student Spotlight

October Student Spotlight with Daniel Randell, MPA ‘16

October Student Spotlight

Even among the avidly engaged School of Public Affairs community, it's not every day you find a student as involved as Daniel Randell is. We speak about the importance of community engagement, what he's most excited to study, and what the future will bring.

How do you stay engaged with the community? What is most important about community engagement to you?
I think the most important way of being engaged is to be informed and aware of what's happening. Being able to understand, explain, and follow local, national, or even global problems is the first step to remedying them. Progress and equality in a society is impossible if we don't help each other and try to figure out ways to attain that. Engaging the community is important to me, I've been the President of a number of local organizations, even starting one in college.

From a young age, my family helped me shape my philosophy on being active in the community. When I was 12 the house attached to mine burned down and killed someone, while seriously injuring others, including a classmate of mine. My family responded by having a bake sale that made it into the Daily News and NY Post, to help raise awareness and money for the family. That was the moment I realized how important it is to give back to the community - because when anybody can offer their help to those in need, they should. I never would have realized that without my family.

Why did you decide to join the Baruch College School of Public Affairs?
I went to Baruch because I have an underlying philosophy that I believe the school shares with me: New York is the city of opportunity, and as a society we have a responsibility to make sure everyone has access to those opportunities regardless of where you're from or who your family is. My goal is to in some way help maintain the city's status as an opportunity center, while helping expand access to more opportunities for anybody that's willing to succeed. Now, I have no idea which form that'll take, or how I'll ultimately execute it, but hey, that's why I go to Baruch! Baruch is the school of opportunity, for the city of opportunity.

What are you most excited to study this academic year?
I'm most excited to study Urban Economic Development and the relationship between Public and Private Partnerships. Both are classes in the two concentrations that I'm between at the moment. Just another step in deciding how I can make my impact, and in which arena that can better take place in. Luckily, both classes are being taught by incredible professors. Professors like these are the reason Baruch has such an advantage over other schools, there's no doubting how qualified and established they are in the area's they're teaching in. These experience's make them so much more valuable to the students, first-hand lesson's from established members in their respective fields - that's a Baruch advantage.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
When I graduated from High School in 2010, I was asked the same question and stated on camera that I would be a broadcast news anchor, I even guaranteed it. Plans evolve with different life experiences, so I'm going about my future in different way: nothing specific at this point.

I have a very general plan, and I'm not sure how well my inherent idealism is interacting with realism, but I'll give it a shot and enjoy the people I meet until I get there. Truthfully, I just want to be in a position and workplace where I'm personally happy, and professionally able to make a difference to people. I'm going to Baruch to help give me a better clue of where I can do that best, but I don't want to put myself in a box. If I can help people, and I'm happy with where and how I'm doing it, then that's where I want to be.