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Young Alumna’s Small Gifts Add Up to Big Impact

9 Apr

140129_Beirne_Ashley_8816Ashley Beirne (BUS ’11) supports DePaul each year with gifts that range in size from $5 to $25.

Why do you give?
I was compelled to make my first gift at Cap and Gown Pickup right before I graduated. Since then, I have continued to give to DePaul both monetarily and by volunteering my time, because I want to show my gratitude and help other students have as great of an experience as I did. I am thankful to DePaul for the career advancements and opportunities that I have been fortunate to have.

How do you decide how much to give?
I have decided to give smaller amounts regularly each time I sign up or go to events throughout the year. Whenever I register for a DePaul alumni event, I make sure to add a donation to show my support.

Which fund(s) do you support, and why?
I support the Driehaus College of Business fund, as well as the Fund for DePaul. I graduated from the Driehaus College of Business with a double major in marketing and management. I am very proud to say that my education at DePaul truly set me up for success in the workplace.

Why do you think it’s important for young alumni to show their support?
I think it’s important for young alumni to show their support for DePaul because we account for the most recent graduate successes. Our appreciation means so much when we are just starting out and able to donate what we can. I look forward to continuing to see DePaul grow and prosper!

Follow Ashley’s example and make your gift today!

Don’t Wait to Make a Difference

24 Jan

Gonzalo Del Rio VillasenorGonzalo E. Del Rio Villasenor (BUS ’04) has made a gift to DePaul every year since 2008. His gifts range in size from $20 to $105, and each one has made a difference. Below, he shares some of his thoughts about giving to his alma mater.

What compelled you to make your first gift?

The cost of a quality university education continues to increase every year. I figured that every little gift I contribute can help a student achieve their dream of attending DePaul. My first gift was a direct result of that mindset.

Which fund(s) do you support, and why?

I love to support any program that promotes studying abroad or enhancing the international mindset. The world is becoming a smaller place, so it’s important that we try to increase our understanding of different cultures and countries.

What would you say to fellow alumni who don’t currently give?

I would tell my fellow alumni that a donation or gift does not have to be grand in order to make a difference. Small donations can go a long way toward promoting the tenets of St. Vincent de Paul and supporting a DePaul education.

Follow Gonzalo’s example and make your gift today!

Scholarship Stories: Nick Brown (CDM ’14)

16 Aug

Support from alumni and friends helps DePaul University admit and retain exemplary students, regardless of family income. Scholarships remove some of the financial burden that students shoulder and allow them to focus on their futures. Nick has big plans to write, produce and direct in Los Angeles after completing his degree in Digital Cinema—a dream made possible thanks to generous donors.

“The fact that alumni and friends give to DePaul speaks volumes to me. It makes you realize how special this community is, and how much I value my experiences here. My time at DePaul has inspired me to believe that I can accomplish my goals.”

For every scholarship DePaul grants, there is an inspiring story tied to a deserving student. As a student worker and scholarship recipient himself, Nick understands the transformational power of philanthropic support.

“Not long ago my parents adopted three young foster children, which made me focus on being a good example for them. When my family learned that I received a generous scholarship, it showed them that hard work in school does pay off.”

Nick’s scholarship may reach beyond his own education. He plans to pay forward the gift many alumni and friends have given him.

“My sister Amelia is only six but is already set on coming to DePaul. She and I made a deal that I would help fund her education. She wants to be a doctor so that will be a big investment. My scholarship, combined with my parents’ support, has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received. To be able to give that gift to my sister would be amazing.”

This is the second in a series of stories focusing on DePaul scholarship recipients and how they benefit from the generosity of DePaul alumni and friends. Visit to learn more about how you can help students like Nick.

Scholarship Stories: Anne Marie Dornoff (BUS ’14)

7 Jun

DePaul University attracts top students from around the world thanks to gifts from alumni, parents and friends, which in turn allow the university to offer competitive financial aid packages. For students like Anne Marie Dornoff, this support means the difference between attending their first-choice school and putting their dreams on hold.

“Growing up, my family split our time between Japan and the United States, but when I toured DePaul University during my senior year of high school, I found a place to call home. Thankfully, I was awarded the scholarships I needed to attend my dream college.”

Anne Marie’s story proves how students understand the value of the DePaul community and work hard to honor those who’ve supported them in their education.

“One of my favorite things about DePaul is that so many students take the Vincentian mission to heart. I know that alumni, parents and friends of DePaul honor it, too, because without their generosity I would not be a grateful scholarship recipient.”

The International Studies and Spanish major is spending her sophomore year living in the Vincent and Louise House, where residents commit at least six hours a week to community service.

“Members of the house are committed to faith, service, community and simple living. This experience has strengthened my commitment to social justice.”

This is the first in a series of stories focusing on DePaul scholarship recipients and how they benefit from the generosity of DePaul alumni and friends. Visit to learn more about how you can help students like Anne Marie.

