This past Friday, Siena hosted its annual Fall Fusion event and I not only was able to attend, but I also had the honor of participating in the event! Fall Fusion 2016: “I Have a Dream” consisted of performances by the Irish Dance team, SOLID, the Hip Hop team, the Bhangra team, and several other individual students and groups on campus and all proceeds were donated to the Homeless Action Committee. There was a HUGE turnout for Fall Fusion this year, which truly was amazing to see! The line to get into the event was practically out the door and group after group lined the back of the SSU after all of the chairs had been taken. Fall Fusion is one of my favorite events during the year because it’s a time where everyone on campus has the chance to come together and support the talents and hard work of their fellow classmates. However, during this year’s Fall Fusion, I especially felt a sense of community among everyone who attended. Despite everything going on in the world now and the uncertainty that even lingers on our own campus, students were able to come together as one cohesive group. During each and every performance, the group on stage received resounding cheers and applause and there was not one negative comment passed around after the show ended.
I have been a member of the Siena College Irish Dance team since freshman year and I have to admit, participating in my last Fall Fusion was a little weird. Irish dance has been a part of my life since I was six years old and I truly have a passion for every single aspect of the art. My team and I put an immense amount of work into our Fall Fusion performance, which included having to sacrifice Sunday afternoons and some nights during the week to work on formation and choreography, but I wouldn’t have wanted to dance with any other group of people. Teams like Irish Dance and events like Fall Fusion truly bring people of all types of backgrounds, cultures, and interests together. Diversity is something that Siena College and the School of Liberal Arts heavily emphasizes and through my time with the Irish Dance team, I have been able to meet and become friendly with so many other students here on campus who share my same interest in dance and performing. Despite the hard work and the enormous amount of time that was put into this performance, I would not trade these experiences for anything in the world.
Were you able to attend Fall Fusion? Let me know in the comments!
For the last thirty seven years, Dr. Paul Murray of the Siena College Sociology Department has taught a Civil Rights Movement course. Now, this course isn’t what most may think and while it does examine the major events and people that we hear about in textbooks such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and the famous bus boycott, and the words of Malcolm X, this class goes a little bit deeper. Dr. Paul Murray, along with his students, discusses the average, everyday people that were there, the ones that were the inspirational and driving force behind the events of the Civil Rights Movement.
This past spring semester, Dr. Murray knew he would be retiring and that this Civil Rights Movement class would be his last. He, along with the help of some of his students, filmed every single class and discussion. He invited many of his friends whom had witnessed and even participated in these events firsthand, to speak to the class about their experiences. Over the course of the semester, the class quickly grew to more than just a group of college students. Dr. Murray’s friends who were invited, along with other professors from various areas, often stayed to discuss topics with students and small groups of high school students often attended the meetings as well. Dr. Murray, along with two of his students, spent six weeks over the summer compiling and editing over thirty hours of footage and placing together the amazing stories into a film that I was able to view tonight.
As soon as I entered the room, I could immediately feel the sense of community among the audience members. Everyone seemed to know one another and I could tell that each and every one of them had come to support Dr. Murray! Even some of Dr. Murray’s students from the Civil Rights Movement class and his First Year Seminar classes were able to attend the event and I can quite honestly say that I’m very disappointed that I was not able to take the Civil Rights class with Dr. Murray! He was so welcoming and greeted each person who came in the room, even when they entered in the middle of his introduction.
The film itself was none other than incredible. Throughout my years as a student, I have been taught the same aspects of the Civil Rights Movement in all of my history classes. Like others, I was only given information about the major figures and events that occurred during the time, but this film allowed me to see the genuine experiences from people who had actually lived during the Civil Rights Movement. Each of the firsthand accounts, particularly by Jim Owens, Mikki Conn, and the dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Jim Harrison. At only eighteen years old, Mikki Conn was arrested for sitting with a group of white people in a segregated cafe and spent the weekend in jail. I couldn’t believe how young she was! However, the actions that each of these speakers took during the Civil Rights Movement to make a difference was extraordinarily humbling. The major figures that arose during the Civil Rights Movement that we are taught in our history classes did make a difference, but it was the decisions and actions of the citizens that really fueled the movement.
Were you able to attend the event? If you did, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
I hope you’re all having a nice and relaxing weekend! As many of you already know, the Creative Arts Department and Stage III Theater Club here at Siena College puts on a production each fall semester and last Thursday, I was able to attend the opening performance of “The Glass Menagerie.” This play, originally written by Tennessee Williams, takes place in St. Louis, Missouri and tells the story of the (very) eccentric and slightly irritating Amanda Wingfield, her shy daughter Laura, and her aspiring author son, Tom. I had read this play in one of my high school English class, so I was able to go into the performance with a slight knowledge of the story, but I was slightly unsure of what the live version would look like.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people attended the performance, including several members of Siena’s alumni! I also really liked how the set was designed because although it was very simple and stayed the same throughout the entirety of the show, it was still very beautiful and perfect for the time period. Along with the old fashioned music that was played during the performance, I honestly started imagining myself as part of that time period!
