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March 2, 2015

Bees are Sweet as Honey

By Sara Hornung

Imagine walking into any supermarket produce aisle and seeing a few oranges and maybe some green vegetables on the shelves. Imagine walking into Wick dining hall and having only one dining station open. How chaotic would that be! Well, in the grand scheme of things, this very thing is happening.

Bees pollinate the majority of our edible food here on Earth. Yes, even ingredients in our Cyber Café’s pizza logs and our RIC’s Daily Grind Wildcat Mocha. Pollination is simply when a bee carries grains of pollen from one plant to another in order to fertilize the flowers. This is an extremely fragile and necessary process, and because the bee population is being threatened, so is our food supply. Bees pollinate everything from berries to almonds, coffee beans to peppers. If you've noticed the prices of coffee going up at places like Starbucks or Tim Hortons, it's because of how we, the people of Earth (yes, even you reading this), are dealing with bees.
So, why are bees dying? Well, there are a couple of theories. One probable cause is pesticides. Unnatural pesticides and fungicides are used to control diseases within the bee colonies, and also pesticides are sprayed on crop fields from which the bees pollinate. An easy way to help stop the encouragement of using these harmful chemicals is simply to change shopping and eating habits. When shopping, be sure to purchase items that advertise the non-appearance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In general, shopping organically and locally is better for both the environment and your health. If you live on campus, it may be hard to always eat organically. Though, when in the burger line in Wick, don’t be afraid to ask the chefs where the food comes from! Everyone in dining services is friendly and loves to talk!


If bees were removed from the environment, not only would the plants suffer, but so would many other natural animal species that depend upon those plants for their own survival and wellbeing. Loss of these life-bearing honeybees would mean the collapse of the natural ecosystem; the value of bees, aside from the simple production of honey, cannot be underestimated. So, next time you see a bee flying around the library, don’t squash it, set it free!

Through Those Glass Doors

By William Olkowski

Students daily walk up the stairs to the second floor of the Wick building.  Most of the time they get to the top of the stairs, turn right, and go into the cafeteria. But when you get to the top of the stairs, have you ever noticed the glass doors in the distance in front of you, behind and to the left of the cash register?  Have you ever noticed what is behind those glass doors?  Have you ever thought of walking through those glass doors?  But, why would you walk through those glass doors?


What if I told you that walking through them could help change your life?  What if I told you that behind those doors, there were people who are there waiting for you, waiting to help you, waiting to prepare you, and waiting to empower you to achieve your career goals?  Would you walk through those glass doors?


On the other side of them are the offices of the Daemen College Career Services Department, which includes staff who have advanced degrees in different academic fields, with over 80 years of combined experience.  The staff philosophy is, “We are here for the students.”  Daemen College Career Services staff members work with students individually, helping to create a personalized strategy.  Students are guided through the various steps of their career goals. Some of those steps include:
        First year students: Explore- Learn about yourself and career services.
        Second year students: Prepare- Plan for your future life.
        Third year students: Experience- Participate and network with the "real world."
        Fourth year students:  Achieve- Set your plan in motion.
The schedule for office hours are:

DROP IN HOURS-No Appointment Necessary when College is open Monday - Thursday Wick Building,

Career Services office 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Drop in hours are quick sessions that last 15 minutes or less and can answer your questions about anything related to academic majors, careers, resume review, internships, iCAP and personality assessments.

Meet a Career Peer Coach from Career Services to discuss or answer any questions related to careers, resumes, internships or your College Central Network account.

Career Peer Coaches can be found across from RIC's Daily Grind and in the Career Services office. Any questions? Or to schedule an appointment beyond drop in hours please call (716) 839-8334 or email

Daemen College Career Services offers a way for students to find jobs and internships.  They are part of the College Central Network, which provides a faster and more comprehensive service for future internships and employment opportunities.  Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths.  The best thing about Daemen College Career Services is that it is free to Daemen students, and they offer help to students with the interview process by setting them up with scheduled mock practice interviews.


So the next time you walk up the stairs to the second floor of the Wick building and you see those glass doors in the distance, behind and to the left of the cash register, are you going to just turn right, or are you going to look through the glass doors? Give walking through the door and talking to the staff a try because it just may change your life!
"To Prepare and Empower You to Achieve Your Career Goals: Career Services"

