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Archive for November, 2012

  • A New Chapter in Stony Brook Athletics on November 30th, 2012

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Stony Brook is going places, not only in the classroom-hiring top notch staff and building great new facilities-but in the athletics realm as well. I remember when I first came here in the fall of 2010, a transfer from the University of Iowa, a Big 10 perennial powerhouse, and saw my first football game. Going from 80,000 to 8,000 fans was a big change, and in my mind, I knew we only had up to go from there.

    In the 2 1/2 years since stepping foot on this campus, believe me, we’ve moved up and exceeded any expectation I’ve ever had. In my time as a Seawolf, I’ve watched our Football boys take us to the national level and compete in the FCS Playoffs multiple times, our Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Women’s Soccer teams take home the America East Conference Championships this year, the Women’s Soccer team compete against the University of Maryland in the NCAA Championships and watch as one of my close friends has been named the America East Volleyball Rookie of the Year, as well as many others on the volleyball team named to All-Conference Teams.

    As we break into basketball season, I had the pleasure this weekend to watch our women continue to build on the strongest season start in the past half decade, and cheered on the conference contending boys as they put a serious fight up against nationally ranked UCONN. It’s hard to believe where we’ve come from, a Division 1 school for less than 15 years, and it’s unbelievable to think where we’re going.

    Despite Stony Brook being so big, with 25,000 students surrounding me every day on this campus, the most brilliant thing about this school is how wonderful our athletes are, how excited they are to get to know their fellow students, and how much they appreciate seeing us at all of the events. Every single day on this campus, I feel the highest sense of self-worth I’ve ever felt in my life, a feeling that can strongly be attributed to the relationship I’ve built with so many of our student/athlete leaders on campus.

    This semester, I’ve realized that Stony Brook truly does the best of ALL worlds: every day I have the pleasure of going to a top-notch academic institution, cheering on Conference Champions and watching my friends and fellow Seawolves compete at the national level, and being able to go to a school that promotes growth, school spirit and pride more than any other place I’ve ever been in my life.

    Recently I’ve realized that Stony Brook is not just going places, but we, all of these students here are going with it, and it truly is a brilliant, invaluable experience.

    It’s great to be a Seawolf.

  • Online Chats! on November 28th, 2012

    Hey Prospective Students!

    Did you know about our online chats? The undergraduate admissions department holds online text chats for everyone every once in a while! The one coming up on December 4th, is geared toward out of state students! We know it can be hard to come all the way over to NY to visit us, so hop online for a short time and ask us questions! There will be students as well as administrative people and collectively we can answer almost any question you have!

    The website for chat updates, and to register and log on is: http://www.stonybrook.edu/ugadmissions/blogs/chat.shtml
    At this link you can also see archived chats and read what students have asked in the past.

    I hope to chat with you! :)
    -Pratha

  • Happy Belated Thanksgiving on November 24th, 2012

    Happy Belated Thanksigiving!

    I hope everyone had a safe and healthy Thanksgiving Break. With school resuming on Monday, most of us will have to catch up on our studying and homework that we leave for Sunday. In my case, I have to polish up on my scheduling.

    Even though I am enrolled in the classes I have to take (requirements) there is always room for electives and such. One of the awesome things about Stony Brook is that there are always advisors to help you with scheduling.

    Most students overlook these hard-working men and women, but believe me, they really know their stuff. They give useful suggestions and are very ‘real’ with you. Let me illustrate with a personal example: my freshman year, I was enrolled for Honors Chemistry (Che 141). During Summer Orientation, I signed up for Honors Chem (mostly because other people in my orientation group were signing up for it and I did not want to be odd one out). However, I had an uneasy feeling and on the first day of classes, I went in and asked for an advisor. At that time, most advisors were busy, so I asked to meet with whoever was available one, even if he wasn’t my designated advisor. That’s how I met David Maynard, the MOST AWESOME ADVISOR ever. He was down to Earth and he gave me real, effective advice. No heavy pep talk and unnecessary praising- he was realistic. He told me that most students who took Honors chemistry and had to juggle it with other science courses, had a tough time. So with his help, I dropped Honors Chemistry and resorted to General Chemistry  (CHE 131).

    Best decision I ever made. Taking CHE 131 was less taxing and demanding. I easily got an A in CHE 131, while my counterparts struggled to get B’s in CHE 141. Now I am not discouraging student from taking CHE 141, but if you are a pre-med who is just looking to get his or her requirements done and have no real passion in the field of chemistry, then YES, CHE 141 IS NOT FOR YOU.

    But the point of the story is I would not have made this decision without an advisor. Sometimes, we can’t make the best decision in terms of scheduling because we ourselves have not taken the class yet. Stony Brook advisors really know, because they have years of experience and feedback from other students. So if you are need help making schedules, or do not know what classes to add or drop, please, contact an advisor ASAP. They are there to help you. And no, Ratemyprofessors.com is not always accurate.

