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Every Gift Tells a Story

Every gift tells a story

Every gift made to Lewis College has an impact on our incredible students. Read some of their inspiring stories.

Daniel Gandara

Graduate student Daniel Gandara is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. As one of the division’s top students, Daniel is a recipient of the Charles “Arch” Pounian Fellowship.

When asked about some of his favorite classes at Illinois Tech, Daniel said, “Every class I have taken at Illinois Tech for my doctoral program has been wonderful… They have all been rigorous and each uniquely added to my knowledge base and skills.” 

Daniel is also very active in the Illinois Tech student community.  He established the Graduate Association of Industrial/Organizational Psychology Students (GAIOPS), which helps fellow students form cross-institution research collaborations, find internships and jobs, and attend the national Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference each spring.

After he completes his degree, Daniel plans to become an internal training consultant for an organization and eventually open his own independent training firm. Until then, he is focused and dedicated to his studies. “Receiving this scholarship means a great deal to me as it has allowed me to take time away from working so that I may focus solely on progressing through the Ph.D. program,” he said. “It is truly an honor to be a recipient.”

Jody Coppersmith

Jody Coppersmith is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology. Her journey at Illinois Tech was made possible with the Mary Vermillion Graduate Fellowship.

Jody Coppersmith"It is amazing that former students still feel ties with IIT and are willing to help us in our education journey," Jody said. "I think they can really empathize with what we are going through and understand that each dollar helps! It means a lot to us that they are willing to give back."

Jody first knew she wanted to become a psychologist at the age of 14. Volunteering to work on a psychology research project during her undergraduate studies helped to solidify her passion for the field. But it was only at Illinois Tech that she felt she became more than a passive bystander in her clients' therapy. "After taking the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) class, I felt my true ability to be an effective clinician," she said. "We learned mindfulness, a component of ACT, which has been a useful skill in my personal life. I was excited to share this technique with my clients.”