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Dear Parents:

Just one year ago, your family was in the final stages of making that all-important (and probably very stress-inducing) decision about where to send your high school senior to college. A great deal has happened in the past twelve months, and I suspect that as you look back on that time, you are filled with amazement and even some awe. Those of you who are first-time college parents have probably seen changing family dynamics as your son or daughter navigated the first year of college life – independence, decision making and developing new friends and habits. Those “seasoned” college parents among you have, we hope, enjoyed watching your next college student blossom.

In almost a blink of an eye, the year is over. Can you believe how fast it went? Your child’s first year of college has likely been filled with challenges and successes. There have been trying moments as well as triumphs. As summer approaches, be ready for yet another transition. After a year of college life and independence, the first summer home will be yet another transition for all in your family as your newly independent college student re-enters the day-to-day life at home.

I hope your son or daughter has had a great year becoming a Bonnie and that the First-Year Experience we provided was a catalyst for growth and support during this transitional year. While next year will present its own challenges, we think you will see that your student is ready for them and that the support available from the SBU community will help him or her meet each new challenge with poise and determination.

Along with all of us at SBU, I wish you a wonderful summer and look forward to welcoming your student back in August for a great second-year experience.

Nancy Casey
Director, First-Year Experience


Headed home for the summer

While class days dwindle, students have a tough time trying to get everything done and make time for fun, too.

Classes end April 30. Final exams begin May 2 and end May 7. Fear not, mothers. Freshmen should be home in time for Mother’s Day; early enough, in fact, to do some shopping.

In these remaining days, however, freshmen face many challenges. Their first Spring Weekend, the first test they’ve taken on a Saturday morning since the SAT and, most importantly, extending the length of a day so they can spend time studying and having fun with their friends.

U-haulAlthough most freshmen are excited to get home and away from the stress brought on by the end of the semester, they are also slightly nervous about leaving the ‘BonaBubble.’

Freshman Shana Hurley said she missed her family, and she wants some time to do nothing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my family because I miss them and not having to write papers and study,” she said.

Before freshmen head home, they will face one more major hurdle: saying “good-bye” to Bonaventure.

Once they get home, they face another big obstacle: adjusting again to life at home.

Hurley, who lives about six hours from Bonaventure, in Sparta, N.J., said she’s nervous about losing the freedom of being on her own and making her own schedule.

Her classmate, Katie Sweeney, agreed.

“I’m going to miss the ability to do what I want to do, when I want to do it,” she said.

Sweeney, who lives on Long Island, is excited to get home to her car and the beach.

She loves her parents and misses them dearly. She's not excited about being away from Bona’s and having a curfew, but can’t wait to tell her parents, who both graduated from St. Bonaventure, stories that are uniquely Bona’s.

Most importantly, Sweeney said her parents will understand missing Bonaventure is different from missing other schools.

“They’ll understand how much I miss it because they went here, and that will make being away easier,” she said. “I’m glad they won’t be offended because I miss college so much.”

Sophomore Allison Gould spent the year living with freshmen as an FYE peer mentor. Gould's father, like Sweeney's, graduated from Bona’s. She said being away from her parents enriched her relationship with them.

“Because I’ve been away from them, I started to get along with them better,” she said.

Sophomore Ryan O’Reilly found it a bigger challenge. He said living under his parents’ roof was a challenge because he had to live with the same rules he had in high school.

He said the best piece of advice he could give freshmen and their parents is not to get frustrated.

Most importantly, don’t get frustrated when your adult children seem to be spending more time with their laptops than their other friends or their siblings.

Gould and O’Reilly said talking to their friends made them miss Bona’s less. They both thank Facebook for keeping them in touch with their friends and their Bona family.

O’Reilly eased fears for freshmen and freshmen parents concisely.

“You’ll never be out of the ‘Bona Bubble’ because you’re really always in it,” he said.

-MJ Stevens
Class of 2010


Internships: A valuable asset to a college experience

It was the summer of 2006 and the prospect of an internship, quite honestly, had never crossed my mind. I mean, I was still in high school. However, it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t let pass me by … so when the internship was offered, I took it.

Now I am close to ending my first year at St. Bonaventure and I’m happy to say that I still have that internship in the sports department of the Olean Times Herald (a mid-sized, local newspaper about five minutes from SBU). I’m also happy that the internship helped me get into the journalism school at Bona’s.

After almost two years at the OTH my duties have increased ten-fold. I started with just calling coaches and gathering scores. I still perform those duties, but I also write some weekly local sports notebooks and, sometimes, a column.

Internships, to quote Jim Melaro, my former boss at the Times Herald, are “minor league jobs with major league opportunities.”

They can open windows to experiences in the field that a college classroom just can’t offer. Nothing can replace the pure experience of getting out there and actually doing a job for real. College can teach you the ins and outs of most careers, but an internship can offer practical experience in dealing with employees and employers and more opportunities to learn to deal with stress and manage your time wisely.

