Month: April 2018

The Final Chapter

The Final Chapter

This blog, Rambler’s Pie: A Slice of Loyola, is something I value very much. When I was given this position as ‘blogger’ for the Undergraduate Admissions Office freshman year, little did I know how much I benefited from it. This blog gave me a second voice that was stronger, more descriptive, and creative. It allowed me to develop a lot of professional skills such as good communication, being organized and responsible, and having respect for my superiors and co-workers. Personally, I also gained more knowledge of Loyola, better writing skills, and developed a passion for helping prospective students steer towards a college education. Now as a senior just about ready to graduate, this blog must come to an end and this blog will be the last and final chapter. I am sad to see my 4-years worth of hard work come to an end but it is something that must be done. When one door closes, another door will open. 


The Undergraduate Admissions office has been my home for the last 4 years and I had the honor of meeting so many outgoing people working in the department. When I was a freshman, I was nervous because I did not know anyone, but these people made me feel comfortable and welcomed right from the very beginning. Throughout the years, I opened my shell more and stepped out of my comfort zone. Because of that, my Loyola experience blossomed. My creativity through social media grew as well as my motivation to help first generation prospective students.

I remember one instance when a family member commented on one of my blog posts and asked to meet in person. Within the next week, I got to meet her and her niece (the prospective student) in person at the office and borrowed my supervisor’s office to speak in a more appointment-based setting. From that moment, I knew that I WAS influential and that I DID make a difference through my blog posts. Another time, I was helping another supervisor with the Chicago Public School event downtown and sat with students to chat about anything. I brought many of my experiences including being a part of the Achieving College Excellence (ACE) program, which serves students of minor, first-generation, low-income, and/or disability status. A year after, I was extremely proud to see a couple of those CPS students not only go to Loyola, but be a part of ACE.  It is obvious we are now good friends!

Later on, I joined the student worker family at the Undergraduate Admissions Office and things got completely better. Not only did I open myself to others more, but I enjoyed working the front desk and meeting the families. I had experiences I could share with them, I could offer advice about admissions, and most importantly, I could relate to their struggles in many ways (I was in their shoes only 4 years ago!). Therefore Open House, Loyola Weekend, and Weekend of Excellence are my most favorite Loyola events because I get to showcase the university that I honestly appreciate and love.

Open House and Loyola Weekend are awesome because we get to showcase all the best there is to Loyola – labs, dorms, curriculum, and more. As a student worker, I get to help plan these events and I always get excited! For the Weekend of Excellence, things are a little different because it is directed to CURRENT Loyola students, showcasing their talents and abilities. This year, I had the honor and privilege of getting the Motivational Member Award and my organization, Vietnamese Student Association, won ‘Best Cultural/Ethnic Organization’ and better yet, ‘Organization of the Year.’ In addition, I attended the ACE banquet and did a speech as well as got my graduation cords.

To say in the least, I have benefited from going to Loyola. It was an amazing experience filled with so many memories with good people including Sister Jean, Natasha Bhamla, and Dr. Rodriguez. I exhausted all my resources and have gained so much experience. I have grown into a young adult and I am proud to say that Loyola helped me shape into the person I am today. This is a bittersweet moment for me as I close this chapter of my life. Specifically, I am now closing my work with the social media team. Very soon, I will close other doors as graduation comes closer however I am quite hopeful for the future and the new experiences I will have.

Thank you for reading my blogs and thank you for traveling with me on my unique Loyola experience. It has been a pleasure serving Loyola and promoting a school that I dearly love.

Thank you Loyola. 

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Howard

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Howard

This is Howard. Doors open on the left at Howard. Transfer to Purple and Yellow lines at Howard. This is the end of the red line. Hey everyone, welcome back to the tenth and final installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your student blogger and happy eater, Miguel Molina! Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats and treats on the CTA red line’s most northern terminus. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), trusty walking shoes and as always, a hungry belly. So come on, let’s go out and explore!

