Category Archives: Campus Life

When Chemicals React

Mar 1, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Sometimes, you find yourself saving a degree-required course for your final semester of college. Sometimes, that course is a science with a lecture class as well as a lab, and you have to devote over six hours per week on that class alone. Sometimes, you may be reflecting upon your life choices and wonder why you put off your lab course until your senior spring semester. Sometimes, your two best friends register for that course too, so that your chances of survival increase. This is one such circumstance.

I have never been very interested in science, mainly because I find it hard to relate to the rest of my studies. I love that psychology is a science that is extremely applicable to my daily life- in fact, sometimes I over-analyze things and may relate my life too often to my studies! On the other hand, things like geology and chemistry never came as naturally to me as psych. I definitely procrastinated my required science course due to my disinterest in science, but this semester, I had to register for something in order to graduate in May.

The class I chose as my science with a lab is Chem 105: Everyday Chemistry. Turns out, this class is the best possible lab class for a student like me, because the entire class is focused on relating chemistry concepts to everyday topics. Our professors, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Barr, explain known, familiar concepts like tye dye in terms of atomic bonds and chemical compounds. It makes science much less intimidating and way easier to understand! Plus, the labs are activities like solving a fake crime, which can be pretty entertaining.

My chemistry course is not a class that comes easily to me, but having my friends in the class with me as well as professors that are dedicated to making science relatable and fun makes the class way better. Pretty soon, people will be calling this chick “Elaine Nye the Science Guy.”

Laura and I modeling some attractive goggles. Safety first, peeps.

Laura and I modeling some attractive goggles. Safety first, peeps.

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The Spring Play!

Feb 28, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Every semester Utica College puts on a play. This year the theater department and individuals involved decided to produce two one-act plays. I attended Friday night and was entertained the entire way through.


The first play entitled, “Chamber Music” told the story of a diverse set of individuals plotting to attack others, and avoid being eaten by cannibals. The plot lines twists and storylines go off until the individuals forget what they were plotting in the first place. It is a wild ride from start to finish, with entertaining characters to keep you company.

The second play was “The Actor’s Nightmare” and it tells the tale of a man thrust into a play which he has no recollection of even being a part of. This one was my personal favorite of the two, because it really did seem like a nightmare an actor would have. The plot follows the main character’s struggles to learn his lines and participate in the play. However, the twist is that once he finally starts to understand what is happening, the scenes of the play shift to a new plot. It was very funny.


Both were thoroughly interesting plot lines, and I applaud the decision to perform two one-act productions. It was a nice change of pace to have a fresh story after intermission. The change of characters was also entertaining, because the actors had to create entirely new personas for these new characters they were portraying. Both pieces were executed well by the actors, and I loved both plays.

The hard work the performers (and all others involved) invested in the productions was obvious. If you didn’t get the chance to check out the plays this year, I recommend scoping out when the play is next year! It’s always so fun to see your peers perform, and produce work which they are proud of.

Ethics Talk on Thursday

Feb 26, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

Utica College hosts a number of talks throughout the semester. While some of these talks are major related, a lot of them deal with societal issues and all are welcome to attend.

This Thursday afternoon at 7:00pm, Dr. Yolanda Wilson from Howard University will be giving an ethics talk on discrimination in the workplace. Here’s more information about the talk, via

Her talk will center around her theories on racial bias in relation to police/citizen interaction as well as résumé evaluation. She will illustrate how these two diverse topics have underlying similarities.

The talk was originally scheduled to take place at Donahue Auditorium, but it will take place at Carbone Auditorium, which is located in the Economic Crime, Justice Studies Building.

Dr. Yolanda Wilson has years of experience in researching societal issues, and while it’s certainly possible to become informed without attending these talks, it’s definitely important to get other perspectives on issues that affect people on a day-to-day basis. Some of these issues, like resume evaluation bias, may not seem very important given the lack of coverage it gets in the mass media, but it certainly has a significant impact on people.

Utica College is a very diverse school, so it’s difficult to grasp some of the issues people deal with, especially since many people don’t experience it first hand. By attending talks like the one happening on Thursday, you’ll have a chance to get a better understanding at some of the issues that occur in society.

