Os”WE GO”: Daniel O’Connor: The Pipes Are Calling

O'Connor by the Eiffel Tower

O’Connor by the Eiffel Tower

It’s not every day a group of SUNY Oswego students are in Paris, France with a trip over spring break and they meet up with another SUNY Oswego student who is already there.

That student was then junior Daniel O’Connor. O’Connor had taken two courses at La Sorbonne, the Université de Paris, and was interning at the Irish Embassy that semester. A global and international relations and journalism major and French minor, he is a perfect example of a SUNY Oswego student who has taken advantage of taking his Oswego experience to other parts of the globe.

Before all of that excitement, O’Connor first found music as his main interest as a freshman at college.

“Vocal Effect was my life here at college up until I studied abroad in Paris,” O’Connor said. “I was a founding member, choreographer, vice president and finally a co-president of the group in the two-and-a half years I was involved. The reason I was drawn to Vocal Effect is because I absolutely adore music. I also used to travel and perform professionally in my high school show choir, so joining something similar in college really interested me.”

O’Connor also said his time with Vocal Effect helped boost his confidence to new levels and helped him meet a lot of wonderful people.

O’Connor had always wanted to go to Paris since he had taken French classes in middle school and he called his opportunity to go to Paris a dream come true.

“Working there enabled me to work with Irish and French colleagues, improve my knowledge of French greatly, and I also got to work alongside European diplomats,” O’Connor said. “Luckily, I joined the embassy staff during Ireland’s presidency of the European Union, so it was a very momentous time for the Irish government in Europe.”
O'Connor at the Irish Embassy

O’Connor at the Irish Embassy

O’Connor said he was also the first American to work there.
After a semester in Paris, O’Connor returned to SUNY Oswego last fall and joined The Oswegonian, the student newspaper on campus because he said he wanted to perfect his writing style as a journalism major and immerse himself with like-minded students studying journalism, broadcasting, and communication.
“The Oswegonian is a very comfortable and professional environment that has helped me harness my writing skills in just a year. I am really thankful to my fellow staff for being so awesome and for teaching me so much of the journalism trade,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor will be graduating in May and isn’t quite sure where he wants to go from here, aside from receiving his master’s degree eventually. He has been conditionally accepted into the University of Birmingham, England and City University London. His ultimate goal would be to work in an embassy, preferably in the press office sector. Working in media organizations such as the BBC also interests him, he said.
Apparently, he isn’t the only one who sees that vision either.
“What comes to mind when I think of Danny is ‘vivacious’,” SUNY Oswego political science professor Lisa Glidden said. “He has such a vibrant personality. He’s done some amazing things while he’s been a student. I’m thinking of his experiences working in the Irish Embassy while he was studying abroad. I totally see him as a jet setter someday, conducting international affairs in Europe.”
O'Connor at the Arc de triomphe

O’Connor at the Arc de triomphe

After all he’s done over the last four years, O’Connor still likes the tale of how he got here, a place that took him to music, to Paris, to his future.

“I was inspired to go simply by a poster of Oswego’s sunset on Lake Ontario in the guidance counselor’s office,” O’Connor said. “Ever since, Oswego has always been in the back of my mind. I even remember looking at the map of the university in a pamphlet and saying to my parents, ‘I think I’d like to go there.'”

Philadelphia: “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”


Me in front of Independence Hall

Me in front of Independence Hall

This past weekend, I traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the SUNY Oswego History Club. The club takes a trip to a historic location every year. Last year, we went to Washington, D.C. and that was a lot of fun for me, so after visiting the national capital one year, I visited the old U.S. capital this year. Although, I did not expect some things to happen on this trip.

After four straight weeks of traveling, Oswego to Alabama, to Memphis, Tennessee, back to Alabama, back to Oswego, down to Binghamton and back, and then to Philadelphia and back, I’ve got 4,000 miles under my belt, 95 percent of them from activities I’ve done through SUNY Oswego. Traveling and staying with groups for long periods of time always causes a little tension somewhere on these trips. Philadelphia was no exception.

