Tori Marquez, Peter Podlipni, Emily Rivest Win Campus Life Awards

Tori Marquez, Peter Podlipni, Emily Rivest Win Campus Life Awards

In recognition of their contributions to improving the quality of student life at Northwestern, sophomore Tori Marquez, junior Peter Podlipni and senior Emily Rivest received Campus Life Awards. Three of the six Campus Life Award recipients for winter quarter are SESP students.

Each quarter the Division of Student Affairs recognizes students who have improved the Northwestern community through program development, bridging cultural differences or engaging students in an inclusive campus community.

Tori Marquez

Tori Marquez
Marquez is being recognized for her work as co-founder of MIXED, Northwestern’s Mixed Race Student Coalition. In the organization’s first year, her work helped MIXED grow to more than 100 members. This quarter Marquez organized an expert panel discussion on interracial dating, which more than 140 students attended.

Marquez’s founding of MIXED grew out of her experience at the activities fair her freshman year when she did not find the exact type of organization she was looking for. “I soon realized that I knew many Northwestern students that identified as biracial/multiracial/multicultural/mixed race, and these students, like me, had yet to find a cultural organization that encompassed and acknowledged their mixed roots,” she says.

“The Mixed Race Student Coalition (or MIXED for short) is similar to many of the cultural student groups on campus in the way that it strives to generate political, social and cultural dialogue and awareness. MIXED is unique in the way that our members all come from such diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, yet most of us share the common identification as being ‘mixed.’ The Mixed Race Student Coalition is an important organization because it brings together individuals of very different backgrounds in a common and comfortable place. We are open to accepting everyone into our organization, because in reality, we are ALL a little ‘mixed’ in one way or another,” says Marquez.

Peter Podlipni

Peter Podlipni
Podlipni, a secondary teaching major, is being recognized for his work with the Polish-American Student Alliance (PASA). As the organization’s president, he has coordinated volunteer opportunities for Northwestern’s Polish-American students to work as medical interpreters at CommunityHealth Chicago, a clinic that provides medical services to the uninsured, with a large clientele of Polish or Spanish-speaking individuals. Podlipni facilitated the process to get members of PASA trained as interpreters and coordinated the schedules of the PASA members who volunteer regularly at the clinic.

“Volunteering at CommunityHealth as a medical interpreter allows me to synthesize my bilingualism and my knowledge of the sciences into my work. Coming from a Polish immigrant family, I am able to interpret not only between the languages but also across the cultures that are interacting during a patient visit. This opportunity also allows me to leave the Northwestern community once a week to experience what is happening just minutes south of us — a public health crisis.  This clinic is truly a godsend in meeting the diverse needs of the uninsured by offering relatively comprehensive health care at zero cost,” says Podlipni.

“It was my mission as PASA president to help my fellow Polish-Americans develop their identities as Poles in the US and to connect us to service opportunities in our community. This project has since been expanded to include the Hispanic/Latino Student Alliance (Alianza) as well,” he explains.

Emily Rivest and Erin Turner

Emily Rivest
Rivest is being recognized for her work with Northwestern Quest Scholars and more specifically the recent Money Matters Week she co-chaired with fellow SESP social policy major Erin Turner. The week consisted of a number of events related to socioeconomic status, class and privilege at Northwestern. The purpose was to engage faculty, students and staff in important dialogue about the challenges and opportunities of an economically diverse campus community.

"Socioeconomic status is something that affects all students at Northwestern, no matter what class background they come from, so we need to have frank and open conversations about the way this impacts our time at Northwestern. Money Matters Week was just the first step in making Northwestern a more open place when it comes to discussing socioeconomic diversity," says Rivest.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/6/14