Category Archives: Voices

Play Therapy

May 12, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

One course that I really enjoyed this semester was PCL 374: The Helping Relationship. I learned so much information about the do’s and don’ts when in a helping situation. The knowledge that I have acquired within this class will not only help me short-term, but long-term as well. With my life long aspiration to be a Child Life Specialist, understanding and applying the proper techniques and theories is extremely important.

To wrap up the semester, my classmates and I presented our group presentations and also welcomed a very influential guest in the remaining days we had left. Our guest, Jennie Mazza Jones who works as a Play Therapist, came to discuss the importance of play therapy and how beneficial it can be. With the classes’ participation, we did an activity where we wrote down one or two negative things that we often tell ourselves on a paper plate. After writing them down, we painted over them. As the paint dried, we listen to more stories that Jennie shared with us. When finally dry, we were told to write the opposite thing that we had previously written. It was very therapeutic to see those negative thoughts visually disappear.

For our final class, a group of my classmates organized an activity incorporating play therapy. We were given a blank piece of paper and several bright colored paints. We could use our hands or feet to paint and had the freedom to create whatever we wanted. Some of us used our hands while others used their feet. It was a great stress reliever just being able to get my hands dirty.

Take a look at some of my classmates, along with some of our beautiful creations:

Courtney Stocker showing some love for play therapy.

Courtney Stocker showing some love for play therapy.

Dana Simpson used her feet to create her awesome piece of art!

Dana Simpson used her feet to create her awesome piece of art!

Professor Marris and some of my classmates enjoying play therapy in the sun!

Professor Marris and some of my classmates enjoying play therapy in the sun!

Child Life holds a special place in all of our hearts!

Child Life holds a special place in all of our hearts!

The class coming together to talk about our experience!

The class coming together to talk about our experience!

My lovely creation!

My lovely creation!



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10 Things I Learned in College That Were Not Taught in a Classroom

May 11, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva
Photo credit: Me

Photo credit: Me


It’s true when they say that not everything can be taught out of books. Looking back on these last four years, I realize how much time I spent doing homework, worrying about grades, pleasing my professors, studying for numerous tests & quizzes, & working endlessly on projects (oh, the media kit…PR majors will understand).

All of these things have prepared me to enter the workforce. By doing every single assignment, prepping for every exam, attending every lecture, etc., I have gained the knowledge I need to be successful in Public Relations. However; as I reflect on my years spent at Utica College and the educational wisdom I have, I also know that college has given me life lessons that I will always remember. Here are some:

