Posts by Archive
- Post-grad Life on July 4th, 2013
So, here we are, my first summer after graduation. The post-grad life is everything I hoped it would be: trading flip-flops for flats, late night study sessions for 7am wake-up calls and facebook for Linkedin. I’m exaggerating, it really isn’t that bad. The coolest part about graduating is the respect that comes with having a bachelor’s degree. Suddenly it’s almost like my opinion is more “legitimate” than it was before, people (my mother) actually listen to what I have to say.
In spirit of this TBT (throwback Thursday) here’s a picture of me and my best friend on graduation day:
It’s hard to believe that picture was taken over a month ago. Between finals week, moving to a new place and starting two new jobs I haven’t really had time to process anything. Did I mention I got accepted into my grad program? I’m happy to say that I’ll be continuing my Stony Brook career this Fall when I start my Masters in Higher Education!
My entire family is pretty excited too, maybe more than me because they love to come out to visit. They make the trip out at least once a year to tailgate at a football game and usually in the spring to just hang out. Last year my parents, siblings, two cousins, aunts, uncles and about a dozen of my friends camped out before the game to BBQ and play some ol’ cornhole.
Secretly, I don’t think my mom is ready to admit that she’s old enough to have a daughter that graduated from college. Staying at Stony Brook eases her pain because I’m not really done with college yet. Good thing she still has my brother, the biggest Seawolf of all to keep her young. He wrote about Stony Brook in his class book:
(in case its too small to see, the shirt in his self-portrait drawing says “Go Seawolves! Ya”)
Summer on campus is great. The university invested in this really cool bike sharing program, Wolf Ride where you can pick up a bike at one dock, ride it to your destination and leave it at that dock. It’s AWESOME plus, its solar powered.
I’m loving that it doesn’t get dark till 9 and that its still warm enough to be outside even later than that. They keep the lights on at the outdoor volleyball and basketball courts so there is always a pick-up game going on, even after dark. The rec center is also open and offering classes all summer!
The post-grad life really isn’t as bleak as the adults make it seem. I guess it helps that I’m spending my time on a college campus with free outdoor movies, BBQ and craft nights.
- Summer at Stony on June 27th, 2013
Summer at Stony Brook is one of my favorite seasons. As soon as the weather gets warm the campus really comes alive; although, with summer, spring, fall and winter courses and activities, Stony Brook never really dies down.
It’s a busy season for Admissions too. Tours and Info Sessions have started. The campus is filled with recently admitted and prospective students eager to learn about all that Stony Brook has to offer. Tours begin in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and typically feature walk-throughs of academic buildings, the Student Activities Center and a Residence Hall.
If you’re interested in coming to visit but can’t make it to the tour or info session dates, we have an app, iTourSB for Apple devices and TourSB for Android users. This app will guide you around campus, giving you information about the buildings, classes and the school in general. It looks like this:
iTour SB also has a brief description of every academic major and videos of campus events. It’s a way to get a little piece of Stony Brook right on your phone!
Of course there is no substitute for actually visiting campus! There is something about coming to a game and cheering on the Seawolves or lounging on Staller Steps that makes you really feel like you’re a part of the community.
- Reflections from a Graduating Senior on April 25th, 2013
I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a lot of prospective students and incoming freshman. The number one question they (or, lets be honest, their parents) ask is some variation of “if you had the chance to do it all again, would you still go to Stony Brook?” I’ll be honest in saying that up until this semester I probably would have answered “I don’t know.”
There are a LOT of things that I love about Stony Brook but, I also had a lot to complain about: homework, tests, professors, the same old food choices, etc. This semester I realized the things I complained about are the standard college student grievances. Finals week happens everywhere, all professors think their class is the most important three hours of the week and if you stay anywhere long enough, the food gets boring. The things I love about being here are Stony Brook specific. Nowhere else do we celebrate the end of the semester with Roth Pond Regatta, the Spring Concert, Earthstock AND Strawberry Fest all within a three-week span. No where else do we join together and release our finals week tensions during midnight screams. No where else are the professors as dedicated to their work and making advancements in their field as they are here.
Over the past four years I’ve seen tremendous growth at Stony Brook. We’ve opened two new residence halls, a hotel, Red Mango and unveiled dining hall changes. We’re opening up a new academic building and plans are in the works for yet another new residence hall. More than that, the student body, faculty and staff have grown. We’ve suffered the loss of professors and students and we’ve grieved together. We have worked to make Stony Brook the inclusive, safe campus that we know today through programming and lifestyle changes.
