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As you may or may not know, I have been a Student Government Association (SGA) member since my first-year as a Senator. Over the years I have served twice as the Vice President of Student Affairs! This past semester I ran for the President of SGA and was recently elected by the student body for the academic year of 2013-14. I am relieved to say that all the hard work and sleepless nights working on my campaign and speeches has certainly paid off. It is an honor for me to serve the Simmons College student body to ensure that the student voice is heard.
There are many responsibilities that come with my new position. I am excited to work with more student leaders and leaders of Simmons College next year. One of the many things I am looking forward to is planning the Women's College Week. Through this week of celebration, I hope to bring the Simmons College community closer through integrated events. I can't wait to lead students in hot topic discussions during the forums!
I am a strong believer in embracing and increasing diversity, being inclusive, building community, and advocating for equality; all of which was part of my presidential campaign (DICE, Diversity, Inclusive, Community, Equality). I will take these strong values to help lead Simmons College to raise its awareness and celebrate each other in our community. Stay tuned for more!
Staff from Facilities enjoyed ice cream during an ice cream social held by Class Council 2014 .
Class council meets Junior year! This year feels much different than the last two, though. Why, you may ask? Well, as first-years, class council is responsible for planning Winter Wonderland, described on the college website as: "Before students leave for winter break, Bartol Dining Hall is revamped for a community feast. Faculty and students fill the dining hall, as the College president cuts the turkey. The residence halls are decorated with lights and ribbons by their hall councils to complete the winter wonderland feeling".
As sophomores, class council directs their efforts toward putting together the May Day celebration: "Simmons's oldest annual student tradition, when sophomores serenade the seniors at the break of dawn with pots, pans, and noisemakers. Festivities include a maypole dance at dawn, tree planting, and a strawberry shortcake breakfast".
Senior year is usually filled with the most events, such as "Octoberfest", the "Senior Faculty Toast" and senior week events. However, Junior year does not have any traditional big event, but class council 2014 is thinking about creating one! And even though we do not have a "traditional junior class" event to plan, we are going to have a lot of other events throughout the year.
In fact, we have already hosted our first event of the semester - a welcome back ice cream social for all Simmons students! It was held on Thursday September 13th on the Residence Campus Quad. It was a sunny day, with a high of 82 degrees - the perfect day for ice cream. My favorite part was that not only did Simmons students cool down with ice cream, but so did Simmons staff!
The new Eboard of SGA '12-'13 (from right to left):
Like Minds Co-Chair: Amy Concannon, VP of Finance Elect: Abigail Field, VP of Student Affairs: Sandy Lor (me), VP of Internal Affairs: Roxanne Groomer, President: Stormy Walker, VP of Communications: Chloe Davis, VP of Academic Affairs: Priyal Goyal, VP of Finance: Kaleigh Duggan, Like Minds Co-Chair: Ahalia Persaud (not pictured: VP of Marketing: Megan Chamberlin)
Simmons College Leadership Recognition Ceremony is an event at Simmons hosted by the Student Government Association where student leaders are recognized. This year's theme was Students Celebrating Students and is one of my favorite events at Simmons!
Molly Maidman, the VP of Academic Affairs for 2011-2012, and I have been planning the LRC for five months to celebrate the hard work of our peers! It was such a magical event and it was great to see everyone come together and celebrate each other. I learned so much from Molly this year, and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to work with her! Believe me when I say, she is amazing!
If you can't tell already, I love SGA and the people that I work with. The Executive Board this year is one of the strongest E-boards that I have ever been a part of. Everyone truly cares about each other and we really support each other. I am so glad that I was part of something so special. This year I was reelected as the the VP of Student Affairs, and I am honored that the student body is putting their trust in me to voice and address their concerns. After one year of experience serving as a senator and my previous experience of being the VP of Student Affairs, I definitely have some new goals for myself for the upcoming year.
Goals for my position as the VP of Student Affairs:
In this video is the new SGA E-Board 2012-2013 for the upcoming academic year!
Congratulations to all the student leaders and all the award recipients! Molly and I extend our special thanks to our advisor Susan Chudd, Director of Office of Student Leadership & Activities the SGA 2011-2012 E-Board members, the Simmons staff, administrators, and the Office of Student Life that supported us and made this event possible!
Here is a quick video of some ASGA friends we made from Alabama at Independence Hall in the historical city of Philly!
