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, 3BL, Student Senate, The Optimist Club, GSA, Alpha Phi Omega, WPNR, and I'm an orientation mentor on campus.

Clubs, orgs, and greek life? Oh my.

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The yearly organization fair was held in the Strebel lounge yesterday, September 10th, and “Meet the Greeks” was also held later that day in the same location. Both events were opportunities for first year students, and upperclassman, to get an idea of what there is to do on campus.

These events can be intimidating for students (myself included) because there are so many organizations. If you are also like me, you have many diverse interests; there are so many organizations that may fit with what you like! Attending these informational events is as easy as going and walking around. Picking which ones you actually want to be a part of, now that is a struggle.

Here are some tips to help you decide what organization is right for you.

(The Asa Gray Biological Society is an organization which focuses on biology-related activities and events.)

It is for your major/future career aspects. If an organization is dedicated to a certain type of student, and you fit the bill, for sure join! For example, joining the pre-law society makes it so you are surrounded by future law students aka people who understand your struggle. It’s great to have friends in your major because then you can compare professors, classes, study together, and have a support system.

(The Utica College Gay-Straight Alliance puts on a yearly drag show with professional Kings and Queens which is fun and entertaining.)

You enjoy the activities they do. If an organization is established for a hobby of yours, join! The Outing club is an organization on campus which focuses on going outside and doing things! If you love the outdoors and wilderness, then join! Same goes for any other thing you may like.

And here are some tips to help you decide what organization is not right for you:

(Summer Orientation isn’t really an organization, but it is something you can get involved in! I joined my first year not knowing practically any mentors, now some of them are my best friends.)

All of your friends are in it. Okay, great for them. But are you actually interested in the organization? Do you like doing what they are doing? If not, it’s okay to not join. You’ll meet other people in things you do decide to do. You can always hang out with your friends later.

(Alpha Phi Omega is a service fraternity on campus dedicated to volunteer work, and leadership.)

It will boost your resume. This is true of every organization you join! We’re college students, we’re all working toward having a good resume!! But, the key is to not join just because you think it will look good. Join because you actually are interested in the org, the resume stuff can come later.

Joining organizations is not supposed to be a tiresome process, it should be fun! You can always go to a meeting, see if you like it, and if not, don’t join! The Greek organizations all have informationals during the semester to let you know about their events and activities, so go if you want to know more! If you aren’t comfortable going in person, you can always check out PioneerPlace which is a website which compiles all of the organizations on campus, and allows you to browse through.

So, whatever organizations you join, good luck. The process may be daunting, but the friends and memories you make will certainly be worth it.

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Dress for Success?

Sep 9, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

College is a time to express yourself. From the way you act, to the way you talk, even to the way you dress; you are in complete control of how you want to present yourself. Personally, I believe the way a person dresses says so much, without actually saying anything at all.

I understand that the desire in college is to wear sweatpants, and a t shirt at all times because it is perfectly acceptable to do so. However, bumming it every day may not be the smartest idea. Here are some tips and tricks for knowing when to dress up…and dress down.



(I remember picking this outfit specifically because I had a test…and because it was comfy. Matching my friend, Kat, was also a plus.)

 You have a test. I like to say, “Dress cute, feel cute, do cute.” If that doesn’t make any sense to you, here is the gist: dressing nicely can make you feel more confident, which may lead to a better test grade.

(You don't have to dress crazy nice everyday... only if you want!)

(You don’t have to dress crazy nice everyday… only if you want! Please excuse my mirror pic)

You feel bad. If you are in a funky mood, the first thing you want to do is feel comfortable. That doesn’t have to mean donning your sweats though! There are dressier clothes which feel more comfortable, while still telling the world that you look good.

(My friends Elaine, Courtney and I rocking the business cas'.)

(My friends Elaine, Courtney and I rocking the business cas’ for student senate.)

You have an interview. Whether it be an on campus job, or a job in the “real world” this one is definitely non-negotiable. Dressing for success is essential for any job interview. How would you feel if you were conducting the interview and some person just rolled up in their baggy workout clothes? Personally, I would be upset and would definitely not hire the person who did not care enough to dress nicely.

(During this year's Orientation the play, Transitions, had a character that only wore his pajamas. EVEN to class!)

(During this year’s Orientation play, Transitions, there was a character, played by Cam Jennings, that only wore his pajamas. EVEN to class!)

