University YMCA Bailey Scholars are empathetic, thoughtful, and action-oriented citizens leaders who contribute positively to our local and global communities. Bailey Scholars engage in critical dialogue about social justice, environmental issues, faith, and the international community and seek out new and innovative ways to approach real problems facing our world.

Undergraduate Leadership Awards 2017-18

Jake Akstins (Senior) is an advocate and ally for students of all social identities on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus and beyond.  Aside from studying for his actuarial exams and modules, he collaborates with campus partners on large-scale programming, including My Sister, Sandy (BNAACC), the Disability Awareness Program (Beckwith Residential Support Services), Ike Jam (World Music at UIUC), and Now You See Me (McKinley & NAMI).  His work is immersed in his everyday life, trying to make all interactions as inclusive as possible and UIUC a positive experience for all.

Hannah Gutierrez (Senior) is committed to incorporating intersectional approaches to environmental and social justice campaigns. As a campus and community leader, she understands how crucial intersectional approaches are to ensuring that social justice activism is inclusive and works towards the empowerment of all marginalized people. Hannah focuses on grassroots organizing on environmental issues, plans workshops on sexual assault in activist communities, and alerts campus administration of the need for changes in educational programs, interventions, and services related to sexual assault.

Within the past year, Karen Olowu (Senior) helped organize multiple political education events and spoken on many social justice panels. As an organizer in the student organization Black Students for Revolution, she helped make space at the U of I within which other black and brown students can grow as radical organizers and community activists. She is an active member of The Demands Coalition – a collective of leftist student organizations that formed the Demands for A Transformed University. The Demands outline the intersections of institutionalized violence and draw transnational connections between many communities of struggle.

Sally Ramp’s (Senior) advocacy work in her community began when she became disabled and chose to return to college. Being a non-traditional student, accompanied by a service dog, presented many obstacles in STEM coursework. Working with the disability office to help educate and raise awareness surrounding needs and accommodations for individuals like herself, led to community outreach, organizing events and public speaking thus bringing her life experience to not only science, but to her university and community. Seeing change in policies and witnessing doors open, that were previously slammed shut, is a driving force.

Undergraduate Scholarship Awards 2017-18

Corey Arnold (Freshman) is passionate about helping others. She is involved in the community by volunteering regularly at Campus Cooperative Preschool, at events such as One Winter Night, and has participated in eight Habitat for Humanity builds. She advocates for homeless awareness and the importance of a home. She is a believer in teaching little people to have big dreams and loves to work with children. She joined the Social Justice club of her high school her freshman year, leading the group researching and advocating for change of district funding, resulting in free meals for all students.

Jessica Austriaco (Junior) is passionate about bringing diversity into the STEM field. She holds leadership positions in RSOs including BOLD, which is dedicated to supporting women in innovation; MEDLIFE, a group to improve healthcare in low income communities; and an Engineering Open House project, which is technically challenging and will educate members of the community about brain and muscle control. She is an engineering CARE tutor and recently implemented a leadership group within CARE to improve CARE programs and workshops, and better reach students both academically and personally.

Caleb Brandmeyer’s (Junior) passion is working for the betterment of the future by promoting science and education in youth, and encouraging action on the part of those who can take it today. As a co-president of Beyond Coal, Caleb worked to keep both the University of Illinois and the surrounding community accountable for reducing their carbon footprint. Aside from this, he tutored at local schools in science subjects, and developed lesson plans as part of the REACT program to advocate careful scientific thought and stress the importance of science, technology, and conservation in young minds.

Julia Carter (Senior) is passionate about social justice work, specifically pertaining to education equity and accessibility. She has utilized her time in college to lead and engage students and faculty in efforts to help educate others about specific issues on campus and in the community such as undocumented immigrant experiences and educational inequalities apparent at the local, state and national level. Through her commitment to volunteering and helping others, Julia has made it her goal to engage her peers (students) in becoming more active citizens on campus and around the community.

