Campus dining ever better with URdining app

A new iOS application hopes to improve campus dining experiences for undergraduates.  Xuefeng Peng ’17 and Jacob Niebloom ’18 have created an app called URdining that will serve as a database for all information relating to food on campus.  The app, which is now available in the Apple App Store, includes day-to-day menus, nutritional information, and hours of operation for each dining hall, making information typically found on CampusDish easily accessible to the student body.

Peng, a sophomore majoring in computer science and applied mathematics, laid down much of the coding groundwork for the app.  Peng transferred to the University of Rochester from Stony Brook University last fall.  The idea for this app came out of his difficulties in navigating through SBU’s eight different dining facilities.  Without a localized source of information regarding menus on a daily basis, he often found himself wandering in and out of dining halls with a stomach full of only disappointment.

Though he began work on the code before he came to the River Campus, Peng is excited to be bring dining solutions to his new college home.  “I really want to use what I have learned to bring convenience and diversity to the University community,” he said.

While the prototype only took four months to complete, Peng admitted that he owes the successful launch of the application to all of the collaborative work that went into its production.  Niebloom, also a computer science major, assisted with the code’s progress as well as logistics regarding technological security.  Guidance from Natalie Antal from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Kevin Aubrey from Dining Services was also integral to the application’s development.

The undergraduates also successfully applied to FbStart, a program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps.  The team received $20,000 in free tools and services from the Facebook-based program, which is one of the nation’s leading and most competitive incubators, boasting a 3% acceptance rate.

Looking forward, Peng is excited to see the student body benefit from the new accessibility of information offered by this app and hopes to make campus dining ever better for coming generations of Rochester students.

The app offers menus and nutrition information for all major dining halls on River Campus, a user rating system and comment system, and the ability to send push notifications regarding special events and other dining announcements. Users can sign into the app via email address, Facebook login, or Google+ login.  The app, found here, is available for download for all iOS mobile users.

Photo by Chengyu Deng ‘ 17

“The Rockys” Celebrate Campus Leadership

Each spring, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership recognize undergraduate students and organizations that have made significant contributions to campus life. Nominated by faculty, staff, and peers, Student Life Award recipients represent diverse interests, talents, and accomplishments but are united in their strength in leadership, fervor for engagement in campus life, and their aim to be a positive influence on peers, all of which help the campus community become ever better.

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This year, the awards, also referred to as the “The Rockys,” went to 18 undergraduates and 4 student organizations. “I think the winners represent a large demographic that follows their passions and gives back to others in all sorts of ways,” said Ed Feldman, associate director of leadership programs at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and chair of the selection committee. “With over 200 organizations on campus, students have the resources and capacity to be part of something bigger than just themselves,” he added.  Feldman believes that the leadership opportunities on campus provide students with a means to create and promote positive social change in the immediate community and beyond.

Friends, family, and colleagues of the honorees were invited to an intimate awards reception, which also was attended by University administrators and campus leaders. All the winning students and organizations received engraved glass trophies and certificates.

Active Minds was honored as this year’s Outstanding Student Organization.  For co-president Hayley Harnicher ’15, the most rewarding experience has been being able to watch Active Minds grow as a presence on campus through the expansion of its programming.  “Although we have done a lot, we cannot wait to continue the momentum we’ve gained to continue bringing impactful programming to our community; just as an example, this Wednesday, April 22nd, we will have our final event of the semester – the Garden of Hope,” said Harnicher.

This upcoming event will display 1,100 yellow pinwheels to represent the 1,100 college students who die by suicide every year.  Active Minds hopes that this will empower students to start conversations and break the silence in order to further mitigate rates of suicide on college campuses.

Madeline Freeman ‘15 received this year’s Simeon Cheatham Award for her service specific to the development of children.  Freeman worked as a research assistant in Laura Wray-Lake’s lab for optimal social development, and her background as a psychology major has driven her to provide aid to children with developmental disabilities.  “I’ve learned that a strengths-based approach to academic education and emotional welfare is really the most effective,” she said.

Freeman has been able to apply this knowledge through her service in music, art, and movement therapy for children at the Mt. Hope Family Center, Hochstein School of Music, and the Boston Center. “I enjoyed putting what I learned in lab in action through service.”  Looking forward, Freeman hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology.

 

Individual Awards:

Stephaun   Magnifique   Adil

Andrew Fried Prize: Stephaun Ward

Established by friends and family in 1961 in memory of Andrew Norman Fried, class of 1961. This prize is awarded to the man who, upon completion of his freshman year, has shown outstanding qualities of character, superior moral judgment, and interest in serving his fellow students.

Delno Sisson Prize: Magnifique Nsengimana

In 1957, this award was established by a gift from Delno Sisson, class of 1966. This prize is awarded annually to the freshman who has shown the most improvement not only in academic work, but also in adjusting to college life and the student body.

