PROFILE: Scholarship Recipient
International student Syrena Shirley '05, who majored in accounting, received a host of scholarships. Her energetic service as a student, and her commitment to giving back as an alumna, benefit IC and future students.
As a high school student in Kingston, Jamaica, Syrena Shirley '05 had aspirations of a future in international business. But her dreams were not without obstacles. "I'm one of four children, and the first in my family to go to college," Shirley says. "My parents couldn't pay for everything, so financial assistance was crucial. Ithaca College gave me the most aid, so I came here. The scholarships I received definitely reduced my debt."
Majoring in accounting and minoring in French, Shirley worked at a variety of campus jobs, including a stint in Information Technology Services, where she made extra money while strengthening her computer skills. She also developed her expertise in communications and leadership through many service activities, among them terms as a student justice, treasurer of the student service organization Circle K, and chair of the Dean's Hosts phonathon.
Perhaps her highlight achievement was a two-year term as student trustee on the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. "That experience gave me the perspective to see the big picture," Shirley reccalls. "The board had some tough decisions to make, including authorizing a tuition increase. As a student I felt one way, but as a board member I realized we had information that students did not. Being an accounting major, I understood what was at stake."
Shirley feels those broadening experiences will serve her well in her business career. "You can go to classes anywhere," she says. "I wanted a place where people would make me feel comfortable, and I found that at Ithaca College. After graduating last spring, Shirley joined the New York City office of KPMG International, an accounting firm with offices in 148 countries. In addition to mastering her new duties, Shirley plans to ask her employer for matching funds with which to start a scholarship in the School of Business.
-- Keith Davis
Photo by John Clisham '02
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