Category: Rambler Athletics

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:

Loyola lets you do AWESOME things:


As a Sophomore at Loyola, I had the opportunity to take the EXCM 101: Introduction to Exercise Physiology course as did many others. This introductory exercise science class is a service learning course that connects Loyola students with Chicago Public Schools’ physical education and health teachers. It has been a great experience to observe and work with children who go to underfunded schools and don’t have as many resources as do private schools. It was nice to help out these teachers and also gain a learning experience.

Each student in the introductory class is assigned to a local CPS school and have different tasks depending on what their interest is. These activities and lessons are focused on fitness and health. I volunteered in a health class from grades K-5, but others have volunteered with after school sports programs, recess, or helped during physical education class.

It was nice to see a wide range of ages. The lessons I observed and assisted with was based on sex education, so younger students learned about good touching vs. bad touching, whereas the older they got, they learned about puberty, how the body works, male and female body parts, etc. Of course the reactions were priceless, but it is so important that these children are exposed to this information because they become aware of these important aspects at an early age and know what to do depending on what situation they can potentially be placed in.

Loyola students are helping CPS with the LearnWELL Initiative which promotes physical activity and healthy eating choices in school. Doing so allows Loyola students to fulfill their service learning hours which is a requirement by the University. it is easily done and also helps the school meet their students’ needs.

“It does vary,” said Karen Berg, director of clinical placements and experiential learning at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “At some schools, we are supporting after school sports because that’s really the best fit for Loyola students to be volunteering. In others, we’re in the classroom supporting the health education teachers. We’re supporting PE instructors, and we’re also supporting recess. It really is identified by the school themselves—they’re identifying what is best for them.”

Stephanie Wilson, director of the Exercise Science Program says “They truly find it rewarding. These children really count on the Loyola students to show up. They almost look for these students on the day and the time that they’re supposed to come. I think our students recognize that and are confident and proud in the end that they have given something back to the community.”

These are the little things that go so far in our community. Loyola has done a great job in connecting with the community and offering a helping hand. It allows students’ to step out of their comfort zone sometimes and be able to have a hands on experience. This exercise science course has allowed Loyola students to have the chance to give something back and also gain insight for future plannings.

Girls and Weight Training?

Girls and Weight Training?

A lot of times, there is a stigma placed on women who lift weights– associating them with ‘manly’ characteristics. This misconception that women should not lift weights and put on muscle mass is still largely existent today and is completely wrong. There are a lot of long term benefits to doing so, and solely doing cardio to lose weight can have deteriorating effects. As a Freshman at Loyola, my goal was to lose weight, but I depended a lot on cardio for that. I used to go for runs every day, and solely go to Halas for the cardio machines. However, I noticed that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. In addition to the goal of losing weight, I wanted to reduce my anxiety. As I faced a challenging Sophomore year, I began to take on a different academic route, and developed an interest for Exercise Physiology at Loyola. Developing my knowledge in this field, I began to experiment and try weight training, and it has significantly changed my life (literally). Here are 7 things that have benefited me, and can benefit you as well!

1. Lose Body Fat

Weight training builds muscle, as lean muscle increases so does metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long. Studies found that the the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. That can really add up over the long term; for example, 4 extra pounds of muscle can burn up to 10 extra pounders per year!

2. Gain Strength Without Bulking

One of the most common reasons I used to avoid weight training as well as women in general avoid weight training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception as it physically can not happen. Women simply don’t have the testosterone to build muscle like men. Women have 10 to 30 times less testosterone than men and have a much harder time gaining size from strength training.

3. Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis

Weight training not only strengthens muscles, it strengthens your bones. Weight training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones. Research has also shown weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine. (Nowadays you see a lot of elders at Physical Therapy clinics, because they are attempting to increase their bone density!)

4. Reduce Risk of Injury

Weight training also increases strength in connective tissues and joints. Strong joints, ligaments, and tendons are important to prevent injury and can relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, and can even improve sports performance.

5. Burn More Calories

Weight training has been proven to raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout. The more intense the workout the more calories are burned. After an intense workout there is more Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, meaning there is an increase in oxygen consumption, helping break down fat stores in the body.

6. Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain

Weight-training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core, helping to correct bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core will also prevent lower back pain

7. Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress

Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increased in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also stimulate the mind, improving alertness and boosting energy. Weight-training can brighten your entire day or help you combat a bad one.


I encourage you all to step away from this negative connotation of lifting weights, and consider it in your everyday lives. It helps short term and long term, and will make your workouts worth it, trust me.


Such a ‘Bler: LU Wolf’s Birthday!

Such a ‘Bler: LU Wolf’s Birthday!

This past weekend, we celebrated a very special Rambler’s birthday: Loyola University Chicago’s very own mascot, LU Wolf!

The campus buzzed with excitement. Not only was it game day in Gentile Arena, but of course a party thrown to celebrate LU. Gathering in the Den of the Damen Student Center were all his friends = from students, faculty to other mascots!! There were games, treats, singing and of course a birthday cake for wishes.

LU Wolf is a member of the Loyola Spirit Team. He is an essential part of the cheer during our athletic games and travels with the Loyola Cheer and Dance team to tournaments. I would say that being LU is honestly an significant honor as he represents the passion, integrity and enthusiasm of Loyola and Loyola Athletes. It’s also takes a lot of responsibility and skill, but if one embodies the spirit of the Loyola student promise, I’m sure the gloves fit 😉

Fun fact: one of the “LU”s actually lived on my freshman year dorm haha.


Read more about LU Wolf and the Spirit team here:


Happy Birthday LU! I’m so glad to have you around and it is always so exciting to see you around campus. Here are some memorable shots of the day from the Ramblers Cheer Instagram story!






Such a ‘Bler: My First Basketball Game (ever)

Such a ‘Bler: My First Basketball Game (ever)

It’s embarrassing to confess as a sophomore that my first Loyola basketball game was last Friday. Sure, I watched the NCAA last year, but well, online or through a TV. Times never really aligned I guess, but after missing the first game of the season on Tuesday, I was determined.

Here’s what I’ve learnt:

  • If the game starts at 7pm, it starts at 6pm. The lines get pretty long quite quick so it’s best to come early, especially so you don’t have to wait out in this windy weather. I arrive at 5:30pm after class today and a quarter of the student seats were filled.
  • This was also my first live American sporting event, so I learnt that the national anthem is sung!
  • Sister Jean and her prayer before the game is a blessing (but we all know this already.)
  • ‘Blers are raised for good luck before a shot, especially if it’s a free throw.

  • The energy is addictive.
  • Sometimes there’s free stuff for the crowd (oOoOoOoOh)
  • I love the band and there are A LOT of chants, but you learn as they go – this is a lot of fun!

Fun fact: LU Wolf is actually a friend of mine from freshman year, but I’m not too sure it was in fact him that night. All LUs are friendly. Any guesses?

This was the scoreboard before things went crazy – we lost to a single slam dunk at 2 seconds to time. But the crowd was wild, and I was one happy Rambler.




Loyola Opens Up 2018-2019 Basketball Season With a Win

Loyola Opens Up 2018-2019 Basketball Season With a Win

What a memorable Final Four run we had that captured the nation’s attention a few months ago. Now, Loyola is back at it again with its 2018-2019 season!

The Ramblers opened up with a home game at Gentile Arena against UMKC on Tuesday night! Loyola commemorated the Final Four Season to make the opening game as special as the sentiments were during the heat last semester! Loyola raised its Final Four banner, which joined the team’s 1963 national championship banner and others in the stadium rafters.

“The pregame banner for me was emotional,” Townes said. “Just seeing that banner go up and thinking about last year and what we’ve done to get that banner raised in this arena with all these fans here, the community of Chicago, it meant a lot. I almost started tearing up a little. Me and [Custer] were talking about we wanted to tear up.”

Loyola came off of a 32-6 season that saw them win the Missouri Valley Conference by four games before taking the country by storm with a memorable run in March.

Ramblers Donte Ingram and guard Ben Richardson will not be in season but much of the team’s core is back for another potential run.

