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  • photo of Aracely Lara

    Aracely

    Industrial Engineering Major/Civil and Materials Engineering, Mathematics Minor

  • photo of Dhruvy Shah

    Dhruvy

    Kinesiology Major

  • photo of Gaurav Singh

    Gaurav

    Chemistry and Psychology Major

  • photo of Justin Fiala

    Justin

    Medical Student

  • photo of Kaitlin Walters

    Kaitlin

    M.S. Biomedical Visualization

  • photo of Kenneth Vasser

    Kenneth

    Sociology Major

  • photo of Marissa Govedarica

    Marissa

    Communications Major

  • photo of Mike Danoski

    Mike

    Mechanical Engineering Major

  • photo of Michael Kenes

    Michael

    Pharmacy Student

  • photo of Nina Henderson

    Nina

    Psychology Major / Gender and Women's Studies, Spanish Minor

  • photo of Priya Yenebere

    Priya

    M.S. Mechanical Engineering

  • photo of Rachel Luckett

    Rachel

    Entrepreneurship Major

  • photo of Saad Jamil

    Saad

    Biological Sciences Major

  • photo of Travis Strutzenberg

    Travis

    Mechanical Engineering Major

Next
photo of Aracely Lara

More about Aracely

Major:

Industrial Engineering

Minor:

Civil and Materials Engineering, Mathematics

Favorite Chicago Spots:

El Faro, only place near home where I can get some delicious veggie food! I also enjoy exploring Downtown Chicago's multiple attractions and buildings.

Aracely

Industrial Engineering Major/Civil and Materials Engineering and Mathematics Minor | Sophomore

I chose UIC because...

Engineering Program, research, and location

“UIC has one of the best Engineering Programs with great research opportunities which made it that much more attractive for me. I always knew UIC was the place for me and I'm glad I made the right decision."

Off-campus job:

UIC Medical Center

“I work in the Food Services area in the hospital by delivering warm food to the patients.”

Where to find her:

Society of Women Engineers Office

“Nearly all my free time between classes is spent in the lovely SWE office. I really get some quiet time and I'm able to relax!”

Involved in:

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

“I've been involved with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) since 2009 and continue to hold the position as the Outreach Events Coordinator. I'm also part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) since 2010 and recently was appointed Outreach Chair for the following academic school year 2011 - 2012. Recently I joined Engineering Council and was elected University Relations for the next academic school year.”

What does it mean to be the first in family to attend college:

“Becoming the first to attend college from my family comes with a lot of responsibilities, as I must be an exemplary role model to my younger sister. Having the opportunity to study at a four-year university makes me aware of the full advantage I have in order to achieve and fulfill all my goals. This accomplishment has pushed me to become a leader at a highly-ranked university. ”

Interesting fact:

“I have a very artistic and crafty side. I love spending time doing jewelry, engaging in art craft projects, and sewing.”
photo of Dhruvy Shah

More about Dhruvy

Major:

Kinesiology

Concentration:

Movement Sciences

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Millennium Park, Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, Michigan Ave, and State Street.

Dhruvy

Kinesiology Major/Concentration in Movement Sciences | Junior

I chose UIC because...

the Chicago experience

“I love the city, and the excitement that comes with it."

On-campus job:

Campus Housing

“I work for Campus Housing as a Resident Assistant in the apartment-style dorms on South Campus. I've also worked as a CASPiE Peer Leader for Chem 114 student research.”

Where to find her:

Anatomy Cadaver labs.

“Just kidding, usually you can find me in the dorms. Although I am in the lab a lot!”

Involved in:

Campus Housing Res Life and shadowing a PA back home.


What's next:

Physician's Assistant School

“I plan to continue my education by getting my Master's and pursuing my career in the medical field. I'm keeping my options open at the moment until I'm 100% sure I'm doing what's right for me. ”

Interesting fact:

“I have three sisters and a majority of my cousins are girls. My house sometimes feels like how a sorority must feel with a bunch girls having sleep overs, and running around sharing clothes, make up, and shoes.”