  1. Who I am: This didn’t just occur in one big “aha!” or epiphany moment. This was a process that was exciting, interesting, and often times, very confusing. Through all of my major switches, successes, failures, and moving slowly, but surely out of my comfort zone, I began to recognize who I am & who I want to be. I learned what my interests were, what I was most passionate about, and I even discovered talents that I never knew I had.
  2. Who I’m not: Conversely, college made me realize who I wasn’t. I learned this by going through the three major switches. I learned that it is completely useless to be someone you’re not. By trying to be like other people, you stifle your own strengths & interests. I learned that by being myself, I’m a much happier, genuine & healthier person.
  3. How to dream: College taught me how to dream. Here I learned all about majors and careers I never knew existed. I never heard of Public Relations before discovering it through Utica College. I never knew how much I could fall in love with my major & how many opportunities there are and will be for me. These four years showed me a little taste of the real world & taught me how to dream beyond anything I could imagine.
  4. What I want: After 2.5 years of jumping from major to major, I finally settled in the place where I belong. As soon as I jumped into the PR field, I knew this was exactly what I was meant to do and I knew that I would be completely happy. All it took was some trial and error for me to dig a little deeper about my passion, what I want, & what I aspire to be.
  5. How to balance: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is how to balance, how to prioritize. Life is all about balancing your job, family, friends, personal time, etc. College gave me a little glimpse into how to be better organized, balance fun and work, and put my priorities in order.
  6. How to trust the process of letting go: In college (& in life in general), there are all types of people you will meet. Some will be blessings, others will be lessons. I’ve had so many people blow in and out of my life in these last four years. Some have been breaths of fresh air – always supportive, always encouraging, & always positive. Some have also been negative, discouraging, and untrustworthy. However; I learned from those people. I learned how to build trust within myself. I learned how to let go of negativity, let go of the fake friends, and to stop worrying over people who didn’t matter. I learned that it is okay to burn bridges sometimes.
  7. How to accept others: Although I hated high school with a passion & would never ever wish to go back there in a million years, that place was my comfort zone. Everything & everyone was familiar. College tossed me into a whole new world filled with all different kinds of people. They weren’t all like me, they weren’t even all my age. I grew to appreciate and respect those amazing cultural differences.
  8. Who my real friends are: I have learned that in life, quality is so much more important than quantity. The truth is, friends will come and go. People from your past won’t always make it to your future, and that’s OKAY. I learned that friendship isn’t tied to who you party with or drink with. Friendship stems from so much more than that. I have friends who are like family. Some aren’t my age, but that’s the amazing thing. They don’t have to be.
  9. How to create my own opportunities: College has taught me that life doesn’t hand you anything. Jobs don’t fall on your lap, dreams just don’t happen. You have to work for things, you have to make things happen. Reach out, talk to people, connect & network, just do it!
  10. Live life with no regrets: Finally, I have learned that living with regrets is plain silly. We all have things that we wish we could change or that we wish we did differently, but why carry around that heaviness? If you’re living with regret, I give you permission to let them go. Imagine yourself holding your regrets like balloons in your hand. One by one, release them into the air.


Surviving the Stress

May 11, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

Final exams are in full swing and I just want to share some helpful tips and words of wisdom with everyone! Many of you are done but many of you are still writing papers, creating study guides, or cramming to learn as much as you can with the little time you have. Do not worry because everything will be okay!

Take a moment and stop what you are doing. Realize the importance of giving yourself a break and time for your brain to recoup from all of this cramming. You will definitely the benefits of doing this in the end. For every half hour you are working, give yourself a five to ten minute break. I know that this has helped me survive some of the most stressful moments before a final exam.

When you can plan a longer break than five to ten minutes… go outside! Go outside and get some fresh air, whether it is for a walk or a game of volleyball with friends. Getting out of the library or your room for an hour or two is such a good way to relieve some stress.

Do not forget the importance of eating and getting enough sleep. When trying to plan our studying schedules, we often forget to plan to eat and sleep. Remember that these two things are crucial for our health. There are some great foods to help boost your brainpower; some that I like to snack on include nuts, apples, and berries. Also consider with a better nights sleep, the better you will perform the next day!

Good luck to everyone who still has finals left and just remember… the stress will soon be gone. Summer break is right around the corner!

Enjoying some sun with my Melanie Hicks on the residential quad!

Enjoying some sun with my Melanie Hicks on the residential quad!

Evening game of volleyball with some friends and professional Residence Life staff!

Evening game of volleyball with some friends and professional Residence Life staff!

New Semester Resolutions: How I Did!

May 8, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

In a post at the beginning of the semester, I listed my new semester resolutions. Now that the year is coming to a close, I’d like to return to the list and reflect on what I have accomplished over the last several months:

My New Semester Resolutions/ Senior Year Sentiments:

1. Attend as many of my favorite (and free!) UC events as I can- including UCPB nights, Crystal Ball, and Mooseapalooza!

I definitely accomplished this! Some of my favorite events were the hypnotist during Moose Madness week, the Utica College TEDx talk, the Eh440 concert, Crystal Ball, and the GSA Annual Drag Show!


The UC Gay-Straight Alliance snaps a picture after the show (above). 3BL at Crystal Ball (below).



2. Win at Tuesday night trivia! (Hey, 4.0 Laura, I’m going to need your help with this one, lil sis)

While we didn’t win, we did get third place! Mainly because 4.0 Laura had night class and couldn’t be on our team to save us.

