20 Apr

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Fulfilling My Dreams at the New Critics Conference

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Emily DiBiase (far right) presented her paper “Enlightened or Undeceived: Paths to Uncovering the Truth in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey” at SUNY Oneonta’s New Critics Conference on April 11, 2015.

Ever since I was a freshman, I have wanted to participate in the New Critics Conference. Held at SUNY Oneonta every April, the conference features undergraduate student presenters who read critical papers that they have written about either literature or composition. As a shiny-eyed freshman, presenting at this conference seemed to be the most unattainable, but elite, honor. I wondered if I would ever be confidant enough to present at such a conference.

Last Saturday, I fulfilled my freshman dream by presenting at the New Critics Conference.

This year’s encounter with the conference began as all of my others have ﹘ one of my professors gave out the flyer in class and I thought, “I would love to do that someday.” I even taped the flyer to my desk, hoping that would inspire me. Still, I just didn’t have the nerve to apply.

Then, in February, I happened to use the word “undeceived” on an online discussion forum for my Jane Austen class. Dr. Witkowsky commented that he liked my word choice and suggested that I compare the words “undeceived” and “enlightened” in an upcoming exam essay question. He enjoyed my essay response so much that he suggested I expand my research and use it as the subject for our next term paper. Even more so, he asked me to consider presenting the paper at the New Critics Conference, which was accepting abstracts through the following Monday.

My heart stopped. The perfect alignment of being able to present on my favorite author at my dream conference in my senior year at the Mount was too excellent to resist, so I mustered up my courage and submitted an abstract. To my delight, the abstract was accepted, and after much writing, editing, and rehearsing, I found myself headed to SUNY Oneonta on April 11.

After nervously signing in and receiving my official presenter badge (see left), I headed to the conference room where I was to deliver my paper. Finally, the moment arrived for my presentation. I took a deep breath as the moderator announced my name and the title of my paper. Before I knew it, I heard my own voice reading from the paper that I had come to know so well. After the first few seconds of terror at speaking in front of others, I realized that, despite what I had thought as a freshman, I was prepared for this moment. The Mount had given me the tools needed to effectively present an argument in front of my peers and professors, and to actually know what I was talking about. The feeling was absolutely amazing as I finished reading the paper and realized that I had accomplished my “unattainable” dream.

After all of the panelists spoke, we participated in a Q & A session, where audience members had the opportunity to ask us questions about our research. This section may have been the most exciting for me, because it really showed me that I knew my topic well and that, even as an undergraduate, I had valuable input to add to the academic community.

Emily DiBiase (right) reads her paper at the New Critics Conference.

As I prepare to graduate from the Mount in just a few short weeks, I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to present at this conference. As I walk across the stage on graduation day, I can look back on the day that I first heard about the New Critics Conference in freshman year and realize that, through the Mount, no dream is unattainable.


Emily DiBiase, Class of 2015, is an English major from Mahopac, N.Y. with a concentration in Writing and minors in Public Relations and Religious Studies.

13 Apr

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Communications at the Mount – More Than Just a Major

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Brittany Ambrosino (middle row, far right), a junior Communications major at the Mount, with fellow Orientation Leaders during Summer 2014 Orientation

Hello! My name is Brittany Ambrosino and I am a junior, double majoring in Journalism and Public Relations here at the Mount.

I discovered my passion for journalism in high school. Writing always seemed to come easy to me ﹘ it was as if the words just flowed right out of me. When the talk of college came around, my high school English teacher suggested I go for journalism. I’ve also been very interested in the entertainment industry and public relations/promotions my entire life. After coming to the Mount and seeing all that the Arts and Letters Division had to offer, I knew I had made the right decision, both in my majors and in choosing to enroll here. Continue Reading

07 Apr

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Fighting Cancer One Lap at a Time

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Anthony Cona, co-chair of this year’s Relay for Life, speaks during the Opening Ceremony on March 27, 2015 while fellow co-chair and cancer survivor Diana Pernicano looks on.

Last Friday, hundreds of Mount students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered in the Kaplan Gym for a full night of fundraising, fun, and fighting cancer. This year, the Mount Saint Mary College community raised almost $36,000 for the American Cancer Society. After the long weekend and catching up on some sleep, Knight Life reached out to Anthony Cona, cancer survivor and one of this year’s Relay for Life co-chairs, to talk about the Mount’s involvement with Relay.

Knight Life: Can you give us a brief overview of Relay for Life at Mount Saint Mary College?

Anthony: Relay for Life at Mount Saint Mary College is completely student run. We partner with the American Cancer Society, who helps with the logistical side of the event, but all of the planning is student-based. We plan a 12-hour long event that raises money for the fight against cancer. Continue Reading

31 Mar

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Preparing for the Future – Reflecting on the Employment Fair

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Christine Urio (bottom row, far right) attended the Honors Luncheon at the Employment Fair on March 25, 2015 in the Kaplan Gym.

Students at Mount Saint Mary College recently pulled out their blazers, ironed their dress shirts, and found those khakis in the bottom drawer to prepare for the College’s annual Employment Fair on Wednesday, March 25 in the Kaplan Gym.

After proofreading my resume at least 12 times, I printed out a neat stack, straightened my nametag, and walked confidently into the gym already abuzz with future employers.

Being a member of the College’s Honors Program has its perks; besides doing in-depth research on an author we really love, or challenging the faculty at trivia night, we also have the privilege of meeting with employers before the fair begins. An hour prior to starting, I was given the opportunity to attend a luncheon with those participating in the fair, which gave me an advantage to talk with them one-on-one. While I was excited to have this amazing chance, the prospect was a bit daunting, since these were the people I would be seeking potential jobs from. The pressure was on to make a memorable first impression. Continue Reading

24 Mar

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Club Profile – Elite Knight Trends

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Elite Knight Trends, the Mount’s fashion club, at the 2014 Pace Upward Bound fashion show. On the far left is Adrian Willis, president of Elite Knight Trends.

Hello! My name is Adrian Willis, and I am the president of Elite Knight Trends, Mount Saint Mary College’s fashion club. Our purpose is to provide a place of appreciation for the general concept of fashion and its artistic nature, particularly for an awareness of culturally-diverse fashions. During our weekly meetings, we discuss and watch videos on different forms of fashion, whether it be watching how-to videos, looking at celebrities’ attire from award or fashion shows, discussing the latest trends, having conversations about personal style, or collaboratively planning an event.

Our meetings are free-flowing and run just like an average lunch table discussion where all members’ opinions are valued and strongly encouraged; no voice goes unheard or unappreciated. In fact, the ideal Elite Knight Trends meeting runs as follows: the president gives an update on future events and event planning, then a member brings up a topic, and other members chime in on the discussion. When that topic is over, another member introduces another topic. The setting is extremely relaxed. Continue Reading

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