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Brittany Gifford is a senior majoring in Biology and double minoring in Biochemistry and Chemistry. Brittany is finding tremendous joy working in her field of study at Argonne National Laboratory in Darien, Illinois. She credits this wonderful opportunity to Dr. Larry Hill, a business professor, who, while teaching, noticed Brittany’s chemistry textbooks. He inquired about her major, and after realizing her background, asked if she would be interested in a summer job at Argonne. Her immediate response was, “Yes!” She later she found herself interviewing for the prestigious organization. She obtained an entry level position performing inventory control for chemicals. Brittany says, “It was anything but glamorous, but I was grateful to get my foot in the door. I worked the entire summer at Argonne full-time, and when it was over, my boss asked me to continue working throughout the school year. I have been working at Argonne ever since, getting experience in several different positions around the laboratory.” She eventually became a Research Aide, working on a clean coal project for one of their Senior Scientific Associates and Lewis alum, Joe Pomykala. Since finishing on this project, she was given the opportunity to conduct data entry and safety inspections. She has now been at Argonne for two years. She has also been able to achieve a 3.7 GPA and make the Dean’s List every semester. Brittany’s goals once she graduates in May 2009 are to continue working at Argonne and then apply to a few doctoral programs to study Pharmacology.

Alejandra Vaca graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Social Work. Alejandra believes that the greatest benefit to completing her bachelor’s degree is that she can see the enormous amount of growth that took place throughout her four years at Lewis. She believes that the experiences at Lewis such as studying abroad in Seville, Spain, serving as a Resident Assistant and participating in various volunteer events has made her more open minded, forgiving and understanding.

The biggest challenge for Alejandra was learning how to balance academics, work and extracurricular activities. She shared that it was difficult at first but that she learned from her mistakes and became more organized and better at effectively managing her time. Alejandra chose Lewis University primarily because of its small class size and location. Although she lived on campus, Alejandra’s home was a short 45-minute commute.

While a student at Lewis, Alejandra was involved in Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc., Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Habitat for Humanity and Campus Ministry. Alejandra did a lot of volunteer work with her sorority as well. Because she loves her parents very much and wants to be informed of the distinct stages they will be going through as they age, Alejandra’s favorite course at Lewis was Adulthood and Aging.

Alejandra would like to become a high school guidance counselor, which requires a master’s degree. In order to pursue her goal, Alejandra will study Counseling and Student Development at Kansas State University in the Fall 2010. In July 2010, she will begin her new employment as a graduate assistant at Kansas State University, serving as an Assistant Residence Life Coordinator.

Her advice to anyone considering Lewis University is to find a mentor or advisor. Alejandra shared that she had 8 mentors/advisors by the end of her senior year. She commented, “Every semester I would meet a new faculty or staff that enlightened me with their wisdom. There is an abundant amount of leaders at Lewis that want to help you succeed. I would highly advise students to go out into the Lewis community and meet different people because the knowledge they obtain can be the key to their next step in life.”

Ashley LeGrand majored in Biology and Chemistry and minored in Biochemistry with a 3.9 GPA. She was accepted to Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and hopes to become an Orthopedic Surgeon. To help her prepare for medical school, she volunteered at a Wisconsin hospital as well as shadowed several doctors to gain a better understanding of the many aspects of the medical field. Ashley was a member of the Lewis University softball team, serving as Captain her senior year.


She was also a member of Lewis University Scholars Academy as well as the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society. Ashley received both academic and athletic scholarships including the Br. David Delahanty Gold Medal Student Athlete award for the past four years. Ashley’s successes both in and out of the classroom have been exceptional and are sure to continue as she is now medical school.

Phylicia McCline is a senior who will be graduating in December 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management. She transferred to Lewis University in spring 2008 and quickly became involved in campus activities and organizations. She joined Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity, and was on the Executive Board the following semester. Phylicia took advantage of all the resources offered by Career Services and with their assistance attained an internship during the summer of 2008 within a Human Resources department of a neighboring college. As a result of her excellent abilities, she was offered a permanent position as a Benefits Assistant with the school. She is gaining priceless hands-on business knowledge and experience in a short amount of time. Phylicia is also a part of the Lewis University Koinonia (LUK XL) Core Team, a peer led religious retreat that takes place every semester, which she views as a true honor.