Award for Freshman Leadership: Adil Ali

This award recognizes an exceptional man or woman of the freshman class who has motivated his or her fellow classmates to become actively involved in the campus community.

Elizana   Arnold   Wier

Eli & Mildred Sokol Prize: Elizana-Marie Joseph

This award was established in 1985 by a gift from Eli and Mildred Sokol, class of 1933. This prize is awarded to a sophomore who has emerged as a leader who can be expected to contribute significantly to the welfare of his or her fellow students in the next two years.

Award for Campus Contributions: Abigail Arnold ‘16 and Ryan Wier ‘15

Two awards, one each presented to a junior and senior class member who has made significant contributions to the University community, including, but not limited to, campus life, academic achievement and leadership, and community service. The award winner will have promoted and demonstrated excellence in all aspects of their college experience.

David   Andrew   Alap

Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize: David Markakis

Established in 1928 as a gift from Seth H. Terry, class of 1883, in memory of his parents. This award is given to the male member of the senior class who, by his industry, character and honorable conduct, has done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.

Percy Dutton Prize: Andrew Psarris

This prize was established in 1946 as a gift from Percy Dutton. This award is given to the male member of the graduating class who has excelled in “wholesome, unselfish and helpful influence” among his fellow students.

Award for Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Leadership: Alap Patel

This award recognizes the positive contributions fraternities and sororities make to the campus community. It is awarded to a fraternity or sorority member who has led with integrity within their fraternal organization while also making significant contributions to the greater campus community.

Antoin   Duncan   alesa

Rob Rouzer Award for Excellence in Student Government Leadership: Antoinette Esce and Duncan Graham

Established in honor of his 28 years of service to the University of Rochester, the Rob Rouzer Award is conferred annually to a student affiliated with either of the three branches of the Students’ Association Government who has shown immense integrity and perseverance in striving to improve student life and welfare

Logan R. Hazen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residential Life: Alesa Yuodsnukis

This award is given annually to the student who has “made significant contributions to the community and experience of students living in undergraduate residence halls. This student, through his or her actions, leadership, and innovation has promoted community through respect, fairness, and inclusion.”

Rachel   Rutul   Abhi

Award for Athletic Leadership: Rachel Honard

This award recognizes the positive contributions athletes make to the campus community. It is awarded to a student athlete who has demonstrated leadership within their club or varsity sport while also making significant contributions to other aspects of campus life.

Presidential Award for Community Service: Rutul Amin

Established by the Dean of Students in 1990 to recognize University students who are committed to community service. Given to a senior for outstanding participation and leadership in service to the community beyond the campus, this award recognizes a student who has worked selflessly and effectively in addressing social causes. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, improving literacy, reducing hunger and hopelessness, providing legal or medical assistance to the needy, and serving as a mentor.

Entrepreneurship Award: Abhishek Sharma

The award for entrepreneurship is given to a student, or group of students, who has turned an idea into a venture that benefited others. The recipient will have demonstrated individual initiative and knowledge through awareness of markets and attention to the needs of others.

Anansa   Tori   Maddie

Michael Lowenstein Memorial Award: Anansa Benbow

This award, named for Michael Lowenstein, class of 1960 is presented to the University of Rochester River Campus undergraduate who deepens student, faculty, and community awareness of existing social, racial, or political inequities. This undergraduate through his/her words and actions has endeavored to promote the ideals which Michael cherished. Michael sought to give a fresh view of things around us, to focus upon issues, to probe deeply using fact and objectivity and to open a dialogue with the community to find some answers.

Transfer Student Award: Tori Saldivia

This award, recognizing the unique role of transfer students to the campus community, is given to a student who transferred with sophomore standing or above, and has completed a full year of study at the University. The recipient will have demonstrated a quick, successful, and seamless transition to the institution and will have taken full advantage of his or her time spent at the University.

Simeon Cheatham Award: Madeline Freeman

Established in the 1970s by the Office of the Dean of Students to recognize outstanding University of Rochester students. This award is given to a student who has outstanding qualities in devotion to community service and to growth and development of children.

SAIC

The Communal Principles Award: Students’ Association for Interfaith Cooperation (SAIC)

Established by the Office of the Dean of Students during the 2011-2012 academic year, this award is given annually to the student(s) or organization that best promote(s) the Communal Principals, as adopted by The College. These principles include Fairness, Freedom, Honesty, Inclusion, Respect, and Responsibility. One of these six principles will be highlighted annually and the recipient will have demonstrated qualities that exemplify the principles and/or created programming and activities related to this year’s Communal Principle: Inclusion.

Student Organization and Programming Awards:

Excellence in Programming: Eastman Freshman Class Council

This Excellence in Programming Award recognizes a student organization or group, either formal or informal, for its exceptional creativity, planning, and execution of a University program. Criteria upon which decisions are based include appeal to a broad cross-section of the University community, originality, and participation by members of the organization during all phases of the effort.

