Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My experience as a 2012 debate lottery winner

I was 20-years old when I won the lottery. I was filled with emotions from the moment I found out I had won: anticipation, excitement, and luck. I was also slightly worried about the next step in collecting my prize, passing through the rigorous security checks. It was not a normal lottery I had won, there would be no large check to hold, no money awarded, and no long-distance relatives calling asking for favors. I had won the 2012 Presidential Debate Ticket Lottery at Hofstra University.

It all started when I found out that Hofstra University would be hosting its second presidential debate on October 16, 2012. The debate was being hosted in a “town hall” style which really piqued my interest because I felt that it was a true testament to the candidates’ debate skills. The debate also featured the incumbent president, Barack Obama. From the moment Hofstra announced it would be hosting the 2012 Presidential Debate, campus was buzzing. Suddenly classes that seemed to have little to nothing in common with politics or elections had relevancy to current events, the presidency, electoral history, etc. Students were buzzing with civic diligence and duty, encouraging others to register to vote, providing information on polling locations, and engaging in conversation about which issues were most important to them.

The debate brought students together despite differences. It was something that everyone on-campus was ready and eager to discuss. It was exciting to see so many people become so passionate about one common thing. I was also tremendously proud to be a part of the Hofstra community and to be a Hofstra student. I felt lucky to have such an important event hosted on campus and to see so much media coverage of Hofstra. Suddenly people were asking me what it was like to go to Hofstra, remarking how unique it was to be able to be a part of such a terrific university and how amazing it must be to be a part of this experience.

Flash forward a few weeks to debate time. I entered the ticket lottery after hearing countless rumors about how so many students would apply but so few would be picked. When the initial lottery had taken place, I checked my email hundreds (no, millions) of times, desperately searching for anything with the words “debate” or “YOU’VE WON!!!!!!”  As the news trucks and media outlets started pouring into campus, setting up in almost every parking lot on campus, my hopes started to fall. My boyfriend at the time entered the lottery too, but he didn’t receive the fabled “YOU’VE WON” email either.

The next day, I started hearing that students were receiving emails saying they were selected for the debate (after the first round of students was selected). I checked my email and what do you know, there still was not a “YOU’VE WON” email…but, there was one saying “Woo-hoo YOU ARE GOING TO THE DEBATE!” There it was in black and white (and red and blue in the debate logo…and yellow highlighting for the important parts). I was going to the debate!

After carefully reading the email, I responded to ensure I would reserve my ticket. In true millennial style, I thought “OMG I’m going to the #Debate2012!!!” Then I tweeted, called my mom SCREAMING (sending her into a panic thinking something bad happened) and then called my boyfriend. If there was ever a thing that could have come between us, it was the fact that I was chosen to go to the debate and he was not. He was a political science major, which in his mind gave him more reason to go to the debate than me, an English major. After some icy discussions about how he should get to go, we agreed that I was super lucky to have this opportunity and I must seize it. (On a side note, we stayed together through the debate and we are now engaged).

Before I knew it, it was debate day (the most highlighted and circled day in my planner). I arrived at my assigned time to HofUSA to pick up my ticket. After waiting in line, I went inside to find a few people I knew to wait with. We all boarded busses bound for an off-campus credentialing location. While I was waiting in line for credentialing I spotted a few recognizable faces (John Kerry and a few other political figures). We boarded busses back to Hofstra and arrived at the arena. It was shocking to see so many media outlets, and more shocking to see famous reporters and commentators (sadly, I didn’t see Anderson Cooper).

After all the excitement, everyone started getting settled into their seats. It was amazing to see the transformation of what I was used to seeing as a basketball court turned into a history-making debate stage. When the debate started and the candidates were on stage I wanted to pinch myself and find out if I was only dreaming. I was so amazed on what happens behind the scene out of the TV viewers’ sightline. It’s an incredible opportunity to see two candidates debate and to hear the media outlets commenting during breaks.

Once the debate ended, I walked out of the arena I was still in awe of the whole experience. There were still hundreds of media outlets lighting up campus with camera crews and students were bustling around discussing their thoughts. When I looked up, I saw Marine One whisking Barack Obama away.

