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

Feeding the Soul of the City: Alternative Spring Break Day 2

Today was another tiring day. Our group has managed to pack so much into the past 48 hours that frequently we have found ourselves forgetting that is is only Monday and we still have the rest of the week left in DC.

IMG_8534

  IMG_1018 We started our day out with a trip to D.C. Central Kitchen. On their website they proclaim that “Through job training, meal distribution, and local farm partnerships, we’re building long-term solutions to the interconnected problems of poverty, hunger and homelessness.” Here’s a video that really explains more that I can really put to words (I’m so worn out by all that we’ve done my brain is only really working on half power…)

Most of us were stationed in the salad preparation station. My job was to peel and cut cucumbers and radisheIMG_2642s. Other people were in charge of cutting up bread for croutons, peeling and grating carrots and two unlikely people got stuck chopping onions for the 3 hours that we were there..

After volunteering at D.C. Central Kitchen 9 of us ventured to Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital and 4 volunteered with Thrive DC.  

I was part of the group that went to St. Elizabeth’s. We kinda took a “scenic detour” (aka     we got lost) around Congress Heights– the neighborhood the hospital is in. After getting our daily workout in we got to St. Elizabeth’s. We ended up cleaning different areas– my group cleaned the transitional housing area to prepare it for Tuesday and Wednesday because they anticipate getting a large amount of people due to snow (I’ve heard rumors that they are supposed to get 8-12 inches… jeez Louise!). After we cleaned we got a brief history of the hospital. The hospital was founded in 1852 by the United States Congress. It was the first large scale federally run hospital in the United States. The hospital has housed thousands of patients over the year and since they are run by the government people can stay at the hospital even if they don’t have insurance (they actually encourage those with private insurance to go to different hospitals so that St. Elizabeth is able to provide care for those who would not be able to get it otherwise).

The lady who was our contact at St. Elizabeth, Maureen Jais-Mick, said that even though we spent our time while volunteering cleaning, we really did make a difference. She said that we would be surprised how much having nice, clean facilities can brighten someone’s day.

After we volunteered at St. Elizabeth’s our next mission was to buy groceries. Over the next three days we will be participating in the “SNAP challenge”. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly known as food stamps, assists low and no income persons in the United States with purchasing food. The SNAP challenge is basically where you live off the same amount that someone who was on food stamps would.

Our group of fourteen was divided in to 3 “families”, two groups of five and one group of four. The families of 5 received $80 to purchases groceries for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next three day and the family of four received $67. I was in the family of four.

We also followed by the rules that those on SNAP would have to follow. Here are just a few restrictions on what can be bought

- You cannot buy anything that is “ready to eat”

- You cannot buy anything that is intended to be eaten in the store (such as sandwiches from the deli and what not)

- You can only buy food that is consumed by humans (no pet food)

- You cannot buy tobacco or alcohol

At first it seems like the program would be easy — $67 for 12 meals for 4 people — totally doable. We started buying groceries and went on our way but as we added up our totals we realized that when it comes to ensuring all the food groups are met and you’re eating healthy is a lot more difficult when you have such a limited amount of funds. Restricting ourselves to a certain amount of money made us a lot more conscious of what we were purchasing– we opted for store brand over the luxurious name brand items and even had to put back some items at one point in time. We were able to stick to our budget and our meals are as follows:

Breakfast options: Cereal and milk, yogurt, or toast with peanut butter

Lunch Day 1: Peanut butter sandwiches, a bag of pretzels, and a banana

Lunch Day 2: Pasta left over from dinner

Lunch Day 3: Turkey sandwiches with a slice of cheese, pretzels and grapes

Dinner Day 1: Pasta with butter

Dinner Day Two: Tomato soup and grilled cheese

Dinner Day 3: Taco Night (potluck with the other “families”)

While we were able to stick to our budget and devise meals we found it challenging figuring out the groceries needed for three days– I can’t imagine doing that for a month at a time. It was really eye opening. I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on our progress with SNAP

Here are some more pictures from our day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That’s all for now.

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

Homecoming Week!!!