Outstanding Student Organization Award: Active Minds

Awarded to a student organization that has gone beyond the bounds of their membership by helping to create a positive campus environment for all students.

Award for Excellence in Creative Co-Sponsorship: Sigma Delta Tau Sorority

Established in 2004, the Award recognizes a program that was co-sponsored by a minimum of two organizations or groups. The cosponsored program should have been a new effort, one that brought together different facets of campus, and which served to build and strengthen the campus community.

Alternative break seeks hope for Haiti

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For spring break 2015, seven University of Rochester students and their professor spent a week in Haiti. The trip was part of a course called Achievement and Motivation in Developing Countries (CSP 365) taught by Dr. Andrew Elliot from the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology. The class had a unique composition of students with majors in psychology, business, engineering and microbiology; additionally, three of the students were of Haitian descent.

Unlike conventional, top-down, project-focused aid, the goal of this trip was to speak directly with and learn directly from the Haitian people in order to fully understand the barriers they encounter with regard to education. The specific area of interest was Borgne, a rural village in northern Haiti. In Borgne, the group stayed at a hospital partnered with Rochester-based organization Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E). Ultimately, the group was striving to discover ways to work together with local educational leaders to promote positive, sustainable change in the community.

Of the many memorable moments that occurred during this trip, the realization of global economic disparity was perhaps the most jarring. After the second night at the H.O.P.E. Hospital in Borgne, the group woke before dawn and traveled to the village of Tibuk.  From there, they embarked on a day-long 13 mile expedition into the Haitian mountains to meet teachers and students at schools in remote, rural villages. The stark contrast between the schools located in these far-flung Haitian villages and the typical American public school was shocking. The first school that the group visited consisted of a pair of small tin shacks crammed full of children sitting upon poorly constructed wooden benches.

The vast majority of attending students lacked access to reading material, and the school was unable to provide books to every student due to limited resources. In talking with the children, it became evident that none of them had seen a computer or even knew what a computer was. Some students trekked through the mountains for over an hour each day to attend class.  Many children yearned to pursue high school and higher education, but were severely limited in doing so by financial restrictions.

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“This trip opened my eyes to something that I had only understood in theory. Seeing the conditions of the schools made me realize that there is other work I could, and should be doing,” said junior Simone Arnold ’16. This encounter touched everyone deeply, and was the foundation for the student’s reflections throughout the week.

During the week, the group met several community leaders in Borgne and was especially moved by one local entrepreneur: a woman by the name of Rosie.  “Rosie is a vivacious, generous woman who is well into old age. She regaled the group with stories of creating fishing ponds, harvesting crops, crafting satchels and baskets to sell to visitors, and caring for not only her mother, but also five other young men in the village by housing them,” said Professor Elliot.  A religious woman, she stated that everything she does for her village is only done because God wills her to remain in this world instead of succumbing to old age. “If there are any limits to human ability that are wrought by old age, Rosie certainly shatters them. She showed the group how human potential and effort are limitless, and how unrelenting generosity is vital in our actions.”

The group’s time in Haiti was a culmination of new experiences. For some, it was an opportunity to travel outside of the country for the first time.  One of the students on the trip had never even been on an airplane before!  For others, the trip offered the novel experience of living in a developing nation and seeing a community that lacks access to electricity and irrigation. For three students, this was another visit to a country that was once called home.

While each person saw Haiti through different lenses, the collective purpose  of the group was the same. “We were not there on a mission trip or to build homes or to otherwise find a way to ‘fix’ Haiti. Rather, we were there to learn,” said Professor Elliot.  The group came to immerse themselves in Haitian culture and to seek to understand the frameworks through which the community develops by talking with and getting to know those living in Borgne.  Each person strived to put aside the common biases of Haiti as a desolate, impoverished nation that the American media portrays and instead listened, observed, and learned about the complex hardships that many Haitians face.

Aside from the harrowing adversity that the group observed, they also saw a side of Haiti that is rarely portrayed to the American public.  In addition to the aesthetic beauty within the country, they saw how steadfast, generous, and selfless many Haitians truly are. When the students struggled to descend the mountain on their hike to rural schools, it was school teachers who took them by the arms and guided them down the steep, rocky mountains, risking their own safety to protect those of strangers. The group interviewed community members who dedicated their time and energy to providing resources towards education and health care for their fellow villagers.  Giving back to the community was a common theme among those that the group had the privilege of meeting.

“Haiti is a nation that gives pause to all who witness the extreme beauty and humanity of the country being contrasted with the hardships of poverty,” said Maximilian Brimmer ’17, a psychology major.  “To have the opportunity to see how people in different cultures live, laugh, and struggle is so powerful because it drives us to enact real change in the world.”  The team left Borgne feeling a mixture of inspiration and challenge.

