“Hey, Utica College!”

Guest post by Kelly Adams, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Utica College. 

It’s a small world, indeed.

Never would I have imagined, that after arriving from Albany to Orlando International Airport, boarding the shuttle bus, and getting set to begin a weeklong Disney family vacation, that the first words I’d hear were, “Hey, Utica College!”

I looked up and across the aisle from my seat on the Disney Magical Express airport shuttle, and was greeted by a woman with an unmistakable Tennessee accent who was seated barely an arm’s length away with her husband.

img_2492-2She motioned with her eyes to the similarly unmistakable moose logo on the breast of my UC pullover, presumably so as not to unduly alarm me.

“Our son graduated from the Economic Crime Management master’s program,” she volunteered, before we proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes of our commute from Orlando Terminal B to the Magic Kingdom discussing our UC connection.

My wife, a UC alumna herself, and I would later half-joke that we can’t go anywhere without running into a member of our extended Utica College family. But the first day, let alone the first interaction of the vacation?

The first was far from the last.

Only hours later, my orange, Trax-logoed quarter zip was spotted again. As I shouldered my way through the jubilant chaos (Disney speak for unforgiving crowds) of Disney Springs, I stopped to let a stroller through.

The pilot of the stroller looked up. “Utica College? I graduated in ’06. I played lacrosseimg_2493 for Coach Nelson.”

We chatted, exchanged favorite stories of our time at UC, and soon discovered we shared several mutual friends.

The week would not be complete without another UC chance encounter – this time with a young woman who sold me a Mickey-shaped soft pretzel the size of my youngest son’s head, who, as it happens, was the daughter of an 80s UC grad. She noticed my UC hockey t-shirt.

The moral of the story?

Well, for starters, my casual wear wardrobe is obviously lacking in variety. Moreover, if you’re traveling, don’t forget to pack a UC shirt. You never know when or where you’ll bump into a fellow Pioneer.

It’s a small world after all (hokey, I know).

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Bored this weekend? Airband 2016.

Let’s face it: It’s the weekend before the last week of classes and, more than likely, you’re going to be bored from being studious and such… right?! Well, there’s plenty of fun to be had Saturday night in the Athletic Center.

 

Airband 2016

 

Chi Beta Sigma is hosting their annual event – Airband. It’s one of the longest-standing events on this campus, and it’s tons of fun every year! I mean, who doesn’t enjoy comedic singing, dancing and acting by students? It’s hilarious!

Airband is a lip-syncing competition featuring a number of acts, including Chi Beta Sigma. Each group lip-syncs to a chosen song in attempt to steal the show and “wow” the audience! Whoever does it best, according to the judges, wins! The top 3 acts will win prizes, provided by the sorority.

Don’t forget, if you attend, to bring a few bucks with you! Chi Beta will be hosting their annual “Hundred Dollar Minute” during intermission. This small event at intermission is meant to collect money from the audience that will then be donated to a local charity.

So, if you’re bored this weekend, DON’T BE! Get to the Clark Athletic Center at 7pm on Saturday for a hilarious show that NOBODY on this campus wants to miss!

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The Coolest Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me…

I am very fortunate to live a short 45 minutes from Manhattan, the heart of New York City. I myself like to think of my ordinary town as the stem of the big apple. During high school it was not rare that a few of my friends and I would ditch school and hop on an express train into Grand Central. Sorry, mom.

Our favorite things to do in the city included grabbing lunch and walking around Time Square. For some strange reason I always found the constant-moving atmosphere and intensity of afternoon traffic soothing. There is just something about those gigantic buildings that puts me in my place and makes me feel capable of anything.

One day about four years ago a few of my friends and I decided to skip school yet again and go into the city to do some shopping and get lunch. While we were walking down a side street near Time Square we bumped into two large men. By the time we looked up from our phones to apologize and see who it was, a head popped out from behind the men. Who was is you ask…. none other then Ellen DeGeneres!

Dumbfounded and super geeked out because I have never met someone famous before, I jolted out my hand and said “Hi!” louder then I probably should have. She shook my hand and then apologized for having to leave in such a hurry. I stood there more still than the surrounding skyscrapers – frozen in time.

Round trip train ticket into the city: $14.50.

Meeting Ellen DeGeneres: Priceless.

Not getting a picture: 100 years of utter regret.

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5 Things to Get Excited About Post-Spring Break

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So the semester isn’t over yet? I could’ve sworn it was based on my exhaustion. I totally understand why 93% of the campus is dragging their feet to class this week, but here are some reasons you shouldn’t:

1. It isn’t freezing anymore

Yes, you were so annoyed to be back to the hustle and bustle of the college life after a week of sweet nothings that you completely forgot to notice that the freezing air was no longer hurting your face as you walked to class. Yes, it is pouring rain, but hey, all the more reason to not get ready in the morning am I right?

2. You’re almost there

You’ve managed to survive 10 whole weeks of classes and you only have a measly five more to go. It is the home stretch!

