Noel Vargas ‘16
Adolescent Education/History Major
"I wanted to attend SJC because before I joined the military I always wanted to be a teacher, but being from poor family I could not afford it, so I spent 10 years in the military to get my college education. After getting out I knew that since I had a 'free ride' so I asked what the best teaching schools were and I was told [SUNY] Cortland and SJC. I next researched which school was a more military friendly environment and accessible: SJC has had a great following with supporting veterans, so that cemented why I chose SJC.
"So far my experience has been nothing other then exemplary. SJC is a school that has teachers who focus on creating great teachers. Our bars may be higher then most colleges but our teachers make themselves accessible to the students who need the extra help. I myself am not a strong student but I am a hard worker, and with the help of my teachers I have been doing well and even attained some scholarship money.
"My plan after graduation is to attain my certifications though I am already taking the tests. Then I would like to teach within the Department Of Defense community and teach the children of our service members in America and abroad. Alternatively I would like to move out of New York to teach to somewhere with a big military culture because everything I have is due to the military and then eventually SJC.
"If you want to be a teacher, [SJC] is the best school. The small classroom base of 20 to 30 students is great in that the teacher is more easily accessible to the students who need help. I have already gained so much and my teachers have given me so many tips on teaching. I would hope I can continue these relationships after I graduate. I have learned that the standard of learning has changed since my time out of school. I had to wait 10 years before i could take advantage of my college fund but my military work ethic has helped me to be successful."
"Teaching is a collaborative effort. We all need to work together to achieve our goals we are stronger together then alone."
"My time in high school with good history teachers made me want to go into this field. I came from a place where students would be left behind for the sake of the class making further progress, but the teachers who always gave the extra time for students to attain the knowledge stuck with me the most. This in-turn made me realize I could attain anything, sometimes all a student needs is the extra effort by the teacher to succeed and so I am dedicated to giving all students all the time I can give because all students can be exceptional if given the right support."
"My favorite book is a sci-fi book called Legend by David Gemmell"
"Lead me, follow me or get out of my way." — General George Patton
What do you do in your spare time?
"I am a Gamer, Video, table top, cards, etc. I also support military groups in parades and VFW programs."
What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
"My 10 year gap in education. the times have changed ahead of me and new things have been discovered which i did not know and have had to relearn things i thought i once knew."
Who was your favorite SJC professor?
"Oh this is tough. There are so many reasons why I like so many. I don't have just one — Professor Fuchs has been my adviser during my college career and he has done so much to make sure I am covered on all my requirements — he goes above and beyond. Professor Blakeley, I have never met a man with such insight into his topic or subject. He is a never ending wealth of the Medieval period. Professor Pellicano is the teacher of teachers. He knows how to make sure we as students will be ready as the next generation of teachers."
If you made front page news, what would be the headline?
"History teacher develops amazing video game."
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and why?
"My mother is my biggest influence. She was a single mom who raised two children by herself and never gave up."
What was your dream job as a kid?
"Honestly my dream job was to play video games, and it still would be. Being a teacher though lets me create different and new ways to teach students content. Also most very successful games have foundations in history, or they heard something in history they found interesting and created games from it. In a way I can still inspire students to achieve things that they didn't think would apply from college. While being a teacher is not a clear path from wanting to play video games, in the end it lets me create something, like lessons that students can enjoy and attain knowledge. "
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
"Honestly I think John Leguizamo because I'm fun and silly, but also serious and relatable."