OttoTHON 2023 – Philanthropy and Performance Coming Together for A Purpose

OttoTHON at Syracuse University is just one piece of a larger international movement of students fighting for a future without childhood illness. Hundreds of Dance Marathon programs throughout North America raise funds and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. OttoTHON supports Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital which is right up the road from our campus, in the heart of central New York.

OttoTHON, Syracuse’s largest student-run philanthropy event, provides financial support for the children and families who receive care at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The twelve-hour dance marathon marked OttoTHON’s annual fundraiser event on March 5, 2023. All of the proceeds from OttoTHON go to the hospital. Along with dancing, OttoTHON’s fundraiser event featured a variety of activities for Syracuse students and children of the community such as miniature ball-pits and a competitive water pong tournament. Over the course of OttoTHON’s twelve-hour duration, several of the hospital’s nominated Miracle Kids got to join in the spotlight on stage, sharing their stories with Syracuse’s participating students and faculty. This year, OttoTHON raised a rewarding $103,849.97!

Participants and students will tell you the true rewards of the dance marathon were the relationships made between the students and children, whose lives will forever be changed by the donations (which Since 2014, have exceeded $1 million for the patients and families at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital here in Syracuse).

Here’s a glimpse of the spirit, generosity and excitement that encircled the twelve hours of programming at the Schine Student Center.

Meet a New Generation of Engineers — Danny Greene and Julia Ruiz share Real World Experiences

The College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University works in collaboration with on-campus units and nationally recognized off-campus partners to provide students opportunities for project funding, research, and real-world readiness. Additionally, students are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in Engineering clubs and organizations that support their passions and prepare them for leadership opportunities. What will you do, build, or research as a future Engineering student?

Danny Greene, a senior mechanical engineering major, worked as a Mechanical Design Intern for the Advanced Engineering Team at Acushnet Co., which is the parent company of Titleist, this summer. He worked on the Turbocast Urethane Line, which molds the dimples onto golf balls. Danny’s computer-aided design (CAD) experience with our Formula SAE team, Citrus Racing, prepared him well for this internship. Utilizing SOLIDWORKS, a 3D CAD program, he redesigned subassemblies to make them more efficient and reliable for future operations. He also assisted prototype testing to experiment with new technologies that will increase golf ball production. Danny also played in the company’s summer golf league, which allowed him to network with associates and other engineers from throughout the company.

Julia Ruiz, a junior computer science major, worked as a Junior Systems Engineering Intern at Raytheon Technologies’ Intelligence and Space division in El Segundo, CA, this summer. This was Julia’s second summer as an intern with Raytheon. She worked on a software engineering project that involved upgrading code for a radar module from an older operating system to a newer OS.  As part of this experience, she earned a secret clearance that allows her to work on classified defense technology projects. Julia benefited greatly by networking with talented Raytheon engineers who served as her mentors during her internship. She learned how product development and delivery works at a defense contractor, and she learned about the important connections between Raytheon and their affiliated government partners.

Let’s Explore Engineering through Internship Experiences, featuring AJ Bekoe and Jared Welch

The College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University is committed to teaching students solutions for improving everyday life, our environment, health and systems across a vast range of industries. With an engineering degree, doors will open in fields ranging from medicine to infrastructure, to computing and transportation and beyond. Let us help you begin to envision yourself in internship opportunities by sharing the work of two current students and their impact in the United States and abroad.

AJ Bekoe, a junior aerospace engineering major, worked at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, CO, this summer as a Systems Engineering Intern. As a member of the ground and space systems operations teams, she worked on the Weather Systems Follow-On Microwave Satellite (WSFM) program during its testing and integration period. The primary mission of the WSFM is to monitor three high-priority environment requirements, ocean surface vector winds, tropical cyclone intensity, and low Earth orbit (LEO) energetic charged particles, for the Department of Defense. AJ made the connection with Ball Aerospace through the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, which strives to increase the representation of Black or African American engineers in the aerospace industry.

Jared Welch, a senior electrical engineering and physics major, interned with Engineering World Health this summer in Antigua, Guatemala, at Hospital Nacional Pedro de Bethancourt, which is one of the national hospitals of Guatemala. He worked with doctors from several departments within the hospital to determine their most important technology needs to improve patient care. Jared and his team repaired more than 50 devices, including hospital beds and an anesthesia machine, which significantly increased the surgical capacity of the hospital. In addition, Jared developed a ‘hack’ for infant radiant warmers, enabling the functionality of more than a dozen devices in the recent births department. This ‘hack’ replaced an expensive but easily broken temperature sensor with a resistor soldered across the sensor port. Prior to this solution, the babies had been placed under harmful light bulbs that were damaging their skin.

