Saturday, December 29, 2012

My New Year's Resolutions 2013

Here's how I feel about New Year's resolutions: They are a really nice thought. 

Who doesn't want to improve themselves? I'd love to be a little less snarky, eat a little healthier, and spend a little less money on clothes. However, I don't think that telling myself, "Starting Jan. 1, I am only going to eat vegetables and never enjoy cheesecake again," is really a sound way to get healthy and change my life. (Let's be honest, I'm NEVER giving up cheesecake. It's too tasty.) Maybe that works for some, but I certainly don't function that way.

This year, I'm going to work to be better for other people and here are my resolutions for doing so:

1) Be a better leader.

One of my biggest leadership roles is as the Online Media and Communications Coordinator at St. Michael's College. I run the SMC Blogs program with the marketing and admissions offices. At any given time, I have up to 30 bloggers to coordinate with. Lucky for me, they do a great job 99% of the time and are easy to organize. However, the nature of blogging is anti-social. I'd like to be better friends with the team by seeing more of them in person even if it just means more "hellos" as we all run back and forth across campus. It's tough because we are also so busy and fabulous, but in the new year, I'd like to be able to get to know each of them a little better.

2) Be a more supportive team mate.

Racing in the St. Lawrence Carnival 2011
Ski racing is a funny sport. It's about the individual skier, but at the end of the day, they rank us as a team. I was captain of the team my sophomore year and while I am no longer captain (and happily so) I try to be a supportive teammate and leader without the title. (Note to student-athletes: Being captain is an honor and also a big responsibility. If and when you are voted in, remember that its no longer all about you.) What you may not know is that the alpine and nordic ski teams are under the same umbrella. We share a ski room and our results effect each others rankings. I hope that this year we will be able to get the nordic and alpine teams to hang out a little bit more and support each other. I am also going to make a concerted effort to cheer for everyone one of my teammates at the races even if it is cold outside.

3) Spend as much time with my friends as possible.

Sarah and I (as goofy today as we were freshman year)
(Okay, this resolution is a little more selfish.) Sometimes I feel like a broken record, telling you about how amazing my friends are and how we've known each other since day one at St. Mike's. It's all true and I hope that everyone has the experience that I have had.  My goal this semester is to spend as much time with those friends as possible because, in May, we will be going our separate ways. While most St. Mike's grads will be on the east coast and relatively near each other, I intend to go farther away. At a minimum, I plan to be in Los Angeles. At a maximum, I will be at NYU Abu Dhabi, working as a fellow. (I'm praying for the Abu Dhabi fellowship. My heart literally races every time I think about it.) This semester, I want to go skiing with my non-ski-team friends because I haven't skied with them since freshman year. I want to have a ton of socials with the Acabellas.  Now is the time for me to do all the things I've wanted to during my time at St. Mike's.

4) Leave a mark.

My favorite quote is: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson

I have spent the past four years trying to live what I believe is the meaning of the quote. I said, "I'm going to college. Time to go big or go home." I didn't come to college to have an average experience and simply graduate with a degree. I wanted more out of my fours years. In May, I'd like to know that I've left a mark on the school in some way. I hope I have inspired someone, encouraged someone, helped someone, or changed someone. I think we all fear being forgotten and I hope that 2013 is the year I leave an indelible mark on St. Mike's.

I hope you all have an amazing New Year's celebration and that 2013 is the year you change the world.  I'll talk to you all next year. If you have any questions about St. Mike's or me, feel free to ask anonymously on Formspring


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Letter to the @SaintMichaels Class of 2017

Dear Class of 2017,

    Welcome to the family. You've probably heard that before and you'll hear it time and time again. I just want you to know that even though we may never have classes together or be in the same club, the St. Michael's family extends beyond the barriers of orientation and graduation.

Meet my immediate family at St. Mike's. I have lived with
two of the girls pictured and I ate dinner with two
other girls nearly every night freshman thru junior year.
This is us in September of freshman year before the
Highlighter Dance.
    We all know the pros and cons of families. There are the crazy uncles, the obnoxious siblings, the parents who have an opinion, the grandparents who always ask if you are dating, and the cool cousins who are almost too cool to talk to you. One of the bonuses of being a member of the family that raised you is unconditional love. The con is that you don't get to choose your immediate family. At St. Michael's, I can't promise that you'll like everyone or that everyone will like you. I can't promise the love you have for your friends will be unconditional. However, you will get to choose your immediate St. Michael's family. Like siblings, you and your immediate family members--whether you choose your floor mates, teammates, or fellow club members--will bicker from time to time. What you will find is that you can work through most of the arguments. Your immediate family at St. Mike's is the family that you go to when you need to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. My immediate family hardly ever lets me live down my embarrassing moments, but they also never fail to pat me on the back and support me when I need it.

Who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself working in West
Hollywood, CA on Sunset Blvd and walking your first
red carpet like I did this summer!
   With such a great support system in place, I encourage you to see the possibilities for your own success. As an incoming student, I was 100% set on becoming a broadcast journalist. It was my be-all, end-all career. I'm not going to lie. I still aspire to be a Ellen-Oprah hybrid down the road, but I find that as graduation approaches I have a slightly overwhelming number of options because of the skills that St. Michael's provided. I am currently applying to positions like "Social Media Editor," "Digital Media Coordinator," and "Marketing Assistant." I never expected to get into marketing as a first-year. Even now, a semester away from graduation, I am rethinking the possibilities. I've discovered I love to teach, so I am applying for a writing fellowship at NYU Abu Dhabi, where I will get to work with first-year students as a writing coach, pursue my own work, and travel. I hope that you will keep an open mind throughout your four years here because you never know where you might end up and the adventure you might go on.