By the time we ventured back into the historic city on Saturday morning, we hit that point. The driver of our car was not used to driving in big city traffic and everyone clashed on where they wanted to go and where they wanted to park, and how far they were willing to walk, and how much this parking garage charged and when it closed. On top of that, everyone’s GPS’s sent us on many goose chases the whole weekend. By the time we finally parked the car, there was still so much tension that everyone split up and did their own thing for the majority of the day.

That was, until the phone call came.

Me at the Benjamin Franklin Institute

Me at the Benjamin Franklin Institute

My friend and I were examining the last piece of tourism we wanted to see that weekend, the grave of my hero, Dr. Benjamin Franklin at Christchurch Cemetery, when someone from one of the other groups called me. I was able to understand the name of one of our group members and “seizure,” “running,” and “hospital.” I gave the phone to my friend to try to make out what was going on but we figured it out pretty fast. One of our group members fainted in one of the museums and had a seizure. Museum security guards called 911 and sent an ambulance while the remaining members of that group ran ten blocks through downtown Philadelphia to the hospital. Now it was our turn. After already walking seven miles and digesting a Philly cheese steak, my friend and I did our own jog through downtown to find the hospital. We contacted the other members of our group to tell them the update, and they made their way to the hospital themselves.

Less than an hour later, after spending the whole day our separate ways, we were all reunited, not in one of the rental cars as we expected, but an emergency room. And all of that tension and yelling that had occurred earlier was suddenly swept away, completely forgotten, because it didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was that we were a crew with a missing member, one that was getting a CT scan in a hospital in a different state of residence, 300 miles from home, 18 hours before we were scheduled to leave for home.

We were all together again, not arguing about silly things like parking, but asking each other what we could do to help and how to keep our injured member’s parents updated, keeping everyone calm, and figuring out how long of a wait it would be.

It made me really think. It’s amazing how when a crisis hits, people just forget all of their differences, because when a crisis happens, there’s one thing everyone has in common: they’re all in a crisis. And when you’re in a group, if not everyone is present, it messes everyone up.

Our member spent the night at the hospital and we visited her in the morning, bought flowers and a card for her, and finally she was released. With that, we made our way back to SUNY Oswego, as a whole, with everyone on-board and safe, and remembering what the important things in life are.

History Club in front of the Rocket Steps

History Club in front of the “Rocky Steps”

Os “WE GO”: Christianna Miller – The Great Communicator

If you’ve lived in Funnelle Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus any time in the last three years, you would at some point, no doubt, run into the friendly face of Resident Assistant Christianna Miller.

Being an RA can be a challenging and time-consuming position. It is not exactly common for an RA to remain an RA for the remainder of their college career, let alone in the same building. The duty of an RA is to communicate with and guide and mentor students, as well as maintain the law and safety on their individual floor. Miller has mastered all of those challenges. She was the recipient of the Community Connector Award in both 2011 and 2012.

Miller said her initial interest in the position was for financial reasons. RAs are compensated with free room and board from their tuition costs.

“Since I was fortunate enough to have the luxury of my parents taking care of my expenses, I felt a moral obligation to do whatever I could to alleviate some of the costs, because as most of us are aware, college is not a cheap experience,” Miller said. “However, what made me stay an RA was all of the enriching experiences I had.”

Miller getting "pied" at a "Pie Your RA" good cause event

Miller getting “pied” at a “Pie Your RA” good cause event

An RA position requires hours of training and the hours of on-call duty vary from week to week. There are also approximately three to five hours of program activities RAs are required to do throughout the academic year.

“You also have to account for floor meetings, staff meetings, hall council meetings, decorative duties, such as door decorations and bulletin boards, and also the abundance of planning that goes into everything,” Miller said.

Miller is a communications major and creative writing minor and still has the responsibilities of being a full time student as well as those of being an RA. She is enrolled in six classes this semester and has a full time job in the Campus Center and does volunteer hours as well.

“If I did not master time management a long time ago, I would be a hot mess,” Miller said. “I am a big “to-do” list person; these have made time management a cake walk. I recommend list making to everyone. Sounds so cool, right? Also, knowing when to ask for help is equally important. Sometimes I cannot take on everything and there is nothing embarrassing in asking for help. What is embarrassing is having a bad final product because I spread myself too thin.”

Miller’s  run as an RA has taught her how to be a great communicator and said she has wanted the people that have lived on her floors to know they could always count on her.

