MCC Podcast: Episode 5: Pursuing Passions While Giving Back: An Educator's Path to Finding Purpose with Ben Lobpries
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Episode 5: Pursuing Passions While Giving Back: An Educator’s Path to Finding Purpose with Ben Lobpries

Episode 5 Summary

In this episode of Campus Connections, we delve into the insightful conversation between Ben Lobpries and Geovanny Mayorga, where they explore the dynamics of transitioning from small-town life to the bustling metropolis of Chicago, reflecting on the joys of community involvement and the bustling opportunities of urban living. From personal anecdotes of adjusting to city culture to discussions on the multifaceted nature of volunteer work with refugee support organizations, this engaging dialogue touches on themes of adaptation, personal growth, and the importance of embracing diverse learning styles. Join them as they share their perspectives on education, teaching philosophy, and the inherent challenges of leadership, offering a rich tapestry of experiences and insights for listeners and learners alike.


  • Adaptation and Growth: Through personal anecdotes, both speakers reflect on their experiences adapting to new environments, emphasizing the importance of embracing change and the opportunities it brings for personal growth.

  • Diverse Learning Styles: Geovanny and Ben discuss the importance of recognizing and accommodating diverse learning styles, drawing parallels between teaching philosophy and effective leadership in various contexts.

  • Language and Connection: Ben’s commitment to improving his Spanish language proficiency underscores the power of language in fostering connections and bridging cultural divides, echoing broader themes of inclusivity and understanding in today’s interconnected world.

  • ESL and Cultural Integration: Ben discusses the role of ESL programs in facilitating language acquisition and cultural integration for immigrant communities, highlighting the importance of these initiatives in promoting inclusivity and empowerment.

  • Educational Empowerment: Geovanny and Ben explore the transformative impact of education in empowering individuals to pursue academic and professional opportunities, ultimately contributing to their socio-economic advancement and integration into society.

Episode 5 Quotes

On national parks and the outdoors: “It’s a big part of my balance of being able to be in the city, being able to get out of it…Exploring national parks and outdoor spaces has been transformative for me. Whether it’s hiking through lush forests, camping under starlit skies, or simply immersing myself in the beauty of nature, I find solace and rejuvenation in the great outdoors.”- [0:25:36]

On language learning: “I’m the eternal Spanish student…I’ve taken so many years of Spanish, but I can write and read fairly well; speaking it is where I struggle. I’m more of a visual learner, which also applies to my teaching style—I tend to provide more visual reinforcements because I’m not much of an auditory learner.” – [0:35:15]

On adjusting to city life: “I did kind of have a headache the first year I lived in Chicago…I grew up walking in a field that stretched 80 miles, so it definitely took some adjusting to give up that personal space. But in exchange, I had all the culture, job opportunities, and social opportunities that cities offer.” – [0:25:01]

On using one’s skills to assist refugees: “There’s a lot [of need] right now. …my experience makes me qualified for [using] ESL to actually help them with language acquisition and cultural orientation. But there’s so much, everything from working the food banks and the clothing drives, winter’s coming on, so that’s a big thing.” – [0:32:42]


Language acquisition, ESL programs, Cultural orientation, Refugee support, Volunteer work, Nonprofit organizations, Community engagement, Diversity, Education, Outdoor activities, National parks, Language learning, Teaching methods, Multiculturalism, Personal experiences

Campus Connections – Episode 5

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