Benjamin Chapman (Junior) is more diplomat than activist.  While he believes it is important to publicly identify unethical behaviors by an organization, he prefers to communicate directly with people, listen to their ideas, and then guide them to make the right choice.  He uses his experience discussing controversial topics, such as animal rights, to advocate rationally. He is passionate about the health of the environment, and that has been the bulk of his activism at the University. More specifically, he believes the food system needs an overhaul if to preserve Earth’s valuable resources.

Perry Cline’s (Senior) passion is social justice. He volunteers three days a week at FirstFollowers Reentry Program where he counsels formerly incarcerated people, helps them with job searches and obtains IDs. His strength is communication and encouragement. As a formerly incarcerated person, he connects easily with FirstFollowers clients. He also played a role in leading a community needs based assessment that involved over 300 survey respondents who were impacted by incarceration.Thus far, he has presented these finding at public events.

Ben Daniels (Senior) is a YMCA leader whose first and foremost priority is the growth of other community leaders. Ben has spent six years volunteering and growing as a leader at the University YMCA. He has learned that what is important to him is enacting swift and meaningful change to better the lives of people who need a helping hand. In his time at the YMCA, he has continued the tradition of pushing others to grow as his mentors pushed him. He has collaborated with many organizations, created initiatives, strengthened weakened groups, and he is now looking forward to doing the same work nationally.

Kathleen Dowling (Sophomore) is majoring in speech and hearing science who is passionate about multicultural issues in the education system. She is involved with mentoring a first grader who is learning English as a second language, leading small group projects at a local middle school with students who have a either a learning disability and/or ADHD, the Deputy Director a nonprofit that creates programs to engage teens in their local government, and the co-president of Women4Outreach.  She serves the Champaign-Urbana community and connects with a diverse group of individuals.

AnnaMae Dziallo's (Junior) passions rest at the intersection of social justice and environmental issues. She utilizes her empathy and patience to tutor disadvantaged elementary students and build their academic and social self esteem. Last year, she attended the Midwest Regional Conference for Amnesty International to further develop her campaigning skills. She successfully demonstrated these soon after for the fundraiser Jamnesty, where $1,100 was raised for victims of bombings in Syria. She also organized the planting of native species and other events in an effort to support bee populations.

Xochitl Esparza (Junior) has an immense interest in issues that revolve around youth development and the Latino/a community. Over the past year, she worked directly with the Champaign Urbana Area Project on their afterschool program for local students. In addition, she became a research assistant for Professor Jarrett in her Latino school readiness research. Her role as a research assistant inspired her to volunteer weekly at ECIRMAC and to become a co-programming chair for the Latino Student Association in order to expand upon the populations she works with directly.

George Gunter (Senior) works toward environmental and societal sustainability through applying engineering and also through working as a communicator and educator. He worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Environmental Engineering Department, has been a project member and then project lead for an Engineers Without Border's Project, recently participated in WEF-sponsored Design Competitions and started his own RSO focused on local engineering problems. At all times he seeks to problem solve through engineering and by inspiring and empowering others to work in these spaces as well.

Dylan Harmon (Junior) intends to address the global concerns of climate change and sustainability by making his community into an example. He facilitated the groundwork for local projects by volunteering, recruiting, and promoting his ideas and those of others with Students for Environmental Concerns and BikeFace. These efforts provide the community a voice with which to express their concerns. He also actively pursued change by working for the Public Works Department of Urbana and set in motion a plan for the installation of wind energy systems on residential and commercial properties in the community.

 


Rachel Jacoby (Senior) is passionate about creating a sustainable future and improving economic opportunities for those in need. While serving as President of ActGreen, she grew the organization in size and scope, and the sustainability projects she led had a tangible impact in the community. Rachel used her business skills to better the lives of others by promoting economic development. Throughout her time at UIUC, Rachel traveled to Panama and Honduras to teach financial literacy topics, consult for entrepreneurs, and establish business plans to improve their economic prospects.

