NLU Commencement Speakers Take the Stage
Commencement Speaker: Dr. Diana Mendley Rauner
Saturday, June 26, 2010, 10am
The UIC Pavilion, Chicago
Dr. Rauner is the executive director of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a public-private partnership serving at-risk children and their families from birth to age five. She served for nine years on NLU’s Board of Trustees, six of those years as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She continues to be actively involved in the university as a life trustee. Over the past decade, Dr. Rauner has been a passionate champion for NLU’s mission of access, innovation and excellence and has devoted tremendous time, thought and energy to advancing NLU’s ability to fulfill this mission. In doing so, she has built great relationships throughout the university community, and helped NLU build much stronger relationships between faculty, staff, students and the communities served by NLU.
Dr. Rauner received both her Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago. She served for 11 years as a senior researcher at Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, continuing her academic work focusing on community resources essential for positive youth development. She has also written extensively on programs for adolescents, including a book, They Still Pick Me Up When I Fall: the Role of Caring in Youth Development and Community Life, published by Columbia University Press.
Student Reflections: Dawn C. Edwards is receiving her Master of Science in Counseling (in the School Counseling option). She’s a student at the Chicago campus and was nominated by the entire Chicago Counseling faculty team as this year’s speaker.
Friday, June 11, 2010, 7pm
The Coliseum, St. Petersburg
Commencement Speaker: Eric J. Smith, Ed.D.
Eric J. Smith, Ed.D., is the Commissioner of Education for the state of Florida. Smith has had a stellar career in education, culminating with this appointment in 2007. He has been a classroom teacher, administrator, superintendent, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the College Board, as well as chair of the National Assessment of Title 1 Independent Review Panel, among his many other educational accomplishments.
Student Reflections: Sara Simpson is obtaining her M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Curriculum and Instruction. She was in NLU’s Tampa, FL, cohort. Sara currently teaches ESOL and Reading at Howard Blake High School in Tampa. In August, Sara will be moving to Quito, Ecuador, to teach middle school English at Colegio Albert Einstein, a private, bilingual International Baccalaureate Organization world school.
Friday, June 4, 2010, 7:30pm
Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva
Commencement Speaker: Marie Pascoe Craig, Ed.D.
Marie Pascoe Craig, Ed.D., has been an educator for 43 years. Since 2003, she has been the director of support services for the Racine Unified School District, where she oversees student services for 22,000 students. These district services include nurses, psychologists, social workers and counselors. In addition, Craig directs the Fresh Start program, expulsions and suspensions, student placement and testing, the Home Bound Program and crisis management. Prior to this, she was the supervisor of special education for the district.
In Craig’s years as a teacher, she has taught gifted and talented students, as well as special education students with cognitive disabilities. She has also been a student counselor and a psychotherapist in private practice. In 1999, she published a chapter, “Multicultural Career Exploration with Adolescent Females,” in the book Career Counseling Models for Diverse Populations.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Georgia State University, a Master of Education and a Doctor of Psychology/ABD from Our Lady of the Lake University, and a Doctor of Educational Leadership from National-Louis University.
Student Reflections: Barbara Hyttel just finished her M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Curriculum and Instruction. Her cohort was in the Milwaukee campus. She is from Racine, WI. She has been an elementary school teacher for 30 years. For the past 20 years she has also been a Certified Jazzercise Instructor and owner of “Jazzercise on the Northside” in Racine.