Matthew Crawford graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, receiving highest honors. Matthew is the first person in his family to earn a college degree. For Matthew, the greatest benefit to completing his degree is that he will now be able to pursue “the noblest profession of all: teaching.” He shared, “Making a child’s day is the best part of being a teacher!”

Among the reasons for choosing Lewis are that Matthew admires the mission of the College of Education, which is to develop learning communities. “I knew that I would develop close relationships with my colleagues and professors in a way that would allow me to glean from their intellect and abilities. This powerful value of association is what truly helped develop my own teaching philosophy as a critical educator, multicultural educator, and social justice advocate,” commented Matthew.

Matthew served as a Resident Assistant in Founder’s Hall for one semester. Since family is very important to Matthew, he made the decision to return home and then commute to school so that he could be with his grandfather who was battling cancer. An active member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Matthew served one year as the Executive Vice-President and another semester as Chapter President. Additionally, Matthew was also a member of Teachers of Tomorrow. A highlight of his Lewis experience was being selected to the student committee to represent the College of Education in the NCATE Accreditation Focus Visit in February 2009.

Matthew is thankful that the faculty and staff in the College of Education worked hard to get him placed in both the school and grade of choice for his sixteen-week student teaching experience. Matthew enjoyed working with the first grade students, putting into practice what he learned in the classroom. Matthew is now employed as a first grade teacher and will begin in August 2010. “I am so excited to have found a position in the grade level I love and I look forward to embarking on a passionate journey as I begin my first year in my own classroom,” Matthew added.

When asked what advice he would give to prospective students, Matthew responded by saying, “I had a wonderful experience at Lewis University… I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people I met while at Lewis… To those people who are thinking of pursuing a degree through Lewis University…I strongly urge you to accept the challenge and I can guarantee that you will not regret it!”

Furthermore, she served as the Vice President of the Lewis chapter of Association for Computing Machinery as well as the Chair of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the computer science honor society. As though she does not have enough to do, Ms. McNamara was active in tutoring. Finally, she was a student worker in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Mark Melka is a junior in the Environmental Science program. Over the past summer he worked with the president of Lewis University, Br. James Gaffney, at researching new alternative energy technologies and different strategies that we, as a university, can do to become more green, or environmentally friendly and conscious. Some issues he researched included next generation solar panels, Helix wind turbines, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, and others. They also worked together at developing the new environmental organization at Lewis, called the University Sustainability Council. In this council, they make it a priority to educate the faculty, staff, and students about specific things that can be done to reduce our negative impact on the environment. Their goal is raise awareness campus-wide about ways to become more sustainable in our everyday lives. Mark says, “Being an Environmental Science student, I am constantly presented with tons of different opportunities for volunteer positions as well as paid internships in the environmental sector. The Environmental Science Program Director, Dr. Kavouras, is a great instructor and advisor that helps me find all of the resources I need concerning internships or future career goals.”

After achieving a BS in Environmental Science from Lewis University, Mark hopes to attend graduate school to gain his Master’s degree in either Environmental Engineering or Natural Resources and Environmental Science. From there, he hopes to be awarded a position at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Natural Resources, or even at a local nature preserve or state park working as a Park Ranger. Mark is also involved with volunteering in the Office of Admissions by giving campus tours to prospective students and their families and helping at the Campus Visit Days. In addition to volunteering at Lewis, he is a student worker in University Ministry.

Nathan Klaas graduated in May 2010 with a double major in finance and economics and a minor in accounting. While Nathan recognizes the value of the actual bachelor’s degree, he believes that the lessons learned and time spent pursuing his education is the true testament to the benefit of the degree. Nathan feels well prepared to answer employers’ questions during interviews that ask him what he has learned, what type of person he is and what he can offer to the respective companies.