What she has learned about UIC since attending:

“I never actually knew about the Kinesiology or Nutrition program before enrolling at UIC. I was originally a Bio-chemistry major, and my attention had been so focused on those sciences that I hadn't even considered anything else until Fall semester freshman year. ”
photo of Gaurav Singh

More about Gaurav Singh

Major:

Chemistry and Psychology

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium

Gaurav

Chemistry and Psychology | Senior

I chose UIC because...

Hands-on learning

“UIC has a great research reputation in addition to a diverse student body. It is located in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, and I simply couldn't relinquish the opportunity to further my education through hands-on learning while having the chance to serve the local Chicago community through volunteering. ”

Involved in:

Campus Housing Sustainability Committee (Founder), National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key Society, Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, New Life Volunteering Society, ESL Tutoring.


On-Campus Job:

Intern at the Department of Disability and Human Development

“I am currently a research intern in the Department of Disability and Human Development, working to improve employment and rehab outcomes for Asians with disabilities. My interest in disability arises from previous stroke rehabilitation research I conducted at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine. The satisfaction and experience I get from implementing 'real-world' change that directly helps people live better makes this endeavor worthwhile. ”

Off-campus job:

National Runaway Switchboard

“I serve as a 'liner' for the National Runaway Switchboard by answering phone calls (to 1800 RUNAWAY). I am fortunate to have this opportunity, as all 150,000 or so calls per year from across the US are answered at the Lincoln Park location.”

Campus housing:

James Stukel Towers

“The James Stukel Towers not only serve as a great place to live, study, and grow, but are also key to one of my keen interests--environmental sustainability. While living here, I worked to reduce housing's carbon footprint through several awareness campaigns as well as energy initiatives.”

Overseas study:

“My grandpa suffered from a heart attack several years ago in a small Indian town, and survived only because he knew the warning signs from a visit to the US and got himself to a hospital. I designed the Medical Awareness in Small Indian Towns Initiative (MAISITI) to educate residents of small towns in India about the warning signs of and prevention techniques for common medical ailments. The importance of health education led me to Kenya for three weeks this past December, where I worked side-by-side with medical staff in the slums of Kibera to combat the myths surrounding HIV transmission. I also organized a mother-child HIV prevention seminar and provided a resource center with books and games for orphaned children. ”

What's next:

Americorps and medical school

“I will be graduating a year earlier than the traditional four-year plan of study so I can dedicate a full-time year of service to AmeriCorps within the local Chicago community. After this, I hope to attend medical school. There is a great need for culturally-competent physicians who can heal the patient instead of merely treat disease, and I hope to fulfill such a role.”
photo of Justin Fiala

More about Justin Fiala

Program:

Medical Student

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Intelligentsia Coffee on Broadway. I spend ridiculous amounts of time studying in coffee shops all over the city, but only go one place to unwind: Intelligentsia. It has some of the best coffee around.

Justin

Third Year Medical Student

I chose UIC because...

UIC's social responsibility.

“Few schools live up to their social responsibility quite like UIC. From the patients it treats to the students it educates, in every way UIC recognizes its role in bettering the various communities of Chicago that rely on it. I can't imagine an educational atmosphere that provides as real-world a perspective as UIC does, and I truly value the unique experiences that it has allotted me, both humbling and humanizing. Beyond the excellent medical education it has provided, UIC has served me well in a larger sense, and has prepared me to accept the social responsibility of healer and community ally, always holding true to the same aims of the university to better the Chicagoland community. Additionally, UIC's esteemed faculty and commitment to educational excellence at multiple levels have assured me a solid basis as I begin the clinical portion of my medical education.”

