EllenRose DuffyWhen students talk about Russell Sage College, they often note their appreciation of professors who go the extra mile.

EllenRose Duffy ’21 certainly feels that way. But there’s an extra amount of gratitude she feels for teachers who generously give of themselves and their time.

You see, at age 8, EllenRose received a cancer diagnosis. And while there was a happy ending to the story, it was a long two years before she learned she was in remission. She missed a lot of school. She got pretty far behind. There were teachers who helped her along, but that feeling of being behind never really went away.

Until EllenRose settled in at Sage.

“Coming here was the best decision I ever made,” she says. “I’ve learned so much. I’ve gotten so much help.”

EllenRose chose Sage in part because it was just a couple of hours from her home in Liberty, New York. Especially during those years when she was battling cancer, she and her mom became very close. She couldn’t imagine being far away from her.

She also knew she wanted a small college, in a small city. She figured that would suit her just about perfectly.

It has.

“This has been everything I wanted in a school,” she says. “Everyone here knows you by your name. It’s like a second family.”

EllenRose says she’s grown in self-confidence, and improved significantly in her writing and public speaking skills. “The professors here… They just pick the right people. I don’t know how they do it but they do.”

There’s also something that EllenRose finds in Sage students. “You walk into the dining hall and there are 10 people waving at you to join them.”

She’s found a solid crew of friends she believes will be friends for life.

EllenRose’s plan when she graduates is to pursue a master’s that will prepare her to teach History as well as special education. Teachers have meant a lot to her. She’s seen the tremendous difference a good teacher can make.

Looking into the future, it’s not hard to imagine that EllenRose will be making a difference in the lives of her students. Especially those students looking for a little extra help.