 

As a leader in the fraternity community, David Kessler (Senior) is very passionate about addressing the ongoing sexual assault problem on campus. Beginning with his term as ΣAM president, he recruited members in his chapter to partake in awareness/educational seminars, workshops, and fundraisers supporting victims of sexual violence. As the recently elected IFC president, he has been working with the Women's Resource Center to put on bystander intervention workshops at individual chapters. He feels that his greatest relative strength is evoking member participation through his ability to connect with others.

Emily Langtiw (Sophomore) strives to integrate the environment into people's lifestyles as well as the community. Being heavily involved as an Elephant Pants Clothing Ambassador, she increased awareness about saving elephants due to their importance as a keystone species. In addition, shi founded an organization on campus to encourage the concepts of sustainable design and sustainable operations. The biggest feat is creating usable clothing out of recycled items. In addition, she is a part of environmental organizations on campus where she expresses ideas and share her passion for the environment with others.

Ga Eun Lee’s (Senior) life goal has always been the same since middle school: serve the underserved. She wants to become a surgeon to give tertiary care to those in developing countries or to children soldiers at war fronts. She was a volunteer committee sub-chair for American Red Cross at UIUC during her freshman year and now she is a morale director for Illinithon, which is a Dance Marathon on campus to raise funds and awareness for children’s hospitals (Children’s Miracle Network). She is now leading Team Black for the event and personally raised more than $700. Plus, she works as Live-in PA at Beckwith.

Amber Lopez (Junior) tirelessly advocates for populations-at-risk by volunteering over 20 hours each semester in the areas of poverty, education, hunger, child welfare, and domestic violence. Acting as a secretary in her service fraternity, Amber plans both small- and large-scale events with local service partners in order to work towards the betterment of the Champaign-Urbana community. Using her passion for service and background in Social Work, Amber addresses the needs of community welfare groups and aims to provide assistance through the coordination of volunteer partnerships.

Shrey Maheshwari (Junior) is in Bioengineering who aspires to uplift the human society by making advancements in the Healthcare community and empowering minorities. He has lead multiple projects on and off campus striving to contribute to the medical world through therapeutic and diagnostic research. As part of Design for America, he is designing a solution to make campus community safer. He also planned several events for Society of Women in Engineering to gain support and create opportunities for female students in engineering.

Eduardo Martínez (Senior) has an unwavering conviction to create equal opportunity amongst people. Eduardo is Golden Apple Scholar, committed to teaching in an underprivileged school of need, a Co-Founder of The Lion Review Foundation, which ran the “Let’s Talk” initiative for civic engagement, and a member of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan), organizing countless events for minority students on campus. In addition to this, Eduardo is on the board that organizes the Black and Latino Male Summit at The University of Illinois.

Kayla Martinez (Junior) is passionate about truth and justice, to inform the public about the reality of events that are happening. Specifically, she is passionate about telling stories of the oppressed and speaking on issues that are often overlooked in the Latinx community. She has volunteered by tutoring students in the SOAR program, helping students with their English literacy and writing skills, as she was once one of them. At La Casa Cultural Latina, she works to organize events for the Latinx community on campus serving as resources for Latinx excellence, resilience and retention.

Jeenal Mehta (Senior) is passionate about global health and she is constantly striving to help low income families to achieve quality education and access to healthcare on a local and global scale. Currently, as an Outreach Volunteer at the Avicenna Community Health Center in Champaign, which is a free clinic for uninsured or underinsured people, she is helping to provide free health screenings to underserved populations in the Champaign community. Also, as the Classroom Leader for SOAR, she tutors emergent bilingual fifth graders in critical thinking skills in reading and math.

Victoria Mendiola (Senior) is dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive environment for Latinx students and community members in the Urbana-Champaign area. She has organized cultural events at La Casa Cultural Latina in partnership with the La Casa Alliance of Student Organizations. She has focused on connecting the Latinx community members in Urbana-Champaign with Latinx students through the pen pal program at La Casa. She works toward increasing the retention rate of Latinx students on campus by serving on college talk panels at La Casa and connecting Latinx students to campus resources.

