation, skills for independent living and social development for individuals with multiple disabilities. The program’s academic courses and community-based instruction currently take place in the city of Chicago. The social opportunities and freedoms provided by the robust public transportation system are an added bonus. “The world is our lab,” explained the program’s outreach development specialist, Mallory Pratt. P.A.C.E. has changed locations (originally located in Evanston, Ill.) and instructional methods over 30 years, but the core belief that students have the ability to succeed remains the same. “We really define [student] success as the ‘ability to be independent and take care of yourself, emotionally, physically and financially,’” said Pratt.

500 74% 77%

students served by P.A.C.E at NLU since its start in 1986.

of P.A.C.E. grads are working in paid positions and living independently.

of P.A.C.E. grads report spending time with friends at least once every other week.

“[Our students] learn the beauty of overcoming situations, overcoming stigma, overcoming barriers and challenges in life in a way that makes them feel confident, self-sufficient, builds their self-esteem — I mean, the list goes on and on!” IVA KOLAROV, Ph.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF P.A.C.E. AT NLU P.A.C.E students celebrate at their Annual Spring Formal in 2015.


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


Treasuring the National College of Education By Nicholas A. Love

Jerry Ligon, Ph.D.,

experienced one of the more noteworthy traits of NCE when he was confronted with tragedy during his time at the National College of Education. “When my son died while I was associate dean, I will always remember and appreciate the amount of support and understanding I received by NCE faculty and administration. The faculty truly cares about their students and colleagues,” explained Ligon.

While the National College of Education is known for providing innovative educational practices and student-centered education, it’s the culture of commitment that defines the College, according to Ligon — who spent nearly 20 years with NCE. State and national accreditation teams who came periodically to review the National College of Education would take note of that culture. “Invariably, the people coming to visit NCE were impressed with the faculty and their commitment to students and one another,” recalled Ligon. Recently Ligon committed a generous gift to contribute to the continuing success of the National College of Education. Thanks to him, NCE will continue to provide its unique brand of support to future students — and future colleagues. “The National College of Education was and I hope always will continue to be a unique place,” said Ligon.

“A lot of things come and go in education, but as this college stays committed to the ideas of its founder and progressive education, it will remain a beacon for others.” JERRY LIGON, Ph.D., PROFESSOR EMERITUS National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


NEWS & NOTES 1960s

presented with a 2016 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award for accomplishments in education and dedication to teaching.

Nancy Wehrli Pekarek ‘63, B.A. in Elementary Education, released her seventh children’s book, “Santa’s Team.”

Don Slawinski ‘95, B.S. in Management, ‘02 M.Ad.Ed. and ‘04 M.S. in Managerial Leadership, was featured in Crain’s Chicago Business for his unique work as an in-house instructor at Camcraft, a small manufacturing company in Hanover Park, Ill.

1980s Joy J. Moore ‘82, B.A. in Elementary Education, joined the faculty of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., as an associate professor. Musa Adziba Mambula ‘83, M.S.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, published a new book, “Nigeria: Ethno-Religious And Socio-political Violence And Pacifism In Northern Nigeria.”

Barbara Doyle ‘91, M.S. in Management

Doyle was the recipient of the 2017 Margaret Bancroft Distinguished Leadership Award from the Winston Knolls Education Group. Annette Cannata Heng ‘84, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, is the new senior vice president of school excellence at Primrose Schools, a system of over 300 private preschools in 23 states. Drayton Patterson ‘84, M.S.Ed. in Educational Psychology, was featured in the Chicago Tribune for his contribution to the book “The Road to Success.” Diane Schuch ‘87, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, was named as a social service coordinator at the Crown Center for Senior Living in St. Louis. Evelyn Polk-Green ‘89, B.A. in Early Childhood Education and ‘92 M.Ed. in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy, was featured in Psychology Today for the professional success she has experienced in the face of a diagnosis of ADHD.


