Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning

Student Profiles

  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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!"
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    Natalie 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."
  • Profile

    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."
  • Profile

    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. "
  • Profile

    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."