IC Honors Alumni Spotlight: Alyssa Frey ’14

Meet Alyssa Frey, a recent graduate from the Class of 2014! Alyssa was a Journalism Major with minors in Legal Studies, Writing and Communication Studies. Alyssa is currently a graduate student at Boston College in Boston, MA. Find out more about Alyssa below!

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Current positions: “Communications Graduate Assistant & M.A. Higher Education Student, Lynch School of Education, Boston College.”

One piece of advice you wish you had been given at IC: “Pick a few things you love and dive into them with your whole soul. Don’t overextend. I am the worst example of this.”

Favorite Honors Seminar you took and why: “News of the Century with Professor [Mead] Loop — a great professor, an interesting subject & just the right amount of work.”

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

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 Student Spotlight: Sari Stifelman

Meet senior Sari Stifelman, a Theatre Studies major with a minor in Deaf Studies from Plainview, NY. Learn more about Sari below!

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Favorite part about IC: “The people. Throughout my time at IC, I have been able to collaborate with my peers and meet people from all walks of life. Additionally, the faculty have been such pillars of support and inspiration.”

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why: “It’s definitely a tie. First, I would have to say Staging History with Claire Gleitman. It was the first honors seminar that I have been able to combine my honors minor with my Theatre Studies major. It provided me to look at plays through a different lens than my major classes. However, I am also so in love with the honors seminar I took in London with Bill Sheasgreen, the director of the ICLC called City as Text. We spent every Monday going on walks throughout the city, using the city of London as out textbook.”

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program: “LONDON. I had the opportunity to study abroad in London for the Fall of 2013. It was by far the greatest experience of my entire life. I learned so much about myself and made memories that I truly will never forget. My gosh that is so cheesy, but so true.”

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 Student Spotlight: Samantha Guter

Meet Samantha Guter, a junior Journalism major from Chicagoland, Illinois with minors in art, theatre and the Honors program! Samantha helps manage social media for IC Honors, is an RA in the HOME program and very involved in theatre and publications on campus (and she promises someone else nominated her, she’s not posting about herself just cause). Learn more about Sam below:10980703_10206016309317764_1312221271531340813_n

Favorite part about IC: “Definitely the community here and the ease of getting involved. I’m an ambivert, and most of the time, I love interacting with people. Being able to walk across campus and see both people I know and people I don’t know is great – there’s always the opportunity to meet new people but there are always people you’ll know wherever you go. It’s also so easy to get involved with whatever you want to do. The people here make the school – both CCES and Res Life where I work I joke are my ‘families’ because it really seems like that most of the time.”

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why: “Undoubtedly, Gender, Sex and Desire with Carla Golden. It was largely discussion-based and the books we read sparked such interesting expansions of everyone’s ideas about what makes a person a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’ and discussed the fluidity of sexuality and gender. Even though I had a really awesome knowledge base in those subjects, it was phenomenal to be able to read and discuss these concepts in a more academic setting. Plus, Carla’s just amazing.”

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program: “I’m going to cheat a little bit here and list two. One is the phenomenal experience of participating in the Patti Pace festival in Georgia both my freshman and sophomore year with professor Bruce Henderson. It was such a great experience to meet other students passionate about communication, art and theatre and build connections with other professionals and other students from across the nation. The second one is the chance I had to go abroad to the Ithaca College London Centre last semester. Having the opportunity to immerse myself in British culture and travel all over Europe was beyond anything I had ever dreamt of, and taking Bill Sheasgreen’s Honors seminar in London was a phenomenal experience to get to know a city on an intricate and personal level.”

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 Alumni Spotlight: Christina DiCillo ’13

Meet Christina DiCillo from the Class of 2013! Christina was a International Business Administration major with a minor in Italian is currently teaching english in Seoul, South Korea! Find out more about Christina below:

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Current positions: “I’m currently living in South Korea. I moved here a few months after I graduated, and I teach English at an elementary school in Seoul. In my spare time, I’m studying Korean!”

A piece of advice you wish someone had given you at IC: “Aside from the standard “Make time to have fun with your friends and to get out there, don’t spend all of your time studying, things will work out” advice that I should have listened to, I wish someone had told me about how awesome the 5th floor of the library was earlier!”

Favorite Honors Seminar you took and why: “Oh man, that’s a tough choice. I really enjoyed all of the seminars I took, but I think my favorite was Evolution of Evolution. We got to explore not only the scientific theory of evolution, but also how it applies to so many things in our world. Music, art, culture, even internet memes can all be discussed with the evolutionary process in mind. I got to write my final paper on something I love, the evolution of ballet. It was really cool to be able to synthesize something that people think of as very fundamentally science-y with things we encounter every day, and to see that doesn’t just apply to the evolution of humans or animals, but anything and everything around us.”

One word that sums up your university experience: “Challenging. But not in a bad way at all. Ithaca taught me to challenge my own beliefs and others that I didn’t agree with. Ithaca challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone in so many ways, from classes to study abroad to every day life. I grew so much from those experiences. And most of all, nobody can say it isn’t a challenge walking up those hills in the winter!”

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: 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.

IC Honors Student Spotlight: John Jacobson

Meet our Student Spotlight of the Week, sophomore John Jacobson, an IMC major with minors in Writing and Women’s & Gender Studies from DuBois, Pennsylvania. John is very active in LGBT+ activism and feminism both on-campus and off. Learn more about John below:

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Favorite part about IC: “My favorite part of IC is the amazing people that inhabit it. The friendships I have created on this campus are ones that I treasure. IC has allowed me to find friends that understand what it means to be an outsider.”

Favorite Honors seminar and why: “Wonder Women and Lethal Girls: Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy. That freshman Honors seminar with Katharine Kittredge changed my life. It introduced me to a lot of social justice concepts and introduced me to people who were passionate about the two things that I hold close: books and justice.”

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program: “My coolest opportunity through IC has probably been having the ability to work at the LGBT Center through the IC Counseling and Wellness Center. The LGBT Center is a under-utilized resource on this campus that provides a haven for queer students and their allies. Working there has changed my life and allowed me to grow as a queer person and as a general student.”

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!