Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring (Weekend) Has Sprung

While it’s only Tuesday, Spring Weekend 2016 has officially started at Fordham. Spring Weekend, for those who don’t know, is an annual tradition on campus where the Campus Activities Board (otherwise known as CAB) packs the week with exciting events. The events lead up to the highlight of Spring Weekend, the concert on the Martyr’s Court lawn.

Tonight’s event was a part of the American Age Lecture Series, and for this, a guest speaker is invited to campus. Last year I really enjoyed listening to Brandon Stanton from Humans of New York speak, but I was even more excited to hear Shawn Johnson speak today. Shawn Johnson is a former gymnast who won four medals, including a gold medal, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

My attempt at getting a picture of my middle school-era idol.

The 2008 Olympics were the first Olympic Games I got interested in, and part of the reason behind that was the women’s gymnastics team. I even ran a small Shawn Johnson fan club at my school after that summer, so it was an amazing experience to get to hear her speak.

One of the many things I enjoy about Fordham is the number of guest speakers that are invited to present on campus. In addition to popular bloggers and athletes, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to everyone from CEOs to actors to spiritual leaders, and each is as inspiring as the next. Tonight's event was no exception, but I also can't wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for the campus!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Club Spotlight: Colleges Against Cancer

Many high schools and towns across the country hold Relay for Life events to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  Many incoming students are happy to learn that they can continue participating in Relay for Life when they get to Fordham!  The student-run club Colleges Against Cancer plans, fundraises, and leads Relay for Life at Fordham every spring.

The event is usually held on Edward’s Parade, affectionately nicknamed Eddie’s, the big lawn in front of the iconic Keating Hall.  Teams walk laps around Eddie’s while games, raffles, prizes, performances, and themed-activities take place all night.  After the Luminaria ceremony, in which candles line Eddie’s and all teams walk a silent lap to remember those affected by cancer, there will be a Lip Sync Battle Tournament on Keating Steps!
Fordham has it's own customized Relay for Life logo! Go Rams!

All money raised before and during the event benefits the American Cancer Society, which works to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.  Some fundraisers held throughout the year include Applebee’s Dining to Donate nights, Residence Hall Penny Wars, bake sales, and t-shirt sales.

Any Fordham student can join Colleges Against Cancer or participate in our Relay for Life event.  This is just one of many clubs on campus that performs community service and is committed to a great cause.

Join us at Fordham Relay for Life 2016!  It is themed “Paint Fordham Purple” and takes place Saturday, April 22 from 5PM—12:30AM.

"Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back"

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Night Out: College Night at the Frick Collection

Earlier this month, my best friend and I ventured over to the east side to visit the Frick Collection for College Night. The Frick Collection puts on College Nights, which include free admission with your university ID, approximately once a month, with a variety of different activities and docent-led tours. The collection is small enough to finish in one night, and spans a wide variety of artists and movements.

Frick Collection Gardens, Photo by Gillian Bashaw
Photos are not allowed in the gallery, but fortunately, they are allowed in the Frick Collection's stunning gardens. For College Night, these gardens were outfitted with a string ensemble, tables for socializing, and a table of refreshments. The gardens provide a truly relaxing atmosphere to take a break between exhibits or just spend time in good company with friends.

Once we finished walking through the collections, we made our way to the gift shop. While I'm naturally a fan of trinkets and souvenirs, I was happy to see that there were prints of almost every work in the museum in various sizes ranging from about $2-$15. I was able to buy a couple of my favorite paintings of the evening in a postcard size, and now my bedroom walls are just a little more artistic.

The Frick Collection is located at 1 East 70th Street and is about a 20-30 minute walk from Fordham Lincoln Center. Upcoming College Nights are scheduled for May 6th and June 24th. The Frick Collection is a hidden gem that is not to be missed!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Class in the City

One of the many benefits of going to school in New York City is getting to take interesting classes that encourage you to take advantage of the Big Apple!