This campus is incredibly diverse in terms of religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic background and more. I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met and the mentors who have helped make me a leader. I’m applying to Stony Brook graduate school because I’m not ready to leave. Stony has so much to offer both in and out of the classroom and I’m ready to soak it all up.
Looking back at the last four years I can’t help but laugh. I came here with expectations and thoughts about what I thought college life was. It was definitely about academics and big sporting events and falling in love but it was also about growth. I grew up here. I’m a completely different person with an open mind and clear goals. I have Stony Brook to thank for that and I’m ready to say, with 100% confidence, that if I had to do it all again I would choose Stony Brook.
- Summer Opportunities at Stony Brook on April 24th, 2013
As the end of the school year comes to a close, many college students find themselves pressed to decide where they will spend their summer. Many leave campus to spend the summer at home with their families, but the past month has truly opened my eyes to all of the summer opportunities here at Stony Brook.
As an out of state student about to enter my senior year of college, the only place I want to spend my summer is in New York. Though I could take classes and pay to stay in the res halls, financially, it’s not the cheapest option, and academically, I’m more than ready for a break. Friends of mine at the Brook have found themselves in the same predicament, and in the past few weeks, we’ve found many opportunities to stay and work on campus throughout the summer.
The first that is probably most popular is being an Orientation Leader. Not only does this position allow students to network with other leaders on campus and welcome in the next group of seawolves, OLs also are compensated with either hourly pay or housing on campus. The second, more popular with my friends who are looking for a little bit more laid back experience apply to work with Summer Conference Housing. This opportunity also does compensate its employees and selects from a pool of applicants at the end of the semester.
Beyond these two, a lot of other students stay on campus or stay employed on campus if they live nearby at a variety of places like the SINC sites and Rec Center. Either way, during your time at Stony Brook, there are many opportunities to stay on the island for the summer and continue to build your relationship with this campus community, and it’s something I look forward to doing this summer as well!
- I’m Back! on April 12th, 2013
Okay, I feel bad. It’s been over a month since I last posted. Let me explain!!! A lot of ‘stuff’ happened and I just wanted to share my story with you guys . So in February, I was notified that I was selected as a Truman Scholar Finalist. For all of you who do not know what the Truman Scholarship is, it is one of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships recognizing undergraduates who are committed to careers in public service. Typically, one winner is selected from every state. I was honored of being one of the 11 finalists from New York State. I will give the spoilers right now: I did not win. But I will be honest, I was not “in it to win it.” I applied because I felt I was a strong candidate and to considered a finalist was the ultimate accomplishment for me. But the best part of the Truman Application process (and the bulk of what I want to share with you) was my appreciation for Stony Brook. When I was notified of being a finalist, I was contacted by Ms. Karen Kernan, director of URECA at Stony Brook. She called me in and explained to me what an honor it was to be selected. She also introduced me to Yaseen Eldik, a previous Truman Scholar winner and the first Truman Scholar finalist/winner from SBU. She explained to me that even though winning the Truman is extremely hard (1 or 2 winners out of 11-13 finalists), the preparation would make me a stronger applicant for graduate school. She began to set up mock interviews with a plethora of faculty here at SBU. In this process I began to meet amazing people of different disciplines who all strengthened my understanding of the world around me. They not just gave me confidence, but also motivation that I had a strong base of support here at Stony Brook. The Truman journey really made me appreciate being a “Seawolf.” I spent countless hours reading and analyzing information. It totally changed me for the better (not to sound generic). I just want to tell anyone who is reading my post, that if you come to Stony Brook, you truly “Are in good hands.” The faculty here are ready to support any student for any endeavor. And as one professor told me, “When you shine, we shine.” I just want to thank Ms. Kernan again for helping me in this process. I truly think Stony Brook is blessed to have dedicated faculty who are not just knowledgeable but caring enough to go out of their way to help a student like me. I just want to end this post with a quick shout out to all the people who supported me during this process. The long list also gives an idea of how many great people we have here at SBU, at the different fields we have great educators in. Long Live SBU!!!!!
You guys are the best: Karen Kernan (URECA), Yaseen Eldik (alumni), David Maynard (University Scholars), Rebekah Burroway (Sociology), Dean Miller (Journalism), Dr. Charles Robbins (Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges), Marianna Savoca (Career Center), Maurince Kernan (Genetics), Peter Manning (English), Catherine Marrone (Sociology), Arnout van de Rijt (Sociology), Frank Myers (Political Science), Marcy McGinnis (Journalism), James Klurfeld (Journalism), Robert Pertusati (Dean of Admissions), Jonathan Sanders (Journalism), Kristina Lucenko (Writing).