Getting to Howard:

Unlike the other sites on the Red Line, I would not recommend taking the Loyola intercampus shuttle bus. Howard is only two stops away from Loyola’s Lakeshore campus. Because of this, here are the two quick ways to get to the neighborhood. First, the easiest way. You can take the CTA Red Line train from Loyola up north toward Howard. The trip down will take you around 5-6 minutes at most. Secondly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft to take you from Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus. This would take you around the same amount of time as taking the CTA. But for an even more scenic and leisure way, you can walk on Sheridan Road and It’s only a few blocks north of campus.This is especially true for those warm and sunny summer days that we will be having soon!

Places to Satisfy Your Cravings:

  • Sol Cafe: Looking for a coffee shop that is both hip and full of life and energy? Look no further than the Sol Cafe. Close to the Howard Station, this cafe has a true fusion of the different cultures and identities that populate the Rogers Park neighborhood. From Tortas (Latin American sandwiches) to Jerk Bowls (Caribbean style cuisine); this place has a bunch of unique takes on traditional flavors. If you are looking for something to perk you up, the Sol Cafe offers a variety of different coffee and teas that a mixologist would come up with. The atmosphere here is relaxed and chic with great artwork, open floor plan, and is a great place to hang out with your friends. To check out more about this venue, please check out their website at:
  • Ethiopian Diamond: Seeking a unique and flavorful experience for you and your friends? Be sure to try Ethiopian cuisine! Yes, the Rogers Park community has a big population of Ethiopian and other eastern and western African immigrants. According to many of my adventurous friends, Ethiopian cuisine can be best described as a cross between Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Luckily, the place has options that can be both mild and really spicy (depending on your tolerance to heat on your tongue). When you are here, be sure to try their coffee (which is super strong, potent, and thick) and their lamb dishes (which are super flavorful). And as always, make sure to eat with your right hand, it’s respectful and traditional. If you want to learn more about this restaurant, be sure to check out:

Thank you all very much for taking the time to read my blog as I took you from Chicago’s Chinatown up to the Rogers Park neighborhood. We had plenty of wonderful eats along the way, sights to see, books to read; all along our route. Until next time! Doors Closing.


VSA Speaker: Richie Le

VSA Speaker: Richie Le

Earlier this week, my organization (Vietnamese Student Association) had its last event of the academic year. It was a great event to celebrate the Vietnamese Diaspora and the new generation that came out of it. For instance, my mother was a Vietnam war refugee and came to the US for a better life; the new generation would be people like me who are born in the US. This generation tends to be more Westernized and less cultured on their roots in terms of language, traditions, and more.


As a new-generation person myself, I know it is challenging. The culture clash between Western and Eastern was sometimes overwhelming when I was young, especially language. At home, everyone would speak Vietnamese and when I got to school everyone spoke English. There were words and terms I knew in Vietnamese that I had trouble translating into English and vice versa. Not only that, but the culture was extremely different. I had learned a lot of respect and manners at home that were more/less relaxed at school. As time progressed, I understood my background more and accepted the two dynamics I was living in. As a first-generation college student, I realized I was on my own. I needed to learn things for myself because my family could not help (lack of knowledge and experience) with college applications and so much more. Through trial-and-error, I became more independent and took on as many opportunities as I could. I designed the American Medical Student Association t-shirt and participated in its organization, I became an Achieving College Excellence scholar, and finally became a student organization president.

I realize that I have to work so many times harder than the average person, to be successful. Given my background (and other personal reasons), I have to do my best. In order to be successful, you HAVE to take on any opportunities that come your way and build connections. Exhaust all your resources and let things happen. Even if you fail, you gain experience and learn from your lesson. And remember, its better to have experience than not have any experience at all.

At the beginning of my term in August, I wanted to bring a well-known speaker that had ties to Vietnam. I wanted to find someone that exemplified new-generation success, had experience doing VSA events, had a manageable quote,  and was someone even non-Asians might even know of (given Loyola’s demographic). With all factors considered, Richie Le was the best candidate. With the Fall of Saigon being on April 30, it was appropriate to save this event to the month of April and end the VSA term on a good note.