Grace Mladenik (Junior) leads by taking initiative and listening to others on human rights issues locally and internationally. Ever since she has been on the U of I campus, she has been an active community leader. Her passion for human rights has motivated her to be in an executive role for a student organization where she fundraises and advocates for human rights and social justice. Additionally, when it comes to being an active community member, the key to success is listening to her peers. She is able to tackle the hard hitting issues that affect our campus through the participation of student government.

Alejandra Ochoa (Junior) anticipates volunteering abroad and encouraging education in developing countries as well as locally. She volunteered with vulnerable children and locals in Malawi and Costa Rica to tackle education issues in smaller communities. She also makes monthly donations to support the education of an underprivileged boy in Guatemala. Locally, she volunteered as a mentor for a student in an alternative school her first semester in college as well as spoken to several public high school students in the south side of Chicago about the importance of higher education

Asura Osborne (Junior) advocates for justice, peace, and understanding within the communities she belongs to. From her start as a volunteer with humanitarian and animal programs that ignited her passion for social justice, she has graduated to initiating her own circles to help others - mentoring young women about feminism, organizing homeless relief projects, and creating spaces where people of different backgrounds and beliefs can share opinions and learn from each other.

Abby Pakeltis’ (Junior) passion is engineering and working to increase the percentage of women in engineering. Therefore, the Society of Women Engineers is where she focused on becoming a leader. As a member of SWE, she actively participated in both the Team Tech and Outreach committees. On these committees, she worked to give female engineers the opportunity to work on a real world project and volunteer to teach young girls about engineering. Over her past two years at the University, she held a chair position, been a sub-team leader, volunteered at events as well as held an officer position.

Scott Provenzano (Senior) is comfortable with facing the uncomfortable. Most people find the situations that he has encountered as a Resident Advisor to be awkward. For instance, consoling an individual who is having life-threatening ideations is not something that the average college student is exposed to. Scott displays the appropriate approachability and concern that is necessary for others to recognize when they were experiencing these strong emotions. He is committed to working through situations of all degrees so that he can ensure the utmost persistence of his peers’ overall health.

Ana Rodas (Senior) is passionate about social justice and interpersonal relationships. She is learning to use her design skills and implement them in social justice to fulfill the need of helping others. She is involved in I-CAUSE (Illinois-Coalition Assisting Undocumented Students' Education) and lobbying for the Student ACCESS Bill (SB 2196). She is implementing her own endeavor #projectFEAR (Forget Everything And Run or Forget Everything And Rise) based on acknowledging where one stands in moments of political divisiveness. She has skills in problem solving, maintain a strong work ethic, communicating and initiating ideas.

Catherine Schmid (Senior) is a passionate community leader and advocate for social justice. She works to cultivate a passion for learning about social justice in others through her commitment to service through programs such as Alternative Seasonal Breaks. She was very proud to be a member of the 2016 Illini 4000 Team, which raised awareness and $70,000 for cancer research and patient support services by biking from New York City to San Francisco. She was ecstatic to serve as the Director of Logistics, co-coordinating the 2017 route and helping train the team.

Madelyn Smith (Junior) is driven towards issues related to mental illness both in her hometown and on the UIUC campus. She founded an organization that strives to bring awareness to mental illness and suicide first in her home community and more recently on campus. This organization held events raising over $22,000 for suicide awareness and prevention, and now that it has moved to UIUC campus the impact will be more widespread. With the money raised, this organization has worked with area schools to host assemblies talking about mental health along with many other things.


Omar Taha (Sophomore) believes in the importance of interfaith work because we, as humanity, live on this earth together and no matter what beliefs we adopt, we must work together as one community. He organized events on campus and in the Champaign-Urbana Community pertaining to interfaith and Islam awareness. He helped organize the annual Ramadan Interfaith Dinner at the local Muslim American Society Community Center. This year we were blessed to have over 300 individuals from the community attend, including people of all faiths. He is excited to continue working in a more productive interfaith community.

