October 31, 2011

CAA Trip to Chinatown Boston

Sebastian Andersson
International Business, 2012

Johnson & Wales University students at Chinatown Boston

            Friday, October 28th, the Community Actions Association arranged a trip to Boston with American and International students, predominantly the International students were from China. The purpose of the trip was to bridge the gap between Chinese and American students and discuss possible action plans to decrease the segregation we see today at Johnson & Wales University. All nationalities tend to spend a lot of time with people from the same country, what can we do to make us commingle? 
When we first gathered in the waiting area in the train station not many of us had met before. We introduced ourselves to each other but few of us actually remembered names for later on. The first actual part of the event was at the train. The commuter rail’s brown leather seats and overhead storage made out of steal makes the setting a stiff one. The noise from the train does not invite to start conversations with people that you have not met before. On the train we were 15 students, three faculty members, and a variety of other passengers.
Following the departure from the platform we all introduced ourselves briefly before icebreaking activities soon commenced to break the boundaries. The first one was a very simple but effective one, speed networking. We were supposed to introduce our selves to as many others as possible and exchange contact information if so desired. These short conversations gave all students another identity than only their nationality. Some were sports freaks, some were fashionistas and we had a broadcasting professional.
Upon the arrival to Boston South Station we headed for Chinatown. As soon as we entered “Chinese territory” the Chinese students started to act as group leaders. The usually more reserved Chinese students told everybody where to go and what we were experiencing. It was clear that they felt more comfortable. This was great for everybody because conversations started as a result of this and we really started to get to know each other.
We conducted a social experiment at one of the little shops where a Chinese lady sold fabrics and other items. There was a golden frog sitting on top of coins that we wondered how much it would cost. An American student approached her and she said $300, when a Chinese student asked the same question she said $200. To experience this first hand was something we all enjoyed, even though some Chinese student thought it was embarrassing.
After strolling around in Chinatown for about an hour we all went to a Chinese restaurant and it was interesting to see that we automatically did not sit down in clusters of nationalities but were fairly mixed. We could talk to the person sitting next to us about things you can talk about with whoever. Questions like major, year and interests were asked back and forth.
The trip to Chinatown with students from four continents is a more culturally diverse group than one can imagine. Even though we all are more or less adjusted to the American society our roots are noticeable. It was a fun trip that worked as the start in a process to make domestic and International students more relaxed with each other. In the end we hope there will be no more groups on campus based on nationality.

October 30, 2011

What Scares You? NSO Students Test this Question While Attending the NSO Spooktacular

By Samantha Wilber
Business Management and Marketing, 2012

Costume Contestants
From Left to Right: Kyla Washington,
 Professor Wilkinson, and Cassandra Aaronson
          What do you fear the most? It is the age old question around Halloween, as haunted houses open their doors. On a cold and rainy October night I put this question to the test along with 11 other JWU students, eight NSO members and three guests at the NSO Spooktacular. We boarded a JWU van and killed time during the 17-mile drive by singing Halloween classics and talking about what we fear most. I observed the costumes of my classmates and knew it was going to be a toss-up for who would win best costume later on that night. Within 30 minutes we had reached our destination: the Factory of Terror in Fall River, MA – hailed as New England’s largest and scariest haunted house attraction.
We were accompanied by advisors Dr. Erin Wilkinson and Professor Michelle Morin, who, surprisingly, were just as scared as us, if not more. While waiting in line we observed the architecture of the bloodcurdling factory that had blood splatter and cobwebs everywhere. I instantly felt a chill while the frightening ghouls all around taunted me. At this point I could only envision the fright I was about to experience as I stepped foot through the doors of the Bloodworth Dungeon and walked through thirty terrifying chambers of the factory.
The gates opened with an eerie spine-tingling creak while our horrified screams filled the murky room. We crossed the threshold and the door slammed behind us. This is where the fright set in as we came face-to-face with the grueling figures of the 113 factory workers murdered in the 1956 mystery murder massacre.  
We entered an underground 3D and 4D dimensional area called the Gothic Nightmare. We continued to make our way down dark paths and crawled through tunnels of corpses.  As we ran through the vortex of lost souls we found ourselves entering the Phobia Mayhem. With the thought of never escaping, we stumbled over each other, falling in fear from a chainsaw killer. Terrified, we made our way into a room full of giant mutant spiders where sounds of Professor Morin’s nervous giggle and our screeches were all you could hear. We continued to travel and came across many other petrifying zombies, mutants, and lost souls until we made it to the end and managed to get out alive.
Costume Contest Winner: Cassandra Aaronson
After making it through the Factory of Terror, we enjoyed a nice hot chocolate, and then voted to determine the best costume. Freshmen NSO student Cassandra Aaronson won the top prize - a $25 Barnes and Noble’s gift card - for her cat costume. As the night came to a close, we bonded with details about ourselves and what we feared the most on that cold October night. For Professor Morin, it was the sound of a chain saw closing in behind her. For me it was the giant hissing spiders in the Arachnophobia room. However, when it was all over, I guess it wasn’t so scary after all. We had each other; so we survived.                    