Richie is an amazing person. He has a successful YouTube channel with over 800,000 subscribers and over 130,000,000 video views of sketches, raps, and vlogs. Not only that, but he now runs his own clothing brand out of Seattle, Washington. He has always had a passion for sneakers, fashion, and Asian American lifestyle & culture. During our event, he shared his story and it was quite interesting to see how he was able to overcome the challenges. With the help of his producer, Gabe Tran, we learned to take advantage of any opportunities that comes our way and to never give up. To say in the least, I know that the students’ self-esteem did go up– there was so much positive energy through smiles, laughs, and more.

Applying this to my life, I tend to take on any challenge that comes my way. Though I am an introvert, I make an effort to improve, gain experiences, and connect with others. As Richie is able to connect with the youth through Youtube, I am able to connect the Loyola community through my organization’s events. I’ll continue to strive for success because ultimately, anything can be at my fingertips if I really try.

It’s Spring: Chicago’s Ice Cream Shop’s

It’s Spring: Chicago’s Ice Cream Shop’s

As the weather is getting warmer (despite the few snowy days that we have had this week), the wind breakers are being brought out of storage, the boots are being put back in your room, and you are ready for the spring weather! With all this wonderful weather we are having, it is time for all of us to grab an ice cream/gelato and appreciate it. For this special post, I will be taking you to some of the specialty ice cream shops that are easily accessible for Loyola students. So, sit back, and enjoy your ice cream before it melts away.


  • Lickity Split: You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! Need a place to satisfy your sweet tooth? Head over to Lickity Split and treat yourself to some sundaes. Whether you want a frozen custard (with tasty toppings), concretes (thick and creamy goodness), or are looking for a shake or a malt; your up for some quality sweetness! This is a great place to hangout with your friends, a date, or by yourself! To look at what this place offers, check out their menu here:
  • Amorino: What’s more beautiful than a gelato flower with a topping of a crafted macaron? At this specialty gelato shop, you are able to create a delicate gelato rose with any of your favorite gelato combinations. You can choose your cone (or cup) and satisfy your craving. I would definitely recommend sampling their salted caramel (which is smooth and rich) and their tiramisu (strong, slightly bitter, and with a full flavor). You can sample as many flavors as your stomach craves before making your final decision. Regardless of what you choose, you will surely be satisfied!
  • Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars: Near Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus, on Granville Avenue, be prepared for a feast for your eyes at Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars. From classic flavors like vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry and unique flavors like avocado banana, hibiscus tea, or orange chili spice; this shop will fascinate you with their selections. You then pick a dip for your ice cream, toppings, and sprinkles. If ice cream bars are not your thing, the restaurant also offers a bunch of different coffee and tea options. To check out all their choices, be sure to see the menu here:


Still hungry and looking for more places to visit? Be sure to tune in April 24th as we go on our last stop on the red line and start to explore more at Howard. 

Post Loyola Weekend Vibes

Post Loyola Weekend Vibes

What a weekend! I was so excited to see everyone there and make this event a success. From my end of the spectrum, I know that all the student workers and admission counselors have worked hard to bring you a great Loyola experience in all aspects. You got the opportunity to visit all 5 freshman residence halls, see and talk to professors at the department fair, mingle with students and learn about student organizations, visit the actual lab rooms (that are not shown during general tours), and create new memories.


As happy as all of this sounds, this Loyola Weekend event is my last one. I still remember my first Loyola Weekend event, where I took care of the luggage room and alphabetize people’s belongings. The year after, I also did the luggage room and ended using barricades out  the room because there was no more space. My third year, I helped with check-in and got to speak with so many people, face-to-face. It was exciting to be the first person to welcome prospective students and families to Loyola. This year, I was the photographer. I captured the memories and hopefully, I was able to preserve these moments for a long time.

