After a long semester, summer is a great time for relaxing by the pool, hanging out with friends and family, or just vegging out on the couch, but plenty of IC students spend their summer break performing research, interning, or even winning gold medals. These are just some of the interesting ways that IC spent summer vacation.
Marc Chasin, a rising senior who plays on the IC men’s basketball team, spent part of his summer playing for a different team — Team USA. The business administration major won a gold medal at the 2017 Maccabiah Games, a quadrennial sporting event in Israel featuring the top Jewish athletes from all over the world.
Chasin scored 43 points during the six-game tournament, with two double-digit efforts. While winning gold was his favorite moment of the games, just wearing USA across his chest was special for Chasin. “Not a lot of people get to say that they were able to represent their country [in a sporting event],” he said.
Chasin was joined on the team by 2013 IC alumnus Travis Warech. The two became close friends during the games. “It gave us a connection right off the bat,” said Chasin. “We were able to be close and talk and look out for each other.”
When he wasn’t playing basketball, Chasin had the opportunity to travel throughout Israel, taking in tourist attractions and cultural sites including the Western Wall, the Dead Sea and Masada.
Anthropology major Maia Rumsey and her classmates Kasey Gregory and Carolina Gaudenzi joined associate professor Jennifer Muller in Canton, New York, helping to excavate century-old human remains from the St. Lawrence County Poorhouse Cemetery. The remains were to be removed because they were threatened by erosion from the nearby Grasse River.
For five weeks, the students used hand trowels to dig down centimeter by centimeter into the earth. Unfortunately, the acidic soil had damaged the bones so much that they could not be moved. “You couldn’t touch them without your finger going through them,” said Rumsey. “They would completely turn to dust.”
Regardless, Rumsey found the experience to be rewarding and informative. “I learned a lot about what bioarchaeology truly is, and I’m interested in it as a future career,” said Rumsey.
Victoria Voorhees, an athletic training major and rising senior, spent three weeks at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, where she took part in a nationwide study on concussions. A handful of other Ithaca College students and alumni also participated.
The study, which was launched by the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense in 2014, is the largest ever of its type, with an estimated 37,000 student athletes evaluated over a three-year period.
At West Point, Voorhees administered baseline concussion assessments to cadets, who she explained are more likely to suffer from concussions than are civilians because of their military training. The baseline testing — which assesses balance, memory and ocular motor function — is used as a reference if a cadet is concussed during the year.
It was the second summer that Voorhees took part in the study at West Point. She initially applied on the recommendation of some older classmates, who told her it was a good opportunity to practice concussion assessments.
“Getting to perform these baseline tests is a good opportunity for my own individual practice,” said Voorhees. For example, she explained that she learned over time to ask more specific questions during the memory assessments in order to reduce misunderstandings.
Besides being able to practice and hone her technique, Voorhees simply enjoyed West Point. “Being on base, the atmosphere there is incredible,” she said. “The history and the mindset of the cadets is like no other.”
Pintak was one of only 28 students from around the world selected for the 2017 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program. The 10-week paid internship offers an array of college students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to gain hands-on experience within their fields of study and has led to future employment with NASCAR and partnering organizations.
It was the rising senior’s first experience with corporate sales, and he spent his days researching and reaching out to a variety of companies to sell them group tickets. “It was good. It’s definitely an option for me career-wise,” Pintak said.
Pintak also took part in weekly lunch events in which NASCAR executives would discuss working in the industry.
And of course, he got to see some auto racing. “It was cool. You gain a respect for what they’re doing,” Pintak said.
Geoff Devereux, a rising senior viola player studying music education, stayed on South Hill for part of the summer, working as a counselor at the college’s annual Summer Music Academy for middle and high school students.
As a counselor, Devereux was responsible for supervising eight campers at each of the academy’s two sessions. He also assisted in the campers’ education by playing with them during performances and answering questions and giving pointers during daily independent practice periods.
Devereux said that there are important differences between the high school students, many of whom are experienced and preparing to audition for music schools, and middle school students who are just being introduced to broad musical concepts. “Middle school is nice because you see much bigger growth, especially with people who aren’t sure if they really want to keep going with music,” he said.
This was the third summer Devereux worked at the Summer Music Academy, and he said that the experience has influenced his teaching and put him on the fast track to being a better educator.
Devereux’s favorite experience from the academy was seeing the progress made by campers in the practice sessions. “Within a week, they are working every second, and half the time they forget to check what time it is and we have to remind them that it’s time to go,” he said. “They choose to take initiative and really put themselves forward.”