Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer at Fordham

The start of the fall semester is always exciting, since it means returning to campus, seeing your new room, and beginning your new classes.  This year, for me, the start of the fall semester is a little bit different, since I spent the summer living at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus and didn't have the "typical" return process.  I spent my days working at WFUV, but I was able to use all my free time enjoying New York City and all its offerings, from nearby Arthur Avenue to taking the D train to Brooklyn for pizza adventures.

I had to decorate & make my summer housing feel like home!

Living in Martyrs' Court Goupil, I was steps away from Fordham's MetroNorth Railroad stop.  This meant that I could easily take advantage of all the city had to offer in my free time (with only a twenty minute train ride to midtown!).  

I was thrilled to be able to take advantage of the city's offerings, from exploring Central Park on photography adventures to enjoying outdoor movies in Bryant Park.

Picnicking in Bryant Park for a showing of Saturday Night Fever

Neutral Milk Hotel at Prospect Park Bandshell
One of my favorite parts of having access to NYC over the summer was my ability to embrace the city's musical culture.  From attending the New York Philharmonic's performance of Beethoven's piano concertos (with $18 student tickets!) in famed Avery Fisher Hall to seeing contemporary bands at small venues such as Bowery Ballroom and large venues like Barclays Center, there was always an opportunity for a unique musical experience.

Spending my summer at Fordham was truly a great experience, for I was able to be productive in my work as well as make use of and enjoy my free time in the city!  It made me even more excited for the return of my fellow students and another great semester with New York as my campus!
New York is my campus, Fordham is my school!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer in the City

I am originally from outside of Cleveland, Ohio, but I enjoy being at Fordham so much that I spend at least part of every month on campus, which adds up to about 10 months out of the year!  Attending Fordham has provided me with so many opportunities to further my education beyond the traditional classroom setting.  My first semester as a freshman I began attending meetings for the Wireless Sensor Data Mining (WISDM) Lab, a part of the computer science department, and now I am a paid research assistant for WISDM.  Dr. Weiss, the professor in charge of the lab, has mentored me and guided me through the process of conducting my own research and applying for research grants.  Fordham College at Rose Hill offers undergraduate research grants for the academic year as well for the summer.  I have spent my past two summers working in the WISDM lab and living at the Rose Hill campus due to the generous financial support from Fordham and the Clare Boothe Luce Foundation, which is a program that promotes the involvement of women in science.

Undergraduate as well as graduate students contribute to the endeavors of the WISDM lab.  This summer we focused on improving our activity recognition application, Actitracker, that is a free fitness app for Android (we are in the process of creating an iOS version) smartphones that monitors your level of activity throughout the day.  We also began integrating smartwatches into the Actitracker system.  My work focused on building and testing models for the computer algorithms to identify the activities users perform based on readings from the devices’ accelerometers and gyroscopes.  I also began a separate project with my professor on cost ratios and their effect on data mining algorithms, but I don’t want to bore you with all of the technical details.  Here are links to our websites if you are interested in learning more about the WISDM lab and Actitracker.    

Although I was working full-time in the WISDM lab, I still found some time to take advantage of Fordham’s location in New York City.  Just to name a few of my adventures: I went to Coney Island, Central Park, SoHo, Shake Shack, Magnolia Bakery, and I even took a cruise on the Hudson and around lower Manhattan.
Central Park when my friend and I had a picnic with Shake Shack

The beach at Coney Island


Views from the cruise around Manhattan
I was not the only one taking advantage of Fordham's proximity to the city.  While I was working on campus two television series, Madam Secretary and Forever, were filming scenes on the beautiful Rose Hill campus.  I'm excited to watch these series to see how they incorporate my home into their plots.

Production crews setting up to film around Eddie's 
One of the many reason that I love attending Fordham is that I have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research, something that not all of my friends from home can boast about, and I can enjoy a break from my academics by exploring the great city that is New York.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Ramily" Summer Vacation

In high school the furthest I had to travel to see my school friends over the summer was fifteen minutes across town. Interestingly enough, in college, one can spend twenty four hours a day, seven days a week with his or her friends and, yet, never know what their houses, families, and friends from home are like. Now, at Fordham, my school friends live all across the country. Fortunately enough, this summer I was able to visit some of my friends from Fordham for the first time.

In June, I traveled to New Cannan, Connecticut to attend my friend Caroline’s sister’s graduation party. I was so excited to be reunited with all of my friends from Fordham since I had not seen them since we packed up our dorms in May. We spent the day meeting her family members and close friends. After dinner, we hung out by her pool and caught up on everything that had happened to us in the past month. Although we talked on the phone and texted frequently, it was a nice change to be able to spend time with them in person.

A roommate picture at Caroline's sister's Graduation Party.

