Loyola University Chicago

Community Service & Action

Division of Mission Integration

CSA Stories

Welcome to our CSA stories, where you'll find quick but in-depth glimpses into our staff, students, faculty, and collaborators. Interviews are posted with the more recent at the top.

 

2023-2024 Stories!

Scotty Monteith
He/Him
Junior - Environmental Policy major, Environmental Economics minor


Where are you from?
Louisville, KY

What do you like to do?  
I like to go on food runs with my club, Food Recovery Network. I also like walking and exploring Chicago and playing basketball in Halas. Going to movies, plays and stand-up are also really fun. Honestly, I am easily entertained.

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?  
I am politically engaged in my community by partaking in the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) with CSA and being in Student Environmental Alliance (SEA) and Inside Government. The IFTJ can be considered community service because I lobbied in Washington DC for my community. As part of the IFTJ delegation I helped lobby for the Donald McEachin Environmental Justice For All Act. This would help ensure people had access to parks, clean air and water, a just transition for fossil fuel workers, and many of environmental justice goals would be achieved. With SEA I partake in protesting more locally for better environmental legislation here in Chicago. As the President of Inside Government, I am also heavily involved with community service by being part of a great team that opens the door for many students to be able to get internships or jobs in government.

Why do you engage in the community?
I have an immense love for all of God’s creations that is why I help restore the earth with Restoration Club and why I volunteer my Saturdays helping at A Just Harvest (AJH). Hunger is a policy choice at the end of the day and requires legislative change, but it is nice that I can help out my community every weekend.  

As I mentioned above that hunger is a policy choice and while I do enjoy being able to help my community by feeding families in a perfect world there would be legislation in place where no family has to starve because they can’t afford to eat or has to sleep outside because they can’t afford a place to live. I’m choosing to be a environmental policy major in hope that I one day can make legislation that will brink drinkable water to Eastern Kentucky and all over the US and even the world. I would love to help be a part of a movement that allows people to be able to walk everywhere without the need for cars.  

I engage with my community because when I look around and see invasive honeysuckle I get angry. I engage with my community because I know Loyola has food the spare so the right thing to do is to help feed others. I engage with my community because when I look around and see all the problems going on it just makes sense for me to want to help where I can. Whether that’s lobbying, working at LUREC, or helping at AJH.

What is one of your favorite stories from your community engagement experiences?
When I was volunteering at AJH a few months ago a family came in speaking no English and we were able to give them food. With the migrant crisis as bad as it is, it is nice to know that I was able to help at least one family. I have also seen it among the student body whenever we host our Rambler Recovery Week at the end of the semester. We always get hundreds of pounds of nonperishable food donated to help restock AJH’s food pantry. Just knowing that many Loyolan’s see themselves as being more than just part of the Loyola community and that they see themselves as part of a great Rogers Park Community is nice to see.

In the spirit of Sr. Jean and her belief in the goodness of people that she shares in her book, “Wake Up With Purpose,” where have you seen the goodness of others in your community engagement experiences?
Whenever we can recover food from other club meetings, I can see goodness in my community. It shows that so many people in this school are interested in helping reduce food waste and helping out the Rogers Park neighborhood.  Every time I walk into AJH and I see the workers, who typically look exhausted, I see goodness in others. So many people have devoted their life to helping others and it is nice to see.  

The last internship fair Inside Government hosted allowed me to see goodness in government services, which is often harder to see. It meant so much to have government employees know how important it is to have young people help out and get their voices heard that over thirty offices showed up offering internship programs.

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?  
I am on the e-board for Food Recovery Network, where we collect the unused food from the dining halls and donate it to A Just Harvest which is off the Howard stop. We also volunteer there once a month helping them organize their food storage and help hand out food to the individuals who come for a meal. I also participate in restoration club workdays where I help with restoration work in LUREC. I am the president of Inside Government, I work for Loyola’s Military Veteran Student Services (MVSS) office, and I participate in SEA.

What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
Just get involved. The worst that happens is you went to really bad club meeting, but at least you’ll have a fun story to tell. I’ve heard a lot of freshman say it’s so hard to make friends on this, and I just wish people knew that they don’t have to be friends with just their roommate (it helps) but go to club meetings, go to Thursday night mass (even if you’re not Catholic they have ice cream afterwards and free ice cream is awesome), go to sporting events, go to LUCommunity and just find something you’re interested in.

