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Archive for April, 2013

  • 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!

  • How to survive the CEAS on April 21st, 2013

    Hi Guys!

    Today I would like to post about CEAS or The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

    For those of you who don’t know, CEAS is home to seven academic departments on campus. Those departments are: Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Technology and Society.

    While CEAS may just seem like a name more than an experience, CEAS provides us engineering majors with the opportunities of a lifetime. Within CEAS there are many research opportunities to undertake that are unavailable anywhere else. For example, thanks to CEAS, I work in the world’s first virtual reality cube pictured below. Along with these research opportunities, CEAS allows us engineering majors to be exempt from some DECs (not half bad if you ask me ;) ).

    CEWIT Virtual Reality Deck

    But more than CEAS itself, I want to write this post about the people that work within CEAS. Those faculty and staff members have truly helped me succeed here at Stony Brook University. They truly care about each and every student that walk through their doors.

    When I was a freshman, I had one dream I wanted to accomplish before I left Stony Brook University. I wanted to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan. Being fluent in Japanese, I figured that study abroad was the next logical step in my academic career. However, one of the obstacles holding me back was the intense course load of computer science. There were so many courses to take before I graduated, I didn’t even think study abroad was possible. One day, I went into CEAS academic advising distraught, thinking I wouldn’t be able to achieve my dream. However, when I spoke with a CEAS academic advisor, they reassured me that study abroad was indeed possible. That advisor even helped me lay out my schedule from freshman until senior year that would allow me to study abroad and accomplish everything that I wanted to while still graduating on time. That advisor truly cared about my ambitions and reassured me that SBU was the right place to be.

    It is the opportunities, faculty, and advisors mentioned above that make me proud to be a seawolf. You are really never alone in this academic journey. With a little help from your advisors, your professors, and even your friends, you will be able to survive the CEAS and succeed here at SBU.

    Until next time.


  • It’s So Easy, Being Green. on April 20th, 2013

    Hey, Stony Brook!

    If you were on campus yesterday, I am sure you noticed an incredible amount of GREEN stretching stretching from the SAC all the way to the Humanities building…

    Why, you may ask, were there a myriad of tables adorned with green tablecloths, people in green t-shirts, animals, cartloads of fruits and vegetables, live flowers and plants, homemade cosmetics, live music, and SO MANY PEOPLE teeming on campus yesterday…

    It was Earthstock, of course!

    Each spring, Stony Brook hosts its annual week-long celebration of Earth Day (which, this year, falls on Monday, April 22).  This year, the 10th Annual Earthstock week spanned April 15-19, culminating in the “green” day of festivities we saw on campus yesterday!  As you may have read in my most previous post, Earthstock week was chock-full of fun and exciting events, including the screening, discussion, and reception of “Dear Governor Cuomo,” an extraordinary artistic environmental protest film, at which the filmmaker, Jon Bowermaster himself was present.  Stony Brook has, and continues to work towards a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable future, and such efforts were focused on all week during this year’s Earthstock.

    Have you taken Stony Brook’s Green Pledge?”  If not, sign up online!  Event-goers could sign the pledge and pick up their green ribbon yesterday at Earthstock, but if you missed out, do so now!

    “I pledge to use the knowledge and skills that I have acquired to improve and sustain the natural world and resources around me. Furthermore I pledge to minimize the impact of my ecological footprint and promise to take action to fulfill this commitment.”

    Whether or not you were able to participate in this year’s Earthstock celebration, it is never too late to learn about and take part in all of the eco-conscious practices that Stony Brook engages in every day.  For instance, consider the expansion of SBU’s bike share system, the South P Lot composting program, the Stony Heights organic rooftop garden, SBU’s participation in RecycleMania, the construction and redesign of LEED-certified buildings on capus…learn more by visiting the sustainability page of the SBU website!

    All of Stony Brook’s eco-efforts have not been in vain; we have been recognized by the Princeton Review, Center for Green Schools, an US Green Building Council (USGBC) as one of the eight SUNY schools assigned the honor of being one of the 230 most “green colleges” in the US and Canada! The recognition is based off of “Green Ratings” determined by the Princeton Review, compiling ratings for over 800 schools for the 2011-2012 school year based on eco-friendly practices/policies and “green” course offerings.  Only schools with the most sound “green” practices, polices, and most comprehensive environmental courses made this list!


    Hopefully, if you were at Earthstock, you stopped by tables 78 and 79, AKA “Hutner’s Heroes” AKA Stony Brook Professor Dr. Heidi Hutner’s SBC 325: Environmental Writing & the Media class!

    Our groups presented information on GMOs, Fracking, Toxins, Climate Change & Hurricane Sandy, and MORE! You can check out our class blog here for the latest in all things environmental!  You will find the incredible projects produced by your fellow Stony Brook students.

