Skip to content

Posts by General

  • Ending on the Right Foot on May 17th, 2014

    Hey Stony Brook!

    Despite the finish line finally within my sights, it’s hard for me to grasp the fact that I am officially no longer an undergraduate here at Stony Brook University. Graduation is just a week away, yet I feel as though it was just yesterday that I was frantically scanning a crumpled campus map in search of my freshman-year Psychology class (which was in Javits. The fact that I could not find it is still slightly embarrassing). My four years at Stony Brook University have SPED by faster than Usain Bolt dashing down the track in a 200-meter race (admittedly, this is only 19.19 seconds. But still…).

    And today was my last “day” of school…

    After a morning spent at the gym, eating scrambled eggs, proofreading, dog walking, and checking social media, it was finally time to head to The Brook. After stepping my 45-minute commute from Centerport, I slowly stepped out of my Hyundai, stretched my legs, and looked around South-P. “Will I ever see this parking lot again?” I wondered.

    After the Express bus ride to campus, I went to visit Dr. Harold Walker, Professor and Civil Engineering Program Director. Dr. Walker had helped me develop and execute a Senior Environmental Studies major Honor’s Thesis research project on people’s environmental attitudes, awareness, and behavior (it’s pending approval!), and I wanted to thank him for all of his help. We discussed what I had learned from the research process (arduous, but worth it overall), graduation plans (brunch afterwards with the family), and my goals for the future (SBU’s MS in Journalism specializing in science and environmental reporting). I left feeling very nostalgic yet excited for the next chapter of my life to begin.

    Next up, it was to room Chem. 370, the de-facto Sustainability Studies Program film theater for Dr. Heidi Hutner‘s SBC 325: Environmental Literature and Filmmaking class’s Final Exam/Film Festival. As one of the class TA’s, I was eager to see all the students’ hard work! Fellow TA Justin Fehntrich did an extraordinary job of piecing the films together and creating an awesome intro/ending to the series. Justin also made it easy for viewers to follow along with the films, listing the titles of the individual films and their respective student filmmakers in a stack of nifty little pamphlets that had an ornate green tree with a curlicue root system on the cover of each. It was very professional. I thought, “That guy thinks of everything.”

    The films were more incredible than I could have ever imagined. The students’ passion–extended over myriad environmental topics, from fracking to farming–shone on-screen! These films are soon to be uploaded to YouTube, so I will provide you with the link when they go public. Student blogs, which are as awe-inspiring as their films, can be found here.

    After class I stopped by theSustainability Studies Program offices to meet with the program’s hardworking Program Coordinator Ginny Clancy. I just had to thank her for everything she has done to help me achieve success! Which is a lot.

    Sustainability Studies Program Peeps! (From left, SBC 325 co-teacher and filmmaking expert Dave Chameides, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies and SBC 325 professor Dr. Heidi Hutner, SBC 325 TA Justin Fehntrich, Sustainability Studies student and soon-to-be graduate Shameika Hanson (back), ME (SBC 325 TA and soon-to-be graduate), and Sustainability Studies student Cory Tiger!

    Sustainability Studies Program Peeps! (From left, SBC 325 co-teacher and filmmaking expert Dave Chameides, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies and SBC 325 professor Dr. Heidi Hutner, SBC 325 TA Justin Fehntrich, Sustainability Studies student and soon-to-be graduate Shameika Hanson [back], ME [SBC 325 TA and soon-to-be graduate], and Sustainability Studies student Cory Tiger!)

    Believe it or not, by two o’clock, my day was not over yet. Over to the School of Journalism I was to go to interview as a graduate school candidate. With my application all set, the interview was the next step, hopefully bringing me closer to a coveted spot in the SBU MS Journalism program. Yet as soon as I stepped foot inside the Library: BEEP BEEP! The fire alarm sounds. Of course.

    Finally, about twenty minutes later, I made it to the School of Journalism. After apologizing profusely for my tardiness (fire drills happen), I met with Professor Elizabeth Bass, Professor and Graduate Program Director Richard Ricioppo, and Dean Howard Schneider. I got an awesome tour of The Newsroom, with its cutting-edge technology and access to breaking news 24/7. My heart was pounding. I knew this was where I was meant to be; learning, hands-on, all the essentials and more to environmental and science reporting. Fingers crossed, I hope I get accepted!

    At approximately three-thirty pm, classes and interviews and tours and talking and smiling and thanking and reminiscing were over, at least for the moment. It was time for me to call it a day–my last day as an undergraduate–and head home to do a couple of dog-walking jobs. It was really difficult to leave. 

    Resigned to the fact that it was finally all over, I took an Express bus back to South P and climbed back into my Hyundai. My drive home was spent thinking about the day and the past four years of my life as an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University… Next Friday, I’ll graduate with an Environmental Studies major focused in Environmental Law and Policy, and a minor in Environmental Humanities focused in Environmental Writing (and, hopefully, with Honor’s credit as well).

    Though I’ll miss the fun of my four undergraduate years at Stony Brook, I am truly thrilled with the prospects of a future in science and environmental journalism…and, if I am admitted to the MS Journalism program here, I actually won’t be leaving so soon after all!

    However, in regard to my last day, I am confident that I ended on the right foot :)

    Congrats to my fellow graduating SENIORS OF 2014!!!!!! WOOT-WOOT.

    See y’all in your caps and gowns ;)

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica