Student Scholarships since 1897

Board of Directors- Q&A

June 17, 2015


Get to know some of the wonderful people that help the Notre Dame Club of Chicago thrive!


 Board member- Julius Talley EMBA’01

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 2.14.21 AMFavorite food: A Zimbabwe dish called Sadza with Kale.

Favorite sport: Golf

Favorite vacation spot: Pawley’s Island, SC

Favorite city: San Diego, CA

Favorite family activity:  Being with them, the activity does not matter!

Favorite movie: Glory

Favorite band: Brooks Brothers

Favorite TV show: Law and Order

Favorite class you took at ND: Ethics

Favorite quote: The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates

How did you choose ND: The interview with the Executive Director of the EMBA program and representation of the business school was overwhelmingly positive.

Favorite memory of your time at ND: Lecture given by Father Hesburgh

The most important thing you believe ND taught/gave you: Perseverance through tough times as my Father passed away during my second semester.

What advice would you give to recent grads/young alums and or current students: I would advise young alums or current students to network more and focus on being blessing to others.

 Why did you decide to join the NDCC board: As Chicago is the largest Alumni club in the U.S. I want to get to know as many ND graduates and their accomplishments

Something you hope to accomplish for the NDCC for the 2015-2016/ upcoming years: I want contribute to expanding the EMBA membership and membership overall.

Something you are looking forward to while being on the board: I look forward to getting to know members of the Chicagoland communities.

Why do you think that being a member of NDCC is valuable:  I think the more you expose yourself to understanding people from various walks of life the better a person you become at adding value to others.

What do you do in your free time: I enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Favorite place to go/ thing to do in Chicago: I enjoy the Chicago Botanical Gardens

Did you grow up in Chicago: No, I grew up in Detroit and lived in four states.

How does it compare to your hometown: Chicago is the largest city and has so much to offer culturally, music, food and a variety of things to do. I just love it!



 Board member- Aisha Soderberg’96


Favorite Sport: Boxing, Cycling, MMA and all Irish sports.

Favorite TV Show: House of Cards

Pet Peeve: People who litter.

Favorite Quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be bright, brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – Nelson Mandela

How did I choose ND: I didn’t choose ND, it chose me. After touring several great schools, I walked onto campus and just felt at home. Being Catholic and having attended Catholic schools all my life, it just felt as if the school was choosing me. You just don’t ignore these sort of feelings.

Advice to current students and young alum: Get involved now and stay involved. It may seem tough or different, and maybe even a culture shock, but all of your experiences at ND are preparing you to handle some of the toughest issues life can throw at you. Know that you are special; you have an extended family willing to help and support you. If you don’t feel that way now, then be the change you want to see. Change can’t happen if you don’t get involved and try to be apart of the process for change.

Something you hope to accomplish for NDCC for the 2015-2016/upcoming years: I hope to help increase membership and involvement of more diverse alumni. ND has many faces and club membership/involvement should represent all of our faces.

 Something you are looking forward to while being on the board: I am looking forward to working with and learning from some really wonderful people of all backgrounds who are at various stages in life. The variety of life/ ND experiences is tremendous and can be a recipe for some great ideas and growth for our Club.

What do you do in your free time: I love being with my charismatic and loving boys – Ragnar, 7 and Baldr, 5 and a half; I also enjoy cycling, exercising and traveling.

Did you grow up in Chicago: I grew up in Chicago on the south side (the best side). I now live in Oak Park.



Second Vice President- John Thurmond’94 ’02 JD

image1 Favorite food: Anything home cooked by someone for whom cooking is a labor of love

Favorite sport: Soccer

Favorite vacation spot: London or Paris

Favorite city: Chicago, duh. London and Paris are close seconds, but Chicago is home.

Favorite family activity: Hanging out with my son

Favorite movie: The Royal Tennenbaums

Favorite band: Current: Sicko Mobb; Ever: Beastie Boys

Favorite TV show: New Girl or Archer

Favorite book: “The Baroque Cycle” by Neal Stephenson

Favorite class you took at ND: Senior Seminar on William Faulkner

Favorite professor: Prof. Charles Rice (law school)

Favorite quote: “But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving … the really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.” – David Foster Wallace

Pet peeve: The University of Michigan

How did you choose ND: The first or the second time? It always felt like home. I’m still the first and only one of my extended family to attend ND.

Favorite memory of your time at ND: Kind of hard to narrow down … favorite memories from undergrad were the laughs and great times with friends. My favorite from law school was serving as a Eucharistic Minister at a law school mass at the Grotto and then hearing my toddler son yell out, “that’s my dad!”

What clubs/sports were you involved in: Naval ROTC, Glee Club, Crew Team, inter-hall football, Asian American Students Association, Student Bar Association, The American Constitution Society

The most important thing you believe that ND taught you: Two things. First: Family. Family is everything. Second: Micah 6:8.