Jill Spatz ‘95, M.A.T. in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders, was profiled in the Daily North Shore after launching a line of nutritional bars that supplement fertility treatments. Susan Nations ‘96, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, was appointed as the new principal of Wilkinson Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. Deanne Rotfeld ‘96, M.A.T. in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders, is the new vice president of customer success at Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications that offers digital content services for K-12 classrooms. Kristin Baranski ‘97, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new superintendent for Santee School District in Santee, Calif. David Beer ‘97, M.S. in Management and ‘09 Ed.D. in Community College Leadership, is the new assistant dean for business and career technologies at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Ill. Lori Johnson ‘97, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new director of Ottawa Opportunity School, a private preschool Ottawa, Ill. Jill Kingsfield ‘97, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, ‘01 C.A.S. in Administration and Supervision and ‘13 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new superintendent of Argo High School in Summit, Ill. Dona Svehla ‘97, B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences, was appointed to the Credit Union National Association’s executive committee, tasked with overseeing individual membership organizations within the association. Todd Burleson ‘98, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, was recognized by the School Library Journal with the 2016 Librarian of the Year Award. Stewart Clark ‘98, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, was named park president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island in Tampa, Fla. Judy Minor ‘98, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, was promoted to associate superintendent for Community Unity School District 308 in Kendall County, Ill.


William Walsh ‘99, M.Ed. in Technology in Education, is the new principal of Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Ill.

Robyn Rippel ‘92, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new interim principal for Mill Street Elementary School in Naperville, Ill.


Teresa Williams ‘93, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, was named a 2017 American Business Woman by the American Business Women’s Association.

Donald F. Eslinger ‘00, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, received a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from Seminole State College in Sanford, Fla.

Cece Coffey ‘94, M.Ed. in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy, was honored as the South Cook Elementary Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association.

Kathleen Tomei ‘00, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new principal of Pleasantdale Elementary School in La Grange, Ill.

Greg Ramon ‘94, B.A. in Management, is the new CEO of Little Rock Wastewater in Little Rock, Ark.

Shawna Cooper-Gibson ‘01, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new dean of students for the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

Audrey Woods ‘94, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, was

Keisha L. White ‘01, M.Ad.Ed., was named a 2016 Thomas Lakin

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017

>> What’s new with you? Send an email to alumni@nl.edu and share your news. Institute for Mentored Leadership Fellow by the President’s Round Table, a network of African-American community college leaders. Tom Reidy ‘02, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, was appointed as president/principal of Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Brad Carter ‘03, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and ’16 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new principal at Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Ill. Andre Cowling ‘03, M.A.T. in Elementary Education and ‘07 M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new chief of schools for Baltimore City Public Schools. Laura Rupert ‘03, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new principal at Frisco Elementary School in Frisco, Colo. Ella Allen ‘04, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, received a Servant’s Heart Award from the Georgia Children’s Cabinet, the child welfare advisory body for the state of Georgia. Jennifer De Jong ‘04, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Jones-Farrar Magnet School in Freeport, Ill. Javette Simmons ‘04, MBA, is now the senior human resources business partner at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Raymond Woodie ‘04, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, joined the football coaching staff at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., as the special teams coordinator.

the new executive director of the Foundation for Dreams, a nonprofit camping program in Bradenton, Fla., for children and teens with special needs and terminal illnesses. Craig Winkelman ‘06, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new assistant superintendent of secondary schools and student services at Barrington School District 220 in Barrington, Ill. Christine Zelaya ‘06, C.A.S. in Administration and Supervision and ‘16 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, was announced as the new principal of Holmes Elementary School in Oak Park, Ill. Stella Miranda ‘07, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new associate principal of Rufus King International High School in Milwaukee, Wis. Steven J. Thompson ‘07, M.S. in Management, was promoted to deputy chief of police for the Prince William County Police Department in northern Virginia. Scot Gillespie ‘08, B.S. in Management Information Systems, is now the vice president and chief technology officer for The Washington Post.

