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Lisa Koenig

Class of: 2014
Hometown: Hoffman Estates, IL
School: Peabody College of Education & Human Development
Major(s): Human and Organizational Development, Spanish, Portuguese

Before coming to Vanderbilt, Lisa was involved in a wide variety of service groups and projects. Her greatest commitment was to The Thai Your Shoes Foundation, a fundraising organization she started to support an orphanage near her father’s home in Pattaya, Thailand. Knowing that providing support to this orphanage would always be a part of her life, Lisa continued to fundraise for Thai Your Shoes upon her entrance to Vanderbilt, but was equally fulfilled by a number of other opportunities that she found to serve throughout Nashville, including several food banks, the local library, and as a translator for a clinic serving the city’s low-income communities. She also became the Service Commissioner for her dormitory, helping to connect her fellow first-year residents with opportunities to volunteer within and around the university. Lisa was honored with her invitation to join the Ingram Scholarship Program at the end of her freshman year.

As a sophomore, Lisa strengthened her commitment to the Shade Tree Clinic by serving additional hours at the clinic, as well as taking over as President of the affiliated ESL class at Nashville’s Salvation Army. Lisa also taught regular English classes via Skype to classrooms of children in Colombia and Haiti through an organization called Teach the World Online (TWOL). Through TWOL Lisa was also connected with a school in Pakistan for which she would build her own organization, Vanderbilt-Pakistan Connection, at the start of her junior year.

Vanderbilt-Pakistan Connection is currently comprised of a group of twenty Vanderbilt students who wake up at 4am each week to teach English classes to ten different classrooms of students in the cities of Bahawalpur and Lodhran, Pakistan. Lisa plans to expand to 15 Pakistan-based classes by the end of the coming academic year, and is additionally looking into options for partnering with several Latin American countries. Equally as transformative during her junior year, Lisa worked as a Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach For America, and led Vanderbilt’s inaugural junior application campaign and deadline to becoming the 5th largest in the nation. At the same time, she held an internship with Nashville Prep, the highest performing charter school in the state of Tennessee, working on curriculum alignment to Common Core State Standards.

Lisa completed two Ingram Summer Projects after both her sophomore and junior years. During the summer of 2012 Lisa completed her first project at a hospital in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where she built the pediatric center’s first-ever website and trained the hospital staff on site maintenance, SEO, and analytics. Staying in Nashville and continuing her strong relationship with Nashville Prep, Lisa spent the summer of 2013 working on curriculum and instructional strategies for the school’s English and language arts program.