By Paul Alongi
Photography by Ashley Jones
Nearly deaf and blind, Miriam Lozneanu thrives through perseverance and a positive attitude.
MIRIAM LOZNEANU EXTENDED HER CANE, signed to her interpreter and headed out the door of the Hendrix Student Center. She went down the steps and crossed the street by herself without a stumble or hesitation.
Thousands of students cross that street every day. But Lozneanu is legally blind and partially deaf. With the help of technology, professionals and a positive attitude, the 23-year-old computer science major is not only surviving at Clemson — she’s thriving. In addition to her classes, she’s exploring the professional world, having interned at Michelin North America in the summer of 2017.
“I am thankful for being able to show my abilities and succeed despite not being able to see or hear much,” Lozneanu wrote in an email interview. “My goal is to use my exceptionality to encourage others to persevere despite hardship.”
Her exceptional abilities are many. Along with her artistic talents, like sketching and music, Lozneanu has excelled academically, racking up several academic awards, including membership in Delta Alpha Pi, an honor society for top-ranking students with disabilities. In 2016, she made the dean’s list in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.
On the weekends, Lozneanu heads home to Mauldin to spend time with her family and her friends from church. She also does service work, telling her story to girls at a juvenile detention center. Her goal at the center, she writes, is “to assist the girls in seeing that even though life is hard and there are obstacles in the way, God can provide a way.”
Lozneanu’s mother, Ani Lozneanu, says it took years of hard work to prepare her daughter to live independently.
“She’s a miracle worker — let’s put it that way,” Ani says. “She’s not taking no for an answer. She’s not discouraged. She’s always told me, ‘I can do it, I can do it.’”