Meet 5 inspiring UIC graduates

Inspiring Grads Fall 2024.
Meet five inspiring UIC graduates who are ready to make an impact: (from left) Haley Dahl, Hyun Kim, Thomas Morris, Eyzel Torres-Vicencio and Haeyoon Chung.

Almost 6,000 degrees will be awarded during UIC commencement ceremonies May 1-5. Among those reaching the finish line after years of study and practice are five students who exemplify the curiosity, drive and humanitarianism that UIC fosters.

While earning her bachelor’s degree in civil, materials and environmental engineering, Haley Dahl was a track and field athlete who also pursued her passion for the environment by creating a podcast on sustainability and environmental justice, “Green Exploration: Rockford.” “UIC ended up checking all my boxes,” Dahl said. “I liked the idea of being a civil engineer, giving back to the world and blurring those lines between the natural and built environment.” She graduates May 4 from the College of Engineering. Read more about Haley Dahl.

Hyun Kim, who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences May 5, is headed to medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. “A really big dream of mine is to potentially be a global health provider and bring some of the techniques and some of the ways we provide health care in America to other countries,” Kim said. ”There’s a lot of work to do, but we still are doing pretty good compared to some of the other countries that are very under-resourced.” Read more about Hyun Kim.

Thomas Morris returned to college after 25 years of working in IT, with a goal in mind — to positively impact Black men’s lives. He’ll earn his master’s degree in social work from the Jane Addams School of Social Work on May 3. “I just admire his dedication,” said Morris’ academic advisor, Marvin Lindsey. “He’s just a special guy who’s really prepared to have a huge impact in our industry, in our community, with other families and students. He’s going to be amazing.” Read more about Thomas Morris.

With her master’s degree in biomedical visualization, Eyzel Torres-Vicencio wants to help all people understand their health. Medical illustration — drawings and other media used to educate people about their health — often doesn’t reflect the diversity of its audience. That’s something Torres-Vicencio wants to change. “Diversity is extremely important because if you don’t include authentic representations of people in your work, they might not be receptive to the information that you want them to learn,” Torres-Vicencio said. She’ll graduate May 4 from the College of Applied Health Sciences. Read more about Eyzel Torres-Vicencio.

Haeyoon Chung will receive her doctorate in educational psychology May 2 from the College of Education. Her experience teaching at UIC during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic set the course for her doctoral research, which focused on discrimination young Asian American adults faced during the pandemic and how it impacted their psychological well-being. “I want to keep working on supporting these young people,” she said, “and see how the pandemic impacted their future careers, social relationships and mental health.Read more about Haeyoon Chung.

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