Emily Greenwood, a PhD candidate in Social Psychology was moved to question what can be done to bridge or mitigate such economic disparity.  “Witnessing the daily struggle of intense human poverty has left me feeling awe, heartbreak, and frustration. This powerful experience leaves me with the weighty question: what can and should I do, in order to be more than a mere spectator to human suffering?” asked Greenwood.  Discovering answers to these questions is a process that will take time, and the first step to enacting any sort of change is having the willingness to listen, learn, and experience from the point of view of those who understand the complex issues firsthand.

While there is a lot that can be done to help those in Haiti, there is much that must first be learned. Thus, as the students settle back into their familiar routines in a country that provides endless opportunities, they want to keep these difficult questions circulating. These students also want to challenge anyone who will listen to ask themselves these same questions. Until the answers are discovered, they will hold fast to the emotions that they felt while visiting Haiti in the hopes that, one day, these emotions will translate into action.

Building fun with UR Makers

By Bob Marcotte
University Communications

Chris Smith has been taking things apart and putting them back together again since he was eight years old.

“For Christmas I got an air compressor. Most kids get an Xbox,” he joked. “It’s always been hands on for me.” Now the freshman in Mechanical Engineering is sharing his skills with fellow UR students as a member of – and mentor for — a new club on campus.

The goal of UR Makers is to bring together engineering, arts, and sciences students who like to design and build things – and want to learn how to use a variety of tools as they do so. Not for a class. Not for credit. Just for the fun of it.

Their playground: The fabrication lab in Rettner Hall, with its state-of-the-art 3D printers, brand new Smithy 3 in 1 drill/mill/lathe machines, and plenty of space to spread out in, accessible 24/7.

“We think there’s a real opportunity here to fill a niche that’s not currently filled,” said club leader Sarah Harari, a junior in Computer Science and Digital Media Studies. “There’s no other space on campus where students of different majors can really work together to build whatever comes to mind.”

The club, still in its first year, has already sponsored:

  • a “retro tear down” event, during which members took apart an aging computer monitor and other obsolete equipment donated by the University.
  • a mouse trap car race night
  • tech talks on a variety of topics.
  • Lego Robotics Night
  • an Arduino Workshop
  • 3D Modeling and Printing Workshops

Currently, club members are finishing up a cabinet with shelves and a plexiglass sign with the club’s name, illuminated with LED lighting. They will be displayed in the space UR Makers has been assigned in a corner of the lab. It is part of the club’s effort “to get our name out there,” Harari explained.

“We want to have multiple projects going on, that students can work on during the week (the club currently meets 4-6 p.m. each Sunday),” Harari added. “We want them to feel this is a space where they can come in and bounce ideas off other students and meet with people who have different skill sets.”During a recent Sunday meeting, everyone got a chance to use various tools.

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For example, Lia Klein, a sophomore in Computer Science, wielded a dremel tool to etch the outline of the club’s name in the plexiglass sign. She had never used a dremel before she joined the club and received a 45-minute introduction to basic tools and safety with Jim Alkins, Rettner Hall’s Senior Laboratory Engineer who formerly headed a machine shop, as part of Research and Development at Kodak.

“I didn’t really even know we had something at the school where you could use all the power tools for free and come in whenever you wanted,” Klein said. “And I feel like they’re really treating us like adults, which I appreciate.”

She hopes that, after working on a few projects with UR Makers, “I might gain the confidence and ability to do some projects on my own, and build stuff for my dorm room.”

In a nearby room, Steven Broida joyfully exchanged high fives with Caulin Nelson as the freshmen in Mechanical Engineering successfully cut notches in the cabinet, then fit shelves into them. This was Broida’s first experience using a power saw. “I’m learning as I use it,” he said proudly.

UR Makers is open to students of all majors and interests, regardless of experience. Click here to learn more or e-mail URmakersclub@gmail.com

Red Paperclip Challenge: Sparking Entrepreneurial Interest

A collaboration of student groups, led by Spark Entrepreneurs, hopes to inspire a spirit of creativity and ingenuity on the River Campus with an upcoming competition.  The Red Paperclip Challenge, also supported by Susan B. Anthony Hall Council, Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, Undergraduate Finance and Economics Council, and WRUR, intends to push students to create innovative outcomes from meager beginnings.

The competition was inspired by Kyle MacDonald, a young man who obtained a two-story farmhouse through a series of fourteen online trades, starting with just one red paperclip.  MacDonald’s entrepreneurial stint evolved into an internet company that promotes business ventures and social adventures with unconventional trajectories.

