A Letter to the Siena College Class of 2021- Welcome Home!

 

 

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to say congratulations! You have worked so hard to get here and every single one of you should be very proud of yourselves. Second, you should know that the decision to come HERE, to Siena College, will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your lifetime.  As a second semester senior, I am writing this letter with mere weeks until graduation and I can’t help thinking back to when I was in your shoes. It really is ok to be nervous, but it’s ok to be excited to! College is going to be a time to figure out who you are and what your dreams and aspirations are going to be for the future. You’re going to meet amazing people and learn so much that it may even feel a tiny bit overwhelming at first! I want to share with you guys some of the tips that my friends and I have learned over the years to have the absolute best college experience, tips that have truly made Siena my own home away home.

  1. Be friends with everyone: You’re ALL going to be in the same position of moving away from home and that can be wicked nerve-wracking, especially if you live a little bit further away! I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts which is three hours away from Siena, and it definitely was a little strange to be moving to a state where I didn’t really know anyone.  However, the friends I have made over the past four years have literally become like my second family! When you move in for orientation weekend in the fall, make sure you are friendly and say hi to everyone! Strike up a conversation with your hall mate or with the person sitting next to you in your 8am and find out who they are.  I actually met my best friend in the third floor communal bathroom of Ryan Hall and we ended up living together during our junior and senior years!
  2. GET INVOLVED: People have probably been telling you this left and right, but it’s true! Joining teams or clubs or organizations here at Siena is soooooo important because it not only gives you fun things to do each week, but it also gets you involved with the rest of the community.  We have an enormous list of things to join and at the beginning of the fall, you’ll have the chance to attend the Club Fair to sign up for various organizations.  Over the past four years, I’ve been involved with the Siena College Mentoring Program, Her Campus Siena, the Siena College Irish Step Dance team and the Siena College English Society and I’ve been able to attend events held by other clubs that my friends are in! There truly is something here at Siena for everyone and you’ll be able to form relationships with other students AND faculty that will last a lifetime.
  3. Be willing to learn: Your professors and classes are going to be some of the most influential things in your life during the next four years and as you choose and declare your major (if you haven’t already), you’re going to be able to take classes that will make you excited for future endeavors to come! You’re also going to be required to take a series of CORE classes, which will open your mind to other areas of study, such as art, science, religion and math.  Be open to what these classes and professors are teaching you and don’t be afraid to be curious and to ask questions! Some of the best classes I’ve taken here at Siena have been part of the CORE list and I really have been able to take some of the skills learned in these classes to more professional settings.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone: I know how scary this can be, but it’s also incredibly important! You may find that you love something that you would have never tried before in high school or that you love a place you’ve never been to.  Before coming to Siena, I was a little bit more on the quiet side and had done sports my entire life.  Although I still have a love for fitness and being healthy, I have joined so many different clubs, which have allowed me to become so much more outgoing! The relationships I have formed here at Siena are some of the most special I have ever had and some of them have formed just from us stepping outside of our comfort zones!

Check out our social media pages for updates and information about what’s going on around campus!

Facebook: Siena College School of Liberal Arts

Twitter: @siena_lib_arts

Instagram: @sienalibarts

You all are going to do amazing here at Siena, and I’m not just saying that! You’ve worked so hard to get here and it also doesn’t hurt that you’re about to come to the BEST school in the world. 🙂 Be excited, be adventurous and most importantly, be a SAINT.

Julia Lowney, Communications/Social Media Intern at the School of Liberal Arts

English major; Marketing and Writing Communications Minors; VERY proud member of the Siena College Class of 2017

 

Siena School of Liberal Arts Offers New Health Studies Major

 

 

Hi everyone!

Siena has just been given the approval to begin promoting a new major that will be offered in the fall and I’m wicked excited to announce that freshman and returning students will be able to declare a Health Studies major! The course of study will allow students to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and will feature three tracks of study: health administration, health sciences and health policy.  This is the FIRST major here at Siena that will truly be considered interdisciplinary, as health administration will be offered through the School of Business, health sciences through the School of Science and health policy through the School of Liberal Arts.  Through my own job search over the past few months, I have come across a TON of businesses that are offering a multitude of careers through these courses of study, so if you are even the slightest bit interested in the field of health studies, consider taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity!

The Health Studies major will not only feature a set of core and elective requirements, but will also contain lessons that are based in Siena’s Franciscan values.  Dr. Matcha, one of Siena’s Sociology professors and the new director of the Health Studies program says, “The idea of serving others is at the core of the Franciscan tradition. We want our students to learn about the scientific and business aspects of health care, but at the basis of this needs to be a sense of compassion and responsibility.” The American health care system, as well as international health care systems will be studied in order to ensure full understanding of how to properly work with patients around the world.

