Category Archives: Student Life

The *Almost* Final Step: Grad Fair

Mar 11, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

Graduation is down right terrifying. After a long four year journey, you will be starting a new chapter in your life. I do not like change, in fact most people do not like change.

To help students prepare for graduation and life after college, the many offices at Utica College came together to host a “one stop shop”. The fair featured, the Class Gift Committee, the Bookstore, the and the Registrar just to name a few. There was a very stress-free chill environment, WPNR DJ’d the fair.

Set up for the fair on March 10

My first stop at the fair was the Class Gift table. As a very active member of the UC community I want to make sure my class leaves behind our mark. We all see gifts given by previous classes, the Bronze Moose outside of the Athletic Center (2005), the doors to the Strebel Auditorium (2013) and the clock in Strebel Lounge to name a few (2014) and I know I want to come back and feel the same pride. Students who donated at least $1 received a “Class of 2015″ t-shirt, the same one we received during our First-Year Orientation, which was great because after a few years its not the most form fitting shirt in my closet. For anyone interested in donating to the 2015 Class Gift, you can visit the website here.

A photo from Convocation in 2011!

A photo from Convocation in 2011!

I stopped by the Student Activites Table to get more information on Senior Week and what is planned. Besides graduation, I look most forward to Senior Ball with my friends.

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Elaine Paravati ’15 and Justin Hubman ’15 speaking with Steve Olivera ’15 about Senior Week!

Elaine and I stopped by Alumni Relations where we picked up a copy of the Pioneer, a magazine of Utica College, which I try to catch up on quickly. We learned all about the events to once we are UC Alum. I even joked about the new dome that is being built and how one day it will be nicknamed “The Hut” in honor of it’s namesakes.

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After two bags of popcorn, a few half moons and a minor anxiety attack… I applied for my degree. In that very moment I almost cried. After all this time in college it has finally set it that I will be closing one chapter of my life and moving on to another.

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I can honestly say I feel much more prepared and ready for graduation!

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High school vs College

Mar 11, 2015 | Author: Jayson Bretton

From homes to dorms: Living life as a College student

137085706_1386005925Graduating high school and moving on to college was a big step for most of us freshman here on campus. College is not only about the education, but also it’s the experience you get behind it. It’s about finding who you are; coming in with one major but realizing you’re meant to be in another. It has been said that you find some of your best friends in college and some of those may even become lifelong friends. The first couple weeks here was filled with feelings of confusion, excitement and stress. I’m sure many other freshman can agree with me when I say that, college is nothing compared to high school. We have more responsibilities now and we must learn to deal with them on our own. Also, unlike high school, most of the classes that usually took a whole year to finish is squeezed into one semester. It’s already the second semester and it’s almost coming to an end and it seems as if just yesterday we were moving our stuff into our rooms. Just think about it like this, next semester we’re going to be sophomore’s…. SOPHOMORE’S! It could be just me, but I can’t believe how fast these semester’s went by.

“Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months—they’re like dog months.”- Rainbow Rowell

There are many reasons as to why the semesters seem to be going by fast and one of those reasons could be how you spend your time. Everyone in college is here for one thing and one thing only and that is to get a degree in their field of choice. Yes, college is about pushing yourself to get a degree for your future but you also want to make sure you aren’t just about work, work, work 24-7. I learned that within my first couple weeks here that just going by that schedule could be boring. That’s why I found myself to become active here on campus by joining org’s. Doing this caused me to become more social with other people and make new friends. I highly encourage everyone to become involved on campus to avoid stress from school work. Just make sure to look out for flyers or emails that are sent out on campus about joining some clubs, because they really help make your UC experience a lot better. Besides that, it really looks good on a resume, so why wouldn’t you want to become active?

Don’t forget, college is supposed to be a memorable experience. Work your hardest but also have fun while you can.

Blog you later,

Jayson

Spring Farm CARES 3rd Annual Run & Walk For The Animals!

Mar 9, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Alright folks, the time has come once again to blog about an event that is so near and dear to my heart, The 3rd annual Spring Farm CARES Run and Walk for the animals!

Anyone who knows me, knows my love for animals. Every project I do, every paper I write, and every organization I research are somehow all animal related. I am a huge advocate and often volunteer at the local shelters in the area.

*Side note: I’m working closely with Angels of Fur K-9 Rescue in Rome, NY – an organization dedicated to adopting, rescuing and fostering our canine friends – to establish a blogging website to help spread awareness about adoption and Angels of Fur itself. This is my love.*

Anyway, one of my favorite places to volunteer at is Spring Farm CARES located in Clinton, NY. Spring Farm CARES is a non-kill animal sanctuary fully committed to saving the lives of animals. For more in-depth information about Spring Farm CARES feel free to check out their website here or take a peek at my previous blogs about this organization Running and Walking for our Furry Friends and Spring Farm CARES Run/Walk Reminder

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Thanks to my friends at SFC for the picture!

This 5k run and 1 mile walk is a charitable event to benefit SFC which is currently home to over 250 animals. This year, the event takes place on Saturday, May 2 in the Village of Clinton, NY from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Registration is NOW OPEN & the cost for the run or walk is only $20 until March 30. After that the price increases to $22 until the race day. (Not bad at all!)

How this works is quite simple: Runners will line up at 7:45 a.m. and start the run promptly at 8:00 a.m. Walkers will line up at 8:00 a.m. then begin their part at 8:15 a.m. Once the run/walk is completed, participants can enjoy themselves by feasting on delicious food, listening to some rockin’ music which includes live bands, visit various vendors, and of course, my favorite, see all of the adoptable animals!

Can’t participate in the event, but still want to contribute? Here’s how:

  • DONATIONS: Since Spring Farm CARES is a non-profit organization, they rely heavily on donations. Any amount is appreciated and is always put to good use to benefit the animals! I have seen firsthand how well each and every single one of those animals are loved and cared for.
  • SPONSORSHIP: While Spring Farm CARES hosts many adoptions, they also house many permanent residents. Some of the precious animals that have been brought to there need special attention and care. Unfortunately, due to those conditions, those animals are not able to be adopted. YOU CAN still make a difference! Last Christmas, my parents and I sponsored an adorable cat, Moxie, who had many medical issues. That was one of the best things we could have done for that sweetie. We would frequently receive updates on her, pictures of her, and newsletters regarding her and the rest of the special needs animals.

Please consider participating in this extremely enjoyable event. If you can’t, then please consider donating or sponsoring an animal. Any amount is accepted and appreciated. Even the littlest things can make a big difference. Here are some of the animals that you’d be helping:

Red Barron. A 13 year old Cocker Spaniel who is just a sweet, little teddy bear. I've spent numerous time with him and he has completely captivated my heart.

Red Barron. A 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel who is just a sweet, little teddy bear. I’ve spent numerous time with him and he has completely captivated my heart.

My sweet Moxie girl. She's blind and is filled with medical issues, but she is a total love.

My sweet Moxie girl. She’s blind and is filled with medical issues, but she is a total love.

Sweet little Tommy the cat. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

Sweet little Tommy the cat. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

The miracle dog, Charlie Brown. His story is so touching and almost too incredible for words. He is a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued and found unable to walk. Due to acupuncture, water therapy and extensive medical care, Charlie Brown is able to walk. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

The miracle dog, Charlie Brown. His story is so touching and almost too incredible for words. He is a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued and found unable to walk. Due to acupuncture, water therapy and extensive medical care, Charlie Brown is able to walk. Thanks to SFC for the photo.

To see more animals that you can help, visit their sponsor page on their website. For frequent updates on the permanent residents and adoptable animals, “like” Spring Farm CARES on Facebook. Finally, to register for this precious event, click here!

 

Colleges Against Cancer at Utica College: Relay For Life!