What advice would you give to students: Every current student should immediately go to the Grotto and read the letter written to Father Hesburgh from an alum on his deathbed. It will tell you everything you need to know about making the most of your time at Notre Dame.

For everyone else, remember that your fellow Domers are your family. Look out for each other, pray together, laugh and cry together, and Go Irish.

Something you hope to accomplish for the NDCC for the 2015-2016/ upcoming years: More transparency. Increased membership. More participation at Chicago Bookstore Basketball and the Bud Billiken Parade. Better communication to club members and Chicagoland alums.

Something you are looking forward to with your new position: Roping in more young alums to work on Club initiatives!

What have you enjoyed most about working with the board so far: More time with my Notre Dame family.

Why do you think that being a member of NDCC is valuable: Connection with your Notre Dame family.

What do you do in your free time: What free time? I have a son who is a rising junior at Walter Payton and the absolute coolest kid ever, so I like to hang out with him when he can fit me into his schedule …  I cook quite a bit. I coach and play soccer. I have a dog that I adopted from PAWS. She has convinced me to never again get a purebred and instead get rescue dogs, the mutt’ier the better.

Favorite place to go/ thing to do in Chicago: Take my pup to the Montrose Dog Beach.

Did you grow up in Chicago: No, I grew up in a small town of fewer than 30,000 people in Kentucky, where there was one Catholic Church and countless Baptist Churches. So in many ways diametrically opposite to Chicago. But Chicago is now my home and I love it here.

Club Director- Lauren McCallick’11

32ca95dFavorite food: Pizza

Favorite sport: College football

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Favorite band: Does Taylor Swift count?

Favorite season: Summer

Favorite book: I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.

Favorite class you took at ND: I have three favorites: American Places and Spaces with Professor Coleman, Shakespeare in Performance with Professor Zomorodian and Nonviolent Social Change with Professor Cortright.

Favorite professor: Professor Annie Coleman, American Studies and Professor Kathleen Cummings, American Studies/Theology

Favorite quote: “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”

How did you choose ND: I grew up a Notre Dame fan, but no one in my family had ever attended ND. It was always my dream to attend. One of my middle school teachers even started calling me “Notre Dame” because of my passion for the school.

Favorite memory of your time at ND: It’s hard to pick just one memory, but I did love my time as an RA. My section in P-Dub was amazing, and the girls there really made my senior year special. I remember very late nights talking with my freshmen over cookies or pizza.

I also loved the semester I completed in Washington, DC. I spent spring semester of my junior year interning at the Children’s Defense Fund and living in student apartments with other Notre Dame students. The program was truly amazing. At the time, our journalism professor was an editor at the Washington Post, so we had class in their offices. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

What clubs/sports were you involved in: I didn’t get involved with sports at Notre Dame, but I did get involved with the Center for Social Concerns. I participated in Urban Plunge in Los Angeles over Christmas break of my freshmen year; I did an immersion trip in Appalachia my sophomore year and helped repair a house in West Virginia; and I participated in the Senior Discernment Seminar through the CSC.

Most cherished thing about ND: What I love most about Notre Dame is that the school inspires its students to go out and make the world a better place. It’s not merely focused on academics, or athletics, or service, or faith. It’s focused on all of those things and more. So many of my classmates and other ND alumni continue to serve and give back even after their time on campus. This is what a quality education does, I think. It inspires you to “do good.”

Best part about returning to campus as an alumni: The best part about returning to campus is seeing my friends. Going back, especially during football season, is the perfect opportunity to visit with people I don’t always get to see. My friends are spread out all over the country now, and it’s wonderful to be able to see them in the fall.

What advice would you give to current students: Get involved and try new things. Any of my friends can tell you that I am a terrible klutz, but I wish I had given Bookstore Basketball or broomball a try when I was at Notre Dame!

Why did you decide to join the NDCC board: I’ve been the sole employee of the Club for just over a year now, but I started getting involved with the Club about 4 years ago. A friend of mine invited me to the Chicago Club’s annual Rockne Athletic Banquet after I moved to Chicago. After that, I continued to get more and more involved. I was continuously impressed with the Club’s tremendous capacity for networking and unique social events.

What have you enjoyed about your time working on the board/with the club: I have absolutely loved getting to know the NDCC Board. This group of people is a bundle of abilities. They are all dedicated to furthering the Notre Dame experience and have such amazing ideas for connecting alumni. I’m always amazed that they can hold the jobs they do AND help organize events for the Club.

Something you hope to accomplish for the NDCC for the 2015-2016/ upcoming years: I hope to get the Young Alumni Committee up and running. We have a wonderful Young Alumni Rep who has been putting on very successful events for our Club’s young alumni, but she needs a few more coordinators. We’d like to be able to put on more social events, serve the Chicago community, and welcome recent alumni to the city.

