Tag Archives: Noelia Vazquez

Goodbye forever, Greene Team

The last day being on the Greene Team has snuck up.  It feels like just yesterday I was becoming acquainted with other team members.

The progress I have made in five days is astonishing.  Learning from journalism professionals has made me a better journalist and more interested in blogging.  It has really been an amazing experience overall.  The food was good, an unpopular opinion, the professors were helpful and respectful, and I made lifelong friends with whom I’d love to keep in touch.  Being surrounded by aspiring journalists has been nice because we can talk about our future and interests.  I wish I could do this program again next year, but I hope to come back as a student at Stony Brook University rather than a student on the Greene Team.

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The Greene Team being kooky on the Newsday lawn. Photo credit: Wasim Ahmad

Although I’m sad to leave my friends and professors, I’m excited to go home and teach my friends writing techniques and tips I have learned this week.  Also, I can’t wait to show my parents all my pieces I have been working hard on.  I want to impress my family members and friends with my writing and journalism skills because I want to show them how serious I am about journalism.

Even though I am leaving my new friends, I plan to have reunions with them somewhat frequently.  It’s going to be weird not waking up and getting ready to go out at 7 a.m. on about six hours of sleep with the girls.  Surprisingly, I might actually be a little upset I won’t be waking up so early and working for over twelve hours a day.  I am so passionate about journalism; it doesn’t even feel like one hour.  Time flies and it’s not okay with me.

I know for sure this will not be my last journalistic experience, and hopefully not my last journalistic experience at SBU.  My goal at the beginning of this week was to hone my writing and editing skills.  I think I mastered the skills I wanted to and completed my goal, which makes me feel satisfied and accomplished.

I will miss taking panoramas and asking professor Ahmad if he can make myPhoto on 7-25-14 at 8.11 AM #4 panoramas 3D.  I will miss giving Noelia Vazquez a hard time whenever she spoke.  I will miss taking ugly pictures on Photo Booth with Lisa Angell when we finish our work.  I will miss everything about this program and it’s heartbreaking that I have to leave tomorrow afternoon.  Positively speaking, this experience was life changing and I will use the tools and techniques learned for the rest of my life.  I’d like to thank everyone who made this week fantastic.

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Click, click, click

The Greene Beans team
The Greene Beans team

If anyone had asked me to accompany them to any sporting event two years ago, I probably would have laughed it off and rejected them. That is because it’s not my thing. However, going to the Ducks game last night opened my eyes to different things.

We arrived at the game an hour and half early with no story to write about. My teammates (Hanna, Dan and Madison) and I called ourselves “The Greene Beans.” We bonded to shoot videos, take pictures and interview people. Though it was nerve-racking to ask people their experience during the game since we didn’t want to be rejected—or get yelled at—it turned out to be experience that I could never forget.

I loved going to different places at the game and snapping pictures of the teams that were playing, the audience and the youth baseball leagues. Some children were so eager to be on the camera, which motivated me more. Unfortunately, we couldn’t interview all of them.

After nearly an hour and half walking around with our equipment in hand, we finally stopped to have some fun. We were later joined by Reid Rubio and Noelia Vazquez, bought tickets to go in the Ducks bouncy house and relax. This definitely made my night.  Overall, I enjoyed myself and I wish I could do it more often.

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Outside the Stony Brook School of Health Technology and Management (Leslie Perez)

New center links SBU, community


A new center at Stony Brook University will help surrounding underserved communities improve health and education, build capacity to tackle community-based challenges and put food on families’ tables.

The new Center for Community Engagement and Leadership Development brings together faculty from across the Stony Brook campus to work on community-based projects that can best be addressed from a multidisciplinary approach.

Brooke Ellison (Leslie Perez)
Brooke Ellison (Photo by Leslie Perez)

“The Center for Community Engagement Leadership Development is meant to be a bridge between the university and the community,” said Assistant Director Casey McGloin.

“The center allows for a broad-based exchange of central ideas,”said Associate Director Brooke Ellison. “It makes sense to have people all in one spot rather than scattered throughout the university, because then we can exchange ideas.”

The main focal points include community engagement, helping communities to reach their goals, engaging in community based participatory research, and establishing a pipeline of researchers dedicated to this work.  The team is led by Associate Dean Carlos Vidal, Ellison, McGloin, Educational Specialist Erik Flynn and Program Associate Jennifer Mesiano Higham. The center will be housed in the School of Health Technology and Management.