Involved in:

Co-president of the Queers and Allies (Q&A) in Medicine group at the College of Medicine, Event Coordinator for the Family Medicine Interest Group, patient safety research with Dr. Chad Kessler, MD, FACEP, Volunteer at the Student-Run Free Clinic


On-Campus Job:

Office of Special Scholarship Programs

“During undergrad, I worked as a student worker for the Office of Special Scholarship Programs. The staff there was incredible, and seeing the feats they helped students achieve on a regular basis was truly inspiring. These included helping UIC students win nationally-competitive awards such as the Rotary and Fulbright awards, the likes of which are more typical of Harvard than a large, urban university such as UIC.”

Where to find him:

Buried in a book at any number of coffee shops around the city.

“Besides studying, my time is aspent on the west campus of UIC, as well as within the wards of various hospitals around the city. ”

Housing:

Lincoln Park

“I lived in Commons North my freshman year of undergrad, TBH my sophomore year, then had an apartment in Greek Town, and am currently in an apartment in Lincoln Park.”

Overseas study:

Fall 2008: Full semester, direct-enroll study abroad program at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Valparaíso, Chile


What's next:

OB/GYN

“As of right now my aspirations are set on a career in obstetrics/gynecology. Beyond the joy of delivering babies, the field offers the chance to be an ally for women during some of the most formative moments of their lives. As a physician, I'm not sure I could ask for more. ”

Interesting fact:

“I have travelled to half of the countries on the South American continent.”
photo of Kaitlin Walters

More about Kaitlin

Program:

Biomedical Visualization

Favorite Chicago Spots:

The delicious restaurants on Taylor Street. And Stanley's in Lincoln Park, for its great brunch and bloody mary bar.

Kaitlin

M.S. Biomedical Visualization

I chose UIC because...

The biomedical visualization masters program.

“This program is only one of four in the nation. It is a rigorous combination of science courses with art, animation and design courses. We learn to create the illustrations and animations you see in scientific textbooks, online and on TV. I found this program especially appealing because of its strong emphasis on technology.”

On-campus job:

Graduate Assistant in the Office of Marketing and Communications

“I assist the Digital Marketing Director with website construction and maintenance, as well as social media marketing.”

Preferred sport:

Running, swimming, biking

“The sports that do not require too much hand-eye coordination. Although I have found that playing racquetball in SCE is a great way to blow off some pre-finals steam.”

Where to find her:

In the OMC Office in University Hall or in the BVIS lab


Funniest thing that has happened since starting her program:

Trying to play racquetball (key word: try).

“It took several sessions before my partner finally informed me that it wasn't really necessary to dive for the ball. I still have a couple of scars on my knees. And for all that effort, I probably actually hit the ball about twice per game.”

What's next:

“In the next six months I am getting married and moving to San Francisco. I will be seeking an interactive design job within the healthcare sector.”

Favorite UIC fact she learned since attending UIC:

The UIC campus, almost exclusively designed by Walter Netsch, is a prime example of brutalist architecture, a style popular from 1950-1970. The university even gets special mention on the brutalist architecture Wikipedia page!

photo of Kenneth Vasser

More about Kenneth

Major:

Sociology

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Union Park and Home Run Inn Pizza

Kenneth

Sociology | Sophomore

I chose UIC because...

Academics and diversity

“It was a great place to increase my knowledge as well as learn the city. I felt that the diversity and strategic course work would prepare for the many arenas that life has to offer.”

Overseas study:

Deployed to Afghanistan in 2008-2009 while in the Illinois Army National Guard


Off-campus job:

IHSA/ NAIA Basketball Referee; Sergeant in the Illinois Army National Guard


Preferred sport:

Golf, swimming, weightlifting


Where to find him:

Anywhere on campus


Involved in:

Brothers Reaching Out, Black Student Union, Unity In Christ Gospel Choir, Veterans Student Association, Chancellors Committee on the Status of Blacks, Black History Month Committee, Student Judicial Panel, TRiO Ambassador

“I chose these organizations because I wanted cultural enhancement as well as to be heavily involved in my campus with organizations that appealed to my interest.”

