February 28, 2013

 

Feb. 18,  2013
Vol. 3, Issue 5 

February is Black History Month! Keep an eye on your email for interesting facts and fun events from the Diversity Action Committee

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Winter Fun at Byrncliff Resort

By Corbin Shemory

When I signed up for the annual Daemen cross country ski trip I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. Reading over the flyer it announced: No experience needed!

Being a very inexperienced alpine sportsman, I decided that this would be a prime time to learn how to cross country ski. It couldn’t be that hard, after all, right? To me it just looked like strapping some skis on and shuffling your feet. I envisioned myself stepping into the skis and majestically gliding across the snow at outlandish speeds. I had a vision of floating over the snowy landscape in an effortless manner, which is so often seen on TV and movies. This, however, was not the case, in any form.

Upon reaching Byrncliff resort after a 50-minute bus ride, my problems began. Being inexperienced in alpine sports, my first challenge of the evening was fastening my skis to my boots. While this may seem such an elementary task (and surely is to Buffalo denizens who are accustomed to snow so high the only usable transport is dog sled), it became similar to trigonometry and calculus combined into a hybrid form of mathematics. You see, to put on a cross country ski, one must align the toe of the boot, which has a metal bar in it, just so with the bracket on the ski. Then pressure is applied and the toe snaps in.

Sounds simple. But in the dark standing on a hill this task complicates itself. It becomes impossible to see the bracket, so it becomes a game of pin the shoe to the ski. And to make matters worse, the highly waxed ski likes to run away from you down the hill. When I finally fastened my skis, I believed that the majority of my struggle was completed; this illusion quickly ended as I felt myself slipping down the hill on my skis and then promptly finding myself looking at the stars in the cloudy sky. With a wet butt and a bruised ego I pulled myself up, crawled to level ground and tried again. This time things went a tad more smoothly.

I was able to begin to cross the snowy ground by shuffling my feet while stabilizing myself with the ski poles. I soon developed a rugged rhythm and was chugging my way along, albeit with a great amount of concentration. After a while I was able to relax and the trip became enjoyable to a point. The ski trail is lit by dim lights that produce a gentle glow on the snow, causing it to glisten like it does so often in moonlight. The trails were easy to follow and very well maintained. If I were the professional I had fancied myself to be, I would have been able to travel the trails with not a care in the world, due to their well maintained state. The trails stretch over a large distance. I was only able to see one of the routes; however, a person could spend a whole day trekking the beautiful trails.

After about an hour I returned to the lodge and had a bite to eat, courtesy of the $10 activity fee. The food at the resort was quite good and service was excellent. The lodge is a cozy place; it’s warm and even has a fire place upstairs in the restaurant and bar. After deciding to once again brave the trails, I decided to make a change in mode of transportation. I traded in my highly polished skis for a pair of teethed snow shoes at the ski shop.

With the pair of snow shoes fastened to my feet, I braved the trails again, this time with an activity much more my skill level. The trip was equally enjoyable with snow shoes as it was with skis.

Byrncliff resort is a beautiful resort to go cross country skiing at or just snowshoeing, whichever is your preference. I do recommend going with a group of some sort, whether it be just you and your friends or an organized event, due to the lengthy drive and the solitude of the trails. For more extreme individuals, the resort also has snowmobile trails. If you’re looking for a good weekend with your buds or a romantic getaway, the resort also offers lodging and ski packages, details can be found online.

The resort isn’t all about winter, though. In the other three seasons you can enjoy a game of golf on their beautiful course, swim in the pool, or if the big game isn’t your bag, there is also a mini golf course. While Byrncliff isn’t a cheap weekend experience, if you’ve got the bucks it makes a great getaway.

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Comic Relief by Mark Poblocki

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The 'Fabulous Five!'

By Kazeem Adetunji

January 26, 2013, marked the last home game where the Daemen College community got to see five amazing girls on the women’s basketball team play. Ellie Allen, Chelsea Andorka, Monica Koisor, Samantha Stanfield, and Lia Zahn each have completed their years of eligibility as collegiate athletes.

