Student Teaching Makes The Difference

Two of my best friends here at Oswego are Education majors who are super passionate about what they do and what they will do in the future. Olivia Grecco and Rachel Fogel spend a lot of their time grading papers and making lesson plans for their students.

Although the Pandemic threw a wrench in their plans for student teaching in person, they’re still getting a lot out of the virtual experience each week. Hopefully this won’t be something they have to prepare for again in the future but the way school works in person may be changed forever and they are getting experience with it now as students.

Olivia is a Childhood Education major with a concentration in English. As a Junior here at Oswego she was super excited to have her first year of student teaching, even though it wasn’t how she expected.

I talked to Olivia about her experiences with student teaching, “It provides us with real world experiences of what we hope to pursue in the future,” she said. “I am grateful for student teaching as it allows us to foster connections with both current teachers and students.”

Olivia is super passionate about all things in life and I can see her being the most amazing teacher. Whenever any obstacle is thrown at her she finds the best way to overcome and keep going. I am grateful for our friendship and so excited to see her grow as a student and future educator.

Rachel Fogel is a Senior at Oswego who plans to come back for a 5th year to complete her Masters. Oswego has given her countless friendships and memories that she wants to continue to make here. Oswego has given Rachel so many opportunities and she is so excited for what’s to come.

“Student teaching gets us more involved in a classroom,” she said. “It gives us more experience and knowledge on what a real classroom would be like. It also helps us learn about the different kinds of learners there are to help us better adapt in the future.”

I have seen Rachel get so excited about her students submitting work and just participating and trying in general. Virtual learning is not easy for anyone and it really shows when the student isn’t motivated.

Rachel is a double major in Adolescent Education and English and spends a lot of her free time writing papers of her own and preparing things for her next week of student teaching. She is so passionate about her students and how much they have improved over the course of this semester, even with all of the challenges both the students and teachers have faced.

Looking forward I am so excited to see where my friends go and believe they will be the kind of teachers to change lives and make a difference. Their passion and effort speaks louder than their words, and they will be the kind of educators that there should be more of in this world.

Student Jobs On and Off Campus

Myself and many of my friends are full-time students but we are also employed part-time. I have learned how to balance school and work while still getting to hangout with my friends. Being able to have a job when I came to college was important to me, because I have bills to pay and a car of my own.

I work off campus about 15 minutes away at a grocery store as a service desk attendant and a customer service lead. I work at the same grocery store at home so I am able to easily transfer between the two stores.

During college, I have been able to meet so many friends who work at this store too. There have been a few that are like me, that transfer from different store while they’re away at school. Most of the people I have met are actually residents in Oswego. We exchange stories all the time about how different our lives are but it is so excited to see familiar faces on campus from work.

A lot of my other friends work at the Telefund on campus at Oswego. They cold call to raise money for the campus. This money goes towards internships, study abroad programs, co-ops, and technology upgrades. Alumni can donate directly to scholarships and previous organizations that they were in while they attended Oswego.

For my friends who work here, they always talk about how much fun they have and all of the people they meet. They are now all close friends with the people they work their shifts with and spend time with them outside of work.

A big discussion for my friends and I was how important it is to us to have these friendships outside of our normal circles. Working on and off campus has given us a chance to meet so many new people, while getting paid, and attending classes.

2020 ALANA Student Leadership Conference

The multicultural atmosphere of the ALANA Student Leadership Conference gives many members of the Oswego community to learn and interact from the various programs that are presented. Celebrating its 34th year, the conference was unlike any other as all programs and events were presented in a virtual setting. This years’ theme was United First Nations and started on September 23rd through September 30th.

Day 1 of the conference kicked off with a virtual keynote from Minnijean Brown-Trickey who is one of the Little Rock Nine and is also a Civil Rights Activist. This powerful keynote was in collaboration with the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB).

Day 2 was the ALANA Alumni Leadership Virtual Panel, hosted alongside the Alumni Office Staff. This event had the return of alumni and expressing their experiences post their SUNY Oswego graduation. As well as engaging both current students and faculty alike. Moderators included student presidents from the Latino Student Union, the Caribbean Student Organization, and the African Student Organization.

The Latino Student Union hosted Day 3 with their program called “You Can’t Fight Racism with Racism.” This was an informative program and offered important information.

Day 4 of ALANA included virtual dancing! The Caribbean Student Association and the IMAGE Step Team hosted “Mi Hav Fi Move.” A fun program providing the history of dance in the Black community.

Day 5 was the annual ALANA Peace Walk hosted by the Black Student Union. This year would mark 10 years since the first peace walk took place in 2010. Due Covid-19 the Peace Walk was in a virtual platform with the founders of the first walk as the guest speakers.

Day 6 was the ARTSwego/ALANA Live Virtual Performance by Broadway performer, Mandy Gonzalez. An excellent performance with a pre-recorded duet from Gonzalez and a student from the vocal program. The President of the Asian Student Association was the student host.

Day 7 & the final day of the conference ended with a webinar with Tommy Orange, the author of “There, There.” This book was the ORI for the ALANA conference. People in attendance got the opportunity to ask questions. Tim Nekritz, Professor Mohammadi & LSU President, Jayvana Perez were the hosts.

