Meet Integrative Studies majors

In Spring 2016 we approved three students' proposals! Read below to find out who the students are and descriptions of their new majors.


Approved in Spring 2016

Youth Development Outside the Classroom - Angela Weldon, Integrative Studies (B.A.) '18
"The area of Youth Development Outside the Classroom draws from different fields of study. First educational programs are crucial for Youth Development Professionals. Youth Development is definitely a form of education, and I think I would benefit from incorporating a good deal of this field into my plan. Second, psychology is an important component of this plan in order to learn about understanding the thoughts, personalities, and motivations of children, along with much more about their psychological makeup and well being. This helps with problem solving and tailoring programs to children's specific needs and talents. Third, recreation and leisure studies are added to this plan because they influence the "outside the classroom" component of the major. I hope to instill non-academic values - leadership, teamwork, integrity, communication, etc. - in the children I work with. One way I would love to do this is through recreational pursuits such as sports, crafting, team-building exercises, and many other recreational programs. These three components are the significant factors driving my Planned Studies design. This combination will help me excel in the workplace I have chosen and will equip me to be a contributing member of the community through my work with Youth Development."

Mental Health: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach - Kathryn Weitzman, Integrative Studies (B.A.) '18
"This major is an approach to mental health and well-being by extending the approach that the counseling minor covers. It uses psychology courses to examine the brain, sociology to examine the societies and systems in place, health to examine how the body and the mind work together to create well-being, and politics to examine the systems and policies in place. If at the end of my studies I can talk about health, health care, and the mental health system in place and find ways to address the stigmas and problems in place, I have succeeded in learning what I need to address in my major. I can use this degree before studying mental health in graduate school."

 Criminology - Tiffany Sanabia, Integrative Studies '19
"[This major] contains courses in sociology, legal studies, culture race and ethnicity (CRE), politics, philosophy, and math. I chose to include 100 level courses in CRE and statistics. The area of CRE provides my plan with a focus on the influence of culture and race in society’s structure and the formation of policies. I included a statistic course based off the programs at UCI and Penn State. The goal is to receive a basic understanding of statistics and apply it to statistical analysis of crime. The various courses in sociology reflect the role of crime in our society. There are concentrations in law enforcement and criminal behavior. The courses in philosophy, legal studies, and politics reflect the study of the law, which is a major component of criminology. Together, all these courses will overlap and develop my knowledge in the relationship of law and crime. My academic goals for this plan is to learn in depth about crime and apply it to the world and my everyday life. I will know I am successful in the completion of my plan when I grasp an extensive perspective of law and crime that I did not have at the beginning. I am confident that the knowledge I will possess throughout the completion of this major will be significant in whichever career path I choose to pursue."


Continuing Planned Studies Majors

Arts Leadership and Production - Charlie Crawford, Planned Studies (B.S.) '17
"After my internship as the General Management Assistant to an Executive Producer this summer, I discovered that I enjoy being involved in allocating the resources necessary in order to see projects and events to fruition. The Planned Studies major is required for this path because it allows me to focus on the business and interpersonal skills necessary to bring people together for collaboration. The major will simultaneously allow me to incorporate performance skills that will allow me to communicate with performers more effectively. I hope to enter a production or management group and work to connect creative artists involved in different aspects of creating performances such as directing, technical direction, performing, marketing, public relations, etc. The courses in my plan will provide me with the skills to locate and connect people while also knowing what good work looks like." 

Behavioral Neuroscience - Derek Marinaro, Planned Studies (B.S.) '17
What I would love to accomplish more than anything is to learn more about psychopharmacology and maybe some day be able to work in a research lab to develop new drugs that can help people without the many side effects that a lot of people face from taking today's drugs. Whether that leads me to getting my master's degree or going straight into the workforce to work at a company such Pfizer or Eli Lilly, my main goal would be able to help people facing many of the psychiatric issues that we see today. A major in behavioral neuroscience will give the lab experience for the research and development, while classes in psychology will help me understand how psychologists run behavioral labs involving drug treatment, and thus end up writing and publishing important reports that help further the general understanding of neuroscience and psychopharmacology. It's important to have a blend of both straightforward, biochemical laboratory research experience and human behavior research experience because they are both very different fields trying to accomplish the same goal: furthering our understanding of the world. This planned course of action will lay down the exact foundation of information that I need to pursue such a highly specific area of study, giving me both factual and practical knowledge that any scientist would need to succeed."

