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.

IC Honors Student Spotlight: Marieme Foote ’18

This week’s student spotlight is Marieme Foote, a junior from Silver Spring, MD. Since her first semester on campus, she’s been working to improve this college as a member of the Student Government Association. This past spring, she was elected to represent the student body as the president of SGA. However, anyone who knows Marieme, has seen that her concern for community and humanity extends far beyond this campus. As a Martin Luther King Scholar and a double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science, Marieme is committed to the pursuit of social justice and making the world a better, more humane place. Learn more about Marieme below!

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Favorite part about IC:
I love the amazing people I’ve been able to meet and befriend. I’ve gotten to know people from all walks of life with amazing and inspiring stories. From Faculty, Students, and Staff I’ve been able to gain a larger perspective of life on and off campus and the people that occupy those spaces.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
My favorite honors seminar would have to be American Breakdown with Professor Hugh Egan. I loved the course and how it looked at literature from different lenses in relation to social perceptions of mental illness and the way it has affected communities and individuals.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
Last year I went on the day trip to Ottawa Canada and I thought that was pretty cool since I had never been there. I got to see a lot of really cool sites like the longest ice skating rink named the Rideau Canal which is the longest ice skating rink. I also got to buy a lot of maple syrup candy and tea which is always fun!

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: Megan Holman ’19

Meet sophomore Physics major Megan Holman from Spencer, NY. A student with a wide range of interests and talents – Megan is about more than just thermodynamics and kinematics. She plays French Horn in the campus band, competes on the soccer pitch for a local Tompkins County club team, and works with Ithaca College’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, volunteering her time and hard work to help make subsidized housing available to those in need of it. Learn more about Megan below!

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Favorite part about IC:
I love the people, the professors and students especially. They are all very supportive and want you to achieve your goals, whatever they might be. I haven’t ever had a bad interaction with anyone at IC. I also really love the view, I never get tired of it. If you’ve never looked out over Cornell and the lake from the end of the Emerson parking lot you really should, it’s amazing. Between the people and the classes and all of the events, IC just makes me feel at home.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
I’ve only taken two honors seminars so far, but my favorite has been the Winter Wonderland tracking course.It taught me a lot about nature and the natural world, and has made me feel more connected to my environment. It also gave me a good excuse to spend a few hours in the Natural Lands every week.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
I have had so many amazing opportunities through IC and the Honors program, from the honors trips, to research opportunities, to being able to continue playing the French Horn and soccer, to OSEMA events about leadership, everything I have done has taught me something and helped me grow into the person I am today. There’s no way I could pick just on opportunity as the coolest.

 

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 New Student Spotlight: Clare Nowalk ’20

Meet this week’s new student spotlight, Clare Nowalk. A first year Exploratory student from Culver, IN, Clare is looking forward to taking classes in politics or business and is particularly interested in foreign affairs. She’s excited about joining one of the a cappella groups on campus this fall and although she’s unsure about her academic interests, she does know that wants to travel the world. Learn more about Clare below!

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What are you most excited for about Ithaca College?
I am SO excited for the classes. As an exploratory major, I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule and time to decide what I really want to do.I can’t wait to delve deeper into my passions and beliefs while learning about not only the world, but what my role in it could potentially be. I’m also very excited to get to know everyone, get involved in clubs, and explore Ithaca.

What have you been up to this summer? Do you have a favorite memory?
This past summer was a pretty busy one for me because I was focusing very heavily on some health setbacks I have had over the past year. But when that was all said and done, I spent a lot of time outdoors hanging with friends and family. One of my favorite memories from the summer was when I went to Baltimore for my cousin’s wedding and explored the city with my big, loud, lovable family!

What are you passionate about? What do love to do?
I’m passionate about everything from singing to protecting the environment! I have always figured it’s better to explore multiple passions than focus on one. I love to travel, volunteer, help others, perform, and advocate for my beliefs. In my down time, I enjoy reading, journaling, watching Netflix and the news, doing yoga, and drinking copious amounts of tea.:)

 

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: 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.

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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.