Fairfield University student Natasha Angelovich ’15 is jobless and afraid.
However, she is not alone, as several students are about to graduate from Fairfield University this year without a job. And, like Angelovich, many students are nervous and looking for any help they can get.
Perhaps this is why several students were in attendance at the Convergence: Careers in Media Night networking event that was held in the Kelly Center this past Thursday evening. Students of from all classes attended in hopes that they would have an opportunity to network with successful Fairfield alumni and gather some useful tips to help with the job hunt.
Angelovich, who is a Communications major graduating in May, said, “I’m in the middle of the job search now, so I figured that coming to this event might help with the process.”
Natash Angelovish ’15, is a Communications major at Fairfield University actively trying to find a job.
The networking event, which was inspired by a similar event held last year, was co-sponsored by the Career Planning Center and the College of Arts and Sciences to provide students interested in media-related careers the opportunity to talk to former students, as well as learn more about the ever-evolving industry.
The event was broken into two parts: the first part featured a panel discussion with ten distinguished Fairfield alumni and the second part featured a small-group networking portion.
During the panel discussion held in the Kelly Center Presentation Room, alumni introduced themselves and made a point to talk about how they landed their first job after graduating from Fairfield. Every alumnus featured had graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences with majors including but not limited to English, Communications and Film, Television & Media Arts.
Caitlyn Livingston ’11 talks with undergraduate students about her experiences working for NBC Universal Inc.
From there, the event moved into the lobby of the Kelly Center so that students would have an opportunity to speak with alumni one-on-one. Each alumnus sat at a large round table while the group of students, which was comprised of roughly 40 undergraduates, broke into smaller groups and visited each table.
Angelovich, who hopes to pursue a career in event planning, particularly hit it off with Wanda Szarek ’09, who works as a Senior Integrated Producer at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, specifically on traditional and digital marketing campaigns for BMW.
“That’s something I could see myself doing,” Angelovich said with a smile.
According to administrators, even though far fewer students attended the event than was originally anticipated, they plan on hosting the event again next spring.
The Fairfield University alumni who were invited to speak at the Convergence: Careers in Media Night event.
Jennifer Pierce ’03
Melody Serafino ’05
Wanda Szarek ’11
Alexandria Hein ’11
Brooke Madden ’09
Pamela Antonacchio ’07
Caitlyn Livingston ’11
Frank Washkuch ’02
Rachel Reese ’04
Vincent Ferrer ’12
All alumni pictures were taken from their personal, public websites or LinkedIn profiles.
“On Feb. 4 in the Aloysius P. Kelley Center, Her Campus celebrated their first birthday by hosting a pink party with both Brittany Lewis (Director of Community Development & Strategic Programming) and Windsor Hanger Western (Co-founder, President & Publisher) as special guest speakers.
Her Campus is a digital media magazine that is produced by women for college-age women. The issue is put out online five days a week, and its purpose is to both inform and entertain. Her Campus Fairfield is led by Amanda McKelvey ‘15 and Danielle Tullo ‘15. Both Campus Correspondents are truly responsible for Her Campus’ successful inaugural year. A year ago, they both felt that Fairfield was missing something in the digital media field and so they brought Her Campus to Fairfield with help from Stephanie Gallo, associate director of the Career Planning Center and acting staff advisor.
“I’m here to guide them, but really these two are independent and so strong just on their own,” said Gallo on the passion of the Her Campus team.
Her Campus immediately grew into something much bigger than Fairfield. Since the Internet is such a simple tool to reach out to many people, that is exactly what it did.
McKelvey felt that “Her Campus’ success couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for our readers. We used to get 3,300 views and now we get over 75,000 views because now friends of friends are reading it from all over the world and we have to thank them for the success we’ve achieved in this one year.”
Before the celebration of their first birthday, both Hanger Western and Lewis spoke about their own personal experience with Her Campus and their strength as a woman. The talk given by the two speakers had a big impact on the Her Campus team, both professionally and emotionally.
