IC Honors Student Spotlight: Zoe Mendrysa ’19

Zoe Mendrysa is this week’s student spotlight. A sophomore biology major from Kingston, NY – Zoe is deeply invested in student affairs while also pursuing minors in deaf studies and health. She is the secretary of the Pre-Medical Society, a member of Students Today Alumni Tomorrow, and a building governor in Residence Hall Association. In addition, Zoe serves as the Chair of the Honors Advisory Board, a group of honors students that are elected to represent their peers in Honors proceedings. Perhaps you’ve also seen her giving tours to prospective students and their parents as a member of the president’s hosts committee. Zoe is an avid hiker and enjoys cooking as well as playing the french horn. One of her like mottos -“if you stumble, make it part of the dance.” To learn more about this thoughtful and intrepid honors student, continue reading below!

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Favorite part about IC:
IC offers endless opportunities. You can major and minor in two completely different fields, there are no restrictions or rules. Even in the music school there are ensembles for all different levels and majors so anyone can continue playing or even start playing. Ithaca College isn’t just based in Ithaca, but world wide. The alumni and networking connections are vast and can bring anyone anywhere. The staff and faculty are all willing to help students exceed through all the different resources on campus that are even accessible post-graduation. Even with clubs there are no restrictions. Whether its Students Today Alumni Tomorrow, Residence Hall Association or the Pre-Medical Society, I am connected to so many amazing people and opportunities.

Favorite Honors seminar that you’ve taken and why:
Wonder Women and Lethal Girls: Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy with Katharine Kittredge was an incredible class. It was my first-year seminar. We examined female characters in fantasy and science and how it related to feminism. We watched movies like Barabarella, read Herland, and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We learned skills such as self-defense, sexual assault advocacy, and took a belly dancing class. This class taught me new facts about the history of feminism and sexuality. We had the option to design our own final and express our own creativity which really made me think and open my mind. Not only was Professor Kittredge an incredible professor but was truly passionate about her lectures and students. I would recommend this class to ANYONE!

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
Being a President’s Host is the coolest job! I am really passionate about Ithaca College and the surrounding community so this position allows me to advocate to prospective students. Every week I have the opportunity to meet families and show them around Ithaca (aka home) and answer all of their questions. Occasionally, I even get to have lunch with prospective students and get to really know them. I have a lot of knowledge about Ithaca so feel free to ask me any questions or catch me walking backwards!

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 Student Spotlight: Jenna Mortenson ’19

This week, our student spotlight features Jenna Mortenson, a sophomore communication management and design major with a minor in journalism. Jenna is from Harveys Lake, PA and works on campus as a resident assistant and a president’s host tour guide for the Office of Admissions. She also works as a Dean’s Host, giving comprehensive tours of the Park School of Communications. Jenna is a passionate member of the Ithaca College Residence Hall Association, serving as its Vice President. She is also a member of the alumni relations organization Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT). She is interested in some day working in the fields of marketing, corporate communication, or public relations. In order to learn more about Jenna’s experiences as an Honors student, continue reading below!

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Favorite part about IC:
At IC, I love that you can get involved in whatever you are interested in, even if it isn’t directly related to your major. I’ve worked on ICTV, written for the Ithacan, and participated in student organizations like Students Today Alumni Tomorrow as well as the Residence Hall Association. These activities have allowed me to meet countless students with a wide variety of interests. IC doesn’t restrict you to a certain set of extracurriculars or classes that directly relate to your specific area of study. Instead, everyone at the college encourages you to grow and take part in initiatives and activities that span across the entire campus.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
Wonder Women and Lethal Girls: Feminism in Science Fiction and Fantasy, my first-year seminar, was by far my favorite honors seminar. I loved discussing the topic of feminism through the years through the lens of female representation in works of science fiction! The discussions in the class were fantastic and allowed me to look at the world of feminism with a fresh perspective. We read works like Herland, and we watched documentaries on Wonder Woman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as feminist works. Our final project allowed us to condense our most important takeaways in a creative lens that was most interesting to us. Our professor, Katharine Kittredge, was extremely knowledgeable and clearly passionate about everything we discussed, which only added to the experience of the class overall. The entire seminar was incredible, and I’m so glad I got the chance to take it during my first semester!

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
One of the coolest opportunities I’ve had at IC so far has been working as a President’s Host tour guide in the Office of Admission! Connecting with prospective students and showing them around campus has been an incredible experience that’s given me a new understanding of why IC is such a unique place. It’s great to be able to meet high school students from across the country and answer their questions about my school. It’s also fascinating to be able to learn so much about the school in general — I now have lots of fun facts about IC in the back of my mind at all times!

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.