Advice From a Senior to a Freshman

Hey First-Years!

This will be my final blog of the school year and final blog as a First Year Mentor. It has been an honor and privilege you write blogs about my experiences here at Salem State and share them with you and hopefully they helped you through your first year of college.

Here are two big pieces of advice from a senior to a freshman that I feel are extremely important!

      1. Take your education seriously, but not too seriously!

As a freshman in college, you are starting at a brand new place, with brand new people, and new experiences. This isn’t high school anymore. You’re paying for your education now and hopefully going into a major that your passionate about. Put your all into your education and take everything you can from it. Also at the same time don’t take things to seriously. Your college years are supposed to be a time that you learn about yourselves and experience things. Give yourself that time to have fun as well! You deserve it!

      2. Be open to new experiences!

As a freshman, I can definitely understand that things can be overwhelming at first because there is so much that you can get involved with and you may not know what you want to do. My advice is to just stay open to anything that comes up. My freshman year I was terrified to join something because 1) I had no idea what you join and what I wanted to be involved with 2) everything was overwhelming to me and wasn’t sure what to do. I realized how I felt about that and changed my outlook on things and became more open and joined more groups. I can now say I am a part of the Salem State Education Club, FAB (First Year Advisory Board), and I am a First Year Mentor. If I didn’t branch out and attend those first year events, I would have never been where I am today. I am a better person because I opened up and did something new.

Your college years are the times where you grow and learn about yourself, change for the better, and take those next steps in reaching that final goal of working and doing what you love in life. I hope by writing this blog you can take something from it to help you through your college career.

Thank you all so much for everything.

And for the final time…

-FYM Kathryn 

The Parker Brothers of Salem, MA have Advice For the End of the Semester

Hey First Years!

You’re probably are all wondering where this blog is going! First, let me give you some background of who the Parker Brothers are and how they relate to you and your success here at Salem State!

Did you know that the Parker Brothers (yes the founders of Monopoly) were born in Salem and helped create many versions of the now well-known board game! Pretty cool, huh?!


George Parker was born in Salem on Dec. 12, 1866. His father, a sea captain turned merchant, had lost most of his money in the panic of the early 1870s. He died in 1877, when George was 10. His widowed mother and two brothers, along with an aunt and an uncle, lived in an 18-room house in Medford, Mass. One of those rooms had shelves full of board games, which were relatively new in Puritan Massachusetts.

An early board game acceptable to liberal Puritans was called The Mansion of Happiness: An Instructive Moral and Entertainment Amusement. It was first printed in the United States in Salem in 1843. Parker Brothers would later buy the rights to the game and republish it in 1894.firstamericanprintrunofthe_mansionofhappiness

By 1887, George Parker had hired his first employee and rented a store in Salem for $12.50 a month (where the Hawthorne Hotel now stands). He realized he was good at selling and developing games. He was not so good at production and finance, though his older brother Charles was. George in 1888 invited Charles to join him as a partner and Parker Brothers was born. Another brother, Edward, would join them 10 years later.

Later down the road The Parker Brother’s leased an old laundry on Bridge Street and went to work. As the company grew they decided to adhere its pledge to make games that “look well, play well and sell well”. Years passed and they worked and improved upon their game.


George Parker retired from Parker Brothers’ day-to-day operations as Monopoly was taking off. The company would go on to sell iconic games such as Clue, Sorry!, Risk, Trivial Pursuit and Ouija, and it would introduce the Nerf ball. It would remain family-owned until 1968, when it was sold to General Mills. After a series of mergers, the Salem plant on Bridge Street closed in 1991.

George Parker believed business was like a game, that if you followed the rules you could win. He developed 12 rules that he followed all his life.

Here is were YOU come in! These 12 rules that The Parker Brothers followed and became success and they can also help you become success here at Salem State!

  1. Know your goal and reach for it.-Always keep your end goal in mind even when things get tough. Just remember your ultimate goal is to graduate and gain knowledge about your certain area of study and use that in your professional life.
  2. Find “winning moves”. – When you know that something works well for you, like places to go study, resources, and people that can help you reach those goals hold onto those and use those to your advantage.
  3. Play by the rules but capitalize on them.- Take advantage of attendance for classes and known that in the long run that will help better understand the materials if you make a conscious effort to go to class.
  4. Learn from failure; build upon success. – When something doesn’t work well for you in the beginning learn from that improve upon that for the future.
  5. When faced with a choice, make the move with the most potential benefit versus risk. – When you make choice’s during your years in college think about how those choices could help benefit you in the long run.
  6. When luck runs against you, hold emotion in check and set up for your next advance.- When things get tough, hold strong and just keep moving forward.
  7. Never hesitate and give your opponents a second chance. – When things don’t go completely the way you with others in college keep an open mind and give them a second chance. These years are for growth and learning!
  8. Seek help if the game threatens to overwhelm you. – Ask for help when you need it! We have so many resources available on campus that are here to help with any of your needs!
  9. Bet heavily when the odds are long in your favor. – It may seem intimidating taking chances and getting involved on campus with clubs and other activities but its worth it!
  10. If opportunity narrows, focus on your strengths.- If need be always go back to your strength and work with those resources.
  11. Be a gracious winner or loser. Don’t be petty. Share what you learn. – If you succeed in something be humble and help and give feedback to others. If you feel that you’re struggling ask for help from others and learn.
  12. Ignore principles 1 to 11 at your peril!- You don’t have to follow all of these rules word for word but use what you think can apply to your life and success here at Salem State.

It can be fascinating to learn and make those connections to Salem State and the surrounding community and how that can contribute to your overall success as a student! By taking these 12 rules to live by from The Parker Brothers you too can become successful!


-FYM Kathryn










Positives of Talking with Your Professors

Hey First-Years!

I can’t believe we are already at the second half of the spring semester! Crazy! The semester is in full swing and everyone is busy working on projects, studying, and doing homework and other assignments for classes. This may be a high stress time for many of us, but there are plenty of resources on campus that can help you and one of the best resources are your professors!

As students of Salem State, we are lucky enough to enjoy small class sizes where the professors get to know us by name and even by our work. It is so important to take advantage of the access we have to our professors and keep in mind that they are here to help us succeed! As first year students, it’s extremely important start making those connections and taking advantage of getting to know our professor.

What Can You Do?

  • Go to your Professors Office Hours – Professors are required to have office hours where you can pop in and get help on things you are having trouble with, express concerns about the class or your performance, ask any questions you may have, or just simply say hello and ask about how to be the most successful in his/her class



  • Talk Before or After Class – Come to class a few minutes early and ask any questions you might have or simply chat with your professor or stay a few minutes after is done and ask any clarifying questions you didn’t have time to during the class.


  • Email Your Professors – Don’t be afraid to send an email to your professors if you need help when it is not their office hours or you are not in class.

The Positives of Utilizing Your Professors:

  • Improved Grades – Getting clarification on parts of the class or assignments that are confusing as well as gaining a better understanding of what the professor is expecting of you can make you more successful in class.


  • Good Relationship with Professor – Professors are always impressed with students that take responsibility for their own success and learning. They love when students come to their office hours and show that they really care about their class and doing well!


  • Letters of Recommendation – If you need a letter of recommendation for a job in the future or for a scholarship, professors will be willing to write you one if you start a conversation with them over the course of the semester and they know you. They will have plenty of positive things to say about you if they know that you are working hard in their class and coming for help when you need it!


  • Save Money on Books – When a professor posts the books needed for class online each semester some can be very expensive. A lot of times they post the newest editions of the book but not much changes from edition to edition. If you email your professor and politely ask if it would be okay to use an early (and cheaper) edition, most of the time they will say yes and you can save a ton of cash!


I hope you found blog post helpful and informative as well! Talking with and communicating with you professor’s have so many positive outcomes.

-FYM Kathryn

Spring Break is Almost Here!

Hi First-Years!

It’s crazy to think that the Spring Semester is already half over and that next week is Spring Break; time is just flying by!


Over my 4 years here at Salem State, I have been able work on and hopefully master a full proof plan to enjoy my well deserved break and rest, as well as, use the time effectively to catch up and get away with all school work I need to complete.

I live by the 50/50 Rule!

When to any kind of break from school, even if it’s for a week, I like to still stay in school mode in some way shape or form. I like to split my week up half and half by using one half for school work and the other half relaxing and recharging. This way you can get work completed and get ahead as well as feel like to accomplished something and also take time to practice self-care and feel rested and recharged to push through last half of the semester!

Work-Half of the Week:

As much as I know I don’t want too, I make the first half of the week my work section. Many of you are probably thinking, why would you do that?! You’re suppose to be relaxing? I’ve learned over time, that even though you don’t want to do your work then, you are more willing to complete it knowing that the second half of the week is coming and you will already have all your work done and finally get to relax. You will feel so great knowing you accomplished those two huge tasks and it’s only the beginning of the week! It will be such a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders!

  1. Get up at a reasonable time to start your day off on a good foot!
  2. Get out of the house. Work at a Starbucks, your public library. Working at your house makes you more prone getting distracted or relaxing when you should be working. 
  3. Work in 45 minute intervals. Change your work to something else every so often, so you don’t get fried on a certain task. 


