Award-winning Equestrian Club

My last blog post was about trying something new or something you love when you get to college, so for the rest of the semester I plan on writing about new and interesting clubs and activities every student should try or at least know about. One thing I’ve noticed from several incoming students is an interest in equestrian, or for those unfamiliar with the sport, horseback riding. SUNY Oswego happens to have an equestrian club that gives students of all skill levels the chance to take lesson and compete. I had the chance to sit down with the Equestrian Club’s treasurer Elena Sanchez Freeman to talk about all the great things the Equestrian team has been up to and how to get involved.

What awards have you won recently?

As a team, we were regional champions against Cazenovia, Syracuse, Geneseo for Western riding. And then regionals, we had team makers also make it individually. In semifinals our team got third place, and the top three teams make it nationals. So as a team we made it to nationals!

I know there are two different kinds of riding. What are they?

There’s Western and English. Western, to put it simply, is with what most people call a cowboy saddle with the horn in front. English is the one with the jockey saddle. And so, there’s different terminology for each one. English is for when you’re doing flat competition, or just like a walk, jog, or canter (trot).

How much experience do you need to join?

You don’t need any experience. We’ve had beginners that have never sat on a horse before who have made it all the nationals individually. We will work with anyone. It’s not gender specific either. There are boys on the team too.

What’s the format for practices and lessons?

The lessons are paid per semester. It’s how much you pay for and you can take as many or as few lessons as you want. They normally cost about $25 a lesson and are anywhere from a half hour to an hour which is a really good deal considering how much lessons normally cost. It’s cheaper because we are a club funded through S.A. You normally have to block off two hours of your day to make it to the barn and we carpool so you don’t have to worry about getting to the barn and back. The barn is in Scriba so it’s about a ten minute drive off campus. We do offer jumping for the English and reigning for Western if you are at that level.

Any cool places you go to?

Oh yeah.  One of the big trips at the beginning of the fall semester is Congress, which is one of the biggest horse shows in the country that’s in Ohio. We carpooled down there as a team. If you help fundraise you barely have to pay for anything. A lot of people didn’t have to pay for anything except meals when we got down there. We have a formal at the end of second semester, we’ve gone laser tagging and everyone is welcome to come to the shows even if they aren’t riding. We always need the help.

Anything else?

It’s a lot of fun and we’re growing. And for anyone who doesn’t want to compete, you don’t have to show if you don’t want to. Some people just want to ride. A lot of people ride at home and miss it so they just come to take lessons and are part of the club. We’re a big family.


For anyone interested in joining the Equestrian Club or for more information, feel free to contact Elena at

Study Tips: A Guide to Getting That A!!!!

Studying for a quiz or test can be extremely stressful. In order to get a good grade, it is necessary that you have the proper work ethic, and that you know how to study properly without stressing yourself out. First of all, you need to know that different study techniques work for different people, and that it is not guaranteed that these tips will work for you. It is very possible that these methods may improve your particular study habits, however. This blog post is focused on providing you with various methods of studying that may help you to get good grades on future exams.  Below are study tips that may help you out:


  • Reviewing the material you have learned right after class may be beneficial. Since the material is fresh in your head from class, if you review it the same day, the chance that you will retain the information increases.
  • Do NOT put off studying. Try and review the material that will be on the exam throughout the week before the test itself. Cramming will only stress you out and may decrease the chance that you will actually retain the information that you are studying.
  • Utilize every study resource that you have. This includes text books, lecture notes, powerpoints, and any other handouts made available to you by your professor.
  • Comfy, quiet environments are essential to your ability to effectively study. They make it easier for your brain to capture the information that you are memorizing and to access it at the time of the exam.
  • Study the most important information first! Find the things that you think will definitely be on the exam and rigorously study them.
  • Don’t study right before bed; this will only result in you becoming tired. Instead, study in the afternoon, or whenever you have free time. Studying while you’re wide awake will help you retain the information that you are trying to remember.
  • Keep relaxing music playing while you study. If it is kept at a relatively low volume, this music will help you to focus and retain the information that you are studying.
  • Either test yourself or have a friend test you on the material that is going to be on the exam. Verbally practicing questions that could possibly be on the exam will help you to remember certain material.
  • Make sure you understand material that will be on the test. Simply memorizing things will not help you get a better grade.
  • Frequently take short breaks while you study. Long study sessions may stress you out and tire out your brain.
  • TAKE NOTES!!!! Writing down information will help you remember what you have learned.
  • Read through the material provided by your professor multiple times. Only reading through it once will not help you to remember what will be on the test.


I hope these tips helped you. If you have any questions or concerns, leave a comment on this post and I will try to reply as quickly as possible.

A Final Four To Remember

Hi Readers!

Whether you are a fan of Syracuse basketball or not, it’s hard to deny the appeal of watching them play in one of the biggest annual  sports events in the nation. Many of you here in Oswego will be throwing Final Four parties for your groups of friends, and I hope to make the planning a little bit easier with a few suggestions for a great Saturday evening!


