Student Spotlight: Alyssa Sileo C’22

Alyssa Sileo C’22

 What attracted you to Drew?
I was attracted to the great professors I met on campus, the Civic Scholar Program, and the NY Semester on Theatre (which I just recently learned I’ll be participating in next semester!)

Did you know what you wanted to major in your first year? 

I specifically looked for a college to major in theatre arts and I wanted to minor in Spanish after learning about the language program at Drew. I also wanted to major or minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, and even though that has not happened and will not happen due to scheduling and the semesters I have left, I’m happy that I’ve been able to take Women and Gender Studies 101 this year, live in the campus’s feminist housing, and will most likely take a couple more Women and Gender Studies’ courses in the future.

What is it about theater that draws you to it?
I am drawn to theatre because of the nature of creativity, collaboration, and innovation within the art form, and the way it tracks, depicts, and creates history.

Have you done any internships?
In the Fall 2019 semester I was lucky enough to complete an internship at The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ (specifically their administrative building in Florham Park.) I worked with the education department to compile research and contact information for potential and current partners in their school theatre outreach programs, and to support other enrichment programs like the book club and the mainstage season. I also learned about the development office and the ins and outs of financially supporting a non-profit theatre.

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECs?
In May 2019 I participated in a week long shortTREC in NYC where I lived in the city and worked with Drew students and professional artists to put on a staged reading of a musical about Ella Fitzgerald.

In June 2019 I went on a Spanish Language and Culture in Barcelona shortTREC where I studied the Spanish language and Catalonian culture. I lived with a host family and got to know the city very well, and I miss it every day.

This fall I will be a part of the NY Semester on Theatre, and we will work with members of the Tectonic Theater Project to create a show using their collaborative technique called Moment Work.

Did you have any mentors at Drew?
I am so inspired by the work of “The Amys” in the Civic Engagement Office–Prof. Amy Koritz, Amy Sugerman, and Amy Haines!
I am also grateful to have been taught and guided by professors like Dr. Angelica Nair, Prof. Sarah Lucie, Dr. Marie Pascale-Pieretti, Prof. Rosemary McLaughlin, Prof. Sandra Jamieson (my first-year academic advisor), and Dr. Lisa Brenner (my current academic advisor!) As for student mentors, my first Resident Assistant Kassel Franco-Garibay (C’20) has been instrumental in making Drew feel like my home. I’ll also never forget the warm welcome I received from Leanza Rodriguez (C’19): she was my Orientation Committee Big Sib!

What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about LGBTQ+ issues, arts education, and intersectional feminism.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?
I will never forget my first move-in day as an Orientation Committee team member. We woke up at 4:30am to get ready for the first-year and transfer students to move in. I have never felt such high energy and have never felt more proud to be a Ranger! I was so wiped out from the stairs and the heavy loads but also so excited to get to know my new Drew family members. I wish that every day was move-in day.

What are your career goals? Dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to work on theatre projects that focus on the voices of those who are not always given the microphone. I want to dedicate myself to raising up resources for supporting the arts in underserved communities. At Drew, I’m working on my playwriting, dramaturgy, theatre history, and theatre administration skills, along with my Civic Scholar activities, to learn as much as I can about the intersection between the arts and community engagement, so I can be ready for any opportunity that comes my way.

Are there any hobbies, activities or fun facts you want to share?
I love listening to music by Janelle Monae, and making my friends laugh!

In general, what advice would you give first-year students?

You must advocate for yourself–meet with professors and advisors, ask your friends to join you on initiatives, and believe in your dreams!

Posted by Yasmin Acosta
Yasmin Acosta Launch Catalyst