Hey all! It's been a while since I've been on my blog! I'll probably be posting more often now since I have to fill you in on everything that has been going on! :) As you may or may not recall, I am the Vice President of Student Affairs of the Student Government Association and two weeks ago, I had the great opportunity to attend the American Student Government Association (ASGA) Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the President of Simmons SGA, Samantha Schenk! It was such a great and eye opening experience for me. There were over 15 different colleges from all over the country who came, and I made some great friends there that I know I will keep in touch with; especially to connect about student government!
Going into the conference, I didn't know what to expect. All I knew was that I was excited to learn how to improve our student government, and I was interested as to how other colleges and institutions ran their SGAs. To my surprise, many of the colleges had a completely different student government system compared to ours! Some SGAs were made up of 15 people while others included 130 members! During the workshops, I learned how to get the SGA more known on campus, and I received many tips to improve voting outcome and encouragement of contested elections.
A presenter talked about branding SGA on campus. One of his (more radical) ideas was to create a charity/community service event where the SGA Executive-Board would wear business attire to the event, strip down to the underwear, SPRINT back to their dorm and wear SGA under wears that say "SGA...We've got you covered"! This blew everyone's mind.
Philadelphia was a blast! Wish you could've been there!
I had an amazing spring break! Simmons' Scott/Ross center once again set up a great program to spend spring break volunteering around Boston. The name of the program was Boston Immersion, and I got to work with students of the Colleges Of the Fenway, including Emmanuel College and Wheelock College. We were a group of ten this year, and slept over at Emmanuel.
During the day we were volunteering and getting to know the area better and at night, we would lead reflections about our experience. The theme this year was Children in Poverty. We worked with non profit organizations like Nazareth House, the Tobin Community Center, Jumpstart, and Cradles to Crayons! The experience was really eye-opening.
Continue reading Alternative Spring Break: Boston Immersion.
Through the Scott/Ross Center, I am the Student Director of Gateway, which is currently a tutoring and mentoring program for a selected group at the John D. O'Bryant School. Gateway is a pilot program founded in New York that offers college access workshops and academic assistance. Incoming high school freshmen apply for this program and out a pool of applicants, fifty students are chosen. The partnership between Simmons College and the John D. O'Bryant allows me to be the person who recruits the tutors and mentors for our program.
Last year, Gateway was more focused on the tutoring aspect of the program and we sort of let the mentoring part of it just happen. Because I had origninally wanted to create a new mentoring program, Dr. Steve London, the Supervisor of the Scott/Ross Center and also a Professor of Sociology, thought, why not do it through Gateway? About this time last year, the Gateway Team and I decided to meet weekly to come up with a proposal for a mentoring program. Through numerous revisions and multiple meetings, my team and I was able to get our proposal approved by the site supervisor of Gateway at the O'Bryant! The Gateway facilitator, Danielle Ehrnstein, and I worked together to complete a grant by the Simmons Centennial Grant funded by the Simmons Board of Trustees. We successfully received funding for our mentoring program!
Mentoring means a great deal to me. I can honestly say that without my mentors in my life, I wouldn't be able to achieve all that I have today. I had a great mentor throughout my high school years, who is still one of my great mentors, Mr. Richard Vaughn, that guided me towards my goals and helped encourage me when I needed it the most. Mr. Vaughn introduced me to new opportunities, and he challenged me to take a risk with what I wanted to do. He was my inspiration in creating a mentoring program like Gateway Mentoring.
I know what it is like to feel lost and want to succeed and if I can ever have an impact in another student and be even a small percentage of what Mr. Vaughn was to me to another student, then this program would definitely have been successful and worth all the hard work! Maybe someday, they too can help another person and guide them to their goals. :)
Mentees Visit Simmons!
This week my mentees were on their winter break and they decided to shadow me in my classes and activities! I am very excited for them to see what college life is like. I feel like it gives them something to look forward to and work towards. I asked my mentees to prepare a reflection on their experience at Simmons and one of my mentees, Jennyde, agreed to let me share her experience on my blog!
February 23rd, 2012
Shadowing at Simmons College
I personally think that the gateway Mentor and tutoring program is a great opportunity for young students like me to get ahead and stay ahead. On Wednesday, I had a chance to shadow a fellow student at Simmons College. To get a feel on the college life was an excellent experience for me. I'm glad I took advantage of that day and asked questions that seemed to be bothering me about the whole college process as well as what I can do as a sophomore in high school to begin to prepare myself for the near future.
