Ozanam Scholarship

The recipients of the Ozanam Scholarship are men and women who have shown their commitment to leading lives of service inspired by St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Frederic Ozanam. To be eligible for an Ozanam Scholarship, applicants must be actively engaged in the work of the Vincentian community as a former Vincentian Volunteer or similar role and be enrolled or accepted in a graduate or professional degree program at DePaul. Applicants must submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a narrative describing their commitment to justice and service in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Frederic Ozanam. Once accepted to the program, scholars must commit to eight weekly hours of service work to the wider Chicago community.

Ozanam scholarships are available on a “one-in, one-out” basis. The “one-in, one-out” basis allows time for current scholarship recipients to complete their degree and upon completion of their degree our office fields a search process to designate an incoming scholar(s). Due to this condition, the Office of Mission and Values will not conduct a search process for candidates until Spring 2016 to offer awards for the 2016-2017 academic year. You are welcome to contact the Scholarship Coordinator, Jennah Dunham (jdunham@depaul.edu), to request information and learn more about the scholarship program.


Anna Mayer

M.N.M in Nonprofit Management, School of Public Service

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Psychology and Sociology, I moved to Chicago for the Amate House program, the young adult volunteer program of the Archdiocese of Chicago. During my year with Amate House, I worked full time at Taller de José, a non-profit in the Little Village neighborhood, and lived in intentional community with 7 other volunteers, focusing the values of stewardship, faith, social justice, and service. Taller de José is a community resource center that offers services of accompaniment to a predominantly Latino immigrant community; it is a sponsored ministry of the sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph. After completing my year of service through Amate House, I was hired to work full time at Taller de José, where I continue to work today as the Program Director. I began the Masters in Nonprofit Management degree program in the School of Public Service to develop the skills to enable me to serve as a more effective leader at Taller de José. I am thrilled to be surrounded by other experienced nonprofit professionals who are passionate about social justice issues, and I am honored to have the opportunity to study at DePaul University because of its strong Vincentian roots and spirituality. I hope that my studies will prepare me to live out those values in service to others.


Kelli Nelson

M.N.M in Nonprofit Management, School of Public Service

I find it wonderful to be back at DePaul where the spirit of service and social justice first rang deep within me. Service immersion trips, VIA, the Vagina Monologues, and life in the Vincent and Louise House accompanied my studies and provided me the opportunity to be transformed by others through relationship and intentionality. Upon graduating I moved to Peru with the Incarnate Word Missionaries program where I lived in community and worked at a women’s center accompanying women and children affected by prostitution and human trafficking. Resilience and strength are two words that come to mind when I think about the families I am honored to know from my time there. They are some of the faces of the seeds that fuel my mission today. Since living in Peru, I have continued working with women and youth experiencing the violence of poverty, unhealthy relationships, inaccessible education and employment. As an Ozanam scholar, I have had the privilege to serve a few hours a week at Blue Sky Bakery & Café, a social enterprise that provides paid employment training for homeless and at-risk youth. Beautiful mission and delicious treats! I am also working full-time at Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise of New Moms Inc., coaching and supporting young moms gaining valuable work experience making soy candles and bath products. Through these experiences and my current M.N.M. studies, I hope to support the formation of more social enterprises that will transform individuals and communities around the world.


Krista Peterson

M.A. in Human Computer Interaction

I came to Chicago as part of Amate House, where my curiosity and desire for adventure lead me to become a full time volunteer. I had left the places I felt most at home in the world: Columbus, Ohio where I completed my BFA degree in advertising design and western Pennsylvania, where I grew up. My interest in a degree in Human Computer Interaction at DePaul is a result of teaching computer technology to my students at St. Agnes, my job placement as part of Amate House. It didn't take more than one class to realize that even our most advanced technology wasn't designed for students who learned two languages at once. It wasn't made for tiny five-year-old fingers, it didn't make typing papers intuitive, and it certainly didn't grab their attention or entice a desire for learning. I wanted my students to see that they could use computer technology to solve complex problems or ask intelligent questions. I wanted to give them power. I would pour over websites, trying to find one I was certain everyone could understand, the bare minimum requirement. I knew then that all my resources, experiences and education weren't enough to address the complex issues that plagued my students. I came to DePaul to pursue those interests, so that I will be able to share that knowledge with those who have the desire to learn, but are without the means. This past year, I have continued my work in Little Village as an Americorps VISTA volunteer, working for a nonprofit after-school program that gives youth discipline and leadership skills through the sport of boxing. It has been a great privilege to get to know so many young people who every day have taught me the value of respect, gratitude, and the importance of family. I chose DePaul because I wanted to serve my new home city with the support of those who understand my deep passion and commitment to helping others in order to better myself.