So whether your a little "carpe diem" or a little "yolo," I encourage you to embrace the St. Michael's experience, your new quirky mismatched family, and the awkward (definitely embarrassing) moments you'll share during your first year as a Purple Knight.

I look forward to meeting some of you this spring on tours and at Accepted Student Days. If you have questions, please ask me questions on VYou.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finals Week Wrap-Up: DVD Portfolio, Little Bellas, and the Acabellas Concert

The great thing about the media studies department is that you create work that you can use in a portfolio. In fact, in the course of your time in the program, you'll create web portfolios and potentially DVD portfolios. The idea is to a) test the skills from particular courses and b) give students portfolios that they can give to potential employers.

To the right is my portfolio cover for my DVD. Within my DVD, I included videos, photos, and pages from the Defender. I market myself in the DVD as a photographer, videographer, and writer. I'm rather happy with the way it turned out. As you can tell, I designed the cover to match my blog. I think my personal brand should be consistent. Someone told me they thought the navy, white, and calligraphy was pretentious, but I think it is classic and simple.

One of the videos on my DVD is for the Little Bellas, a non-profit in VT (and going national) which strives to get more girls on mountain bikes. Embedded is the three minute cut of the film. There is also a 10-min cut if you are interested in watching the full length version, which I had to create for Adventure Film.

Let's be honest. Creating a DVD portfolio is NOT the worst way to spend finals week. I could have had a *gulp* exam.

On a more fun note, the Acabellas had our winter concert the Saturday before finals to a large crowd in McCarthy Arts Center.

We premiered some new music including "Zombies" by the Cranberries, "Some Nights" by Fun., and "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons. The video above is "Some Nights" and, in my opinion, it was the best song of the afternoon.

Now, I am going to enjoy the couch and make my dad watch "The Holiday." (Yes, the one with Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law. Sorry I'm not sorry, Dad. <3 p="p">
Happy Holidays! xoxo

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What It Means to Study MJD: An A to Z Guide

Here at St. Mike's I am a proud, 4-year member of the media studies department. Bergeron has been my second home and the professors have been stand-in parents. (Okay, the parent thing is a bit extreme, but they do look out for me.) Here is a comprehensive A-Z guide to the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts department.

A - Awesome. I had to say it. The MJD department is small and tight-knit, meaning students get one-on-one teaching from professors; hands-on experience in media whether it's journalism, marketing, or videography; and a network of students and alumni who want to help each other.

B - Bergeron. Bergeron is the media studies building. Located next to the tennis courts, it is a one-story building with computer labs and the professor's offices. Talk to most majors and they will tell you this is their second home. Talk to most students and they'll have no idea what Bergeron is.

C - Competitve. I don't mean cut-throat, Hunger-Games competitive. I mean that students within the department and within classes push each other. With each project, news article, or presentation, students are raising the bar.

D - Design. Part of the Digital Arts section of the major includes design projects for both print and web using programs in the Adobe Design Suite. The major gives you knowledge of platforms such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere.

Courtesy of the SMC Defender
That is the Fall 2012 Editorial Staff.
E - Editing. If you choose to take on the addition of journalism (It is five extra courses.), you will take Publication Editing and Design. You will work as an editor for the paper and not only edit the writers in your class, but you will work reporters in Investigative Reporting.

F - Fun. Sorry I'm not sorry for being corny. Through all the hard work and late nights, I have so many fun experiences. This department teaches courses such as "Adventure Film Making" and "Media and American Politics," both of which have incredible learning components outside the classroom.

G - Global Communications. In school you hear horror stories about particular professors, certain exams, or even some classes. Within MJD, Global Comm (as students call it) is one of those classes. I will promise you this: It's not that bad. It's a few big web design projects which require analysis of global media paired with a discussion-based course. I actually looked forward to attending this class.

H - Hectic. I tend to tell really bad jokes on tours. One of them has to do with me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Now I'm not saying I'm always stressed and crazy. I will say that sometimes I procrastinate and my life gets a little hectic. Just prepared to learn time management.

I - Impressive. I am constantly impressed by the work that students produce within the department. We have extraordinary talent in both students and professors. More importantly, the people with talent are willing to help all of us.

J - Journalism. The MJD department was previously known as Journalism and Mass Communications. In my sophomore year, the deparment transitioned. Majors are now Media Studies and Digital Arts majors and can opt into having an emphasis in journalism. I am one of those people and highly recommend adding it on.

K - Knight. MJD students may live in Bergeron, but it doesn't mean we are seperate from the rest of the school. Unlike many schools, students at St. Mike's move between departments across campus. I take theater classes and political science majors take media classes. Above all else, we are Purple Knights.

L - Law. You probably weren't expecting this one, but law plays a huge role in our rights as journalists. We are the ONLY profession protected by an amendment. There are also many rules in terms of what is libelous and how far can we push.

M - Media Studies. Media studies means studying how the human experience is changed by media including how we interact with technology, social media, ect.

N - New Media. New media is now known as Digital Media, but the class hasn't changed. This is one of the intro level courses all MJD students take which teaches you the basics of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver.

O - Observation. Part of the senior research proposal is observation. We are required to observe events, meetings, and people relating to our chosen topics. Observation is a key way in which we can draw new conclusions for our projects.

P - Possibilities. The MJD department opens up a world of opportunities for students. Just because I came into the department sure that I was going to be a broadcast journalist doesn't mean the classes wouldn't open my eyes to my potential in marketing and public relations. This department is about more than just journalism.

Q - Question. This is simple enough. As a reporter and student of the department, you ask alot of questions both of professors and sources. Don't be afraid to ask about what is on your mind.

R - Revolution. Media revolutions is an introductory media studies course that all majors and minors take. Like a history course it looks at a media timeline and discusses its effects on society.

