Max Karsok

mkarsok@bryant.edu

My name is Max Karsok and I am a junior at Bryant University. I study marketing and applied analytics, and am originally from Douglas, MA. On campus, I am the Head Resident Assistant of the Upper Village residence area, and work as an Admission Fellow and a Student Ambassador in Bryant's Office of Admission. Thanks for reading!


Let’s Eat Local: Farm2Fork at Salmo!

October 22nd, 2014

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This past week in Salmanson (our main dining hall, scroll down my blog a little ways to read all about it), Aramark hosted an event called "Farm2Fork", where they created specialty dishes with products brought in from local farms from around the area! This included a stir-fry dish with fresh vegetables from local farms, fresh apples and apple cider, and much more. I spoke to a representative from FreshPoint at lunch the day of the event, who told me all about what his company does to help get Aramark, along with other food providers, fresh food from local areas.

FreshPoint works in between the small farms in New England and the large food providers to connect them with each other. It can be tough for the chef's at universities to reach out and find small farms with the best produce in the area, because they are obviously very busy and need to feed lots of people 3 times a day! FreshPoint creates connections with local farms (and thoroughly inspects them to make sure they are the kinds of farms they want to be connecting with), and then works with the executive chef's at places like Bryant to bring fresh, local produce to our community.

My favorite part about the event was that they had signs telling everyone what local farm the produce and cider came from that day, it was cool knowing we got to support a farm that was just down the road while having a great lunch!

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I left lunch last Wednesday knowing that Bryant supports local community farms, and had a few delicious fall apples in the process. Kudos to Aramark for putting on a great event!

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Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

Fall Interview Season

October 15th, 2014

The firms in the insurance and accounting industries tend to hire new interns and employees in the fall for the following summer because their busiest time of the calendar year occurs in the spring (when most other industries hire interns). Why is this important to us? Well, two of Bryant's most popular majors are Actuarial Science (College of Arts and Sciences) and Accounting (College of Business). This means that many of our students were suited up and had resumes at the ready this week as they interviewed for internships and full-time positions in their respective field.

So many of these Bryant students got the opportunity to interview with these companies through the Amica Center for Career Education, Bryant's outstanding career services team. They provide many services to Bryant University students, including mock interviews, strengths test, and resume critiques. However, what may be the most beneficial resource the Amica Center offers is called the Bryant Career Connection, where applications for internships and full-time jobs are posted to a portal where Bryant students can submit their resumes and cover letters to. The job-hunt can be tough, especially in the competitive world that we live in, so having all of these postings right at our finger tips to choose from is an amazing resource. Remember, Bryant students come from all over the United States and the world to study in Smithfield, RI, so the Amica Center does not just post opportunities in New England. There are internship applications for companies located all over the place, so that Bryant's widespread student population can find some experience wherever they choose.

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Nick Johnson, a junior actuarial science major from South Windsor, Connecticut, interned this past summer  at Traveler's Insurance in Hartford, CT. Nick has since been asked to return for another summer in 2015, but the internship hunt for Nick last fall was not so easy. With all of the companies and all of the applications, he's not sure what he would've done without the help of the Amica Center. "I wouldn't have gotten my internship without the Amica Center. Everything from the resume critiques to having recruiters come onto campus for interviews, having them as a resource throughout the entire process was extremely advantageous".

Dom Cauteruccio, also a junior study actuarial science, has interviewed with several recruiters on campus this fall, and he feels more prepared because of the services from the Amica Center. "I've heard lots of positive feedback about the resume that I've put together over my years here, and the Amica Center really helped me fine tune the intricacies of a resume to make it the best it could be for these interviews".

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And to top it all off, Bryan't Amica Center, coupled with reputation and rigorous curriculum of our University, breeds tangible results. 98% of Bryant's class of 2013 had a job or was enrolled in graduate school 6 months after graduation. Now that's a stat for you!

Best of luck to all of Bryant's actuary and accounting majors as they look for that dream job or internship in the coming weeks!

For all stuff Amica Center, follow them on Twitter @bryantcareer

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

~Max

What’s Up In Providence

October 9th, 2014

When I'm giving tours of Bryant's campus, one of the most common questions that I get from prospective students and their families is "What's there to do off campus?". Bryant is practically neighbors with the Lincoln Mall, which houses all sorts of restaurants and food options, quick pick-up-the-necessities stores, and a giant move theater. Having this mall right around the corner is super convenient. However, when Bryant students are looking to get off campus for a night out on the town or to check out fun stuff that's going on in other parts of Rhode Island, we often turn to Providence.

