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NLU’s Magazine for Alumni and Friends




Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. Who we really are and how we are on the move




Ignacio Lopez ‘04 NLU taught me these foundational principles

SCENES FROM NCE The National College of Education



Dean’s Perspective Advancing the incredibly satisfying job of teaching

SCENES FROM CPSA The College of Professional Studies and Advancement


Homegrown Activist Leads Hometown District NLU grad appointed to Evanston school board


Dean’s Perspective Celebrating our educational community


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National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018


Chasing the Stars Astronomy and Education: Combining the best of both worlds


Educated and Informed Speakers inspire students and the general public


Making Your Gift Right Now is Easy


2017 Military Friendly School Recent stories from our military community


What’s New With NLU Alums?




Marie Whelan ‘99 AND ‘16

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 2018



A bold problem solver. A positive deviant. A tackler of challenges. A higher-ed innovator. It gives me pride to hear these colloquial expressions used to describe National Louis University, but it is the act of these traits, the execution of these attributes, that affirm who we really are and how we are on the move. This is a period of exceptional innovation in every respect at NLU — from program delivery models, to a relentless focus on learning and outcomes, to the way we organize ourselves academically and administratively. We are increasingly recognized as an innovative problem solver focused on post-secondary attainment, educator preparation and strong professional programming across a broad array of disciplines. Dubbed a Gates Foundation’s “positive deviant,” we don’t even flinch when tackling contemporary challenges in the ever-evolving landscape of higher education. We believe that it is important to serve adult learners, and to do so well means we have to understand their needs. Accordingly, we expanded our program modalities. Additional quality online programming to address the complex and competing priorities that our adult learners must juggle was created. To balance the need for flexibility and connection with colleagues and peers, we are introducing the new “Weekend Center” where programs will meet monthly and work online between sessions thus providing the adult learner the best of both worlds — online flexibility, and face-to- face networking. We are committed to our core strength in educator preparation and ensuring that there is a pipeline of great teachers available for our nation’s children. To this end, we continue our work within the National College of Education to re-envision teacher preparation with a competency focused, field-intensive approach that has teachers ready to handle a classroom on day one. I invite you to read more about this in this issue’s Advancing the Incredibly Satisfying Job of Teaching by NCE Dean Robert Muller.

Best regards,

Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. President


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

We believe in providing affordable options for students to pursue their educational aspirations. Work is progressing on a new and innovative undergraduate college that provides access to quality, affordable education for all students, through a flipped and adaptive learning model, strong individualized support, and a focus on developing a wellrounded professional who is career ready at graduation. We have expanded programs to included computer and information systems, online early childhood education programs, business, and social sciences, among others.

We invite you to stay engaged between semi-annual issues of this magazine by visiting nl.edu/alumni Through all this change, our institution continues its unwavering tradition of focusing on student success and the impact on the communities we serve. The achievements of the past year exemplify the many ways that our talented faculty and staff advance our institutional commitments and values. I hope you find the stories and perspectives in this magazine a reminder of the power of extending opportunity to all who seek to better themselves through education. I consider it an honor to steward an institution that is committed to equity and advancing social and economic mobility for students, but it is the support of our larger community that will truly move us forward. You, our alumni and friends, play a key role in the future of this commitment. Join me in showing our students your support by making a gift. And through the generosity of some of our donors who are willing to match dollars raised, your donation will double its impact. What more direct way to say you believe in our students and their future?


STANDING ON THESE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES I am grateful to National Louis University for assisting me in my education. NLU provided for me a strong foundation from which to stand as a leader and educator. I first learned about NLU when my father was completing his M.S. in Management degree. Later, my sister attended NLU to complete her teaching degree. Choosing to be a high school teacher early in my career, I turned to NLU. The University not only helped to educate me in best practices for serving high school students, but the faculty helped me land my first teaching assignment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). When I learned of the many inequities that persisted in the lives of some of my CPS students, I decided to go back to NLU to finish my doctoral degree in educational psychology. The training, critical thinking and scholarly habit of mind I received from the faculty lives in me today. The skills I learned and passion I have for education stems from the expert training I received at NLU. Today as president of Harold Washington College, I am reminded that NLU not only helped me achieve my goals for serving our

communities through education in the city of Chicago, but the leadership training, mentoring and coaching I received while also employed at NLU allowed me to be ready to take on the challenges of being a college president. The challenges we all face in higher education are allied with similar challenges we see in the K-12 space. Social conditions often affect the realities of our students, and often those realities manifest themselves in our school spaces. When this happens, and when interventions are needed, we as educators and as leaders need to assist in the design of interventions that are culturally relevant and responsive. All students deserve an opportunity to be educated in schools and colleges where the teachers and professors care about them holistically — inclusive of their culture, religion and identity. We are experts in our content, but we need to continue to be experts in humanity and empathy. We should continue to hold ourselves accountable for enacting the values that we care so much about in education. These are the foundational principles that NLU has taught me and that I carry forward as college president of Harold Washington.

