Students earn more than a degree at Siena Heights

Founded in 1919, Siena Heights University is a diverse and contemporary learning community that places heavy emphasis on developing essential skills both personally and professionally.

Arthur Gwoszdz ’18 came to Siena Heights from Brazil not knowing a single person. “My first year here I was so welcomed,” says Gwoszdz, a student currently serving as the Student Government President. “They made me feel like I belonged here. Coming to Siena helped me grow in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to if I stayed back home. Coming to a whole different country with a different culture has helped me adapt and be open-minded to different situations and…relate to different people.”

Siena Heights has a long and distinguished history of educating international students. Here are some of its greatest stories of success:

A native of Iran, Jalal Hosseini ’96, played soccer for the Saints while earning an individually designed degree in Political Science. After graduation, he interned with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston where he handled research in immigration law. He has also worked for Harvard University in its School of Public Health and the Department of Global Health and Population.

The youngest concertmaster in the Beijing Opera Company’s history at age 17, Dr. Jacob Chi ’85 of China was a 28-year-old accomplished violinist and composer when he arrived at Siena Heights. He already had immense musical talent, but those things he didn’t have, Siena Heights could undoubtedly provide.

“The value system Siena was trying to teach me I think I has benefited me the most,” says Chi. “Even though today I am a Chinese American, I will say I am an American now. I am an American citizen. I pay taxes. I like what Americans like…You can call yourself middle class, but are you a citizen or not? You (may) have a house, you have two cars, you have all this, [but] it’s what you do that is your identity. That is the most important thing.”

Dr. Chi is currently a professor of music at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he is also the Director of the Pueblo Symphony and the Marquette (Mich.) Symphony.

“It was my lifelong goal to go to the US and attend an educational institution there,” said Bangladesh native and 1983 Siena Heights graduate Iqbal “Iggy” Roshd. “Siena Heights University offered me a partial scholarship. As I reached the Siena Heights campus, I knew I was home, and it has been my second home ever since. It is the most caring community, positive environment and was the perfect place to grow and expand my mind, heart and soul.”

Roshd and his wife currently own more than a dozen Tim Hortons restaurants in the Toronto, Canada, area.

“I have been very fortunate in my personal life and in business,” he said. “Siena Heights University also made a major impact on my life and my success.”

Vietnamese native Ahn Duong graduated from Siena Heights in 2016 and recently received a research technologist position at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her job involves working to see how people can use their own immune systems to fight cancer.

I liked basically everything about Siena,” she said. “My most favorite moments would be the trips with international students, spring trips with Beta Beta Beta (biology honor society) and the Holi Festival. You don’t have to start big to get to big places. The water flows from a small stream to get to the ocean.”

With a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, faculty are more than teachers at Siena Heights: they are mentors. Life coaches who can be called upon whenever the need exists.

The Siena Heights welcome is expansive and unselective. The doors swing open for everyone. Siena Heights maintains a welcoming spirit that recognizes the potential in all regardless of background. Whatever you believe, you’re welcome at Siena.

Begin with a major. Graduate with a purpose. With nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, Siena Heights has designed its curriculum to meet the needs of today’s students – and the needs of a changing society.

Siena Heights currently has students from more than 20 countries on its campus. Siena students also get real-world experience around the globe. Siena’s connections to international universities allow students to study in exciting places like England, China and Dubai. And anyone at Siena will tell you The Costa Rica Experience can’t be missed!

The main campus in Adrian, Michigan, is home to roughly 22,000 people, and here, there is plenty to do (and eat)…

At Siena, students will do so much more than earn a degree; they’ll develop interests that become passions. Discover talents they never imagined. Make friendships that last forever. Siena Heights has dedicated almost a century to creating an educational environment where students can feel instantly comfortable – and infinitely challenged.

That’s the Siena Effect.

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