Miller during an RA outing to a museum

Miller during an RA outing to a museum

“I would want them to see me as someone they could go to if they had an issue, a concern, a need to simply vent, or a complaint,” Miller said. “I’d want them to know there is no situation I would not help them with. I’d want them to know that my room is a bias-free, no-judgement zone.”

Miller has been an RA on three different floors in Funnelle Hall and has offered her services to many residents during that time.

“Christianna is a great RA who I now consider my friend,” former resident Jessica White said. “She was always there for me as an RA and after she changed floors she continued to be the person I went to with my problems. I trust her and she has helped me through so much. I truly believe that without Christianna, my college experience just wouldn’t be as awesome.”

Miller will be graduating this spring and said that while the big things, such as residents doing nice things for her after she did nice things for them, mean a lot to her, it’s the little things that she will remember most from her RA years.

“I enjoyed spending time at the front desk, whether it was dancing, giving baked goods to visitors, or cleaning and finding odd knick knacks. I enjoyed all of the programs we have hosted as a staff. I enjoyed the excitement of move-in day and the sentiment of move-out day. I enjoyed training sessions with my fellow RAs. I could go on forever. When I graduate, I will be taking so many memories with me that have made my time at Oswego worthwhile. I would do it all over again. There have been so many people I have met here that have changed my perspective, my opinions, and in some ways, my life.”



Break?…Or MAKE?


The last two spring breaks I’ve experienced in college, I’ve gone home, hung out in my bedroom, watched some movies, talked with my parents, and that’s pretty much it. At the time, all of that seemed quite okay after the week of midterm exams and seemingly never-ending essays. This year, it was not like that at all.


Each year, SUNY Oswego offers “Alternative Spring Break” to its students. Instead of going home and doing the things I listed above, Alternative Spring Break gives students the opportunity to travel to various parts of the country to do a week’s worth of volunteer work for various volunteer organizations. My decision to go on this journey started in such a simple way…in a McDonald’s in Canajoharie, New York. That’s where my friend told me she was applying for it. I’m on a mission to see all 50 U.S. states in my life and some of the destinations offered; Alabama, Mississippi, and Iowa were all states that I’d never seen before. I also love helping people and I knew that some volunteer work would be good for me.

My friend and I both applied and both were selected to help in the construction of a house for Habitat For Humanity in Florence, Alabama. Us and 11 other SUNY Oswego students, two of them group leaders, gathered together and took a week trip down to the South. The total 22 hour car ride was a lot of fun in itself and when we finally did get down there, each one of us were extremely taken back by the amount of kindness and hospitality that the people there were providing us. Right away, our “guide” welcomed us into his home and told us his history and the town’s history and then the rest of our hosts provided a lovely Southern dinner for us. They wanted to know all about us: who we were, what we studied, why we were doing this. And that made each one of us want to talk to them and ask them about their lives and experiences.


The actual volunteer work was incredibly rewarding. Pounding hundreds of nails, climbing up and down ladders dozens of times, installing windows, wires, putting up siding on a house at the work site didn’t even feel like work. Better yet, it made you want to do more. You felt useless if you were just standing there and didn’t want to leave when work for the day was over. When there wasn’t much to do, you would stand and talk to the elderly men and women that were also working there, all in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, volunteering and climbing up and down ladders like children. They provided Krispy Kreme doughnuts every morning, lunch every afternoon, and took us out for dinner every night and ice cream two different days. They helped us whenever we needed help and guided us whenever we were lost. It was a lot of fun and seeing something go from messes of plywood to what the house was when we left was inspiring to each one of us.

That was the other part that was rewarding. The “us” part. Every one of the SUNY Oswego students that went on this trip had their own special qualities and brought something different to the table. There were the fun-loving ones, the enthusiastic ones, the hard-working ones, the ones who didn’t say too much and the ones who said a little too much. We weren’t perfect. Everyone got on everyone’s nerves several times, but that happens when you spend a week with the same 13 people constantly around you. But at the end of the day, we were all able to enjoy each other’s company and friendship. The last night we were there, we passed a volleyball around and everyone in the group would go around the circle and say something positive about the person who held the volleyball. This was estimated by our group leaders to take 15-20 minutes to do…it was so much fun and we all had so much to say about each other that it actually took us three hours..


