Be The Best You Can Be

Many of my students have asked me to write letters of recommendation for continuing education (graduate school) and for career purposes. In order to craft a good letter, I not only want to know the student from a prior class or as an advisee, but I also ask for an updated resume and a statement of career goals. Over the years, I have seen many of these documents – some good and others needing revisions. As most people know, it is a competitive world out there. You are competing with others for acceptance into graduate programs and for jobs. Why not make your initial written document that you send out look great? Of course, there are websites devoted to writing good resumes and you can view samples of what to include and what kind of format to use so it looks professional.

However, many students are not aware of the resources we have at Roosevelt that are geared to help with many issues related to attending college, like study skills, tutoring, writing, and career development. Roosevelt has a Career Development Center to educate students about career development and the job search process. The Center’s staff support, engage, and counsel students in career exploration. One can find more detailed information about each of the services they provide by clicking on the topics once at their website. When you click on “resume writing,” there is a whole page dedicated to writing resumes and links to many important documents.

Why not make your resume shine and stand out from all the others? Be the best you can be when applying for that important next step!


Spring 2016 registration starts November 1

Registration for Spring 2016 begins November 1.  Follow these simple instructions to set your schedule:

  • Review the course schedule
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss your classes and receive your registration code. You can also contact him/her via email with the courses you’d like to take. Don’t know who that is? Contact our office at 312.281.3134 or 847.619.8730 and we can assist you.
  • Log on to RU Access and register for classes
  • Complete all requirements with the Office of Financial Aid and confirm your payment arrangements with the Office of Student Accounts. Payment arrangements for Spring 2016 must be completed by December 15, 2015.

Chicago Is…

Chicago, the Second City.

Chicago, New York’s prettier sister.

The Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders.

Chicago is an imperfect world class city that is hampered by crime, violence, poverty, and homelessness. Now, Chicago is not the only American city confronting these sorts of issues but, to listen to some of the national newscasts, one could get the impression that Chicago stands alone in this arena making our city an awful place to live.

Let me tell you why that is not true and give just one of the reasons why Chicago is my kind of town.

Chicagoans are giving, helpful people.

Every time I turn around I see people donating their time and talents to help others. Despite our tendency to bicker over the Cubs versus the Sox, when push comes to shove, Chicagoans come together to support one another!

One recent Sunday morning as I was headed north on a marathon training run along the Alz Walklake front path, I came upon four-thousand plus people donning purple shirts as they were starting a walk to raise money to fight Alzheimer’s. Given that there wasn’t room for both me and these dedicated walkers to share the path, I chose to change directions and started to run south. After a mile or so, I came upon more fundraising walkers! This time it was for a cause in Peru, as well as Walk for Hearing, and the Illinois Lupus Walk. More WalkersWalkers were everywhere on the lake front path and in Lincoln Park that morning. It was fantastic! People were smiling, laughing, talking, and sharing. But, most importantly, they were doing good deeds. Yes, this is people at their best and you can finds lots of people like that right here in Chicago!Lincoln Park Walkers

Another place to find people at their best is Roosevelt University’s College of Professional Studies! Our students come to us from different backgrounds, speaking different languages, and holding different ideals. They have divergent views and different talents, skills, abilities, and interests. They are traditional students and they are working adults. They are as varied as can be but, they are sharing a common experience and embracing a common goal – to earn a college degree. And they are doing things every day to demonstrate their commitment to Roosevelt’s mission of social justice and they are among the walkers, and runners, and organizers, and fundraisers who are doing good deeds every single day. We couldn’t be more proud!


Paralegal Studies Program Alumni Group invites you to a presentation of – RU LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an online social network that is designed for business professionals. It is widely used by legal employers to find job candidates. Please join us for a presentation on how to create your profile and how to use LinkedIn to maximize your job search efforts. Professional networking through LinkedIn and recommendations for using other social media in your job search will also be discussed.

Our presenter will be Cheryl Kettler. Ms. Kettler has been a member of the Paralegal Studies Program faculty since 2003 where she teaches Commercial Law and Legal Writing. She is also a National Partner Specialist, for AbstoneLalley, Inc.

The presentation is being held twice. Attend on the day and time that is most convenient for you:

Monday, April 13, 2015
Roosevelt University Gage Building
18 South Michigan , Room 700
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Roosevelt University Wabash Building
425 S. Wabash, Room 1111
12:15 pm to 1:15 pm

Register by calling (312) 281-3186 or send an email to
Kay Levoy at

Interview with Roosevelt Criminal Justice Alumnus, Sean Thompson El

Sean Thompson El, 49, is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying criminology, law and justice. That’s remarkable when you learn that Thompson El spent 27 years and nine months in prison. While incarcerated, he earned his associate’s degree, and after his release in 2010, he enrolled at Roosevelt. In 2013, he earned a bachelor of arts in criminal justice through the Adult Fast-Track Program.  Here is a recent interview with Sean:

Q. How did you choose Roosevelt?
A. I paroled straight to Chicago, and I couldn’t find a job. I was just passing out resumes. I walked by the Gage Building one day and they had some type of exhibit going on, and I walked in there and got to talking to people. Before I knew it, I was enrolled. Roosevelt makes you feel welcome. No one has ever made judgment or been critical of me.