This conference was definitely one to remember. Those that were involved put in a lot of work to provide the events and programs for the Oswego campus community. Can’t wait to see next year’s conference in Fall 2021.

Voting in 2020

The 2020 election will probably be the most historic and memorable election of our lifetime. I believe that everyone who can vote, should vote. This was my first opportunity to vote in a Presidential election.

Since I live in an off-campus residence in Oswego, I was not home in Buffalo to vote. I was able to send in my absentee ballot a few weeks back. Most of my housemates are from Long Island and the drive back would have been too far for them to vote, they participated in the election with their mail-in ballots too.

For most of my friends and myself, this was our first time being able to participate in a Presidential election. With the pandemic going on, mail-in voting was extremely popular and important this year. Some people chose this option just because it was safer, others chose it for convenience, some chose it for both.

It is still pretty early on Election Day, but there have already been record amounts of votes cast between the early voting option offered this election and people who were waiting at the polls before they even opened.

No matter who you voted for, your vote matters. The mail-in voting option could potentially decide this election because of the outside circumstances effecting each and every American. It is too soon in the day to tell, but there is a strong possibility we will not know who our President for the next four years is on election night.

Greek Life Goes Virtual

Since my second semester Freshman year, I felt as if I was very hands on within the community and on campus thanks to my sorority. Greek life is known to be very involved in giving back, it is easy for us to bring organizations together and do something good.

It also feels really good to be able to give back. I have heard a handful of stories as to how organizations choose to give back to certain non-profits because those non-profits have personally helped them at some point in their lives.

Sigma Tau Chi and Sigma Delta Tau are taking their annual ΕΔΤ with ΕΤΧ virtual this semester. This event gives back to the Ronald McDonald House which personally helped a sister when she had lost someone very close to her.

Alpha Epsilon Phi, Phi Sigma Sigma, and many other organizations created virtual fundraisers this semester and were able to gather donations by promoting the fundraisers on social media.

Greek life organizations were also able to welcome new members this semester. Even though recruiting took place online, there was no shortage in students wanting to become more involved in organizations.

A lot of things have occurred virtually rather than in person, but we wanted to make sure they still happened because they are truly milestones when joining Greek life. Events such as Bid Day and Big Little Reveal all took place over zoom. These are an important time for members to meet and bond with new members and there was no doubt in our mind that they still needed to happen.

Scenic Oswego

Oswego really does have some of the most beautiful views, from sunsets to walks in the park along the lake, you can never go wrong.

The hike to the lighthouse is a work out, but its worth it. I’d say it took my friends and I about 45 minutes on the rock trail to get out to the lighthouse. It’s really important you go on a nice day since you are going pretty far out into the water and its just you and the rock trail. If you can make it out to the lighthouse and look back at Oswego it is so nice to see the park at a different angle.

From living in Onondaga Hall for my sophomore year, to just spending time on campus and at the lake with friends, I have seen some of the best sunsets in my entire life.

I live about five minutes from Lake Erie when I’m home and have seen plenty of sunsets, but none compare to the views Oswego has given me. How close we are to the lake was definitely something I considered when choosing Oswego because it reminded me of home.

Breitbeck Park and Wright’s Landing also bring great views, especially now in the Fall. These are both great places to go for a walk along the water or around the park itself.

The Flatrocks are also a popular destination along the lake. They are the perfect spot to watch the sunset or just hangout with friends. If you visit Oswego during the summer, or even the beginning of the Fall semester, you should have a lake day and claim your spot on the rocks.

The Harbor Rail Trail is located at the corner of West Utica Street and West First Street. It is a bridge that takes you up and over Oswego River and gives you views of the lighthouse and Lake Ontario.

These are only some of the many places to go and scenic views in Oswego. Having the lake so close gives you so many opportunities to do fun things with your friends and enjoy the outdoors. Places like these will help get you out of the dorms or your house and into fresh air.

Midterms

As a first semester senior I am lucky enough to not have any midterms, but they are super common here at Oswego. Most of my friends are juggling turning in assignments while making sure they take their midterms at the correct time this week. From past experience, the best advice I could have is to not stress about them.

Midterms are a way of testing your knowledge of the class at the half way point of each semester. As a Public Relations major I have only ever experienced midterm exams in elective classes. I tend to be tested by my ability to write a paper and the information inside of it rather than exams.

After realizing the less I stressed about midterms, the better I did, I soon felt more comfortable and prepared for them. I spoke with some of my housemates and they agreed, as long as they laid out a proper amount of study time prior to the midterm, they felt comfortable and confident in taking the exam.

I have always been a terrible test taker and never felt is was an accurate way to judge what information I have absorbed in a class. I have always taken the optional written exams rather than a multiple choice when they are offered. I find writing to be much easier, even though it may take a little longer. If you think you are a better writer and this option is being offered to your class, I really do suggest trying it out.

Midterms tend to come up on everyone pretty quickly, professors included. The most common realization is that it’s already half way through the semester. Especially with the majority of classes online this semester, everything has been flying by. Midterms are a good way to pace yourself for the rest of the semester. Once you get your grade back, you can figure out what you need to look back on and study more for your next exam or final.