Ignacio Lopez, Ed.D. — Interim President, Harold Washington College 2004 M.A.T. in Secondary Education 2009 Ed.D. in Educational Psychology/Human Learning and Development 2012 MBA

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018



ADVANCING THE INCREDIBLY SATISFYING JOB OF TEACHING Colleges of education are facing some of the same challenges as other higher education institutions. The National College of Education is no different. Robert D. Muller, Ed.D., dean of the NCE, addresses how NCE is working to overcome the obstacles facing educators in an age of uncertainty.

NLU VIEW: We’ve heard and read a lot about the challenges facing higher education today. How do these pressures play out in the National College of Education?

RM: The work of preparing educators is closely tied to what is going on in our schools and the needs of students. Our primary challenge is attracting qualified candidates into the teaching profession, and then helping them get into schools and advance through their careers. It is a challenge, but there are also opportunities. Teaching is a tough job, but what we hear from our alumni is that it is also an incredibly satisfying one. If you really want to have a big impact on your community, become a teacher and advance in the education profession. There are lots of options and pathways. Our job is to help today’s and tomorrow’s educators ensure that all our kids have the ability to achieve the promise of a top-notch education.

NLU VIEW: What is NCE’s vision? RM: Well, it isn’t going to happen overnight. But we are blessed with an amazing team of faculty, staff, students

and alumni to lead the charge. We believe that every child deserves a great teacher — and to accomplish that goal, we need to provide the leadership that creates highperforming education institutions. We say our work is to inspire, prepare, advance and lead.

NLU VIEW: Can you talk about NCE’s teacher preparation model?

RM: We’re expanding the lessons from our Adaptive Cycles of Teaching model across our undergraduate and master’s degree education curriculum. We’re shifting our curriculum over time to a practice-based approach to better emphasize not just what candidates know but also what they can do in the field. We’re expanding the clinical experiences our students pursue, reinforcing the roles of those who work as mentors and coaches as our candidates become new teachers. I’m proud to say close to 100% of our teacher preparation candidates have succeeded on the edTPA exam. That’s the goal: licensure and employment.

Inspire, Prepare, Advance and Lead u Inspire individuals to commit to careers in education. u Prepare exemplary new teachers with a particular focus on high-needs schools and content.

u Advance opportunities for educators — novice to master teachers, teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, school psychologists, counselors and others who make schools work — to achieve throughout their career.

u Lead not only in the preparation of school and


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

district leaders individually but in the creation of the systems and environments that foster educational excellence.

SCENES FROM NCE The National College of Education

NLU VIEW: What about opportunities for educators who want to seek additional skills?

RM: Innovation and leadership are central to the identity

RM: Over 60% of our students in the National College of Education are educators seeking to advance their careers. We also have developed coursework that leads to Illinois endorsements in areas like ESL, special education, reading and technology. We recently streamlined our M.Ed. programs — fewer degrees and more majors, so students can create their own pathways. And we’re launching a Learning Sciences Education program, with a strong educational technology core, in recognition of the importance of understanding how we learn and teach in different contexts and with different tools.

“One of the really miraculous things that I think is true of the philosophy of National Louis University is that everything we learn in class is applied to what we are doing in our real jobs.” —Carla Sparks NCE alumna

NLU VIEW: What does the future hold? of NLU, so the College has consistently engaged in close collaboration with our partner schools and districts. For example, we’re working with CPS to launch a new residency program for bilingual education professionals to pursue their teaching licenses and will continue working with area districts, independent schools and non-profit organizations to prepare and support teaching and learning. Additionally, our endorsements are offered fully online, with pathways to a degree, providing students with a lot more flexibility and opportunity for students who aren’t close to one of our campuses.

