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Meet the Learning Support Team


‌‌ Courtney Bondi, Executive Director of Advising and Learning Support

Courtney has worked in various academic advising roles at NLU for the past twelve years and recently added the Learning Support Center under her    leadership. Previously, she worked as an International Student Advisor at Kendall College before joining NLU. She has over fifteen years of experience in higher education and is focused on access to education for a diverse student body and embedding strategic support for students. Courtney received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Boston College and her Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University of Chicago.



Reece McDevitt, Learning Support Manager

‌Reece is excited to be a part of the NLU family. He has worked in both higher and secondary education as a math instructor and learning specialist. He is dedicated to helping students feel successful in their academic and professional pursuits. In particular, he enjoys coaching students to communicate well and manage their time. Reece holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and a M.A. in Mathematics Education from DePaul University. He is an avid bibliophile and enjoys perusing old bookstores for rare finds. In his spare time, Reece enjoys being in nature, playing video games from the 90s, and watching his favorite TV shows/anime. He is excited to lead a team of motivated Learning Specialists to support NLU students.



Travis Murphy, Writing Support Specialist

Travis is a writing specialist and is excited to be a part of the Learning Support Team at NLU. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University. Travis has over ten years of experience working in education with a focus on reading, writing, and test prep. In his spare time, Travis enjoys producing and writing for stage and film projects, as well as traveling and reading.



Peter Ploegman, Writing Support Specialist and Section 504/ADA coordinator

Peter has worked in the higher ed field for the past 17 years as a student disability access coordinator, writing specialist and coordinator, English composition instructor, ESL instructor, and as interim director of learning support.  Peter earned his M.Ed. in Education at NLU in 2006. Before returning to NLU in 2012, he worked in the afore-mentioned capacities at both Dominican University and Triton College.  Peter is married with one son and lives in northwest Chicago.  In his spare time, he plays the tuba at various Chicagoland community events and enjoys reading and Chicago Cubs baseball. 



Mandy Bendle, Math Support Specialist

Mandy has been helping students at NLU succeed in their math and science courses since 2009. She also works closely with future teachers in the education program on passing the Test of Academic Proficiency and obtaining their license. Her favorite part of working at NLU is seeing students learn, grow, and achieve their goals. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Quantitative Studies from National Louis University and a Master's degree in Applied Mathematics from Northeastern Illinois University. Outside of the university, she enjoys traveling, watching Netflix, and all things Halloween.



‌‌ Grover Wake, Learning Support Specialist

For the past 10 years, Grover has been working with NLU students in the areas of reading, writing, note-taking, test-taking, and critical thinking. His work here has included coordinating tutoring services; teaching composition and student success courses; and developing and facilitating study-skills workshops. His favorite part of working at NLU is helping students become independent learners and succeed in their academic careers.  

Outside of work, Grover likes reading and writing both fiction and non-fiction.  He is currently taking Written Communications courses in order to expand his skills beyond academic writing. 


Kevin Sparrow, Writing Support Specialist

Kevin Sparrow has been working professionally as a writer, editor, and educator since 2008 and with National Louis for the past two years. He received an MFA in Writing from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the recipient of the 2014-15 MFAW Teaching Fellowship from SAIC. He also works with different theatre groups in the city as a playwright and as Literary Manager for the theatre company Nothing Without a Company. He enjoys both creative writing and formal writing, which is why he loves to help other people develop their writing skills and their voices.




Gary Renn, Math Support Specialist

Gary has been working at NLU since January 2011, as a Math tutor and has also taught TAP Math workshops and classes here at NLU. He is an Illinois Licensed Teacher, (K-9), with Middle School endorsements for Math, Social Studies and Business. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and his Master of Arts in Teaching from NLU. He also taught Student Success classes at Elgin Community College from 2010-2016. Gary's goal is to make a positive difference in student's lives as they work to fulfill their goals and dreams.

Outside of work Gary loves to travel with his wife Carol, especially to AZ to visit their daughter Rachel and their new son-in-law Marc. He also enjoys working out at the gym and completing “Mud-runs” in IL, IN & WS and working on carpenter projects around the house.



    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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