Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning

Student Profiles

  • Profile

    Evan Peterson

    I am currently interning at Crisp! Mobile Grocery, a business owned by Catholic Charities. Crisp! is a social enterprise, meaning that it uses a for-profit model to address a social issue: this enterprise specifically was founded in order to combat malnutrition in Chicago’s “food desert” neighborhoods, communities in which healthy produce is not readily available. Because grocery stores are often miles away from these areas, Crisp! brings affordable groceries to customers’ doors. As an intern with Crisp!, I hope to understand the inner-workings of a social enterprise in order to judge the effectiveness of this social service model. I also aim to improve my...
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    Allie Puleo

    Going on a Loyola Global Medical Brigade helped further my education in the nursing profession. I decided to go on a Medical Brigade after seeing pictures of my friends on them and hearing about their life-changing experiences around the globe. During my time in Community Health Nursing, I learned a lot about working with patients who made me feel outside of my comfort zone. I worked with patients and families from different races, backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses who spoke different languages, had different customs, and looked on healthcare with varying degrees of uncertainty. During my week in Nicaragua with Global Brigades, I experienced much the same thing. However, despite the difficulties, these two experiences have helped me to grow so much both...
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    Melanie Zagorski

    Melanie is a senior History student, graduating in May of 2016. She received a Summer Provost Fellowship to study the reclassification of Loyola's college library in 1914 and the impact it had on students and their Jesuit instructors as an older religious worldview succumbed to a more recent secular worldview. Her project was part of a larger project, also headed by Kyle Roberts, investigating the Jesuit libraries.
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    Cynthia Araceli Raya

    I work at Misericordia as a Developmental Training intern. Most of what I do is work with residents within the classrooms. Class includes art, technology, and others. I also work with job training in the bakery and coffee house at Misericordia. You should visit sometime! It's a great experience and you get awesome brownies! in this coming month, I will be deciding on a focus in a class but so far you'll catch me all around Misericordia!
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    Jenna Meyers

    Though this experience was originally driven by my class requirement, working at the St. Ignatius Food Pantry reminded me how much I enjoy service. In particular I enjoy making connections with people and at this cite I was certainly able to become friends with the staff and other volunteers. I also was able to interact closely with...
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    Lauren Lapinski

    Four years ago, I was a student in a course by the Center of Experiential Learning researching the impacts of food insecurity, and today, I work at Feeding America, the country’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. So to say the CEL contributed to future opportunities is an understatement. My CEL course, for the first time got me outside of the classroom and into the community. It was one thing to speak about the principals of social justice, but a whole different experience to act on those values. During this project, food insecurity transformed from being a concept to a reality that millions of Americans struggle with. I got to know people who faced days where they went without meals—and that didn’t sit right with me. This experience formally introduced me to...
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    Meriem Sadoun

    InterFuture provided me the space to travel and conduct research in the UK, South Africa, and the United States. Accepting my position as an InterFuture scholar meant I was committing to a rigorous two year program. One that paralleled the responsibilities and research activities of a graduate student. I applied to the InterFuture program the summer after my sophomore year, when I was studying abroad in Tunisia as a Provost Fellow. I arrived home from Tunisia at the end of May and by June I was off to my first research conference in Boston. That was the first of many conferences where I participated in workshops and seminars to develop and refine my...
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    Hailey Gravel

    Growing up, I had a number of friends who bounced in and out of juvenile corrections and probation. They often had difficult upbringings, a lack of positive influences, and unhealthy addictions. As I watched them struggle with the system and, subsequently, further in life and education, I struggled myself. I knew that there had to be more that I could do to help them and others like them. Through my internship [Intern at Cook County Department of Justice] I finally have the opportunity and am gaining the resources to help my friends and other people who are dealing with similar situations. I have been able to experience...
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    Dani Mendez

    As the employment intern I am responsible for looking for work on behalf of refugees coming to the U.S. This also means helping refugees understand norms around work in the U.S., how to use public transit, and creating resumes. This task is essential because one of the primary goals for successful resettlement is job placement. At times this can prove difficult because of cultural differences in the type of work that refugees are comfortable with. Nonetheless, it is a rewarding experience when refugees are able to be placed in steady work beginning what is hopefully the start to a better life.
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    Juan Barriga

    During my third year at Loyola, I was able to explore many opportunities that engaged me to serve others and to ignite my own potential. After having had the opportunity to assist Dr. Haden and her Children's Memory & Learning Lab as an undergraduate assistant, I was able to find more opportunities that captured my interest in pursuing my own future goals. Some of my future goals included finding ways to help serve others, especially those who face social injustices. Also, some of my future goals included finding ways to have more clinical experience in order to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology, with hopes to one day work as a clinical psychologist. The Social Justice Internship Program did just that! After receiving the opportunity to intern at Misericordia, Heart of Mercy, I was able to work with members within a certain community. Because of my experience, I gained...
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    Carlyn LaGrone