For those of us not familiar to the area, Providence is Rhode Island's capital and the state's largest city. Bryant's campus is approximately 15 minutes outside of the city, and is easily accessible to students via the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which is free for Bryant students when they use their Bryant ID. Just in the past two weekends, two awesome events took place in Providence that many Bryant students participated in: the WaterFire and the Color Run!

All throughout the summer and into the fall, the Providence WaterFire is the sight to see in Rhode Island. Last weekend was just one of the many events that the non-profit organization puts on throughout the warm seasons. Small, sparkling bonfires are lit all throughout the rivers within Providence, and their is live music, lots of great food, and different fun activities for everyone to take part in while they watch the fires on the water light up the night. My words don't do it justice:

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These are obviously events that are well attended by Bryant students, along with thousands of other people. It's a must-see sight for anyone in the area, and it's already been check off my Bryant Bucket List!

Just this past Sunday, I participated in a Color Run that took place within the city of Providence. The Color Run organization reaches wider than Providence, but this is just one example of all of the events that go on just 10 minutes from Bryant. It certainly makes the 3.1 miles a little easier with all of the free stuff we got, all of the color thrown at us, and all of the live music that was playing!

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Just a few of the fun things on the list of must-see and must-do events in Providence, RI!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

-Max

Introducing Aramark: Talking Food with the NEW Bryant Dining Services

September 29th, 2014

Food's important. So yes, we hope you pick Bryant because of our academic programs, campus life, and our reputation in the eyes of employers. However, once you get here, you've got to eat here. That's where Bryant University Dining Services come in.

Here at Bryant, we have a multitude of different dining options on campus, each of which has a little flare of everything. And as much as I like food (see blog 1), I had to do some learning myself on all of the new options Bryant Dining Services has brought to campus this year so I could tell you guys! So, this past week I got an inside look at our brand new food provider, Aramark, and spoke with our Dietitian and Executive Chef about all things food at Bryant. Here's what I learned:

Each student has their own meal plan; this constitutes of swipes into our all-you-care-to-eat Salmanson dining hall, as well as dining dollars, which work at various cafés on campus as well as our second major dining option, Nick's Place. Nick's serves all kinds of different options, and is open late night once Salmanson closes for the evening. More commonly referred to as "Salmo", our main dining hall is open all day from 7:15am-9:00pm and has lots of great food for each and every meal. Here are some of the new things that Aramark is bringing to the table (pun intended) this year.

·        The Global Kitchen serves to bring different cultures and international flavors to Bryant. They do this by sautéing your favorite fresh ingredients right in front of you to make different delicious stir-fry dishes. In addition, The Global Kitchen will have chefs that demo different kinds of recipes and will show students, for example, how to make homemade pasta or guacamole. It will also house monthly special events, like in September where they said "Farewell to Fenway" on the last weekend of the baseball season with ballpark favorites.

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·       Gluten Solutions provides students with specific dietary needs, options to have the same dining experience as the rest of the Bryant community. There are main entrees made without gluten ingredients served daily as well as common food items such as bread, cereal and desserts provided in a safe environment. Rice milk, Lactaid milk and other dietary alternatives are also offered here.

 

·        The Asian Kitchen is another new component to Salmo this year, and includes an all-you-care-to-eat sushi bar with fresh ingredients that are crafted right in front of you. There are other different international dishes served daily as well as the Pho Noodle Bar with rotating broths, proteins, and fresh vegetables.

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·        Healthy For Life is a nutritional dashboard that provides information and tips on how to eat healthy at Salmo and in general. Aramark will also be rolling out labels that will tell students where the produce they are eating came from and what foods are organic. This will show everyone where all of our locally grown food comes from!

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What impressed me the most about Aramark taking over the Bryant Dining Services this year is the freshness of the food and the options that they provide. Contrary to many other university dining services, Aramark cooks their food in small batches, not mass producing meals for 3000 kids at one time. 90% of the food they make is created from fresh ingredients and is cooked right in front of us. Fresh produce rolls in 7 days a week, and there is something delicious for everyone.

