Multipurpose Room Transformed

The lights are a lighter shade of crimson-red projected on the off-white ceiling. 10 circle tables circle the space on the left and right, creating a smaller circle in the middle for performers to barge through and shine. The table cloths form red-tainted shadows from the audience member’s heavy winter coats. It’s the multipurpose room transformed into a banquet, a show, a spectacle, a series of scenes blaring African-rooted seeds.

 The reggae, the bongos, and the hip-hop blend, echoing the walls. The traditional drums reverberate in the audience members’ souls and feet, as they continue to snap, clap, tap and ‘hoot’ their way through the warm, vibrant and inviting night.

 Dancers begin swarming in as if from a jungle from back doors and crevices of the spaces unknown to the audience—ready to dominate the dance floor. Black curly bobs bob their heads and stomp their feet through the ground meant to be the center stage. All heads turn to the direction of the beat from the circular tables. Everyone is peering, watching as the dancers dance to the rhythm of the African-rooted music. Their gold, navy blue, and royal orange fabrics are wrapped tightly across their rich-in-melanin skins, never faltering even with the swiftness of the rhythms. Then, all the tables roar like lions with sharp claps and loud ‘woots’ once again.

Another performer gets on another stage—the higher one. His mic pops but he keeps going, spewing words about slavery and race and the evils of this world. He spits, “Meet me at HAS, and another character in his poem replies, “Nah, I rather Snapchat.” The audience from the tables begin to roar once more. The white flowers as center pieces in the middle of each white-clothed table seem to stand still in time, despite the eruptions, and still stand tall.

After this performance, the audience becomes unsettled. The air feels stickier, more pressured. The mood, antsy. Everyone is chirping away, and the host reminds us that food is coming, and we need to be patient. Some members laugh. The rest of the audience settles down once again, eager for the next performance, hungry for food.

 Another performance happens. A young woman in the gold, navy blue, and royal orange fabric, comes out to dance. She enters through the main doors. It’s as if the music from the drums pump through this girl’s veins. Her tight braids are revealed as she bows her head, and flails her arms in intentional ways. Her short black braids and colorful beads sway with the movement of her head. The photographer kneels on one knee, in an effort to capture the moment, this movement-the flailing of the arms, the rock of the braided-head, the colors of the African-rooted fabrics. The audience explodes in means of appreciation.

Another poet comes onto stage. He reads from a crinkled paper in his pants pocket, “24 hours…is another 24 chances.” And maybe that’s what the African Student Alliance’s Mr. and Mrs. Africa Pageant was all about—another chance to make things right.

p.s. Here’s the scene I sketched on Saturday night regarding the event I provided tech for. Here’s to being a fly on the wall!


‘Happy For’ List


coming home.

warm coat.

my New Paltz cap.

a chance to take a seat.

interesting, upcoming projects.

a real break.

p.s. On Friday, I was tagged in a post on Facebook about Latina poets blooming, thanks to my good friend, Kim. One of the poets created a ‘Happy For’ list, and here’s mine, currently.

p.p.s. Here’s the link of poets blooming, blossoming, and growing:

I Became a Journalist

to get answers to questions in simpler forms

to get answers to questions I, you, and we, don’t understand

to meet people who want to talk truth, talk smart, and talk on camera

to meet people who are interested and interesting

to comfort the afflicted because they need it

and to afflict the comfortable because they are asking for it

p.s. On Thursday I worked on a story about the increasing price of bus tickets. These tickets are how we, as students, get home. Yet, we had no idea this was even happening until faced with buying a ticket to go home for Thanksgiving break. Can’t wait to share other people’s thoughts with you. So, here’s to why I became a journalist!

p.p.s By the way–Trailways, the bus company, has yet to comment. I’ve been reaching out since Oct. 29th.

Zombie Mode

Closing this 15,000-square-foot atrium at school is hard to do at 1 a.m. in the morning. But think about how hard it is to do when you’re also feeling like a zombie. Your body is tired out. Your senses are not 100 percent. Your feet can barely carry you forward. Yet, you have to make sure all the doors are locked, and no one is left in the building. Closing this 15,000-square-foot atrium at school is hard to do at 1 a.m. in the morning, especially when you’re not feeling well.

p.s. Last Wednesday was by far the most challenging closing shift I’ve ever had to do since I became a Student Activities Manager (SAM). But it got done. Here’s to feeling it, but working through it!


Quick Second

My sister bats her eyes over complex papers called homework.