“I really liked how they touched on the topics of resumes and cover letters. As a freshman we don’t know a lot about it. They mentioned great tips and advice for the future,” said Adelyn Galang ‘18.
In addition to professional advice, the speakers also increased the morale of the group, leaving many members feeling empowered after listening to Lewis and Hanger Western speak.
“It’s really important for college women in this industry to hear from women who came from the ground up. Being a freshman it’s so nice to hear from such influential women,” said Caroline Metcalf-Vera ‘18.
“I enjoyed how they both focused on women empowerment. We need to be inspired,” added Katherine Duncan ‘18.
Both speakers continually praised what the progress Her Campus has made at Fairfield in just one year. Fairfield is among 13 schools internationally recognized as a Pink Chapter, which is the highest level attainable. This feat truly impressed the Her Campus representatives.
Additionally, Her Campus Fairfield has started a new program with Lord & Taylor, which allows hands-on experience in career paths that are of interest to the Her Campus team.
The Lord & Taylor program is a collaboration between Her Campus and Lord & Taylor. The point of this program is to promote Lord and Taylor for the collegiettes on campus all over. The reason why Lord & Taylor was chosen for this program is because this department store gives power to women being the first department store to ever name a woman as president.
“I was apart of the Lord & Taylor new program that we have here and it’s a great hands on program starting with a really good start with getting involved. It’s also really nice to work with a committed and well rounded team,” said Rachel Anderson ‘18.
The Her Campus team ended their celebration with a “Happy Birthday and Thank you” toast, cupcakes, a group selfie and lots of mingling. With the celebration at the back of their heads, the Her Campus Correspondents are now left with the hard decision of who to pass the torch to after graduation to continue the chapter’s success.
“I need someone that will take care of it and I want to see it grow. Her Campus is about having an outlet to give their passion to for the love of reading and writing it,” said McKelvey.
Senior Danielle Tullo agreed with McKelvey, and stressed the opportunity Her Campus gives to Fairfield women: “Through it all, [Her Campus’] goal of giving women on Fairfield’s campus the opportunity to write has been fulfilled with the success of allowing them to get into a program that is focused on the concept that ‘You make dreams happen for yourself.’”
“MaryKate Callahan ’15 was the original Managing Editor for Her Campus Fairfield and has most recently started focusing on the Blog Section of Her Campus Fairfield. Her life philosophy, which particularly applies to food and music, is “Don’t bash it until you try it.” She believes the best accessory is a sense of humor and/or anything Kate Spade. Basically, her quest in life is to find a career path that she loves, master winged liquid eyeliner, spend a day with Bill Murray and eat all of the guacamole.”
DO eat some breakfast! EAT A BAGEL, CARB UP. IT’S GAME DAY AND WE’RE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL. But seriously, Clam Jam starts early and is a very long day. Embrace the opportunity for carbs and eat a substantial breakfast to keep your energy and your stomach at a good place all day. Besides, people don’t go to Clam Jam for the food * smug face emoji here *
DoNOT get too drunk. Take this seriously. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day, especially when it starts so early, but it’s a marathon not a sprint- pace yourself. Spending your day either a) throwing up b) passed out on some senior’s couch or c) in the back of an ambulance are three of the last places you want to be.
DO wear a reliable bag and shoes. It’s a long day so wear shoes you can function in comfortably. There is a lot of aimless wandering involved. Also, bring a reliable bag to hold all of your stuff together. Your hands will be busy taking selfies, holding Solo cups, and peeling your hair from your lip-gloss so bring a bag that will keep your belongings together so you don’t have to.
Do NOT pee in public! Anybody who has been to Clam Jam before knows what a struggle finding a bathroom is. Even if you “know someone” on the Point, odds are that by noon their bathroom has reached some Daddy Day Care levels of scary. As tempting as it may be to find a secretive corner and crouch, DON’T because you never know who might see you and also that’s kind of really gross. Pee before you leave and mentally prepare yourself to hold it.
