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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!

2013-14 Graduate Mentors

 

Molly McGuire,  Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

molly mcguire

Email
mjmcguire2@eiu.edu                                      
Hometown/State Jerseyville, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU Summer 2014
Graduate Research Involvement Study of Students on Eastern's campus who take part in the illegal use of stimulant drugs
Faculty Mentor Dr. Lisa Moyer
Clubs/Organizations: Graduate School Advisory Council, EIU Council on Family Relations, Newman Center -Different activities/Mission trips, Graduate Assistant at the MLK University Union, TeenREACH Volunteer  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I would like to work with adolescents, possibly with addiction problems. I have also looked into getting another degree in counseling. I'm just looking to help people and land a position where I can support myself while doing what I love.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided graduate school was right for me because I had the grades and the work ethic, as well as the support from my professors and family. I wanted to further my knowledge in how families work and how to help others.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
 
I decided my senior year here at EIU that I wanted to take advantage of the awesome FCS program and get involved.
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
 
I enjoy volunteering for different organizations, hanging out with my two awesome nephews, outdoor activities, and comedy improv!
 

Valerie Penn,  Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

valerie penn

Email vpenn@eiu.edu                                           
Hometown/State Meridian, Mississippi
Undergraduate Institution Mississippi State University
Graduate Program at EIU College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2014
Graduate Research Involvement Thesis - Social Media & The Net Generation; Research Project - EIU Athletic Recruitment
Faculty Mentor Dr. Dianne Timm
Clubs/Organizations: Graduate Student Advisory Council; College Student Affairs Personnel Association  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I am currently job searching in the event planning field specifically within institution alumni relations and non-profit donor relations.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I had a phenomenal undergraduate college experience. I could see the growth and development I underwent and wanted to make an impact on the lives of other college students. During my time in graduate school, I have come to realize that my passion is helping other people get and stay connected with the institution or organization that helped them develop and grow. It's important to me that we give back to the things that helped us get where we are.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I decided to pursue graduate school specifically within the field of student affairs during my sophomore year of undergraduate school. I had an amazing hall director that inspired me to make a difference.
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
 
I enjoy running and exercising. I have been a coach and/or volunteer for Girls on the Run since come to EIU. I am passionate about women empowerment and leadership. Jane Gentry says it best: "Dare to be remarkable."

Ashley Bell, Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

ashley bell

Email arbell@eiu.edu                                          
Hometown/State IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2014
Graduate Research Involvement First Generation Students, The Gateway Program, Alternate Admissions
Faculty Mentor Dr. Catherine Polydore
Clubs/Organizations: Advisor of Rhythm & X-tacy Dance Team
Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Member of NAACP, Member of BSU
Member of Black Graduate Associations
 
Career/Professional Aspirations:
My career plans are to work at a college/university (location??) in the advising department for 5 years and then I will pursue my PhD while working full time!

~Be the change you want to see in the world~ Ghandi
As a student affairs professional, I want to make a difference in the next generations lives...I want to be that role model that some students never had the chance to attain...
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
As a high school senior, I didn't have much of a support system, because I was considered a "First Generation" college student. Unfortunately, with no one else in my family going to college, I had to do a lot of things on my own, and figure out how to answer my own questions. I want to help those student who have similar situations :)
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
While in my junior year of my undergraduate studies, a professor pulled me aside and told me that I would be a great candidate for the Student Affairs profession, he told me "my passion along would be my motivation". I decided to look closer into Student Affairs, and when I realized that this profession assists college students in their academic endeavors, I was extremely intrigued. As a first generation college student I found that my college experience went a lot smoother because of the AMAZING staff here at EIU...They made it their business to make sure I was comfortable and well accounted for! I began to talk to some of the faculty members in the various different departments about their job duties, and benefits. I became so interested in the CSA department, I just knew it would be the fit for me...and I was right :)
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Reading, Dancing, Working Out (Zumba), & Volunteering

Alyssa Swan, Master's Candidate in Clinical Counseling

Alyssa Swan

Email aswan@eiu.edu                                          
Hometown/State Paxton, IL
Undergraduate Institution Olivet Nazarene University
Graduate Program at EIU Clinical Counseling
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2014
Faculty Mentor Dr. Gloria Leitschuh, Dr. Angela Yoder, Dr. Heidi Larson
Clubs/Organizations: Chi Sigma Iota- Epsilon Iota Upsilon
Graduate Network for Undergrads (GN4U)
 
Career/Professional Aspirations:
Upon graduating from EIU, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of North Texas to study counselor education and play therapy.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
As a high school senior, I didn't have much of a support system, because I was considered a "First Generation" college student. Unfortunately, with no one else in my family going to college, I had to do a lot of things on my own, and figure out how to answer my own questions. I want to help those student who have similar situations :)
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I enjoy spending time with my family, running, listening to music, and being outside!

Resa Ware, Master's Candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences

ashley bell

Email raware@eiu.edu                                          
Hometown/State Urbana, Illinois
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Family and Consumer Sciences
Anticipated Graduation from EIU Spring 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:
I love to read in my spare time as well as hula hoop for exercise and fun!!

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 2014
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...

Desiree Ramirez, Master's Candidate in Historical Administration

desiree ramirez

Email dmramirez@eiu.edu                                         
Hometown/State   California
Undergraduate Institution  Whittier College
Graduate Program at EIU   Historical Administration
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  May 2015
Graduate Research Involvement Creating a website for our spring exhibit http://www.eiu.edu/ha/exhibits/2014/home.html
Clubs/Organizations: GSAC(Graduate Student Advisory Council)  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I want to work with the National Park Service, in some sort of historical work setting.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I met two alumni from the Historical Administration Program (one a boss and one a coworker). The program sounded perfect for what I wanted and there was a tuition wavier as well as a graduate assistantship. If I had not been given those scholarships, I would not have been able to attend graduate school.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I knew I wanted to pursue graduate school while I was in my undergrad. However, I knew I wanted to take a break after undergrad before heading back to school.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Hiking and being in the outdoors.

Betsy Danner, Master's Candidate in Music

betsy danner

Email eadanner@eiu.edu                                         
Hometown/State   Elgin, Illinois
Undergraduate Institution  Benedictine College in Atchison, KS
Graduate Program at EIU   Music
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  Spring 2014
Faculty Mentors   Dr. Marilyn Coles and Dr. Katherine McBain
Clubs/Organizations: GSAC(Graduate Student Advisory Council)  
Career/Professional Aspirations:
I would like to be a music teacher (choir especially) in an elementary or high school. I would also like to be the music director at a Catholic parish. I would like to open a studio, make some solid recordings, and play in chamber groups.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided to pursue graduate study to be a better horn player. Being a better performer will make me a better teacher, and graduate study will make me a more well-rounded and knowledgeable musician.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I applied to graduate school as a “backup plan.” I decided to go when I was accepted and offered the full tuition-waiver! It was an exciting day.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I enjoy running, good fellowship, canoeing, and discovering new Asian cuisine.
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