Long-time Adjunct Faculty member Michel Bland has recently been promoted to Adjunct Associate Professor.
Dr. Bland is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and works as an educator, therapist, a consultant, and a psychometrician. Dr. Bland has a wide-range of experience in providing direct clinical services to adolescents and adults with post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, as well as individuals dealing with identity issues, life changes, including vocational, employment, relational issues, grief/loss, and geriatric issues in various clinical settings. Dr. Bland also has provided outreach to victims of sexual abuse including providing individual counseling and group therapy for victims and their families.
We recently asked Professor Bland to share with the IPS community.
How long have you
been affiliated with IPS? In what
am completing the end of my tenth year.
Are you currently involved in other formal pursuits, other than IPS?I have a private practice on the north side of Chicago.
What classes are you currently teaching this semester?This semester I am teaching: IPS 512: Ethics for Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction, IPS 520: Testing, Measurement & Assessment, and in the fall, I will be teaching IPS 509: Psychopathology.
What continues to draw you to IPS?After being invited as a guest speaker a few times, I quickly found the spirit and mission of IPS to be very attractive, and in the Spring of 2009, I was asked to teach Psychopathology. I remain because of that same spirit, ministry, and passion. I enjoy the community and the diversity of the student population.
Can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?I find it important for me to take quiet time for myself to be able to find my foundation and center. I also enjoy having Labrador Retrievers as they remind me to relax, enjoy and walk! Walking them a few miles a day forces me to enjoy the outdoors as well as my time with them!
We congratulate Professor Bland on his recent promotion and hope that he continues to be part of the formation of IPS students.
Earlier this semester, IPS Associate Dean Peter Jones introduced Mariclare, writing “Mariclare comes to IPS with a range of experiences that will no doubt enable her to succeed in this role. A graduate of Marquette with a degree in education and an appreciation for the Jesuit mission, she is also bilingual, having lived and studied in Spain for two years. Mariclare was most recently a teacher at St Matthias School here in Chicago (teaching Spanish and also religion courses).”
We recently sat down with Mariclare to learn more about our new enrollment advisor.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Grew up where, family, etc.) I grew up in Glenview, IL, a bit north of Chicago, with my parents, older brother, two younger sisters, and our dog. We all attended elementary school, high school, and college together (yes, all four of us, by choice!) and afterward went our separate ways. My parents still live in Glenview and after a few years of all working and living in different states and countries, we are all back in Chicago within a few miles of one another. My family is the most important part of my life!
What is your current role at IPS? I am the Enrollment Advisor for IPS. I work with prospective students and applicants of our programs as they determine which areas match their interests, how they are going to finance their education, and I try my best to be as supportive as possible as these candidates take a very important step in their personal and educational journey. I offer personalized conversation by e-mail, and encourage students to sign up for a one-on-one appointment with me to take the time to walk through all of their questions. That’s my favorite part of my role! I love getting to know the people interested in IPS programming and helping find solutions to questions, problems, or worries with the help of the IPS and GPEM staff. A one-on-one meeting can take place over the phone, over an online face-to-face program called Zoom, or in my office here at Chicago’s Water Tower Campus. Interested students can sign up for a meeting on the Enrollment Advisor Appointment Page!
What were you involved in prior to working at IPS? Before joining IPS in January, I had been a classroom teacher for 8 years. I taught middle school in Milwaukee, Spain, and Chicago – they continue to be some of the best years and most inspiring moments of my life. I have a passion for educating, caring, and understanding, and am a big supporter of teachers, adolescents, and parents everywhere. Outside of the classroom I taught yoga – I specialized in hot power yoga and yin restorative yoga; while I don’t currently teach, I still practice as often as I can!
How did you discern IPS to be a next step? I mentioned earlier that my siblings and I all attended the same schools, and both our high school and our university were Jesuit. I saw what an impact Jesuit education had on our character formation, and wanted to stay connected. Loyola University had always been a dream for me, and I felt that my background and skill set as a teacher would be helpful in the role as the Enrollment Advisor at IPS. I feel truly blessed to be here and continue to learn and grow surrounded by the teams and communities in which I work.
Are you currently involved in other formal pursuits, other than IPS?I am pursuing my MA in Community Counseling, another goal of mine.
What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits? I love to walk around the city and enjoy the life and architecture, but not during winter! Chicago has a wealth of wonderful restaurants that I like to try, and discovering new places with culture and history is one of my favorite parts of this city.
Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?Yoga and meditation are part of my self-care practice. Clearing my mind and ensuring I am available to meet others’ needs was a necessity as a teacher, and it has become a part of my standard restoration practice. There are plenty of apps and tutorials if anyone is interested in trying something new!
We want to thank Mariclare for sharing with us, and we wish her all the best in this new life chapter.
Finally, to view a video of Mariclare prepared by Loyola Chicago’s Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management team, click here.
IPS is excited to announce that Adjunct Instructor Bill Huebsch will be teaching a new class in the Fall of 2019 entitled “Introduction to the New Pastoral Theology Emerging in the Era of Pope Francis”.
We recently reached out to Bill to find out more on this new IPS course offering.
Can you provide details of your class? How did it come about? What are your hopes/objectives with this class? This class will trace pastoral theology directly from the life and ministry of Jesus into the early church, and from there we’ll consider how it has come down through the ages to the present time. The core of the class will be to study the principles that guide pastoral theology and ministry, especially the set of questions (or hermeneutic) we bring (1) to our way of scrutinizing the signs of the times and (2) to how we articulate for others and ourselves the call to holiness. We will also examine the conciliar and post-conciliar development of pastoral theology and focus especially on two recent apostolic exhortations of Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel and the Joy of Love.
This is a practical, hands-on course which will ground each student’s self-understanding of his or her ministry with a solid and continual theological reflection. It’s a “personal course” inasmuch as students will be expected to connect the theology to their real, concrete situations in life and ministry. And it will also be a lot of fun! I think this kind of study is essential for those who plan to work in parish ministry.
What work are you currently involved in? Over the past five or six years I have been working to present the teaching of the church in plain English so that people can apprehend it and live according to it. Toward this end, I’ve published several booklets that provide recent papal documents in a plain English study guide format. These have included, among others: Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), and The Art of Accompaniment. (All from: New London, CT: 23rd Publications.) Besides teaching here at IPS, I also maintain a busy international lecture schedule and this winter, am spending ten weeks in Guatemala, learning Spanish and helping the “least among his sisters and brothers” gain a foothold in today’s culture and economy.
How long have you been affiliated with IPS? In what capacity? I have been on the adjunct faculty here at IPS for several years. Last year I taught the course on The Story and Promise of Vatican II. I’ve also been deeply involved in the expansion of IPS’s presence in the North of England where a new pastoral ministry certificate is now being offered. I also teach in that program for IPS.
What draws you to IPS? I see IPS as a training center for the leaders of the church. It offers students excellent academics set amid the Ignatian genius for discernment and prayer. It’s a practical school, one that knows the culture in which its graduates will work. The leadership of IPS is solid and well-planned, looking to the future without fear and responding to the changing ministry needs we see before us. I like that.
Can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit? My daily prayer has led me to be something of a busy, urban contemplative. I find a surprising amount of quiet, reflective prayer in my daily life. And even when a day here or there doesn’t allow for it, I soon find myself turning my heart once again to speak with and listen to the Lord, whose voice echoes in my depths, as the CCC says in article 1776.
IPS students can begin to enroll via LOCUSfor Fall 2019 classes starting on April 11th.
Retirement is a new vocational moment; it is an invitation to a wisdom transition to engage proactively the leadership challenges of aging, meaningfully. This program has a trident strategy of attending to the personal journey, examining the past to turn experience into wisdom for legacy planning. The program integrates the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as a tool for discerning vocational choices and decision making. The second prong of the trident strategy embraces a twenty-five-person cohort that will accompany each other on this year-long journey and engage in leadership dialogues about their new or evolving roles while becoming an encore learning community for the long term. The last prong of this trident process is engagement with significant mission driven institutions and ministries of the Society of Jesus.
Through the year, these fellows will involve the institutional leaders in real leadership conversations, listening to the challenges of running mission-driven, nonprofit, values-based organizations within the largest global educational network of universities and high schools. Thus one discovers that this is not a residential university program, but a spirited, Jesuit collaborative program on the move.
