Staying Safe on Campus

We often hear about the horror stories about things happening on college campuses and we often think, “I will be fine, nothing will ever happen to me.” I am not writing this blog post to scare anyone to believe that our campus isn’t safe, but I would love to share some tips and resources that you can utilize if you ever feel unsafe or are worried while on campus. Our campus is in a very populated area and many people are walking through and around our school, it is important to be aware what is going on around you!

Did you know? Campus Safety’s phone number is 315-792-3046. They are located around the back corner of Strebel Student Center, in room 112. It is also kitty-corner to the Clark Athletic center, and accessible by the sidewalk leading from Strebel to Clark Athletic Center. Their office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm, but are available to reach on the phone 24/7.

frontofbuilding

Have you ever felt unsafe walking back from the academic side of campus to the residential side, or across the street to the Burrstone House? You can call Campus Safety and they will escort you from where you are to where you need to go.

Have you noticed the blue lights on campus? These blue lights are a great way to connect with Campus Safety immediately if you notice suspicious activity or do not feel safe. Students from Leadership Weekend have presented to Student Senate the importance of the blue light system and our campus is currently in the works of getting more on the pathways and within the parking lots.

Remember the buddy system? If you can, grab a buddy to walk with! It never hurts to be with someone when walking around campus.

Be alert. Be alert to what your surroundings are. When walking around campus, especially late at night, make sure that you aren’t on the phone or have your head phones in. It is important to know who and what is going on around you.

I personally know many of the Campus Safety Officers and I think they are all so wonderful! They are very friendly and do a great job keeping our campus safe. Save their number, say hello to the Campus Safety Officers, find the blue lights on campus, and continue to be alert about what is going on around you.

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Heart Run & Walk 2016

For the past four years I have participated in the America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, and this year I realized how amazing this event truly is. I was a little upset with myself, as I planned to run the 5k, but had no time to head to the gym before to get my body in shape and knew that the outcome wouldn’t have been a positive one! Walking was just as much fun though!

The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to defeating heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Their mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

TOTAL AMOUNT RAISED: $785,082

I was apart of Team Utica College and we raised $2,915.70! Other groups from our campus that formed teams for that day included the Health Studies Student Society, Student Nursing Association, Alpha Chi Rho, Theta Phi Alpha, Psychology Society, Therapeutic Recreation Society, and Utica College’s Volleyball team.

So many different organizations and businesses took time out of their day to be apart of another successful event. Chobani, Subway, Sweet Frog, local churches, Utica College’s WPNR, as well as many other organizations and businesses do a great job making sure that everyone participating in the run and/or walk is having a fabulous time.

My favorite part of the day is when you are walking throughout the neighborhood and families and friends are in their driveways, on their lawns, and on the side of the streets playing music, giving away hot chocolate or coffee, and so much more! It is really amazing how the community comes together!

If you have not participated in this event, I definitely recommend it! If you enjoy running, go for it! There are three different runs that you can choose to participate in. If you do not enjoy running, walking is just as much fun!

Ann Ciancia and I with the one and and only, PRESIDENT HUTTON!
Ann Ciancia and I with the one and only, PRESIDENT HUTTON!
Nothing but smiles with this girl! :)
Nothing but smiles with this girl! 🙂
Michael Cottle and Ann Ciancia look like they are leading the walk!
Michael Cottle and Ann Ciancia look like they are leading the walk!
I love all the signs and different things everyone makes for this day!
I love all the signs and different things everyone makes for this day!
Another successful event in the books!
Another successful event in the books!
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Live & Learn: Going Green

Over the past few years, I have become more cautious about the environment and the positive and negative impact we have on our world. So… what does it mean to go green?

According to Save the World, living a green lifestyle, or going green, can begin in small, easy to manage ways. Recycling is a huge, obvious part of helping to save the world through green living. Reducing one’s reliance on oil-based energy sources is another popular method employed in trying to save the world. Purchasing only all organic, chemical free products is another way that many people begin going green, and is considered a very effective method at trying to save the world and all of its resources. Green living is infiltrating all parts of daily life, and the planet is sure to be better for it.