My favorite class I am taking this semester is Theater Journalism. We learn from actual professionals who work in the Broadway community about how to write and report on theater in a variety of ways. As part of the class, we are required to see three shows this semester, and since I am a HUGE fan of seeing shows, this only gave me an excuse to see some of the newest and best productions of the season.

Outside the Broadway Theatre on 53rd Street!
In fact, my professor got us free tickets to see the latest revival of the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Broadway Theatre. This production absolutely blew me away and brought me to tears. It is extremely difficult to get tickets to see the show and I’m so happy that I got to see this as part of my homework.

Sitting in the orchestra!
And, later this semester, a Broadway performer will be coming into class for an interview, which is something I cannot wait to do. I am so thrilled that I chose to take a class this semester that takes one of my biggest passions and makes it a fun and fascinating class that is both challenging and educational. I love taking classes that involve taking advantage of the city and will miss this the most about Fordham after I graduate in May.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Favorite Fordham Experience

One of the most popular organizations at Fordham University is Global Outreach, which provides teams of Fordham students the opportunity to travel, both domestically and internationally to partake in a service and immersion trips. Fueled by a desire to experience a new part of the world and an interest in international cultures I decided to apply for an international GO! project at the beginning of my sophomore year, and it is unquestionably one of the best decisions I have ever made at Fordham. 

After going through the interview process I received a call from the student leader of the GO! Mexico project letting me know that I would be spending my winter break in Puebla, Mexico. One of my favorite aspects of the Global Outreach program, as oppose to other service trips, is the amount of preparation that each team undergoes for months leading up to departure. Starting in October my team, of ten students and our chaperone, met weekly to learn more about the Puebla community where we would be staying and we also got to know each other better. 

On January 7th, 2016 our group landed in Mexico City, from where we drove two hours to Puebla, the third largest city in Mexico. The ten days I spent in Mexico were an unforgettable experience. We visited many parts of Puebla, spent time farming, and helped out at a school for the blind just to name a few aspects of the trip. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to see such a beautiful part of the world and interact with the incredible people who live there.

Another reason I enjoyed my GO! project so much was my amazing team. Prior to joining Global Outreach, I had never met any of the students on my team. GO! Mexico 2015 consisted of students from all classes as well as both Gabelli and Rose Hill students. Through our weekly meetings leading up to the trip and our ten days together in Mexico I became incredibly close with each member of my team. Its strange to think how without Global Outreach I never would have met the remarkable Fordham students who shared in this memorable experience with me.

Fordham University does an excellent job at providing their students opportunities to experience and learn from the world around us. To any person considering applying to a Global Outreach project I highly encourage you to do so as I truly consider it one my favorite and most impactful experiences in college thus far.

Check out this link to learn more about Fordham's Global Outreach program.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Volunteer Opportunities

About 80% of Fordham University undergraduates 
participate in at least one service project.

This is an awesome percentage and one of the statistics that made me give Fordham a closer look, since I knew in high school that I wanted service to be part of my college experience. I spent my freshman year getting my feet wet on campus. I tried a bunch of different clubs (some of which were service-oriented), was heavily involved in the Manresa community, and did some outside volunteer work as well. Through an email blast from Fordham's Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, I found out about a Saturday morning tutoring program at a middle school located near Yankee Stadium. While some of my friends gawked at me for waking up at 8am a few Saturdays each semester, I loved it. Working with those kids to solve their science and math questions or improve their reading proficiency made me feel connected to my new home and made me care about the goings-on of the Bronx. 

This year, as a sophomore, I began volunteering at St. Rita's Center for Immigration and Refugee Services. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, I teach a two-hour class to adult immigrants trying to learn English. I found out about St. Rita's through the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice's annual Volunteer and Internship Fair. Local organizations and programs line Edward's Parade, welcoming all students to consider volunteering with their group for whatever time commitment they could. I was drawn to St. Rita's because I am especially curious about the immigrant's experience in the United States and I thought that gaining some experience teaching would help me in my career discernment process. While I have always enjoyed service and volunteer work, nothing could have prepared me for the incredible joy I get from consistently working with my students at St. Rita's. 