Counter-storying - Kimberly Nicolas, Planned Studies (B.A.) '17
"Counter­-storying is the act of creating stories that challenge dominant cultural narratives, fundamentally redefining what people are able to see as real and conceive of as possible. This plan focuses on critical analysis of the construction, maintenance, and manifestations of systems of power and domination through the lenses of feminist theory and critical race, ethnicity, and culture studies, with the goal of developing the ability to create counter-­narratives in various forms, including film, television, and emerging media, that empower and liberate oppressed peoples. I want to empower other people, especially fellow women of color, and help them be able to see the possibilities of reality beyond what imperialist, white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist master narratives limit them to. This major will prepare me to do that by allowing me to focus first and foremost on understanding the roots of oppressive systems of power and domination, and also allowing me to develop my skills regarding the technical aspects of storytelling, including medium selection, writing formats, and narrative structure and development."

Film Producing, Production, and Studies - Francisco Aguilar, Planned Studies (B.S.) '16
I originally came to Ithaca as a Business major and played football and during my sophomore year I began to work on students sets and then began to take film classes. I combined my interest in business with my new passion of film and created a plan that allowed me to study and produce film academically while still practicing technical skills on student films. Film has given me the opportunity to travel to Italy to shoot a thesis film and Korea to take a production class in which I directed a documentary. My plan is broken down to prepare a filmmaker to be ready to go into the professional industry by working on students films and studying film from the three stages of production. The Planned Studies program allowed me to build a plan that was tailored to my needs and desires."

Human Development - Victoria Sayeg, Planned Studies (B.A.) '18
" My initial attraction to the idea of studying Human Development was derived from the multitude of possibilities that it provided for Post-graduation; whether it be working in a school, hospital, mental health clinics, assisted living homes etc. My hope from studying the various complexities and areas of Human Development will be to create an understanding of the overall lifespan and to fulfill an occupation in either in a social work or educational setting. I believe that this area of study is so broad that it will provide me with a versatile . My ultimate goal would be to lay down the groundwork in my Undergraduate education where a variety of areas are cohesively studied and could prepare me for a future concentration in a certain field. I feel that this program has the benefit of being so applicable to many different occupations and that will greatly prepare me with a well-rounded analysis of growth and development along with the social, cultural, psychological, and biological processes that initiated these growths. I intend to go to graduate school for a more concentrated study, but I would use my wide-ranging undergraduate academics to determine what this specific study would be. This program will allow me to gauge where my true strengths within this field stand and where I could envision a specific occupation."

Social Advocacy and Inequality in Child and Family Studies - Marlena Candelario Romero, Planned Studies (B.A.) '18
"As a high schooler, I worked extensively with children and simultaneously took classes in Sociology and Psychology that provided an academic understanding of their development and the context of their lives. At Ithaca College, I have the honor of being an MLK Scholar, a program that emphasizes Social Justice. The Planned Studies major I have created is entitled "Social Advocacy and Inequality in Child and Family Studies," and seeks to use a Social Justice lens in the examination of child development and family contexts that I began to explore in high school. Through the combination of classes in the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, Psychology, Sociology, and Writing, as well as a minor in Education, I will examine the various inequalities that families and children face with an awareness of race, gender and other factors, while preparing myself to teach, work in non-profit organizations and conduct my own research."

Social Systemic Design - Natalie Grande, Planned Studies (B.A.) '17
"After spending time in the Exploratory Program and as an Exploratory Peer Mentor, I found myself academically lost. I started the process to create my own path instead of settling on an academic home that did not perfectly align with my interests. Social Systemic Design combines Systemic Design with Social Justice, examining structures of people and their interactions with the environment from a big picture designing perspective.By combining courses in Management, Strategic Communication, Sociology, and Writing, I have created a dynamic and challenging liberal arts major that is only the beginning of a path of lifelong learning. After graduation, I would be interested in going into Human Resources/Development or designing for human interface. Many organizations require systemic thinking to be successful, and organizations that must have systemic thinking to be successful would be interested in having more of that mindset on their teams."

Criminology Studies - Katie Adolph, Planned Studies (B.S.) '17
"The knowledge that I will gain from completion of my plan will provide a solid base for me of which I can expand on in graduate school. I will know that my plan has been successful when I am able to apply all that I have learned about humans and analyze their behaviors, actions, thoughts, etc. in an efficient manner. I will be able to apply my knowledge in real world situations whether in an internship or in a career. I also believe I should feel prepared for graduate school and have the capability to not just retain my knowledge from Ithaca but to expand on it. I hope to have found answers in not only the basic reasons and causes of criminal acts but also discover how society directly influences them and what can be done to change the system."

Environmental and Urban Design - Julie Erickson, Planned Studies (B.A.) '17
"My plan of study includes a study abroad experience: Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics, which takes place in three different global cities and includes coursework in Urban Planning and Sustainable Environments as well as other courses geared towards urban development. I look forward to learning first hand how different cultures and societies have met the challenge of designing healthy, sustainable living in urban areas. I believe that this experience will inform my graduate study and beyond: my career. During my journey there, I anticipate designing a sustainability plan for an urban space in Ithaca as a senior project. I know that both people and the environment must be taken into consideration when designing or redesigning urban spaces, and that is what I plan to do." 

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