This new major could be the very foundation of so many careers in the world of medicine.This major has been a work in progress for the past two years and has brought together a huge team of people from all departments around campus, including our very own Donna Tytko, Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts.  If you’re interested or have any additional questions, PLEASE contact Dr. Duane Matcha at dmatcha@siena.edu

What do you think about the new Health Studies Major? Let me know in the comments below!

Julia (Student Intern)

“Endgame” to Debut on the Siena College Campus!

Hi everyone!

The Creative Arts Department is putting on their very first performance of “Endgame” TONIGHT and I couldn’t be more excited! Endgame was written by playwright Samuel Beckett and tells the story of protagonist Hamm, who is living with his servant Clov, his father Nagg and his mother Nell in a world that is recovering from some type of apocalyptic disaster. The play is directed by David Girard and features not only a cast of incredibly talented Siena students, but a set that has been designed and worked on for months by Siena’s technical director Obidiah Savage and professional Broadway set designer Colin McIlvaine.  The light sequences have been constructed together by professional Greg Solomon, who has also worked with Broadway performances.

I was able to stop by the Beaudoin Theater yesterday to get a behind the scenes look at the set and the design behind it and I truly found the process absolutely fascinating.  I was involved with musicals all throughout high school, but in the performance sense.  I knew very little about the intricate details that must be incorporated into building a set and “teching a show” and hearing Greg, Colin, David and Mr. Savage speak about the time and effort that went into preparing for this performance was very impressive.  Greg, Colin and David have all worked on various performances of “Endgame” before and know the show from every angle.  They were able to point out on the physical set why objects have been placed in certain positions and their ideas just kept bouncing off of each other, like they had been friends their whole lives! They also LOVED Mr. Savage, who I have had the pleasure of meeting a few times! Mr. Savage is incredibly talented when it comes to the technical aspects of Siena’s performances and his expertise is one of the main aspects that makes the Creative Arts Department’s performances and concerts so successful. The set truly wasn’t like anything I have seen before, as a lot of sets in plays and musicals are very intricate and have a lot of moving parts.  This set is very simple and very structurally sound and only displays one room with a couple of other objects, including a tattered armchair.  However, Mr. Savage, Colin, David, and Greg emphasized in the presentation yesterday that the set is going to be vital to the understanding of the entire performance and I cannot wait to attend tonight!

Are you going to see “Endgame”? Have you ever seen the play, or performed in it before? Let me know in the comments below!

Julia (Student Intern)

Networking Opportunities? Yes, please!

 

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re staying warm on this strangely freezing March morning, I hope spring gets here soon! To all my fellow seniors out there who are currently applying for jobs and grad school, the process is incredibly STRESSFUL. The applications, the interviews, the desperation to make yourself stand out among others can be very overwhelming, but I have learned through my own job searching and affiliation with the CEPD office that networking is the KEY to helping this process be successful! This past Tuesday, I was able to attend Siena’s 14th Annual Career, Internship and Grad School Fair and I was SO glad that I did! Over 120 businesses set up tables in the MAC on Tuesday afternoon and a huge amount of students from all majors attended, handing out resumes and business cards and having conversations with employers about possible opportunities. This was the biggest networking event I have been to thus far and I have to admit, it was a bit nerve-wracking at first! Talking about yourself can definitely feel a little strange at first, but events such as these are a huge opportunity to talk about the skills and assets you can bring to a school or a team.  I talked to about five or six different employers (even the Boston University Grad School) and they were all incredibly nice and interested in what I had to say. I was even able to speak with the team from Habitat for Humanity International about future volunteer opportunities, who told me my course of study (English and Marketing) would be perfect for their team!

Although I’m from out of state and was not able to find any immediate job openings in the Boston area that were offered at the career fair, I am so glad that I was able to attend.  I met some fantastic people, particularly from Linium Recruiting, who have offered to see what they can do with my resume.  In addition, I received some advice about how to enter the Marketing and Public Relations field, which has helped me tremendously in continuing my job search.  Networking is about creating relationships with experienced professionals and about learning as much as possible about creating a strong future career; over the past four years as a Siena student, I have truly learned  how to network. Having a Liberal Arts education has not only provided us with hard earned degrees, but has also provided skills that we will take into the professional world and beyond.  If you come across large networking events such as this one, or even smaller meetings, go to them! They may be nerve-wracking and you may think, “Well, how is this going to help me?,” but I promise, it’ll be worth your while. Networking events are like informal interviews and they will give you the chance to practice presenting yourself to employers, something that one can never do often enough.  You’ll learn so much about the career field you’re pursuing. Even if you don’t find a job with that particular company, odds are they are going to know someone who will be able to help you!