David Rooney

M.N.M in Nonprofit Management, School of Public Service

Perspective sharpens with age, knowing that everything begins with family. Even after 48 years, my primary identity remains “the youngest brother.” That’s okay with me, because I love my family. I’m grateful that my father worked to put all eight of us through Catholic School. In my view, our education makes all the difference. No surprise then that we all sought careers in service fields. Blessed Frederic reentered my frame of reference in 2006, while serving with the St. Joachim Conference, the local chapter for Society of St. Vincent de Paul -- the organization he founded. My father served in the same Conference forty years earlier, so I recollect some of Frederic’s influence came through to me then. As President of the Conference and member of the Orange (California) Council, the people we served taught us that helping others is a direct path to spiritual growth. The Paulist Fathers and Associates also feed me spiritually. I joined the Associates program in 2002. Over the same years, a best friend and I introduced our city to the American Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life.” We collaborated on the event as a tribute to our families, both directly affected by cancer. My prayer is to continue nurturing the grace to give”; to become a better steward of God’s Divine Majesty. DePaul is the next opportunity for grace. The Office of Mission and Values is affording me an opportunity to earn a second degree. This includes a new interest, seeking ways to assist adults living on the autism spectrum. To compliment my studies, you can find me working as a Graduate Intern at the Center for Students with Disabilities.


Cassie Snyder

M.A. in Relational Communication, College of Communication

During my undergraduate career at DePaul, by the power of serendipity and fate, I was drawn into the University Ministry community through the Service Immersion program. After taking service immersion trips to Cranks Creek, KY, San Salvador, El Salvador, and leading a trip to East St. Louis, IL, I realized that I wanted to continue and expand my time as a Vincentian Volunteer. After graduating from DePaul University with degrees in Communication and Media, Spanish and Women & Gender Studies, I was privileged and honored to go on the Vincentian Heritage Tour, and walk in the shoes of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louis de Marillac in and around Paris, France. It became clear to me after this trip that I was not done furthering my education and developing my Vincentian identity. After being accepted into the Relational Communication M.A. program at DePaul University, I decided to dedicate my volunteer hours to help serve those affected by sexual violence and gender based violence through the arts. During my time as an undergraduate student I was heavily involved with The Vagina Monologues (directing and performing), The Women's Center at DePaul, and interning for the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Specialist. These opportunities allowed me to work with survivors of sexual violence, and discover the immense need for more resources and services for survivors of sexual and gender based violence. During my time as an Ozanam Scholar thus far, I have been volunteering with the local non-profit A Long Walk Home Inc. With this organization, I help lead an after-school program for young women in the North Lawndale community on the West side of Chicago, where we discuss how to embrace survivor leadership, healing through the arts, and serving as a mentor in their communities to end sexual and gender based violence. I have also continued my work with the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness at DePaul in coordinating Sexual Assault Awareness Month events (where I will be directing a theater show that will help tell survivor's stories of resilience), and managing a new student group called SLATE (Student Leaders Advocating Together for Empowerment), which aims to raise awareness on issues such as consent, bystander intervention, and how to support a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. Starting this summer, I will also begin volunteering at the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline through the YWCA (Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women). Helping empower and encourage survivors to heal from their past traumas through therapeutic communication and activities in the arts (theater, spoken word poetry, drawing, painting, dancing, etc.) is a passion of mine that I wish to continue past my time as an Ozanam Scholarship recipient. I am so grateful to be able to give back to a population that has been silenced and shamed for too long. Every morning I wake up with the St. Vincent quote "What Must Be Done?" and the St. Louise quote "Dare We Hope?" ringing in my head, and I have vowed to keep answering these questions each and every day in all that I do.



Past Scholars

  • Tanya Batti M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education – Elementary Education, College of Education English as a Second Language Endorsement, College of Education
  • Caitlin Murphy M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning  Secondary Education English, College of Education
  • Lisa Monnot M.N.M in Non-profit Management, School of Public Service

News & Events

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  • Winter DRMA Lecture

    3/11/15
    The Gondi: Family Strategy and Survival in Early Modern France. Lecturer: Dr. Joanna Milstein, 11:30AM - 1:00PM in Room 115 Richardson Library, RSVP bcicirel@depaul.edu
  • Filming through a Vincentian Lens

    3/4/15
    Reception: 5:30 pm Screening and Panel Discussion: 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm CDM Theatre: 247 S. State St. Chicago, IL
  • HEALTH DISPARITIES & SOCIAL JUSTICE CONFERENCE

    2/6/15
    9:30 AM DePaul University’s DePaul Center Keynote Speaker: David Ansell, MD, MPH, Rush University Medical Center
  • Autumn DRMA 2014

    9/23/2014
    Title - Jansenism: Its Key Figures, Themes, and Relevance Today, Speaker: Brian Stayer, Tuesday, September 23, 2014; 11:30 am - 1:00 pm in the Richardson Library, Room 115. Lunch will be served.
  • Sister Helen Prejean Week

    4/21/14
    Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., activist and author of Dead Man Walking, will once again visit DePaul for a week’s worth of programming inspired by her work