S - Sensationalism. In our writing classes, we are constantly learning to walk the line between engaging journalism and sensationalism. It is part of the ethical battle of being a journalist.

T - Technology. As an MJD major, you have access to some very cool technology including video cameras, DSLR cameras, waterproof cameras, and helmet cameras.

U - Undervalued. I believe that the potential of the MJD department is extremely undervalued. Without this department, I never would've become an intern in Los Angeles, competed in a film festival, produced a paper, or become an adventure film maker. I now see the potential.

V - Vicious. Admittedly, that's an aggressive word choice, but I use it here to describe the passion of the students. Students are willing to pursue their passions with furver. We all want and expect big things from ourselves and we can be our harshest critics.

W - Winners. Our school always puts together a team for the VT International Film Festival "Sleepless in Burlington" competition. We didn't win this year, but maybe you can be on next year's winning team?

X - ..... Well, this is awkward, but after looking through the dictionary, I am finding no appropriate words that start with "x"...

Y - Year. It's amazing what you'll learn in a year in this department. At the end of your freshman year, you could know how to create entire websites and design logos. Now, those skills create some possibilities.

Z - Zany. Every department has their quirks. We have a lot of them, but maybe we just notice them more because we spend more time together than in most departments. I love the program and all the people in it.

Now you've heard our ABC's. I hope you join MJD.


Questions? or

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Media Events in the 21st Century - Analysis of Social Media and The Way We Watch TV (Book)

an analysis of media events in the digital age with emphasis on social media
That's the title page of our proposal

Hello Everyone! Happy Holidays!

If you haven't heard, I'm writing a book with my good friend, Liz Murray, and on Thursday night, we turned in our 31-page, 16,000 word proposal.

We have been working towards our final proposal all semester and it is a relief to have it done. Now, of course, we actually have to write the book.

Now without giving too much away, I want to share some of our working arguments we are addressing.

  1. News events, under particular circumstances, can qualify as media events in the digital age. 
  2. In order for something to be called a media event, there must be a conversation about it over social media.
  3. Television still remains the primary medium for media events, but people are more often having a multiple screen experience when viewing media events. 
  4. The viewing experience of media events has gone from a reality-based community to a virtually-based community. 

Oh my god, Santa!!
To be honest, I need a break from media events and research. What I need is a holiday! In less than two weeks, I'll be home in Lake Tahoe and I can't wait. I do have a few things to finish up in the mean time.  For example, this weekend was the Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Christmas Party. Founder's Society members volunteer to help out with crafts for the children of the school community. The best part is that Santa made an appearance. In fact, one of our fabulous admissions counselors, Jeremy Brown, played Santa.

Also, today I laid out the last Defender of the semester. That's right! Issue #9 is going to be printed on Tuesday. To be honest, I am really relieved to be done with full time Defender. It is really rewarding to put together a paper, but it is also exhausting and occasionally stressful. 

Despite that I have decided to stay on next semester as a Multimedia Editor, meaning I get to take photos, video, and audio. I'm doing it as a 2-credit course and it should be a lot of fun. At the very least, I get to do a lot of fun projects next semester. 

Now, I am off to McCarthy Arts Center for an Acabellas rehearsal. Have a great night! 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Socially Acceptable Things To Do After Thanksgiving

1) Listen to Christmas Carols. 

I really hate when stores rush the holidays. You know when you go to buy your vampire teeth for Halloween because you procrastinated on a wittier costume and they are already encouraging you to buy your pre-lit, 3-foot-tall Christmas tree? I really don't like that.

Following Thanksgiving, it is socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music. 

So break-out your Christmas albums and karaoke your way to the holidays. Kate and I did just that when we went shopping on Black Friday...

2) Shop Until You Drop

Black Friday is the one day a year where you could shop for over 24-hours. In fact, you can usually start on Thanksgiving, which I personally feel is ridiculous.

However,  now that Thanksgiving has passed it is the season of spending and it is socially acceptable to empty your bank account if you so desire.

It is a time for buying gifts for important people in your life and then buying a little something extra for yourself like sparkly gold pumps because they were 50 percent off and you might need them for a New Year's party. (This is me.... I have resisted the purchase for the time being...)

On Black Friday, I bought a giant eye make-up set for $16.99, a black pencil skirt from Express for $30, and a cream colored dress with floral print for $10.

3) Wear Red, Green and Ugly Sweaters.

Photo from
I don't know how everyone else feels, but there is something strange about wearing red and green in July. It just doesn't suit people.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it is socially acceptable to wear red and green.

You can now break out the ugly sweaters who stuffed in the back of your closet last year. In fact, owning that sweater gives you the divine right to throw a party and wear reindeer antlers without shame.

So get out there and celebrate the season. This behavior won't be socially acceptable for long! Get it on it while supplies last!


Monday, November 12, 2012

21st Birthday + Senior Pub Crawl

There are certain birthdays you look forward to. At 16, you can get your driver's license. At 18, you can get piercings and tattoos. At 21, you can legally drink alcohol and this past Friday, I finally turned 21 years old--just in time for the Senior Pub Crawl I might add.

As a rule, blogging about alcohol and pub crawls is a bad idea, but since this blog is about the college experience at St. Mike's and we all have a 21st birthday eventually, I wanted to share my story.

For my birthday dinner, my friends and I went downtown to a Mexican food restaurant called Madera's, so I could have a margarita. Madera's is on the best Mexican food places in VT and is about as close as it gets to west coast Mexican food. (I also hear El Gato is rather good, but I couldn't get a reservation for 7 people at 7 p.m.) It's not incredibly cheap or expensive. I'd estimate you'd spend $20 on dinner.

My first legal drink at Madera's
After that, we headed back to campus to celebrate at a party in the townhouses. My friend, Karen, let me borrow the crown from her Honey Boo-Boo costume on Halloween and Andrea let me borrow her "Birthday Princess" sash. It was an incredibly fun night and I'm grateful to have amazing friends who care enough to host a birthday party for me.

