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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!

2016-17 Graduate Mentors

Camile Williams, Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

Alex Ball

Email cnwilliams@eiu.edu                                 
Hometown/State Aurora, IL
Undergraduate Institution
Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  2017

Clubs/Organizations: Panther Ambassador Club; Phi Alpha Eta National Honors Society
Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society; Prowl Leader
Panther Basketball Band
National Residence Hall Honorary
Kappa Omicron Nu
Academic Initiative and Retention Committee
Access Granted Crew leader
Panther Basketball band (Clarinet player)
Hall Council (birthday committee)

Career/Professional Aspirations:
After graduating with my MS in FCS I plan to go into Case Management with individuals and families. I also plan to go into Youth Services work.
My long term plans include opening my own homeless/Refugee Transitional Facility

Share any Hobbies or Interests: I like to shop, paint my nails, watch movies, go bowling, hang out with friends, try new foods

Alex Ball, Master's Candidate in Nutrition and Dietetics

Alex Ball

Email aball@eiu.edu                                 
Hometown/State Galena, IL
Undergraduate Institution
Western Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Nutrition and Dietetics
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  

Clubs/Organizations: Graduate Student Advisory Council; Student Dietetic Association

Career/Professional Aspirations:
I want to be hired by Google to work as their dietitian assessing employees and putting on wellness programs.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
A good friend that is in the same program as me here convinced me to apply because EIU's dietetic masters is heavily community based. It is also projected dietitians will need their masters in the next ten years.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
My senior year of undergraduate.

Share any Hobbies or Interests: I love volleyball, tennis, and soccer. I am pretty much up for anything involving exercise. I love to cook and find recipes to alter and make healthier.

Candace Williams, Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

Candace Williams

Email clwilliams7@eiu.edu                                 
Hometown/State Illinois
Undergraduate Institution
Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2017

Clubs/Organizations:Graduate Student Advisory Council; Elogeme Adolphi Christian Sorority Inc.;
ACTivated Praise Dance team; ACTS; Kappa Omicron Nu
Panther Basketball Band

Career/Professional Aspirations:
I plan to become a Children and Youth Services Manager working with Refugees. Eventually, I would like to open my own Refugee Center.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I wanted to further my education and pursue a graduate degree in order to continue growing professionally and personally. I believe with an education you can unlock many doors in life!

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
My senior year of undergrad is when I first realized I wanted to pursue an advanced degree. I was taking a course within my major and my professor had several guest speakers talk about their experiences in grad school and how it has helped them accomplish their goals.

Share any Hobbies or Interests: In my spare time I like to play the flute, watch movies on Lifetime, hang out with my friends and family, attend church, and praise dance.

Charles Reither, Master's Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Charles Reither

Email cwreither@eiu.edu                                  
Hometown/State Park Ridge, IL
Undergraduate Institution University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Graduate Research Involvement Parapsychology lab
Faculty Mentor Dr. Russell Gruber
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I would like to practice at the Master's level for a time, or perhaps pursue a Psy.D in Clinical Psychology or a Ph.D in Neuroscience.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
My main reasons for studying Psychology at the graduate level stem from my interest in interpersonal interactions, exposure to a wide range of psychological distress across many different settings, as well as a general curiosity regarding the processes occurring in the mind.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
Graduate school is something I'd been aspiring to for quite some time (since my sophomore year in undergrad), but it was about two years ago I got the opportunity to finish my undergraduate degree and make that dream a reality.

Share any Hobbies or Interests: I like to fill my spare time with weight and triathlon training, music and reading (both fiction and non-fiction). I've also been known to fool around with auto repair, home improvement projects and indoor rock climbing from time to time.

Leanna Pantier, Master's Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Leanna Pantier

Email lkpantier@eiu.edu                                  
Hometown/State Riverton, IL
Undergraduate Institution Illinois College
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Clubs/Organizations: Concert Choir; University Mixed Chorus; Graduate Association of Clinical Psychology  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
Pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology. I'm especially interested in head injuries/concussions and the mechanisms by which damage occurs in these injuries.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
In order to do the work that I want to do, I need to obtain a PhD. So, graduate school is a necessity!

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I finally decided to pursue graduate study in the summer before my final semester of undergrad, but had toyed with the idea for at least a year before that. It took me a while to figure out what part of psychology I actually found the most interesting, but once I found Neuropsychology I started laying out a plan.