    I've been involved in a number of service learning experiences due to my major here at Loyola. [Including Bethany Retirement Community, Play Works, & a health insurance co-op called Land of Lincoln.] My experience at all of these places gave me so much perspective. They allowed me to gain perspective both as an individual but also in regards to the healthcare industry. I learned so much about my abilities as a young woman and the impact I can make on others around me even by doing the smallest acts. The service learning experiences I was involved in were eye opening and rewarding. These hours counted for far more than just hours to receive credit for a course - they truly assisted in my transformative education here at the University. I will take the knowledge I gained from my service learning in each of my courses and utilize it when...
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    Madison Meder

    For one of my Engaged Learning courses, I took UNIV390: Internship Seminar during the fall of my junior year. This course supplemented my internship at PAWS Chicago, a no-kill, no-cage animal shelter where I had previously been a volunteer. During my internship, I worked primarily at PAWS’s Welcome Desk, greeting potential adopters, answering questions both in person and over the phone, and filing adoptions electronically and on paper. My internship allowed me to further develop my communication and leadership skills, as well as interact with...
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    Armeen Sayani

    PEP is a program for adults with disabilities who have behavioral challenges. About 30 residents attend PEP and engage in many different activities, including art and music therapy, yoga, swimming, gardening, preparing lunch, attending mass, learning communication skills, and helping in the community. My favorite part of this internship is...
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    Cate Walters

    While studying abroad in Vietnam, I completed a service learning course through teaching English at a nonprofit called DRD, which provided resources for disabled Vietnamese and by volunteering at My Thom, an orphanage for children who tested positive for HIV. These experiences helped me to broaden my global perspectives, recognize my own privilege, and realize that I was incredibly passionate about global health and women's and children's rights. My experiences in Vietnam led me to search for an internship relevant to my passions in Chicago. This led to an internship with...
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    Austin Tolentino

    Last year, I came to Loyola with a long shot idea about improving the public art space but no expectation to tie that endeavor into my academic experience. However, Dr. Neier’s encouragement for me to explore the venture through research was the thread I needed to seamlessly interweave my learning goals and long-term aspirations together. So I still cannot be more thankful enough for the opportunities to work with her as my mentor and to receive the Social Innovation/Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship. From that, I got the chance this past summer to present a poster of my research proposal at the Macromarketing Conference and receive invaluable feedback from researchers around the world. Alongside the service learning experience from Dr. Neier’s marketing research class this fall semester, I am learning how to...
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    Cristina Rodriguez

    The immigration services that Catholic Charities provides to its clients are life changing. Many clients are low-income, are victims of crimes, and come in fear of deportation, and the department helps them get to a place where they can overcome their fears. As an intern, my role can vary from day to day, such as helping translate documents, composing legal summaries to immigration, and working with undocumented victims of domestic and sexual abuse and helping them apply for status. Everyday, I come face to face with the reality of what it means to be an undocumented migrant living in the United States and learn...
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    Samantha Michaels

    The Safe Haven & Patty Crowley Apartments of Deborah’s Place was created in 1985 to end the cycle of homelessness for women in Chicago. To face this as a housing issue Deborah's Place serves as a community-based program, an interim housing program and a safe haven solely for women. It provides residents with mini-health clinics that coordinate women's healthcare and provide referrals to free/low-cost health services. Group activities and one-on-one engagement provide women with access to the humanities, life skills training, social-emotional development and basic adult education. Therapeutic services such as counseling, crisis intervention and art therapy are also provided by Deborah's Place to aid women with mental illnesses, substance abuse, and chronic homelessness. There is a comprehensive case management aspect which is assists women in meeting goals they have set for themselves. Women can then be linked to resources which help them reach stability and self-sufficiency. I will aid in running group meetings, serving dinner, and managing casework. I will
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    Brendan Creamer

    Freshman year I took UNIV 190 Service and Social Justice. Every Saturday morning a couple of my friends and I went to the YMCA in Evanston to coach basketball to children ranging from kindergarten to fourth grade. We each had our own teams or assisted each other with coaching. The combined experience of the UNIV 190 class and the service work at the YMCA led me to continue volunteer work with Loyola 4 Chicago. It made me much more aware of...
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    Jason Pica

    I have been a research assistant in Dr. Maryse Richards' Risk and Resilience psychology lab since January 2015. Our lab recently received a large federally funded grant to implement a cross-age peer mentoring program in urban, low-income communities on Chicago's Southside. My research is focused on the relationship between future expectation and beliefs about aggression. Being involved in research with underserved youth, has allowed me to be be a consistent role model in these youth's lives. Not only have I learned research skills that I will be using in graduate school, but most importantly, I have learned skills that...
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    Christine Dankha

    The Loyola community has accepted me into its family, and I have taken advantage of the opportunities that I was given. I know my knowledge is expanding in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith. I have been working as a writing tutor at the Writing Center, a student researcher at Loyola University Chicago, and an altar server at Madonna Della Strada Chapel. I began working at the Writing Center at Loyola University Chicago since Fall 2014. I really enjoy being a part of the service and the environment that the writing center provides. It definitely should be necessary for writers to go to the writing center to look over their work and have an experienced writing tutor look over it, too. My writing process consists of organizing my ideas together in a web, producing a draft, organizing it, and revising it with the help of tutors and professors. It takes a lot of thinking and brainstorming to create the best rough draft. Once the rough draft is finished, it is important for a writing tutor to look at it to make sure that my writing makes sense. This helps me become more of a confident writer because...
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    Zareen Kamal

    Loyola claims that it provides students with a “transformative education.” Coming in, I didn’t really know what this meant. I remember thinking, Isn’t all education transformative in some way? How does one know whether or not he or she has been transformed at the end of four years? As I’m thinking about what exactly my Loyola experience means for me, I know that my community engagement and research involvement have been integral to my personal and professional growth. . . .
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    Michael Cortright

    My experience with Jumpstart helped me to better understand the issues plaguing the Rogers Park/Edgewater community. Before this experience, I never thought about the people who live in this community outside of the Loyola population. Jumpstart helped me realize that there are people out there who deserve the opportunities I have been given, but are unable to obtain them for whatever reason. I began to understand the importance of helping these people, especially from a very young age. Much of what shapes a person is taught from a young age and if I am able to make a positive impact on the lives of young children, I can be a part of the movement towards giving everyone equal opportunities to a better life regardless of what situation they are born into. . . .
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    Karly Free

    Through my engaged learning experience at WGN Radio 720AM, I have shown a commitment to learning, justice, and faith. Before my internship I did not have any experience in a newsroom. The only knowledge I had about a newsroom was what I had been taught in class or seen on TV. In my School of Communication classes I was taught that each newsroom operates differently. Through my internship I not only learned how their newsroom operates but at the same time improved my writing, reporting, and editing skills. In addition, through my internship, my values of social justice have been strengthened. Ethically reporting stories has remained a central importance during my internship. . . .
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    Elise Haas

    Currently, I am working at NBC 5 Chicago as an Investigative Intern. I will be working closely with the producers and reporters in the department and help develop stories for the evening news. I intend to secure another internship in the spring before I graduate as well. After graduation, I plan to move to a smaller market, for example in Topeka, Kansas, to gain experience first as a field reporter. In the years to follow, I will work hard to move my way up. Overall my experience has re-instilled my love for journalism. Employers have seen my passion for my work through my volunteerism and this, along with my broadcast work, has helped me land two internships in Chicago.
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    Samantha Rivera

    Madonna House provides safe shelter, food, and support services for mothers and their children to create an avenue towards self-sufficiency. Through this internship program, I serve as a resource for staff and residents as well as the liaison between Madonna House and other community organizations. This entails preparation for holiday donations, working with the case manage to allocate resources, and developing interactive youth programs among other responsibilities. My goal is to strengthen my community outreach, program facilitation, and communication skills. This will allow me to support the residents in becoming their own empowered self-advocates.
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    Sarah Prinz

    Taking on this project [of working on The Virtual Dance Ensemble Video Project as an independent study with Professor Amy Wilkinson] has challenged my future work in freelance filming. I had to troubleshoot my problems, network with techies with different skill sets, and use my interdisciplinary skills. I will graduate in December, and then I will be moving to Los Angeles to work as a freelance dance filmmaker, assistant director, and dancer.
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    Jessica Morgan

    Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) is a nonprofit organization that works to build and support sustainable and healthy communities. As an intern at SGA, I will be assisting specifically with the Zero Waste Schools program, which aims to reduce and divert lunch waste from landfills at various Chicago Public Schools, as well as helping with grant writing and research. [...] The opportunity to work closely on the strengthening and implementation of the Zero Waste Schools Program is particularly exciting to me, as the area I am most interested in working in in the environmental sector is the food system. My help with the Zero Waste Schools program aligns with the overall mission of the organization in that it drives and promotes school-based, community food scrap composting initiatives and maintains the importance of valuing our resources and being environmentally responsible stewards of the land. I believe this internship will be an excellent culminating experience in my Loyola career and feel well-prepared to take on the challenges that await. Working with SGA will allow me to learn more about the Chicago food system and recognize the work it takes to create change on the local level.
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    Jax Mendez

    As a [Social Justice] intern within the Immigrant Survivor Project at Catholic Charities of Chicago, I have seen the human face of immigration. I work with victims of violent crimes to help provide a pathway towards legal immigration status. Through this experience, I have heard some of the many stories of the undocumented community and have witnessed their resilience in the face of immense adversity. This experience has allowed me to further my passions for humane comprehensive immigration reform and has also sparked a new interest in women's rights and working with survivors of domestic violence.
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    Latriece Clark

    I have participated in Dr. Harden's lab for almost a year now and have learned so much about research. I enjoy working in her lab and have gained valuable knowledge in data entry, data collection, coping measures, and statistical analysis. Her lab focuses on effects of community violence on African American youth and families and working in her lab has inspired me to pursue my current internship in program evaluation at Thresholds. Thresholds is a community based organization that aims to deinstitutionalize individuals struggling with mental health by providing the support and resources necessary to keep them functioning well and living within the community. Working in the program evaluation department at Thresholds has sparked my interest in pursuing a career in research and public health. I am learning valuable skills in data analysis that can later be applied in future settings. [...] My experience working in Dr. Harden's lab and Thresholds has provided the opportunity to gain confidence in my abilities to succeed as well as inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in my field.
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    Samia Khan

