Collegiate Friars: July 2022

Catching up with Fenwick young alumni Julie Arjon ’21 (UIC) and Spencer Gallagher ’19 (U of I).
Fenwick Graduation: Class of 2021
Hometown: Berwyn, IL
Grade School: Lincoln Middle School
College: University of Illinois at Chicago
Current Major: Ecology, Evolutionary, and Environmental Biology
Summer Internship: NASA Summer 2022 Internship: Bioreactors and Biofilms
Career Aspirations: Astrobiologist for NASA or its affiliates
Fenwick Achievements/Activities: Girls Cross Country, Girls Distance Track, The Wick art editor and contributor, SHIELD [freshmen] mentor, pianist, Argentinian exchange student host
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Ms. Cristina Lilek
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: Astronomy with Mr. Lamkin
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: It has to be the last race I had in Cross Country my junior year at Fenwick. I had three hours of sleep the night before because I was out late bowling with the Argentinian Exchange Students we had, and I ended up making an amazing personal record. That was the kickstart of me becoming a decent runner! I felt like I could do anything after that!
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: I think it had to be the first Banua that I went to my freshman year. If I remember correctly, I had gone with my best friends and had a great time. At one point, we snuck out to get snacks at 7-Eleven, and were sliding all over the ice where the parking garage is now. I remember feeling so euphoric and glad to be at Fenwick at that moment. Granted, I was struggling hard in a lot of my classes and was in danger of transferring, but I told myself that I wanted to be a real Friar so badly and that I wanted to succeed and be alongside my friends for as long as possible. I ended up snapping to attention and turning a new leaf after this night. I wanted to be as smart and as vibrant as my other friends were, and my fellow peers. I knew I had to get my act straight, so I did just that. Now look at me!

Fenwick Graduation: 2019
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Grade School: Visitation
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major: Electrical Engineering with minors in Computer Science and Music
Summer Internship: This summer I’m working as an Applications Engineering intern with Texas Instruments in Manchester, NH.
Career Aspirations: I hope to work in the field of music technology, designing and building analog synthesizers and effects pedals and/or developing music software.
Fenwick Achievements/Activities: I ran track, where I was captain my senior year, as well as cross country. In addition, I was a member and captain of the math team, as well as a member of WYSE and Fenwick’s 2019 state champion TEAMS team. I was an 11-show Blackfriar and a tutor with Friar Mentors, and I’ve continued these two activities in spirit at UIUC through performing stand-up comedy and through tutoring at Grainger Library. I was also a Kairos Leader, a guest author for The Wick one time, and a reader during Ms. Gallinari’s 24-hour MobyCon.
Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: I can’t name just one teacher, so I’ll name two. I took AP Physics with Mr. Kleinhans my junior year, but it was as my boss while I was working on installing the Engineering Lab that I learned the most from him. He guided me through my first ever project management role, and the experience I gained working under him has helped me immensely, both academically and professionally. And I would be remiss not to mention Mr. Finnell, the man who I probably saw more than my own parents during high school between all the Math V classes, Math Team practices and BFG rehearsals. It’s a shame Fenwick is losing him after so many years, but -- in his own words -- “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: AP Calculus with [the late] Mr. Arscott. Calculus is the foundation of practically every engineering class I’ve taken at UIUC, and I owe much of my success in these classes to him and his teachings. Mr. Arscott was the most animated, passionate and eccentric teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from, and I have yet to meet anyone able to make calculus so enjoyable and easy to understand. R.I.P., Mr. Arscott; you were an all-time Fenwick great.
Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: Writing and performing in Banua was some of the most fun I had in my four years at Fenwick. Two of my favorite skits were “The Dark Knight Summarizes” and “The Reversal.” “Dark Knight” was a perfect combination of a funny script and great actors (shout out to Joe Zawacki, Dylan Ward and Jack Vomacka) and was a blast to perform. “The Reversal” was a challenging skit to coordinate, as it featured six or seven teachers playing students, but it was incredibly satisfying to see it go from an idea Mr. Wnek had had a year prior to an act one finale that received a standing ovation. The entire process of Banua, from the first meetings in the writer’s room to the final bows on closing night, was nonstop fun, and is an experience I’m so happy to have had. I also have to mention going on Mr. Draski’s Quetico trip my freshman year, where I came to blows with a hostile turtle, lost approximately a third of my blood to mosquitos, and overall had a grand old time in the Canadian wilderness.
What Fenwick experience changed you the most: Running cross country at Fenwick introduced me to lifelong friends, gave me some of my most treasured (and hilarious) memories, and taught me the value of perseverance and hard work. I can’t fathom anything on God’s green earth more devastating than running 400s at Sayre, but even when we thought we’d never make it, we always did. The foundations of my work ethic were laid during my time training under Coaches Rill, Wnek and Coronado, and I will forever be thankful to have been a part of that team.
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