So this week has been Home Coming Week for BU Basketball and it has been as good as always! For me the week started of fantasticly with the annual Homecoming event, which this year was a scavanger hunt called “Where’s Bobby B?”. The scavanger hunt took the contestants across the campus following clues leading up to the conclusion where Bobby B was found. IMG_0720 This year my best friend Ryan and I were supposed to be competing together, unfortunately he got sick so I got one of my other best Friends Jay to take his place. Together we, as Team Bacon, ran across campus like mad men and when we finally got to the end we sadly only got third place. But regarless of not winning we had a great time. The remainder of homecoming week was grand as usual and it ends tonight with the Homecoming Game. The women play at 5:45 and the men play at 8:00 both I know are going to do fantastic! GO KNIGHTS!!!

———-MINDSET———-

 

Today I want to be a….DJ

It was a year and a half before I stepped foot back in the radio booth and resurrected by show that I began my second year here. The Highland Hype. I knew what I wanted to play, but regaining the courage to go back on air took a bit more convincing on my self esteems part. After begging our wonderful station manager (and close friend), Victoria Reibel, to stay with me for the first show, I felt relieved and supported. She literally just sat next to me. That was all the boost of support I needed because as soon as noon hit on Thursday afternoon, I began to talk and it all went up hill from there. I was transformed into the host who played fresh blogged music, rather then the slightly anxious student who was close to a catatonic state. This week, I’ve done a complete 180, and am actually excited to go on air. My show consists of a music that is hyped around the internet consisting mainly of remixes, lo fi, experimental, indie, electronic, etc.

Bellarmine has a great support network of friends, and a radio station that really rocks.  If you also want to learn these things, then I highly recommend stopping by our booth at the Involvement Fair on Jan. 29. I encourage you to ask questions, find out how to start your own show, and try to win the great prize we’re giving out. You’ll be a part of a team that has each other backs, and the ego boosting accomplishment of showing the world your own style of music.

photo

Victoria Reibel

http://www.bellarmineradio.com/

Pinkie Promises to Myself

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

-Ansel Adams

It seems a bit late to start writing out New Year resolution but better now then never. I’m one of those people who needs to write things down, because then its easier for me to accomplish the tasks in mind. Last week I arrived back from London, carrying on my third winter holiday away from home and family. Over the 9 hour flight I began to think about what I hope to gain from this upcoming year and how many things will change, mainly no longer being a “student”. My past 3 and 1/2 years of Bellarmine have brought me to this point where I will go out into the world, and apply everything that I have learned. I hope my lessons, relationships, and goals will be met and shared with great intensity in my future endeavors. Cheers to taking things on, one step at a time.

My (ever-changing) list of things to accomplish

1. Take advantage of the availability of the SURF

2. Become a master of the Adobe Creative Suite

3. Start my own website

4. Complete one photo project a week

5. Earn my English teaching certification

6. Travel, travel, travel

Here are a few pictures from the holidays

IMG_2376

IMG_2385

photo-2 photo photo-3 photo-1 photo-4 photo-5 photo-6 photo-8 photo-7 photo-9 photo-10 photo-11 photo-12 photo-13 photo-14 photo-17 photo-16 photo-15Leaving you with the fireworks I watched fill the sky as we rang in 2013 by the Thames River!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e8vfRTsFU4

Flying and Free Fun

Today after my internship, Jessica invited me to go try out SkyZone! It’s an indoor, wall-to-wall trampoline park off Blankenbaker Rd. We had an absolute blast! Despite the fact it was completely packed with little kids, we really enjoyed ourselves. Check out some of the pictures we took while we were there:

SkyZone Louisville SkyZone Louisville SkyZone Louisville

Backflip!

WelcomeBackEvents

(from an email from Jay Carnes)

AND DON’T FORGET! Bellarmine is offering some FREE FUN tonight and tomorrow to welcome us back for another semester! Tonight, go Ice Skating at Alpine Ice Arena from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm. Admission is free with Bellarmine ID. Tomorrow, if you’re one of the first 125 students at Baxter Avenue Theaters you can enjoy a free movie from 8:15 pm to 10:00 pm.

Have a great first weekend back!

Song of the day: Carry Out by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. Jess and I listened to it on the way back from SkyZone and forgot how much we loved it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRdHsuuXxfk