Category Archives: Voices

LOL, OMG, WUT? Writing a Professional Email

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

As classes are now in full swing, many students find themselves needing to communicate with professors beyond the classroom setting. The easiest way to do that effectively is, of course, dropping by a professor’s office during his or her office hours. However, with busy schedules and different office hours for each professor, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to drop by a professor’s office, and sending an email is often the next best way to get in touch. With today’s smartphones, it takes just a quick moment to jot a note to a professor and send it instantly.

Not so fast! Emailing a professor – and any professional, I may add (your coach, area coordinator, academic coaching expert, etc) – requires a level of respect and courtesy. Sometimes, students forget that email is still a form of communication, and that it is important to set the right tone when communicating both in person and online with any individual who is considered a professional. Getting into the habit of sending out appropriate emails is helpful not just in academics, but certainly also will aide with internships, job interviews, and the real world. So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to write a professional email:

1. Write a subject line. Professors are busy people, and may receive a multitude of emails every day. Including a concise subject line will help them remember your email and retain the important information. For example, if you are emailing about a missed class, a subject line of “Missed class 10/31/14″ will let them know the exact date you are addressing before they even open the email. Similarly, writing “Essay #3 Assignment,” “Advising Appointment,” or “Lecture Notes Question” will let them know the purpose of your email ahead of time. A short subject line is very helpful and demonstrates thoughtfulness.

2. Use the right title. When writing the email, it is appropriate to begin with “Dr. Appleseed“- writing “Dear Dr. Appleseed” is also fine, but not truly necessary. Title is EXTREMELY important; if your professor is a doctor, he or she spent many years earning that title, so it is definitely necessary for you to use it. If you are unsure of if your professor has a doctorate, you can search them on the Utica College webpage and read their credentials, or look at the syllabus for the class. When in doubt, you can also address them as “Professor Appleseed“. Then, when the professor emails you back, look at how they signed their name and use that as an indicator of how to address them in the future. Another important part of the correct title is correctly spelling your professor’s name. Take the extra minute to ensure your spelling is correct; you don’t want to start off the email on the wrong foot!

3. Be concise, but OMG, don’t use abbreviations. Emails are not short stories. A professional email should be to the point and only a few paragraphs at most. If you find yourself needing to write a small novel, perhaps the topic would be better discussed in person. Likewise, if you are addressing a subject briefly but could add more information, you can end the email with “Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I am also available to meet with you if you would like to discuss this more in depth in person.” As far as the email itself, keep it short and sweet- but don’t use Internet slang (LOL, 2GETHER, HW) in order to keep it brief! Remember, you are communicating with a professional, not your Facebook friends.

4. Wrap up the email respectfully. As I mentioned before, leaving the lines of communication open with your professor will let them know you are willing to talk more in person if necessary, which is always a good thing. If you are sending an email because you need something (such as help with an assignment, or to set up a time to meet), finishing up with “Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you”  demonstrates that you are appreciative of their help. This also shows that you are expecting a response. This is important because professors are busy people, and may not necessarily feel inclined to respond to an email unless a student specifically indicates that they would like an answer. If you do not need an email back, a simple “Thank you” is always suitable ending. You always want to finish an email with the expression of your gratitude for their time. Don’t forget to sign the email with your first and last name, so that your professor knows who is writing to them!

5. SPELL CHECK! Double, triple, and quadruple-check your email for any spelling and grammar errors. Nothing ruins a professional email faster than a silly mistake! Typos are totally normal, but can be easily avoided by looking over an email before pressing send. It is always worth the extra minute to look over your email and make sure it is a flawless piece of scholastic merit before sending it off into the permanent abyss that is the World Wide Web.

It may seem strange at first to write emails that include subject lines, professional titles, cohesive messages, conscientious endings, and plenty of spell check. However, with enough practice (and trust me, in four years here, you will get plenty of practice), writing a professional email will become second nature. Good luck, and TTYL!

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For Everything There is a Season….

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva
This, by far is one of my favorite verses from the Bible.

This, by far is one of my favorite verses from the Bible.

With Autumn fast approaching, it got me thinking about how quickly things change. Seasons change, situations change, friendships change.

Change can be scary at first, sometimes it can even be painful. We may not be willing to embrace it, but, like the seasons, change is necessary in order for growth.

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When the luscious, green leaves of Summer begin to make their transition into the Amber and gold shades of Autumn, naturally, they detach themselves and fall away.

