Giving back in a different way


One of my favorite things to do at WTOP-10, aside from producing news and working crew positions, is giving tours of the studio to potential students. It’s a great way to let people see what’s inside our recently upgraded high definition studio and let people know more about the station than just what is told on the general tours. Admitted students days and open houses are the prime of studio tours, which is why you can tell from my enthusiasm on those days how much I love giving studio tours.

April 8th was the first admitted students day for all majors and by far my favorite tour I’ve given so far. Me and some of the other Toppers (as we like call them) started giving tours of the studio after the information tabling session in the ice arena.

At around 1:00 PM-ish, a whole group of nine or ten transfer students from Suffolk County Community College came in and were so excited to see the studio. Me and the other Toppers gave the general info and tour we give to potential broadcasting students, but it didn’t stop there.  The questions became more specific and the students become so intrigued by every answer we gave them. They were so excited about the studio and working at the station, they were there hanging about for about 45 minutes wanting to know more. I was even able to talk to a few of them more as I guided them to Onondaga Hall during my walk back home.

During the time the SCCC students were in the studio, a curious meteorology student who was separate from the group came in. I greeted her at the door and let her in. I talked to her for a few minutes about our WSI weather graphics system we use at the station and how many professional stations use it as well as how our system of choosing meteorologists works.

When I usually give tours of the station, I try to make them as interactive as possible depending on the person’s interest. For meteorology students, I would let them try to do the weather on our green screen. I asked the girl if she wanted to give weather a shot and she immediately jumped at the idea. I got her set up on the green screen, handed her the WSI remote, and let her go on her way.

After she did the weather, she told me she was committed to coming to Oswego and was even more excited to do it for real when she comes here. While I won’t be able to see her in the fall, I wish I could be there to see her enthusiasm if she becomes one of WTOP-10’s meteorologists.

I didn’t really get much of a tour of the studio during my visits. When I was finally able to join my first year, I was so amazed to see it. My friend told me if it wasn’t for the tour of WTOP-10 he got during his visit, he may not have came to Oswego at all. It’s wonderful to know how much of a difference you can make by giving a more in depth tour to someone dedicated to their field, whether it’s broadcasting or meteorology.

Food, Yoga, and Trying New Things


At the beginning of this semester, I promised myself one thing I would do before I graduate in May: Try as many new things as possible. It’s March 1st and I’ve accomplished a lot already.

One thing I really wanted to try was ACTUALLY cooking some meals instead of just putting frozen food in an oven or microwave or ordering from Dominos. During winter break, I found as many recipes online as I could based on my capability and my budget. On one of my first nights back in my Village house, I made lo mein and teriyaki chicken, as seen in the photo above. I gotta admit, I was extremely proud of myself for being able to make it. Since then, I’ve promised I would cook something at least once a week. I’ve been able to make garlic and parmesan zucchini fries, banana pancakes, crescent pizza rolls, and even edible cookie dough.

While all that food tasted delicious, I needed to be able to work it off somehow. I absolutely love going to the gym, but sometimes going on the treadmill and machines at 7 o’clock in the morning just wasn’t enough for me. I was looking around the list of group exercise classes available at Cooper and Glimmerglass gyms and found one that caught my eye: Strengthening Yoga.

I never took a yoga class in my life. I was a little nervous about it. However, when I did take it, I felt completely relaxed and at peace with myself. Yes some of the positions were a little tricky and I fell onto my mat a couple times. When I did fall, I was laughing it off and trying to keep up with the rest of the class.

Going on with the theme of working out, I took another group exercise class one night where my instructor had us hold a plank for one minute. I typically held mine for about 30 to 40 seconds, but I was extremely proud of myself when I was able to hold mine for a minute. Now I make sure to always include it in my workout routine.

College is about trying new things, whether you’re a first semester freshman or a second semester senior. I encourage those who read this post to try something new, whether it’s cooking a delicious meal or trying to do a crazy yoga pose.


“The Next Step”


What does leadership mean to you? Do you know what your purpose in life is? These questions and more were asked when I attended Oz Leads’ first ever “Next Step” Skill Building Workshop on Jan. 20. Honestly, this event was much different than what I expected.