    I took the writing theory class with Dr. Amy Kessel during first semester of my Junior [year]. The engaged learning part of the course required me to volunteer at the LUC Writing Center. As a volunteer at the writing center, my main responsibility was to help students become better writers. I volunteered for 2 hours a week and had the opportunity to work with students with various writing skills. Through my experience, I have learned to be patient and also have been working on my interpersonal skills. Moreover, I believe that no matter what profession one pursues, everyone should be a decent writer. [...] Hence, along with my passion for medicine I am also passionate about helping others become good writers. I want to continue to work as a writing tutor at the writing center because in the process of helping others, I am also learning every day.
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    Andrea Realpe

    "My experience working at the CASA lab has not only helped me develop research team experience, but has also exposed me to working with families and children of various backgrounds. During this journey, I have learned skills such as, administering a child and parent report of family coping, administering family observational interaction tasks, administering family stressor vignettes, and family conflict topics at the family’s home. Throughout these interactions I have come to understand the level of stress these families endure. This realization has led me to want to help families build their resiliency to combat stress by helping them learn healthy coping strategies. I believe that this opportunity has helped to solidify my choice in a future career."
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    Jeronimo Anaya

    "By engaging youth through scholarships and speaking tours, as well as informing the public about the unique circumstances of Latinos through research and advocacy, USHLI serves the Hispanic population living in the US, and seeks to create the leaders of tomorrow. As a Mexican national living in the United States myself, I am keenly aware of the issues that USHLI addresses, and have a firm conviction to work for their resolution. My internship consists of 3 main responsibilities: First of all, I support the Institute by conducting research for this year’s edition of the Almanac of Latino Politics. Second, I provide support for coordinating USHLI’s annual conference, which will take place in February, as well as their speaking tours, which take place year round all over the country. Lastly, I perform administrative duties in order to support their relatively small staff. [...] This along with the Jesuit ideals enshrined in every one of Loyola’s programs, have instilled in me a desire to actively participate in improving the lot of others. Through my work with USHLI, I put this knowledge and these beliefs into practice every day."
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    Aqela Rahman

    "Catholic Charities receives many refugees and helps these refugee families and individuals find homes, get jobs, and become self-sufficient in the U.S. My job is to help these families learn about the resources around them. My tasks include taking refugees to school open houses, doctor's appointments, ESL classes, and government offices to teach them about the educational, health care, and public welfare systems available here. This internship has taught me the role social workers and government agencies play in helping new immigrants become oriented in their new country and encouraged me to one day pursue a career in public service."
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    Gayle Blakely

    "My experiences have contributed to my plans toward graduate school in clinical psychology, continued trauma research, a professional career as an educator of psychology, a professional career as a clinician, additional publications (both peer-reviewed, news articles, and books) on trauma, and my future career as a clinical psychologist. My work with Dr. Ira Sommers in the Criminal Justice Department of Loyola has allowed me to garner research experience and build upon research skills, including SPSS, multivariate analyses, and preparing a manuscript for peer-reviewed publication. As my first McNair Mentor, Dr. Ira Sommers work with McNair faculty to ensure that I develop professionally, which includes poster presentation experience at various symposiums, learning how to apply to graduate programs, learning how to select programs that would be a good fit for my career goals, learning how to draft a curriculum vitae, and learning how to write a personal statement." Visit Gayle's ePortfolio and see how she earned her Year Three: Engagement Key
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    Amanda Enders

    "My experience at Swift Elementary [as a volunteer] has been an invaluable part of my education and I am able to use what I learned here in all other areas of my life. Last semester, my fellow Introduction to Social Work classmates and I were able to be a part of the first class to be linked with local Chicago Public Schools. I was given the opportunity to start an after school program at Swift. Through this experience I got to connect with faculty at Swift, and gained confidence and leadership skills, while creating a program from scratch which gave me insight into possible career options. From working at Swift with the students there, as well as through support from my professor Dr. Sokolec and Jon from the Center [of Experiential Learning], I was able to cement my career choice in working in a school setting. I was also given the opportunity this semester to work with the next Loyola class to start an after school program at Swift in an independent study class that has only affirmed what last semester taught me. I encourage everyone to take their service learning seriously, because it really changed my whole career path for the better."
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    Tania Velazquez

    "With this opportunity [interning at Misericordia] I have attempted to take a more reflective approach. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to do many great things and be involved with many organizations and have learned much, but Misericordia has allowed me to reflect deeper. There are many reasons why I have had what I have [...], but I have come to gain a greater appreciation of life. With much that we all having going on in our lives this was a great opportunity that allowed me to step back and remember to appreciate the simple things. All of the residents that I have had the pleasure of working with have shown me their sincere happiness, although they may not have the ability to do all that we are able to. So, I am grateful to have been reminded to slow down and be thankful for all that I have."
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    Kathleen Dillon

    "The experiences I have leaned throughout my participation in the C.A.S.A. Lab have given me incredibly relevant knowledge for my future in psychology. During my time in the C.A.S.A. Lab, I have been involved in nearly every part of the research process, from data collecting, to coding, and various other tasks. My involvement in C.A.S.A helped me to earn my research-based internship at The University of Chicago Hospitals. Moreover, I am a part of the Honors Progam in Psychology and am using my experiences as a part of C.A.S.A. as the scope of my thesis. My time in the C.A.S.A. Lab has solidified my passion for psychology and given me the means to reach my goals."
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    Daniel Drees