This Ignatian Fellows’ three continent journey will begin with a four-day residency hosted by the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola in September, 2019, then continue in November, 2019 with a four day residency hosted by the Jesuit School of Theology and Ministry at Santa Clara University. In January, 2020, the cohort will experience a four day social immersion in Lima, Peru, followed by a March, 2020 four day residency hosted by the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. The cohort will then meet for a four-day residency hosted by the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and finally a ten day excursion to Spain and concluding in Rome with a leadership conversation with the Jesuit Global Higher Education leadership team and the sharing of insights and observations from their year together. Between sessions there will be assigned reading and opportunities to dialogue using the Ignatian Colleagues Program and platform. Ultimately, this inaugural group of Ignatian Legacy Fellows will become Founders of the Ignatian Society of Fellows, an alumni community that will continue to convene around leadership conversations to foster the work of the Society of Jesus.
Contacts: John Fontana, Co-Director, 847-703-5836, email@example.com or Mariann M. Salisbury, Co-Director, 301-807-5369, Msalisbury1@luc.edu
At the beginning of the gathering, IPS student Kascha Sanor shared the below prayer to mark the close of the IPS Wall of Prayer initiative:
God, we thank you for this community. The opportunity to grow and learn – with you of you and for you – freely. We recognize that spaces like this are rare these days.
In this season of darkness, we call to mind some of those obstacles that hold us back from our true expression of your image.
We reflect on the barriers of our global society: fear, otherness, materialism, hatred.
We reflect on the pain of divisions within our communities: greed, ignorance, distance.
We reflect on the destructive effects of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, poverty, isolation.
All of these walls keep us from you.
We know that overcoming what separates us is an act of trust, and we know it will be messy but we know that you are there.
Holy Spirit, we know you are here in this season of advent, darkness, loneliness and waiting. We know that you are here in the chaos of our growing pains and that you transcend our human-made barriers that create this isolation and loneliness.
We have this hope because we are here, together in community. And so together in this community, we pray to welcome the chaos. To not only know and love one another but also “the other”. Because we know that is where we find you.
On November 16, 1989, members of the Salvadoran military brutally murdered six Jesuit priests and two of their friends at the University of Central America in El Salvador. They were targeted because they spoke out against government crime and corruption and were vigorous advocates for the poor. To honor the eight Salvadoran martyrs, Loyola built a memorial on campus in 2010. The structure includes the “Wounded Angel” statue and a wall curving along the sidewalk on the west side of Madonna della Strada Chapel, displaying the names of each of the victims.
November is Ignatian Heritage Month and Loyola University Chicago celebrates its Jesuit heritage with a range of events, including the presentation of the Martyrs Award. The award is presented annually to a faith-based individual or organization that embodies the values of the Salvadoran martyrs, being champions of social justice and serving marginalized communities.
Sr. Ann is from Brooklyn, NY and attended Mundelein College (a women’s university founded by the BVMs in 1929 and integrated in Loyola University Chicago in 1991). She took a few courses at IPS to complete her degree; a connection we treasure. In the late 1980s she was teaching preschool in Guayaquil, Ecuador when she began to develop relationships with people suffering from Hansen’s disease and living in terrible conditions at a nearby run-down hospital. She eventually focused all her energy there and founded Damien House. She took over the Hansen’s wing of the infectious disease center, raised funds, and over time built it into a safe place where those suffering with Hansen’s disease can receive the care that they need and the love that all God’s creatures deserve: Damien House. That wing of the hospital is now deeded to the Damien House Foundation and flourishes under the care of Sr. Annie.
On the day of the award presentation, four IPS students joined Sr. Annie for lunch and a conversation about her work. Not originally planned as a part of her stay in Chicago, she asked specifically to meet students so that she might learn about the work that they are doing and also to discuss challenges, share joys and frustrations, and foster new personal connections. IPS students, Toni Daniels, Julie Lipford, Lee Colombino, and I shared in this meal and conversation with Sr Annie, finding inspiration in her experience, joy, and wisdom.
I provided the introduction for Sr. Annie at the Martyrs Award Presentation, which took place at the Mundelein Center on the Lake Shore Campus at 4pm. I lived in Ecuador for 13 months as a volunteer at Damien House and have come to know Sr. Annie very well. I am happy to share with you the text of my introduction.
“Hello everyone- My name is Emily Kane and I am a graduate student pursuing my master’s in social justice through the Institute of Pastoral Studies. I am also the graduate assistant for retreats in Campus Ministry right here on the Lake Shore Campus.
I’m here speaking to you today because in July of 2014, a brand new graduate from Loyola University Maryland, I traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to begin my year of service with a program called Rostro de Cristo, having absolutely no idea what to expect. One of our first tasks as newly arrived volunteers was to visit potential work sites, and one of our first stops was to Damien House, a long-standing partner of Rostro de Cristo volunteers.