Hopefully, maybe you were able to stop by my organization’s booth too – Vietnamese Student Association! You could have gotten a free button too, made by yours truly! 🙂

Some people were even lucky to catch a glimpse (and even take a picture) of Sister Jean. She wanted to go into her office to finish up some paperwork, but unfortunately her office is smack-dab in the middle of the atrium/food court. There was no way she could avoid her ‘fans,’ trying to get to the room. Either way, I was able to chat with her the next day (after everything died down) and give her a gift that a family wanted to give her. She asked me how Loyola Weekend event, and I told her that it was a complete success, also due to her and the recent excitement from March Madness. She told me she could only hope that she could do more for Loyola and bring more spirit and liveliness to campus. Isn’t that remarkable? Even at 98, and even in a wheelchair, she has so much willpower to help Loyola thrive and impress prospective students. The very next day, she was at Wrigley Park throwing the first pitch of the season for the Cubs, and still promoting Loyola!

Though Loyola Weekend is my last weekend, my mind is now focused on Weekend of Excellence. Yes, these events are different and yes, Loyola has a lot of events going on in the month of April. I have been nominated for an award and will be attending 4 events that weekend- April 19-21. With that being said, I won’t get teary-eyed yet because I’m not done here until a couple more weeks. There will be a couple more posts left, that will come out of my blog, Rambler’s Pie: A Slice of Loyola. As always, I hope I am/was able to give you a better student perspective on my Loyola experience. 🙂


Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Morse

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Morse

This is Morse. Doors open on the left at Morse. This is a red line train to Howard. Hey everyone, welcome back to the tenth installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your student blogger and excited eater, Miguel Molina! As you may have noticed, we are two stops away from reaching the end of the red line at the northside. Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats and treats up at the CTA’s Morse stop. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), trusty walking shoes and as always, a hungry belly. So come on, let’s go out and explore!

Getting to Morse:

Unlike the other sites on the Red Line, I would not recommend taking the Loyola intercampus shuttle bus. Granville is only a stop north of Loyola. You heard that right, only one stop away. Because of this, here are the two quick ways to get to the neighborhood. First, the easiest way. You can take the CTA Red Line train from Loyola up south toward Howard toward Morse (it has its own stop). The trip down will take you around 1-2 minutes at most. Secondly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft to take you from Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus. This would take you around the same amount of time as taking the CTA. But for an even more scenic and leisure way, you can walk on Sheridan Road and It’s only a few blocks north of campus.

Restaurants and Cafes to Check Out:


  • The Heartland Cafe: Like the name of the cafe suggests, the food from this cafe comes from the heartland of the United States. This provides locally sourced, organic food options to its patrons. The cafe is an example of what many call a “farm to table” style restaurant. The cafe is also in the “heart” of Rogers Park catering to both locals and visitors alike. While the restaurant is known for its plentiful vegetarian and vegan options, if you are looking for the meat, it’s good to know that the meat is locally sourced and carefully curated. Along with its many food options, the cafe is known as being a center for political canvassing, voter registration, and other political gatherings. Likewise, at any given night, there are spoken word events and open mic for people to express themselves and share their art with others. For more information about the Heartland Cafe, check out:
  • Midnight Mac and Cheeserie: When I think of mac and cheese, I immediately think back on my childhood with a box of Kraft mac and cheese in a bowl, with me having a big grin on my face. If you have these same memories, check out this speciality shop for you to relive your youth again. You have a choice of 1 pound or 2.5 pounds of cheesy goodness and then you can customize your pasta with different types of cheeses, veggies, meats, and other extra toppings. You can never go wrong with more and more cheese! To check out the menu, check out the link at:


Still hungry and looking for more to visit? Be sure to tune in April 24th as we go on our last stop on the red line and start to explore more at Howard on this edition of Explore Chicago CTA Edition. Doors closing.

Loyola Weekend Madness

Loyola Weekend Madness

Future Ramblers! This is YOUR time to come and see what the Loyola Experience is all about. We’ll show you around ALL of campus, including talking to people in all the departments, visiting student organizations, and viewing all the Freshman residence halls. This is quite different than your average tour of Loyola, so please take advantage of the opportunity to see the most of our beautiful and amazing university!