It’s the same with us. When making a transition into a new season of life, some of the people and situations that were in your life no longer fit you, and they too, fall away.


College is the perfect example of this. No matter what year you’re in, coming into a new semester is always a transition. We let go of the baggage from last semester and begin anew again.

Maybe you’ve changed your major so many times, that people often wonder what your next switch will be. That’s okay. Remember, there’s a time for everything. A time to grow, a time to laugh, a time to learn, a time to be afraid, and a time to be completely lost. The beauty in that is, those rough times won’t last forever and once we get through them, we often learn some of the most valuable lessons.

Same thing with friendships. Maybe those friends that you met last semester are no longer part of your life. That’s okay too. Leave them in the past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future.


I learned those lessons all throughout my college career. It took me a long time to finally find my place and to surround myself with the right people. I went through numerous major changes, and thankfully, I didn’t settle for any of the three that I had (before PR of course ;)). I could have, but it wasn’t my time to just settle. Now, I’m glad it is and I’m glad for the different seasons I went through.

  • Like Winter, I went through the season of cold and frustration. Every class I went to seemed dull and lifeless, and every person I met seemed just plain negative.
  • Like Spring, I went through the season where everything became new and exciting again. A fresh start, a new attitude, new faces and so on.
  • Like Summer, where I was enjoying my classes, having fun, making friends and simply loving life.
  • Finally, Like Autumn, where eventually the fun and excitement settled down into calmness, and contentedness.

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Ultimately, change is inevitable. Everyone goes through different seasons – some harder than others. As I said, the beauty in it is, that no season lasts forever. You may be feeling lost, stuck or nervous right now, but don’t worry. That will pass. You weren’t created to live in darkness, fear or regret. But if you find yourself in that season, embrace it with grace and realize that you will be given the strength to get through it.

Keeping Up With The Daysheet

Sep 10, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

Like most, if not all of you, I frequently check my email for updates from professors, classes and Utica College in general.

If you do check your email on a regular basis, you’ve almost certainly seen the emails titled UC Daysheet, which are sent out on a daily basis. Well, what is the Daysheet?

The Daysheet is used to inform students and faculty about the various things that happen on campus every single day. If you’re looking to join a club or want to know the date for an upcoming sporting event, the Daysheet has it all available for you.

As I previously stated, the Daysheet is sent out via email every single day, but you can also check it out on the Utica College Daysheet website.

The Daysheet has sports, entertainment, events, jobs, announcements and even the weather all conveniently put under tabs in one place. Instead of searching around the web or aimlessly looking around for information, there’s a pretty good chance that the Daysheet will have what you’re looking for.

Oh, and if that’s not enough, the Daysheet has contests where the winners could potentially win some awesome prizes.

Simply put, I suggest that you check out the Daysheet when you’re in need for some information about the school or anything that’s happening on campus.

Playing Nicely With Others…

Sep 9, 2014 | Author: Tessa Lamper

loathingAs you guys know, I am an Occupational Therapy major. In the majors of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, basically ANYTHING in the health field, along with many other fields of study; TEAMWORK is a key role. Throughout the total 40 hours of observation hours I have accumulated between PT and OT, the biggest concept that my mentors have stressed to me is the importance of teamwork. They have told me that anyone that cannot work with others (or doesn’t like to) has no business in the health field. This is what brings me to the dilemma I have recently faced in one of my Health Studies classes…

In my Health Studies class, we were assigned a simple project, which included that we must work in groups of threes. The class is pretty assorted by which I mean that no one really knew each other that well. I however, knew two people in the class and immediately wanted to work with them. When it came time to pick groups, the two people who sit beside me (we will refer to them as Tom and Jerry) asked if I would like to work with them and I said yes because I figured it would be nice to meet new people. Long story short, I had a terrible group project experience. I did all the planning, all the work and the worst part was that my partners had no respect for me. I was about to talk to my teacher about changing groups when I realized that when I get into the real world as an OT, I may have to work with people like the ones in my group. I decided I would remain in my group and work through it, so I looked up some tips for handling these kinds of issues…