If you don’t know already, Damien House is a care facility for people suffering from Hansen’s disease (formerly known as leprosy). While feeling a bit jarred at first when I encountered people who had lost fingers, limbs, or the cartilage in their ears and nose from the disease, I couldn’t help but be completely overwhelmed by the contagious love and joy exuding from all the patients I met. We were introduced to Sister Ann Credidio, BVM, a wild and crazy nun from New York who spoke Spanish with a Brooklyn accent (which I didn’t know was possible until I met her), and I was hooked- I knew I had to spend my year of service at Damien.
At that point, Annie as we affectionately call Sr Ann, had been in Ecuador for over 20 years. She first went down to Ecuador to be a teacher, but she began spending time at the infectious disease hospital, in the ward for patients with Hansen’s. At that time, the ward was in serious disrepair. The roof leaked, food was awful, rats bit patients on their toes during the middle of the night- it was a disaster. Annie realized that her presence was needed there, and she switched her ministry to be full-time at the hospital. Eventually, Damien House became its own entity, and Annie has been with them ever since.
While it may not have seemed like much at the time, Sister Annie and the patients of Damien House taught me the true meaning of a ministry of presence. They helped me understand the power of just sitting and being with someone- just offering your presence to them, sharing a cup of coffee with them, and asking about how they are doing. As a cradle Catholic, I spent my entire life hearing readings on Sundays about Jesus and “the lepers.” My time at Damien House gave this an entirely new meaning for me. Now “the lepers” were not this abstract concept- they were people I had come to know and love. They had names and feelings and flaws and stories that were just as real to me as my own. I carry them with me in everything I do: Esther, Blanca, Sonia, Manuel, Leon, Alceides….these are just a few of the people who will benefit from this gift Loyola is giving Damien House today.
All of this I have shared with you is possible because of the unbelievable force that is Sister Annie. Her determination and her tenacity to fight for the patients of Damien is unparalleled. She is the ultimate witness to selfless love. I feel honored to have been just a tiny part of Damien’s history, and I am honored to be standing up here welcoming Sister Annie to Loyola today.”
Emily Kane is pursuing the MA Social Justice. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, Loyola University Chicago honors its most outstanding students with the President’s Medallion. This award recognizes students who exemplify the three words etched on the medal: leadership, scholarship and service. Representing IPS in the roster of university-wide medallion recipients this year is Patrice Nerone, a dual degree M.Div.-MAPC (Master of Divinity-Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling) degree student.
“Each of the recipients was recommended for this award by their academic dean because they exemplify a wonderful combination of achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service,” said Jane Neufeld, vice president for Student Development. “In short, they are students for which Loyola and its founders can take great pride.”
We reached out to Patrice to find out what this award means to her, as well as to learn how IPS has impacted her life.
What does the President’s Medallion award mean to you, Patrice?
I feel very humbled to receive this award and what means most to me about it is that I feel seen and appreciated as a valued member of the IPS community. To know that everyone here is supporting me and wants me to succeed has had a profound effect on my sense of belonging and my desire and ability to risk putting myself out there more. I’m learning that succeeding doesn’t mean I’m expected to do everything perfectly, but that my humanly often imperfect self is sufficient.
I understand you’re currently on a dual M.Div.-MAPC track here at IPS. Can you tell us a little bit about what you were doing prior to enrolling at IPS? How did you discern IPS to be your next step?
I was a holistic nurse at Cleveland Clinic working with a team of chaplains to provide complementary therapies and spiritual and emotional support for patients, their families, and the employees. I deeply connected with the chaplains and decided to study spiritual direction with their encouragement. At the same time, I was learning hypnotherapy and between the two programs of study I felt called to something more. Through the process of Ignatian discernment my spiritual director suggested I consider chaplaincy and recommended Loyola. I was very drawn to the dual degree at IPS because it encompassed all of my interests and that the focus was on pastoral presence rather than an intellectual approach to counseling was a key factor in my decision making.
What has your IPS journey been like so far?
My favorite experience with IPS was the Rome study. It was as much a spiritual experience as it was educational and I am eager to return to Rome with IPS for a pilgrimage experience. I can’t imagine a better group to make a pilgrimage journey with and highly recommend including this opportunity in your studies, if possible.
