IC Honors Student Spotlight: Sam Castonguay ’18

This week’s Student Spotlight features Sam Castonguay, a junior transfer student from Mullica Hill, NJ. Sam is a Sociology major with minors in Neuroscience and Environmental Science. Her passion for her studies led her to commit this past summer to conducting research that explores female sexuality and the social influences of boy-bands. On campus, Sam is an Resident Assistant in Terraces, the event coordinator for Tau Sigma National Honor Society, and the Vice President of Ithaca College’s beloved Quidditch team. You may not have known that this passionate lover of ice cream also plays bass guitar in a band and volunteers as a storm spotter for the National Weather Service. Learn more about Sam below!


I’m one of the only transfer students in the honors community. I’m doing some pretty cool research over the summer! One project is about female sexuality, boy-bands, and social control. I am also helping my advisor rewrite one of her textbooks about sexualities! SO FUN! I’m currently recording new music with my band (I play the bass guitar). I’m the VP of the Quidditch Team, event coordinator for Tau Sigma National Honor Society, a volunteer storm spotter for the National Weather Service, an RA in Terrace 11………and a passionate lover of ice cream!

Learn more about Sam below!

Favorite part about IC:
You mean I have to pick one? I’ll go rapid fire. First, the Quidditch Team! They complete me and fuel my inner (and outward) nerd. I have never met such a wonderful and inclusive group of people in all my twenty years of life. Second, Chef John of Towers Dining Hall. He never fails to brighten the darkest of my days…and he makes a delicious hamburger. Third, ResLife! I absolutely love serving as the RA for Terrace 5, First Floor. My residents are truly incredible individuals who inspire me on a daily basis. They are so involved, talented, kindhearted, intelligent and fun! My fellow staff members are also quite incredible. I can always count on them for support and sarcastic comments that make me laugh for weeks to come!

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
Due to the ridiculous amount of classes I need to take for my major and minors, I’ve only had the opportunity to take one Honors seminar: “Why are We Here? The Purpose of College”. It was a favorite class of mine though! I appreciated the discussion-based classroom environment and Elizabeth Bleicher (the instructor). Elizabeth always made us feel as though our opinions were valuable and able to contribute something to the world we live in. I also very much enjoyed the opportunity to conduct real sex-education research, learning all the ins and outs of college and student life, and (of course) the free food.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
The “coolest” opportunity I’ve had through the Honors program is, by far, white water rafting! I absolutely loved the entire experience (even falling out of the raft). The coolest opportunity I’ve had at IC overall has to be everything I’ve done with the Environmental Studies and Sciences Department. I learned how to start my own fire, make a friction-fire kit, build a shelter, identify absurd amounts of tree species, survive in the wild, etc. I even had the opportunity to eat and drink weird plants exclusively found in the forests of Tompkins County: fire-grilled cattail roots, hemlock tea, hot chocolate brewed inside a pumpkin, lots of unique berries, and so on. Overall, I most enjoyed my time spent on a research cruise of Seneca Lake.


We’re always looking for interesting students to highlight in our Spotlight series.

Do you know a really cool first year Honors student? Nominate them here!
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them here!

Email ropila@ithaca.edu with any comments, questions, concerns or nominations.