The “Lady Wildcats” of Daemen College played host to the Tigers of Salem International University. It was an emotional sight to see each senior athlete come down with their families, taking pictures with their coach, Dave Skolen, and athletic director William Morris. After the athletes took their pictures, the game against Salem International University began.

The Daemen College “Lady Wildcats” won the match convincingly against the Salem International Tigers with a score of 74-55. The leading scorer in the final home game of the season was Monica Koisor with a career-high of 27 points. The win against Salem International University helped the “Lady Wildcats” reach 20-6 for the season.

“The Fabulous Five” all came in at different times of their college careers. Ellie and Lia came to Daemen from high school and started as freshmen in the 2009-2010 seasons. Samantha and Monica came from different colleges in the 2010-2011 seasons. Chelsea came to Daemen from Notre Dame College before the 2011-2012 seasons.

Since Ellie and Lia have been with the “Lady Wildcats,” the Daemen Women’s Basketball team has won 91 games. The ladies hope to win more games when they head to Uniontown, Pennsylvania for the USCAA Division 1 national tournament on Feb. 26.

I recently asked Monica Koisor a couple of questions in regards to what she will miss about playing for Daemen and what her plans are after college.

“What I’ll miss is being able to play in front of my family and friends…. I wanted to go to school away from home, but not too far at the same time for this reason,” Monica said.

As for her future plans, Monica said she’s currently applying for graduate school (Sport Administration) at the University of Louisville and Belmont University. “But at the same time, I’m also preparing to go to a pro camp in New Hampshire in June to potentially play overseas with,” Monica noted.

“Samantha Stanfield and I are going to attend the camp. Whichever opportunity works best for me will be the one I choose. I would like to see the Lady Wildcats go all the way and win the national tournament and bring a championship banner to Daemen College.”

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Pharmakon: Professor Koenig's Greatest Success

By Emily Stoll

Three pieces of Professor Felice Koenig's artwork were recently acquired for the permanent collection of the Albright- Knox Art Gallery.

"It's beyond my wildest dreams," said Koenig. "I am now in a museum collection with the painters I've studied and referenced.... all the great abstract painters." According to Koenig, former Albright-Knox head Louis Grachos took an interest in her work during a studio visit and decided he wanted some pieces for the collection. Afterwards, Curator Holly Hughes also visited, and she and Grachos spoke with Koenig to decide which art they wanted.

Koenig attributes her success partly to her talent and partly to her location. She moved to the Buffalo area for work, which put her very near to a strong art community and made it possible for the Albright-Knox to see her work. "It's very unlikely I would be in such close proximity and be collected" if it were not for her job at Daemen, Koenig pointed out.

The collected pieces are titled Pharmakon IV (Treasure), Pharmakon V (Sky), and Pharmakon VI (Night). Koenig took the name from a Greek word which she originally found in Derrida's reading of the Phaedrus. It means both cure and disease, poison and remedy; the main idea is duality. At the same time, it has a relation to medicine through the word "pharmacy," said Koenig. This drew her to the word and the idea due to her personal experience with allopathic medicine. The duality in Western medicine specifically was the original inspiration for her Pharmakon pieces, though this is not the true focus.

"It's not really about medicine, per se, but about life experience and how there's a duality," she said, and each piece is an intense meditation on its given topic. For Treasure, Koenig said her thoughts were more along materialistic lines and the question of what is more appealing: the thought of owning something, or actually owning it and having to fear losing it. Sky began with double messages from the media – how we are encouraged to spend time in the sun but then instilled with a fear of skin cancer; how the sky is so beautiful, yet holds a danger due to our destruction of the ozone layer. Night is an intense meditation on a time of day that can be a time of regeneration, romance and dreams, yet it is also related to nightmares, death, and fear.

