Whether it’s traveling overseas to complete an internship, shadowing a physician in their hometown, interviewing community members as part of a research project, or volunteering at a local women’s shelter, students who work with the Allegheny Gateway have unique stories to tell.

Take a look at their stories below, which highlight the impact the Gateway is making on their lives – and the change that students hope to make at Allegheny and beyond.

“As part of my alternative spring break trip in Meadville through the Civic Engagement Office, we worked with a local elementary school’s nutrition program, where backpacks of food are sent home with children on weekends. Just looking at how many students needed backpacks really hit home. The fact that these children are getting food for themselves and their families for the weekend was hard for me to wrap my head around.”

– Rachel DuChateau


Annie Utterback1

“I feel like I am unafraid now. I feel like I can do whatever comes my way.”

These powerful words come from senior Annie Utterback as she reflects on her time at Allegheny and the experiences she has had.

Utterback, a psychology major and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor from Pittsburgh, credits a combination of experiences through the Allegheny Gateway for allowing her to feel like she can conquer the world.

Read Annie’s Story

Haley Riley

“Freedom Summer” Experiential Learning Trip

“I think having an office like [the IDEAS Center] is extremely important, not only during the time I spend here, but also as I think about my place as a citizen in the community beyond Allegheny. [The IDEAS Center] helps to frame students’ success as they graduate from Allegheny as alumni and enter into the larger community.”

– Xander Bennett



On- and Off-Campus Experiences Help Senior Student Find Her Calling

Caroline McAllister had never been out of the country.

In fact, she had never been on a plane. Or in an airport.

But once she came to Allegheny, that all changed.

In January 2015, McAllister, a biology major and economics minor, participated in a study-away trip to Australia. Allegheny’s International Education Office, through the Allegheny Gateway, coordinated the experience. She also received a study-away scholarship through the Gateway.

“I decided to step out of my comfort zone,” says McAllister, who grew up on a farm in rural Upper Burrell Township, Pa. “I loved flying for the first time. Now I have the travel bug. I want to go back.”

Read Caroline’s Story

Abby Lombard

More Than Studenthood: Citizenship

“Applying for the Udall award through the Nationally Competitive Fellowship Office made me introspectively think about why I’m taking this environmental science path. It also made think about what values are important to me. These life experiences and tools will help me beyond Allegheny.”

– Bennett Gould


Kelly Pohland

Well-Rounded Numbers


A Passion for Politics

Mikki Franklin always considered herself a quiet person.

That is, until she found herself lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Franklin received this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as part of an internship she had last summer in Washington, D.C., at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is ranked the third most influential lobbying group in the United States.

In order to pursue this opportunity, Franklin worked with Allegheny’s Career Education Office, which is part of the Allegheny Gateway. The office arranged for Franklin to receive assistance from the Dotson Fund to help with costs associated with living in D.C.

Read Mikki’s Story

“I think all the Gateway experiences tie in together. The International Education Office has helped me with global experiences, which ties into my future career in international law. Career Education is teaching me how to sell that, and [the IDEAS Center] is helping me navigate difficult situations and understand who I am as a student on this campus.”

– Yemi Olaiya



Experiences Offer Real-World Preparation for Career, Life

As many college students anxiously anticipated a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal, Frank Quezada had a bit more on his mind in November.

He was saving money to feed as many as 10 Meadville families for the holiday.

“I come from a low-income background. I know what it’s like to struggle,” says the southern California native who is majoring in physics with a minor in economics. “When my family received food during our low point, it was so important for me to see that others – many of whom we didn’t even know – cared. I hope the children of these families saw how important it is and will pay it forward someday, too.”

Read Frank’s Story

Miguel Liriano

Problem-Solving at the Root

“After my sophomore year, through the help of Career Education, I got an internship with Hefren-Tillotson. I learned that Allegheny had really taught me how to learn – and how to apply everything I had learned in the classroom and translate it into skills I needed at my internship.”

– Becky Novak


Katie Denning

The Small School Research Advantage