Catching up with Micaela Maynard '08
Micaela Maynard ’08, academic and community coordinator for DePaul University in Chicago, had visions of her post-collegiate self armed with a closet full of stylish power suits and a large corner office. Enrolled at Bryant initially as a marketing major, Maynard realized that her true calling might be very different than she previously thought after her first sociology elective.
“In Dr. (Sandra) Enos’s ‘Social Problems’ class, I was engaged in service learning for the first time,” she says. They explored many topics, including the penitentiary system, and had the opportunity to tour a medium-security prison. “Seeing firsthand how vital visitors, loved ones, and support systems are to the rehabilitation process was eye-opening,” she continues. “Based on this new knowledge, a classmate and I created a publication that clarified and aggregated inaccessible and confusing information. Now loved ones can more easily visit their incarcerated family and friends, which will ultimately help reduce the recidivism rate. It was life-changing, and I will never forget that experience.”
Maynard realized that her true calling might be very different than she previously thought after her first sociology elective.
Increasing interest in her sociology and service learning classes led Maynard to an internship with the national Campus Compact office, which focuses on increasing social responsibility within higher education institutions.
“This was my first exposure to career possibilities in higher education and social justice, and it introduced me to the AmeriCorps program, in which I volunteered my first two years after graduation.”
Maynard has expanded on her prison system class project in her new home town of Chicago during her free time and helps teach a class focused on restorative justice practices inside a maximum-security prison. She also uses her business acumen, consulting with small businesses and nonprofits, on business and strategic plans. In her day job, she helps to create mutually beneficial relationships and opportunities for DePaul students and community partners.
“Hearing about students’ transformative experiences during their time at community organizations is one of the best parts of my job,” she says. “When they make the connections between themselves and others, they are forever changed.”