The day started with a workshop set up by a speaker from Collegiate Empowerment. The workshop was not just another boring lecture or continuous Q&A about leadership and how to prepare for life after college. Instead, our speaker, Joe, motivated the crowd of about 20-30 students with his enthusiasm and interactive activities (which included A LOT of high fives). My biggest takeaway from Joe’s lecture was his point about how we are not measured by our “Grade Point Average” after college (but don’t, like, fail all your classes). Rather, we are measured by our “Real GPA,” which helps us move toward our goal after college. Joe breaks down the “Real GPA” with three words: Genius (what we’re best at), Passion (what we love), and Achievement (what’s meaningful to us).


During lunch, we were encouraged to sit with recruiters from the different companies that were there, including Target, Verizon, and the Peace Corps. I had a wonderful conversation with a lady from Theater Du Jour, a small dinner theater group from the Central NY area.

After the second part of Joe’s presentation was over, everyone broke off into four different breakout sessions (we had to pick two out of the four sessions). The first breakout session I went to focused on how to overcome obstacles as we go forward in our careers. This session was lead by Oswego alumnus Phyllis Moore Holloway (’76), a former administrator from the Syracuse City School District who now serves as the volunteer Interim Director for Dunbar Center. Her discussion hit close to me, especially when she explained some of the problems she had to solve. Many of her situations were ones my parents, who are both teachers (my dad retired from teaching almost three years ago), may have had to face during their career.

The second breakout session I went to focused on how your major doesn’t define you and how you can find jobs outside of your major. This session, led by Career Services Associate Director Mallory Bower (whose focus is more on business, communication, STEM, and healthcare industries), stemmed away from the original discussion to focus more on how we can better our resume and cover letter to fit a certain job description, regardless if it fits our major or not. Bower’s big takeaway: “Don’t be well rounded. Be amazing at a few things.”

The day ended with another brief networking session with the representatives from the companies. I had a good chat with a recent Oswego alumnus who works at Enterprise Holding, as well as a recruiter from the company.

Overall, the workshop was a fantastic day and extremely helpful for everyone who attended, regardless of major and whether he or she had a leadership position on campus. It’s definitely an event I would recommend anyone to go to next year in order to prepare for your “next step” after graduation.


Thanks For Giving!


Thanksgiving is coming up in only a few short days. For college students, it’s the time to come home to family and friends, whether they’re one hour or eight hours away. First year students are telling their family members how incredible the campus is, while seniors graduating in December are preparing their resumes and are starting to say their goodbyes.

Aside from the home cooked meals and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the family, Thanksgiving for me literally means “Thank you for giving.” It’s not only a way to say “Thank you” to your friends, family, and people who support you, but a “Thank you” to yourself. Without making it sound arrogant, thank yourself for making it in college. For upperclassmen, thank yourselves for making it this far in your career. You went out there to make friends, join clubs and organizations, get good grades, try new things, learn to cook and find happiness. Give yourself a pat on the back and thank yourself.

Not only should you thank yourself, but thank the people who helped you get this far.

I’m thankful for my family back downstate (err…somewhat downstate) for sticking with me during my time in college. I always take it upon myself to call my mom and dad every week and text my little sister whenever she’s bored in school. They’ve gotten me through my best weeks and my worst weeks. I can’t wait to see you all again soon.

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made here at Oswego, who have all not only been supportive of the things I’ve done, but have also pushed me to do better and try new things. I’m proud to be a Topper thanks to the many different friends I’ve made at WTOP-10. I’m proud to be a writer and editor at Her Campus thanks to the girls who have been supportive of my work and have helped me fine tune my passion for writing.

I’m thankful for the professors and supervisors who have pushed me to be a better writer, student, and professional human being.

I’m thankful for my housemates this semester who’ve included me in their conversations and their downtime watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians and that reality show with the boats (I still don’t know the name of it). I may be the person who hides in my room doing work or is constantly running out of the house all the time (especially early in the morning), but I’m grateful to have such sweet housemates like you guys. We exceed expectations.

I’m thankful for the many things I did this semester, like organize the Intern Queen event, become a first year peer advisor and become an assistant news producer and reporter.

I’m thankful for the Oswego sunsets I was able to see and take corny Instagram photos of. I’m thankful for Dominos, my savior during the long weekends of doing nothing but work. I’m thankful for the Chai Lattes at Lake Effect Cafe that have helped me stay awake during the day. I’m thankful for the pianos all over campus that help me unwind and de-stress during my busy days.

Not only do I thank myself for what I’ve done, I thank those who have been by my side and have made me feel proud of who I am.

Be thankful of the things you’ve accomplished and be proud of yourselves. Find something to be thankful for, whether it’s your puppy back home or your best friend in college. Most importantly, be thankful of yourself for accomplishing everything you’ve done.

