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.
At Ithaca College, Emily Brown ’12 was encouraged by professors to pursue her interests wherever they may take her—which happened to be all over the world. From juvenile detention centers in New Zealand to a secondary school in Slovakia and from a nonprofit in Colorado to graduate school in London, Emily’s path to learn about youth justice and education has taken many exciting turns. Her cross-cultural journey began with a research project.
As part of a senior year Research Methods course, Emily compared the juvenile justice systems of the United States and New Zealand. She conducted interviews with parole officers, judges, and lawyers in the U.S. through connections made by her sociology professors—but that’s only half of the story.
Through IC’s study abroad program, Emily headed to New Zealand to gather the information that would constitute the other half of her paper.
“While I was doing interviews on New Zealand’s criminal justice system, I was in communication with my professor at IC. We’re now working on getting the paper I wrote published in a sociological journal.”
As graduation neared, Emily was accepted to the highly competitive Fulbright program and went to teach students at a bilingual school in Slovakia—an assignment that drew on her knowledge from her English and sociology coursework at IC.
“My professors gave me the opportunity to work closely with them on projects that were close to me. That experiential learning is what gave me the confidence to move to a country where I didn’t speak the language [and yet was able to] successfully communicate my thoughts and really make an impact on students’ lives.”
Upon returning to the United States, Emily committed to one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) at a literacy nonprofit in Denver, Colorado. Her focus at the nonprofit was on volunteer organizing and community engagement, seeking out people who were willing to donate their time to tutor over 500 students in basic reading skills.
“At Ithaca, I was part of Alternative Spring Break, and I went to an organization that provided after-school and homeschooling services. The VISTAs there made a world of difference to the kids in the program. I knew I wanted to do that.”
As her assignment drew to a close, Emily applied and was accepted to the London School of Economics and Political Science for a master’s degree in criminal justice policy. She credits IC’s liberal arts focus for helping her connect her interests in a logical way.
“I’m looking at policy work and policy analysis, things I’m really interested in. The liberal arts education I received at IC was perfect for me because I’m intrigued by so many things, and it allowed me to understand how things intersect.”
NASCAR events are a thrilling part of the American experience. But while fans root for their favorite drivers, not many consider the work that takes place long before the first engine revs. That’s where Jusan Hamilton ’13 is in the driver’s seat.
As an account executive for industry operations at NASCAR, Jusan is part of a team responsible for keeping races on track—managing communications, working with sponsors, and traveling to events around the country. But long before his first trip to Daytona, Jusan was racing around a dirt track in upstate New York.
Jusan’s talent led him to compete in go-kart and stock car races up and down the East Coast throughout his high school years. As graduation approached, Jusan set his sights on professional racing—but he was thinking outside the lanes.
“After I realized I wouldn’t be able to race in the top series in NASCAR, I decided that I wanted to work on the business side of the sport,” says Jusan.
His search for a college that would help him reach his goals led to Ithaca, where he worked toward dual degrees in sociology and integrated marketing communications (IMC).
“My two degrees showed me completely different aspects of the business world and of life in general. They really prepared me to make my own path in my career,” Jusan says.
“Sociology allows you to better interpret what you’re putting out there—how it’s going to affect different groups of people, and how they’re going to see it. From a public relations standpoint, sociology is really useful.
“Marketing and advertising are a big part of what makes the sport go ’round. There are communications aspects with the sponsors, the race teams, the track teams, and the corporate side. The IMC major encompassed everything I hoped to do.”
Jusan’s drive to work in professional racing—along with an education that combined skills and knowledge specific to his career goals—led to three internships in the industry followed by a full-time position in communications at NASCAR soon after graduation. Already rising through the ranks, Jusan is on the inside track toward his career goals.
“I love working for NASCAR; I love working in the industry. My goal is to continue to work my way up.”
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