Friday, January 30, 2015

Fordham Basketball Games!

This past Wednesday, my friends and I attended the Fordham men’s basketball game against the University of Rhode Island. Going to basketball games is always fun, but this season is especially exciting because 2015 marks the ninetieth anniversary of the legendary Rose Hill Gym.

Sitting in the student section at the Rose Hill Gym!
Though it isn’t quite the size of other Division 1 schools’ gyms, the Rose Hill Gym is one of the oldest in the country and is chock full of history. Because of its old hardwood floors and the close proximity of the crowd to the players, playing at the gym can be extremely intimidating. Shooting free throws is almost impossible for the opposing teams when the entire student section is essentially right on top of the court, distracting the players.

With my friends at the game (I'm wearing glasses)!
Wednesday’s game was extremely exciting. The teams were tied for the end of the second half, but, unfortunately, URI scored at the buzzer and won by a single point. Still, the Fordham Rams played very well, and everyone had a blast cheering them on. Going to basketball games and other sporting events is one of my favorite things to do as a Fordham student!

I Have Been Changed For Good

My team and I on our Winter Project to Rutledge, TN
where we worked with Glenmary Home Missioners.
If you've read this blog cover to cover (or, rather, newest to oldest post), you've probably seen many mentions of our Global Outreach (GO!) Program. For those of you unfamiliar with GO, Fordham provides a number of trips, both abroad and domestic, that focus on a combination of cultural immersion and service to the community. They go as far as Romania and as close to home as New York. Regardless of location, if you’re looking for a new perspective, Global Outreach is the program for you.

The four pillars on which GO! is founded consist of spirituality, community, social justice, and simple living. The purpose of the projects is to foster these different values and to build a strong community not only within the Fordham team itself, but also with the place they go. Each team consists of a leader, a chaperone, and ten students who are selected after a rigorous application and interview process. Over the course of several weeks, they meet periodically to prepare themselves for the trip and to form ties with one another that will be essential as they travel across the world to serve and learn.

A lot of people write about how life-changing their experiences have been (myself included); however, some Rams have been so uniquely changed that they choose to return to their service sites following their graduation. Though I’ve only known one personally (shout-out to Mark Dumond and Glenmary Home Missioners!), I’ve heard of team members returning to places like Alaska, Tennessee, Detroit, and Mississippi. Though their residences range far and wide, they’re united in their common experience: GO!

For such Fordham graduates, Global Outreach has given them a peep into the wide world of social justice. Bravely, they have continued to open this perspective beyond the two-week long experience that Fordham provides. They often return to the specific organization with which they have worked as they’ve become familiar with that community. Where the world next takes them? Nobody knows.

Just some rams and livestock.
This is one of the reasons as to why I most love Fordham. It is so unique not only in this program that so clearly impacts its students, but also in its strong encouragement for students to break the boundaries of their comfort zones. Being a compassionate member of the world is one thing; being a mover and shaker is another.

So congratulations and thank you to all those participate and have recently returned from projects. And to our students that continue missions beyond graduation? We laud you for carrying Fordham’s purpose to be “men and women for others” wide and far in your pursuit of a better world.

You can check out more about our program at

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Studying Abroad in Italy!

This past semester (Fall 2014) I was lucky enough to have the experience of a lifetime and study abroad! I spent some of the most amazing months of my life studying and living in the beautiful city of Florence, Italy.  I had taken Italian language classes for all four semesters of both my freshman and sophomores years at Fordham so Italy was an obvious choice in my case!

The process of studying abroad began in the Fall of my sophomore year, I set up a meeting with an advisor in Fordham's study abroad office (ISAP) to discuss all of my options.  I knew that I wanted to go to Italy but I was not sure what program or what city I wanted to be in.  This meeting was extremely helpful, the advisor showed me how to use ISAP's website in order to discover the numerous programs Fordham has agreements with all over the world. I soon found the Syracuse Florence program and quickly applied and soon after got confirmation that I would soon be embarking on the trip of a lifetime.  ISAP helped me tremendously in the months leading up to my departure with countless things, such as pre-departure meetings, helping to pick classes that would transfer, and general questions about absolutely anything regarding my future home or program.
                                                                               Florence is beautiful! 

