College of LAS « Illinois

LAS Insider: A blog for prospective students

These students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences write about their personal experiences and insights throughout the academic year at the University of Illinois.

Learn a little about these LAS students and read their blogs.

Student bloggers

Emily Forbes Emily Forbes
Hi future Illini! My name is Emily Forbes and I am a senior in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. I am majoring in sociology with a minor in English. I've been involved in a variety of activities during my time at Illinois. I am an LAS James Scholar and serve as a mentor and intern for the LAS Honors program. I am also president of the Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honors Society. Finally, I am currently working as a data analytics intern for the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning here on campus.


Adrianna Jelen Adrianna Jelen
Hi future Illini! My name is Adrianna Jelen, and I am a senior in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. I am majoring in molecular and cellular biology, while also pursuing a minor in chemistry and a certificate in neuroscience. I am also greatly involved on our campus and in our community. I volunteer with multiple organizations, assist with research in a couple of labs, and am a part of many RSOs. After I graduate, I will be taking a gap year, during which I plan to be working and applying to medical schools, with the ultimate goal of becoming a pediatrician or cardiologist. I have had a remarkable three years here at the U of I, and can't wait to see what the future holds.


Marisa Levitt Marisa Levitt
Hello future Illini! I am a senior studying political science and English in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. I'm from Deerfield, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. Over the last four years, I have had many amazing opportunities to become involved on campus. I have been a member of a social sorority since my freshman year, am a member of the Student Alumni Ambassadors, the student organization affiliated with the Alumni Association, participated on the Illini Trial Team, and am an ISTAR: Illinois Student Admissions Representative. In addition, I was an LAS 122 intern last year, where I taught a James Scholars Honors campus introduction course to incoming freshmen. I love to travel, read, and hang out with my friends in my spare time around Chambana. ILL!


Angelina Manos Angelina Manos
Welcome to the best university, future Illini! I am a senior pursuing a degree in French Commercial Studies. My concentration is in international marketing and business administration, as I am fascinated studying policies, customs and behaviors that influence corporate decision-making. In addition to having a near-native proficiency in French, I have a working knowledge of Spanish. Throughout my time at Illinois, I have gained experience translating traffic citation documents for Student Legal Services, and connected with other students passionate about speaking foreign languages in Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society and La Pause Cafe and Mi Pueblo conversation tables. I am currently also involved with Phi Beta Lambda, a professional business organization. To fuel my strong wanderlust, I have had the wonderful opportunities of spending both a summer in Provence and an entire year in Paris. My love of Europe does not end there, however, as I will be returning to France in the springtime to study abroad for my third time. In my time not spent studying and immersing myself in beautiful foreign cultures, I also enjoy taking dance classes and lifeguarding with Campus Recreation. As someone who has enjoyed taking advantage of the vast opportunities the university has to offer, I am excited to share my experiences with the Illini community.


Emma Schuster Emma Schuster
Hello, future Illini! I am a senior in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences studying biochemistry. I work as a student intern in the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office and as a teaching assistant for LAS 122, an introductory course for all James Scholar freshmen. Needless to say, I greatly enjoy LAS! Elsewhere on campus, I am mentor in the Illini Mentor Program, I do research with a faculty member in the chemistry department, and I also play viola in one of the orchestras here on campus. I studied abroad last spring in Stockholm, Sweden, and had the most amazing time of my life. I love to travel, meet new people, and try new foods. I plan to pursue graduate studies in pharmaceutics and ultimately work in academia. I hope I can share with you the love I have for this amazing college and university!


Christopher Lenear Christopher Lenear
Hi future Illini! I am a junior from Urbana, Illinois. I am majoring in history and plan to minor in political science. I have had a great opportunity to serve as a student worker at the Student Academic Affairs Office in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences for the past three years. In my free, I like to frequently use the two campus recreation centers and attend events for many of Champaign-Urbana's local music talent at venues like The Accord and The Canopy Club.


