Alumni Visits

During the spring 2008 semester, 15 H&S alumni came back to the Ithaca College campus to share their thoughts and expertise with current students. These alumni visits, supported by the H&S Ithaca Fund, gave students a glimpse of what the “real world” is like. Paige Davis ’09, an environmental studies major, thinks that it’s important for students to see that alumni value their Ithaca College experience and the education they received here. More than that, “It’s nice to see where former students went after Ithaca; it gives us perspective about where we can go in the future.”

Department faculty hosts are equally enthusiastic about the value of these alumni visits. Bruce Thompson, associate professor and chair of physics, said that the visit by Evan Salim ’03 “was everything we hoped it would be. He generated a lot of buzz among the students both on the topic of graduate school and about his research.”

Alumni also are pleased to have the chance to give back to their department and their school by coming to campus. English major Sylvie Larsen ’07 was one of five alumni on a panel about different career opportunities for English majors. She credits her current career direction to her time at Ithaca: “I came to Ithaca knowing that I wanted to work with books, but I had no idea what my options were. When I took Professor [Wendy] Hyman’s History of the Book class, I was introduced to a world of rare and antiquarian books that I never knew existed. It still is a thrill to find interesting copies of books I would have never read if it weren’t for Ithaca.”

Alumni focus not only on what they learned at IC but also on how they can share their expertise with current students. Peter Grigelis ’96, who spoke in two economics classes, explained, “I particularly like to give current students a perspective of economics that they may not know. There is a prominent role of economics in so many different issues from recreation to social to environmental issues. I like to give students that wider perspective.”