MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Biology Major

Enthusiastic about far too many things.

I'm a 20 year old commuter from Whitesboro, New York. I'm a junior and hope to be an environmental lawyer one day...or a broadway star, who really knows? I'm in love with music, and movies, and literature, and corny jokes, and sleeping, and so many other things; I like to think I'm in love with life in general. I'm involved with the Asa Gray Biological Society , Choir, Student Senate, The Optimist Club, GSA, Alpha Phi Omega, WPNR, and I'm an orientation mentor on campus.

EFT- Electric Fuerza Talent Show

Nov 23, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Fuerza Latina, a student organization on the Utica College campus, “fulfills a common need to share rich Latino/a heritage and unites all Latino brothers and sisters in a mutual bond.” (According to their pioneer place.)


Every year the organization holds a talent show that they encourage all members of the UC community to participate in. They held open auditions this year during the month of October and advertised throughout the campus so that everyone would know about the opportunity to showcase their skills. Any talent is encouraged and welcome! (Dancing, singing, spoken word, comedy, etc.)


The cumulation of all of those auditions and rehearsal times for the selected performers was this past Saturday. Doors opened for the talent show at 5 with festivities being kicked off right away by DJ Rey Stacks, a student from UC, playing music and pumping up the crowd. The theme of the talent show was Electric Fuerza Talent show, so Strebel Auditorium, where the event took place, was decked out with glow sticks and balloons. Fuerza Latina even handed out glow sticks to audience members and it was a fun and poppin’ environment to wait for the show to start in.


I actually decided to audition this year, being that it’s my senior year and all, it was my last chance! I made it into the show and actually performed an acoustic cover of Adele’s “Hello” with my resident, Fredo, playing guitar. It actually was one of my favorite performances to date. There’s just something about being able to do what you love in front of people that really want to see you do well. The audience would clap and cheer for every single performer, and the environment was so encouraging. People would shout out for performers and were waving their glow sticks during slower performances, it was like a concert at certain points!


The winner(s) of the show this year was AIM, or Africa in Motion, a dance crew from Utica College. They performed a moving piece about the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was incredible to see them portray such strong emotions and concern for social activism through their dance skills. They really deserved to win. In fact, every performer really put an incredible amount of effort into their performances and it showed. Even performers from other schools were invited to showcase their talents, and they all were amazing.


Fuerza Latina hosts the talent show every year and it is always a widely attended event. So, next year be on the lookout for their annual show and head to it! It’s a guaranteed good time. Maybe even work up the courage to audition? I mean, it only took me 4 years? So what have you got to lose?


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(The winners from this year’s show!)

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(A snapchat of me singing snapped by my friend!)


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Tried By Twelve or Carried By Six

Nov 12, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past weekend I attended the Utica College production of, Tried by Twelve or Carried By Six. The play was actually written and directed by Shannon Enders, a professor of Theater right here at Utica College! The production detailed the lives and stories of police officers, firemen, and citizens pertaining to the issue of human rights, specifically focusing on the #blacklivesmatter movement.

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(The program for the production.)

The production boasted a cast full of talented student actors that were brave enough to tackle some heavy storylines pertaining to race issues. The play detailed riots, gun violence, racism, and the actions taken by police officers while in the field. While the issues were heavy, the play never felt too somber; there were a few “well-timed” funny moments which helped to carry the play. While the play did focus on the severity of scenes depicted, it did not completely stray from humoring the audience.

My favorite storyline focused on a young black woman who was cleaning up after a riot. She was upset and exclaiming how the people who were sabotaging the firemen and police were actually sabotaging their community’s own safety. She was upset and was ranting about how individuals that were choosing to riot were actually harming their own neighbors. Yet, the delivery of the lines was comical at times. There were moments when she would aggressively start sweeping in time with her angry musings, and she would complain about how stupid the individuals were. It felt very real. The actress portraying the individual was only a freshman! Her acting abilities were quite impressive.

Actually, the entire cast was very impressive. Each student had all of their lines memorized, and were able to realistically portray intense situations and characters, which is no easy task.