Spark Entrepreneurs, the hosting group, is a community of students with interests in entrepreneurship and business innovation.  The group provides internal, educational events that helps its members grow and learn as young entrepreneurs. They also schedule social events to network with those who are outside the group. Spark also hosts community events with the goal of improving the skills of existing entrepreneurs and exposing the campus community to the culture of startups.

The Red Paperclip Challenge aims to spark innovation and creative problem solving on campus.  It hopes to promote a new understanding of entrepreneurship, assuring that students of all majors, interests, and backgrounds are welcome to participate.

The event is set to begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 20 in the first floor atrium of Rettner Hall.

Students can enter as individuals or as a group, with a maximum of four people per team. The challenge is to start with a single red paperclip and explore its entrepreneurial possibilites for 24 hours. Participants will document their trades on Twitter and then present them to a panel of judges on Saturday night.

Dean of Students Matthew Burns, Director of Rettner Hall George Ferguson, Susanna Virgilio from the Center for Entrepreneurship, and Bob Tobin from Simon Business School will serve as mentors and judges for the competition.The winning three teams will take home a $300 cash prize, and all participants will celebrate with free food and a live WRUR DJ.

For more information, visit the Spark Entrepreneurs website.  For pre-registration, visit the event page available on facebook.

Senior honors thesis breaks barriers

“Family, Professors, and society are pressuring you to do well [in college], whatever that means, but from ages 18 to 22, you’re also developing tremendously; the brain doesn’t stop developing our behavior until age 25. This is a very crucial part of our lives, but no one talks about it.”

Marz Saffore ’15 sought to rethink convention and challenge the status quo with her senior honors thesis show, “Erasing Hierarchies.” Saffore said, “I wanted to create a space where people felt they could talk about [differences], but not feel like they were alone in talking about it… I created a project where everyone was talking about it.” As one of the subjects of the film, attending the premier certainly prompted me to reconsider many of the ideas I previously had about the way I interact with others. Based on the reactions of those in the audience, this reaction was widely shared. Overall, “Erasing Hierarchies” was a keen-eyed tour de force; a window into what deeply unites humanity in spite of our external differences.

According to Saffore, seeing last year’s honors senior thesis show, by Lauren Blair ’13/T5, inspired her to undertake one of her own. Blair revived the program’s honors track, which involves taking three extra classes in the Art and Art History Department, and writing a 15-page paper, in addition to the honors thesis exhibition. Saffore decided the summer after she saw Blair’s show to switch onto the honors track. “In the summertime, I emailed my adviser,” Saffore recalled, “I told her, ‘I want to switch over, right now!’ Then I did, and as of right now, the honors program is officially revived; there’s someone else in the Class of 2016 who’s doing it.”

Saffore had some experience in digital media production from her work on a similar film chronicling her experience with Art New York, as well as from coursework.  During her semester in New York City, she honed her interview style, and learned to use b-roll, or stock footage. Assigned to make a podcast about her experience, she decided to include a visual element, and produced a short documentary about how four students “all come together and actually have a cool, meaningful semester, besides the whole surface level thing.” Returning to Rochester last fall, she wanted to use the same skills to show how students at the U of R are all striving for fulfillment of the same basic needs. A psychology minor, Saffore recalled Maslow’s hierarchy as a useful framework for organizing her film.

“Erasing Hierarchies” consisted of clips from 53 interviews with undergraduates from various walks of life.  These clips were edited together and displayed on a three-panel screen. Saffore consciously sought to maintain thematic unity, yet juxtaposed interview clips from students representing different positions within the same societal hierarchies. Another important guiding principle was to stay true each students’ experiences by accurately portraying their genuine emotions. Structurally, the film was organized into eight segments; each centered around one representative student, with smaller segments interspersed. This style created an attitude that all the film’s subjects were more similar than different, and many were going through the same fundamental struggles, whether they realized it or not. According to Saffore, it was difficult to edit out 99% of each of her 50+ 45-60 minute interviews, to a final length of 30 minutes, but the results truly speak for themselves.

The premier was followed by a Q & A session with the artist and a reception at the Sage Art Center featuring two performance art pieces. The first was an opportunity for the subjects of the documentary and audience members to interview Marz, asking her insightful, revealing personal questions which were all caught on camera, just like the interviews featured in the film. The second was a dance party. This reporter truly enjoyed it, and would highly recommend a trip to Sage Art Center to see an exhibit including the film, and various production notes and full interviews.

Native Hawaiian navigates oceans, scholastic success

Isaiah Pule ’18 is used to navigating oceans, but this semester is his first opportunity exploring the waters of collegiate life. Traveling almost 5,000 miles away from his home in Waianae, Hawaii, the freshman Film and Media Studies major brings with him a passion for movies and a penchant for overseas navigation.