Shuyuan Tang (Junior) is the most dedicated, energetic participant in almost everything he is involved with. He believes that dedicated, interactive participation is the best way to build the deep-rooted connection with people who share common interests with him. During the programs he plans and initiates as a Multicultural Advocate, through participation, not only does he gain the sense of fulfillment by contributing to challenging stigmas on mental illnesses, advocating for an inclusive community and fighting hunger and homelessness, but he is also better able to connect with people and influence them with positivity!

As a Peruvian Immigrant, Gianfranco Torres (Freshman) has been granted perspective outside of the bubble he lives in. This is how he came about his pursuit for global citizenship, which means to learned from and impacted other cultures and places around the world in need. Through witnessing true poverty, he gained empathy and grace towards the less fortunate. From founding a charity to grant impoverished children in Peru with Christmas presents, to launching a fundraiser through his high school service group to help battle world hunger, global citizenship has become his model and he plans to spread it throughout college and beyond.

Yanbing Wang (Senior) strives to enhance community connections in rural areas. She founded UIUC Chapter of Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit organization committed to build footbridges in isolated, underdeveloped communities. Yanbing recruited and inspires team members to volunteer with their Civil Engineering and global communication skills by participating in bridge design and construction. Yanbing developed professional relationships with mentors and in-country partners to facilitate the exchange of information between universities and communities, thus achieve community sustainability.

April Wendling (Junior) is passionate about creating a sustainable future for humanity, and also about advocating for social justice pertaining to ability status, the LGBTQ community, and women in STEM fields. She led organized programs on campus in support of women in STEM, and advocated for making campus dining halls more accessible to people of all ability statuses.

Kaleigh Wilkins (Senior) is a leader as she encourages others to share ideas and opinions, allowing them space to learn, grow and lead. With this, she is passionate about others’ thoughts and feelings. She enjoys learning and practicing the necessary skills to pursue these passions as a Resident Advisor, volunteer, Research Assistant, and mentor. These experiences have taught her that her strength lies in communication and organization. These skills have helped her successfully make it through undergrad and, hopefully, propel her to and through graduate school in the future.

Ashley Yu (Senior) is dedicated to the development of sustainable agriculture. Ashley serves on the Student Sustainability Committee as the treasurer and Food and Waste Working Group Co-Chair where she cultivates project proposals with students and faculty members to enhance campus sustainability. As a resident advisor and leader at the Illinois Street Residence Halls, Ashley works with a diverse community of undergraduate students to promote a positive community. Ashley encourages cross-cultural interactions and empowers others around her to achieve their potential.

Monika Zmudzki (Junior) has a passion for exploring different cultures and enabling those around her to pursue the opportunities around them. She has led and worked in organizations to educate students embarking on international service trips, consult with on-campus nonprofits, and create awareness of working towards goals by being involved in multiple organizations on campus. Primarily, she works within Global Business Brigades as a speaker and creator of educational events focusing on having a global perspective as well as working to help students finance service trips.

Graduate and Professional Awards 2017-18

Bailey Graduate and Professional Fellows

As a Peer Mentor for First Followers, Bethany Britton counsels and advises individuals, facilitates groups, participates in focus groups, collects participatory research project data, and creates video media. Bethany’s passion is to continue to use  her personal life experiences to educate and motivate communities, organizations, institutions, and victims through public speaking and programs. Bethany has given testimonies in community churches, on the Justice Reform Community Fines & Fee Panel, and at Treatment centers.  Bethany is pursuing a Master’s of Social Work Degree with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse and is working to establish W.I.N. at C-U (Women in Need at Champaign Urbana) to offer services to homeless women, particularly those who struggle with substance abuse issues.

