Your Biggest Decision Yet

Why Choose Cortland?

We asked the question. Our students answered.

Michael Braun

Michael Braun
Major: political science
Hometown: Elmont, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “Hard work pays off at Cortland. You need to find your passion early on. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just find it, follow it, work hard at it and good things will happen.”

Elianna Bodnar

Elianna Bodnar
Major: international studies
Hometown: Cambridge, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “It’s comfortable. I came from a small town, so Cortland was the right size for me. At the same time, I like that it’s an international campus with students from all over the world.” 

Everett Phillips

Everett Phillips
Major: exercise science
Hometown: Middletown, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “No joke, President Bitterbaum remembers everyone. And he always asks how you’re doing. He’s genuinely curious. That’s an amazing feeling as a student to know your president really cares.”

Madeline Brito

Madeline Brito
Major: sociology
Hometown: Queens, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “Cortland was so different than what I grew up with — in a good way. I found my place in the Voice Office because I liked what it stood for … I honestly wouldn’t be who I am without my experiences here.”

Jeffrey Dewar

Jeffrey Dewan
Major: communication studies
Hometown: Cazenovia, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “It’s a place of opportunity. I initially visited to make my mom happy. It turns out moms usually are right … I became editor of The Dragon Chronicle and learned that everyone here has a cool story to tell.”

Mariel Schickling

Mariel Schickling
Majors: psychology and criminology
Hometown: Oswego, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “I was a ballerina for 15 years. Then I came here and fell in love with law enforcement. And rock climbing. And muay thai kickboxing. Cortland opened my eyes to all of the things I could do.”

Justin Margolies

Justin Margolies
Major: athletic training
Hometown: Syosset, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “I had no idea what (SUNY Cortland Emergency Medical Services) was when I joined as a freshman. I saw the front door was open and I felt good about it. Since then, it’s been one big community that I’m so fortunate to be a part of.”

Tatiana Nolen

Tatiana Nolen
Major: athletic training
Hometown: Fort Pierce, Fla.

Why Cortland? “I grew up in the Bronx, so I knew about Cortland’s reputation in athletic training. I fell in love with everything once I got here: the clubs, the people ... even the sunsets walking down the hill.”

Laura Barnstead

Laura Barnstead
Major: professional writing and political science
Hometown: Elmira, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “I wrote a letter to myself freshman year as part of Adirondack Trail Blazers. I made it my goal to never earn lower than a 4.0 (GPA). It happened. I wanted academic rigor and I wanted balance. I found both here.”

Tevin Pham

Tevin Pham
Major: exercise science
Hometown: New York Mills, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “I know it sounds corny … Cortland made me a better person. I’m on track to graduate early but I really want to stay the full four years. This is my second home.”

Tim Duerr

Timothy Duerr
Major: biology
Hometown: Massapequa, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “Professors are top-notch. They’ll have posted office hours but no one knows them because they’re always there. They want you to pop in, say hi and tell them about your research or a different class.”

Hannah Hoagland

Hannah Hoagland
Major: speech and hearing science
Hometown: Hunter, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “The atmosphere. When I stepped on campus, it just felt like college should. I didn’t get that feeling other places.

Marissa Cabrera

Marissa Cabrera
Major: childhood/early childhood education
Hometown: Holbrook, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “For me, it was Cortland’s Urban Recruitment of Educators (C.U.R.E.). No other school has anything like it. It’s this small and intimate program that makes a big impact.”

Ursula Mates

Ursula Mates
Major: physics and engineering (3+2)
Hometown: Stony Brook, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “Everything is manageable, whether you want to get involved or change your major. I originally wanted to teach science. Now I want to work on nuclear propulsion submarines and move on to teaching after that.”

Nicholas Schuldt

Nicholas Schuldt
Major: childhood/early childhood education
Hometown: Chenango Bridge, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “I transferred in this year but it feels like I’ve been here longer. I knew I wanted to be somewhere with a good program, where I felt welcomed and I didn’t have to wait to get involved. That was Cortland for me.”

Matt Greenlaw

Matt Greenlaw
Major: sport management
Hometown: Warwick, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “My brother went to Cortland so I guess you could say it runs in the family. He had a lot of success here – winning a national title and getting a job right after graduating. I’m hoping to do the same.”

Diana Reidy

Diana Reidy
Major: musical theatre
Hometown: Sandwich, N.H.

Why Cortland? “Cortland was the last school that I auditioned at. I didn’t feel anything at the others. Cortland just clicked. … And I was right. I’ve been cast in three shows as a freshman. It’s been incredible.”

Dominique Hinds

Dominique Hinds
Major: psychology
Hometown: New York City

Why Cortland? “I was nervous about meeting people and making friends. It took a little bit of time, but the faculty really helped with my transition. Now I feel like I know people everywhere.”

Arielle Curry

Arielle Curry
Major: speech and hearing science
Hometown: West Hempstead, N.Y.

Why Cortland? “My initial decision was based on my major, but Cortland has become so much more. I’ve found a family of friends. And every weekend brings a new adventure. In two weeks, I’m going skydiving.”

Fernando de la Cruz

Fernando de la Cruz
Major: social philosophy and international studies
Hometown: New York City

Why Cortland? “It’s an atmosphere where people enjoy challenging themselves. The thing about Cortland is that everybody is on the verge of doing what they want to do. I love the environment. I love the community.”

Pauriany Segarra

Pauriany Segarra
Major: graphic design and digital media
Hometown: New York City

Why Cortland? “College should be about meeting different people and developing new skills and Cortland is the perfect place for that. I found a second family after joining my sorority (Sigma Lambda Upsilon).”

Share Your Reason  

Was there a person, group or experience that made your time at Cortland meaningful? Tag your posts with #WhyChooseCortland on Twitter and Instagram.

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