DePaul University College of LAS > About > Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is proud of the many accomplishments of our students.  Among other things, we encourage students to take their academic work to wider audiences via publication, exhibition and contribution to professional conferences. In addition, we are increasingly successful at helping students garner prestigious external fellowships and gain admittance to top graduate and professional schools.  

Any LAS faculty member may submit the name of a student who has received an academic award from a non-DePaul organization for inclusion in Student Spotlight via the online submission system.

Cassandra Allen, BA, Geography

Cassandra Allen was awarded second place in the undergraduate category for her poster on “Air Emissions and Proximity to Wyoming Coal Mines: A Spatial Statistical Analysis” at the Illinois GIS Association​ (ILGISA) regional meeting. Initially developed in GEO 391 during the winter quarter of 2016, Cassandra mapped emissions of pollutants pm10, pm2.5 (particulate matter), O3, NO2 and SO2 and found that statistically signific​ant “high emission concentrations were clustered around active mining areas.” ​

The event, which was attended by more than 100 area GIS professional in careers with retailers, utility companies and the public sector, such as city government and police departments, was hosted by DePaul.  ​​

Joseph Arcus, BA, Geography

Joseph Arcus' paper “New Commerce, New City: Economic shifts and urban change in Budapest, 1990 to present,” was presented at the West Lakes/East Lakes Conference of the American Association of Geographers at Northern Michigan University in October, 2016. He was awarded second place in the undergraduate oral presentation competition. His presentation was based on work that he began in DePaul's Study Abroad program to Hungary, where he collected data to examine housing change and urban development in Budapest.

Anna Fechtor, BA, French and Peace Justice Conflict Studies

Anna Fechtor, French and Peace, Justice and Confict Studies Major and International Politics Minor, received funding from the Babel Initiative to conduct a research project in Istanbul entitled “Istanbul as an Emerging Global Commodity: Understanding Local Agency in the Face of Urban Regeneration.”

The Babel Initiative is a a student association, based at the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Campus of Sciences Po in Menton, France, that aims at increasing the understanding of the diverse cultures and countries of the Mediterranean and the MENA region and operates as a platform to support student-initiated research projects, taking on various forms – from interviews, to video reports to the experience of human interaction itself.

Sciences Po in Menton focuses on political, economic and social issues in Mediterranean countries, the Middle-East and the Gulf. Coursework can be done in French, English and Arabic. It is one of the six campuses to which DePaul students have access through the Sciences Po exchange agreement with DePaul University.

Emily Flock, BA, Geography

The Illinois Geographic Information Systems Association gave Emily one of its 2016 awards for undergraduate student excellence at its annual conference, held in Lisle, IL, in October 2016.

Amy Halloran, BA-International Studies and Geography

Amy Halloran and Keavy McFadden jointly won the Illinois Geographic Information Systems Association (ILGISA) spatial analysis map competition. ILGISA asked members to produce two maps that analyzed the best sites to host conferences, one north of Kankakee, one south of Kankakee. Competitors were to incorporate elements like access to transportation, hotel and restaurant facilities, etc. View information on the ILGISA Conference.

In 2015, Amy received further recognition from ILGISA, receiving an Outstanding Student Award and subsequently achieved second ​place in the GeoTech/URISA national undergraduate geospatial technology skills competition​ for her analysis "Toxic Mapping with Python and GIS: Exploring Relationships Between Carcinogen Dumping and Cancer"

Derek Kaden, BA, Geography

Derek Kaden received an Illinois Geographical Information Systems Association award. ILGISA makes one award annually to a student working towards a degree in Geography/GIS. Derek is the first DePaul student to receive this award. He presented his analysis "Classifying Land Cover in Russia’s 2018 World Cup Host Cities" at the ILGISA conference. He was also one of three finalists in the undergraduate mapping competition.​

Elizabeth Kalmbach, MA, Writing and Publication

Elizabeth Kalmbach's work has been selected ​for publication in Chicago After Dark: A City All-Star Student Anthology by  the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.

The inaugural collection f​eatures 31 students in the fields of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, turning in everything from sentimental family portraits and funny coming-of-age stories to cutting-edge horror and science-fic​tion, and capped with a brand-new introduction by revered author (and beloved local professor) Don De Grazia. It provides a fascinating and highly entertaining snapshot of how this city is being viewed by its youngest adults here in the Millennial years, and shows that Chicago is not just the current home of some of the brightest writers of our generation, but will continue to be so for generations to come.  Download a free copy of the ebook.​​

Ani Kasparian, BA, Double Major in Spanish and Arabic

Ani Kasparian received fully-funded scholarship from the Critical Language Study Program​ (CLS) to study Arabic in Madaba, Jordan.

Thom Kudla, MA Writing & Publishing

Thom Kudla's work was selected for publication in Chicago After Dark: A City All-Star Student Anthology published by ​the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.

