Georgia Papakirk

“I’m passionate about cooking and being sustainable while leading a healthy lifestyle. I think eventually, down the line, it would be super cool to have my own restaurant, I would really love that – after I’m done working for the UN! I would love to have a restaurant where I grow my own food but also have people pick out what they’re eating – like have people pick out their own tomato or their own onion. You pick what you want to eat and then take it to the counter and pick what you want off the menu. I think that’d be super cool, the environmental sustainability, especially in a city. I’d love to open it in a city, because we aren’t as environmentally conscious with what we do. That’s almost like my dream, is opening a farm restaurant, where you literally have a green house, you pick your food, and then you make it. That would be really cool.”

Georgia Papakirk

Major: Environmental Management

Minors: Spanish and Greek



Rachel Roberts

“I tend to get on tangents of being excited about certain things and senior year, that thing was entrepreneurship. I joined an entrepreneurship club and enrolled in the class at my school where I eventually had to construct a mock business plan. My teacher loved my plan and decided to enter it into a competition where I did pretty well. My teacher’s support coupled with my success in the competition inspired me to go for it and start my own business. I made bracelets and beaded them in Morse code with the goal of making charities accessible. Each month, I would partner with local charities and I would try to put a spotlight on them and their mission. I firmly believe that people will care, you just have to make it easy for them. By selling the bracelets and then donating most of the proceeds to the charities, I was facilitating a dialogue between the charities and the communities they resided in. In the end, I realized jewelry making wasn’t my passion but advocating for charities and getting communities engaged was. That’s actually what I’m doing now within the Civic Leaders Center— I’m currently the Director of Service Learning and I’m trying to make service easily accessible to our fellow Civics.”

Rachel Roberts

Major: Non-Profit Management



Hunter Nuzzi

“Currently, I am an exploratory major but I am passionate about many things— especially music. I believe it’s a powerful form of communication and truly has an effect on its listeners.  During my time in high school, I played the tuba for the Indiana division of a program called Music Ambassadors of America. We toured Western Europe playing famous American pieces, and it was such a humbling experience. I met an elderly man who would shape my outlook on life and music drastically while in France. We played our usual set but we ended with John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. That’s not an easy song to play on tuba, so I’m not a huge fan of it.  But after this performance, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. As the band packed up and the audience cleared, an old French man approached me and my friends. He had tears in his eyes and could barely speak. He said “Thank you. I remember hearing that song being played as we were liberated from Nazi Germany. Thank you for playing that song.” and he walked away. It was then that I realized the true impact music has on its audience. Though I am still figuring out what I’d like to pursue here at Indiana University, ideally I would like a career where I can make people as happy as we made that old man.”

Hunter Nuzzi

Civic Leaders Center student

Major: Exploratory


Ryan Maddox

“I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie even though I’ve been plagued with many near death experiences in my life… Over the summer, I slipped and fell on a metal rod, years before that I was hiking while a tornado rolled through our trail, and I also got sick at the Dallas airport during the Ebola scare of 2015! You’d think these experiences would discourage me from living life to the fullest, but I still love trying new and borderline dangerous things. Recently, I took up break-dancing to challenge myself to convey stories and emotions through my body. I believe every day is an opportunity to explore and interact with the world around you.  During my time at Indiana University, I’d like to study Public Management with minors in Sociology and Economics. Each day, we are tasked with crossing the intersection of mundane activities and extraordinary experiences.  Your surroundings can truly influence how you view the world, and I’d like to develop spaces for people to thrive while going about their everyday lives.”


Ryan Maddox

Civic Leaders Center student

Major: Public Management

Minors: Sociology and Economics

Civic Leaders Orientation Part 2 – Caleb’s Perspective

I might not be allowed to say this, but I usually tune-out orientations. They are filled with an overload of information, a monotone speaker, and a busload of people that I do not know. I dread the PowerPoints with cringe-worthy puns given by someone trying to connect with a foreign generation. So, when I learned about the orientation with the Civic Leaders Center (CLC), a subconscious thought arose: Another one? My expectations, however, were defied. I think that on many levels I came out of the orientation with invigoration and a rediscovered passion for service… Maybe this is self-actualization, or maybe it is the acknowledgment of suppressed motivation. Either way, I would participate in this orientation over and over again.

Auditorium. Mid-morning. Post long walk. The prior adjectives may not seem to have correlation, but they all describe my first experience with the CLC orientation. At the top of the stage was a gleaming young woman named Jess Ekstrom. I was thinking about how I saw fire in her eyes, “This is going to be good,” I whispered to someone next to me. Jess spoke about how she had an itch for change and that she had to scratch it. She told us that success is not money or fame or materialism, but that it is subjective: it is remembering purpose rather than achievement. I heard her. For one of the first times in my life, I inhaled every word pouring out of the speaker in front of me, conceptualizing how I could apply it to myself. At the end of the day, Jess was just a woman with passion, and that is what put her where she is today. A woman who championed for others rather than herself. I remembered when I was a kid and I wanted to be a doctor; I wanted to change the world. Through Jess’ talk, I remembered I can. I figured out I will.

Hot. Nerves. Chaos. For the sake of parallelism, I kept the trend of three adjectives; however, these ones explain my favorite part of orientation: the scavenger hunt. It was around 90 degrees, and being from Alaska anything above 60 is really a bother. My group (including myself) was dreading the exploratory excursion into the wilds of Indiana University, but the looming sweat and frustration was overshadowed by my intense, competitive nature. I was ready. My team and I took off, starting faster than the others and ready to go. There were complaints in the back, but we threw on some music and motivated each other. Together we marched through the heat with not so much optimism, but lots of motivation to both get back and win. Update: we lost. Another update (the one that matters): we won. You might be asking yourself, “Uhhh what is this kid talking about? Did you win or lose?” And guess what? We did both. We did not get the points to take first, second, or even third, but we worked hard, we gave it our all, and we bonded. At the end of the hunt, we danced, sang, cried (internally), and came out as better people. WE did it. I learned that day that there is no such thing as true loss in the presence of positivity.


