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 Kacey Deamer was 14, she noticed healthy trees in her neighborhood marked for removal. “There was nothing wrong with them. They just happened to be bothersome to somebody,” Kacey recalls. That was when she realized many people don’t appreciate the planet for what it is.
Kacey decided she could make a difference by investigating and reporting on environmental issues. “I want to share my passion through journalism so that people not only understand the environmental issues at hand, but they’re also emboldened to go out and act on them.”
As a student at IC, Kacey took every opportunity to expand her understanding of the environment and media. She traveled with a class to the United Nations Framework Conference for Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, to observe climate talks in action. Guided by professors, she landed media internships each year of her college career. She reported environmental news for the Ithacan newspaper and Buzzsaw magazine—and as a senior, she became the first student to be an editor for both.
While researching a story, Kacey emailed Ithaca alumna Kate Sheppard ’06, staff reporter at Mother Jones magazine. Kate became Kacey’s mentor and connected her to an internship opportunity at the magazine. She also encouraged Kacey to apply for the Recharge! retreat held by Focus the Nation. Recharge! brings together rising leaders in the clean energy movement from across the country to learn about and discuss environmental issues.
Kacey was invited to the retreat, and spent an enlightening week visiting a coal plant, wind farm, and dam, climbing a glacier, and speaking with other students who were passionate about environmental issues. “It was one of those experiences that really encourages you to think that a difference can actually be made, that you’re not the only one thinking that something needs to change.”
Kacey plans to continue reporting on the issues after graduation and to further her education in environment and science journalism. The inspiration for the next phase of her environmental education came from her IC class trip to the UN climate change conference. “Somehow scientists are able to communicate and agree, and the politicians can’t make it happen. What I really want to be able to do is bridge that gap. Take the science and translate it so that people understand, and then those readers can push the politicians to make the changes that we need.
“I feel ready to save the planet in some small or large way and to take on the challenge of making people care. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I think I can do it.”
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.”
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