Category: Undergrad Admission

Such a ‘Bler: I’m a Dramaturg!

Such a ‘Bler: I’m a Dramaturg!

Each semester, there is an application sent out within the theatre department for production positions. This includes assistant stage managers, dramaturgs, assistant costume designers etc. The positions range from staff directed shows in the Newhart Family Theatre to student led Second Stage Laboratory Show in the Underground Theatre. I had been eyeing this procedure for a while but never had the courage to submit one myself. After being accepted to be a part of We Are the Hopeful, the 2-week Second Stage Design-Led Exploration about mental Health, I eventaully did. Then I grew speechless once again upon receiving the decision letter. I am the Dramaturg for Fun Home the musical in the Newhart Family Theatre this Spring 2020. And it feels so exciting to announce so. 

It means a lot that I was chosen for this position because I never regarded myself too special within the department. I am only a theatre minor afterall. To that, I have been told countless times by both professors and theatre majors that this isn’t a factor taken into consideration. It’s really about how much passion and commitment you pour into your work. And from what they’ve noticed, I really deserve it.  

I will be working very closely to the professors during this time, and will have one credit hour fulfilled. The director for Fun Home will be Mark Lacoco, the head of the theatre department at Loyola. He and my previous Dramaturgical Structure and Theatrical Process professor, Kelly Howe will be my two mentors for this adventure. I’m extra happy because Kelly was actually one of my biggest inspirations towards applying for this position. Her DSTP course got me completely hooked on dramaturgy. I also find this position a good way for myself a playwright to learn how to create a clearer and more unique world within a play. 

So far my tasks include closely reading both the musical’s script and its original root – the graphic novel written by Alison Bechdel. I will be assisting other departments in collecting clues to create an accurate, yet innovative world portrayed in these texts. I will be sitting in many meetings with the director, assistant director and designers of the show to come. 

It is Summer now and our next meeting is at the end of July, but I am exciting to take you along this journey with me. Big things are coming. Happy reading! 





As mentioned in my previous post, We Are the Hopeful is a 2-week Second Stage Design-Led Exploration about mental health. Second Stage Shows are student proposed projects that run for either 2 weeks, 5 weeks or 12 weeks and are performed in the basement of Mundelein – a rather smaller but cozier space compared to the Newhart. This does have its benefits and has proven to allow a large extent of creativity and experimentation for the students as it is a black box theatre space. 

We Are the Hopeful was created by sophomore Molly Cornell, a fellow Sophomore majoring in Theatre and minoring in WSGS and Studio Art. And I feel so so blessed to have been given the opportunity to work alongside her on this incredible project!  


Within two weeks, nine designs scripted, directed and designed seven performances each touching on a different area of mental health. Lab and rehearsal times took place both after class hours and on the weekends. My partner was sophomore Gianni Carcagno – a very very talented designer – and our piece “playing pretend” focused on Derealization Disorder. Derealization Disorder is the repeated perception or experience that the world around you is not real. It is the feeling of being ‘not there.’ The piece consisted of three experiential spoken word poems written by me and was recited by freshman Faith Hood amongst atmospheric and stimulating sound and lighting design. We crafted a piece of abstraction, in hopes to introduce a less talked about reality.  

Other topics, including anxiety and eating disorders, were explored through movement, personal writings, and even audience participation to create the feeling of claustrophobia. It means a lot that we got this opportunity to not only raise awareness about a topic so often stigmatized but also explore our relationship with it as humans and artists ourselves. 

We had the chance to tinker with a lighting and sound board and their respective design programs. We were visited by our design professors as well as other professionals in the lighting and sound design fields. We got to audition and work with enthusiastic theatre majors and non-theatre major performers. But most of all we all stepped out of our comfort zones. Many of us were freshmen or production newbies who had never come close to cue sheets let alone a tech board. I personally am a playwrighting and directing focused theatre maker. Design wise, I was more experienced in costume and sound design coming into the project. Although I was lucky to work with an experienced tech master like Gianni, we coordinated so that we were both exploring new areas. I took on the challenge of lighting design – a venture I had also found less comfort in during the Design II class I was taking during this same semester. 

This was probably one of the most challenging experiences for me as a writer AND DESIGNER (!!!!) I spent many days simply sitting by the lighting board, turning on and off every single light and relearning techniques. I felt quite overwhelmed at times but with these talents, their patience, silliness and encouragement, it felt also rewardingly comforting. I never saw fear in asking for help. And I felt less absent. 