Liz Dozier ‘08, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision

Josh Hjorth ‘05, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new varsity football coach at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill. Elisa Maldonado ‘05, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, ‘11 C.A.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, and ‘12 M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new principal of Myers-Wilkins Elementary in Duluth, Minn. Nich Radcliffe ‘05, B.A. in Theatre Arts, directed performances of “Bleacher Bums,” a play depicting a collection of devoted Chicago Cubs fans. Gary Scott ‘05, B.S. in Management, is the new public works director for the city of Ottawa, Ill. Dana Simmons ‘05, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and ‘16 Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Adams Elementary School in Janesville, Wis. Christopher Basten ‘06, M.A.T. in Elementary Education, is the new principal of Aspen Elementary School in Aspen, Colo. Cynthia Jordan-Ford ‘06, B.S. in Management, is now the vice president and general manager of the U.S. and Latin America branches of Cogeco Peer 1, an enterprise information technology company. Erick Pruitt ‘06, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and ‘14 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new chief school officer for the southern region of the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas. Jeffrey Sevener ‘06, M.A.T. in Secondary Education, was a featured artist at the Morpho Gallery in Chicago last winter. Jared Smith ‘06, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa.

Dozier provided her expertise in a CNN interview about the complicated problems surrounding violence in Chicago. Connie Russell Gorum ‘08, B.S. in Management, recently had her small business selected for a U.S. Trade Mission to Azerbaijan and announced a new partnership with the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce in Laurel, Md. Scott Grens ‘08, M.A.T. in Secondary Education and ‘12 M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Rutledge Hall Elementary School in Lincolnwood, Ill. Daniel Hammer ‘08, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, was appointed to the board of directors for CNY Arts, Inc., an organization that provides grants to artists and cultural organizations across six counties in central New York. James Held ‘08, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, retired from his role as police chief after 31 years with the police department in Lake Forest, Ill. Yaa Appiah ‘09, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal at Weber Elementary School in Iowa City, Iowa. Alicia Kroher ‘09, Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal at Opp Middle School in Opp, Ala. Tony Miksa ‘09, Ed.D. in Community College Leadership, is the new president of Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn.

Elena Tomeo-Cassella ‘06, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017


NEWS & NOTES 2010s

Brian Melvin ‘12, M.S. in Counseling, is the new head football coach at Central High School in Burlington, Ill.

Michelle Cooney ‘10, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Evanston, Ill.

Geraldine Palmer ‘12, Ph.D. in Community Psychology, had her research featured in the official blog of the US Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Sargy Letuchy ‘10, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, recently published a compilation of Common Core instructional tools. Sarah Marion ‘10, M.A.T. in Elementary Education, is the new executive director of the Manteno Chamber of Commerce and event planner for the Village of Manteno, Ill. Mark Mrozinski ‘10, Ed.D. in Community College Leadership, was awarded the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.

Kristina Stingle ‘12, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new orchestra teacher for Lakeridge High and Lakeridge Junior High in Lake Oswego, Ore. Shari Elfline ‘13, M.A.T in Secondary Education, is the new monitor/ student support assistant at the Washington County Career Center, a high school and technical training provider in Marietta, Ohio. Dorothy Ewing ‘13, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal of Sikes Elementary School in Lakeland, Fla. Chris Grays ‘13, Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal for Oswego East High School in Oswego, Ill.

Margaret Lindman ‘50, B.A. in Elementary Education

Lindman, who was an alumna, professor and Reach Award winner, passed away in the fall of 2016. Heather Wittenauer ‘10, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and ‘16 Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal at Jefferson Elementary School in Sterling, Ill. Adela Crandell Durkee ‘11, M.S. in Written Communication, recently published two books, “A Ship of Pearl” and “The Fable of Little Tzurie.”

Robert Emmett Smith ‘13, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences and ‘15 M.S. in Written Communication, was featured in the Chicago Tribune for his new book, “Justice Delayed, Not Justice Denied.” Jason Pascavage ‘14, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new principal of Bolingbrook High School in Bolingbrook, Ill. Kimberly Henderson ‘15, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, was featured in DNAinfo Chicago for her school improvements as the new principal of Oglesby Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side. Paul Sally ‘15, Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new superintendent of New Trier Township High School District 203 in Winnetka, Ill. Tequila Kurth ‘16, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new principal of Stephen Bull Fine Arts Elementary School in Racine, Wis.

