Alyssa Napolitano '14Three-year-degree English major with a Creative Writing concentration and a double minor in Political Science and U.S. Ethnic Studies from Herkimer, NY
My hometown is Herkimer, NY. It's just about an hour away from school; I couldn't be happier with the distance! My parents can drive out and take me to breakfast at Neptune's Diner (YUM! My favorite!) or to watch me cheer at a home football game, but it also gives me enough space to be independent and grow as an adult.
In regards to my college search as a rising senior in high school, many people said, "You'll just know. It's a feeling that you'll have." After a variety of college visits, and no "feeling," I became a bit discouraged. The moment I stepped my two feet onto the Hartwick campus, I knew ... I had that feeling. I imagined myself as a student leader on campus and realized that was possible, even at the collegiate level, as I could tell that Hartwick fosters academic and extracurricular endeavors of all kinds! The caliber of the Hartwick faculty and staff is unprecedented by the colleges I looked at; each member makes it their mission to provide Hartwick students with a phenomenal undergraduate education, as over 90 percent of Hartwick graduates attend graduate school or find a job in the field that they studied.
What are your classes like?
My classes are small; therefore, the professor has the ability to challenge individual students to think about the topic on hand. This allows for further discussion with classmates. I'm a firm believer that you gain more knowledge from in-depth, intellectual discussions, and Hartwick's educational philosophy provides that!
What does "theory into practice" mean to you?
"Theory into practice" means putting a practical spin on textbook material. Over January Term 2011, I completed an internship in Herkimer County Family and Supreme Court, and conducted both law research for individual cases and groundwork for organizing Youth Courts in the county. I was able to take the material I'd learned in the coursework for my minor in Political Science and implement it in my time interning. What was really great is that I had assisted in the family court judge's election a few months earlier, and he utilized my input and ideas in his campaign!
How have your professors made an impact on your education?
The transition from high school to college includes many changes, including academic. As a New York State resident, many of my high school teachers taught Regents-specific material, leaving little to no time to analyze major works of literature or write our own creative manuscripts. After leaving my classes at Hartwick, I can confidently say I am walking away with a fact that I didn't know just a few hours earlier. My education, invaluable in all aspects, is worth every penny spent on it.
What do you do outside the classroom?
I'm involved in a lot of on- and off-campus activities, and every day, I take a half hour to start my morning out with a brisk run in the City of the Hills. You can usually find me in Clark or Golisano in the morning, studying or in class. Once classes are through, I put on my other hats as a Resident Advisor in Smith Hall, the Special Projects Coordinator in the Office for Community Involvement and Volunteerism, a Peer Leader for the 'Wick 101 classes, a tutor in the Writing Center, a Blue Key Tour Guide in Admissions, and a Career Advising Peer in the Career Services Office. I love hosting campus events, such as Orchesis and the HCAB event, "Mr. Hartwick." I sit on various committees in the Oneonta community, as well, such as serving as the Entertainment and Youth Chair for the Oneonta Heart Run and Walk and the Raceway Coordinator for the Oneonta CROP Walk. On Saturday afternoons, you can catch me smiling and cheering away on the sidelines of the football team as a member of the Hartwick Cheerleading Team.
How do you describe Hartwick to your friends back home?
I let them know how incredible the opportunities offered here are, and then make sure to let them know that those opportunities are possible because of the close-knit community we have on campus!
What comes after Hartwick?
After working in the Student Affairs Office for over a year now, I've decided on a career in higher education. Following my graduation from Hartwick, I'd like to attend Syracuse University for a master's degree in higher education. (Being hired by Hartwick would be great, too — wink, wink.)
What would you tell future Hartwick students?
There's so much advice I'd love to give to future Hartwick students, but if I were to pick a select few pieces, I'd let them know the following: Explore, explore, explore! This includes yourself, your surroundings, new friends, studying abroad ... everything! Hartwick wants you to find you!