Saturday night was the pub crawl. Seniors go on a pub crawl each semester. Buses shuttled us downtown from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. It was my first American bar hopping experience (I went bar hopping in New Zealand) and it was very fun! It seemed that almost the entire crowd at bars like What Ale's You and RiRa's were St. Mike's seniors. A lot of times, we--the students--joke about the "St. Mike's bubble." We have everything we need right here on campus so why leave? Well, going downtown and seeing all that Burlington has to offer is a great reason why. Burlington is a fabulous place to celebrate a 21st birthday. I can't wait for you to enjoy yours!

Now, we've started another week of classes, the last full one before Thanksgiving break! :) I can't wait for a few days off.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Schedule for My Final Semester at St. Michael's

Good morning, everyone!

Hope you're doing well. I am an in the midst of the busiest time of the semester and I sort of feel like I'm losing a mind. I simply have a lot of on my plate and I've been running around like a crazy person.

On the bright side, Friday is my 21st Birthday!

Now that I have vented to you, let me tell you about my schedule for my final semester at St. Mike's. (Yes, that statement is absolutely terrifying.) As you are most likely aware, I have to schedule my classes around ski team commitments in the spring semester. It is also true that in my final semester I have to take certain classes which doesn't allow me as much flexibility as I'd like.

That being said, here is my schedule:

MJD-460-A (2794) Senior Seminar: Book- Wednesday 03:15PM - 06:25PM

Official Description: This is the capstone course. It's an opportunity to develop, research, and produce a professional-quality media project (a documentary film, book, or web documentary) which explores a socially significant topic through a variety of interdisciplinary angles. 

Bottom Line: I'm writing a book and I'm excited and freaking out at the same time.

MJD-219-A (3439) Social Media Theory & Practice - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00AM - 12:05PM

Official Description: Not Available

Bottom Line: A class on social media? I'm obviously taking it. 

DA-102-A (2634) Ballet I - Tuesday, Thursday 03:00PM - 04:35PM

Official DescriptionThis class is an introduction to the basic movement vocabulary of classical ballet. The class consists of floorwork, barre work and center floor with an emphasis on alignment and placement.This class is for students with no previous ballet experience or those who want to review the basics. Students will improve their flexibility, strength, balance and coordination while developing an appreciation for ballet as an expressive art.  

Bottom Line: My friends are taking this course, which will be hysterical. We have a performance in the Spring, which will be funnier.

BU-205-A (3124) Business Communication - Tuesday, Thursday 01:15PM - 02:50PM

Official DescriptionThis course enhance students' understanding of communication theory and capability in multiple communication channels and situations. Also develops critical thinking skills and ethical integrity in discerning credible information and responding appropriately.

Bottom Line: Communications is my niche and I've never taken a business class before. I figure it can't hurt me!

This will be the first semester that I can't ski every day. I know I lead a very rough life. :-P I will spending Wednesday afternoons in senior sem instead of on the ski slopes. I'll also be missing a couple sessions of Social Media Practice and Theory for races.

All-in-all I'm really happy with my schedule. I'm taking good courses that leave me time to work on my book and enjoy my final semester.

Questions about classes or registration? Leave a comment or ask anonymously at



Monday, October 29, 2012

Competing in the @VTFilmFest "Sleepless in Burlington" 24-Hour Film Competition

This weekend, I was part of a 5 person team that competed in a 24-hour film competition. Different Vermont colleges put together teams and each college can only have one team. Schools included University of Vermont, who won "People's Choice," Burlington College, who won "Best Film," Middlebury College, and St. Michael's.

Our film is titled "Tobin" after our lead character. Unlike most of the team's, we came in without script writing experience or any knowledge of working with actors. Let me tell you that my acting classes don't make me qualified to tell actors and actresses what to do or write scripts.

The strength of our film lied in our shot variety and the original music that we performed by two St. Mike's students. The music actually dictated the way we edited and I was so excited about it. Eric Parziale played the cello and Dylan Gombas played the fiddle. The film wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without their amazing contribution.

Our actors obviously played a critical role in the festival as well. Themie and Tobin were our lead actresses. Tobin was the director of the film for Burlington College last year and it was great to have the prior experience in the group. Themie, a UVM student, was with us all day from 10 am until the sun went down. Themie told us after the showing that she had been approached by a fellow actress and was told that the actress cried during the film. It made me feel great about the quality of the film.

The four required elements included the new mural just off Church St., buttons from Maglianero's, the phrase "a storm is coming" in the dialogue, and a Phish quote in the title screen.

The executive director of the Flynn Center, John Killacky, was a judge and complimented us on our ability to seamlessly integrate the buttons in our film. I was thrilled to hear that it didn't feel like we forced inclusion of the elements.

While I always want to win, Burlington College deserved the top honor. They had amazing video, audio, and story. I was very impressed with them and congratulate them.

If you come to St. Mike's and are offered a spot on the team, take advantage of it. It's exhausting, but an opportunity that may not come around again. I wouldn't take back the experience for anything.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sleepless In Burlington - Vermont International Film Festival (Preview)

This weekend, I will be competing as part of the St. Michael's  team in the Vermont International Film Festival's "Sleepless In Burlington" competition. The competition pits teams from colleges around Vermont against each other. Schools include University of Vermont, Middlebury College, Burlington College and possibly Champlain College.

Last year, St. Mike's won the first ever competition with the below video, so my team has a lot to live up to.
The premise of the competition is that teams have 24 hours to film, edit, and submit a 4 to 9 minute film while fulfilling certain requirements put forth by the organizers. Last year, the team had to use candy corns, "Canada Guy," and a Burlington landmark.