The DDCSJ provides all the resources a Fordham student needs to get involved in the Bronx community. By volunteering, students can become a tangible part of the community, instead of just being a visitor for four years as they get their degree. One great opportunity offered by the DDCSJ is the Service Learning Program, where students can connect volunteer work with a class and receive credit. Taking a Service Learning class is on my Fordham bucket list, and I hope to take one next fall.

If you think you might be interested in doing service and volunteer work during college, becoming acquainted with your prospective schools' programs and resources is crucial! Check out the site for the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice here!

"We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community." 
~ Dorothy Day

Taking the Road Less Traveled: From Business to Theology

Union Theological Seminary
As a graduating senior in the Gabelli School of Business, I have to say that one of the aspects of the Fordham experience that I most appreciated was the required Liberal Arts Core. When I first arrived at Fordham, I had some vague ideas about what I wanted to do with my life, but going through the Liberal Arts Core definitely helped me to refine my interests and discover a new path that I am thrilled to say I am following after graduation in May. 

For business students, the Liberal Arts core includes classes in theology, philosophy, history, fine arts, English, math, economics, and statistics. All of these courses have challenged me to think critically, thinking in new ways and taking in different perspectives. Fordham students have very different interests and intended paths, which allows for vibrant discussion in the classroom, especially in these core classes that draw together students from all majors and backgrounds. 

As I went through my major classes and my core classes, I began to realize that the classes that I loved the most and most captured my fascination were my theology classes. Despite having no prior interest in pursuing anything related to theology, my theology core classes led me to declare a theology minor. However, this minor was not enough to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so I took many courses past my minor requirements and ultimately decided to apply to Graduate programs. 

As I applied to top Graduate programs for theology, I will admit that I was very skeptical that I would be accepted or receive very much scholarship assistance because of my business background in undergrad. However, when I heard back from the schools to which I applied, I was thrilled to discover that I had been accepted to every program and that I received generous scholarships. When I expressed my surprise to one admissions counselor, she told me that it was my strong foundation in the Liberal Arts in conjunction with my business degree which made me such a fascinating and strong candidate for that school’s program. 
Vanderbilt Divinity School

Although I will be going to Grad School in the fall to study the Hebrew Bible, I am excited to use my business background as well. Whether I end up in a classroom or working for a non-profit, I am happy that I chose to study business, but extremely thankful that the Fordham Liberal Arts Core exposed me to courses that I likely would have never considered taking had they not been required.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ram Fan: Rowing Edition

My sophomore year, I roomed with one of my best friends in O'Hare Hall. We had been pretty close before becoming roommates, but the experience made us almost like sisters. We spent the year together exchanging clothes, offering gym advice, and complaining about the little things that frustrated us during the day. Although we have very different interests and majors, we were incredibly compatible roommates, and she remains one of my closest friends to this day.

My roommate was, and still is, on the Women's Rowing team. She walked on freshman year, and worked her way up from the novice boat. She originally tried it out of mild interest and an outlet to stay active for a girl involved in high school sports, but she quickly grew to love it and devoted herself to the sport. She woke up almost every day at 6AM for practice, spent her weekends at regattas, her breaks at training trips, and worked out up to three times a day. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever encountered, with an aspiration for success and a passion for bettering herself that never ceases to amaze me. I would see her come home at night exhausted, with an aching body and hours of Multivariable Calculus homework to do, and still be ready to do it again tomorrow. I watched her work herself as hard as other recruited varsity athletes, and genuinely admired her dedication perpetual persistence.

A beautiful day on the Schuykill!
Last weekend, over spring break, I (finally) made it to one of her regattas. The Fordham Rowing team competed at the Murphy Cup on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia, not too far from my hometown. Having never been to a regatta before, I was unsure what to expect. I had listened to my roommate talk about the team, their boats, and their races for a year, but seeing it in person was entirely different. I made it just in time to watch her win her qualifying race, and was so excited by the energy and morale surrounding me. I recognized a couple of rowers from classes and activities around campus, so I made conversation about their spring training trip and how the other boats were doing throughout the day.