DO be respectful of seniors’ houses. The seniors who live on the Point are kind enough to open their house to the majority of Fairfield’s student body, so the least we could do in return is respect their property. They have security deposits and personal belongings that you should respect. Treat their house the way you would want people to treat yours. Plus, do you want to realize the house you just spilled a whole cup of beer in belongs to that intimidating Regina George-esque senior in your Philosophy class? Um, heck no.
Do NOT drunkenly mess with a police officer. These are not your selfie-taking, Papa-John-looking public safety officers on bikes; these are real life police officers of Fairfield County. They can and will arrest you if you go out of your way and give them a reason to. Yeah, they’re going to kick us off the Point a few times and give us a few dirty looks, but that’s no reason to get in their face.
DO establish some kind of a buddy system. You don’t have to stay with a single person all day but make sure you generally know where your good friends are. If you or they get into trouble (particularly of the overly inebriated sort), you’re going to want to know where they are, not be drunk-crying alone next to some random Junior sobbing, “I lost my friends forevveerrrr.”
Do NOT attempt to actually swim in the ocean. It’s a great “what-if” convo starter, but don’t for a second think that running into the water with a few bold girlfriends is a good idea. Spoiler alert: you’ll probably forget your phone is in your back pocket, your mascara will smear Avril Lavigne style, and everybody is going to assume you’re embarrassingly wasted while also recording you on their Snapchat story.
DO take pictures! You can still document your day with an endless stream of selfies and “My school is cooler than yours” crowd shots, but remember to keep pictures somewhat classy. Standing upside down doing a keg-stand while giving the student body a glimpse of your cash and prizes is not a cute look. Keep it together and don’t pose for a picture you wouldn’t want your mom to see.
Do NOT put things on social media that your future employers wouldn’t be happy about. I know many of us shrugged off that recent e-mail from Career Planning but what they’re saying is entirely true- employers will look at your social media and your behavior, as it is displayed on the Internet, could affect your future career. Clam Jam is an awesome day, but don’t let the likes you’ll get on a profile pic of you getting Smirnoff Iced on top of a roof in front of the beach while wearing a sombrero cloud your judgment and ruin your future.
DO make sure all of your stuff is fully charged! Clam Jam is a long day so make sure your electronics are ready to go, especially your phone. Not only will it be harder to keep track of your friends throughout the day, but it also makes the chances of finding your phone, if it gets lost, that much harder. Side note: Get your “Find My iPhone” apps ready.
DO NOT bring anything irreplaceable with you! That diamond pendant necklace your dad gave you for your 18th birthday? This is neither the time nor the place for that kind of bling, honey. Stick to that statement necklace you’d miss but could easily replace.
DO be safe. It seems that somehow half the people at Clam Jam end up on somebody’s roof, but while you’re up there letting your freak flag fly, don’t do anything dangerous. Some friendly reminders: you can’t fly, Project X was only a movie, that guy isn’t actually strong enough (or sober enough) to catch you. Keep the “fun” in funneling by making sure a balcony is involved.
DO have fun! Clam Jam is the best day of year in StagNation. As long as you remember to bring your common sense along with your favorite sunglasses, everything should go swimmingly (but hopefully not literally.)
Fairfield University student Lauren Buscone ‘15 was shivering as she stood outside of the Marshall’s on Post Road. She’d just gotten done her night shift at a local restaurant and was eager to get out of the freezing nor’easter snowstorm that had come just days after Hurricane Sandy.
She’d been waiting at the designated Fairfield University Stag Bus stop for about 45 minutes in total, assuming that even with delays a bus should have shown up by now. It was only when her smart phone was finally able to pull up the “Stag Bus Locator” webpage that she discovered “Status: Shuttle Not in Service”.
She then started the 2-mile walk back to campus.
Thankfully, she was picked up on the way by a friend, but other times she has not been so lucky.
“It has happened to me a few times at this point,” she said. “Usually later at night.”
Buscone is just one of the many Fairfield University students who remain unhappy and frustrated with the operation of the Stag Bus.
In an unofficial online survey distributed to 85 undergraduate Fairfield University students, 68% said that they were currently dissatisfied with the means of off-campus transportation provided by the university.
