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Cultivating Tomorrow's Thinkers


SUNY Cortland alumnus James T. Costa ’85 knows the power of student research.The Western Carolina University professor took his first steps toward a renowned career as a science author and researcher as a SUNY Cortland undergraduate.

A Presidential Scholarship recipient, James worked alongside Distinguished Professor of Biology Terrence Fitzgerald while he conducted groundbreaking studies on the social behavior of caterpillars. James discovered his calling and a professional mentor.

Today, James readily shares his Charles Darwin expertise with Harvard University students and directs a University of North Carolina Biological Field Station in the Appalachians. He identifies with the importance of one-on-one student-faculty research. It’s a lesson he learned at Cortland.