Posted by Sara Meers on May 20, 2014
Committed to the core values of Aurora University both in and out of the classroom, graduating senior Julie Gregg spent her time at AU discovering her passion and preparing for life after graduation.
“I declared social work as my major my freshman year and added sociology as a second major after my first semester at AU,” said Gregg. “This opened many doors for me, and I was encouraged to study abroad. It was after my travel-study experience that I knew I wanted to work with global populations. I have developed a passion for working with refugees and hope to continue working with that population.”
Gregg completed an internship with World Relief–DuPage, is a past president of the AU Human Rights Organization and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Sigma honor societies. She also was a peer advisor and orientation leader and truly believes in the transformative power of learning.
“I will take away a solid knowledge set from AU,” said Gregg. “My classes have prepared me to work in the social services sector and the opportunities that I took advantage of, including on-campus leadership and volunteer offerings, have helped shape me into the professional I am today. I feel I have a strong support system that is ready to help me take on my future.”
Gregg’s academic and service work have shown the ability to apply sociological imagination and mindfulness to her interactions with people of diverse backgrounds. For her positive influence on the campus and surrounding community, Gregg was awarded the 2014 Kenneth Olenik Social Science Award at Honors Convocation in the spring.
The Kenneth Olenik Social Science Award is presented to an outstanding senior majoring in one of the social science disciplines who has positively impacted the campus community through scholarship, and supportive leadership in academics, campus programs and community service. The award is named in honor of Dr. Olenik who taught sociology and social science for over 30 years at AU prior to his retirement in 1996.
“Receiving this award means a lot to me,” Gregg said. “It shows that hard work and dedication pay off and that it is possible to excel while earning two bachelor’s degrees. I have heard great things about Professor Olenik and am honored to receive an award in his name.”