The CURE Community Engagement Student Fellowship provides selected individuals with opportunities for leadership development and meaningful engagement experiences that are of mutual benefit to the partner organizations and improve the quality of life in Northwest Indiana.
2020-2021 Community Engagement Student Fellows:
Veronica Flournoy is a Northwest Indiana resident and senior in the IUN School of Business and Economics. She is pioneering an educational legacy for her family and intends to obtain a graduate level degree. As a CURE Fellow, Veronica is aiming to learn techniques that will help marry the interests of corporations and local communities to create environments of reciprocal growth where educational institutions, real estate markets, and small and large businesses can thrive simultaneously.
Marissa Goldman grew up in an environment where success was not an option, but she did not let that stop her. She graduated from Lewis University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2015. That degree allowed her the opportunity to work at a juvenile detention center, where she realized there are many breaks in the system. She became determined to make a village for families to administer help. Marissa is a recent graduate of Indiana University Northwest, where she obtained her master’s degree in social work. She blogs about the personal struggles of being a single parent lacking the necessary resources. Marissa is determined to provide as many families as possible in need with resources while growing her nonprofit, My Family’s Village, to become a resource. Becoming a fellow will allow her to continue working towards her passion.
2018-2019 Community Engagement Student Fellows:
Rodina Iacovacci completed a double major in biology and biochemistry in May 2019. She is a native of Hammond, IN and currently resides in Gary, IN with her two sons. Rodina’s career goal is to become a medical oncologist and practice medicine here in Northwest Indiana. Rodina is involved in community affairs, both as a resident and as the Disease Intervention Specialist for the Gary Health Department. Rodina believes that the most effective and long-lasting change a community can experience starts by empowering the residents.
Jennifer Webber is a student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) with a concentration in management. Jennifer has had a professional career in government operations and non-profit management for over 20 years. Animal Welfare is a passion of Jennifer's and she is the current Director at the Hobart Humane Society where she enjoys helping people and their pets. Outside of work and school, Jennifer keeps busy with her pets, Hoosier and Sugar Bowl, as well as her teenage daughter, Genavive. Jennifer is committed to improving the quality of life in Northwest Indiana and plans to utilize the skills and competencies learned as an IUN student and CURE Fellow to continue to develop new strategies and partnerships to benefit the community.
2018 Spring Community Engagement Student Fellows:
Elizabeth Feliciano was a Research Assistant in the IUN Biology Department and a native of Gary, Indiana. She completed a dual degree in Biology and East Asian Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Mandarin Chinese at IU Bloomington. She has backpacked throughout Southeast Asia, studied and worked in Beijing, Nanjing and Kunming, China and has traveled across the U.S. After graduating, she spent time working in pharmaceuticals, advising and mentoring international students and conducting research. Her future aspirations are to broaden her knowledge in ecology and evolutionary biology and to help other minority students discover their love of science.
Magdalena Barajas is a native of Valparaiso, Indiana. After completing her biology undergraduate degree at IUN, she began attending medical school. Magdalena was also a Research Assistant in the fungi laboratory at IUN and traveled to a fungi workshop in Slovakia. Magdalena was interested in finding ways for IUN to partner with the surrounding community in order to help students find an identity with their neighbors. During her Fellowship, she collaborated with Clarendale of Schererville in an effort to bring students and the Clarendale residents together.
Leslie Esquivel was a student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and will be graduating in December 2018 with a double concentration in Environmental Policy and Management. Leslie has a passion and curiosity for environmental responsibility, which she hopes to translate into a career with an environmental department or agency. Through her Fellowship, Leslie started her environmental journey by partnering with the Sierra Club on their national Beyond Coal campaign. Throughout the Fellowship, Leslie utilized the tools of community engagement, citizen empowerment, and not-for-profit movements in order to create a reciprocal relationship between the community and local organizations while also bringing awareness to environmental issues.
Taylor Siewin was a Public Affairs student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Taylor’s main area of focus, in both her studies and the Fellowship, was on the environment. Taylor has a particularly strong interest in the environmental-business sector. She also has a love for fitness. Taylor believes that we have the power to make a change. She knows that the process of change, whether in relation to physical fitness or environmental issues, takes patience and motivation. Taylor successfully applied these insights during her Fellowship and in collaborations with Save the Dunes.
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