Recurring Problem for Students
Throughout the years, the Stag Bus has been a point of frustration for several Fairfield University students.
Since the year 2000, there have been 11 articles written about the Stag Bus by Fairfield University students in the school paper, The Mirror, most of which voiced their complaints and concerns about the Stag Bus. This means that there has been a different story written nearly every year for over a decade.
Some of the most popular complaints made by students in the past have had to with how students thought the shuttles were too small, how the daily route didn’t include enough stops and how Fairfield Prep students were taking spots on the bus that belonged to university students.
The man who is in charge of addressing issues concerning the Stag Bus is Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, who has been overseeing Stag Bus operations for the past 20 years, says that the university has and will continue to consider student’s comments and complaints in order to make the operation run more satisfactorily.
“It’s one of those situations where you’re always striving for 100% perfection,” Fitzpatrick said. “You don’t get it, but you try to push and do everything you can to be able to get to that standard.”
While the term “Stag Bus” might be exclusive to Fairfield University, the concept of schools providing off-campus transportation to students is one that seems to be consistent nationwide.
It appears that almost all major colleges and universities offer some form of off-campus transportation. Subsequently, they have their own collection of complaints.
For example, Kate Hannigan ’14 of Providence College, claims that their shuttle doesn’t go to locations that students find interesting.
“We have a shuttle but I don’t really know too many people who use it,” she said. “It doesn’t run to the places that students actually want to go to.”
Another is Lauren Cook ’15 from Fordham University, who described the quality of the vans used to transport students off campus as “disgusting.”
“I once got picked up at night and the entire backseat was covered in someone’s throw up,” she said. “I almost threw up too.”
Sacred Heart University, another school located in Fairfield, CT, also offers an off-campus shuttle that runs a very similar route and schedule to that of Fairfield University.
According to students, there bus is far from perfect as well. One major complaint that SHU students have has to do with the condition of the buses themselves.
Kati Csizmadia ’15 said, “[The buses] break down sometimes which causes unexpected delays. Usually they fix it quickly but it’s still an inconvenience. I missed a class because of it once.”
Currently, the biggest complaint that Fairfield University students have with the Stag Bus is its schedule and timing.
The current Stag Bus schedule begins at 11:15 a.m. every day and runs on a 45-minute circuit that starts and ends at the bus stop right outside of the Barone Campus Center. Monday through Thursday, the bus stops running at 10:30 p.m. but on Friday and Saturday it runs until 11:15 p.m. On Sundays, it runs until 7:30 p.m.
“I usually work late on Sundays,” Buscone said. “And I always end up scrambling for a ride or walking. I just don’t understand why they don’t run a later bus on Sundays.”
In the same distributed student survey, 72% of students said that they were unsatisfied with the current Stag Bus schedule.
“I wish it would run more frequently,” Sebastian Salvo ‘15 said. “As opposed to every 45 minutes, every 25 minutes.”
Catherine Fox ’16 said, “I wish it would run on a shorter loop. Instead of running every 45 minutes, it would be great if it ran every 30 because I know there’s been times when I need to catch a train and it’s been tight.”
The timing of the Stag Bus has proven to be a significant problem for those students who work off-campus, namely those with jobs in town and those who have internships in New York City.
“Sometimes I have to get out of work, like, 10 minutes early,” said Colleen McFadden ‘15, a student who works at the Banana Republic in town. “But by then it’s already left or sometimes I’m waiting another ten minutes.”
Edward Reilly, an employee of Dattco, the bus company that Fairfield hires to run its shuttle service, has also observed a problem with the Stag Bus scheduling. Students more familiarly know Reilly as the day shift Stag Bus driver.
“To improve [the Stag Bus], they should try and synchronize it more,” Reilly said. “We have a problem with two trains on the Metro: the 5:15 and the 6 o’ clock. Either we just make ‘em or we just miss ‘em. If we could do something about that, I think it would be a help.”
Cost Too High?
Despite the fact that the university is aware of student’s discontent regarding the present Stag Bus schedule, according to Fitzpatrick there are no immediate plans to change it.