“Choosing NCE to pursue my master’s degree was the best decision that I ever made; I am proud of the confidence I gained as a leader in the classroom.” —Lexi Beesley NCE recent grad

“We have an opportunity to give back to the future leaders of tomorrow, because you never know — one of the future leaders could be an instructor or administrator of a school of one of my grandchildren.” —Rosita Riley, NCE adjunct faculty member

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018


SCENES FROM CPSA The College of Professional Studies and Advancement

HOMEGROWN ACTIVIST LEADS HOMETOWN DISTRICT NLU grad appointed to D65 school board in Evanston

By Nicholas A. Love

Rebeca Mendoza ’17, M.A. in Psychology, is a

community activist who is devoted to the well-being of her hometown. She was recently appointed to the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education. “After graduating from college, I returned home to see that many of the disparities in my own community had not changed. Specifically, the ongoing achievement gap for our students of color,” she said. “This is my community, and I care deeply about it. I am a product of the District 65 school system.” Mendoza brings this wealth of experience to her new board position and will apply her unique perspective as a community activist in order to “support highquality education and equitable learning environments” for District 65 students. Part of that perspective as a community-oriented leader means Mendoza plans to reach out to parents and neighbors “to become advocates for student advancement and well-being.” As a board member, Mendoza anticipates some successful collaboration with leaders in Evanston and Skokie as well. “As a member of the city/school liaison committee, I get to work with our local government to collaborate on shared goals. I’m looking forward to work on that committee,” she said. Mendoza, while searching for the right master’s degree, 8

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

“I feel better equipped to promote mental health and community wellbeing, engage in action-oriented research to develop, implement, and evaluate programs, and build collaborative relationships with community members, groups and organizations to solve social problems.” —REBECA MENDOZA ’17 was originally drawn to National Louis University because of the reputation and flexibility of the M.A. in Psychology program. NLU’s master’s degree in psychology enables Mendoza to translate academic knowledge into practical action in her community work. “[My degree] allowed me to sharpen my knowledge of psychology and the ways I can apply it in my everyday life. As an aspiring community psychologist, it has brought me closer to that goal,” she explained. “I feel better equipped to promote mental health and community well-being, engage in actionoriented research to develop, implement and evaluate programs, and build collaborative relationships with community members, groups and organizations to solve social problems.” Mendoza is eager to start work with her fellow board members. “The great part of being on a board is that you are part of a team. Each one brings their own skill set to contribute. I’m very fortunate to be part of such a talented and committed board,” she shared.

DEAN’S PERSPECTIVE >> CPSADeansOffice@nl.edu

At the College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA), we’re welcoming new faces as we continue to grow the breadth and depth of our programs and professional preparation offerings. I am thrilled to introduce three new wonderful full-time faculty colleagues to CPSA. The M.S. in Human Resource Management and Development and M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology programs have gained a director in Janice Nilsen, Ph.D., our Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership hired its founding director Nathaniel Cradit, Ph.D. and our M.S. in Counseling program brought on Baheia Derweesh, Ed.D. The college faculty and I are so excited to have this new talent to guide our students. While we do make a practice of welcoming in our new colleagues, we spent an entire month celebrating the quality of our established educational community. Back in February, we held our annual faculty appreciation month, culminating in a reception in Chicago on March 9. The most exciting part of the entire process is the feedback and the affirmation our faculty receives from those in our alumni community whose lives have been changed by CPSA instructors.


See the rest of the gold medals at nl.edu/facultyappreciation

Danny McGuire is a great professor. He is easy to reach and always willing to help. He uses his past experience to make classes interesting but doesn’t lose focus on teaching. He is one of the best professors I’ve ever had!

Jamine Dettmering’s classes are informative, engaging and fun and I look forward to them every week! Her passion… is contagious and I’m very happy she is my first professor for this program!

Professor Julia Borcherts is a wonderful and very positive instructor. I learned a lot in a short amount of time. She was always encouraging and willing to work with her students. Thank you!

Brad Olson is a phenomenal professor! His teaching strategy is an art. His ability to make learning comfortable and easy is magical.

This year, in light of the Olympics, we invited alumni to give “gold medals” celebrating the impact of our faculty on their lives. Institutionwide, our faculty received nearly 100 notes from grateful graduates! It’s those reminders of the positive experiences and memories our community has built together that help our dedicated faculty remain inspired and motivated. As a CPSA community, we encourage one another to educate, support and grow the quality of our practices. The encouragement we give each other as colleagues is tremendous, but the encouragement you provide as alumni is paramount. Thank you for all your support, and we look forward to many new opportunities to celebrate one another.