Back home, Pule is a member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a group that researches and practices methods of traditional oceanic travel. The Polynesian navigation system makes use of traditional double hulled canoes comprised of wood, rope, and tarp. It has been used by Hawaiians for thousands of years to sail around the world without the use of modern technology.  “They would use the stars, the suns, the waves, and the currents to help find their destination,” said Pule.

Growing up in an unstable environment, Pule found a home in the ocean through the Voyaging Society. “Through my youth, I never really had a father figure. My biological father is incarcerated. My mother, from the Marshall Islands, found difficulty attaining a job,” he said.  Pule was even homeless for parts of his early childhood and was eventually placed into foster care.  For Pule, voyaging served as an escape.

In his time with the organization, Pule has traveled between the islands of Hawaii and has even gone on voyages into deep ocean territory. He has met amazing people, among them being Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, through his boating voyages. Getting a chance to talk to both men after the program invited them to bless a canoe in preparation for a voyage, Pule noted that it was amazing to share in their positive energy and amazing life stories.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society provided Pule with many opportunities, one of them being the chance to meet Jonathan Burdick, the U of R’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Pule’s journey to Rochester began the summer before his junior year when he met Dean Burdick at College Horizons, a pre-college readiness program for native students around the globe. The two found common ground in their mutual interests in astronomy and navigation. This encounter motivated Pule to participate in the U of R’s Multicultural Visitation Program, which gave him his first glimpse of his future campus.

After an interesting admissions interview on Halloween, where he was dressed as Superman, Pule was welcomed to the Class of 2018 as a recipient of the Renaissance and Global Scholarship, as well as the Alan and Jane Handler Scholarship, both of which are awarded to incoming students for outstanding academic merit and strong potential for leadership.

A first generation college student, Pule is glad to be given the opportunity to pursue higher education. Growing up with the struggles of homelessness, foster care, and delinquency, he is thankful for the support of teachers and family that helped to push him towards a more diligent and success-oriented mindset.  He is likewise grateful for the scholarship opportunities that have made his collegiate experience financially feasible.

“The college route is a path that opens up so many doors and opportunities, and I’m excited to create a better future for myself,” he said.  As both a Handler and Renaissance Scholar, he hopes to lead by example and inspire his peers and future students alike to continue on the path to being “ever better.”

Pule’s love for movies has led him to pursue a degree in Film and Media Studies. Many of his favorite films such as Gridiron Gang, Remember the Titans, and Freedom Writers resonate with the personal struggles of his past. He hopes to one day make movies that can portray the same themes of hope and success that inspired him growing up.

His favorite movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, is one of his largest inspirations. “It proved that the idea of starting from the bottom and making a life for yourself is more than just a dream,” said Pule.  “I want to make a movie like this that can inspire someone to make a change. And just to have fun along the way.”

Pule looks forward to his time at Rochester as an opportunity for growth. “I want to be a leech and take in all that I can. I want to learn about different cultures and share my own, representing who I am and where I came from.”

With plans for a lengthy trek from Hawaii to Australia already in the works for next summer, Pule is excited to return home to Hawaii.  It will be his longest and most challenging voyage yet.  In the meantime, he’ll have to focus his energies on navigating the tunnel system in preparation for the coming winter.

Lauren Bailey: Star Swimmer is a Shark in the Classroom

Lauren Bailey, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, was one of 10 University scholar-athletes recognized for their abilities “on the field” and in the classroom.

Bailey, from Ossining, NY, holds the University records for the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, and is a part of all the record-holding relay teams.

During the football team’s season opener, she and nine other athletes were presented Garnish Awards during a halftime ceremony. Bailey said she was nervous at first to go out to midfield and accept the award in front of the whole stadium of football fans. “It was definitely never-racking,” she said. “It was a huge honor though. My whole team came out to support me, which was really nice of them. It was super exciting!”

The Garnish Award program was created in honor of Lysle “Spike” Garnish, who consecutively served as an assistant coach for the University’s basketball, baseball, and football teams from 1930-1948.

According to the Athletic Department’s webpage, “Friends of Rochester Athletics, through an alumni committee, reviews nominations of students from varsity teams who have achieved at a high level in both their athletic and academic pursuits through their junior year. From these nominees, a small number are selected as Garnish Scholars.”

It’s definitely not easy

Bailey, who has a GPA of 3.87, says that balancing athletics and academics is “definitely not easy. But I think if you’re really passionate about both things—I really like chemical engineering, and I really like swimming—but I think it’s also about time management,” she said.

“For me, I do homework with a group of people or with my friends, so it makes it more enjoyable. Plus, I don’t really dread doing homework, so that definitely makes it easier to work with other people.”

During her senior year, Bailey says one of her goals is to have fun this season. “I’m really not going to put any pressure on myself,” she claimed. “I want to do well, obviously, but I also want to make sure that I’m really having fun. This is probably the last year I will swim competitively on a college team where we all share a common goal.”

