IC Honors Alumni Spotlight: Sari Stifelman ’15

Meet recent grad Sari Stifelman from the class of 2015! Sari majored in Theatre Studies with minors in Deaf Studies and the Honors Program, and is currently am doing a Marketing Apprenticeship at Roundabout Theatre Company in Manhattan, which is a Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre company (Who produces 8 shows a season!). Learn more about Sari below:
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One piece of advice you wish you had been given during your time at IC:It’s okay to change your mind.”
Favorite Honors seminar and why:Staging History with Claire Gleitman. Claire is such an incredible human being and her class was the one honors seminar I took that allowed me to delve deeper into texts and subjects surround my major. So that was awesome.”
One word that sums up your university experience:Frigid (Ithaca is COLD). No but actually, the word I choose is, rewarding.”
We’re always looking for interesting alumni to highlight in our Alumni Spotlight series.
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them to be a Student Spotlight here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them to be an Alumni Spotlight here!
Email sguter1@ithaca.edu with any comments, questions, concerns or nominations.

IC Honors Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Littlefield ’00

Meet Melissa Littlefield from the Class of 2000! She is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of English and Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign! Learn more about Melissa below.
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One piece of advice you wish someone had given you in your years at IC: “In the midst of it all, when you feel the most energized by classes, professors, clubs, sports, parties, friends, part-time jobs, studying abroad . . . take some time to slow down, look around you, enjoy the moment and think about what you want for yourself. It’s easy to be caught up in the progress of the degree, the needs of your friends, even the stress of working and studying at the same time. So remember to ask: what do I want out of all of this? what can I do to make this time, this experience align with my own hopes and dreams for the future?”

Favorite Honors Seminar you took and why: “Dr. Joe Tempesta’s history seminar–we designed our own governments (after reading various treatises for weeks and weeks)! I think we even surprised Dr. Tempesta with some of our choices. It was one of the first classes in which we were asked to really apply the knowledge we gained during the semester. Dr. T was brilliant, generous, and tough–the best kind of teacher.”

One word that sums up your university experience: “Transformative.”

We’re always looking for interesting alumni to highlight in our Alumni Spotlight series.
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them to be a Student Spotlight here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them to be an Alumni Spotlight here!
Email sguter1@ithaca.edu with any comments, questions, concerns or nominations.

IC Honors Alumni Spotlight: Holly Garbacz ’15

Meet recent graduate Holly Garbacz, who majored in Biology with minors in Psychology and the Honors program! She’s currently a scribe at rochester general hospital in the emergency department and a home health care aide at Interim health care, she’s applying to med school for next year. She also worked as our Honors Events Coordinator her senior year, so many of you may remember her; learn more about Holly below!

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One piece of advice you wish someone had given you in your years at IC:Take advantage of the culture at IC in every way possible. 4 years goes faster than you think!”

Favorite Honors seminar and why:The wire – incredible show, stimulating political conversation in class (that was outside my area of study completely), overall unique seminar.”

One word that sums up your university experience:Love.”

We’re always looking for interesting students to highlight in our Student Spotlight series.
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them to be a Student Spotlight here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them to be an Alumni Spotlight here!
Email sguter1@ithaca.edu with any comments, questions, concerns or nominations.

IC Honors Alumni Spotlight: Sara Gardner ’13

Meet Sara, a 2013 graduate who majored in TVR with a concentration in Video Production! Sara is currently the National Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator for The ONE Group. Find out more about Sara below!

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Current positions: “I am currently the National Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator for a lifestyle hospitality company called The ONE Group, based out of the corporate offices in New York City. Our company develops restaurant concepts and operates food & beverage for hotels across the US, UK and Europe. I write a lot of press releases, plan a lot of awesome events (I’ve been to the Super Bowl, SXSW, Coachella and Tribeca Film Festival this year!) and develop marketing and branding initiatives for our restaurants across the globe!”

One piece of advice you wish you had been given at IC: “Don’t take your courses and experiences for granted. While I feel so well-prepared coming out of IC, I really wish I had savored what we were learning a little more and took the time to step back and appreciate it, to read and re-read the articles/books/etc. that were given to me. College is truly an unparalleled experience, and it’s about just that – the experience. Learn to enjoy all aspects of collegiate life – your dorm, the classes, the campus, studying abroad, internships, writing papers, walking around the Commons – all of it. I also wish I had saved all the suggested book lists and movie lists that I got from professors…”

Favorite Honors Seminar you took and why: “That’s a tough one! I took two courses with Carla Golden, I feel like those classes opened me up to see gender and sexuality in a completely new way. Our discussions were always so open and frank, and I always walked in to the classroom excited and left the classroom inspired.

