Binghamton University

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adventures of a Performing Arts Intern

Hello dear readers, Sarah here with a summer update! I am interning at Caramoor, a performing arts center, where I have been the past three summers. Our seven-week music festival began last night with Mitsuko Uchida performing for Opening Night!!! A spectacular performance, I am sure, although I only caught the encore.

Last summer I interned in the Development office where I mostly worked with Membership and special events. This summer I am split between Marketing and Development, so I am researching different things online and even got to post a press release and update a bit of the website. It’s pretty cool to see the other side of the music festival.

In the Development department, we have all been working so hard to make sure the Gala on Opening Night went smoothly. Fortunately our planning and list checking was not for naught and everything was perfect! I just wanted to share some pictures from the reception tent. The designer did an amazing job.

This is the day before.


The finished product:




Tiempo Libre performed at the After Dark Party— they are great! I am working the next two weekends, when we will have a Bluegrass Festival with Crooked Still and the Punch Brothers, and then a July Fourth extravaganza, complete with patriotic music and fireworks. Then the following weekend is an opera and also the famous violinist Midori performing. The festival goes by so quickly once Opening Night has passed. I am looking forward to working the concerts and getting to see the rest!!!

This summer I have been catching up with friends from High School. I can’t believe it’s been three years but we are still close. I have seen quite a few friends from Binghamton as well; two of my apartmentmates and I took a road trip out to Boston to visit friends. This summer I am keeping busy, and of course looking forward to August when I get back up to school and begin the MBA program.

Finally to finish off the summer, I am going on a week-long canoeing/backpacking trip in Canada with Binghamton Outdoor Pursuits. I have been training a little bit and putting my textbooks to good use during the summer by hiking with them in my backpack!!!

Of course, more to follow! Stay tuned!

Take care,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stowers Institute for Medical Research


First I would like to say that I’m sorry for the spur of the moment blog post last week. I just landed in Kansas City and had a lot of things and paper work to complete. The flight also took a lot out of me so post wasn’t my best work.

Anyways, time to get to the good stuff. Actually, I should start from the beginning; I think that’s the logical thing to do. Haha.

A few months ago, Binghamton University sent me an email about a research program in Kansas City and I figured that I have nothing to lose and decided to apply to the program.

A few weeks later they sent me a notification informing me that I got accepted into the program. I was really excited but then realized that I will be spending my summer away from my friends, family and my girlfriend. But all is not lost! After a few weeks after I got accepted, I was chatting with a friend of mine during physics class and we started to talk about our summer plans. It turns out that my friend Richard got into the same program as well! What a small world right? I was absolutely shocked that the both of us got into the same program! I got really excited because I won’t be as alone or as afraid anymore.

Fast-forward another few weeks and I was on a plane to Kansas City. This is the first time I’m in the Midwest and I have to say that Kansas City gave me a great impression. The people are great here. They are very friendly compared to the typical New Yorker, and it’s kind of hard for me to get use to strangers greeting me. New Yorkers just don’t greet strangers.

The Stowers Institute is a great place to conduct research. The senior researchers are very helpful and the environment is very positive. In just the first two weeks, I have learned to use powerful tools such as the widefield and the confocal microscope to gather data. For my summer research, I will be focusing on studying whether a certain protein will cause cancer cells to be more aggressive and more prone to metastasizing.

My daily routine consists of waking up and getting ready for work. Once my roommate Richard and I are ready we make a twenty minute walk (1.1 miles) to the research center. By the time we start walking to work, the sun is already beating down on us. It gets extremely hot sometimes and other times it gets pretty wet because of the frequent rain.

At the labs I carry out my research project and record the data. It’s quite a different experience compared to school work. It’s different in the sense that it’s not all theoretical anymore, now it is all about applying what I know to answer new questions. There are no more laboratory exercises to demonstrate the theories, only real experiments to carry out. I also get paranoid sometimes because the equipments I use are very expensive and I’m worried that I might break them. It’s quite stressful.

On the weekends Richard and I would walk to the supermarket and buy groceries. In our hotel room, we have a mini kitchen filled with pots and pans. I have to say that cooking by myself for once is quite a different experience than cooking with my mom. It’s a great way to learn quickly because no one wants to eat poorly cooked meals. 
So far I’m still alive so that’s good news right? If you don’t hear from me soon, it’s probably safe to assume that I got food poisoning, haha.