    "I have found a way to merge my commitment to service and my passion for cities through my internship at the 48th Ward of Chicago. The Mission of the 48th Ward is to improve the quality of life for residents and to serve them with the quality that they deserve. The ward office serves as a resource for residents and as a place where residents can turn grievances or ideas into action. I am working for this organization because I think serving the community is something I want to make of my career. I think that working in government at the local level is a great way to make change in the lives of many on many different issues. [...] I hope that my academic internship will be transformative for me and will give me the opportunity to put service to others at the forefront of my career experience. I hope to be able to better understand what my interests are in political science and also to better discern my career goals after college."
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    Samantha Steinmetz

    "I am very passionate about psychology and am aware of the physical and emotional repercussions that can arise in individuals living in environments that are damaging to their health and well-being. LIFT Chicago is an organization that strives to eradicate poverty and create positive opportunities for underserved members of society. I have learned through my education that failure to provide individuals—especially children—with basic necessities will have lasting impacts on their abilities to thrive in society. The effects of poverty can adversely impact one’s entire life and limit what one will be capable of achieving during his or her lifetime. Volunteering [as an intern] at LIFT allowed me to work with individuals who face difficult circumstances, many of which are causative of structural injustices out of one’s control. At LIFT, I will be responsible for accessing the needs of individuals in my community who are in need of social services, and subsequently pairing them with community services that are best able to meet their needs. [...] As an individual privileged with an education, I feel obligated to help others obtain the freedom I have been endowed with."
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    Sydney Warren

    "Being a social service intern at Misericordia, has helped me recognize that social work is my calling. I have had the opportunity to perform case management tasks and be an active member of Misericordia’s social service department. For the past semester, I have worked with such a passionate and caring team filled with nurses, developmental training instructors, case managers, and social service coordinators. The staff has been such an inspiration to my future career as a social worker by sharing their previous work experiences and their time at Misericordia. With their help, I have been able to develop my communication skills, develop relationships with staff, and gain a greater insight of what it means to be a social worker for individuals with mental and developmental disabilities."
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    Burhan Adhami

    "I have been working [as an Undergraduate Researcher] with Dr. Doering for about two years now. Working in his research lab has not only taught me many interesting new things about genetics but also instilled in me the confidence to tackle anything tough with confidence. After all, good things in life do not come easy. The patience and the precision required to work in Dr. Doering's lab has strengthened in me the desire to attain my ultimate goal of becoming a medical doctor."
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    Samantha Dane

    "This experience has contributed to my everyday life and future in more ways that I could have anticipated.[...] This experience will help me in applying for jobs post graduation. I would like to work hands on with a vulnerable population. I think the population I would most like to work with is low income women, possibly whom have experienced homelessness or abuse. While this population is much different from the population at Misercordia, the skills I am developing now will better prepare me. I am learning how to communicate with people who have a difficult time expressing themselves and their needs. I am also learning how to work with a professional staff to develop care plans for clients. This will help me create a care and action plan for women in the future. This position is also helping me to develop professional skills, such as emailing, note taking, and how to present my ideas to my supervisor."
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    Jori Rappaport

    "For the past year and a half, I have been working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Activity Matters Research Lab with Dr. Amy Bohnert. This past summer I received a Provost Fellowship to conduct an independent research project. [...] My experience this summer, especially the on-site data collection, provided me an in-depth opportunity to work one-on-one with adolescents as well as with community-based organizations in an underserved urban population. This experience reaffirmed that adolescents should not be viewed only by their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, disability, or hardships. Working in this environment helped me to determine that underserved adolescents are a population I want to work with as a social worker in the future. Notably, being involved in undergraduate research has instilled in me the importance of collaboration and the influence research has on a community level, in the psychology field, and on a greater global scale. To further share my research, this summer I applied to present at the Society for Research on Child Development in March 2015. While being involved in research over the past couple years, I recognized I want to pursue a career as a school social worker. In social work I can use my knowledge and skills to best serve others."
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    Quin Christianson

    "My experiences and work with Misericordia has helped me build skills and obtain knowledge that will potentially help me with my post-graduation plans to continue my education in the field of Library Science. When I sadly come to the end of my internship in the Spring semester, I plan to investigate if there are any positions at Misericordia that I am qualified for and that I might acquire. The job would allow me to continue the work I am doing with Misericordia as well as with the residents that I have come to know very well. This internship has also given me a greater understanding for the lives and struggles of the residents that live at Misericordia as well as the staff that works with them daily. Through my studies and work in Library Science I hope to help make their lives if not better, then at least a little happier."
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    Fran Mangahas

    "My experience has helped shape the way I will lead my brigade to Nicaragua in a few short weeks. The lessons I have learned and the knowledge I have gained I hope to instill in my brigaders and help them have an overall positive and beneficial experience. This course also helped me reaffirm my path to live a life built around service. I hope to become an optometrist and help people see. Although it is a different type of service, I know I will approach it with the same enthusiasm and whole heartedness that I have demonstrated on my brigade. Additionally, this course has helped me to move outside of my comfort zone, to push myself to learn about people different than myself, to serve with a strong faith, to form connections and bonds with anyone I can, and to any accept challenges I may encounter."
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    Addison Mauck