As is the case for several departments on campus during these tough economic times, one of the many reasons why no major alterations will be made to the schedule is due to lack of funds.
“I would love to run an earlier bus but it’s just not in our current budget,” Fitzpatrick said.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that cost has negatively impacted transportation offered by the university.
According to Fitzpatrick, in the year 2009 the university cut funding for an on-campus shuttle that transported students between different locations that are on the outskirts of campus, such as the Dolan apartments and the Dolan School of Business. (See “It’s A Long Road to Dolan”Mirror article).
While Fitzpatrick did not disclose the figures behind the financial impact that this cut had on the university, he did say, “…the reductions that have been made regarding transportation has translated to a significant cost savings for the university during a time period where staff were being laid off and programs were being cut. It did not have a minor impact on being able to keep some [other] programs on campus.”
Better Than Ever?
Despite the problems that some students still have with the current Stag Bus, Fitzpatrick claims that things are going better now than they ever have before.
According to him, so far this semester he has only received 5 official complaints from students, which is a record low.
“The Stag Bus, just like anything else, is not perfect,” he said. “But I think the track record overall this year has been well above average.”
Some students agree, such Sara Robicheua ‘13, a student who works at the information desk in the BCC. She said, “This year it is way better than many of the other years. I’ve been working here for four years and this year they’re always on time. I can only remember one day when things got really messed up.”
Connor Kelley ’15 shared similar sentiments, “I think it’s really convenient and I think it’s a good thing that Fairfield does for its students. It’s doing a pretty solid job so far this year.”
What to Expect
Even though there are no changes to be made to the schedule in the foreseeable future, Fitzpatrick remains hopeful that alterations that are soon to be made to the “Stag Bus Locator” page, which features a real-time map that allows students to see where the Stag Bus is on its current route, will help students to better plan the timing of their trips.
While this may have been a convenient and helpful feature at one point, Fitzpatrick describes the current webpage as “archaic and out of place” and that the university “cant get rid of it soon enough.”
“We’re hoping that at the beginning of the spring semester, there’ll be an app for the bus system,” Fitzpatrick said. “That way you will be able to get on your smart phone and find out exactly where it is.”
While Fairfield University continues to search for the magic formula to make everyone happy, students will have to make due with the current system.
“I appreciate that we have [a bus] at all,” said Jimmy Hughto ’15. “But it could be better.”
I really don’t what it is about this song, but whenever this song comes on my iPod I instantly feel cooler. If it weren’t so socially unacceptable, I’d probably start snapping and finger-gun pointing at random strangers who walked by. Perhaps it’s the unexpected combination of a catchy piano melody, strong beat via the drums and a tambourine that just won’t quit. Perhaps it’s that secret satisfaction I feel when Britt Daniels (lead singer) mentions some odd thing that he does that I also happen to do. Whatever it is, listening to this song quite frequently is one of the ways I get by.
Freaks and Geeks- Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino, aka Troy from the show Community, aka Donald Glover has some of the freshest and most original rap verses I’ve ever heard. I don’t think he goes more than 3 lines in any of his songs without making some kind of clever word play that you hear and then 30 seconds later are like, “Oh now I get it, [insert laughter here], that was a good one.” While his songs are riddled with expletives and should under no circumstances be played while your mother is in the room, they’re great for getting the zone. His beats are catchy, his delivery is impressive and his lines are memorable.
Don’t Go- Rae Morris
Confession time: I discovered this show while watching Degrassi. Judge me if you must, but it was a really sad episode (that I may or may not have watched it more than once) and it featured some good music, such as this song. I’m pretty sure every girl out there has that one really sad song that they turn to when they are in need of a good cry and this is mine. It is a soft and delicate piano ballad about a girl who (you guessed it) doesn’t want her love to go. Rae’s voice is saturated in this sad desperation that can be detected in every note, making it beautiful and heart breaking all at the same time.
