From One Chapter to Another

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.”

-Thomas Merton

Letting go at the end of a moment has always been a struggle for me. For 17 years of my life all I’ve known is the life of a student and the offshore gaze into the ocean of adulthood has been a comfortable breeze of the saying, “I’ll worry about it when I’m there.” As quickly as my name was called during Bellarmine’s graudation ceremony last Saturday, I am now here. I am now a cum laude graduate of Bellarmine’s School of Communication, jumping head first into those once dreamy waters of adult life.

Funny enough, even without a pool, Bellarmine properly taught me how to swim and I can’t thank them enough for it. I’ve throughly enjoyed my time as a blogger for Bellarmine University and thank those who have given me the opportunity to showcase my own student life but also actively reflect on my own role in our fluid and ever changing American culture. My future plans include more exciting adventures abroad and finding a professional career path where I can leverage all these wonderful and creative skills that this university has helped me harness within myself.

graduation

We Are Powerful Beyond Measure

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.

-Marianne Williamson

Hi everyone,
After months and months of careful planning, I’m very happy to say that my hard work has paid off. I’ve known for a while now how busy this weekend was going to be, so luckily I’ve been able to mentally prepare, but I never expected I would learn as much as I did. I’ve never felt so empowered, so motivated, so inspired. This weekend showed me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever thought of. Now that I can let out a sigh of relief and enjoy some downtime, let me tell you a little about my weekend:

Impact Summit at Bellarmine UniversityIMPACT SUMMIT:

Bellarmine held its first annual Impact Summit leadership program on Friday evening. I was able to attend the first committee meeting and assist with foundation planning of the event, but was unable to attend the remainder of the meetings as I had two other big events I was responsible for in the two days after the Summit. I was truly impressed with how the Impact Summit program turned out and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by so many talented emerging leaders within our University. We all came from different backgrounds and different student organizations, but we all had similar experiences.

What stuck with me the most was learning the importance of making a difference. Even if you impact just one person, that’s positive change and your act, whether you’re aware of it or not, may trickle forward to other acts of kindness.  I’m a huge fan of random acts of kindness, as well as letting my friends and family know how much I care about them, so this program really meant a lot to me.

KY Phi Mu Day

Phi Mu National President, Kris Bridges, and I at KY Phi Mu Day

KY Phi Mu DayKY Phi Mu DayKy Phi Mu DayAfter months of planning, countless meetings, late nights and crafting, it was finally the big day!  I was so happy to finally welcome almost 200 Phi Mu women from across Kentucky and southern Indiana to Bellarmine’s campus. It was a wonderful opportunity getting to meet new sisters and swap ideas with them, as well as listen to our oh-so-elegant National President speak. All of the hard work for this event, especially this past week, became so worth it getting to sit in awe knowing I was surrounded by girls who have gone through the same things I have and share the same special bond.

After Impact Summit and KY Phi Mu Day I was ready to close my weekend with the Phillip Phillips concert. One of the countless reason why I love Bellarmine so much is that they provide us with so many opportunities. Whether it is to help us develop professionally at the Impact Summit, allow us to celebrate our sisterhood at Phi Mu Day, or to enjoy a relaxing evening in the Quad accompanied by Phillip Phillips’ wonderful performance, they give us opportunities. And for that, I’m incredibly thankful.

Song of the day: Home by Phillip Phillips. This weekend proved to me that Louisville is my home, reaffirmed to me how Bellarmine couldn’t have been a more perfect choice, and that this is where I truly belong.

Flourish: Women in Leadership Conference

Yesterday I had the honor of attending Flourish, a Women in Leadership Conference, for the second year in a row. Basically, female students are nominated by faculty and staff to attend the conference. After you are nominated you submit an application to be considered as one of the attendees. Here is some more information from the Office of the Dean of Student’s website — it probably does a lot better job at explaining than I do…

Women in Leadership Conference

The Women in Leadership Conference is a yearly networking event for undergraduate women at Bellarmine.  Each March,  female students are selected to participate in the conference, which fosters personal and professional growth with each young woman in attendance through 5 major themes:

  1. Mentoring: Each participant is assigned to a prominent woman from the city of Louisville who will serve as a small group leaders.
  2. Professional Development: Women gain insight on a variety of issues including professional attire, job search and graduate school processes, effective communication, negotiating compensation packages and tips for successful performance reviews.
  3. Inspiration: Women will be inspired by the shared stories of panelists, mentors, and chosen participants
  4. Leadership Development: Expounding upon the professional development, women participate in sessions designed to enhance their personal leadership development, such as discovering and utilizing personal strengths, evaluating and managing finances and reaching life goals
  5. Exchange of Ideas: Throughout the conference, women will be exposed to multiple perspectives on best practices, tips for success, and leadership skills.

The event originated with the alignment of several factors. Early in the 21st century, Bellarmine University had a vested interest in developing the leadership skills of students as civic leaders, and it was during this period that the idea for the conference occurred. Bellarmine’s increased focus on leadership development was met with the motivation of a graduate student from the University of Louisville working in the Division of Student Affairs.

