SUNY Oswego Student Interns- A Day in the Life (Part 2)

SUNY Oswego senior Melissa Blok is completing a semester long internship at Morning Star Residential Care Center in Oswego, New York. Melissa will be receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in human development this May 2020. Following graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to complete her Masters Degree in social work. While she is still deciding between graduate schools, Melissa is taking every possible step to acquaint herself with this field. At Morning Star Residential Care Center, she works closely with their social services director which has been extremely beneficial to her as she is able to become more accustomed with different experiences and responsibilities that she may encounter throughout her future career endeavors. 

Blok begins her early morning shifts with an iced latte and a brief meeting with her director. “I am lucky enough to intern somewhere that has a community-like environment. Faculty are all extremely friendly with one another and treat each other with respect,” said Melissa when asked about their company culture. Her daily responsibilities vary but she regularly conducts mood assessment tests on the nursing home residents which requires asking a series of questions about their sleeping patterns, mood changes, etc. She then records their responses and if they acknowledge symptoms, she records the frequency of those symptoms. Melissa also spends a lot of her time checking in on residents who feel lonely or upset by speaking with them and allowing them to confide in her. “These are two very important tasks because a lot of responsibility is in my hands.” 

This internship experience has provided Melissa with a new sense of determination regarding her future education and career path. Working in this environment further solidified her goals as she is looking forward to embarking on her journey of becoming a certified social worker. Blok shares, “This experience is a perfect stepping stone for my future career but the most valuable lesson that I have learned is that life is so short but so precious.”

*Editor’s note: Melissa’s internship has been suspended due to current events but she is thankful to have had such an informative experience.

Social Distancing as a Student – Tips for Positivity & Focus (Part 3)

Alexa Christy, a sophomore in SUNY Oswego’s Early Childhood Education program, has been adjusting to life with her family back on Long Island. In the midst of a global pandemic, Alexa was able to share her tips for surviving social distancing and making online learning more manageable without Penfield Library to rely on.  

“At first, I needed some time to reflect on the situation at hand. Once I approached it from a more calm, organized place, I felt a lot less overwhelmed and ready to handle my responsibilities even under these unexpected conditions.” Alexa considers her mornings to be very important because they set the course for her day, “It’s so easy to lose your sleeping schedule completely right now. Try setting a time frame, by doing this you will hold yourself accountable and ensure that you’re completing your duties on time and avoiding procrastination which leads to becoming overwhelmed and stressed out.” Alexa loves to start her day with a green smoothie and tea with lemon. When the weather is nice, she has breakfast outside to clear her headspace and get some sun before logging on to Blackboard for the next few hours. By setting deadlines, she has found more success in completing her assignments, even when her house is noisy. 

Alexa admits that she has spent a large portion of her social distancing experience binge watching her favorite series online (she recommends The Vampire Diaries), but she tries to balance this out with yoga, study hours, and staying in touch with family and friends. “Balance is key, you don’t have to be incredibly hard on yourself right now. Staying safe and healthy should be your priority, everything else is an accomplishment and you should remember to give yourself credit for handling everything going on and still doing your best!”

Social Distancing as a Student – Tips for Positivity & Focus (Part 2)

Nina Agnello, a senior in SUNY Oswego’s Psychology program, has been busy working towards receiving her Bachelor’s degree under these unique circumstances. This is a fearful time in the world, and for students, added stress on academic routines can make everything seem much more nerve wracking. Taking our situation one step at a time is essential for maintaining normalcy and a better state of mind. 

Nina has shared some of her tips for staying safe, healthy & positive under social distancing. “It’s been difficult to keep up with a normal routine since we are all social distancing but every morning I make a healthy breakfast (whole wheat toast with avocado and a sunny side up egg with everything but the bagel seasoning and side of non fat greek yogurt) and a cup of coffee and do a little work each day so I keep on top of my school work and internship duties from home.” Establishing a morning routine can be a huge help while transitioning to a new living situation. Nina also explains how she stays busy while maintaining her health, “I try to workout or do yoga to keep my physical and mental health in check. At night I love to drive and watch the sunsets! I try to keep in touch with my friends and family as much as possible to keep me sane and busy.”

Nina offered a variety of tips for college students including using a planner religiously, setting daily times for work, and taking breaks to keep your mind clear and refreshed (try sitting outside rather than binge watching netflix every single day). What she emphasized most intensely was taking the days slowly and being gentle with yourself. Everyone is facing a battle, “Just remember that this too, shall pass. I know it’s a dark time for many people, so it’s so important to reach out to loved ones and check on them, and make sure you have loved ones checking on you!”

Social Distancing as a Student – Tips for Positivity & Focus

Ashley Marchica, a graduating senior here at SUNY Oswego is looking forward to receiving her B.A. in psychology in just a few short weeks. Despite the challenging times we are currently facing, students all over the world are working towards maintaining their academic pursuits while transitioning to meeting the recommended social distancing regulations. While we extend our best efforts to flatten the curve, it is crucial that we still prioritize our academic and personal routines as best as we can. In order to preserve our health, both physical and mental, and continue following plans to achieve our long term goals, we must focus our efforts and approach this hardship with a positive attitude and an organized mind set. 

Ashley will be attending graduate school in the Fall and definitely understands the importance of self discipline. In a brief interview, she shared some of her best tips for staying on track with online learning, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and prioritizing happiness during this uneasy time. Ashley shares, “It’s been pretty hard to follow a routine of any kind during social distancing but I try my best to set aside specific times during the day to focus in school and focus on myself.”

Her favorite breakfast has been 2 eggs over easy with a piece of avocado toast. She recommends trying your best to eat healthy, drinking a lot of water, and exercising when you can. Ashley has been going on daily walks by the lake and watching the sunset to get some fresh air and her heart rate up. She also emphasized taking extra time for self care, which she prefers to demonstrate through face masks, facetiming with her friends, crafting, and listening to good music.

Ashley is one of many SUNY Oswego students facing this challenge with a positive mindset and an honorable dedication to her academics. Above all, being patient with yourself and doing your best is sometimes all you can do, and that’s okay. “This is a really difficult time to live through no matter who you are, where you live, or what your age is. In order to stay positive and keep a positive mindset I tell myself that this will be over one day and that what’s coming is greater than what we have lost.”

Student Interns: a Day in the Life

SUNY Oswego students participate in a variety of internship programs to gain experience within their intended career fields as well as earn credits towards their degree progression. With the wide range of B.A. programs offered at our university, it is interesting to analyze the internships that students gravitate towards and to develop new perspectives on the knowledge that they are able to attain through these experiences. 

Senior Jenny Carr will be receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in human development this May 2020. She is currently an occupational therapy intern at Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center in Oswego, New York. Jenny decided to take us along with her on a typical day of interning to share some valuable information about her ventures working alongside local occupational therapists.

Carr typically arrives at her workplace at 10 a.m. with a hot coffee in hand. She walks in the double door entrance of the facility and is greeted by a therapy dog named Lincoln which she describes as “the perfect way to start a productive work day”. She reports to her designated area of the gym floor space where she assists occupational therapists caring for patients suffering from physical disabilities. These individuals struggle to complete basic tasks in their daily lives such as using the restroom, opening doors and getting dressed. “Some of my main tasks include assisting patients back to the therapists and setting them up by making them feel comfortable and preparing a hot pack for them until their therapist is ready to start treatment”. 

Since beginning her internship at Fyzical Therapy & Balance Center, Jenny has felt more connected than ever to her career goals of becoming a certified occupational therapist. Witnessing the powerful results of occupational therapy is both inspiring and demonstrates just how beneficial this field of work is. This experience has provided both valuable practice and a positive introduction to this type of professional setting. She is more motivated than ever to continue her education and work towards receiving her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. “As an intern, It’s important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere and that nothing worthwhile comes easy!”

Identity and Expression: Takeaways from SUNY Oswego’s Visit from Winston Duke

With the end of my senior year of college creeping up and with 3 years at college behind me, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a lot of incredible things at college. However, an unexpected highlight came a few weeks ago at this year’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. 

SUNY Oswego brought in “Black Panther” and “Us” actor Winston Duke. Duke is widely known for his portrayal of M’baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the student excitement over his appearance was palpable. I remember last spring semester when tickets to “Avengers: Endgame” went on sale, I bought opening night tickets with 15 of my friends. We all watched the film in the sold out Oswego Cinema until 2am. Watching the climax of that film, with a whole theater full of college students cheering and crying, was one of my favorite memories of the last four years. When my university brought in one of the actors from that film series, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to cover it. 

Winston Duke was unlike any other guest speaker I have ever witnessed. The energy he harnessed from the student body was palpable. As he entered the stage, he was greeted by the cheer of the crowd all yelling his name, while he continuously hyped them up. That energy continued throughout his time onstage, as the students were exceedingly responsive to his presence. This was exemplified in his proclamation of “You guys cheer at the most random things. PANCAKES.” Cue tremendous applause.

Having grown up in Trinidad and later having been raised in Rochester, NY, Duke spoke so closely to the experiences of the students at SUNY Oswego. In the discussion led by Theatre Department faculty member Mya Brown, the crowd listened in as Duke talked about the impact of being an immigrant and finding your identity as a young adult with those circumstances. As a college student, you assume that those that have found success have always had their path laid out or figured out. It was so moving to hear from an acclaimed actor that not only did he go to a SUNY undergrad like ourselves, but he also changed majors numerous times before he landed on acting. “There is no answer. I never knew this is what I wanted to do.”

At this point in our lives as college students, we are all so closely in search of who we are and who we want to be in this life. The concept of identity is such a clouded thing at this point in my own life and the lives of my peers. The heart of the MLK event is the celebration of identities and the diversity that encompasses the numerous identities of our student body. Duke discussed his struggles with racism early in his life, sexualization following his fame, as well as the struggle that he faced when breaking into the film industry with casting agents labelling him certain ways based on his appearance. He encouraged us to “be aware of the narrative your body tells and take control of that.” Things like masculinity and femininity don’t need to be displayed in specific ways.

A Different Kind of Valentine

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to celebrating love and all things sweet. February 14th is a perfect day to reflect on our special relationships and all of the ways that we spread love to those around us. 

The concept of love however, is not contained to one particular notion. Some of the purest forms of love entail acts that challenge popular traditions often associated with today. While a card, box of chocolates, or bouquet of flowers speak volumes, it is interesting to explore other unique and meaningful ways to share the love this Valentine’s Day. Many SUNY Oswego students take the initiative to spread love and positivity all year long, and their altruistic efforts launch a continuous reaction of kindness within our community. 

One program that inspires our students to give back through generous acts of volunteer work is Adopt a Grandparent. This organization supplies transportation to student volunteers, bringing them to local nursing homes where they spend time with their residents and help organize a variety of activities intended to help them relax, have fun, and form special connections with one another. 

Bradley Stoyell, a sophomore at SUNY Oswego, kindly took the time to answer a few questions about his experience as a group leader for the Adopt a Grandparent Program. His reflection on the many meaningful opportunities he has gained through this position can give us all an important reminder of the abundance of different types of love we can display in this world. 

Bradley explained the work that Adopt a Grandparent does with Saint Luke’s nursing home and emphasized the significance of the special bonds created between their residents and the student volunteers. He shared how positive their group experiences are while working with a kind staff who cares deeply for their residents and how rewarding building these relations can be.

When asked about his most memorable experience spreading love in the Oswego community, Stoyell shared a story about the time he and a friend noticed a flustered elderly woman at a local gas station who could not find her way home. He explained that through his experience with Adopt a Grandparent, he’s worked with a variety of residents suffering from dementia or other cognitive loss which allowed him to recognize similar symptoms in this woman. By staying calm, he was able to retrieve her address and get her home safely. Bradley shared, “this was a huge way of spreading love in the community because I was able to see how loved she felt at that moment.”

Valentine’s Day can have many different meanings, but taking the time to recognize our students who continuously spread love and care within our community feels extra meaningful. The selfless work that is completed by student volunteers like Bradely Stoyell allows for a happier, safer, and more loving environment and that, is a beautiful thing. While February 14th only comes once a year, let’s follow in Bradely’s footsteps and dedicate more time to sharing smiles year round and giving a new meaning to the word love. 

Clozet Sale

On Friday January 31st and Saturday February 1st, the SUNY Oswego Office of Sustainability hosted a pop-up thrift store in Hewitt Union. Over 1,800 pounds of donated goods from Residence Halls were sold. These items included clothing, dorm necessities, and garments to keep warm! All proceeds went to purchasing trees to plant for Arbor Day on April 24th.

Students helped organize the clothing onto racks
Student volunteers worked together to sell the donated items
All sorts of donated items were available for the student budget!

My Life in a Nutshell

Hey guys! I’m Michelle Borukhov and I am currently a senior here at SUNY Oswego. I am a graphic design major with a double minor in communication and social interaction and business administration. I live in Queens, New York and New York City is and always will be my home. Some of my favorite things to do are arts and crafts, dancing, cheerleading, hang out with friends, and just have an overall good time. Here at SUNY Oswego, I have participated on the Oswego State Cheerleading team, where we got 10th in the country at NCA Collegiate Nationals, and currently work at Pathfinder Dining Hall. Both experiences have shaped me into the person I am now and will always be a huge part of my time here at Oswego. After the end of my time here in Oswego in May 2020, I have not decided whether I want to continue my studies at a graduate school or enter the workforce. My main interests are advertising and social media marketing. I would like to combine my love for art and business in a position that could be both fun and rewarding. I would love to work in a company that has to do with sports or makeup. I have been very interested in both and having a job that has something to do with them would be the dream. I know that living in the city definitely has its perks at working at a cool company that has what I want.