Loyola University Chicago

Community Service & Action

Division of Mission Integration

Staff: Lydia DeWyze

Name: Lydia DeWyze
Position in CSA: Graduate Assistant
Past Education: BA in psychology and theology, minor in Spanish from Valparaiso University, currently pursuing Masters of Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University
Past Work Experience: As an undergraduate, I was involved in campus ministry retreats and programs, my passion for social justice first igniting with the opportunity to serve as Social Justice Peer Minister. As an undergraduate, I volunteered weekly for 3 years at a local soup kitchen, becoming the volunteer coordinator my senior year. Through opportunities at my college to attend Alternative Break Immersion experiences, I served in New Orleans, Chicago, and on Native American Reservations in Nebraska. I also had the opportunity to spend a summer serving abroad at community centers in Valparaiso, Chile. After my undergraduate career, I entered a post-grad volunteer program in Chicago, Amate House, where I lived in community and served as the campus minister and religion teacher at an inner-city high all-girls school. I stayed full-time at that school for a second year, teaching English, Religion, Psychology, and choir.

Where are you from?

I'm from a small, rural town in Indiana, called Tipton.

What do you like to do?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and our families and friends. I love to relax by reading, spending time outdoors, and doing yoga. I enjoy exploring many types of art - writing, painting, crocheting, photography, and other crafts. Evident by the fact that I've never yet escaped educational settings, I also love to learn!

How would you describe your role at Community Service & Action?

I manage the Hunger Week team, coordinate Ignatian family Advocacy Month events, and play our Year-End-Celebration.

Why do you engage in service and action?

I first became interested in service during my undergraduate experience. The opportunities I had in college to serve underserved populations opened my eyes to my own privilege and responsibility to create a more just world. I continue to carry that passion with me into my work at CSA and hope that the work we do can provide similar formative experiences to the students we serve.

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

During Hunger Week in the fall, the student leader and I drove one of the giant campus vans to one of our collaborators to drop off some donated food. On the way back, I had to park the big van in the parking garage, but had to go around the first floor of the garage to get to our parking space. I accidentally went up to the next floor instead of going around and ended up going all the way to the 4th floor of the garage and then back down before I got back to the spot. Because the van was so huge, the student leader and I were convinced it could not fit under the beams of the garage, and ducked every time we drove under one (like that helps!). I was driving slowly because I was scared of getting the van stuck and when we finally pulled into our parking spot, the line of cars that had formed behind us cheered and clapped. I was so embarrassed, but the student leader and I couldn't quit laughing at our ridiculous adventure!

What is your favorite thing about the work you do?

I love the time I get to spend with students, whether laughing in meetings, growing together during 1:1's, or getting to learn more about each other as we work side-by-side on projects.

How are you involved at Loyola outside of CSA?

I am a graduate student, studying Pastoral Counseling at the Institute of Pastoral Studies.

What is your favorite place on campus?

I love sitting outside the library and watching the waves of the lake crash across the shore.

What advice would you give to an in-coming student at Loyola?

Reach out! There are so many resources here and so many ways to get involved, students are sure to find their niche, but they have to first have the courage to reach out and discover what they will need for a successful experience at Loyola.