1. Local Pizza or Make-Your-Own

The obvious party food just got a little more obvious-er. Instead of ordering from the big chains, support the local guys or make your own pizza with fresh ingredients from the grocery store. If you can’t make the trip to the grocer, try out one of these pizzerias in town:

The Pies Guys -

Cam’s NY Pizzeria -


2. Potluck

Ask each person/group attending to bring one snack or appetizer. Share the workload, and share in the fun; it’s a win-win!


3. Party games!

Have some games themed around basketball or the tournament to keep the party going during the time-outs. Have each guest make a prediction including the winning team and the final scores, with the closest to the final outcome winning a small prize, such as a piece of NCAA or SU memorabilia.

Don’t forget to keep a deck of playing cards on hand! People will find a way to have fun with them, but here’s a cool game suggestion just in case:


4. Save the environment!

For just a little more dough, you’ll be doing Mother Earth a solid by using recycled and compostable party supplies. Here’s a great source for such items:

Even if you can’t get your hands on these materials, it is good to know what is and isn’t compostable, so that you can designate separate disposal locations at your place of residence. Here are some tips for the uninitiated:


5. Be Safe

Don’t forget to designate drivers for those who are planning on consuming alcohol!


Above all, have a fun time this weekend and enjoy the games. If you think there are any essential party tips I might have missed, be sure to comment below!

H2T: Auto-mobility

Hello there!

I’m typing this from my phone on my way back to Oswego after a long (indulgent) weekend at home. Unfortunately I had to leave my beloved Fawnda (my car) at home so she could get a little tune up.

While it does sting to not have the convenience of my car, I have found the silver lining! The weather has started to change for the better, so I plan to walk to campus everyday (weather permitting!).

I’m excited to get a little extra movement in my day. Plus, I’m bound to be more alert in class and at work after 20 bonus minutes of fresh air.

I hope you’re all taking advantage of the changes ahead!

Spring Broken!

Hello followers! It’s been a while since my last blog post (I’m crazy busy this semester-emphasis on crazy) and I just returned from a week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with 6 of my best friends. It was incredible to get a taste of summer in the middle of March. Even though my trip was an absolute blast, it exposed me to some of the major health risks that come with the elevated temperatures and sunshine. We’re only 8 weeks away from freedom, so take notes on these obvious tips! You should really listen to them, I promise you won’t regret it!
I cannot stress this enough and I know this seems pretty obvious but it’s easy to forget to grab a bottle of water when you’re focused on getting yourself out in the sun. When your body is dehydrated you’re not only thirsty but you’re functioning at a lower level of cognitive and physical performance.
Really. Just wear it. Spare yourself the ache of raw peeling skin and throw on some SPF! You have all summer to get tan and on top of that there are plenty of products that can help you mimic the tan that you have yet to build! Hope you all enjoyed your break as much as I did!
Alcohol Consumption
Be super careful whether you’re drinking at the beach or at a summer party. Alcohol dehydrates you to begin with and as I learned from “Toilet Talk” it can increase your risk of getting Sun Stroke.

Had I listened to my mother and all of my fantastic health science professors, my skin would not be peeling right now (though I don’t regret getting to go for a short run on the sidewalk along the beach!). All in all I had a great, safe trip and would go back in a heartbeat. Hope you enjoyed your spring breaks!

SUNY Oswego Seniors (Left to right) Tess Bierl, Kara Alheim, Laura Scaffidi, Heather Casey (Me!), Kelsey Harvey and Lauren Poggiali on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

5 Tips for a Successful QUEST Presentation

Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. -Edward Gibbon

Hi readers,

Maybe you knew, maybe you didn’t, but QUEST presentation submissions are due TOMORROW! For those of you not in the loop, QUEST is a fun filled day during which classes are cancelled and students and faculty alike go to presentations/workshops driven by the members of the SUNY Oswego community. Chances are, if you are a student and you completed a significant project for a class or internship, you can present it at QUEST. You might even just have a personal project or idea you’ve been working on, and this might be approved as a QUEST presentation as well.

When it comes to actually presenting, there are some things to keep in mind. As stated in the above quote, its very important to have the work to back up your case, but here are a few tips to really hook the audience that you might not have thought of:

1. Keep it Brief

Don’t overwhelm people with information! If you can present your ideas in a concise manner that ideally can be explained to a 5 year old, then you’re doing it right.

2. Include a Demo

People love to see ideas in action. Especially, quick sample-usage scenarios work wonders.

3. Dress for the Occasion

You don’t have to be formal, but style is always a plus. The first thing audience members see before you start talking is your outfit, and it might just give them something easy to remember your presentation by.

4. Make sure it’s Oswego related.

QUEST is a day to show off what Oswego does throughout its busy year, and this includes the town as well as the college communities. If your project is one that seeks to bolster some aspect of the local community, it will all the more easy for audience members to relate and enjoy your presentation!

5. Make it personal.

This, brought to you in video form, by the great people of TED.


My Projects

UniHub – A Social Networking based Classified Listing Service for the College Environment

The Oswego Art Initiative – A Mechanism for Outdoor Art on Campus

COG411 (Neural Networks) panel with Professor David Vampola


What are you going to present at QUEST? Give it a shout out in the comments below!

QUEST is coming April 17th – Are YOU Ready?