Student Spotlight

Current and former students talk about the American Studies program at Miami University.

Catherine Mazanek

(Class of 2017)

photo of Catherine MazanekSince that first AMS 180 class, I have found my focus in American Studies in how American culture intersects with environmental issues. Dr. Peggy Shaffer mentored me through my experience as an Altman Undergraduate Fellow through the Humanities Center for the 2014-2015 school year. We focused on the topic The Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which humans are becoming a force of nature.


Read what Catherine had to say about her research and involvement with Miami's Institute for Food.


Ray Gilbert

(Class of 2016)

photo of Ray GilbertMy two internships at Sports Technologies and NBC have allowed me to work for both a small start-up and a huge corporation. I feel motivated to start with a big company when I go into the workforce, but eventually I'd like to start my own small company and work with multiple departments.


Read what Ray had to say about his summer internships in Connecticut and Chicago.


James Rohaley

(Class of 2015)

photo of James RohaleyI took my first American studies (AMS) class with Professor Andrew Busch and knew I wanted to continue with that subject as well as marketing, so I decided to merge both of them together as my minor and major respectively. After that I never really looked back—and I've loved every second of it.


Read what James had to say about integrating his AMS minor with a Marketing major.


Carly Kimiecik

(Class of 2015)

photo of Carly KimiecikAmerican studies has sparked my interests in the cultural aspects of health, and it's helped me gain a lot of analytical skills. We have to read really dense articles sometimes and develop our writing. Health Promotion majors don't focus so much on writing, so this is why American studies is great for me. It's very open and interdisciplinary, and we do a lot of different presentations in my classes.


Read what Carly had to say about her research and study abroad experiences.


Olivia Harrison

(Class of 2015)

photo of Olivia HarrisonI feel completely at home with the American Studies Program. It feels small and intimate … It feels great that the faculty know me, even outside of the classroom, so I can stop by during office hours and chat about all sorts of things.


Read what Olivia had to say about her internships and American Studies research.


Casey Smitson

(Class of 2014)

photo of Casey SmitsonThe dynamic nature of American Studies classes makes them truly exciting … I look forward to going to these classes because I know that they will be both challenging and relevant.


Read what Casey had to say about her American Studies major and German minor.


Chris Mayer

(Class of 2013)

photo of Chris MayerNot only do I have the academic freedom to study whichever aspects of American culture I want, I have many internship and research opportunities. The American Studies faculty is full of knowledgeable, and enthusiastic professors. Every American Studies class I have taken has always been both engaging and impactful.


Read what Chris had to say about choosing the American Studies major and developing his own concentration.


Samantha Chyette

(Class of 2012)

photo of Samantha ChyetteAmerican Studies provided a context for understanding the meaning and significance behind things that I studied in high school or heard about in the news, but really did not fully appreciate. That's when things started to 'click' and I knew that I had to take more courses.


Read what Samantha had to say about AMS faculty and her double major.


Jennifer Sandel

(Class of 2011)

photo of Jennifer SandelAmerican Studies also provided me with wonderful professors. The excitement I have for my courses is largely due to the enthusiasm with which every AMS professor teaches. Each of my professors has pushed me to be creative—in my opinion the most important quality any individual, but especially a marketing professional, can have.


Read what Jennifer had to say about the AMS program, her London internship, and her career.


Seth Seward

(Class of 2011)

photo of Seth SewardWith a degree in American Studies, I hope to venture into the field of politics. I feel that what I learn in American Studies will help me to understand the U.S. culture as a whole.


Read what Seth had to say about his AMS major and Washington, DC, experiences.


Christina Kazanjian

(Class of 2011)

photo of Christina KazanjianBecause journalism majors need to have a second major, I also declared American studies. What I love about American studies is the diversity within the major that allows you to choose from 4 [now 5] different tracks. And, if those don't seem interesting enough, you can self-design a concentration.


Read what Christina had to say about  her internships.


Meghan Moore

(Class of 2012)

photo of Meghan MooreThe analytical skills I have developed within American Studies help me to excel in all my classes. Beyond that, the program prepares and inspires me to be an engaged and responsible citizen. When I graduate I will be prepared for a career.


Read what Meghan had to say the strengths of the AMS program and her Wilks Scholar experience.


Tony Arnold

(Class of 2005)

photo of Tony ArnoldAs a young journalist, I am appreciating how the American Studies program has shaped so much of how I write, conduct interviews, and edit stories. The training has really helped me to think on my toes and pursue more of the underlying themes of the stories.


Read what Tony had to say about how the AMS program has led to his success as a reporter with Chicago Public Radio.


Shauna Hanley

(Class of 2003)

photo of Shauna HanleyThe American Studies program at Miami offered a number of opportunities for guided academic research. By taking advantage of these enriching pursuits, I am equipped to think independently, to engage with perplexing problems, and to draw my own conclusions from all available evidence.


Read what Shauna had to say about the American Studies program and her life after Miami.