Lewis was the “perfect choice” for Nathan because of its proximity to his home, beauty of the campus and the fact that it offered him the chance to play competitive volleyball while earning a respected degree. Since Nathan was an active member of an athletic team and was involved in leadership programs at Lewis, he was challenged to find enough time in the day to complete all that needed to be done. Nathan believes that the hard work and dedication to excellence helped develop him into a better person.

After commuting for the first two years of college, Nathan moved onto campus for junior and senior years. Captain of the men’s volleyball team his senior year, Nathan also belonged to the Scholar’s Academy, Student Athletic Advisory and Student Governing Board during his time at Lewis. Without a doubt, Nathan’s favorite and most lasting memory of Lewis is of a home volleyball game against UCLA during his junior year, where the team pulled out a 15-13 upset.

Dr. Robert Atra was Nathan’s favorite Lewis professor because of his intelligence and ability to provide knowledge outside of the textbook, which Nathan termed “priceless.” He also was able to cultivate a fun and open environment within the classroom that kept students interested and allowed them to further expand on topics. Now that Nathan has achieved his goals at Lewis, he hopes to work at an investment banking, trading or financial planning firm in the Chicagoland area. One day he would like to trade independently or open his own trading or financial planning firm.

“Because of the education received at Lewis,” Nathan is confident that he will find a great job opportunity. He has just begun his search and said that it already looks promising. Advice that Nathan would give to someone who is thinking about going to Lewis University is to get involved. “There are so many opportunities to meet people, make an impact and have fun at Lewis if you make a little effort,” commented Nathan.

He also manages to simultaneously serve as a member of the College of Business Advisory Board, the Lewis University Scholars Academy, and Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. His “free” time is spent in Lewis University's College of Business where he assists a faculty member with qualitative and quantitative research projects.

Jasmine Pacheco graduated in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional writing. For Jasmine, the greatest benefit to completing her bachelor’s degree at Lewis is that she was given several opportunities to become very involved with the campus community. She believes that the experiences of interning and tutoring in the Writing Center, along with serving as president of Sigma Tau Delta, prepared her for graduate school and her future career. Jasmine was accepted into DePaul University’s Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse graduate program and will begin her studies in September 2010. She desires to teach writing at the college level.

The greatest challenge for Jasmine was finding enough time to devote herself to all of her commitments. Although at times it was difficult for Jasmine to balance everything, she loved being so involved and was very dedicated. Among Jasmine’s reasons for choosing Lewis University after her high school visit were the beautiful campus, location to her home and the fact that she could choose a major concentration focused on writing.

Jasmine learned a great deal while serving as the publication director of the 2010 edition of Sigma Tau Delta’s annual literary magazine, “VOICES: Writing as Art.” “I was so proud when it was printed and was unveiled at Sigma Tau Delta’s Induction Ceremony,” commented Jasmine. Through assisting others in the Writing Center, Jasmine believes that her own writing improved.

Currently, Jasmine is employed as a tutor in the Writing Center at Lewis University along with serving as a Service Ambassador at Silver Cross Hospital. Advice that she would give to prospective students is to get to know the professors. Jasmine shared that Dr. Jennifer Consilio is the faculty moderator for Sigma Tau Delta and “was always there with encouragement and advice. Dr. Consilio’s classes also allowed me the opportunities to write through new mediums for real clients,” Jasmine added.

Another Lewis professor that Jasmine believes is a great mentor and role model is Dr. Sheila Kennedy, as Jasmine stated, “Dr. Kennedy was also a great teacher who helped me strengthen my writing. I am most proud of the writing I crafted under her instruction. I have much respect for Dr. Kennedy and she motivated me to only do my best.”

Kristin Murray graduated from Lewis University in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. For Kristin, the greatest benefit to completing her degree is the sense of accomplishment that she now feels. “It was a dream come true to complete my bachelor’s degree,” shared Kristin. Lewis was able to assist Kristin in financing her education, as this, according to Kristin, was the biggest challenge she faced.

Lewis University’s proximity to home greatly appealed to Kristin. She commented, “There were other universities that were just as close to my house, but none made me feel like I was supposed to be there like Lewis,” adding that Lewis became a second home to her. During her time at Lewis University, Kristin served as the co-president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society.

