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The Big Decision

Nine students tell why they chose Oneonta

Story by SUNY Oneonta March 7th, 2016
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KATELYN O’LEARY ‘16

Political Science major and Criminal Justice minor from Fort Lauderdale, FL

I always wanted to move out of state, go somewhere different, have four seasons. The school that I transferred from had 65,000 students and I felt like a number. I wanted to go somewhere smaller, more intimate. I have family in Pennsylvania, so I started looking into the SUNY system and I found Oneonta. I loved the area, nestled in the mountains, and with only several thousand students the school was the perfect size.
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Jonathan Brown '19

Mass Communications major from Coram, NY

I had heard that Oneonta had a really good communications program, and when I looked into it, it seemed very professional, and I felt that it would give me the skills I need to perform well in my career. After just a few mass communications classes, I knew I made the right choice.

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Micaelina Velardi '16

Theatre major and Dance minor from New Berlin, NY

The first time I walked into the theater, I fell in love with the whole atmosphere. I visited several schools, but the Goodrich stage was just breathtaking.
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Russell Lowe '16

Food Service & Restaurant Management and Business Economics dual major from Bronx, NY

I’ve gotten so much hands-on experience here. I was doing high-level cooking as an 18-year-old, things that I’ve never cooked before, and now I’m in the kitchen two or three times a week. I’m ready to graduate and get into the real world.
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DONGLEI LI ‘18

Political Science and Communication Studies dual major from Beijing, China

The most important thing that attracted me was the ratio. The professor and student ratio is 1 to 18, which is incredible. In China, the classes are always like big lecture halls, more than 200 people, and here I’ve only had one class with around 100 people. I enjoy the opportunities to interact with all the professors and the students.
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Emma Sarnacki '19

Adolescence Education and English dual major from Niskayuna, NY

I toured a lot of campuses, and there was just a resounding feeling of home when I came here. Oneonta’s definitely got a good vibe. I know every college has those front lines of admissions people, and being friendly is their job, but when you get beyond that, interacting with the students and the faculty, everybody is just so genuine.
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Danny Aragona '16

Psychology major from Copaigue, NY

This was the second place I actually visited and I thought the campus was amazing. I loved the fact that all the dorms are on the outside of the circle and all the classes are on the inside—it was pretty easy to navigate. I love upstate, the smell of the air, the skies, the mountain lines that are along the edge of every part of campus. It was just a lot different from Long Island.
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Tim Banas '18

Biology and Communication Studies dual major from Delmar, NY

The size of the campus gives you the feeling of being at a big school without actually being at a big school, which I absolutely love.
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Sara Pettit '17

Child and Family Studies major from Inwood, NY

After my tour I went to Main Street and I saw a lot of families. The baristas, they knew families by name. It seemed like such a family-oriented town and I really liked that. Then I went to the other half of Main Street and it seemed like a college town. I loved the balance between it. That made me really happy and I thought, ‘This is a place I can live even if I’m not studying.’”

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