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McMaster grad, Siena Deluca

Meet Mac grad, Siena Deluca

Siena Deluca has graduated with a double major in aging and society and health and society. She spoke to us about their time at Mac, including how she met some of their best friends during her first week on campus (lucky), and why she chose a career that combines their creative spirit and their love for helping people.

Jun 16, 2022

 

Why did you choose to study health and aging?

I started working part-time in a long-term care home when I was 16 as a receptionist. I was struggling to find a career path that excited me, so I flip-flopped between a few things, trying to find a balance between my creative side and the smaller stuff that I enjoy. I discovered that long-term care homes hire recreation staff, and they make an enormous difference in the quality of care because even when people receive good quality health care, there isn't always social care. Sometimes, some residents will come down and talk to me at the reception because everyone else is busy doing other things. That got me thinking that this would be a great fit for me, so I could incorporate the creative side of planning events and doing craft and music activities while knowing that I’m making a difference. 

 

Did you have a favourite course?

It’s HLTH AGE 4B03 - Death and Dying in Later Life. I thought I would hate it because it sounded morbid, but since I wanted to work in long-term care, I knew I needed to learn about death and how people cope. A lot of what that course taught me was partially about how I view my mortality, which wasn't something that I normally stopped to think about. It helped me to get comfortable talking about death and made it more normal to talk about it rather than shoving it under the table.

 

How would you describe your time at Mac?

Life-changing. I don’t think I would be who I was today if I hadn’t come to McMaster. I was planning to go to college before because I didn't quite know where I wanted to land. Then, during my final year of high school, I attended the November Fall Preview at McMaster, and I was just blown away by the sense of community that was already on campus. When we were leaving, my parents instantly turned to me and asked, “you're going to go to Mac, right?” There was no way I wasn’t. I instantly changed from college to university. When I started, all the community settings that I put myself into helped change how I even looked at school and how I approached it. While living in residence during my first year, I met friends who changed completely how I approached school. I joined the Blue Cru and worked with the McMaster Social Sciences Society and was learning from other people in different faculties.

It changed how I even described myself. Before McMaster, I described myself as a little… I wouldn't say timid, but I wasn't the most social person. Living on residence forced me to come out of my shell, and then I realized I kind of enjoyed doing that.

 

Do you have a favourite memory from Mac?

It would be during my first Welcome Week. I met the roommates that I lived with for three years after we decided on the fourth day of Welcome Week that we were going to live together that next year, and we did! It just solidified the fact that I can make friends and Welcome Week facilitated the start of those conversations that brought us together, which was a tremendous help.

 

What’s next for you?

Happy to announce that I am the Region of Peel’s newest accreditation coordinator! I start on June 23. I’ll be supporting the Long-Term Care Division during the accreditation cycle. I’ll also work with an interdisciplinary working group that helps Long Term Care Center staff implement communication documents and recognition programs and celebrate milestones.

I plan to apply to grad school in a few years to pursue studies in health administration, which would give me more insight into the administrative side of long-term care. Securing a job in the field will be a great experience to have under my belt.