Sara Wegner Sara Wegner
I-L-L! Hello Illini, I am a junior transfer student from McHenry, Illinois. I couldn't be more excited to transfer to this university and call myself an Illini. I'm majoring in psychology with a concentration in developmental psychology. I'm also hoping to earn a minor in leadership studies. I am the vice president for public relations in my Sigma Alpha Lambda chapter and I am in Psi Chi. These are both honors organizations on campus. I'm also the communications chairwoman on Illini Pride's executive board. In the future, I hope to intern at my community college with the advising and or counseling department. I look forward to sharing my exciting experiences with you while sharing my love for this beautiful campus! I-N-I!


Brady Hughes Brady Hughes
Hi, future Illini! I'm a junior double majoring in Global Studies and Spanish. I'm also working on a certificate in global security and have studied a few other languages along with Spanish. In addition to classes, I do research on campus and also work as the office staff manager for the Molecular and Cellular Biology Core Curriculum Office. I am also the current president of the LAS James Scholar Student Advisory Board, as well as the head of the LAS Peer Mentoring Program. In my free time, I enjoy playing the bells at Altgeld Hall, singing and playing the piano, reading, and exercising. I'll be spending next fall in Granada, Spain, and then hope to begin the job search in the field of international business.


Autumn Guerra Autumn Guerra
Hello, current and future LAS students! I am a junior transfer student majoring in communication. Though this is my first year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I have already made so many memories and met tons of amazing people. I've met many of the influential and friendly people through my membership in the Communication Association and LAS Leaders. These groups are definitely worth checking out if you like staying involved and gaining valuable skills in leadership, networking, teamwork, and service. I am also currently the teaching intern for an awesome and dedicated communication professor here! I have had nothing but positive experiences with the faculty, staff, and students of LAS in my first year here at Illinois. I aspire to take the skills I've acquired to create a career as a freelance writer someday. I feel I could benefit a plethora of diverse employers with my upbeat personality and versatile writing expertise.

Katherine Micek Katherine Micek
Hello Illini, I'm a junior majoring in integrative biology with a minor in chemistry. On campus I'm involved in my sorority and my jobs as a lab tech and lab preparer. In my free time, I like to run, read and explore the different kinds of food Chambana has to offer. I-L-L!

Laura LoVetere Laura LoVetere
I-L-L! Welcome, future Illini, to the best College around. I am a senior double majoring in Commercial French and Communications, minoring in German, and obtaining a certificate in French-English translation. You could say that I live and breathe LAS. I am currently the intern for the College of LAS Office of Advancement. On campus, I am also involved in Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, and Alpha Phi international sorority. When I have free time (which is rare) I make sure to travel as much as I can. The spring of 2015 I studied abroad in Paris, France, and loved every minute. In between my travels, I enjoy learning new languages, reading, and baking. After graduation I hope to work for an international company and eventually move abroad. For the time being, I'm here to share my experiences with you and why I love LAS!

Madeline Mortensen Madeline Mortensen
Hi LAS students! I am a junior majoring in communication and minoring in leadership studies. I am currently the College of LAS Student Academic Affairs intern and a content and writing tutor for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. I am the outreach chair for the Goal of Learning Project, a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity, and a research assistant for two professors on campus. Upon graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to get my master’s degree in higher education, and then I hope to work in student academic affairs administration for a college or university. I am an Illini enthusiast and have relished every moment I have spent thus far at Illinois. I hope to share my love for this school and give insight as to why being an LAS student at Illinois was the best decision I ever made. I-L-L and go Illini!

Samantha Barnes Samantha Barnes
Hi Future Illini! I am a junior from Skokie, Illinois, majoring in chemical engineering. I’ve had the opportunity to intern in a variety of industries and at many companies including Sage Environmental Consulting, Cargill and Diageo. This summer I’ll be at General Mills. On campus, I am involved in LAS Leaders, Illini Fighting Hunger, Alpha Phi Omega, Society of Women Engineers and American Institute of Chemical Engineers. I also enjoy running, swimming, baking, and traveling! Illinois provided me a great opportunity that also fulfilled my dream to travel the world—or at least begin! I studied abroad in Manchester, England, where I had the chance to take core classes and travel all around Europe. The experiences I had there and the long-lasting friendships I made were amazing and unforgettable. I plan on pursuing a career in the food and beverage industry after I graduate, and I am very grateful for all the exposure I’ve had within the industry. After working for a few years, I plan on going back to school to earn my MBA.