Chicago Ridge, IL, United States

National-Louis University

www.nl.edu
Chicago Ridge, IL, United States

National Louis University is a private non-profit American university. NLU has locations in and near Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Wisconsin, Florida and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Many courses and programs are also offered at-a-distance . Since its founding in 1886, NLU has played a historic role in education, when it helped found the National Kindergarten Movement, and the National Parent Teacher Association and stressed the importance of academic and professional training in childhood education theory and practice. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Research indicates that the gender gap in reading, as boys struggle with literacy compared to girls, is getting worse. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year. On a brighter note, research also suggests that boys will read more if they are given reading material that interests them. With summer vacation around the corner, Sophie Degener, Ed.D., National Louis University associate professor of Reading & Language and director of NLU’s Reading Program, has tips to boost boys’ interests in reading. While there is not a clear answer about the cause of the reading gender disparity, Degener said that there are a few theories discussed among literary experts. “Often boys are asked to read books that don’t appeal to them, which reduces their motivation to read. Reading about sports, cars, video games, building things, etc. all counts as legitimate sources of reading material,” said Degener. “Also, some boys don’t have many positive male role models to show reading as a masculine activity. As parents and teachers, it’s important to urge boys to read texts on topics that interest them and to be strong role models for reading.” Another theory about boys’ reading struggle is that since boys are biologically slower to develop than girls, this slower development is carried to reading and writing skills as well. Also, typically reading isn’t the action-oriented, competitive activity that many boys enjoy. With this in mind, Degener shares some ideas that address parents’ questions about “how to encourage my son to read.” 1. Give boys control of what they read. Parents often decide what their kids eat for breakfast, when they go to bed and what they do in between. Independent reading is a great way to give boys some choice and control -- even if the books are above or below their reading level. A boy’s general interest and/or background knowledge about the subject will help move him to understand the book. 2. Take a field trip and visit the library. Make it a fun outing to explore the library and all it has to offer. Try to make reading fun and an opportunity to spend quality time together. 3. Expand the idea of reading to include comic books, graphic novels, magazines and digital content as well. It’s all reading! Specifically, subscribe to a magazine geared to boys, such as Boys’ Life, National Geographic Kids, Highlights or Ranger Rick. When it arrives in the mail, announce to the whole family that (son’s name) has gotten something in the mail. That’s a rare experience for kids, and makes them feel important. 4. Read aloud with boys, no matter the age. Often reading a book together will spur further interest in a book genre, author or topic. 5. Encourage boys’ books that expand their expertise on a subject that they enjoy (e.g. soccer, fishing, cooking, etc.). 6. Suggest books that are available in a series. After they read one book that they enjoy, the option of reading other books in the same series might be desirable. They can jump into the plot without having to get to know the main characters or settings. There are some websites that encourage boys to read, and provide specific book recommendations by topic. More tips can be found on http://www.nl.edu/boysread. About National Louis University Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues t​o ​be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Chicago area has more than 10,000 human services-related organizations. National Louis University and human services guru Vincent Pettinelli, founder of PeopleServe Inc., a $350 million human services provider company, are on a mission to make them more efficient by educating managers in effective human services management skills. Persons who are aging, individuals who are homeless, children from low-income families and people with disabilities, who receive human services, would benefit. Pettinelli approached National Louis University with the idea of developing a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Human Services Management, which the university is readying for a September 2017 launch. Pettinelli donated the seed money for the university to assess the program’s viability and develop it. Those who enroll in the program will find growing job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment demand for human services managers has been projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024 -- a pace faster than the average for all occupations. National Louis University’s program is the first of its kind in the nation, and it arose from Pettinelli’s real-life experience running a human services company. He promoted many psychotherapists and other professionals, who were competent in their specialties, into management. There, many failed because they lacked skills such as preparing a budget, working with a board and administering a workforce. National Louis University frequently works with industry executives when building new