My view of her race from my snapchat

Once my roommate and the other members of her boat put their boat away after their race, they came over to the Fordham tent, where families and other team members were congregating. She immediately ran to me to give me a suffocating hug, and I was thrilled to see her so happy. We talked for a while about how the day was going, and she even snuck me some of the food that the supporting parents provide for the team. It was enjoyable to see her in her element and to recognize in person everything that she had told me about her sport. Seeing all of her hard work pay off made me proud to have her in my life as not only an inspiration, but a best friend as well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Experiences: The Metropolitan Opera

It’s amazing how my time at Fordham has led me to discover new things that I otherwise would have never experienced. This is especially true in terms of my newfound love of the opera. It all started in my first semester at Fordham. In my philosophy of human nature class, my professor allowed us the opportunity to earn some extra credit by going to see the opera Aida, by Verdi. Wanting to earn a few extra points, and also curious, I decided to go.

The Metropolitan Opera House is located at Lincoln Center, and is only a 5 minute walk from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan. Utilizing Fordham’s intercampus shuttle, and dressed in my very best, I arrived to the opera house not knowing what to expect.
The Metropolitan Opera House located at Lincoln Center

The building was absolutely beautiful. The staff was very friendly and helped direct me towards my seat. But perhaps even more beautiful than the theater was the opera itself. The sets were stunning, the dancing was extremely graceful, but above all the singing was phenomenal. Despite not knowing any of the words being spoken (the opera was in Italian), the opera was incredibly emotional and moving, both happy and sad. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

Since then, I have gone to two more operas my sophomore year, La Boheme and Madama Butterfly both by Puccini. Being a student at Fordham, I have been able to buy steeply discounted tickets and sit only a few rows away from the stage, making my experience even more incredible. I even made one of my best friends by going to the opera.
The Interior of the Opera House

Before coming to Fordham, I had no interest at all in opera. It is only because Fordham is constantly encouraging me to try to new things and broaden my experiences that I was able to discover my love for classical opera. Going to school in New York City allows for many new experiences, especially when one is a student of Fordham University.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

My Birthday Weekend at Fordham!

Fordham's New York City location is ideal for academia, internships, and jobs, but going to college in New York is also perfect for celebrations! Whether you're in Manhattan or the Bronx, Fordham is a great place to gather friends and family for special occasions. This weekend, I celebrated my birthday at Fordham and in Manhattan with my friends and family. 

On Saturday, my friends and I took the D-train from Fordham's Rose Hill campus down to Manhattan's Lower East Side for a lovely birthday dinner. Getting to Manhattan from the Bronx is very convenient, which makes it easy for my friends and I to leave campus for work and for fun! My friends and I had so much fun at the restaurant, and I was happy that everyone had fun at my birthday dinner. The friendships I have made during college are amazing, and I am so happy that Fordham connected me with such wonderful people.  

My friends and I had so much fun celebrating my birthday in Manhattan!
On Sunday, my birthday celebration continued closer to my home at Fordham's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. My family drove to campus from New Jersey, and we went out for a birthday lunch on Arthur Avenue, the Bronx's Little Italy. Arthur Avenue is right across the street from Fordham Rose Hill, and is home to many authentic restaurants, bakeries, and shops. Most of Arthur Avenue's restaurants are Italian, but my family decided to try something new and took me to a Mexican restaurant called Estrellita's. The food was delicious, and the restaurant was only 5 minutes from campus! 

My family and I at Estrellita's on Arthur Avenue
Fordham has given me so much over the last three years, and its endless opportunities for work and for fun never disappoint. Celebrating my birthday at Fordham again this year was a great reminder of how lucky and happy I am to attend such an amazing school with so much to see and do. I am so proud to be a Fordham Ram!