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

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018



CHASING THE STARS Alum’s mix of astronomy and education is out of this world. By Nicholas A. Love

Some people spend their whole childhood chasing after gold stars in school. Michelle Nichols ’02 wasn’t interested in the stickers on her tests — she was looking up at the night sky. Nichols’ life-long passion for astronomy took off when she first saw the 1980s PBS series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” narrated by American astronomer Carl Sagan. “It changed my life,” she recalled. Her family soon purchased a membership to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and began visiting regularly. And unlike some childhood dreams of space, Nichol’s dedication to astronomy did not waver as she grew up — while in high school she attended a space camp in Huntsville, Ala., and during her college years she volunteered at the Staerkel Planetarium in Champaign, Ill. Her Start at Adler Nichols’ career in astronomy began with an internship, like many careers do. But her story is not what you think. She applied for an internship opening at the Adler Planetarium and was asked to sit for an interview, but the selection committee decided to go with a different candidate. Exercising some well-honed interview etiquette, Nichols sent a thank you letter to Adler expressing her gratitude for the interview and her continued interest in any future openings. A couple weeks later, she received a phone call: there was a new opening at Adler. Once again, she sat for an interview. Only this time, she was offered a position with the planetarium. 10

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

Over 22 Years Later Now Nichols is the director of public observing, part of the Astronomy Department at Adler. And her list of responsibilities is extensive. She supervises Adler’s sky observing and telescope observing programs, manages the Doane Observatory, leads the ‘Scopes in the City outreach program and the telescope facilitation volunteer program, and helps with special observing programs when there’s something interesting or unique happening in the sky. The list goes on. She also acts as a liaison for media, journalists and major publications interested in the Adler’s expertise, works with her peers to plan future exhibits and conducts telescope training workshops. It’s a daunting list of tasks, but you wouldn’t know it the way Nichols talks about her work: “It’s fun basically every day,” Nichols explained.

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis Nichols came to Adler with an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. She wanted to go further — but not further into astronomy. She needed something that would help her translate her extensive knowledge in a way that resonated with the general public. National Louis University (NLU) provided the solution she was looking for. Nichols utilized NLU’s multiple locations in order to help accommodate her busy schedule, and after putting in a few classes here and there over a number of years, she graduated in 2002 with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. Her new degree provided Nichols with a tool box of education skills to complement her expertise in astronomy. “Having both degrees allows me to, in essence, straddle both

worlds to figure out the best way to explain astronomical concepts so that the public will understand — and hopefully they will get excited about the new information too,” she explained. The Black Sea: An Adler Voyage Cosmos wasn’t the only voyage that changed Nichols’ life. Back in 1999, Nichols went on a Black Sea cruise visiting Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Greece — care of the Adler Planetarium. She was part of a large group of about 200 people, including families with children, who planned to experience that year’s total solar eclipse and Perseid meteor shower. Nichols was tasked with providing exciting educational activities throughout the week-long voyage. Of all the fun she has at Adler, this trip tops her list. “Yes, I really did get to go on a cruise for my job! And yes, we did see the solar eclipse and the Perseid meteor shower. It was an amazing opportunity,” Nichols reminisced. National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018




The College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA) works to bring interesting and relevant speakers to inform, encourage and inspire the NLU community and general public. At the end of 2017, CPSA hosted two major events: the Immigration Policy Forum and Restoring and Healing Communities: Searching for Sustainable Pathways to an Equitable City. These events showcased high-level speakers presenting topics relevant at the national level as well as more locally to the state of Illinois. These presentations and discussions with policy experts hold true to the spirit of innovation and excellence at this University and come at a critical time as our Nation continues to move, shift and change. Juliana Stratton, Illinois state representative and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 2018 election.

RESTORING AND HEALING COMMUNITIES NLU’s Applied Behavioral Sciences faculty invited Illinois state representative Juliana Stratton to present as part of their speaker series. More than 150 people attended, including students, community representatives, faculty, staff and interested citizens. After earning her law degree, Stratton felt mediation could result in greater justice than the court system, so she started a mediation firm, resolving disputes such as workplace discrimination cases. She became interested in restorative justice and trained in facilitating peace circles, the key tool used to achieve restorative justice. That’s the framework through which she views every piece of legislation, she explained. 12

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

Professor Ericka Mingo, Ph.D., discusses restorative justice with Juliana Stratton.

Tanya Cabrera of the Illinois Dream Fund and Susan Yanun of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association respond to questions as part of an immigration policy panel.

