IC Honors Student Spotlight: Erin Doran ’18

After a long break, we’re pleased feature junior honors student, Erin Doran as this week’s student spotlight. Erin is from Canandaigua, NY and studies Television Radio at Ithaca College. She’s also working towards a minor in Communication Management and Design. With a concentration in media production, Erin is highly involved in Ithaca College Television (ICTV) where she’s worked on four television shows including Fake Out, Ithaca College’s original game show. She’s been highly involved as the philanthropy chair and now newly elected president of Ithaca College’s chapter of the Delta Kappa Alpha National Professional Cinematic Society through which she collaborates with other Ithaca students to serve their community through cinema. Erin also serves on the executive board of IC Courage, helping to plan events to raise money for Camp Good Days and Special Times, a summer camp for children and families affected by cancer. Since January, Erin has been living it up on the West Coast, studying in Los Angeles with the ICLA program and interning at CONAN, the late night television show hosted by Conan O’Brien. A lover of dogs, music, theater, and working with kids, Erin is a distinguished member of the honors community. In order to learn more about her experiences as an Honors student, continue reading in her own words below!

'18 Erin Doran

Your favorite part about IC:
“Everyone on campus is so friendly! The Park School definitely has a community feel that promotes creativity and collaboration alongside learning, and the location in the number one college-town in the nation is wonderful. There’s always something to do both on and off campus. Our alumni are also amazing, and with so many networking opportunities offered through Ithaca, I feel more confident pursuing a career in the television and film industry!”

Your favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
“Creativity and Madness with Mary Beth O’Connor! I loved the psychological and philosophical aspects of the course, as well as the artistic. When we got to the class presentations, I enjoyed hearing each student’s insight on a selected topic dealing with the connection between creativity and madness. Our class discussions every day were intriguing, and throughout the semester I developed a new level of insight into the world of creativity through the eyes of those regarded by society as “geniuses” or “insane,” and discovered how these words do not do justice to what really may be happening.”

The coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
“Right now, I am participating in the ICLA program, and am interning at the late night talk show, Conan! I love living in Los Angeles and having the opportunity to work on set at the Warner Bros. lot everyday alongside other Ithaca Alumni! Everyone is so incredibly nice, and this semester has been a dream come true. Being able to participate in the ICLA program was a huge factor that led to my decision to go to Ithaca. There are so many great opportunities Ithaca provides for its students, both on campus and across the country!”



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: 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.

IC Honors Student Spotlight: Brianna Hoody ’19

Meet our student spotlight this week, sophomore Brianna Hoody from Bergen County, NJ. Brianna is a biochemistry major with a minor in music. She works for Residential Life as a resident assistant and is a member of the Symphony Orchestra. She also participates in a number of on campus organizations including the Adoption Support and Awareness Alliance Club, IC Big Brother Big Sister, and the Residence Hall Association. Last year, Brianna worked with a group of Ithaca College Honors students to organize and implement Clean Up Stewart Park, a project to pick up trash around the public facility. In addition to her involvement on campus, Brianna also teachers violin lessons to children in the Ithaca Area. She hopes to someday work in a medical profession. To learn more about Brianna, continue reading below!

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Favorite part about IC:
My favorite thing about Ithaca College is the community that surrounds the college. Ithaca NY and Ithaca College work together to make a wonderful college community where so many friends and memories are shared. Everyone that I have met at IC has been so friendly and welcoming, which has allowed for an amazing transition into Ithaca College and into my second year at IC.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
My favorite honors seminar that I have taken was my first year seminar, Why Are We Here. This class was able to teach me new ways of thinking and new ways of approaching problems. Having this class as one of my first at IC challenged me to understand new concepts in new ways that have helped me in all of my classes after.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
The trips that are sponsored by the honors program have allowed me to meet so many new people and explore so many new things and experiences. These trips are one the most beneficial parts of the honors program as we are able to meet more and more people on campus that are also part of the honors program and excited to explore more parts of the world with us.

