Major: Environmental Science
Class: 2015 • Hometown: German Valley, IL
Erin Ebbesmeyer loves Loyola. And she wants others to love it too.
For the past several years, she’s worked with the Orientation team to welcome new students to campus and show them all that the University has to offer. But Ebbesmeyer is much more than a smiling face. She’s also an outstanding student and researcher who is a member of the Maroon and Gold Society.
Here, she talks about visiting Loyola for the first time, her grant-winning research project, and how living in Chicago opened her eyes to a world of possibilities.
What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
I think I’ll always smile thinking about the first time I visited campus as a junior in high school. All I wanted as a 17-year old was to study in Chicago, and the campus was a pretty sweet bonus. I was totally oblivious to how many cool and unique opportunities Loyola would give me over the next five years.
Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
This will be my third summer working with the Orientation program, and it’s because of people like Mary Houston. She is one tough cookie. I can always count on her to help me navigate any situation, work related or not. Mary has helped me find passion within my work, and I’m lucky to have a boss that doubles as a friend.
Tell us about your research: what it was, how you got involved, and what you hope to accomplish with it.
In my sophomore year, I took the STEP: Water course to get hands-on lab experience. My team’s project focused on sustainably treating a byproduct of biodiesel production in a closed-loop system. This eventually led to an EPA competition in Washington, D.C., where we were one of seven teams selected for a $90,000 grant.
How has your involvement in student organizations or service work helped shape you as a person?
Being at the center of this urban environment was really eye opening for me, especially after growing up in a town of 460. Through the opportunities I’ve had to serve my community, I’ve come to appreciate everyone’s unique story. More importantly, though, I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned in class to the world that surrounds me.
What do you think differentiates Loyola from other universities?
The student body. I’ve worked with so many student leaders throughout my various involvements, and every time I’m blown away by the passion and commitment that our student body radiates for Loyola and its values. It’s a community that desires to learn and grow while helping others.
And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I think I have too many interests, so there are a bunch of possibilities. Possibly working with a park district or a non-profit committed to ending hunger, or maybe working within higher education. Ideally, I’ll be getting enough sleep, have a loving family, and live in a cozy home with at least two cats.