This year, I am on a team of five including Vicky Cooley, Brain McQueen, Chase Pellerin, and Derrick Logan, all of whom I have had classes with. The advantage to this is that we have, at the very least, a working relationship already in place.

That being said I am incredibly nervous about the competition. On Friday morning, we will receive via email the guidelines. Essentially, they are going to tell us what this year's "candy corns" are. On Friday evening, we will have a short informational meeting over at the University of Vermont. On Saturday morning at 8 a.m. (Oh geez...), we cast our actors and then shooting begins at 10 a.m. Our film is to be submitted by noon on Sunday. The official viewing happens at 6 p.m. on Sunday night at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

I'll be honest. I seriously considered NOT doing this competition. This weekend is Halloween weekend at St. Mike's and I didn't want to miss out on my "last" Halloween. However, I realized that the chance to compete in an international film festival may not be ever pop up again for me. Basically, I'm carpe-ing the diem.

I promise to let you know all about the experience afterwards, but only after I've taken a good long nap.

Talk to you all soon!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Career Services: A Gem in the Mysterious Building Called Klein

If you are a prospective student, you are probably thinking, "I have a few years before I have to worry about having a resume and job hunting in the 'real world.'"

If you are the parent of a prospective student, I'm sure you're wondering, "Even if we pay the tuition, will my child be able to get a job after graduation?"

For the prospective students, here is my word of advice: create a resume early on. You will need one if you plan to get a job in Burlington or participate in internships . Then, you will have a standard set-up to add experience to during your 4 years.

For the parents, don't worry. St. Mike's not only does a great job teaching us about a breadth of topics and preparing us for the many facets of life, but has an amazing alumni network and career services department to help you with your post-graduation life.

Today, I had my first appointment with Chris Clary from the Office of Career Development. The website advises that you start as a freshman if you are really dedicated. They actually have a 4-year plan. However, don't feel like you absolutely need to do that. I clearly didn't.

I really went in because my friends, Maria and Dachelle, said it was incredibly helpful. They also said that Chris Clary had a way of making you feel awesome about yourself and she totally does.  I have had a resume since my freshman year of high school, which I created with help from my parents and personal research. Chris gave me interesting ways to phrase my work experience and new topics to address in my cover letter. For example, my resume shows that I have professional experience in higher ed admissions, higher ed marketing, financial services industry, and public relations. What I saw was work experience. What she saw was my ability to be a chameleon, blending into new industries and work environments and quickly getting a handle on the different audiences of each group.

Didn't I tell you she makes you feel awesome?

She also gave me some new ideas for dividing up my resume. Instead of simply having "Experience" as a title, I am going to section my resume in a more focused manner. Possibilities include: Writing/Editing, Social Media, and Public Relations. By dividing up the different focuses of my positions, I give them a more easily readable outline.

Clary also advised that I add "skills" and "activities" section in addition to my education/GPA (if above a 3.0). The beautiful thing is that I have a LinkedIn profile that features much of the necessary information. My biggest undertaking will most likely be my cover letters and phrasing in terms of explaining my experiences.

Lucky for me, Clary recommended I don't apply until early in the second semester, so I have some time to get organized. When I get my resume together, I am going to send it back to Clary for review. On my way out, Clary handed me the "Career Advisory Network" sheet. In a nutshell, the worksheet allows students to mark the fields they are interested in working, what industries they like, and where they want to look for jobs. Career Development then compiles a list of alumni that we, the students, can network with based on our sheet. I just filled mine out and I'm excited to see what alumni work in my fields of interest!

I'm sure I'll be back to Career Development again in the near future when I'm deciding what positions to apply to!

Questions? Ask anonymously here:


Sunday, October 14, 2012

College Luxury: The Long Weekend

There are few luxuries that college affords. (You could say that college in itself is a luxury, which is true.) However, once you are in college, you find that the "broke college student" stereotype is a very real thing.

One of the free luxuries we do get are the occasional long weekend. In October, St. Mike's students enjoy 4-days following midterms to regroup, catch-up, and/or get ahead. I personally planned to get ahead, but that will start tomorrow. I needed Saturday and Sunday to decompress. It's been a very busy few weeks.

Washington, DC USA
Hilary and I at the Lincoln Memorial - May 2012
On Friday night, my friend Hilary from UVM made the trek to Colchester. For those of you who don't know, Hilary and I have known each other since we were 10 years old when we skied together on the Sugar Bowl Ski Team. She also drove cross-country last May with me.

Hilary is from Nevada, too, so we share the challenge of not being able to go home on long weekends. In order for Hilary to get a break, she made a trip to campus while we were celebrating Maria's 22nd birthday.

She spent the night on our couch and the next morning we went to breakfast at Sneakers in the Winooski Circle. I highly recommend it as a breakfast option if you are in town. My personal favorite meal is the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. It's so tasty!

Hilary and I also did a Walmart trip where I stocked up on groceries. We parted ways shortly after and I met up with Kate for a Saturday afternoon hike.

Stowe Vermont Mountains in the Fall
We decided to do Stowe Pinnacle, a 2-hour hike over at Stowe Resort.  It was the first blue sky day we have had in a while so it was the perfect day to head out. It is also prime leaf-peeping season, which made the hike that much more beautiful. You don't have to be an expert hiker to handle this one. Just bring water and a snack for the top! Oh, and, of course, wear some sturdy shoes.

I have spent today (Sunday) watching Sex and the City. Now, I am watching the Patriots game with Kate and Teresa. It is cloudy and since I have 2 more days of the weekend, I can justify a few days of laziness.

I hope you all are keeping calm and getting ready for the holiday season!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spending a Day on the Campaign Trail with @CarolineBright

Every week, I write articles for the Defender in addition to being an editor and laying out pages. This week's issue is multimedia based meaning our print issue is less substantial and most of the content is online.