Reigning MVC Conference Player of the Year Clayton Custer is back at point guard for Loyola and the senior is flanked by returning double-figure scorers like senior guard Marques Townes and sophomore center Cameron Krutwig. Loyola is also expecting some role players from last season to make a leap, as expectations are high for sophomore Lucas Williamson entering the season.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola’s 99-year-old team chaplain who became an international celebrity during the team’s NCAA tournament run, attended the game and delivered a short speech and the pregame prayer, asking God “to remind the referees to call plays as they see them.”She told the crowd, “We all want the same thing tonight, so go Ramblers!”

Fortunately, Loyola took the win! With a lead of 76 to 45 against UMKC! 

“It’s who we are,” Moser said. “You have this shared vision of what you are. The guys believe that together we can be higher than we are individually. When you’re together defensively, when you’re together offensively, you can go a lot higher than you can individually. It’s at the core of our culture.”

A Winning Weekend

A Winning Weekend


What a weekend it has been! From Nick Jonas performing a burnin’ performance, to Loyola making it to the sweet sixteen, to Loyola’s Pakistani Students’ Association holding an amazing event, to Hannibal Buress getting kicked off of stage! It all happened this weekend, and it couldn’t have been better.

Nick Jonas came to Loyola and fans were in so much excitement. Nick Jonas performed old classics to new ones and the crowd went wild, singing along to every lyric.

The next day, comedian Hannibal Burress was kicked off the stage here at Loyola University after joking about priests molesting kids. Before getting kicked off, the comedian shared an email he received asking him to refrain from cursing– topics including sexual assault. After an extended 15 minute break, Buress was allowed to return to the stage and continue his set. Students expressed how they were “shocked how he can say this at a university performance even after told not to.”

In addition, Loyola University’s Pakistani Student Association held an event called “Explore Pakistan” on Saturday evening. Over 200 students attended and enjoyed the celebration of Pakistani culture. Pakistani food, music, and colorful decorations done by Afrin Designs captured the bursts of colors and blooming of Spring time. All proceeds went towards Doctor’s Hospital in Pakistan. The event had live food stations, performers, dinner, and dances. “It was truly an unforgettable night.”

Students at the event were also in attendance at Loyola’s incredible win! Cheers ran across the entire campus as all students celebrated the win and making it to the sweet sixteen! Clayton Custer’s jumper took a friendly bounce off the rim and in with 3.6 seconds left, and 11th-seeded Loyola beat Tennessee 63-62 in a South Region second-round game Saturday night. The Ramblers (30-5), who won the Missouri Valley tournament, broke the school record for wins set by the 1963 NCAA championship team.

Loyola will play the Cincinnati-Nevada winner in the regional semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.

Loyola is headed to the round of 16 for the first time since 1985, when it lost to Patrick Ewing and Georgetown.

That was also the last time the Ramblers made the NCAA Tournament.


Ramblers Tie With Harvard for Top Mark in the Nation at 99%!

Ramblers Tie With Harvard for Top Mark in the Nation at 99%!



What an honor that Loyola University Chicago was one of only two NCAA Division I institutions to have a 99% Graduation Success Rate (GSR) according to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)! The 99% GSR tied with Harvard University for being highest in the country.


Nine of Loyola’s 11 programs recorded a perfect score of 100 in the latest GSR report. Women’s basketball, men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country/track and field, women’s soccer and softball all scored 100.


How awesome is it that the Men’s volleyball team had a perfect score of 100 and also at the same time competitively won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2014 and 2015!



Developed to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes, the NCAA Graduation Success Rate takes into account transfers, unlike the federal graduation rate. The GSR also accounts for midyear enrollees and is calculated for every sport. Under the calculation, institutions are not penalized for outgoing students who leave in good academic standing. Outgoing transfers are included in the receiving institution’s GSR cohort.

The most recent Division I Graduation Success Rates are based on the four entering classes from 2006-09. The NCAA began compiling these figures with the entering freshman class of 1995.


Lets give a shout out to our Ramblers!

Jesuit Jammin’

Jesuit Jammin’

It’s no secret that Loyola loves their Jesuits. And a little Rambler basketball doesn’t hurt either, so why not combine the two?