Who knew I would ever step foot in a few college classes as a high school student. I got to sit and observe students as they reviewed for an exam. Their note-taking, study habits and different ways of preparation was impressive. The ambition that each student had was clearly visible and truly skillful. One class that I really liked was Student Government Association. What I liked most about it was that I was able to hear the concerns from the students, their thoughts and what seemed to bother them as well as ideas and new ways to maybe improve their stay and education at Simmons. What really caught my attention was their "Hot topic". They spoke about stress and different ways to solve the issue. I really enjoyed that because it was all so real. I kind of understood what the students were saying and was able to relate.
Would I do this again? No doubt about it. In fact, I think that every student should be able to participate in some kind of experience like this one where they can familiarize themselves with their future, so when the time comes, they will not only be ready but they would already be given the knowledge and guidance of refinement.
Over the past week, during my Spring Break, I had the privilege to travel to Waynesburg, PA to build a home for a family in need alongside Habitat for Humanity. My friend and I led 12 other women on a successful week of putting up siding, building air vents, putting up wiring, and drilling electrical boxes in, just to name a few things. I don't think anyone knew how emotional this trip would be, though.
On the second to last day of work, the new owner of the home we were building, Cheryl, showed up to the site. She was in her late 60's, and had just broken her knee in the snow a few weeks earlier. Tears immediately flooded to my eyes as she struggled to walk on the gravel to bring us lunch. Talking to her during lunch made everyone smile, and made us have a greater connection for what we were actually doing for Habitat.
This family had been living in a trailer with seven people, and only two rooms. The following day, the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) team was able to meet the son and daughter that were also receiving this home, Carol and Bobby. I have never seen someone be so thankful for what they were receiving, and this family truly truly deserved the home.
On the flip side, Wednesday, and some of Thursday, the ASB group headed to another work site for demolition of an old house that was going to be re-built. When we arrived, the owner of the house we were tearing down was there, and said to us, "Thank you for taking out my trash." But, as we took everything out of the house, we found children's toys, army outfits, and memories that really should not have been thrown out, but we were doing as we were told, and tried to keep in mind that this man and his family were going to receive a better home.
For many of us, the army outfit, the toys, and the fact that the children were only six and seven years old, and at least one had Autism, really hit home and made us emotional. On the second day of demolition, only half the group went to help out, and we tore down walls, and watched as the house turned into a hollow home made of wood. It looked like a tornado had just blown through, but it was just us that were using crowbars and hammers to tear everything in site down. It wasn't fun.
On the last day of the trip, and while we got back on the plane to head back to Boston, each one of us had a new sense of ourselves, and of humanity, and why helping our community should be a huge part of everyone's lives. Simmons College was a huge help this year in supporting us, as they helped us reach our fundraising goal, and allowed us to go on this journey, and learn more about each other, ourselves, and the Greene County in which we were in. It was truly a life-changing experience that I would recommend to everyone.
On Wednesday, February 1st, I attended the 20th Annual Clothesline Project after the SGA forum. My friend, Sasha P (who was also in the Simmons World Challenge class) helped organize this event. It was such an emotional event and I wanted to take the time to share this with you if you missed it.
I feel that it is important to acknowledge that violence is still occurring in society today and it should not be avoided nor should it be ignored. For you and me, it may just be another headline in the news but these stories are real and the people who are hurting need help. Some people suffer every day, whether it be physically or mentally, and I think that it's important to support events like these to let the survivors and people who are struggling with domestic violence know that we are working towards moving forward to educate each other and end violence one person at a time.
Below is a description of the Clothesline Project:
"The Clothesline Project is a visual display which bears witness to domestic violence and sexual assault. it is comprised of a series of color-coded shirts hung on a clothesline. Each shirt is decorated to represent a person's experience of rape, incest, battery, or homophobia; or as a tribute to someone who has been murdered. The shirts are decorated by the survivors themselves or by their loved ones. The Clothesline Project was initiated by a group of women in 1990 on Cape Cod , and it has grown throughout the country."
Yellow or Beige- For people who have been battered or assaulted
Red, Pink, or Orange- For people who have been raped or sexually assaulted
Blue or Green- For survivors of incest or child abuse
Purple or lavender- For people attacked because of their sexual orientation
White- For people who have died in violence
Pictured above is the T-shirt Raising where they add new shirts to the collection.