IMMIGRATION POLICY FORUM Democratic nominee for Congress Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, pictured at left, and Clarisol Duque, director of U.S. Senator Richard Durbin’s Chicago office, were among the community leaders speaking at the Immigration Policy Forum in December 2017. Panelists discussed current U.S. immigration policy, immigration bans, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), reform, advocacy and student-led movements, among other issues. Additional participants included Tanya Cabrera and Jonathan Lopez of the Illinois Dream Fund, Jaime Leal of The Southwest Organizing Project, Susan Yanun of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Tran Nguyen from Sen. Durbin’s office and Brad Olson, Ph.D., chair of the Society for Community Research and Action’s Immigration Task Force and an NLU assistant professor in the Community Psychology department. Democratic nominee for Illinois’ 4th congressional district Jesus “Chuy” Garcia speaks on immigration.

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018



Adaptive Cycles of Teaching and the National College of Education

MAKING YOUR GIFT RIGHT NOW IS EASY Your Gift Changes Lives Whether it’s a large or small gift, all support directly benefits NLU’s extraordinary students. People come to National Louis because we offer unparalleled access to higher education. Continuing to offer unparalleled access to high-quality college degrees is critical to fostering growth in our communities. Giving ensures that NLU students receive the resources they need to become thriving alumni.

The Many Ways You Can Support NLU Students Pathways at NLU and the Undergraduate College

u Check or Credit Card You can support the University’s greatest needs with an unrestricted gift, or you may designate your gift to support a specific initiative by making a gift online on our secure website or by mailing a check payable to National Louis University.

u Securities A gift of securities is an easy way to contribute to NLU and may result in special tax savings. Consult with your financial advisor if you’re considering using securities to support the University.

u Planned Gifts Including NLU in your estate plans through

Path to Academics, Community and Employment (P.A.C.E)

a bequest, trust, retirement plan or other form, leaves a meaningful legacy for generations to come. Some planned gifts even provide income for yourself or for a loved one and significant tax advantages.

u Personal Property There can be tremendous benefits to donating your home, vacation home or collectible to the University.

u Gifts-in-Kind NLU can benefit significantly through in-kind gifts such as office equipment or professional services such as printing or consulting.

u Matching Gifts Many employers will match charitable contributions made by their employees or even retirees. This is a tremendous way to increase the impact of your gift.

Supportive Scholarships for deserving students


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

Scan the code to learn more about our NLU students who need your support for college success.


Out of all the institutions of higher learning in the state of Illinois, just under less than half hold the Military Friendly® designation. We have once again received that Military Friendly® designation, marking NLU as an institution that serves and supports our veterans and the military community. Below are two of the most recent stories from our veterans and military community here at National Louis University.

Military-Connected Students Attend Student Veterans of America Conference in 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 earlier in the year in order to connect with other veterans, bolster NLU’s chapter and support veterans’ education success. They also saw it as a professional development opportunity and a chance to network with other chapters, corporations, businesses and military friendly organizations. “I was fortunate enough to return with educational information on scholarships, internships, and fellowships but also support services, community organizations and the like that are available to veterans and veteran students across the country,” said Mannings, who is pursuing a doctorate in education and works as the Planning and Operations Manager for NLU’s Provost Office. Mannings is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served as a security forces journeyman. “I am a proud veteran and proud to have represented the university at such a great event,” he said.

Student Veterans of America is focused on addressing the needs and concerns of veterans and military members in higher education. The NLU SVA chapter has formed to provide peer-to-peer networks for veterans and military members. The chapter is designed to be an advocate for student veterans and to help bridge the campus-to-career transition. It conducts community outreach, facilitates preprofessional networking and provides resources for student veterans in higher education.

NLU Veterans Volunteer at Shedd Aquarium’s 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. Last fall, NLU’s Veteran Resource Center staff, student veterans and other volunteers joined together for a day of service to prepare the garden for its winter rest. NLU’s veterans’ community joined with other volunteers for the fall gardening event. The Veterans Garden is located on the Shedd’s north terrace overlooking Lake Michigan and offers a wonderful vantage point of the city skyline.

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018


Learn more about this annual celebration of our outstanding alumni by visiting nl.edu/reach



Please join us in this celebration of alumni and spotlight of new and exciting work at our University. Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | 6:00PM | The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

NEWS & NOTES 1970s Andrew Clements ’72, M.A.T., recently published a new novel titled “The Losers Club” about a young boy who gets in trouble for reading too much in school. Cherie Raffel ‘72, B.A. in Elementary Education and Art and Social Science, was featured by The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery at the Waukesha Civic Theatre in Wis. as part of the Rogues Gallery.