To all of my family members and friends, I thank you.

How To Avoid Getting Sick This Flu Season

Let’s be honest. No one likes getting sick. Usually around this time of year, people are starting to get sick. Every sniffle, cough, and lost voice can drive someone insane. It’s even worse when the sickness spreads. Now you’re probably thinking “Ilyssa, is there any way I can avoid getting sick this flu season?” Yes, but you should also know what to do when you do get sick.

Here’s a few tips on how to avoid getting sick during flu season.

  • Hand sanitize!

Most of the time, rubbing a little bit of hand sanitizer will increase your chances of not getting sick. If you don’t your own bottle, you could either buy a bottle or use one of the machines that are all over campus. There’s a lot of them on campus, so be sure to use them.

  • Wipe down your gym equipment.

This one can be overlooked a bit. If you’re an avid gym-goer, sometimes people won’t wipe down the machine after using it. Both gyms on campus have bottles of diluted lysol you can use to knock out the germs on your favorite machine. Why get sick at a place where you want to be healthy?

  • Get a flu shot

As long as you don’t have a fear of needles, getting your flu shot will help protect you, your roommates, and your family from getting sick. You can either check with Mary Walker Health Center to see when their flu clinics are (it’s free, by the way) or see if your local hospital has their own clinics.

  • Buy a bottle of disinfectant spray

Not only will using the spray benefit you, but it will also benefit your roommate(s) or housemate (s). That way all of you can avoid getting sick.

What happens if my roommate is sick?

Be cautious, but don’t avoid them unless it’s really serious. Help them out with any schoolwork they missed. See if you can make them some soup or pick up medicine. Also, be sure to hand sanitize and spray lysol when they’re not in the room.

What happens if I get sick?

Don’t panic. I know it stinks to get sick, but it happens to everyone. Here are some ways you can get better in no time.

  • Neti pot

A neti pot is that thing that looks like a teapot. First, you put in lukewarm water and the salts they provide you. Next, tilt your head to the side. Carefully pour the water down the side of your nose facing upwards. If you see water coming down the other side of your nose or your through your mouth, don’t panic. It means it’s working. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other side of your nose. The neti pot is pretty effective so I’d suggest getting one if you need to get rid of your cold ASAP.

  • Drink lots of fluids, especially orange juice and water

I don’t drink orange juice, so my alternative is a giant Vitamin C pill and B-12 pill. Any sort of Vitamin C you can get is beneficial. I would skip the soda and coffee for until you get better and try to get some tea with honey. Tea will help your voice recover better than soda and coffee will.

  • Lots and lots of rest

If you have a long weekend, take that opportunity to recover and sleep in. If it happens during the week and you’re really sick, see if you can rest up.

Email your professors ahead of time and let them know you can’t make it to class that day. Depending on the attendance policy and how many classes you’ve missed, the professor will probably be understanding and let you miss the class (unless, of course, there’s a big test that day). Get in contact with someone you know who’s in the class and ask them for the notes you missed and assignments you have to make up. Don’t forget to stay on top of your assignments!

You can also ask your RA if they can send you a “sick tray” from one of the dining halls if you don’t have the energy to get up.

Stay healthy this flu season!

Introducing Ilyssa!


Hi there, current and potential SUNY Oswego students! My name is Ilyssa Weiner. I am a senior at SUNY Oswego studying Broadcasting and Mass Communication with a minor in Political Science. I’m from The Catskills area of New York, just a little more than two hours away from New York City.

My Oswego story began in mid-2012, when my family and I went up to visit a friend who was going to school there. I immediately fell in love with the campus when she initially gave us the tour and loved it even more when we back for an official tour in 2013. Although I applied to a few other schools during my senior year, I had my sights set on SUNY Oswego.

When I initially came to the school, I barely had any experience with broadcasting. Now, I feel like a pro. The broadcasting program is incredible with helping students both inexperienced and experienced learn the ropes. Whether it was getting involved at WTOP-10 and WNYO 88.9 FM or taking classes about how to create videos and write for television news, I felt like I was learning exactly what I needed in order to succeed.

Aside from the amazing broadcasting department, one of my other favorite things at SUNY Oswego is the definitely the lake. I mean, I’m right on Lake Ontario. I can literally go down to the lake and dip my feet in there on a hot summer day. The sunsets by the lake are also breathtaking. Take some time to admire the beauty of the sun setting with your friends if you get the chance.

That’s all from me right now. I’m so excited to be sharing my experiences with all of you!