  • Make assigned tasks and progress reports visible to everyone. This will keep members motivated and on point.
  • Try to communicate with the people you are having problems with. Feel free to share your feelings–but do not lose your temper.
  • Hold a meeting to discuss the project and the desired results in detail before getting started.
  • Make sure that work is equally distributed among the group.
  • Do not get angry with people who are not following through on commitments. Be the bigger person: find out what the problem is and how you can help.
  • The opportunity to work with difficult people in business school will give you the practice you need to deal with difficult co-workers in the post-graduation world.team

I hope these tips help you guys out as much as they helped me, I will be sure to follow through with these tips the next time I have to do a group project so I do not end up in the situation I was in this time!

http://businessmajors.about.com/od/studentresources/a/GroupProjectTips.htm

Life Distractions. How to overcome them

Sep 9, 2014 | Author: LaShanna Saunders

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Almost everyone that I know wants to be accepted. They want to accepted by their family, peers, professors and friends. Some people are willing to go the extreme for acceptance. Even when it means giving up their own identity to accept one that is forced upon them. The million dollar question is why. Why do we want to be accepted by others?Why cant we love our  self’s and appreciate our-self’s without confirmation from others? In my opinion as humans we are always going to feel unsure our self’s, we are designed in a way  in which we cannot always be  confident in our own skin and accept our self’s for what we are. However, we all have the ability to live  an emotionally healthy lifestyle. An emotionally healthy lifestyle means accepting yourself, loving yourself, knowing your worth, speaking life into yourself, and not allowing the words of other’s to burden you or make you feel less. Words are very powerful, and when we allow other people words to burden us we are giving them power over our lives. We cannot stop people from saying negative things to us but we can certainly zone them out and we can certainly speak life and positivity into our own life. When you wake up in the morning before you even start your day tell your self that TODAY IS GOING TO BE A GOOD DAY. When you are about to take an exam and you feel nervous and unsure tell yourself I AM MORE THAN CAPABLE OF PASSING AND I KNOW I WILL DO A GREAT JOB. Always think positive and speak positivity into your life because you have the control over your life, do not give anyone the power or the room to stop you from your divine purpose.

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For More Of Me Follow me On Twitter At LaShanna_UC

Love Always, L

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.

 

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(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.

What is it like to never consume alcohol, forever pseuodrunk?

Sep 9, 2014 | Author: Cody Plasterer

Personally, I do not consume alcohol. My family, on both sides, have trouble with alcoholism, and since it is hereditary, my chances of becoming an alcoholic as well are very high, so I choose not to drink. There are other people out there who also don’t drink and choose to be above the influence, you guys are awesome!

I just want to shed some light on what it is like to be a non-alcoholic drinker:

1) We get harassed by people who choose to drink alcohol.

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I have been verbally harassed by people before by being open about not drinking alcohol. Usually these are people who think I am judging them because they drink and I don’t. I can speak for most non-alcoholic consumers and say:  WE DO NOT JUDGE PEOPLE WHO DRINK! We just choose not to participate.

2) We are your rides when you want to go home from a party

Have you ever gone to a party and had no way home? Well, I hope that taxi wasn’t too expensive. Do you know how you can lower the cost? Get a Designated Driver (DD), like someone who does not drink alcohol! We, the sober ones, are so willing to get you home safe, because we care about your safety, give us a call if you need a ride (some gas money would be nice in return).

3) Just because we don’t drink doesn’t mean that we don’t like to attend parties

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Sure, I would love to be the DD for the rest of my life, but sometimes I would like to attend the parties myself. If you have friends that don’t drink, please still invite them out, plus, sober people are fun and can be your ride home!

Now, for those of you non-alcoholic party goers, if you need a trick to look cool and have a different experience at the clubs/bars , try pseudodrunk. Weird word, huh? That’s probably because I made it up, although Urban Dictionary says it is a real word. Lets break down what this word could mean:

Pseudo –  false

Drunk – someone under the influence of alcohol

Now, lets put the words together:

Pseudodrunk – someone who pretends to be under the influence of alcohol

I’ll give you the easy tip to being a pseudodrunk that worked for me. Go up to the bar and ask for a coke. That’s it! If anyone asks you what you are drinking just say “coke and rum.” You wont have people giving you weird stares or having your friends bug you about not joining the crowd and drinking. For an added bonus, if you try to act drunk, everyone will believe that you are actually drunk. Think of it as a social experiment and try to see if people actually believe you are drunk.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that you need to do this to have a good time when you go out with your friends, but it is an option if you want to just blend in with the crowd.