Check out my article at http://www.hercampus.com/school/siena to see a list of tips on how to network the right way! Did you go to the career fair on Tuesday? Let me know in the comments!

Julia Lowney (Student Intern)

5 Essential Things to Do to Prepare For the Career Fair

career_fair_Hi guys!

So, the 14th Annual Career, Internship and Grad School Fair is taking place right here on campus TODAY from 3:00-6:30pm in the MAC and this event is a huge deal.  There are over 120 businesses coming from all over the area and beyond, there is going to be a FREE LinkedIn Photo Booth and I am honestly super excited for the event! The Career Fair is a fantastic opportunity to make connections, network your skills and to discover some of the companies you may be interested in working for, but preparing for this event is equally as important. Here are my top five tips on getting ready for today and other networking events:

  1. Resume: I know this may sound obvious, but your resume should be a clear description of your skills and the experience you have! You should know your resume better than anyone, make sure everything is correctly written and formatted. Make sure your resume has been properly critiqued and that you overprint copies to bring to the event! You don’t want to be speaking with a potential employer without a spare copy of your resume to give them. Career Education and Professional Development is located in Foy 203 and their office hours vary from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. Please check in with the CEPD office to inquire about specific times by contacting them at careermail@siena.edu or (518)783-2339
  2. Dressing for Success: Your outfit for the Career Fair will make a huge statement about your interest in entering the professional world, so take the time to choose something! I was able to attend the Dress for Success Fashion Show last week and they provided a TON of ideas on how to look good while making a great first impression:
    1. For girls: Conservative is always the safest route! Knee length dresses or skirts with a nice blouse are always great options, plus you can add a cute statement necklace or a sweater/cardigan to make it pop just a bit! Pumps or flats are ideal, but stay away from anything that may appear too flashy, short or inappropriate.  In terms of makeup, a neutral eye and lip will always make the best impression!
    2. For guys: You don’t have to wear a tux, but make sure you’re dressing to make a positive impact on future employers. Dress pants, a dress shirt and a tie are absolutely essential for this event, as are dress shoes. Suit jackets don’t hurt either! PLEASE don’t wear sneakers or jeans and make sure that if you do have facial hair, it’s clean and trimmed.
  3. Business Cards: Having personalized business cards will provide potential employers with easy access to your contact information AND will make you more memorable during that two minute conversation. Career Education and Professional Development will print out sheets of business cards for FREE and all you have to do is fill out a form, which you can find here. Fill out this form as soon as you can, they take up to three business days to print!
  4. Research: Know who you’re talking to! Learn as much as you can about the businesses that are coming, you don’t want to be caught by surprise when an employers asks what you know about their company and you don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.  Here is the list of ALL of the employers and grad schools that will be attending the Career Fair today, don’t hesitate to take a look at it! See which businesses you’re interested in and look up their website to see what they do, where they’re located, what their mission statement is, etc. If you can have a conversation with someone about their company during the Career Fair, you’re going to stand out among a lot of other candidates!
  5. Elevator Pitch: This is almost like a sales pitch, but instead of telling someone about a product, you’re telling them about yourself. An elevator pitch just has to be two or three sentences long, but make sure that you’re telling employers things about yourself that will incite them to want to continue the conversation. Tell them who you are, what you’re studying here at Siena and what career path you’re planning to take and PRACTICE this! Make sure you can recite your elevator pitch exceptionally and avoid using the words “like” or “um.”

I hope this tips help you prepare for today, as they are the key aspects to making a good impression on the attending businesses! Pre registration for the Career Fair is now closed, but walk-ins ARE welcome, so register TODAY and come to the MAC to join us for this exciting event! Even if the right business for you isn’t here at the Career Fair, odds are there will be someone there who will be able to lead you in the desired direction!

Julia (Student Intern)

“Votes for Women”- A Historical Masterpiece

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Hi guys!

I hope you’re all doing well and that this dreary, rainy weather isn’t getting you down! If you’re in the Albany area this weekend and are looking for something fun to do, I HIGHLY recommend going to see “Votes for Women,” a performance put on by the Siena College Creative Arts Department detailing scenes from the Women’s Suffrage Movement.  I was able to attend this past Friday night and I was SO impressed by the skills of everyone in the performance, including some familiar faculty faces.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into when I decided to attend the performance because the flyer indicated that we wouldn’t be sitting in the theater per usual, that we would be walking around the building.  Our tickets contained a sticker on the back, each with a name and we were told that we were to follow the suffragist leader of that group.  My ticket read “Votes for Women” and I had the chance to follow Harriot Stanton Blatch (played by the wonderful June Casey) though various scenes throughout the Women’s Suffrage Movement, including the trial of the one and only Susan B. Anthony.  We literally walked all over Foy, including backstage, to reach these scenes and this is something that I have never done before!

