Max Karsok

mkarsok@bryant.edu

Hi I’m Max Karsok, I am a sophomore from Douglas, Massachusetts studying in the college of Business Administration. Some of my involvements here at Bryant University include Resident Assistant in the Upper Village, the Student Programming Board, the “Linked Through Leadership” Institute, the Honors Program, the Student Ambassador Program, and a student blogger. Thanks for reading!

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

Relay For Life at Bryant

April 8th, 2014

This past weekend I, along with hundreds of other Bryant students, participated in the Relay For Life. As most of you I am sure know, Relay For Life is a massive fundraiser that takes place all over the map. People receive donations and pledges and then walk around a track or an area to fulfill their pledges and represent a fight against cancer. Relay For Life at Bryant is a huge event that goes all night long (this year 5:oopm-5:00am) and one where tons of students come out to "Finish the Fight" against cancer.

As you can see from this link (http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY14NE?pg=entry&fr_id=59109), the Bryant University Relay For Life raised over $30,000. What an accomplishment! Along with walking, the event included live music, lots of food, different performances, and structured ceremonies where members of the Bryant community shared their stories about their fight with cancer.

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My team was called "All Night For the Fight". We actually had so many people that wanted to be a part of the event that we needed to form two teams! Collectively we raised $2,487.34, with one of our team members Dom Cauteruccio raising $1,000 by himself, good for third most at the event. He said that "Over the past three years many of my close family members have lost their life to cancer, so I tried to do everything I could to help the cause".

All Night For the Fight was captained by a sophomore, Stephanie Leach, who says "I relay for my best friends' moms back home. I consider their fight to be my fight. No matter how much it hurts to walk laps for 11 hours straight, it's the least we can all do compared to what cancer patients see throughout their treatment". Steph and Dom are pictured together (when the walking was completed) on the left, along with fellow relayers Emily Gustafson and Richie Deluca.

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Here's some more of our team!

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I was truly moved by the outpouring of support from the Bryant community at the Relay For Life. I walked next to those who have had their parents, siblings, relatives, and friends pass away from cancer, and those who have had no one effected by cancer, yet knew they wanted to support the cause. It was cold, it rained, and peoples' legs were sore, but their was a greater good that every member of the Bryant community recognized with each step they took.

Like so many others, I relay for people and for reasons that I cannot simply articulate. The Bryant Relay For Life allows me to remember those people and those reasons with hope of a cancer-free future. While the damage cancer has done in the past can never be justified to those like myself, Dom, Steph, and others, a cure breeds a future full of health and happiness. We can only hope that the money Bryant Relay raised this year is the money that is needed to finally "Finish the Fight" and cure this disease. But if not, we'll walk some more next year.

So bring your sneakers.

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

Where to Go and How to Get There

April 1st, 2014

A common question that I get on my tours and other admission events is "what is there to do in Smithfield?". While many students (including myself) find staying on campus on the weekends as how they want to spend their free time, there are plenty of options outside of 1150 Douglas Pike that are hot spots for Bryant students. Let's run through them:

  • The Lincoln Mall. Just five minutes off of campus, The Lincoln Mall has all of the necessities and more for Bryant students. Equipped with a movie theater, Chili's, Asia Grille, Five Guys and more, there are plenty of great food choices so close to campus. Also, a conveniently placed Target proves to be the store for every Bryant student to get the necessities they need for their semester long journey.  http://www.discoverlincolnmall.com/
  • Panera Bread and KiwiBurst. They should have their own place on the list right? Right around the corner form Bryant on George Washington Highway is a KiwiBurst and a brand new Panera Bread. To say they have been well received by the students of Bryant is a gross understatement.
  • Smithfield Crossing. Ten minutes from Bryant (one exit down 295) is the Smithfield Crossing. More dining and shopping options and a great way to spend an evening! 30+ restaurants and stores! http://www.crossingatsmithfield.com/
  • Providence Place Mall. 15 minutes from Bryant University is the Providence Place Mall. Providence, RI itself is a city full of things to do and people to see, and the Mall is one of those places. The largest shopping and dining option in the area for Bryant students, it has everything you need! For every one of my friends' birthdays we celebrate at Fire & Ice in Providence! http://www.providenceplace.com/
  • Boston, MA. Bryant is just under an hour away from Boston. No description needed her. Go Sox!

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"So now we know where we can go for dinner and a night on the town, but how do we get there?" (Great question, whoever asked).

