Miles Wilson is a Middle Eastern language & cultures and religious studies senior. He’s also the president of the Liberal Arts Council, an organization of students who “serve as the official student voice and governing body for the College of Liberal Arts.”
Learn about Wilson and his commitment to the LAC, as well as the importance of the organization, below.
Why should students get involved in Liberal Arts Council?
LAC is constantly working to improve the student experience in the College of Liberal Arts. It is a leadership-based organization that helps its members to develop a unique balance of individual efficacy and a focus on service to the student body.
We encourage every member of LAC to focus on their passions and to fix the problems that they see as salient, and because of the wide variety of interests that I have seen members bring to LAC, I believe there is a place for any student interested in serving our College’s community and growing as a leader.
What motivated you to run for president?
After spending two years in LAC, I was utterly convinced of the good that the organization and its membership could do. I served as a member of the leadership team during my sophomore year, and I saw the care and energy with which my friends and fellow leaders made change in the college.
My run for president came primarily from my desire to improve the student experience in the college, alongside other passionate members and leaders of LAC.
What are your goals as president?
If I had to condense the essence of my goals down to single word, it would be outreach.
LAC serves as the voice for the student body of the College of Liberal Arts, but it seems as though there was a disconnect between the actions that we were taking and the needs of the students. This year, I wanted to take additional efforts to make sure we were hearing the voice of the students and working on the issues that the student body sees as important.
The 2016-17 Liberal Arts Council
What were the LAC’s biggest plans this year?
I’m extremely proud of the progress that council has made this year. Giving a few examples, we have made efforts to improve student access to undergraduate research, with several members reestablishing the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Chapter for Research (LAUNCH).
Additionally, our diversity coordinators have expanded their roles dramatically this year, working to ensure LAC’s representation of underserved groups, and are currently developing a liberal arts diversity organization to allow LAC to more directly reach out to minorities in the College.
What are you most proud of from your time at UT Austin?
For every semester that I’ve been at UT, I have been in an Arabic language instruction class. There have certainly been late nights where I have been up at 2 a.m., wanting nothing more but to stop studying Arabic vocabulary, but I always persevered and I am so grateful that I did. The program here at UT Austin is fantastic, with wonderful faculty that truly care about the students, and I am beyond lucky to have benefitted from their thoughtful instruction.
What are your professional ambitions following graduation?
I hope to continue my education at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, pursuing a Master in Global Policy Studies dual degree with Middle Eastern Studies. Though my eventual career remains unclear, I have considered the possibility of working for the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer.
What has studying liberal arts meant to you?
Though this may be the answer many people turn to when thinking about the value of a liberal arts education, I can’t help but acknowledge the depth and breadth of thinking that the liberal arts promote. Studying the liberal arts helps to develop a higher level of thinking and understanding of the world and humankind; I truly feel that liberal arts make the world a better, brighter place.
To learn more about Liberal Arts Council, visit the LAC website.