After the production, audience members were invited to discuss the scenes that they had seen throughout the show. It was actually revealed during this discussion that several audience members were actually the policemen or firemen that had their stories portrayed in the play. Shannon Enders, the author, had interviewed people from the surrounding areas to get their take on issues and to hear their stories. During the discussion, an older gentleman actually raised his hand and discussed his storyline that was portrayed in the play.

Being able to actually hear from the people that the production was based on was an amazing experience. Hearing first hand about such poignant issues such as race and racism from people that actually experienced it was memorable and my favorite thing about the production.

While the run of the play might be over, the theater department puts on a production every semester! So, I strongly encourage everyone to attend the play for the next semester! (Or audition!) If the next play is anything like this past one, it is sure to be a hit!

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(I had to snap a final pic of the cast!)


Nov 5, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the NEACURH conference held at SUNY Geneseo. NEACURH is the North Eastern affiliate of NACURH which stands for the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. It’s basically an organization that is who our own RHA, or residence hall association, reports to.

I was invited to go to the conference because I am a member of Utica College’s RHA. The president, my friend George, and another member, Sara, went as well. Our advisor, Marissa Finch, also accompanied us. (She actually drove…so I guess we accompanied her…)

The conference was themed “Marty and the Chocolate Factory.” (Marty is the name of the NEACURH mascot, which is a moose.) So everywhere you turned there was a candy themed this and that.

I really enjoyed the conference because it was a great opportunity for our RHA to network with other colleges and their own organizations. I actually have so many ideas for potential events and different ways to ensure that a large number of individuals get involved. It was so cool being able to talk to other individuals that have the same goals and the same mindset as myself and my friends!

If you’re interested in a fun time, join RHA! They tons of events planned for the rest of the semester and the upcoming one as well! Meetings are Wednesdays at 2:00pm in Bell Conference Room. Plus, if you join UC’s RHA you’ll have the opportunity to attend a NEACURH event in the future!


(George, Sara, and I getting into the NEACURH spirit!)

National Coming Out Day!

Oct 22, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The Gay-Straight Alliance is an organization on the UC campus that I am fortunate to be a part of. The GSA tries to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for any individuals that are a part of the UC community, regardless of sexuality.

A great part about the organization is their work to further the education and knowledge of all individuals with regard to the lgbtqia+ community. They do that by providing safe spaces at their meetings, at bonding nights, and at events that are held through out the semester.

One event that happened last Thursday was the annual “Coming Out Stories” event that showcased GSA members and non-members telling their stories about how they decided to come out with their sexuality. The event is one of my favorites to attend because it showcases the true struggles that some people have to go through to become comfortable and confident with who they are. …Not all of the stories are sad though! Some are quite funny, depending on the story.

If you missed out on the heartfelt event, no worries! There are loads of Gay-Straight Alliance events planned for the rest of this semester and next! And, the event is annual because it is done in honor of National Coming Out Day that is every year in October… so be sure to catch it next year!

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(The GSA had some pretty cool tshirts to advertise for the event this year.)

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(Jeff, an area coordinator for tower/bell and alumni, came up to tell his story.)

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(The GSA fam after the event.)

Spooky Activities This Fall

Oct 8, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The Utica Area is a local area that is obsessed with Fall. You think I say this lightly? I do not. Being a Utica native myself, I can say with the utmost confidence that Fall is truly the season meant for Central New York.

There are apples to pick at local orchards, vegetables to snag at farmers markets, trees to oogle at up North, as well as spooky activities to be frightened by. With Fall being a local favorite, anything Halloween related is also well-within the favorites range.

Some of my favorite local things to do just so happen to be of the Halloween variety. Lucky for all locals and visitors, the Oneida County Tourism Department puts out a handy brochure of all ghost and goblin filled Halloween-esque events.  So take a look at the pictures below and see if any events peak your thrill-seeking fancy. I know I’ll be headed to a few of the events as well!

Enjoy the season! And be sure to check out as many local events as you can! Take advantage of the Fall weather…because before we know it, snow will be here. (Which brings with it a whole host of winter events to be taken advantage of!)

Happy early Halloween!

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Stressed Out? Take a Hike.