Chuck Reed ‘92, M.S. in Management, was featured in Pharmaceutical Online explaining the impact of a recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration. Steve Sellers ‘92, B.A. in Management, is the new interim chief of police for Harrisonburg, Va. Candace Armstrong ‘93, B.A. in Management, was recognized in the WOW! Spring 2017 Flash Fiction Contest for her short story, “Chance.”


Richard Mark ‘93, M.S. in Management, is a new member of the board of directors for the Tenet Healthcare Corporation, based in Dallas, Texas.

Edwin Eisendrath ‘83, M.A.T. in Elementary Education, led the investment group which purchased the Chicago Sun-Times.

April Capuder ‘94, B.A. in Elementary Education, is the new principal of Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Ill.

Peter Hilton ‘84, M.A.T. in Elementary Education, was named in Marquis Who’s Who, an annual directory containing short biographies. Cynthia Ruszkowski ‘85, M.S. in Management and Development of Human Resources, will retire this year from 22 years as a faculty member at Illinois State University, in Normal, Ill.

Denise Leitch Jackson ‘95, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, was selected as a featured art expert and consultant by VELVENOIR, an international art curation services firm.

Angelia Millender ‘87, M.S. in Management and Development of Human Resources, is the new president of Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn. Barbara Provost ’89, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences and 1991 M.S. in Management, was featured on the National Louis University Blog discussing her road to career success.

1990s Richard Pruitt ‘90, B.A. in Management, is the new vice president of environmental operations at Carnival Cruise Line.


National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

Jill Gildea ’92, M.Ed. in Language and Literacy, is the new superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, Conn.

NEWS & NOTES Lt. Col. Joseph Raczkowski ‘95, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new principal of De La Salle Institute, a private Catholic high school in Chicago. Barbara Wheeler ‘95, M.Ed. in Language and Literacy and ‘07 C.A.S. in Administration and Supervision, has joined the board of directors for Refuge for Women, a national faith-based nonprofit organization providing long-term care for women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. John Netherly ‘96, M.S. in Management, was profiled in the Forest Park Review for his work with Bedrock Movement, a social services organization that exists to help the homeless in Forest Park, Ill. Lisa Bulzoni ‘97, B.A. in Elementary Education and ‘05 M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new program director of Reading Power, an early literacy program serving elementary school students in North Chicago and Zion, Ill. Michael Powers ‘97, M.S. in Management, received a 2017 Robert L Bailey Teaching Award from Franklin University, a private, nonprofit university in Columbus, Ohio. Jamie Serino ‘97, M.S. in Management, is the new executive director of Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, a nonprofit providing college scholarships and youth mentoring in Florida.

Woman of the Year Circle by the National Association of Professional Women, a business network of professional women in the U.S. Veriner James ‘03, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, is fundraising for a new private all-girls school on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Nicole Skaluba ‘03, M.S. in Human Resources Management and Development, sat as a panel expert on student loan assistance programs at the Employee Benefit News Benefits Expo in Boca Raton, Fla. Mary Sotiroff ‘03, M.A.T. in Secondary Education, is the new interim director of Geneva Christian School in Geneva, Ill. Bernadine Thomas ‘04, M.Ad.Ed., received a 2017-2018 Teaching/ Advising Award from the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. Raymond Woodie ‘04, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new linebackers coach at Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. Sonja Keane ‘05, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and ‘13 Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of St. Thomas Moore School in Elgin, Ill. George Arscott ‘06, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal at Liberty High in Kissimmee, Fla.

Judith A. Minor ‘98, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new associate director for performance and accountability and director of student excellence for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity in the Americas operational region. Steve Olson ‘98, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is the new superintendent of Crystal Lake High School District 155, which serves areas of McHenry County, Ill. Carletta Noland ‘99, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and ‘16 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new executive director of elementary teaching and learning by the Clarke County School District based in Athens, Ga.


Sylvia Sims Bolton ‘98, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, is the new 1st Ward alderman for Waukegan, Ill.

Aileen Halvorsen ’00, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, is a new second-grade teacher at Morgan Park Academy, a private pre-K through 12th grade school on the southside of Chicago.

Brian G. Bardy ‘06, M.A.T. in Secondary Education, is the lead instructor for an adult education class offered through Lyons Township High School for Illinois’ bicentennial, focusing on the state’s history and archaeology.

