COVID Sparks Hobbies for Scranton Students

Over the past year, many Scranton students have picked up hobbies, helping to keep them occupied during the stay-at-home and state shutdown orders. Some hobbies were new, some revisited, but all had a continued presence after the shutdowns were lifted.

Regan Hughes picked up long-distance running during the quarantine. After her gym closed, Hughes said she wanted to continue to stay active.

Regan Hughes running the Hair of the Bear 15k.

“I was working from home and spent a lot of time indoors,” Hughes said. “I was looking for more ways to get outside and see new things while still staying safe.”

Hughes ’21, a  middle-level education major with a concentration in mathematics, said she has seen great improvement in her pace.

“When I first started running, I could only run about six miles at a time and was very slow,” Hughes said. “I have been getting much faster and can now run upwards of 15 miles at a time.”

Hughes plans to continue to run and hopes to races such as the Marine Corps Marathon and the Steamtown Marathon when they resume in person.

Hughes in mile five of the Hair of the Bear 15k.

“Running is when I can relieve stress and clear my head,” she said. “It has helped me check in with my mental health each day and stay sane during this crazy time.”

For the time being, Hughes hopes to continue improving her distance and pace. She said she enjoys achieving new records.

“It’s fun to find new limits and continue to improve and break through those limits,” she said.

 

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Seniors Prepare for Their Final Semester

For about a quarter of University of Scranton undergrads, next spring is the last semester they will spend at this school. Seniors are expecting new emotions, opportunities and growth.

Jonna LoPresti ’21 is a strategic communications and social media strategies double major with a concentration in public relations. LoPresti said she is curious to see how her last semester at Scranton will go.

Jonna LoPresti, ’21.

“[The pandemic] has changed so many aspects of college life, and the future is so uncertain,” LoPresti said.

Even through all of the uncertainty, LoPresti said she is still looking forward to the time she has left.

“I [want to] soak up every moment because I know this is a time that I will never get back,” LoPresti said.

LoPresti’s spring semester has a lighter course load than her past semesters. She is also interning with the University’s provost, Dr. Gingerich. LoPresti said she is excited to see how she applies her education to her internship.

“It will be exciting to see the progress that I have made in my studies the past three-and-a-half years and [how] I apply it,” LoPresti said.

LoPresti said she is going to miss many aspects of Scranton after graduation.

“I am truly going to miss the people at Scranton,” LoPresti said, “I see people on campus at random and end up having amazing conversations with them, and the workers in Mulberry POD always have a smile on their face and take the time to talk to me while I wait for my [food]. Those kinds of moments always make my day.”

She said she values the knowledge she’s gained from her professors.

“I am grateful for the education, along with the pieces of life advice, that I have received from my professors in the Communication and Media Department,” she said.

LoPresti will start applying to jobs next semester, and she said she is excited to enter the real world.

“I love college, but I cannot wait to truly be an adult and experience the work environment. I know that I’m ready to grow up,” she said.

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#USgrad19: Kailey Medzadourian

Kailey Medzadourian is a senior from Township of Washington, New Jersey. Her major is strategic communications with a concentration in public relations and she has a minor in writing. She has worked as a Writing Consultant at the CTLE Writing Center for three years and is a member of PRSSA.

What were your expectations about college before coming to Scranton, and how have they changed or stayed the same after being here?

My expectations were set extremely high before coming to Scranton. I had attended an all-girls Catholic high school and I didn’t love it, so I was more than ready for a change. The reason I chose to attend Scranton was that it immediately felt like home when I visited on Accepted Students Day. Thankfully, that feeling of comfort has only grown since my first year and I could never imagine going to college elsewhere.

What is your favorite thing about Scranton?

I have so many favorite things about The University of Scranton, I could never choose just one. I love how comfortable and happy I feel here, I love all the different friends I’ve made along the way and I’m super thankful for all the professors I’ve had over the past four years. I changed my major four times before finding my perfect fit with PR, and I owe it all to them.

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#USGrad19: A Talk with Jason Galarza

Jason C. Galarza is a senior psychology and counseling & human services major from Long Island, New York.

What activities are you involved in on campus?

I’m in LIVA Arts Company, Residence Life, International Service Program, University of Scranton Players, Promoting Awareness of the College Transition (PACT) Program, Healthy Minds, Dead Poets Society.

What is your favorite thing about Scranton?

I love the people. There are some really amazing, beautiful people who are always there for others spreading love and bringing out the best in everyone around them.

What are some “bucket list” things you want to do before leaving Scranton?

