Category Archives: Student Life

Awards Season (HOMW 11)

Apr 28, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Another week has passed us, friends! I would like to share a moment with you all from this past Sunday.


As the semester is quickly wrapping up, there have been many festivities celebrating the successes of the academic year. I love getting together with students, faculty, and staff and reflecting on all of the progress that we made during the last two semesters. This past weekend was especially special to me because of the Student Recognition Brunch that took place in the library concourse.

The brunch was a special ceremony that celebrated an array of students, from those with academic achievements to individuals who have contributed to areas such as Greek life, theater, and diversity on campus. I loved hearing the achievements of my fellow students and congratulating them on their hard work.

Some of our lovely UC GSA members! Lindsay, me, Imani, Maryellen, and Courtney!

Some of our lovely UC GSA members! Lindsay, me, Imani, Maryellen, and Courtney!


The Gay-Straight Alliance won the Outstanding Club/Organization Award from Student Senate, which was a huge honor for us. I myself was also recognized for several awards that noted my scholastic merit as well as my involvement on campus. Overall, the brunch was a very enjoyable event and was a great start to my week!

My boyfriend Ryan and I after the brunch!

My boyfriend Ryan and I after the brunch with some of my awards!

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Moose Madness!

Apr 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Moose Madness (previously titled, Moose-A-Palooza) was this past week! It’s basically a week long host of events that are free for students! Typically it is the last (or second to last) full week of classes, and ends on the saturday with some big event. Plus! They always have cool tshirts that students can score for free with their student ID!

The big event at the end of this year’s festivities was the much-hyped concert put on by WPNR 90.7 (Utica College’s radio station) as well as the Utica College Programming Board (UCPB.) The performers were the X Ambassadors with the Royal Tongues as their openers. Unfortunately, I had to work an admissions event before the concert, and then had to catch up on school work while it was happening, so I’m super bummed I missed it. I did hear from some people (of the loads that went!) how great of a show it was!

But, Saturday was not the only day of fun. Monday there was a picture scavenger hunt, Tuesday a decades trivia game, on Wednesday they had a hypnotist…and the list goes on! Not only did UCPB put on tons of fun events, multiple other organizations took advantage of the fun-filled week and held their own events as well. Chi Beta Sigma’s airband was held on the Saturday after the concert and it was a great time had by all in attendance. The art gallery also held a scavenger hunt around campus based on tricky clues.

I took part in multiple activities during the week, but I am proud to say that a few friends and I were the winners of the picture scavenger hunt that was held the Monday of Moose Madness. It was a lot of fun running around campus and trying to find the various clues.

Moose Madness in general is just a week long of fun events to help students de-stress and relax a bit before the stress of finals sets in. So, if you didn’t take advantage of all of the free fun this year, be sure to check it out next year! It’s always one of my favorite things about Utica College. (Check out some of my fav pics from the scavenger hunt below!)

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You’ve Got to Have Nerve (HOMW 10)

Apr 20, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi, everyone! My highlight this week happened on Thursday and Friday, and once again relates to my awesome poetry workshop course, ENG 407.


One of my favorite things about Utica College is that there are many excellent guest speakers who present at the college each semester. I have been to cyber security presentations, poetry readings, etiquette dinners, biology seminars, and musical recitals, just to name a few!

This past Thursday evening, I attended a poetry reading by Suzanne Cleary. She was awarded the 2014 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, and when she read excerpts from her book Beauty Mark, it was clear why she was chosen for this award! Cleary’s writing was hilariously entertaining, and her energetic delivery of her work added to its charm. Every person in the Carbone Auditorium (which was so full that extra chairs had to be brought in!) found themselves laughing out loud during the reading. Cleary was by far one of the most entertaining and fun speakers I have ever had the pleasure of listening to, and I was surprised by how quickly the hour presentation flew by.

After the reading, copies of Beauty Mark were available for purchase, and many people had their copies signed by Ms. Cleary herself. My friend Nicole, who is also in my poetry workshop class, loves her personalized copy of the book!

Nicole and her autographed book!

The beautiful Nicole showing off her autographed book!


