Her vision of success
Success is defined in myriad ways for Tompkins Cortland Community College students, but Janelle Boyd came to the College knowing exactly what it meant for her: Success was transferring to Cornell University.
Cornell is a longtime partner in accepting transfer students from Tompkins Cortland, and Janelle went as far to receive a guarantee from Cornell to accept her if she maintained a high GPA in her time at Tompkins Cortland. She did more than that: She served as a College Ambassador in the College's Office of Admissions, and she was named to the all-region and all-conferences teams as a member of the Panthers softball team that finished fourth in the nation.
"I actually had my heart set on staying home (Janelle attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Hempstead), but when I took a tour of Tompkins Cortland, I couldn't find a reason not to come here," she says. "It felt like a college, not just a community college, which I loved. We have great athletic facilities, and my advisor, Jeanne Cameron (Professor of Sociology), was an angel. She helped me so much."
"With professors like Jeanne, and Joe Cambridge (English), and people like coach Brent Doane and Seth Thompson (director of the Office of Multicultural Services), I realized how much the faculty and staff cared about students. I never felt alone. I knew if I needed help there was always someone there for me."
And with Cornell in mind, Janelle was able to take advantage of Tompkins Cortland's personal touch to get a solid start to her academic career.
"Tompkins Cortland was a great starting point for me. The classes are small enough that professors know your name," she says. "I am very grateful I didn't just jump into Cornell. Starting at Tompkins Cortland helped me to not be overwhelmed, and made the adjustment much easier."
With that solid start, Janelle is finding Cornell challenging and rewarding.
"I love it here. A lot is demanded of you, but it's doable," she says. "It definitely calls for a great work ethic and discipline, but there is great reward."
Janelle, who studied social science at Tompkins Cortland, had the opportunity to speak to the United Nations in 2011 at its 55th Annual Status of Women Conference. Building off of her experience at Tompkins Cortland, her work at Cornell, and the time with the U.N., she hopes to attend law school in the future.
"I love, love, love it! The team and the coaches are great. I am elated to be a part of such a tradition, and I know it will only get better."