Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Positive Community Member of the Year

Because the school year is winding down, there are a bunch of awards being given out! There are awards for all kinds of things at Albertus including athletics, student services, academic, various clubs... etc.

I'm not much of an athlete so I knew I wouldn't be receiving any awards in that arena and because I'm a transfer student who lives off campus, I really didn't expect to earn any student service related awards....

.... So you can imagine my surprise when I was nominated as a contender for the Positive Community Member of the Year award! I discovered my nomination when I went to go vote for my classmates and found my name as one of the options for this award.

I was so flattered that I was nominated, but didn't think I actually stood a chance to win. I've only been at Albertus for 2 years, and only actually lived on campus for 1, so I definitely did not think that I had a chance! I feel very honored that I was thought of for this award, and truly touched that people actually voted for me!

Other student service awards and their winners include:
  • Resident Assistant of the Year - the winner was a fellow student blogger, Gina D'Agostino.
  • Student Leader of the Year - Gina also won this award!
  • Student Organization of the Year - Student Alumni Association
  • Program of the Year - SGA's Haunted Maze
I am very flattered that I was thought of for the Positive Community Member of the Year award. It feels really good to know people think of me as a significant positive influence on campus. As a transfer student who commutes, it is sometimes hard to feel like part of the college community, so being recognized as a positive community member by my peers is definitely something to be excited about :)

Have you received any awards from your school now that the semester is coming to a close?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Housy College Fair!!

Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, CT... aka "Housy"

Earlier this week I was given a really cool opportunity: to go back to high school! 

No, it wasn't like in 17 Again where I magically popped back into my high school body (I wish!) and had to attend classes/fix the wrongs I had made in my life... but instead I went back as a representative for Albertus at Housy's college fair!

It was so strange to be back... but in a good way! So much has changed in the 5 years since my graduation, but oddly enough... it's almost exactly the same! For example: there are so many cool things that weren't there when I was in high school, like a Student Government Association and a Powder Puff Team. There is also a ton more security (you have to be buzzed in!) which feels so out of place because my high school is literally in the middle of no where! 

My booth at the college fair.
There are a lot of differences in the physical structure of the school... but the kids that are going there now are exactly like the kids who I went to school with (like literally, could be the same kids). There are still the rich-preppy kids who dress only in Lacoste and wear boat shoes, the jock kids who wear their uniform to school, the kids-who-haven't-grown-into-themselves-yet-and-are-super-awkward, the Aggers, the somewhat normal looking kids, goth kids, stoners... etc. It's so crazy because I remember thinking I was such an individual back in high school... when really I was just one of those awkward kids who hadn't really figured out how to put myself together just yet (in my defense... curly hair is hard to handle!).

It was really nice to be able to go back and represent Albertus. It was such a pleasure to visit with some of the teachers who are still around and talk about "the good old days". I was really glad to be able to go back and share Albertus with some of the kids at Housy. Oddly enough, there are no other kids from my high school at Albertus; I love Albertus so much and really appreciate all of the opportunity it has given to me, so I wish that some more kids from my neck of the woods would come on down!!

I got to man a booth at the college fair and discuss the awesome things about Albertus, like our athletics program, vast selection of undergraduate majors, our awesome dorms, and the perks of being in New Haven.

I had a great time and was so excited to share the awesome things about Albertus! If you've got any questions about Albertus that you'd like answered, leave a comment here or email me at: orpalmer@albertus.edu... I'd be happy to answer your questions!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Edwardian Opulence

This past weekend my mom came to visit me! If you've been reading along from the beginning you'll know just how much I love when people come to visit me in New Haven! You can read about my other recent visitors and what we've done here, here and here.

My mom lives about an hour and a half away so whenever she comes to visit it is always a treat! The purpose for my mom's visit (besides seeing me, of course!) was the Edwardian Opulence feature at the Yale Center for British Art.

One of the fantastic things about New Haven is that there are a ton of local museums. This is largely thanks to Yale. The three that I frequent most often are the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, the above mentioned Yale Center for British Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. The Yale University Art Gallery is always free, and the other two are free on certain days (Sunday, I believe).

Anyway, my mom was particularly interested in the Edwardian Opulence exhibit because she (and the rest of my family, myself included) is obsessed with Downton Abbey. If you're not familiar with Downton Abbey, I not only feel very sorry for you (but not too sorry... get a HuluPLUS account!) but I also believe that you live under a rock. Downton Abbey is a TV series that follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants. There's a lot more to it, but we won't go into that now!

Anyway, so we went to the museum which was a lot of fun and free. We also walked around downtown, stopping at some lovely places including Chocopologie and Woodland Coffee & Tea. We also spent a lot of time walking around the New Haven Green, which was beautiful.

All in all it was a fantastic visit. We didn't really plan anything to do for the day (except the trip to the museum), which was okay because one of the cool thing about New Haven is that you can just walk around down town and find some really great things to do!

What about you, are you familiar with New Haven? If so, how do you like to spend the day when you have visitors?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Time Out!

We're coming up on the end of the semester and that means that everyone (me included!) is running around like a chicken with their head cut off.

I'm a firm believer that even when you're going crazy with homework deadlines and other commitments, it's still important (maybe even more so) to get together with your girlfriends and just... relax! This weekend I had a great opportunity to get together with my friend, Nicole, and learn how to cook a few of her delicious recipes!

A few of the recipes I learned from Nicole! Yum!!
Nicole is a fantastic cook who has mastered the ability to make healthy meals which still taste phenomenal! Nicole and I scheduled this cooking date a while ago because I really want to learn how to cook healthier food and knew she'd be the perfect teacher. We had an amazing time and I learned quite a few new recipes (5, to be exact!).

