Living the Mission

The mission of Antioch University is to provide “learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice.” Each academic program at AULA includes an experiential learning component giving students the opportunity to use their skills and passions to effect positive change. And their contributions to society don’t stop after graduation. Below, read how our students and alumni have made “living the mission” a reality.

Jeremy Drake

MA in Urban Sustainability ’12

Jeremy was interested in finding new solutions for long-standing problems. For his Capstone Project, he worked with the local Sierra Club’s Zero Waste Committee to study how cities in Los Angeles and Orange County handle organic waste. The goal was to explore alternatives to landfills, a dangerous source of greenhouse gas. Through a survey of best practices, the committee offered guidelines on safe, responsible methods of organic waste management for cities to adopt.

Gina Loring

MFA in Creative Writing ‘11

An accomplished poet, Gina embarked on what she felt was the “perfect field study,” teaching writing to teens in the juvenile justice system through InsideOUT Writers. The nonprofit organization is committed to reducing recidivism among juvenile offenders by allowing them to “tell their stories, reflect on the past, and decide how they will write the next chapter of their lives.” Now an AULA alumna, Gina found working at InsideOUT Writers so gratifying that she continues to teach regularly in the program.

Cynthia Ruffin   

BA in Liberal Studies ’13

BA student Cynthia put her extensive theater background to work as an intern and teaching assistant in AULA’s Bridge Program, which offers college courses in the humanities at no cost to low-income adults. She taught public speaking, iambic pentameter, and the use of rhythm in poetry and everyday language. She also assisted students with papers and assignments, and helped design a part of the literature curriculum. This year, she will intern in the service learning component of the program.

Cadyn Cathers

MA in Clinical Psychology ’11

Cadyn’s dual specialization in Health Psychology and LGBT Psychology helped prepare him for his clinical training at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which offers an array of affordable medical and mental health services for LGBT individuals. He performed intakes, crisis counseling, and facilitated three different group therapy sessions, utilizing the skills and tools he’d gained through the Psychology program to provide effective, LGBT-affirmative treatment.

Adeena Bleich   

MA in Organizational Management, ’13

For her Service Learning Practicum course, Adeena volunteered with ASDAH: Association for Size Diversity and Health, whose mission is to “promote education, research, and the provision of services which enhance health and well-being, and which are free from weight-based assumptions and weight discrimination.” Adeena found the goals of the organization to be perfectly aligned with AULA’s vision of a just and equitable society for all people.

Darren Grosch

MA in Education, Leadership and Change ’10

A four-year Peace Corp volunteer with a passion for international development, Darren’s Capstone Project involved designing an intercultural immersion program that aimed to promote aspects of global citizenship. He taught four college students who were interested in participating in study abroad programs but were unable to due to financial restraints, limited free time, and family obligations. His curriculum helped his students develop traits of global citizenship, such as an understanding of world events and cultures, and the ability to develop self-efficacy.