Kudos to our ASC Graduates!

Dear Krystal, Brittany, Buo, Alexa,
Sam, Kerry, Liz, Ben, and Joel, 

Our place is better space because of your service!

“You will be the broken world and the act of changing it, in a way that you haven’t been before. You will be so many things, and the one thing that I wish I’d known and want to say is, don’t just be yourself. Be all of yourselves. Don’t just live. Be that other thing connected to death. Be life. Live all of your life. Understand it, see it, appreciate it. And have fun.” –  Joss Whedon 

Krystal

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mike and buo

Ben 11

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Joel 8

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Sam Broking 3

Liz 1

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A SMALL TOWN GIRL IN THE CAPITAL

UAlbany is an amazing, beautiful, diverse place with people of all sorts of backgrounds. My background? I’m from a small town in a little place called Whitesboro, NY in upstate. I lived most of my life in a tiny neighborhood of four streets on top of a hill, surrounded by woods and farm land. Sure, I was exposed to some city life every now and then but nothing could prepare me for the Capital of New York State, Albany. I never even drove through a round-about before. I had no idea how this city would soon shape me into the person I am today. Continue reading “A SMALL TOWN GIRL IN THE CAPITAL”

Project MyStory Workshops – COME!

This semester, Project MyStory has prepared several workshops and story circles to help you focus, refocus, plan for your future, and thrive. These workshops are not lectures, they are quite interactive and may sometimes involve glue! Joe D. , Asha P., Ashley W. and Leobianny H. (pictured above) are your facilitators this semester. Take a break and be refreshed. Attendee limit 15. Register ASAP. We hope to see you there! Continue reading “Project MyStory Workshops – COME!”

Meet Tendrina: Communication & Journalism Major

tendrina

  1. What is your major and why did you choose it?

I’m a double major in communications and journalism. I chose it because of my career aspirations, because of my love for media, and because I’m awful at math and science.

  1. How do people react when you tell them what your major is?

Depends. Most of the time I get a pretty positive reaction because I’m a double major and people tell me that I was meant to work in those fields.

  1. What do people perceive is the most popular or “well-known” career for your major?

Journalist or public relations agent.

  1. What do you think of the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I think it’s a very loaded question. What does that refer to? What do I want to be professionally? What do I want to be in the eyes of others? What do I want to be in the world? And what does “when you grow up” mean? Continue reading “Meet Tendrina: Communication & Journalism Major”

Meet Drew

Drew Murphy is a senior Criminal Justice and History major. He shares his academic and mental health struggles and successes here. Have a bit of inspiration to be the best you – check out Drew’s story!

Drew Murphy
Drew Murphy

Meet Genevieve Durso

DSC_0057Genevieve Durso

Class of 2018

Major: Psychology

Minor: History

After a long time of contemplating what to do with my life, I thought the only thing notable would be to pursue a profession that would help others. I want to earn a degree in psychology, pursue further education and do social work. I know it doesn’t make lots of money but this is a place where I can actually help people and make a difference in someone’s life. My grandma was a social worker for 20 years and she said it was very strenuous, however she always tells me stories about how she changed people’s life’s. I want to affect people like that too. I also picked history as my minor because I love history.

During my first semester here,  I wasn’t much for studying and work. I knew college required work but I didn’t think it would be this much. No one ever really taught me how to study or what to even expect when I got here. Over time, I learned studying techniques and realized that college is more than the professor teaching you, you sometimes teach yourself. I started doing better on tests now and feel more confident.

I would tell any student that is struggling that the only person you can help is yourself. This is the real world and you are responsible for all of your work. I would advise them to make time and schedule out their day, including time for school work and friends. There are many places you can go for help and resources but at the end of the day, you are responsible to take initiative.

TangoWhat helped me find home at UAlbany was simply leaving my room. During my free time, instead of sitting on my phone or netflix, I went to different rooms and places just to simply socialize and meet new people. I joined a few clubs but found that as long as you get out there and put yourself out there, it can feel like home quickly. Eventually after talking and meeting new people, they will convince you to go with them places you would have never thought of. My friend loves to dance and now we go to tango class every sunday.

If you take a the leap and put your self out there,  you will learn something new everyday. Whether it’s in the classroom or the dining halls, your are exposed to so many new things compared to the smalls town some of us are from. You are also learning new things about yourself everyday too which can be a lot of fun. If you keep all of your priorities straight, you will excel in school. Welcome to the best time of your life!



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Meet Buo Ikwuazom

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Chibuokem “Buo” Ikwuazom
Class of 2017
Major: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Growing up, I have always had a profound love for science that slowly blossomed into Ideaan aspiration of going into the medical field and becoming a neurosurgeon. My origin of interest in sciences dates back to my childhood when I began watching an all-time favorite show of mine, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, about a boy genius who used his intelligence to create many inventions and innovate many ideas that comes up in his head. He would create something so magnificent that seems like a good idea but ends up putting him in a quagmire only to use his gifted intellect to rectify his problems. As I watched this young boy use science to such an extent for fun and to help people, I became inspired. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be great – I still do. It’s a childish aspiration, but it’s my ambition.

