What Our Students Say

Student Stories

Joel Whitmore '15

My name is Joel Whitmore, and I am originally from Dryden NY. I spent a semester in Tanzania with a development organization called Global Service Corps. The program was offered through SUNY Albany. While in Tanzania I had the opportunity to participate in a service learning program which included classes in language, culture, HIV/AIDS, and sustainable agricultural practices. The majority of the program was spent teaching community groups with Tanzanian translators. We spent four weeks covering HIV prevention and care, and four weeks teaching the importance of sustainable agriculture and food security. I was in Tanzania for a total of 15 weeks, and it broadened my perception of life and inspired me to make development work my future career. I double majored in Political Science and International Development Studies, and I hope to secure a job with a development organization.

Tips for success

It was a great honor to be for the Academic Achievement Award. After arriving at Oneonta as a freshman, I thoroughly enjoyed my political science curriculum and the teachers who have played such a large role in my success. I have three basic tips for success, tips that worked for me during my four years and will hopefully propel me to great heights in the future. My first tip for success is to have discipline and dedicate a portion of your day and night to your coursework. College life is an exciting time because it is the first time many kids have been out from under the close watch of their parents or guardians, but I have always reminded myself that I was at Oneonta for an education first. My second tip for success is to learn from your mistakes. Questions that appear throughout the year will most likely either be on a final exam or vital to a paper, so take the time to go back and learn so that you will not get those questions wrong a second time. My final tip to success is to never settle. This is a quote I live by every day, which can be applied to more than just school work. I think it is important to keep striving and to keep improving yourself not only as a student but as a young adult as well. I urge all those who are not Political Science students, to give a couple courses a try!

Edward Clarke '10

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Oneonta. I have taken classes from a variety of the professors in the Political Science department, and have worked hard to excel in my courses. In addition to my studies, I have served as Treasurer of the Political Science Club, Student Association senator, Student Association Assistant Treasurer, Student Association Executive Vice President, OAS Board member, Omicron Delta Kappa Vice President, Order of Omega Vice President, Order of Omega President, and Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and President of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. I currently have a 3.90 cumulative GPA, after accomplishing two 4.0 GPAs in my Junior year.

While Dr. Compton had me very interested in the Model UN as a freshman, I was selected as an alternate. Fortunately, I was later given the spot to participate and have done so each year at Oneonta. I have served as the head delegate the past two years and was selected to be the chair of the General Assembly Plenary committee this past year. This opportunity would not have been possible if not for the willingness of the department to create a teachers research assistant course. Students are only supposed to be able to participate two times, but I am thankful for the chance at a third term. Most recently I was selected to serve on staff at the 2010 National Model United Nations conference in New York City. I will serve as the Assistant Director of the Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean. The National Model United Nations Conference is sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association and is one of the largest simulations in the world.

The Political Science Department has been instrumental in my recent success, due to the guidance and assistance that I have received. The size of the classes and the quality of the courses taught has not only helped me find a true passion in politics, but I have had the opportunity to really work on my skills as a student. SUNY Oneonta has many opportunities and I have tried to take advantage of as many as possible.

Liz Lipke '09

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad while in college, and finally decided to apply to a program for the fall semester of my senior year. The application process was a lot of work and the estimated costs for most of the programs were very daunting. I knew I wanted to go to Ireland, my grandmother was born in County Killarney and I have always wanted to go. Also, not knowing a second language made Ireland appealing. It took a lot of paperwork and preparation to go away, but there is nothing like going to a new place and living in a different culture. As someone who attended college 1½ hours from home and visited home pretty often, some people were surprised I was going to be away for almost four months. I knew it was going to be different and difficult but I have never made a better choice.

I went to Griffith College, a small private school in the southern part of Dublin. It was very small and known for its international-student programs. There were many other SUNY students there along with other Americans. There were also several students from other European and Asian countries. It was very diverse, which added to the experience. I took regular classes with the non-international students. The classes were a little different. The teaching style did differ; there were no quizzes and only one major assignment in each course along with finals. At Griffith, they had main faculties of learning and I took classes in three of them. They do not have electives and have rigid timetables for their students. Irish government was interesting to learn about, even though it is also a democracy it was very different than the US. It was a more casual setting than Oneonta and American universities- students actually called the lecturers by their first names.

While studying in Ireland I was able to do more traveling than I ever thought I would get a chance to do. I traveled all around Ireland and saw things other than the capital including Galway and the Cliffs of Mohr. I also took weekend trips to Valencia, Spain, and Paris. It is amazingly easy to travel around Europe once already there. The people in Ireland were as friendly as people know them to be, and it was the most fun I have ever had. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone interested. It does take a lot of work and seems scary but it was definitely worth it. I will never regret going away, I miss Dublin and all of the friends that I made while there.

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