    All for now-have a great (and green) weekend, Stony Brook!

    peace. love. run.


  • Being Handicapped on Campus on April 19th, 2013

    I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity of being on crutches for about a month because of multiple stress fractures in my foot (caused by chronic running, of course). And I’d like to share with you guys my experiences, because these things I’ve experienced might be appealing to some of you, mostly those of you who are either very prone to serious injury, or are legally handicapped. I’ll walk you, briefly, through my experience:

    1. Injury occurred.

    2. Doctors were seen; Then MRIs were taken at the Stony Brook Hospital. It was very straightforward, easy to make an appointment at the hospital, and an overall good experience (but really, who can say getting injured is a good experience?)

    3. Diagnosis; made an appointment and was officially put in a boot and on crutches. Friends were useful in driving me around to my doctors appointments! (I do have my own car, but note, this injury is on my driving foot so I didn’t want to risk making it worse by driving myself!)

    4. Went to the Disability Services Office, to get a handicapped parking permit. I needed to show them the doctor’s note and tell them my license plate number, then they made a handy-dandy temporary permit that lasts for 4 weeks.

    5. Parking in certain areas on campus (such as near the SAC or the Library) can be difficult because the handicapped spots are almost all being used. But if you get there early enough before your class time, there will probably be an open spot (from my experiences). I am primarily parking at the Life Sciences Building Lot, which is very close to all of my classes, and I always find spots there. So yes, there are enough handicapped parking spots.

    6) One thing I found interesting, and somewhat ironic, was that if all the handicapped spots are taken in a parking lot, and you park in a non-handicapped spot that is for faculty/staff/a zone you don’t have a specific permit for (see parking website), you CAN be ticketed. My friend and I were rather discombobulated by this rule so we looked it up online and found that it does follow NY state law, so it’s not like SBU made this rule up. It’s important to know that Stony Brook Parking Enforcement is very diligent and is always ready to ticket and/or tow a car that is parked in a handicapped spot illegally.

    7) If you don’t have a car, the Disability Services Office offers a transportation service that can take you from your dorm, to your class building, to another class building, and back to your dorm, according to a schedule you submit to them. This service is separate from the SB Transit buses because these run only for students with disabilities. This would be really useful if I were in a wheel chair, or incapable of driving with my injured foot.

    8) There is a student club called Students Taking Aim at Challenges, which is specifically for students with disabilities to join together, advocate for their needs, and potentially change campus policies!

    9) Going around campus: Crutching around campus is actually quite a workout. I try my hardest to minimize excessive crutching around campus. This is a big campus. It was hard the first week, but it’s gotten much easier. Students are generally courteous and hold doors for you, offer to press elevator buttons for you, and if you have to take the stairs because of a broken elevator, some will offer to help you up or down the stairs. People are nice! Professors too. They are very understanding if you have to come to class late every day because your other class was somewhat far. (it takes me about 12 minutes to go from one building to another on crutches, whereas it used to take only 7 minutes–the time in between two classes is typically 10 minutes).

    Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty good experience!

    In conclusion, I think being on crutches really hasn’t been that bad. The only thing I’ve really “hated” is that I haven’t gone to the gym in almost a month, because well, I can’t really do many exercises with a boot on… But in one week and about 10 hours, I will be back in the gym. and I can’t wait to get back into my routine.

    I hope this helps at least one of you guys reading this,


  • 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:

    Till next time, Peace!


  • Get Ready for Stony Brook EARTHSTOCK Week! April 15-19 on April 11th, 2013

    Hey Stony Brook!

    Happy spring…I hope that you all are enjoying this nice warm weather!

    I just wanted to mention that next week is Earthstock, Stony Brook’s annual Earth Day celebration.  This awesome event will be held on the Academic Mall (Rain Location: SAC), and will feature exhibitions and demonstrations from Stony Brook students and professors, local environmental organizations, and sustainability-minded school groups!

    The event is free and open to members of the public.

    Please click here for a complete list of Earthstock week events!

    In particular, on Wednesday, April 17, there will be the showing and discussion of filmmaker Jon Bowermaster’s “Dear Governor Cuomo,” an amazing anti-fracking cultural statement!  Meet Bowermaster himself, and join us for some refreshments following the film: Humanities 1006, 4PM.

    Come and learn how we can live better.

    Come and learn how we can preserve our planet, our home.

    Passion flower, grown right here on Long Island!

    peace. love. run.


  • Mascot Madness! on April 4th, 2013

    This will be a really quick post!

    Basically, Stony Brook’s Mascot, Wolfie the Seawolf, has made it all the way to the finals in SUNY’s Mascot Madness Contest! It ends in just a few hours and we need your help!

    Please click the link below and vote for Wolfie! There is also information about Wolfie if you’re interested :)

    Remember, voting ends at noon today!