I left for Italy on September 1st and was soon in Florence, definitely nervous and jet lagged, but also very ready to see what the city had to offer! I soon moved in with my host family, all students in the Syracuse Florence program live with host families except for Architecture students.  I could not have asked for a better family, they welcomed me in as one of their own and included me in their daily life.  I never felt uncomfortable or like I was intruding, I definitely believe that living with a host family helped me tremendously when it came to immersing myself into the culture and becoming comfortable with the language.                                          After a long hike in the beautiful Cinque Terre! 

During my time in Florence I took five classes at Syracuse's campus, an old villa on the outskirts of town that is absolutely beautiful. When I wasn't in class I took full advantage of the cheap and numerous travel options that Europe has to offer.  I got the amazing opportunity to travel to so many new places. I went all throughout Italy, traveling both North and South, to places like Sicily, Ferrara, Venice, Parma, Torino, and Cinque Terre.  I also got the opportunity to travel throughout Europe on many occasions.  Outside of Italy I was lucky enough to travel to Budapest, Vienna, Poland, Prague, London, and Copenhagen!

Some friends and I in Prague 

I would not trade my abroad experience for anything and I am so happy I got the chance to travel the world and truly experience another culture as amazing as the one I found in Florence! Fordham ISAP was extremely helpful in all aspects of the process not only before my departure but also while I was abroad and upon my return in terms of getting all transfer credits.

For further information on Fordham numerous study abroad programs you can visit ISAP's website at:

Walking In A (Fordham) Winter Wonderland

A Snowy Fordham!
Ah. Snow days. The ultimate childhood memory. Well here at Fordham, we relived those memories on Tuesday! Monday afternoon all students were notified that classes after one PM would be canceled- and that Tuesday would be canceled as well! You could see the excitement from all the students- we were ready to curl up with some hot coco (provided by the dorms and the Marketplace) and watch some well overdue Netflix. Residence halls provided more pizza and cookies than you could even imagine and movies were playing on a constant loop (Harry Potter anyone?). Everyone always says that Arthur Ave is the best place to eat around Fordham -and they're so right- but what is even better is that many of the Arthur Ave restaurants were happily making deliveries constantly to campus to the students who were just too inclined to stay in bed (guilty). So what is better than a childhood snow day? A colligate snow day. A Fordham Snow day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Back to the Swing of Things

Being home for three weeks for winter break was very nice and relaxing! However, I did miss my friends a lot and it was great to reconnect with everyone when we came back. Living on campus is great because there are so many activities and events that are offered for students. The first week back from break, my dorm building offered ice-skating in the school parking lot. They set out cookies and had skates for everyone to use. It was fun to take a break from schoolwork and catch up with everyone. My friends and I had so much fun skating and talking to people who we haven’t seen in a while.
Ice Skating right on campus!
Along with fun events and activities, my dorm also offers helpful classes like how to write a resume. This was really helpful because it showed us what to include, what to not, and also key components that should stand out more than others. I was especially interested in this because being a second semester sophomore, it is important to begin the internship process for either the summer or the next academic year.

Blog by: Claire McGonigle

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Senior Spotlight: Alice Smyth

Name: Alice Smyth
Hometown: Yonkers, New York (Westchester County)
Major: Business Administration; Dual Specializations: Marketing/Communications & Media
Graduation date: May 2015 (Wow! **Cross your Fingers**)

The Taj Mahal!
Why did you choose Fordham?
I originally was auditioning for music schools hoping to major in voice performance, but then I changed my mind and thought that business was a more realistic route. I never gave Fordham University the credit it deserved because it was so close to home for me. Although during the summer going into my senior year of high school I visited Rose Hill and just felt so comfortable and at home. It was a gorgeous campus and I was laughing to myself thinking that this could be the school for me and it was only 10 minutes away from home. Fordham then gave me a decent financial aid package, I got into the business school, and I decided that commuting to Fordham would save my family a lot of money. So I chose Fordham and Fordham chose me. I’m glad it worked out this way. 

