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EIU Graduate School

GN4U- the Graduate Network for Undergraduates

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

2018-19 Graduate Mentors

Amber Webb,  Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

Amber Webb

Email ajwebb2@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Teutopolis, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement Thesis Research on the Lived Experiences of Non-Traditional Students

Clubs/Organizations:
President, Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)
Professional Development Coordinator of COSPA
ACPA Ambassador

 

Career/Professional Aspirations:
I would like to work on a college or university campus as an academic advisor, student success coach, or in admissions. I plan to pursue my Ph.D., but doctoral programs in my field require you to work a while with your master's degree before entering a program.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I love learning and felt a graduate degree was important in my career choice. Most positions in my field require a graduate-level degree.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
I realized I wanted to pursue a graduate degree fall of my senior year.
Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
I love music, reading, board games, and playing MarioKart with my sons.

Tulana Ariyaratne, Master's Candidate in Chemistry

Tulana Ariyaratne

Email tarachchige@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Undergraduate Institution University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Graduate Program at EIU Chemistry
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement Physical Chemistry - Microwave spectroscopy
Faculty Mentor Dr. Rebecca Peebles

Clubs/Organizations:
Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)
EIU Pride
Association of International Students

Career/Professional Aspirations:
Pursue a Ph.D. in Science Education/Chemical Education
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
For better opportunities and career objectives
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study? 
 
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Reading, Music, Movies, Social Media

Olivia Bennett, Master's Candidate in Counseling and Higher Education

Olivia Bennett

Email orbennett@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Oswego, IL
Undergraduate Institution St. Ambrose University
Graduate Program at EIU Counseling and Higher Education; School Counseling
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2020
Graduate Research Involvement  
Faculty Mentor Richard Roberts

Clubs/Organizations:
Representative for Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)

Career/Professional Aspirations:
I hope to be a school counselor and help students reach their full potential. I also hope to be involved with research to further the counseling profession.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I knew I wanted to be a school counselor, and this profession requires a master's degree.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study?
In my last semester of undergraduate studies.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I like shopping and exploring new places. I love psychology: which was my undergraduate degree

Razak Dwomoh, Master's Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction

Razak Dwomoh

Email rkdwomoh@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Charleston
Undergraduate Institution University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Graduate Program at EIU Curriculum and Instruction
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement The Development and Implications of Social Studies Curricula in Ghana
Faculty Mentor Dr. John Bickford

Clubs/Organizations:
Vice President, Association of International Students
International Student Ambassador
EIU Newman Catholic Center Amigos and Friends (Teaching English to local language minorities) 
Charleston Food Pantry

Career/Professional Aspirations:
Plans to pursue my Ph.D and become a curriculum developer in Ghana.
Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I am trained and certified in Ghana as a high school history teacher. I pursued graduate school to refine my skills, engage in more productive research work, and to study the curricula of U.S and other countries to improve the curriculum of Ghana.
When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study?
When I was in high school in 2008.
Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Writing, track, and table tennis

Nuwanthaka Jayaweera, Master's Candidate in Chemistry

Nuwanthaka Jayaweera

Email npjayaweera@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Colombo
Undergraduate Institution University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Graduate Program at EIU Chemistry
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement Department of Chemistry
Faculty Mentor Dr. Radu Seminiuc

Clubs/Organizations:
Was a senator of the Student Government

Career/Professional Aspirations:
To become a faculty in Chemistry

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
Because Chemistry is fun.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I wanted to enhance my knowledge in Chemistry.

Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Playing cricket.

Amanda Mead, Master's Candidate in Counseling and Higher Education

Amanda Mead

Email ammead@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Mokena, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU Counseling and Higher Education
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement  
Faculty Mentor  

Clubs/Organizations:
Chi Sigma Iota

Career/Professional Aspirations:
My career aspirations include working as a school counselor within Chicago Public Schools, and pursuing a Ph.D. within the next 5 years.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I pursued graduate study because I was stuck in a dead end job that was not igniting my passions. I love working with students and felt that my calling was to pursue a career within a school. I have my BS in Family and Consumer Sciences, and with no educational background, I decided to pursue school counseling.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided to pursue graduate study three years after I completed my undergraduate degree. I applied in January of 2017.

Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I love music and going to concerts. I also love seeing movies and spending time with my friends. When I am not doing that, I hang with my dog Ellie!

Shannon Burback, Master's Candidate in School Psychology

Shannon Burback

Email smburback@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Hainesville
Undergraduate Institution University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Graduate Program at EIU School Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2020
Graduate Research Involvement Thesis: Construct Validity of the Behavior Assessment System for Children- Third Edition Teacher Rating Scales (BASC-3 TRS): Comparisons with the Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents (ASCA)
Faculty Mentor  Gary Canivez

Clubs/Organizations:
Student Association of School Psychologist at Eastern (SASPE)

Career/Professional Aspirations:
To work as a School Psychologist

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I always knew I wanted to work in a school but I did not know exactly where I wanted to make my impact. I thought about teaching elementary and decided that was not for me, I thought about teaching secondary and decided that was not for me. That is when I realized I wanted to be able to make an impact by working with students who needed help the most and that is when I came across School Psychology. Therefore, I pursued this field and decided EIU was the best school to help me achieve this goal.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I decided I was going to attend graduate school at the end of my sophomore year of college.

Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Some of my hobbies when I am not studying include running, traveling, scuba diving, and shopping!

Nikki Davidson, Master's Candidate in School Psychology

Nikki Davidson

Email nrdavidson@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Charleston, IL
Undergraduate Institution Eastern Illinois University
Graduate Program at EIU School Psychology
Anticipated Graduation from EIU 2019 (Master's) & 2020 (Specialist's)
Graduate Research Involvement Learning Behaviors Scale
Faculty Mentor Dr. Gary Canivez

Clubs/Organizations:
Student Association of School Psychologist at Eastern (SASPE)
Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)

Career/Professional Aspirations:
Potentially pursuing Ph.D., likely working in rural schools.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I knew I wanted to work with young children making a difference in education, giving them a better chance at a bright future.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
Sophomore year of undergrad - when I found that graduate school opened up better opportunities.

Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Pokemon Go, hacky sack

Dayton Ehrlich, Master's Candidate in College Student Affairs

Dayton Ehrlich

Email dlehrlich@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Kouts, Indiana
Undergraduate Institution Indiana State University
Graduate Program at EIU College Student Affairs
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement Thesis on Alternative Spring Break Trips
Faculty Mentor Dr. Dianne Timm

Clubs/Organizations:
Fraternity and Sorority Programs

Career/Professional Aspirations:
Someday to receive my Ph.D.
Eventually become a Vice President of Student Affairs

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:

Share any Hobbies or Interests:

Tessa Hanlon, Master's Candidate in Counseling and Higher Education

Tessa Hanlon

Email trhanlon@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Champaign, IL
Undergraduate Institution University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Graduate Program at EIU Counseling and Higher Education; School
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2020
Graduate Research Involvement Assisting a professor in my department with a systemic review on play therapy for pre-adolescents
Faculty Mentor  

Clubs/Organizations:
Chi Sigma Iota

Career/Professional Aspirations:
My career aspirations include working as a school counselor within Chicago Public Schools, and pursuing a Ph.D. within the next 5 years.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
I pursued graduate study to follow my passion for mental health and helping others live their best lives. I wanted to learn more about how to effectively change lives through counseling and become proficient as a counselor. My undergraduate background was in psychology which is related, but licensure for counseling is only offered as a graduate program.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I was interested in it as an undergraduate student, but it wasn’t until I took a year off of school after graduation that I really figured out what I wanted to do. The year off cleared my head and allowed me to develop a focus for graduate school that I never had in undergrad; I do not regret that year in between. I realized I wanted to pursue a degree in school counseling during my time as a high school coach because I loved working with my student-athletes so much and being a positive impact in their lives.