Many majors at St. Bonaventure University require students to accrue a certain number of internship hours before graduation. For instance, as a journalism and mass communication major, I must have 400 internship hours before I can walk across the stage at commencement.

Even when a major does not require internship hours, students may still be strongly encouraged to look for those experiences.

“Internships are where students find out how what they’ve learned in the classroom applies to professional situations,” said journalism/mass communication internship coordinator Patrick Vecchio, a former managing editor at the Times Herald and reporter and city editor for the Salamanca Press. “Interns also learn about things that just can’t be taught in the classroom: how to deal with an obnoxious co-worker, for instance.”

Vecchio believes that something as small as praise at an internship can be quite important as well.

“Praise from a supervisor about a job well done can be inspiring for students because it helps them better realize the value of their education,” he said.

“If students do good jobs at multiple internships, they’ll have solid references. In fact, some of them will have jobs at the companies where they’ve interned,” he continued.

A perfect example of Vecchio’s last comment can be seen in the experience of Vinny Pezzimenti. Pezzimenti, a 2004 Bona’s graduate, interned at the Times Herald during college. Thanks to his hard work, he was almost immediately asked by sports editor Chuck Pollock to work for the paper full time after graduation. Now he manages interns, including myself, for the Times Herald. His writing duties including serving as beat writer for St. Bonaventure basketball.

Internships, Pezzimenti said, “can be excellent opportunities and learning experiences if you let them.”

School of Business internship coordinator Mike Kasperski also believes internships to be quite valuable to the learning process.

"I think internships are very important," he said. "It allows the students to actually go out and work and see what the job is like, to see if it's something they want to do. In particular, maybe they want to do marketing, but because of the internship they could steer away from one area to another.

"It gives them an opportunity to fine-tune their skills, and it's certainly good on a resume," Kasperski said.

Accounting and marketing majors are required to complete internships before graduation. For accounting majors, that requirement is 400 hours. Marketing majors need 150 hours, plus a 15-page paper.

Although the other business programs – management science, finance and business information systems – do not require internship experience, Kasperski said their students are encouraged to do them and opportunities are readily available.

Vecchio said the first thing a freshman in journalism/mass communication should do is to get campus media experience so that he or she will be prepared for and qualified for an internship. The University’s campus media outlets – The Bona Venture newspaper, The Buzz radio station and the Buzz’s magazine, The Buzzworthy – also offer experience to students in other majors and may help a student begin to focus on the type of job he or she might want later.

Students looking for internship opportunities can start the search by talking to their academic advisers.

-Kelsey Boudin
Class of 2011

A map of the world.
Study abroad opportunities abound

So your student thinks he's interested in studying abroad.

St. Bonaventure can offer him a variety of choices. Alice Sayegh, director of international studies, said the University's partnership with the College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) makes available to Bona's students roughly 60 programs around the world.

Studying in those programs does not necessarily require language proficiency.

“A student could go to Greece to study business without knowing any Greek,” said Sayegh.

A student who wants to study abroad must first consider where and when she wants to go. Programs are available during a semester or over the summer. There are even "study away" programs, such as spending a semester in Washington, D.C., with opportunities for internships.

Next, a student must decide what courses she will take. Generally, students are urged to take either Clare College courses or courses required for their major.

Often, Sayegh said, the department can offer students a schedule in a foreign country that would mirror what they would be taking on the Bonaventure campus.

Budget is also a concern when considering studying abroad. Some scholarships are offered for Bonaventure-approved programs, and federal and state financial aid may also be transferable to the study-abroad program.

Sayegh said in some cases, studying abroad can be less expensive than a semester at Bonaventure. She said prices for study abroad programs can range from as low as $8,000 to as high as $16,000 for tuition, room and board.

The international studies staff works with students to make sure they have the requirements for traveling. In most cases, a passport and a Visa are a must. Some countries may require other items, such as a written guarantee of a clean police record. However, Sayegh said, few countries they work with require students to have extra immunizations.

Students and parents should be aware that the University carefully monitors any health or safety concerns in nations where study-abroad programs are offered. Sayegh said she and her staff are attentive to guidelines from the U.S. Department of State to monitor safety and security and the Centers for Disease Control concerning health information for travelers.

With more than 60 programs to choose from, and a staff willing to work with students individually to create the experience they are seeking, the offerings of International Studies is worth a look for students who want to visit a foreign nation. Information meetings are held every Monday in September and are open to anyone who thinks he or she might be interested in a program.

-Connor McDonald
Class of 2011

Upcoming events on campus include:
Wednesday, 4/30
Last day of classes
Thursday, 5/1 - Reading Day
Thursday, 5/1 - Open information meeting on climate change policy
Friday, 5/2 - Final Exams begin
Thursday, 5/8 - Residence Halls close at 10 a.m.
Saturday, 5/10 - Baccalaureate Mass
Sunday, 5/11 - Commencement

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Spring Weekend
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