Office of Alumni Engagement

Erika Zenchak

My hometown when I was a student was:

Brookfield, IL

I graduated from Alma in:


I studied:

Sociology and Spanish

I currently live in:

Evanston, IL

What is your current career/professional role?

I am a social worker. Specifically, I work in the Adult Protective Services Program with the Illinois Department on Aging and the North Shore Senior Center. I investigate cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation among adults over the age of 60 as well as adults ages 18-59 who have a disability.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is:

I had the best study abroad experiences in Quito, Ecuador, Cusco, Peru, and Segovia, Spain. These experiences helped me to become more independent and step outside of my comfort zone quickly, all while having an amazing time learning about different cultures and taking really interesting classes. I was also a member of the Kiltie Marching Band and Gamma Phi Beta, two organizations that gave me families on campus and countless memories.

Statement about how Alma impacted your personal and professional life since graduating.

When I started my Master’s program, I was extremely nervous about handling the academic pressure. I quickly realized that Alma College had prepared me so well for a graduate program, and this made me more confident in my ability to complete this program. I was genuinely able to use the skills that I had learned at Alma over and over again in graduate school that I felt put me at an advantage in my graduate program—particularly writing and research skills that we learn in many of our classes at Alma. I also had many internship opportunities during my time at Alma that helped to prepare me for various positions that I’ve held since graduating, and ultimately land on my current position. In my personal life, I have maintained lifelong relationships with my friends from Alma College and know that a fellow alumnus is never far away.

What current service and/or philanthropy activity are you involved in?

I am a regular volunteer for a local animal shelter in Skokie, IL.

Advice I would give a new graduate:

Trust yourself; trust that you know what you are doing and that you will figure out the right path for you. Do not be too hard on yourself and have patience.

What would you say to a prospective student and their family who was trying to decide if Alma was right for them?

Alma College gives the most unique opportunities for students—whether that be studying abroad, fine arts, athletics, service, etc. The best part is that you can have all of those experiences together. You are never limited in what is available or feasible and are always encouraged to get more involved. The quality of the education is outstanding. The campus feels like home.

How I have given back to Alma since graduation:

Post-graduation, I worked part-time for the Admissions office from Chicago for about a year and a half. I represented Alma College at numerous college fairs in and around the Chicago area.

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