Dissociation isn’t a new friend of mine, and I am grateful for this exploration because art is what keeps me present when I feel like I am not. I’m still learning about derealization disorder – I hope you are too. 



Issa Wrap!

Issa Wrap!

What a semester! Can you believe the 2018-2019 school year is near its end? Its hard for me to imagine that graduation is in a few weeks! For many of you, I’m sure the fall and spring semester were successfully a breeze, and for others, it may have been a tough adjustment from the all the summer fun. Whatever the case is, it is important that we don’t repeat the mistakes made and always leave some room for growth. Whether you had a good semester or bad semester(s), my perspective on it, is that it can always be better and there will always be room for improvement.

A lot of what I struggled with was time management with my classes as a commuter. I had two difficult science classes and I had a hard time equally studying for both, as well as my other core subject areas. I found myself prioritizing one subject over the other, either because of my interest in one subject more than the other, or the difficulty of the subject. I believe I still did well in all classes; however, it could have been better and because of this, I find myself striving to do better this semester. It is important to have this mindset with anything in life because we naturally become used to a daily routine or what we already are “used to” that we barely leave any room for improvement. It can be either really easy, or it can be quite difficult to manage time, but if you force yourself to make a plan, it will definitely be better than “winging it”.

Regardless of what you’re struggling with or looking to improve, make a plan. What I plan on doing this semester is force myself to study within the first 1-3 hours of the classes rather than pushing it off a couple of hours later. If your classes are back to back or you don’t have time right away, at least review before going to bed. I didn’t believe in this at first, but it made memorizing content so much easier and it felt good knowing I actually retained and learned something. You don’t have to do this for too long, but a couple of minutes to an hour is sufficient to excel in a class.

I also struggled with catching up with readings, and tend to put them off last minute. I made sure I did not do that this semester because your upcoming semesters only get more challenging, and the class content/material is a bit more intense, so try to read as much as you can before your next class or after a class, so that you can focus on paying attention during lecture without feeling lost.

Another key thing you should do is get a planner and write out all the exam, quiz, papers, and final exam dates. This is extremely helpful because I found myself managing my time better and knowing when is a good week to go out or plan accordingly. Just looking at a syllabus is not going to help because you have to consider all of your other classes and make sure you are aware of instances where important tasks may overlap on a day. Finals week schedule is also important, making sure which classes have a final exam and when each are, so that you have enough time to study and not cram all the material.

Last but not least, be confident in your abilities! We get so overwhelmed with how much we need to do still or we tend to compare ourselves with others, but that is only a challenge to slow us down in the race. Be confident that you’re going to get an A in that class, don’t settle for a B, because it allows you to push yourself and achieve a lot more than you think you are capable of.

Be happy and always let yourself grow ~

Why Education at Loyola University is at the Top

Why Education at Loyola University is at the Top

Loyola University Chicago is a Catholic and Jesuit University where ethical and spiritual values are central. These values are expressive of human wisdom, informed by the traditions of American higher education, and animated by contemporary ideals of the Society of Jesus.

Although I do not identify myself as a Catholic, Loyola involves students and patients, faculty and staff from so many nations and neighborhoods, religious backgrounds and ethnic traditions.

Loyola University is one of 23 Jesuit universities and colleges in the United States.

Here are five “characteristics” that explain the Jesuit method of education at Loyola Chicago that makes it incredibly inspirational.

The first characteristic of Jesuit universities is a passion for quality. Jesuit universities set demanding standards for both students and faculty. If it is worth doing at all, it is certainly worth our very best. Whether it be a medical or law school, business or liberal arts college – Jesuit education has, in every age, aimed at educational excellence.

A second characteristic of Jesuit universities is the study of the humanities and the sciences, no matter what specializations may be offered. Loyola wants our students to be able to think and speak and write; to know something about history, literature and art; to have their minds and hearts expanded by philosophy and theology; and to have a solid understanding of math and the sciences with a liberal education.

A third characteristic of Jesuit education and so of Loyola University is its preoccupation with questions of ethics and values for both the personal strength and professional witness of its graduates. Family values, personal integrity and business ethics have always been important. In recent years, this characteristic has taken on added dimensions. Spurred by papal encyclicals and the pastoral letters of the American bishops, Jesuit institutions have tried to focus attention on the great questions of justice and fairness that confront our age: economic inequity, racism and unemployment in our own country; the global imbalance of economic resources and opportunities; and poverty and oppression in the Third World, to cite some examples. These are not easy issues, nor do they have any certain and universally accepted solutions. But Jesuit institutions today feel compelled by our tradition to raise these questions for our students, not through sloganeering and political maneuvering, but in a way that is proper for higher education: through learning and research, reflection and creative action.