Shoshanna Cohen ’23: Excelling as a Musician and a Teacher

A career in music education demands that you excel as both a musician and teacher, and that is what Shoshanna intends to do during her time at Syracuse and beyond. The dual bachelor of music (B.M.) degree program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, in partnership with Syracuse University’s School of Education, provides students with opportunities to develop teaching competencies, artistry and perspectives in musicianship.

Hometown: Wakefield, Massachusetts
Music Education and a Performance Honors Concentration

Shoshanna Cohen ’23

What inspired you to choose Syracuse University? 

When I was researching schools, my guidance counselor had me make a list of everything I was looking for in a school. My top three priorities were a must for me. If the school did not have my top three asks, it likely wasn’t the right fit for me.

  1. I knew I wanted a program that would allow me to be successful in my field. Music classes are not always the priority offerings in secondary schools, so I knew that having a degree from a college that would allow me to gain skills to fight for a music program and allow my students to be successful was a must.
  2. I wanted a big and spirited student population, but I wanted a small group that felt like a family among a large undergraduate population. I come from a small suburb of Boston where everyone knows each other, and I knew I wanted something completely different in college.
  3. I love snow. I needed to go to a school that included snow in its culture. I know- I am a true New Englander!

So let’s check them off for Syracuse!

  1.  My band directors from my hometown were music education majors at Syracuse University. So, when I was looking for schools, I was automatically interested in Syracuse because I knew that my directors were successful and loved their experiences at Syracuse.
  2. The student population at Syracuse is over 20,000 (inclusive of undergraduates and graduates) which is about the size of my hometown. It was exactly the larger size I wanted, but I got my smaller family within my music education program and the SU marching band.
  3. It snowed on my campus tour and I instantly fell in love with Syracuse.
  4. Syracuse was exactly what I was looking for and more- it just felt like the best fit for me.

What are your major(s) and minor(s) in detail, and what inspired you to choose these areas of study? 

I am a dual between the School of Music and the School of Education, which gives me my music education degree. Essentially, I have two majors combined into one. Both schools work together and I don’t have to worry about a thing when it comes to scheduling and making sure I take all the right classes. I am also in Performance Honors, which is a concentration in performing on my primary instrument. To complete it, I have to give two solo recitals on clarinet, which require a lot of practice and patience.

I have known I wanted to be a teacher all my life. I would set up my toys and pretend to teach them for hours on end. As I grew up, music became my outlet, and I just knew that it was my calling. I want to give my students the same love and passion for music whether it be just playing an instrument for leisure or becoming music educators themselves. Music education was my calling and I am so excited to pursue teaching in the classroom.

What has been your favorite class at Syracuse and why? 

My absolute favorite class was Study of Teaching with Dr. Ben Dotger. I learned so much from his class, from the fundamentals on how students learn to engaging in simulations on situations that could happen when I am teaching. These simulations, or SIMS, are based off real-life situations that use actors and actresses to help give us a baseline of what we can expect. It also lets us make mistakes without having the consequences of real life. I truly feel like I blossomed as an educator in this class because I learned what to do and more importantly, what not to do. Dr. Dotger has also given me the opportunity to present these SIMS to a board of faculty and team members, and I am forever grateful for the knowledge and experiences I have gained.

Can you share what you’re involved in outside of the classroom and provide details on your roles in these organizations, clubs, and projects? 

Outside of the classroom, I am a leader in the SU marching band; I play mellophone in the Sour Citrus Society pep band; a Visual and Performing Arts College ambassador; a VPA peer advisor; the past President and current secretary of NYSBDA-CC; the past secretary of NAFME (a sister of Tau Beta Sigma (marching band Sorority); and a University100 tour guide for Syracuse.

What is your favorite on campus location and preferred off campus location to eat, study, or relax? 

With my major, our studying equals practicing our instruments, meaning you can most likely find me in a practice room in Crouse. However, when I do have those papers to write, I like to study in Eggers Café, Pages Café, or at Unique Tea House on Marshall Street (their bubble tea is to die for). If commuting off campus, I will drive to a Starbucks in the next town over, order a coffee and get some work done. When I just want to relax with my peers, I love staying in and watching a movie or tv show. If we want to get out of the house, I love going to downtown Syracuse and grabbing a nice dinner all dressed up.

What classes will you be enrolled in for this upcoming fall semester? 