You’re an Ocean- Fastball
One of my personal philosophies (I have many) is to never be friends with someone who can’t appreciate a good throwback song. This song was the one that came on the radio during the early 90’s when you were driving in the car with your entire family and everyone belted out the chorus even though not a single person knew (or cared) what band was singing. I throw this song on when I’m driving around during the summer and just yell it, especially when I’m down the shore, because sometimes I like to point out the window as I drive by a beach and sing, “You’re an ocean!” to the ocean. Too punny, I know.
This was published in Fairfield University’s newspaper The Mirror.
Several Fairfield University students made a major decision regarding their academic future yesterday.
Some made a minor one.
The academic choices came during the first official Fairfield University Majors/Minors Information Fair that took place in the Oak Room yesterday afternoon.
Students of all grades were invited to walk around the room from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., stop by the different tables that were set up by various departments and learn about the various majors and minors offered as part of Fairfield’s undergraduate curriculum.
“I liked the way it’s set up,” said sophomore Connor Kelly, who is an undeclared business student. “Very easy to see all the majors offered and choose which one you want.”
While the event was cosponsored by several different academic organizations around campus including Undergraduate Academic Planning, Exploratory Academic Advising and FUSA, the people working the actual event were primarily administrators, students involved in the New Student Leaders program and professors from the various academic departments.
One of the administrators helping to coordinate the event was Suzanne Solensky, the Director of Undergraduate Academic Planning.
“I think the fair is going wonderfully well,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of enthusiasm on the part of various departments participating.”
One of the most notable features of the fair was the fact that the university’s Registrar Office had a table set up where students could not only ask questions regarding core requirements and recommended classes, but could also sign up for their desired major and/or minor on the spot.
“We thought it would be convenient to take one more step out of the process,” said Jessica York, the Director of Exploratory Academic Advising and one of the administrators helping to answer student’s questions.
Several students, such as Grace Janizewski, a Theatre major who was working at the Theatre table, thought this event was beneficial to students, especially those who are undecided or unsure of what academic path they want to pursue.
Janizewski described an experience she had with an underclassmen student who happened to wander by and eventually stop at her table. The student was a Management major in the business school who, upon learning more about the Theatre department, decided that he wanted to add a minor in Theatre.
“He wouldn’t have known he was interested if he hadn’t met a couple of us,” Janizewski said. “The fair is a nice way to cross paths and include everything that you need to in your education.”
Undergraduate nursing student Grace Lessard, who was hoping to add a Spanish minor, said, “I was really glad to hear they were having an event like this… I’ve been meaning to officially declare a minor for a while.”
While this is not the first time the university has hosted an event purposed to educate students about the various majors and minors offered at Fairfield, this was the first year that all major and minor options, regardless of their specific college affiliation, were represented at the same event.
According to Solensky, this new event came about for two main reasons.
The first is that an event which had typically been held every October called “Core Unmasked”, which gave undergraduate students information about the core curriculum and different academic departments, was unable to be held this year due to lack of funding.
The second is that administrators thought it would be a good idea to take each of the various major/minor informational fairs that are hosted by each individual college within the university and consolidate them into one event.
Solensky explained that this new all-encompassing Majors/Minors fair is almost entirely built off of the largest informational fair held at the university, the one for the college of Arts and Sciences, which is typically held every spring.
As students left the information fair, they were encouraged to fill out a survey about their experience and what they would recommend to improve it.
“I didn’t declare a major or anything but it was fun to shop around,” said freshman Brianna Relihan. “Now I have a lot to think about.”
While most soldiers consider family pictures and cigarettes to be some the most valuable things one can have while on tour, Afghan veteran Colin Halloran said he couldn’t live on the battlefield without his collection of books.
Halloran, who has published a new book of war poems titled “Shortly Thereafter”, said that’s one of the reasons why he was “not your typical grunt”, a line featured in one of his poems titled “Footlocker”.
Halloran, who served as a US Army soldier fighting in Afghanistan in 2006, read several poems from his book aloud to an audience gathered at the Fairfield University bookstore last Friday night.
He explained that he wrote the collection of poems based upon the experiences and memories he gathered when he was fighting overseas and how they impacted him once he returned home.