As an undergraduate and graduate student, as well as a former employee of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Saturnino Rodriguez has utilized his knowledge, skills, and experience to aide in the development and implementation of many campus-wide initiatives created to serve first-generation, underrepresented students - current and future.  Thus, allowing him to empower students to overcome structural and personal barriers impeding upon their success on campus and beyond. Nino established a collaboration with Don Moyer Boys  Girls Club was to conduct a Youth Participatory Action Research project to expose participants to an alternative to the master narrative about them and their social groups and to empower the participants to use the newly acquired knowledge to strengthen their voices and influence to achieve change in their communities. Nino is pursuing a PhD in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership.

Special Recognition - Bailey Graduate Scholars

Kadeem Fuller is a community activist and PhD student in educational policy studies.  Kadeem's activism and scholarship is tied directly into challenging systems that marginalize and alienate people within society.  Kadeem has several ties with social justice organizations in the area.  He works with Black Lives Matter Champaign Urbana, Education Justice Project as well as a facilitator in Men Movie Critic, a movie group in the local jail.  His efforts in collective community struggles led to an implementation of a racial justice task force as well as stopped jail construction in the county.

 

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Jim Sosnowski has worked with a higher education in-prison program since 2010 and has focused on developing an English as a second language (ESL) program, serving language-minoritized incarcerated men. Through his work, he has trained incarcerated men to be ESL teachers, some of whom have become ESL teachers after release, developed a teacher-training curriculum, and has published and presented with the incarcerated teachers, as a way of breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions about incarcerated individuals. He continues to strive to create more socially just educational practices.

 

Ian Traniello is committed to using science outreach to create communities that put education before incarceration. In 2014, he independently established a science course for incarcerated teenagers at a local Juvenile Detention Center with the intention of helping students learn to apply fact-based knowledge, engage intellectual discussion, and trust the scientific method of reasoning and decision-making. Since then, he has coordinated the involvement of five more graduate students, helped build a Science Library at the jail, and published and presented his work to the scientific community.

International Service Travel Awards 2017-18

Summer/Fall 2017

Caleb Carlson (Sophomore) traveled in June to Tanzania to volunteer as a teaching assistant in a primary school in the town of Arusha for one month. For that month, Caleb passed on knowledge taken for granted as a first-world nation and demonstrated that there is a larger world that is invested in the growth and success of all humans, without regard for borders, race, or status.

Mayank Kale (Senior) traveled to Sierra Leone in August to help the country move in the direction of mobile healthcare delivery, and use technology to provide healthcare workers with advanced tools for patient management, early disease detection, and easily accessible clinical training. Mayank engaged with the host community at Njala University for the past year and a half and worked on a plan with 2 PhD students at Njala to define what the future of his tablet-based software looks like for Sierra Leone.

Yujin Lee (Sophomore) traveled to Greece in May to engage with domestic and international social service institutions serving immigrants and unaccompanied minors. She volunteered for two weeks at Praksis, an independent Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) whose main goal is to design and implement humanitarian programs and medical interventions. Yujin worked at a free clinic run by Praksis called Polyclinic in Athens.

Fangxing Liu (Sophomore) traveled to Panama in June with the University of Illinois Bridges to Prosperity chapter to build a bridge across a river in the Bajo Maiz community that is difficult to cross during the months of July through November. As a result, several deaths have occurred caused by the dangerous river. The total number of people that will be able to use the bridge is 745 and approximately 200 children will be able to cross the river safely after the bridge is built.

Nicole Petrovic (Junior) traveled to Tanzania in May to help finish construction of a school in Zanzibar, teach English and help construct chicken coops in Arusha. By participating in the School Construction project Nicole helped provide members of the community with a chance to advance their educations and discover their unique gifts that may assist them in growing as individuals and as a community.

Guadalupe Pineda (Senior) traveled to Cape Town, South Africa in May to volunteer at a shelter for abused women and their children. She led the women in exercise classes and taught them about home remedies. She worked with the children in the daycare.