And even after we got back to Oswego, I thought I’d probably never see most of that group again. On Monday morning, as I was walking to my first class, I stopped at the Information Desk in Campus Center to talk to my friend (the one who told me about the trip) and then suddenly two of our group members walk up and say hello. And they were actually there to meet another member of our group to give her her headphones that she had left in the car. I was five minutes back into the real world and already I had had a small reunion with these wonderful people. We agreed to meet up again when we can, the first time to make thank you notes to the people down in Alabama.

I can’t imagine sitting on a couch doing nothing over break anymore. Going to Alabama was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in college and I would recommend it to everyone and anyone. It was the best spring break I could ask for. I want to try to do the international trip next year.

Top: How the house started Bottom: What the house looked like when we left

Top: How the house started
Bottom: What the house looked like when we left


Just Say “Yes” To All The Places You’ll Go

I have to say that during my freshman year of college here, I was pretty intimidated by the overwhelming amount of things that happen at SUNY Oswego. I came from a high school that was connected to its middle and elementary school and graduated in a class of 61 people. The only thing I ever participated in besides academics in high school was drama club. It was definitely worth it. I was able to snag two lead roles in that time and know the ways to make a proper performance.

When I first came to SUNY Oswego, I knew I wanted to do more. And everyone that I had talked to about college had told me to get involved in things besides academics. From the start, I joined The Oswegonian newspaper and a few clubs but only went to their general interest meetings and then fizzled out over the next few weeks.

Over the last year or so, I’ve just begun to notice just how much SUNY Oswego can do for someone and where it can take them. I made it a goal of mine last year to not say “no” to things so suddenly when they come up. There were a lot of opportunities that came up that I simply refused and others thought, “yeah that would be cool, but I’ll probably never do it.”


That changed last year and it has rewarded me ever since. One of my favorite things to do is travel. I’ve been to almost half of the U.S. states and have seen some wonderful sites of North America and close to home in New York State. I befriended the president of the history club last year and she told me over winter break that the club was going to Washington, D.C. later that spring. She knew I was a huge history buff and asked if I might want to go. I had wanted to go to Washington, D.C. since I was in fifth grade. I wanted to see the Washington Monument and the original Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, along with all the spectacular monuments. This was one of those “yeah that would be cool, but I’ll probably never do it” moments. But then I went…


It was one of the best trips I’d taken in years and was everything that I expected it to be. I also met some people that became my best friends this year and became a full time member of the history club. We are going to Philadelphia in April, another place I’ve always wanted to go. The whole trip just opened my eyes as to what I had the ability to do now.

In November of this year, I was told about “Alternative Spring Break” that SUNY Oswego offers. I’d heard about it before, where students have volunteered to go down to New Orleans to help in the still on-going repairs from Hurricane Katrina. I was told that the trips this year were going to Mississippi, Alabama, and Iowa. I thought, “Well, I’ve never been to those states before” and I love helping people so for only $150, I was gladly able to jump on that band wagon. I was placed in the Alabama group, which is volunteering for Habitat For Humanity and I leave for that in just a few days.


I’m hoping to go international next year, whether it be the international trips that Alternative Spring Break offers or a Communications quarter class where students can go to Paris or London over spring break.

I never even imagined I’d be doing any of these things during my college years. I’ve come to realize that now is when I have the time, the expenses are right, and the overall experience is always worth it. SUNY Oswego and college itself offers so much to do in a little four year span. All you have to say is “Yes.” In terms of my joy of traveling, it’s a wonder to think of all the places I’ve gone and all the places I might go, all because I decided to go to SUNY Oswego.



Os “WE GO”: Gabrielle Reimann – “She Is Everywhere”

If you happen to attend history club on Tuesday evenings, after a possibly long session of a Student Association meeting, or walk through the Campus Center at 6:55 on a Saturday morning, it is impossible to avoid the welcoming face of Gabrielle Reimann.

Reimann is a junior at SUNY Oswego and is a dual major in history and political science. In her two and a half years here, Reimann has defined campus student involvement and charisma, for purposes benefiting both her own personal life and the college as a whole. Many people that know her know that she doesn’t sit still for very long. She is a member of the Political Science Club, a two-term president of the History Club, a recently inducted SA senator, a member of VEGA, the Junior-Senior Women’s Honor Society, and an employee of Campus Life, who works as a building manager  in Campus Center. She does all of this while also finding a spot on the President’s List for her grades last semester.