Photo by Leslie Perez
Casey McGloin (Photo by Leslie Perez)

According to a description released last September, the program’s initial focus is to “enhance the academic experience of future leaders in community health disciplines and collaborate with local community members to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex world.”

The Center for Community Engagement and Leadership Development has several important goals designed to work toward meeting its mission: service learning, leadership development and research. Select activities of the center include the Health Careers Academic Readiness and Excellence (HCARE) and HCARE HStem programs, which exposes high school students in Wyandanch, Brentwood, Amityville, William Floyd, and the Sovereign Unkechaug Nation to the allied health professions.

Faculty and staff from the center travel to these schools and communities and assist students with SAT preparation, college applications, applying for financial aid and anything else that could improve their future educational careers.

The center also provides a Distracted Driving program to curb motor vehicle deaths among youth. Another program is a campus-based food pantry launched last year and co-founded by McGloin, which provides food to  members of the Stony Brook University community who are in need, or are food insecure. The center also works with the Town of Islip Youth Bureau to survey middle school students’ needs. The center is proposing to conduct an evidence-based, consumer satisfaction survey of Suffolk County residents on their experiences with the Suffolk County Police Department.

The center has invited representatives from Long Island Native American tribes to begin discussing and exploring the possibility of developing a Long Island Native American business incubator.

“Many Native American Tribes have difficulty getting loans,” McGloin said.  Business incubators often can offer services like leadership training and space for entrepreneurs who are interested in developing new business ventures.

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Family reunion, the sweet escape and an enlightening realization

Tuesday night was a lot of fun. We stayed up until 2 a.m. playing Cards Against Humanity. One of the CAs (the one that played Disney music in the shower) joined us, too. Her name is Nujbat Meraji or Nuji for short. She is so nice and was a lot of fun to hang out with for the night.

Madison Flotteron in the School of Journalism broadcast studio on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

The following morning we went to the TV studio at Stony Brook and did practice broadcasts. This was my favorite because I love being in front of a camera. It gives me such a rush and I enjoy seeing how the videos turn out in the end. It’s amazing how much goes on in a broadcast. There is never a dull moment when putting a broadcast together because there is so much teamwork. Everyone needs to help each other into making the broadcast a success.

Later that day made Wednesday the best day of camp. We finally were able to leave the campus. The lack of freedom here is really getting to me, so I really appreciated the field trip that took place.

Running around at the Ducks Game
Running around at the Ducks Game

Visiting Newsday was fun because I found my uncle, Pat Mullooly, who works for Kidsday. I hung out with him for a bit and he gave everyone Kidsday T-shirts. He also took me around Newsday on my own and I was able to see all of the interesting people who work on the paper.

Selfies at Kidsday with the one and only Uncle Pat
Selfies at Kidsday with the one and only Uncle Pat

One of the speakers at Newsday helped me realize that this career isn’t for me. He said that if you want to make money this isn’t the job for it. It hit me that I’d rather make a lot of money than broadcast everyday. I think that broadcasting will get old pretty quickly because I am starting to get sick of it from just a week of camp.

I was really excited that we were going to a Ducks Game because I really wanted to watch the game and have fun with the Greene Team. Silly me! I did not even get a chance to sit down in our seats and I don’t even think I saw the game at all. We had to work the WHOLE time!!

I thought this was going to be the one fun day before we dove into finishing all the work. I did not find it necessary to work the whole game because the footage just got repetitive. On top of that, we didn’t even stay all nine innings, resulting in us missing the fireworks show that was supposed to take place after the game.

When we finally finished the broadcast.
When we finally finished the broadcast.

The trip wasn’t a total bust though because Reid Rubio, Noelia Vazquez, Hanna Da’Mes, Yardalie Daniel and I went inside the Ducks’ bouncy house! Yes, we sound like we’re 10 years old, but it was the most fun thing about this week. It was the most exercise we got in a while too because we’ve been cooped up in the newsroom all week. The people working the bouncy house were very nice letting us in because it is generally for younger kids.

Inside the bouncy house there was a slide, also. Those three minutes in the bouncy house were the highlight of this week. We were finally able to let loose and just enjoy each other.

We like tall trophies
We like tall trophies

I found out last night that I can’t have journalism as a career. I cannot imagine missing out on every event I go to because I need to cover a story on it. Last night was a real eye-opener and I want to find another career.