About a month ago, I pitched a story about Caroline Bright, a Class of 2012 graduate who is currently running for Vermont state senate on behalf of Franklin County. We pushed the story waiting for the opportunity to do a multimedia. I am carless which presented a challenge, but I paired up with Shannon Moore, the features editor, and we tackled the story for Issue #4.

Bright in her former science classroom
Shannon and I spent over 10 hours with Caroline, following her from her hair appointment through her first debate. It is by far the most in-depth story I've ever done. I have actually covered Caroline before a media class while she was still Miss Vermont. She is also close friends with one of my good friends from skiing, so we've interacted before. From a journalistic stand-point this made our story much more genuine because Caroline was comfortable with us.
Bright goes up against an older (and male) table of candidates
 in her first debate
Caroline also happens to be one of the most outgoing and personable people I've ever met. Shannon and I barely had to ask questions when we were with her. We just shared conversations and got all the audio we needed. The hard part wasn't getting the information. It was sorting through it where we met our challenege. There were so many angles we could have taken. We could have done a story on the issues Caroline is running on. We could have done a story on all the candidates running for state senate for Franklin County. However, we ended up doing a story that takes a look at how Caroline portrays herself for the campaign, what makes her different from most politicians and how being Miss Vermont helped her prepare. It's not everyday a 22-year-old that is fresh out of college runs for political office making this a really fun story to cover.
I'm also thrilled to say that it is the cover story for this week's Defender. It is my first cover story and my photo made it on the front. :-D
Make sure to pick it up in print on campus and to check it out online tomorrow (Tues. Oct 9th) at It's going to be a great issue!

Friday, October 5, 2012

15 Minutes of Fame on @WPTZ and @BFP_News

Last night was the first presidential debate of the first election where I have a vote. I attended the debate for a number of reasons including a Her Campus article, an acting class paper, and personal education. As part of Professor Mindich's weekly film series, the debates were aired in Cheray 101 AND Cheray 111. Before 8:30 pm, the largest classroom on campus had students sitting in the stairs. I knew we had a politically charged campus, but I was very surprised to see how many people came to the campus viewing.

With a strong student and faculty turn out, we also saw a strong turnout of the press and I was interviewed.

WPTZ Channel 5's, David Charns, was there for the broadcast crew. About half way through the debate, my friend Alex and I were pulled out of the debate to express our thoughts on the current debate winner. St. Mike's students name presidential debate winner | Vermont - WPTZ Home Unfortunately, it's not letting me embed the video, but you can watch it be following the link. As a journalist, I know that we need to edit quotes down and find the ones that fit our stories. I spent the second half of the debate wondering "What kind of journalist is Charns? How is he going to make me look and sound?" Well, I sounded fine, but boy, was I pasty white or what? (Obviously, a #vermontproblem and NOT Charns fault.)

There I am... Front and center.... In a Brown sweatshirt

I was also quoted in the Burlington Free Press as well had a half page photo in the paper. I was not expecting the photo to be that big, but hey I think it's a pretty cool photo.

It was funny. As the photographer was walking around, I recognized her, but couldn't place here. Then it hit me. I believe she came to my photojournalism course last year and spoke. Naturally, I figured that out way after the fact.

I only knew I might be in the free press because the photographer asked for my name. I went to a meeting with Christian (from Marketing) about some blogger events and he showed me the paper.

There you have it. My most recent "15 minutes of Fame" in the Burlington Free Press.

Talk to you soon! I'm off to do some reporting of my own.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adventure Film Making: Rock Climbing

For the last of the three adventure film labs, I went on a rock climbing adventure. Now, I have rock climbed before Friday, but it has certainly been a while. To better explain to you how long it's been I woke up on Saturday morning with muscles aching that I forgot I had. Don't you just love those mornings?

We went down near Bolton with a student wilderness instructor and three other students from my class. It was rather chilly out. Thank god I have all my winter layers, so I was alright. We were lucky that the rain held off while we were out.

That's me working my way up!
Perhaps the biggest fear I had to get over was that I would just fall off the cliff. It's really not a crazy fear.

I was surprised to find that the climbing shoes held so well on even the smallest of rivets on the rock. This particular climb was interesting because you had to use there was a crevice between the two rocks. There were times when I had to use opposite forces and shimmy a little bit. There wasn't as much stepping and strategic wiggling.

I had a really great time doing it despite being sore the next day. I made it all the way up the rocks twice. The second time I avoided having to go into the crevice, which I was rather thrilled about.

L to R: Me, Kate, and Christina
After a few hours of climbing, we headed back to campus and I had a lovely night out with friends. Sometimes in college you actually have to schedule time to see certain friends. There are some friends I only see on the weekends because we don't eat our meals together in Alliot, we don't share a major and we aren't in the same clubs. It's a weird place to be in considering they are some of my best friends.

It was a great weekend all in all and we have a new issue of the Defender coming out on Tuesday. It could very well be our best yet! I promise to share it with you here when it goes out.

In the mean time, have a great Monday. Keep calm, drink coffee, and make sure to put everything in your planner.

Gabbi Hall

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mason Jars and Tie-Dye: Just Another Vermont Night

When giving a tour, I am always prepared to answer the question, "What do students do on the weekends?" 99% of the time someone (usually a parent) asks. 100% the prospective students are wondering.

The questions actually requires a rather lengthy answer. We go downtown for food, concerts, and shopping. We have movie nights with our friends. We go on Wilderness Program trips. We attend socials.

Socials are put on by RAs and ACAs around campus every weekend and provide activities for students. My friends, Sarah, the ACA in the 200s, and Peppers, the ACA in the 400s and were on duty Saturday night, so they had to put on a social. We also decided to have a girl's night/movie night, so the social was really just a fun time for us all to hang out. However, any one on campus can attend any social on campus. Socials range from wings eating to video game tournaments to what I did on Saturday night.

