Title/s: Program Coordinator
Department/School/Division: Achieving College Excellence (ACE)
Campus: Lake Shore Campus
Years at Loyola: 1
What is your favorite thing about working at Loyola?
Definitely the students! Even though I feel like everyone says that, it’s true. Within ACE, out students are the first in their families to attend college, have overcome large financial obstacles to be here, and/or are living with a disability, so every achievement is that much more momentous. I love having conversations with students around what major interests them, how to develop a set of experiences inside and outside the classroom to have a strong start down their career path, and hearing them share those realizations with their parents and younger siblings, since the individual student’s college experience is often treated like a family’s achievement. Although, I’m not going to lie, the rabbits around campus also consistently make me smile.
What is your most memorable achievement as a Loyola employee?
That would probably be when we found out that our funding grant from the U.S. Department of Education was approved for an additional five-years. It was my first time being involved in a grant-writing process, for which there were lots of excel data sets to analyze and drafts of the grant to review with our writing group. It was eye-opening for me to see the exact numbers that a third of Loyola undergrads qualify for our program, and then it was that much more of an achievement to know we will get to continue to serve our students for at least five more years.
What does Loyola's mission mean to you?
It means that I am constantly striving to be my best, and to ensure our program strives for the magis, since Loyola’s mission goes hand-in-hand with our program’s goals: to help ensure students who might not otherwise get the support they need feel comfortable and excel on-campus. Things like knowing that it is not only ok, but highly encouraged to go to a professor’s office hours, are new tidbits that our students need to be told since their parents haven’t been through college. Sharing some of that knowledge about how to navigate being a college student helps our students go from humble beginnings to helping professors with research.
What motivates you to succeed each and every day?
Knowing we have students who are so appreciative of our efforts makes me happy to come to work. Our students know that from day one as a first-year college student, we try to teach them the skills so that they can advocate for themselves and make the most of college and achieve their dreams post-graduation. We get to see huge growth in our students over the course of their time at Loyola, and knowing I am a small part of helping them is hugely rewarding.
Tell us how you show your Rambler pride.
Outside of work, I am constantly talking about our students and how proud I am of them. Pretty much all of my friends know that even the little things (like that we offer free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since our students can’t always afford lunch) can help make a big difference.
Tell us something most people at Loyola would be surprised to know about you.
I lived in Munich, Germany for a year, and during that time, travelled to eighteen countries. Also, I have run five marathons though I am pretty slow. The craziest was a run where on back-to-back days, we ran a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon, then a full marathon; we have a few friends talking about doing that race again with us.