Class of 2015
Why did you choose Siena College?
When I came to Siena for the first time, I immediately fell in love with the campus. After I went on a tour and stayed with a student over night I not only knew it was the right school for me, but gained confidence in my decision to spend the next four years there as a student. Siena welcomed me with open arms at the accepted students day, which was an opportunity for my parents to see I had truly made the right decision as well - we all know how important that is! I will never forget when I first arrived for move in day freshman year and was approached by one of the admissions staff who helped unload my car and called me by name without having to introduce myself. Immediately Siena felt like home to me...and I never looked back!
Why social work?
To make money of course! Had to say that, because that is something people often say to me when they ask why I do what I do. I actually came to Siena hoping to one day pursue a career in medicine and found that social work was a better fit for me. I was first introduced to social work on a service trip I took to Jamaica freshman year with the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy. On this trip were many students enrolled in the social work program at Siena College. This trip reinforced my thirst to serve others and gave me an opportunity to learn from my peers about the opportunities I could have should I pursue a career in social work. Immediately after our return, I submitted an application to the social work program and am forever grateful for the faculty who supported my goals as well as challenged me to pursue opportunities that were at times outside my comfort zone. At the time I had no clue where these experiences would take me, but I could not be any happier to be where I am today. My social work professors are who I consider to be my "mentors for life" and I am forever grateful to Siena for giving me that.
What was your most meaningful experience at Siena?
One of my most beloved professors, Donna McIntosh, once told my class to "get off the sidelines and make change in the world" - this is something I will never forget. I remember thinking long and hard about this and brainstorming ways to do this as a 20 year old college student. At that time, I thought I would have to "sit on the sidelines" until I graduated and went on to get my first job in social work. I was proven wrong when I heard about an organization whose mission is to end world hunger by 2030. This organization, known as FeelGood, involves the sale of grilled cheese sandwiches to college students on a regular basis, with all proceeds donated to organizations with a proven track record of sustainable hunger-eradication efforts. After hearing about this inspiring movement, I immediately developed a vision to start a chapter at Siena College. During my Junior year, I went through the extensive but rewarding process to get this up and running on campus. Over a span of six months, our chapter raised over $1,500 towards ending world hunger. It was amazing to see how the simple act of making grilled cheese and engaging in hunger-related conversations with students and faculty generated so much money and awareness for our club. Much thanks to Donna McIntosh, FeelGood and Siena College for giving me a platform to challenge myself in this way and gain this type of experience as a student!
What is your current position?
I am currently the Capital Region Program Manager at the Alzheimer's Association located in Albany, NY. I am responsible for providing care and support to those affected by Alzheimer's Disease as well as delivering educational programs and training's to both community members and health care professionals in Albany and Schenectady Counties. Our annual "Walk to End Alzheimer's" will be held this year on September 24th at Siena College! Looking forward to getting back to Siena for our largest fundraising event!
In what ways did Siena prepare you for life and work after college?
In addition to working for the Alzheimer's Association, I am enrolled as a graduate student at Sage College of Albany pursing a masters degree in Health Services Administration. Siena prepared me for this big commitment and helped me gain the confidence I needed to continue my studies in graduate school. Thank you, Siena for truly giving me the "education for a lifetime" that was promised to us by faculty and staff!