Overall, I do still enjoy broadcasting, but I think I want to find something else as a profession. I will still keep up with the world of journalism, but I will most likely minor in it rather than have it as a major in college.

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Kelly Colligan

Kelly Colligan: Shelter Island, then the world

For Kelly Colligan, growing up on Shelter Island means even a trip to the mall requires a long trip including a ferry.

But Kelly is far from sheltered. She keeps busy watching movies, being active in her school, Shelter Island High School, and working at a souvenir shop.

“Playing sports, doing journalism and making excursions to other places on Long Island helps me to experience the world around me,” Kelly said. “I’m hoping once I graduate high school to college some place outside of Long Island and experience other societies and cultures.”

Kelly, 15, was one of nineteen students selected to participate in the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists this July.

Kelly’s interest in journalism arose two years ago during her freshman year of high school when her English teacher influenced her to join the class. She learned quickly and was soon promoted from staff writer to editor as a sophomore. Kelly said one of the main reasons she stuck with journalism was, the “realness” of it all.

“Writing articles, knowing that they may have an impact on society, is really cool,” Kelly said. “Journalism gives young people a voice that they are not given enough.”

When she is not in class writing stories and helping design the layout for “The Inlet,” her school’s newspaper, Kelly is an active teen. She plays multiple sports, including volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball.

“I really enjoy playing volleyball,” Kelly said. “I play on my school’s varsity team, and I play on a club team during the off-season.”

Her artistic side not only shines through her written work but also when she is acting on stage.

“ I have participated in school drama club since seventh grade, and I really enjoy that as well. This sounds corny, but I really enjoy making people laugh. I think that’s just the best feeling.”

Kelly said journalism has changed the way she approaches her writing.

“Journalism has improved my writing skills tremendously,” Kelly said. “It’s also taught me that print is risky, but sometimes as a writer, you have to take risks to become successful.”

As a staff writer during sophomore year, Kelly covered a wide range of topics. “I love trying new things,” she said.“. . . Seeing everything come together is exciting.”

Now as an editor, Kelly said she enjoys helping new writers develop their stories and putting the final touches on all the articles.

“I like getting a bunch of raw material and making it better,” Kelly said. “Seeing everything come together in the end makes me feel like I accomplished something worthwhile.”

For these reasons, she said, she hopes to continue studying journalism.

“Journalism is something I will somehow always take part in throughout my entire life,”Kelly said. “I feel privileged to be part of the selective Greene team.”

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Noelia Vazquez

Noelia Vazquez: Many interests, singular passion

Noelia Vazquez does it all. Aside from singing, dancing, acting, teaching and traveling, Noelia possesses a driving passion for journalism. Noelia is proud to be a part of her school newspaper, East Islip High School’s The Broadcaster. When some students from the paper spoke with her English class about joining, she ran down to her guidance counselor to sign up.

“When I see someone passionate about something, it makes me want to try that exact thing,” Noelia explained.

Everything about Noelia is social: “I genuinely just love talking to people,” she said. “I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to journalism in the first place. I wanted to interview people find out their story and share it. Just interacting with new people to me is exciting.”

Noelia recalled creating her first article, remembering how she had to interview more than 15 students and teachers on their experiences in musical conferences. After finishing that article, Noelia decided that her one of her favorite parts of journalism was interviewing people.

“I like hearing people’s stories,” Noelia said.

Later on in her journalism career, she ran into a practice that almost all journalists loathe—censorship. Noelia wanted to write an article on a controversial topic, East Islip’s school mascot, the “Redmen.”

Noelia’s idea was shut down because her journalism class, including her teacher, believed it might offend the school board and didn’t want to bring unnecessary attention to the topic.

“We are still young and limited to what we can write about,” she said. “That’s probably the most difficult part of journalism.”

Singing and dancing is also a passion for Noelia—she’s even tried out for the TV talent completion “X-Factor.” She participates in the school musical every year, and has a big appreciation for music. But performing is not the only tool in her toolbox. Noelia speaks fluent Spanish and quite a bit of Chinese. Reading is a large hobby or hers as well.

“When I go to the library I take out nine books,” Noelia said. “But I have a life, I swear!”

In addition to attending this program, she plans to stay busy. She has four jobs:  answering phones at a Chinese restaurant, working at an Italian ice place, babysitting and teaching religion. Following in her sister’s footsteps, Noelia plans to dedicate a couple years of her life to just traveling.

