Startup Weekend EDU awards NLU dean, alumnus top prizes for new business concepts

October 7, 2013

National Louis University announced today that two distinguished members of the NLU community have won top distinctions at the recent Startup Weekend EDU Chicago event that was hosted at the University’s downtown campus. 

Chris Cassirer, who currently serves as the Dean of the College of Management and Business and the College of Arts and Sciences at NLU, and alumnus Daniel Rezac, founder of EdReach.us, each provided initial concepts for participating teams of entrepreneurs to then further build upon. As a result, Cassirer and his team won first place in the competition for his business concept, Adjunct, Inc. Rezac, working with his team, won second place for his new concept, PDnear.Me.  

"I am so proud of both our Dean and alumnus for winning first and second place in Startup Weekend EDU. Both ideas are innovative, incorporate the use of technology and address the quality of education. All of these critical issues are at the very heart of our institutional mission, and we applaud their efforts to introduce much needed changes,” said NLU President Nivine Megahed.

First place award winner Adjunct, Inc. is creating a global marketplace for higher education institutions to identify pre-qualified adjunct instructors to teach courses. Adjunct instructors, in turn, have a place to showcase information about their instructional  experience and competency to teach.

Second place award winner PDnear.Me is the "Kayak of teacher professional development." PDnear.Me allows teachers and administrators to find relevant professional development for themselves or their staff, based on location, or online courses or workshops, in a simple all-in-one interface.  

Chris Cassirer, Sc.D., was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Management and Business at NLU in November 2012. Cassirer is the first in his family to attend and finish college and graduate school and was a postdoctoral fellow in public health at the Johns Hopkins University, where he also earned a doctor of science in public health. He received a master of public health degree from Yale University School of Medicine and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Rutgers University.

Daniel Rezac is the CEO of EdReach.us, the Education Broadcasting Network. Daniel's interest in education technology began when he struggled with finding methods to translate to his non-English speaking students. His mission is finding solutions to many of education's problems, as well as education’s stature in the media. He often presents about education in the media, online learning environments, YouTube in the classroom, and the "flipped classroom." Daniel has taught fourth through eighth grade and is a Certified Technology Specialist and a Google Certified Teacher.

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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  • NORTH SHORE

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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  • LISLE

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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  • WHEELING

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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  • WISCONSIN

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
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