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GN4U- the Graduate Network for Undergraduates

The graduate students below are ready to answer your questions about graduate school. Feel free to email them!

2014-15 Graduate Mentors

 

Patrick Wildman,  Master's Candidate in School Counseling

patrick wildman

Email
pmwildman@eiu.edu                                 
                                    
Hometown/State Monticello, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU School Counseling
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Career/Professional Aspirations:
My goal is to work as a high school guidance counselor before ultimately obtaining my Ph.D.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I enjoy learning and expanding my knowledge base. So for me graduate school was a natural progression of my life.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
 
I have been out of undergrad for four years, and I figured if I did not start it soon than I never would.
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
 
I love to write, study astronomy and meteorology, as well as play video games and read.
 

Brittany Staten,  Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

brittany staten

Email bestaten@eiu.edu                                          
Hometown/State Chicago
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2015
Graduate Research Involvement Black Friday Shopping
Faculty Mentor Dr. Crystal Duncan-Lane
Clubs/Organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences; Black Graduate Student Association; Graduate Student Advisory Council; Black Student Union  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
To get my Ph.D in human development right after the completion of my Masters Degree. After I receive my Ph.D I want to research grief coping strategies and teach to students in higher institutions.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I want to continue learning about something I am passionate in so I can influence others. I want to have a strong educational background to keep pushing me to go farther then I imagined.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I first realized I wanted to pursue an advanced degree when I would watch my favorite Aunt pursuing her advanced degree. No matter what, she continued to learn and persevere even when times were tough.
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
 
I enjoy doing arts and crafts. Reading, volunteering, going to the movie theatre and enjoying popcorn with no butter.

Frank Vargas, Master's Candidate in Communication Studies

frank vargas

Email Fjvargas@eiu.edu                                         
Hometown/State Chicago
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Communication Studies
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2016
Clubs/Organizations: Founder/President - DubClub EIU, VP of Programming - GSAC  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
To become a teacher or a trainer of diversity/equality.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I took great interest in critical/cultural studies as an undergraduate. In a nutshell this field seeks to change existing power structures as they relate to gender, socio-economic status, and race. I hope to take the knowledge that I acquire during my graduate studies and apply it to the real world to inspire progressive social change.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I decided almost as soon as I finished my under-graduate studies.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Music of all kinds, Frisbee, Basketball, Video games, Televised basketball, Drumming/Percussion, Campus life.

Xueting Sun, Master's Candidate in Business Administration

xueting sun

Email xsun2@eiu.edu                                         
Hometown/State Yunnan, China
Undergraduate Institution Shijiazhuang Tiedao University
Graduate Program at EIU MBA
Anticipated Graduation from EIU Summer 2016
Clubs/Organizations: English club, Beta Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Lambda  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
To teach accounting.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I want to gain more experience and knowledge.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study?
When I was a freshman.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Chinese flute, ping-pong ball, badminton, swimming, taekwondo

Lauren Solomon, Master's Candidate in Biological Sciences

 

Email lesolomon@eiu.edu                                         
Hometown/State Ann Arbor, Michigan
Undergraduate Institution Michigan State University
Graduate Program at EIU Biological Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2016
Faculty Mentor
Dr. Jill Deppe
Clubs/Organizations: GSAC(Graduate Student Advisory Council), Fish and Wildlife Ecology Club
 

Jen Monkman, Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

jen monkman

Email jjmonkman@eiu.edu                                          
Hometown/State Springfield, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2015
Graduate Research Involvement Thesis: Financial Awareness of College Freshmen
Clubs/Organizations: GSAC(Graduate Student Advisory Council) COSPA(College Student Affairs Personnel Association)  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
To work in the Admissions or Academic Advising fields at a college or university.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided to pursue graduate school in Student Affairs because I have a passion for working with students.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I decided to pursue graduate study after taking some time off to work for a couple of years.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Reading, movies...