3. Do something fun over Spring Break- even if it’s not very far away or tropical!

We went somewhere both far away AND tropical- St. Thomas! It was gorgeous and so much fun!


3BL in paradise!


4. Take advantage of the open swim hours at the UC pool to add variety to my workouts.

Mission accomplished! Karita and I love to swim, and Laura and I tried spin classes, zumba, yoga, step, and tabata to switch up our workout routine. Photographic evidence of Karita and I at open swim can be found below.


5. Take a Saranac Brewery tour, and check out any other local attractions that I have yet to see before I leave Utica.

The brewery tour was great! I went with Rachel, a Burrstone RA, and a few of her residents. I loved learning all about how beer has been made throughout history right here in Utica.

6. Get a good night’s sleep (most nights, at least!) so I am more alert during my 8:30 AM classes!

While I don’t have photographic proof of me sleeping, I can attest to the fact that I made sleep more of a priority, and my grades definitely prove it!

7. Make it a priority to do more volunteer work in the area.

This is one area that I was not able to accomplish nearly as well as I wanted. While I stayed very active on campus and was involved in many orgs that help area charities, I didn’t ever find the time to do my own, separate volunteering in the Utica area. There’s definitely always room for improvement, so I still plan to keep this goal in mind for the future!

8. Take a trip to NYC to see museums and eat tons of new foods!

This is another one I didn’t cross off the list. St. Thomas was a huge trip, which made finding time for NYC difficult. Luckily, I have some time this summer to try to accomplish this goal!

9. Allow myself more down time and fun, rather than over scheduling every moment as usual.

Check! I worked very hard on balancing my life more this semester. I gave myself more down time, had a great time with my friends, and was more spontaneous. This allowed me to enjoy every moment instead of trying to over-plan everything all of the time, as I am often tempted to do.


Sunny days and good vibes in Utica with Karita (above) and Rochester with Ryan (below).


10. Graduate summa cum laude and go on to graduate school next fall!

I am very excited to be the Class Marshall for the School of Arts & Sciences at this year’s graduation ceremony. In the fall, I will be beginning at the University at Buffalo in the Social-Personality Psychology PhD program.



So there you have it! I’d say I did pretty well accomplishing most of the things on my list. It was a lot of fun to both create a senior year bucket list and to work towards checking it off. Though my time at UC is almost finished, this list helped me make some awesome memories in my last months here.

Time passes much faster than you think, so I invite you to ask yourself what you want to do before you graduate, make a senior year bucket list or new semester resolution list of your own, and have exactly the college experience that you imagine for yourself!

Utica Zoo

May 8, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

Before this semester began I asked my residents what theme they would enjoy having for their spring semester. With a few ideas floating around, they decided on the third floor zoo! They wanted to be the animals with me being their zookeeper of the zoo. Their name tags on their door were admission tickets for the zoo with their names and their favorite animal on them! I also incorporated the theme with my bulletin boards and events throughout the semester. This past Sunday, May 3rd, was time to take all of my residents “back home.”

The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. Not all of my residents were able to attend but the ones who did had a blast. It isn’t everyday you can randomly go to the zoo! I was accompanied by three of my close friends who are also RA’s in the First Year Village. The time away from assignments and studying for finals couldn’t have been better spent anywhere else.

My favorite part of the day was feeding the alpacas. It was twenty-five cents to get a handful of treats. I have to admit… I spent about $2.00 just on alpaca treats. I don’t regret any second of it! 

If you have some free time and are looking to have a few hours of fun, make sure to stop at the Utica Zoo! It is less than ten minutes away from campus and the admission prices are pretty cheap, especially with your student ID!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

Zoo Collage 3

Being silly at the zoo with Alexia Bigart!

Being silly at the zoo with Alexia Bigart!

Staying hydrated!

Staying hydrated!

A kodak moment with Michael Cottle.

