Cazenovia College Building Futures Since 1824
Experience Caz!
Jacob & Samantha
College can be a time for exploration, a chance to discover your true self, and an opportunity to meet a diverse set of friends from all walks of life. It presents a different set of responsibilities and a completely new lifestyle to students.

While this experience is an exciting chance to branch out, imagine embarking on this journey with an all-too-familiar face—your sibling! Although hearing this notion could at first seem taboo, Cazenovia College students Samantha and Jacob Barnes, of Sammammish, Washington, have found a way to step out of their individual comfort zones, while maintaining their roots. "Going to the same college as my sister can be compared to a Venn diagram," notes Jacob, a sophomore environmental biology major. "We both do our own things and have our own friends, but we sometimes run into each other at events and hang out with the same people."

The Barnes siblings' Cazenovia College education started much earlier than their first official day as freshmen. Growing up, they learned all about the rich traditions and historic nature of Cazenovia because their mother, Christine (Kimball) Barnes '87, is an alumna. "Upon arriving for a visit, I knew I would be comfortable spending the next few years of my life at Caz," notes Christine. "It was and still is a homey environment. I loved the proximity of the lake and that everything was within walking distance."

Although their mother's fondness for her alma mater played a factor during their College search process, both Samantha and Jacob developed their own personal thoughts toward the campus. Samantha, a junior human services major, explains, "I loved the close-knit feel of campus. It was unique and had character – something I appreciated and found appealing." The size and affordability of the College played a key role in Jacob's decision. "It made great sense, financially," he notes.

The Barnes's strong family bond helped the pair settle in to Cazenovia's distinct surroundings. Hailing from a town over 3,000 miles west of Central New York, they've appreciated seeing that "familiar face" on campus, and they've each adapted similarly to their new environment. "It has definitely been an adventure, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm not a typical student, seeing that I'm from so far away, but I made it a point to be involved in as many clubs and organizations as possible to keep myself busy," says Samantha. "There are plenty of opportunities for out-of-state students like us to make Caz a 'home away from home,' and I'm glad my brother is experiencing all of this with me."

Jacob agrees. He says, "It was nice to have my sister introduce me to this new 'home.' The campus community welcomed me from the start – especially the faculty. Professor Thad Yorks was a great help during my first year, and his seminar really sparked my interest in my major."

Christine and the rest of the Barnes family are pleased that the two are studying at the same school. "Caz provided me with a good foundation on which to build when I graduated. I will always treasure the experiences and friendships I made when traveling overseas my sophomore year," she notes. "I am glad my children are able to enjoy these same things too."

While Samantha and Jacob each adjust to a fresh set of academic challenges each semester, they both remain focused on diversifying their extracurricular interests and concentrating on their career goals while at Caz. Samantha plans to work in the advocacy/policy field; an area where she can help people. She's a member of the women's varsity crew team, Phonathon and Human Services Club. She's the secretary of the Student Government Association and is involved with several national honor societies including Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Chi and Tau Upsilon Alpha. She patterned her mother's "international" quest when she studied abroad in Canterbury, England. She notes, "I loved traveling around Europe, learning about different cultures, meeting new people – everything! I will never forget it."

Jacob hopes to work for a state or federal agency like the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation someday. His love for the outdoors will play a role in determining which activities he'll join over the next few years.

As Samantha and Jacob don the same blue and gold colors as their mother once did throughout her own Caz journey, they will one day follow in her footsteps and walk across the same stage she did on Commencement Day. They'll share the same feelings she had when she received her diploma – only in addition to having that degree serve as a symbol of hard work and success, it will truly represent a special family legacy.

"There are plenty of opportunities for out-of-state students like us to make Caz a home away from home."

Jacob Barnes,
Environmental Biology
Samantha Barnes,
Human Services
Sammammish, Washington
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