As if this experience wasn’t awesome enough already, the next day, Suzanne Cleary was our guest poet in our advanced poetry workshop class. We read our poems to the class and discussed them with one another as usual, except this class, Cleary was there to add in her own feedback and help us with the creative process. I learned so much from her, and was really grateful to have a different perspective. One of the things Cleary said that really stuck with me involved a poem I had written that was humorous and had a surprise twist at the end- similar to many of Cleary’s own poems. She said, “In order to embrace the pure silliness of poetry, you’ve got to have nerve. And you definitely have it here in this poem!”  She was extremely supportive of every student in the class’ writing and made for a very fun class.

Another shot of Nicole's personalized copy of Beauty Mark.

Another shot of Nicole’s personalized copy of Beauty Mark.


ENG 407 is always a highlight of my week (in fact, I’ve chosen it as the HOMW twice- here and here), but the guest poet this week made the class exceptionally wonderful!

Spring Clean Your Life! Here’s the Secret:

Apr 9, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

I love Spring time up here in CNY.  Yes, I know that we’re STILL trying to kick Old Man Winter to the curb, but eventually that will take care of itself!

Spring is by far my favorite season. I love to watch the trees bud and flowers bloom. I love to hear the beautiful birds happily chirping and singing in the morning light. (I know what you’re thinking, it’s like a scene straight out of a Disney movie.) It’s a season of new life, rebirth, hope and restoration.

One of my favorite things to do during this time is spring clean. No, I don’t mean walking around my house carrying a dust mop and a vacuum (although necessary, it certainly IS NOT fun!)  I’m talking about the concept of spring cleaning my life. 

What do I mean? Well, as I’ve mentioned above, I look at Spring as a season of growth. After being stuck in the same mindset all winter, I’m ready for some change!

created by me

created by me

So….how can you begin to spring clean your life? The secret is simple: LET GO.

Imagine that you’re holding onto a million balloons. Each balloon represents every emotion you feel, every problem you faced or any regrets you may have. Eventually, they become too heavy to keep carrying around. So, here’s the thing: let them go. Release them. Take all the garbage from the cold, dark, stagnant winter and throw it away.

  • Spring Clean every little thing that has been weighing you down.
  • Spring Clean the hurts and disappointments.
  • Spring Clean past mistakes or regrets.
  • Spring Clean negativity and expectations.
  • Spring clean the toxic people in your life.

Sounds easy right? Sounds like a simple concept….but, it’s not. It takes a lot of strength and determination to not fall back into old habits! But, you’ll get there.

Spring is a season of new hopes, dreams, goals and life. So don’t cling to the person you were in yesterday, last week, last month, or even last year. Shed old mindsets. Dump old habits. Make way for a new beginning, and allow yourself to gently grow.

Be The Change!

Apr 7, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Student Senate applications have been emailed out to the entire campus…so fill it out! Being a part of Student Senate is such a rewarding experience, and I strongly recommend everyone get involved. (Student Senate meets every other Wednesday at 3:00p in Bell Conference room.)

(After senate is a great time to take pictures, because everyone is dressed to impress!)

(After senate is a great time to take pictures, because everyone is dressed to impress!)

If filling out an application and being elected seems daunting, never fear! It’s not! The elections committee has streamlined the process and the only large piece to the application is 250 words on why you want the position you’re applying for. That’s relatively simple when compared to other application processes…

(Just some members of senate at a full body meeting. Shout out to Dean Varga!)

(Just some members of senate at a full body meeting. Shout out to Dean Varga!)

Honestly, being a part of Student Senate makes you feel a bit like you’re working “behind the scenes.” Whenever faculty or staff need student opinion, they head to student senate. All orgs have to be recognized by the full senate before they can be considered an actual organization on the Utica College campus. Any time an organization requests funding they first meet before the finance committee (which is an extension of senate) and then the full body senate! Student Senate helps to make things happen, and you can be a part of that!

I’ve been involved with senate since I was a sophomore. Now I am currently the Junior Class Treasurer. I love getting dressed up every other week and attending meetings. It feels I am actually helping Utica College to function as a collegiate institution, and hopefully making it just a little bit of a better place.