I came across a blog post online which included several ways that students can go green on college campuses. Some of the tips that I believe Utica College Students can do include the following:

  • Take notes electronically: save money on paper and sticky notes as well
  • Adopt reusable bag practices
  • Nix bottled water: use a reusable water bottle throughout the day
  • Recycle properly (not everything goes into the same garbage bin)
  • Power down and unplug your electronics when you are not using them
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs
  • Do not liter: it will not kill you to wait until you get until the nearest garbage bin

My good friend MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord, a senior majoring in biology here at UC, has taught me the dos and don’ts about going green! Here are some helpful tips that she has recently shared with me…

“Take advantage of the shuttle service on campus or carpool with friends when going to Walmart. Trying running errands together once a week, as opposed to all going separately multiple times!”

“If you do use notebooks for class, don’t throw them out at the end of the semester. I always use the second half of the notebook for another class, just put a separator in between the different classes.”

“Only take what you can eat in the cafe. It’s super tempting to take a lot and only pick at it, but that’s uber wasteful.” Remember, you can always go back up for seconds!

“At the end of the semester, donate the things you don’t want or can’t transport home. Don’t throw things away!”

I hope that you reflect on your current habits and think about how you are taking care of our world and if there are things that you can do better. The smallest things can have an amazing impact!

Source: http://www.nowtowowhygiene.com/wp-content/uploads/green.jpg
Source: http://www.nowtowowhygiene.com/wp-content/uploads/green.jpg
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Senior Year Bucket List

It is so surreal that this is my last on-campus semester here at Utica College, as my final semester will be in the fall but I will be out on my internship. It is crazy to think that I am almost done completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology-Child Life. I am so excited for my future and am interested to see where I wind up.

Other than kicking butt this semester academically, I plan to make sure that I reach all of my goals within my extracurricular activities on campus. I am a part of a number of different organizations on campus and try my best to attend different events that are held by other organizations I am not in. Something that I have decided to do was make a little bucket list for senior year!

Here is what is on my list as of now:

  • Get an internship!
  • Actually run the American Red Cross Heart Run & Walk
  • Expand my professional wardrobe
  • Attend Relay for Life
  • Get back on track financially
  • Volunteer and explore during spring break
  • Have successful events within my organizations:
    • Psychology-Child Life Society – bake sales and our annual St. Baldrick’s Day
    • Gay/Straight Alliance – Ally Week, Day of Silence, and our annual Drag Show
    • Student Senate – a smooth sailing election year as I was just recently appointed Elections Commissioner
  • Create a series of awesome events for the graduating seniors
  • Not throwing up and/or passing out on stage while giving my Senior Class President speech at the Commencement Ceremony

I am excited for what this semester is going to bring and I hope that I can complete everything that is on my bucket list before graduation day!

Maybe you can make a bucket list for your spring semester too and work towards some of you goals!

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Student Success

Have you checked out the new and improved Office of Student Success located in 122 White Hall? Not only do they have the best staff who will go the extra mile to help you out, they have coloring books, a fish tank, and free coffee and hot chocolate! I volunteer every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30am-10:30am and stop in whenever I can. Don’t hesitate to stop by!

This semester they have a series of events, every Tuesday from 12pm-1pm and Thursday from 5pm-6pm that are beneficial for all students, especially the first year students. I have listed the events below…

  • Study Aids/Utilizing Technology for Success – 2/17 & 2/18
  • Test Preparation and Test Taking – 2/24 & 2/25
  • How to be Successful in Class – 3/2 & 3/3
  • Stress Management: De-Stress Fest (Midterms) – 3/9 & 3/10
  • Grade Calculations – 3/23 & 3/24
  • Avoiding Procrastination – 3/30 & 3/31
  • Planning for Next Semester: Registration – 4/6 & 4/7
  • Recharge and Stay Motivated – 4/13 & 4/14
  • The Study Cycle: Avoid Studying in Circles – 4/20 & 4/21
  • Stress Management: De-Stress Fest (Finals) – 4/27 in Strebel Lounge

Everyone who works in the office, students included, are energetic and willing to help anyone who walks in. I hope to see more students filter through the office and take advantage of the wonderful atmosphere.

