Four CLAS Graduates Reflect on a Meaningful College Career

As College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates prepare to accept their diplomas, we celebrate not only their academic achievement, but also their commitment to community engagement. All our students co-create their education, working closely with faculty to produce meaningful work both within and outside of the classroom. Four of our graduating students share why these factors made their time at Woodbury meaningful.

Ridwan Mahbub, Political Science major 

“What made my time at Woodbury University so special was the circumstances surrounding it. I did my first year by connecting online from Bangladesh. From that experience, I got to become the music club president, and I got to meet some of the best friends I’ll ever have. Woodbury was a journey that I’m glad I went on and, as it comes to an end, I cannot help but reminisce. While a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I have been under the wing of some of the best faculty members you can ask for while doing a political science degree. With special credit to Professor Eric Schockman and Professor Douglas Cremer, I have been able to hone my skills to a great level. That experience helped me land an internship at The Borgen Project, which is a non-profit organization working to ensure more of the federal budget is allocated towards fighting global poverty. [I applied the knowledge gained at my internship to] my senior project where I focus on equality and discrimination. As for the future, I plan to work for humanitarian organizations, doing good for those who need it most.”

Jaclyn Navar, Interdisciplinary Studies major 

“My experience as a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is something that I will never get anywhere else. With my Interdisciplinary Studies major, I was able to do whatever I wanted to follow my passion and ensure my academic career advancement. I went to my first conference and presented twice on the topics I deeply value. One of my favorite classes is MORIA Literary Magazine and I had the opportunity to serve as the editor-in-chief for spring 2024. I also had the opportunity to host Verse Come, Verse Serve. It is extremely hard to name just one faculty or staff member who inspired me because they are all amazing and helped me in many ways. I will say that without my friends, I wouldn’t be able to make it. Also, coffee trips to Ballers were the best way to save me while working on my two thesis projects.”

Michael Sarancik, Computer Science in Data Analytics major 

“I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Data Analytics with a minor in Applied Computer Science. My proudest accomplishment here at Woodbury was getting onto the Dean’s list (which means maintaining a 3.5+ GPA) every semester for my entire time here. My future goal is to reach a senior data analyst position that is completely remote so I can work in the field I’m passionate about while in the comfort of my home. My favorite professor at Woodbury was also the chair of the CSDA program, Dr. Sam [Dr. Sam Sambasivam]. He taught me everything I know today, and I am grateful that he cares so much for his students so that they may get the best education possible.”

Maria Galina, Political Science major 

“During my time at Woodbury University, I served as vice president for one year and president for one year of the UNA Woodbury chapter. After completing my degree, I started collaborating with some of the faculty on a multimedia multisensory stimulation research project at the Motion Picture and Television Fund and was able to provide internships for current students. Thanks to the support and endless encouragement from my professors Dr. Schockman and Dr. Cremer, I have been accepted to Pepperdine School of Law. I am incredibly grateful to Woodbury University for giving me the opportunity to grow and learn.”

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