I still consider myself incredibly lucky to have witnessed such a spectacle and even luckier to be part of such a great university that now has the opportunity to host another debate. Hofstra University will become the first university to ever host three consecutive presidential debates, a fact that makes me incredibly proud to be a student and graduate of Hofstra.

Guest blogger: Lauren Krampen
Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies, 2nd year graduate student

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rose Mina - Sophomore of the Year

This year, Rose Mina, an international student was named Sophomore of the Year at the Hofstra Student Leadership Awards ceremony held on May 1, 2016. Rose shares some of her story as an international student leading up to being awarded Sophomore of the Year below.

My name is Rose Mina and I am from Kenya. I just completed my sophomore year and I am studying Finance and Mathematics.

My experience at Hofstra has been great. What I love most about Hofstra is the education experience. The professors are very committed in their work and they are approachable. What I learn in class is easily applicable to real life. Moreover, the class sizes enable me to have personal attention with my professors.

I also love my school because it has many opportunities for students to be involved and thus become well-rounded students.

I am involved in different clubs such as the African Student Association, HINT (Hofstra International) and for two years I was a Pride Guide. I am also a Global Mentor, and my role is to mentor new international students and help them in their adjustment to the new school and country.

All the above co-curricular activities have enabled me gain valuable experience on how to relate with people. I am also growing as a leader. At the end of the 2016 spring semester, I was humbled to be named Sophomore of the Year due to my involvement on campus. I am excited for what the remaining half of college has for me. I like challenging myself and Hofstra is giving me the platform to face challenges and growth experiences that are shaping me to become a leader who will hopefully bring change to society.

Guest Blogger: Rose N. Mina
Junior – BBA in Finance

International Student Affairs wishes to extend congratulations to Rose on being chosen as Sophomore of the Year.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Welcoming class of #Hofstra2020!

“I loved orientation, and I don't want to leave. I already knew that Hofstra was where I want to be, but this week just solidified that. It showed me that I really belong at Hofstra and it's the perfect place for me. I absolutely love it here. Orientation was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I got to start my summer with it.”   –Class of 2020 Student.

As we hit the halfway point for the summer, it is clear that the Class of 2020 is off to a great start. The new students have been finding their sense of Hofstra PRIDE, over the extensive three-day program that the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement has been diligently planning over the last year. During orientation incoming students are escorted across campus, meeting with all of the offices and resources that they will need to know about come September.

One of the big resources that the new students will learn about is the Student Success Collaborative, which is includes: Career Center, Student Access Services, Center for Academic Excellence and Center for University Advising. This Collaborative was put in place as a partnership to support students throughout their Hofstra career. By connecting academic and personal
experiences, student success collaborative ensure your success in achieving your current and future goals. Along with those offices students are exposed to are Public Safety, Title-IX, Fitness Center, HofCard, Residence Life and other fun and helpful places on campus like the Game Room and student center cafeteria. The students are encouraged to ask as many questions as they can think of to these offices, to ensure that all their questions or concerns are answered.

            A unique feature that the students at Hofstra get to partake in is the model class. Each year for orientation the incoming students all read the same book chosen by the university.  At their orientation professors lead conversations surrounding the book, allowing the new students to get a sense of what a real college class could look like. Students are very receptive to this experience and it helps them gage how they should prepare come the fall semester.
           We trained 20 Orientation Leaders this year to embark on the journey to make every new member of the Hofstra Pride feel as though they belong on this campus. Orientation is set in place so that the students are knowledgeable about the campus and the resources that are made available to them during their time at Hofstra.  Based on some of the reactions from students and parents at check-out, we are doing a pretty good job. We can’t wait to meet all the members of the class of 2020…Go Pride! #HofWelcomes2020

If you have any questions about Orientation contact OSLE

Had fun at Orientation? Stay updated about Welcome Week September 1-5.

Written by Tori Succi - Graduate Assistant to Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Abdullah Wasif - Junior of the Year

This year Abdullah Wasif, an international student was honored with the Junior Student of the Year award at the  Hofstra Student Leadership Award Ceremony held on May 01, 2016. Abdullah shares a little bit of his background and his reaction to being named Junior of the Year below.

