Why American Studies?

Tara Heffernan, Class of 2009

American Studies Field Award Recipient
College Honors Fellow
Thesis:  "American Teen: Finding Her Place Among the Words"

 "I knew I was interested in studying something in the liberal arts, but couldn't narrow down exactly what I wanted to do.  Then I found out I didn't have to.  American Studies offered me a wonderful interdisciplinary course of study.  Learning about a wide variety subjects related to American culture, I had the opportunity to engage in research, internships, and thesis writing.  I began to look at and understand American society through the lens of history, English, politics, and even art.  The knowledge I acquired and the faculty support I had along the way makes me confident that I made the right decisions in choosing American Studies."

Tara is currently Assistant Director of Admissions at Siena College.  While a student at Siena, Tara completed internships at the Shaker Heritage Society and the Nantucket Historical Association, studied in Ireland, and served as  President of the History Club, and Captain of the Women's Cross Country Team.


Tim Hannigan, Class of 2008

American Studies Field Award Recipient
Thesis: “’You Have the Right’: Miranda v. Arizona: The Case that Revolutionized Criminal Law in America.”  

"As an American Studies major, I have had the opportunity to pursue my aspiration of a career in law.  The dynamic nature of the major has allowed me to develop a unique course schedule comprised of classes in everything from Asian American Literature to Criminal Law, and challenged me to approach my studies from an interdisciplinary perspective.  I had always enjoyed American History and English in high school, and was looking for a major that would allow me to hone my writing, reading, and analytical reasoning skills necessary for success in law school.  I found my courses to be engaging and thought provoking.  I feel that American Studies is a true liberal arts degree because of the three areas that comprise the major, and I had the flexibility to choose the courses that intrigued me most."

  Tim is currently attending the University of Buffalo Law School.  While a student at Siena, Tim served as Captain of the Men's Lacrosse Team and Senior Class President.