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classof2012

The Coronat Scholars Class of 2012

Stephen

Stephen Barton

Southbury, CT

Majors: International Relations and Economics

Where are you from?
I was raised in Southbury, a small town in southwestern Connecticut. I live ten minutes away from John Giammatteo, a Coronat Scholar from the class of 2011.

What is your major/minor?
I am enrolled in international relations, economics, and Russian and Central European Studies. I plan on getting a degree in international relations, but I still haven't decided whether I will get two more majors in my other subjects or one major and one minor. I supposed my threshold for academic pain will eventually determine my path.

What do you aspire to do after graduation?
After graduation, I would like solidify my language skills by spending several months to a year in Russia (2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, anyone?). I am currently divided between pursuing a career in government, working with an NGO, and going to graduate school. Of course, there is also the option of doing all three...

What notable opportunities have you participated in at SU?

For the first month of my freshman year, I tried out unsuccessfully for the crew team. Undaunted, I have moved on to other opportunities. I am on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity, I volunteer through several organizations at the R.A.P.E. Center, and I am an Orientation Leader. Last semester, I pledged Phi Sigma Pi, the co-ed honors fraternity, and I have participated in several intramural sports teams. I took Introduction to Culinary Arts during the second half of my freshman year and I am taking Scuba Diving now.

What inspired you to attend Syracuse University?
My selection as a Coronat Scholar weighed heavily in my decision to attend Syracuse University.   Most guidance counselors advise students to chose a college regardless of the potential debt that their education might incur, but it was impossible for me to ignore the free education offered by Syracuse. However, finances did not completely dominate my decision. I was drawn to Syracuse by its strong academic and athletic reputation, the diverse student population, and the possibilities offered by the Maxwell School. When I first visited campus, I immediately felt at home; the Coronat Scholarship only sealed the deal.

How has the Coronat Scholarship affected your college experience?
The Coronat Scholarship has affected my college experience in countless positive ways. It is incredibly comforting to know that, as a Coronat Scholar, I am a member of a very supportive group of like-minded students. The Coronat Scholarship allowed me to pursue my education independent of financial constraint. I am very thankful that I do not have to devote time to getting a job or applying for student loans and scholarships. Ultimately, the time I spend during and after college will be far less restricted than that of my financially-strapped peers. I plan to exploit that opportunity to the fullest extent.

Do you have plans to maximize the opportunities presented by the Coronat Scholarship?

I still cannot wrap my mind around every opportunity provided by the Coronat Scholarship. Thanks to the generous financial aid provided by the program, I will be sipping sangría, taking siestas, and perhaps even studying a bit in Madrid next semester for little or no cost. In the future, I plan to participate in the Maxwell School's Washington D.C. program or do some more globetrotting. More than anything, I want to make a permanent mark on the Syracuse community.

What have been your favorite academic experiences at SU?
During the second semester of my freshman year, I took HNR 260: Interrogation with Professor Kevin Kuehner. Although I was slightly disappointed to learn that I would not be learning any interrogation techniques, Professor Kuehner skillfully posed some very interesting philosophical quandaries that continue to occupy my mind. Moreover, the relaxed atmosphere of the class allowed for the most constructive and engaging dialogue that I have ever encountered in any of my courses.

What have been your favorite non-academic experiences at SU?

It would be impossible for me to choose: going to New Orleans last December with Habitat for Humanity, bonding with my fellow Orientation Leaders during training, having giant family dinners with brothers from Phi Sigma Pi, going to Syracuse Symphony Orchestra concerts downtown, taking part in an intimate roundtable discussion with Khaled Hosseini... can you see my dilemma?