Student Stories: Tiffany Cuevas

Tiffany Cuevas

Major: Political Science

Because of the pandemic, Tiffany Cuevas’ college plans were scattered.

“I wasn’t completely sure where I would attend with all the uncertainty occurring,” she said. “One thing I did know was that I wanted to stay close to my family instead of going away. I also wanted to consider the cost of attending during those bumpy months.”

Helping Cuevas with her decision was being named a Presidential Scholar at College of DuPage, which covers two years of tuition as well as enrollment in the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa.

Honors Program

“I am incredibly thankful for the scholarship, because I was able to explore different fields with this opportunity and find new interests at my own pace,” she said.

This included one field that interested her during high school.

“I have my AP U.S. history teacher from high school—shout-out to Mr. Lyons—to thank for piquing my interest in American history, which then led to government,” she said. “From there, I participated in clubs such as Model UN and Illinois’ Youth and Government, and one of my most memorable experiences from Youth and Government was going to Springfield, sitting on one of the Senate floor’s chairs and visiting a representative’s office.”

While at COD, Cuevas enjoyed her time in the Honors Program, which included presenting at the Honors Council of the Illinois Region Student Symposium.  

College of DuPage is a diverse school that exposes you to great experiences.

Tiffany Cuevas

“Presenting was fun because you could see how each individual was so passionate about their area of study,” she said. “I took it upon myself to explore how exactly K-12 public school funding worked in Illinois. The project I presented was more of an abstract overview. Fortunately, for my English honors course with Professor Michelle Moore, I was able to write a full research paper after the symposium. Also, one of my Honors projects for Comparative Politics was a research paper about ‘What Causes Sectarian Violence in Urban Areas?’ It consisted of an in-depth literature review, original research and the development of a hypothesis with an appropriate research design between the cities of Belgrade, Serbia and Beirut.

“One of the best parts about the Honors Program was taking advantage of the Honors Contract option for classes that are not listed as an honors course. It’s great because you can self-enhance your learning experience with a project as your professor guides you.”

Student Ambassadors

She also was a member of and then a team captain for the student ambassador team, which consists of students who volunteer time to share their unique COD experiences with prospective students, the community and staff. Ambassadors also act as student representatives at multiple Admission and Outreach programs.

While at COD, Cuevas spent one summer working part-time at the Village of Addison under Human Resources in the Administration department, which gave her a feel for how every department contributes together to make a community successful. She also volunteers at a resource center’s after-school program with elementary and middle school students.

After earning her Associate in Arts degree and graduating with highest honors, Cuevas is transferring to Elmhurst University, having received the full-tuition Honors Scholar Transfer Scholarship that is presented to one COD student annually. She is majoring in urban studies with minors in political science and criminal justice.

“In the long run, I hope I can work for the betterment of local communities and urban areas to help them achieve their fullest potential,” she said. “I want people to know that there are individuals out there working toward making their lives secure economically and socially. Educationally, I hope to continue my studies by earning a master's degree in an area that would further my goal.”

Cuevas is glad she chose COD and advises other students to make it their starting point, especially if they are undecided.

“Personally, I knew that I wanted to study political science but wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to apply it,” she said. “It took some time to explore classes and expose myself to different fields to actually come to the decision of where I am at now. So don’t rush anything; when you know, you know.

“Also, College of DuPage is a diverse school that exposes you to great experiences. You either give or get advice from not just the professors but also from peers who come from different backgrounds.”

Learn more about the Political Science program at College of DuPage

More Political Science Success Stories

Anna Gorman

"My involvement with the Model UN really prepared me for my path in law, as did so many professors who patiently met with me during their office hours." - Anna Gorman

Anna's COD Story

More Political Science Success Stories

Gabbi Gruver

"When I see and hear about cases of discrimination and human rights abuses in the news, I have this inner drive to do something to help those who have suffered. Social justice and change are two things that I am passionate about and that has led me to my major." - Gabbi Gruver

Gabbi's COD Story