Tompkins Cortland Community College

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Janita Moricette

From Tompkins Cortland to Tompkins CortlandJanita Moricette

Janita Moricette will hug you.

If you’ve just met, she’ll hug you.

See her at Commencement? She’ll hug you.

Run into her in the hallway at the College? Hug.

Not everyone knows this, because most now encounter Janita behind the reception desk in the Enrollment Services Center at the College, where she works fulltime. But for those who see her away from the desk, or those who have known her since she first enrolled at the College, the hug is a known thing.

And if you listen to her talk about Tompkins Cortland, it starts to make sense.

"The funny thing is, I accidentally applied to Tompkins Cortland," she says. "I thought it was Cortland. But then I thought, 'well, let’s come take a look,' and I fell in love with it. Tompkins Cortland was perfect for what I needed."

She started in political science, then left to attend to her grandmother, who was ill; all the while working at The Apollo Theater and the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Then, in 2010, her mom and aunt convinced her to return to the College. "They felt I was too smart to not come back to school."

She graduated in 2011 with a degree in liberal arts. Over the summer, she worked in the Enrollment Services Center at the College. She returned to school in the Fall of 2012 to continue her studies. And then, a position opened.

"It was amazing," she says. "This is hands down the best job I’ve ever had."

Just for good measure, Janita graduated again in 2013 with a degree in Sport Management and won the Alumni Community Leadership Award, presented at commencement. She accepted her award, and her second diploma scroll, wearing fluorescent green sunglasses and a smile that told its own story.

"I literally grew up in this building, and to have a chance to give back – I love it. I loved being a student, and I love working with the students. It’s the perfect job for me."