programs of study. In this case, NLU President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., and College of Professional Studies and Advancement Dean Judah Viola, Ph.D., built an impressive advisory board, based on Viola’s contacts, in the human services field. Board members, who work in human services nonprofits, government and academia, helped shape the new program. “We discussed how the program fit with a real need in the Chicagoland area,” said Viola, “and also fit right into the strength areas of NLU’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement.” NLU is designing the program for human services professionals who would like to move into management, for people interested in human services and for career changers seeking a rewarding field. Pettinelli believes it will become a national model for programs in human services management. “I don’t think it (the program) can miss,” Pettinelli said. “Once human services folks realize that the application of good management practices gives their clients better services than before, they’ll jump on this. There’s not a (human services) program in Chicago that shouldn’t send their managers to this.” The advisory board pointed NLU to Mark Doyle, a human services authority, who has become program director. Doyle has deep experience in the human services field, having worked in academia, government, nonprofits and his own consulting business. He worked as a project manager and senior staff member overseeing human services projects for the office of former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. He also consulted in human services for the state of Georgia and in Illinois, overseeing the successful merger of two human services agencies, assisting another community provider with the development of its strategic plan and the development of a data management system. Doyle has served as executive director and in other management positions at human services organizations, and has participated on human services agency boards. He has taught at National Louis University, DePaul University and Northern Illinois University. The human services field includes both nonprofit and for-profit providers in the areas of child welfare, aging, mental health, homelessness, intellectual disabilities, etc. with work commonly performed under contract with state (e.g. Illinois Department of Human Services) and federal agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Students will learn about best practices in the field, how to apply them in the workplace, and skills needed for advancement in managerial positions. Specifically, the program will emphasize organizational problem identification, analysis and resolution. Students will learn how to analyze quantitative and qualitative data and apply it to their field work. Program evaluation design and development, as well as accounting practices and human resources management also will be discussed. NLU classes will focus on many important topics including the role of managers and successfully transitioning to the role, supervising employees, delegating, developing and managing budgets, working with government organizations, as well as handling risk and crisis. The program will consist of 12 classes, most in a blended format with online work and some on-campus meetings. Students take one class at a time, and can complete the program in as little as seven academic quarters, or about 19 months. All program applicants must meet NLU’s general admission requirements. For more information about NLU’s M.S. in Human Services program, visit http://www.nl.edu/humanservicesmanagement. The program will be available to NLU students fall term 2017. About National Louis University: Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The U.S. Department of Education awarded National Louis University (NLU) and Morton College a $3.6 million Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) grant for Project CREST (CoenRollmEnt for STem), a partnership with the goal of increasing Hispanic enrollment and graduation in technology programs. The HSI grant is designed to support colleges and universities in the United States by assisting first-generation, majority low-income Hispanic students. NLU and Morton College are both Hispanic-serving institutions, with 25% or more of the institutions’ undergraduate population identifying as being of Hispanic origin. Project CREST is designed to successfully support and graduate first-generation Hispanic college attendees in the Chicago and Cicero communities. Approximately 21.5% of Chicagoans are Hispanic, and 89.6% of Cicero’s population is Hispanic. In Cicero, the Hispanic graduation rate suggests that only 10% of the adult population older than age 25 has completed a bachelor’s degree. Through Project CREST, the partner institutions will focus on enhanced recruitment of the underrepresented Hispanic population into Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) and Computer Information Sciences (CIS) programs, working with Chicago, Cicero and its surrounding communities and current community college students. The partner institutions will offer intensive student support and a dedicated success coach, tutoring focused on STEM courses, summer bridge experiences using a cultural sustainability model to develop students’ identity and capacity as academic readers and writers, and professional development for faculty and staff on serving diverse students. With this comprehensive approach, CREST expects to reach the following goals: “National Louis is grounded in its mission of providing a path to higher education access for minority