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Student Spotlights: Class of 2016

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Before enrolling at Roosevelt in 2013, Laura Miller Hill hadn’t been in a college classroom for nearly 20 years. While at Roosevelt, the full-time special education assistant and suburban mother has interned at The Field Museum in Chicago and written extensively on sustainability issues. A sustainability studies major, Miller Hill is this winter’s prestigious Student Commencement speaker, addressing fellow graduates at Roosevelt’s Auditorium Theatre graduation. “I was the oldest person in my classes, but it never really bothered me,” Miller Hill said. “Roosevelt is the type of place that’s accepting, and the subject I chose to study (sustainability) is something that’s been progressive.”

Laura Miller Hill, 2016 graduate

Davey Hines is a 22-year-old biology major and budding painter whose Roosevelt experience is putting him on a career path to become a medical illustrator. “Davey and I have talked in depth about his love for art and science,” said Kelly Wentz-Hunter, associate professor of biology. She advised the December graduate to do a research project on a scientific topic, and to tell the story with his paintings. Davey chose the evolution of man, creating colorful Neanderthal skulls that Wentz-Hunter proudly displays in her office. “We’ve sat down a number of times talking about career possibilities, and I’ve asked him to think about ‘What are you really interested in?’” The Roosevelt professor recently wrote a letter of recommendation for Hines, who is considering applying to graduate school for an advanced degree in biomedical communication. “My Roosevelt professors taught me a lot about science and they’ve also encouraged the artist in me,” he said.

Davey Hines

Tong Yu is a 27-year-old violinist from China who came to Roosevelt and the United States in 2013 with a dream of improving her musicianship. Receiving a master’s degree in violin performance, Yu has not only achieved her goal, but mastered English and recently earned the second violin seat with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, an appointment that lasts two years. “My instructors at Roosevelt taught me how to prepare for the audition,” Yu said, who has been a member of Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) Orchestra. “Their coaching helped me to win this position, and I am now looking forward to gaining even more experience with an orchestra.”

Tong Yu, 2016 graduate

Zachary Fabos is headed to the nation of Georgia where he will be teaching English with the Peace Corps. The 21-year-old international studies major was an honors student and participated in the Newberry Library’s prestigious Seminar Program earlier this year. “My favorite part of my Roosevelt experience has been my professors,” said Fabos. “They encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone and explore different things that I otherwise wouldn’t have considered.” The Roosevelt student recently completed his honor’s thesis comparing nationalism in post-Soviet countries. He begins teaching in Georgia in April 2017.

Zachary Fabos, 2016 graduate

Additional Stories...

Zindaba Nyirenda
Social Justice in Action, Alumni, Education, An Inclusive Community

Zindaba Nyirenda — a 2010 Roosevelt University graduate and Zambian princess — has dedicated most of her career to the recognition of equality in Africa, and fighting for the rights of women and children in Zambia and around the world.

Ramuel Figueroa and Dinu Skariah
An Inclusive Community, Arts and Sciences, Alumni, Faculty and Staff

When U.S. military veteran Ramuel Figueroa decided to enroll at Roosevelt University in 2014, his math and writing skills were rusty and his confidence was lacking. “I needed some help in brushing up,” the 24-year-old honors student said, who today is thriving on many fronts thanks to support and guidance he received at Roosevelt University.

Maria and Gina Narcisi
An Inclusive Community, Current Students

While some families get to see their Laker student-athlete excel in different sports, other families have more than one student-athlete donning the Green and White. In fact, there are five sets of siblings currently competing for Laker teams, either on the same squad or in different sports.