Share any Hobbies or Interests:
Running is my passion; I run marathons and am also a competitive road racer at various distances. I coached high school cross country and track for 3 years and loved every minute of it. I also enjoy pleasure reading and creative writing in my spare time.

Sarah Iriho, Master's Candidate in Business Administration

Sarah Iriho

Email siriho@eiu.edu
Hometown/State  
Undergraduate Institution  
Graduate Program at EIU Master of Business Administration; Accountancy
Anticipated Graduation from EIU  
Graduate Research Involvement  
Faculty Mentor  

Clubs/Organizations:

Career/Professional Aspirations:

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:

Share any Hobbies or Interests:

Carol Bruce-Tagoe, Master's Candidate in Business Administration

Carol Bruce Tagoe

Email cobrucetagoe@eiu.edu
Hometown/State Accra, Ghana
Undergraduate Institution University of Ghana
Graduate Program at EIU MBA - Research option
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2020
Graduate Research Involvement Performance Impact of Board Composition Charges
Faculty Mentor  Dr. David Boggs

Clubs/Organizations:
A member of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries

Career/Professional Aspirations:
I have plans of pursuing and Doctorate Degree in Finance. I look forward to having a career in Academia.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study:
To add more value to myself and also to lay the foundation or prepare myself for my career goals.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study:
I had plans of pursuing graduate studies right from high school. I have always seen myself going beyond a bachelor's degree.

Share any Hobbies or Interests:
I love traveling. I also enjoy listening to music and singing.

Daniele Njoh, Master's Candidate in Communication Studies

Daniele Njoh

Email dnjoh@eiu.edu
Hometown/State  
Undergraduate Institution Geneva Business School
Graduate Program at EIU Communication Studies
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2020
Graduate Research Involvement  
Faculty Mentor  

Clubs/Organizations: 
Association of International Students (AIS)
Chi Alpha
EIU Volunteer
EIU Habitat for Humanity
Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)

Career/Professional Aspirations: 
I see myself teaching topics like management, marketing, entrepreneurship and publics relations to name a few. I am a serial entrepreneur with two business to my credit and I plan to open other businesses.
I also would like to pursue a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology. Not only I want to consult for various industries but I also want to mentor start-ups owners.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study: 
After my master's degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship, I decided to pursue a master's degree in Strategic Communication because I wanted to have all the necessary expertise to realize my dreams.
I am passionate about entrepreneurship and mentoring and I wanted to get a degree that embraces all my passions and allows me to work for different organizations.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study: 
I think I have always wanted to pursue higher education. As a women coming from a developing country, I understood very early the importance of education. It is an open arena to creation, critical thinking and opportunity. It helps think outside of the box and grasp that there is no limit to what we can achieve in one life.

Share any Hobbies or Interests: 
I am a movie buff. My favorite genres are action and sci-fiction. I love traveling, cooking and of course eating food from across the globe.

Prashansa Kannangara, Master's Candidate in Chemistry

Prashansa Kannangara

Email dbkannangara@eiu.edu
Hometown/State  
Undergraduate Institution  
Graduate Program at EIU Chemistry
Anticipated Graduation from EIU May 2019
Graduate Research Involvement Studying CO2 solvent properties by Microwave Spectroscopy: Development of Analytical techniques to decode patterns in large data sets
Faculty Mentor Dr. Rebecca Peebles

Clubs/Organizations: 

Career/Professional Aspirations: 
Pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry.

Why Did you Pursue Graduate Study: 
Chemistry is my passion.

When Did you Decide to Pursue Graduate Study: 
When I was in high school.

Share any Hobbies or Interests: 

 

Related Pages

Contact Information

The Graduate School

1201 Blair Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue Charleston, IL 61920
217-581-2220
Fax: 217-581-6020
graduate@eiu.edu


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