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Student Profile:
Miranda Luft ‘18

Why did you choose Siena College?

As soon as I walked onto campus I knew this was where I wanted to be for the next four years. My cousin’s wife played basketball here a few years ago and she always has spoken very highly of Siena and the sense of community that comes along with it. My interview for the Academic Community Engagement Center’s Bonner program and the sense of community influenced my choice of coming to Siena.

Why Sociology?

When I visited Siena I had the opportunity to sit in on a sociology class and I really enjoyed it. The faculty in the Sociology Department are phenomenal. I also am pursuing a certificate in Community Development and a minor in International Studies. I also hope to incorporate either an economics minor or economics double major into my academics when I return from studying abroad in the fall.

How have your academic interests complimented your interests in service?

I serve at Green Tech High Charter School for Boys and I serve in the College Access Suite. I firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a college education if they want to. In this role I assist students throughout the college process and I also co-coordinate the Teen Corps Program with Evan Lally ’17 which is at both Green Tech and Albany Leadership High School. The program allows the seniors to engage in a year of service where they are enrolled in a Siena College internship. The students get to interact with various community partners and gain hands-on experience at their Sites. The students also are required to attend weekly meetings where we engage in training exercises surrounding professional development, personal growth, college, and current events.

Why did you become involved with the Bonner program?

The Bonner program and the Academic Community Engagement Center here at Siena are amazing. The students and faculty involved in the numerous programs within ACE have created a second family for me here at Siena. Many of my friendships I have made through Bonner and the ACE Center are going to last a lifetime.

There is something for everyone in the ACE Center, business students, science students, athletes, liberal arts students, or people who are interested in internships.You will gain hands on experience and so much opportunity regardless of the program you choose.

How has your time studying abroad influenced your Siena experience?

Studying abroad in Cameroon has definitely been a highlight for my Siena experience. I was not planning on studying abroad, however, in late October an opportunity presented itself and I went for it. If it was not for April Backus and Greg Jabaut I would not be in Cameroon right now. Many of the friendships and connections I have been fortunate to make during this experience are a high point for me during my Siena experience.

Through my program with SIT Cameroon: Social Change and Development, I have been able to look at development through an international lens. We have also been able to visit with UN organizations, the World Bank, and multiple local NGO’s. It also has been nice to take some of my sociology classes abroad and in the field. Currently I am in the process of conducting an independent studies project where I am looking at the economics, policies, and realities surrounding food access and sovereignty in Cameroon.

Miranda Luft ‘18

Miranda Luft

Class of 2018

Sociology Major

Avon, NY