My mom looks intensely at her laptop displaying her free-lance work.

My dad steps out into the cold to go visit and help his mom do some other work.

My brother just takes it all in, stealing my phone in the process, to download a game he barely asked me permission for…

I try to breathe, eat, and sleep for a couple of minutes, but find it difficult to recuperate.

p.s. Last Tuesday, I went home after my internship because I felt terrible. I had a high fever, my muscles ached, my body begged to stay in bed–but I got up at 3:15 a.m. for work in the city, anyway. Silly me.  I should have taken a sick day. Here’s to going home for a quick second!

p.p.s. My sis let me borrow fuzzy warm pjs, and my dad made me soup before he left. My mom made me chug medicine. And my brother, got me water and anything else I asked for before bed. Thanks guys! Feeling way better now. xo



Old Me Reviews New Me

The first story I’ve ever reported was on ‘Make a Difference Day’ in 2015. That year, I also reported on renovations being done to a dorm called Bevier Hall. I remember having green mascara eyelashes for the news package. Fun times. I also did a package on Spoon University, curriculum changes to general education, the annual Yule Ball for Harry Potter fans, a profile on a good friend, and a freshman reflection story. Sophomore year as Manager and Reporter, I interviewed a Mayan music group from Guatemala named, Balam Ajpu. I reported for Halloween as Ariana Grande. I tried reporting for sports. I met some inspiring women at the Women’s Leadership Summit, and even reported on our Presidential Election. This year, I reported on all the natural disasters occurring in our world, and the increase of the prices for a Trailways ticket home.

p.s. The topics I have covered have definitely varied over the couple of years, but one things stays constant– I love hearing what others have to say. Last Monday, I reviewed many of my packages and saved them for my records. It was good to see my progression as a reporter, and to know I’ve had the privilege of meeting these people and having these experiences. Here’s to reviewing, reporting, and revising!


How To Find Internships in the Media: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Need an internship in the media to graduate? Want an internship in this field to gain some experience? Maybe both? Your answer is probably ‘yes.’
Media industry internships give students an opportunity for experiential learning. This is especially important for communications majors in digital media, journalism, production, and public relations. Landing one can highlight the students’ ability to demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom within a work environment—separate from academia. It exposes them to the professional world.

Before getting exposure however, students first need to search for internships and then apply. This process can be stressful. It takes time, energy, and a balance of other school work and commitments to submit well-done and completed applications. So, here are several ways for students to make this internship process much more manageable, according to experts.

“You can imagine what it’s like to be a journalist, to write, to have to meet deadlines, to have to interview people you’ve never talked to before, but you want to experience that in a real world setting and make sure that it’s a good fit for you before you graduate and try to get a job in that line of work,” Beth King, Internship Coordinator at the Career Resource Center, said.

Therefore, know the purpose behind getting this internship. Narrow down the focus of the internship search, and use databases such as HawkHire and, she said. “Bookmark those career sites to find them again,” King added. Consider the geographic location of the internship, she reminded. Also, figure out what is necessary to complete the application, and by when.

After this initial search, completing these applications accurately is essential. “Give yourself maybe 2 hours a week at most devoted to it—even if it’s just an hour, then it makes it manageable…You have to put time on your planner, on your phone, to achieve those goals,” King explained.

Students should also ask themselves these questions: “When will I be able to finish this application?” “Which application needs more attending to than the other one?” and “Do I do this one online, or do I have to mail this one in?” said Christine Garmendiz, a T. Howard Alumna and SUNY New Paltz senior, who interned at TruTV in summer 2017.

What is the T. Howard Foundation? Well, it is an internship program for college students, whose mission is to increase diversity in the media and entertainment industry. Garmendiz’s experience raises another key point. Students should look up potential resources and internship programs that can further propel their professional development and future careers.

To apply to programs and internships, Doreen Thomas, a Training and Recruitment Coordinator for the T. Howard Foundation, said to answer the prompt. Students must pay attention to the details within the questions being asked. They need to spell their name correctly, give the proper contact information, and revise their resumes, she added.

In preparation for the interview, students should visit the company’s websites to get a sense of its vision, mission, and products, she explained. This gives students some background on their potential organization. Both King and Thomas stressed the importance of practicing for the interview, as well. and are websites students can refer to for preparation material including mock questions, Thomas added.

Thomas also said students have to constantly apply, and not wait until January. The earlier students begin the process, the better chance companies have in reviewing their application in advance. “Don’t get comfortable,” she warned.

