Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
With a vibrant community, professors who inspire, and the hands-on experience you need to dive into your field with confidence.
Jill Cadby loves to help people. So when this graduate of Ithaca College’s doctoral program in physical therapy was offered the opportunity to work at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, she jumped at the chance. The institute is world-renowned for its work, which made it a perfect fit for Jill coming out of Ithaca’s highly rated program.
“Kessler is a really great learning environment because it has three floors and you get to rotate every year. Right now I head the program on our floor for those who have had strokes. I get to take them on the treadmill and assist them in walking. I really like it because I get to see the gains the patients make daily.”
At Ithaca College, Jill focused on the neurological aspects of the practice. She spent time doing fieldwork in Rochester and Buffalo, New York, and in Florida. But her most moving experience was in Malawi, Africa, where a group from Ithaca College set up medical clinics, assisted with disease testing, and provided $50,000 worth of medical supplies. Jill also trained local nurses in physical therapy, making sure her work with the people of Malawi would continue to have an impact long after she returned to the states.
“At each fieldwork location I gained a tremendous amount of experience, but Malawi was a true life-changing opportunity,” Jill says. “It made me appreciate my profession and how I can really help change the lives of others for the better.”
Jill credits Ithaca College with making everything possible. “This is right where I want to be right now. My professors made me feel as if I could be a good therapist, and they respected me not only as a student but also as a future colleague. I feel ready to continue my personal and professional growth on a daily basis.”
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Eric Leibensperger was always interested in outdoorsy things, and at Ithaca College he became even more interested in the environment. “I eventually double majored in physics and chemistry to learn how to apply science to environmental issues,” he says.
Eric recently completed his Ph.D. at Harvard, and he credits his experiences in Ithaca’s science departments with giving him the ideal foundation for success.
“In a Ph.D. program you’re doing research all the time, and Ithaca was great preparation for that. I did research nearly every semester, and I learned the fundamentals for everything. I learned to think logically. I learned to write and present research. And when you do research at Ithaca, you work side-by-side with faculty and get lots of hands-on experience. At Harvard, that gave me a big leg up on students who’d been undergrads at large research universities but didn’t have that kind of experience,” he observes.
Eric’s doctoral thesis examines climate change from two sides of a coin—how climate affects air quality and how air quality affects climate.
“My field—atmospheric chemistry—straddles chemistry and physics, so my Ithaca majors were the perfect fit. I’ve just begun a postdoctorate program at MIT, looking at similar issues in the stratosphere. Long term, I’d like to become a professor,” he says.
Eric points out that while Ithaca is a great place to learn science, it’s not just a science school. There are plenty of opportunities to explore other disciplines and pursue personal passions, too.
“I was really into music before coming to IC, and I knew it was a really strong college for that. I took music classes right along with the music students, and played bass in a jazz ensemble. That kind of balance helps you manage your time and stay sane. At Ithaca, you really get the whole experience.”
>> More on this story: Undergraduate Research at IC: Learn by Doing
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