Alumni Spotlight - Gina Vrtochnick `02
Alumni Association - posted on 8/23/2007
It seems in today's world that it is rare for a liberal arts student to find the job they were hoping for after graduation, but it happened for Gina Vrtochnick. In 2002, Gina completed her degree in Sociology with the hope of finding work in the social service field. Amazingly, she did just that. Gina was offered a position as Community Director for the Southeast Wisconsin Division of the March of Dimes.
After two-and-a-half years with the March of Dimes, Gina took on the role of Development Coordinator at the Sojourner Truth House in Milwaukee. According to Gina, "Sojourner Truth House is Milwaukee's largest and oldest shelter for victims of domestic violence. We provide shelter, safety, support, education and advocacy to break the cycle of family violence." As part of her work there, Gina is responsible for planning three major fundraising events at the agency.
Gina says the "real world" experiences she gained at Lakeland truly prepared her for the workforce. As a student, she used the tools learned in the classroom and applied them in the Sheboygan community through her internships and volunteerism. When asked about her memories of Lakeland, Gina said that they were all great. "There was such a great sense of community between faculty, staff, and students. I felt that the faculty had a genuine, vested interest in my education at Lakeland." In particular she pointed out that Dr. Don Francis, professor of sociology and non-profit management, was a strong supporter of the "Student as Practitioner" concept. Thanks to Dr. Francis, Gina was able to earn her Non-Profit Management Certificate through the American Humanics program offered at Lakeland. She points to Francis' passion and guidance as the steps that paved the way for her to be successful in the field of non-profit work.
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