Interesting fact:

“While deployed to Afghanistan, I was the youngest person in the entire northern region of Afghanistan. Also, I'm afraid of ducks.”
photo of Marissa Govedarica

More about Marissa

Major:

Communications

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Shopping on Michigan Avenue, reading at Barnes & Noble and anywhere I can meet inspirational people!

Marissa

Communications | Sophomore

I chose UIC because...

Big-city opportunities

“There are so many opportunities possible when attending a university located in the city. Networking in a metropolitan city like Chicago is key in career success post graduation. UIC makes for an easy transition from college-life to real-world work as numerous business and corporations are located downtown.”

Off-campus job:

National Account Executive of Her Campus

“Her CampusTM is an online college womens' magazine that is syndicated on The Huffington Post and has partnered with publications such as Self, Glamour, and Seventeen Magazine. I have formed marketing partnerships with companies such as Softlips, OPI Nails, Eclipse Gum, and Pop Chips, Giorgio Armani, Pixi Beauty, and Akira. I'm also the Marketing and Sales intern for Michigan Avenue Magazine.”

Involved in:

President of HerCampus.com/uic which gives UIC students the opportunity to learn about all aspects of a magazine such as journalism, social media, and public relations, while also building their resume. Her Campus UIC, a branch of HerCampus.com, is an online magazine for the college women of UIC with features on Campus News, Events, Profiles, Polls, and even Campus Cuties!


Campus housing:

Greektown

“Close enough to school and surrounded by amazing restaurants.”

What's next:

NBC Universal

“My next step is interning with NBC Universal. I plan to continue to learn as much about the field of communications, especially broadcast journalism and marketing, and gain much experience through internships.”

Interesting fact:

“I am a triplet.”
photo of Mike Danoski

More about Mike

Major:

Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Riding my bike in the Loop, the Lakefront, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Mike

Mechanical Engineering Major | Senior

I chose UIC because...

The city

“I love the beautiful city of Chicago. Growing up in the suburbs, I have always wanted to move to the big city and going to UIC let me do this while going to school.”

On-campus job:

Teaching Assistant for 250 Introduction to Engineering Design and Graphics

“It's great to connect with the incoming engineering students and give them an idea of what to expect in their future at UIC.”

Off-campus job:

Operations/Manufacturing Engineer (Summer) Internship at Pratt & Whittney Rocketdyne

“I believe that summer internships are the best way to gain experience and help students decide what exactly they want to do when they are done in school. Personally, my internship experience showed me what it means to be an engineer and gave me motivation to give back at UIC.”

Involved in:

Interdisciplinary Product Development and Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2011

“Participating in Microsoft's Imagine Cup was a great experience, and I wish I would have heard about it before my senior year. It is a great opportunity to meet other students, as well as develop and share ideas and projects with industry professionals who can provide guidance and insight to evolve your ideas into something beyond what you thought was possible. ”

Where to find you:

Anywhere on Taylor Street, Science and Engineering Labs, or the Innovation Center on Harrison


What's next:

Solving the world energy crisis

“I plan on finding a job and gaining experience as an Engineer and eventually working to solve the energy crisis through the development of alternative, clean, renewable energy solutions. The energy crisis that we are experiencing today is the biggest opportunity our generation has to do something truly good in the world and make a difference for mankind.”

Interesting fact:

“Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I never thought I would have the opportunity to work on projects ranging from rocket engines for the U.S Space Program to torpedoes for the British Royal Navy and other projects in between.”
photo of Michael Kenes

More about Michael

Program:

Pharmacy Student

Favorite Chicago Spots:

Anywhere and everywhere! There are so many great places in the city. But you can't beat the lakefront when the weather gets warm.

Michael

Pharmacy Student | P2

I chose UIC because...

World-renowned pharmacy school

“UIC has one of the best pharmacy schools in the nation. I couldn't imagine going anywhere else to help set me up for a great career.”

Preferred sport:

Swimming

“I swam competitively for 10 years, but now I enjoy swimming just to stay in shape and relax after a long day at school.”

