First Destination Survey Student Specialist
Macayla is a junior at Aquinas College pursuing a dual degree in Business Administration and Communication with a Spanish minor. She originates from outside of the Lansing area, and enjoys the big city feel and opportunities that Grand Rapids has to offer. Macayla works at the Advantage Center on the First Destination Survey, which tracks where graduates land post-graduation. She distributes the survey in the fall, and organizes the data in the spring. This past year Macayla had the privilege of working as a Diversity Assistant for the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity on campus, creating programs that focus on social issues in the world. She also worked as a Peer Tutor in Spanish, motivating and encouraging students’ growth in the language. Macayla is extremely excited and grateful to work as a Resident Assistant in the upcoming 2020-21 school year. Furthermore, Macayla is blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the 2020-21 Cook Leadership Academy cohort through Grand Valley State University as well. In her free time, Macayla is in charge of marketing for the student organization Women Empower, which aims to spread the voices of women of color on campus. She is also teaching herself how to crochet, loves to binge Hulu, and sings anywhere she can.
Hope is a senior at Aquinas College studying International Relations and Spanish. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Spain.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to improve my Spanish language skills as well as develop skills such as planning, organizing trips, independence, etc.”
Hope is always open to working with diverse populations because she enjoys learning about other cultures very much. Hope is also a part of the Spanish club as well as the Grand Valley State University Colorguard.
She has been a Vocationer going on three years. As Hope wrote, “I am just a student learning to make the world a little bit better.”
Lead Student and Internship Assistant
Tessa came to the AQ Advantage Center in her first semester, and is now entering her fourth and final year at Aquinas. Outside of the office, she balances another part-time job, leadership roles with POLIS, Aquinas College High School Model UN, and is a staff member with American Model United Nations (AMUN) in Chicago. She is also an avid knitter, hiker, and former-Arizonan, and is spending her final summer in college conducting specialized research in political science with an Aquinas professor due to the generosity of the Aquinas College Summer Scholars program.
Tessa is a dual major in International Studies and Political Science, and dual minor in French and German. After graduation, she intends to spend some time travelling and gaining some real-world work experience, before continuing on to pursue a graduate degree(s) in International Relations.
In Spring 2020, she stepped in as the Advantage Center’s lead student worker. She manages the logistics of the internship program alongside the program director, Brigid Avery, with whom she coordinated a digital program transition. She was recently asked to take on duties as the program assistant to the 2020-21 NetVue grant program, where she will have the opportunity to work hands-on with staff and faculty members in community fundraising, grant reporting, and the continuation and growth of a community mentorship program.
Tessa was the grateful recipient of the 2020 Students in Action Mother Victor Flannery Outstanding Student Award, where the Advantage team recognized her for her dedication to the Center and its continued development.
Student Assistant, Study Away
Ashley Rodriguez is from a small town called Montague, Michigan which is one hour up north from Grand Rapids. She is an upcoming sophomore at Aquinas College and also a first-generation student. Ashley works at the Advantage Center under the Study Away Department as well as The Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity as a Diversity Assistant.
She is currently deciding to major in Sociology with a minor in Social Work or Community Leadership. Ashley said “My goal is to become a future leader and help out communities in need. Through my first year in college I was able to develop new opportunities and connections in which are helping me build new skills to accomplish my goals.”
Chloe is from Kentwood, MI, and graduated from Forest Hills Northern High School. She will be a junior this year at Aquinas! Chloe is a member of the Aquinas Golf team. She is a Communication major with a minor in marketing and industrial psychology. Chloe has worked as a nanny, Communication Department tutor and also as a take out specialist at Chipotle. Her career goals are to go into event planning, or do anything to work with people all day long.