5 Questions: Maria Steiner, CAS ’91

Maria Steiner, CAS '91

Maria Steiner, CAS ’91

How did your education prepare you for what you are doing today?

The breadth of my liberal arts degree taught me to think critically and to appreciate connections across disciplines. I practice my research skills in finding great fit colleges for my students and I often connect with student’s interests because I had a broad based education. I can talk about science, the arts, history, psychology, political science, English, anthropology, and business. My education wasn’t siloed which allows me to encourage my students to think broadly, too.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment or recent professional accomplishment of note?

I don’t have any specific accolades, but I’ve been able to write chapters. I worked for six years full time in the Case admission office. Then, I paired part time work there with stay at home parenting for sixteen years, while remaining civically engaged through the PTA and Girl Scouts. (Leadership and management skills gained through my sorority have come in handy!) In 2013, I became a college counselor at Hawken School. I get to share the college search journey with promising students and guide them in how to tell their stories. I’m cultivating my local garden and watching my harvest spread beyond.

What programs do you support at CWRU and why?

I think the College of Arts and Sciences is a gem— a wealth of intellectual opportunities in the context of a larger university. Connections with engineering, nursing, and business students is vital for developing a wider lens.

Do you have advice for current students?

Take as many courses as you can in as many fields as you can. You will see connections you hadn’t imagined, and these skills and insights will support you in surprising ways throughout your career. Also, remember to get involved with student life activities. Relationships matter! 

What is your favorite memory and/or spot on campus?

Favorite memories:

  • A Women and Politics course— a discussion based seminar —it’s sad that there’s been so little progress since I took the course but that makes the issues even more relevant.
  • Cultural Psychiatry course taught by Professor Gaines. It kind of blew up my major, but it helped me understand ethnicity and cultural impacts in a way I wish more people understood.
  • Taking Authoritarian Governments with Professor McHale when the Berlin Wall was coming down!
  • All of my psychology courses with Dr. Short. My counseling course with Jess Sellers— I use those techniques daily in my job.
  • Taking Art History courses in the museum. What can beat that?
  • Taking an Organizational Behavior course with both undergrads and grad students. It was different from any course I’d ever taken and I use those concepts daily too. I encourage some of my students to consider this field of study.
  • Everything about Sigma Psi— I met strong, intelligent, and compassionate women whom I treasure to this day!









Submit your answers in our Alumni Spotlight Questionnaire.