There are several different positions you can run for, go and check the application out!

(The full-body senate supporting one of our international senators last semester.)

(The full-body senate supporting one of our international senators last semester.)

EH440 (HOMW 9)

Apr 6, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Another week has flown by already, can you believe it? It is bittersweet to only have a few weeks left of the semester. This week’s Highlight Of My Week is definitely something I will remember long after graduation!

HOMW 9: EH440

As a WPNR Production and Public Relations staff member, I sometimes get amazing opportunities at the Utica College radio station, 90.7 FM. This past week, my friends Laura, Karita and I were offered the chance to interview the Canadian a capella group Eh440 on our show 3BL. We immediately accepted the offer and eagerly anticipated the interview.

On Tuesday afternoon, we called the group from the road, since they are currently on tour. We spoke to Joe, a member of Eh440, live on the air, which was a little nerve-wracking, but definitely a lot of fun! It was especially exciting to talk to Joe because Eh440 was going to be coming to UC the next day to perform via the Utica College Programming Board, so we asked him many questions to help our listeners get an idea of what to expect at the show the next day. We also played a question game that had Joe naming the first thing that popped into his head when we said a category (for example, he answered that Eh440 as a color is red, as a type of weather is a thunderstorm, and as a major at UC is philosophy). The interview was a great experience and made me love my job at WPNR even more than I already do, which I didn’t think was even possible!

But my highlight doesn’t stop there! The next day, Karita and I ran into Eh440 when they arrived at UC before their performance. We spoke to them as they set up (mostly just about how funny our interview was since it was all live and we were all nervous of messing up and being immortalized forever on the airwaves as fools).

Once showtime rolled around, Karita, Laura and I ended up sitting front and center in the Pioneer Pub and dancing and singing along with the group from our table. They put on an amazing show full of catchy original songs as well as outstanding covers and even some fun song medleys. Each and every member of the group is insanely talented, from the beat boxers to the harmonizing female vocalists to the male vocalists with crazy vocal ranges. The students who packed the Pub to see Eh440 that night were all blown away! The group was funny, spunky, and always kept you guessing what would happen next. It was one of the best shows I have seen at a UCPB Pub Night in all of my four years here at UC.

After the show, we stuck around like the crazy fangirls we are and ended up talking to the group (can you believe they aren’t fans of Degrassi? I am still trying to work through the emotional turmoil of learning that. Good thing I am a psych major) and enjoying F’Real milkshakes from the Pioneer Cafe together. Going to a small college definitely has its perks, and hanging out with unbelievably talented members of a touring a capella group is definitely one of them!

Unfortunately, we never got a picture with the group, as we talked right until they had to hit the road again. So, I guess you will just have to take my word for it this time when it comes to my highlight of the week. However, if one day I end up in Canada as a personal assistant to an awesome a capella group and am being fed meals made by a certain part time culinary expert who is a member of the group, well… don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Have a great week, everyone!

PS: If you want to learn more about Eh440, you can go to their website here! And you can stay up-to-date on future UCPB events by checking out their schedule here!

The Weekend of A Thousand Events

Mar 31, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

The week after Spring Break is expected to be a busy one, as professors and students alike scramble to make progress in their courses as the time until the end of the semester draws closer. However, this weekend was even busier than anticipated, because there were TONS of fun events happening right on campus! Here are just a few of the things I did this weekend:


Karita and I love to take advantage of open swim at the Clark Athletic Center. It runs 12-3:30 PM on Fridays, so as soon as we are done with our afternoon classes, we like to head over to complete some laps, practice floating, and spend some time in the sauna. It’s a great way to kick off the weekend!


We headed to the Pioneer Pub for the K Della Ferguson Womyn’s Resource Center Pub & Awards Night. The pub was packed with students, faculty, and staff who were celebrating the diverse women on the Utica College campus. I was honored to be a recipient of the Womyn of Substance Award!


The Orientation Banquet, held in the Library Concourse, was a fun way to reminisce with past orientation mentors. We watched a beautiful slideshow, had dinner, and all of the senior mentors received awards and gifts. I love all of my fellow mentors, and really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time all together as one big (slightly crazy) family again.