  • Every Bryant student can bring their car to campus. Yes, even freshmen! And best of all, it is of no charge, all that is needed is a free parking pass.
  • The RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transit Authority) stops at Bryant and stops all over Rhode Island. With your Bryant ID, the RIPTA is free of charge. Just swipe your card and your good to go!
  • The Bryant Transportation Authority (BTA) takes Bryant students to the local malls and areas for a small charge, and runs constantly throughout the day to ensure Bryant students get where they need to be.
  • Bryant has recently added two ZipCars to campus. These are cars that can be rented out by Bryant students to get where they need to go. You simply pay for the time needed and any gas and you're off! It is great for getting to Boston for a night or if you are traveling with a full crew.

I hope that answers some questions about where to go and how to get there as far as local attractions around Bryant University!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

Max

The Leadership Empowerment Experience

March 26th, 2014

Brand new to Bryant this semester is the Leadership Empowerment Experience (LEE), a leadership development program on our campus. Branching off of the previous program called "Linked Through Leadership", LEE is based off of the Social Change Model and a great way for the students of Bryant to educate themselves on what it takes to be a great leader. LEE's mission is posted below:

 The Leadership Empowerment Experience is an accelerated, hands-on, interactive leadership development program that is guided by the Social Change Model. This semester-long experience teaches students to become confident in their leadership abilities as they grow, develop, and transform along with their peers. In a three-stage process: Learn, Lead and Change, the participants will learn all about what it means to be a strong leader, while simultaneously learning about themselves, others and the world we live in. The participants known as empower-mentees will be placed in small teams with a peer and staff mentor who will collaboratively and cohesively guide each other through the learning process. The Leadership Empowerment Experience is an engaging journey that leads individuals through a series of four - 1/2 day workshops and various experiential learning components that will help build character, and create awareness about individual interpersonal skills, the value of teamwork and the global community.

The Leadership Empowerment Experience has three phases: Learn, Lead, and Change. In the Learn institute, we talk about ourselves as people, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to take advantage of our skill sets. In Lead, we talk about coming up with a vision and how to get others to pursue that vision with you by motivation. And finally, the Change session is all about leadership in its application to the community around us. Each session is a half day workshop with a guest presenter, and that presenter makes the sessions interactive with various activities to keep the students engaged in the discussion. We go through these three stages in small teams with three or four students and a mentor. That mentor is a senior leader on campus and we use that mentor as a resource for everything we might need as the semester progresses.

Last weekend my team and I completed the Lead workshop. The session was all about establishing a vision that is both far reaching and attainable. Once identifying that vision, one needs to work to motivate followers in order for that vision to become a reality. Motivation, to me, is one of the more complicated parts about effective leadership because it varies for every person. Learning about different motivating techniques will definitely help me as a leader next semester and beyond.

Like I said, the sessions are interactive. As part of the Lead session,  each team was required to build a raft made out of a float and two pool noodles. Each team then selected a member to race the noodle across our pool on campus to determine which team created the best and fastest raft. (the picture below is not my actual team, but I posed with fellow blogger John anyway)

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And here was the scene at the pool for the championship race:

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 Even though our team didn't win, a good time was had by all and a lot was learned. Those a part of the Leadership Empowerment Experience are the future leaders of Bryant's campus and it is a great thing to be a part of!

To learn more about LEE and Bryant's other Leadership Program Opportunities, follow this link:  http://intranet.bryant.edu/portal/campus-engagement/co-curricular-involvement/leadership-programs.htm

(Rumor has it John was blogging about LEE and the Lead session as well...interesting...)

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

#FlatTupper

March 18th, 2014

For those readers out there are prospective students accepted into the Class of 2018 (P.S. Congrats!) you have probably received Flat Tupper in the mail! For those of us that are not prospective students, Flat Tupper is a cutout of our beloved mascot Ironclad Tupper I that our Class of 2018 has been receiving upon their acceptance. Students are then supposed to take a picture with Flat Tupper and post it to the Bryant University Class of 2018's Facebook page, so that the future classmates of 2018 can see everyone's posts! You can also use the hashtag #FlatTupper on other social media outlets. Well, even though we're not quite part of the Class of 2018, us bloggers also have Flat Tupper and are taking him to our favorite places on campus. Here's my shot!

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I chose to take my picture with  #FlatTupper in front of the Amica Insurance Center for Career Education. The Amica Center is not only one of my favorite places on campus, but it has brought me recent and exciting news. I posted a blog awhile ago about the benefits of the Amica Center and how helpful they are in the job and internship search process, and they have done just that for me! One of the great benefits the Amica Center has to offer Bryant students is the Bryant Career Connection, which is a portal of job and internship applications complied by the Amica staff for Bryant University students to access. We are given a password and username and can access this massive and continuously growing list of opportunities whenever we wish to aid in our internship search. I took advantage of this opportunity provided to me as I search for an internship this summer, and I recently had two companies, both of which I applied to through the Career Connection, invite me to their company for an interview! Having the Amica Center as a resource on campus is incredible because it gives Bryant students countless opportunities to succeed in the real world. There are full time professionals staffed in the facility and, if you choose Bryant in the coming months if you have not already, it is a resource on campus you really can't go without.

