Thursday, November 13, 2014

Find What Interests You

Hello readers! 

Have you ever had that gut feeling in your stomach when you say, “Wow I want to do that one day”? Well if you have then this blog entry is for you! I am writing this to share my story on why I decided to pursue Kinesiology as my degree and one day make my dream come true of being a physical therapist.

I have always been fascinated with the body, especially because I spent a lot of time at the physical therapy office (athlete problems). Every time I would go in their office, they would greet me by first name because I was a regular. Every day I went, they used a different rehab technique on me and I fell in love with their methods. It has always been fascinating to me how a rubber band could strengthen different muscles and tendons in the body. From the day they used this method on me I knew that I wanted to help people in the same way when I grow up.

Now that I am here at Penn State Berks, I am working as hard as I can to make that dream a reality. Rome was not built in a day and I know that hard work leads to success. I hope that my story has touched all of you and that you look at what you’re studying as an opportunity to make your dreams come true.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting Involved

The number one thing students are told to do in college is to get involved. Get involved with everything and anything that might be offered to you. It might not be necessarily something that you love to do but, something you enjoy. I would like to think of myself as a student who is heavily involved around campus. I am secretary of the Dance Team, a Lion Ambassador, an Orientation Leader, a Canner for THON, a member of Hotel Restaurant Society, and a blogger. All of these clubs have special events that they host in which they participate.

Students serving at Opportunity House
Recently, the Hotel Restaurant Society had the occasion of partaking in an event at the Opportunity House. The Opportunity House is a homeless shelter for those who need a place to stay and for those who need to be fed, located in downtown Reading. A typical dinner at the Opportunity House includes the residents of the homeless shelter coming to a window in the cafeteria and getting their hot meal, something like an elementary school style lunch. However, the next time would be much different for the residents, because the Hotel Restaurant Society was asked to make the simple cafeteria into a five-star restaurant.

Student and Chef preparing food at Opportunity HouseWhen the HRS club heard this, we were all ready for the challenge. We decided on what we would make and serve, what type of decorations we would use, and what type of centerpieces we would make. Since the HRS club is mostly made up of Hospitality Management majors, the planning of this event was easy and fast. We chose fall theme decorations with an Italian menu. The club compromised on serving them an appetizer of Caesar salads and bruschetta, the entrée of either chicken parmesan or chicken Alfredo, a side of mixed vegetables or pasta with red sauce, and for dessert, a brownie topped with Creamery ice cream. Members of the HRS club, as well as volunteers, not only decorated the place, but they were also servers, hostesses, and chefs in the kitchen for the night. We even had two chefs from a local hotel come help make the meals.

The dining room dressed up for guests
When the residents started to arrive, they were highly surprised yet confused as to why the cafeteria was decorated. Then when we told them that they were not going to serve themselves, but we were going to serve them, their mouths dropped. The residents did not leave their seats that night, everything came to them: the drinks, the appetizers, the entrée, and the sides, and of course, the desserts. It was a night for the residents to feel special and appreciated. All the residents I talked to were extremely thankful to have had a night like that.

Not only did it make the residents grateful but it also made the HRS club and volunteers grateful too to be a part of this opportunity. We might have made their night but it also made ours. It was an experience that I will never forget and I am so thankful to be a part of a wonderful opportunity. Now, I challenge you to go out into the community and do something that makes you feel good about yourself. We all did it.

Until next time Penn Staters,

Caroline Kunisky

Friday, October 31, 2014

My First White Out Game!

Hello again everyone! It’s Ali again!

Almost all of us together
(Almost) All of us together
This weekend I had the most amazing experience and I could not wait to share it with you guys! I got to attend the Ohio State game, which also happened to be my first white out! I have to say, I love good football and I love Penn State, so the combination of this intense game made the trip up to University Park totally worth it.

I had the chance to go to the game with some of my favorite people and spent the day downtown shopping for more Penn State gear. (I am pretty sure every Penn Stater can agree that you can never have enough.) I got the chance to eat at Are You Hungry, a sandwich shop with the most creative and calorie-loaded but delicious, sandwiches I have ever eaten.  I highly recommend this place if you find yourself craving a big meal in State College. Your taste buds will thank you.

Laney on the Mural
Laney on the Mural
I also had the chance to visit the mural. If you have yet to do this, I am telling you now, it is a sight to see. It was amazing to see one of Berks Benefitting THON’s kids on the wall. Laney is an inspiration to anyone who hears her story. It was o heartwarming to see her honored in such a way.

Ali and friends
I love these two!
For those of you who have not seen the game, let’s just say the double overtime and electrified student section made the atmosphere of Beaver Stadium almost overwhelming.  I have never cheered so hard in my life. Between the free pom-poms, the Blue Band, and the Nittany Lion crowd surfing, it was definitely a night to remember.  I can only imagine how those watching it on TV felt. I used my pom-pom as a stress ball. It ended up so crumpled it was almost unrecognizable by the end of the game.

I was so worried before Penn State scored their first touchdown, but before I knew it, the stadium erupted with cheers and I was being thrown in the air in celebration of the first points PSU put on the board. I had a fantastic view of the sea of white while in the air. What better way to celebrate than that? Somewhere between the PSU chants and signing “Sweet Caroline” at the top of our lungs, Penn State lost.

The team pre-game
Although the original shock of the loss hit us all hard, the gathering and linking of arms to sing the Alma Mater brightened our spirits. The football team sang with us to end our night. In that moment, I realized that what made being a Penn Stater so important to me was being demonstrated in front of my eyes. It was truly an awesome experience. I look forward to the next game and the spirit that only my fellow Penn Staters can understand.

Until Next Time,


Friday, October 24, 2014

Welcome back! Katie Zambanini!

Hi everyone! My name is Katarina, but you can call me “Katie”! Some people actually call me “Simba”, which is somewhat of an inside joke with my orientation team, Royal Blue.  (For orientation, students are broken into different color teams, such as: Royal Blue, Green Machines, Smooth Orange Operators, Yellow Fellows, etc. you get the idea!)  Well the Royal Blue orientation leaders used me in our team chant, and I represented Simba from the Lion King. The music from the beginning of the movie played, and our team captain actually lifted me up, after another team member drew on my forehead with blue paint, like Rafiki does with Simba in the movie.

As a junior at Berks, I am studying Communication Arts and Sciences. Words have always been fascinating to me! Along with that I am also pursuing two minors, Professional Writing and Psychology. I’m also halfway done completing my Public Relations Minor! I really believe that knowledge is power, so you can never have enough of it!

I am Chair of Workers for the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and interact with the “Cabbies”. Cabbies are the members of CAB that come to meetings and volunteer to work at the events that we organize for the students. I work with an executive board of five lovely ladies!

Giving tours over the summer during my Internship with the Admissions Office was amazing, and I get to continue that through my involvement with the Lion Ambassadors (LA). In this organization I am involved with the Historian committee, which I ran last year. I also seem to have fallen into the role as “Official Lion Ambassador Photographer”!

I was recently given the honor of Assistant Canning Captain for the Berks Benefiting THON chapter, which means the world to me. After losing someone very special to cancer my senior year of High School, any way I be involved with THON is time well spent for me. Along with Assistant Canning Captain I also get to do the photography for THON too, while being involved with both the Family Relations and Public Relations committees! #OrangeTeam!

This semester is my first semester ever being a Peer Mentor to a First Year Seminar of about twenty-five students. The class is taught by Dr. Paul Esqueda, the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. It has been absolutely amazing so far and I am really enjoying teaching! I adore my students!

Along with my involvement in the Peer Mentor Program I am the current president of our Residence Hall Council. This is a club that acts as a liaison for the students to the offices of Residence Life and Housing & Food Services. In this club I get to work with my executive board of three marvelous men and myself.

I sit on a number of committees, including Student Activities Fund, Homecoming, and Camp Out For Hunger. It keeps life interesting!

When I’m not in class studying the art of rhetoric, learning how to write a press release, or interpreting the timbre and rhythm of music (all of which I do during my classes this semester). I have a lot of hobbies for my scarce amount of free time.