Even in chilly temperatures, the campus was bustling with eager students and their families, as well as many student workers who woke up incredibly early on their Saturday to help the day go smoothly. I was a part of a student panel and helped answer questions on the commuter experience at UC as well as life on campus.


My friend Rachel, who is a Resident Assistant in Burrstone, took her residents to the FX Matt Saranac Brewery for a tour. I learned a lot about the history of the brewery, the process involved in making their beers and soft drinks, and some interesting facts about Utica, NY, too! At the end of the tour, we all received free samples of Saranac soft drinks. My favorite is the Orange Cream soda!


The Women In a New Direction’s second annual All Girls Rock Gala was held in the Library Concourse and offered a candy bar, a delicious dinner, a very charismatic and inspiring guest speaker, and (of course) plenty of awards. It was great to celebrate many great women on our campus, from faculty to staff to students.


The GSA had an informal Sunday brunch which was free to all UC students and included some surprise performers. The brunch was a sneak-peak of our second annual Drag Show, which will be in April. Many students joined the GSA for breakfast and helped paint a canvas for the organization by putting their handprint on it in a variety of bright colors.

WHEW! That was only a few of the events from the weekend! One thing I love about UC is the variety of things that happen right on campus. There are still plenty of fun events ahead before the semester ends, so make sure to check them out!

One Last Roll Call (HOMW 8)

Mar 31, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

This weekend was jam-packed with events, so it was tough to pick just one highlight for the week. By Sunday night, I had many happy thoughts running through my head, but the one that stood out to me the most was the Orientation Banquet that took place on Friday.


The summer orientation program is one of the highlights of my entire experience here at Utica College. I am never shy about sharing my love for the orientation programs and my fellow mentors, as it was what really transformed my entire college experience. When I became an orientation mentor after my first year at UC, I was not very involved on campus and had made only a handful of friends from my classes. As a commuter, I often went to class and went back home without staying on campus to \check out things going on. However, orientation opened my eyes up to all of the things available on campus and allowed me to meet so many different current UC students, staff members, and incoming students.

Courtney, our orientation mom, me, Karita, and Laura at the Orientation Banquet!

Courtney, our orientation mom, me, Karita, and Laura at the Orientation Banquet!


After that first summer as an orientation mentor, I jumped into UC life head-first. I joined the Residence Hall Association, Psych Society, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Committee for Student Conduct; I went to more on-campus events; I branched out and introduced myself to people beyond my classes. I became much more involved on campus, which caused me to fall even more in love with Utica College and helped me have an even BETTER orientation experience during the summer after my sophomore year.

Karita, Elliot, and I! This picture makes me giggle.

Karita, Elliot, and I! This picture makes me giggle.


The summer after my junior year, I became a Student Orientation Coordinator and helped out with planning the orientation program. I also had the opportunity to write and direct the Transitions orientation play that the student mentors perform for the incoming students and their families. It was bittersweet to work my last summer orientation program, but I truly enjoyed each and every day, even when I was very hot (it’s mid-July, after all) and exhausted!

Laura, me, and Karita being dramatic as usual

Laura, me, and Karita being dramatic as usual

This past Friday, the first-ever Orientation Banquet was held. It included dinner, a beautiful presentation full of pictures from past orientations, awards, and some fun games. I had a blast spending time with my fellow mentors, and loved reminiscing on all of the crazy memories we had made together over the last few years!

Showing off our orientation awards!

Showing off our orientation awards!

At the end of the banquet, we recreated our “Roll Call” that usually occurs at the beginning of each of the orientation sessions. In the summer, we are introduced to the incoming students by being announced over the speakers as we run up the aisles where they are seated. It is a fun way to pump everyone up for the busy days ahead, and we all get hyped up and cheer when we hear one another being announced. At the banquet, we stood in the back of the Library Concourse and ran up to the front of the room as we announced one another and cheered. It was a sentimental moment for many of us seniors who wouldn’t be a part of orientation in exactly the same way again. However, orientation is something that changed us all and will be something we carry with us for the rest of our lives, long after that final roll call ended.

