IC Honors Advice: Living in Ithaca I

Farmers-MarketAdvice: Be respectful of community members not associated with the College.

Why: Ithaca is recognized as one of the best places to live in the country and one of the best college towns and a big reason for these kudos is the vibrancy of the people in the region who aren’t members of the college communities. For example, the Ithaca Farmers Market is made possible by the farmers, artists, and craftspeople who travel to Ithaca each weekend to celebrate our bounty. Remember–you are ambassadors of the student body of Ithaca College every time you enter the wider community and engage with its people.

IC Honors Advice: Course Materials

booksAdvice: Make sure you have the assigned reading for your courses on time.

Why: It is the student’s responsibility to make sure they have the assigned reading on time.  If you are, understandably, trying to save money by ordering books online, do not go your professor and ask to borrow a copy until yours arrived or ask if you can have an extension on being up to date with reading. Professors don’t have enough copies to lend to everyone and extensions don’t help as students are expected to have done the reading to participate fully in class. Sometimes being penny wise can make the student (appear) foolish.  Faculty know books are an expensive part of college, but they typically remain necessary.  Most of your professors think long and hard in selecting books, so we do have a reason for requiring them. Also, if you use a library book, never mark in it!

IC Honors Student Spotlight: Julia Zubrovich ’19

Meet fellow honors student Julia Zubrovich from Brooklyn, NY. Julia is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Writing for Film, TV, and Emerging Media; however she is also taking classes towards minors in Deaf Studies and Theater. If you’re a first year student, you may have already met Julia this summer while she was working as a Summer Orientation Leader. Maybe she even took you for a tour of the campus this past  spring as one of the school’s President’s Hosts.


Favorite part about IC:
The amount of opportunities there are to get involved and interact with others!

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
Wonder Women and Lethal Girls:Feminism in Sci-Fi and Fantasy!!! Granted it’s the only one I’ve taken but it was such an interesting and fun class. I loved my professor, Katharine Kittredge, and my classmates. We did many fun activities, such as take self-defense and belly dancing classes, take trips to the comic book store in the commons, and color!

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
Honors gave me the opportunity to become published during my freshman year through the Honors Symposium Journal!!


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.

IC Honors Advice: Writing Effective Course Comments

PrintAdvice:  Be thoughtful and specific when doing course comments.

Why: Your comments about courses are taken seriously by faculty and administrators. They do want to hear your thoughts on the course and how to make it better. Comments such as “this instructor rocks” or “this instructor is the worst ever” aren’t particularly useful.  You should provide clear examples with details to get your point across. Take some time to think about what you have to say and articulate it carefully. Written comments with numerous grammar and spelling errors aren’t taken entirely seriously. Remember, course comments are your opportunity to provide meaningful feedback and so don’t pass it up.

IC Honors Advice: Library Search II

booksAdvice: Sign in to the library’s search system when you use it

Why: The new library search has a ton of features, but you need to be signed in to use most of them. Signing in (which you can do in the upper right hand corner before or after a search) will give you access to additional results. You’ll be able to save items too, so if you find great books or articles you can simply add them to a folder and not have to look for them again. You can also save searches that worked well for the future. If you want, the searches can be run periodically and you’ll get an email if there are new results. If you’re signed in, you can also renew and request items. Signing in allows you to make full use of library search features!

IC Honors Advice: Library Search I

booksAdvice: Use the new library search box to find a range of information from every discipline.

Why: Before the library’s new search box came along, you’d have to search books, articles, and other items separately, and dig into databases to find information. Now most of what the library owns is searchable from a single box! The search box at www.ithacalibrary.com will automatically search books, movies, articles, reviews, and newspapers. You can also narrow your search in any number of ways. You might get too much information, but you might find things you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Ultimately you’ll want to be working directly in databases, but the new search box can be a great way to start, or expand, your research. If you’d like some tips on using our new search, check out our research guide.

IC Honors Advice: Check your Ithaca College e-mail every day.

mail-99218_640Advice: Check your Ithaca College e-mail every day. (This can’t be said enough)

Why: E-mail is the primary way that most professors communicate with their students, as well as all the other offices on campus. If you aren’t checking your email, then you may miss an important announcement, memo, or other communication. It is a good idea to check your e-mail through myhome since there are other college announcements posted in the myhome portal. You can’t take advantage of an opportunity if you don’t know it exists. Also, make sure you do not let your email box reach capacity.

IC Honors Advice: Getting the Most out of Challenging Readings

PrintAdvice: Strategically Read, Read, and Reread Challenging texts.

Why: No one can read theoretical or conceptual work and “get it” in one reading.  These readings are not Tweets or Facebook updates–they are complex ideas.   Plan on reading the assigned reading two or three times, but be strategic. Your first reading should be to simply read to see what you can understand, even if it is only one sentence. Do not underline or do marginalia on the first read. . Your second reading should be one with underlining and marginalia. Underline major ideas if you can find them.  Note or circle concepts or sentences you do not understand. Remember, no one can fully understand all of a reading on one reading–not even your professors. Finally, have fun It’s perfectly OKAY to not understand all that you read.  In fact, your professors will be delighted if you come to class fired up to ask what it all means!

IC Honors Advice: Professional Communication III – The Email Signature

PrintAdvice: Please sign your full name at the end of an email and consider a more detailed signature.

Why: When you send an email you want the recipient to know who you are. If you don’t sign your name then the recipient needs to try and figure out who you are. Sometimes this can be done by looking at the email address but not always. Also, don’t just use your first name since that may not uniquely identify you. Professors know lots of students from numerous classes and you probably aren’t the only Tom that the faculty member knows. You might also include a signature file that says more about you, such as your class year and major. Professionals today have detailed signature files, automatically included when they draft an email, and so pay attention to these as you think of what you should include.

IC Honors Advice: Making Appointments III

: When confirming an appointment, repeat the time of the appointment in the confirmation email, rather than simply saying, “That sounds great, I’ll see you then!”

Why: This helps eliminate confusion. Sometimes a student will be given two options to meet and a response of, “That sounds great, I’ll see you then!”  isn’t clear. You may be thinking the last time works but we don’t know what time you are confirming. It is better to risk being redundant and clear than unclear.