Chloie Favinger says the Bonner program – which combines scholarship with community service and leadership training – was a critical component of her DePauw experience and her personal development. “Not only did I get to work with incredible Greencastle community leaders,” Favinger says, “I was also able to participate in winter term in service in Belize, learn about government policy challenges firsthand from a Native American tribe during a service project in New Mexico and work with Sodexho to serve extra food to the local community center. In addition, I made lifelong friends with a passion for serving our communities.”
Favinger earned a degree in economics with a bridged major in religious studies and became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta at DePauw before earning a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University. Her involvement in the Bonner program, professors that challenged her academically, and Greek life are among the DePauw experiences she credits with having an influence on her life and career since graduation, as well as her motivation for volunteering and contributing financially to the university.
Greek life gave me immense leadership, scholarship and social opportunities and was a key reason I chose DePauw.
Favinger works as a management analyst for the International Trade Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. “The liberal arts and Honor Scholar curriculum forced me to go outside my comfort zone and learn about a variety of topics while also learning about connections across disciplines,” she says. “In addition, professors taught me how to analyze topics in new ways, respond to disagreements or differing views with poise and ask critical questions — all of which are critical in my day-to-day work.”
“Greek life gave me immense leadership, scholarship and social opportunities and was a key reason I chose DePauw. The friendships I made continue and helped shape who I am today,” Favinger says. “Through the Theta network, I had the opportunity to meet former Secretary of Commerce Barbara Franklin and hear about her role in developing China trade relations as well as her work to help bring more qualified women into high-level, policy-making government positions during the Nixon administration. After eight years at the Commerce Department, this continues to be one of my top experiences.”
Favinger recently returned to campus for her 10-year class reunion with husband Matt Calby ’09. She serves as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and also has been a class reunion volunteer and annual giving volunteer for DePauw. As a student, Favinger served on the 2007-08 Campus Climate Task Force for Faculty, Staff and Students of Color. She continues to be interested in the topics she researched and reported on and contributes to DePauw’s Inclusive Excellence Initiative. “DePauw gave me so much during my time,” she says, “and I really value the opportunity to pay it forward.”
In addition to marrying a classmate, Favinger says, “DePauw continues to be a huge influence in my personal life. There isn’t a month that goes by without some type of reunion with our DePauw friends. And I love that even in my small agency in D.C., there is a group of people with connections to DePauw who feel that extra bond from going to a small school in the Midwest.”