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Wendy Slater ’93, MSEd ’98, knows a lot about Elmira College. She’s been a student, an employee, and an EC mom. While she can provide many insights based on her time as a student and employee, she recently shared her “parent” perspective with us in the below Q&A. Her son, Zacharie M.S. Stedge ’21, majored in Economics and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Data Analytics at Binghamton University.
Why did you and your son choose Elmira College for his education?
Elmira College was the first of several schools Zack toured. He was quite familiar with Elmira College, as I am an alumna and a former employee of EC. He did look at various options, locations, and sizes of schools. Elmira was the only school he decided to tour a second time. The Admissions Office had him spend a day on campus to meet with professors and athletic coaches. The smaller class sizes and the opportunity for him to continue playing tennis, as he was on his high school varsity tennis team, were a factor. Ultimately, he knew that Elmira and the courses offered would provide a lot of opportunities for him, as well as a lot of personal interaction with the faculty. I think the smaller class sizes offer a far more personal experience.
How do you feel Zack has benefitted from his experience at Elmira College?
From a parent perspective, Zack benefited tremendously as an undergraduate at EC. Not only did he play on the Tennis team, but he also excelled in his classes, becoming a member of three honor societies: Phi Eta Sigma, Omicron Delta Epsilon, and Pi Sigma Alpha. He was also awarded the Stand Energy Prize after a supervisor at the place he did his internship nominated him. Zack made lifelong friends at EC and had the opportunity to work closely with some of his professors, even working through the summer of 2020 on a research project.
Why would you recommend Elmira College to other families?
Elmira, being a smaller, private college, can offer students a close-knit environment where they are known by the faculty and administrators. Both the college and the local community offer many opportunities for outreach and volunteer work. The faculty truly cares about the students and strives to help them succeed in their various majors.
Also, Elmira College has a unique and special set of traditions you won’t find at other colleges. From receiving a class beanie at orientation, Mountain Day, Candlelight as a freshman and again - four years later - before Commencement, the EC songs, these all are unique to Elmira and create a sense of home and pride in EC. Many of these events are lasting memories for the students.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the Elmira College experience as a parent?
Having received both my bachelor of arts and my master’s in education at Elmira, as well as working for the College for ten years, I had the opportunity to be a part of Elmira as a student-athlete, and later as an employee. I enjoyed my time working there, as it gave me the opportunity to interact with and assist the students, as had been done for me. When I became an EC parent, it added yet another perspective for me and strengthened my belief that Elmira is an excellent and unique opportunity for potential students. For our family, it was very exciting when Zack made the decision to attend Elmira. In some families, attending Elmira becomes a tradition. And, Zack’s younger brother Reilly, a current high school senior, has toured and been accepted to the Elmira College Class of 2027. His sisters are also interested in attending EC!