Bailey’s best advice to student athletes? “Don’t stay up too late the night before you have practice in the morning.” According to her, “Mainly you’re here at the University to do well in school and succeed.”

Another important piece of advice Bailey offers is to prioritize, and “make sure to realize when you’re struggling to balance school and swimming, or school and any sport that you’re doing, because you don’t want your academics to slip. Don’t take on too much, though, because it can be a really rigorous schedule, and you want to make sure you have free time to enjoy yourself still,” she says.

In her time here at the U of R, Bailey has taken many classes, but the one in which she learned the most was the chemical engineering class, Reactor Design. Bailey says “It’s a really important class, because it has so many applications with so many jobs, and I think it’s really important to understanding what’s going on. It was definitely challenging, since we did a lot of coding with MatLab, and I’m not excellent at that.” Starting from the most basic reactors, the class covered many fundamental chemical engineering concepts.

This year, the senior says that instead of stressing about swimming times and tests, she wants to “have a good time, and make sure I’m getting done what I need to get done…but I’m definitely going to enjoy myself.”

As graduation gets closer, Bailey says she’ll start looking for chemical engineering positions, and at some point, she may consider getting an MBA.

By Joe Bailey and Monique Patenaude

Digging Into Bermuda’s Slave Past

When Anima Ghimire’s history advisor recruited students for an archaeological dig in Bermuda, Ghimire instantly responded, “I’m on board!”

During the summer of 2013, Ghirmire, a double major in neuroscience and history, joined a four-student team and Professor Michael Jarvis for a five-week course excavating Smith’s Island, one of the earliest known settlements in Bermuda.

Jarvis has been working summers on the 60-acre island since 2010. The dig concentrated on what has come to be known as the “Oven Site,” named for the several stone ovens at the location.

The Oven Site is believed to be the remains of Boaz Sharpe’s house. Sharpe settled on the island in the late 1600s, and remained until his death in 1707. Sharpe’s household included nine Native American slaves, most likely from South Carolina—two older couples and their children.

The introduction of slavery to Bermuda—and especially the role of Native American slaves—is important to understanding the history of slavery in the Atlantic World.

“I didn’t really appreciate how important archaeology was until I did it,” Ghimire says.

Sifting through evidence

Excavation of the site has revealed a chimney, hearth, and several ovens. The team also uncovered hand-shaped chert flakes that had not been found in Bermuda before.

“Dr. Jarvis had an inventory that suggested these people lived there,” Ghimire explains. “But then we found evidence that this was, in fact, where Boaz Sharpe lived. We found chert stone flints that only Native Americans used.

Identifying the Oven Site’s original occupants was a major milestone for the hard-working team.

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“Most of the time we dug—and it was a very meticulous process. It took us five weeks to dig five feet down,” Ghimire says. “And you can’t really use a shovel. You have to use a trowel because it’s very delicate work.

“Dr. Jarvis is really, really chill and awesome, but when it comes to archeology, he’s very organized and systematic,” she says.

“We found was a lot of fish bones. A lot, a lot, of fish bones! We also learned they kept cats,” Ghimire says.

“And there was a lot of pottery, and that was important. For example, there is a specific kind of pottery that was only made during a 30-year period. So it kind of tells us what the time period was when people settled in the house. There were a lot of clay pipes—the size of the bowl tells you when the pipe was made,” Ghimire says, explaining that the bowl sizes changed along with the fluctuations in tobacco prices throughout the 17th century, making it easy to date the artifacts.

“You can learn about people in class, but you can’t really experience what they were doing firsthand until you get to do archaeology,” she says.

Every little bone

“What was good about this year was that we got a lot of local Bermudians to volunteer. It was awesome. We had all age groups, and they were really enthusiastic. They came back everyday, so that was awesome!
“Bermudians are so chill. We talked a lot about their lifestyle, how they grew up, and their customs,” she says.

“They were really excited to find every little bone. I was too . . . at first. Then it’s like, ‘here’s another fish vertebra!’ But Dr. Jarvis never got jaded. He is so enthusiastic.”

“We were always afraid of finding human bones,” Ghimire confesses. “There was a circular area within Sharpe’s trash site that was big enough to fit a man—like a grave. And Jarvis was really reluctant to dig it, because if there was a body then we’d have to stop the dig, call in a forensic team, and everything would come to a halt. But, luckily, it was just a natural depression in the soil layer.

“It didn’t feel like five weeks, it went by so fast. It’s a six-credit course—though it didn’t seem like I was doing a lot of work because it was so much fun.”

Sharper skills

Even though Ghirmire is on a pre-med track, she says studying history has helped to her hone skills that are important to her success in medicine.

“History is a passion. It teaches me how to think, and how to see the world,” she says.

“History in college isn’t anything like it is in high school. It’s not about remembering dates. It’s about finding evidence to support why something happened. I just love that aspect of it. And now I like archaeology, too.”

