Grace Girardot is a current student in the MA in Social Justice program. When she is not busy working in Water Tower Campus Ministry as a Grad Assistant or doing her school work, you can find her doing yoga, cooking, being outside, attempting to play piano or guitar, knitting and trolling used book and record stores for hidden treasures. To learn more about Grace and her experience as a student, please continue to read below.
What is a little of your background?
I am a Chicago area native, hailing from the western suburbs. When I was 18, I was transplanted to South Bend, IN, where I attended the University of Notre Dame for my undergraduate years. Although I am a die-hard Fighting Irish fan, I got a lot more out my time in South Bend than simply the football seasons. I studied Spanish, Latino Studies and Poverty Studies. During this time I developed a deep love of Latin American Literature and music, which forced me to examine themes of marginality and otherness. Through service learning experiences abroad as well as in South Bend, I was able to deepen my interest in these topics, which has eventually led me to pursue the MA in Social Justice at IPS.
I chose to pursue the MA in Social Justice at Loyola due to the unique emphasis on faith as being the foundation upon which we understand the work of social justice. As an undergraduate leading service learning immersion seminars, I had relied on the tools and language that Catholic social teaching provided to help students (and myself) name the sensations that we were experiencing. Just as on an airplane you must secure your own oxygen mask before helping those around you, I wanted to continue to build up my own lens of CST, so that I would better be able to help others to identify their experiences through that same lens.
What have you learned by studying at IPS?
By studying at IPS, I have learned how to reimagine the world. I continue to learn about the complexity of the interconnectedness of our relationships with our environment, others, God and ourselves, and how these complexities relate to certain themes and events that we experience in the world today.
What is your favourite quote?
I am torn between two. Both are relatively short.
“Thou mayest.” –John Steinbeck, East of Eden
“The strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend.” –Zen Proverb
Tell us one fun fact about you.
I know how to hula dance.
What is the best compliment that someone has given you?
I think the best compliment that someone has given me is not necessarily something they have stated verbally but through their actions. I feel most humbled and flattered when friends, students, or family members show their trust in me by asking for help, advice, or coming to me to chat about their innermost ponderings.