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: Allison Taylor ’17

This week’s student spotlight is a senior English major from Harleysville, PA. Allison Taylor is also pursuing a minor in Anthropology. In addition to her studies, Allison is a teacher for SpeakEnglish.Asia, helping students learn the English language online. She’s studied abroad with the Ithaca College London Program and is a member of the Oracle Honors Society. Learn more about Allison below!

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Favorite part about IC:
The professors, by far. I have never met a professor that did not have time to meet, whether for a specific reason or just to chat. I have grown as a student due in almost entirely the mentorship of various faculty members.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
Probably Claire Gleitman’s “Staging History.” There were great class discussions and ideas were brought up that would later inform the direction of my thesis.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
I think the best opportunity that I have had would be the Edinburgh trip. I was able to see so many plays performed by people from all across the world. And to do so with other Honors students. It was an amazing experience.

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: Monica Chen ’18

This week’s Student Spotlight features Monica Chen, junior Writing major from Carlisle, MA. Monica is also working towards a minor in Integrated Marketing communications. As someone who is passionate about giving back to communities, both local and global – Monica has worked with 180 Degrees Consulting, helping local nonprofits improve their business practices. She is also the president of IC’s China Care Club, through which she helps coordinate activities to raise both awareness and funds for Chinese orphans. Monica is a member of Martin Luther King Scholar Program and an inductee of the Oracle Honors Society. This semester, Monica is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland where she’s interning for the video technology startup Viddyad. Continue reading for more about Monica!

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Above: Monia at the Cliffs of Moher in northern Ireland on her semester abroad with IES Dublin.

Favorite part about IC:
I’ve had incredible conversations in and out of classes with students who are extremely intelligent with so many interesting passions. I really appreciate being able to have real and deep conversations with people about important things like life experiences, matters of identity, social justice, and other topics like that. It’s very different from a lot of the more superficial conversations I’ve had with people back home.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
I loved American Breakdown with Hugh Egan. Not only is Professor Egan an amazing professor, but the books and short stories we read in the class were very interesting and a lot of the students have very insightful views on topics pertaining to mental illness, hysteria, as well as the cultural and historical contexts of the pieces we went over in class.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
I’m currently studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland and it has been the most amazing experience of my life so far. I’m so grateful that I’m able to spend a semester here and learn about the culture and the history of this place, as well as travel around Ireland and the rest of Europe.

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: Katie Jones ’19

Meet our student spotlight of the week – a sophomore double major in Journalism and International Politics from San Francisco, CA – Katie Jones. Katie is a member of the Model United Nations team at Ithaca College and produces content for local WICB radio and three ICTV shows including “Newswatch 16” and “The Election Center.” In addition to her significant involvement with campus media, Katie also volunteers weekends with Healing Through Musical Companionship, spending time with Alzheimer’s patients and offering musical therapy. This semester, she’s also started working as a Technology Learning Center Training Specialist for Digital Instruction and Information Services here at Ithaca College. Learn more about Katie below!

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Favorite part about IC:
My favorite part about IC is the hands-on experience I receive through the Park School of Communications. I am a newscaster for WICB Radio, and I am also involved in three ICTV shows. Having the hands-on experience of working on a real radio station/television station, will provide me a great skill set I can use in later internships and jobs.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
My favorite honors seminar has been Terrorism & Insurgencies taught by Chip Gagnon. As someone who is studying International Politics, it was interesting to study such a major portion of foreign policy. The seminar provided a deeper insight on terrorism, and I enjoyed the thought-provoking discussions that we had in the class.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
At IC, I am a member of Model United Nations. The coolest opportunities I have had is to travel to several conferences with the team. I attended Model UN conferences at Harvard, UPenn, and a smaller conference at Mt. Holyoke. It’s a great opportunity to network and make connections, as well as learn about international relations. This year, I plan to attend the same conferences plus one at Cornell, and one at McGill University in Montreal.