My ultimate favorite course was with Bill Sheasgreen at ICLC [Ithaca College London Center] which was London As Text. I have never walked so much in my life, but I have never felt a city’s history come alive around me and feel so tangible. I also did a theatre-focused trip to London through the Honors Program, and though I would hardly call myself a theatre buff, it really was inspiring for me and definitely helped me realize that I wanted to pursue studying abroad there.”

One word that sums up your university experience: “The beginning.”

Another fun fact about Sara is that we featured her little sister, Anna, who is a first-year student, in a Summer Student Spotlight earlier this year!

We’re always looking for interesting students to highlight in our Student Spotlight series.
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them to be a Student Spotlight here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them to be an Alumni Spotlight here!

IC Honors is now on LinkedIn!

LinkedIn_Logo.svgHonorites, Alumni and all of the professional world can now connect with us on LinkedIn. We’ll hopefully be posting career tips and tricks for both alumni and current Honorites as our pages gets started. This also offers a great opportunity for networking, so if you’re looking for some connections before you graduate, use this page as a tool to help you network with Honors alumni. Here is the link to our page, go forth and follow!

IC Honors: Alumni Panel recap!

Earlier today in Textor 101, we had our first Alumni Panel with Valerie Falcionieri ’13, Bob Volpicelli ’09, Matt Payne ’01 (you can find more full bios in our post here).

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Our alumni discussed getting into grad schools, what it’s like to work in the “real world,” where to go after graduation, how not to be scared of taxes, and reminisced about their time here at IC.

They also each talked about their favorite Honors seminars they took at IC – “the Honors genetics course blew my mind,” Matt said.

“Human Natures and Cultures with Carla Golden,” Valerie said. “Lots of discussions have spurted from that class.

“Cultural Encounters with five different visiting professors,” Bob said. “It was a jarring transition from one discipline to the next. It was kind of like watching your parents bicker – but it modeled what academic discourse is like.”

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A big focus of the discussion was how important the cross- and inter-disciplinary nature of the Honors program is. “You’re not being taught, you’re learning to learn,” as Matt said. It’s important to dabble, to explore, to find what interests you and pursue that, regardless of your background, major or school. The “real world” tends to be fast-paced and you don’t always get told what to do, the alumni agreed. Sometimes you’re expected to do average on something just to get a project done, and that’s okay (but often hard to accept for passionate and perfectionistic Honors students)! Make sure to make connections with students, professors and alumni inside your major and school as well as outside of it – you never know who might end up in a field in which you’re interested in working.

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Thanks to everyone who came, and especially thanks to Val, Bob and Matt for taking the time to come visit IC again and talk about their lives past the Honors program!

IC Honors: Alumni Panel on March 27!

Friday, March 27 at 4pm in Textor 101, we’re hosting our first Alumni panel with three awesome past Honors students! Come join, find out about what life is like after graduation and gain some advice and tips for making the most of your Honors and IC experience. Here’s a little more info about each of the alumni speaking:

 Valerie Falcionieri ’13 – Anthropology and Environmental Studies

valValerie was heavily involved both on and off campus during her time at IC, studying abroad twice – once in Costa Rica and once in Samoa, was an RA, involved with OSEMA and alternative spring/fall breaks, the Honors program, and the Sciencenter downtown. Inspired by her volunteer work throughout her university time, she joined AmeriCorps Cape Cod after graduation, which is an environmental and disaster preparedness/response service program. She also had an internship at the Department of Natural Resources in the town of Brewster, MA. She is still with AmeriCorps as a Member Leader.

Bob Volpicelli ’09 – English

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Matt completed his M.A. in English at Penn State in 2011 and then defended his doctoral dissertation at the same institution in the fall of 2014. At Penn State, he’s held a number of awarded positions, including the Edwin Erle Sparks Fellowship, a residency at the Humanities Institute, and a Dissertation Fellowship from the Center for American Literary Studies. He has published essays on a variety of subjects in modern literature and culture. In the fall of 2015, he’ll join the faculty at Randolph-Macon College as an Assistant Professor of twentieth-century American Literature.

Matt Payne ’01 – TVR and International Communications

mattDuring his time at IC, Matt was a member of the IC Players, Jazz/Specialty Director and Jazz DJ for 92 WICB, and the lead American author of international research on cross-generational media effects (later published by Peter Lang). Since graduating, Matt has had a number of positions, first as a prominent marketer of music and cultural programming for public radio (including Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio, produced by IC alum Steve Rathe ’71), then as Copy Manager for Scholastic, and currently as Director of Communications for City and Country School, a leader in progressive education for children ages 2-13. Starting in 2007, Matt began freelancing for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, writing special “Behind the Screams” features and interactive copy. A love of writing for children blossomed, and Matt currently has his own horror/gross-out/humor series, Monster Juice, the fifth book of which, Tomb of Brain Ooze, was just released in December 2014. Matt lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his wife and 2 year old daughter.