 

 

Elaniz Mojica
She/her

Youth Project Coordinator, Centro Romero

Elaniz has worked at Centro Romero (a Loyola4Chicago partner site) for 5 years. She first started as a part time Youth Worker. She then moved to Lead Community Navigator and Youth Worker and eventually moved up to Youth Project Coordinator. She holds an Associates Degree.

 

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Chicago.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I love working on my art whether its painting, drawing, or beading earrings. I also enjoy being with my cat or attending to my plants.

Why do you engage in the community?
I understand that I have a privilege being here in the USA and having family here that can help me, but others do not have the same privilege. Some people come here with only the clothes on their backs. They do not know the language, the people, or have any resources. For that reason, I want to help the community become self-sufficient.

What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
I love many things about the work I do but one of my favorites would be when we have a city key event or a TPS workshop. Both days can be hectic and stressful because of the amount of people we help, but at the end we are able to reflect on what went well and what we need to improve on.

In the spirit of Sr. Jean and her belief in the goodness of people, where have you seen the goodness of others in your community engagement experiences?
I see the goodness everywhere whether it’s with the youth, our volunteers or with the community we are helping. When I think of the goodness in people I think about the interactions I see with our Loyola volunteers and the youth who are new arrivals. Although the volunteers might not speak Spanish, they make it a point to form a connection between them and the student. 

What advice would you give to an incoming college student at Loyola?
Always work your hardest and put pride into your work, it makes you unforgettable. 

What is your favorite place in Rogers Park/Edgewater/Chicago?
My favorite place in Edgewater is the lake. I love walking to the lake at night when the moons position is close to earth because you get to watch massive waves. In general, I would say my favorite place in Chicago would be Chinatown because there’s a variety of things you can do there.

 

 


Paul
Kalapala
He/Him/His
Senior -
Biology major, Business Administration
minor

 
Where are you from? 

I’m from the Chicago Suburbs! I really enjoy being able to attend school in the city, but also go back home to the suburbs in the summers and for breaks. It really gives me the best of both worlds! I get to experience the city, which is always full of life and things to do, and the suburbs, which have more of a small-town feel to me! 
 

What do you like to do? 
I’m what one might call a “movie nerd”. It’s always been a big thing in my family to do Friday Family Movie Nights – so I’ve grown up watching dozens of different movies and TV shows with my family! I also have a passion for cooking and trying new recipes. Admittedly, I’m still developing my skills in the kitchen (my roommate can tell you several stories of my recipes gone bad). However, I love being able to experiment in the kitchen and explore the dishes of different cultures. In particular, I love cooking Thai and Cajun Food! 
 

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
I attend CSA’s Weekly Volunteering opportunity at the St. Thomas of Canterbury Soup Kitchen! 
 

Why do you engage in the community?
My Community Service has always stemmed from my Christian Faith.
I believe that everyone is made in the image of God. However, despite this, many populations in Chicago are underserved. They lack access to basic necessities – like food and clothes. Initially, when I joined the soup kitchen – I simply wanted to do my part to provide for these communities. However, as I continued to work at the soup kitchen – my service became much more meaningful. As I began to know the guests better, I saw that they were rich, complex people. They were kind and interesting and generous and funny. They are valuable and precious in God’s sight – and they are worth serving, loving, and fighting for. This has been my driving force to continue serving and engaging with these Communities. 
 

In the spirit of Sr. Jean and her belief in the goodness of people that she shares in her book, “Wake Up With Purpose,” where have you seen the goodness of others in your community engagement experiences?
One of the places I have clearly seen the goodness of others is in the CSA’s very own Soup Kitchen Leaders. After talking with the leaders, it did not take me long to notice how empathetic and considerate they were. They truly have an incredibly deep care for each of the people in the communities they serve. Not only that, but they display
a genuine leadership and care for the Loyola students that they lead every week. They thoughtfully consider how to make this service experience something that is welcoming, rich, and developmental for the students. Often times, they take extra pains to step aside so that other students will have the opportunity to engage more fully in the service work. To me, they embody a sense of goodness, service, and integrity. 
 