Noelia said she hopes these experiences expand her horizons so that her writing can make an impact, saying “I want to write pieces that make people feel.”

She recalled being approached by an underclassman whom she did not know about one of her opinion pieces on society’s rigid expectations of women. The student said she was pleasantly surprised that the newspaper was writing about issues that teenagers could relate to.

“It makes me feel good when people are positively affected after reading my articles,” Noelia said. “That’s what keeps me coming back to the idea of becoming a journalist in the future.”

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Interviews with a thousand words and learning about pictures worth a thousand words

It is Tuesday, the second official day of camp. The first day was a tight can full of fun surprises. To pick up where I left off yesterday, the interview with Shawn Heilbron was great; I got to ask him about what intentions he has to improve women’s sports, as it had been demonstrated by various sources that he wants to focus on football and basketball. He answered fluently, and he couldn’t stop smiling – he has a lot in store but I believe that information will be released in a story later on the week. He said that working job after job he hadn’t really found that one dream one up until he was at UCLA, where he realized he wanted to be an Athletics Director, and now he is one. I wanted to ask what is he aiming for now, but didn’t get to do so.

After the press conference, we got to learn photography with John Williams, which was fun because I took photography in the fall semester of my junior year and didn’t remember everything vividly. We learned a lot more about techniques from his Pulitzer Prize winning perspective.

Observing the Greene Team practicing photography as a longboarder cruises behind.
John Williams observing the Greene Team practicing photography as a longboarder cruises behind.
After dinner we learned about broadcasting with Professor Ricioppo, specifically we practiced getting good B-roll shots and he told us about his career.  He taught us his “go to” trick of playing with the foreground and background while focusing on something.  I’m excited to use all these new things we are learning.

It was a long day but not in the bad way. After the broadcasting lesson/lecture/seminar/practice we went back to the residence halls where I met Shakir and Reggie, two boys in a pre-med camp that assured Jason and I that they will have our backs in a couple years if we come across any medical issues. Then I headed down to the lounge where I met another boy, Matt, who is at a Math camp and I started conversing with him alongside Madison, Noelia, and Lea. He told us that he is participating in about four camps this summer to kill time. I mean, I wouldn’t mind deriving and integrating or deciphering other hieroglyphs of the mathematics language in my free time, but I wouldn’t do it for two weeks just to pass time! The boy is pretty much learning in an organized form of education year round.

After chatting in the lounge, I headed to the dorm for bed and then, in the blink of an eye and a tiny puddle of drool, the sun was shining and I was greeting the morning with a yawn. I got dressed and then it was breakfast time, the morning news showed unrest in various nations and an editorial about the US’ immigration issue made me wonder about where could the xenophobic opinion, shared by many, have come from in a nation that was founded by all sorts of European immigrants?

After breakfast we went to the newsroom and learned about news writing, and midway through the lesson Sandra Peddie, an investigative reporter from Newsday, came in and talked to us about her career.  The day was still young and we are about to learn more about photography with John Williams.

Every person we have met whom has shared his or her career with us has demonstrated that the field is far from boring, more of a career in which every step you reach for a branch that is higher and higher as you soar over a river in the jungle of informing contemporary beings on events that are concurrent with everyday life.

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An arena broadcast with the Greene Beans

Today we worked on portraits with John Williams. He helped us with lighting and gave us tips on how to take a better photo.

Photo credits to Noelia Vazquez
Photo credits to Noelia Vazquez
Unfortunately, today was his last day with us and I know I personally will miss him.

We started working with our teams on our stories. My team will be covering the new arena that was just built at Stony Brook. It was fun meeting the basketball players and talking with the athletics director. Everyone seems enthusiastic about the new arena and has high hopes to attract new fans.

My teammates and I really enjoy working together. We decided on calling ourselves the Greene Beans. Dan Walocha was amazing at getting the right angle for our footage. Yardalie Daniel and Hanna Da’Mes got great photos of the new arena. I think our final piece will look fabulous when we finish it.

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A selfie with Noelia

Photography class featuring selfies

Yesterday was quite an eventful day. We worked from morning until night nonstop, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

The new director of athletics, Shawn Heilbron, paid us a visit to discuss how he will be making improvements on Stony Brook’s athletic programs. Heilbron said he is eager to get started in his new position. This was the first time that Heilbron has met with student journalists at Stony Brook in his new position.