Sep 29, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

We’re so fortunate at Utica College to be not-too far from one of the most beautiful national forest reserves in the entirety of the United States. Literally, head up north for just an hour and you’ll be submersed in mountains and trees and glorious fresh air; it’s something every UC student should experience at least once.

This Sunday one of the RA’s in the First Year Village was holding a floor event where people could sign up to go for a hike. I signed up once I knew there were enough spots left, and convinced a friend to tag along. It was a beautiful day and we were lucky it wasn’t too hot in the sun-it was literally “just right.”

The hike was up Bald Mountain which is just outside of the Old Forge area. It’s a relatively easy hike and barely takes a half hour to submit the top. There isn’t too much fancy-footwork required, but there are a view rock faces you have to scale. My philosophy is, “if that dog can do it, so can I.” The views at the top, however, are beautiful and well worth the climb.

So, if you find yourself stressed and in need of some nature-time: head up to the mountains, gain some perspective, and enjoy the view.

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(The view from the top of Bald Mountain.)

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(Courtney and Gator attempting some relaxing yoga at the summit.)

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(George and I scoping out the view.)

Welcome Back! Now Go Be Productive.

Sep 24, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Welcome back to UC! We’re now almost a month into the semester and everything seems to be settling down. The first week jitters are long gone and the people are finally starting to remember their schedules, without double checking room numbers. Also, people are getting a hang of rolling out of bed right before class, as opposed to the whole “let-me-look-my-best” thing, and with that the semester can be considered fully in-swing.

With that being said, I love the in-swingness of a semester. (Apologies for the made-up terminology.) The routine of going to classes and scheduling out breaks can be the best way to lead a productive life …in my honest opinion. So, this blog post is dedicated to the minor “Type A” person in all of us.

Get into a routine! Every second of your life does NOT have to be planned out. But it does help if you consistently do things a certain way, because your body does adapt. Have you ever woken up early on a weekend, without an alarm? Your body is used to getting up that early, and just expected it. (Annoying, right?) But also helpful. So, maybe plan out a consistent library schedule. Or gym schedule. Plan to work out at a specific time every Monday, that way your body (and ultimately you) can expect it.

Write out the semester! Those syllabi that every one of your professors handed you on the first day? Useful. Look through that for important deadlines. Write all of them down. (Now would be a good time to buy a planner if you don’t already have one.) Don’t just write down tests. Write down any little thing the professor mentioned on a specific day; there was a reason why they mentioned them!

Look into events! Be on the lookout for events going on on-campus that you might want to be involved in! There is always something going on, so why not be involved with it! If you see something happening write it down in your planner so you don’t forget! Go to things! Be involved. Ya know, the speel. Have fun and all that.

So, those are just a few tips for the semester. I’ll be sure to have more as the semester goes on. But, for now, welcome back and have a good next few months!


Enjoy your Summer!

May 18, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Finals are over! Graduation has passed! And with the utmost certainty I can say that summer is here! Celebrate. Sleep for 10 hours (like I did as soon as my last final and responsibilities were over!) Summer is a magical time where the days are beautiful (and sometimes sweltering) yet the nights are cool and long. Sorry if I’m waxing poetic here, but I just love summer.

Often during the summer the days seem so long that there isn’t a need to make a schedule or to prioritize activities. Well, this is true on some days…but please, the scary type-a in me is asking you to have some structure some of the time.

Plan for whats to come. Believe me, I love to ignore the responsibilities I have and try to push off the future, but you can only push it off for so long… So, figure out what’s next! If you’re going to be a senior (like me) then plan for whats next after college. Do you need to take the LSAT, the GRE, the MCAT and any, or all, of the other letter abbreviated tests? Plan for that! I just registered to take the LSAT in October…so I plan to study for that all summer. If you are an undergraduate and need to get an internship in before you graduate, try for one over the summer! Or, make the connections required to have one next summer.

Take advantage of sales. It’s the end of the semester for almost everyone! So, often, school supplies will be in the clearance bin. Buy them now! I always stock up on pens during sales because you can get them for 9 cents at the right time! Never spend more than $1 for a pack of pens again. Hoard the school supplies until the semester starts, and you’ll be good to go.