What would you say to anyone unsure about getting involved with the club/volunteering: We would love to have you! We have monthly service events (check our Club calendar), and if you have an idea for a new volunteer event, email me. The Club is very welcoming, and alumni of all ages get involved.

Is there a way for students to get more involved with the club and or board: Of course! Become a member. Membership is free for current students, and we welcome students home for breaks to any of our Club events. Also, though we cannot usually provide financial support, we always want to hear about what Chicago area students are doing on campus. We can lend our support through shout outs on social media or on our website.

What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies: In my free time, I love doing yoga and hanging out with my roommate. We enjoy exploring restaurants near our apartment in Ukrainian Village.

Did you grow up in Chiacgo? How does it compare to your hometown: I actually grew up in Southern California. Shout out to the Notre Dame Club of Orange County!

I love Chicago. I never thought I’d be living in the Midwest after Notre Dame, but I’ve found an amazing community of people here. I love just about everything about the city, except the weather. I just don’t think you can ever get used to these winters!


First Vice President-Kristen Magee’05

Kirsten MageeFavorite food: Most anything with chocolate

Favorite sport: College Football

Favorite vacation spot: Cape Cod

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting

Favorite TV show: The West Wing

Favorite book: Anne of Green Gables

Favorite class you took at ND: I took an anthropology intro class freshman year with an amazing professor. The class was so interesting and it really opened my mind to different areas of study.

Favorite professor: I had so many good professors but I really liked Charles Rosenberg who was one my Art History professors.

Pet peeve: Slow sidewalk walkers that are oblivious to everyone else.

How did you choose ND: I went to a small, all-girls Catholic high school in the Boston area. Believe it or not, I had not heard of Notre Dame until I was applying to colleges. Over the course of my senior year in high school, the more I learned about Notre Dame the more I wanted to go there. My mom and I flew out to South Bend to see the school in the spring and handed my deposit to the admissions office before we flew back to Boston.

Favorite memory of your time at ND: My favorite memory from my days as a student is rushing the football field after beating Michigan my sophomore year. After leaving the stadium we ended up continuing the celebration in Stonehenge before making it back to PW. But, my favorite ND memory is getting married in the Basilica several years after graduation.

What clubs/sports were you involved in: I played club field hockey my freshman year but wasn’t able to after that because I had too many labs. I also worked at the Boys and Girls Club in South Bend sophomore through senior year.

Most cherished thing about ND: I am grateful for all the friends that I have made and the sense of community that is shared by everyone who is part of the Notre Dame family.

What advice would you give to recent grads/young alums and or current students: Just enjoy your time on campus and take advantage of all the different things Notre Dame has to offer. The four years goes by so fast and I think in some ways I didn’t fully appreciate how truly special Notre Dame was until close to graduation. Now I love finding excuses to go back to campus.

Why did you decide to join the NDCC board and what have you enjoyed most during your time on it: I volunteered on the Rockne committee for several years before joining the board and really enjoyed the event and everyone I met. The club is great way to get more involved in Chicago’s Notre Dame community and to meet people outside your existing network.

I have truly enjoyed and valued the time I have served on the board. I have met many amazing people from whom I have learned a lot and have taken pride in knowing that I am doing something to give back to the Notre Dame community. The generosity of the University and outside scholarships made it possible for me to attend Notre Dame and I am happy to know that money the Club is raising is helping current students have the same opportunity and also sponsoring Summer Service Learning Projects (SSLP) in Chicago.

Is there a way for students to get more involved with the club and or board:It’s never too early to get involved in the club. I would encourage current students to come to networking and service events while they are home during the summer or over breaks. For all members  there are many different types of events to get involved in from volunteering opportunities and networking events to retreats and bookstore basketball tournaments.

Something you hope to accomplish for the NDCC for the 2015-2016/ upcoming years: I would like to see the NDCC’s membership grow and for us to engage as many people in the Chicago Notre Dame community as possible.

What do you do in your free time/ Hobbies: My husband and I love to cook and travel. I also enjoy reading, photography, and gardening. I also started knitting this year and I am hooked!

Favorite place to go/ thing to do in Chicago: It is hard to pick just one, but I love to be along the lakefront. Whether it’s taking in the view of the skyline from museum campus or walking along the beach, I always find being by the lake very relaxing. During the summer my favorite thing to do is to run along the lakefront and then go to the Green City Market.

How does Chicago compare to your hometown: I grew up outside of Boston but have lived in Chicago since I graduated from ND.  When I moved here I thought it would be temporary but I quickly fell in love with the city and have been here ever since. Chicago has a lot of similarities to Boston but is on a much larger scale.