To Our Pullman Scholar Community,

We are disappointed, but we have made the decision to not bring our Pullman Scholar Community together as initially planned at this year’s Pullman Scholar Symposium, scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th.

Coming together as a community is important to us. The annual Pullman Scholar Symposium is our chance to do that – to spend the day guiding and supporting current scholars and celebrating the accomplishments of our scholar alumni.  

But right now, what is most important is everyone’s continued health and safety. The pandemic is creating uncertainty for everyone.  

We look forward to seeing you soon, whether we gather online or we meet in-person post-pandemic. In the meantime, we will continue to keep you updated as we help today’s scholars adjust to their current circumstances and adapt to their “new normal.”   

If I can provide any additional information or answer any questions you may have about the scholars, the Symposium, or the Foundation, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

I hope you and your family are safe and well. 

Robin Redmond
Executive Director

We are pleased to announce Patrick T. Murphy, MS as our keynote speaker for the Third Annual Pullman Scholar Symposium.

Patrick graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. In 2015, he earned a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a Concentration in Fundraising Management from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership.

Most recently, he earned a Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University and is pursuing a doctorate and the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) credential. He is a proud Pullman Foundation Alumnus and has volunteered on the foundation’s associate board and scholar selection committee.

Patrick currently serves as the Associate Director for Communications at the Midwest Augustinians. He also serves as the volunteer Board Treasurer of 16th Street Theater in Berwyn, Illinois. Patrick enjoys traveling and composing music; he is currently writing his sophomore album, Give It Socks.

Patrick will be speaking about his fluid, ongoing journey since graduating on Friday, May 20, 2016. Make sure to RSVP today to secure your seat. There will also be a reception following his speech to interact with him and current Pullman Scholars.

Billy Leung, Pullman Scholar, University of Michigan, ’16

In my senior year of high school, I remember being constantly stressed trying to figure out how I was going to afford a college education. Thankfully, my high school counselor told me about the Pullman Foundation. With the Pullman Foundation’s generosity and support, I’m glad to say that I have just completed my junior year at the University of Michigan.

The support I’ve received from the Pullman Foundation has been more than just financial assistance; the Pullman Foundation has also provided the resources to help me succeed in and outside the classroom, manage my time effectively, and reach my career aspirations. In addition to using the many resources on the Pullman Foundation’s website, e-mails, LinkedIn blogs, and Facebook page, I had the opportunity to attend the Pullman Scholar Symposium, where I got to meet other Pullman Scholars and Pullman Alumni.

At the symposium, I attended a personal finance crash course, where I learned the intricacies of creating a personal budget, saving for retirement, and building credit. There was also an etiquette seminar, where I was able to learn proper networking and eating etiquette. This came in handy as I had to attend networking events and dinners during my internship search this past fall. Finally, I was able to listen to a panel of four Pullman Alumni speak about their experiences from college to their current careers. After listening to the panel, I was surprised (and relieved!) to learn that life really has a strange way of working out. Some of the alumni ended up in careers related to their college majors while other alumni ultimately ended up in positions completely unrelated to their college majors. The Pullman Alumni taught me that it’s okay to not have the future completely planned out. (more…)

By Robin Redmond, Executive Director.

The last few months have been busy and exciting for the Foundation. With roughly 550 high school seniors applying this year to become Pullman Scholars, we have spent many hours reading, sorting, scheduling and reviewing applications. Soon, a new class of Pullman Scholars will be welcomed into the vibrant community of current scholars and alumni who are making a difference in the world and accomplishing great things.

When I reflect on the start of my career, I could easily be characterized as ambitious, enthusiastic and incredibly green. I was always willing to work hard and put in extra effort (“Sure, I’ll stay and stuff those envelopes. No worries, I can stack those chairs!”). This helped me land some choice positions and quickly climb in my field.

Despite my early accomplishments, my professional past includes more than a few missteps. For example, during one phone interview I decided to try and quietly eat my breakfast. (Hey, it was early!) The interviewer asked, “Are you eating?” Two second pause, followed by a swallow…“I’m sorry,” I timidly replied, “I was just finishing up a bowl of cereal.” Another time, I asked if wearing jeans to work was acceptable. Yes, jeans were acceptable attire, but no, not the holey pair I wore to work a few days later. (more…)

My name is Xiomara Contreras and I am a sophomore studying Communication Studies and Latina/o Studies at Northwestern University. I found out about the Pullman Scholarship through my uncle’s fiancé, who was a recipient of the scholarship about fifteen years ago. Last year, I had the opportunity to attend the Pullman Scholar Symposium at the beautiful Gleacher Center overlooking the Chicago River. During lunch, I met current and incoming scholars. It was exciting to learn about other scholars’ experiences, challenges, interests, academics, and involvement in college. I enjoyed talking to the incoming students because they had a lot questions about the college transition and simple things like, “What should I bring to my dorm?” I was able to give them advice, but I also got to learn from my other peers and how they overcame obstacles in school.

At the symposium, I learned proper eating etiquette, in case I ever have a dinner with a potential employer, and I also learned about money management after college. I have a better understanding about life after college, including managing credit cards, college debt, getting an apartment, and budgeting smartly. I especially appreciated the alumni panel. There were four alumni who explained their journeys from college to careers. Many expressed that they were undecided or learned that their major did not matter to the fields they wanted to enter. There was a chemistry major who became a teacher and an art history major who started a beauty salon business and was a gallery curator. I was happy to learn that my major would not determine the rest of my life. As someone who is undecided about what career to pursue, I was excited to meet alumni who made their majors flexible. They pursued what they enjoyed learning in college, but also chose careers that made them happy. (more…)