The second trip I took this summer in July to see my Fordham friends was to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. My roommate, Yasmin, and her twin, Laura, showed me around Philadelphia the first day I was there. I felt like a true tourist when we went to see the “Love” Statue, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. I stayed at their house for the weekend and we went to many cool and different places. We had brunch in the little town near their house with some of their friends and afterwards went flower picking at a “Pick Your Own Flower Farm." Before dinner one night, we even went for a walk on a nearby nature trail. I was glad that I was able to meet their family and friends and see what a typical day in their hometown is like.  
Philadelphia, City Hall 

Picking flowers in a flower field. 
My friends and I in front of Independence Hall. 
It is important to know that the friends you make at Fordham will never be more than a phone call or text away over the summer, but given the opportunity it is always nice to be able to see where they come from! I am hoping my friends will have the opportunity to come visit me, as well, over an upcoming break! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Back in the Swing

The Fordham Campuses are quickly filling up with students once again as classes quickly approach. Here at the Rose Hill campus, students are looking forward to more than just classes. On campus there are already a variety of activities going on. Many students are moving in early to prepare for the incoming freshmen and to prepare for the university clubs and sports. And just as quickly as students are moving in, posters are already going up to advertise upcoming events like the Annual President’s Ball. 
Poster advertising the upcoming President's Ball on September 12th.
I am a senior with a double major in political science and women’s studies. I just moved into Campbell Hall on Wednesday. My on-campus apartment is located on the sixth floor of the building and I have a great panoramic view of the Bronx. I am lucky enough to be spending the next nine months living with my three best friends before we all graduate! It goes by so fast! I moved in earlier than the rest of my peers to participate in training for the Rose Hill Society. RHS consists of about 180 volunteer student ambassadors who become experts on the ins-and-outs of Fordham in order to share our knowledge with prospective students. At our training, the society hears presentations from a variety of departments on campus. We are always up-to-date on the most recent changes and campus happening.
My single room in Campbell Hall!
Along with the Rose Hill Society ambassadors, students who are New Student Orientation leaders, student athletes, and residential assistants are back on campus preparing for the upcoming year. Even with all of the orientations going on, students still seem to make time to hang out of Eddie’s.  I even had a free moment to check out the new freshmen dorm building, Loyola Hall. The building has been completed renovated in order to house about 120 incoming freshmen. It is BEAUTIFUL! The first floor study lounge is very Hogwarts-esque.

It is great to be back on campus and to be surrounded by my friends and peers once again. The Fordham community is outstanding and it feels good to have everyone back on campus. It feels like home. And what better to kick off the new school year than with the first Fordham football game on Saturday?! Fordham will be versing Saint Francis University this Saturday at home. Hopefully they can do even better than their 12-2 (wins-losses) record from last year! It is good to get back into the swing of things.
Students lounging on Eddie's in between orientation and training!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Update

Hello everyone! Happy Monday. This is a busy time at Fordham. This past Thursday would have been our last day of classes, but we had so many snow days this past winter that we added a make-up schedule to the end of the semester. So students are balancing attending their last few courses as well as starting to study for finals, not to mention just doing all of those last things you want to do before leaving for the summer! Check out what some of our students did below.

Deirdre Hynes

Even though most of my weekend was spent studying for finals, my friends & I were able to make the best of it by studying & writing our papers outside Keating on Edward's Parade, where we could enjoy the sunshine and nice weather while still being productive. Plus, it was easy to play a quick game of frisbee when we needed a break! 

Laura Bellows

My friends and I took the D train (a 10-minute walk up Fordham Road from the Rose Hill campus) to Yankee Stadium for a night game. We didn't have to worry about getting out of the game late because Fordham's Ram Van was outside the D train to drive us back down Fordham Road to campus. This off-campus shuttle service is available to all students seven days a week from 10pm-5am and the Ram Van doesn't leave the stop to bring students back to campus until another Ram Van has arrived. It's free too!

Jillian Diehl

On Saturday night, I took advantage of some of the free entertainment you can find on many weekends here on campus. I have friends in both Fordham Experimental Theatre's Improv and Sketch Comedy clubs, so I attended their last show together for the year, which I loved. It was one of their best yet! Then a folk band called the Keating Steps, started by a talented group of friends at Fordham, performed on their designated spot...You guessed it! The steps of Keating Hall, our grandest and most picturesque building on campus. They played a few of their original songs as well as covering a few old favorites, and a good time was had by all. As the rain fell, I felt truly grateful to be surrounded by my awesome friends, with great music, in my favorite place.

A Final Reflection From a Graduating Senior!

The last week of school has suddenly arrived, something I have been dreading for months now. It is strange to be writing my final entry for the Fordham blog, since I’ve been blogging since I was a sophomore. As a graduating senior, I have had so many meaningful experiences at Fordham, and cannot express enough words of gratitude for the valuable Jesuit education I have received and the people I have met, coloring the way I see the world in wonderful ways.

When I attended Fordham’s Spring Preview as a high school senior, trying to decide whether I would attend Fordham or Boston University, these words from Father McShane convinced me that Fordham was the right place for me: “When you put it all together, what is a Jesuit education about? It is about nothing less than empowerment and transformation.” I did not then fully understand what he meant, but now, with graduation looming closer every day, the wisdom behind his words has become clear.