When asked to share a favorite memory from Lewis, Kristin explained how one day she suddenly began to understand political philosophy, as something just “clicked” and she has “never looked back.” Dr. Joseph Gaziano is one of Kristin’s favorite professors because “he allowed students to develop and express diverse opinions on any subject.” She enjoyed the intense discussions on current events in his class.

Receiving a full graduate assistantship, Kristin will be attending Florida State University in the fall to pursue her graduate degrees in Regional and Urban Planning as well as Public Administration. Advice that she would give to someone thinking about going to Lewis is to apply today without hesitation. Kristin believes that attending Lewis is life-changing as she stated, “Lewis will change your life and your world perspective. It will open your eyes to your place and responsibility in the world.”

Thomas (TJ) Soderquist graduated in May 2010 with a 4.0 grade point average double majoring in biochemistry and chemistry along with a minor in mathematics. TJ believes that the greatest benefit to studying at Lewis University was having the opportunity to participate in two research projects. “Because of these opportunities, I feel more confident that I am in a field that I love, enjoy, and that I am skilled in. I can now see myself making a career out of what I’ve learned from these research opportunities,” shared TJ.

For TJ, the biggest challenge in completing his degrees was finding a balance between his academics and his personal life. TJ stayed focus and put his studies first, without neglecting his family and friends. He also commented that once his work was done, he had more free time to enjoy. At Lewis, TJ found the “closeness” with his professors and students that he desired, which was one of the main reasons why he chose to attend Lewis.

When TJ was not busy studying, he spent time with organizations and service clubs at Lewis. One highlight was helping children have fun with science projects during Kidzfest. TJ’s favorite memories of Lewis consist of taking part in the development of the chemistry department’s research program, which taught him some crucial laboratory skills. “I got to work with some of the smartest and funniest people in the chemistry department, and I cannot explain in words the thrill and excitement that comes from solving a scientific problem that has never been solved before,” TJ commented.

Ultimately, TJ wants to do something worthwhile that will mean a lot to those around him. He hopes to either work in an FBI forensics laboratory or a medical laboratory with the prospect of eventually landing a managerial position. TJ likes the idea of working in a forensics lab so that he can give justice to those who deserve it and protect those who need it. By working in a medical lab he believes he can help those in need by keeping them happy and healthy. Now that he has his degrees, TJ plans on joining a research internship in order to obtain more research/laboratory experience before pursuing a doctorate in biochemistry.

For anyone considering attending Lewis University, TJ advises to “make it your own,” encouraging individuals to make their own decisions. He recommends listening to and reflecting on others’ advice but to make sure that “you let your life be what you want it to be.”

Poonam Manek originally from London, England did not grow up dreaming to be a nurse. In fact, she wanted to be a pharmacist.

Having moved from London to the Chicago area, Poonam found that she would have to start over in pharmacy school here, as her previous schooling abroad was not accepted here. Poonam never considered a career in nursing, but knew she wanted to continue in healthcare.

She enrolled at Lewis University in the College of Nursing and Health Professions and found herself constantly challenged in the program. “Nursing is not easy, I have learned more than I ever have in pharmacy school.” She continued, “I am proud to say that I am a nurse!”

Nursing has provided Poonam with much more than simply knowledge learned in the clinical and classroom setting. “What I have really gotten out of my time at Lewis and in the nursing program is me. I have matured and grown so much, am a different person and have overcome so much.”

Poonam works at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, in the Pediatric Surgical Heart Unit (an ICU) where she cares for newborn babies with open-heart surgeries due to congenital defects.

Gina Galullo is a senior majoring in Public Relations with a double minor in Print Journalism and Multimedia Journalism. She is currently working at NBC5 Chicago as a Station Relations Intern concentrating in community outreach. She has the opportunity to work with other departments at the studio and shadow news anchors on assignments. She is also looking forward to participating in the 2009 Chicago Auto Show, the South Side Irish Parade, and the Healthy Living Expo at Navy Pier. A long-time hockey fan, her ultimate career goal is to work in media relations for the Chicago Blackhawks. A dedicated worker, Gina also holds three other jobs while maintaining her full-time student status. She works part-time off campus, is a student worker in the Office of Student Services, and is a Resident Assistant for Pope John Paul II Hall. Her primary goal is to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in May 2009 and to start pursuing her career in the communications field.