You’re running late. Okay, this one I’ll give to you. If you are running late then I completely understand the non-dressy clothes you may throw on. No judgement, but when I’m running late I feel extra stressed; I don’t want to add to that stress by looking extra put out in my gym shorts. So, I have a few go-to outfit combinations that I turn to without fail. (Leggings and a long shirt with a denim. Always.) Find something that feels casual, but actually looks like you tried.

Despite this, however, you are still free to dress how you choose. If wearing dressier clothes isn’t your thing, you tried it and didn’t like it, then don’t fret; wear what you want… except at an interview. That one is non-negotiable.

How to survive a bad day.

Sep 5, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Bad days are a part of life; everyone has them, and everyone has them for different reasons. Feeling like crap for a little while is okay, but dragging out the negativity is never a good idea. Here are some tips to not let bad vibes ruin your day or even your entire week.


(Elaine, and Karita. Two of my friends who I know I can talk to about anything.)

1.) Talk To Someone. It is never a good idea to keep things bottled in. Even if your problems are small, find someone willing to listen. Whether it be a friend, parent, or even a counselor; there is always someone here for you. I personally always feel better after a good venting session, then I can put it behind me. In the words of the ever-fabulous Idina Menzel, “Let it go.”


(Coffee is my go-to on a bad day. …or any day.)

2.) Indulge A Little Bit. Whenever I’m grumpy or feeling upset I buy a coffee and it helps to make me feel better. Whether it be allowing yourself some ice cream after dinner, or eating a slice of pizza, sometimes it is nice to have a moderate indulgence. Allowing yourself something you like can help turn a bad day around. Be careful to not go too far though! While you should never feel guilty for eating something, don’t use a bad day as an excuse to excessively eat.


(One of my favorite things to do is spend all day at a museum. I could wander around for hours, and it always manages to make me feel better.)

3.) Do Something You Love (But normally wouldn’t have time for).  Find your passion. Whether it be crafting, playing guitar, or binge watching your favorite tv show; always find time for the things you love, especially on bad days. My favorite thing to do when I’m feeling down is to watch an episode of my favorite show; it cheers me right up…or down depending on the nature of the show. (Grey’s Anatomy can be a total sob fest sometimes.) I also sing when I’m stressed. What you do doesn’t have to always be the same. All that matters is that you’re doing something that makes you happy.


(My friend Mary and I exercised a bad day into a good one by playing basketball.)

4.) Exercise it away. Everyone always tells you to exercise, and I get it. Exercise seems like the end-all-be-all fix to every situation. However, this one I firmly believe in. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde states, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” I completely agree. I have become an avid “yogi” as of late, and realized that my yoga class always manages to cheer me up. Just be sure to find something you love doing. It doesn’t have to be running or lifting weights, you could go for a walk with a friend; just get moving.


(Me kicking a bad day's butt.)

(Me kicking a bad day’s butt.)

5.) Lastly, remember that bad days shouldn’t turn into bad weeks. It’s okay to feel gross for a bit, in fact, it is completely normal. Take the time to cry, or vent, or stew but then move on. Letting a bad day ruin your entire week is just not worth it. I like to say, “I don’t have bad days, simply bad hours.” There is always something to cheer you up, no matter how small, the trick is in finding it. And if that doesn’t work, just remember, “The Sun’ll come out tomorrow.”

UC’s Welcome Week: The Great NYS Fair

Aug 30, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Welcome back to UC! One of my favorite weeks of the semester is the very first one. People are just getting back into the swing of things, professors give very little amounts of work, and you get to see your friends and classmates after a long break. I also enjoy the whole slew of events that the Utica College Programing Board (UCPB) puts on as a part of their “Welcome Week.” Saturday being the last day, had one of the coolest events, a bus which took students out to the New York State Fair.

(Tickets were given out to the first 50 people at every event during welcome week. A bus took students on the 30th, but students were welcome to go whenever they wanted. My friends and I didn’t take the bus just because we volunteered in the morning to help direct traffic in a fair parking lot.)

I love the Fair. It is one of the coolest attractions around. Plus, it is only once a year! It is well worth the hour long drive from Utica to Syracuse. There is literally hours upon hours of entertainment.


(A sand sculpture displayed at the fair, just one of the many works of art on display. There is even an art exhibition with paintings, pictures, drawings, and sculptures done by artists from around the state.)


(The butter sculpture is one of my favorite pieces at the fair. It changes every year. …but it is always made of butter!)

There are numerous food stands, and vendors selling anything you can image. From funnel cake, to sushi, to vacuums, to exercise equipment, the fair literally has it all.


(We stood in a huge line to buy a ticket to get some of the best chocolate milk around, and all for only 25 cents!)

Besides food and merchandise there are also competitions. You can see livestock being judged, and plant competitions. All of the entrants, and entries are on display for patrons of the fair to awe over. In addition to observing things quietly, there are also numerous rides and attractions for fair goers who have a little more nerve than I do.


(My friends and I stuck with taking pictures, and walking around. Rides aren’t really our thing.)

So, if you missed the fair this year I strongly urge you to attend next year! It is something every new yorker (or college attender in New York) should experience at least once!




May 7, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past weekend was Moose-a-Palooza! For those of you who are (sadly) uneducated on what exactly that is, read on! And for those of you aware of the festivity, read on to see what you missed. (Or totally participated in.)

Typically Moose-a-Palooza is the end of a week long list of campus events, put on by UCPB, which occur the last full week of classes. On that Saturday there is typically things to do outside, carnival games, and (free!) food. I was in the process of studying for finals while the events were occurring, so it was nice to take a short break and enjoy the fun.

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(People enjoying Moose-a-Palooza this year.)

There are always shirts which go along with the events, and this year the shirts were provided free to students with ID. …And when you say free clothes, I am so there. There was actually a competition held to design the shirt for this year.

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(This year there was a blow up “obstacle course” which allowed for two people to race at once.)

There are always numerous things to do. This year there was laser tag, a blow up obstacle course, carnival games, a photo booth, the opportunity to get an airbrush tattoo, and so many other things. There was even a live band.

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(The band played numerous covers! Including Ed Sheeran…which is always a good choice, in my personal opinion.)

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(My friend and I got matching tattoos, unknowingly, mine was done ironically because I do not like spiders. Not at all.)

One of the coolest things was one of the blow up “games/contraptions(?)” (I’m not really sure what to call them.) But, there was a giant “wrecking ball” game which allowed people to try to push others off of platforms. If you’ve ever seen the tv show wipeout, it kind of was like that. …which is not really an adequate description, but it was really fun.

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(I obviously was incredibly good at it…just kidding. I was the second person to be knocked down.)

Basically, the only thing you really need to know about Moose-a-Palooza is that it is fun. Like. A lot of fun. Plus, it is free. Fun and free are are two of my favorite things as a college student. And, if you’re anything like me, they’re your favorite as well. So, if you went this year, good for you. But if not, be sure to try to attend next year! You won’t regret it!


Embrace Your Inner Nerd: Do Research!

Apr 20, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

I think the term “nerd” has a negative connotation for absolutely no reason. I take pride when someone calls me a nerd, and so should you! Nerds are typically people who are super interested in a certain topic (or several topics!) and I don’t see how that could possibly be seen as a bad thing. In fact, I want people to think that I’m super interested in almost everything I do! What’s the point in doing something you’re not interested in?

I think, by far, the nerdiest thing that people associate with me is my major; I’m a biology major. But I love my major. It is so interesting to learn about so many different things, and, plus, my major affords me the opportunity to take an active part in my learning…I can do research.

(Disclaimer! Sooo many majors give people the opportunities to do research, not just biology. My friend is a psychology major who is doing research on sexual kinks and habits, so it doesn’t have to be all super “sciencey” stuff.)

So, my botany class this semester requires a research project. Some of my friends and I decided to do something related to tree cores, or dendrochronology, and the rest is…history. We did a load of work, and then went a bit further; we were given the opportunity to present our research at the Northeast Natural History Conference, which was located in Springfield Massachusetts this year.

(Mary Brockett and I discussing our research with a fellow conference attendee.)

(We explored Springfield, Massachusetts which is where our conference was held. …It was super windy.)

So here’s some tips for how to maybe start (and eventually present!) your own research.

1.) Choose something that interests you.

Pick a thing you “nerd” out about! I’m a huge environmental person, and once my group decided to look into tree cores being influenced by climate change, I was “hooked.” Make sure you want to do something because you want to, not just because your professor wants you to. You’re going to be spending a ton of time looking further into your selected subject matter, so it should definitely be something you’re at least a little bit interested in.

(Farwa Dalawar and I are clearly super interested in tree cores, and snowfall records.)

2.) Don’t get discouraged.

Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you expected. …But, in all honesty, when do things ever go exactly as planned? If your research goes exactly as you expected, then I envy you. There are always going to be little bumps along the way, just assess the bump, work through it, and move on.

3.) Be proud of your work.

Research takes ages, and when you’re done with it you have the right to be proud of it. Even if you didn’t find the cure to some crazy horrible disease, your findings still deserve to be documented. So once you find what you find, tell people about it! Don’t feel ashamed. You have a right to brag, so do it.

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(My group and my research poster is hanging in Gordon…I flail around it every so often.)

So there’s that. Find something that interests you, stick to it, and then have something to brag about. Being a researching nerd really isn’t that hard after all, is it?


Expand Your Horizons: Study Abroad

Apr 3, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

It’s Thurday, so here’s a throwback.

During the Fall ’13 semester I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I’m Irish, and I’ve always wanted to go, so I started looking into the study abroad program at Utica during my freshman year. The process is easy once you decide where you want to go. Utica College connects to multiple universities around the world, and they even connect to the schools that Syracuse University connects to; the countries you can choose from are nearly endless.

Before I left the United States (my first time out of the country by myself!) I made a promise to myself, that I would be open to any opportunity. I wasn’t going to waste an opportunities!

I took pictures with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I didn’t want to miss out on the super touristy things, so I wasn’t afraid to stop and grab a picture at any time. This was one was on our way home from class.


I was lucky enough to book a trip to France, and was able to see Paris. I also took a crazy amount of pictures there.

…I did all the “touristy” things in London as well.

My friends and I toured the Guiness factory, something I would have thought would be crazy boring…but beer being made is actually a really interesting process. Plus, the view from the top of the building, of the entire city of Dublin, is amazing.

I attended “tea” with the United States Ambassador to Ireland in Oscar Wilde’s home….and then took a picture with Oscar Wilde’s bust.

I hiked anywhere you could in Ireland…as soon as someone suggested a trip, I was down for it.

Bascially, this post is more than a backdoor brag. Studying abroad was one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done…because it allowed me to do so many things. As soon as someone suggested something, I was down for it. I didn’t see a point in sitting around in foreign country and doing nothing. I went to museums, fairs, comedy clubs, and just wandered around. I was able to immerse myself in other cultures, and I think I am all the better for it. I (like to think that I) am more outgoing, more open minded, and more willing to try different things.

So. Seriously. If you want to expand your viewpoint, and broaden your horizons, look into studying abroad.

How To Survive With No Sleep.

Mar 29, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Going to college means having a workload waaaaaaaaaaaaay more intense than what you may be used to. Between homework, projects, studying for tests, and reviewing your notes, classes take up a huge chunk of time. Plus, you probably have a job, and a social life. …So sleep doesn’t really factor into the mix all of the time.

Running on little-to-no sleep is hard. …but not impossible. (Just be sure to not do this all the time. Reserve it for those crunch times during the semester.)

Stay Away From Caffeine

I know, counter-intuitive. But, hear me out. Caffeine causes a “jolt” in your body, but soon after you’re going to crash. And you’ll be worse than you were before. If you must, only have a cup of coffee, or one energy drink; don’t guzzle them down.

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(If I’m advocating against coffee then you know I mean it…as evidenced by my affinity for coffee…and taking pictures of myself while drinking it.)

Stay away from carbs, focus on proteins.

Chips, pretzels, bread, and all those other carb-ladden foods cause a spike in blood sugar…which then may cause drowsiness to set in. Try to eat proteins such as nuts, peanut butter, and cottage cheese. Try to eat throughout the day, and not have huge meals.

(Peanut butter is a good high protein food to eat when tired.)

Take Cat Naps This website is pretty cool. You can use it to calculate when you should wake up in order to get the most efficiency out of your rest time. (It calculates the average human REM cycles and then gives you suggested times to wake up when you are least likely to interrupt a cycle) I’m not actually sure if it works, but I always feel more refreshed after I use it…so give it a try, who knows?


(A snapchat someone sent me…of me. …sleeping.)

Remember, any sleep is better than no sleep. Pulling all-nighters is actually super bad for you though, so I don’t recommend it.

So, next time you’re exhausted check yourself and try to do these things, they’ll totally help.



You Did Badly on an Exam…You’ll Be Okay.

Mar 25, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

During my freshman year here at Utica I was insanely hard on myself about tests. Any bad grade and I would beat myself up about it for ages. …Which, I realize now, is not fair.