Share any Hobbies or Interests: Singing/listening to music, Watching Netflix, especially documentaries!
Playing with any and all animals,
Spending time with friends and family

Cortney Kingsmill, Master's Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Cortney Kingsmill

Email clkingsmill@eiu.edu                                    
Hometown/State Bartlett, IL
Undergraduate Institution University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Clubs/Organizations: Graduate Association of Clinical Psychology; Graduate Assistant at a CTF group home  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I would like to work in a clinical setting, possibly a hospital, focused on people with severe mental health problems, like Schizophrenia. I am considering getting my PhD at some point in the future.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I wanted to further my education in the hopes of getting a better job doing something that I am interested in doing. Working in a clinical setting doing therapy is something that I have always wanted to do.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
My junior year of undergrad

Share any Hobbies or Interests: I enjoy running, spending time with friends, and watching hockey.

Emma Petersen, Master's Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Emma Petersen

Email eppetersen@eiu.edu                                    
Hometown/State   St Charles, IL
Undergraduate Institution  Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Research Involvement Geriatric Neuropsychology
Faculty Mentor Dr. John Mace
Clubs/Organizations: GACP  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I want to become a clinical psychologist. I am unsure at what university I will pursue my PhD at this time.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
To gain knowledge in the field, ultimately preparing me to work in the field

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
Halfway through my undergraduate degree

 

Quincy Kolhoff,  Master's Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Quincy Kalhoff

Email
qaknolhoff@eiu.edu                                 
                                    
Hometown/State Centralia, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Graduate Research Involvement Stigmatization of Individuals with Mental Illness
Faculty Mentor Dr. William Addison
Clubs/Organizations Varsity Track and Field, Graduate Association of Clinical Psychology
Career/Professional Aspirations:
Work in a community mental health setting for a few years before possibly pursuing my Ph.D or JD to continue in the field.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
The work that I want to do is at a master's level (case manager/group therapy leader) and I want to learn as much as possible about mental illness so that I can be a better resource to my clients.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
 
I always figured that I would go on to pursue a graduate study, but that was finalized my junior year of undergraduate studies when I switched my major to psychology and new what degree the work that I wanted to do required.
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
 
Running, reading, working out, any outdoor activities.
 

Hanna Hobson,  Master's Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Hanna Hobson

Email hehobson@eiu.edu                                        
Hometown/State Waukesha, WI
Undergraduate Institution University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Graduate Research Involvement Social Anxiety
Faculty Mentor Dr. Wesley Allan
Clubs/Organizations: 
Graduate Association of Clinical Psychology Communication Liaison, Graduate School Advisory Council Member
 
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I hope to go on to complete my PhD in clinical psychology. I want to work with the LGBT population in my future research projects and internships as well!
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I knew that graduate school was something I wanted to do because I want to be a licensed clinical psychologist. Although I have my psychology major, I am not technically a psychologist until I finish me MA here at Eastern!
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I decided to start looking into grad school when I was a junior in college. I was a little late to the game when I finally decided that grad school was my next step, but it was still totally possible to accomplish!
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
 
I like to workout and do yoga, read awesome books, hang out with my new cohort who are quickly becoming some of my best friends, and cuddle my cat.

Samantha Rawlings, Master's Candidate in Aging Studies

Samantha Rawlings

Email sjrawlings@eiu.edu                                        
Hometown/State Matoon, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Aging Studies
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Graduate Research Involvement  
Faculty Mentor Dr. Kathleen O'Rourke
Clubs/Organizations:  GSAC, Deans Student Advisory Board-Aging Studies Laison, Secretary Kappa Omicron Nu  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
Executive Director Senior Living Home; Nursing Home Director
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I pursued Graduate study because I wanted to stand out when searching for a job. I also was intrigued by the possibility of making more money and more job opportunities.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I attended graduate fairs and talked with other graduate students. I made an appointment to meet with the graduate coordinator for my program and started from there.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I love Geocaching with my dad, whenever I can find the time!!!!!!