Koenig recently wrote that the forms were two feet in diameter to reference the torso, "the center of the human body where most life-sustaining organs are contained. I curved the edge so that it would become a more organic form to reference something that was alive. The divot in the center was made to create a tender spot... [and it] references red blood cells that both deliver oxygen and remove waste in the body."

Each piece takes approximately six months and was finished when Koenig felt it was "at the same time seductive and repulsive to look at." She begins with compressed polystyrene, sculpting the piece into the shape of a red blood cell and then adding primer and several layers of paint. "It's a repetitive, meditative process," she said. While she works, Koenig does many other activities, such as meditating, listening to books on tape, and talking to people who are far away over a headset.

When asked for advice for aspiring artists, Koenig said, "Whether or not your work gets acknowledged, my personal philosophical belief is that it's somewhat a gamble. There are many amazing painters who don't get acknowledged." Despite this, she firmly believes that "Good things come out of doing what you love and doing it with love."

The future holds yet more excitement for Koenig. She has four upcoming shows, all of which have been invitational – she did not need to apply for any of them. She also has a two-person show coming up this fall in Toronto.

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Places to Go in Buffalo During the Winter Months

By Annie Rose

Photo courtesy of William Warby

We already explored, in a previous INSIGHT edition, how to prepare your car for the bad weather to come. You may be wondering how to keep from going YAMPY while being cooped up for months in the warmth of your dorm.  First, let’s make sure you’re ready to leave the house with all the right gear, and then we’ll talk about the cool places you can visit! There are ways to protect yourself from the bitter cold elements when you leave your house, including:

  • Wearing warm, waterproof boots or shoes (my parents used to wrap my feet in bread bags before I put on my boots when I went outside to play. Oh, the horror!)
  • And for the ladies, don’t forget to waterproof your Uggs. Buy the spray – it’s worth it!
  • A hat (or a fun fashionable winter headband for women) or earmuffs can easily be removed and stuffed in your bag or purse
  • Waterproof gloves for those snowballs you’ll be chucking at your roommates (for extra fun pick up some snowball kits at Walmart. You can make a fort and have snowball wars! Or build a snowman!)
  • Don’t drink alcohol before you go out! Alcohol may make you feel warmer for a minute, but it actually decreases your body temperature, making you more prone to frostbite. ***FUN FACT*** Did you know your skin can freeze within minutes of exposure to temperatures below 32 degrees?
  • Cotton clothing retains moisture and moisture will make you colder and more susceptible to frostbite. Wear fleece or wool!
  • Use lotion and chap stick to ease dry skin caused by hard water, cold temperatures, and blistering winds
  • And for added warmth, fill your mug with coffee or hot chocolate (or warm up a Campbell’s Soup to Go) before you walk out the door!

Great, now we’re ready to get out and enjoy all that Buffalo has to offer. Check out the websites of some local towns and organizations for a schedule of events:

Speaking of schedules, don’t forget to check the Daemen website for class cancellations. If you’re a commuter you can find school closings on Channels 2, 4, and 7 and on local radio stations.

There are plenty of other fun activities too, such as...

ICE SKATING: You can ice skate outdoors at Fountain Plaza's Rotary Rink in downtown Buffalo (located just off the subway). Skating is free if you have your own skates; if not, you can rent them for $3 for adults, $2 for children. They serve snacks and beverages in their heated concession area. Hours of operation are:

  • Mondays: Closed
  • Tuesday to Friday: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5 - 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

If skating indoors is more your style, the Northtown Center at Amherst (the former Amherst Pepsi Center) is located off Maple Road near Millersport Highway and the University at Buffalo. MapQuest the address: 1615 Amherst Manor Drive Williamsville, NY 14221. Open skate times vary, so check the schedule here or call them at 716-631-7555. Ticket prices are $10, which includes skate rental. There is usually a college skate night on Fridays for $3 with your Daemen ID. Call ahead to make sure it’s being offered. They also have a snack bar area and offer discounts on rentals for residents who have a resident card.