One of my favorite hobbies is photography. I feel the most comfortable behind the lens of a camera! You can view my work at this link: 

Some other things I enjoy doing include reading fictional books, blogging, and spending time with those that I care about the most.

Speaking of those that I care about move, I’m very excited that a few weeks ago my boyfriend and I celebrated our one year anniversary! Last year, when I first started to write for this blog, my introduction post explained that he had just recently asked me out. Time really does fly! I can’t believe it’s been over a year since he and I started dating. Overall, he is the one that keeps me sane, and life would be unbearable without him!

Overall life at Berks is pretty awesome! It can get a little busy, but it makes life interesting! I’m learning so many new things, not to mention I have so many experiences to put on my resume! I am so excited to write more posts for you all, but this is where I leave you for the first one! I will finish this post with a quote that I hope you will reflect on.

 “Wherever you go, go with your whole heart.”

This is exactly what I intend to do with my time at Berks.

Katarina Zambanini

Friday, October 10, 2014

Welcome! Diana Rodriquez!

Diana Rodriquez
HEY THERE PEEPS! My name is Diana Rodriguez and I’m so excited to get to know you all! This is my first blog ever, but hey! You always have to start somewhere, right?

To give you a little insight about me, I am a sophomore majoring in Early Childhood Education here at Penn State Berks. I was born in the lovely island called the Dominican Republic located it the Caribbean and moved to the United States when I was fourteen years old. I first moved to Manhattan and did all four years of high school there. After graduating, I moved to Reading, PA and Oh Boy! It was the best decision that my parents could’ve made!  Are you wondering why? Well, the answer is easy, Penn State Berks!

At Berks I’ve finally found my second home and I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way. People with the same interests as me like Anime, drawing, and The Walking Dead. I just love how diverse Penn State Berks is and it really gives you the opportunity to get to know people from different cultures and backgrounds. Isn’t that lovely? As of now, I am a proud Lion Ambassador, Orientation Leader, and member of the Latino unity Club and hopefully I’ll be joining more clubs on campus in the near future!  

Hope we’ll have a great time together!

Lots of Love,


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Welcome! Melissa Reyes!

Hello. Hola. Oi. Buongiorno. My name is Melissa Reyes and this is the first time I have ever written a blog. Ha-ha. Let’s see where this journey takes us. I am a student majoring in Biology at Penn State Berks.

How did I happen to land at Berks you might ask? Well it all started when I moved to Pennsylvania at the age of eight. I was born in Manhattan, New York, but grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, and ever since, the love for Penn State was planted in my family. It grew into a beautiful garden. Both my brother and I came to Penn State Berks after graduating high school. I can definitely say that was the best decision I made so far because I am currently in love with life. Penn State Berks has helped me come out of my shy shell, which I was hiding in all throughout high school.

Oh boy what a ride it has been, from getting involved with the Latino Unity Club my freshman year, to becoming a Lion Ambassador my junior year. I was able to meet so many awesome people and even study abroad in the Dominican Republic and get my Spanish on. Studying Abroad was a life changing experience because it helped me realize that the medical field is where I would like to pursue my career.

I was able to volunteer at three different hospitals and see how blessed we are here in the United States, because in the Dominican Republic many times supplies run out and the hospital staff have to quickly run to the nearest pharmacy to get the materials they need. My goal is to be able to become a doctor in order to help those in need, not only in the United States, but around the world. I feel it is important not to think that we are unable to make a change in the world because, just like it says in the Bible, “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me” (Phillipians 4:13).

So whenever I am not working on my career goals or visiting my family members (my mom is one of eighteen), you could probably find me at church. Apart from my studies, learning about Jesus is one of my passions. At Church I not only learn about God, but I am also learning how to play the guitar, and direct the youth group meetings. It was at church that I met my prince, Emmanuel, and have fallen more in love each day. He has taught me that even when things get difficult I should never give up on my dreams and I am very thankful for him.

So when life gives us lemons, let’s go ahead and make some refreshing lemonade. Life has so many beautiful things to offer.