Florence Walker Harris ‘00, M.S. in Human Services Administration, is the choreographer for the production of Porchlight Revisits Woman of the Year at the Porchlight Music Theatre in Chicago.

Miguel Crespo ‘06, B.S. in Management Information Systems, is a new vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton and will serve as a cyberdefense lead for the company’s healthcare and life sciences sectors.

Maria McClellan ‘00, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences and ‘07 M.A.T. in Elementary Education, is the new campus manager for the Fort Atkinson, Wis., campus of Madison Area Technical College.

Ronnique Major-Hundley ‘06, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, joined the University of Florida Sarasota-Manatee as an outreach liaison to the Sarasota County and Manatee County communities.

Kay Silva ‘00, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, received the Illinois Art Education Association Secondary Art Educator of the Year award for 2017 from the Illinois Art Education Association.

Erick Pruitt ‘06, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision and ‘14 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new chief school officer for over 30 underperforming schools in the Houston Independent School District in Texas.

Charlotte Strain ‘00, B.S. in Management, is the new managing director of property services at Madison Marquette Real Estate Services, a real estate company in Washington, D.C. Katie Bradarich ‘01, M.A.T. in Elementary Education, is the new principal of Lanier Middle School in Houston, Texas. Tanyanikia Younger-Gilbert ‘01, B.A. Applied Behavioral Sciences and ‘05 M.A. in Psychology, was inducted into the 2017-2018 VIP

Michael Connolly ‘08, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new superintendent of Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21 in Wheeling, Ill. Derrek Drenckpohl ‘08, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, received an Outstanding New Undergraduate Advisor Award from Illinois State University, in Normal, Ill. National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018


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NEWS & NOTES David Kane ‘08, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and ‘15 Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal at Thacker Avenue Elementary for International Studies in Kissimmee, Fla. Kevin J. Nohelty ‘08, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new superintendent of schools for Dolton Riverdale School District 148 in Riverdale, Ill. Ryan Wollberg ‘08, M.A.T. in Secondary Education, is the new principal of Woodland Elementary West School in Gages Lake, Ill.

received the 2017 ICCTA Gary W. Davis Ethical Leadership Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. Kevin Jost ‘11, B.A. in Elementary Education, is a new fifth grade teacher at St. Joan of Arc School, a pre-K through eighth grade Catholic school in Evanston, Ill. Jody Peterson ‘11, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Parkview Elementary School in New London, Wis.

Darrick Campbell ‘09, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, is a supervisor with Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

Cassie Williams ‘11, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the principal for the newly established Distinctive College Prep – Harper Woods, a charter school in Harper Woods, Mich.

Neida Hernández-Santamaría ‘09, Ed.D in Adult Education, is the new department chair for the Accelerated Degree Program at Concordia University Chicago.

Victor Fuller ‘13, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, received the Illinois School Psychologists Association’s 2018 Ted Smith Memorial Award for Practitioner of the Year. Nancy Jo Nelson ‘13, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, recently published a memoir, “Lessons from the Ledge.” Dave Kaske ‘13, B.S. in Management Information Systems, is the new director of animal care and control in Montgomery County, Tenn. Mackenzie Beisser ‘15, M.A.T. in Special Education, was selected for the 2017-2018 Illinois Policy Fellowship by Teach Plus Illinois, an education policy organization. Patrick Iovinelli ’15, M.S. in Written Communication, celebrated his 20th year as an English teacher at Morton East High School in Cicero, Ill.

Wanda Parker ‘16, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, received a 2017 NLU Applied Behavioral Sciences Leadership Award. Chris Rozanski ‘09, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new principal of Boylan Central Catholic High School in Rockford, Ill. Jake Shaver ‘09, M.A.T. in Secondary Education, is the new men’s head track and field and cross country coach at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill.

William Newby ‘15, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new superintendent of Grass Lake Elementary District 36 in Lake County, Ill. Talia Prilutsky ‘15, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, was the featured art instructor at KRUG Art Gallery in New London, Wis. Terry Stolz ‘15, M.S. in Written Communication, wrote an article for Grief Digest Magazine depicting his personal experience with grief.


Cody Huisman ‘16, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new principal at North Elementary School in Franklin Park, Ill.

Precious Allen ’10, B.A. in Elementary Education and ’14 M.Ed. in Reading, published a new children’s book, “Love You For You!” encouraging multicultural awareness.

Rekueta Phillips ‘16, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, is a behavior therapist at the Autism Therapy Group in Wheeling, Illinois.