On-campus job:

Resident assistant

“As an undergrad and in my first year in pharmacy school, I was the Resident Assistant of the Honors community as well as the pharmacy floors on campus.”

Overseas study:

Nome, Alaska

“Not really overseas, but definitely a whole world away. I spent a summer as an intern through the Indian Health Service at a small hospital serving the needs of the community.”

Involved in:

American Pharmacist Association, Illinois Council of Health-Systems Pharmacist, Pharmacy Student Council, Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity and the Health Professions Student Council

“I've always enjoyed getting involved in student organizations because I feel like it adds a practical application to my education.”

Where to find him:

In the College of Pharmacy, or across the street in the Health Sciences Library

What's next:

Practicing pharmacy

“I would like to start my career in government pharmacy, where I can use my skills and experiences to help to influence advancements in the profession.”
photo of Nina Henderson

More about Nina

Major:

Psychology

Minor:

Women and Gender Studies, Spanish

Favorite Chicago Spots:

The Metro, The Riviera, Boystown, The Chicago Diner

Nina Henderson

Psychology Major/Women and Gender Studies, Spanish Minor | Sophomore

I chose UIC because...

The campus

“I love the diverse and urban campus!”

On-campus job:

Resident Assistant

Involved in:

The Writing Center, New Life Volunteer Service tutor

“I went on an Alternative Spring Break trip this past spring semester to Memphis, Tennessee to help with the Refugee Empowerment Program. I also volunteer for the Pan African Association.”

Campus Housing:

Polk Street Residence (PSR)

Where to find her:

In her room, studying or watching TV shows online

Whats next:

Law school

Interesting fact:

“I plan on volunteering for the Peace Corps after college.”
photo of Priya Yenebere

More about Priya

Program:

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Chicago spots:

Oak Street Beach, Museum Campus, Maxwell Street Market, walking around Millennium Park, exploring new restaurants.

Priya

M.S. Mechanical Engineering

I chose UIC because...

Academics.

“It's a great school with an awesome location. I came here for undergrad because of the Honors College and the growing bioengineering department. The research opportunities here at UIC are outstanding when it comes to the healthcare field and all the different facets of it.”

On-campus job:

Graduate student in UIC Department of Athletics

“I tutored students in the Department of Athletics my senior year of undergrad and I have been a graduate assistant in Athletics' Academic Services division for the past two years.”

Involved in:

Biomedical Engineering Society, Bioengineering Student Journal, Student Fees Advisory Committee, UIC Fury

Where to find her:

Working at Port Academic Center in the Athletic Department, studying in the library or in the labs of SEL and ERF

What's next:

Medical school (hopefully at UIC) or going into the medical implant design industry, specifically the orthopedics field

Interesting fact:

“I'm a really big foodie and love to try new cuisines from all over the world. I love exploring small little restaurants and would love to open a restaurant in the future!”
photo of Rachel Luckett

More about Rachel

Major:

Entrepreneurship

Favorite Chicago Spots:

I love shopping so I'd have to say State Street is my favorite Chicago spot.

Rachel

Entrepreneurship | Sophomore

I chose UIC because...

The highly-rated Entrepreneurship program

“The fact that it is located in the city is an added bonus!”

On-campus job:

Marketing/Graphic Design Intern in the Office of Marketing and Communications

Involved in:

Alpha Kappa Psi

“I am the Vice President of Administration for Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity.”

Campus housing:

I am currently living in Marie Robinson Hall

Funniest thing that has happened since starting her program:

While spotting out the clubbers in the group, a certain professor identified her as the "librarian type"


What's next:

“Whatever comes my way... But mostly finishing college.”

Interesting fact:

“I started my own cake decorating business as a Freshman in High School, and have been baking/ decorating since I was eight.”
photo of Saad Jamil

More about Saad

Major:

Biological Sciences

Favorite Chicago spots:

Wicker Park or North Avenue Beach.

Saad

Biological Sciences | Senior

I chose UIC because...