This cooking day proved to be a much needed reprieve from the stress that comes along at the end of a semester. As things are winding down and deadlines are getting closer, it's super important to keep your stress level in check and also to give your body the necessary fuel to get through the last few weeks. It can be so tempting to swing by a fast-food place or eat out all week to save time on cooking... but really those habits are bad for you physically, and can get rather costly!

So this is a reminder to everyone to calm down! Yes, these next few weeks are going to be stressful and full of a lot of hard work... but don't forget to set some time aside for you and your mental well-being! Especially for you fellow seniors out there: these are our last few weeks as college students... don't let them slip by with you stressing about how much work you have to do! Enjoy these last few weeks and cherish them because I have a feeling we will miss this in a few years!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Writing Center

  • Do you ever have to write a paper and you literally have no clue how to get started? 
  • Do you ever know what you want to write about but need help developing your argument?
  • Do you ever need someone to look over your rough draft of a paper so you can beef it up a bit?
  • Have you ever taken a "W" course at Albertus?
If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, you need to visit the Writing Center in Rosary Hall (more commonly referred to as the library)!

The Writing Center is full of super helpful Writing Associates whose sole purpose is to help you improve your writing, you would really be a fool not to take advantage of that!

Basically, if you know you've got a paper coming up or if you're struggling with a paper, you can contact the writing center at wcenter@albertus.edu to schedule an appointment. You can request a specific Writing Associate if you'd like or they will place you with one who fits your availability.

When you go to your appointment you need to have 2 copies of your paper so you and the Writing Associate can look it over together. At the appointment the Writing Associate will do their best to help you develop your paper or thesis. Naturally, the Writing Associate will need your active participation, but when utilized correctly, a Writing Center appointment can really boost the level of your writing and therefore the level of your paper.

I typically only go to the Writing Center when I am required to by one of my classes, but each time that I go I end up picking up a lot of very useful information from my associate... and my paper definitely benefits from the time I spend there!

In addition, if you're someone who likes to write and would be interested in becoming a Writing Associate, you can contact them and apply for a job. This is a great way to get some extra cash in your pocket while helping out your fellow students! It's also very convenient to work there because it is on campus and the hours are very flexible.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Accepted Student Reception

Yesterday I worked at the Accepted Student Reception to help welcome the incoming class of 2017!

I was at the event working as a tour guide, but because I know a bit about financial aid through my work study position, I was stationed in the Financial Aid Office to assist students with any basic questions about their financial aid award.
Poster my co-workers made for Accepted Student Reception

I have worked at quite a few events this year designed to welcome new students to campus, including Falcon for a Day, Accepted Student Calling and Open House. Often, a student will come to all of the events, so many of the faces are beginning to look familiar. One student I met during Falcon for a Day came to the Financial Aid Office yesterday and actually remembered me! It was really cool because even though I am starting to recognize some of the incoming class, I didn't think they would actually remember me at all!

This student was with his family and they were literally beaming with joy and excitement for his future. Seeing his parents so proud of him reminded me how awesome Albertus is and how excited I had been when I first came to Albertus. The incoming students have worked so hard to get to this far, and it is truly something to celebrate. This student, along with all of his future classmates, has survived the stressful four years of high school and is now ready to embark on a completely new and unique journey.

For me, it's interesting to think what the next four years will bring for these students. I know that Albertus has offered me incredible opportunities and opened many doors that I had never even dreamed of. I hope that all of the incoming students have this same type of experience because from my limited interaction with these future falcons, they seem incredibly intelligent and eager for this next stage in their life.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blue State Coffee

Pretty awesome if you ask me!
I learned long ago that I am one of those people who absolutely cannot study at home. I get too distracted with all of the things I have to do that are not homework related, like cleaning, cooking, watching TV... etc. These distractions get even worse when I have an assignment I absolutely do not want to do... like today.

I have a grant proposal due on Monday and it is one of those assignments that I am just totally not in to. The class is pretty cool and the topic is super important, but I just haven't been able to sit myself down before today to get this done. Luckily, we've been working on this project for quite some time, so I already have a pretty thorough draft to work off of.

Voting Station
Anyway, because I knew I wasn't going to get a thing done at home, I decided to hit up one of my all time favorite study spots, Blue State Coffee. I first discovered Blue State Coffee when my sister came to visit and we needed to grab a quick cup of coffee before she hopped back on the train to go home. This little gem is located downtown on Wall Street, right in the heart of Yale. I love this place because everyone who comes here is a student of some type; being surrounded by motivated students always gives me that extra push to work on a homework assignment... even when I really don't want to.

Blue State is also my favorite coffee place because I wholeheartedly support their mission, which they have done a phenomenal job of displaying and incorporating into the way they do their business. The two bits of their mission that I really love are:
100% Compostable!
  1. Donating 2% of profits to a non-profit organization of customers' choice. I think this is awesome because they are not just preaching that they want to invest in the community, they're actually doing it. Blue State has a station set up in the cafe where a customer takes a chip given to them at the register and places it in the jar for the non-profit organization they vote for. The jar with the most chips gets the donation, and then they start again. There is also a suggestion box where you can suggest a non-profit to be placed in the running.
  2. Become a zero waste business. I think this is also an incredible goal and honestly, I didn't think it was obtainable... but they're actually working towards it! As you can see by the picture the to-go cups, sleeves and lids are made from completely compostable materials, in addition they have a comprehensive recycling station set up near the area where you bring your dishes once you're done with your drink or snack.
I love coming to study at Blue State Coffee because it is such a hip place with positive energy that really fuels and encourages me to finish my work. What about you, do you have a favorite study place? If so, where and what do you like most about it?