Friday, October 21, 2016

Campus Involvement: Student Government and Leadership - NJSLC 2016

Every summer, students from all 28 Jesuit Universities throughout the United States gather at a Jesuit University to attend the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference, a 5 day conference centered around a theme that embodies the Jesuit spirit. This past summer, I was lucky enough to be chosen to travel to Regis University in Denver, Colorado with 15 other Fordham student leaders to attend the Peace by Piece conference. NJSLC is designed for student leaders to connect with students and faculty from other Jesuit institutions and gives students a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, learn how other institutions’ student government function, and compare ideas to further the Jesuit mission.
The 2016 Fordham Delegates from Lincoln Center & Rose Hill

Me & Francesca doing the Ropes Course

In addition to workshops, we were also given time to venture into Denver. One night we went into Downtown Denver, where we got to eat a delicious dinner and do some exploring (we even happened to run into Ben Higgins, the most recent Bachelor!). In addition, one day of the conference was devoted to a “Colorado Adventure”. Fordham’s group went to a ropes challenge course in the mountains where we participated in team-building exercises. Not only did I conquer my fear of heights and do some bonding with the other Fordham students, but we got some spectacular views of the Flatiron Mountains.
Views from our Sunrise Hike

The 2016 conference was centered around the promotion of peace and disarmament. Two days were devoted to educational workshops put on by students from the universities and each conference participant was required to attend three workshops. I attended a Privilege Walk put on by Seattle University, an open dialogue on the Black Lives Matter movement by Gonzaga University, and a presentation on peaceful protests by Saint Louis University. All of the presentations were extremely informative and they were made all the more relevant because they were put on by students my age. It was inspiring to see how much positive change students are creating at Jesuit institutions across the nation!

While the conference activities were fun and informative, my favorite part of the conference was spending time with the other Fordham delegates. Fordham’s group was split between Rose Hill and Lincoln Center, and I got to meet some amazing LC students that I probably never would’ve connected with had it not been for NJSLC. One of the mornings, our group chose to wake up at 4:00am and go on a sunrise hike in the Red Rocks. The view was stunning and the experience was unforgettable. It made me realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such amazing, caring people at Fordham.

Fordham makes it so easy to get involved and becoming a student leader is some of the best ways to meet people. Whether you join United Student Government, Campus Activities Board, or one of our 130 clubs, you’re sure to meet some amazing people and make unforgettable memories that you’ll cherish in the years beyond graduation. NJSLC has been one of my favorite Fordham experiences and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to attend next year’s conference in Washington DC!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Life is Good on Eddie's

Enjoying Fall at Fordham
Around me, golden leaves dance downwards to earth; warm, rich rays of the setting sun illuminate the sky and shower me in light. Laying on a blanket on Edward’s Parade (referred to by students as Eddie’s), surrounded by various textbooks and class notes, I can almost forget the impending stress of my midterms. During each season, Eddie’s large grass area features its boundless beauty. In the spring months, the lawn is peppered with hundreds of students, eating lunch, studying for class, or simply playing music and tossing around a frisbee. 

Eddie's blanketed in snow; Keating Hall in the background
When autumn comes, the fall photo shoots entail; surrounded by trees that are turning their leaves, Eddie’s become a sight for all. Keating Hall, bathed in the afternoon sun and framed perfectly by trees with deep orange leaves, could not be more beautiful. Even in the winter, when the cold sets in, Eddie’s offers a playful snowfield. Coming from California, I had never woken up and walked out to see such a winter wonderland before me. The untouched, level snow blanketing Eddie’s provided a space for building snowmen and crafting the perfect snowball. As the seasons change, 
my love for Eddie’s stays unwavering.