I will be writing another post and hoping it’ll up soon.
-Shutterbug Dennis

Monday, June 07, 2010

Come fly with me


Where in the world is Dennis Chen?
It was only yesterday when I was on my way to JFK. It was a Saturday and it was a hot day in NYC. The car pulled up in front of my house and I loaded up my luggage into the back of the car. The id of the car was 5289103. Yeah, I managed to remember the id number of my driver for some reason. The drive to JFK was pretty long and it was pretty hot as well. Once I got to the airport I did the usual check in procedure with the check in luggage and the security checks.

Due to my fear of being arrested I didn’t manage to take that many pictures. I got there early so I was waiting and reading a magazine. When 520 rolled around, I finally got boarded it. It was also the day that the main airstrip was closed for some reason so there was an hour delay. We didn’t take off until 7pm. By that time I was really hungry because I was expecting such delays.

The good news was that I manage to get some mini pretzels and two cups of apple juice. That tied me over until the plane landed. When the plane landed, I was greeted by Bill, my other driver who drove me to my hotel. On the way to my hotel I chatted with Bill and learning more about Kansas City.

I met up with Richard who also happens to go to Binghamton University as well, but that’s another story for another time.

I got here pretty late and eat a midnight dinner and then went to sleep. I’ll explain more in my next post but for now I’ll have to sleep in early for tomorrow I start work. Wish me luck guys!
-Shutterbug Dennis

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Summers At Binghamton

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a good summer!

After finals, I headed back to home in Rochester for about 10 days. After that short period, I repacked and headed back to Binghamton for summer classes. I have to say, I was pretty hesitant to go back… I mean, after classes are done, who’s going to be around Binghamton for the summer? What is there to do?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Although I’ve only been here for a week so far, I’ve found there are plenty of opportunities to keep busy! Here’s a list:

1. First and foremost, classes. Cramming a semester’s worth of material into one month. I think my intstructor told us that there one day of summer classes would equal a normal semester’s week of work. THAT can keep you busy. I have an exam in my psyc class about once a week, and labs due for my wellness class once to twice a week. I’m definitely learning to stay on top of my work by taking summer classes, and I have to say, it is paying off so far.

2. JOBS. Yes, there are jobs on campus. Nice ones too! Binghamton summer orientations for incoming freshman will need to be fully staffed of course- they’ll need orientation advisors, orientation staff…. Also, there are summer RA’s on-campus for the residents who chose to remain in the on-campus apartments over the summer. There are also office assistant jobs that work with Reslife over the summer. The library also offers positions and the admissions office usually look for summer tour guides. These are the jobs that I am aware of, but I’m sure there are more. And don’t forget, a lot of jobs off-campus are looking for summer help!

3. Research and internships. Some people chose to stay in Binghamton because of research assistant position or a summer internship for credit. To obtain these, you would need to visit the Career Development Center, or contact a professor who is doing research of interest on campus. In fact, I will be working with a Binghamton professor next month as a research assistant. I am so excited!

These are the top three things I can think of that will keep a student busy over the summer. Of course, for recreational purposes, there’s always friends on-campus, a 45 minute drive to Ithaca or Syracuse, and plenty of buses if you don’t own a car to reach destinations. I am still exploring these!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Taking Summer Classes…from Home

A few weeks ago, I finished my freshman year at Binghamton University on a great note! I studied hard, did well on my four finals, and got to spend my last few days at school relaxing with friends. After packing up the car to capacity (and putting the things that couldn’t fit in storage), I made the four hour drive….HOME! And I’m here to stay for the summer!

I was lucky enough to get an internship working in the Physical Therapy Department of NYU Medical Center (which I found out about through Binghamton’s Pre-Health listerve), but that doesn’t begin until the middle of July. As nice as it would be to lay around and watch TV all day, everyday, I know I’d get sick of that after two or three days. So, I decided to enroll in an online summer course through Binghamton. I’m taking Psych Statistics which is a class required for my major (Integrative Neuroscience) and a prerequisite for many upper-level courses in my major. The course is actually being taught to a class on the campus of the university, but students enrolled in the online portion of the class get to watch the same exact lecture from the comfort of their own living room. No, we don’t have the luxury of going to the teacher for office hours, but we can easily email her with any questions that we have. All of the tests and quizzes are online. It’s very convenient; I can go about with my plans for the day, and come home to watch the class and view the lecture slides.

I hope that whether you’re working, relaxing, taking classes, studying abroad, or getting ready to start Binghamton in the fall, you’re having a wonderful summer so far!


Binghamton University's Admissions Blog is written by current students for students considering, applying, transferring and enrolling. Here you will find real-life points of view and personal opinions about campus life, classes, faculty and more! The opinions expressed by the bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the university. So, if you want to read more about Binghamton University students, you've come to the right place.