The various poems in the book deal with several different topics and emotions, ranging anywhere from the sardonically comical account of nicknames people used to call him, to the sad reality of sitting through a boring college class after you’ve returned home and you know there are soldiers still out there fighting.
Before Halloran took to the podium to read aloud from his book, Dr. Michael White, Program Director of Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing and personal friend of Halloran, stood before the audience and introduced him.
“I think he’s a wonderful poet, very mature,” White said. “He has developed a great deal.”
According to White, the men met for the first time about 4 years ago in a small coffee shop in Durham where they talked about poetry, the war in Afghanistan and Halloran’s interest in pursuing a creative writing degree. One year later, Halloran enrolled in the Fairfield University’s Creative Writing program and proceeded to study under White.
While at Fairfield, Halloran worked on several of the poems featured in “Shortly Thereafter” and used most of them in his thesis.
When asked what the most valuable skill he learned from working with the Fairfield creative writing program he said, “Figuring out my voice. As a writer, you have to know where you’re writing from, not just what you’re writing about. Through workshopping and close work with mentors and countless drafts I was able to kind of peel back the layers and get to that core of who I was.”
Although the book was only released on October 12th, 2012, it has already garnered some public attention and critical acclaim. So far, the book has been recognized for winning the 2012 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award.
In addition to writing poetry, Halloran also spends time traveling to schools throughout the Northeast where he works with students and teachers to teach them about the benefits of using literature in the history classes as well as how to analyze the ways in which poetry can inform various portrayals of war.
When asked about her thoughts on the reading, Brigitte Duffy, a friend and colleague of Halloran through the MFA program, said, “I was impressed by his depth of emotion and the way he described his experiences.”
During a Q and A session after Halloran was done reading, a member of the audience asked why he chose to write about his thoughts and experiences of war through poetry as opposed to other forms of writing, such as fiction.
Halloran replied, “Poetry gets down to the bare-bone essence of what you’ve been through…it is able to access that kind of emotional pull you experience and boil it down. That’s what I try to do.”
This article was published in Fairfield University’s school newspaper The Mirror
Sitting in a booth at the Levee, occasionally being interrupted by the voice over the intercom informing people that their chicken turnovers were ready, the indie-rock band The Alternate Routes sat back and enjoyed a beer as they talked about music, making it big and how it all began at Fairfield University.
Several of the band’s members have graduated from Fairfield University, including lead vocalist Tim Warren ‘03, leadguitarist Eric Donnelly ’01 and drummer Kurt Leon ‘07. It was through their connection at Fairfield that all of these musicians met each and eventually came together to form The Alternate Routes.
“You know what’s funny, Tim, I don’t think I ever even told you this… The first time I ever saw you play was actually here at the Levee,” Donnelly said.
The two officially met a few days later after a friend of Warren’s walked up to Donnelly at a townhouse party and said that she was going to give his number to Warren. While Donnelly was mostly just confused as to how the girl had his number, Warren ended up reaching out to him a few days later and the two played together for the first time at the Quick Center during the spring Pops concert.
By the time both men had graduated from Fairfield, they had plans to move to Bridgeport where they would continue making music together and work on their first EP, which was released in 2003, titled “This is When”. They have released several albums over the last decade but are convinced that the best is yet to come.
“You always think the thing you’re doing is the best thing you’ve ever done or else you wouldn’t do it,” Donnelly said.
The Alternate Routes are scheduled to play on campus at the Quick Center this coming Friday, October 19th in celebration of Alumni Weekend. Tickets are currently being sold at the Quick Center box office. Tickets are free for Fairfield University students, $20 for alumni and $25 for the general public.
The band is excited not only to revisit the very stage where it all began, but also to continue to show fans and people who have never heard of them before the hard work, dedication and genuine passion that comes standard with every song.
“We’ve bet the last 10 years of our lives on the fact that people will like it… it’s something worth seeing,” Warren said.
Currently, The Alternate Routes are working on producing several individual singles that continue to showcase the band’s hearty, homegrown sound and thoughtful lyrics. Most recently, they have released a song called “Rewind” on their official website, which they worked on and produced in Nashville, Tennessee. They hope that these various singles will eventually culminate into their next album.