For anyone interested in learning more about the Truman Scholarship, you can read more at this link: www.truman.gov
Till next time, Peace!
- What is the Stony Brook Honors College? on March 25th, 2013
This post is for you if:
- you have been accepted to the Honors College at Stony Brook and you’re wondering why you should attend
- you’re thinking about applying, but you’re not sure you want to write an extra essay
- you’ve never heard of the Honors College at Stony Brook, and you want to know more about it
I’ve fielded the question, “Why did you decide to attend Stony Brook?” many, many times. While there are several factors that played into my final decision, I almost always cite the Honors College as the thing the “sealed the deal.” After I was accepted to Stony Brook, I attended an admitted student reception hosted by the HC. The auditorium stage was filled to capacity with HC students eager to share their experiences with the new recruits. They filled me in on all the perks of being an HC student at Stony Brook, all with a level of enthusiasm I had never seen at a college event before. That’s when I realized that Stony Brook was where I wanted to be.
There are lots of special programs for high-achieving students at SBU–Steven’s post gives a great overview of the University Scholars program–but the Honors College is somewhat unique, for several reasons.
First, it has its own curriculum. HC students participate in a series of seminar-style courses on a variety of topics, two in their freshman year, and one each year after that. These seminars replace the DEC curriculum that most SBU students take. Each semester, the HC recruits faculty from across campus to lead the seminars according to their own interests or area of expertise, so the focus changes from one professor to the next. I’ve had classes on the music, literature and popular culture of Weimar Germany, art and architecture in Ancient Mesopotamia, and the influence of technological advancement on society. Since they are seminar-style classes, they all focus on learning through discussion, collaboration and critical thinking, rather than rote memorization and regular exams. These courses are only for HC students, so they give you an opportunity to get to know your peers both socially and intellectually.
In addition to the seminars, HC students also take four 1-credit mini-courses in over their first two years. The mini-course offerings each semester are incredibly diverse, and they offer a great opportunity to take a class on something that interests you but might be outside your general academic focus. Since they’re only 1-credit, they typically meet only once a week and don’t add too much to your workload. My astronomy mini-course met on Monday nights on the roof of the Earth and Space Sciences building for an hour of stargazing! Some other mini-courses that have been offered in the past include:
- The Global Challenge of Infectious Diseases
- Preparing for the Health Professions
- The Islamic World and Europe: From Algebra to Zenith
- The Situation Room: Making Decisions about National Security
- Free Writing with Seniors from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Another unique feature of the HC is that every HC senior completes a yearlong thesis project. I’m finishing up my project in Linguistics this month, but I’ve been working on it since last May. The thesis project is an exciting opportunity to develop an independent project on a topic that interests you. It doesn’t have to be related to your major at all. But, if you do decide to do a project within your major, you can often earn HC credit and departmental honors for the same project. At the end of your senior year, you present your project to a panel of faculty and HC staff at the senior symposium, and many students also present their research at URECA, the undergraduate research symposium.
Working on my thesis has been exhausting and exhilarating, and I’m proud of the work that I’ve done. Many of my friends who are science and engineering majors have been participating in faculty-directed research since their freshman year, but for me, this was a first foray into independent academic research. At first it was overwhelming, but my faculty advisor helped me focus my interests and hone my knowledge by reading and discussing my ideas.
In addition to individualized coursework, the HC also offers some awesome perks: priority registration for classes and housing, the opportunity to be housed with other HC students, free tickets to events at the Staller Center and other cultural activities, and HC-sponsored events like the Faculty Roundtable, Masquerade Ball, and fall BBQ. In my experience, the best part of being in the HC is the connections I’ve formed with my peers. With about 200 students across all four years, the HC offers a tight-knit community within which I’ve found many friends and intellectual partners. At the same time, I’ve been able to take advantage of the vast resources of Stony Brook University, which has afforded me many opportunities that have helped me to succeed. It’s the best of both worlds. And it’s definitely reason enough to write that second essay.
- RecycleMania Plants! on March 12th, 2013
I’m really excited to be a part of RecycleMania 2013! RecycleMania is a two-month competition among the different residential quads to see who can recycle the most product. This year, there is also a photo contest where students can submit a photo that pertains to the theme: “Live Sustainably. Choose to Recycle.”
The RecycleMania competition focuses on recycling all of the following products:
- Bottles & Cans, Including Plastic Types #1-7
- Paper & Shredded Paper
- Electronics / E-Waste (Electronics, Computers, Laptops, Used Cell Phones, etc.)