The lush, green lawn of Eddie's during the sprin

Eddie's in an essential part of Fordham's campus, providing a large healthy stretch of grass for all the enjoy. Although Fordham is situated close to the bustling city of Manhattan, we have our own growing, natural paradise just twenty minutes away from the concrete jungle. Seated on Eddie’s expansive green lawn, one has a prime spot for watching the world go by and relaxing in one of the most beautiful spots on Fordham’s campus. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Campus Involvement: The Liturgy at Fordham

One of my favorite activities on campus that I am involved in are Fordham's masses in the University Church at Rose Hill. The masses are primarily student run, and  make up one part of Fordham's large and diverse Campus Ministry. Currently, I am an Altar Co-Chair on Fordham's Liturgy Board. This role gives me the opportunity to help run the masses at Fordham, train new campus ministers, and get involved with the many other interfaith and community service-based activities Fordham's Campus
Ministry has to offer. I have been involved with Fordham's liturgy since my freshman year, and it has been a very unique and rewarding campus experience for me.

Fordham's Liturgy celebrations are held in
the University Church on the Rose Hill campus
Fordham's liturgy offers masses every Saturday and Sunday, but some of the most exciting liturgy events are special masses that occur at different times during the semesters.  One exciting mass on Fordham's campus is the Mass of the Holy Spirit that occurs every September. This mass reminds students of Fordham's Jesuit values of education and service to others as the fall semester begins. Another one of the most popular liturgy events at Fordham's Rose Hill campus is the Gaudete Sunday mass to celebrate the holiday season. The mass is presided by the University's president, and is a great opportunity for Fordham students to gather together as a community near the end of the fall semester.

Although Fordham's liturgy is Catholic, students of all different faiths and beliefs enjoy attending the masses on campus. Since most Sunday masses and special masses are led by Jesuit priests and scholars, Fordham's liturgy has a very academic and practical tone that applies to students of all backgrounds. The inclusive environment of Fordham's liturgy is my favorite part about the masses on campus. The liturgy at Fordham welcomes and accepts every type of student, which makes mass at Fordham an event for all interested students to become involved in. 

A great outdoor view of the
University Church
The masses and liturgy at Fordham are only one part of Fordham's rich and diverse Campus Ministry! For more information about the liturgy as well as the wide variety of service projects, retreats, interfaith ministries, and other Campus Ministry opportunities, follow the link below!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Manresa Scholars Program: A Unique Freshman Experience

Manresa Scholars took a trip to the Hudson River for kayaking. 
For Fordham freshmen seeking a living-learning community, the Manresa Scholars Program offers incoming students the valuable opportunity to grow socially, spiritually, and academically. Manresa Scholars exhibit a sense of commitment to intellectual pursuit, community service, and the Fordham family.

The Manresa Scholars Program is housed in Loyola Hall, where students will experience an engaging academic and social environment. Within Loyola, students have access to live-in Manresa Tutors and Resident Assistants, a Study Commons, seminar rooms, and the St. Ignatius of Loyola Chapel, where Resident Housemaster Rev. Lito Salazar, S.J. holds weekly Mass. During the fall semester, every Manresa Scholar takes a Manresa Seminar, which is taught by a Manresa professor. Examples of course offerings include “Mind-Body Connection: Introduction to Behavior Health,” “Lost Interlocutor: Philosophy of Human Nature” and “Finch, Seed, and Storm: Adventures in Contemporary Evolution.” This professor also serves as the student’s academic advisor and mentor throughout the adjustment to college academics.

Students at a dinner colloquium
in the Loyola Study Commons.
One of the most popular features of Manresa are weekly “dinner-colloquium” programs, in which students gather over a simple meal to discuss a topic with a faculty member or guest speaker. This semester, Manresa philosophy professor, Dean Robert Parmach and Manresa theology professor, Dr. Harry Nasuti hosted a dinner colloquium entitled, “Social Media and the Search for the Self,” during which they examined the ways social media impact the intellectual, spiritual, and social lives of Manresa Scholars.

Additional program highlights include service-learning events such as Bronx park clean-ups and tutoring at a local Catholic elementary school, spiritual events such as Jesuit spirituality-inspired yoga in Our Lady’s Chapel, educational programs such as tutor-led midterm review sessions, and social excursions to Manhattan for kayaking or to explore Central Park.

For further information about the Manresa Scholars Program, please visit the Manresa website,, and the Program’s blog,:

Dean Parmach and Dean Totino welcome
students and their families on move-in day.