    "Volunteering at Epworth United Methodist Church exposed me to diversity beyond the Loyola Community. I was working with children of all different ages, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses for whom Epworth was not just a place of worship but a community gathering center. Many of the children in the Girl Scouting program, where I spent most of my volunteer hours, would often walk from home to the church, where they would be given lunch before the program began. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to inspire younger girls, as well as to myself live out what I had learned as a Girl Scout through coordinating efforts to make a positive impact on the Epworth Community. When I found out that Eva, a retired schoolteacher who by herself ran not only the Girl Scout program for kindergarten through 12th graders but also the Sunday School and preschool literacy program, I worked to coordinate more volunteers from my service learning class to help out. Fellow Loyola students helped not only with the scouting program but with church clean up, set up of church events, and decoration of the church for Advent. I look forward to continuing volunteering at Epworth as time allows and will definitely look into more volunteer opportunities through Chicago that will allow me to further grow in my understanding of diversity and broaden my world perspective."
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    Evan Turpen

    "Interning within Volunteer Relations at Catholic Charities allows me to gain experience in a wide range of services that the organization offers. My day to day activities within the office include planning and preparing for future volunteer initiatives, updating and maintaining a volunteer database, and assisting with the seasonal giving programs for Catholic Charities' families. In this experience, I am able to see how a nonprofit operates internally as well as seeing the external, firsthand impact of these initiatives. I also participate in volunteering at a weekly Tuesday Night supper for the local homeless community. By gaining technical and strategical knowledge from this internship, I hope to one day contribute to my local community by organizing volunteer-based events. Whether I go on to work within the nonprofit sector or not, the skills gained from this internship will allow me to raise awareness of social injustices and create opportunities for local community involvement."
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    Naveen Kanji

    "As a student interested in medicine, my work with the 19th century Loyola Dumpsite has shown me how circumstances in our lives do not have unilineal cause and effect relationships. All aspects of life are interconnected in a web of sorts and as a doctor, it would be ideal for me to take into consideration how even just one facet of life can have far-reaching effects. Dr. Amick has also personified for me the idea that past material culture can reconstruct the life of people we would never imagine knowing. A few pieces of broken dishes can inform us of socio-economic status, globalization, and consumer habits. His passion for archaeology and knowledge in general inspires me to inquire about everything that sparks my interest. I'll never know when learning one thing may come in handy somewhere else. This [Undergraduate Research] experience has without fail has improved my critical thinking skills and ways of applying knowledge to new situations."
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    Carolina Escobar

    "Interning [as a Social Justice intern] at Misericordia has contributed to my next opportunity by giving me experience in working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Interning at Misericordia has allowed me to observe and contribute to individuals’ growth. As an intern in the development-training department, I have worked with residents in art therapy programs that allow them to express themselves, while at the same time practicing coordination skills. In technology exploration, I have worked with residents develop their strengths through interactive programs that teach them about grammar, mathematics and reading. My experience at Misericordia has taught me that all people are contributing members of society, and have different ways of doing so. In regards to my next step, Misercordia has allowed me to discover that I want to work in advocacy and be a voice for those who do not have the ability to speak for themselves, because everyone deserves to be able to reach their full potential."
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    Jennifer Lee

    "After I returned from my Global Brigades trip to Panama, I had a mixture of feelings about what I saw and what I did. The immediate question from my friends and family upon returning was always, “So you went to Panama, what did you do? What was your trip all about?”, and at this time, I would always frame my answer in the most objective way possible, because I was not really sure of how to make sense of what really happened. [...] All the conflicting feelings I had about my experience boiled down to this bland and neutral answer. Meanwhile, I was internally questioning did we really made an impact? Were the community members glad we came? After digging deeper into the world of global health and service through class discussions, selected readings, and reflective writings over the course of the semester, I realized that I was not alone in my struggle to make sense of my experience. A lot of my classmates, scholars, and poets have thought about the same questions that I did and articulated them into tangible words and rational arguments. I would not say that we came up with any solutions or answers to the questions that we posed in class, because that was not the point of the course. But, we did struggle together over some challenging readings and concepts to articulate the questions that needed to be asked, such as is service good? Why don’t we talk about service? What do brigades mean for us? What do brigades mean for the communities we enter? These are a few of the questions that have been brought up through our readings and discussions. Currently, I have plans to become a physician, and the knowledge I have gained through my UNIV 292 course has definitely made an impact on how I view the institution of medicine and my future plans."
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    Sara Hammer

    "I am thankful to have been granted the Provost fellowship this summer which allowed me to gain valuable experience while working in Dr. Kanzok's Malaria lab at Loyola. While working on my project, I have learned skills such as how to successfully complete a double digest, how to transform DNA into bacteria, how to purify DNA, how to work with laboratory mice, and how to transfect a plasmid into parasites. Additionally, experiencing the successes and failures that accompany research have allowed me to learn how exciting research can be and have allowed me to experience troubleshooting when results do not turn out as planned. My lab mentor, Dr. Kanzok, helps foster passion and excitement for research in our lab, which has allowed me to realize that I want to continue with research after my time at Loyola."
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    Andy Timmons