An Elaine/Alane sandwhich. Laura, Elaine, Alane, Karita. Awesome.

An Elaine/Alane sandwhich. Laura, Elaine, Alane, Karita. Awesome.

How I Relieve Stress

Mar 29, 2015 | Author: Karita Rawlins

College is stressful, duh. I honestly believe these years will be some of the most stressful in  my life. I am at a age where I’m kind of an adult, but not really. I am obviously not a kid but still need my parents for certain things but I am not really an adult but I do have adult bills but I am not making adult money. Let’s not forget about classes and extra-curricular activities. You don’t even need to be a math major to add it all up, it equals STRESS.

Stress is natural, it going to happen regardless. I hate stress, my tolerance for it is incredibly low. I try to avoid it at all costs.

Me dodging stress.  *kidding* it's Keanu Reeves in The Matrix The Matrix, 1999. [film, DVD]. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. USA: Warner Bros.

Me dodging stress. *kidding* it’s Keanu Reeves in The Matrix; The Matrix, 1999. [film, DVD]. Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski. USA: Warner Bros.

Not all stress is bad, when necessary it can get you out of a dangerous situation. According to the National Institute for Mental Health website, when you face a dangerous situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, stress can even boost the immune system. Although it might feel like it is, college is not life threatening.

Routine stress is related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities (i.e, college). Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses (

This time of the year can be very stressful, graduation, finals, finding summer jobs. Here are three tips to help cope with stress:

1. Yoga – Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.


Jeff Percacciante ’12 Photo by Ramon Aiello

Yoga is offered as a one-credit course here but if you’re interested in taking additional classes, Jeff Percacciante, UC alumn and Area Coordinator teaches Monday and Thursday evenings at Body by Design in New Hartford.

2. Talk to someone!


The Counseling Center is available Monday- Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, a counselor is available on-call after hours. For more information on the counseling center visit their website. If you think the counseling center is not for you there are other options. The great thing about UC is the number of faculty and staff members who have an open door!

3. Exercise

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Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. My personal preferred form of exercise is swimming. For pool hours visit the Harold T. Clark Athletic Center.

April showers…?

Mar 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

March is almost over! And with the end of March, brings the beginning of warmer and sunnier days. Yet, this area is quite temperamental when it comes to weather. While the varying weather is always a cause for excitement, it can be a bit difficult to plan for. So while April may be the time when it actually starts to feel like spring, the warmer weather usually brings a load of rain.

Actually, it rained for the first time the other day and I was simultaneously excited that it wasn’t snowing, but was upset that I was getting soaked. (April makes people feel strange things sometimes…) So I have some advice for those rainier days here at Utica College.

Make sure you have a good raincoat. And rainboots. And an umbrella. The key to not hating the rain, is to be prepared for the rain. If it looks dreary out, bring an umbrella with you just in case! Nothing stinks more than getting ready, and then getting caught in a downpour on the walk to class. So always try to be one step ahead of the weather! Rain can actually be a lot of fun in the proper attire; I love splashing in puddles if I’m wearing rainboots! (Also, if your hair does not do well with rain…bring a hat!)

Plan for a rain date (or pay attention when events have them) If you are planning to go to an event or are planning an event that is outdoors plan for the rain. If it is your organization’s event make sure to have a plan b in case you cannot be outside. If you’re going to an event, pay attention if they have a different day…and plan to attend it on that day potentially as well! Often people forget to set aside the rain day if they have to attend the event, and if it does get rescheduled they might not have work off (etc.)

Soak it up. Sometimes rainy days require not changing out of pajamas and drinking tea and reading a good book/marathoning netflix. I love taking advantage of dreary days like that. Be as cliche as you want on rainy days! Stare out a window all moodily and take a pic, that’s what instagram is for, right? All jokes aside, rainy days are great days to do absolutely nothing…or you can do absolutely everything and be super productive! It’s a personal choice, but use rainy days as an excuse to do whatever you want.

Sometimes when its rainy people get upset, but just take the weather in stride! Everything can be good if you let it! Also, you know what they say… “April showers, bring may flowers!”