Meet Our Graduates

Palak Maniani

Hometown: Newburgh, NY

School: Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs

Majors: Political Science and Psychology

Activities: Student Government Association Chief Justice, Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader

What’s Next: St. John’s University School of Law

Why Hofstra?

I knew I wanted to major in political science and liked that Hofstra had been on the world stage as the host of three presidential debates and many presidential conferences. The location of the campus was also familiar to me. For many years I lived not too far away. I was born in Queens, and then my family lived in Levittown before moving upstate. For most of my life I heard about Hofstra, so finally being able to attend felt ideal.


Why did you add a second major in psychology?

Political science and psychology complement each other in many ways. Some of the areas I’m studying are immigration, human rights, and human trafficking. My dual majors have helped me understand the political problems and policies behind these issues and the psychological impact they have on individuals and families who must endure hardship and tragedy. I could not imagine studying one without the other.


What have been some of the highlights of your time here at Hofstra?

Just this spring, my professor – Dr. Rosanna Perotti – and I had the honor of representing Hofstra at the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago, where I presented my research on “Unaccompanied Minors and Political Socialization in the United States”. Attending the conference was an opportunity to network with scholars and other students who have interests similar to my own.

Another highlight was working as an orientation leader last summer. I loved the people I worked with, and I learned a lot about the university. I found that I had a lot of advice I could share with incoming students, and the experience was very rewarding.


What have been some extracurricular activities and interests?

I work as an RA in VanderPoel Hall, and I’m a student in Rabinowitz Honors College. There are many social activities offered through Honors College, and I try to take advantage of many of them, including trips to see Broadway shows and museums in New York City.

I also serve as the chief justice on the Student Government Association. My responsibilities include overseeing the judicial panel and making sure that all student clubs and organizations abide by the SGA’s Constitution and bylaws.


What are your plans after graduation?

I’ll be attending St. John’s University School of Law and plan to someday practice in the human rights sector. My parents came to the U.S. from India, so my entire life I’ve heard about the struggle of immigrants. My dream is to work for a not-for-profit that assists people who have come to this country and want to make it their home, but cannot afford the attorney fees that are typically involved.


Any advice for students who are just starting their Hofstra journey?

Don’t spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others. Just because your path doesn’t look the same as your friends and classmates doesn’t mean what you’re doing is wrong. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself on all your small victories. Over time they add up to big, meaningful wins.

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