    Enjoy the remainder of the holiday weekend.

    -Ali

  • “Discovering” Your Minor at Stony Brook! on November 23rd, 2012

    Hey Stony Brook!

    Have you considered adding a minor?

    Minors are a great way to either refine or expand on your current major (or even allow for you to pursue something you love but completely unrelated to your major!).  Stony Brook offers more than 200 academic programs, from English to Electrical Engineering; the choices of majors and minors are virtually endless!

    Personally, I am majoring in Environmental Studies.  As I have chosen to concentrate in Environmental Journalism under this major, thus I am enrolled in an Environmental Literature and Film class during this Fall 2012 semester.  The class, a course written in the Environmental Humanities program, is fantastic.  It is taught by Professor Heidi Hutner, who also happens to be the director of the Environmental Humanities (EHM) program at Stony Brook.  Professor Hutner suggested that I add the EHM minor.  I pondered the possibility…what is Environmental Humanities? And, why should I pick up this minor?

    Studies in Environmental Humanities, I have learned, supplies students with a vast knowledge surrounding the human side of environmental studies.  The major and minor both require students to pursue a specific area of higher-level course focus; “writing, literature, and philosophy,” “social sciences,” or “applied environmental aesthetics.”  I was really surprised to learn about a required course, “Eco-aesthetics in Art,” taught by Professor Marc Fasanella, a subject very important to me, as I am an eco-artist (I repurpose/recycle materials and also strive to create “balanced” and naturally harmonious pieces of art).  I was very (happily) surprised!

    After learning about the program, I decided to add the EHM minor! It is amazing to me that such an interesting and relevant program exists that perfectly complements my major.  As a journalist, I will be studying the relationship between humans and the environment, but I will also be required to supply humans with the knowledge, questions, and answers in an efficient and effective manner, skills in which my new minor will prep me in.  I am so excited to have the opportunity here at Stony Brook to acquire the specific skills I need to successfully pursue my career in the environmental field!

    So, I urge everyone to search for a minor! You may be surprised as to how the amazing minor programs here at SBU will serve as a complement, enhance, or diversify your major.  And, if you haven’t yet decided on a major, take your time to find one that really “speaks” to you…there are so many to choose from!

    But it is certain that an appropriate and exciting program can be found for anyone at Stony Brook…all you need to do is look!

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica.


  • The Lessons of Sandy and Athena on November 17th, 2012

    Hi Guys,

    I know it’s been awhile. Amid the chaos of Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Athena (Why did they name a winter storm?) I’ve had 6 midterms pushed into 1 week and 2 days. Fun stuff.

    I wanted to post a very important lesson that both Sandy and Athena taught me these past couple of weeks. Stony Brook is more than just an academic institution, it is a community. The school is more than just going to class, it is about the friends you make while you are here. Here’s my proof:

    Being a disabled student, I mainly rely on automatic doors and my scooter to get around from building to building. Two problems with that:

    1) Automatic doors don’t work with no power
    2) My scooter can’t go in the rain or the snow. If it does I get electrocuted.

    So, during these storms I was pretty much stuck indoors. But during that time I realized that I had an amazing group of friends here at SBU. My suitemates would get me food and even open doors for me when I needed them to. (Note: I had to promise them free computer consultation for life, but that’s a deal I’m willing to take.) My other friends around campus and even the RHD of my residence hall made sure I was taken care of. For that, I am eternally grateful.

    But more than just helping me, my community of friends at Stony Brook made disastrous situations seem fun. While we had power in our week off and during the winter storm, my suitemates and I watched at least 15 movies on Netflix and we enjoyed every minute of it, we played video games we were never able to beat and beat them as a team. Of course we were supposed to be studying, but whose keeping track? Just kidding. We studied…somewhat.

    That week and a half gave me some of the best memories I have in my 3 years here at Stony Brook. It was a stress free week that I truly needed during this busy semester.

    I guess that’s why I’ve kept the same suitemates since freshmen year.

    The point I’m trying to make with this post is that Stony Brook is more than the classes you take, it’s more than the major you choose. It’s the friends you make and the memories you make with those friends that truly counts.

    So make SBU all it can be. Make friends that can last a lifetime and will turn bad situations into good ones.

    …and with that I get back to studying for my three tests in two days next week.

    Until next time,

    Eric

  • Some unsung heroes of SBU on November 12th, 2012

    As yesterday was Veteran’s Day, it seems only fitting to express my sincerest gratitude to all of the men and women who serve our country in so many ways, some of whom have been helping Long Island rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.  Thank you for all you do!  But today I want to send a shout-out to another group of awesome people who maybe don’t get as much credit as they deserve: the landscaping team here at SBU.

