Catching Up with Ann Ciancia ’18
Graduation weekend was twice as nice for UC alumna and former SGA President Ann Ciancia '18: She celebrated earning both a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and an MBA from Utica College.
With all she’s accomplished as a UC alumna, it’s hard to believe Ann Ciancia graduated from Utica College just three years ago. The former Student Government President with a trio of majors (Health Studies, Philosophy, and Spanish) is now the proud owner of both a J.D. and an MBA, from the Syracuse University College of Law and Utica College, respectively.
Driving it all? Her goals to advocate for women and, eventually, become a college president. We talked to Ciancia to learn more about her recent accomplishments—and how her UC mentors continue to guide her academic journey.
You came to UC in 2014 as a physical therapy major. What changed your path?
In 2017, I studied abroad in Ecuador and saw firsthand how violence against women was just brushed off. Instantly I knew I wanted to advocate for victims of domestic violence. President Casamento’s first year as president was also my first year as Student Government Association president, and we instantly formed this connection through leadership. Conversations with her helped inspire my goal to become a college president.
When did you decide to pursue an MBA on top of your law studies?
In my first year of law school, I struggled with classes, and imposter-syndrome was all too real. I reached out to Professor [Stephanie] Nesbitt for help. She gave me advice on following my dreams, and within a few weeks, I applied to the MBA program at UC.
Your research has focused on sexual assault and family violence. Can you share more?
In 2019, I completed my externship at the Vera House in Syracuse, where I helped victims of domestic violence obtain orders of protection from their abusers. Once the pandemic hit, I stayed on as a family court volunteer at the Vera House. It was sad to see a drastic rise in callers, and I wanted to research more about family violence during the pandemic. This spring, my essay titled “The Rise in Family Violence During the COVID-19 Era” was selected for publication in the Syracuse Law Review.
What’s next for you?
I recently accepted a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Honora Kilgallen in Monmouth County, New Jersey, my home state. I will be working in the family division with a domestic violence docket. I never thought I could land a role like this, so I am excited for this opportunity to experience the judicial decision-making process.
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