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
I am involved in several different campus organizations at Loyola: The American Medical Student Association,
Agape and Ecclesia (a Protestant Campus Faith Organization), and AMDG. Recently, I helped to co-found Heart for the Unhoused Chicago. This Homeless Outreach organization also seeks to care for underserved populations in the Chicago area by providing them with important medical education and healthcare resources. My involvement in this organization is partially inspired by my experiences at the soup kitchen! 
 

What tips do you have for building and maintaining community in college?
Building Community takes all sorts of shapes and forms. It does not always require extravagant actions. Sometimes, building community simply means reaching out to the people in your class to form a study group or talking to your floormates in your apartment to get coffee. Every person needs community. If we are each able to reach out to the people around us – to check in on them and make an effort to know them – we can build a truly supportive and flourishing community. However, I recognize that reaching out to others might be difficult. Sometimes we’re not in a position to help others. Sometimes we ourselves need to be helped. We are in need of that community. In that scenario, allow yourself to be helped. Allow yourself to get involved in the organizations and groups offered at Loyola.  

What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
College can be intimidating.
We’re suddenly thrust into an entirely new environment with an enormously steep learning curve. What’s perhaps most difficult for us is finding friends – finding a group of people that we care about and that care about us. It’s easy to get discouraged if we aren’t connecting with very many people. I would encourage incoming students to be hopeful and patient: Finding community can take time. The truth is, however, there are likely a lot of people feeling the same way you are. Try to keep your eyes open for the people are the margins – who might be feeling left out or neglected. Make an effort to connect with them and get to know them. You might just find that you’re building your own community of people.
 

 

 

Claire Noonan
she/her/hers
Vice President for Mission Integration

BA in English & Religious Studies, Catholic University of America
MDiv, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
DMin, Catholic Theological Union (concentration in spirituality)

Where are you from? 
The Chicago area. I live in Oak Park now.

What do you like to do in your free time? 
Visit with friends, read, walk, travel.

Why do you support Loyola in its community engagement work?
Engagement with the community is an essential dimension of Loyola’s mission and identity as a Jesuit, Catholic university.
 

What is one of your favorite stories from your experiences with community engagement?
Once upon a time, I used to direct Loyola4Chicago. I absolutely loved the work – which was most directly with ou
r student leaders. It was a great joy to see how students continued their dedication to community service and action beyond graduation in some powerful and extraordinary ways.

What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
Inviting people to connect with their deepest calls to purpose and relationship.
 

In the spirit of Sr. Jean and her belief in the goodness of people that she shares in her book, “Wake Up With Purpose,” where have you seen the goodness of others in your community engagement experiences?
EverywhereA recent example—I serve on the Board of Christ the King Jesuit College Prep (a school in Austin following the Cristo Rey model)—and was asked to help write a new vision statement for the school. We had a junior student on the committee. Listening to him thoughtfully reflect on his experience of CTK, and his dreams for his fellow students coming up after him was powerful! He was so generous with his time and wisdom. His perspective in large measure shaped the statement which was eventually approved by the Board and will guide the school’s strategic planning for its next chapter of service to the Westside.

What is your favorite place on campus?
The benches on the lakefront—especially on a warm and breezy summer day.
 

What advice would you give to a student looking to get involved?
Jump in! You will be welcomed
warmly, and find joy and companionship quickly. You’ll learn a lot and be challenged to grow immensely.

 

 

Anthony Maltese
he/him/his
Senior - Biochemistry

Where are you from?
Oswego, IL


What do you like to do?
In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends and exploring the city together. What I love most about Chicago is there’s always a new restaurant or museum to discover and they never disappoint. I also really like to watch movies and the latest streaming shows. My favorite this past year has been House of the Dragon on Max.


How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
I have been a volunteer with Loyola4Chicago for over two years now, and since then, I’ve had the immense privilege of working with multiple site partners in our local community. My first two semesters, I volunteered at Jordan Elementary School and FORA, and last year, I became a student leader for Centro Romero. I look forward to continuing in this role for the upcoming year!


