When Todd Foy '12 of Hadley, Mass., first arrived on campus, he majored in English. But experiences with MCLA's Student Government Association (SGA) quickly put him on a much different path - he is studying political science and public policy, with minors in anthropology and social justice.
Recently returned from Toronto, Canada, where he took part in the North American Model United Nations, this summer Foy is headed to Washington, D.C., where he will serve an internship with U.S. Senator John Kerry.
"The SGA has changed my life in so many ways," Foy said. "I was elected to the Student Senate in my freshman year, and I loved it so much that I changed my major to political science by the end of the year. I spent two years in the Student Senate and gained so much personal experience."
In addition, Foy is president of the Class of 2012.
"I was also the co-founder and president of 'Colleges against Cancer' from spring 2009 to spring 2010. Both of these roles helped me truly grow as a leader and learn what it is to be a diplomat," he explained.
Foy enjoys being the students' voice on campus.
"This past year, all that experience paid off as I filled the role of coordinating vice president. I'm in charge of all the clubs and organizations that are sponsored by the SGA, so I basically do a lot of workshops, peer mediation, and publications to help clubs grow to their full potential."
Now in the running to serve as SGA president, Foy hopes to take his vice presidential experience and apply it to the entire student body. "It truly is their government. Student power and student rights are my creed."
His recent experience as a delegate at the North American Model United Nations was an "ideal" way to help him realize what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Along with the rest of his class, "I made book-smarts into real world-smarts. It truly was amazing."
Foy's professors have been key to his success.
"As I've gotten into upper-level classes, I've found that I can take classes with teachers I truly enjoy. I will say that my advisor, Robert Bence, is indispensable. I mean, this guy has 30-plus years of experience in teaching and advising. He has connections and insight that most professors couldn't dream of," Foy explained. "In terms of actual academics, I always try to stack up classes with Petra Hejnova and Sumi Colligan.
"Their classes are a bit challenging, but they are always there to help you," he continued. "And, whenever I take their exams or write a paper for them, I feel like I'm applying actual knowledge. I feel accomplished and satisfied that my money has been well-spent at this university."
According to Foy, the connections he's made at MCLA will last a lifetime.
"Not just my friends, but also the faculty. My advisor, my bosses at both campus jobs I've held, and many people in Student Affairs have molded and shaped my life irreversibly. I'm not the raucous newbie that I was when I got here. I'm focused, organized, and peaceable; all courtesy of the people that have tamed me. I was never a number here, but always Todd Foy."