Manresa Scholars explore Central Park on a Friday afternoon.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Midterms: Keys to Success

You’re halfway through the semester and it’s going swimmingly so far. However, midterms are approaching and they are stressing you out. No matter how much they are worth towards your final grade for each respective class, midterms are extremely important. Not only do they count a lot towards your grade point average, but they are also an evaluation for how much you have learned so far in the course. Here are some good tips for keeping your composure and making sure you succeed on your exams.

First, you must plan ahead. This means looking at each of your midterms, evaluating how much studying is necessary for your success, and executing your plan. If you have an exam worth 40% of your final grade, it might be a good idea to study a week or two in advance, even if it is just for 30 minutes a day.

You also must try to find a study place that fits the way you learn. If you need quiet, go to the library and find a secluded spot. If you’re comfortable in your dorm room, make sure there are no distractions around to interrupt your studying. If you retain information well in a group sessions, find a partner or a group to study with and make sure to keep your focus the entire time.

Finally, keep a level head and try not to stress. If you put in the work correctly, there is no doubt you will ace your midterms. It may require more effort than you thought, but as long as you stick to your personalized plan you will succeed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Getting to the COR: Fordham Retreats

The Whole Gang: A Final Group Picture from COR 7, Spring 2016

Earlier this month, Fordham Campus Ministry's Retreat Ministry sent a group of Fordham student's up to Goshen, NY for a weekend of food, camaraderie, and friendship. What is this magic, you ask? Enter COR 8, the eighth wonderful installment of Fordham's very own student directed retreat focused on the heart, love, and the spiritual exercises of Ignatius. So, in short, the best of the Jesuits for a whole weekend with some pretty cool Fordhamites.

When I first came to Fordham LC in Fall of 2014, the last thing on my mind was retreats. All throughout high school, I'd been a part of a youth ministry leadership team at my parish where a large part of my responsibilities came with leading Confirmation small groups and retreats. I thought I'd seen all there was to see, and closed that chapter of my life when I came to college. When I arrived, the experience was nothing like I expected. In my first week, sitting in a meeting with Dean Desciak, I explained feeling a little odd and out of place. Almost immediately, he recommended I register for the Fresh Vision Retreat: a Fordham retreat tailored specifically to freshman students and the transition to college life. Begrudgingly, I nodded, and filled out the handy Google Form to register for the retreat.
The Famous FV18 Photo on the Deck: Now on Various Campus Ministry Literature Near You!

The day I left for Fresh Vision 18, I learned I would be the only Lincoln Center student on this 30 person retreat. Anxiety filled me up almost immediately: I was going to be the outsider. Riding the Ram Van up to the retreat house in Goshen with a bunch of people I had no connection to was absolutely terrifying. Once the 30 of us got into the house and introduced ourselves, the stress started to melt away: we were all students from the same university just trying to get through the first semester of our freshman year, and we all ended up there, in the same living room. Ultimately, Fresh Vision was the absolute best experience of my freshman year. Fresh Vision gave me some of the most important and formative friendships I have at Fordham, even now. In spring, I decided to go on the Women's Retreat, then COR 7 in spring of the following year. Retreats became the place where I could take a break and be myself. On Women's Retreat, we had a late-night, 26 person Beyoncé dance party in the house kitchen while making milkshakes; we were totally free of homework, social media, and the stresses. 30 of us who had been complete strangers less than 2 days prior cooked a full dinner together on COR 7. These are just a few of the memories that have become so integral to my Fordham experience. I didn't have to be the leader anymore and be responsible on retreats like I had in high school: I could just be me and focus on my own journey rather than making sure all the events I'd planned went off without a hitch.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can't stay quiet about Fordham Retreats and the community they've created for me over these past couple of years. My advice to anyone would be to just GO. Fordham Retreats are about more than spirituality; they're really a picture of the Jesuit ideals at work. Care for the whole person (cura personalis) includes the self care of taking time out to be reflective and focus on ourselves, and that's exactly what these weekends provide. All of the retreats have different focuses and themes: from Fresh Vision, to Second Wind (a Sophomore retreat), to the Interfaith Retreat, to the Charis Senior Retreat in the spring, just to name a few, there's truly something for everyone. They are also not limited to students of the Catholic faith tradition: these are open, accepting communities that allow you to participate at your own speed, in your own way. There's almost 20 retreats happening this academic year from start to finish, so take a chance, fill out the Google Form, and see what you'll find.