Magic Always Comes With A Price (HOMW 3)

Feb 25, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi everyone!

My highlight for the second week of February is a little delayed, but I am still going to fill you in on a moment I loved!


In case you forgot, Utica was hit with some major snow at the beginning of February. So, during those first few weeks, my friends and I spent quite a bit of time in the residence halls instead of hanging out outside or attending events in other buildings.

One weekend, we spent the entire weekend watching a TV series on Netflix. The show, called Once Upon a Time, is all about fairy tale characters living in a modern world. It is totally addicting, and we loved ordering pizza, piling up all of our fuzzy blankets, and binge watching episodes!

My friends and I are extremely involved on campus and usually try to attend every meeting, class, and event possible. But sometimes, that can come with a price: feeling stressed or burnt out at the end of the week. While it rocks to take advantage of all of the fun events on campus, sometimes it is nice to actually stand still. Taking a weekend to relax with friends and watch Netflix allowed me to rest, recharge, and avoid the snow for a little while.

I am so grateful to attend a small school, as it really helped me get to know my peers and make some true friendships.This weekend was exactly what I needed to feel ready to face the busy week ahead. These girls are there for me through it all, and we have weathered the storm together- literally! And that is better than any fairy tale.


Glitter, owls, and more glitter (HOMW 2)

Feb 11, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi, everyone!

As I mentioned last week, I am making time each week of this semester to reflect and share a moment that was a highlight of that week. In my previous blog post, I told you all about the great time I had at Crystal Ball on Saturday. That was definitely a highlight, but the highlight of my week actually happened prior to Saturday night…


I had an RA Event last Thursday in North Hall. For those of you who may not know, I am a Resident Assistant here at UC, and part of my job includes planning fun events for my residents. Sometimes they are educational events, like when we visited the Clinton Cider Mill and learned how apple cider is made. Other times, they are social events, like last Thursday, which was a make-your-own Valentines event.

This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It's named uc_firstyearvillage

This was the flier advertised on the Utica College First Year Village Instagram account. FYI, you can follow the account to be in-the-know about upcoming RA events in North and South Hall! It’s named uc_firstyearvillage

I have had many RA events before, but had never had one that included my love for crafting. However, I talked to some of my residents earlier in the semester and discovered that many of them also loved arts and crafts and liked the idea of having a time we could all decorate Valentines together. I immediately began planning the event and was extremely excited to pick up glitter, construction paper, the CUTEST owl stickers of all time, and all sorts of other art goodies for my residents to use. By Thursday night, many of the students who lived on my floor as well as other floors were looking forward to the event as much as me, and met me downstairs right at 8 pm when it began. The basement lounge was soon filled with students drawing, glueing, and glittering to their hearts’ content.

This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it's a tricky hazard of crafting!

This is just one of the many groups of students who were making Valentines at the event last week. We put newspaper on the floor to minimize the amount of glitter mess- it’s a tricky hazard of crafting!

Over thirty students attended my event. It was scheduled to only go until 9 pm, but we ended up crafting past 10:30 in the evening! I had a great time watching other students make beautiful cards for their friends and family, and of course I enjoyed making some Valentines myself! I was so happy that the students who attended had as much fun as I did crafting. One of my residents told me it was the best event she had been to yet this year!

Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted!

Here is a glimpse of the Valentines I crafted, featuring the cutest owl sticker of all time.

Sometimes in the business of college life (especially during your first year, which is a huge transitional phase of your life), you can lose sight of special little traditions from your home life. I really missed making Valentines for my friends when I began college, so I was happy that my event allowed students an opportunity to be festive, creative, and do something that may have reminded them of old traditions in their lives.

Events like these remind me of how great it is to go to a school that has such a tight-knit student body. I love celebrating holidays in fun ways with my UC family. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Have a great week!


Film Festival

Feb 8, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

It’s February and the semester just began. Oh, and it’s also extremely cold outside. Simply put, it’s tough to find fun things to do in this weather.

I have some good news, though.

Utica College is hosting a film festival on February 10th. Here’s more info:

Join us Tuesday, February 10, from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. in Macfarlane Auditorium
for a viewing of The Intouchables (in French with English subtitles, 112
minutes).   The Intouchables, a French film directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric
Toledano, is based on a true story, and is about two men ” one a rich
aristocrat, uptight and white; the other poor, exuberant and black ” who become
friends despite their different backgrounds.