students,” said Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., president of National Louis. “In partnership with Morton College, I am confident that we will increase the graduation rates of Hispanic students in Chicago and Cicero, providing them with added life opportunities and the empowerment to make important contributions to the Chicagoland community.” “Morton College is proud to partner with National Louis University to implement the Co-enrollment STEM(CREST) program through the U.S. Department of Education's Hispanic Serving Institution STEM and Articulation Grant Program,” said Stan Fields, Ph.D., Morton College President. “Receiving this grant represents an opportunity to build on that partnership and introduce more of the Morton College students to serve in a field with limited minority representation.” For more information about community impact partnerships at National Louis, visit http://www.nl.edu/about/partnerships/, and for more about Morton College’s work in this area go to http://www.morton.edu. About National Louis University Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu. About Morton College Founded in 1924 to meet the educational demands in the growing communities of Berwyn, Cicero, Forest View, Lyons, McCook, Stickney and other near-western suburbs, Morton College is the second oldest community college in Illinois. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life of its diverse community through exemplary teaching and learning opportunities, community service, and life-long learning. Morton College is governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information on Morton College, visit http://www.morton.edu.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 193.49K | Year: 2014

This Capacity Building project supported by the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program will develop and pilot a working definition of what practices, approaches and knowledge base constitute Master Level teaching in cross-cutting concepts of science. These cross-cutting concepts are integral to current attempts to bring increased coherency to the teaching of K-12 science in the United States. National Louis University (NLU) and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) will collaboratively build a joint Master Teacher Fellowship Program that will develop a cadre of middle school science teachers in Chicago Public Schools with deep pedagogical content knowledge and leadership capacity in implementing the cross-cutting concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) of particular relevance as states adopt and begin to implement NGSS.

To reach this goal, the key activities of this project will be the establishment of a University-Museum partnership involving Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry that will integrate expert science content knowledge, deep pedagogical knowledge, and sites of ongoing science practice and the development of a learning pathway that substantially increases teachers science content knowledge, connects them to ongoing sites of science practice, and supports them in translating that knowledge and connection into the design and assessment of learning experiences for their students. Two key components of that pathway will be a summer institute held at museum sites and IIT that is designed to deepen teachers knowledge of cross-cutting concepts of science and current science, and the use of a web-based platform for collaborative improvement of teacher practice that incorporates teachers consistent examination of formative student assessment data. A pilot group of teachers will take part in a project-designed summer institute and professional development activities throughout the school year. Results from a needs assessment will inform the design of the summer institute and professional development. Teachers progress in implementing content-specific, high leverage teaching strategies will be measured using the Adaptive Cycles of Teaching (ACT), a cloud-based technology system that enables teachers to improve specific teaching strategies through formative assessments of student learning, teacher portfolio analysis and feedback from coaches/mentors. The ACT tool will be customized to support the implementation of NGSS science teaching.

The definition and development of mastery teaching in science will inform science educators in the field and in teacher preparation. As part of this capacity building project, they will be supported in reporting to their school sites and in taking leadership roles in the implementation of stronger science teaching in their schools and districts. Each partner institution will deepen its knowledge base and capacity for teacher education by developing and testing models of the science knowledge and skills teachers need to advance student learning in central concepts of science. These models will inform STEM teacher preparation and professional development throughout each institution. By the close of the pilot phase, these teachers will have significantly developed their capacity to inform NGSS implementation at their school sites.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 157.16K | Year: 2015

This study will examine the effects of reintegrating migrant children into their families and communities. Using a longitudinal approach and mixed methods, the results should generate knowledge regarding the policies and practices of removal and reception of children, providing evidence to inform child protection and human rights locally and internationally. The research will contribute to scholarship on migration, reintegration, and the effects of law.