I just want to spend the rest of my time here making memories with all the amazing people in my life.

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#USGrad19: Conversation with a Senior

Marisa Guardino is a senior from New York majoring in human resources with minors in business and philosophy.  On campus, she is an RA, performs with LIVA and the all-female a cappella group, and also works as a Royal Ambassador under the office of Admissions.  We reached out to Marisa to talk to her about her time here at Scranton.

What were your expectations about college before coming to Scranton, and how have they changed or stayed the same after being here?

Most of my expectations were just normal of that of a senior in high school going away to college. I expected to take on a lot more responsibilities, have a lot more freedom, and have a much different experience than high school. All of those expectations were met and exceeded. The responsibilities that I took on at college just continued to grow as my years here progressed. I got involved in more things, my meal plans changed, my workload increased, etc. I definitely had a lot more freedom here at college than anywhere else, but as my responsibilities increased, I had to manage my free time more wisely. Lastly, my experience here is completely different than my experience in high school. The classes, studying and tests are much more complex than I was initially prepared for, and teachers are less lenient with late or missing assignments, but I adjusted quickly in order to keep up with the flow of things.

What is your favorite thing about Scranton?

My favorite thing about Scranton is, easily, the people. Everyone always talks about how the community here is one of the greatest things about being at Scranton, and they are absolutely correct. Every person I have encountered here at Scranton has been so open and genuinely kind. Even if you have only met someone once, people are always willing to stop and say hello or even have a conversation with you. It’s a running joke that if someone were to fall while on campus that person would immediately be swarmed by people ready to help them. Although it may just be a joke, it’s 100 percent correct. People care about each other here, even if they barely know one another. The people are what make Scranton feel like home for me.

What are some “bucket list” things you want to do before leaving Scranton?

Before leaving Scranton I would LOVE to stand on the roof of LSC, go sledding down the Redington Hill, study in Northern Lights, go to the new athletic field, attend a spring fest concert on the Dionne Green and go swimming in Chapman Lake.

What shocked you the most about your time here?

It shocked me how much my friendships have changed throughout the years. It is always odd to me when I pass someone in DeNaples that was one of my closest friends my first year, and now we walk past one another and almost forget to say hi because we forget we even know each other. However, part of what is shocking about the changes in friendship here at Scranton is that you still always see each other in passing because we have such a small school, and even though we are no longer close, the simple greetings we share with one another is always comfortable. These little occurrences are DEFINITELY things I am going to miss about this place.

What do you look forward to most about the future?

I am really looking forward to starting my career and figuring out how to be an adult in the real world. I am also looking forward to keeping up with my Scranton family long after graduation!

To the Class of 2016

By: Dr. Michael A. Sulzinski

university of scranton

Dear Graduating Senior,

It’s an honor for me to share a few thoughts as you wind down your final days with us. There are deep emotions swirling through your mind, preparing to embark on your next venture.

I always get the sense from my seniors that the excitement brings with it a troublesome question, hidden so deep inside, and never dared to be spoken out loud. ”Will everything be all right?”

You are ready. I know you are ready because I have seen you grow, mature, and transform into a young professional. As a graduate of a Jesuit institution, you no doubt have been exposed to the concept of your vocation, your ‘calling’ in life…. the person that you were meant to be.

You have a plan, and you are poised to carry it out. Be open to adjustments and changes in your plan, and be open to redefining that “vocation” over the coming years. Life may take you in a completely different, unplanned direction. Don’t be afraid to go for it. Listen carefully for that calling, that opportunity that will give you joy and personal and professional satisfaction. You may have already defined it for yourself. Maybe you are still struggling to work it out. But you will.

Give it time. I know. After all, I discovered my vocation a full ten years after my own college graduation. I found myself in a life circumstance that I never expected. Looking back, I could not imagine doing anything else. So, please… don’t ever be afraid to redefine yourself or to refocus your goals.

Please know always that your faculty cares about you, each and every one of you. We wait with great anticipation to see how your professional and personal life will unfold. We will miss you, and your moving on from us is bitter-sweet.

And while you may have those deep unspoken tinges of doubt, we have full confidence in you. When we hear word of your great success, in life and love, we are so very proud of you, and we join in your joy. You are, after all, Sons and Daughters of the University of Scranton, and we will always care for you as such.

You don’t need to ever ask me the question out loud. Just allow me to give you the answer that is so important for you to hear.

Yes…Everything will be all right.

Photo credit: Instagram user @ashxmars


sulzinskiDr. Michael A. Sulzinski is a professor in The University of Scranton’s biology department.