Sarah Van Etten '19

Hometown:  Latham, NY

Why Siena? "I chose Siena because of the community and environment. I felt at home when I was touring the campus. When looking at schools, I wanted smaller class sizes, close relationships with my professors and other students and a feeling of a community on campus. I could tell that Siena was going to offer all of these to me as well as many other great opportunities. "

Why Mathematics? "I decided to study mathematics because I have always had a passion for math. I love problem solving and working hard to come to a correct solution. I like the way that math forces you to think and use many different methods to come to that solution. I had always been interested in math and I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school, so I decided pursuing my passion in math would help set me down the path to become a math teacher in my future."

What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena? "I don’t have one specific memory or experience at Siena that was the most meaningful. I think the overall feeling that I got while student at Siena for 4 years is what will stay with me forever. The way that the faculty cares about you, challenges you and wants you to be successful is amazing. Even when I was struggling on very complex problems, I always knew that my professors believed in me and had confidence that I would get to the answer. I always felt at home with the math department professors and I knew that I would be successful with them pushing me each day."

Where have you gone since graduating from Siena? "I accepted a full-time teaching position at Shaker Middle School teaching 7th and 8th grade math. I love having the opportunity each and every day to help students work through math problems and give them confidence in their math skills. Also, I am currently working towards my master’s degree from UAlbany in Curriculum Development and Instructional Design."


Hometown:  Fairport, NY

Why Siena? "I selected Siena because when I first toured I felt at home. The students seemed happy to be here and there seemed to be many support systems for its students."

Why Mathematics? "I chose math, knowing I wanted to go to law school (where I ended up!) Math gave me a great background of systematic logical thinking, which is a foundation of our legal system. A majority of upper level math is about applying theorems to a problem, while law is applying a law or statute to a fact pattern. While the two fields seem very unrelated, math prepared me very well for my LSAT and law school. During my adviser meeting on my first day of law school the first question my adviser asked my orientation groups is if anyone was a math major!"

What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena? "My most meaningful experience at Siena was not one specific moment but the relationships I built and the experience I had with these people. These relationships are between not only students but also the Siena faculty and administration. These people were there for me through it all (the good and the bad)."

Where have you gone since graduating from Siena? Allison is currently in Law School at the University of Albany. She is looking forward to becoming a lawyer in the near future.


Hometown: Clinton, NY

Why Siena? "I loved the family community that I saw at Siena among the students and faculty. Personally, I was raised in a small town and had a religious upbringing, so the average class size of 22 and the Franciscan Tradition really intrigued me! The Tech Valley STEM Scholarship also jumped out as a chance to better explore career opportunities in Mathematics. Every time I visited Siena I had the gut feeling that this was the place I was meant to be and four years later I can say that I am so blessed to have followed that instinct."

Why Mathematics? "Prior to my high school graduation I had a love for math and knew that I wanted to pursue further study in that area. I thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes, but I had this desire to really understand mathematics. Since coming to Siena, I have been exposed to many different types of mathematics that I did not even know existed beforehand! The Mathematics Department at Siena goes above and beyond their job descriptions to care about each student as an individual, give advice about future study, and involve any willing student in research."

What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena? "The most meaningful experience I have had at Siena is my involvement as a Resident Assistant for the past three years. This role has shaped me tremendously as it requires me to be a creative programmer, an outgoing student, an expert time manager, a conduct enforcer, a peer mentor, and most of all a role model. This position has been extremely rewarding as I get to watch those I welcomed as freshmen students find their niche and thrive as student leaders on campus and also have the experience of working with my fellow seniors with programs to prepare for life beyond Siena."

Where have you gone since graduating from Siena? Maureen is currently a Teacher Assistant at Syracuse University. She is looking forward to becoming a college mathematics professor in the future.


Hometown: Troy, NY

Why Siena? "Siena has a community environment, and the personal relationships formed with faculty, staff and other students made learning far easier. Every college student should experience an education like the one I had at Siena."

Why Mathematics? "I majored in Mathematics and Computer Science. Both departments were filled with intelligent, compassionate individuals. The access to professors was fantastic and each professor took an interest in the students. The material presented could always be entirely understood with all the resources and professors available."

What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena? "The entire experience was personally beneficial and I reflect upon my time at Siena fondly. I remember Dr. Bannon getting pizza with the students in Modern Algebra late one night. That is a great example of the student and professor bonds that form at Siena."

Where have you gone since graduating from Siena? "After leaving Siena, I attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. There I earned an MS degree in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematics. After defending my doctoral thesis I remain employed at RPI as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow."





Emily Casey (2014) and Francesca Romano (2014) began graduate programs in Mathematics in the fall of 2014.

Maureen Jeffery (2013) is completing a PhD in Mathematics at Syracuse University.

Lindsay Kulzer (2012) is completing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University at Albany.

Joseph D’Avanzo (2011) completed an MA in Nanoscale Engineering at SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Lauren Peloso (2011) is completing a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Colorado Denver.

Nicholas Noblett (2010) works for Apple and plans to go back to school for a degree in Human Resources Management.

Andrew Warner (2008) completed a Ph.D. in Mathematics at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.

Ryan Decker (2008) is a systems and network administrator at Siena College.

Matthew Farrelly (2008) is an engineer at Knolls Atomic Power Labs and currently finishing a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Union College.

Alumni Night 2019 Participants

Left-to-right: Garrett Allen, Lindsay Kulzer, Francesca Romano, Michael O'Connell, Salvatore Baisley