My time at Fordham has been the most challenging but also the most eye-opening years of my life. Though I cannot explicitly name the ways in which I am a different person, I know that I feel stronger, like my feet are planted a little more firmly on the ground. I am so grateful for everything that happened in the past four years, for the challenges I was faced with, the friends I drifted apart from only to gain new ones, and for the blank slate that lies ahead of me. Almost four years ago, a scared little girl arrived on Fordham’s campus. Today, I feel empowered and transformed, with a clearer sense of who I am and what my goals are for my future.
I am heartbroken to leave the place I have come to call my home, but Fordham has truly prepared me for the future, as uncertain as it may be. Come to Fordham, and let it change your life like it changed mine—you won’t regret it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Greatest City In The World During The Summer: Fordham Style

An amazing perk of going to Fordham that I didn’t realize until well after I came here, is Fordham during the summer season. What’s better than NYC during the school year…NYC during the summer time of course!
My roommate and I enjoyed ice cream on a warm day this spring in Manhattan!

 Six of my good friends are doing summer sessions here, four of them living at Rose Hill and two of them living in Manhattan at Lincoln Center. Fordham has AMAZING summer opportunities. While I have a job back home that I need to go home for, next summer I am DEFINITELY going to do a summer session, hopefully at Lincoln Center! My four friends that are living here at Rose Hill are working at our Call Center, which is a job here on campus that calls alumni and works on fundraising. They’re making money and living in the city that never sleeps, how awesome is that?! Two of these friends have internships in the city and the other two are taking classes. My two friends that decided to live at LC for the summer both have summer internships too! Last year another friend of ours lived at Fordham LC for the summer, and she balanced a class and an internship, while also having tons of city adventures all summer long! Living in NYC in such a beautiful neighborhood on the Upper West Side is such a privilege and a great opportunity; I really recommend that every Fordham student does this for at least one summer session while they are an undergrad.
Isn't Bryant Park so beautiful in the sun?!

Fordham has a great career services office; they can set you up with an awesome summer internship. If that’s not your cup of tea for the summer, how about taking a summer course at one of our two beautiful campuses?

My friends at Fordham doing summer sessions will be able to explore the city all summer long!

 Fordham is very accommodating with housing, and you can choose whether you want to live at LC or RH based on your own personal preferences. I cannot wait to visit my friends that are staying on campus this summer!! I’m so jealous!!

Senior Spotlight: Cathy Landry

Name: Cathy Landry
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Majors: English and Spanish

Why did you choose Fordham?
I chose Fordham because to me it really represents the best of both worlds. I have all the advantages of New York City, plus a beautiful, traditional campus. I have rigorous and well-respected academic work, plus a lot of fun things to do. I have programs and people here helping me grow intellectually, but also personally.

What have you become involved in during your time here at Fordham?
I have been a tour guide for four years at Fordham. I've also volunteered for four years at an all-girls after school center in the South Bronx, tutoring and mentoring middle school girls from the area. I've been very involved with a program called Global Outreach, which is like an alternative breaks program: we send students to 34 different locations around the US and the world to do service and immerse themselves in a new culture. Some of the locations include Guatemala, India, Romania, San Diego, Detroit, and Alaska. I currently serve on the executive board of this program. 

What is your favorite memory of your time here at Fordham?
There are so many, but I have to choose the Under the Tent dance that just happened last weekend. Everyone gets dressed up and has a blast dancing the night away--we don't have a ton of formal events on campus, so it was a lot of fun to see everyone dressed up and having fun! I'm sad it was my last Under the Tent dance, but I had fun being around all my friends.

What are your plans following graduation? 
Following graduation, I will be entering the Peace Corps. I won't be leaving until the fall (and I'm still not sure what country I'm going to--finding out in two weeks!). It's a two year commitment, and I'm really excited to apply all I've learned at Fordham about creating community and social justice in a new country.

What advice do you have for students as they make their final decision in the next few days?
Trust yourself. I waited until the very last day to make my decision and even almost sent in two deposits. I knew I wanted to go to Fordham but I was afraid of committing to something that seemed like such a huge decision. Trust your gut--you know what's right for you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Senior Spotlight: Justin Henry

Name: Justin Henry

Hometown: Flemington, NJ
Major: American Studies & Political Science

What have you been involved with: Fordham Ramblers, the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal (FURJ), Fordham Pre-Law Society, Rose Hill Society

Favorite Fordham memory: My final concert with the Fordham Ramblers. I spent four years performing with them, and there was such a great energy on stage when we put on our last performance during Spring Weekend.

What are you plans after graduation: I've been accepted to the NYC Urban Fellows program. The program consists of a nine-month job placement at a government agency here in New York City. I start in September, and I'm very excited to start work in city government and urban planning.

Advice for incoming freshmen: Get involved as soon as you get here! There are so many fantastic people here on campus, and the best way to meet them is by doing something you love.