Nathan Wehr, Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

nathan wehr

Email njwehr@eiu.edu                                        
Hometown/State   Jasper, Indiana
Undergraduate Institution  University of Southern Indiana
Graduate Program at EIU   College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  May 2015
Graduate Research Involvement Thesis
Faculty Mentor  Dr. Dena Kniess
Clubs/Organizations: Graduate Student Advisory Council
Council of Student Personnel Association
Advisor to Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
Co-Chair College Student Affairs Days
 
Career/Professional Aspirations:
After completing my masters, I am looking towards a career in either Student Life, Orientation, Transition, and Retention, or Fraternity and Sorority Life. I also plan on obtaining my doctorate in higher education in the upcoming future.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided graduate school was right for me when I was informed that what I was passionate about as an undergrad I could do on a professional level. I want to be able to help students develop throughout their collegiate career.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I decided to pursue graduate study when I was attending the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference in the spring of 2011 in St. Louis. It was at this conference that I made a connection to my passions and being able to make a career out of doing something that truly enjoyed.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Antique shopping and Traveling

Sarah Porter-Liddell, Master's Candidate in English

sarah porter-liddell

Email sporterliddell@eiu.edu                                        
Hometown/State   Chicago
Undergraduate Institution  EIU
Graduate Program at EIU   English
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  Spring 2015
Graduate Research Involvement New Media Studies, African-American success rate in college, SLAM poetry, and Higher learning
Faculty Mentors   Dr. Marilyn Coles and Dr. Katherine McBain
Clubs/Organizations: BGSA, Adviser to two RSO's  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
Working with inner city students as an academic adviser for student success, or working with a non-for-profit organization that works with disadvantaged students and develops programs for success.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I know I need graduate study to be a serious candidate for all of my future endeavors.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
In elementary school. I always knew I wanted a PhD. I didn't know what I wanted a PhD in.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I enjoy writing, comedy, swimming, and dancing. I love art, and I do hair and nails. On occasion, I make dog clothes.

Trisha Bailey, Master's Candidate in Biological Sciences

sarah porter-liddell

Email tlbailey@eiu.edu                                        
Hometown/State   Charleston, IL
Undergraduate Institution  UIUC
Graduate Program at EIU   Biological Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  Spring 2015
Graduate Research Involvement Graduate Researcher in Dr. Menze's Cell Biology Laboratory
Faculty Mentors   Dr. Michael Menze and Dr. Britto Nathan
Clubs/Organizations: Council on Graduate Studies - Student Representative
College of Sciences Curriculum Committee - Student Representative
 
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular/cellular neuroscience. EIU's Biological Sciences Graduate Program has provided me with the skill set necessary to be a competitive candidate for Ph.D. studentships. By completing a thesis, publishing articles, and mastering lab techniques I am quite confident in my ability to secure a spot in the lab of my choice.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
Graduate school is the logical next step in the field of science. A level of mastery is needed to perform, design, and execute productive experiments.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I knew I wanted to pursue graduate study after my first undergrad research experience. I knew I wanted to conduct research in a lab setting and that graduate school would allow me to the best opportunity to be a successful researcher.

Aaron Hollis, Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

aaron hollis

Email arhollis@eiu.edu                                        
Hometown/State   Alvin, Texas
Undergraduate Institution  University of Wisconsin-Madison
Graduate Program at EIU   College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  Spring 2015
Graduate Research Involvement Graduate thesis looking at the level of development of sophomores in the RA position
Faculty Mentors   Dr. Diane Timm
Clubs/Organizations: College Student Personnel Association (COSPA), GSAC, Intramural sports  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I would like to make an impact at a college or university. That can mean many different things, but I will be happy as long as I am able to make a difference in students' lives.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:

I chose to pursue graduate study because the field I am in requires a master's degree for advancement. It was extremely helpful to know that graduate assistantships are available to reduce the cost of graduate school.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 

I decided to pursue graduate school in October of my final year of my undergraduate career.

Share any hobbies or interests: Running. Team sports. Trivia. Board games.

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