Intersession

Hi all!

Spring semester recently started and it’s back to business as usual here at W&J. This past January, however, was my first intersession experience away from W&J. Unlike the majority of students who travel out of country for Intersession, I managed to stay pretty close by. The Biology department here has a variety of grants that fund external research projects. Although they are primarily used for summer research, they also fund short-term research projects during intersession. I applied for one such short-term internship and was able to get funded! I spent January in Cleveland, Ohio which actually turned out to be a pretty enjoyable city. I worked in a lab of a W&J alumnus at the Biomedical Engineering Department of the Cleveland Clinic. Although my time there was brief, it was an awesome and wholesomely educational experience. I got to see how research was conducted on a professional scale and also how researchers and clinicians collaborated to produce novel medical treatments and surgical instruments. I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon a few times, which was a unique and really cool experience. Thanks to the alumni office here at W&J, I also got to shadow a developmental pediatrician who was among the first class of women to ever graduate from W&J — wow, right?!

Outside of my hospital time, I explored the city of Cleveland. Judging by the drive I had in to the city, I wasn’t expecting much of Cleveland, but the city actually has a lot of neat things going on! I was staying near some of the universities, so I found some college-type ( and college budget friendly) stores and eateries to visit. Thanks to my supervisor Amy’s inside scoop, I got to try some really delicious local food. If you’re ever there, be sure to check out The Stone Oven. Stay tuned for pictures from my trip, coming soon!

Up ‘Til Dawn!

This past Saturday, GIVE, one of the many volunteer organizations on campus hosted Up ‘Til Dawn, a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The event was great. In terms of fundraising, all of us had to address letters to friends and family members asking for donations for St. Jude’s. In exchange for this, we got to enjoy a cornucopia of interesting events representative of the theme “Around the World.” There was a balloon artist and a photo booth at the event, and various countries had fun activities – henna tattoos for India and a chocolate fountain for Germany, for example.

My favorite game by far was the churro race. The churro is a type of delectable Spanish doughnut which for the purposes of the race, I was told, acted as a symbol of good luck. Many people opted to crabwalk, karaoke, or bear walk the race, but my friend Sarah and I decided to engage in a traditional running race. Unlike me, Sarah is very athletic, having competitively played soccer and figure skated her entire life. In fact, she was instrumental in starting the ice skating club during our freshman year at W&J. My point here is that I wasn’t expecting to beat her. So, we started off running and apparently having disproportionately long legs was paying off, for once. I was actually in the lead! About halfway through the track, I couldn’t hear her behind me, so I assumed she had fallen back quite a bit. It was at this critical moment that I made a rookie mistake – I turned around to look behind me. Turns out she was right behind me, and she used this opportunity to slink ahead of me.  My concentration now gone, I proceeded to remain a step behind her for the rest of the race and ultimately finished last.

Although I wasn’t victorious (stay tuned for an update following the rematch), I have to say that Up ‘Til Dawn was quite entertaining. I have my henna tattoos and a very accurate balloon rendition of Nemo as mementos from an exceptionally fun night. As other student organizations have in the past, G.I.V.E. demonstrated to the W&J community that volunteering is not only gratifying and educational but also fun for all ages – kudos.

Homecoming

We recently had our annual homecoming weekend. I’m always surprised by how many alumni come back, and this year was no different. It almost seemed like there were more alums than students on campus! This year, I was nominated to attend a homecoming networking luncheon. I expected it to be a formal, serious event but it actually turned out to be quite amusing. I was paired with recent alum who is now completing her residency in anesthesiology at UPMC. It was awesome to hear about her background and path to medical school — I got a lot of great ideas and inspiration from her. Aside from all the medical advice, hearing her stories about W&J was absolutely hilarious. Some of the students she went to college with are now employed at the College as professors, so hearing stories about them in college was…interesting, to say the least!

Aside from the luncheon, I also attended the homecoming dance which was a blast, as usual. This year the giveaway item was a sweet pair of W&J sunglasses. They were gone before I could grab a pair, sadly but I still had a great time. Now it’s off to the library to finish the rest of my work. Talk to you all later!

It’s good to be back

It is now month 2 of my junior year, and classes have hit the ground running — I’m already neck-deep in papers, exams, and presentations. It’s not that I’m complaining, really. To be completely honest, it would be weird not to be this busy. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t keep myself occupied! This year has been great so far. I signed up to be a freshman mentor through FYS, and the experience has been really rewarding. I enjoy helping my freshmen find their way around campus. I get to hang out with them in a social setting as well as help them with the more academic aspects of W&J. Last weekend, we had a study group for the economics class that my freshmen and I are in together. I actually learned a lot from our study session, and I think it gave the freshmen a better idea of what to expect from a W&J College exam. It’s definitely a step up from high school, so  I tried to mentally prepare them for what to expect on the test, so hopefully my mentees weren’t too surprised come exam time on Monday morning.

Outside of the classroom, W&J has really changed since last spring. When I’m away for the summer, I always seem to forget how much I adore W&J. Within a week or so of returning to campus, it hits me. I missed my school a LOT. There are a ton of improvements around campus that I’m excited about. The Commons has gotten way better since last year. They have student choice meals almost every day now and it’s delicious. Today at lunch they had their famous mac & cheese, which is still the best I’ve ever tasted. Both The Commons and G&Ts, our fast food eatery, are open much later which is perfect for night owls like me.  Both eateries have more variety in their food this year, and have expanded their selection of healthy and organic products, which is a huge plus for vegetarians such as myself.

We also had the Fall Concert a few weekends ago. This one was a little different from our previous concerts, which typically featured well-known musicians like Cobra Starship, Wiz Khalifa, and Third Eye Blind. This year our student government opted for Matt Wertz as the headliner. The opening band was You Hang Up, featuring the one and only Frankie Muniz on drums. Most of my friends were surprised — some disappointed — that we hadn’t gotten anyone “bigger” for the concert, but after the concert on Saturday, no one was complaining. Frankie (who is super short, in case anyone was wondering) didn’t disappoint, and Matt Wertz was simply amazing. He sounds like a more upbeat version of John Mayer.  Between classes, extracurriculars, and the concert, I’ve barely had time to sleep! Like I said, it’s good to be back…I think I’m going to take a nap now.