I will be taking: Instrumental Rehearsal Techniques (MUE 437), Wind Ensemble (ENI 510), Marching Band (ENI 510), Teaching of String Instruments (MUE 325), Literacy (RED 326), Music Ed Academy (SED 340),  Safe and Healthy Learning Environments (EDU 366), Weekly Student Convocation (MHL 077), Teaching Voice for Schools (MUE 321), Jazz Ensemble Techniques (MUE 415), Teaching of Percussion Instruments (MUE 423), Clarinet Performance Honors Lessons (CLR 449) and Bassoon lessons (BSN 165).  A busy semester but it will be worth it!

What advice and tips would you give to prospective music education majors? 

As my friends will tell you I get right to the point: this major is hard work. However, it is incredibly rewarding. You get to see the impact that your work has on the students that you get to interact with and although it won’t be right away, you have to just keep going to get to the finish line. Take deep breaths and know it will be worth it. Your hard work will pay off when you see that first student understand the material and their face lights up. Also PRACTICE YOUR INTERVALS! Trust me, you will thank me later.

What is your dream job and goal(s) after graduation?

My dream job is to be a band director of a high school wind ensemble and marching band of my own. A much larger goal is to create a safe and inclusive classroom that allows my students to feel free to express themselves through music, performance, and artistic expression. Many students use music as a release and if I can help them in any way, then my job is done.

Balancing the Intersect of Communications and Technology- A Unique Dual Opportunity at Syracuse

Grace chose Syracuse University with the intention of becoming a well-rounded Public Relations practitioner and is working toward her goal while also pursuing an Innovation, Science, and Technology major in the School of Information Studies. This dual partnership awards students the skill sets to learn the principles behind communication while learning to explore the impact of data on society, privacy, and equality.

Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
Public Relations in the Newhouse School of Public Communications & Innovation, Science, and Technology in the School of Information Studies

Grace Guido ’24

What inspired you to choose Syracuse University?

Going to Newhouse was a large factor I considered when I chose to go to Syracuse. I have always known that I wanted to study communications, and when I visited Newhouse I was so impressed by the college and the programs that were offered. After that, it became my goal to come to Syracuse. I feel that when looking at potential colleges, it is important to really research the program(s) you are interested in and see if it would be a good fit for you.

I visited Syracuse in October when the weather was so nice, and campus looked beautiful with all the leaves changing colors on the trees. I visited on a prospective student day, and it was one of the best college tours I went on. I visited with my mom and grandmother, and we went and had dinner together at Pastabilities downtown after walking around campus all day. It was a combination of such an amazing tour and visit, as well as the admiration I had for my prospective program that made me so excited about Syracuse.

What major(s) are you pursuing and what inspired you to choose these areas of study?

I am a dual-major studying public relations in Newhouse and innovation, society and technology in the School of Information Studies with a concentration in web design. I chose to study public relations because I’ve always been interested in writing. Communication has always been a skill I have possessed, and I’ve known I want to pursue a career that utilizes that. Public relations is essentially how a company communicates with the public and their constituents. This is a very broad definition and it encompasses much more than I originally associated with public relations. I chose to study this at Newhouse because it was the major I was most initially drawn to. I knew that if I didn’t enjoy the major-specific classes, I always had the opportunity to switch programs. I feel that the curriculum is so all-encompassing at Newhouse that you are exposed to many opportunities in the communications industry after graduation regardless of what your specific degree is in.

As for innovation, society and technology, I had never planned on studying technology. It was when I came to Syracuse and took IST 195, an introductory class, that I really started to develop an interest in the field. Everyone I talked to that was studying in the School of Information Studies absolutely loved it and I enjoyed the energy that students had when they talked about it. After taking that one class, I decided to dual-major and have really taken to it! Innovation, society and technology is a new major and is an interesting intersection of technology development and its interaction with society as a whole. I have found that this major is also very all-encompassing and has allowed me to learn a variety of different skills related to the technology industry ranging from coding and web development to human-centered design.

What has been your favorite class at Syracuse and why?

My favorite class in Newhouse has been PRL 376, Content Optimization for Public Relations writing. This course is essentially a semester long project working with classmates for a real-life client. Over the semester, your team plans and develops a comprehensive social media strategy for the client with a final presentation at the end of the semester. I enjoyed this class because it was very hands-on and provided valuable experience working for a real client.

In the School of Information Studies, my favorite class has been IST 263, Intro to Front End Web Development. I enjoyed this class because I have discovered I have a natural talent for coding and enjoyed learning HTML. Web development is a combination of practical programming and web design, which allows for both critical thinking and creativity. The final project was an entire website developed and designed by every student. I loved having the creative freedom to design the website however I wanted to, and I felt accomplished at the end of the year after applying all the skills I had learned with HTML programming.

Can you share what you’re involved in outside of the classroom and provide details on your roles in these organizations, clubs, and projects?

Outside of the classroom, I am primarily involved with Hill Communications, the student-run, on-campus public relations firm. I have been with Hill Communications for three semesters now, and I have been promoted to an account supervisor. As an account supervisor, I oversee a team of other students to provide public relations services to a real-life client. This has been an incredibly rewarding and challenging experience. In addition to the work you complete for clients, Hill Communications also provides learning and networking experiences across the firm.

Additionally, I work as a remote marketing assistant for a small cooking school business. As a marketing assistant, I design and edit the company website, write, and design company newsletters and develop creative materials. I was referred to this remote job by a colleague that I met while working for Hill Communications! For the past two years, I have also worked at the campus bookstore. This upcoming semester, I am excited to be a student ambassador at the School of Information Studies and will speak and engage with prospective students. Getting involved on campus is a great way to further your professional development, learn skills you might not learn in the classroom and meet new people!

What is your favorite on campus location and preferred off campus location to eat, study, or relax?

My favorite on campus location to study is Bird Library. I like to use the large computer monitors that are there. There are many different levels offering various types of seating and quiet areas. This is my go-to place when I need to sit down and get work done! Off-campus, you can’t go wrong studying at a local coffee shop such as Cafe Kubal.

On campus, I almost always eat in the Schine Student Center. I am addicted to Core Life and tend to wait in the line no matter how ridiculously long it gets. I also am frequently at the gym, and love to get a smoothie at the smoothie bar on my way out. Off-campus, my all-time favorite restaurant is Pastabilities. This is a great food option for when your parents want to come visit and you want to go somewhere nice!  A more casual favorite is Original Grains in downtown Syracuse which has healthy salads, sandwiches and grain-bowls.

When it comes time to relax, I am often energized and de-stressed by going to the gym! The Barnes Center has an amazing weight room where you’ll find me most days. Whenever the weather is nice outside, you can find almost everyone on campus relaxing outdoors on picnic blankets or with hammocks. Off-campus, there are some wonderful spots close by to visit on the weekends. I love Green Lakes, a close park to swim in or hike around. Beak and Skiff is a wonderful apple orchard with delicious food to visit in the Fall! Additionally, there are several ski mountains close by for winter activities.

What classes will you be enrolled in for this upcoming fall semester?

This upcoming semester, I am enrolled in six classes. Three are School of Information Technology classes, two are for Newhouse and one is a general elective towards my arts and sciences credits. My School of Information Technology classes are “What’s the Big Idea?,” “Intro to Information Security,” and “Intro to Database Management Systems”.

My Newhouse classes are “Public Relations Research” and “The Ethics of Advocacy”. My arts and sciences class is “Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies”. I love how I got to set up my schedule this semester – I don’t have any Friday classes and get to sleep in most days of the week! Everyone will take a different number of credits and have a different schedule depending on what they need for their degree as well as their personal preferences.

What advice and tips would you give to prospective School of Information Technology/Newhouse dual majors?

Don’t be intimidated to pursue both communications and technology! It may seem like a lot of work initially, but it will seem like much less of a load if you are interested in both areas of study. I thoroughly enjoy most of my classes at both schools, and if you do find yourself in a position of struggle, there are so many resources at both schools to help you succeed. Take advantage of the career center, extracurriculars and your professors. The faculty and advisors are here to help!

Being a dual-major requires setting priorities, being organized and staying on-top of your academics. When you are feeling demotivated, think about why you are pursuing your degrees and remind yourself of the goals that you have for your future. One thing I do every day is write down three things I am grateful for. This helps to keep me grounded and reminds me of things I am fortunate to have in my life even when I am feeling stressed out. Keep an agenda and write down key dates and important projects so that you are never caught off guard by assignments. Finally, make friends in your classes and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Everyone needs help sometimes, and it is much better to be curious and seek help than to suffer in silence. 

What is your dream job and goal(s) after graduation?

I am still figuring out what my dream outcome looks like. I am currently interning at a large non-profit as a marketing and media relations intern. Interning is a great way to figure out what you enjoy doing and see what type of work environment is a potential fit for you! I hopefully plan to get an internship related to my School of Information Technology major next summer so I can see how it compares to my current communications internship. I would say my dream job is something that combines both of my degrees since I have such a passion and interest for both. I would also love to work in an industry that I have personal interest in. One industry I would love to work in is the beauty industry since makeup is a big hobby of mine!

