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About the Learning Support Specialists


Christina Bavone

Tina is a Language Arts Specialist who started her NLU journey as a part time tutor in 2010 while completing her Masters in Teaching – Secondary Education. Tina has a background in creative writing with a Bachelors in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She also has experience as an ESL instructor, undergraduate English composition instructor as well as teaching TAP workshops and courses. Currently, Tina is pursuing a masters in English at UIC. While tutoring and teaching Language Arts, Tina’s discovered a love for helping students become successful. She values the time she has with students because she knows it’s making a difference.  

Peter Ploegman

Peter has worked in the higher ed field for the past 14 years as a 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.

Kevin Sparrow

Kevin Sparrow has been working professionally as a writer, editor, and educator since 2008. He received an MFA in Writing from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the recipient of the 2014-15 MFA in Writing Teaching Fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is the Literary Manager for the theatre company Nothing Without a company and an annual judge for the manuscript contest Ink & Insights.

Grover Wake

Grover is a writing specialist with 15 years of experience in the field of education.  He began his teaching career overseas as an English teacher in Japan.  After returning to the States, Grover started teaching English for grades 9 through 12 at a Chicago-area high school.  While teaching high school, he studied adult developmental education.  On completion of his studies, he started his work with National Louis University.  His work here has included coordinating tutoring services for the Chicago campus, teaching undergraduate writing courses, and working one-on-one with students.  His favorite part of working at National Louis University is helping students to succeed in their academic careers.


Math & Science

Mandy Bendle

Mandy has been at NLU for 5 years, tutoring in mathematics, science, technology, and TAP preparation. 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. Her favorite part of working at NLU is seeing students learn, grow, and achieve their goals. 

Gary Renn

Gary has been working at NLU since January 2011, and 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 teaches Student Success classes at Elgin Community College. Gary's goal is to make a positive difference in student's lives as they work to fulfill their goals and dreams.

Information Research

Library faculty are available to assist students, faculty, and staff with information research.






    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »

    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
    Info » | Directions »