Why do you engage in the community?
From a very young age, my parents have always instilled in me a sense of service to those around you, especially those who may be less fortunate than me. I knew when I came to Loyola, I wanted to join a service organization that fulfilled my desire to engage with my community, and when I found L4C, it was a perfect match. This organization has allowed me to build new connections and work with diverse populations that I would’ve never encountered on such a personal level had I not joined. The past two years volunteering with L4C have been some of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences in my entire life.


What is one of your favorite stories from your community engagement experiences?
When I worked at FORA, I had the opportunity to mentor a new high school student who was in the midst of preparing for his first job interview. He was incredibly nervous and struggled with social interactions, so I worked to build his confidence and help him practice answering questions. As the child of refugees from the Middle East, it was incredibly inspiring hearing his story and the bravery it took for his parents to flee their home and start an entire new life here in America. Working with him will be an experience I never forget.


How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
Outside of CSA, I am a research assistant in Dr. Esipova’s organic chemistry lab. I have also volunteered with Hearts4Homeless, a non-profit organization that provides free blood pressure readings to underserved populations in the local community.


What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
My biggest piece of advice is to take full advantage of all the events hosted on campus. LUCommunity provides an exhaustive list of all the organizations and events going on throughout the semester, and these are the best ways to meet new people and participate in extremely fun activities. The Department of Programming (DOP) here at Loyola does an amazing job setting up events, so always keep an eye out for what’s coming up. Some of my favorite events I’ve went to over the years are the movie nights hosted on Fridays in Damen, a Bob Ross painting session, and one year, me and my friends even got free tickets to Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up, which was really fun.

 

 

2022-2023 Stories!

Claire Creighton
she/her
Senior
Major: Biochemistry

Where are you from?
Rochester, MN

What do you like to do?
I enjoy cooking meals with my friends and trying new restaurants around Chicago. I like working out and walking along the Lake Shore Trail during the warmer seasons! I love having game nights with friends and watching TV series together. I recently finished Kaleidoscope on Netflix and I highly recommend! I love volunteering with kiddos in my free time too!

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
I have been involved in Community Service & Action since Saturday of Service my first year at Loyola! Since then, I was captivated by the work I saw my peers engaging in, and I wanted to be a part of it! I participated in Loyola4Chicago my first year, volunteering at Jordan Elementary School. My sophomore year I was an LUCserve co-leader on both the Community Partner Engagement and Immigration committees. Junior year I served as a leader for L4C again at Jordan and McCutcheon Elementary schools, and I have been an L4C leader at Centro Romero during my senior year! Every year I have been fortunate enough to participate in Saturday of Service, reminding me of my beginnings in CSA.  

Why do you engage in the community?
I think it’s a gift to be engaged in your community and represents a truly mutually beneficial relationship. When you participate meaningfully in your community, you are rewarded beyond belief with new relationships and resources. I want to see the places I live, work, and study in flourish so that I too may grow.  

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
Outside of CSA, I just finished my term as president of Alpha Chi Omega, a Panhellenic sorority on campus. I am also a Supplemental Instructor with Tutoring Center, and a mentor in Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program. I do research on campus in Dr. Burns’ lab, I am a student volunteer advocate for The Line, Loyola’s gender-based violence hotline, and I am in Friends of MSF and NLVS, the New Life Volunteering Society, on campus.  

What is your favorite place on campus?
Damen Student Center! I always see so many friends walking by and love those interactions. There’s always something going on in Damen!

What tips do you have for building and maintaining community in college?  
To build and maintain community at Loyola you need to put in the level of effort you would like to receive in return. Putting yourself out there can be hard, but extremely rewarding! Meet new people, try new things, and community will come naturally.   

What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
I would tell incoming students to fully embrace all the emotions that come with starting college or transferring to a new college. Acknowledge that your experience is yours alone and try your best not to compare it with your peers’. Make the most of your undergraduate experience in ways that are fulfilling to you.

 

 

Josh Arsulowicz
he/him/his
Junior
Major: Supply Chain Management/Finance
Minor: Spanish

Where are you from?
Grand Rapids, Michigan

What do you like to do?
Play basketball, spend time with friends and family, read, watch football and basketball (Go Blers and Go Blue!)

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
Since the start of my sophomore year, I’ve been involved in Loyola4Chicago.

Why do you engage in the community?
For a few reasons. One, part of my faith as a Christian is the belief that we ought to give back and help those in need. Also, living in a community as diverse and rich as Chicago and Rogers Park inspires me to go out and become more immersed in the community.