And Laura Krasny- Senior-Combined Special Education/Elementary Education Major

During spring break, 2008, these six students accompanied by Joan Williams, Director of Advising and Certification Officer in the College of Education, Mr. Richard Clish, Assistant Professor in the Department of Secondary Education in the College of Education and Dr. Jeanette M. Mines, Dean of the College of Education, spent their entire week doing volunteer work at San Miguel Back of the Yards, San Miguel Comer Campus and the Angels Outreach Ministries at 4611 S. Ellis in Chicago. The group lived and worked in community at the David Darst Center for Social Justice. Each day began at San Miguel Back of the Yards at 7:30 a.m. and ended around 5:00 p.m.

The Lewis students worked one on one, in small groups and with large groups with the San Miguel students throughout the day. They accompanied the San Miguel students to lunch, played games with them, assisted with after school activities and attended an evening basketball game to cheer on the 8th grade boys’ team.

The Lewis students worked at the Angels Outreach Ministry unpacking clothes, cleaning clothes racks, helping people find clothes, delivering food and performing general cleaning. This group of Lewis students exemplifies the best of the LaSallian Legacy in their giving of time, energy, and good will as volunteers.

Brandon Gonzales is a May 2009 graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training. Throughout his time as a Lewis student, he has worked as a Physical Therapist Technician at ATI Physical Therapy. After three years of performing clinical rotations at various local high schools, universities, and junior colleges, he obtained an internship with the Northwestern University football team, where he followed the day in and day out sports medicine coverage for the 2008 season. This season was capped off with a bowl game trip to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. His hard work and determination at Northwestern was rewarded when he was selected as an intern for the Miami Dolphins professional football club. Brandon also was one of the founding members of the Lewis University Athletic Training Club, where he served as Treasurer. Finally, Brandon was one of the original members of the one year old Lewis Rugby Club where he played as their inside center.

Lucas DeLira is a senior Athletic Training student and is set to graduate in December of 2009. He works in the Lewis University athletic training room where he helps the Head Athletic Trainers and the younger athletic training students. Last summer, he volunteered at soccer tournaments with Newsome Physical Therapy. For this summer, he has obtained an internship with the Colorado Rapids, a professional soccer team. He will be going to graduate school to pursue his master’s degree in sports management. He is an active member of the Koinonia retreat team and served as a leader on Koinonia 40. He is a member of the Lewis University Athletic Training Club. He has gained additional leadership experience through managing a Giordano’s pizzeria for three years.

Heather Kwiatkowski is a senior in the Athletic Training program. She was the first athletic training student intern at Children’s Memorial Hospital, and while there she worked under a physician extender and pediatric sports medicine physician. She worked with children and other healthcare professionals and observed injuries unique to children. She is a founding member of the Illinois Athletic Trainers Association’s Student Congress. As a Student Congress member she helps bring forth the issues of the athletic training students in Illinois to the state level. She works with fellow student congress members to create a solution to these issues. She is also a founding member of the newly formed group, the Lewis University Athletic Training Student Organization. She tutors students in Introduction to Athletic Training and Anatomy courses. After graduation in May, she plans to hold an Athletic Training Graduate Assistant position at the Cleveland Clinic while pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science or athletic training.

Andrew Wolanik  graduated from Lewis University in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation. “Lewis has provided me with a great education, many opportunities in which I have taken, and the knowledge to accomplish anything that I want to do,” commented Andrew.

Andrew was impressed with the fact that Lewis has an airport on campus with multiple runways and instrument approaches, along with a diverse training fleet that is continuously updated. “When I walked onto campus and toured the aviation department I immediately knew this would be the place for me.” The aviation program, location and small class size are among the reasons as to why Andrew chose Lewis University.

Andrew enjoyed serving as a member of the flight team at Lewis University, especially his first trip to the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

Currently continuing his internship at Chicago Executive Airport, Andrew explained, “One day I would love to come back to work at Lewis as a professor, when I have had a career in aviation, so I can bring it back to Lewis and teach young students that share the same interest as me.”