October 22, 2011

DECA Day in Boston

By Emily Ackerman
International Business, 2014

JWU students participating at DECA Day
            DECA Day was a great opportunity for me to travel to Boston with other NSO members to compete in a mock competition.  We networked with other college students from the local area and presented in front of professional judges who were businessmen and women working in the fields in which we were competing in.  This wonderful trip gave me the chance to see what DECA competitions were all about and was an eye-opening experience.
As I entered the Bay State College Library where the DECA conference was held, the noise of fellow participants filled the air. With all the nerves and excitement I eagerly awaited for the evening’s competition.  I watched the students from Bay State and Endicott College work intensely on their case studies until it was our turn to follow suit.
Unlike most students in attendance, DECA was not offered in my high school and even though I had a background in debate this was a whole new ball game for me. My heart was racing with a strong feeling of apprehension for what was to come. As we prepared for the chance to impress the judges with our skills and knowledge, my nerves fell at ease as our presentation began to assemble smoothly. Our case topic was human resource management, a topic I am not too familiar with, but my group members knew it well, which also helped calm my nerves.
As the prep time came to an end we entered a room in front of two judges that appeared eager to hear our proposal. I listened as my group members spoke with knowledge and poise, which allowed me to feel more comfortable when it became my turn to speak. When the presentation came to an end, the judges seemed impressed and we felt a sense of accomplishment.
The judges’ feedback we received was positive and useful; it gave us the guidance to improve upon our skills for future competitions and real life challenges.  Overall the involvement in this conference provided me with an experience that allowed me to expand my capabilities and build my professional persona.

Tips that I picked up:
§  I learned how to pitch my ideas to a panel of judges and present in a professional manner.
§  I learned that nerves are natural but will go away with continued practice and confidence.
§  The judges spoke to us about tips and general advice for all presenting needs, no matter what it’s for.
§  One specific highlight from the judges feedback that really helped me was that, if you forgot to mention a topic in your speech do not get nervous, because the judges do not know what you’re were about to say and they don’t know you missed it, only you do.

See more photos here.

October 14, 2011

Eyes on Gallery Night

By Tiffany Cabral
Marketing, 2013

Mollie Hosmer-Dillard Painting

NSO students enjoyed a variety of events throughout the month of October, one of which was Gallery Night Providence.  Gallery Night provides a great opportunity for the public to discover the city’s arts scene.  On the third Thursday of each month, from March through November, galleries throughout Providence open their doors free of charge.  

On October 13th, 12 NSO students, accompanied by advisor Dr. Erin Wilkinson, boarded the Art Bus, which transported them to many exhibits around Providence. The evening’s stops included a green architecture gallery, formerly called The International Green Construction Code, URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery, Copacetic Rudely Elegant Jewelry, BankRI Gallery, and Craftland. Tour guide Deb Dormondy enthusiastically shared the history of the participating locations. For those of you who may not know who Ms. Dormondy is, she is a local artist who creates blank journals and photo albums by hand. Take a look and see some of her fabulous work at www.ifnbooks.com.
            Among the many stops was the BankRI Gallery where the work of Mollie Hosmer-Dillard was on exhibit. While viewing Hosmer-Dillard’s work, a student asked “why are eyes always painted in your paintings,” to which she anxiously responded, “It’s a subconscious thing I do; I want the paintings to be looking back at me.”  She went on to describing the different paintings and her thoughts while creating them.  One particularly striking piece was one of her sister with eyes all around her. The artist explained that her sister was inspirational for many of her pieces.
Hosmer-Dillard explaining her painting
            At the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery, dance and music filled the room. URI students and faculty were featuring a tribute to the culture of the Dominican Republic. The walls were splashed with paintings and photos that showed the beautiful country. Landscapes found in the Dominican Republic were among many of the paintings. The ambiance of the Dominican culture was both inspirational, and lively.  While the bongos were vigorously playing it felt like a piece of the Dominican was among us all. 
            Beautiful artwork and exhilarating dance was among the many different things that were experienced during Gallery Night. Gallery Night was entertaining and an overall great night. This is why, in my opinion, is an event that should not be overlooked. So next time, the city of Providence opens up its doors for this creative experience, I recommend you don’t miss out.