A Father and Daughter Inspiring Others with Their Children’s Book

By Destiny J. Constantin

My name is Destiny Constantin and my father, John, and I became published authors in 2013. Because of some changes we endured, we decided to write a children’s book together. Before my father and I started this writing journey, I was born with a rare bone disease that has affected my daily life. I'm the type of person who never gives up or lets anything get in my way. When I was younger, going through elementary and high school, I faced many challenges, and still do to this day. I have been bullied because of my size, the way I walked, and many other things. I have always had support from my wonderful parents and my closest friends. Facing various obstacles inspired me to become an elementary teacher, and I recently graduated with my associate's degree in childhood education from Niagara County Community College.
Two years ago I became really sad when I had to take a semester off from college  because I found out that my bone disease is progressing and causing many medical problems. In March of 2013 I faced the news that I was becoming wheelchair-bound. When summer came, I told my father I couldn’t stay home anymore, so we enrolled in NCCC -- together -- for the fall semester of 2013. That was the year our writing journey began.
My father joined me at school to ensure I was safe and didn't have any problems getting around school. My dad had to take a writing class, and one day while he was in the Writing Center just typing away, an opportunity to write another essay came up. He showed me his essay and I had wonderful ideas on a collaboration.  Our collaboration produced a five-star-rated children’s book titled, “The Journey with Dad.” We got the idea of publishing our work with the help of our professor, Dr. Denise David. We started researching publishing companies, and found Xlibris. Xlibris loved our idea and helped us bring our story to life. My dad didn’t think he could make one of his daughter’s dreams come true, or create something incredible, all while overcoming some part of his learning disability. I thank God every day that I have such loving, amazing parents.
We decided, after NCCC, to continue our education at Daemen College. I have chosen to continue my dream by studying childhood and special education at Daemen, and my father has chosen to study English to help with our writing careers. He just graduated from Niagara County Community College with a digital media certificate, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
It has been difficult adjusting to a new college, because everything feels different; meeting new professors and friends and getting use to a new environment. The first few weeks of school I felt very scared that I wasn’t going to be able to stay because of my medical condition, but my father helped me make the decision to stay.
It has been one year since we started our writing journey. Since then we have been on Channel 7, LCTV, and a WLVL radio show. We never imagined that our book would inspire children to write, to speak up about their feelings, or would bring a different approach to literacy. We hope we'll continue to inspire others, and that we will continue our father and daughter writing journey together. Our next book, “The Journey with Dad 2,” will be released this summer.
Daemen's own Roller Derby Girl!
By Annie Rose

Queen City Roller Girls

Becca Bley, our very knowledgeable and helpful reference and instruction librarian here at Daemen College, has a secret. By day you can find her in her office in the back of the RIC or in a classroom working with students on everything from citing sources to working with computer programs. But it's what Becca does after hours that's fascinating many. Becca is a Roller Derby Girl.



She developed an interest in the sport when she saw a bout in grad school at the invitation of a fellow librarian (nicknamed the Librawlian). when she ran into her old friend again, the friend mentioned there was a boot camp coming up soon and challenged her to take up the sport. Becca had waited until she had health insurance and decided to go for it. She's glad she did. "Everyone is great," she says, and she has enjoyed the physical benefits as well. She's pleased to report that since starting the boot camp program she's lost weight and is in the best shape of her life. In addition to the great friendships she's formed, Becca has also picked up a side job working for a skate shop, which helps her to pay for the equipment she needs. The skates alone can run $1,000 for a custom pair. The skates they use are the quad version, not inline, and even the referees use the quad skates. Becca says they use the quad skates for better flexibility and movement. Many skaters choose a shorter ankle boot as opposed to the height a hockey player or figure skater would use to allow them more control. There are others who still prefer the higher boot based on comfort, or perhaps because they need extra ankle support.



Roller Derby is a demanding and possibly painful sport. Broken bones are common, but Becca states they have rules for contact. They can hip check, body check, but cannot use elbows. They are part of what's called the flat track. So to keep themselves safe, they must wear padding, helmets (with multi-impact testing), a mouthguard, and each girl must have a baseline concussion test so they have something to go on if they suffer a concussion. A fun fact: some of Daemen's athletic trainers are on-site to help out in case someone gets injured!
Roller Derby "takes over your life," Becca says with a sigh and a smile. It's not all about learning to skate; they all also have league jobs. Some people do administrative work and others handle logistics of travel and practice venues. So they are really busy.  In addition, they practice three nights a week for two hours each. The practices are being moved to the new center called Riverworks in downtown Buffalo; currently they have been practicing at the Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda.



Riverworks (right by General Mills, so it always smells like Cheerios) is a brand new, state of the art facility housed in the grain elevator district of downtown Buffalo. Within the last year developers took six grain elevators and painted them to resemble beer cans; next to this fun display is where you'll find one of the first dedicated roller derby rinks in the U.S. "They moved load-bearing columns in the elevators because they really wanted us there," Becca said.
So far the new facility has had had two soft openings, which boasted a good turn-out. Early on they had some issues with heat and the roof, but those roadblocks have been overcome and everything works properly now.
As part of the entertainment, Riverworks also contains a bar, mezzanine, snack center, and food such as chili. Admission is $12 (subject to change), and events are generally held on Friday nights. You can see the upcoming events by visiting their website at, or you can also like the Queen City Roller Girls on facebook.
So to understand how roller derby works, Becca explained some of the intricacies of the sport. There are four teams. One travel team goes everywhere from Toronto to Rochester to take on groups like the Rock City Roller Girls. The Queen City Roller Girls have gotten to division 2 and the travel team will go against the DC Roller Girls, one of the better teams in the division.. There is also a Queen City cup, which is just for the local teams within the league playing with each other.



