History of Success
Class of 2019’s Sean Silva is merging his LMU experience onto the great highway of life, revving his professional career at M Strategic Communications, an LA public affairs firm, while keeping the university mission in plain sight. A Los Angeles native, Sean hopes to leverage his sharpened analysis and critical thinking skills, as well as life-long passion for history, to tackle social justice issues head-on.
“The world is smaller than it looks,” Sean said, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in History. “My experience at LMU afforded me opportunities that in turn gave me the skills and confidence to know I could make a real impact once I left.”
Prior to graduating, Sean was already hustling for the greater good at the governmental level, interning for LA councilmember Mike Bonin, where he worked on a research proposal to expand Mayor Eric Garcetti’s temporary housing project for members of the city’s homeless population, among other high-profile duties.
He added that such real-world experiences dovetailed nicely with a number of leadership roles he had on LMU’s service scene—most notably as Student Director for Campus Ministry’s “Feed the Hungry,” where he says he gained valuable insight into the harsh realities facing those grappling with food insecurity and homelessness.
“I’m really attracted to the idea of government where institutional changes can be made,” he said, adding that LMU allowed him to serve and explore social justice issues not only on the local level, but abroad as well via Ignacio Companion (IC) trips.
Sponsored by Campus Ministry, IC service immersion trips encourage Ignatian and spiritual reflection in the context of a new culture while exploring the intersection of faith and justice. Sean took full advantage, venturing to Tijuana, Mexico to study issues surrounding immigration and to Cambodia to assist with HIV-positive orphans.
“I discovered that no matter the location, people are still accessible and essentially have the same needs,” Sean said. “I’ll always cherish being able to talk with people around the world, to hear their stories and being able to show compassion, understanding and solidarity.”
Moreover, Sean explored his global imagination via a BCLA Global Immersion Course, journeying to Berlin with his class to gather research for a project on the de-Nazification of Germany in post-WWII Germany.
He later presented his findings at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium, an annual opportunity for students to present their research to a large audience.
“I concluded that for a short period of time many in Germany tried to ignore their nation's Nazis past,” he said. “But a cultural war soon intervened, splitting public sentiment as to whether to acknowledge the past or sweep it under the proverbial rug.”
Outside his varied slate of academic and service pursuits, Sean also sat on the BCLA Student Engagement and Success Committee, a De Colores trip leader and a Resident Minister for Sullivan Hall.
As for what advice he has for the LMU Lions of tomorrow?
“When people wonder why the world is the way it is,” Sean said, “I tell them history answers it all. The key to understanding the present lies in the past.”