The inaugural collection features 31 students in the fields of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, turning in everything from sentimental family portraits and funny coming-of-age stories to cutting-edge horror and science-fic​tion, and capped with a brand-new introduction by revered author (and beloved local professor) Don De Grazia. It provides a fascinating and highly entertaining snapshot of how this city is being viewed by its youngest adults here in the Millennial years, and shows that Chicago is not just the current home of some of the brightest writers of our generation, but will continue to be so for generations to come.  Download a free copy of the ebook.​

Daniel Mehmel, BA, Geography

Daniel Mehmel (LAS '16) was awarded first place in the undergraduate category for his analysis “Post-Disaster Building Damage Assessment Using Aerial Imagery Interpretation.” Daniel’s presentation examined the impact of a November 17, 2013 tornado on Washington, Illinois at the Illinois GIS Association​ (ILGISA) regional meeting. The event, which was attended by more than 100 area GIS professional in careers with retailers, utility companies and the public sector, such as city government and police departments, was hosted by DePaul. ​

With the use of GIS,” explained Daniel, “I have mapped out the location of damaged structures, and the scale of damage.This ena​bled Daniel to “assess the reconstruction costs to rebuild properties, providing information that can be used by local governments in aiding actuarial models for homeowners and insurance companies.” 

Brooke Robinson, BA, Geography

The Illinois Geographic Information Systems Association gave Brooke Robinson, BA Geography, its 2016 undergraduate student scholarship at its annual conference, held in Lisle, IL, October 17-19, 2016.

Lauren Silverman, MA, Writing and Publishing

Lauren Silverman's work has been selected ​for publication in Chicago After Dark: A City All-Star Student Anthology by  the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.

The inaugural collection features 31 students in the fields of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, turning in everything from sentimental family portraits and funny coming-of-age stories to cutting-edge horror and science-fic​tion, and capped with a brand-new introduction by revered author (and beloved local professor) Don De Grazia. It provides a fascinating and highly entertaining snapshot of how this city is being viewed by its youngest adults here in the Millennial years, and shows that Chicago is not just the current home of some of the brightest writers of our generation, but will continue to be so for generations to come.  Download a free copy of the ebook.​
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Emilie Winter, BA, Geography

Emilie Winter received first place at the mid-west conference of the Association of  American Geog​raphers (AAG), which was held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, for an undergraduate oral pre​sentation on her study comparing how African-Brazilians and African-Americans perceive nature. Emilie's presentation was title​d "'Black People Don't like Mountains’: The Racialization of the Great Outdoors in Brazil and the U.S.” ​

Fulbright U.S. Student Competition

2015-2016 Fulbright & Boren Scholarship Recipients

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) is pleased to announce the following winners of the 2015-2016 Fulbright US Student competition and Boren Scholarship. ​

Boren Scholarship
  • Joe Bencomo - Jordan, Political Science/Arabic, 2017
  • Shaza Loutfi - Turkey, Political Science/French, 2016
Fulbright winners​
  • ​Salma Ghalyoun - English Teaching Assistantship, Turkey, International Studies, 2015
  • Gloria Martinez - English Teaching Assistantship, Brazil, Mathematics/ Computer Science/Spanish, 2015
  • Margo Steinhaus - English Teaching Assistantship, Turkey, International Studies/Sociology/German, 2016
  • Amy Vogelsang - English Teaching Assistantship, Malaysia, Bilingual/ Bicultural Education (MA), 2016
Fulbright alternates
  • ​Estelle de Vendegies - Research/ Study grant, Guatemala, International Studies, 2015
  • Megan Hoff - Research/ Study grant, Norway, Environmental Studies/Economics, 2015
Special mention
  • ​Hannah Eboh, a DePaul alumnus and currently a graduate student at NIU, also won a Fulbright research. She graduated with a degree in Geography in 2015.

2014-2015 Fulbright Recipients

​​​​​The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) is pleased to announce a record six winners in the 2014-15 Fulbright US Student competition. These six winners come from DePaul’s nine finalists and 37 applicants, which are also both records for DePaul. This year’s Fulbright awardees will travel to Germany, India, Lithuania, and Turkey. Five of the six Fulbright recipie​​nts are from LAS and one from Communication. The awardees are:

Kevin Cole, German and Spanish double major
Graduation Year:  2015
Country: Turkey
Project Summary: Kevin will com​​plete a two-y​​ear Master's Program focusing on the relationship between Turkey, Germany, and the European Union. The program's first year will be completed at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, followed by a second year of coursework at the Humboldt University in Berlin. 

Jason Czerwie, In​​ternational Studies (major); Islamic World Studies (minor)
Graduation Year:  2014
Country:  Lithuania
Project Summary:  Jason will conduct a study in migration and assimilation policy in Lithuania. He will be studying at a university in Kaunas, the cultural center of Lithuania, and working with organizations that deal with migrants and migration in Vilnius and Kaunas.

Ian Moore, Philosophy, PhD candidate
Graduation Year: 2017
Country: Germany
Project Summary: Ian’s project addresses and critiques the recently discovered anti-Semitism of the philosopher Martin Heidegger by looking at his engagement with the medieval theologian Meister Eckhart. He will study in Wuppertal where he will conduct archival research.

Susannah McFaul, Multicultural Communication, MA
Graduation Year: 2015
Country: Turkey
Project Summary: Susannah will be an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey. Outside of the classroom, she will study Turkish and lead an extra-curricular program called Global Community Hour aimed at helping students explore American and Turkish culture. 

Sowmya Sastri,  Public Policy (major); Sociology (minor)
Graduation Year:  2012​​
Coun​​try:  India
Project Summary:  Sowmya will be an English Teaching Assistant working with adolescent children. In her spare time, she will engage students through cooking and drama classes.

Rebecca Son, International Studies (concentration Geographic Information Systems)
Graduation Year:  2013
Country:  India
Project Summary:  Rebecca will co​​​​nduct a research project that uses GIS to identify the mechanisms and spaces of a multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Bangalore, India.​​