Mar 8, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

Cancer.

Just the mere mention of that word sends shivers up and down my spine. Every day millions of people are affected by this horrendous disease. Children, teenagers, adults, families…..sadly, no one is exempt.

In the past 12 years, my family has gone through the loss of three awe-inspiring, heroic people. I lost my uncle and both of my grandfathers due to various forms of cancer and it has completely broken my heart. Each of these men have made incredible impacts on my life and I carry them with me every single day.

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This year, I was so excited to find out that the school approved a new organization: Colleges Against Cancer at Utica College. 

Colleges Against Cancer is a nationwide community of college students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to finding ways to eliminate cancer through programs and keeping the mission of the American Cancer Society.

CAC has hundreds of chapters all over the country and has made a tremendous impact on young people. Perhaps my favorite part of this organization is the fact that our generation is showing the world that WE care and that WE want to make a difference in raising awareness against all forms of this disease.


The most popular event created by the American Cancer Society is the Relay For Life walk. At these events, communities come together as one to honor every battle won, remember each battle lost, and to support those who are still fighting. The common goal is to raise money to help find a cure and to promote ways to reduce your cancer risk.

Relay For Life teams spend the overnight hours taking turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, college, etc. Throughout the night there are several ceremonies to join in on as well as several fun and exciting activities for the teams and participants. For more information on what to expect at a Relay event, click here!

From April 17-18, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. UC will host its first Relay For Life event right on campus. So far, there are 23 teams and 85 participants who raised a total of $5,755. To keep up to date with the latest information on this event, consider liking the official “Colleges Against Cancer at Utica College” page on Facebook, or follow the organization on Twitter (@UC_CAC)


Please consider participating or donating to this wonderful cause. If you can’t attend the event, but would like to contribute, you can do so by clicking here. You will immediately see a sign up and donate button.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. There are truly no words to describe what losing a family member to that disease feels like. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s something no one should have to endure. A simple donation can truly make a difference in the fight against cancer and make a significant step in finding a cure.

“Many Mountains to Climb” (HOMW 6)

Mar 7, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

This week’s highlight was definitely a unique experience and one I will not forget any time soon!

HOMW 6: “MANY MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB”

Every other Wednesday from 3-5 PM in Bell Conference Center is the full body meeting of the Utica College Student Senate. I was given the opportunity to join Senate last year, and absolutely loved it! It is so interesting to see the backbone of our student organizations at work, and I really appreciate being able to represent students when decisions are being made. As a junior, I was a commuter representative, but this year, I am a North Hall representative. Usually, meetings are only attended by the students in Senate, plus any students who may be representing an organization requesting funds that week for an event. This week’s meeting was a bit different, because we had a special guest: UC President Todd Hutton!

President Hutton attended the meeting so that he could speak directly to us about his plans to retire. (For those of you who may not know, President Hutton announced his retirement earlier this week. To read WKTV’s report of his announcement, as well as President Hutton’s letter to the UC Community, you can click here.) President Hutton said that he had “many mountains to climb, both literally and figuratively,” as his retirement plans include hiking with his wife and spending time with his family. It meant a lot to me and the other students that President Hutton took the time to discuss his decision and the thought process behind it with us in person.  He gave us the opportunity to ask questions or make comments, and many students shared stories of special memories they had with him throughout their years at UC. Others asked him to share some of his own favorite moments during his time here. I was honored to have had the opportunity to not only hear more about President Hutton’s decision from the man of the hour himself, but also to have been able to hear so many wonderful memories he and my fellow students shared from their Utica College experiences.

After the meeting, my friend Karita and I shared with President Hutton our gratitude for his service to the College, as well as a special memory of our own. Karita and I met when we worked together during the summer after our freshman year; we were both summer orientation mentors and spent two weeks living and breathing every minute together. During summer orientation, President Hutton makes a speech to incoming students and their families about being mindful of what they do with all of the opportunities available to them at Utica College. He says, “Look next to you: that could be a lifelong friend.” Karita and I have always treasured hearing that speech when we worked orientation after both our sophomore and junior years, because we felt that his words were especially true for us, since we became friends at orientation just as he described! It was great to share that with President Hutton, and he said he was really grateful to hear that his words had such a positive impact on us.