A fourth characteristic of Jesuit education is the importance it gives to religious experience. Religious experience is vital and must be integrated into the educational process so that a student has the opportunity to grow in both knowledge and faith, in belief and learning. As a Catholic university, we try to open this all-important horizon of faith experience for all our students, whatever their religious tradition may be. Faith in God is not an obstacle to learning; indeed belief can often sharpen and focus one’s intellectual search. Prayer and liturgy are no threat to knowledge; they help form and strengthen an educational community in the fullest sense.

Finally, we come to the fifth characteristic of Jesuit education: it is person – centered. No matter how large or complex the institution, each individual is important and is given as much personal attention as humanly possible, both in and out of the classroom. The reason for this specific care for the individual is that, for so many faculty and staff at Loyola University and in our sister institutions, teaching and patient care are much more than a job – indeed more than a profession. They are a way of life. This is true not only for members of religious orders but for so many lay men and women of different religious backgrounds who look on their work of teaching or administration as sharing in God’s handiwork, as service to others in the ministry of education and health care.

We believe that the real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become, so we engage them with real-world problems and promote social justice through academic and service-learning opportunities.

One thing I Will Miss at Loyola…

One thing I Will Miss at Loyola…

Now the typical, cliche thing to miss is the lake. But for me, it will definitely be the exercise science classes. I made my switch into the field of Physical Therapy my Sophomore year, and it was the best thing in my life. Did you know Loyola has an Exercise Science lab? Not many people do, but it has been a great addition to Loyola’s BVM 11th floor! The facility features an instructional classroom for Exercise Science students and an advanced lab for measuring performance in fitness. Loyola athletes will exercise on ordinary gym equipment — just as if they were in Halas — but will be hooked up to machines for the purpose of researching the body’s reaction to athletic activity.

“It allows students to take what they learned in the classroom and use it in a hands-on approach,” said Stephanie Wilson, director of Loyola’s exercise science program. “We used to perform our labs at Norville, and we had to work around the athletes’ schedules. This gives our students their own space to go forward.”

The facility’s equipment includes a metabolic cart that evaluates an individual’s response to various forms of exercise. The cart is specially made to measure athletes’ oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and energy expenditure during both exercise and resting periods. The cart helps researchers evaluate a subject’s performance as well as testing stress levels.

Exercise bikes and treadmills can also be found in the lab. This equipment, like the metabolic cart, has the ability to further analyze the human body’s reaction to strenuous activity.

Students in classes that take place in the lab will observe data recorded on the metabolic cart as athletes exercise, according to Wilson.

“We have over 100 students [in the program], so it was definitely time for us to have our own lab for exercise science,” Wilson said.

Loyola pre-med or nursing students, may seek permission to use the lab, or take courses that give them access. Many find the opportunities presented by the lab fascinating. The exercise lab is open five days a week and is accessible to all Loyola students who have declared Exercise Science as their major or minor or are taking classes in exercise science.

LUC PSA Wrapping Up the Semester With Service Work in Pakistan

LUC PSA Wrapping Up the Semester With Service Work in Pakistan

Kiran Foundation is a Non-Profit organization that is imbedded in the reality of Lyari, an area that has been through immense pain and turmoil, but is resilient and largely misunderstood.

“We provide education rooted in the awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing by building safe and happy learning environments where children and their families can not only heal through their traumas but also flourish.”

“We nurture mothers and caregivers along with their children, and build safe and happy spaces where they are free to grow and thrive together. We develop positive habits in children from a young age, with the aim to nurture them into kinder, more mindful individuals.”

“We go beyond the ideas of conventional education, and incorporate elements that help children as well as the adults develop a deeper sense and understanding of themselves and others, enabling them to regulate their thoughts and emotions. The beauty of our education system lies in the fact that we engage parents and caregivers (especially the mothers) in the learning process as equal partners. Without the active involvement of the mother, our job is only half-done.”

Children give what children get. The abused have the tendency to become the abusers. This is the ‘Cycle of Abuse’ that has plagued the world at large, and areas like Lyari in particular. “We believe that the only way to reverse this cycle is to engage people in activities that help them direct their energy towards a purpose that is bigger than their pain.”