Garmendiz couldn’t agree more. “Apply to everything, and have experiences that you can really talk about that you know you’ve grown from, and if you can’t find that, then that’s what you need to start looking for,” she said.

Mentorship is also key for an internship and life experience, Thomas said. It has a reciprocal benefit for the mentor and mentee, she explained. Both individuals learn from each other. “The more experience you have, the more questions you have,” she included, and that relationship is helpful for those moments of inquiry and advice. Maybe this professional network can even turn into a life-long friendship, she added.

“People always need help. It doesn’t matter who you are,” said Garmendiz. Asking for help “is a lot stronger than thinking you can do it on your own.”

Moreover, students who know what they’re interested in, can get in contact with their department, and students within the department who can be a resource to them. Talking with Journalism Professors, Bret Berry and Meghan Sperry, can be a start, Garmendiz said. Media students should also speak with their academic major advisors and internship coordinators to ensure they will earn academic credits toward their degree.

“I would definitely try to reach out to alumni as a media student because they definitely have the most experience, and you need to go through what they went through already, so they would give you the best advice,” Jenn Seelig, SUNY New Paltz senior, who interned at News 12 Long Island in summer 2017.

Now, during the interview, students should never forget to ask questions toward the end. This is their opportunity to stand out, and gain valuable information they can’t find on the company’s website. They should ask about the work environment, and inquire about what interns have worked on in the past.

Also, students should always send a thank-you note in 24 hours or less, added King. Last but not least, follow-up with an email 2-3 weeks later to stay in touch, and ask any additional questions about the next steps in the process.

Therefore, with careful planning, relevant research, dedication to applying, and interview practice, students can sift through the rough patches of this process. Hopefully with these steps, they can successfully land an internship in the media.

And if you do land one, remember: “You have to think of it as a job. It is your future career, you have to treat it like one. And if you do, that’s how you learn,” Seelig said.

Regardless, be wary of the r-word: rejection. Accepting and understanding this can make the difference between a candidate who continues to apply to internships in this field, and one that doesn’t.

Don’t give up.

“Rejection hurts. But I always tell students, they’re not rejecting you. They’re rejecting a piece of paper with your name on it. They haven’t met you,” said King.

Good luck!

p.s. Last week Sunday, I completed the polished version of my article. It’s been submitted to an online publication to my school, and got in. Here’s to getting published! Much to be thankful for this year and always.

Here’s the online version:

Paint and Sip Facts

It’s harder than you think it will be.

It’s more stressful than it should be.

The drinks are not as great as you’d like them to be.

But, it’s still fun, especially with the company you keep, and it being free.

p.s. My school offered a Paint and Sip Session last evening, and my friends, and I had a ton of fun stressing over our little paintings. Here’s to painting and sipping (mock)tails, of course!

From One Reporter to Another

Make a list of things you like to to report about that way you can refer to those topics when you want to go out and shoot something.

Make the interview, the entire news package, conversational–the less formal the better. You want to make the material digestible for your audience. You want to keep them engaged as long as you can.

Create stand-ups, packages on your own to build your portfolio and pitch to potential employers. Create them about things you like, and things your audience would like and be informed by.

Use Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat–whatever platform you really enjoy–use it well, and have a presence in the other ones even if you don’t use all of them all the time.

Offer ideas to different departments since you are already at an internship within the company as a whole. Use this space to propel your ideas forward.

Show others your work to gain feedback. Use this time–the time you have left–to your advantage.

Go up to the people you want to meet, and talk to them. See what you can gain from them. It’s now or never.

p.s. On Friday, I met reporter, Mariana Atencio, who works for MSNBC and NBC news. I’ve been trying to meet her since my 2nd week at MSNBC, and finally got a chance to see her in person at the office, introduce myself, and sit down to chat with her for about 20 minutes. So excited and grateful that she offered her advice and love for this profession with me. She even told me to show her some of my work while she is here in New York for this upcoming week. Thank you, Mariana. Here’s from one reporter to another!



My 1st Home

I went in the studio to record a package.  I stood in front of the lights. I put on the mic. I ran my fingers through my hair. I read the teleprompter. And in one take, I was at home, back at WNPC-TV, like I never left. I talked with a couple of members from the team, and even interviewed one for my article on how-to land an internship in the media.

p.s. On Thursday I went to visit my old stomping grounds. The people I see there always lift me up. Here’s to where I first felt at home in college!