Bella Elsawaf ‘11, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal of Adolph Link and Frederick Nerge elementary schools in Community Consolidated School District 54, based in Schaumburg, Ill.

In Memoriam

Luke Lawson ‘11, M.A.T. in Secondary Education, is the new guidance counselor at Hamilton Junior/Senior High School in Hamilton, Ind.

Margaret Lindman ‘50, B.A. in Elementary Education

Jennifer Pozzani ‘11, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, was inducted into Concordia College’s Athletic Hall of Fame for her performance in basketball and softball.

Nancy Higbee Pollock ‘43, B.A. in Elementary Education Charlotte Laadt Tyksinski ‘55, B.A. in Elementary Education

Norma Stukenberg ‘85, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences Anastasia M. Feldmann ‘90, B.A. in Elementary Education

Jackie Samuel ‘11, M.A. in Public Policy and ‘15 Ph.D. in Community Psychology, appeared on WCIU-Channel 26 to discuss safety and quality of life in the far Southeast side of Chicago.

Michael Eldon Peterson ‘90, M.S. in Management

Tracy M. Stevenson-Olson ‘11, Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision and ‘16 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new director of teaching and learning for the Wilmot Union High School in Wilmot, Wis.

Janice M. Anderson ‘96, B.A. in Liberal Arts Studies

Carol Keene Baker ‘12, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new superintendent for Lyons-Brookfield Elementary School District 103 in Lyons, Ill.

Phyllis Magida ‘98, M.Ed. in Science Education

Kristin Kopta ‘12, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new superintendent for Pennoyer School District 79 in Harwood Heights, Ill.

Corine C. Clinton ‘93, M.Ed. in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders Nancy Harrison Winton ‘96, M.Ed. in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy David C. Wayne ‘00, B.A. in Elementary Education Robert ‘Bob’ Spunar ‘01, B.S. in Management David Steiner ‘09, Ed.D. in Curriculum and Social Inquiry Angela McLaurin ‘14, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017

FINAL GLANCE ”I would tell anybody, whoever wants to come to National Louis — go for it. You can’t go wrong. The instructors are great, you’re going to meet good people here and it’s a great experience. And once you get your degrees, it only goes up from there.” Robert E. Smith ‘13 and ‘15, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences and M.S. in Written Communication

INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT Carole Wood, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Genti Basha, Research and Prospect Analyst Karen Galea, Director of External Funding and Grant Development Danielle LaPointe, Director of Advancement Services Sandy Injerd, Institutional Advancement Coordinator Leslie Villasenor, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Brittany Yantos, Associate Director of Annual Fund National Louis University VIEW Nicholas A. Love | Managing Editor James Richards IV | Staff Photographer Contributors Rose Johnson ‘79 Meghan Ryan

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2017





Office of Institutional Advancement 122 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60603-6162

REVIEWING OUR LEGACY Looking Back on Words from NLU’s Founder By Meghan Ryan Elizabeth Harrison dedicated her life to building an institution designed to influence the educational landscape locally and nationally. Her passion for teaching children led to the creation of the Chicago Kindergarten College (predecessor of National Louis University), a place in which space was carved out for women wanting to pursue their own quest for education. The following excerpt is from Elizabeth Harrison’s opening address to students on September 28, 1907, at the start of a new school year. It was printed in the Autumn 1907 issue of the “Chicago Kindergarten College Alumni News”: “Vacation days are over and a new era has begun in the life of each of us, for we cannot begin new relationships without beginning a new epoch in our character building. I take it for granted that every student who today sits before me is here to develop character. You are certainly here to learn how to prepare yourselves to serve humanity in a better, wiser, nobler way, and to do that, more and more of true, rational and useful character must be developed. So over and above all things else in your work here is the constant testing of new skill, new enthusiasm, and new insight by the translating of these into conduct. ‘To Serve,’ and to serve always better and more, is the keynote to your work here as it is the keynote to all noble living…”

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National Louis University VIEW Spring 2017  

National Louis University VIEW Spring 2017  

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