As I grew older, I became more aware of the different areas of science. While taking different science courses through junior high and high school, my love for science expounded and grew. I realized how everything tied together from biology to chemistry to physics – everything just seemed to coexist in perfect unison and it made sense for the most part.

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As a sophomore in North Babylon High School, I volunteered at the Brain Injury Unit (BIU) at the Southside Hospital in Bayshore, NY. Volunteering at BIU exposed me to a wild variety of neurological disorders and syndromes and evoked in me a vision, a new ambition, to become a neurosurgeon. As I volunteered at the BIU, I experience many things that may shock some people but only gave me drive to go into the medical field. I wanted to know why some patients are not able to respond to certain brain stimuli or how to stimulate certain parts of the central or peripheral nervous system to ascertain the solutions to what is occurring with the patient. Studying and ascertaining what the conundrums are, is one thing but operating is another. Growing up, I have always be very fond of using my hands to fix many things around the house. I envisioned my future to be something that is very hands-on and engaging to me. My love for science as a young child and the different experiences I have had volunteering at the Brain Injury Unit at Southside Hospital has definitely cultivated an innate ambition inside me to purse the field of medicinal as I aspire to become a neurosurgeon.

DSC_0008I wanted better for myself, for my future. I did not want to fail and be defeated. So I had two options. Let myself be beat down or get up and work even harder than ever to become successful. I have always abhorred when people referred to me as smart or intellectual albeit a compliment. I rather be proclaimed hard worker because I know that has gotten me where I am today. I also knew of my rigorous work ethic. I have composed and developed a work ethic that is difficult to rival. The late nights, the early mornings and the sleepless days have molded me into what I am today. I wanted to be successful that badly. I refused to allow my weakness to overcome me but instead worked harder to overcome them.

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When someone is struggling in their effort to reach their goals, I usually offer two suggestions:  Re-organize your life and  assess how much you want it. I am a strong believer in organization and it has surely helped me towards being successful. You need to organize every aspect of your life, not just cleaning your room or making sure you take good notes. No. I am speaking of a stricter re-organization. You need to make sure your life is in order. There are too many distractions, too many problems college students face day by day that limits your ability to succeed. You need to make sure your personal life is in order or at least have some control over it to ensure that it does not interfere with your future successes. Order is very important. With maintenance of your personal and academic order can everything flow the way you want it to and success can be achieved.

Another important advice is that you have to want it – you have to want it BAD! One of my favorite quotes or statements about success says it all “to succeed, you need to couple an indefatigable work ethic with a voracious ambition.” I believe this quote embodies who I am today and I must share it with the rest of you to come. So hold on to your dreams, goals, aspirations and work towards it as bad as you want it with a work ethic second to none and an ambition close to no other!

“A very important resource and individual that have been part of my success has to be my first year academic advisor, Michael Geroux from the Advisement Services Center.”

A very important resource and individual that have been part of my success has to be my first year academic advisor, Michael Geroux from the Advisement Services Center. To say the man is a great mentor and advisor is an understatement. During my freshman year, I would visit Mike at least 2-3 times a week just to get his thoughts on certain ideas or things that I am planning on doing. He would always give me his thought on it and provide me a bigger picture into everything I do. Some of those days would just be me popping in just to say hello. But, that is the kind of environment Mike and I cultivated among each other that surpasses the role of advisor and student. He is extremely welcoming to students around him and gives you the best advisor for you. Even now, as an upperclassmen, I still go to see Mike for his thoughts and opinions. I believe there are more Mikes in the Advisement Services Center. It is imperative that each student try to cultivate some form of relationship between their advisors because it truly benefits you. They have been there and seen most of the things you may or are going and will provide you with the best advisor possible.

learn-528391_640Another resource I would say are the study lounges around each quads, specifically, State Quad. Those study lounges were designed to allow efficient studying and classwork for students. It is very important that you find a place that allows you to maximize and optimize your time in studying and doing any kind of work. The libraries around campus, the Dewey Library, the Science Library and the University Library, are other great resources that allows you to escape the hectic environment around campus and focus your mind on accomplishing your school work. But, I, especially, found those study lounges to be a very efficient place to work.

If you are a New Dane, I would encourage you to remember your future! I believe all undergraduate students should know and take this with them throughout their college experience. You should remember and hold tight to your future. I am sure everyone has been told to live for the present which is very important as well. But, not enough people are being reminded of their future as though it may not happen. As important as the present is, so is our undetermined future. So remember your future as you live through your present, taking solace that the future will be bright because you thought about and remembered it.


