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.
When it came time for Rochelle Frankson to choose a college, her mother had a suggestion for her: Ithaca College. Her mom had heard about Ithaca during an informational meeting for parents. Rochelle is from Jamaica, and the meeting was part of a program to prepare families to apply to American schools.
“She heard the name Ithaca College enough for her to remember and tell me, ‘Apply to that one.’ A lot of good things were said in the meeting about IC,” Rochelle says.
As a chemistry major, Rochelle discovered an interest in medicine. She contemplated pre-med studies, but her interests led elsewhere. “I was falling more and more in love with the science of medicine, not the actual practice of it. When I heard about pharmacology, I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Rochelle’s inclination toward pharmacology led to lab internships during which she used X-ray and computer analyses to see how certain acids bonded to a protein known as histone-deacetylase-8, and how those acids stopped or slowed activity in the protein through crystallization. Research shows that the protein is overactive in cases of colon and prostate cancer, and their goal in the lab was to identify potential acid “inhibitors” that other researchers could someday use in developing new cancer treatments.
In the spring of her senior year, Rochelle traveled to New Orleans to attend an American Chemical Society conference with classmates and professors from IC’s chemistry department. A big take-away for Rochelle was a talk about the lack of basic scientific knowledge among the general population and why it’s important for scientists to help keep the public informed.
“You’re doing this research to eventually help other people. You have to translate it for the nonscientific community.”
Rochelle also found time to be a student leadership consultant with the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs and was involved with Service Saturdays. “I love creating events or just being in an office or doing little tasks that are ultimately helping the wider community.”
After graduating, Rochelle went into a Ph.D. program at Indiana University. She compared departing IC to leaving family and described the chemistry department as “very close-knit” among the students and teachers.
“I expected the professor-student relationship to only be professional. But they actually have a vested interest in you as a person.”
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.”
- Campus Life and Leadership
- Health Sciences
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Internships and Fieldwork
- Math and Natural Sciences
- Music and Performing Arts
- All Categories