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Contact Information

Margaret Stemler, Ed.D.
Director of Faculty and Program Development
National Louis University

Millenium Park

Au Pair Weekend Program Faculty & Staff

Dr. Lora Anderson Cook and Benjamin Cook (Program Directors and Instructors)

Dr. Lora Anderson Cook and Benjamin Cook Ben and Lora Cook have been co-directing and facilitating international programs and courses together for over a dozen years. Lora has a PhD in international education and has spent much of the past twenty years traveling, studying, working, and teaching in 40 countries on six continents. In 2006, Lora created and began directing a cultural awareness program at Quincy College in Boston. She and Ben have since taught classes at several colleges and universities to nearly 2,000 au pairs living across the United States. In addition to directing these weekend programs, Lora is the Administrative Director of the Center for the Study of Europe at Brigham Young University.

Ben has a law degree from Georgetown University, and master's degrees in international development and education. He recently left Harvard Law School where he managed international legal programs. He practices law part-time, and also teaches negotiation and dispute resolution workshops. He is a trained and certified mediator through the Harvard Mediation Program. Ben has spent significant time living and working abroad, primarily in Japan and various countries in Africa.

Ben and Lora are the parents of three boys, and have hosted several au pairs and exchange students in their home.

Tina Bachmann Rychalsky (Program Coordinator and Teaching Assistant, Boston)

Tina Bachmann Rychalsky Tina first came to the Boston area in 2006 as an au pair. After successfully completing courses from Ben and Lora Cook during both years as an au pair, she was invited to become the program teaching assistant. She has since worked with hundreds of au pairs from around the world.

Born and raised in Canada of Swiss immigrants, Tina grew up speaking three languages: Swiss German, French, and English. She has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Universite du Quebec en Outaouais. Tina is happily married, and has most recently worked as a preschool teacher near Boston. She recently welcomed her first child in fall 2011, and is loving her new as a new mother.

Emily Piga (Program Coordinator and Instructor, Chicago)

Emily Piga Emily has worked with au pair weekend education programs in Chicago since 2008. She has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Dayton. After graduation and working for a few years in Chicago she travelled to Rome, Italy to complete a master's degree in international relations in 2006. Most recently Emily completed a degree in education at National Louis University in Chicago.

Presently Emily works as the Sales and Marketing Manager at Hostelling International Chicago. At the hostel she works with large groups of international and domestic travelers visiting Chicago. As a Chicago native, Emily has a strong understanding of the city and its history, and through her work at the hostel knows the best places to visit!

Emily is a new mom and recently moved with her family to Evanston, Illinois, a large suburb just north of Chicago.

Megan Johnson

Megan Johnson Megan Johnson has worked with au pair weekend education programs since 2008. She has an undergraduate degree in English Secondary Education and a Master's Degree in Multicultural Communication. After teaching high school English in the U.S. she taught in Japan for two years with the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program. She has traveled extensively, including as a leader for international exchange programs in Egypt, France, Germany, Morocco, Serbia, and Tunisia. She has earned recognition for her work creating and implementing educational programs for Hostelling International Chicago, including the Community Renewal Society's 35 Under 35 Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education's Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, Chicago Public Schools Service Learning Initiative's Community Partner of the Year Award, and UW-Madison's Forward Under 40 Award. Ms. Johnson was recently the keynote speaker at UW-Madison International Studies' Global Citizen Conference.


    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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    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
    (888) 658.8632
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    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
    (888) 658.8632
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    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
    (888) 658.8632
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    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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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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