I am an international student who came to the U.S. for the first time back in the fall of 2014 from Pakistan to do my BBA in Accounting and Information Technology from Hofstra University. Since then, I have had a roller coaster ride. My experience at Hofstra so far has been nothing but rewarding and exceptional. I have met some great people and have made lifelong friends. People at Hofstra have been an important factor in making me feel comfortable, whether they are the people from the Zarb School of Business Dean's office, where I started working as a student aide in the end of 2014, or the people in the various clubs I have been part of so far, like Beta Alpha Psi, Hofstra Tax Society or 180 Degrees Consulting. I am also the current Executive Vice President for the Beta Alpha Psi, and have held the position of Treasurer in Tax Society for the academic year 2015 – 2016.

Recently, I won the student leadership award for the best Junior Student of the Year. There are honestly no words to describe that feeling, I still cannot recall what I was feeling when my name was announced as the winner for the award, I think I blanked out. Currently, this is one of my biggest achievements and I am really honored to have received this award. This last semester was full of achievements as I was also selected by the Zarb School of Business to represent it at the National DECA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Last but not least, I successfully got into the leadership programs for all the Big 4 accounting firms, which are considered the most competitive programs to get into, compared to the other programs and positions offered by the Big 4 firms.

Being an international student, and competing with other students has not been easy. I personally had the right motivations that kept me going. Also, thinking about my family back home in Pakistan just added that fire in me which took me to that extra mile. What worked for me personally was my determination and proactive attitude. I faced every challenge with a head on and a smile on my face. With two more years to go, I have a lot more to achieve. I am on the route to sit for my CPA exams next year and look forward to becoming a Certified Public Accountant. Moreover, I also seek to intern with one of the Big 4 accounting firms next summer and hopefully receive a full time offer (through OPT).

Guest Blogger: Abdullah B. Wasif
Senior – BBA in Accounting and IT & Business Analytics

International Student Affairs would like to congratulate Abdullah on his achievements in winning Junior of the Year.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Club Sports Roundup

The club sports season came to an exciting end with several fun events hosted on Hofstra's campus on Saturday, May 7th. Hofstra Quidditch Club invited five teams to their All-Star Fantasy tournament, in which teams mix up players and combine to compete and ultimately bring the Quidditch community together. Great fun was had by all and Team Purple walked away victorious.

Elsewhere on the north side of campus, Hofstra Men’s Rugby Club held their annual alumni day, welcoming former players back to come and take on the current squad. Youth triumphed over experience on this particular day, with the current squad registering an 85-10 victory.

In other action, Hofstra Club Baseball had a rough day as they traveled to Rutgers, and dropped both games of a doubleheader by scores of 9-1 and 11-1. Costly errors by the Pride and a powerful Scarlet Knights attack were the difference.

Finally, Hofstra Women’s Rugby Club hosted the 7th Annual Jessica Gohring Tournament on Saturday, April 30th at the Hofstra Intramural Rugby Field. Bard, Molloy, LIU Post, and the Brooklyn Rugby Club all participated in the tournament. The Pride performed well, only dropping one contest to eventual champion Molloy.

Thanks for reading all year-have a great summer! 

Hofstra’s 29 Club Sports are always looking for new members and welcome all experience levels.  If you would like to find out more information about joining one of our clubs, please visit hofstra.edu/recreation and click on the ‘Club Sports’ tab, or feel free to visit us at the Hofstra Fitness Center with any questions you may have!
Ruby Staplehurst, Guest Blogger
Graduate Assistant, Recreation and Intramural Sports

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Time Managed Successfully

With finals upon us, we thought we would ask one of our international students how they manage their time. We wish all students good luck with their finals this week!

Assignments, presentations, extra credit home works, exams and every other work, hold hands together and come greet you with a wicked smile. When it happens, the feeling is so dizzy-like that you start pondering how time flew so fast. We all face that even though we have completed work on time. So how do you efficiently manage time and do everything you are needed to do when you don’t have time? I would like to share with you what I follow –

1. Create a priority list – 

The first thing you should be aware of is, what you need to complete and most important, when you need to complete! That’s the key point.  Write down your assignments based on when you need to submit. The closer the deadline, the more priority it gets. 