- Food Service Organics
I’m doing my part to help out through programming in the residence halls. Two weeks ago, we transformed plastic water bottles into plant holders by cutting the top off, filling the bottom with dirt and placing the bottom inside the top. I’m proud to say my basil is going strong and in a few weeks, I’ll have enough to bring home for Easter lasagna!
The best part is, once the basil grows enough to be transplanted, the plastic bottles can be washed and recycled! With the help of hall council, my fellow RAs and I will be planning fun programs about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Recycling and sustainability are important part of Stony Brook’s culture. We are learning how to reduce our carbon footprint as a campus. Last year we came in first place among NY colleges in the recyclemania initiative. This program highlights just one of the many ways that Stony Brook students shine and can make a difference in preserving the planet for future generations.
- Why Stony Brook? on March 12th, 2013
As a live-long Nutmegger, and a non-science major, people always ask me how I ended up at Stony Brook. Its true, there are great Connecticut state schools and awesome people but, I needed a change. I grew up in the same house in the same town and went to elementary, middle and high school with the same people my entire life. When I told my guidance counselor I only wanted to apply to out of state schools, she suggested Stony Brook.
On the Wednesday before the Friday deposits were due, I skipped school and hopped on the Ferry to Long Island. I took my friend Rachael with me and together we navigated the bus route from Port Jeff to Stony Brook. The bus dropped us off just across from the Wang Center and we looked around for a few minutes before heading to the Administration building for our tour. We saw the Student Activities Center (SAC), academic buildings and some residential halls. I kept looking over at Rachael and whispering “what if I ACTUALLY went here?” Up until that moment I hadn’t really been away from home, except for a debate club field trip to Boston and I was rapidly falling in love with the idea of coming to Stony Brook.
The tour continued, past the library. I was impressed with the facts the tour guide offered, like the fact that Stony Brook was the birthplace of the MRI but, where I really feel in love was Staller Steps. There were tons of students playing frisbee, taking pictures and hanging out on the steps. In the grassy strip just outside the library and the SAC, students were sitting under trees reading and playing music. The entire place seemed so alive. Professors were holding class outside of a building I now know was the Psychology building. After the tour was over Rachael and I decided to walk around and talk to current students. At first we just walked around, listening to what current students had to say then we asked a few questions. The only complaint people seemed to have was that the science classes were difficult. Other than that, the students were happy. The other thing I noticed was that everyone had a plan, it was clear their future was bright. That impressed it me.
I went home that night and crunched the numbers with my parents. With my scholarship, Stony Brook would only cost about $1,500 more a semester than a CT state school but it offered so many more opportunities. There is literally a club or organization for every interesest–from Dumbledore’s Army to Community Service Club. The quality of professors here is unparalleled in terms of their research and field experience.
I’m incredibly happy with my decision to come to Stony Brook. I’ve found life-long friends, learned countless life lessons and feel totally prepared for the next chapter of my life.
- Research on February 26th, 2013
As a Student Ambassador, I come into contact with a lot of prospective students. One of the most popular questions I get from parents and students alike revolves around the opportunity to research.
Before I give advice regarding research, I must comment that I feel as a student, research is a great way to integrate what I learn in class and apply it to real life situations. Research allows me to work on projects hands-on and engage in a completely new type of learning experience. Also research makes students and researchers think out of the box and develop their problem solving skills.
That being said, I recommend research to all Stony Brook students, especially if they have a diverse area of interest. In addition, a lot of questions I get is: Where, When, and How can I find research? The where is the easy part to answer! Wherever you have interest. Whether it be marine science, business, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, etc … Stony Brook has faculty and staff who is probably in that field of interest who could definitely help you out!
In regards to how… that is a bit more difficult. Many people advise to email faculty and inquire about available research positions. My strategy is a little bit different; I advise that you go up to the professor and show interest. If you show the professor that you have genuine interest and that you really want to learn as much as you can (as well indicate you have read and are familiar with their prior research and as always stay humble), they is no reason why a faculty member won’t try to see what he or she can do. Worst comes to worst, they will tell you that positions are full and there is no space- but hey at least they say it to your face. But odds are, if you really impress them and show genuine curiosity, they will make space for you. After all that’s whats researchers look for the most (not necessarily grades or prior research)-actual interest.
Also, in terms of when, honestly whenever you feel you can donate enough time and energy to research. And honestly, the sooner, the better. Anyways, I will wrap it up. If you guys have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment. I will be more than happy to respond and answer other questions. In the meanwhile feel free to browse these links.