(Now I’m just sad for a bit, and then I move on.)

Tests are not the end-all-be-all; it may feel like it when professors throw around, “But it’s 15% of your grade!” But it is okay. Most professors try to scare you into studying, which you should do anyway, but there are ways around a bad grade, such as working to complete your homework on time, participating in class, etc. But, if you can’t stop thinking about that bad test here are some tips:

(Note: these tips only work for those who actually studied. If you get a bad grade because you simply didn’t try then these will not apply for you.)

First of all, just move on. Do not dwell on one bad grade. It’s alright to be upset about it, but if you’re still mad a few days later then you are focusing too much on that one test. Look forward. Try to focus on how you’re going to ace the next test.

(Your next test grade!)

 Change up the way you study. Maybe your bad grade was because your study method just wasn’t working. If you only ever re-read the notes, try re-writing them, and maybe reading your textbook as well. I found that, personally, I study better when I’m being asked questions. So, I make review sheets with questions based on my notes, and then I answer those questions.

Also. Check out how you study. Do you study by yourself? With a group of people? Maybe group studying just doesn’t work for you, or maybe it shouldn’t be the only way you study. Try to switch up who you study with.

(The show Community was based on a group of students who formed a study group.)

Lastly, look at your study environment.

I can not study in the library during the day. I can only go at night when I know there won’t be that many people there. I get distracted so easily. However, maybe you are a person that needs the motivation of going to the library, and being surrounded by books…and general “scholarly-ness.”

(The Utica College Library….a frequent study spot for some.)

I also haaaaaave to listen to music while studying, but nothing with words! I find I focus best on material while listening to classical music. I usually play Pachelbel’s Canon in D, on repeat, for as long as I’m studying. I do switch it up sometimes though. However, you should look into if you’re a music person or not. I know some people who need dead silence before they can even think about studying.

So, next time you get a bad test grade, which I hope doesn’t happen(!), don’t fret. Take a breath, then evaluate why you got that grade. You’ll be alright.

How To Be Stress-Free.

Mar 11, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Being stress-free may be an elusive goal for most people, but there are ways to decrease the amount of stress you feel on a daily basis, especially with midterms right around the corner.

Personally, I do not handle stress well. I know this, and live up to it. I do, however, try to reduce the amount of stress I feel on a daily basis. And here are some quick (and easy!) tips which I have learned, and have asked of others, for how to reduce how stressed you feel.

1. Exercise!

Photo: Yoga with Jeff today was a success! Thank you to everyone who came out to support. Keep a look out for the next class.

(A picture from the yoga class I attended that the Utica College Medical Society, and Alpha Epsilon Delta put on.)

I find yoga incredibly relaxing. (And if you’re like me, there is going to be another charity yoga class put on soon, which you can attend!) However, if “namaste” really isn’t your thing, you can run, walk, lift weights, go crazy with the insanity program, or do anything that gets you moving more than usual. Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people just don’t go crazy from stress.

2. Make Lists!

Write down what you have to do. I’m one of those people that writes down every. single. thing. I would forget something if I didn’t have it down on a post-it, or in a list. Also, you feel extra great when you get to cross something off your list. Being productive makes people feel happy. Happy=less stress.

3. Schedule Free Time!

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(A picture I tweeted last year from my personal planner)

This is a joke, I obviously don’t have to plan to be spontaneous. However, sometimes people forget. When you have so much to do, and so many classes requiring different things you sometimes get so caught up in doing all the work. Take a break. Breathe. Watch some tv. Go creep on facebook for a bit. Whatever you can do to take your mind off of the work for a while, just that small time off can help you de-stress.

4. Sleep!

(Brittany Thompson taking a nap in public.)

Take some time to sleep. (Write it in your schedule if you have to.) People get mean when they’re tired. Or people who are tired….are tired. When you’re tired you’re more susceptible to being irritable, being depressed, and increasing your stress levels. So, de-stress, take a nap.

5. Eat! (Regular Meals!)

(When you’re stressed you should vary your diet. Eat fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, and be sure to get good sources of protein.)

When I’m working along I tend to forget to grab a meal, and when I’m hungry I just grab a quick bite by eating a granola bar, or an apple. When you’re stressed you should vary what you eat. Eat a wide variety of foods, make Michelle Obama happy and choose foods from each part of the pyramid.

So, may the force be with you this midterms (and extra stressful) season, you can do it.