    "My time at Loyola has been filled with experiences that have taught me about myself, and who I want to be in the future. Loyola has given me the tools I need to realize this future self. Crafting my ePortfolio has given me the time and space to reflect on my experiences at Loyola, allowing them to continue to shape me every day. I hope to continue my journey in law school and then begin work as an advocate for those whose voices are silenced by society."
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    Flavio Bravo

    "Serving as an intern with the Immigrant Survivors Project at Catholic Charities of Chicago has not only contributed to my domestic interests within the United States, but also my international interests abroad. Having met and worked with many immigrants from around the world at Catholic Charities, I was able to connect the difficult experience of an undocumented immigrant in Chicago to the multiple injustices in Central America. Additionally, it gave me a stronger understanding of the different types of advocacy and how they can take shape when working to achieve social justice. With the hope of attending law school after graduating from Loyola, my experience as an intern at Catholic Charities of Chicago has helped me better understand immigration law in a nonprofit setting."
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    Edwin Chaharbakhshi

    "Performing undergraduate research with my fellow lab members under the guidance of Dr. Mierisch built upon many skills that will be extremely valuable throughout medical school and beyond. I have learned firsthand that the margin for error in the laboratory is often minuscule and the error can be typically avoided altogether through appropriate communication and inquiry. However, the key lesson my experience has taught me about the field of science is that it is vital to keep a positive mindset and to reflect upon your work while running any sort of test or experiment. It is commonplace for many experiments to yield unwanted results before seeing your first signs of success, which can sometimes feel rather defeating over a longer period of time. However, I have found that keeping track of tiny details, incorporating outside knowledge from the classroom, and asking questions to develop a fundamental understanding of the work I am doing has been essential for generating my success in the classroom, laboratory, and my workplace."
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    Tahseen Khaleel

    "I absolutely love [volunteering] at Swift Elementary School through Loyola University Chicago's Social and Emotional Wellness Initiative. I enjoy working with our third and fourth grade students and providing them skills for healthy social interaction. It is always heartening to see their enthusiasm and excitement as we discuss such concepts as 'how to build good character' and 'how to be appreciative' and play games with them demonstrating these skills. I am always surprised by how quickly the children pick up these rather abstract concepts, and how well they respond to them. I believe this experience has given me the tools to effectively work with a different age group, in a way that they understand and benefit from, and has opened my mind to the prospect of working with children in the future. It has also definitely also taught me a great deal of patience!"
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    Justin Hoch

    "Through my internship, I learned about my own leadership style, my passion for community development and my role in civic engagement. My internship provided me with a lived experience of professional work in the nonprofit field, as well as work related to social justice and social change. I gained valuable life skills and professional skills, including how to convey my ideas better and how to foster collaboration. In combination with my internship, the UNIV 390 class with its readings, class discussions and reflections encouraged and stimulated my thinking. It propelled me to think critically and to act accordingly. Through the use of an ePortfolio, I was able to reflect upon my experiences and present my ideas in a creative way. While I may not want to work in the nonprofit field, I realized the need to utilize my skills to work for social change and community development. Because of this experience, I recognized my passion for putting my faith into action; thus, I am interested in pursuing a job in ministry."
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    Cassandra Osei

    "My research experience [as a Provost Fellow] ensured that healthcare research is my passion. I was able to honed my skills as a public health researcher and learned to read and use literature relative to my discipline effectively. The research was initially supposed to use participant responses from interviews and surveys. Securing participants from organizations of interest was difficult because of the fear confidentiality would be broken with clients from those organizations. As a result, I learned about rejection but was able to conduct my research around the review of secondary sources in order to strengthen the foundation of my research. As the project progresses however, I will take the time to either make connections with other organizations in order to secure participants for my research or reach out to extended networks. I hope to continue this project beyond my undergraduate career because it is something I am passionate about. The research looks at aspects of race, migration and health and I hope for this project to be the stepping-stone of graduate research, and later development of new healthcare policy."
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    Sydney Peck

    "After going on my brigade I became 100% sure that going into the medical field was the right place for me. I’m going to apply to graduate school in the future to hopefully obtain my masters in Physician’s Assistant studies. I’m taking a year off and I’m planning on working as a nursing assistant or doing some type of service, which is yet to be decided. My brigade inspired me to want to serve more in the future. It also motivated me to spread the passion for serving to those around me, and my ePortfolio of my brigade gave me the perfect platform to do so."
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    Gabriella Baldassari

    "At Friends of the Chicago River I got to experience working [a Service-Learning opportunity] for a non-profit, and with the farm bureau, I got to work with students in the environmental field. The Bring Your Own Bag project was especially fulfilling as it helped me to explore a leadership role and make a significant change in my community."
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    Paul Daniel Mendez

    "As the Human Resource intern I have been able to support professional staff of RefugeeOne with confidential filling, hiring professional staff, and assisting the various programs of RefugeeOne anyway possible. Coming into the organization I have kept the mindset that I may end up being disappointed by the work I do, or that it may be the best thing I have ever done in my life. But ultimately it is giving me the knowledge and empathy to grow as person."
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    Leah Brousalis