Some long-term goals include eventually working in a leadership position. I have a knack for leadership and enjoy leading teams. Another very important goal of mine is to be happy with the work that I do. My parents have always instilled in me that enjoying your job is so important to get the most out of your life. No one should spend such a large amount of time doing something that doesn’t add value to their life. I am excited for my career after graduation and know that I cannot plan exactly what my career path will look like; it is important to take opportunities as they come and work towards your goals over time. Finally, regardless of your career goals, make sure to enjoy your time in college and don’t wish the time away; it will be gone before you know it.

Communications and Creativity — How Asajahnique Collins ’22 Mixed the Science of Rhetoric with the Art of Dance

As a communication and rhetorical studies major, Asajahnique has heightened her understanding of effective listening, writing and critical thinking, while also pursuing a dance minor. Read on to learn about what inspired her academic choices and what she plans to do after graduation.

Hometown: Bronx, NY
 Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Minor: Dance Appreciation and Practice

Asajahnique Collins ’22

What inspired you to choose Syracuse University?

I chose Syracuse because it was my dream school. I remember making a list of schools to visit, and Syracuse was on that list. It wasn’t until I visited campus in November of my senior year of high school that I knew I needed to apply and attend Syracuse. I’ve always felt welcomed and cared for as a part of this community.

What inspired you to choose your major?

I immediately fell in love with a Communication and Rhetoric class in the fall semester of my freshman year. I’ve always been a student that enjoys communicating, and I wanted to further explore the science and art of communication. My goal was to continue learning how to make messages more effective, powerful, purposeful and infused with meaning.

What has been your favorite class at Syracuse, and why?

My favorite class has been Interviewing. It’s a professional bootcamp where I’ve learned the skills to create an impactful resume, a website that I still use today, cover letter writing techniques, how to write valuable emails and conduct worthwhile interviews, and even the strategies of creating my own authentic business cards. At the conclusion of the class, we also had the opportunity to create professional dossiers that I still use and show others today.

Can you share what you’re involved in outside of the classroom?

I am the coordinator and musical director of the Creations Dance Company- Syracuse University’s first dance organization founded in 1977. I’m responsible for the company’s main choreography, as well as production of our annual showcases. I’m also the Vice President of the Tantalizing Theta Tau Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. — a divine 9 organization that emphasizes education, community service and sisterhood. In addition, I’m a College of Visual and Performing Arts student ambassador that actively engages with prospective and admitted students and families to share my Syracuse experiences.

Asajahnique in action during a Creations Dance Company rehearsal in preparation for an annual showcase.

What is your favorite campus location? 

The Schine Student Center is my most preferred location on campus. I love that I’m able to grab food and study all in one hub. In addition to dining and studying, I can interact with student organizations that may be showcasing what they have to offer at different times of the day. I spend so much time in Schine — whether it’s to attend or support an event, grab food in between classes or meetings, or to just complete coursework and assignments.

What classes are you enrolled in this semester?  

This spring semester I’m enrolled in five classes.

          CRS 439 — Critical Whiteness Studies with Professor Grimes

          WGS 248 — Racial and Ethnic Inequalities with Professor Garcia

          DAP 423 — Basic Concepts of Choreography with Professor Ohemeng

          DAP 246 — Intermediate Modern 1 with Professor Hanni

          FST 422 — Beer and Wine Appreciation with Professor McCoy

What advice would you give to prospective Communication and Rhetorical Studies majors?

My main advice would be to stay open-minded. When I first heard of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, I didn’t know much about the curriculum. I kept an open mind about how the classes would benefit and complement my strengths and interests, and I do believe that I’ve gotten the most out of my major. I’ve become a better student and well-rounded individual because I didn’t close my mind off to the unknown. I’d also encourage students to take the lead and create their own curriculum. I knew early on that part of my focus would be studying nonverbal communication since I’m a dancer, and this led to my declaration of a dance minor. I also wanted to include elements of race and gender and committed myself to taking classes in women and gender studies and African American studies to form my own unique curriculum tailored to my interests.

What is your dream job and/or goals after graduation?

I’ll be attending Syracuse University as a graduate student in the department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies. After my master’s degree, I hope to go into creative directing and choreography. My long-term goal is to become a professor and pursue teachings in race and gender within the context of performance theory.