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: Ngan Tran ’18

This Student Spotlight features Ngan Tran, a junior Politics major from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. In her time here at Ithaca College, Ngan has committed herself to serving her classmates both as a resident assistant and as a Diversity Peer Educator. As an advocate for social justice, she serves as the president of IC Books Through Bars, a student organization dedicated to providing books for incarcerated men and women across the northeastern region of the country. Ngan is also a member of the IC Ping Pong Club and dreams of one day visiting Man United’s home stadium, Old Trafford and taking a picture with Cristiano Ronaldo. Learn more about Ngan below!

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Favorite part about IC:
My favorite part about IC is the people – my friends, professors, and co-workers. My friends give me shopping advices, are willing to listen to me, and are there when I need help. All of my professors are very approachable. I can visit them during their office hours and share with them what I have been thinking about. Most of the time those thoughts are academically related or thoughts that are central to who I am and my viewpoints about the world.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
Definitely International Scholarly Conversation with Naeem Inayatullah and Jason Freitag. I discover a lot about myself through writing and different concepts that were presented in the readings. One idea that I remember clearly is the concept of sameness leads to differences and differences lead to sameness (Ghassan Hage’s “Comes a Time We Are All Enthusiasm”: Understanding Palestinian Suicide Bombers in Times of Exighophobia). For example, when thinking or talking about terrorism, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is immediate condemnation. One does so without thinking or hesitation. One must starts off by declaring that terrorism is wrong and it shouldn’t be allow in any shape or form. By doing this, one misses the opportunity to allow themselves to think about the circumstances that coerce terrorists to act the way they do. What caused the terrorists to act like that? Do they have any motives or are terrorists simply crazy people? All of those questions were forgotten because one only thinks about criticizing terrorism. Denouncing terrorism might means that there is something that deeply connected a “normal” person to a terrorist. The hidden secret, but not a secret at all, is that we (both terrorists and a “normal” individual) are human beings. If one accepts that terrorists are also people, one would be horrified because they could act violently against other people when pressured into a deadlock situation. One thinks that terrorists are actually different from them in many ways and finds it very uncomfortable to view terrorists as human beings. This is what I called differences leads to sameness. In other words, one believe terrorists are different than them but it might not be true. We can’t accept that terrorists are human beings because doing so means there is a possibility that can act like that some day and that is not acceptable. Therefore, we can’t think that they are the same as us which lead me to conclude that sameness is not okay so one must view terrorists as something different, at least not human beings. This is what I called sameness leads to differences.

*The above is my interpretation of the Hage’s reading and may or may not align with the professors’ viewpoint.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
I got to spend an entire day in New York City with my friend Tian. We watched The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, had good food, walked a lot, and enjoyed each other company.

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: Ryan Bianconi ’17

This week’s Student Spotlight features Ryan Bianconi, a member of the senior class hailing from just up the road in Scipio, NY. An accomplished student of mathematics, Ryan presented his research on The Mean Median Sequence in the Ithaca College JJ Whalen Symposium last April. A week later, he presented at Colgate University for the 75th annual meeting of the Mathematical Association of America Seaway Section on his research into Infinite Series Without Calculus. Ryan is a member of the National Mathematics Honors Society, the Oracle Society, and Phi Kappa Phi. Despite such scholastic achievement, those that know Ryan acknowledge him as a man of kindness and humility, and value him as a friend. Learn more about Ryan below!

13001081_1713301472216946_5358161456876540671_n(Ryan with his advisor, Professor Osman Yurekli from the Math Department)

Favorite part about IC:
The people: be it in the Honors program, or in the mathematics department, I have found that they are a lot of wonderful people here at Ithaca College.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
American Breakdown (with Dr. Hugh Egan): The course presented a fascinating portrait of mental instability through American literature. At the time, I had never had any class like it. Even now, two years later, it stands out as one of the most unique classes I have taken.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
Going to Mathfest: The school of Humanities and Sciences co-funded my trip to Mathfest in Columbus, Ohio this summer where I was able to present some of my mathematical research on integral transforms and take in various presentations by other mathematicians.

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: 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!

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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.