 Think about what worked (and what didn’t). Looking back on this semester, I realize that some of my study habits were not the best. I would either study crazy intensely but only a few days before an exam, or I would lazy study for a few weeks before the exam. I need to figure out a method that works somewhere in the middle of those two styles. I plan on buying a mini whiteboard I can use to study with, because I seem to respond well to writing things out (yet don’t want to waste the paper!) So, think about your learning style and plan for that!

Enjoy. Have fun this summer! Go to the beach, or spend a day reading your favorite book! Marathon your favorite Netflix show (Orange is the New Black anyone?) Spend time with your family and friends, and be happy you have this time. Worry about school and life stuff only when you have to. For the rest of that time, enjoy your summer!

(My friend Mary and I were overjoyed to be done with our semesters!)

(My friend Mary and I were overjoyed to be done with our semesters!)


You’ve Got This.

May 13, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The last day of finals is tomorrow! And if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling pretty burnt out.  I have one more exam tomorrow morning and then I am done! (WOOOO!!) I know a lot of people that have exams tomorrow morning and night, so here are some tips to push through that last day.

Get a good night’s rest. Go to bed early tonight! Don’t stay up late trying to cram everything in. Wake up early in the morning and do a last minute review. I’m honestly exhausted from the entire week and have not been sleeping much…which is all adding up. I don’t want to be so groggy and tired during my last final that I can’t think properly. So I’m heading to bed as early as I possibly can. Plus, its easier to look over your notes when the sun is rising…it feels super productive, believe me.

Ignore all previously completed exams. Do not stress over any grades you may or may not receive. Pretend the exam yesterday and the paper you finished last night never existed. They’re done! Worry about those grades (if you must) after you are completely done with finals.

Eat a good (maybe bland) breakfast! During finals week I get into the bad habit of forgetting to eat for the longest time, and then eating too much when I did eventually sit down to grab a bite. My stomach is not thrilled with me at the moment, and I plan on eating oatmeal tomorrow morning to help make it feel better. Having a stomach ache during your last exam would not be the best physical state to be in.

Stay as long as you can! It’s tempting to finish your last final as soon as you possibly can and then high tail it out of there…believe me, I also want to. But. Don’t. Avoid temptation. Summer will still be there for you when you get out that extra hour later. Use that time to look over answers and be sure you fully completed every question. Don’t rush! I know that antsy feeling comes along, but ignore it. Only leave the exam room when you are completely sure you have finished everything to the best of your ability.

Good luck with the rest of your finals! You’ve all got this!

Campus Yard Sale!

May 8, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This semester I took a biology senior seminar class that focused on urban ecology. While we discussed the several different viewpoints there are to an urban ecosystem, the one thing we emphasized throughout the entire semester was the need for urban environments to head more toward the direction of sustainability.

We talked about what it meant to be eco-friendly and why we felt it was essential for smaller urban ecosystems, such as the Utica College campus, to become more environmentally aware. We brainstormed different ideas and tried to think of ways to improve the ecological footprint that our entire campus gives off.  (An ecological footprints is the measure of demand that a person or people put on the earth and its resources.)

One idea we came up with was to promote the idea of reusing and recycling items. Often, at move out, students will throw away items they no longer have use for, or simply cannot bring home due to lack of space. That is a huge waste of resources! (And move out is often a sad site to see the garbage containers over flowing with items that should not be there.)

So, our class decided to host a campus yard sale. All donations are welcomed, and encouraged from both students, and faculty/staff. This event is a great opportunity for items to be “revived” and get a second home. You know that saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, this event is made with that principle in mind. Also, all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Utica Zoo to aid in their own conservation efforts.

So, if you want to donate items you no longer have a use for, there are donations bins in every single residence hall, as well as outside of Gordon 173. Please reflect on your own ecological footprint and consider donating those items which might have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

Also, be sure to stop by the actual yard sale! It will be held Wednesday May 13, the last day of finals! It’s from 12:30-5:00 in Strebel Lounge. 

Yard Sale Flyer