Asajahnique hopes to inspire students to take the initiative to craft their own curriculum at Syracuse. The possibilities are endless with over 200 majors and 100 minors and over 300 clubs and organizations for all interests.

Syracuse University Traditions: Know Them, Love Them!

New students celebrate the start of the semester at Citrus in the City in Clinton Square.

As a student at Syracuse, some campus traditions need no introduction: cheering on our 18 Division I NCAA athletic teams, our mascot Otto the Orange and embracing all four seasons (including lake-effect snow!) are each well-celebrated.

Other traditions, however, may be lesser known. Check out the ideas below to see which ones you should add to your Syracuse University bucket list.

  • Citrus in the City
    New students should look forward to Citrus in the City, an annual event that occurs during Welcome Week in August. Head downtown with friends and classmates to enjoy free live music and samples from local restaurants amidst the hustle and bustle of historic Clinton Square.
  • Chicken Tender Thursdays
    While Syracuse University is home to 20+ campus eateries and boasts a myriad of food options, a regular student favorite is ‘Chicken Tender Thursdays’. Head to one of our five full-service dining halls on Thursday afternoons and evenings to enjoy this weekly menu item. Pro-tip: gather with friends at Ernie Davis Dining Hall to people-watch along Comstock Avenue while you eat!
  • Sunny Days on the Quad
    Syracuse Students find many ways to celebrate the winter months, but nothing beats the first warm day on campus during the spring semester. An unseasonably warm day in March? You can bet Shaw Quadrangle will be full of students studying, playing frisbee, listening to music and relaxing with friends.
The Quad is a popular hangout spot – especially on the first warm spring days of the year!
  • Dome Stomp
    Syracuse University’s stadium, fondly called the Dome, is a great place to cheer on our men’s football and women’s and men’s basketball and lacrosse teams with 30,000+ of your closest friends! While you’re there, check out the fabled “Dome Stomp.” Stand between two of the pillars on the exterior of the stadium and jump or stomp for a unique auditory experience!
  • The Kissing Bench
    Be careful where you sit on Syracuse University’s main campus! Located between Tolley Hall and the Hall of Languages, this granite bench was erected as a senior gift from the class of 1912. Although the legend of the bench has morphed over the years, current lore states that couples who kiss on the bench are destined to marry, while individuals who dare to sit on the bench alone will be single forever!
The Kissing Bench is located next to the Hall of Languages, home of Syracuse’s College of Arts and Sciences.
  • People’s Place
    Located on the Quad, non-denominational Hendricks Chapel is the physical and metaphorical “heart” of campus and holds community events, musical performances, public lectures and religious/spiritual gatherings. In the lower level of Hendricks, you’ll find a popular student hangout – People’s Place Café! Entirely student-run, People’s Place is a great spot to grab a coffee or pastry between classes. It’s also cash-only and the only location on campus where you can purchase Coca-Cola products. Need study fuel? Try the Austin Powers, which is half coffee and half chocolate milk – it’ll be sure help you power through a late night in Bird Library.
  • International Thanksgiving
    Every year (for 36 years running!) the University hosts an International Thanksgiving Dinner attended by 500+ students, staff and faculty members. The dinner, started by the late Rev. T.E. Koshy in the 1980s, began as a way to introduce new international students to the American Thanksgiving experience but also serves as a celebration of cross-cultural friendship, international community and fellowship.
Students, faculty and staff enjoy International Thanksgiving in Goldstein Auditorium.
  • Mayfest | Juice Jam
    Syracuse University is constantly bringing a diverse array of speakers, comedians and performing artists to campus, but Juice Jam and Mayfest are two of the largest and most popular events held each year. Planned and organized by University Union, Syracuse’s student programming board, Juice Jam (fall semester) and Mayfest (spring semester) have been headlined by the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Travis Scott, Khalid, A$AP Ferg, Gucci Mane and SZA.
  • Sledding on Crouse College Hill
    Whether you’re a seasoned fan of winter or have never before experienced snow, don’t forget to celebrate a big snowfall by sledding down Crouse Hill. Don your cold weather gear and grab a sled, tube or even a cardboard box and slide away.
Sledding on Crouse Hill, located near Crouse College (home of the College of Visual and Performing Arts), is a popular winter pastime.

5 Quick Tips for your Personal Admissions Interview

As part of our holistic admissions process at Syracuse University, the Office of Admissions offers optional personal interviews to all high school seniors and potential transfer students.