Wow! I don't know about everyone else, but this fall semester has really gotten me beat! I honestly really feel that I learned and grew so much as a person this year. I learned things about myself that I truly value and I also know not to study on my bed anymore. I am going to take all the things that I learned and apply it positively to next semester.
I feel like often times, I have to look back at the person I was when I was a little girl because that girl I knew, had so much passion and determination. And it's not to say that I don't have motivation, it's just that sometimes, I lose sight of what I really want and get distracted. My older sister, Chaoy, told me that college is an experience that I can use to learn how to put distractions aside and just focus. I believe that is something I have been struggling with this semester and I hope I can learn the tricks on how to do it soon!
My plan for next semester is to stay more organized. I plan to make a huge poster of my goals to remind me everyday what I need to be focusing on. I mean to you, it might seem like I'm all work, and no play, but for me, this is fun! I enjoy working towards my goals and I love school and all the great opportunities that come with it!
Like many people I know, I won't be actually taking time off to relax during winter break. I am trying to obtain 60 hours of shadowing my dentist and orthodontist in a week and a half before I go back to Simmons. I am also enrolled in the two-week World Challenge; Living on the Edge of Poverty winter course at Simmons in January! (I will blog more about this in another entry.)
I am applying to many pre-dental summer programs and summer research experiences for undergraduates during the winter; I wanted to try this new thing where I don't do too many things at once, but I don't think I'm making much of an effort to really do that. I really hope things work out!
Upcoming school-wide events in the Spring Semester 2012!
SGA: Student Affairs Officer
- Plan & Host Connections Carnival, student organization fair (January 25th, 2012)
- Plan & Co-host with Academic Affairs Officer: Molly Maiden Student Leadership Recognition Ceremony (May 3rd, 2012
- More Judicial Cabinet meetings!
What are your plans for the winter?
As I mention frequently in my previous blogs, I've always enjoyed drawing and painting as a child. The arts allowed me to express myself in a way I felt that I couldn't do otherwise, and as I grew up, I began to develop an interest in the sciences and the chemistry of life.
Now that I am a college student, I want to seek a career that fits my interests. It was never brought to my attention that there was a field dedicated to the arts and sciences until I began working with Dr. Leonard Soltzberg, who is currently retired, in the Simmons College Chemistry labs.
Nnennaya, a junior majoring in chemistry, and I were selected from a pool of applicants last spring semester and began working this fall. This research will continue through next semester. Nnennaya and I both recently applied for a student research grant individually to help fund more materials for the research, so cross your fingers for us!
The research that we are involved with is in collaboration with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) involving the identification of dyes used in 19th-20th century Japanese block prints. The objective of this research deals with the history of Japanese art and whether or not synthetic dyes were used during the 19th to early 20th century. Learning the history behind the art is important to understanding the cultural background, as well as potentially authenticating a work of art. For example, if our research shows that there were only natural dyes used during that era, then any Japanese painting from that time should not contain synthetic manufactured dyes. If a work did contain a synthetic dye then it can be concluded that it was not an authentic Japanese block print from the late 19th and early 20th century and was created after that time period. We're pretty much crime scene investigators for the MFA. :)
I am so grateful for this opportunity! Each day at work is like a fun day of a fun class! What I love about it most is that I can say anything and not be afraid about being wrong and I especially love that I don't have to worry about getting a grade! I am getting paid for this Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) funded by the Dreyfus Research and I am learning so much!
Pictured below is a Japanese block print sample from the MFA.
My science background:
I am a sophomore standing college student, and I have taken many science courses including Intro to Chemistry 113, Intro to Biology 113, Environmental Science Biology 104, Organic Chemisty 114, and I am currently enrolled in Organic Chemistry 225. I am currently participating in Dr. Richard Gurney's Organic Chemistry 114 & 225 research integrated course. I have developed and learned laboratory techniques such as: safety, scaling of a chemical reaction, recrystallization, preparation of a chemical synthesis, thin layer chromatography (TLC), melting point, rotovap, distillation, Carbon13 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (CNMR), Hydrogen Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (HNMR), and Infrared Spectrometry (IR). I have maintained a Wiki page documenting the laboratory techniques I have learned. I am a highly motivated student and I have made the Dean's list this past year.
Read more about the research:
Continue reading Crime Scene Investigator: Museum of Fine Arts.