Luke Heisinger ‘16
Major: Planned Studies – Communication and Social Entrepreneurship
Minors: Honors Program
How did you choose your major?
In the back of my mind, I have always known I wanted to do mission work. When I was 7 years old I went on my first mission project with Amor Ministries and I would return every summer for the next 12 years. Upon entering my first year at Ithaca College, I was introduced to Planned Studies, a program that lets you design your own major if you cannot accomplish your academic goals within an existing degree. For the following 4 semesters and under the guidance of two directors, a personal mentor, and half a dozen professors, I spent hours developing a custom degree. Called ‘Communication and Social Entrepreneurship,’ the plan combines three components of strategic communication, non-profit management, and public health, all of which are interconnected through my education as a global citizen and human rights advocate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar Program. With this major, I anticipate taking the steps to prepare for cultural immersion and connection around the world to effectively serve with a faith-based non-profit, and continue to grow on a lifelong journey of character development and citizenship.
What was your favorite resource to use when you were an Exploratory student?
As an Exploratory student, my favorite resource was meeting with my Faculty Advisor, Elizabeth Bleicher. Not only does Professor Bleicher’s years of experience and wisdom provide great advice, but talking about your passions and interests with someone else can help you sort out your career goals and find a major that is right for you.
What do you like most about being an Exploratory Peer Mentor?
College is a team effort. Your professors, bosses, and friends are invaluable resources for advice and encouragement throughout your journey at Ithaca College. As an Exploratory Peer Mentor, I really enjoy being a member of a student’s team. It is rewarding to help others, especially when I was standing in similar shoes just a few years ago.
What is your biggest piece of advice to a current Exploratory student?
Talk to someone. Every professor on campus chose this career because they love working with students, and they all have years of experience and expertise in their respective fields. Do not deprive yourself from reaching out and asking for help.
What extracurriculars are you involved with on campus?
Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar Program
First Year Residential Experience (FYRE), Resident Assistant
Resident Assistant Advisory Board, Member
Awaken Fellowship, President
Ithaca College Protestant Community, Council Member
IC Intramurals, Volleyball Team Member