(See the link for more info!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Making the Most of MTV

Whether it's transcribing an interview with a celebrity, sitting in on a podcast taping, or sporting a completely tinsel ensemble for a photo shoot, it's hard to bored as an intern at MTV News.

A typical day starts with the editorial staff meeting at 9:30. I sit at the table and listen as different writers update us on what the big stories are for their sections today. With sections like music, movies, TV, style, politics, and celebrity, there's always a lot going on and a lot to be caught up on from the night before.
My desk at MTV News!

After the meeting, I'll head over to my desk and see if I've been emailed any assignments. Usually, there will be an audio file of an interview waiting for me in my inbox. My task is to transcribe the interview and send it back so the writer will have a written account to pull quotes from for her story. The interviews range in length and content -- the longest one I've transcribed was 54 minutes and took me the ENTIRE work day. However, that's definitely on the longer side because they're typically around 20-30 minutes.

One of my favorites was getting to hear one of the writers interview the two directors of the Amanda Knox documentary. I got a ton of behind the scenes information on what their process was like making the documentary -- a lot of which didn't even end up in the article. So naturally, as soon as the documentary was released on Netflix, I grabbed a blanket, some tea, and watched in awe. Knowing some of the details from the directors prior to watching definitely made the experience more interesting because I knew to pay special attention to certain things.

That's me on the left as a "Tinsel Mammal".
Other than daily office tasks, sometimes I get to assist with non-written projects. The silliest and coolest of which was a photo shoot and interview with musician Helado Negro. My boss emailed me the day before and asked if I would be interested in helping out with a photo shoot the next day from 10-12. It sounded like a great opportunity, so naturally I responded with an enthusiastic yes. Later that day, the producer for the shoot emailed me with details about the project. She said that I would be wearing a tinsel suit and be posing in the background of various photographs.

A truly bizarre yet wonderful experience that
ended up with me looking like this.

This definitely wasn't what I anticipated when I was asked to "help out with a shoot." Regardless, I went into it with an open mind and a smile on my face. The crew for the shoot was super nice and was thrilled that I had volunteered to be one of the Tinsel Mammals. The musician was also incredibly kind and was so grateful that I was part of his creative journey. He also snapped the killer photo of me in the suit.

I think it's safe to say that even if I only end up fact checking and transcribing interviews for the rest of the semester, I already have more than enough stories and experiences to talk about from my first few weeks.
The Gabelli School at Lincoln Center is the perfect place for students to get an excellent education both in the classroom and outside, when they step out into one of the countless F500 firms in Midtown Manhattan. There are numerous internship opportunities, on campus competitions, and events to which Fordham students have access. Here, every interaction is a chance to learn something new, meet someone who has valuable insight and experience, or to explore new career paths. As a junior in the finance major at Gabelli Lincoln Center, I can personally attest to the network it provides.

The biggest advantage of studying finance in New York City is the opportunities that await you right off our campus grounds. Hiring manager look for Fordham students because of their drive, commitment and sensible business background. In tandem with the Fordham Alumni network, the possibilities are endless. Personally, the Fordham network has taken me to J.P. Morgan, where I intern with the Equity Derivatives Billing Group here in New York City. I have been given the privilege of seeing the trading happen live, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and I've even gotten to sit in meetings across from senior leadership and clients on a regular basis. The internship has truly opened my eyes to the scale and scope of a large bank that I really had to see to believe. I was offered the opportunity to return for the coming semester and continue exploring further! Fordham first gave me the coursework to prepare for the internship, and then it gave me the alumni connections and resources to push myself into having the opportunity to learn within such a prestigious firm and outlook.