The film has also received great ratings. For instance, check out this rating from IMDB:


Why pay a ridiculous amount of money to enjoy a movie at the local theater, when you could attend a movie at Utica College?

Imaging Place – Creating an Identity through Architecture

Feb 5, 2015 | Author: Joseph Fryc

This past weekend the gallery held the opening reception for their first exhibit of the semester “Imaging Place”.  This exhibit has a special place in my heart, since I not only oversaw the research conducted for the exhibit, but I am also one of the featured writers. It has become a recent tradition in the gallery, that every first exhibit each spring is a student researched exhibit. This may mean an individual student employee, or as was the case this year and last year, the entirety of the staff plays a role in researching the exhibit.

Offical e-vite for the exhibit. Created by: Carolynne Whitefeather

Offical e-vite for the exhibit. Created by: Carolynne Whitefeather

“Imaging Place” is an idea, concept and exhibit based in visual art. The exhibit addresses and asks about the relationship of architecture reflective of its makers mind and the relationship of places and how we see the Place and Space before us. The architecture of a place develops a character that distinguishes each place from another, in this way it becomes a form of human culture and expression. The best way I’ve found to explain it is to have someone picture the skyline in New York City, that skyline is iconic and instantly recognizable for most people. I then have them picture their hometown and their favorite hangout, for them the place that they choose is just as iconic and recognizable as the New York City Skyline. In this way, locations begin to take on a human-like quality, and you begin to create emotional connections to those places. The exhibit also expands beyond locations with architecture and discusses natural landscapes. These natural landscapes are often just as iconic and recognizable to those familiar with the area. Each of the pieces in the show depicts a location that potentially holds significance to someone, whether it is significant to a single person or an entire country, we can get a sense of how important having a place to identify with becomes to creating and shaping ones identity. In essence, where one is from becomes a piece of their identity.

Photo Jan 29, 2 53 17 PM

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

The exhibit is truly diverse not only in the variety of artwork but also the unique perspectives brought to each piece by the student staff. While the pieces are united under a common theme, each piece has a distinct look and feel that is further conveyed through the accompanying writings by the student staff. Additionally, students have an opportunity to see the works interpreted and spoken about from the perspective of their fellow students. While we held the student staff to a high standard in their writing, each person brings their own flavor and background to their writing while maintaining the high quality standards expected in a gallery. Along that same vein, it gives students the opportunity to acknowledge and support the hard work of their peers.  The exhibit was produced, developed, and installed by the student staff under the direction of the gallery director, Carolynne Whitefeather, with the assistance of Utica College Alumni, Amanda Dummet, for editing. After the original pieces and concept were chosen, the student staff took the exhibit through the production process during a semester long research project as part of their employment at the gallery. From there, the staff installed and will now maintain the exhibit, while presenting the exhibit as docents.

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Along with the great content, we had a great reception to boot. The student staff was on hand to talk about their work, and we had a great turnout from the community and students alike. I’ll leave you with some photos of the reception. I strongly encourage everyone to stop by if they can.

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Exhibit Installation Manager, Amarildo Ceka, leads a group of international visitors around the exhibit. Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Exhibit Installation Manager, Amarildo Ceka, leads a group of international visitors around the exhibit. Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Group Photo after the tour. Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Group Photo after the tour. Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

Photo Credit: Joseph Fryc

I came out from behind the camera and ended up in a photo too. Photo Credit: Julia Mecalianos

I came out from behind the camera and ended up in a photo too. Photo Credit: Julia Mecalianos

Class is cancelled, now what? Five things to do during a Snow Day!

Feb 4, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

The front of Boehlert Hall taken from the second floor on February 2, 2015

When I decided to apply to school in Central New York there was one thing everyone warned me about: snow. Everyone knows it snows and many people are prepared for the snow. So it’s no surprise that class is not often cancelled due to weather. However, when it does happen I find myself with an unusually large amount free time on my hands and I seem to never to know what to do. This time I figured it out….