While entirely optional, participating in an interview is a great way to help the Admissions Committee get to know you as an individual and gives you the chance to ask questions in a one-on-one environment.

Here are our top five tips for making the most of your personal interview!

  1. Don’t Wait to Schedule
    The Office of Admissions offers interviews for high school students between July and December of senior year. Interviews are approximately 30 minutes long and can be scheduled on most weekdays and some Saturdays throughout the summer and fall. Students are welcome to pick a date and time that works and register online!

    Although it may be tempting to wait, we recommend scheduling your interview sooner rather than later! The summer is a great time to complete your interview so you don’t have to worry about it during the school year. You can even schedule and conduct your interview before you start your application!

    Are you a transfer applicant? Request an interview at any time by reaching out to our Transfer Admissions team at
  2. Assess Your Virtual Presence
    Our interview process is entirely virtual and conducted via Zoom. Once you schedule your interview, an admissions counselor or senior admissions student intern will send you a Zoom link prior to your interview date.

    Ensure your interview goes smoothly by setting up for your interview in a quiet room and limiting distractions when possible. Assess your background – is it busy or messy? Consider putting up a Zoom background or plugging in headphones so your interviewer can hear and see you!

    Don’t forget the interview is a one-on-one process, so parents and family members should not join you in the Zoom session. If your family members would like to schedule a separate time to chat with an admissions representative, please contact us at
  3. Do Some Research
    Before you schedule an interview, consider participating in one of our virtual information sessions. General information sessions are offered approximately three times per week and provide an overview of Syracuse University. Each of our 10 undergraduate schools and colleges also offer virtual sessions that dive deeper into their majors, minors and special programs.

    Hoping to see more of our buildings and grounds? We welcome you to plan a campus visit or peruse our virtual tour to get a sense of our physical campus!
  4. Bring Questions
    Your interviewer will save plenty of time for you to ask questions about the University and our application process. Jot down any questions you have and bring a notepad and pen to your interview so you can remember to ask them day-of. For example, are you curious about:
    • Majors and minors?
    • Study abroad?
    • Internships?
    • Early Decision vs. Regular Decision?
    • Student clubs and organizations?
  5. Relax
    During the interview, the admissions counselor or senior intern you speak with may take notes. The interviewer’s evaluation will be considered by the Admissions Committee along with all of your other application materials but is not a deciding factor in your admissions decision.

    Therefore, take a deep breath and try to relax during your interview! Our goal is simply to get to know you and learn more about your personal experiences and goals.

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Schedule your virtual interview on our webpage: We can’t wait to speak with you!

Things to See and Do in the Greater Syracuse Area

The Syracuse area is home to great shops, restaurants, activities and of course – murals! Photo courtesy of Jake Deitrich G’21.
Take advantage of festivals like Taste of Syracuse and activities like ice skating in Downtown Syracuse’s Clinton Square (pictured above). Photo courtesy of

Syracuse University is well-known for its excellent academics, school spirit (Go Orange!) and over 300+ student clubs and organizations. But did you know there is just as much to do off campus in the greater Syracuse area as there is on campus?

The city of Syracuse and the surrounding areas are home to countless shops, restaurants, eateries, concert venues and outdoor activities to enjoy. Whether you’re taking a study break at a local coffee shop or getting away for an afternoon excursion on a local trail, you’ll find it hard to be bored in Syracuse!

Read on to learn more about some favorite local spots as suggested by our U100 student ambassadors and tour guides!

Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard is located in nearby Lafayette, NY.
Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard is located in nearby Lafayette, NY. Photo courtesy of

Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards: “While the weather in Syracuse may be snowy most of the year, I love to take advantage of the sunny days and go apple picking at Beak and Skiff! My friends and I go every year and we love trying the delicious ciders and donuts (my personal favorite is the Apple Cider Donut!) before and after apple picking. The best part is taking home fresh fruit to enjoy for days.” – Kate Carniol ’22

Green Lakes State Park: A short drive from campus, Green Lakes State Park is home to two glacial lakes that have an unusual blue-green color due to their depth and lack of mixing. Visitors can hike and swim and also enjoy traditional and disc golf! “Green Lakes is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in New York and is a great way to get out into nature with my friends and safely hang out while social distancing!” – Hannah Cotel-Altmann ‘23

New Century: “My biggest fear about coming to Syracuse was that I wouldn’t find authentic Asian restaurants. Growing up half-Filipina, Asian culture has been ingrained in my life since the day I was born. New Century is a Vietnamese restaurant just a few minutes away from campus. Their pho is in credible and the Thai iced coffee is to die for!” – Kate Carniol ‘22

