Leave it to a Macaulay student to take the practical approach of majoring in accounting and merging it with a love of music. That’s what Ruby Cabuya did and she even wrote a thesis about it called “The Balance Between Passion and Career.” Also as part of her thesis presentation, Ruby gave a piano recital.
“Music meant different things to me at different times. But as I reflect on this last semester, I think music is a way to reach out to people. I play music to remind my fellow college students that you can feel successful in anything you do. Macaulay students always have something to prove as honor students. But I believe that you can be successful by doing the things you like, whether or not they’ll receive awards.”
Ruby grew up in Woodside, Queens to Filipino parents, who are also both accountants. Their observations as new immigrants helped open her eyes to both cultures.
“My parents would point out things/behaviors I would bring home, and regard them as ‘American.’ I would then ask them how it would be done ‘Filipino style’, and they would tell me. I learned about their upbringing that way.”
Her parents also instilled in Ruby, pre-smartphones, to always carry a calculator with her. As her dad put it, “You’ll never know when you need to solve a fun math problem!”
Ruby graduates from Lehman cum laude and has been on the Dean’s List for each of her four years. Besides music, her second minor is Japanese language in which she hopes to achieve a certificate of proficiency; she also studied abroad in Japan. Ruby has had time to be co-captain of the Macaulay Dancers, and also was a member of the Lehman College Bollywood dancers; she was in the viola section of the Lehman College Community Orchestra, as well. Ruby says being part of Macaulay has introduced her to quite a few students—just like herself.
“I feel like I am a part of a community of many different minds. Where else can you meet aspiring veterinarians who belly dance? Or visual artists with a passion for environmental policies? Or pianists who can prepare your taxes in Japanese? The cool kids these days are all about self-expression, and the chance to study the things we like in order to further ourselves, is a chance like no other.”