In addition to producing more songs, the band is also taking a step back and assessing some of the unmusical aspects of the music business that may reveal why they are still relatively unknown.
On the subject of making it big, Warren said, “We’ve been so close to being one of the bands that everybody knows about but, you know, we aren’t. We are friends and contemporaries with a lot of bands that you do know and we’ve seen that happen.”
Donnelly said, “It’s like a puzzle. You just have to figure out how to put all these things together and what makes something click and what makes something stand out. You never know. What we’re trying to do now is just own those details a little more.”
The Alternate Routes are currently trying owning these various details by themselves, as they are currently self-managed and working independently without a label. The band is quick to qualify that both of these decisions are by choice and that they feel working independently is the best decision for them at this time.
“You don’t need a publicist to communicate directly with your fans…you don’t need a label to make the people who like you happy,” Donnelly said.
One of the ways that The Alternate Routes communicate with their fans (other than their music of course) is through their social media presence. Like many bands, The Alternate Routes appreciate the opportunities and publicity a strong identity on the Internet can yield, especially given the technological tendencies of modern music fans. Donnelly said that he is in charge of the band’s social media presence, which he manages namely through their official website, Facebook and Twitter.
Even though The Alternate Routes have yet to take off in the way that they would like, they are far from being some unknown band from Connecticut. Throughout their career thus far they have toured all over the world, performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and been interviewed on BBC radio. They have also had several songs appear on popular TV shows, such as their song “Please Don’t Let It Be” which was featured on an episode of MTV’s The Hills.
Despite the confusing and multi-faceted nature of today’s modern music industry, The Alternate Routes remain optimistic that their time is coming soon.
“I’m not a cynic,” Warren said. “Guys succeed everyday at it and it’s a weird combo of…I don’t know what yet. It’s that combination that all the people in our business are looking for.”
While The Alternate Routes keep meandering down this long winding road to success, fans are invited to tag along and enjoy the ride as the band continues to deliver the heartfelt music that has helped pave their way thus far.
Blogger or journalist, entertainment writer Adam Bernard doesn’t care which word you use to describe him as long as you remember to put the word “great” in front of it.
Bernard informed a Fairfield University journalism class last Tuesday night that unlike many other journalists, he is not overly concerned with what his official job title is. He said that he has been introduced and described as both a journalist and a blogger before, stating that the difference in title usually has to do with the context of the situation.
When asked how he feels about the variation in his job title he said, “Most people think when you say ‘writer’ that you’re not serious anyways… It doesn’t really matter how you sugarcoat it- writer, journalist, blogger- there’s always going to be a little bit of a red line underneath it asking if that’s real.”
While many journalists today tend to shy away from the words “blog” or “blogger” due to the negative reputation they have of not earning any money, Bernard insists that blogs are one of the most effective ways that journalists can find work.
In fact, it was his blog, Adam’s World, that landed him one of his dream jobs as a columnist for the Fairfield County Weekly. After trying to get in touch with them for years, he finally got a call saying that they wanted to hire him after reading some of the stuff he’d written on his blog.
He said that this experience is a perfect example to prove that although blogs by themselves typically won’t put food on the table, the opportunities they will help you find most certainly will.
He went on to say that he believes every journalist should have a blog because they act as a great place to publish syndicated work on subjects that journalists want to write about. He said that posting on personal blogs is an easy and effective way for journalists to establish their own unique “name brand”, which is essential in the competitive world of journalism.
Adam started establishing his own brand as a music journalist shortly after he graduated from Hofstra University in 2000. This was the same year that he started his blog, which helped him gather experience and gain many opportunities as a young journalist. He has been featured in music magazines such as The Source and XXL, contributed to Substream Music Press and 101Distribution.com and is the Interviews Editor at RapReviews.com
When asked if he thinks that blogging has given him more opportunities as a journalist he said, “The blogging has definitely given me more opportunities. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s seen by more people, but more so that I have the freedom to write about what I want to write about and sometimes that connects with more people.”