James Gambino graduated from Lewis University in May 2010 with a degree in Aviation. Since James is aware that a bachelor’s degree is becoming a requirement for many entry-level jobs, he believes that the greatest benefit to completing his bachelor’s degree is that he is now more qualified and can stand out when interviewing for open positions.

James feels that the process of earning his degree will have more of an impact in his life than the actual degree. “Having a goal and achieving it has reinforced my belief that no matter what, with hard work and persistence, you can never fail,” shared James. For him, that lesson is worth more than any degree.

One of the main reasons James chose to attend Lewis was because it is one of the only universities in Illinois that offers a degree in the field of aviation. James added, “I really liked the student-to-teacher ratio, and the fact that the professors came from diverse backgrounds with lots of experience in the aviation industry.” When asked about his favorite memory of Lewis, James explained that it has to be his passing of his Private Pilot check ride. “Seeing the look on my mom’s face when I came back from the flight test is something that I will never forget,” commented James.

Mr. Bill Parrot was James’ favorite professor at Lewis University due to his strong passion for aviation and the fact that he would provide knowledge that cannot be found in textbooks, as it came from his extensive experience as a pilot. James’ advice to prospective students is to do a great deal of research, including having conversations with professors and students and visiting the campus. The next goal James hopes to accomplish is to become a flight instructor at Lewis University. Knowing the quality of pilots the University produces, there is no other place where James would rather teach than Lewis.

Justine Gershak graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a minor in Public Relations, receiving high honors. Justine enjoyed working with and meeting so many different people in her classes, which helped her learn different working styles and methods of communication. She is proud to be the first college graduate in her family and was grateful that her family was very supportive every step of the way.

Justine found her biggest challenge while at Lewis was trying to balance work, school, and free time with friends and family. She overcame this challenge by creating to-do lists and making deadlines for projects and assignments.

During her senior year in high school, Justine researched schools in the area and saw that Lewis was close enough to commute, but knew all along she wanted to get the "college experience" and live on campus. She explained that after visiting Lewis she knew it was somewhere she wanted to spend the next four years, especially with the small class sizes, and the beautiful campus! Justine lived in Founders Residence Hall her freshmen year where she met her first friends at Lewis, some of which she calls best friends five years later.

Justine's favorite professor at Lewis University was Professor Arthur Regal, a marketing professor in the College of Business. "Professor Regal is excellent at making the connection between classroom lessons and on the job experience. I found myself using tips I learned from classroom activities during my marketing internship," Justine explains. Her favorite memories at Lewis include going to Spain for the College of Business spring break trip and leading and participating in the student lead retreat, Koinonia. "I met some of the best people on campus that I never would have met if it wasn't for Koinonia," Justine commented.

Now that Justine has graduated, she was accepted into the Graduate School of Management at Lewis University to obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Marketing. She also will be working with the Department of Marketing and Communications as a graduate assistant. If she could give advice to future Lewis students it would be to make your college experience about YOU. "Do things that make you happy and choose a path that is right for you. Lewis is a great school with endless opportunities and great professors to guide you along the way," she added.

Sean Barber graduated in May of 2011 with a double major in History and Theater. Sean believes the greatest benefit to completing his bachelor's degree is using what he learned at Lewis in the real world. "My parents always told me to help others in anyway I can, some people do it by entering the medical field. I will be doing so by joining the LaSallian Volunteers and teaching the things I learned while here at Lewis," shared Sean.

Sean explained that the greatest challenge in obtaining his degree was finding the path in which he wanted to take. After hearing all the statistics of students changing majors at least twice, Sean didn't realize the confusion until he was in that position. He was able to overcome this by talking with his professors until he found his true passion.

There were many reasons why Sean chose Lewis, one being that it was a smaller college where students could not only interact with each other but their professors easily. Sean added that, "You could feel the community of students around me and I knew by the time that I left that I wanted to join the Lewis Community."