Once a year during a regular season men’s basketball game the Jesuits take over for the “Jesuit Jam”. This year was my first ever Jesuit Jam, and I’m quite sad to have missed the games my freshman and sophomore years. I arrived in time to snag a free t-shirt and grab an ideal game-watching seat. The gym was chalk-full of friendly Jesuits mingling with the students, while wearing their hip Jesuit sport jackets of course.

During timeouts we played a few rounds of Jesuit trivia. The winning students won prizes and there was even a Jesuit shootout in which the winning student from Loyola’s School of Medicine won tickets to Arch Madness. (The end-of-season basketball tournament the Ramblers compete at in St. Louis.)

Loyola was facing off against University of Northern Iowa. The two teams were pretty equally yoked, which kept the game close throughout. The Ramblers did not disappoint and managed to win in the final seconds of the game–definitely the best round of LUC basketball I’ve seen so far.

The Jesuit Jam extended beyond just the court with a post-game party in the Damen Den (a conference room in the Damen Student Center). The Jesuits and students got to celebrate the victory with free pizza and pop, plus some quality bonding time. There was an ongoing game of “Jesuit Bingo”, wherein students had to do things like find Jesuits with the same birthday month, from the same hometown, or one who could do ten push-ups with them in order to complete a bingo.

The highlight of the evening was a performance by the Folkin’ Jesuits. An all Jesuit band that sings covers of pop songs at various campus events–and they always steal the show. They played everything from guitars to ukuleles to trumpets to clarinets, sang beautifully and even included a few rap breaks. Their performance of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” was definitely my favorite. Pretty impressive for a group of Catholic priests.

Since freshman year, I’ve appreciated the Jesuit education Loyola offered. And getting the chance to get to know a few of the Jesuits that actually live and study here is something I highly recommend. They are a passionate group of men that love this university and the students.

So thanks for jammin’ with us, Jesuits!



9 Loyola Myths

9 Loyola Myths


Over the past 3 years in admission, I have noticed there are A LOT of misconceptions about Loyola University Chicago. I am going to use my blog this week to set the record straight. Here are what I consider to be the top 9 Loyola myths:

  1. We are not the same school as Loyola Maryland, Loyola New Orleans or Loyola Marymount. We are all completely separate schools. The only thing we have in common other than our name are our Jesuit background and values. So no, you cannot study at another Loyola in the U.S. However, you can Study Abroad at other universities all over the world or at one of our three campuses in Rome, Beijing or Ho Chi Minh City, which are in fact run by Loyola University Chicago.
  2. You do not have to be Catholic (or even religious) to go to a Jesuit University. About half of our students identify as being Catholic and as a Catholic University, we do offer regular masses, Taize prayer, resources and mentors for our Catholic students. Loyola has the only student-run mosque in Illinois and we have an incredibly strong Hillel Community on campus. We also have several different prayer spaces in our Student Center including a Puja Prayer Room. We are a home to all faiths and encourage interfaith dialogues and for students to lead their own spiritual path with assistance from Campus Ministry which provides resources, services, and mentors on-campus. I also want to throw out that you do not need to be Catholic to attend one of our Retreats at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus, these retreats are awesome and open to everyone.
  3. We are actually in the city of Chicago (not a suburb) and are right next to Lake Michigan (not a block away, our buildings are a foot or two from the lake).
  4. We are not a commuter school. Yes, in the past, a lot of students did commute to Loyola, but not in recent years. Now all first and second year students are required to live on-campus and while upper-classmen have the option to live on or off-campus, most stay on campus or live within a block or two of campus. However, the students exempt from the housing policy still have a community and home on campus thanks to Off-Campus Student Life.
  5. Housing is not hard to find on or around campus. As mentioned above, we require that 1st and 2nd year students live on-campus and we have several upperclassmen residence halls at both the Lake Shore Campus and the Water Tower Campus. There are also hundreds of non-Loyola owned or operated apartments near campus.
  6. Our acceptance rate is not 92% or 98%. It is closer to 63%. This is one of those cases where you can’t believe everything you read on the internet so if you’re questioning something you read, call or email your admission counselor!
  7. We are not a school that lacks athletic success, spirit, or history. We are a Division One school in the Missouri Valley Conference and last year our Men’s Volleyball Team won the NCAA National Championship on our very own campus. Go Ramblers! We are also the only D1 School in Illinois to ever win a NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, which we did in 1963, but we are still proud of the win and of our contribution to NCAA history via the Game of Change.
  8. Chicago’s weather isn’t always horrible. Our fall is actually warmer than most of the Midwest thanks to the wind blowing warm air off the lake. Most of the time, we don’t see snow or really cold days until late December when students are already home for Winter Break. Yes the beginning of the spring semester is cold and has some snow, but harsh winters build character and stories you’ll be telling the rest of your life. And don’t forget how much of the year (typically March – November) brings truly amazing weather to Loyola. During these nice months you can find our students hanging out at street festivals, enjoying the great outdoors that you CAN find in the city, and by hanging out at “Loyola Beach” (really called Hartigan Beach).
  9. We are not “the wolves”. We are the Ramblers! However, Lu Wolf is indeed the name of our mascot.