Archive project links history and computer science

Senior Luke Kortepeter came to college on the pre-med track, but a class project in the library’s archives turned him into a computer science and history double major.

He’s been working on the Seward Family Papers digital history project for two years. Students involved in the project take Professor Thomas Slaughter’s history class on the family of William H. Seward, and also transcribe and digitize letters from a collection in the Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation department of  Rush Rhees Library.

“This spring we focused on the family correspondence,” says Kortepeter. “It’s a whole new primary resource that hasn’t been utilized yet.

He says the 15 students in the class spent the spring on letters from 1862. Once digitized and online, the papers will be more accessible, he says.

After four semesters working on the project, Kortepeter knows a lot about the Sewards. “I must have read 500-1,000 letters so far, and it’s awesome,” he says.

“We have thousands of letters covering a sixty year period. We are going through every single one,” he says. “And that’s really cool for me, actually, knowing that you’re the very first person reading the letter since it was first read.”

Bad handwriting

kortepeter_280 The project is expected to go “live” in the spring of 2015. Kortepeter and his classmates are racing to get as many letters transcribed, annotated, and digitized as they can before the project’s debut.

That said, the process requires keen eyes and a good understanding of the Seward family’s historical context.

In addition to serving as Secretary of State under President Abraham Lincoln for two terms, William Henry Seward was the Governor of New York and a US senator. He also negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians for two cents per acre—a purchase many considered foolish at the time.

Just reading the letters can be a challenge. “Since the handwritings on the letters are pretty awful for the most part, we are transcribing them—once you get used to it, it’s not as bad,” Kortepeter says.

“And, we are also annotating them. The user will be able to read the transcription right next to the digital image, and if they see a name they are interested in, they can click and it will say who that person was.

Teen diary

“Having been with the project for a while I’ve read basically everyone’s handwriting. It’s definitely interesting to see how different they are.

“Fanny Seward’s is very curly—beautiful handwriting—and she loved writing about her daily life,” Kortepeter says. “She’s a teenager at this time, and so you can see how she’s growing up and how the world is changing so much around her.

“She’d have fine descriptions of gentlemen, and will talk about things as basic as their jawline and how it curves perfectly. And so it’s very interesting to read—I mean, it’s her diary. She wasn’t expecting anyone to be reading it,” says Kortepeter.

Finding personalities

“Then on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have William Henry’s wife, Frances, whose handwriting is awful.

“It’s up for debate how ‘into’ the whole political thing she was in terms of supporting him,” says Kortepeter. “Some historians say that she wasn’t very supportive and it was a pain for her to have go to these conventions
with him. But,” he says, “we are finding that might not be true.

“She would go to Washington, DC, and say how awful it was and how she had migraines the whole time. And how at social events she would go, but then sit in a room by herself.

It’s “really cool” to pick up on people’s personalities in the letters, according to Kortepeter. “A lot of these resources weren’t available, so when [researchers] only had a snippet of letters and she’s angry in every single one of them, then you’d say ‘yeah, of course, she’s angry and hates her husband’s career,’” he explains.

“But when you see these other letters and she’s so passionate about slavery—she hated slavery—or just her opinions about political scandals at the time, it just really shows she was interested, and she definitely had opinions about what was going on.

“The DC social life wasn’t for her. She found it incredibly stressful. Especially since her husband was so incredibly social—it was hard to live up to that,” Kortepeter says.

‘I have no desire to be a doctor’

Kortepeter, who started out doing pre-med, says the Seward letter project “has definitely changed my college path completely.

“I had been doing premed stuff all through high school—I worked in labs, both my parents are doctors, and I figured, ‘yeah, sure, I could be a doctor, too.’ And that winter break of my freshman year, I followed a surgeon around for a little bit, and I was just… ‘I hate this—I have no desire to be a doctor.’

“Then I floundered around a little bit, trying econ. I took a history class with Professor Jarvis, and my freshman writing teacher worked with Slaughter and said, ‘Why don’t you talk to him, he’s my favorite professor—and just take a class with him’? And I was like, ‘okay, sure.’”

Kortepeter says his parents had different reactions to his change in plans.

“My father was excited for me to explore my own thing. My mother was confused because I was always so sciencey—all throughout high school,” he says. “All my AP classes were in science.

“It was very new to me to go into a history class. I came here because I know it’s a strong science school,” Kortepeter says, “and then ended up studying something totally different.”

He says his two majors complement each other. “Usually with computer science I’ll do my projects, but I don’t really get to apply it. Like, I can only make Tetris so many times,” he says with a laugh.

“With this, I really get to be on both sides of the project: I get to do the history things and work with the letters, but then as a computer science student, I am also working on the website and the database—helping with everything, really,” he explains.

“It was the perfect project for me.”