Sean enjoyed participating in quite a few clubs on campus. He was a part of Phi Alpha Theta, President Student Advisory Council, Residence Life, and the Phillip Lynch Theatre (PLT). He shares that like many PLT members Sean's favorite Lewis memories are ones shared on the PLT stage, "there is no other feeling like walking on stage in front of a packed house," added Sean.

Sean is now working as a LaSallian Volunteer, teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth grade History at San Miguel Middle School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After he finishes his volunteer work, Sean plans to come back to Lewis to pursue his master's degree in education.

Sean gives this advice to Lewis students, "To get the best college experience possible the one thing you need to do is get involved. Even if it is something you've never done before. You never know where life will lead you but you have to keep your eyes open, so just do everything you can, and you won't regret it."

Hugo Bahamon graduated in May of 2011 with a Master of Science in Public Safety Administration. Hugo served as an officer for 27 years in the Colombian Army and explains that studying at Lewis enabled him to learn about the administration, norms, procedures, and policies of the United States. Hugo explains that he wanted to adapt and match United States culture to Colombian culture and their limited means available to manage safety situations.

Hugo explained that the biggest challenge he faced while obtaining his graduate degree was capturing some detail in his classes because at the time his English was still very basic.

One of the reasons Hugo chose Lewis was because of the University's ranking in the US News and World Report and Princeton Review. He explained that he "studied the curriculum and noticed that it covered all main aspects needed to develop a directive and managerial position in safety and security."

There were two professors, Drs. Raymond Garritano and James Houlihan, who impacted Hugo with their knowledge, expertise, character and general concern in student's learning. He notes that his favorite class was Ethics, Integrity and Social Responsibility and Labor Relations in the Public Sector. After taking this class Hugo explains that he was able to "understand how complex and complete the labor law in the United States is and how important it is to have ethical behavior when performing a job in the public positions."

Now that Hugo has received his graduate degree he is going to move back to Colombia and hopes to one day become a professor in the Colombian Military University to disseminate in Colombia all the important knowledge he has gained from Lewis University.



Kaitlyn Worst graduated in May of 2011. For Kaitlyn, the greatest benefit to completing her bachelor's degree was the education she received while here at Lewis University. "I have an education, a security that cannot ever be taken away from me. I have a strong foundation that I can always rely on to get me to where I need to go," shares Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn believes her biggest challenge in completing her bachelor's degree was learning to live up to her potential and to appreciate professors. "Sticking with the work when I wanted to fly below the radar and take it easy, especially those late nights when I was up late reading philosophy texts.... but I learned to appreciate the professors I had, work hard to learn something and in the end, it always worked out," Kaitlyn explained.

Kaitlyn fell in love with the small class sizes, personalized attention, and the vast amount of opporuntities Lewis offered. Kaitlyn shared that, "I have been afforded an incredible education, career and life opportunities that I could not have gotten anywhere else."

Kaitlyn was a member of the Mock Trial team; secretary of the Pre-Law Club and in 2010-2011 was elected president. Kaitlyn was also a part of the mediation team on campus.

Kaitlyn found it hard to choose just one favorite memory of her time at Lewis. She shares that winning All-Region attorney in Milwaukee her freshmen year on the Mock Trial team and touring Stateville Prison with Dr. Bristow's Forensic Psych class were two of the many great memories. "The last memory, graduation when Brother James confirmed the degrees, made all the hard work entirely worth it," comments Kaitlyn.

Now that Kaitlyn has graduated, she will be attending the John Marshall Law School in Chicago to get her Juris Doctor and then intends to practice criminal law as a litigator, family law, and mediataion. She gives future Lewis students this advice, "Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Some things work out better than others, but some opportunities are beyond your wildest imagination."

Thomas Lynch graduated in May 2011 with a degree in biology. Upon graduation, Thomas was chosen to give the LaSallian Address at Commencement in front of his family, fellow graduates, faculty and staff of Lewis University. "It was a great honor and I am proud to have been able to give this address," he shared.

For Thomas, the greatest benefit to completing his bachelor's degree is knowing that he has the experience and education necessary to succeed in life. He added that his degree would always be a remembrance of what he has learned these past fours year at Lewis University.