What clubs/organizations/internships have you been involved in? What has been your favorite experience?
There are definitely so many clubs/organizations/internships that I have been apart of and still there are so many more that I want to get involved with! Here are just some of the few things that I have done during my time at Fordham…
ORGANIZATIONS: New Student Orientation (Coordinator/Captain/Leader); Commuter Assistant (CA); Senior Week (Committee/Volunteer); Commuting Students Association (CSA); Campus Activities Board (CAB)
CLUBS: Fordham Women’s Choir; Intramurals (Softball, Soccer, Flag Football, Volleyball; Dodgeball; Basketball); Fashion for Philanthropy; Ballroom Dance; Fordham Marketing Association; Students for Fair Trade
INTERNSHIPS: NBCUniversal: Sprout Marketing Intern; Fordham University New Student Orientation Marketing Coordinator; Fordham Sodexo Marketing Intern; Sarah Hall Productions, Inc.; The Ursuline School Advancement Office; Pentacle (DanceWorks, Inc.); Westchester County Board of Legislators
Miscellaneous: Leadership Weekend (Presenter ‘15/Attendee ‘14); Emmaus 113; Entrepreneurship & Fair Trade Service Trip – India; Study Tour – Tokyo, Japan; Study Abroad: Spring 2013 – London, England; NJSLC 2013 – (National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference); NACA 2012– (National Association for Campus Activities);
JOBS: Freelance Harpist “Angels Aren’t the Only Ones Who Play the Harp”™ 
Contact me for your next event! I can sing, play the harp, and even emcee!

What do you think is the best resource available to students on campus? 
I think that the best resource available to students on campus is Career Services. I received two of my internships thanks to the Career Services’ job and internship database. They are constantly striving to improve their services for students and alumni. I appreciate the many opportunities they provide for students, whether it is résumé help, weekly email blasts, career fairs and on-campus job interviews. In a world where it seems to be turning into who you know rather than what you know, it’s always good to have a well functioning Career Services department that is willing to help one network and connect with all the right people.

What is your favorite personal memory at Fordham? 
My favorite personal memory at Fordham was a Saturday back in either February or March 2014. I had stayed over my friend’s apartment the night before and we spent the entire Saturday doing whatever we felt like. It was a beautiful, sunny, cold day. We first ventured to the Botanical Gardens and took a nice stroll/hike/run. We decided to take the roads less traveled and trudged through the snowy paths. After our walk we worked up an appetite and decided to venture to Arthur Avenue for something to eat. We went to the Arthur Avenue Market and got these delicious sandwiches and a rice ball from Mike’s Deli; mine was the Paula Deen. Both the market and Arthur avenue was so vibrant on a Saturday with both Fordham students and visitors alike shopping, eating, and enjoying a good ole Saturday in the Bronx. Then we were heading back to Fordham when we passed Simon’s Deli, both looked at each other and agreed that a Nutella milkshake was a must! We brought all our food back to campus, sat down on the steps closest to the McGinley Student Center overlooking Eddies and Keating and all was good in the world.

Where is your favorite place to hang out at Fordham or in NYC?
My favorite place to hang out at Fordham is…Eddies! Wow! Who would’ve thought? Eddies is just the center of Fordham. Although I definitely don’t think I get to take advantage of it too much because I’m either studying or working, when I get the chance I appreciate every moment. Just sitting on the lovely green patch of grass (depending on what season) looking at Keating is one of the many things Fordham is all about. This past summer while working on New Student Orientation, I vividly remember not leaving McGinley until 12am at night. Happily enough someone had given me a free slice of pizza while I was walking out of the office. I took my pizza, all my bags and plopped myself right smack down in the middle of Eddies. The stars were out, it was quiet (except for the spraying of the sprinklers) and the lights on Keating were set just right. It is in these type of moments when I say, “Wow, I’m pretty lucky.” How often will I get to be on Fordham’s campus just relaxing on Eddie’s without a care in the world?

London and Big Ben
What are your plans/goals/aspirations for post-graduation?
My plans/goals/aspirations for post-graduation life is a good question. I want to do it all! I will be a motivational speaker and a positivity guru. I will become the next Oprah and create my own personal brand. Hopefully in a few years or so I will have my own talk show where I will get to discuss everything and anything that will motivate people in their own lives. People will talk to each other and say, “Oh did you catch that segment on Alice today?” For my show, I can then invite all my entertaining, intelligent friends who studied different subjects on as my expert in specific topics I’ll cover. It’s all about connections and networking! I will inspire people to go out and do what they love and I would love to do all this while seeing the world. Thanks to a semester study abroad trip to London and taking advantage of a study tour to Japan and a service trip to India while at Fordham, there are still so many more places in the world with so many more people I would like to meet.