“I had the privilege of having Gabrielle in my beginning poetry writing class,” English and creative writing professor Charles Itzen said. “She was an excellent writer and tremendous role model for the other students. Gabrielle has really taken advantage of the multitude of educational and professional opportunities at SUNY Oswego. She is everywhere. I used to joke with her that the college will probably have to close when she graduates. She certainly represents the best of SUNY Oswego.”

Reimann during her induction ceremony for VEGA, SUNY Oswego's Junior senior Honor Soceity

Reimann during her induction ceremony for VEGA, SUNY Oswego’s Junior-Senior  Women’s Honor Society

When she is at her home in Somers, New York when school is not in session, Reimann works at a day camp, various retail stores, Subway, and is a certified EMT and volunteers for emergency services.

“Gabbi is one person I know who has been through a lot but still manages to do absolutely everything she can,” History Club vice president Jackie Giotta said. “She lets nothing stop her.  She truly does not let one thing bring her down, and she rises high above all of that.”

 Over this past winter break, Reimann interned at the American Museum of  Natural History in New York City and at age 19, was even offered a job by Al Jazeera, an Arab satellite television network.

“I want to be in a classroom teaching somewhere, probably in a school that’s not well off because in a country where so much is expected from us, so many kids don’t get the adequate education and attention they need. If I can change the academic success of one kid, that’s one future I can help,” Reimann said.

As if she doesn’t do a lot as it is, Reimann said that she would still like to find time in her schedule to pledge Alpha Phi Omega, national coeducational leadership service organization, and join SAVAC (Student Association Volunteer Ambulance Corps.) Reimann will also be spending her spring break in Florence Alabama, volunteering for Habit for Humanity, an international organization that builds affordable houses for low income families.

“If you want to be successful and you want to be a well rounded individual, the person people look at and say, ‘hey, this person is in control of what she wants to do and she wants to make something of herself,’ you have to make sacrifices, which might be really time consuming, to develop your resume and learn things that you don’t know,” Reimann said. “Because every day’s a learning experience so the only way you’re going to learn to the extent that you want to is to go out and do stuff.”

Welcome Post


My name is Luke Parsnow and I am a junior at Oswego State. I am a double major in journalism and creative writing and a minor in history with a concentration in American history. I am from Sterling, New York which is only 12 miles from Oswego.

I have been a writer since I could learn how to write. Arguably, I was a writer even before then. My grandmother predicted that I would be a writer when I was three days old, the day I came home from the hospital and the first time she held me. And I have since, not disappointed her. I started writing seriously when I was in second grade. I actually wrote to my teachers and asked them if I could come in early before school started and use the computer to type up my stories since I didn’t have a computer at the time (I live on a dirt road in the woods.) And when my household finally DID get our first computer, the latest and greatest 1989 Windows 3.0 special…in 2003, I didn’t use it for the things all my friends were using it for. While they used it for gaming and things called chat rooms, I used Microsoft Word to write my stories. I wrote my first novel when I was ten and have since completed seven others. When I was 12, I began to learn to play the mandolin and guitar at 14 and soon took my writing to a new form: songwriting. I’ve recorded some of the songs I’ve written and some have been played on the radio out of Kingston, Ontario.

At SUNY Oswego, I wrote for The Oswegonian my first two years of school. This year, I became the Assistant News Editor and have written nearly 50 articles for the paper, along with editing other stories. Besides The Oswegonian, I’ve been published in the newspaper’s semeserly sports magazine, The Play Maker and The Legislative Gazette, a government and politics newspaper out of Albany. One of my creative stories was also published in SUNY Oswego’s student arts magazine, The Great Lake Review.

So now as a student blogger, I will continue to write in another new form. I will be bringing to you students that have made something of themselves at Oswego State and are sure to prosper later on in their life. Oswego is not just a state school on the edge of a lake that dumps a ton of snow on it. Oswego is a gem and a lot of great people are building their futures here. I will seek out them and tell their story because everyone has a story. And I will tell my story in between, along the way.