This project engages three areas of scholarship: the migration literature on deportability, the anthropology of youth, and socio-historical literature of post-conflict nations. Although prior scholarship has seen children as the recipients of others care, and migrants as individuals in motion, the present project challenges this approach by positing that children are part of a family structure and that their return has effects on them, their families, and their communities. Using the household as the primary unit of analysis, the study examines the effects of youth reintegration on families, peer groups, and communities. The principal investigator has had access to migrating youth in the United States and will follow them as they are reintegrated with their families in Guatemala. The research will employ a household survey, ethnographic interviews, participant observation, and individual ethnographies.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Three of Chicago’s top leaders, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, and social justice champion Father Michael Pfleger, will join a panel discussion at National Louis University (NLU) on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. They will address their experiences using restorative justice to pursue peace and civil behavior in Chicago. NLU’s Social and Behavioral Sciences, Community Psychology and Education faculty hope to raise awareness of restorative justice practices, such as peace circles, and their potential to help mitigate the effects of criminal behavior. Under Superintendent Johnson, the Chicago Police Department has paired police recruits in training with at-risk minority students at underserved high schools. Likewise, Sheriff Dart has instituted peace circles with inmates and correctional officers in the Cook County Department of Corrections. “When people have the opportunity to connect openly in a safe space with other human beings, new alternatives to violence may arise,” said NLU professor Mary Kelly. Research indicates that a lack of connection to other people may correlate to a higher incidence of causing violence, she said. The goal of restorative justice is to create peace in communities by reconciling parties and repairing injuries caused by disputes. Facilitators, who are highly trained and operate by a strict protocol of no judging, no advice-giving and more, can help foster understanding and solutions. Some offenders who participated in restorative justice activities have been motivated to make amends for their crimes and pursue alternatives, such as job training, in an effort to not re-offend. The forum is part of the National Louis University Applied Behavioral Sciences Program’s ongoing series, which highlights activist and restorative justice efforts toward healing and peace. It will take place Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at NLU’s Chicago campus, 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, in the second-floor Atrium. Find more information at nl.edu/ABSseries. About National Louis University Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

While it is common for students to feel butterflies in their stomachs when taking tests, research has found that test anxiety has increased as a result of high-stakes tests, like the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). A U.S. Dept. of Education study found that 61 percent of high school students suffer from test anxiety. More worrisome is that 26% are handicapped by that anxiety, and it can start as young as age seven. A National Louis University (NLU) professor has offered tips for parents to recognize and help children of all ages with test anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety express physically, behaviorally and cognitively and include dizziness, nausea, fidgeting, faking illness, absence on test day and negative self-statements (e.g. “I’ll never pass this test.”). Most students can overcome test anxiety by simply using good study habits, knowing how to relax during a test and using effective test-taking strategies. “Some degree of student test anxiety is normal,” said Jennifer Cooper, Ph.D., NCSP and assistant professor in National Louis University’s School Psychology program. “When the anxiety causes impairment and students can’t demonstrate the knowledge they have, it’s time to take a closer look, and potentially seek help from a qualified professional.” Below are a few of the tips that Cooper, a school psychologist, shared for parents to help recognize and reduce student anxiety when taking tests. 1. Know when your child’s anxiety needs attention. To do this, Cooper suggests maintaining an open line of communication with teachers. Since teachers are in the classroom and observe students taking tests, they often are the first to recognize symptoms of anxiety. 2. Initiate age-appropriate conversations and inquire about children’s feelings. Conversation starters can include: “Are you feeling worried about something?” “How often do you have these feelings of worry?” “I noticed that when you were taking your practice test yesterday, you seemed nervous and distracted. Do you feel that way often?” “When you feel this way, tell me what you are feeling in your body.” For younger students who are not as verbal, parents can share feeling faces as visual helpers for children to identify their feelings. 3. Identify past coping strategies and build on what has worked. “When you feel this way, how have you had success turning things around?” 4. Replace negative thoughts with positive self talk. Encourage the adoption of an upbeat, but realistic attitude: “I prepared carefully for this test. If I do my best, I have a good chance of passing it.” 5. Validate and support their feelings. Let children know that everyone worries to some degree, as a protection and safety mechanism. However, when anxiety goes into overdrive, that is not healthy, and parents are there to support them and get them help. More tips are available on how parents can help students with severe test anxiety at http://www.nl.edu/testanxiety and NLU professor Jennifer Cooper is available to comment as well. Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Singles outnumber married people today, making up 50.2 percent of Americans over age 16, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the highest it has ever been, but many singles still dread the onslaught of Cupids and red hearts that appear every time they walk into a store during February. National Louis University’s Claudia Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, says singles don’t have to feel lonely on Valentine’s Day, or hold the misconception that “everyone else” enjoys adoring, problem-free relationships. “A lot of adults’ feelings about Valentine’s Day trace back to when they were in elementary school and they didn’t receive a Valentine,” Pitts said. “Know that it’s your expectations about Valentine’s Day that get you, and you can change your expectations.” She offered Valentine’s Day ideas for singles to help change their expectations about the day. 1.     Singles can celebrate Singles Awareness Day, which some observe on Feb. 14, but others observe on Feb. 15 in order to differentiate it, and also take advantage of 50 percent discounts on Valentine’s candy. It’s meant to be a humorous, light-hearted holiday in which singles brush off pressure to get married. Many attend singles’ events in order to affirm their singleness, and/or meet other singles. Type "singles" into Meetup.com to find local events. 2.     Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Focus on all the good things singles do have in their lives, such as good friends, family members, the pursuit of interests you enjoy, pets, your home, travel, etc. Gratitude relieves depression, Pitts says. 3.     Love doesn’t have to be limited to romantic love. Singles can focus instead on reaching out in a loving fashion to volunteer, donate or help the less fortunate. Volunteering to walk dogs at a rescue shelter, staffing a hotline or donating your time to a worthy cause can be ways of spreading love on Feb. 14 or any day. 4.     People who anticipate Feb. 14 might be a tough day can gather a group of single friends for an anti-Valentine’s Day party. Participants can orchestrate a gift swap, similar to a Secret Santa, in which everyone draws names and gets their recipient some chocolates, flowers or wine. 5.     Feeling a little mischievous? Singles can send flowers to themselves at work, with a blank card, leaving everyone to speculate about who sent them. Or, send anonymous flowers to a single friend. 6.     Those who have recently been through a breakup, or are constantly fielding questions as to why they are not married, will need to do some solid planning to make it through to Feb. 15. They can gather supportive people and do something completely un-romantic, like go to a comedy or horror film, help at a homeless shelter or work out at a health club. Typing “anti-Valentine’s” into Pinterest will also provide ideas. More tips can be found on http://www.nl.edu/ValentineSingle. Claudia Pitts is available for media interviews or appearances. Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues t​o ​be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Emotions are running high after the election, and the headlines continue to spur heated discussion. For families with members on both sides of the political aisle, that’s a perfect recipe for clashes at Thanksgiving dinner. Two National Louis University psychology professors say that arguments don’t need to happen, and offer tips for hosts and guests to use to keep peace in the family. Below are a few of the tips. 1. Start from a place of loving each other, and remember that despite differences, bonds of family unite everyone, urged Claudia Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at National Louis University. That mindset will set the tone for the day. 2. When guests walk in the door, hosts can ask them to write at least one thing they’re thankful for on a poster board, or even on paper leaves hung on a decorative branch. People feeling grateful for blessings aren’t combative, commented Susan Thorne-Devin, LCSW, assistant professor in National Louis University’s counseling program. 3. A “defuse, distract and decline” strategy can keep the peace. “Defuse means to soften what others say—for example, if someone implied Hillary Clinton was a warmonger, you could say, ‘oh, I see you’re worried about the safety of people in other countries,’” Pitts said. “Distract could be, ‘How did you make this delicious stuffing?’ And decline is more direct: ‘I don’t want to talk about this. I don’t want to ruin the holiday.’” Then change the subject to something neutral. Conversation–starter ideas include food, entertainment or shared memories. 4. Invite a buffer person, such as a friend who has no relatives in town, suggested Thorne-Devin. Family members who usually squabble might put on their best behavior because a new person is present. 5. No one can control what others say, but they can control their reaction, Thorne-Devin reminded. “When someone is talking about their politics, you don’t have to engage. You can just listen without having to insert your point of view. Remember that the relationship is more important than ‘being right’ on a single issue.” 6. Guests can set up a code word, such as “bananas,” with someone who will have their backs, suggested Pitts. If the conversation starts getting heated, they can say to their safe person, “Did you buy the bananas?” and he or she can rescue you by changing the conversation topic or whisking you away to help in the kitchen. More tips are available on how to avoid election stress at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year at http://www.nl.edu/turkeytalk, and NLU professors Claudia Pitts and Susan Thorne-Devin are available to comment as well. About National Louis University Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Nancy Reagan and Fidel Castro all passed away in 2016. So did fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, siblings and friends of people everywhere. More than 2.6 million people died in the U.S. this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This leaves behind an estimated 8 million family members and friends who may be having a tough time this holiday season. National Louis University Associate Professor David SanFilippo, Ph.D., says those who are left behind may confront a confusing mix of feelings, from remorse and emptiness to bittersweet memories of holidays past. SanFilippo, an associate professor who teaches courses on death, dying and consciousness, has provided tips for those experiencing grief and loss more than merriment. He is available for interviews. Survivors are going through either the initial, all-consuming emotions of grief or, when those subside, a bereavement period. Bereavement has no set time frame and can last for months, years or decades. Throughout the bereavement period, grief may return in waves of emotion brought on by memories and reminders of the lost loved one. Holidays are major events that cause the “waves” to crest at high points, leaving the bereaved person in the troughs of sadness, yearning, despair and regret of lost opportunities. As survivors navigate through the holiday season and the grief they are feeling, SanFilippo suggests they honor whatever feelings may surface. “They are real feelings and should be recognized,” SanFilippo said. “Everyone grieves in their own way and should be allowed to grieve in their own manner and time, as long as the grieving process does not become harmful to the bereaved or others.” Signs that grieving may become harmful include disbelief that the loved one is really gone, alcohol and drug use, inability to function in daily life and/or a feeling life has become meaningless. Here are suggestions for navigating the waves of grief during the holidays: 1.    Set your own pace about becoming involved in the season and its traditions and rituals. Some survivors may want to sit out the holidays this year, and if it feels right to them, they should have that choice. Other survivors may try to immerse themselves in the spiritual or joyful dimension of the holidays, to allow children, family members or just themselves to enjoy the season. Still other survivors will feel most comfortable with a muted celebration, a type of nod to the holiday season while acknowledging their state of bereavement. 2.    Allow yourself to feel your emotions and acknowledge their intensity and depth. Survivors should know it’s okay to cry, and to feel sad or empty. It’s okay to feel the shock that an important person in one’s life is missing. It’s also okay to feel joy in the spirit of goodness that many find in the holidays, the love of those still alive and the gratitude of all the holidays spent with the departed loved one. 3.    Let people help you. Sometimes the gift to others is in allowing them to help us during periods of grief. Remember that a bereaved person’s tender emotions touch others, even if they didn’t know the departed loved one well. This is also the time for the bereaved to tap into their support system, such as friends from the neighborhood or place of worship, or develop a support system, such as a grief support group. 4.    Develop new traditions or rituals that celebrate the living and remember the departed. For example, families could light a candle to cherish lost loved ones and honor their presence at holidays in the past. To see the full list of tips visit http://www.nl.edu/holidaygrief For those who are walking with a loved one or friend on their bereavement journey, the most important thing one can do is to actively listen and be there when they reach out. Support people must be mindful that each bereaved person’s grieving process is personal and may be influenced by many factors such as age, education, relationships, culture, religion, how close they were to the deceased and whether they had unresolved issues with the deceased. About National Louis University Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.

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