Then, of course, we took a picture with him.

His smile says it all: we may very well be his favorite students of all time. I'm not saying that is true, but the proof is in the picture.

His smile says it all: we may very well be his favorite students of all time. I’m not saying that is true, but the proof is in the picture.

President Hutton’s guest appearance at the Student Senate meeting this week was a really wonderful experience. As a graduating senior, I felt a connection to his words, as I too will have “many mountains to climb” in the future when my time at Utica College comes to a close. I am grateful to President Hutton for all of the positive impacts he has had on UC, and wish him all of the best in his future endeavors.

Things That Just Aren’t Cool

Mar 6, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Utica College is a very small school, so generally students end up feeling like everyone knows everyone. Spending so much time every day with the same people usually has everyone thinking pretty similar thoughts, which ends in conversations of “I know exactly what you mean!” and “I was thinking the same thing!” That being said, here are some things I think we can all agree on: Things That Just Aren’t Cool:

1. Smoking. Seriously, it is 2015, who still smokes? I am always surprised when I randomly see a student smoking outside of an academic building before class. I think we are all grateful that there are designated smoking areas on campus, so we can avoid the stink of cigarettes. Seriously, cut it out, they’re gross.

2. Walking really slowly or blocking stairs and hallways during busy times. I’m not talking about walking at a generally slower pace to class because you’re enjoying the weather here. I’m talking about when you’re hurrying to the caf to grab a sandwich before your 4 meetings in the afternoon and you get stuck behind students who are barely crawling up the stairs in Strebel, or when you’re speed-walking to class and a group of people are creating a human barrier that is taking up the entire hallway. If you know it’s a busy time of day and you want to have a social conversation, take it to the student lounge instead of the hallways so that people can get to where they need to go. There is plenty of room for everyone if we are considerate of others.

3. Using your cell phone in class. I cannot believe my eyes when students try to make phone calls or send text messages in class. Not only are you being rude to the professor, you are being rude to everyone around you who is trying to pay attention. On top of that, you are defeating the point of attending class- you can’t retain information as efficiently when your attention is split (this is an empirically supported statement, not just something your professor says to get you to stay off your cell phone). When you get to class, turn your phone on silent, put it in your bag, and focus on the present moment.

Hopefully, we can all agree that smoking, texting in class, and blocking the halls are just not cool. Let’s all be a little more considerate of our fellow students and silence those phones, give others room to walk, and leave those cigarettes where they belong: in the garbage!

 

Midterms Survival Guide

Mar 4, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

With only a week and a half until Spring Break, many students have begun discussing what fun plans they have for their time off from classes. While dreaming of sunnier days is something everyone has been doing during these cold months, it’s important for students to stay focused and motivated during this time in the semester, because midterms are quickly approaching!

As a senior, I personally have very few midterms. I have found that most upper-level classes in the psychology department tend to favor tests every few weeks and term papers over cumulative midterm and final exams. Therefore, the busiest time of year for me is prior to finals, when I often have several 10, 12, or even 25-page papers due for my classes. However, as a freshman and sophomore, I had many midterm exams, because I was taking more 100- and 200-level courses in a variety of subject areas (such as math, government, and sociology). Having my fair share of midterms, I have figured out a few ways to make the week a bit easier and more successful:

1. Study as early as possible. Procrastination is something many college students struggle with, and learning how to discipline yourself to get things done will be extremely helpful throughout your college career- and your life! With tests that cover a large amount of material, studying a bit every day will be much more helpful and manageable than trying to pull an all-nighter and cram the evening before the test. Try to dedicate 30 minutes every day to studying for a tricky subject, so that by the time the test rolls around, you’ve already logged tons of time reviewing the material. Plus, if you find yourself with questions, you’ll have plenty of opportunities before the test to stop by your professor’s office hours!