I suggest looking at midterms in a positive way to plan out the rest of the semester and to get yourself in the right mindset rather than a hard test that you don’t want to bother studying for.

Intern Introduction

Greetings Laker Family!

My name is Nsikak Ekong and I’m one of the Social Media Interns for the Office of Communications and Marketing. I’m currently a 2nd Semester Junior majoring in Information Science and minoring in Digital Humanities.

This is my second year at SUNY Oswego as a transfer student. I transferred from Nassau Community College with an Associates in Arts. Since arriving at Oswego I started to get in involved in a wide variety of organizations and committees. This year I’m sitting on SA Cabinet as the Director of Marketing/Photography for the Student Association. I’m also the Vice President of the African Student Organization and the Director of Marketing for the Black Student Union.

Photography is one of my favorite pastimes as I get to capture moments, nature and tell stories. During this academic year I will be sharing this photos on this platform to highlight and capture moments from around the SUNY Oswego community.

Looking forward to share this moments with all you!

5 Benefits of Online Classes

The Coronavirus Pandemic has turned the world upside down and we are all living in a time like we have never seen before. For college students, the normal on-campus lifestyle has completely changed. One of the most prominent changes are remote classes. This might put some students in a panic, but taking on online class isn’t always so bad.

  1. Flexible Schedule

Taking an online class means you don’t have to commute to class. If you’re on campus this saves you a walk in the bad weather, if you’re off campus it saves you driving time and gas.

Only some classes have a set Zoom time and even if they do it really doesn’t change much. You can still be sitting on your couch having a cup of coffee and relaxing rather than running around and getting ready in the morning.

For the classes who don’t have a set meeting time, your work revolves around whenever you’re free. If you feel like you get more accomplished at night then you could have a free day and save it until then. Or maybe you’re a morning person and can have all of your assignments done by lunch. Either way, there is a lot more flexibility in your daily schedule.

2. Improve Self-Motivation and Time-Management Skills

Online classes allow you to do a lot of things on your own time. Since you’re out of the classroom, you won’t have a professor to remind you in person when things are due. It’s up to you to keep track of due dates.

You will have to motivate yourself to do the assignments, watch the lectures, and actual absorb the information you’re learning about. Self-motivation and time-management are great life skills and would even look good on a resumé.

3. Change of Environment

When taking classes online, you have the ability to choose the learning environment that fits your needs. It could be your bedroom, your kitchen table, your living room couch, or maybe the library.

This helps you get out of the normal classroom environment. Sometimes the classroom can be dreary or even distracting. Now that you have the choice to decide where you learn, this might help you improve your focus and ability to learn.

4. Improve Technology Skills

If you’re that person who has never been good with technology, online classes will force you out of your comfort zone. You will have to learn how to use various programs and ways to access the materials to your class.

You will learn how to download materials, communicate with others online, and navigate through the lectures and assignments online. These skills may seem like a breeze for some students, but could be out of other students comfort zones. Either way, these skills will come in handy in the future whether it be more online classes or a job.

5. Improve Class Attendance

The ability to attend classes no matter what is a huge benefit to online learning. If you aren’t feeling well you don’t have to worry about the walk across campus to class or the drive in.

You will not fall behind on assignments because you won’t be forced to miss class. You can stay on top of your work while caring for yourself or someone else.

Who says you can’t attend your Zoom meeting from bed? No one. Your own health is so important in times like these and now you can focus on that while getting your work done.

Greek Life Gives Back

I believe the easiest way to describe Greek life at Oswego is that even though we are small compared to most schools, we make a big impact on each other and the community around us.

On the anniversary of 9/11, Kappa Sigma delivered baskets filled with a variety of goods to local first responders. Every Greek organization can agree it is important to give back to the community around us.

The brothers of Sigma Gamma took the time they had in quarantine to repaint their house on one of Oswego’s buisiest main streets. They paired up with the Oswego Renaissance Association and Bullseye Paint to get the project done. The men hope this is a huge step forward for not only their organization, but for the Oswego community.

The brothers also took time in mid April to deliver lunch to the Oswego Hospital to show their appreciation for the medical staff for their handwork in the midst of the pandemic.

Sigma Delta Tau and Sigma Tau Chi get together for a yearly event called, “ΣΔΤ with Sig Tau.” All of the money the organizations raise from selling breakfast food goes directly to the Ronald McDonald House. Even though both organizations host a handful of other philanthropy events, this one is extremely important to them.

Alpha Epsilon Phi hosts a yearly event called “AEPhestival.” Unfortunately this event is held annually in the Fall, and was cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus. All money raised from selling festival foods and raffle tickets is donated to both of the philanthropies.

Even though I only touched on a few of the Greek organizations on campus, there are many more who are so involved in the community and giving back. For me, giving back was a huge priority when joining Greek life and it is something I get so excited to talk about.

After holding the VP Philanthropy position on our executive board for a year I found even more opportunities for my organization to give back and get involved. Greek life gives us all so many opportunities and giving back is one of the ones we all hold close to our hearts.