What is one of your favorite stories from your community engagement experiences?
Last year, I volunteered at Centro Romero, a primarily Latino after-school program. Once the kids warmed up to me and grew more comfortable with me, they tried to sneak sentences by me in Spanish to their friends or make fun of my Spanish accent (I’m a non-native Spanish speaker---it’s my minor at school). I loved being able to joke and interact with these kids and have them feel comfortable enough to be themselves around me.

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
I am the Vice President of Men’s Club Basketball, I’m a lector for Mass at Madonna della Strada Chapel, I am member of Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honors Society), and I am also a part of the Honors College Mentorship Program. Plus, going to basketball games are always at the top of my to-do list.

What is your favorite place on campus?
This is a really tough one, but if I had to pick it would be Gentile Arena. Basketball game days with a packed student section are one of the best parts of being a student here.

What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
Enjoy the ride! I’m somehow already over halfway through my time here, and it feels like yesterday when I first committed to go to school here. LUC is an incredible place, and do your best to enjoy every second you get here.

 

 

Mia Silvestros
She/Her/Hers
Junior
Major: Public Health
Minor: Does Premed count?  

Where are you from?
St. Louis, MO

What do you like to do?
I like to eat, sleep, and spend time with my friends. I’m always up for a good movie, card game, or a dance party!

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
I am a student leader for the St. Thomas of Canterbury soup kitchen! This is currently my second semester as a student leader, but I have been volunteering at the soup kitchen for about a year and a half. I was a member of the Service and Faith Learning Community when I was a freshman (even though we were online). So, the transition to be a member of CSA was easy.  

Why do you engage in the community?
3 Reasons:
    1. To help those in need
    2. To apply my public health knowledge
    3. To make Chicago feel more like home  

How do you envision living out the call to “Build the Greater Good” after you graduate?
My ultimate plan is to earn my MPH before attending medical school, then going into the primary care field. I absolutely love public health and I hope to work in an underserved community as a doctor to provide health education, health promotion, and increased healthcare equity. If the whole medical school thing doesn’t work out, I’d like to still work in community health as a public health official!  

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
I like to play intramural volleyball and I am a research assistant for a community health program. I’d like to make it to a Ramblers basketball and volleyball game soon!  

What is your favorite place on campus?
Huge fan of the SES. All my homies stare at the koi.  

What tips do you have for building and maintaining community in college?  
Consistency! It can be hard to make connections and memories if you’re only involved in something once or twice during the year. Find something you really enjoy and stick with it!

 

 

Arkhawan Salih
Chief Operating Officer
Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA)

Bachelor’s degree, Law and Political Science
Master’s degree, International Relations
Certificate of Data Science and Visualization, Northwestern University

Professional Experience:
I have worked in the field of Human Rights Advocacy for most of my career. I worked as a leader in project management and organizational management for more than 15 years in the local and international non-profits organizations both in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and the United States.

Where are you from?
Kurdistan Region of Iraq

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I spend most of my time with my family. I enjoy watching movies and talking with my daughters (12, 17 years old). I also enjoy family and friends outings to fun activities and summer concerts and barbeques in Chicago. Additionally, I enjoy my alone time reading, listening to music, and spending some time in nature.

How would you describe your role at FORA?
My role at Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA) is to oversee day to day operations, implementation of FORA projects and programs, and monitor the quality of services we provide to our community. In addition, working on developing long term planning and program monitoring and evaluation tools, Hiring employees and building a dedicated team who understand the profound impact of social change and advocacy in the field of human rights generally, and the right to accessible and compatible education for the refugee and SLIFE (Student with Limited and Interrupted Formal Education) students particularly.

Why do you engage in the community?
I believe that each person is responsible to help their community in any way they can. For me, I like to help others not only because it is my responsibility but also because I am very passionate about human rights for all. I am able and willing to engage in and benefit the community by using my skills and experience in multiple fields that I built over the time. I manage programs and organizations that restore rights and freedom to the most marginalized and vulnerable people such as children and youth, women, refugees, Institutionalized people, survivors of domestic violence and abuse, etc.

