Graduate Student Spotlights

Randy Lesko

Higher and Postsecondary Education

Briefly tell us why you chose your program:
It was my experience as an RA my senior year here at NYU that led me to apply to the Higher Ed program at Steinhardt. I interacted with so many wonderful alumni from the program that I knew it was where I wanted to pursue my master's degree.
A book I would never sell:
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman. She is my go-to person on all things money!
My inspiration is:
everyone I have interacted with in a meaningful way. They all have given me something that I take with me wherever I go, and they help me to make sense of my world.
Something I collect:
Snow globes.
Why I went to Graduate School:
To get more experience in my field before pursuing a career. I think I needed the flexibility to make mistakes, and my internship allows me that flexibility.
The best gift I've ever received:
An autographed poster of Destiny's Child.
The longest paper I've ever written:
My 20-page final research paper for Foundations of Higher Education.
The professor who influenced me the most:
Va?clav Bartus?ka, my professor for European Security After the Cold War, which I was fortunate enough to take when I studied abroad in Prague.
My favorite coffee:
A large one with skim milk and sugar, preferably iced.
If I could take a year off I would:
Visit every country in South America.
My secret passion is:
Politics. When I'm not doing work for my classes, I'm catching up on all of the political happenings of the day.
The best invention ever is:
the iPod. I love having my entire music library at my fingertips wherever I go.

Background Information

Where you grew up:
Port Chester, NY
What are your plans after you graduate?
Fulfill my own Manifest Destiny and move to the West Coast.
Honors, Awards, and Achievements:
My favorite award was the one I won in 8th grade: Outstanding Jazz Soloist at a competition at Six Flags Great Adventure. The trophy is still on my mantle at home!
Community Service and Other Activities:
For the past year, I've been the co-advisor for the Broome Community Group (BCG), the community service group at the Broome Street Residential College. I help students who live in the Residential College find community service opportunities that they're passionate about, as well as empower students to forge their own lasting partnerships with organizations to then share with the community. My favorite community service activities are walks/runs that raise money for charities, of which I have done several in the past year.