Samantha Rushworth, Master's and Specialist's Candidate in School Psychology

Samantha Rushworth

Email sjrushworth@eiu.edu                                     
Hometown/State Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Institution Albright College
Graduate Program at EIU School Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2018
Graduate Research Involvement Improved measurement of anxiety and depression in the Black/African American community
Faculty Mentor Dr. Gary Canivez
Clubs/Organizations:Vice President of Student Association of School Psychologists at Eastern ((SASPE); Graduate Student Advisory Council  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
School Psychologist;  Professor of Psychology
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
To become a school psychologist, at least a specialist degree (Masters plus full year of internship) is necessary. This career is an important aspect to the education system and fit my interests as an undergraduate student.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study?
The summer before my senior year.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Psychology! Helping children, petting dogs; Netflix, relaxing, coffee, calm walks

Hannah Miller, Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

Hannah Miller

Email hnmiller@eiu.edu                                         
Hometown/State/Country Fishers, Indiana
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2017
Clubs/Organizations: Student Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (SAFCS); Big Brothers Big Sisters RSO; Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I absolutely love working with children and being in the outdoors, so my goal is to become a Camp Director. My goals while in my graduate program are to become more proficient with leadership, management, and working well with others.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I love the close knit community of students and professors in the Family and Consumer Sciences field at EIU. I wanted to continue my education at a place that I felt comfortable and empowered to achieve my goals as a graduate student.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I started to think about graduate school when I was a junior in my undergrad. My junior year made me realize how much I loved the Family and Consumer Sciences field and that I wanted to continue my education by learning more.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I enjoy spending time every week with the 12 year old girl I mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I love working out, staying fit, and being healthy! I also love hiking, camping, and adventuring outdoors!

DeSha Wilbern, Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

DeSha Wilbern

Email dmwilbern@eiu.edu                                      
Hometown/State/Country   Kenosha, WI
Undergraduate Institution  EIU
Graduate Program at EIU   Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2017
Graduate Research Involvement Trans-racial Adoption
Faculty Mentors   Dr. Betz-Hamilton
Clubs/Organizations: CGS Thesis/Teaching/King-Mertz Awards Committee; GSAC
GN4U Mentor; Student Dietetics Association; Graduate Assistant at the Gateway Office
 
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I am looking into PH.D programs to go into so I can further my education and become a professor at a university.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I pursued a Master's Degree so I can further my studies in FCS and become a professor.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study: I decided to pursue a graduate study my fall semester of senior year of college.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
My hobbies are listening to music, hanging with friends, watching movies, and going to Zumba

Samantha Young, Master's Candidate in Aging Studies

Sam Young

Email smyoung2@eiu.edu                                      
Hometown/State/Country   Naperville, IL
Undergraduate Institution  Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Aging Studies
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  2017
Graduate Research Involvement The Sandwich Generation
Faculty Mentors   Dr. Kathleen O'Rourke
Clubs/Organizations: President of The Graduate Student Advisory Council; President of Kappa Omicron Nu; Member of the Online Advisory Board; Member of the Textbook Rental Advisory Committee  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I hope to work as an Executive Director at a Memory Care Home. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Graduate Assistantship hours as they have helped me find my drive and passion within the field. Depending on the location of my job, I would also enjoy working at a local university as an adjunct instructor for Gerontology/Family and Consumer Sciences.

When Did You Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided to pursue graduate school my senior year of my undergraduate degree.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I pursued graduate school because I wanted to learn more about the field of Gerontology/Aging Studies.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
My hobbies include crafting, hiking, cooking, reading, and scrap-booking.

Tania Ward, Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

Tania Stanford

Email tlward2@eiu.edu                                    
Hometown/State   Chicago
Undergraduate Institution  Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU   College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2017
Clubs/Organizations: ACTS Campus Ministry, GSAC(Graduate Student Advisory Council), COSPA(College Student Affairs Personnel Association)  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
After graduating from the CSA program, I plan to pursue a career at an institution of higher learning. My motto is “The right door will open at the right time." I have a passion for working with students and hope to make an impact on their life while they are in college. I hope to obtain a Ph.D. after getting experience working in a college setting for a few years

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided the graduate school was right for me when I realized what I wanted to do in my career. I knew that in order for me to fulfill that goal, graduate school was the next step. I want to be effective at what I do; the CSA will better equip me for the job to come.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I first realized that I wanted to pursue an advanced degree during the beginning of my junior year. I had never thought that I would attend graduate school until then. I had many mentors encouraging me that I would be great for the CSA program. I then began to research more into the program.

Share any hobbies or interests:
Hobbies and Interest of mine include dancing, reading inspirational books, writing blogs, hearing motivational speeches, spending time with family and friends, spending quality time with my husband, hiking, and learning how to cook.

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