The home teams, she explains, are: the Alley Kats (they wear purple and black), the Devil Dollies (they wear pink), the Suicidal Sauces (who wear red and black), and the Nickel City Knockouts (who wear blue). Becca is on the freshmeat or Queen's court, and she started the boot camp in early June. You have to pass assessments to advance to the next levels and there are three levels to pass. The coach sets up meets against other fresh meat teams from other areas. The hope is that once you're beyond that you get drafted to one of the home teams. There's no timeframe for getting through the levels; it all depends on skill. For example, one skill is doing 27 laps (about a ten-second lap for five minutes consistently). It's hard to get through boot camp, Becca notes. She's grateful to not get drafted this year because it's affording her the opportunity to hone her skills and learn the sport.



Each girl gets a nickname of their own choosing. Becca's nickname is Sigourney Cleaver, chosen by her because she's a fan of the actress, who she says is a strong actress,whose tag line "get away from me you bitch" from the Alien movie inspires Becca. Sigourney (and Becca herself) are strong feminists.



Game play consists of five girls from each team out at the same time. There are 8 blockers and two jammers who score points by lapping other players (lapping is passing a player on the track). There are two half-hour halves split into two minutes of game play. They can break for strategizing. The jammers have to complete an initial track, and if they make it around before anyone else they get to be lead jammer. If she gets past everyone, she can call off, allowing her to block the other team from getting points. When asked what position she will likely play once drafted, Becca says she thinks she'll probably be a blocker who distracts the other blockers so they don't see the other jammer coming. "Everyone plays offense and defense all at the same time. You are always trying to stop the other jammer from getting by, while making room for your own jammer to get through. If you break up the pack you can get a penalty," she explains. At the end of both halves the points are tallied; this happens when either the jammer calls off ending the session or the two-minute mark comes up. Scores can be as high as 100-200 points.



If people are interested in joining, Becca says you don't have to know how to skate. You can work as a non-skating official. They also look for men who know how to skate to be referees and skating officials. Check out their website, Facebook page, or visit Becca if you have questions. If you're interested in seeing Becca in action, her first bout is april 26 and is free to the public.
Photo taken by Jim Bush, who is the league photographer.

In the Fast Lane, from Amherst to Tokyo

By Daniel Gertis
Daemen really has been a world of opportunity for 2014 graduate Anita MacKay.
MacKay, 22, majored in Childhood and Special Education and now teaches English at the Hakuo Metropolitan High School in Matoasakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
MacKay is part of the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teacher) Programme that allows her to experience Japan both inside and outside of the classroom. Through JET excursions, she's been able to do things like skiing, snowboarding, sightseeing, and trying new foods. She's sampled a white chocolate caramel Sakura frappuccino, sesame ice cream, sushimi (a type of sushi), and poisonous pufferfish, which she admits did in fact "taste like chicken."
Although MacKay doesn't speak Japanese, it hasn't stopped her from embracing the new culture.
"Most people know I don't speak Japanese, so they talk to me in English," MacKay said. She also added that since Tokyo is an international city, most people have a basic understanding of English, allowing her to experience the city on her own as well.
Through her exploration, MacKay has visited many different themed restaurants in Tokyo. According to MacKay, restaurant themes include robots, cats, owls, and Alice in Wonderland.
While most of the themed restaurants are fun and entertaining, MacKay recalls one horrific encounter in a prison themed restaurant called "The Lock In."
"I thought it was the end for me," she said, referring to her time eating at the The Lock In on a first date that took a turn for the worst.
She said she was literally "locked in" a prison cell with her date who had been handcuffed by a wait staff dressed like “police officers on Halloween.” MacKay said her date was unsuccessfully trying to pull moves on her the entire time.
"People say these kinds of things never happen in Japan," she said, "but it happened to me." She added that Tokyo is typically a very safe city.
Although her prison date did not go very well, she's made a lot of international friends in the JET Programme.
But as for Japanese natives, she says they aren't very friendly towards foreigners.
MacKay observes that the Japanese people are immersed in their work. Many won't end a work day until midnight! Schools run year round. There just isn't time for a social life.
She believes the lack of relationships in Japan leads to a lot of sadness and depression, causing alcoholism and other addictions within the culture.
But MacKay doesn't get sucked into a vault of despair. Along with her friends at JET, she communicates with her family on a regular basis through FaceTime and texts. The 14-hour time difference makes it hard, but never impossible.
Although MacKay found the JET Programme on her own, she is extremely grateful for all the help she received from Global Programs and professors at Daemen.
"The education training (at Daemen) was huge," she said. "It really prepared me for working in the school here."
MacKay can only stay at JET for maximum of five years. After that, she plans to teach English abroad indefinitely, whether it's in Tokyo or somewhere else across the globe.


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