Though March Madness is over, our Loyola spirit has not died down yet. Especially in the month of April, Loyola has so many things going on! This weekend, we will have Loyola Weekend, which pertains to incoming freshman and includes Scholars Night at the Field Museum. In the third week, we have Weekend of Excellence, which showcases all the accomplishments and success of the students who go above and beyond. This weekend has over 20 events going on, and I will be attending many of them. Furthermore, the last week of classes is the last week of April and the week after is finals week. The first week of May is finals week and the week after, I graduate. To say in the least, there’s a lot of stuff happening!

This is the best opportunity for you to visit campus and see everything to its entirety and begin to meet your future classmates and friends. Still indecisive about which dorm you want to live at? You can walk into the residence halls and see for yourself- Mertz, Campion, De Nobli, San Francisco, and Simpson.

Do you want to get a head start on meeting actual students and getting involved with campus clubs and activities? We’ve got that at Gentile Arena. You can meet actual students and professors at the department fair and see all the clubs/organizations at the Student Life Showcase! My organization, Vietnamese Student Association, will be there so make sure to stop by and get a free pin to wear!

Throughout the day, there will be presentations on all your lingering questions. Financial aid, student life, academics, and all of the above– our Undergraduate Admissions Office counselors will help break things down so you and your parents can easily understand and know how to proceed. After working at this offices for years and observing other university admission events, I can firmly say that we honestly make effort to answer your questions and reassure you.

Lastly, after Loyola’s great March Madness experience, we definitely have a boost of school spirit and sense of community. There’s a bigger flame of excitement and with the rest of the things happening at Loyola in the month of April, we are close to setting the world on fire as St. Ignatius said.

Special Rambler Memorabilia

Special Rambler Memorabilia

“I am a Rambler. I do Rambler things. I’ve got Rambler arms and Rambler wings.” Here at Loyola University Chicago, we have special artifacts that make us unique and make us show off our Rambler pride. These have risen in popularity, especially with March Madness. From a “Harry Potter” scarf to a Sister Jean bobblehead, here are some objects that carry a significant meaning for a Loyola Rambler:

The Loyola Scarf:

When you go around campus, you are bound to several students proudly wearing maroon and gold scarves around their necks. For many outsiders, this scarf is called the “Harry Potter” or “Gryffindor” scarf. During basketball games, volleyball games, and other big school events, you can see a majority of the faculty and students sporting one. However, contrary to popular speculation, the Loyola scarf is not based on the scarf that the members of Gryffindor House wear during Quidditch games. According to Olga Corrias Hancock, the former director of alumni relations (as quoted from a Chicago Tribune article), she questioned, “How can we make the Loyola colors pop?” (Thompson, 2018). Looking for a cheap option, the alumni invested in a $10 rugby scarf that had Loyola’s colors of maroon and gold. Initially, the first batch gave 100 scarves to fans. Since then, the popularity of the scarves have spiked.

The scarves are a unique symbol of Loyola support and pride especially since rugby scarves are a European sports fan attire. But after garnering attention, the scarf has become recognizable by both fans and outsiders. I was very fortunate to snatch two scarves, one for my sister and one for myself, before the scarves have flown off the shelves. For those of you interested in getting one for yourself, good luck! The scarves are on backorder and whenever they hit the shelves, they are gone.

Sister Jean Bobblehead:

Aside from the scarf, Sister Jean has her own bobblehead. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame Museum in Milwaukee has sold over 100,000 bobbleheads so far. The figurine has her signature appearance with her glasses, hair, and the signature Loyola scarf. Prior to the 2018 NCAA edition, there was a set that was made in 2011. These hot items have sold for over $200 on Ebay.

Loyola Swag:

With the success of Loyola at March Madness and the team’s accomplishment of reaching the Final Four, shirt sales at Loyola have grown exponentially. Many of these shirts commemorate Sister Jean, the Final Four, March Madness, and so much more! Normally, Loyola has two bookstores, one at Water Tower and the other at Lakeshore Campus. But, because of a growing fan base, a pop-up store next to the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA), has been installed on Michigan Avenue.

Want to find and order more swag? Be sure to check out the link to purchase these hot items: