Student Spotlight

Current and former students describe how they came to choose Miami, life as a Miami student, the value of a liberal arts education, their study abroad experiences and internships, and more.

Kate Hanley

photo of Kate Hanley(Class of 2018)

One of the best things about my East Asian Languages and Cultures major is that it's made up of many different concepts. It's not just language, art, history, cultures and so on — it's more than the sum of its parts.

Read what Kae had to say about her involvement in campus organizations and her study abroad trip to China.

Spencer Aitken

photo of Spencer Aitken(Class of 2017)

The biggest aspect of the liberal arts that I've wholeheartedly embraced is moving towards the 'well-rounded individual' approach. They provide the skills you need to adapt. English majors, for example, learn more than just Shakespeare — they learn how to analyze texts. And in history, you learn the skills of analyzing data, recognizing trends, and expressing them in a coherent way that may sway the outcome of a business deal or partnership.

Read what Spencer had to say about his 4 majors and his extracurricular activities.

Olivia Vandervoort

photo of Olivia Vandervoort(Class of 2017)

I've taken part in a number of student groups. During my freshman year I became a senator for Associated Student Government (ASG), which led to a greater leadership role as President Pro-Tempore. This year I'm a member of ASG's Executive Cabinet as Chief of Staff, where I've been helping out our current president, Maggie Reilly. It's the most senior leadership position I've had at Miami, and it has allowed me to work occasionally with Dr. Gregory Crawford, the new university president.

Read what Olivia had to say about her leadership roles and study abroad experience.

Kaylie Schunk

photo of Kaylie Schunk(Class of 2018)

Developing critical thinking and analysis skills is truly what employers want, and they make you a more dynamic individual. I think that the liberal arts encourage us to learn broadly as we expand these skills. They incorporate not only sciences like chemistry and microbiology, which focus on what happens in nature and the universe, but also subjects like history and political science, where we learn about people.

Read what Kaylie had to say about her research on the Miami Tribe and early American Republic.

Heather Burich

photo of Heather Burich(Class of 2019)

A liberal arts education teaches you how to write well, which I believe is a skill that is often overlooked, especially in the professional world. Miami's big emphasis on the liberal arts helps create a holistic sense of all careers or fields you may wish to enter, including making key connections between different ones, like mechanical engineering and history, which may not be clear at first.

Read what Heather had to say about her research focused on visual representation of mental illness in art.

Daniel McClurkin

photo of Daniel McClurkin(Class of 2017)

The liberal arts work off of the primary assumption that there is no such thing as non-interdisciplinary approaches to problems; there is no job that does not deal with multiple fields. For example, when I worked in an Oxford retirement community, it was not just about applying what I knew from gerontology lectures, but it was also about understanding and practicing communicative skills in order to sincerely engage with the residents in such a way that they didn't feel they were being talked down to or disrespected.

Read what Daniel had to say about his ethnographic fieldwork and extracurricular creative arts activities.

Keiko Wilkins

photo of Keiko Wilkins(Class of 2017)

At Miami there are unique events every day. Being able to learn something completely new each time is very valuable. Since I am interested in so many different topics, I try to go to as many events as I can to learn something new. Miami offers many experiences where I can branch out, meet new people, and keep learning!

Read what Keiko had to say about her research interests and leadership roles.

Zaheer Choudhury

photo of Zaheer Choudhury(Class of 2018)

I think the faculty are what I like best about Miami. I remember during orientation first semester, when I needed to find another course to fill up my schedule. I saw a global health class, GHS 101, and thought it might be cool, so I signed up. Taught by Cameron Hay-Rollins, it was a class for a minor that most people don't take until their third year. I really enjoyed the subject matter. It gave me a sort of passion for what I really want to do in the future, and I felt a greater drive to get through university and arrive at a point in my life when I can positively affect a lot of people and do something bigger than myself!

Read what Zaheer had to say about his involvement in student organizations, as well as his major and minors.

Jacob Bruggeman

photo of Jacob Bruggeman(Class of 2019)

There is no substitute for a liberal arts curriculum. Sometimes there are hoops to jump through, such as the Miami Plan, but you would be hard-pressed to find a CAS major that isn't represented by well-rounded, developed people in terms of their interests and worldly perspectives. Part of that is being able to understand others' points of view, to develop this ability for empathy.

Read what Jacob had to say about his numerous extracurricular activities and recent study abroad in Italy.

Amira Beasley

photo of Amira Beasley(Class of 2016)

My two majors are Latin American Studies and International Studies, and they’re both so interdisciplinary that I feel they’re laying out a great foundation for me in almost any line of work I may pursue. Whether I go into government, or a nonprofit, or even the corporate world, I feel that I’ve been given great problem-solving skills, looking at different situations through different lenses.

Read what Amira had to say about her two study abroad experiences and her extracurricular activities.

Hannah Kempf

photo of Hannah Kempf(Class of 2018)

The people that I've met here, both students and faculty, are so passionate about not only what they study, but also about the well-being of the world and making a difference. This is particularly true for the Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science, but it really applies all over campus. Honestly, I cannot recall a single professor that hasn't been a good fit for me, though maybe I'm just lucky!

Read what Hannah had to say about her research and passion for geology.

Emily Williams

photo of Emily Williams(Class of 2018)

I'm somebody who has always been interested in a lot of things, and I think that the liberal arts education that Miami provides is a great chance to explore a lot of different things at once. It gives you more of an open mind and a different perspective. Even though I love all my classes, I feel that nothing can compare to just going out there and doing things myself. My involvement in Pi Sigma Epsilon gets me involved in marketing projects with actual clients. Doing that work has prepared me for the kind of work I'll actually be doing someday in the workplace.

Read what Emily had to say about her study abroad/away trips to Cuba and Oklahoma.

Megan Zahneis

photo of Megan Zahneis(Class of 2019)

When I started at Miami, I was one of 19 first-year students accepted into the University Academic Scholars Program in Writing for the Media, which is facilitated by Dr. [James] Tobin. He taught an introductory course on journalism that was specifically tailored to our group, and it was one of the things that helped me feel engaged with Miami and the community right off the bat. We all got along like a family, all interested in the same field of study, and Dr. Tobin was the one that made that happen!

Read what Megan had to say about her many and varied Miami experiences.

Adelaide Fries

photo of Adelaide Fries(Class of 2017)

Miami has a traditional college feel. I love the scenery, the architecture, the aesthetics. It's the perfect size—big enough to give you networking opportunities, but small enough that there are familiar faces everywhere I go. Oxford has a unique small town character that I have come to appreciate and love.

Read what Adelaide had to say about her study abroad and internship experiences.

Dylan Palo

photo of Dylan Palo(Class of 2017)

[The small class sizes have] given me a great opportunity to get to know my professors. Whenever I have a question, they've been very happy to help me. My professors have been very open to talking about different things, like when there's something related to physics in the news or even music. Establishing these relationships has really helped me in my academics.

Read what Dylan had to say about some of his undergraduate research experiences at Miami.

Alex Calabro

photo of Alex Calabro(Class of 2018)

The accessibility of the professors at Miami is impressive. They really go beyond their traditional duties to help students. How much the faculty is willing to invest in your life outside of the classroom is probably my favorite thing about Miami.

Read what Alex had to say about some of his favorite courses and his internship in Washington, DC.

Jacob Hensh

photo of Jacob Hensh(Class of 2016)

What's really cool is that I can say I've almost become a specialist in this field, thanks to so many phenomenal Miami professors I've had…Whenever you have a professor who can directly tell you, 'This works, or this doesn't work, so do this and get better to succeed,' it's all positive criticism. If I didn't have all that, I know I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Read what Jacob had to say about his study abroad experiences in Estonia and Russia.

Jill Elfers

photo of Jill Elfers(Class of 2016)

[At Miami] we have a lot of choices for study abroad and internships that other people might not have access to, and I've really enjoyed taking advantage of these opportunities. They have given me practical skills that I'll be able to use in the workplace.

Read what Jill had to say about her Over-the-Rhine internship and Winter Term trip to Oman.

Kaitlin Vaselaney

photo of Kaitlin Vaselaney(Class of 2017)

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.

Read what Kaitlin had to say about her internships and philanthropic activities.

Bob Carmichael

photo of Bob Carmichael(Class of 2016)

What I love about Miami is the amount of opportunities available for students, especially for a school of this size…Miami is particularly well known for study abroad…[and] for its commitment to undergraduate teaching, and that is evident in every class I've taken. The professors here are passionate about their subjects, and often their research is even more impressive than the topics they teach in class!

Read what Bob had to say about his study abroad experiences and his Inside Washington experience.