Green Lakes State Park is home to hiking trails, disc golf and a swimming beach. Photo courtesy of
Green Lakes State Park is home to hiking trails, disc golf and a swimming beach. Photo courtesy of

Thanos Import Market: “I just recently discovered this gem and now I’m obsessed. Thanos is the best place to shop for authentic Mediterranean groceries. The best part of Thanos is definitely their sandwiches. I highly recommend The Thanos and The Catherine for your first visit. Don’t forget to buy a baguette to enjoy at home!” – Kate Carniol ‘22

Oh My Darling: “This is my favorite restaurant in Syracuse. The food is delicious for both dinner and brunch! It is located in the heart of Armory Square and is close to lots of other shops and restaurants, making it a great place to spend time with family or friends.” – Hannah Cotel-Altmann ‘23

The Syracuse area is home to great shops, restaurants, activities and of course – murals! Photo courtesy of Jake Deitrich G’21.
The Syracuse area is home to great shops, restaurants, activities and of course – murals! Photo courtesy of Jake Deitrich G’21.

Learning by Doing with Computer Engineering major Dana Chea ’21

With an interest in coding and a love for mathematics and art, Dana Chea ’21 found her way to Syracuse University as a Computer Engineering major and a piccoloist for the Pride of the Orange, the Syracuse University Marching Band! Follow her path and learn more about her College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) coursework and campus involvement below!

Meet Dana Chea ‘21
Hamden, CT
Major: Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering major Dana Chea '21.
Computer Engineering major Dana Chea ’21.

What made you choose Syracuse?
I knew wanted to go to a university the northeast. Also, a college with a marching band was definitely a priority. Syracuse fit both of those criteria!

I had also heard of several Syracuse alumni like President Joe Biden L ‘68 and Shirley Jackson, author of The Haunting of Hill House. Knowing they both attended Syracuse fascinated me and solidified my desire to apply.

How did you select your major – Computer Engineering?
I’ve always loved art and mathematics, so I initially applied to the School of Architecture as my first option. However, I also have an affinity for computers. I was especially into PC gaming at the time, so I already had background knowledge on GPUs, storage, etc. After partaking in yearbook club in my senior year of high school, which involved a little bit of markup coding, I was hooked. I was admitted to my second choice program, Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). Living in such a technology-heavy society, I was excited by the idea of engineering and  working to create new products that could be essential in the future!

What do you feel are the strengths of your major/program? Do you feel well-prepared for your post-graduate goals?
ECS classes are hands-on. I love that because I am able to better retain information and learn by doing. My classmates and I plan, implement and execute our own code and hardware design. Learning this way has significantly helped me to develop! In addition, our professors are an incredible resource and want us to succeed – they are available if and when you need help and can connect you to research and professional opportunities, too!

What has been your favorite class or classes?
My favorite class was Digital Logic Design with Dr. Chin and Dr. Marcy. It was an introduction to basic timing diagrams and went in depth on how to implement these concepts during VHDL labs. The class was incredibly rewarding and was the foundation of how I now am able to design my own hardware implementation. The class also taught me how communication and collaboration are vital in engineering!

Dana '21 and fellow members of the IEEE executive board.
Dana ’21 and fellow members of the IEEE executive board.

What are you involved in outside of the classroom?
I am currently the vice president and webmaster for the Syracuse chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is a professional organization. We hold events that promote technology and encouraging others to pursue their interest in electronics, as well as network and prepare for careers in the industry. I’ve also held two internships while at Syracuse, at a rehabilitation hospital and a railroad testing company!

Last but not least, I am also a member of the Syracuse University Marching Band. I have been playing the flute since 4th grade and in the marching band I play the piccolo. So, when I’m not in any engineering labs on a school night, I usually have rehearsal in the Dome to prepare for football games. I made my first Syracuse friends in the marching band and I am glad that I have been able to maintain such amazing connections!

What classes are you taking this semester?

  • Senior Design Project II
  • Robotics Programming Lab
  • Environment and Society
  • Advanced Studio: Professional Writing
  • University Pep-Band

What is your favorite spot on campus?
It has to be the 4th floor of Link Hall and I think all engineering majors would agree! It has a beautiful overlook of the entire Quad and it is just surprisingly peaceful up there. There are only a few tables where you can sit so I usually try to go up there early in the morning when I want to study.

Dana '21 plays the piccolo in the Syracuse Marching Band.
Dana ’21 plays the piccolo in the Syracuse Marching Band.