Read below to see what some of our graduates are up to now.
Lauren Rowland '18
Lauren graduated in May of 2018, and upon graduation was awarded a year-long FULBRIGHT AWARD as an English Teacher Assistant in Laos. Fulbright recipients are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. Lauren is now one of 1,900 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns through the 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
Previously, while studying abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy during her junior year, Lauren worked as a teacher assistant in an Italian second grade classroom.
In the past she has also served as a camp counselor in Uganda.
Her LBST concentration was fulfilled in Special Education.
Mariajosé Gomez '18
As a first-generation college student who used to be homeless, Gomez insists that her life's greatest struggles are also her greatest sources of strength. Mariajose is a Liberal Studies major and Spanish minor, using her time at Loyola Marymount University to build her skills as a future teacher and community leader.
"As an incoming freshman, my goal was to challenge the stereotype that first-generation college students who go to college are not academically qualified to meet the demands of higher education," Gomez said. Mariajose was a participant in the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium in which she presented her research topic "Augustine on Teachers and Teaching: Reflections for the Intercultural Classroom," explored ways that Saint Augustine of Hippo could inform modern approaches to teaching." This research project helped me deepen my understanding of the complexities involved in developing a pedagogy that effectively teaches the whole person in a multicultural classroom and promotes constructive coexistence among students belonging to different cultures," Gomez said. She hopes to use this research experience, as well as her Liberal Studies degree, to make a difference in multicultural classrooms. "I want to play an important role in the intellectual and social development of young minds that are full of curiosity and have the imagination to succeed," Gomez said.
"My favorite part about being a Liberal Studies major is that it has helped me flourish and allowed me to pursue my future aspirations by using my unique strengths as a first generation college student and formerly homeless student to be a positive role model for children." She plans to pursue a bilingual credential and teach in Spanish-English classrooms. Gomez is also offered her service at LMU as a member of the Creare service organization and an Alternative Break Trip Leader on a trip to Cuba, where she led participant meetings, reflections, and post-trip action. "This experience [in Cuba] allowed me to interact and connect with people I never thought I would've been able to meet, due to the relations between the U.S. and Cuba," Gomez said. "I believe we have a lot to learn from Cuba." Upon graduation Mariajose pursued her MA degree as part of the PLACE Corps program at LMU.
Becky Lepore '15
I graduated in 2015 with my degree in Liberal Studies, a minor in Sociology and my Preliminary Teaching Credential. Soon after, I began working at Playa Vista Elementary school teaching 3rd grade. I have loved every minute of my first year teaching experience! I truly believe that the program set in place by LMU brought me to where I am today. LMU taught me teaching pedagogy and relevant practices. I gained hands on experience, made connections to local elementary schools, and student taught as an undergrad; which all helped prepare me for the rigorous yet rewarding profession of teaching. LMU helped me create a strong foundation and my identity as an educator; I look forward to many exciting years ahead in the profession I love.
Elisa Machon '15
I knew I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a small child playing house and school with my friends. Growing up, I always aspired to work in education, like my parents. I knew going to LMU for a double major in Liberal Studies and Spanish as well as a Primary Elementary Teaching Credential was the right step towards my dream of becoming a teacher because of LMU's focus on the education of the whole person. I was not only taught how to teach my students how to think academically, but I was also taught how to influence my student's emotional and spiritual thinking.
During my time at LMU, I not only took classes about teaching, but I was also able to take a wide variety of classes, for example, history, religion and dance movement classes to name a few. Each of these classes has positively influenced my teaching. The vast number of classes in the Liberal Studies department has allowed me to feel comfortable teaching different subjects as well as allowed me to explain the material in different ways to help each student. The unique and advanced education I received at LMU fully prepared me to become a Kindergarten teacher right after I graduated in 2015. Because of my time at LMU, I now know that teaching and learning comes not only from the mind, but from the heart as well.
Miranda Grey '15
PLACE Corps has helped me grow more this year than I thought possible. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be a middle school teacher, I would never have believed you, but after I was placed as a middle school science teacher, I discovered that middle school is my favorite age group. Teaching is even better than I could have imagined, and every day brings new adventures, new successes, and new challenges. The support of my PLACE Corps community in my first year of teaching has been overwhelming, and I'm looking forward to many more successful years in the classroom.