I brought Flat Tupper to Bryant's Amica Insurance Center for Career Education because I truly appreciate its value and dedication to the campus. So many Bryant students find their first internship, their first job, or their dream job through the Amica Center, and Flat Tupper, as well as all of you, needed to see that!

An invitation for an interview or an invitation for employment at a company is sort of like an acceptance to college; a great opportunity full of excitement (and of course plenty of work ahead of you!). Once you have multiple offers from companies or colleges it is time to make a big decision. However, like I have told you all before, selecting a school, just like a summer internship, will be more about what you make of the opportunity than the opportunity itself. Perspective and attitude is everything, so remember that!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max

Bryant on Break

March 14th, 2014

This week is Bryant's Spring break, so the campus is pretty desolate as we students unwind from a crazy first half of the spring semester. However, just to keep you in the loop, let's get you up to date on some Bryant Athletic News:

  • The Men's Basketball team lost a heart-breaker in the quarterfinals of the  NEC playoff tournament, with the champion moving on to the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Bryant lost 55-54 on their home floor against the 6th seeded Saint Francis of Pennsylvania team. For the story and highlights, follow this link: http://www.bryantbulldogs.com/sports/mbkb/2013-14/releases/20140305xbzsou
On a brighter note, Senior forward Alex Francis was named to the NEC First team, junior guard Dyami Starks to the second team, and senior guard Corey Maynard to the third team. Great season boys!
  • The Women's Basketball team defeated Saint Francis of Brooklyn in their quarterfinal match-up in Smithfield, and now face the top seeded Robert Morris squad in the semi-final contest Wednesday night. Follow up with the game in the coming days and be sure to check out the Bulldogs if they advance to the NEC championship!
  • The Men's Lacrosse team is 4-2 on the year as of early this week and is ranked 18 in the USILA Coaches' Poll.
  • The Men's Baseball team defeated North Carolina A&T earlier this week and move to 4-6 on the year.
  • The Women's Lacrosse team defeated Lehigh in overtime on Monday  and have jumped out to a 4-2 record this year.
  • The Women's Lacrosse Team (led by senior shortstop and fellow blogger Aubrey Mable) split a double-header with the College of Charlestown Tuesday night, and stand at 3-9 as they prepare for conference play.
Check it all out at  http://www.bryantbulldogs.com/landing/index ! Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.-Max

6th Fan Contest Update

March 7th, 2014

For those of who you follow this blog or any of the Bryant social media outlets, you are well aware of the contest we have been participating in over the last month or so. The NCAA put on a contest to determine which Division 1 university had the best fans in the country, with the voting up to the general public. People could vote once per day per voting method (ncaa.com, Twitter, and Facebook). Every school that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen would receive $10,000 in scholarship money, and the winner of the entire contest wins $100,000. Bryant advanced to the Elite 8 round before being eliminated by Arkansas State on Sunday night.

Bryant was projected to have the 258th best fan base by the NCAA at the beginning of this tournament, but boy were they mistaken!  We beat out almost every other division 1 school by finishing in the top 16 in the month long voting to advance to the second round. In the Sweet Sixteen, Bryant's fan base outdid UNC Ashville's, and thus was considered as a top 8 fan base in the nation. We eventually fell to Arkansas State in a close battle this past week. However, there is something to be said about a university with less than 3,500 students qualifying as top fans in the country. It really shows how much pride the Bryant community has about its beloved school!

The voting that took place over the past several weeks has really brought the entire Bryant community together. Complete strangers found a common thread in supporting the university's athletic department, and it was amazing to see such a small campus unite in support of their Bulldogs. To show you what I mean, here are just a few of the tweets from various Bryant accounts in support of the contest:

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Our Office of Admission was of course supportive...

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The Bryant Athletics Department spearheaded the voting effort, and here is what they were talking about...

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Yes, that is 1,029 votes cast by the tweet that President Machtley posted hours before the biggest snow storm of the winter. If that isn't an incentive for students to vote for the Bulldogs than I don't know what is. (And yes, he did cancel classes!).

It would take me days to show you all of the creative votes the Bryant community cast via social media, but check out the Bryant Athletics Twitter page (@BryantAthletics) to see all of the school spirit!

Bryant University will have an opportunity to prove how great their fan base is when the Men's Basketball team plays St. Francis (PA) this Wednesday night at the Chace Athletic Center at 7:00pm.  The men finished third in the NEC, earning them a first round home game in the conference tournament. The student section will be in all black and plenty loud enough for all of Rhode Island to hear, so good luck to the team!

Thanks for reading, and Go Dogs.

-Max