2. Success Map – 
Once you know your priorities, form a map on a small paper calendar or in your smartphone app.  Write down the priority list in the calendar and create a map which gives you an overall idea of your submissions and exams. If you want, you can mark related deadlines in color combinations. Also mark your available days so you know how much time you have for each deadline. 

3. Work Smartly – 
Follow your success map. If you are a quiet person, find a place by the gardens or library or any academic building. Listen to music if it helps you focus. Finish the work on the top of your priority list and work from top to bottom. Put a check mark next to completed tasks both in your priority list and success map. Trust me, when you can see your work being reduced, your stress will also reduce and you will be able to concentrate better on your next task. If you study in groups, book the library group study rooms in advance so that you don’t have to wait in the queue.

4. Time your breaks – 
When you take a break, make sure you put an alarm in your phone so that you will not spend more than you are supposed to. This greatly helps during exams when time travels at supersonic. Make sure you take decent breaks. Don’t over strain you brain, it might short circuit when it should work.

5. Eat and sleep appropriately – 
We all make the mistake of skipping meals and not sleeping properly. Don’t! Make sure you do eat and sleep because your body needs to function efficiently.  

6. Be Positive – 
No matter how you have prepared for your exams, be positive. It works in ways which you might not understand and it will help you score better. 

Good luck for your exams!

Shashi Kiran
Graduate Student, MBA Business Analytics
Zarb School of Business

The university offers many resources to aid student success. The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) offers workshops about time management and other topics to help students build skills. As a part of the Student Success Collaborative, the CAE promotes improved academic performance and student persistence through strategies that lead to active learning, engagement and self-regulation. 

The Student Success Collaborative brings together the resources of the Career Center, the Center for Academic Excellence, the Center for University Advising, International Student Affairs, and Student Access Services.  By intentionally linking our work together, we have created a strong support system for students as you work with us from orientation through graduation.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Club Sports Roundup

Hofstra Men’s Club Lacrosse drew the tough task of facing off against defending national champion Navy in the first round of the NCLL playoffs. The Pride traveled to Rip Miller Field in Annapolis, Maryland for the matchup on Saturday, April 30th, and following a strong start, they entered the half still within striking distance, only trailing 10-7. Navy showed their prowess as the second half moved along, and despite two-goal performances from Hofstra sophomores Mike Benvenuti and Tyler O’Brien, Navy secured a 16-8 win and advancement to the Elite 8. The loss ended a memorable and successful season for the Pride.

Hofstra Quidditch Club hosted the final Big Apple Quidditch Conference tournament of the season on Saturday, April 30th, hosting seven teams including Stony Brook, Macaulay Honors College, and NYU on the Hofstra Fitness Center Field. The Flying Dutchmen were unable to secure a win on the weekend, going 0-3, dropping three nail-biting contests.

Hofstra Club Baseball took on NYU on Sunday, April 24th. Starting pitcher Justin Cusano went two innings, allowing zero runs before handing over the game to the relief pitchers. Brian Quadrino had a grand slam and two doubles to back the explosive offense of the Pride. Ben Lawlor was a home run short of the cycle, hitting two doubles, a triple, and a single. The offense carried the day for the Pride, with every starter recording a hit in a 20- 4 victory.

The Pride followed up that victory by splitting a doubleheader with Sacred Heart on Saturday, April 30th. In Hofstra's 8-0 win, P.J. Potter went 7 innings and allowed no earned runs. Ben Lawlor, Brian Quadrino, John Bopp and Steve Locorriere all recorded extra base hits. 

Hofstra’s 28 Club Sports are always looking for new members and welcome all experience levels.  If you would like to find out more information about joining one of our clubs, please visit hofstra.edu/recreation and click on the ‘Club Sports’ tab, or feel free to visit us at the Hofstra Fitness Center with any questions you may have!
Ruby Staplehurst, Guest Blogger
Graduate Assistant, Recreation and Intramural Sports