Thomas's favorite class at Lewis was Philosophy and adds that he was able to open his mind to new ideas in this class, which was a very enlightening experience. Thomas was also a member of the Lewis University Symphony Orchestra, where he played the piano.

One of Thomas's favorite memories at Lewis was spending two summers on campus serving as an Orientation Group Leader for the SOAR programs, a program offered to incoming freshmen. He explained that he loved meeting new students and how he developed great friendships in the process.

Now that Thomas has graduated, he will be attending the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University where he will be a candidate for a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Thomas's advice to anyone considering Lewis is for students to become very involved and to make the best of all your experiences here.

Marsha Teodori graduated in May 2011 with a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Nursing Education. She originally received her Bachelor of Science in nursing in the Philippines 10 years ago. For Marsha, the greatest benefit of obtaining her graduate degree is that she is now given the privilege to educate future nurses.

Marsha's greatest challenge pursuing her degree was feeling underprepared for her graduate studies. Marsha thanks Dr. Rosemary Camilleri's graduate writing class helping her to grasp skills to help her succeed. Marsha explains that, "I did not want to just get by in my graduate studies, but I wanted to learn everything I could. Learning is a great privilege and I wanted to make the most out of it." Marsha overcame her challenges with extensive preparation, and a renewed confidence found within Lewis University as a resource for her to succeed.

Originally from the Philippines, Marsha appreciates the fact that this country is so blessed, caused by many people living under the grace of God. "I received that grace when I enrolled at Lewis University. I met mentors/nurses at Lewis University who supported me and accepted me for who I am," adds Marsha.

God was the answer to Marsha's prayers, who she believes brought her to Lewis University. She commented that her personal as well as spiritual values completely aligned with The Mission of the University.

Dr. Nan Yancey inspired Marsha to live and grow without ceasing. She quotes William Arthur Ward, "A mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." She then added, "She is that teacher."

Marsha now plans to educate future nurses, further her education, and grow her expertise in chronic disease management. Right now Marsha is currently employed as a disease manager at McKesson Health Solutions specializing in chronic disease. This year, she will begin teaching at Olivet Nazarene University as an adjunct faculty member.

Marsha advises Lewis University students that learning is not only a vehicle to achieve your goals but a means to discover yourself.

Thomas (TJ) Soderquist graduated in May 2010 with a 4.0 grade point average double majoring in biochemistry and chemistry along with a minor in mathematics. TJ believes that the greatest benefit to studying at Lewis University was having the opportunity to participate in two research projects. "Because of these opportunities, I feel more confident that I am in a field that I love, enjoy, and that I am skilled in. I can now see myself making a career out of what I've learned from these research opportunities," shared TJ.

For TJ, the biggest challenge in completing his degrees was finding a balance between his academics and his personal life. TJ stayed focus and put his studies first, without neglecting his family and friends. He also commented that once his work was done, he had more free time to enjoy. At Lewis, TJ found the "closeness" with his professors and students that he desired, which was one of the main reasons why he chose to attend Lewis.

When TJ was not busy studying, he spent time with organizations and service clubs at Lewis. One highlight was helping children have fun with science projects during Kidzfest. TJ's favorite memories of Lewis consist of taking part in the development of the chemistry department's research program, which taught him some crucial laboratory skills. "I got to work with some of the smartest and funniest people in the chemistry department, and I cannot explain in words the thrill and excitement that comes from solving a scientific problem that has never been solved before," TJ commented.

Ultimately, TJ wants to do something worthwhile that will mean a lot to those around him. He hopes to either work in an FBI forensics laboratory or a medical laboratory with the prospect of eventually landing a managerial position. TJ likes the idea of working in a forensics lab so that he can give justice to those who deserve it and protect those who need it. By working in a medical lab he believes he can help those in need by keeping them happy and healthy. Now that he has his degrees, TJ plans on joining a research internship in order to obtain more research/laboratory experience before pursuing a doctorate in biochemistry.

For anyone considering attending Lewis University, TJ advises to "make it your own," encouraging individuals to make their own decisions. He recommends listening to and reflecting on others' advice but to make sure that "you let your life be what you want it to be."