    Snapped this photo on my way to class this morning - the leaf clearing has commenced!

    If you live in a region with four seasons, you likely know well the beauty and the burden of autumn leaves.  Every October, the leaves turn to a medley of red, orange and yellow and begin to flutter slowly to the ground.  They begin to dry out and become big piles of delightfully crunchy play-things that children love to frolic in.  And then it rains.  And the leaf piles become a big, soggy dirty mess.

    Our campus here at SBU has lots of big beautiful trees, and that means a lot of leaves.  When the piles start to get big, the landscapers come in with their super-powered leaf-blowers and start clearing away the mess.  The first time I saw them, I scoffed: they can’t possibly clean up all the leaves, I thought, they’ll just pile up again in a day or two.  How silly.  But then, like magic, all the leaves were gone!  The lawns were pristine!

    Now every year, I watch in awe as they work their leaf-blowing magic.  Kudos to you, landscaping wizards.  Thanks for keeping Stony Brook beautiful.

  • And the winner is… on November 7th, 2012

    Hey Stony Brook!

    Hopefully the gas shortage, widespread power outages, and downed trees did not keep you from hitting the polls yesterday. What a crazy time of year to hold the Presidential, local, and Congressional elections…

    I’m sure that you have already heard, but if you haven’t…

    The US has just reelected President Barack Obama into the White House for a second term.

    No matter what your political leaning may be, we must all congratulate Mr. Obama on his win.  What an accomplishment!

    Moving forward, I know that I am anxious to see what types of environmental programs, laws, and policies the President enacts during his next term.  President Obama has promised the nation renewed and strengthened attention paid to environmental problems and solutions, such as earth’s climate and renewable energy.

    Let’s hope that during these next four years, our President will keep his word, buckle down, and thoroughly address such issues with more priority and force than ever before!

    For the future of America, and the world at large, we need to preserve and protect our planet-let us all take responsibility and serve as stewards to the environment.  We need to let Mr. Obama know that we care and want to make a difference so that he does to.

    Be heard! Have a voice!

    Tell local leaders, Congress, Mr. Obama himself that we need to take better care of our earth!  Start with petitions, talk to others, drive up support for issues that you think are important:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

    http://tcktcktck.org/

    https://change.org/

    Here’s to a better future for everyone! And best of luck to Mr. Obama.

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica.

  • Finding Peace Amid the Chaos on November 6th, 2012

    Hey Stony Brook~

    I hope that you, your friends, and your loved ones are safe and sound after last week’s powerful storm…I have only been reconnected to “the grid” this evening, so please excuse my absence in the blogosphere!

    Hurricane Sandy was truly a “super-storm” that knocked the Northeast off its feet in such a big way, leaving millions without power, heat, and water; tens of thousands whose homes have been destroyed; and leaving many places, including Long Island, devoid of gasoline.

    During the pre-, mid-, and post-storm periods, I found people in several states of “craziness”: fighting others over generatorslooting empty and/or destroyed homes for anything useful…sitting on and scoping out the best gas stations to grab some fuel; sitting in line for hours, sometimes to no avail

    Are we in part to blame for the destruction wielded by this storm?  At a time like this, we must consider the implications of our actions, and wake up to the fact that our actions have consequences: as we emit greenhouse gases, the atmosphere retains more heat, when there is more heat, there is more melting of ice caps, when there is more liquid water on earth, there is more evaporation of greater amounts of water, and when there is more water…well, then we get dangerous weather events like this hurricane.

    However, I see hope for the future.  We can all change our lifestyles and in turn, change our world.  Let us treat the earth with care and respect so that it is more kind to us in return.  Right now, it seems as if we are stuck in a bad-karma loop with the planet…

    I see hope because, despite of the disaster and what people are enduring (no heat, no water, no power, lost homes, lost cars, lost lives, gas lines, fighting, riots), I have also seen the goodness of people: firefighters working through the night of the storm to keep members of the community safe (shout-out to Centerport FD!); utility workers leaving their families to help ours—coming from California, Michigan, Canada…all helping Long Islanders get power, working late into the night; neighbors taking in neighbors who have lost their homes; places such as YMCAs, churches, and temples providing for people who need food and shelter; even marathon runners “running” supplies to people impacted by the storm instead of running the race that they had trained and hoped for years to run in (which was cancelled)…

    I believe in Karma.  These people who are good will get good back…  But, let’s not let our lifestyles spoil it for everyone on the planet.  If we all try our bests to live healthfully, kindly, and sustainably, we are helping each other by preventing or mitigating environmental problems like this storm.

    Stay safe, and best of luck.

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica.

    My dog exploring the post-storm wreckage...the morning after Hurricane Sandy 2012.