A kodak moment with Michael Cottle.

Showing the alpaca's some love!

Showing the alpaca’s some love!

Zoo Collage 4

A wandering peacock and some cuddling pigs!

Things to Do: Utica Edition Part 2

May 7, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

It’s study day and honestly, where did the time go? I feel like just last week it was February. But, now the sun seems to be here to stay and the area is getting greener and brighter with every passing day. The initial change of a season is my favorite time. (From summer to autumn, winter to spring-the transitions always feel so new and fresh.)

If you remember, I wrote a blog post about things to do in Utica during the wintery/colder season. (Check it out here) So, I figured since Spring is upon us, I would scope out some fun activities to do outside.

Head to the Utica Zoo!

The Utica Zoo is located off of the Utica Parkway, so it is not even 10 minutes from campus! The zoo boasts numerous types of animals and is a fun place to pass an afternoon. My favorite little animal buds are the alpacas. There’s also numerous bird species, invertebrate species, and so many others to oogle and aw at!


(This goat was too cute. He ate right from my hand!)


(There’s a great view of the city at the top of the zoo! It’s a must see!)


Every time I head to the zoo I make it a point to take as many pictures as possible.  And I encourage you to do the same! Admission to the zoo won’t break the bank, and you’ll probably have enough to grab some fries from the Voss’ food stand while you’re there!

Find a good mountain to hike!

Utica College is super close to the Adirondacks, maybe 45-1hr away! So I always take advantage of that. Located throughout the northern region are numerous mountain peaks, and hiking adventures you can embark on. My friends and I love to hike up Bald Mountain, near Old Forge, every year. There’s also Rocky Moutain right close by, so you can climb two peaks in a day if you’re feeling up for it! My family also hikes Panther Mountain, which is on Piseco Lake.

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

There are so many places to choose from, and they’re all free! So hiking is a great way to blow off some finals steam, and de-stress!

Head to the Canal Trail!


(My friends and I always go and hang out at the lock. Here we were listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album for the first time last summer!)

For those that might be unaware, Utica actually had the old Erie Canal run right through it. (Where I live in Whitesboro, at the very end of a road not too far from mine is an Erie Canal Memorial area which is dedicated right where it used to run!) Some parts of the canal are actually still in tact, and are still used today. There is a lock not to far from Utica College that is one of my favorite places to just relax and hang out.



The canal is great because it’s another free(!) spot to hang out and relax. Also, it’s closer to campus than hiking in the Adirondacks…so you can still get your taste of nature, just closer to home!

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

There are so many things to do in Utica! So soak up the last bit of the semester and explore the area! After a final head on down to the lock and de-stress! Or head to the Utica Zoo and make a new friend! Just whatever you do, have fun and I hope you give these activities a try!

Be Prepared for Next Semester

May 7, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! I know you are just focusing on finishing finals and looking forward to the summer but when August rolls around, remember these tips for coming back! Preparation is the key to an easy start of the semester!

1. Remember to print out your schedule.

2. Buy all the notebooks, pencils, paper, ect. that you will need! Take an inventory of your school supplies.

3. Take inventory of your dorm room supplies. Ex: cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, ect.

4. Wash all of your dorm room bedding, rugs, ect.

5. Purchase your textbooks ahead of time!

6. Talk to your roomate/clustermates and decide what you want to bring back. I know I am planning on bringing my Wii back for our living room area of our cluster!