When the idea of giving specific focus to female leadership development was first proposed to the campus, there was immediate support for the concept, since 65% of the student population at that time was female. At the first effort toward a larger leadership development initiative, the Division of Student Affairs decided to produce the Women in Leadership Conference by forming a committee of ten Bellarmine students, faculty and administrators who began planning the inaugural conference in October 2004.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the committee decided that the conference should occur annually during the month of March. After five months of intensive planning by the committee, the inaugural Women in Leadership Conference took place on March 9, 2005, involving 25 undergraduate female Bellarmine students collaborating with 16 professional female leaders from within the Louisville community. The participants interacted with these leaders through a panel discussion, mentor groups and personal and professional development sessions.

This year’s speaker was Newcaster Charla Young.  I cannot say enough amazing things about Mrs. Young. She was probably one of the most inspirational speakers I have heard. Through her persistence and faith she has overcome so many obstacles and become successful. Her goal isn’t to be the next Oprah– she wants to be BETTER than Oprah. I am pretty much at a loss for word describing her but if you all have the chance check her and her story out– it is really motivating.

I’m glad I was able to attend the conference and that I was able to connect with other leading ladies on Bellarmine’s campus. I even met a kindred spirit! The person I sat next to at dinner is a junior art major who wants to go into basically the same area that I do– advocacy for the mentally ill. She wants to go to law school and everything. It was so weird/cool meeting someone who shared my career aspirations– we definitely geeked out a bit about it haha.

All right, that’s all for now! Until next time!

Ailise

Celebrating Holi

This really amazing picture was taken by fellow BU Blogger, Tatiana Rathke.

Saturday I got the opportunity to participate in Holi, a spring festival that is observed primarily in India and Nepal. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colours– think the color run minus the physical activity (definitely a plus in my book… running isn’t my strong suit).

Holi’s roots are found in an old Hindu story– here is a link to an explanation because I know if I tried to retell it I would mess it up… Holi celebrated the beginning of a new season (though here in Louisville it definitely feels like it is still winter…) The event was organized by the Residence Hall Association but there were also members of campus ministries present.

BASICALLY, we were all given white t-shirts and handed packed of powder paint? (I’m not really sure what it was but it was colorful and powdery) Once everyone was set we just started throwing the powder in the air and around everybody else. People were pretty much covered in color– it was like a rainbow exploded. OH, did I forget to mention the fact that water balloons were also being thrown?? Yeahhhh that part (to my knowledge) typically isn’t a traditional aspect of the Holi festival but hey, it was a nice day out and it made the colors clingy better hah.

I was really appreciative that they were able to put on something like this for the students (and that the weather cooperated). It is really awesome that Bellarmine cares enough to expose us to different cultures and traditions — that is probably one of my favorite things about Bellarmine, that we are able to learn inside and outside of the class room (and I concede that is really cliche but it is totally true so I have no shame making that statement)

All right kids, I have to go actually do some homework (shocking, I know).

That’s all for now, until next time!

Ailise

Hillside 2013 presents Phillip Phillips and guest Churchill

Phillip-Phillips

Tickets are available online at www.BellarmineTickets.com

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is coming to Bellarmine for our yearly concert series, Hillside on April 6th!. Some of our past Hillside performers include: Maroon 5, Gloriana, Sara Bareilles, Bowling for Soup, Live, Josh Gracin, Vertical Horizon, Blessid Union of Souls, Matt Nathanson and Mat Kearney! The concert will he held rain (Knights Hall) or shine (the Quad). Both locations are intimate and provide a one of a kind experience to see a talented musician perform.

Filling my days with art

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
-Ansel Adams

It’s always nice to know during the week that leads to spring break that a prize will be found over the hill of mid-terms and an intense workload. Up until last Monday I believed that my roommate and I would begin driving to Orlando on Saturday morning. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a spur of a moment kind of planner and unfortunately this was one of those ideas that we idealized rather then were realistic about. I am now staying in Kentucky over my last senior spring break because not having a reliable vehicle and driving 24 hours in 5 days might be leaning towards the crazy side.

“…but I would walk, 500 (1600) miles….”. Yeah sorry awesome song lyrics stuck in my head. Not going to happen.

On the bright side, this is really a blessing in disguise. I have a senior art show on the 15th of March, and this will be more time I can dedicate to really making it the best opening reception ever. I have the most wonderfully talented artists to exhibit with, Jen Greb and Laurel Anderson, and more time will allow me to not become a nervous wreck a week before it starts.