Check out the daily updates on our white board outside the office!
Check out the daily updates on our white board outside the office!
The view from the office on this past Wednesday morning!
The view from the office on this past Wednesday morning!
Nothing but smiles when working in the office!
Nothing but smiles when working in the office!
Fish are friends, not food! :)
Fish are friends, not food! 🙂

 

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Presenting Your Best Self

With college comes a lot of presentations and public speaking. For many individuals, getting up in front of a group of people is very challenging. I personally am very outgoing and am usually not afraid of speaking in front of a crowd of people. Although, when you are standing in front of your class, whether it be 5 students or 25 students, your nerves start acting up! This semester I have done the most presentations compared to other semesters here at UC and would like to share with you all ways that I have learned to overcome those jitters, as well as lessen the nerves while presenting.

Ways you can prepare for a presentation:

  • Make sure you know your information inside and out, especially if there is a Q + A portion to the presentation.
  • Go over your presentation – by yourself and to someone else – over and over again until you feel comfortable.
  • I promise it will be okay.
  • Prepare some type of outline and/or flashcards to look to for guidance. Professors extremely dislike when students read off of their slides and/or outline. I cannot stress that enough!

Ways to lessen your jitters and nerves when presenting:

  • Try to be cautious of how fast you are talking. Sometimes when you are talking fast, the information you are trying to relay becomes all jumbled and unclear.
  • This probably the most important thing.
  • Find a focus point and don’t lose it. Sometimes looking at your classmates is helpful but usually it is just distracting. My tip is to look at their foreheads. This is helpful because it is giving everyone the illusion that you are making eye contact with them, but realistically you are not.
  • Do not stand behind a computer or anything like that, as it will block you from your audience.

I hope these tips are helpful to you in the future and hopefully become more confident with giving presentations, as that is something that you will most likely have to do for the rest of your life. Personally, I have used these tips to help me with presenting and I have definitely seen a change in my confidence when getting up in front of people!

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Winter Break Agenda

Winter break is just around the corner and as much as I want to relax and be a hermit watching Netflix, that sadly cannot happen! Since it is my senior year, there is a lot to prepare for before I graduate. I switched my major my sophomore year from Health Studies (on the track to Occupational Therapy) to Psychology-Child Life, which has put me a semester behind. I will be walking with my class in May but will not be receiving my diploma until December. My last semester will be wherever my internship is, so spring semester is my last time I will be taking classes on campus. I am excited for my future, but also nervous because adulthood is crawling up fast.

This winter break I plan to organize my life, get everything I need to get done for when I begin applying for internships, and hopefully have time to relax!

I thoroughly love making lists, so what better than to make a to do list on for what I should do over winter break:

  • Edit/complete my résumé
  • Research possible internship sites
  • Organize internship binder (full of sites and information)
  • Exercise – whether it be at the gym or at home!
  • Organize myself for the upcoming spring semester
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Start a new Netflix series
  • Craft – something I love to do but barely have time for!
  • Volunteer at the local daycare
  • Get prepared for my Italian II class that I will be taking in the spring – Italian is not the easiest for me to comprehend, haha!
  • Go somewhere I have never gone before
  • Create goals for my upcoming year
  • Complete Senior Class President duties

I plan on having a productive and relaxing winter break, as I know that it will help assist with a successful senior year! Maybe you should try making an agenda for your winter break!

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UC Lovin’

Tonight, I asked some students to answer one question… “What is one thing you love about Utica College?” It was interesting to hear everyone’s responses and see the impact that UC has on them personally. With their permission, I have shared their responses below.

Alexis Wilson, 18 years: “I love how everyone is so friendly.”

Tyler St. Louis, 20 years old: “I have met a lot of great people here!”

Dorm Simeona, 18 years old: “I feel that it has changed me for the better!”

Ben Smith, 19 years old: “It is cheap to go here!”

Shamari Kirkpatrick, 19 years old: “There is a homey feeling here, which I like because I didn’t have it in high school. I am happy to be a part of it.”

Calypso Carty, 21 years old: “I like that the classes are really small!”