Although the cast only consisted of four members, I could immediately tell how many hours of preparation and practice had gone into this performance. Not only was the overall acting incredible, but the Southern accents that each member displayed throughout the performance was none other than perfect! The cast actually was able to work closely with a dialect coach, Paul Riccardi, for several weeks during rehearsals, who instructed them on how to perfect their Southern accents. Their long hours of practice definitely showed because I was so impressed at the authenticity of their accents! Each member of the cast is to be commended, as well as each and every member of the crew because working with such an iconic play can be very difficult at times. However, this performance truly did Tennessee William’s masterpiece justice and I am so glad that I was able to attend.
If you have a chance to, “The Glass Menagerie” will be performed on November 18th and 19th at the Beaudoin Theater in Foy Hall at Siena College. See the above flyer for specific details and let me know in the comments if you do attend and what you think!
For the past week and a half, the Siena College School of Liberal Arts has held three Student Internship Panels (the last one being tonight) and I had the pleasure of being one of the panelists! Interns of various majors and areas of studies were selected and were asked questions, mostly by Ashley Dwyer and the team from the Career Center. We were given the opportunity to talk not only about what we are doing at our internships, but also about our application/ interview process and what we are planning to take away from these experiences.
I have to say, it was a little bit nerve-wracking at first to see so many people there! However, I immediately found it easy to speak about my internship here at the School of Liberal Arts because I truly am enjoying my experiences. I have the opportunity to interact with both students and faculty on a more professional level and I am able to market events and information through the means of social media, which is something I hope to be able to do in my professional career. Through this internship, I have learned more about conducting myself in front of large groups of people and about public speaking and I was able to successfully use both of these tools during the internship panel. During the event, I also had the pleasure of meeting Alicia Pepe, who is Siena College’s new Student Internship Coordinator. She was very enthusiastic to meet all of us, it being her very FIRST day on campus, and she couldn’t wait to hear what we had to say about Siena’s current internship program.
I feel very honored to be working with the School of Liberal Arts and to have had the opportunity to serve as a panelist at the event. For whoever may be reading this, whether you’re a Siena student or faculty member or whether you may be from another school, consider going to events like these! They can be so incredibly helpful if you’re looking for an internship and don’t ever be afraid to ask questions of the panelists!
Tonight, I was able to attend one of the most inspiring and fascinating events that I have been to this semester. I had the privilege of attending a talk entitled “A Life of Innocence and Travesty of Justice” give by none other than Ricky Jackson. When he was only eighteen years old, Ricky Jackson, along with two of his friends, were kidnapped, taken downtown, and accused of a crime that they knew nothing about. The police had no physical evidence or witnesses to base their investigation off of and their only testimony came from a thirteen year old boy
Mr. Jackson was released on November 21, 2014 after thirty nine years in prison and two and a half years on death row. he spent day after day behind a cell, wondering if he was going to die and whether anyone would ever believe his innocence. When asked about how he survived each day, Mr. Jackson said he just didn’t know. He said that each day was much different than the other. He had his routine of course, but thirty nine years is a LONG time. He focused on writing letters to those on the outside as much as possible and on his faith, which he began to rely on even more and more.
Mr. Jackson said many things in his speech that I viewed to be fascinating, but one captured my attention particularly. The thought he kept running through his head over the course of the thirty nine years was that he was not a criminal. He knew he had done nothing wrong and he refused to let being in jail turn him into a criminal. To be in a situation such as this, with horrific things and terrifying criminals surrounding you, to be able to keep a level head like that is extremely inspiring.
Did you go to the event? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope everyone’s Halloween weekend was great! This past Saturday night, I was able to attend the second night of the Musicians of Ma’alwyck event and it truly was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Although not many students attended the event, the show still brought out a full house! The audience consisted of a different type of community, a community that quite obviously was very knowledgeable and experienced in the musical field. The show essentially combined the beauty of chamber music and ballet routines, which were performed by several members of the Loose Change Dance Collective and I was fascinated just by how smooth each part interacted with one another.
Out of all of the wonderful musicians and performers that participated in this event, I was particularly impressed by the vocal talents of Siena College’s own Dr. Tim Reno. I participated in chorus all throughout middle school and high school, so I have seen a lot of choral and solo performances, but I have not seen any like Dr. Reno’s. From what I could gather, the difficulty of the piece Dr. Reno performed was very difficult and the sound of his voice among the various instruments was impeccable.
Have you ever been able to see a Musicians of Ma’alwyck performance? Have you participated in one of these performances? Let me know in the comments below!