DePaul alum highlights DePaul/Kenya Program Through Video

30 Sep

Renita D  Young PhotoEarlier this year, Demon Tracks stumbled upon alumna Renita Young’s (COM ’07) blog ( and we were fascinated by her tales of living and working as a broadcast journalist in Nairobi, Kenya. DePaul reached out to Renita, who graciously agreed to use her talents to create a video highlighting the Tangaza College collaborative learning program, run by DePaul’s School for New Learning, which graduated it’s first crop of students last year

We chatted with Renita about her time in Kenya and her experience working on the Tangaza video, which you can check out on the DePaul alumni and FriendsYouTube channel or at the end of the interview.

Tell me about your background at DePaul and how it prepared you for your current career path in journalism and social media?

At DePaul, I majored in communication/TV, radio, film production with a minor in English/professional writing. About half way through my studies, I took a journalism class and have been hooked ever since. It was at DePaul that I developed some of the little-known core values of journalism through liberal arts training: A good ear to listen, a good mind to analyze and curiosity that sparks good questions.

What eventually took you to Kenya? How long did you stay and what was your job there?

I went to Kenya to complete an internship as part of my graduate studies in journalism. From January through March of 2009, I worked as a business reporter for Nairobi-based K24-TV, which is the country’s first 24-hour news network. I reported on topics ranging from trade and mobile competition, to disaster preparedness and how Kenyan banks are seeking to prevent a local market meltdown.

How was that experience for you?

Well, at first I found that it was hard to find news in Kenya. It’s not a country that has a tradition of a free press or of working directly with reporters, but coming from an undergraduate liberal arts background at DePaul, I was able to use my research skills to tease out unusual ideas and follow up on leads. It gave me the background to be able to tell a good story.

What were some of the most notable stories that you worked on?

I had the chance to interview many influential people in the country, including U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger about US-Kenya relations. On one assignment, I interviewed Deloris Jordan from the James Jordan Foundation and mother of “His Airness,” Michael Jordan. That was a pleasant surprise to run into another Chicagoan while far away from home. I also had the honor of reporting on President Barack Obama’s inauguration from the U.S. Embassy’s counselor for foreign affairs’ viewing party. It was an unforgettable experience!

What made you decide to start a blog about your time in Keyna?

I initially used the blog to keep friends and family abreast of what I did while I was there. It was a “reporter’s notebook” style blog and served as my online journal of my experiences working at K24. My postings discussed the difference between business reporting in Kenya and the United States, and some of the stories I wrote for K24. It also highlighted some of the entertainment I enjoyed and my overall experience of living in Kenya.

Can you tell us more about the video project you’ve recently completed for us at DePaul?

While I was in Kenya, DePaul’s office of Advancement contacted me to document via video and photos its Tangaza College Program. In 2005, the School for New Learning created the partnership, offering social ministry and spirituality students at Tangaza College a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management. Previously these students had access only to a two-year program and received the equivalent of an associate’s degree.

So I took a day and went to Tangaza College to interview students, faculty and alumni about the degree program, how it has changed their lives and how they will use the knowledge gained to change their communities. Once I got back to Chicago, I interviewed Dr. Derise Tolliver, DePaul’s director of the Tangaza project and produced two videos for the program, including six short vignettes of faculty, students and alumni sharing how the program has changed their lives.

This was particularly groundbreaking, because the {Tanzaga] teachers, students, faculty and alumni from the program say that they’d never seen a program that broke the traditional course structure and combined experiential learning with classroom learning and community involvement, the way this program does.

What’s next for you, career wise?

Currently, I’m the director of social media at Women of the World (formerly with World Trade Center, Illinois), a Chicago-based networking organization that provides opportunities to professional women through collaboration, networking and mentoring.

As the job market picks up, I look forward to reporting business news full time for a major network television station. My passion is to produce reports that are relevant to average citizens in a depressed economic climate, so that they know how to best plan their futures.

Find out more about Renita at

Borderline Personality Disorder Underdiagnosed, says Clinical Psychology Student

7 Jul

David Meyerson, a graduate student in DePaul’s clinical psychology program, is making a splash in the psychology world, and he doesn’t even have his master’s degree yet. In May, David presented to the American Psychiatric Association the results of a study of borderline personality disorder. As Digital Journal reports:

A report given at the American Psychiatric Association meeting this year concluded that borderline personality disorder is difficult to diagnose and may in fact be under-diagnosed at the outset. The lag in correct diagnosis frequently results in a number of medications that may in fact not be the most effective for the disorder.

In his presentation, David Meyerson of DePaul University in Chicago, after examining treatment histories of those found to have borderline personality disorder, found that “Diagnosing borderline personality disorder can be complicated and difficult because its symptoms overlap with other disorders.” In fact during the initial period, 34% of patients were given the wrong diagnosis.

David was the lead author of the study, which was conducted while he was a research assistant at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Watch David talk about the study, courtesy of MedPage Today:

Demon Tracks recently interviewed David about his research and his experiences in DePaul’s clinical psychology program. Continue reading