I think the aspect of the performance that I was most impressed with was the historical accuracy that each cast member put into their characters.  The words spoken throughout the show were original text and content from the time period and many of the cast members were required to memorize extensive monologues in language that is not quite as familiar to us these days. In particular, Sandra Boynton who plays Susan B. Anthony, delivered her lines in such a way that I truly felt as if I had been transported back to her time. I was able to clearly see the absurdity in the way women were treated back then and honestly felt incredibly inspired after hearing the words spoken just so well and so passionately.

Check out the flyer above for location and time details for this weekend’s performance and please try to attend if you can! If you did attend the performance here at Siena, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Julia (Student Intern)

Greyfriar Living Literature Series Shines Light on Wonder of Creative Writing

Morning everyone!

I hope you’re all staying warm out there, hopefully the warm weather will return soon! Having just returned from spring break, there are several events through the School of Liberal Arts coming up within the next few weeks and I was so excited to have the opportunity to attend the English Department’s Greyfriar Living Literature Series reading yesterday, which featured novelist Pamela Erens.  Ms.Erens is a highly accomplished author, with several short stories under her belt and three published novels, all of which have become incredibly successful.  The Understory, The Virgins, and Eleven Hours have all won major awards and most recently, Eleven Hours has been placed onto the “Best Books of 2016.” During the reading, Ms. Erens read a large excerpt from Eleven Hours, which take place during one woman’s entire labor process and how she copes with the incredible, yet terrifying prospect of childbirth.  As someone with a passion for writing and literature, it was fascinating to have the chance to hear Ms. Erens read her own work out loud and to see what her thought process was behind the characters and the overall idea of childbirth.

pamela-erens

Source

The audience was able to engage in a Q&A session after the initial reading and I was curious about what her greatest challenge is as a writer and novelist. She said that to be a novelist requires a lot of risk taking and that the business can be very uncertain at times.  If someone is working on a piece of writing for a year and a half, but then is forced to abandon the project because the ideas stop coming, then it seems as though all that time was wasted. Eleven Hours took Ms. Erens three years to write and she began the novel a multitude of times, trying to figure out the best direction to set the characters and plot it.  This, however, is incredibly normal for anyone who has ever tried to write a longer creative writing piece.  Great ideas come with thought and they come with practice and they come with mistakes.  No one ever completed a novel perfectly on the first try and this is something that I have tried to keep in mind throughout my years of writing.  I am constantly watching different authors, whether they are my favorite authors or whether they be guest speakers in some of my classes because they have gone past these obstacles to become incredibly successful.

Ms. Erens is going to be on campus again today to give a craft talk and writing activity in the Boland Room (Father Benjamin Kuhn House) at 4:10pm. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend, you do NOT have to be studying English or Writing and just remember to bring a notebook and something to write with!

Julia Lowney (Student Intern)

Studying Abroad in College- You Won’t Regret It!

 

 

 

 

 

study-abroad

Hi guys!

One of the most important parts of being a young twenty something is exploring the world around us.  There are so many amazing places to see and incredible things to do and most of the time, we don’t even see the opportunities to travel that are sitting right in front of us.  If you’re going to be a junior (or a senior) at Siena in the fall, there is still time to apply to study abroad.  I unfortunately was not able to study abroad due to academic obligations by the Honors Program, but I have had so many friends who have gone through this experience and have come back with a hunger for traveling and seeing the world. Junior Interdisciplinary Major (with a focus on Social Justice) Karina Wojnar studied abroad in India last semester and she was blown away by her incredible experiences on the other side of the world.

I absolutely adored how much it challenged me in every way. Being abroad challenged my world views, my personal values, my physical energy, and my mental capacity. I loved that I could NEVER assume anything. I could not assume what I was eating, nor if what I was wearing was appropriate. I loved that. It kept me mindful and on my toes.
 
My favorite adventure, as cliche as it sounds, would have to be my trips to the Taj Mahal. I went first before my program, with my brother while we were backpacking around North India. Then, I saw it as a tourist, we took tons of pictures. I freaked out. Oh my god, the Taj Mahal! This beautiful, symmetrical marble structure is breath-taking. The second time, I went with my program peers. I think I took maybe one or two pictures. We went during sunrise and I just watched. I sat in a quiet corner of the grounds, at the foot of the Taj, eyes closed, facing the sun. I absorbed the moment. Here I was at one of the seven wonders, but not there to check it off my list of “Things to See Before I Die”. I was there to admire the atmosphere, to appreciate the architecture, to be in love with this new culture I will have been starting to learn about.
 
I learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and to encourage it. Don’t understand what anyone is saying? Fine, listen and improve your comprehension skills. Don’t know what you’re eating? Ask and/or try it anyway. I learned to be open to embarrassment and uncertainty. Although it was easily frustrating at times, it ended in such rewarding ways.

Studying abroad not only opens your eyes to new food, culture and traditions, but it also allows you to learn about your major from a totally different perspective! If you’re even considering a trip abroad, make an appointment to talk to a member of the staff in the Study Abroad office! They have a TON of helpful information, plus multiple programs and destinations that will work for your interest and field of study. To make an appointment, you can either stop by Foy 301 or e-mail international@siena.edu.  The Study Abroad team is AMAZING and even if you’re not sure whether you want to study abroad or not, make an appointment anyway! It never hurts to get some information and you may just find that this is the right opportunity for you.

Julia (Student Intern)

12th Annual Mr. Siena

 

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

This weekend, I was able to attend the 12th annual Mr. Siena show for the first time (even though I’m a senior) and I have to say, this was one of the FUNNIEST and most exciting events that I have been to all year.  For those of you that don’t know, Mr. Siena is a bit like a male beauty pageant, but with a huge comedic element.  Guys sign up to participate at the beginning of September and they practice each week until the day of the show, working on dance numbers, individual talents, and answering questions. There are also three non-student judges at the event who choose the winner and two hosts, one of whom just happened to be Siena’s very own Father Dennis Tamburello! This year’s show showcased eight contestants and the money raised from ticket sales was put towards Siena’s Habitat for Humanity organization, a tradition that has continued throughout these past years.

I first want to say congratulations to every single one of the contestants.  Not only did they work extremely hard over these last months, but you could see the incredible dynamic between the guys as they performed together on stage.  They were genuinely happy for one another and kept high fiving each other after one did something cool or funny.  The turnout from the Siena community was also amazing to see.  Student, faculty, families, so many came out to support the event and every seat was taken inside the MAAC. This is a time during the year where it doesn’t matter what your major is, how old you are, or where you’re from.  This event brings people together to support their fellow Saints and I truly think that’s why I enjoyed Mr. Siena so much.  I came with my friends, but we also met up with other people that we knew and it was so much fun having the opportunity to just talk and laugh with everyone! As a senior, I am SO glad I decided to attend this event and for those of you who haven’t gone, this isn’t an event you should miss!

In addition, a HUGE congratulations to Kenney Alexandre, who was crowned Mr. Siena 2017!!!!

Did you go to Mr. Siena this past weekend? What did you think?

Julia (Student Intern)

It’s Never Too Late to Start Applying to Internships!

career_fair_

Morning everyone!

I hope you’re all enjoying this fabulous snow day! So, the spring 2017 career, internship and grad school fair is coming up on MARCH 114th and I know what you might be thinking.  “That’s only for upperclassmen” or “I have plenty of time before I have to apply to an internship.” Don’t worry, this is the thought on a lot of students’ minds when they hear about an event like this! However, I can tell you as a student intern (and senior) that it’s never too early to start applying for internships. Getting as much experience as possible not only is a fantastic way to build up your resume, but it’ll strengthen your confidence when you enter the workplace.  You absolutely do not have to wait until you’re a senior to start applying for these opportunities, nor should you! You also should try to be open to ANY internship opportunity that comes your way.  It’s fantastic to be able to work as an intern in the field that you’re interested in, but it’s also great to work in a field that you may not particularly enjoy.  You’re still going to get experience in a professional setting and you’ll learn how to conduct yourself an a professional environment that may not be quite as desirable as you would like.

This career, internship, and grad school fair is also a great opportunity to network yourself! One of the most important things in preparing yourself for the future is to figure out who you know and who you can meet in the field. Don’t ever be afraid to introduce yourself at an event like this, or to start a conversation.  Even if they don’t offer you a job right on the spot, talking to people may just get you that information that WILL get you a full time position one day.

The Spring 2017 Career, Internship, and Grad School Fair is on March 14th from 3pm-6pm in the MAAC and registration is now OPEN! To register, head over to CareerSaint and access the 14th Annual Spring Career, Internship & Graduate School Fair 2017 under Attend Events section on the homepage.

All students are highly encouraged to attend and I hope to see you there!

Julia (Student Intern)