I am so appreciative of my time at Loyola and realize how much Ignatian Spirituality and the IPS learning environment has helped me grow in awareness, acceptance, and empathy for myself and others. The administration, faculty, and students have all demonstrated a level of compassionate care and unconditional positive regard that makes Loyola stand out amongst all the other schools I’ve attended. I will hold in my heart many fond memories of all those who shared this particular journey with me.
How do you envision life unfolding after IPS?
This is still a work in progress. I will most likely be looking for either a post-graduate fellowship or a chaplain residency program that enables me to continue developing experience and skill in both chaplaincy and counseling. I believe I still have much to learn and yet I also have much to offer so, I feel it’s time now to put my experience to work in a meaningful way while continuing to build on the foundation Loyola provided.
How have you ensured balance in your holistic life, given your IPS commitments? Can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?
My life journey thus far has helped me learn to accept my limitations without shame or guilt and that it’s ok, and moreover it’s necessary, to make my own wellbeing a priority. This means taking time to pay attention to what I am thinking and feeling, and not just intellectually or emotionally but physically and spiritually, too. The more I’m able to acknowledge what I’m experiencing the sooner I can do something to prevent a potential meltdown. The modality I employ to restore my equilibrium depends on what my particular need is at the time. For example, if I’m feeling stressed and anxious I will probably meditate more frequently, and if I’m feeling spiritually bereft I find Lectio Divina a particularly helpful practice for bringing me back into closer communion with God. Overall, being in nature gives me a profound sense of being grounded and connected to the Fullness of Life so I’m mindful of seeking opportunities to immerse myself in the beauty of creation as much as possible. Somehow, I never feel alone when contemplating nature.
Registrations for the Rome 2019 program are now open. Space is limited. 1st deposit deadline: Dec-15.
*** ALUMNI: Please contact Dr. Mike Canaris (email@example.com) before registering. ***
The IPS 2019 Study in Rome summer program provides a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the historical, cultural, and spiritual benefits of the Eternal City and the Vatican. Led by faculty members with longstanding personal relationships with local academic and ecclesial leaders there, the program is a unique opportunity for students of IPS. Participants are able to draw upon the invaluable resources of Loyola’s half-century presence running a campus for students of various ages and degree programs who choose to study in the Eternal City.
Upcoming Summer June 18–28, 2019 Courses:
IPS 402: Church and Mission, taught by Dr. Michael Canaris
IPS 599: Spirituality of Pilgrimage and the Contexts of Faith, taught by Dr. Bill Schmidt
Shingai Chigwedere and Doreen Kelly are two IPS students who participated in last summer’s Rome program. They have been kind enough to share their thoughts on their Eternal City experience.
From Shingai:The IPS Rome Summer Program is a unique opportunity to engage in faith, fellowship and delicious food. Rome is special because it is a trifecta of rich religious, political and cultural history. Two classes were offered, I took the Theology of Pope Francis class with Dr. Mike Canaris. I was impressed with the way our church tours and tourist location visits connected with our class content on encounter, service, collegiality and ecumenism to name a few. Dr. Canaris and Dr. Jones did a fantastic job preparing semi-lectures and discussion material for our in-situ experience. My class spent 1.5 days in Assisi learning more about the Franciscan influence in Pope Francis’ life. We did volunteer work at Sant’ Egidio community, had an insightful visit to the Jewish Ghetto Museum and Synagogue, and learned more about ecumenical dialogue at Centro Pro Unione.
My favorite part was celebrating Mass and having private prayer and reflection time in churches like St. Peter’s Basilica and Santa Maria Maggiore. Having participated in Loyola’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises retreat, it was profoundly heartwarming to celebrate Mass in St. Ignatius’ room, with a Jesuit celebrant, with classmates from a Jesuit University, in Rome, during the pontificate of a Jesuit Pope. Wow, what a unique moment in time! It was enriching to walk with (figuratively and literally, we walked a lot!), learn with and from committed and passionate IPS classmates. The time we spent getting to know each other (encountering each other) as we broke bread and enjoyed great food and gelato was priceless. Don’t miss out on this educational and spiritually enhancing opportunity!
From Doreen: What I expected: To visit and learn about places important to the history of the early Church, to celebrate Eucharist in some unique and special locations, to eat great food, to walk a lot.
What I found: All of the above and so much more!! Rich stories about artwork and architecture shared by extraordinarily knowledgeable classmates and our professor; an unexpected and simple call from God to be with God in amazing places which commemorated both sinners and saints; walking that became a pilgrimage on which I met God in others; meals that became celebrations of friendship; the best gelato in the world; deep conversations which expressed faith seeking understanding; intense times of silence in the presence of places that had been inhabited by or items once belonging to saints; an opportunity to serve and pray with a community making a difference in the daily lives of immigrants; deeply spiritual sacramental moments.