Q. Why did you choose criminal justice?
A. I had been a part of the (criminal) life for so long. I wanted to see how the other side thought, what’s really going on in the system. I don’t want any kid to grow up doing what I did. To fix the system, you’ve got to go through it.

Q. What was it like to be an older student and have been incarcerated before your college experience?
A. I’m always the oldest guy in the class. (laughs) It doesn’t bother me. The kids gave me a new perspective. They were so bright and they were so eager to learn. I loved my professors. They used me as an example in class sometimes, which was fine. I think I gave a unique spin to the criminal justice department.

Q. Was earning the degree difficult?
A. Nothing was really difficult. But it was sweet. The academic advisors always kept me on point, making sure I was OK. Before you knew it, I was graduating.

Q. What did graduation day feel like?
A. Oh man. I was speechless. Like, here I am. I can’t even describe it.

Q. What would you say to someone who things they have too many obstacles to pursue a degree, like age or background?
A. I encourage everyone I meet to go to Roosevelt and talk to the people about the adult programs. Go to the financial aid office and see if they can help you out. Education is the only way to better your condition. I meet older people who say, ‘I wish I could go back.’ You can! You’ve just got to do it. There was one lady in my class, 71 years old, she did it one class at a time. Anybody can do it. You can always better your condition and improve your skills.

Paralegal Alumni Group April 2014 Events

The Roosevelt University Paralegal Alumni Group
invites you to our next events – a social networking event
and a career presentation on writing your resume.

Welcome Spring! Social Networking Event

Berghoff’s Restaurant
17 West Adams Street
Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.

Career Presentation on Resumes

Please join us for a presentation on preparing your resume. A local legal professional will provide strategies and advice for preparing your best resume. Cover letters will also be addressed. We will also provide an opportunity for follow-up individual advice on your resume from experienced program alumni.

Roosevelt University Gage Building Campus
18 S. Michigan Avenue, Third Floor Commons
Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Please sign up by clicking on the following link:

Look for future announcements on our upcoming career related presentations offering advice for paralegal program graduates and current students. The following topics will be covered throughout the year: interviewing; using social media in your job search and professional life; dress for success/professionalism in the workplace.

For questions, contact

The Clockwork Muse

“It is almost impossible to live in the modern world and not have to write” (Zerubavel, 1999, p. 1).

A muse is a source of inspiration and when pairing it with the word, “clockwork,” it might mean that our work with the clock (timing, scheduling, planning) could be an inspiration. But what kind of inspiration?

I’m teaching PLS 399 Senior Thesis this spring 2014 semester and we are reading The Clockwork Muse by Eviatar Zerubavel. This book of a little over 100 pages is a practical guide for writing theses, dissertations, and books. Zerubavel describes how to set up a writing schedule and maintain it over the long haul. As The Clockwork Muse went to press, Zerubavel had published seven books and was Professor of Sociology and Director of the Graduate Program at Rutgers University.

The book begins with establishing the writing schedule, particularly delving into finding time during the week to concentrate on writing. Zerubavel says that once you decide when you can write, you should keep track of how effective you are when you write. Keep a journal by listing the days of the week, the times you wrote during those days, and reflect on your productivity. For example, my journal entries were the following, recently: “I wrote on Monday, from 9 – 10 pm and it was very focused and energetic, but too short.  On Wednesday, I wrote from 9 am – 1 pm and it was very productive, I had good concentration, and it was a good session.”

Zerubavel says that you must determine your A-times from your B-times and even your C-times. We want to be at our best during peak writing times – our A-times; however, if our energy wanes, we can do productive tasks during our B-times (checking resources, adding references, revising an outline). And during C-times, we might want to pay bills or straighten the desk!

There are chapters in the book that deal with organizing the process of producing a manuscript, as in Chapter 3: A Mountain with Stairs. A thesis cannot be completed in “one gulp” and Zerubavel stresses that one must think about the project in stages. One of the most effective ways to break down writing the thesis in incremental steps is through the use of an outline. Zerubavel gives a good example of how his outline changed several times as he developed one of his books. Eventually, his outline became the book’s table of contents. And for a thesis, the outline can become the major headings in the paper. The outline can do the following: Aid in the process of writing, help organize ideas, presents material in logical form, shows relationships among ideas in the writing, constructs an ordered overview of the writing.

This has been a summary of some of the main points in A Clockwork Muse. Students and faculty alike who are about to embark on a significant writing project, could be successful by adhering to this guide’s simple but profound principles in developing a certain amount of self-discipline to complete that thesis, dissertation, or book.

Happy writing!

Susan J. Katz, PhD, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership

Zerubavel, E. (1999). The clockwork muse: A practical guide to writing theses, dissertations, and books. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press