3. Warm weather makes people nicer/happier

People are evidently nicer when the weather is nice. Just a couple more weeks and people will go from darting from building to building, buried in their parkas, avoiding human interaction, mumbling swear words to themselves as icy show whips them in the face to taking leisurely walks, socializing and smiling again. Maybe that’s just me, maybe not.

4. RELAY FOR LIFE

The most fun all-nighter you will ever attempt to pull is less than a month away! On April 8 in the Dome, the UC community is in for a night of music, games and some serious cancer fighting. Last year, Relay For Life raised over $22,000 for the American Cancer Society and it’s looking like we are going raise even more money this year! You really don’t want to miss out on this. Join the fight at relayforlife.org/uticacollegeNY.

5. Moose Madness Weekend

Assuming you’re all going to push-off studying for finals until the night before, you have an amazing Moose Madness weekend to look forward to! Moose Madness begins on the last day of classes and features an annual spring concert, sporting events and other activities. You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?

Hang in there, folks. It ain’t over till it’s over.

 

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If Your Favorite Disney Princesses Went to Utica College

Growing up watching and idolizing Disney Princesses, I recently decided to revisit my fascination.

Being that the past few weeks have been filled with rain and snow, it was the perfect opportunity to binge on movies like The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, and my new favorite, Frozen. Yes, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands paired with a slight self-diagnosis of insomnia. After a few hours of watching, I thought to myself – my life is far from the standards of those of the Disney Princesses. But what if they lived my life? This 3 a.m. ponder lead to some interesting scenarios.

Ariel:

Ariel Pic

Upon her enrollment as a full time student at Utica College, Ariel finds comfort in becoming a Pioneer while joining the Women’s Swim and Dive team. Breaking records and owning the lanes, she never looks back – her happily every after will culminate on her senior night when she breaks the school’s longest standing record.

 

Cinderella:

Cinderella PicAfter declaring her independence from her evil step-mother, Cinderella spends most of her time in the Womyn’s Resource Center where she is surrounded by faculty, staff, and other students who share her same passions and ideas of equality. She has since ditched the glass-slipper look because, let’s face it, glass slippers are not ideal for getting across campus in a hurry!

 

Jasmine:

Jasmine Pic

Always going to be beat of her own drum, Jasmine spends most of her time working in the robotics lab trying to build her own flying carpet. Unfortunately, her whole new world here at Utica College does not allow for her pet tiger Rajah. However, she keeps her passion for wild life alive by majoring in Animal Behavior.

 

Elsa:

Elsa Pic

Deciding to leave her castle was one of Elsa’s hardest decisions. But like most people, Elsa decided to move on to the next chapter in her life. Her fascination with weather has landed Elsa as president of Asa Gray Biological Society (Asa Gray). While Elsa has made tons of friends, some do blame her for the lake effect winter we experience here in Utica.

 

Belle:

Belle Pic

As scholarly as she is, Belle’s transition into college was a breeze! Spending most of her time reading, she has almost made her way through half of the books in the library. Since Belle is so adoring of literature and the atmosphere the library brings, she has just become the latest work-study at the circulation desk and has taken part in peer tutoring.

 

Aurora:

Sleeping Beauty Pic

Catching naps in between classes is a must for our sleeping beauty. Luckily, she has had the freedom to schedule all her classes for later in the day. That being said, her favorite place to hang out is in the Residence Halls. After getting five other friends together, Aurora formed a club on campus called “Sleepers Anonymous.” The club works together to help raise money and donate things like blankets and pillows to the local homeless community.

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Saranac Brewery Tour

Last weekend my friends and I found ourselves looking for another adventure and wanting to experience something Utica has to offer! I then remembered a tour of the Saranac Brewery was something I’ve been wanting to do since freshman year but never got around to doing it. We looked up the Matt Brewing Co. online and decided to do it!

When we got there, we walked into the gift shop and checked in for the next tour. The tour only cost $5 a person and included two free beverages in the tavern at the end of the tour! While we were waiting for our tour to get called we walked around the gift shop. Decorated with some vintage Saranac gear, the whole place had a long-standing feel.

 

Saranac Pic 1Before we knew it our tour was about to begin. We were walked through the entire brewery and the tour took a little under an hour. The hallways leading up to the production room was beautifully decorated with authentic Victorian décor with many original aspects from when the brewery opened in the 1800s by FX Matt. We were able to get up close and personal with every aspect of the brewing process from the hops and grains used to brewing, bottling, and packaging.

Saranac Pic 4 Saranac Pic 3 Saranac Pic 2The tour was very informational and interesting. It was cool to learn that Utica Club, a beer made at the Matt Brewery, was the first beer sold in the United States after prohibition.

We then made our way to the tavern to try our two full-sized free drinks. They had their seasonal and craft beers on tap along with their assortment of sodas and hard sodas. I tired their famous root beer and it was – AMAZING! We ended up sitting in the tavern for two hours drinking and talking. This is something I recommend for everyone to do – in fact, I can’t wait to go back and do it again! A fun day for only $5, it’s a win-win!

Saranac Pic 5

 

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My Spring Break Checklist

In the near future lies the middle of the semester, and most importantly, Spring Break! Needless to say, I, like many other students, cannot wait! The sun, the beach, warmth, friends and family await me in Daytona Beach, Florida, in just one short week. Until I leave, I have quite a few things to complete so I can have a relaxing week in the sunshine.

