North Central College - Naperville, IL

Marcella Wirtz

Chicago Term

Marcella Wirtz used the Chicago Term to gain experience while integrating her psychology and sociology majors. An aspiring child psychologist, she interned for the Christopher House, an organization that assists at-risk children by focusing their child growth, development and education.

“Working at the Christopher House gives me experiences that are not possible in Naperville,” she says. “I learn about the poverty and disadvantages many children in Chicago face on a daily basis, the mental health and educational issues that result from their environment and how psychological theories play a part in building after-school programs.”

Marcella says that she knew Chicago Term would be a great fit for her as soon as she heard about it at Summer Orientation. “I love Chicago and the opportunities it provides,” she says. “Every day is an adventure here. I love being in the middle of the city and taking the train, being in classes that I would not be able to take in Naperville and actually having the chance to live life as a resident of Chicago.”

Whitney Goodbred


Whitney Goodbred’s dream job is to be a part of a national news program like the “Today Show” or “Dateline NBC.” Whitney chose to major in broadcast communication because she has always been fascinated by the news and the stories reporters tell about people.“The thing I like most about studying communications is learning how to tell the stories that interest the community,” says Whitney. “I think people are fascinating and I love learning how to tell their stories.”

At WONC-FM 89.1, Whitney has gained experience as station manager and news director. She oversees the various departments so she can keep the station running efficiently. She also works on cultivating student talent and helps others improve their craft. Whitney is also involved with Cardinal cheerleading and student-athlete mentors, and is a reporter for NCTV-17, Naperville’s local community channel.

“I love all of the things I am involved in. North Central allows you to balance your interests and get involved with everything,” she says.

Carly Johnston

Study Abroad

Carly Johnston chose to study in Jordan because she wanted a life-changing academic experience that would set her apart. “I saw it as an opportunity to expand my résumé, learn a third language and make connections to make my goals a reality,” she says. “I also wanted exposure living in a region less-westernized than Europe. When you live in an entirely different culture, you quickly realize how capable you really are.”

As an anthropology major, Carly is required to complete an independent study. With the help of a Richter Independent Study Fellowship, she researched how American expatriates manage their identities within Jordanian culture. Beyond learning Arabic and conducting research, Carly volunteered multiple times a week as an English language tutor for refugees.

“I love the people, language, culture and food. Jordanians and non-natives alike are incredibly welcoming,” she says. “I've made lifelong friends here and I'll be sad to leave, but I'm planning to return to the region after I graduate from North Central because when I imagine my future, this is where I want to be.”

Carly advises others to base judgments on firsthand experience rather than news or media portrayals. “I never felt as though I was in danger and it’s unfair to judge an entire region based on media portrayals. Living in Jordan is better than I could’ve ever imagined.”

Jon Voss

Verandah Experience

When Jon Voss enrolled in Theatre in Chicago, he didn’t realize how fulfilling the experience would be.

“I wanted to do something interesting that would allow me to explore my theatre minor in more depth,” he says. "I loved the experience. Carin Silkaitis does a great job finding productions that span a wide range of genres and types.” Past shows have included “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “Saint Nick” and “Wasteland.”

Jon recommends Verandah courses because they support learning outside the classroom. “They allow students and professors to interact in an environment without lecturing and note-taking,” he says. “I’ve also occasionally had opportunities to talk with professional production casts and crews. It’s a great experience and I’m fortunate that North Central provides students with it.”

Marie Butnariu


One reason Marie Butnariu chose North Central is its D-Term study abroad opportunities. “At Orientation, I met a professor who—within a few words—asked me if I would be interested in traveling to France for credit during D-Term. It was like he had read my mind!”

Marie’s trip to France brought her to sites representing key moments, events and eras in French history. The trip demonstrated how the past has shaped and continues to shape French culture. Marie highly recommends the class. “The professor structured it in such a way that it felt like a journey through time,” she says.

“The entire adventure was fascinating. There were many amazing moments during the trip, including a hail storm in Angers, deep conversations about the values of life while traveling by train, and Paris at night, which was my favorite.”

Drew Smith

Co-Editor, North Central Review

“I’m fascinated by the art of storytelling and the rhythm of poetry, and it’s really interesting to see how each person’s work is unique,” says Drew, who focuses on writing at North Central. As a Review co-editor, Drew reads every manuscript received and helps narrow selections for the 100-page journal.

Choosing submissions has sharpened the in-depth reading skills that will serve him well in grad school, and managing a team has taught him to take advantage of the different skills of every staff member. Recently, Drew won a competitive grant-writing internship and knows he was chosen because of his experience on the Review.

“Being a part of the North Central Review has given me the chance to meet other students who share similar interests,” he says. “And it’s connected me with the wider literary scene in the Chicago area. I even saw and heard (Nobel Prize-winning poet) Seamus Heaney read!”

Samantha Suarez

Vice President of Sustainability, Enactus

Samantha “Sam” Suarez wasn’t too familiar with Enactus when she arrived at North Central College, but the anthropology and interactive media studies major decided to join the student organization at the urging of one of her professors.

Before long, she found herself in Guatemala, explaining marketing strategies to local farmers and artisans who produced goods Enactus could sell for them back in the United States.

Over the next three years, Sam continued to fine-tune her communication skills by giving presentations that outlined North Central’s various projects at regional and national Enactus competitions. She also aided in the creation of visual presentations, which complemented her speeches.

Sam’s work in graphic design for Enactus wasn’t limited to campus; her logo for Conscious Bean coffee has appeared in four Jewel-Osco grocery stores and other local businesses.

Sam served as vice president of sustainability for Enactus, working to ensure relationships with project partners remained strong.

Syndicate content