While I am just a fan of all foods, I must say that I am very impressed with what Aramark has brought to Bryant in its first month on campus. The company seems very excited about the future here on campus, and they are continually asking for students' feedback and working to improve every day. I hope you got the chance to test out some of their options at this past weekend's Open House, but if you did not or would like to know more about the dining services at Bryant University, feel free to contact our  Registered Dietitian, Kate Moran, at kmoran3@bryant.edu.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

-Max

Welcome to the DawgPound & Nationally Ranked Bryant Football

September 24th, 2014

It has been a a historic 2 weeks for Bryant University Football:

Bryant's Homecoming festivities, this year on September 13th, always culminate with our football team's match-up at Bulldog Stadium. This year, the University of Maine came to town. Main, who was ranked #20 in the FCS at the time, had beaten Bryant in their annual matchup handily that past several years, however this year was a little bit of a different story. We beat UMaine 13-10 thanks to a last second touchdown and 4th down stop on defense, and the crowd in Smithfield was loud and excited the entire time. This win was our victory over a nationally-ranked in the program's history, and it has definitely put our program on the map. Check out the highlights of that huge win over Maine here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7P2X1JgYek&list=UUGtO1N8o1RMq4g-AM5Y–aA maxqb1.jpg

 With the largest win the program's history under their belt, the Bulldogs received their first ever national ranking in the FCS poll. For those new to Division I football, the FCS is the national sub-conference of division I that we play in, and the league pinned us as the FCS's 25th best team in the entire country. The Bulldogs had a chance to back up their national rank with a heavyweight bout against Liberty University this past Saturday night. The game against Liberty, ranked 24th in the FCS, was played on ESPN 3 and in front of the largest crowd that Bryant has ever played for. While not too many Bulldog fans could get out to Virginia to cheer on our team, I can say for a fact that most TVs in Bryant's dorm rooms were tuned to ESPN 3 Saturday night at 7pm.

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Bryant would end up losing our match-up against Liberty Saturday night, 38-21, and have fallen to 3-1 on the season. They are playing Bucknell this weekend at Bulldog Stadium at 1pm and will look to get back on the winning track. It is a great time to be a fan of Bryant football as they have put themselves and the entire school on the national map. It was amazing to hear all of the yelling and cheering across the campus Saturday night whenever Bryant scored; and the game was all the way in Virginia!

I can promise you that we'll cheer just as loud when Bucknell comes to town this weekend.

To check out all of the action from the week in Bryant athletics, check out the Black & Gold Report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhScfRcDPu8&list=UUGtO1N8o1RMq4g-AM5Y–aA

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

 ~Max

Welcome!

September 17th, 2014

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"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity." -Albert Einstein

Here we are at the start of another fall, filled with firsts. First day of classes (junior year at Bryant or senior year in high school), first leaves falling, first fantasy football loss (it always stings more than any other one), and another year of opportunity. Let's make it a good one.

My name is Max, and I'll be reporting to you live here from Smithfield on anything and everything at Bryant that's interesting, exciting, or tastes good. The other 8 bloggers and I will be sharing our Bryant stories with you and illustrating, to the best of our ability, a day in the life of a Bryant Bulldog.

I plan on touching upon a little bit of everything Bryant has to offer this year in my blog, because I want you to have the most comprehensive idea of the University as you can. But just to give you a little flavor as to what you can expect when you click on my face, here are just a few of the things you can listen to me ramble about this year:

  • Marketing and Applied Analytics: These are my two concentrations I study here, and I'll keep you up to date on interesting projects we work on in class and other academic developments as the year goes on.
  • ResLife: My single largest commitment on campus is serving as the Head Resident Assistant for the Upper Village (consisting of 4 buildings full of sophomores and juniors). I'll show you all about what it's like to live in a residence hall at Bryant and to be an RA, as well as how nice it is to live in the newest building on campus. And to answer your follow-up question of what makes it the nicest, just think of the last time you lived in a suite with two full bathrooms, personalized thermostats, and were neighbors with a pizza place. And to answer your next follow-up question, no the 25-foot walk to pick up my calzone is not too strenuous on the feet.
  • Food: Speaking of calzones, Bryant has recently switched to a new food provider, Aramark. It is their first-year on campus and have only been servicing the Bryant community for a few weeks now. We all know how important food is, so I'll make sure that I spotlight the dining services here so you can see what it's all about.
  • Sports: The Bryant Bulldogs enter their 3rd year of NCAA Division 1 tournament eligibility, and we look to continue to send our teams to these national tournaments again this year as we sport the black and gold. I'll keep you updated on everything Bryant sports from a student-section-super-fan-screaming-until-your-ears-ring-wicked-loud fan, and hopefully you'll be pulling for a Bulldog victory even before you choose to take your talents to Smithfiel, RI. (PS check out our football team's biggest win in school history last Saturday in our 13-10 win over the University of Maine here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7P2X1JgYek&list=UUGtO1N8o1RMq4g-AM5Y–aA

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I am super excited to be blogging to our prospective students for another year, so check in with myself and the rest of my fellow bloggers occasionally, and really get to know Bryant, along with any other school you apply too. There has never been a better time to be Bryant University Bulldog, and I truly hope that our readers from the future class of 2019 fall in love with the school and commit this coming spring. But before that happens, PLEASE enjoy your final year (or maybe two) of high school and make the most of every day; it is an amazing final few pages of a chapter in your life that is absolutely worth reading.