We headed to International Commons at 8 pm for cookie decorating, mason jar decorating, and tie-dying.

T-shirts were provided for tie-dying so obviously I jumped on that craft. I never really thought I'd tie-dye anything ever before coming to St. Mike's, but you sort of end up with a minor in tie-dye by coming to school in VT. Whether you do it at a social or for P-Day shirts with friends, you just pick it up. I went with pink and yellow on this one and I'm rather proud of it. There is actually a spiral!

Next up was mason jar decorating. It seems that drinking out of mason jars is the super trendy thing to do these days and since they were providing them for free, I snagged a few to decorate with puff paint. This particular jug is going to be my "Winter Time" mug for hot chocolage. It's a rather large one so it could double as a vase, but I think I'll just use it for beverages... or maybe I'll keep hot cocoa mix in there. Hmmmm....

Yes, I know. My big decisions are so impressive and life-altering. :)

We also watched the Twilight movie, Eclipse, and The Proposal that evening. There was also an incident with a spider on the couch which involved a lot of screaming and getting Sarah's BF, Pat, the kill it.

Overall, it was a very successful evening followed by 8 hours in lab to produce this week's issue of the Defender. It comes out tomorrow, so make sure to pick it up!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Biting the Bullet and Redefining Media Events

What is a "media event?" At a most basic level, Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz defined media events as "an event or activity that exists for the sole purpose of media publicity. It may also include any event that is covered in the mass media or was hosted largely with the media in mind (Wikipedia)."

Dayan and Katz's book was published in 1992. It would be an understatement to say things have changed in the past 20 years in terms of media and how we use it.

Perhaps you are wondering why I am giving you a lecture on media. Here's why:
  1. I'm a Digital Arts, Journalism, and Media Studies major. This is what we learn about.
  2. It inspired my senior seminar topic!
The second fact ranks number one in importance and relevance. The fact that Liz and I have decided on a topic for our book is exhilarating, terrifying, and a relief. 

For those of you who don't know, most college students have a semester-long senior capstone class with a 30-page thesis at the end. The MJD department takes a different approach with year-long project, allowing students to develop original research and write a book, build a multi-media website, or produce a documentary. Liz and I have opted for a book as our primary medium. We are also discussing accompanying videos, website, and other fun marketing tools. (You all know how much I love social media.)

Perhaps more importantly than picking the medium, Liz and I picked a topic. We have spent the past 3 weeks brainstorming topics. We have tried to meet twice a week to review our list, add to the list, and develop our favorite ideas. For our meetings with Hyde and Sultze, we picked our top 3 ideas to run by them. We also threw out other ideas from our list that weren't as developed as the ones we were pitching.

Our favorite topics were:
  1. Social Media and Political Leanings - Is the "invisible wall" between social media users and their audience making them more extreme in their political views?
  2. The Harry Potter franchise and its effects on 18-24 year old culture - How has the HP franchise changed our generation? What makes a book-film franchise so successful? What are the psychological effects of our demographics obsession with the wizarding world?
  3. The third topic was inspired by my water bottle
    which I bought at Rite-Aid last year.
  4. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to tweet about it, did it really happen? -  In 2012, can media events still be defined on the terms of 1992? How has the definition changed? How are media events the same as 1992? Do events have any real significance if they aren't trending topics on Twitter?
Following my hour and a half meeting with Professor Hyde yesterday, I met up with Lizzie to go over his thoughts on our topics. #2 and #3 were the favorites. (They were for us, too. Thank goodness!) The real debate came when we discussed depth vs. breadth. Did we want to dive into one specific top (HP) and completely dissect it OR take a step back and look at the bigger picture of media in the 21st century? 

We ultimately decided on breadth, so that we could address all our favorite topics from politics to Harry Potter. Why get tied down when the world is so large?

As I type this, the reality that the hard work lies ahead is settling in. I can't dwell too long though. There are Defender pitches and stories to write, lines to memorize for acting, and parts to learn for Acabellas! I like to keep busy. :)

Have a great week! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fashion Evolution from High School to College (Guest Post by Amy and Alyssa of East Coast Clad)

The transition from high school to college isn't easy. Living on your own, figuring out expenses, dealing with classes, homework and a social almost seems impossible. Then throw in the daily problem of "what do I wear to class?!" and college life IS impossible. Thankfully, the inspiration to dress on a budget and find the perfect "I-am-dressed-up-but-didn't-try-to-be" outfit is right here...on the internet!

When we started college (Amy in the fall of 2009 and Alyssa in the fall of 2010) neither of us had our styles set in place. Luckily, things have changed and we are well on our way of finding our unique personal styles.

Amy's story:
My freshman year style consisted of rainbow sandals, an ill-fitting pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans and an Erin Fetherson for Target blouse. I had the basics, but seriously needed some help. It wasn't until I discovered fashion blogs and began reading magazines that I gained the confidence to emulate and re-create the designer looks I was seeing online and in glossy pages. I knew I wouldn't be strutting down the streets of NYC on my way to English, but that didn't mean I should be dressing like a bum. College is preparing you for a career, which means you should dress up nicely for when you have a career. Plus, you won't look like you pulled an all-nighter if you have your makeup on and a stellar outfit.

Alyssa's story:
It is funny how in high school and at the beginning of college in my mind I thought I looked so stylish. I look back now and I am like what was I wearing?! I also wore the basics that I felt couldn't be criticized by others, because everyone wore them. I never felt comfortable sharing my true style in high school, then when I came to college I was still in that mind set. Finally I began to feel comfortable and confident in my skin, so wore those oxfords to class that I never imagined I would. It just kept going from there, my personal style kept emerging more as the years went one. The happiness of feeling good about how you feel or  what you are wearing is like nothing I have ever know. The best advice I could ever give to anyone would be wear what you want to and forget everyone else. Who cares what people think and rock  your combat boots to class or out at a party. People will notice your style and confidence and be like, "Hey, I wish I could wear those boots." Love who you are and embrace it. 

