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.
Five months after graduating from Ithaca, Tom Healy was working with the search and rescue team in California’s Yosemite National Park when he got a call that a woman had fallen and fractured her leg on Half Dome, one of Yosemite’s iconic peaks.
When Tom and his team partner reached the woman, they knew it wouldn’t be an ordinary rescue. “She needed to be medevaced off the top,” he recalls. “And a storm was coming in, and we were in a very bad place.”
An avid hiker and rock climber, Tom chose Ithaca because it offered a major—outdoor adventure leadership—that could prepare him for situations like this, blending theory with wilderness immersion so that he could put classroom learning into practice.
“You learn that the consequences of your decisions are very important,” he says. “It definitely gives you more tools in your bag for life.”
The storm hit so close that Tom’s partner felt electric shocks through the metal frame of his backpack, and another hiker’s hair stood on end. “What I learned in my classes at Ithaca is to remain calm,” Tom says. “You have to have the coolest head in the group.”
As the weather grew increasingly violent, Tom helped the woman safely aboard the rescue helicopter and then led the other hikers to safety as lightning struck around them. “If we hadn’t gone up there and gotten her off the mountain,” he says, “she definitely would have died.”
Tom got a letter from the National Park Service commending him on his bravery and a heartfelt thank-you from the woman whose life he saved. “The letter of thanks I received from the injured hiker was worth all the effort,” he says.
Now Tom is studying in an advanced paramedics program so that he can return to Yosemite as a full-time employee. “Ithaca College made me ready to adapt to any situation.”
>> More on this story: "Alum's Bravery Earns Notice" - Fuse
Perri Rumstein ’13 chose IC because its integrated marketing communications major offered advertising, public relations, and marketing.
“I couldn’t decide between business and communications, and IC was the only school I found with aspects of both in one major,” Perri said. “With a versatile degree, I’d have a broad background that I could eventually narrow down to find the direction I wanted.”
That broad background led to semester-long internships—one writing commercials for a local radio group and the other promoting the Verizon Wireless brand on campus for a Chicago-based marketing agency.
“The interviewers at the internships were impressed that I was getting business credits with the marketing concentration as well as creative know-how from communications,” Perri said. “It set me apart.”
Perri broadened her classroom and internship experiences by working as a president’s host for the admission office. In addition to giving campus tours, she assisted with open houses and student recruiting. When she was promoted to co-chair of the President’s Hosts Committee, she took on more responsibility. As a student event manager, she supervised a team of 30 peers working with the admission staff to organize a four-day conference for 700 college admission counselors.
“With an event that large, things will inevitably go wrong,” Perri said. “By watching how my supervisors maintained their composure, I learned how to move past problems and find solutions.”
Discovering she could handle the challenges of event management, Perri to set her sights on a career in corporate event planning. She also discovered something else.
“In high school, I wasn’t inspired to try new things. When it came time for college, I was afraid to leave everything behind. But IC challenged me, and my leadership skills flourished.”
In addition to co-chairing the President’s Hosts Committee, Perri is a senior class cabinet member and co-chair of the senior class gift campaign.
“I’ve talked to people from other schools who are terrified of graduation,” Perri said. “But after all I’ve experienced at IC, I’m not the least bit worried. IC’s prepared me to take on anything.”
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