January 3, 2019
Claire (on the right) went on a trip to Germany with a class this past summer. "This picture was from one of the mountains we visited," she says.
Fenwick Graduation: Class of 2016
Hometown: La Grange Highlands, IL
Grade School: Ascension
Current School: University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)
Current Major: Mechanical Engineering
Internship: This past summer I interned with Frank Novotny & Associates, a civil engineering firm that specializes in municipal construction throughout the western suburbs of Chicago. I had the opportunity to learn more about the technical side of engineering by surveying and computer drafting future construction sites. I also learned about the personal side of engineering by working hands-on with contractors and residents.
Career aspirations: My ultimate career goal is to use my degree in mechanical engineering to study and improve the impact industrial companies have on the environment through design processes. Ideally, I would love to work for a utility company that focuses its efforts on a commitment to renewable energy sources.
Fenwick achievements/activities: I spent most of my free time at Fenwick in the pool. I swam for all four years and played water polo for three. My senior year I tried switching things up and ran a season of track. I was also a member of the Math Team and TEAMS as well as a Write Place tutor and a leader for Kairos.
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Whenever I’m asked, “What made you decide to study engineering?” I always find myself talking about junior-year physics class with Mr. Kleinhans. The young alumni visits that he organized in class allowed me to ask college students what their coursework was like, what type of experience they had and what college was like in general. The engineering-eating nights he organized for students gave me my first experience with professional engineers working in the field. Mr. Kleinhans introduced me to a field I never had any contact with before and helped me to realize it was something I was interested in pursuing.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: The class that had the most influence on me was chemistry with Mr. Farran. I never liked chemistry. The fact that I can’t physically see most of what I’m learning frustrates me. However, even though I was never a huge fan of the subject, Mr. Farran made chemistry class something to look forward to and enjoy. He explained complicated concepts in a way that was easy to understand and shared stories that would help us remember important information. When retaking chemistry in college, I felt beyond prepared because of his class. I found myself using the same helpful tips when balancing chemical equations and filling orbital using the mnemonic device that he taught at Fenwick.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: My four years at Fenwick were filled with countless great experiences. I think one of my favorites was Banua. Although I never participated in the production, I went each year and enjoyed watching students share what they were passionate about. Whether it was acting, singing, dancing or one of the many acts throughout the weekend, I loved seeing fellow students on stage and celebrating their interests outside of school.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: I was a swimmer in high school; however, after deciding to attend USC, I knew my swimming career would not continue in college. I was worried that I would not have a sport I was passionate about, so my senior year I decided to join track to see if running was for me. I was an awful runner. I had to be driven to and from Concordia instead of running with the rest of the girls for at least the first week of practice. Despite my lack of experience and skill in running, Coach Roche treated me the same as any other runner and pushed me to compete, even when I begged not to. Since then, I have recently competed in my first triathlon and have signed up for my first half marathon this spring! Joining track gave me the confidence that I didn’t have to define myself as a swimmer for the rest of my life.
Fenwick Graduation: Class of 2017
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Grade School: Catalyst Circle Rock Elementary School
Current School: Bradley University
Current Major: Marketing
Internship: I am currently an intern for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Bradley, and I am the Director of Programs. Some of my duties include planning and hosting events for students on campus, and also representing the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on visit days.
Career aspirations: I currently do not know what direction of marketing I would like to take, but I do know I love planning, promoting, interacting with people, and I will follow God’s path for my life.
Fenwick achievements/activities: Throughout my high school career, I was a proud member of the Black Friars Guild. I performed in Banua every year alongside Maeve Ryan (Class of 2017). I also was a member of Fenwick’s Broadcasting Club.
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: There are many teachers who played an impact on my life, those including Mr. and Mrs. Ori, Mr. Perry, Dr. Lordan, and Mr. Arellano. The teacher who had the most influence on me was Mr. O’Connor because he always encouraged me to take risks. He helped me see the value in my gifts/talents and reminded of the importance of following your dreams.
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: The two classes that had the most influence on me were speech with Mr. Arellano and theology with Father Joe. Mr. Arellano was such a dynamic teacher that he allowed me to see the beauty in speech, and how it can affect your audience. Father Joe had such an inspiring story, that it helped me relate and understand theological values to a greater extent.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: My best Fenwick experience was the Homecoming Pep Rally. Hearing the upperclassmen yell “FOUR MORE YEARS” will always be a memory I cherish. I also enjoyed chanting this famous phrase when I became a senior.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: Kairos was hands down the Fenwick experience that changed me most, but I won’t say too much -- to not spoil it for the younger Friars.
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