College is all about self-discovery, and fashion is included in that. You become more confident with yourself and your style develops and changes. We believe that style is always changing and that it will always be difficult to pinpoint down on one's exact style. Personal style is different to everyone, hence the "personal" part, so that doesn't mean you should copy an exact outfit you see on a blog. Take what works for you, say a cropped pair of jeans you saw from Zara, and make it your own. Style is self-interpreted, so take chances during the year's of your life where it is all about chance and self-discovery.
Amy Kelly & Alyssa Miller
      East Coast Clad founders


I want to extend a thank-you to Amy and Alyssa for contributing to The 'Licious Life. I think that how we present ourselves on the outside can have a huge impression on how people will treat you. We all want to be successful in life and dressing for the role you want will be a huge benefit for you. Find your personal style and run with it! Questions?

xoxo Gabbi

Monday, September 17, 2012

@NEACAC Students in Admissions Forum - Brown University, RI

Instead of lecturing you about the awesome trip to Brown University, I thought I'd give you a Storify, a compilation of tweets and photos that will tell you about the trip! Questions? Ask at


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Designing My First @SMC_Defender Pages - A Double Truck Extravaganza

You know when you open a blank Word document, place the heading, and then just stare at the screen?

You think "What should I type?" or "Where should I place the picture?"

Well, that is how my first day in the Defender lab started. (In case you don't know "Defender labs" are the Sundays that the editorial board of the Defender get together and layout the paper. It is part of the Publication Editing and Design course and if you want a concentration in journalism, you have to take the course.)

My first (and really my only) project for the day was laying out the Double Trucker, a two-sided, open-faced page in the middle of the paper. My "Fall Sports Preview Article" is front and center in the article, which I think is VERY exciting.

The interesting thing about Defender is that it is "learn as you go." For the most part, design skills are taught in Digital Media 1 and 2 and those design skills are for Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. Publication Editing and Design is primarily focused on the use of inDesign.  Since we are putting out a paper in the third week school and several of our class periods are dedicated to pitching and editing articles, you can imagine that we haven't had much time to learn inDesign. Fortunately, I am a self-taught inDesign user after my summer at Western.

My primary issues were deciding where to place photos and text and make it all look cohesive. Photos need to correlate with the text they are sitting with. I had to decide if I'd use a photo for every article or just a couple large photos. I had basically laid out my entire 2 pages when Professor Swope arrived on the scene. (Professor Mindich was on the scene for the morning section.) You may want to look at things this way. Mindich is our writing guru and Swope is our photo and design guru. Mindich edits our stories and Swope edits our layouts. I am pleased to say that my article (1,600 words long I might add) got an A.

Of course, what I really want to talk about are the finite, nit-picky details of design. There was too much white space on my page. According to Swope, extra white space should be on the outside of the page. Therefore, at 2 pm after 3 hours of laying out my page, I had to do a reworking. I ended up with some cute purple boxes for statistics and regular article text. (See a .jpeg of the design below) Thank goodness for Professor Swope. If there is one thing being a media studies major teaches you, it's how to take criticism.

My first ever newspaper layout!
My housemates often joke that my ego is to big for St. Mikes. My nickname is "Boss lady" or "Miss SMCVT." However, I know that I don't know everything about design for newspapers. (Hello, I'm a blogger! What do I know about paper?) Although it may appear that I have everything together, I have a lot to learn.

My advice for aspiring MJD majors: Help others when you can and take criticism and advice with a smile.

Have questions? Ask me here (you can ask anonymously!):


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adventure Film Making - Mountain Biking

Why do I like Saint Mike's? 

Departments and clubs come together in unique ways and, in the case of Adventure Film, ways that will allow you to go out on adventure trips for the lab portion of the class! Thank you, Media Studies and Wilderness Program!

Last week, I went sea-kayaking. This past Friday, I went mountain biking. As Professor Hyde said, "You grew up in Truckee and haven't gone mountain-biking?!" A) I only half grew-up in Tahoe, but more importantly B) I was always more about skiing and gymnastics. This Friday was the first time I'd been really mountain-biking and it was so much fun.

It was a gorgeous day in VT!
We headed out to Catamount Family Center in Williston, Vt. about 20 minutes away from school. I got to drive the snazzy school van because I'm school van certified van driver for the alpine ski team and followed Hyde and Sultze in Hyde's pick-up truck. I should have know Hyde had a truck. You'll understand when you meet him.

The goal of these labs is to educate the class on different outdoor activities and encourage our creativity when it comes to adventure film. If there is one thing I know, it is extremely hard to photograph and video an activity you don't fully understand. (You should have seen me photographing Field Hockey this past weekend for Defender. It was tough figuring out what the "peak moments" were.) Essentially, it's 3 hours of riding and then stopping and chatting about camera angles, unique attributes and challenges of the environment you'd be filming in, and getting over fears or discomforts. The other great part? Quality time with your professors. How many other schools are there where you go mountain biking with the professor teaching your senior seminar? (Tips for first-years: Always refer to your professors as "Professor (insert last name here)." In the case of the MJD department, you'll probably be on a first name basis with your professors by sophomore year. I still can't bring myself to call my advisor, David, but maybe I'll get there someday.) Not only did Professor Hyde lead the trip, but Professor Sultze accompanied us, playing "sweeper" in the event that anyone crashed and needed to be picked up.

That's Dominique and Michelle up top and
Professor Sultze riding on the bump track below.

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