Our visit to Kiran Foundation was an eye opening and enriching experience. Our PSA executive board fell in love with their mission since day one, but visiting the Foundation in person was powerful and meaningful. There were bright colors everywhere, children smiling and laughing while learning and playing cricket, girls battling guys in basketball, and so much more. Kids ran up to us and gave us warm hugs, which melted our hearts.
Alhumdullilah, this has been eradicated and the neighborhood is much safer in present day. Residents are able to go about their normal everyday lives.
Kiran Foundation gives the underprivileged children of Lyari a noble opportunity to learn, along with their mothers, so they can be women the children can look up to. These children are able to go from Lyari to the top preliminary schools in Karachi, and dream of attending some of the top universities in the world such as Harvard and MIT all because of this foundation. We are very excited to support Kiran Foundation and work closely with the children to give them the resources they need to reach their dreams. 
We are grateful for the amazing donations of all these books by Asim Ali and our Executive Board. We cherish members like you!
Me: 1 Finals: 0

Me: 1 Finals: 0

Oh boy, its that time of year where you encounter moody, agitated, insomniacs preparing for finals week!  After going through my first semester, I realized that it’s better to mentally prepare yourself for what may seem so dreadful. What I did to prepare for finals week is just kept it in the back of my head throughout the semester so that it doesn’t come by surprise. Don’t let this stress you out, but motivate you. I always thought of it in a way to prove to myself that I actually learned useful information and that I will be stress free afterwards, so might as well do well if you’re going to do it. This may be a bit late for finals this semester, but use it as a guide for next semester and reflect to see what you did differently this semester.

Here are some things you can do to prepare:

  1. Find out which days you have which finals, and at what time. This helps you clearly see if you have two finals the same day and how you can equally study for them.
  2. Find out if your final is cumulative or not!!
  3. Whenever you’re in class, make sure to take beneficial notes that can help prepare for finals week. This will help you not only for the next midterm you may have, but it will also help you prepare information for the final.
  4. When you find out if it is cumulative or not, this will give you an idea of how much to study. You might want to add in more study days if it is cumulative. Don’t let that scare you though.
    1. If its cumulative, it’s most likely 1-2 questions per unit — so make sure to get the key point out of each topic.
    2. If its cumulative, its going to be shorter and more spread out, so don’t focus too much on one topic!
    3. More than likely, it will cover 2/3 of the more recent stuff, and 1/3 of the previous stuff! **this may depend on the professor, however.
  5. DO NOT study a couple days before the finals week, or only the week before. That is why I make this post. I know a lot of people that waited until the last minute and did not do so well; staying up until 4 am just a few days before is not going to be beneficial for many people.
  6. Start calculating your grade based on the syllabus, and see what you minimally need to get the grade you want for the class. STRIVE FOR THAT GRADE.
  7. Start AT LEAST 2-3 weeks before and make a schedule. Dedicate a certain amount of hours to each class. Type out/rewrite notes so you can make sense of it again. Form study groups and go over a topic a day.


These are just some things you can do in preparation for finals. Don’t let it scare you, conquer it! Think about it, if you get a head start on it now, you will kill those exams and then have an awesome Summer break back at home (or else where) until next semester, I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome to me… 🙂

Easter Break 2019

Easter Break 2019

Believe it or not, Easter Break is right around the corner! Many of us are probably at that point into the semester where classes may seem a bit overwhelming with exams, projects, quizzes, papers, etc. If there should be anything that keeps you going and gives you the extra push, it is to look forward to this mini break. However, not to kill the excitement, but it is important to consider lots of studying time during this break because following this, is finals week. Yes, the lovely finals week. A lot of students tend to put off the studying until the last week of class (a week before finals week) but, of course, that is not ideal. You should really use this time to plan your schedule for this intense upcoming week and take advantage of the studying time. It may not be the most fun thing during a break, but keep this as a push because it is a few weeks before summer break! I always look forward to this break, because although it is stressful knowing how close final exams are, it reminds me how close summer break is as well and that keeps me going. Because break is only Friday-Monday, its not long enough to do something super eventful, but not short enough to do nothing, so I take advantage of this time to catch up on lectures, notes, and prepare for what exams I have coming up. Take a look at what your grades are looking like, and what you need on these last few assignments to get your desired grade. Try to also catch up on a normal sleep schedule; I’m sure many of us have pulled all-nighters or have had an off schedule, so its possible to get a good 8 hours of sleep and be productive throughout the day with a balance of studying and relaxing! Make sure to also eat well, because unfortunately, we need to prepare our bodies for what will come forth during finals week. I know this all sounds like obvious things to do, but many of us ignore important tasks like so, and it becomes risky during finals week.