And then soon enough, we hope you'll choose Bryant.

Well, relatively soon.

 

 

Thanks for reading, and Go Dawgs.

-Max

 

Year Ending Thoughts and Thank You’s

May 6th, 2014

 Saturday, August 31st: The freshmen class of 2017 invades the Bryant University campus, excited and nervous about what their first year away from home has to offer.

Tuesday, May 13th: The rising sophomore class of 2017 packs their belongings, takes the sheets of off their mattress, and drives back to their hometown, wondering what a few months away from their second home has to offer.

Somewhere in between then and now, Bryant became a second home to a whole new class, Bryant's Class of 2018 has formed and is ready for action, and I experienced a sophomore campaign that I wouldn't trade for the world. If you've stayed with me throughout the year, you'll know that I've got a lot to be thankful for, and I hope you do as well as you celebrate the end of a chapter in your life that is never easy to put down. But before I bid you all farewell into the summer sunshine and you turn your tassels from right to left, help me say thanks.

  • Thank you to Bryant's brand new Fisher Student Center, for opening its doors to the public and becoming "The Campus Living Room" early in the Fall semester. You have created an academic, social, and communal environment for all of our campus to enjoy!
  • Thank you to the Bryant Bulldogs, who's excellence on the Division 1 athletic stage has been second to none. Just this spring, we have had several of our teams (Women's Lacrosse, Men's Golf, Men's Tennis, and Men's Lacrosse to name a few, and Baseball and Softball are in the hunt now!) win NEC Championships. Thank you for entertaining us on Saturday afternoons, on our TV's, and in the gym. There's never been a better time to sport the black and gold.
  • Thank you to my beloved Boston Red Sox, you made everyone's late October just a little bit sweeter.
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  • Thank you to Bryant's Office of Residence Life. In my second semester working in ResLife, I was selected as the Head Resident Assistant of the Upper Village for the upcoming academic year and received this year's "Rookie of the Year" Award. Thank you to everyone that played a part in guiding through my first year in Residence Life, because I would not be in the position I am today without the knowledge you gave me and lessons you taught me. I look forward to next year and beyond in Bryant University Residence Life!
  • Thank you to all of those involved in the major fundraisers on campus this year, including but not limited to: Up 'Til Dawn, Relay for Life, and St. Baldricks. There are so many philanthropic opportunities on this campus and the community outreach, this year in particular, was amazing.
  • Thank you to Dunkin Donuts, your services keep me awake as I write my last blog during finals week.
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  • Thank you to Bryant University's Office of Admission, for recruiting and admitting an incredible Class of 2018 (I guess that includes my brother too). I cannot wait to see the impact our incoming freshmen make on this campus, and I truly believe they will be a class of students that, in four short years, leaves the University better than they found it.
  • Thank you to my friends at Bryant, who make everything that happens around here fun and exciting. Also, for putting up with my friend and I practicing the same acoustic songs over and over again our for performances (Check out our YouTube Channel! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH8e8mjU9iSsY95iOuouVjg )
  • Thank you to the faculty, staff, and administration at Bryant that make learning and living an unforgettable experience at this university. All are welcomed, challenged, and happy, which is most important.
  • Lastly, thank YOU. Whether you followed myself and my fellow bloggers all year or just checked-in occasionally, thank you for listening to our stories. Thank you to the Office of Admission for allowing me to share my Bryant experience for all that will listen, and I hope our blogs aided you in your decision to attend Bryant in the fall! However, even if they didn't, I hope you enjoyed hearing about what I'm up to and what I had for lunch that day.

Good luck with your final weeks of school, with graduation, with your summer endeavors, and with your first year at Bryant University in the fall. Enjoy every ounce of all of it, and then remember to say thanks.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

Spring Weekend feat. B.o.B.!

April 30th, 2014

This past weekend was Bryant University's "Spring Weekend", where the campus holds tons of fun events and activities for the student body to participate in, headlined by a concert on Saturday night. Let's run through the highlights:

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Spring Weekend (this year Western themed) is put on by Bryant's Student Programming Board along with the help of many other great organizations on campus. It starts Friday afternoon and concludes with the spring concert on Saturday night. The weekend started with a mechanical bull in the Rotunda (kudos to this girl and all of the other people that were brave enough to try it)

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 The weather was great on Friday, so much of the student body was soaking up the sun on the volleyball courts or by the pond! When the nighttime, came, SPB sponsored Chipotle on campus!

