Program Administrators

James Farr | Director

James Farr
  • E-mail:
  • Short Bio: James Farr joined the political science department in 2007 and served as Chair from 2008 to 2013. He is currently the Director of the Chicago Field Studies Program, an internship-and-seminar experience for undergraduates investigating the modern workplace and civic engagement.
    James's full bio

Karen Allen | Associate Director

Karen Allen
  • Phone: 847-467-0549
  • Office Location: 1813 Hinman Ave, Room 203
  • E-mail:
  • Short Bio: Karen manages the CFS program. She advises students to help them land meaningful internships, where they build skills, gain experience and expand their connections. Karen engages community stakeholders/employers to help them productively utilize and educate student interns.
    Karen's full bio

Liz McCabe | Lecturer & Adviser

Liz McCabe
  • Short Bio: As a full-time faculty member in CFS, Liz teaches courses, advises students, coordinates instructor collaboration, promotes curriculum development, and builds program relationships across the university. She teaches Field Studies in the Modern Workplace and Field Studies in Humanities, focusing on interdisciplinary approaches to questions about work, education, and cultural institutions. 

Ziva Benarieh | Assistant Director

Ziva Benarieh
  • Phone: 847-467-6256
  • Office Location: 1813 Hinman room 203
  • E-mail:
  • Short Bio: Ziva advises students in the CFS program and builds relationships with employers. She partners with faculty and departments to promote CFS.
    Ziva's full bio

Leigh Michelle Plunkett | Program Assistant 3

Leigh Michelle Plunkett
  • Phone: 847-467-0605
  • Office Location: 1813 Hinman Ave Room 203
  • E-mail:
  • Short Bio: Leigh joined CFS as a permanent staff member after just 4 weeks of temping for the program. Born, raised and educated in Chicago, Leigh graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Creative Writing.
    Leigh's full bio

Bridget O'Connell | Graduate Student Intern

Bridget O'Connell
  • Office Location: 1813 Hinman room 203
  • E-mail:
  • Short Bio: Bridget spent 12 years working in industry as an engineer, marketer, salesperson, and manager.   She recently relocated from Seattle to Chicago to join Northwestern's Master's in Higher Education program, and to get her rambunctious toddler closer to grandparents (aka babysitters).
    Bridget's full bio

Natalie Nowogrodzki | Student Staff

  • Short Bio: Natalie began working for CFS during the summer of 2015 assisting with office operations as well as data analysis and management.
    Natalie's full bio

Claudia Fendian | Student Staff

Claudia Fendian
  • Short Bio: Claudia participated in Chicago Field Studies in Spring of 2016, and joined the CFS team this fall as our student Marketing Associate.
    Claudia's full bio