Courtney Stocker, 21 years old: “I love being able to walk on campus and have a handful of people ask me how I am doing and be genuinely interested.”

Liz Schonhiutt, 19 years old: “I really love the community and how diverse it is here. I can always make friends!”

Krysta Ponek, 19 years old: “I really like the class sizes and the friends I have made here!”

Even though college might be stressful because of studying, papers, and tests… it is nice to look at the reasons why you love your school. I personally love Utica College because of the close knit community we have here, I have created lifelong friendships, I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible people, this school has pushed me to my limits, there are so many people on campus who want to see you succeed, and most importantly, has made me into the person I am today.

Take a moment to reflect on why you love Utica College!

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Live & Learn: The HW App

This semester I have discovered this app called The HW App that has really helped me keep my assignments and to dos organized. This app is free at the App Store. I am not sure if it is available to for androids or galaxies, so I apologize if is not.

I would consider myself to be extremely organized, always updating and adding things to my daily to do list. The one reason I really like this app is because it is on your phone which allows you to conveniently check what you have due in the upcoming days and weeks, no matter where you are!

This app allows you to create subjects for each class, add your professors, and of course add all of your tasks and assignments. Within each task and/or assignment, you can add the date and time it is due, reminders, subtasks, notes, the priority level, and an area to check off when the it completed.

Overall, this app is easy to use and very helpful! Even though I still use my planner, I have this app as well to let me see what I have due when I do not have my planner on me.

This semester I have discovered this app called The HW App that has really helped me keep my assignments and to dos organized. This app is free at the App Store. I am not sure if it is available to for androids or galaxies, so I apologize if is not.

I would consider myself to be extremely organized, always updating and adding things to my daily to do list. The one reason I really like this app is because it is on your phone which allows you to conveniently check what you have due in the upcoming days and weeks, no matter where you are!

This app allows you to create subjects for each class, add your professors, and of course add all of your tasks and assignments. Within each task and/or assignment, you can add the date and time it is due, reminders, subtasks, notes, the priority level, and an area to check off when the it completed.

Overall, this app is easy to use and very helpful! Even though I still use my planner, I have this app as well to let me see what I have due when I do not have my planner on me!

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Live & Learn: Exploring Your Major

This blog is directed more towards the first year and second year students here at Utica College.

It is never too late to explore your major. It’s all about doing some research. I switched my major from Occupational Therapy to Psychology-Child Life in the beginning of my sophomore year. One day I decided to look into what Occupational Therapy was all about and I realized it wasn’t really for me. I also had been working in the Occupational Therapy office here on campus and was with the OT professors on a regular basis talking about what this field was all about.

I remember the phone call to my mom like it was yesterday explaining that OT really isn’t something I am interested in anymore. She is a wonderful support system and was so excited when I told her what I really want to do. I have always been interested in psychology and working with children so when I was looking into the other majors that Utica College offered, I stumbled upon Psychology-Child Life. Within this major, there are two different concentrations – Child Studies and Child Life Specialty. I am interested in the Child Life Specialty concentration because Child Life Specialists usually are working in the hospital and I have always enjoyed that setting.

If it wasn’t for me doing some research about Occupational Therapy, I wouldn’t have discovered something that I am so much more interested in. I am so excited to one day be able to say that I am a Certified Child Life Specialist. With a little more schooling to go, I will soon be able to wake up every morning and head to my dream job.

Whether you are majoring in business, history, or psychology, do a little research. You don’t want to be going into your senior year and then thinking, “What am I doing, I don’t want to do this!” I know it is hard that we are suppose to figure out what we want to do before we are even legally allowed to drink, but some research about what you are interested definitely won’t hurt!

Lastly, if you have absolutely no idea where you see yourself in the next five years… head to see one of the Academic Coaching Experts, also known as Utica College’s ACEs. Frank, Lauryn, and Brittnee would be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

The ACE Lauryn Davis and I being silly at the Major Minor Mixer hosted by RA Angela Malaspina.
The ACE Lauryn Davis and I being silly at the Major Minor Mixer hosted by RA Angela Malaspina.
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