SKIING/SNOWSHOEING: If skiing interests you, grab some friends and head to one of the many resorts in the area, such as Holiday Valley, Holimont Ski Area, Kissing Bridge, and Peek’n Peak. Many have lessons available for beginners, as well as ski, pole, and boot rentals. Check online for reviews.

SLEDDING: You can pick up a sled and a pair of snow pants to keep you dry for less than $20 at Walmart (located on Sheridan Drive: just turn left onto Sheridan off Campus Drive or Getsville. It’s a little ways up on the right-hand side). Then head on over to Chestnut Ridge Park for tobogganing, sledding, snowboarding, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing (ungroomed), hiking, and snowmobiling. Tobaggan chutes are operated from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays, and on Fridays from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. (weather permitting). Each February they have a Winter Fest where you can rent toboggans and enjoy other activities. It’s located in Orchard Park, NY but well worth the 20 minute drive.

Como Park is in Depew, NY and offers sledding hills, free ice skating, cross-country skiing, and hiking trails. You can even rent a shelter for events. They are located at 2220 Como Park Blvd in Lancaster, NY 14086 (about a 20 minute drive from the campus; isn’t everything 20 minutes away?). Go here for details.

Museums: Albright-Knox, Buffalo Museum of Science, Burchfield Penney Art Center and more!

There are also many indoor places to meet up and escape the cold: movie theaters (AMC on Maple Rd, Regal Cinemas in Galleria Mall, Cheektowaga, and Dipson Theaters on Main Street or Eastern Hills Mall). Plenty of coffee shops: Spot, Starbucks, Coffee Culture (all three within a couple blocks of each other on Main Street in Williamsville).You can sink into a cushy chair and read a book at Barnes and Noble Bookstore on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst.  The point is to get out and explore and best of all…have fun!

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Daemen College's Undergraduate Art Exhibit recently took place at the school's Performing Arts Center. Among the many superb pieces were objects of contemporary art, sculptures, and beautiful paintings and drawings. The subject matter ranged from western like scenes to tortured and twisted souls. All of the pieces project their own emotion and beauty as is so often felt in art. Check out some of the photos on The Insight’s Facebook page. (Photos available courtesy of Insight Reporter Corbin Shemory.)

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Academic Festival Strikes a Special Chord

By Emily Wilwol

Many may think that the Daemen College Academic Festival is just a day where classes are cancelled and people give presentations.  Others may think only certain people can participate in the event.  Think again!

Academic Festival, set for April 17 this year, is not strictly an academic event.  Continuing tradition, the Student Activities Office is organizing a “Festival Musicale.” Held mid-afternoon in Alumni Lounge, it offers an opportunity for amateur student performers to highlight their talent in a non-threatening environment.   

“It’s one of the things that helps make the festival festive,” said Chris Malik, Director of Student Activities.  All are welcome to participate.  Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to challenge and stretch the experience of both performers and listeners.  Whether you sing or play an instrument – guitar, tuba, cello, piano, or others – sign up and join the fun; you never know what talent you may see or whom you may see talent from.

If you are concerned about the upcoming deadline to submit your proposal for Academic Festival, you don’t have to worry; the Student Activities Office has that taken care of.  If you are interested in signing up or would just like more information, contact Chris Malik in the Student Activities Office or via email at cmalik@daemen.edu

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Teacher Candidate Changes

By Crystallynn McNutt

Photo courtesy of Abdul Rahman

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts," said novelist Arnold Bennett.

For students of any major, adapting to changes can be a difficult process. This is especially true for education majors and educators. Over the past year there have been many changes in the requirements for becoming a certified teacher and the way that current teachers have to teach their lessons.

For any student in the education field, the process to become certified will soon be changing. As of May 1, 2014, teacher candidates will have to take new certification exams. As of now, students who will be graduating by May 1 have the opportunity to take the old exams, which consist of Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), Elementary or Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills—Written (ATS–W),  and the Content Specialty Tests (CSTs). 

