Kaitlin Vaselaney (Class of 2017)

  • photo of Kaitlin Vaselaneyjunior Political Science major in the Pre-Law Program
  • minor in History
  • from Chesterland, OH
  • interned for attorney Michael Wager in Cleveland (Summer 2014)
  • involved with various philanthropic activities with her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, where she serves as Social Chair
  • College of Arts and Science Ambassador
During this internship, not only did I get to further myself in the study of politics, but I also got to use the skills I developed as social chair of my sorority, as well as another great love of mine: photography. It was a wonderful experience and a summer I would not trade for anything.


Why Miami?

"I looked at all the public schools in Ohio and decided to give Miami a chance. I remember waking up at 6 am and driving 5 hours through the cornfields to Oxford, soon realizing that there was nowhere else I'd rather be! It reminded me of my hometown of Chesterland, and I loved Miami's overall college atmosphere.

"I love Miami's academic standards, as they really expect you to make something out of yourself during your time here. Every professor I've had has motivated me to work my hardest, and just knowing that they care so much about my success makes me proud to be a Miami student.

"Once I got situated here during my first year and getting used to the distance from home, everything fell into place. I didn't know many people when I first got here, but joining my Gamma Phi Beta sorority helped me make a lot of close friends."

Best Miami Experiences

"Rushing was one of the best decisions I ever made, even though I'd never thought I would join a sorority at first. The rush process can be stressful and long, but once you actually join, it is very rewarding. As the social chair, I'm very involved in my sorority, and philanthropy is a big focus. I love to bake, and for one project last year we made cookies for a homeless shelter in Cincinnati. It felt really fulfilling to combine one of my hobbies with charity work!

"Gamma Phi Beta also helps out with a program called Girls on the Run, which is dedicated to building stronger girls. A chapter of this organization recently opened in Talawanda High School, and we've had a lot of fun doing 5k runs with them and serving as positive role models."

Miami and Liberal Arts Education

enlarged photo of Kaitlin Vaselaney"The liberal arts are there to keep you well-rounded, which is important no matter what field you go into. Reading comprehension is one of the most important skills you can have, and the Miami Plan emphasizes this in all of its classes, even the ones outside my major.

"My political science classes give me the opportunity to debate. I admit that I love to argue! I like the fact that as long as you argue your point well, you can take that skill anywhere. POL 204, for example, is a great building block class that sets you up for the rest of the major.

"What really makes these classes so interesting is how the teachers engage with their students and push them to think in different ways. It's not all just about learning the U.S. Constitution. If you want to be a lawyer, you have to learn how to think a specific way.

"Political science faculty like Bryan Marshall and Brian Danoff have really challenged me to think differently. I've also really enjoyed SOC 121, Introduction to Social Justice Studies, with Lee Harrington."

On the Path to Becoming a Lawyer

"I have always wanted to be a lawyer, so I knew coming to Miami from the start that I wanted to pursue both political science and social justice studies. My plan is to go to law school. I've been inspired to do so by my parents, who are both lawyers. I grew up surrounded by law books and case files!

"In 2014 I did a summer internship for Michael Wager, a lawyer in Cleveland. He was a Democrat vying for a seat in Congress. I worked for his congressional campaign 5 days a week, and it was a wonderful experience. I learned many things firsthand that I would've never been able to learn in a classroom.

"During this internship, not only did I get to further myself in the study of politics, but I also got to use the skills I developed as social chair of my sorority, as well as another great love of mine: photography. It was a wonderful experience and a summer I would not trade for anything."

Advice to Students

"Keep an open mind about the liberal arts. A great number of my friends have to take summer or winter classes because they were too fixated on one major at first, but then they ended up switching majors later.

"My suggestion is to do your Miami Plan first, because it will help you identify your interests in a specific area of study, and it will then let the rest fall into place!"

[March 2016]