Arch Madness!

Arch Madness!

Welcome back from spring break, Ramblers! This afternoon, about 60 Loyola students returned from St. Louis for Arch Madness this past weekend! I was lucky enough to attend this trip to support our men’s basketball team and to visit such a beautiful city. In this post, I will be talking about my experience attending Arch Madness in the beautiful city of St. Louis, Missouri!

Arch Madness is the basketball tournament held in St. Louis, Missouri every year to see which teams will advance to further tournaments. Loyola offered two student packs, one for $40 that included 2 dinners, a Rambler scarf, a commemorative T-shirt, and tickets to the games, and another package for $50 that included everything pre-listed plus transportation to and from St. Louis. I purchased the $50 pack, and paired with a cheap hotel price, ended up paying a wonderful price for such a great trip!

I have never been west of Chicago, and have never crossed the Mississippi River before. When I first heard about the trip to St. Louis for Arch Madness, I was really excited to go! All of my friends wanted to go too; it would be a fun thing for us all to do over spring break! When last Thursday finally rolled around, we all boarded the buses and departed Loyola ready to cheer the Ramblers on!
After the crazy 6 hour-long bus ride, we finally arrived in St. Louis. The next day, game day, was extremely long for us! We wanted to see and do as many things in St. Louis as we could within the small amount of time we had. We had complementary tickets to the St. Louis City Museum, which was basically a giant playground for kids and adults alike! We spent the whole morning climbing and crawling through tunnels and sliding down slides both indoors and outdoors! It was great to feel like a child again. I truly can’t remember the last time I yelled, “there’s a line for the slide!” This place was definitely worth visiting, and I’d love to go back sometime!

Later that day, we visited the legendary Gateway Arch. I absolutely loved viewing the arch from the ground, and was so excited to view the ground from the top of the arch! We bought our tickets from the Old Courthouse (which an extremely historic place all in itself! This courthouse held the Dred Scott case and many others, and was visited by many famous historic people such as Alexander Hamilton!) and headed over to the elevators! The elevators to reach the top of the arch are extremely tiny! They seat five people, are round in shape, and are really low! Definitely not something for people with claustrophobia! Once we reached the top though, the view was breathtaking and definitely worth the scary trip up! We viewed down over St. Louis and the Mississippi River from 630 feet up! It was an amazing experience!

Later that day, we began preparations for the big game! There was a huge pep rally in the hotel we were staying at, and with the band playing and cheerleaders cheering we welcomed the team and sent them off to win! Once at the game, the stands were a sea of maroon and gold! Everyone knew that the Ramblers were there to win! We cheered harder than we have ever cheered before, and it led to a victory against Indiana State University! That meant the Ramblers were staying another day to take on the University of Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon! That game we unfortunately ended up losing, but the Ramblers played a good and hard game, and we never let our pride down!

Upon returning, I am able to look back at this amazing trip with great memories and happiness. I had a wonderful time touring St. Louis with my friends, and an even greater time cheering the team on with all of my fellow Ramblers in our legendary Gryffindor-looking Loyola scarves! Our presence was definitely felt in that city, and we will be remembered! It was truly a great weekend to be a Rambler. Onward LU!