The new exams, which soon will replace the old ones, are the edTPA, which “is designed to be used as a portfolio-based assessment for pre-service teacher candidates. Supported by an initiative involving more than 25 states and more than 180 participating institutions as well as the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), edTPA will be available nationally for states, institutions of higher education, and teacher candidates,” according to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), Educating All Students Test (EAS), Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), and the Revised Content Specialty Tests (CST).

“With the changes it poses new challenges, but it also gives opportunities,” said Daemen College’s Education Department Chair Dr. Susan Krickovich.  The new changes require teacher candidates to write more and align their lessons with the Common Core Standards.

Here at Daemen, students are fortunate to have professors who are there for them every step of the way, to prepare them for these upcoming changes. And in a sense, the professors are “students,” too. Because this is so new to everyone involved, it’s a journey students and professors are embarking on together. Just remember: you're not alone. There's always someone there for you from whom to seek guidance.

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A Dream Turned into Reality

By Mercedes Benson

Photo courtesy of Esteban Maringolo

On July 15, 2012, Daemen College senior Ashley Soluri left for an opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad in Cordoba, Argentina.

Soluri is a senior here at Daemen College and is attending Daemen to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. She's originally from Ogdensburg, NY, about four hours from Buffalo.

Soluri was able to embark on this journey to Argentina through a requirement for her Spanish program. ``But even if it wasn`t, I’d still like to have done it anyways,” she said. With a lot of research and help from Dr. Denise Mills and the Global Programs office at Daemen, Soluri was able to venture out into the world.

Studying abroad comes with endless options of places to study. However, endless options also mean major decisions. Soluri always knew she wanted to go to Argentina, but during the process of selecting the best location, the option to go to Buenos Aires was also open. After consideration, and a discussion with Dr. Mills, Chairman of Modern Languages, Mills and Soluri concluded that Argentina would be the best fit for her personality.

Soluri chose to go to Argentina for a plethora of reasons. Being a Spanish major, she felt it was the best decision not only to “immerse” herself into the Spanish language, but also to obtain a better understanding of a developing country.

“My overall experience is indescribable! It was honestly the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Soluri. During her trip she learned a great deal about Argentina. She gained a lot from this opportunity. She was able to meet students not only from the U.S., but also across the country, which Soluri did not expect. She said that her communication skills are stronger due to the foreign language aspect of the trip.

Not only does Soluri have a new appreciation for Argentina culture, but she also has a great appreciation for the food, which she loved. “Argentina is known for its red meat and wine, so I’d say I was pretty spoiled,” she said. Everything about her study abroad experience, from the culture to the food to the customs, excited her. Every opportunity she had to travel, she took. “Going abroad has made me so curious about the rest of the world, and has definitely changed my plans for the future,” Soluri enthused. 

The opportunity to study abroad is a once in a lifetime chance. It opens up the doors for new opportunities and allows students to discover who they really are, while creating and developing new relationships with people across the world. “I learned a lot about myself, and came back a more open and confident person. I know I will always have a family and home and Cordoba,” Soluri said. 

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We Need Reporters, Photographers & More!

The INSIGHT still needs you!

Want to get your news or feature stories published? Your photographs? Maybe you're a humor or political cartoonist seeking a forum for your creative expressions? Or perhaps a columnist with opinions and observations yearning to see print? Even a business major looking for some ad coordinating and selling experience?

The INSIGHT is your answer! This is our call for reporters...photographers...cartoonists...idea people...student journalists of every description and distinction. And if you've got interesting story ideas, we're always on the prowl for those.

Please contact either the editor, Emily Stoll, at: emily.stoll@daemen.edu, or faculty mentor, Prof. Paul Chimera, at: pchimera@daemen.edu. Remember: working for your college newspaper looks priceless on a resume; plays well in job interviews -- and is good, clean fun to boot!

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Editor: Emily Stoll

Faculty Adviser: Prof. Paul Chimera

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