Diamond Ruffin (Junior) traveled to Greece at the end of May to volunteer with the NGO Praksis which serves everyone including Greek poor, homeless, uninsured, asylum seekers/refugees, drug users, prisoners, and overall anyone who faces social or economic struggles and is deprived of basic goods. There were many tasks she worked on. Diamond sat in on a few social services meetings and heard the heart-wrenching stories of the people who Praksis served.

Yanbing Wang (Senior) traveled in June to Bajo Maiz, Panama, a rural community near San Felix in the Republic of Panama, to help build a 76-meter suspended footbridge across Candela River with the organization Bridges to Prosperity University of Illinois Chapter. The bridge will provide access to elementary and secondary schools, healthcare and agricultural products exchange markets for approximately 1500 community members, including 200 children around the area.

Unpaid Internship Scholars 2017-18

Summer/Fall 2017

Nancy Ramirez Blancas (Senior) worked as an intern for the DACA/Undocu Ally Training sessions over the summer through La Casa Cultural Latina. She used her leadership skills to manage, organize, and lead the events that will be presented to faculty, staff members and students at UIUC. The ally training for faculty and staff are three hours long, which teaches a comprehensive history of immigration here in the United States and then focuses on student panels that share their personal stories. For students, the training is shorter, roughly two hours, but focuses more on what students can do to help students who come out as undocumented on campus.

Annabelle Emuze (Sophomore) interned at the Washington, D.C. offices of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin during the first part of the 2017 summer. As an intern, Annabelle was required to perform reception, general office support duties, and tours of the Capitol. In addition, she was given more substantive work such as performing legislative research, assisting staff in writing memos, attending briefings and hearings, and providing additional support in both the Senator’s leadership and policy offices.

Vanessa Garcia (Senior) interned for Dominguez Legal Justice Center, a law firm specializing in immigration law. Vanessa wants to become a public interest attorney who deals with various domestic, immigration, housing, and civil issues that are prevalent within contemporary society. The internship allowed provided Vanessa with experience in legal case work. Through her volunteer work with the Immigration Forum, La Casa and MEChA, she has witnessed the increased necessity for immigration lawyers within Champaign-Urbana and in cities across the nation.

Stephen Guardino (Senior) interned in the Chicago offices of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin during July. During the internship, Stephen worked with the professional staff on a day-to-day basis. Hel worked the front desk, met with constituents to assist them with issues, worked with the press and scheduling offices as well as provided outreach to constituent interest groups. He also worked hands-on with caseworkers and administrative staff as well as performed legislative research.

Hannah Gutierrez (Senior) interned at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC during the summer. She was given many different tasks during her internship. The internship improved her ability to analyze legal history and explain its role in the greater context of social movements.

Megan Nuxoll (Junior) is interning during the Fall 2017 semester at the Champaign Health Department’s Dental Division. During her internship, Megan will communicate with patients, schedule dental appointments, manage office administrative duties, help clean and turnover dental rooms, clean instruments, assist the doctor with various dental procedures as well as work with the staff to alleviate patient anxiety before appointments.

Karen Olowu (Senior) is currently interning with De. SH(ie) (Designing Spaces of Hope Interior and Exterior), an organization that provides the Black community with a means to examine how design can impact social inequality. As a De.SH(ie) intern, Karen is responsible for building stronger partnerships with other neighboring organizations and Black institutions, attending community meetings, and offering general creative support for the Projects artistic programs. She also is tasked with researching similar urban design projects and working on potential building designs. Outside of urban design, she is responsible for refining the De.SH(ie) logo, developing the De.SH(ie) website and creating informational flyers and other digital graphics.

During Miroslava Osorio’s (Senior) summer internship, she conducted case studies based on the cases that attorney Daissy Dominguez of the Dominguez Legal Justice Center worked on. She greeted and invited clients to the assigned room, as well as taking notes from the meeting. She was responsible for translating phone calls in the office. She was responsible for ensuring that each case file was organized correctly and ready to be submitted to the appropriate office. Miroslava attended weekly meetings of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) in Chicago to learn techniques and strategies to develop practices in the law sector.