St. Joseph’s Seminary
Kevin T. Mundackal
As a student of Loyola and a seminarian at St. Joseph College Seminary, Kevin Mundackal is well versed in the idea of helping others.
He’s worked with his fellow seminarians, for instance, to gather food and deliver it to the homeless on the streets of Chicago. On weekends, he teaches catechism classes to children at a local parish. And he does it all while maintaining an outstanding GPA.
Here, he talks about getting to know his professors, what he’ll miss most about Loyola, and how he tries to follow the example of Mother Teresa.
What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
During finals week, one of my professors invited all of her students to dinner at a nearby restaurant on the North Side. It was nice seeing everyone’s “human side,” even my professor. It was also awesome being out of the classroom and with your classmates and professor while abiding by the one rule of the night: no talking about anything school-related.
Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
My spiritual director and mentor for the past three years was Father Larry Maddock. Father Larry is a kind, loving, and compassionate priest. He really inspired me to go beyond my comfort zone and go out into the world to meet and encounter new beliefs and ideas. His passion for charity and justice has really inspired me to always be aware of the needs of the poor and marginalized.
Tell us about your volunteer/service work and what it means to you.
Mother Teresa once said, “Unless a life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile.” When we give ourselves to others through service and volunteer work, we not only work toward making our society a better place, but it also helps us as individuals to be more consciously aware of the needs of others and realize that we are not the center of the universe.
Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their education?
Get to know your professors; they’re more than just a person with a PhD. Visit them in their office hours, ask them about their hobbies and interests, and don’t be afraid to challenge them or raise questions in the classroom. There are several professors that I still keep in touch with since I first got to Loyola, and it has been a great blessing to be able to get to know them beyond the classroom.
What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
Ten years from now, I hope to be a Catholic priest stationed somewhere in the United States, and I would have no problem whatsoever being stationed in the beautiful city of Chicago.
What’s your favorite study space on campus?
Fourth floor of the Information Commons. It’s very hard for me to study with any noise, even soft music. The 4th floor is super quiet and really helps me read and concentrate on my school work.
What will you miss most about Loyola?
Lake Michigan. There have been several times when I have gotten up early to watch the sunrise and watch the entire lake illuminated. Other than swimming and walking along with beach, the lake is somewhere I often to go pray and de-stress. Loyola is very blessed to have been built right on the lake.
About the Medallion
Leadership. Scholarship. Service.
Those three words are etched onto the President’s Medallion that Loyola awards annually to its most outstanding students. They are words that neatly summarize all that the University represents. And they also sum up the 2013–14 President’s Medallion recipients—students who excel not only in the classroom, but also in the world, and are dedicated to helping those around them.
“Each of the recipients was recommended for this award by their academic dean because they exemplify a wonderful combination of achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service,” said Dean of Students Jane Neufeld at the annual President’s Ball at the end of the fall semester.
“In addition, they are seen as persons of integrity, good reputation, and manifest leadership in serving others,” Neufeld said. “In short, they are students for which Loyola and its founders can take great pride.”