 1. Catch up or get ahead for your next class

This is the perfect time to either: a. get started on your essay that isn’t due for another 2 weeks or b. catch up on the reading from yesterday’s class that you forgot to do. Seize this opportunity.

2. Work on your resume

As a college student, my goal in life is to be in the career of my dreams post-graduation. How can I achieve that with a resume that is sub-par? A snow day is the perfect time to crawl up with your laptop and revamp your resume just in time for Career Services’ next upcoming event. The next one being the Job & Internship Fair on March 4th.

3. Clean your room/apartment

According to the ancient art and science of Feng Shui, a clean home gives you a sense of calm and puts you back into control of your life. It restores order and balance so you are able to locate things easier and you no longer feel overwhelmed. The semester can get pretty hectic (even this early in) don’t let the clutter in your room make it any worse.

4. Binge watch your favorite TV show!

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime…a college student’s best friend right? Almost all of us are guilty of it, spending countless hours waiting to see who “A” is or if Olivia and Fitz will ever be together, or asking why Freaks and Greeks was never picked up for a second season. Each time saying to ourselves, “Just one more episode…”. This. IS. Your. Day.

5. Relax

Stress and lack of sleep can have serious effects on your body and make it difficult to pay attention, concentration or solve problems. So, whether it be curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea, swimming some laps in the pool or catching the Z’s, take this time to relax and enjoy your day off.


Bookstore Bingo!

Jan 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Happy first full week of classes! To help students settle in to the first full week of the semester the Utica College Programming Board always puts on numerous activities. (Which numerous bloggers have already mentioned! Check out Tessa’s post about all of the upcoming events!) The event on Monday night was one of my personal favorites, Bookstore Bingo.

(Before the games started, people were  anticipating a night of bingo!)

(Before the games started, people were anticipating a night of bingo!)

It’s a typical bingo night with bingo boards, and numbers being called out. However, when someone wins they don’t shout the typical, “BINGO!” they have to shout “U-C MOOSE!” and do the corresponding hand movements. It’s funny seeing people win because they get so flustered when they remember what they have to do. Another catch is that if multiple people “U-C MOOSE!” at once then they have to have a dance off to see who will win the prize. The person with the loudest audience cheers wins.

(My friend Mary danced herself to a bookstore giftcard!)

(My friend Mary danced herself to a bookstore giftcard!)

The prizes are all from the bookstore, and are things any college student could use. This year they had various school supplies, a Utica College blanket, and gift cards to the bookstore. Even if you don’t win, it’s a lot of fun just playing along though!

(Frank, the announcer, got really into calling the numbers out.)

(Frank, the announcer, got really into calling the numbers out.)

My favorite moment was when one of the girls doing the dance off shocked everyone by doing some type of cartwheel (it was hard to see from where I was sitting) and then the other girl dancing against her did a back bend in retaliation! One of the dance offs even included some ill-timed twerking. But, props to anyone who did get up and dance, that takes a lot of guts!

Alas, I didn’t win this year and I was pretty sad about that. But, it was a lot of fun and I’m already looking forward to the next time UCPB holds Bookstore Bingo. In the meantime though I’m eagerly anticipating all of the other events this week.


‘Tis the Season

Dec 8, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Around this time of year, everyone looks to give back. While you should always think of those less fortunate throughout the entire year, the holidays really are a season of giving. Fortunately, loads of organizations on the Utica College campus have that very idea in mind when it comes to various events.

The Alpha Phi Omega -Petitioning Group at Utica College putting together food baskets for Thanksgiving.

Alpha Phi Omega donated Thanksgiving meals to those in need a few weeks ago. It was incredibly rewarding to see the happy faces of the families as they received the food.

The ASA Gray Biological Society making holiday cards.

The Asa Gray Biological society made holiday cards for a local nursing home and even went caroling. It was fun to be creative when making the cards, and the group even got compliments on them! The singing was also great fun for those who went.

Charitable events can be incredibly fun, while also being worthwhile. I love being creative and designing things (like cards!), but it can also be as simple as donating a toy for the holiday season.

Utica College still has several events going on that students can participate in. Plus, as the holidays come up think about what you, as a individual, can do to help out! It’s always nice to spread some holiday cheer.