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Student Profile:
April Backus ‘12- Alum Profile

Why did you choose Siena College?

​My high school cheerleading coach told me that she thought it would be a great place for me since her three children studied there and really enjoyed their experiences. When I visited campus, I absolutely fell in love and felt right at home. Everyone I met was welcoming and the small town feeling was something I couldn’t resist!

Why Sociology?

​I had a strong appreciation for the diversity of the faculty and their fields of study. In sociology I could dive deeper into crime, children and families and volunteerism. The freedom and mentorship I had, as a student in the sociology department, was invaluable.

What was your most meaningful experience at Siena?

​Being a part of the Bonner Service Leaders Program was the most life changing decision I have ever made. Bonner opened my eyes to new perspectives, put my sociology degree to work and made me a part of a National network of people committed to social justice and community engagement. Through this program and within the Sociology Department, I worked alongside Dr. Matthew Johnson who I now have a very strong relationship. Dr. Johnson has helped me find my passion, my career and pushed me to be my best since day one of my Siena experience.

What was your favorite sociology course, and why?

​During my junior year I took a seminar course titled Punishment and Critique. For my research project, I completed over 13 hours of interviews with individuals who were formerly incarcerated and presented my research on a graduate level panel alongside Dr. Suvarna Cherukuri. This was a very empowering moment during my collegiate career.

What is your current job and how did your education at Siena prepare you for it?

​I am the Director of the Bonner Service Leaders Program in the Center for Academic Community Engagement at Siena. All of my experiences and my degree prepared me to engage in the Albany and surrounding communities as a professional and with poise. I learned the soft skills I needed to engage multiple types of audiences and learned to do research which helps me advance the ideals of the program I am directing.

April Backus ‘12- Alum Profile

April Backus

Class of 2012

Sociology Major

West Winfield, N.Y.