Zach Brimmer '20 didn't enjoy college at first. Now he never wants to leave... 

One Friday night freshman year, Zach was hanging out with his college friends in his usual college spot and decided he would transfer from Siena. Community college, he thought, might make more sense. At that point, his "college friends" were his parents, and he his hang out spot was the family living room. No offense to his parents, but it was not the college experience teenagers dream of...

Zach had decided out of high school that he would commute to campus 25 minutes from his home in Poestenkill, NY to cut down on student loans. The problem - he was going to class, and going home. And going to class, and going home. On that Friday night three years ago, he was watching his classmates, via social media, live the campus life he was missing. Perhaps community college made more sense? But before he could transfer, he walked by a flyer for the Commuter Student Association.

Eventually, Zach would become president of the CSA. He immersed himself in the Siena experience and he fell in love with the College and the college life. He's pursuing a career in higher education, and hopes to one day be a college president. Plus, he's helping Student Activities develop a mentorship program for commuters.

Zach's younger sister, Alyssa Brimmer '21, heard her brother's pitch for saving money, and then moved into a residence hall her freshman year. As Zach says, "I like to save my money, and my sister certainly doesn't mind spending hers!" The Brimmer siblings spend a lot of their time on campus together: dinner in the dining hall, study sessions in the library, and they were orientation leaders together last fall. And as far as Alyssa's student loans, Zach says he could have paid them off he had a dollar for every time someone asked, "You're a commuter, I thought you lived here?!"

Zach did live on campus, for about two months. He decided to spend his final semester senior year as a resident (shout out to townhouse 25!), but of course, his time on campus was cut short. Still, Zach's not going anywhere. He'll begin working on the Siena MBA in two weeks.  

"All the way up to almost junior year I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. My dad always tells me how important it is to find a job that I love because I'll spend so much time working, and if you hate your job then, you won't like going to work every day. I thought about this long and hard. One thing I enjoy is making people happy and leaving a positive impact on their lives. Another thing I enjoy is college. So why not use this passion and work in higher education and impact the lives of college students to make sure they get the best four years possible."

Zach Brimmer '20

Zach is helping Student Activities launch the Commuter Transition Program this fall. The program will act as a bridge to assist first year commuter students in their transition from high school to life at Siena. The program will connect new commuter students with a group of well established Siena students who will introduce them to important resources across the College. Support and guidance are offered during orientation, but this will be a year-long mentorship opportunity. 


"If you told me four years ago when I was going from class to home, that I would be doing Mr. Siena, be the president of the Commuter Student Association, sit on various committees around campus and many other things, I would have said you were crazy. It is because of those that helped me along this journey that I was able to break out of my shell and get involved. I'm excited to take this passion to help others in the same position I was in."