This year’s Easter Break will take place April 19-April 22, 2019.

**Note: Classes after 4:15 on Thursday are CANCELLED.

Also, not many Universities have an Easter Break, so proudly embrace it and plan accordingly, where you can be productive and give yourself some free time!

Loyola Ranks in Top 10 for Female Students in STEM Programs

Loyola Ranks in Top 10 for Female Students in STEM Programs

What is a stem field? College and university degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are considered STEM degrees, and they are in high demand across many industries. It is common to find most male students to typically outweigh the number of female students in most STEM fields; however, recently many colleges have sought to balance this idea by getting more female students into mote STEM programs.

For bachelor’s degree and above, female recipients increased at nine of the 10 largest such programs between 2012 and 2016. In fact, six of those STEM programs now award at least a third of those degrees to women.

We should definitely acknowledge this amazing increase our school represents. About 50% of our Loyola graduates were females in the STEM fields. This is a significant amount and being in the top 10 is truly incredible!

What Makes a Good Resume: 101

What Makes a Good Resume: 101


A cartoon hand shakes and quivers while holding a resume.

Many of us may need to start working on our resumes whether it is for a job, an internship, applying to a school, etc. Now what is the function of a resume you may ask? It is a concise summary of your education, work/volunteer/internship experiences and other qualifications relevant to your audience’s needs. Employers use resumes as a first impression and will use it to compare you to other candidates. NOTE: a good resume does not guarantee you a job, it just allows you to be considered. A resume demonstrates the skills and capabilities that the reader would value and it is essential for you to demonstrate your abilities and is showcases a sense of direction in your career.

How to layout and format a good resume:

There are a few basic resume types but lets focus on some things that are particularly helpful –

  • It is recommended to format chronologically so that the reader is able to see organization qualities as well as being able to follow your experience.
  • Aim to fit your resume on 1 page – unless you have more experiences that are relevant to the job, you should limit it to one page because it is a general overview of your skills and capabilities.
  • AVOID using templates as a basis for your resume because sometimes they can be difficult to alter and limits you from standing out if your resume looks just like everyone else’s. (Remember, the person reading your resume is most likely reading soooooo many others.)
  • Use CAPS, bolding, underlining, bullets, and indentation to direct the reader’s attention and separate different sections of the resume.
  • Do NOT use graphics or unusual fonts and colors to “dress up” your resume. It doesn’t look professional and you need to limit your space as well because you only have 1 page remember.
  • Use margins between 0.5″ – 1.0″ which leaves enough blank space on the page so that the document is comfortable to read and enough margin to allow for different viewing software and printers.
  • It would be better to save your file as a pdf before submitting electronically so that it preserves the format.


Sections within your resume:


Contact information

  • Include your name and email address as well as the phone number and street address you would prefer to be contacted at

Introductory Statement 

  • “Objective” statements are often considered awkward, obsolete, or unnecessary.
  • If you use a summary statement, make sure that your experiences live up to that statement.


  • List degrees in reverse chronological order
  • List the official names of the school you have attended
  • You may list your GPA if it is strong
  • Course Work descriptions: which can include honors and awards (scholarships/fellowships)
  • Study abroad – list school(s), location, dates

Work Experiences 

  • List experiences in reverse-chronological order.
  • Show the name of the organization, your title, and dates of involvement.
  • Be consistent in your formatting of each experience
  • Use bulleted phrases to describe each experience which should demonstrate skills and capabilities – consider how your experiences demonstrate core work skills (communication/interpersonal skills, organization/time management/leadership, analytical/problem solving skills.
  • Use a professional and active voice

Internship, Co-curricular and Volunteer Experience 

  • List experiences that involve leadership or organizational responsibilities
  • Format the same way and be sure to demonstrate core work skills


  • This section is optional but this includes additional language skills you possess or certifications/licenses
  • This can also include technology or soft ware skills that are relevant to your career.


Hopefully this helps many of you! If you need additional guidance, refer to Loyola’s Career Development Center – they have many available resources, including sample resumes/cover letters!