A selfie with Noelia
A selfie with Noelia
In the afternoon, John Williams taught us how to work the cameras and showed us cool techniques to get a photo just right. Noelia Vazquez and I got a little creative and took a selfie!

It was such a pleasure working with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Newsday assistant photo editor, John Williams. He had so much knowledge on the subject and has so many interesting experiences from years of traveling the world. Williams taught us how to take still and action shots. We had a lot of fun shooting the action shots because we got to play around. We were running, tumbling, and jumping and the photos came out very well. Williams was as enthusiastic as we were and was happy to see us get so involved with the photography.

Arm Jump Rope


Journalism Jumps

In the evening, Kelly Colligan worked with Noelia Vazquez and I on our video camera practice. We had so much fun! We asked people to do some pretty random things for us in our shots. For example, we found some guy to throw a penny into a fountain and then we had a lady read for us on a bench. Our inner-stalker side came out when we got footage of a man riding around on his bike and he had no idea we were filming him.

When I got back to the dorms at night I was disturbed by a Snapchat that my sister sent me. I have been gone for barely 24 hours and she has already moved into my room. Now I know what to expect when I go away to college!

My sister, Morgan, is currently taking over my room when I am away. She is wearing my Vineyard Vines whale hat, my white scarf, and my Coach pocketbook.
My sister, Morgan, is currently taking over my room when I am away. She is wearing my Vineyard Vines whale hat, my white scarf, and my Coach pocketbook

Bonding with all the Greene Team members has been fantastic. I can tell already that I will stay in touch with the people here for a long time to come. We are all getting along great and I have already made so many new friends, as well as become even closer with Sharon Ahmed and Alejandro Serrano from school.

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Back at Stony Brook, but missing the omelets

Entering Stony Brook and meeting everyone yesterday was a good time. I had the chance to eat with my family along with Noelia’s (my roommate’s) family. I thought they were so friendly and down-to-earth with a lot of humor. Noelia’s father was quite the character. He’d gone back to make himself another burger and when he came back to take his seat he noticed he had forgotten the top slice of his hamburger, making us laugh with his, “you can’t leave me alone for one minute.” He went back to eating his burger like nothing was wrong. It was hilarious.

Watching the presentation of Ruchi Shah on YouTube yesterday gave me an overwhelming feeling of pride due to the fact that she took a simple trip to her home country, India, and came back with the idea to devlop a mosquito repellent for those who suffer there. It motivates me to do great things with my own future plans.

I was reminiscing about my experience two years ago, when I was attending the GeoPrep program. Being here again for breakfast at the Student Activities Center, also known as the SAC. I was looking forward to the guy flipping the omelets back in the corner but unfortunately the station was closed.

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Fun night and productive morning

After the Greene Team finished up for the night we ordered over $80 worth of pizza and it was totally worth it. We were all starving and it was great to get to sit around and get to know everyone. Later on, I showed a bunch of math and science kids in the lounge how to play pool. They were pretty impressed on my skill probably because they had no clue how to even play. Alejandro Serrano and I won our pool game, too.

The next morning I had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. and I did not enjoy it. One of the CA’s was playing Disney music in the shower. It was strange.  Breakfast was yummy and I liked reading all the different papers in the morning.

The Newsroom ft. Noelia

When we got to the newsroom, we learned what makes a news story and went over what an audience wants to hear.

Can’t wait to see what else the Greene Team has in store!

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$81 dollars worth of pizza and some bonding

I’m not going to lie—as excited as I was to get in my car and get away for a week, I was incredibly nervous. This is an incredible opportunity and I want to make the most of it. What I was most nervous about was that everyone here was going to be an intense hipster, because obviously that’s a stereotype for writers.

Everyone here is so friendly. I liked that we came here already knowing someone because of the bios we were asked to write. I feel like it made everyone a little more comfortable with each other. Even though we were strangers, we quickly became friends in a matter of minutes. I especially think we all bonded when we all got together to order pizza to end our starvation. Our total came to $81, and we each chipped in a couple dollars. While we were waiting, we all introduced ourselves and really got to know everyone.

It’s only been a day and we already have nicknames for each other, my favorite is YaYa—aka Yardalie. Meeting new people is awesome, but I feel like just hearing people’s stories and finding out that you having common interests is also interesting.

For example, Madison and I are currently bonding over Gossip Girl and taking candid selfies in the newsroom with the clocks. It’s not even 11 a.m. and it has already been a great day, I can’t wait for the rest of the week to see what happens.

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