Homework, completing an online class, a biology exam, and two papers are between me and break.

 

Blog Post 3 - Pic 1 Blog Post 3 - Pic 2Daytona Beach, Florida, taken May 2015

Currently, my to-do list before leaving for break looks like this:

  1. Complete final project for AGE 218 online and submit it.
  2. Post final discussion for AGE 218 online and comment on other’s projects.
  3. Take second Biology exam.
  4. Complete and submit next research paper for HLS 113 online.
  5. Finalize discussion forums for AGE 411.
  6. Post discussion questions for HLS 113 online and respond to four people.

Though it does not seem like that much, I’m trying to complete it all before leaving so I don’t have to do anything other than relax!

Most of my to-do list covers the first few days back from Spring Break, as well. By planning to get ahead and not procrastinate, I am hoping to make the best of this vacation!

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The Best Way to get BAKED!

When I got home from work today, my roommates and I were talking about how it’s national chocolate cake day. We had been talking about it for nearly 20 minutes when we decided that we really did want to make a chocolate cake, but on the next level. What’s better than simply chocolate cake? Chocolate-covered chocolate cake pops!

Though chocolate cake is great and all, chocolate cake pops are much better. They are like bite- sized pieces of an entire chocolate cake! So, that’s exactly what we decided to make.Untitled

How to make chocolate cake pops:

  1. Beginning with a traditional chocolate cake: We made the cake according to the box and then let it cool for an hour.
  2. We then broke the cake up into a bowl and mixed it with one package of cream cheese. We then rolled this new “dough” into small circles and poked lollipop sticks into them before placing them on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a half hour.
  3. We then melted chocolate to dip the cake pops in.
  4. After dipping the cake pops in chocolate, we placed them back on the cookie sheet and let them cool for about twenty minutes. And then…… VOILA! Chocolate covered, chocolate cake pops!

It’s like chocolate cake, but better on national chocolate cake day! And what makes that even better? My roommates and I made them together and even shared with our friends!

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How to Get Away with Murder…ing Stress!

I’ve found that stress is one of the easiest things to get but one of the hardest things to get rid of. Between school work, maintaining a social life, staying healthy, keeping a job, and keeping sane, stress is everywhere on a college campus. Being a chronic over-thinker, I often find myself stressing out and obsessing over every little detail. This is not only not a healthy way to live, it is also extremely counterproductive. The times when I am stressing the most just so happen to also be the times when I barely get anything done!

That said, over the past four years of being a college student here at Utica College, I have found a few perfectly reasonable tips on how to de-stress!

Tip #1: Mindless doodling.Stress Tip #1 PicThis is one of my favorite things to do when I have some spare time or when I need a break from all of the moving parts of my day! An added bonus to this activity: I never knew I was good a drawing until I tried – grab a pencil and try!!

Tip #2: Painting nails/self pampering.
Stress Tip #2 PicNot only does painting my nails or putting a face mask on take me away from the chaos of homework, it also makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated!

Tip #3: Throwing a one-person, private dance party.

Stress Tip #3 Pic

Locking my door and tuning out all that is outside helps me practice my most embarrassing dance moves! (does this count as exercise? I think yes!)

Tip #4: Taking a break & hanging with friends.

Stress Tip #4 PicIf I ever need a laugh, I know who to do to. Sometimes the best way to relax is to laugh it up with the people you love!

Tip #5: Blindfolded silence.

Stress Tip #5 PicFinally, I think that this technique is the most effective. I love to take five or ten minutes to totally unplug, cover my eyes with a sleeping mask, and pretend like nothing else exists in the world!

BONUS – Tip #6: keep it to a minimum.

All of these stress killers take no more than a half hour. It is easy to take a small break and get carried away with it. So the best thing to do with these tips is time them. Set a time limit for your break and stick to it, once the time is up – get back to work!

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Killer Wings at the Killabrew

Here is another one of Utica’s good eats!

Last night a few of my friends wanted to go out for some wings. Now, I am not a wing person but I decided to tag along because I have heard that the wings at Killabrew are world famous. Not to mention, it has been on my “college bucket list” to go there, and as my senior year is coming to an end, I figured it was time!

We were seated at a wooden booth and given our menus. When I looked down there were carvings all over the table. It was really cool to look at all the messages others had left behind. Things like “M+D Forever” and other small notes gave this place a homie and familiar atmosphere along with the overall décor of the place.
killabrew pic 2Killabrew pic 1
My friends and I ordered a bunch of the “everything” wings. These are said to be the wings that keep people coming back for more every week. After about 20 minutes or so, the waitress brought us our order. A large plate of orange-red steaming wings accompanied with a dozen napkins and wet-naps sat in front of us, and we were ready.

killabrew pic 3

Like I said before, I am not a wing person. However, the Killabrew’s everything wings have brought me over to the other side! They were delicious and like something I have never tasted before! Tangy with a light kick – I would definitely go back for more! Lets just say this is one of Utica’s good eats and a must go to!

 

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