 

6. Attend a Toga Party

Over this past weekend I attended a Toga Party hosted by the brothers of Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity. It will definitely be one to remember for the rest of my life not only because of the great time I had with my friends and new people I met but simply because I will never get over the fact that I attended a party in a bed sheet. Yes, a bed sheet. 

The toga party is an annual event and every year I tell myself I’m going to go but I just never get around to it or I am away from campus that weekend. Growing up, I watched a lot of TV shows about college like Greek and Veronica Mars (Season 3 is college) in which toga parties seemed to be a reoccurring theme; so I created this bizarre requirement in my head that college is not complete until you have attended a toga party. I made sure I put it on my bucket list and truthfully speaking, I think college will be the only time I will be able to wear a bed sheet in public and it will be socially acceptable. It would be very distracting if when I become a news reporter I randomly decided to wear a toga to work. 50% entertaining 50% distracting; I’d be 100% fired.

Leading up to the day of the party my friends and I all contemplating what would we wear, we had few options:

  • Buy a dress that looks semi-Grecian/Roman
  • Make one out of a t-shirt
  • Wear regular clothes
  • Lounge wear because we could just stay in and watch the entire series of Greek
    on Netflix and dream of being lavaliered

However we decided a sheet would be the cheapest and most effective, I mean how hard could it be….

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Okay, cheap? Yes. Difficult ? I think the pictures speak for themselves

My original plan was to make this blog post be a spin off into How to Make a Toga until I realized I’m still very unsure how to make a toga. However, either we worked our goddess magic or Venus felt bad for how terrible we looked and she worked her goddess magic but some how after a hour and a half of tying knots, tossing, and even a little snipping (I now need a new purple flat sheet) we managed to make it work because the end results were fantastic!

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I think Venus would be proud of our craftsmanship. After doing my research and learning that the women who usually wore togas were prostitutes I think that will be my last one but I encourage all UC students to get out there and try something new or attend an event they could never see themselves at. It might just end up being one of your best times in college.

Want to know more about my Senior Year Bucket List? Check out how far I’ve made it down the list!

 

 

 

How to (Truly) Be a Pioneer!

Sep 8, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

This semester, I’m embarking on a new adventure for my COM 130 class. It’s my first time being a DJ for UC’s radio station, WPNR 90.7 & I’m so excited!

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I honestly never thought I would (or could) be a DJ, but here I am – ready to go!

When I first heard that I was going to have my own hour long radio show, I was completely nervous. Being that WPNR isn’t a huge station for country music, I had no idea what I was going to play, since country music is definitely my genre. But, apparently God has a sense of humor & had some other plans!

As luck would have it, two other girls with whom I was training with, happened to love country music too. So, we pitched the idea of having a country music hour….which ended up into having a 3 hour country music session on Friday mornings. :)

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Basically, we were pioneers (yes, pun intended) in the sense that we are bringing country music to WPNR. Why is that so important? Well, if you’re a fan, you’ll understand. If not, I feel sorry & hope to convert you. It’ll be such a great change to hear some music that is fun and has meaning too. But, back on the topic….

Bottom line: No matter who you are or what you do, if you’re in a situation that you feel needs a little (positive) change, don’t be afraid to speak out. Don’t risk your happiness or do something you don’t feel is right for you. Change it! Make suggestions. Be that person who doesn’t settle & says what others are thinking. You never know what kind of difference it would make.

Learning How To Study

Sep 8, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

via lawschooltoolbox.com

As I make my transition from high school to college, I’ve realized that managing time and actually taking the time to study and look over notes makes a difference.

Like most of you, I rarely studied in high school, but still managed to get good grades just from attending class and learning that way. Now that the classes in college have become a lot more detailed, I’ve had to adjust from rarely studying to taking time out of my day to sit down and review my notes.

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (2011), the average college student studies for approximately 15 hours per week. That’s just over 2 hours of study time per day, including weekends.

I never really thought looking over the notes I took in class or re-reading my textbook would make a difference, but as I’ve begun to do that, I’ve found that actually understanding the course itself has become a lot easier.

It can become difficult to learn how to study, since everyone does it their own unique way, but I’ve found that by simply reviewing notes could help drastically. When it comes time to take a quiz or exam, having the notes readily available will make the time you’re using to study become a lot more substantive. After all, I don’t think anyone enjoys cramming last minute information in hopes of actually learning something.