At FORA, we empower refugee SLIFE children by providing 80 refugee children with daily after-school tutoring. Every student receives two hours a day, five days a week, of individualized foundational tutoring so that academic scaffolding can begin, so that, over time, students can catch up to grade level and, finally, so that school becomes meaningful. We provide more than 35,000 hours of student tutoring a year with a two-to-one or less student-tutor ratio. And this deep commitment leads to amazing results. Additionally, we empower student’s families by becoming a sufficient resource to their children’s academic progress, by helping parents to have access to information they need to understand the US education system and how to get engaged with schools.

What is one of your favorite stories from your experiences with CSA/Loyola4Chicago?

I have many wonderful stories and experiences with Loyal students who support FORA students and programs. I have to mention that FORA’s largest number of tutors comes from Loyola work study, Loyola4Chicago and Loyola volunteers. We are so grateful and appreciative of all the work they do, and how they inspire our students everyday. They come with a high level of professionalism and passion that make them a perfect role model for our students. There were several occasions when work-study students from Loyola decided to continue volunteering at FORA as a tutor even after they completed their work-study program. Many times, Loyola interns, volunteers and tutors left such a positive impact on our programs, students and the team that we were deeply saddened when they left or their programs ended. I have to mention that at FORA we offered a job position to one of the very talented and hardworking Loyola students who currently work as Head of Volunteers Recruitment at FORA. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Loyola as both our organizations promote community values and principles that make the social changes possible.

What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
My favorite part of the work I do is the changes and progress I observe in the education and behavior of the children we serve at FORA. When I see a child who was disengaged and did not have hope for their future only a few months ago, is starting to get involved with their tutors and FORA staff members, ask questions about school programs and college life, getting higher grades at school, attending school every day, and seeing smile on their faces is the most rewarding thing at my work.

What is your favorite place in Rogers Park?
My favorite part of Rogers Park is the diverse and colorful area around Devon as this area contains communities of different origins and faith, great grassroots organizations, and authentic cultural restaurants and stores.

 

 

 

Ade Olu-Ajeigbe
Senior
Major: Bioinformatics; Minor: Computer Science

 
Where are you from?
Chicago, IL

What do you like to do?
I enjoy drawing. I play two instruments - guitar and piano. I also love to cook.

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
I am the leader of the Wednesday Loyola for Chicago group that works with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Chicago. We help encourage and mentor the young minds at Jordan Elementary school.

What is one of your favorite stories from your community engagement experiences?
During my time as a volunteer for the pantry, there was a time that a woman needed help carrying food to the bus stop. She had had a horrible week, and this helped her as she needed food for her kids. She explained that she had been experiencing back pain from working long hours and that made everything easier. I think being able to help her in a small way made me realize the impact of even the smallest action.

How do you envision living out the call to “Build the Greater Good” after you graduate?
After graduating, I want to continue working in the community as a volunteer delivering food to individuals who need it. I’m passionate about creating solutions to food insecurity in my local community. I want to continue contributing to the community as a volunteer storing, facilitating, and delivering food to individuals who need it. In addition, I hope I can collaborate in other ways like organizing food drives and raising funds for under-served community pantries.

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
I work at Lakeview Pantry. It is a great experience helping people be able to obtain food and supporting individuals who need food delivered to them.

What is your favorite place on campus?
I have two favorite places on campus the Quad and Halas. Loyola has a beautiful campus, and the Quad is a great place to take it in and have fun. Halas has so many things to do from rock climbing, swimming, and basketball.  

What tips do you have for building and maintaining community in college?
It starts with being knowledgeable about the needs of the community. From there, the main way to build community in college is to get involved. Finding ways to support the community through clean up, donations, or helping to organize events within community are great places to start. Also, joining clubs on campus with your interests are the best way to explore what you are truly passionate about.  

What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
Loyola is a wonderful university with multiple opportunities. Try everything! Learn as much as you can! Embrace the culture at Loyola. There are so many great people here that you can grow with from faculty to students.

 

 

 

Bizzy Stephenson
she/her/hers
CSA Community Outreach Coordinator (Staff Member)

What did you study when you were a college student?
B.A. from the University of St. Thomas with majors in English and Justice & Peace Studies and a minor in American Culture & Difference. M.Ed. from Seattle University in Student Development Administration

What do you like to do in your free time?
Sing, watch movies at indie theaters, go on walks and explore the neighborhoods around mine, bike by the lake, read good books.