Snowed In

Although Blizzard Juno was not as huge as many Fordham students anticipated, we still got a nice, relaxing snow day out of it! There is a lot to do both at Rose Hill and in the city during a snowstorm. Last night, my friends and I trekked to Pugsley's Pizza for dinner. The pizza there is always delicious, no matter what the weather is! Then, we walked back to the dorm and watched a movie. It was a fun, relaxing break from classes!
Pugsley's Pizza!
Rose Hill students woke up this morning to a beautiful view. This campus is beautiful in every season, but it is specifically stunning in the winter. The snow looked beautiful over Eddies, and the view of Keating is unmatched. It makes the cold a bit more bearable!
Keating in the snow
A few of my friends decided to travel into the city today to make use of the break from classes. The views around the city were also beautiful. New York City is arguably the best sightseeing city in the United States, and it looks even more stunning in the snow! Although Juno wasn't the biggest blizzard NYC has ever seen, it still provided a relaxing, fun break for all Fordham students.
Central Park

Monday, January 26, 2015

Juno Takes Fordham

A couple of days ago, word came to Fordham about the storm they've named Juno. Reports were calling for 20-36 inches of snow, and in a few hours, Fordham will find out just how much it's going to get. The weather report is calling for a 100% chance of precipitation from 10 PM to 10 AM, and everyone is anxiously waiting to find out just how much snow we'll all have to trudge through  tomorrow just to get to the cafeteria. States around us are in a state of emergency and the students have just received an emergency alert ordering all vehicles (except those for emergencies) off of the road after 11 PM.

The beginning of the blizzard
Although this sounds despondent, Fordham is actually an awesome place to be during a blizzard! You get to stay warm with all of your friends in the dorms with the promise of no classes tomorrow! Campus food services will be open on their usual schedules, thanks to our incredible dining staff who are trooping through the storm with us. There's also the option of all of the delicious take-out food around campus. Options like sushi from Umai, or penne vodka from Michaelangelo's, or even pizza from Pugsley's are all available to the students so that even if we're stuck inside, we don't have to sacrifice a great dinner (we're always sure to tip well).

A view of my dorm, O'hare Hall, from afar in the snow!
Furthermore, tomorrow we can all go out and play in the snow. Fordham is absolutely beautiful covered in snow, and there are endless outside activities to partake in. One of the Resident Assistants in my building has already scheduled a snowball fight as a program for the whole building! If, however, the snow is not for you, you can enjoy the extra day off with an Arrested Development marathon (thanks Netflix), catching up on some much-needed sleep, or doing some extra reading for your classes (if you're feeling really motivated)!

Weekend Update

Grand Central's incredible architecture
Jessica Timko
This weekend my friends and I went to Manhattan just to walk around before all the snow came.  One of my favorite things is seeing all of the buildings in the city lit up at night.  When we were in Grand Central Terminal we came across the J.P.Morgan Tournament of Champions for the Professional Squash Association! They had courts with all glass walls set up so you could see the games.  I had no idea that Grand Central hosted these kinds of events.  I love attending school in a city where you can go out without a plan and still find cool and interesting things to do.

Nice view of the Ram Van office
Gianna Rosamilia
This weekend, I spent a lot of time in the Ram Van office. Last spring, I was able to secure myself a job driving the Ram Van, and now it's a huge part of my college career. The Ram Van is an organization that provides intercampus transportation to students for a fairly low cost. It's also a really awesome student employment opportunity! On Saturday I worked my regular morning shift, and on Sunday I had driver training from 10 AM to 6 PM. On this annual training day, drivers practice airport runs, Calder Center runs, using the accessibility van, and parallel parking. Although I worked a lot and the days were long, I love my job, and the weekend was a lot of fun!

My friends and me at Columbus Circle
Anna Romagnoli
This weekend I had a friend from home (Vermont) visit and my roommate and I got to show her around the city.  It was a cold and snowy weekend so we spent some time in museums like the Jewish Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We strolled through Central Park and ended our day near Columbus Circle.  Despite the inclement weather there was still plenty to do and it was fun to play tour guide for the day!

Selfie at MoMA!
Erica Restaino
I am an RA in Loschert, which is one of the freshman Residence Halls. This Friday evening, I brought a group of my residents to the MoMA since it's free on Friday evenings. The transportation costs were covered for the residents, so they were able to enjoy a free trip into the city. I always love visiting the MoMA and my residents enjoyed it as well!