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(It was Chipotle, of course it attracted a crowd.)

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Even though the weather was less than perfect on Saturday, the weekend festivities continued! The day started off with Springstock 2014, featuring Bryant's Matt Beckius and Jake Durkin, Torn Shorts, and AER. The event was sponsored by Bryant's radio station WJMF and took place from 12-4pm. The music was great!

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The weekend concluded with an amazing B.o.B. concert! As you might have seen from other blogs already, the line to get tickets for this concert was huge and it sold out in only a few hours. It was worth it! The concert was so awesome that I even saw President and Mrs.Machtley in the back listening to the tunes. One of my good friends got to go on stage with B.o.B., and he sang all of his famous songs. Take a look!

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It was an awesome concert and an awesome weekend had by all. I like to think of Spring Weekend as a way to relax and have fun before the last week of classes and then finals. Just like you seniors, we're preparing for the home stretch here in Smithfield!

(P.S. photo credits to Tiff Souther, Bryant Spring Weekend 2014, and Kendra Hildebrand).

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

REDay

April 23rd, 2014

 

Today, Wednesday April 23rd, was Bryant University's fourth annual Research and Engagement Day (REDay). REDay features students and faculty's independent research work over the past year and allows them to present it to the Bryant community. This year, REDay features approximately 85 professors and 330 students, not to mention all of the others that come and listen to their presentations. There are two keynote addresses this year, Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Teachers Do, and Kristin Fraser, managing director for the KPMG Providence office and Bryant alum. REDay takes place in the unistructure, and there are no classes scheduled for the day because the research presentations happen inside the classrooms.

For REDay 2014, a group of my peers and I are presenting a project we conducted over the past few months. Titled "Reflections and Perceptions of Writing 106″, our research investigated a Gateway requirement course, Writing Workshop, and reflected upon the things we learned from the class and the lessons we took away from that semester. Our group was a compilation of past and present Writing 106 students, and we were supervised by Professor Mary Prescott. We were encouraged to be as creative as possible with our presentation of our reflections, because the writing department really wanted to illustrate what the assignments are about and some of the major takeaways from the class.

There are four major assignments in Writing 106, a class that is usually taken by first and second semester freshmen. The assignments are analytically based, persuasively based, reflectively based, and information based. Our group decided to break up the class by these different assignments and attack each one individually. Our team was led by Bryant University sophomores Michael Braunsdorf and Brad Padula. Mike describes the project as "a unique blend of analysis combined with creativity. I am really blown away by the depth and the detail that REDay presentations display as a whole, and I think that our project is no exception."

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For the reflective portion of our research, we compiled quotes from past Writing 106 assignments that we thought represented an experience from our past. We displayed this by picking those quotes and matching them with old pictures we found of the experience we wrote about to give our viewers a chance to really understand what we were reflecting on and what it means to truly reflect on a piece of your past.

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For the analytical portion of our project, we analyzed the connotations of this old Coca Cola advertisement.  In Writing 106 we are introduced to analyzing various forms of media and then learn how to articulate the trends you discovered. Our team analyzed every inch of this advertisement and displayed both the ad and our findings on REDay. We saw that viewers actually had different ideas about the ad than we did, which proved our major theme that analyzing media is very subjective and means different things to different people.

I am so glad I got the opportunity to present on REDay this year, and I hope that next year many of you will find yourselves presenting research even as freshmen! It is a great opportunity to work closely with a professor and your peers, develop research and presentation skills, and further your knowledge of a subject in general.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

The Scholarship Dinner: A Celebration of Excellence

April 16th, 2014

This past Friday, hundreds of prospective Bryant students attended our Scholarship Dinner. These are students that have been accepted to Bryant and were awarded an academic scholarship from the University. These students and their families sit at a table with Bryant Student Ambassadors (like me!) and Bryant faculty and staff. At my table, these people were John Denio, the associate dean of student affairs, and Alan Olinsky, an applied analytics and statistics professor. Alongside myself was another ambassador, Jenny Gagnon! Here's what the night looked like!

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 It was a fantastic meal with even better people! Included in the evening's festivities were addresses by our Dean of Admission Michelle Cloutier, President and Mrs. Machtley, freshman Kelsey Gainor, and senior Will Allen. Congrats to all of the scholarship recipients of the Bryant University Class of 2018!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max