    "My UNIV 390 class really gave me an inviting environment [to reflect]. I feel I was able to learn a lot about myself and learn how to express myself better which will definitely come in handy as I start applying to graduate school and jobs."
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    Natalie A. Hock

    "My LIFT experience [as a LIFT advocate] has been transformational. I have had the humbling opportunity to engage in one-on-one meetings with adults who have known little of what it feels like to be treated with attention and respect. The essential purpose of being with people as they navigate crises, challenges, and the complex demands of our culture is exactly that - to be with them, in the hope that a collaborative relationship allows them to feel like less of an island and consequently allows them to stand more steadily in the face of their own unique combination of external struggles, internal longings for change, and desire to move in the world from a place of self-efficacy."
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    Amy Avila

    "I enjoyed my internship to the fullest, being able to see every aspect in the cook county juvenile court plus being able to see the suburban field was amazing. I met with the juveniles, parents, probation officers, attorneys and judges and really got a feel of every side of the story when it came down to what is best for the juvenile. Interning in the suburbs is what led me to take the next step and apply to be a juvenile probation officer, I would like to work in surrounding suburbs eventually since spanish speaking probation officers are so scarce."
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    Paul O'Malley

    "With the support of a LUROP Travel Grant, I presented my research at the Midwest Ecology & Evolution Conference in Dayton, Ohio, March 1st and 2nd. My poster presentation occurred later in the evening, and it was the most rewarding aspect of the trip for me. I was able to describe the faults and success of my research to 20 or so individuals. The trip was a rewarding and scientific development opportunity for myself. "
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    Scott Buttliere

    “While creating an ePortfolio, I was able to reflect upon my time here at Loyola and appreciate the things that I have been given. I now know what my passions are and can use this tool to get there."
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    Zeba Shethwala

    “[My ePortfolio] was a great way for me to show myself all that I have accomplished. Often, I get stuck with the mind set of "what am I doing now” and “how can I do better in the future?" The ePortfolio was a chance for me to look back upon my successes … rather than [focusing on] what I have yet to do.”
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    Marina Peric

    ... I never wanted to work in a cubicle and this internship was all about being outside whether it was at sporting events or concerts and interacting with listeners. Other than the social aspect, I also got to learn the technical side of the business and I set up all of the soundboards and speakers for off site broadcasts.
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    Ligin Solamen

    We worked on developing a wide field-imaging device capable of determining lipid concentration of tissue. By using light scattering and absorption properties, we were able to test the system on engineered tissue.
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    Olivia Conti

    My Service-Learning experience was great. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to engage in intellectual material in an appealing format.
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    Madison Meder

    The internship course that I took through the Center for Experiential Learning to supplement my experience at PAWS provided me with valuable resources that I will be able to use in the future as I pursue a career in the medical field.
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    Michelle Lis (Provost Fellow)

    Doing research at Loyola Medical Center gave me essential clinical experience in medical physics, and confirmed my interests in becoming a medical physicist. My research was centered on processing MRI images to correct distortions due to patient motion.
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    Sean Wahl

    This service-learning experience was a wonderful opportunity that fostered my career development and personal exploration. The UNIV 290 course did an excellent job of integrating issues of privilege with development of a social paradigm.
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    Tyler Hough

    Creating an ePortfolio … has allowed me to reflect upon the my Loyola experience, synthesize my triumphs, and showcase these to future employers. In addition, by building an ePortfolio I've been able to figure out where my passions and interests lie.
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    Kelly Cahalin

    My international service-learning experiences in both Panama and Ghana were two of the greatest experiences of my life. After going to Panama in January of 2013, I knew that I would have to go back on another Global Brigade trip. So, I went to Ghana in August of 2013 and fell in love all over again.
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    Monique Quinn

    My [experiential learning] seminar class really allowed me to explore not only the reason why I was doing research, but also what I was learning from my research experience.
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    Cooper Carriger

    Building an ePortfolio enhanced my 4-year Loyola Experience because it initially allowed me to do a skills and interests "inventory." It made me reflect what do I love to do, what can I do, and how can I show this to others?
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    Thomas Serena

    I recently attended a medical brigade to Africa where I worked with many individuals from diverse backgrounds. This experience brought me to the central region of Ghana where we provided medicine, dentistry, and public health to 928 individuals in an extremely small village.
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    Pedro Regalado

    The internship I undertook this summer working as a research assistant with Dr. Nickerson was fantastic in a few different ways.
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    Alexandra Luterek

    I became a LUROP Provost Fellow after taking a service-learning course with Dr. Julia Pryce my sophomore year.
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    Maureen Burns

    The skills I am gaining will help prepare me to continue research after graduation as well as help me in my continuing study of psychology. Gaining an interest and more general knowledge about youth and violence reduction will help guide not just my future research plans, but career path and goals.
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    Isabelle Bizub

    ... I now also have an avenue to present my accomplishments, interests and concrete experience with the Spanish language to future employers. The ePortfolio has been personally, academically and professionally beneficial to me.