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Maria Coughlin is a junior Communications major with a concentration in Integrated Marketing focusing on Sustainable Practices. Coughlin also minors in Data Science, Spanish, and Entrepreneurship. After visiting John Carroll, she loved the campus feel and appreciated how passionate faculty and students are about their experience. Being one of eleven siblings meant that financial aid was a big factor in making her decision on where to go to college, especially since she is paying her tuition herself.

After receiving the Mastrantoni Family Scholarship Fund (a regional donor fund dedicated to those from the Western New York area most in need of financial assistance), it made her decision easier. Without this scholarship, Maria believes she would have most likely ended up at an in-state college and; would not be the woman she is today without JCU's impact.

Since her arrival, Coughlin has taken advantage of the resources available. She is consistently learning about new opportunities for students here. The Center for Career Services (now located in the Grasselli Library in the Mastrantoni Family Student Success Commons) has been a major support system. Professors of Maria have also been great connections for her, introducing her to possible internships and areas she might have interest in.

Sustainability is one of Maria's biggest passions. As the Class President and the Sustainability Chair for Student Government, Coughlin’s goal is to make John Carroll as eco-friendly as possible. Maria is also the Sustainability Intern through Campus Ministry and a member of the Environmental Issues Group. Coughlin helps programs/offices on campus such as CSSA, Labre, and the Dining Hall apply more sustainable practices. Some examples are weighing the amount of waste produced and discussing what products could be reduced; she and her group also helped brainstorm the idea of the eco-friendly carry-out containers in the Dining Hall.

Maria does not believe that she would have been able to pursue this internship without the financial support of the Mastrantoni Family Scholarship Fund since as she would need a job to pay for her education. Coughlin knows that she wants to have an impact and be a force for change in the world. To Maria, this could include planting more trees, social equity, food security, education opportunities, or possibly working with a non-profit. Maria acknowledges how fortunate she is for the education she has received at JCU and wants to be able to offer the same to others in the future.