How it has changed me: IPS Rome 2018 awakened the pilgrim in me, that belief that whether the road is ordinary or extraordinary, God waits there to be found in both subtle and majestic ways. I am ever grateful!
This webpage offers IPS students opportunities for growth in personal faith, emotional maturity, moral integrity and public witness. It also provides opportunities to interact with and reflect on their experiences with fellow students.
When asked about the importance of formation for IPS students, Coordinator of Formation Carol Taliaferro says, “formation is a lifelong process that addresses our personal relationship with God and helps us to discern with others our mission as disciples of Christ.”
The webpage will be updated to include information on small reflection groups, retreats, service opportunities, spiritual directors, pastoral counselors, special events, worship sites, etc.
Click on the below for upcoming LUC events relevant for Spiritual Formation:
This 2018-2019 academic year, IPS welcomes two new staff members: Diamond Gant and Kevin Pease.
Kevin Pease joined this summer as the Director of Chicago Catholic Scripture School, a program under the Continuing Education umbrella of IPS. The IPS Chicago Catholic Scripture School fosters a transformational encounter with Jesus Christ through instruction and formation in Sacred Scripture within a Roman Catholic framework.
Kevin is very excited to be back in Chicago (and especially at Loyola!) after seven years away in the California bay area. After graduating from LUC in 2011 with a B.S. in Secondary Education, Kevin pursued a Master’s in Theological Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in order to teach theology at the high school level. In 2013, Kevin was hired in the Religious Studies Department of Mercy High School in San Francisco, an all-girls Catholic school, where he taught the Bible for five years. Kevin looks forward to accompanying adult life-long learners on their own faith journeys with God.
Diamond Gant joined early this month as the new Administrative Assistant for IPS. We managed to spend some time with recent Loyola alumna, Diamond:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (Grew up where, family, etc.) Hey, what’s up!? My name is Diamond Gant. I was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago to two loving parents, Doretha and Bobby Gant. I have an older brother named Jamal and we are about 15 years apart. After 4 long and triumphant years, I was blessed to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism from Loyola University. On Saturday’s I am a videographer for the “Live from the Heartland Radio Show”. I also own my own YouTube channel where I do reaction videos, vlogs, dancing and more! Speaking of dancing; dance is my passion and this has always been so since I was 4 years old. I’ve done a variation of dance from tap to ballet, modern, jazz, African and Hip-Hop. My favorite style of dance is hip-hop because of its significance to my culture in addition to the fact that I feel like it provides me with more freedom to express myself through different textures and grooves. I am also currently apart of two Chicago based dance groups: CreateInMotion & MINT!
What is your current role at IPS? I am the Administrative Assistant for IPS and I AM ABSOLUTELY LOVING THIS POSITION! Everyone within the office is so supportive and encouraging.
What were you involved in prior to working at IPS? Prior to working with IPS I was a camp counselor for the summer of 2018. Although kids can be a handful at times, I truly enjoy working with them because of how animated and imaginative they are.
How did you discern IPS to be a next step?I believe that I was able to discern that IPS would be my next step because for one thing, even though I graduated, I am still A RAMBLER AT HEART! I love being surrounded by the support of the Loyola Community. IPS specifically stood out to me because of how kind and helpful the people are within this office. As someone who identifies as Christian, I feel like I was honestly led here because of how much I’d get to experience and share Christ’s love with others in the office.
Are you currently involved in other formal pursuits, other than IPS?I have aspirations of returning for Graduate school with the next year or two in order to obtain my master’s in education.
What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits?Because I live just three train stops away, I enjoy spending a lot of my time exploring Chinatown. The area is full of so much culture and rich history. I enjoy visiting Chinatown square the most because of the abundance of places to eat and shop within the area. I would say that my three favorite places to eat there would be Joy Yee, Triple Crown and BonChon (which is where they actually serve Korean food). There is are so many things to learn about Chinese culture/history just by spending a few hours in this area alone.
Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?As I mentioned before, I usually dance as a way of restoring and re-energizing my mind, body, heart and spirit. I also pray as a way of keeping myself grounded and constantly in communication with Christ.
Please make sure to welcome Diamond and Kevin when you next stop by the IPS office!