Where else have you worked?
During graduate school, I worked as a graduate Area Coordinator in Housing and Residence Life.

How would you describe your role with Community Service & Action?
I get to liaison between our incredible community partner organizations and our wonderful student volunteers to facilitate student engagement with community off campus.

What is one of your favorite stories from your experiences with CSA?
Hosting interviews for L4C this year, I got to meet all our volunteers who were so kind, and I got to witness the welcoming leadership of our L4C group leaders. Loyola students keep me hopeful.

What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
I love asking students questions about their experiences, passions, knowledge, and identities.

What is your favorite place on campus?
Does BopNGrill count??

What advice would you give to a student looking to get involved?
Talk to someone like a staff member or upper division student (junior, senior) who does something you think is cool and ask them how you can do it too.

 

 

 

Alexandra Alanis
Junior
Major: Biology, Minor: Spanish

Where are you from?
I am from Chicago, Illinois and I grew up in the Rogers Park area! 

What do you like to do?
Outside of school I really enjoy being outside either bike riding, going on runs or playing soccer and volleyball with friends and family. Moreover, I am trying to learn how to cook new recipes because my family loves gardening and having cookouts.

How are you involved in Community Service & Action?
I started off my involvement in CSA by being a volunteer for L4C (Loyola4Chicago) my sophomore year. It was my most memorable experience at Loyola, being able to connect with the community at Centro Romero. This year I am a student assistant and student leader for L4C!

Why do you engage in the Community?
CSA is such a welcoming community that has made me feel more actively engaged with the Rogers Park neighborhood. I want to dedicate my time to helping minority groups and helping to connect new students to the community. During my time I have met so many amazing mentors and upper-classmen that have given me advice about classes and talked to me about their past experiences at Loyola that make me want to actively keep participating.

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?
Outside of CSA I am involved in Best Buddies which is an organization that creates opportunities to develop leadership and bonds by the one-to-one friendships made between people with and without IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities). It is a wonderful experience to advocate for inclusion and to be educated about the IDD community.

How do you envision living out the call to “Build the Greater Good” after you graduate?
My plans after I graduate are to go to medical school and become a pediatrician. I am passionate about children's health and being dedicated to helping others overcome health and safety struggles. By having experienced language barriers growing up, I want to make an impact on immigrant families who need assistance with communication and receiving the proper help they need to ensure their well-being. 

What advice would you give to an incoming student at Loyola?
Do not be afraid or nervous to reach out to your professors or teaching assistants if you have any questions or want to introduce yourself. Making connections early on will help prepare you for the semester and make it easier to better understand the classes you are taking. Also, as a commuter I would recommend coming into the commuter's room occasionally because they often hand out free food and merchandise and it makes it feel very welcoming for all students in their lounge.

 

2021-2022 Stories!

Brennan McDonald - Student

Maria Diaz - Student

Hailey Samples - Student

Sumayyah Haider - Student

Ashley Goldsmith - Student

Nhi Duong - Student

 

 

 

 

 

NameRole
Allison Wiederin Student
Jakub Krasewicz Student
Ava Borrego Student
Maya Marks-Strauss Student
Alex Rubin Student
Sarah LaVanway Student

 

 

NameRole
Xander King  Student
Maddie Drescher  Student
Erin Hawkins  Student
Andrea S. Barrios  Community Partner
Bryn Siberski  Alumni 
Casey Kazich  Student 
Gabriella Stec  Student 
Derek Wagner  Student 
Carlos Martinez  Student 
NameRole
Elise Anhornorn Student 
Amy Paul Student
Ian Espiritu Student
Nathan Petithomme Student
Cami Provencher Student
Benjamin Caceres Student

 

NameRole
Emily Tolley  Student 
Salena Ibrahim
Student
Hannah Sternig Staff
Jacob Vodick
Student
Libby Thornton Staff

 

NameRole
Lauren Kunzer Student
Megan Barry Director of Community Service & Action
Michael Marino Student
Lydia DeWyze Graduate Assistant
Jenna Perryman Student
Maranda Archer Student
Tatiana Cortes Community Outreach Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Nithia Chowattukunnel Student