Multicultural Studies Working Group

  • Dr. Marcela Garces
    "Personal Identity: Creatively Explaining Oneself"

    Wednesday November 14
    Bernardine Room

    original paper


Contact Information

 Dr. Lisa Nevárez, director 
      Office: Kiernan Hall 226
      Phone: (518) 782-6878



Testimonials from current students, alumni, and faculty:
Matt Grimes, Spanish Education major, Multicultural Studies minor, Class of 2012:
“I have always been fascinated with the different cultures of the world. I grew up in a very diverse neighborhood which helped me to embrace the idea of multiculturalism from a young age, and that remains with me today. The Multicultural Studies minor allows me to explore my interests in the field even more. I'm able to learn more about the very same cultures I grew up around while broadening my knowledge to an array of different cultures around the world. I think that the minor is a great compliment for any field of study, especially in today's world…. I hope to do a lot of traveling abroad after Siena and spending time within other cultures. The Multicultural Studies minor is helping prepare me for that.”
Brittany Weiss, Spanish major, Multicultural Studies minor, Class of 2011:
“I believe that this minor will help me in the future because I have learned how to study and learn about other groups of people. Whether studying Islam with Dr. Fareed Munir or Native American Studies with Prof. Bob Rivas, I have taken away numerous lessons about how to interact with different groups of people and how to best appreciate their lessons and values. It is incredibly important, I believe, for American students to study more about multicultural history and contemporary issues.” 
Martha Kelly, English major, Multicultural Studies minor, Class of 2010:
”I studied abroad [in Ireland] in my junior year, so since then learning about different cultures always interested me. The Multicultural Studies minor is a great way to really go outside the box and learn things that you would otherwise know nothing about. It is fun that way.”
Kristopher Goodrich, Psychology major, Multicultural Studies minor, Class of 2003:

The Multicultural Studies minor has helped tremendously. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at the University of New Mexico, and teach the Multicultural/Diversity course in counseling (as well as infuse it in all my other courses).  The lessons I learned, both through the courses and experiential activities we took part in, prepared me in numerous ways for my graduate education, as well as my future life's work.  Additionally, I have been able to borrow (or steal) many of the pedagogical techniques that I experienced in minor for my own courses, which has proven instrumental to my success as a college professor.  I have been able to reach students in ways I would not have been able without my education at Siena, and in this minor.
Dr. Carla Sofka, Associate Professor of Social Work:
“In addition to being introduced by my students to new songs about grief and death that get added to my iPod each semester, the learning partnerships that I form with my students during "Exploring Death: The Final Taboo" (SWRK 466/MULT 300) are the best fringe benefit of teaching this course.  While sharing everything that I've learned about thanatology issues across cultures over the years, it's a joy to gain new insight and to be challenged by the interactions with my students who remind me every day that I'll be learning new and fascinating things about this complex topic until the day that I die. Although there are a lot of serious moments in class, we also find ways to lighten things up. And the field trips "are to die for"!” 
Dr. Paul Murray, Professor of Sociology:
“It has been deeply gratifying to see my students expanding their knowledge and interest in the Civil Rights Movement (MULT 314/SOCI 385, “Civil Rights Era”).  I hear from former students on a regular basis, passing along information relevant to the course.  Most recently I heard from Casey Freeman (class of 2009) who wrote, `It was certainly my favorite course at Siena and hopefully in 2011 after I finish my Master's and have my own Social Studies classroom, I will be able to implement some of your classroom teaching techniques and share the knowledge I gained from you.  I have such respect for that period in history because of your insight.’”