Josh Morrel ‘10, M.A.T. in Secondary Education and ‘17 Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, was named to Oy!Chicago’s 2017 Jewish 36 Under 36 list. Mason Stewart ’10, B.S. in Management and M.A.T. in Elementary Education, was featured on the National Louis University Blog for his experience moving from sales to teaching. Eric Ernd ‘11, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, is the new principal at Crystal Lake Central High School in Crystal Lake, Ill. William M. Griffin ‘11, Ed.D. in Community College Leadership,


Nina Koehler ‘15, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences, is a program coordinator and therapist at Applied Behavioral Consulting, a social services organization providing programming for young children with autism and developmental delays in the Chicago area.

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018

Salisia Webber ’16, M.S. in Written Communication, held a fundraising fashion show with proceeds donated to Traffick Free, an anti- human trafficking organization located in Chicago. Steve Louis-Jean ‘17, M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, is the new assistant principal at Poinciana High School in Kissimmee, Fla. Rebeca Mendoza ’17, M.A. in Psychology, was recently appointed to the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education. Angie Sandoval ‘17, M.A. in Public Policy and Administration, ran for Cook County Commissioner of the 7th District in Illinois.

In Memoriam — Alumni Nancy Higbee Pollock ‘43, B.A. in Elementary Education Natalie A. LaMarche ‘46, B.A. in Elementary Education Margaret Schrottky Kollmann ’62, B.A. in Elementary Education Joyce Lee Wills Kraft ‘72, B.A. in Education David Collingham ‘86, B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences Philip A. Brankin ‘89, M.S. in Management and Development of Human Resources

Mary Elizabeth Frey Higgins ‘92, B.A. in Management Peter J. Borger ’98, M.Ad.Ed. in Adult Education Mary Lee Huffman ‘98, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction Jon Mortensen ‘99, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction Ericka Jennifer Smith ‘14, M.A.T. in Secondary Education and ‘16 C.A.S. in Technology in Education Sharod Baker ‘16, M.A.T. in Special Education

In Memoriam — Faculty Paula Jorde Bloom, Ph.D.

Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Clemmer

“The faculty… some of the folks that I had met 17 years prior were still with NLU. I think that spoke to me about intentionality, and I already knew how studentcentered National Louis was. For me, I knew everything would be in place for me to be successful.” —MARIE WHELAN ‘99 AND ‘16, on the confidence she felt when she returned to National Louis in Tampa for a second graduate-level degree in educational leadership.

FINAL GLANCE INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT Carole Wood, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Susan Barnett, Director of Communications

Nicholas A. Love, Alumni and Advancement Communications Manager

Pam DeFiglio, Digital Content Development Manager

James Richards IV Digital Media Producer

Elitza Hyman Associate Director of Art and Brand Identity

Leslie Villasenor, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement

Sandy Injerd, Donor Relations Support Manager

Brittany Yantos, Associate Director of Annual Fund

Danielle LaPointe, Director of Advancement Services

National Louis University VIEW Nicholas A. Love | Managing Editor James Richards IV | Staff Photographer

National Louis University VIEW | Spring 2018





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

CELEBRATING A LEGACY OF SERVICE It is with great sadness that we share with you the news of the passing of Paula Jorde Bloom, Ph.D., extraordinary visionary and founder of the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at NLU. Paula died at her home on Saturday, February 17, 2018, in Lake Bluff from cancer with which she lived for 18 years. Paula dedicated her life not only to bringing national attention to the role of leaders in early childhood care and education, but also to inspiring those leaders to learn more and improve the quality of their programs. In 1985, she started the Early Childhood Professional Development Project. Ultimately, the project led to the founding of the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership to focus on leadership development for those in early childhood. Paula was unwavering in her drive to support early childhood program leaders and was able to grow the McCormick Center with nationwide impact on early childhood educational leadership. Her efforts also were integral to advancing NLU’s National College of Education graduate and undergraduate programs in early childhood education. Paula’s family has asked us to share that in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Paula Jorde Bloom Scholarship Fund for Leadership Education at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University. Donations can be sent to NLU’s Office of Advancement, 2nd Floor, 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL., 60603. Please specify “The Paula Jorde Bloom Scholarship Fund” on your correspondence.

You are invited to read the beautiful memorial message about Paula created by NLU’s McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership:


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National Louis University VIEW Spring 2018  

National Louis University VIEW Spring 2018  

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