2. Study different ways. It’s great to know which way helps you retain material the best, but sometimes it works even better to study in a variety of ways, so that you can pick up little pieces of information from each technique. Some of my favorite ways to study are:

-taking notes on the textbook readings

-making flash cards

-relating concepts to my own life

-reviewing my lecture notes

-reviewing my textbook notes

-creating my own study guide with charts, vocab words, etc

-“teaching” the material to a friend

-answering review questions in the book or online

-asking questions in class or in a professor’s office hours

3. Read your book and pay attention in class! The number one suggestion I could give to any student is to stay on top of the material from Day One. Skimming a textbook and doodling in class may seem appealing, but if you’re not learning the material then, when do you plan on learning it? Approach the textbook as a way to be introduced to the material and class as an opportunity to grasp the material fully. I always read ahead of time, write down questions I may have, and take notes in class to supplement the readings. Then, if any of my questions from the textbook are still unanswered, I ask the professor to clear up any confusion. The textbook is your answer key for the course, and the professor is your guide to mastering the material. Utilize them, and by the time midterms roll around, you will be way ahead of the game.

I wish that there was a secret trick to automatically acing your midterms, like wearing your pajamas inside out or drinking chocolate milk before the test. However, I have found that the only way to ensure a high grade on an exam is to put in the prep work ahead of time, to study a variety of ways, and to pay attention in class and keep up on the readings. It’s no secret that hard work pays off, so focus on your course work now and before you know it, Spring Break will be here!

By the way, if you have any secret tips, feel free to share them with me in the comment section!

Can I Get Your Autograph? (HOMW 5)

Mar 2, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hello, everyone!

It was great to bounce back this week after spending all of last week sick. I was really grateful to be able to attend all of my classes, not to mention to be able to breathe through my nose and stay awake for longer than three hours at a time! Thus, my highlight this week is related to one of my favorite classes (which I have written about before), English 407: Advanced Poetry Workshop.

HOMW 5: CAN I GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH?

As I have previously mentioned, my Monday/Friday poetry workshop is a favorite of mine because of the small class size and our hilarious professor, Dr. Leising. A typical day in our class involves reviewing one another’s work, discussing a reading from the week, and brainstorming as a group for a future assignment. We often use a book titled The Poetry Gymnasium to help us find new ways to develop our writing skills and stretch our comfort zones as poets. The class is always a comfortable, welcoming environment, which is especially valuable when we spend so much time having our writing critiqued. Dr. Leising is great at keeping things productive and helping us improve as writers while still making sure we feel like we can have fun and express ourselves fully.

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Our text, The Poetry Gymnasium

Anyway, this past week, we were reading through The Poetry Gymnasium when we saw a familiar name referenced in the text: Gary Leising! The author mentioned reading one of Dr. Leising’s poems and how it could be interpreted many ways. I knew that our professor had written loads of poetry and had won awards for his work in the past (including Utica College’s Clark Award he was presented with at convocation this fall), but it was really cool to see him referenced in our book. Dr. Leising was very humble about the whole thing, but of course I had him autograph my book right below where his name was printed.

Some day, this signature could be worth millions. For now, maybe just half a million

Some day, this signature could be worth millions. For now, maybe just half a million.

I never imagined when I began attending Utica College that such a small college would offer classes taught by individuals that are so well-known and respected in their field. Four years later, I can say that I have learned from some truly special people who have shared their experiences and wisdom with me and really have helped me grow as a student and an individual. Dr. Leising’s shout out in our textbook is a more obvious example of just how awesome the UC faculty are, and it was definitely a memorable moment from my week!

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.

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!

HIGHLIGHT OF MY WEEK (HOMW) #3: MAGIC ALWAYS COMES WITH A PRICE 

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.