Food. Friends. White noise. Alright, that’s the last one. The final facet of parallelism for this journey through Wednesday and Thursday of orientation: the barbeque with SPEA faculty and staff. We ate, listened to introductions, and mingled with professors and collegiate colleagues. I met a man named Professor Norrell who actually introduced himself to me as my Overview of U.S. Healthcare Systems professor. I felt relieved to put a face to a name. I also met some wonderful people from the SPEA Abroad who helped me with my plans for spring break study abroad. The experience gave me an excitement for classes and the future as a whole. The amount of intelligence, experience, and determination in the room was undeniable. It felt like being in one of those libraries filled with books who have changed the world.


I think that’s all for now. If I hope anyone takes anything from this, it’s that you can change the world. The End? I think The Beginning is more fitting. Anyways, take care.

Caleb King.

Civic Leaders Orientation – Meloddy’s Perspective

Waking up on Monday, August 14th, I had a basic idea of what I expected my first day of college to be like. I expected to navigate around crowds of people, see overly excited volunteers at check-in, and spend hours trying to set up my dorm. Little did I know, there was so much more waiting for me at the Civic Leaders Center.

As I walked into the Briscoe Quad for the first time, I was brimming with excitement, but also nervous at the same time. Those nerves were quickly calmed, however, as I was immediately greeted by the warm welcomes of the CLC staff. From signing in to helping us get on the elevator, the CLC staff made the move-in process flow much smoother than I thought it would be. Before I knew it, my room had been set up and it was time for dinner.

The large group of Civic Leaders walking to the Indiana Memorial Union must have been an interesting sight to see. Wearing matching CLC shirts in a sea of cream and crimson, I got my first taste of Hoosier pride. Although the majority of us had no idea where we were going, we somehow managed to make it to the IMU. The Welcome Dinner was held in the Alumni Hall, a place I imagine many people never see during their entire time at IU, let alone the very first day.

After giving us an opportunity to socialize, the entire group walked over to the edge of campus to take an iconic Sample Gates picture. I was honestly amazed by how we managed to squeeze all 104 of us into one picture. The welcoming process continued through dinner, where we listened to speeches from SPEA Executive Associate Dean Michael McGuire, CLC Director Paul Helmke, and former CLC student Savannah Wormley. Keeping with SPEA’s message of leading for the greater good, these speakers talked about what incredible opportunities lie before us. It made me begin to realize how special the CLC is, and made me excited go to bed because of what awaited me the next morning.


We awoke to an omelet bar for breakfast the next morning, and I can assure you it was delicious! After breakfast, we received a warm welcome from the Bloomington mayor John Hamilton, as well as from SPEA Dean John Graham. Besides telling us more about Bloomington, John Hamilton reminded us of the importance of being “persistent, patient, and polite.” Both speakers shared their past experiences and gave us pieces of advice that we could apply to our future careers.

Following this, we were given a chance to understand our fellow Civic Leaders more. We were split into groups and went through some interactive icebreaker activities. This gave us all a glimpse at just how unique each CLC member is, and definitely made me even more excited for the year to come. I really enjoyed how they emphasized the importance of being a team and how important it is to listen to what others have to say. After all, leadership is not only helping yourself succeed, it is also making sure that you help others achieve their goals as well.

After icebreakers and getting to know each other better, we got to meet with some representatives from the Indiana University Student Association (IUSA). This gave us our first look at IU student involvement. Additionally, we were able to ask any remaining questions we had to a CLC mentor panel. With how welcoming the first two days of welcome week were, I definitely felt myself becoming more comfortable with the campus and the people around me. I am so thankful that IU is my new home, and even more thankful for the CLC family I am becoming a part of.

#CLCinGreece – Reminiscing on the Good Times – Maria’s Experience

After an insane month of May, with finals just before the trip to Athens, putting the brakes on traveling and experiencing life in Greece is like a perfectly inelastic collision; I suddenly feel weighed down, though it’s only been two days since my arrival back in the United States.

However, the brief respite has given me time to think back on my favorite parts of the trip and reminisce, which is a good way for me to appreciate all we have done—I don’t know how we managed to fit so much in three weeks—and to begin the process of moving on to the rest of the summer.


I’ll miss the beauty of Cape Sounion, the site of Poseidon’s temple which a few of us visited, and the beautiful view of the sea and the beach close below, along with the fantastic dinner we enjoyed at a little restaurant on the beach near the archaeological site.



Paisaje Bello

I’m sad to leave behind the incredible views from the islands, particularly Hydra. The winding roads led both up the mountainside and down to the beach, and with every turn there was something new to explore and dozens of stray cats to meet.


mars nightIt’s difficult to bid goodbye to Athens as a whole and its amazing restaurants, churches, sights, and museums. Standing at the top of Lykavittos Hill, the Acropolis, Mars Hill, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, and A for Athens gave me a chance to see much of Athens from above, and walking through the streets of the Plaka allowed me to marvel at the size of Athens’ hills.

squadMostly, though, I’ll miss the people I’ve gotten closer to during these three weeks. After daily recons in the third floor apartment, I’d become accustomed to their presence in my every waking hour. I loved getting to know so much more about the people in the CLC and bonding over wanting Paul to run for office again. I will never forget how much this trip and these memories meant to me, and I will always be grateful to the CLC for giving me this unique opportunity.