Science strengths and the UIC vibe

“UIC has an allure all its own. It's adjacent to downtown Chicago, one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and has a strong base in the sciences and research. With premed aspirations and wanting to go to a larger school this was just the perfect option for me. It also didn't hurt that the tuition is very affordable compared to some of the other nearby universities.”

Preferred sport:

Parkour, a utilitarian discipline based upon the direct, successful, swift traversing of one's surrounding environment via the practical application of techniques, based around the concept of self-preservation.

On-campus jobs:

Lab Monitor at the Academic Computing and Communications Center (ACCC)

Desk clerk at the University of Illinois Medical Center Radiology Department

Involved in:

Undergraduate Student Government (USG), UIC Faculty Senate: Academic Services & Student Affairs committees, Chancellors Committee on the Status of Disabled Persons, Student Panelist on Judiciary Review Board, Pakistani Student Organization, Muslim Student Association

“Through my involvement in student government, I organized a successful lobby effort to restore funding for the student MAP Grant award and in the process helped the University of Illinois receive $45 million of its state owed appropriations.”

What's next:

Medical school

“For next year I will be proudly serving as the student body president and applying for medical school. I am currently studying for my MCAT and working on my application. With hopes of becoming a doctor I intend to join Doctors Without Borders and satiate both cravings of travel and of practicing medicine. Ideally I hope to go to UIC's Medical School, but the goal is to stay in-state for now.”

Interesting fact:

“I have lived through three separate hurricanes, as well as a tornado passing directly over the house I was in.”
photo of Travis Strutzenberg

More about Travis

Major:

Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Chicago spots:

Millennium and Grant Park, Taco Burrito King on Jackson, Navy Pier, Michigan Ave, US Cellular Field (Comiskey Park), Carm's, the Museum of Science and Industry, or anywhere near the lake.

Travis

Mechanical Engineering | Senior

I chose UIC because...

The city

“I love being in the city. I grew up in the suburbs and used to love taking trips to various attractions that Chicago has to offer. As a UIC student, the city is my oyster, and I can see and do whatever I want in it. UIC also offers an excellent variety of programs that have helped me through my college career and will continue to help me to find a professional career when the time comes. I've loved every minute of my time here and strongly suggest it to anyone looking for a great college experience.”

Preferred sport:

Baseball

“This isn't to say that I'm good at playing baseball, but I enjoy watching both White Sox and Cubs games as well as our UIC Flames baseball team.”

On-campus job:

Peer mentor

“I work alongside the Resident Assistant (RA) to provide the residents with the best housing experience possible. I am their 24/7 academic/technology resource on the floor and also tutor in the Learning Resource Center. It's a very rewarding job to have on campus, and I have greatly enjoyed my time on the Campus Housing staff.”

Off-campus job:

ComEd Intern

“I worked in their Engineering Distribution Department designing and planning for future projects.”

Involved in:

Pi Tau Sigma (PTS), National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), Residence Hall Association (RHA), Chicago Engineering Design Team (EDT), Tau Beta Pi (TBP), UIC Honors College, and UIC G.P.P.A.

Campus housing:

Commons West

“Moved to Commons my senior year to be a peer mentor on the Engineering specialty floor. For freshmen, this is definitely a great place to meet lots of new people and live directly on campus which in the cold winter months is GREAT.”

Where to find him:

“Studying in my room with my door open so residents can come and go as they wish, running to/from a meeting. Swimming at the Recreation Center is also a frequented stop. I like to stay busy, so it is rare to find me not doing something. I keep people around me as often as possible to make sure that I'm working or that I'm at least having a good time while procrastinating.”

What's next:

A career in Alaska

“I'll be graduating in May with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I've accepted a career with Schlumberger, a company that focuses in oilfield services. As an interesting and exciting facet of accepting this position, I will be moving to Anchorage, Alaska where I will be working. It's a large change, but it's also an amazing opportunity that I can't pass up. ”

Interesting fact:

“I am a certified and licensed SCUBA Diver, and I play the Alto Saxophone.”