Bellarmine has an art department that I am proud to be involved in. The classes are so small and the relationships you can establish with the teachers is like having a mentor for four years and even after graduation. Even if you don’t think your right brained, after taking a few creative classes, the result is that anyone can do it with practice. Going out of a comfortable element can make you feel nervous, but I also tried out painting for the first time this semester and progress leads to a great emotional triumph of accomplishment.

photo photo-1 photo-2

Gearing Up for Spring Break

As most of us know, spring break is just a short 3 days away and like most students I could not be more excited. While I’m looking forward to a break from sitting in a classroom every day, I am probably more excited about the alternative spring break I am participating in.

On Saturday I will be leaving Louisville and heading to Washington D.C. with the Bellarmine University Brown Scholars. We will be staying a place called the pilgrimage and participating in various service projects and activities related to homelessness and poverty to help us gain a better understanding of both the world around us and ourselves. I feel like it is going to be a life changing experience.

We are going the economical route and driving to DC instead of flying. We’ll be taking a passenger van and since I am over 21 I am elligible to be one of the drivers. In order to actually get to drive the van though you have to complete a course, well, guess what I just did…

Boom.

I’ll be sure to keep y’all in the know during my adventure.

Until next time!

Ailise

Schmoozapalooza: Networking 101

This week was definitely a busy one for me. In addition to vistiting New Jersey earlier this week I also attended an event at Bellarmine called Schmoozapalooza. Schmoozapalooza is basically a networking event where you learn the in and outs of, as they say in the business, “working a room”.

The event is hosted by the Career Development Office, and trust me, Todd Reale and Ann Zeman really know what they’re doing. Timagehe Career Development Office has helped a bunch of my friends land jobs and has personally helped me revise my resume before I sent it out to law schools. They even provided those who signed up for the Schmoozapalooza event with business cards!

ANYWAYS, they brought in business and social etiquette expert, Terri Thomson, to give us a few tips. These are the important life lessons I learned:

- ALWAYS wear your name tag on your right — when you shake hands with people they will automatically be drawn to look to your right shoulder.

Promptly after Mrs. Thomson said  that the room was pretty much filled with the sound of people pulling off their adhesive name tags and moving them to the proper side.

- It isn’t about the food

Sure, these networking events are bound to have food and let’s be real, life’s tough as a college student — we come running when free food is mentioned but don’t go to one of these events on an empty stomach thinking you’re going to stock up. People kinda frown upon that thing

- If you DO want some refreshment, pick either food or drink, not both

Really this is just common sense, but it is funny how frequently we forget to use common sense. When you’re at a networking even you don’t want to have both food and a drink because  your hands will be full and you will be unable to shake hands with other people or exchange business cards. I opted for a drink– the food made me nervous… I didn’t want to have anything stuck in my teeth

- When giving your business card DO NOT give out one that is soiled or bent, even if it is your last. Also, always present the business card with your information facing them 

Again, one of those often forgot common sense things

-Be confident

When in doubt, just pretend you know what you’re doing. People in networking events are either a. as nervous and confused as you are or b. like bears — they can smell fear.

Well that’s all for now. Until next time!

Ailise

Don’t Forget About the Presidential Scholarship!

Scholarship

I Want YOU… to apply for the Presidential Scholarship!

If you’re a Bellarmine undergraduate student, working toward your first degree, have completed at least one semester before you send in your application, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, this blog post is for you. There is a special scholarship opportunity that Bellarmine gives out every year called the Presidential Achievement Scholarship, and if you haven’t already received this award or full tuition scholarships, I highly encourage you to try for it, and fill out your application! Applications are due Monday, Feb 25.

The application consists of basic information questions, a handful of short answer questions, an essay, and two teacher recommendations. Here are a couple tips for the process:

1.)  START EARLY
I hope that you have already started the process and gave your teachers ample time to write you a recommendation. If you’re just now starting, allow your first task to be getting your teacher recommendations completed. With that said, I’ll move on to the next point.

2.)  BE CORDIAL
Out of your two recommendations, one must come from a professor. The other can come from any another faculty/staff/administration member.  Choose wisely and ask in person. Ask teachers that know you well. Also, consider giving your professor a copy of your resume as well as a short personal paragraph so they can write a good recommendation. Be sure to include your ID number as they will need that for the online application! Afterwards it’s always nice to send a handwritten thank-you note to show your appreciation.

3.)  BE PERSONAL
The essay normally asks for you to write something along the lines about your college experience. Dig back to the times you had to write those moving, personal essays to get into college, and use that mindset when you write this essay. Share with them special stories about what has been significant to you and get personal. Writing from the heart helps show your effort and dedication.

I was very happy to receive the Presidential Achievement Scholarship last year and definitely think it is a good opportunity. It helps our college get to know you better as a student, and may also help open doors for other opportunities in the future!

Here are some other links that may help you along the way, too.

“Will you be my recommendation” – Bellarmine ARC

My.bellarmine site – click on the application in the bottom left!

More info on Presidential Scholarship 

Good luck!

Song of the day: Troublemaker by Olly Murs and Flo-Rida. Olly sounds like a good blend of Adam Levine (Maroon 5) with the 90′s boy-band vibe. Enjoy!