The beautiful University Church

Danielle Smith
Even though it's only the second week of the semester, this weekend was mostly spent doing homework. However, I was happy and grateful that I was able to end my weekend and begin my week by attending the 8 PM mass in the University Church. Father Florio's homily was motivating!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Student Theatre at Rose Hill

I'm more comfortable on stage than I am in most social situations. But going into senior year of high school, I knew I didn't want to be in an undergraduate acting program. Instead, I chose to attend Fordham College at Rose Hill, even though I knew the school's official theatre program (with its highly selective, audition-based admissions process) was housed at Lincoln Center. At the same time, I knew I absolutely wanted to continue performing in shows. As I prepared to attend Fordham in the fall of 2012, I prayed that I wouldn't be let down by the quality of Rose Hill's theatre community.

Thankfully, our campus is brimming with great theatrical opportunities, especially for a campus of its size. Maybe it's because we're so close to New York City, but for a campus that doesn't host Fordham's performing arts departments, Rose Hill has an abundance of talented and creative students who--despite majoring in unrelated fields--pursue their artistic passions through our student groups on campus, as well through more professional venues in Manhattan. We even have students from Lincoln Center who come over regularly to audition for and perform in our shows.

For those of you who want to continue acting, but don't want to major in it, rest assured that you can do just that here at Fordham Rose Hill. To help you out, I've created a run down of Rose Hill's three student theatre groups!

The Mimes and Mummers

The Mimes are Fordham's mainstage student theatre group based in Collins Auditorium in Collins Hall. They put on two shows each semester, usually one play and one musical each semester. The students on the Mimes' executive board hire professionals from the NYC area to direct each productions. Students manage all technical aspects of the production (lights, costumes, set), and the casts are required to complete a certain amount of "tech hours" as well.

So far I've been in four shows with the Mimes: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The 39 Steps, Legally Blonde, and currently RENT. It's been one of my favorite parts of my Fordham career to work with such talented people and act under the direction of professional freelance directors. My director for The 39 Steps is also a teacher at NYU, and we're still friends on Facebook! If you're visiting Fordham anytime soon, try and catch our production of RENT which opens on February 26 and closes March 1.

Fordham Experimental Theatre (FET)

FET is an exclusively student-run theatre group that performs in the well-loved Blackbox located on the first floor of Collins Hall. Like the Mimes, they put on four show a year, two each semester. Many are student-written, and all are student-directed. FET is known for unique show concepts and sometimes wild directing choices. Since I've been at Fordham, several student-written shows that debuted in the Blackbox have been accepted into various theatre festivals in New York. Two of them--Cowboys Don't Sing and My Personal Hell--have even played at the New York International Fringe Festival.

My Personal Hell by Jonathan O'Neill at the NY Int'l Fringe Festival, August 2014.

Me and Mike Dahlgren in The Pillowman, April 2012.

FET also has a number of umbrella groups who regularly perform in the Blackbox, including Stranded in Pittsburgh (improv), Free Pizza Sketch Comedy, Fordham Standup (who occasionally perform at Gotham Comedy Club in Manhattan), and Verbal Essences (spoken word poetry). On top of that, they put on a Playwrights Festival every semester, which features student-written one-act plays. Needless to say, FET offers students a ton of opportunities to perform, and it's a great way to get started in the Rose Hill theatre scene.

Currently FET is working on Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Jonathan O'Neill and Chris Pedro. The show opens during the third weekend of February.

Theatrical Outreach Program (TOP)

TOP is dedicated to abridging important plays, often from the classical tradition, and staging them in a more accessible way for today's audiences. Last semester they put on Our Town and Twelfth Night, or What You Will. After their performances at Fordham, for instance, they bring their productions to under-supported high schools in the Bronx area. They put on two shows each semester, and like FET, all productions are put together solely by students. Currently TOP is working on The Laramie Project, directed by David Schillinger.

Production still from Twelfth Night, fall 2014.

There are so many ways to get involved with student theatre at Fordham. You don't need to be a major to be involved in rewarding, high quality productions. For that, I'm extremely grateful. If you have any questions about the arts scene at Fordham Rose Hill, feel free to email me at Hope to see you at auditions this fall!