7. Start packing early!

8. Prepare what clothes you may need.

9. Pack ahead of time, not the hour before leaving like I do…

10. Clean your room at your house so your parents will not have to deal with your mess!

My Spring 2015 Semester Favorite Moments

May 7, 2015 | Author: Tessa Lamper

Hey everyone! I have had an awesome Spring 2015 semester at Utica College and I hope you have too! Here are some of my favorite things that happened this semester! IMG_1987

1. Took some pretty cool classes! I took Senior Seminar, Clinical Research, Neuro Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology and Anthropology- Health and Healing! Neuro Anatomy was a pretty interesting class and for everyone that needs to take it: do not worry! It is not as scary as it may seem initially and it is very interesting! P.S. Take Professor Pack for everything you can! Kinesiology was another fun and interesting class. Professor Mallace was my professor for this and he is another awesome professor! Professor Mallace was also my professor for Clinical Research and he is great about helping you throughout the research process. Anthropology with Professor Blouet was another cool class and I learned a lot about healthcare in other areas of the world.  Senior Seminar was pretty cool because I was able to have class discussions on many types topics in healthcare.

2. I have successfully made it through my general education classes and some major related classes!

3. I was apart of Utica College’s first class to be inducted into the National Society for Leadership and Success! (Which is an awesome organization and anyone who gets invited into it should join!)IMG_2085

4. I was able to participate in the American Heart Run/Walk and Utica College’s first ever Relay for Life. IMG_1762

5. I went to the Alpha Phi Delta Formal and took a tour of the Saranac Brewery when I turned 21!IMG_2041Sorry the picture is so blurry!

6. I had a great time at Moose Madness and saw the X Ambassadors!

7. I had a great time meeting future OT and PT majors at the Admissions Open House and Accepted Students Day events! Also dancing with Trax at these events!

8. The Holi Celebration, of course, was FANTASTIC!

9. Having fun with friends in the Residential Quad when the weather was finally warm!

10. Visiting the Utica Zoo with my family and showing them around the city of Utica!IMG_2091IMG_2079

A Letter to My Mentors

May 7, 2015 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

With graduation quickly approaching it really got me thinking about these last four years and how I’ve been surrounded with an amazing support system. My college journey has been different, enjoyable, and at times, difficult. From changing majors to finally finding my happy ending, I have been blessed to have people in my life who always encouraged me, loved me, and never gave up on me! This post is dedicated to them :)


Mom & Dad: Throughout my life you have been my rocks, my source of strength, & my heroes. Everything I am and everything I aspire to be, I owe to you. I’m so thankful for the unconditional love and support you both have shown me – from reading & sharing these blogs, to being my number one fans during my time on The Tangerine & WPNR, to simply believing in me & my dreams. You two never fail to guide me in the right direction and I know you will always be there pushing me toward success and happiness.  A girl couldn’t ask for two better parents. Thank you for always being my biggest fans. I love you both.


To my grandparents: I am so fortunate to have you all in my life. My relationship with each one of you is so unique, so different & I wouldn’t change a single thing. All of the memories we share are priceless and I hold each one of them near and dear to my heart. Thank you for being my role models, thank you for being my cheerleaders, my best teachers, and thank you for believing in me always. Your words of wisdom is something I cherish and I have learned so much from all of you. I love you all.

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To my aunts & special friends: All of you have played a large role in my college career. You all are so different, but you have all inspired me and continue to do so. Each of you have changed my life, my perspective, my attitude, and have taught me lessons that will last a lifetime. I appreciate you all being there for me, making me laugh, and for giving me helpful advice in these last four years. It’s because of your encouragement and support that I am where I am today. 

Holi Happiness

May 7, 2015 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

Every year Utica College’s Asian Student Union brings Holi to campus. Holi is a traditional spring festival that is very popular in many parts of South Asia. This festival is also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love.

I was a spectator both my freshman year and this year but I did take part in the fun as a sophomore. It is amazing how many students come together to enjoy a colorful afternoon. Everyone huddles together and the countdown begins… 5…4…3…2…1… a variety of colors are thrown up into the air and fall onto the crowd of people. It is honestly such a beautiful sight.

My camera sadly died this year but here are my favorite pictures from last years Holi:


MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord and I.

MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord and I showing some HOLI love!

Action shot!

Action shot!

Karita Rawlins, myself, Alexander Hodkinson, and MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord posing for the camera!

Karita Rawlins, myself, Alexander Hodkinson, and MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord posing for the camera!