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Meet Nicholle Gregor

Nicholle GregorNicholle Gregor

Class of 2016

Major: Informatics
Concentration: Interactive User Experience

Minors: Art and Sustainability

Upon entering the University, I came in completely undecided. I knew that I was interested in Art but wasn’t sure where a degree in that would lead me. I was interested in learning more about computer science but coding and creating programs frightened me. After taking several classes and changing my major a few times I finally found my perfect fit with the Informatics Department. With the introduction of their new concentrations and the exposure to Human Interactive Design I organization-chart-817363_640learned that I can incorporate art into the technology world and make a career out of it. Not knowing what career path you want to follow in your life is scary, especially when you’re entering college and it seems like everyone already knows what medical school they’re applying too. I was extremely overwhelmed and became incredibly thankful for having such an amazing academic advisor my first year here. Rachel Moody really understood that I was lost and helped guide me onto the right path, without her I would probably still be just as confused as I was the first day I walked into her office.

My advice for students that are struggling is to focus on you. Figure out what it is that you love to do, find something that is interesting to you and stick to it. Do some research on the subject because there are so many opportunities out there that as a young college students we are unaware of. Aside from being a full time student I work a part-time job as well as maintaining the position of Marketing Director at a local start-up company called Twill.

Recycling IconI found my home at UAlbany with the University’s Office of Environmental Sustainability. Though that may seem off as I’m an Informatics Major, I got extremely involved with the on-campus student group UAlbany Students for Sustainability my freshman year. I have always had a passion for helping the environment but knew that I wasn’t strong science student so rather than making Environmental Science my major, I went on the path to make it a minor as well as a hobby. Now after being involved with the student group for three years I have held the position of Vice President for two of them, now as a senior I finally get the chance to be President of the group. I also currently hold the position of Community Co-Chair on the Sustainability Council, Vice President for UAlbany Outdoors, Treasurer for UAlbany Grow Green, and the Community Assistant for the World of Environmental Sustainability LLC. I have taken part in so many incredible opportunities while working with these groups. Finding a home with the people that work in that office and on the Sustainability council really helped shaped me into the person I am today.

I think it is so important for new students to get involved. Sure you’re away at college for the first time, you want to party, go out, and meet new people but being involved with a group NIcholle G in Treesbenefits you so much. Don’t just get involved your last year of college because that’s when you suddenly realize you have nothing to put on your resume. Join a group you like! And if you can’t find one, find a professor and a few friends to help you start one up! I’ve seen so many new groups and ideas develop into realities while being here that ANYTHING is possible. Don’t limit yourself because you’re afraid of what others are going to think of you. Strive to be a better you, be someone that you want to look up to. College isn’t about just getting by; it’s about getting the most out of your four years here.


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Meet Irene Mensah

Irene MensahIrene Mensah

Class of 2016

Major: Human Biology

Minor: Public Health

I decided on my academic path based on my career goals. As many students, I came in with the intent of being a Physician. This made me want to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. Perhaps, my parents played a role in this decision knowing that a six-figure salary would be pretty nice. I now know that they just wanted what they felt would be best for me in the long run. However, I learned early on that my parents motivation was not going to be enough to get me through the trials and tribulations of the hardcore natural science courses that I was about to embark upon. In the end it was not my parents in the classroom it was now the professor, the textbook, and myself that I had to face. The journey to become a Physician was no longer just a topic of discussion, it was now happening. I had to become my own motivation.

CSTEP  Project Excel  CARSSVeins

The moment I reached that glorious fork in the road that I like to call Organic Chemistry, I was literally at a crossroad. The way I overcame this obstacle was by seeking the office of Academic Support Services which housed CSTEP, Project Excel, and CARSS. These programs were able to provide me with one-on-one tutoring, peer mentoring, find out about research opportunities, and even attend trips to visit Medical School seminars. My advice to students who are struggling is to not be afraid to step out your comfort zone and always ask questions to seek out opportunities. I was able to form a huge network and family in Project Excel where I had Mentors like Chris & Keisha who always introduced me to many students like myself that were lost and looking for extra guidance. Their office made me feel like I was not alone in this journey to finding myself and what I was truly passionate about pursuing.

Irene MensahI ended up joining Residential Life and becoming an RA on Dutch Quad my sophomore year and later that summer I became an Orientation Assistant which was one of the most remarkable and rewarding experiences ever. I put myself out there and was able to welcome over 2,500 incoming freshmen to UAlbany. Many of which come from different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common of sharing Great Dane Pride. Now I work for the University Apartments and I am a Peer Mentor for Project Excel. With the help of these wonderful resources, I found that my heart was set on becoming a health care provider and that the salary I would make did not matter so long as I was improving the health of a population and providing health care services to those in need. This newly found discovery made me pick up a minor in Public Health that I fell in love with. One thing I think all students should know is the biggest mistake you could make is thinking that you need to have your whole life figured out. It’s great to have a plan but the World is truly Within Reach here at UAlbany don’t let a moment pass you simply by not making the effort to put yourself out there, reach out for help when you are struggling, and make this the best 4 years of your life !

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