Relaxing-Half of the Week:

When this half week comes around, I always feel so great and accomplished and have a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders and know my school work is already done! You have just worked through the most intense part of the week and completed a lot already, and still have time the other half to relax!

  1. Sleep-in and catch up on sleep!
  2. Hangout with friends and family and catch up
  3. Cook some delicious food! You deserve it!


Take this Spring Break to complete school work and get ahead as well as enjoy that well deserved rest to come back to campus ready to go to conquer the second half of the semester!

-FYM Kathryn



11th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” – Helen Keller

“As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.” – Michelle Obama

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”– Sheryl Sandberg

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

“I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” – Ellen DeGeneres


Making HERstory: Ferial Govashiri

Join us for an afternoon focused on HERstory through women’s voices and action.  We will begin our conference with a keynote by Ferial Govashiri. She served as Barrack Obama’s personal aide in the White House from 2014-2017 and is also an active member of the Iranian American Women Foundation.

Follow this link to learn more about Ferial Govashiri and her experiences working in Washington D.C.:

We will continue the conference with lunch and the creation of a timeline that will be displayed in the Campus Center. The conference will close with a panel discussion that includes students, alumni and members of the campus community sharing their voices and amazing stories. All participants must register in advance. The first 150 registrants will receive a keepsake! This event is free. 

This event will take place at: 

Ellison Campus Center, North Campus
ECC-Veterans Hall
1 Meier Drive, Salem, MA 01970

Monday, March 6 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM

Contact with any further questions:

Rebecca A Jimenez

Schedule of Events

11 am-12:15 pm
Keynote Speaker:
Ferial Govashiri

Our keynote speaker is an Iranian-American political aide who served as Barrack Obama’s personal aide in the White House from 2014-2017. She is also an active member of the Iranian American Women Foundation.  Come hear her story as she shares how she has made HERstory through moving from a volunteer to a top position in the White House.

12:15-12:45 pm
Lunch and HERstory Timeline

During lunch, participants will help create a timeline of women that have made history.  Share your knowledge and add to this remarkable art project

12:45-1:30 pm
Panel Discussion

Closing our conference will be an inspiring panel of women that will share THEIR story and the contributions they have made by using their voice and taken it to action.

1:30 pm

Join us for some shopping during our Pop-up shop with local women-owned businesses located throughout the North Shore. This will be a flash retail opportunity for you to shop products from North Shore’s Women business owners and talk with them about their story and how they got to where they are now.

This conference is co-sponsored by student involvement and activities, Women’s Center and Chartwells.

Hope you check out this great event! If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the FYE office!

-FYM Kathryn

Darwin Festival 2017

The Annual Darwin Festival is Upon Us!

The Week-Long Celebration Begins Monday, February 13th – Friday, February 17th

The Salem State University Darwin Festival SM was started in 1980 by Virginia Keville and Philip DePalma as part of a course in “Human and Social Biology.” The week-long festival honors the extraordinary impact Darwin’s work has had on so many areas of human endeavor. This unique lecture series brings scientists and their research to undergraduates and others in the university and wider community. It is also unusual in incorporating an interdisciplinary approach that brings scholars in the social sciences and humanities to campus as part of the program, stressing the relationship among all areas of academic inquiry. Speakers have been sponsored by departments of chemistry and physics, geography, geological sciences, philosophy, psychology, the student Biological Society, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. 

Want to learn more about Charles Darwin? All his accomplishments and contributions to the sciences? You can find more information here.


All Darwin Festival events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! All events will be held at Salem State University in Vets Hall at the Ellison Campus Center.

For a full list of events you can click here.

If you are interested in attending the festival here are some of the popular events that I would highly recommend trying to attend!


9:30am- “MECHANISTIC MICROBIOME STUDIES IN HEALTH AND DISEASE” – Wendy Garrett, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health, Boston MA. Sponsored by the Charles Albert Read Trust.

11:00am- “MARCH OF THE FOSSIL PENGUINS” – Daniel Ksepka, Bruce Museum, Greenwich CT. Sponsored by the Charles Albert Read Trust.


10:50am- “MAGNIFICENT MINDS: REMARKABLE WOMEN OF SCIENCE AND MEDICINE” – Pendred Noyce, Tumblehome Learning, Inc. and author. Sponsored by the Salem State chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

1:45pm- “WHY WHALES – WHY SNOTBOT?” – Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance, Gloucester MA. Sponsored by the Biological Society.


11:00am- “THE HENRIETTA LACKS CASE: THE INTERSECTION OF RACE, SCIENCE AND ETHICS” – Panel Discussion, moderated by Elspeth Slayter, School of Social Work, Salem State University. Sponsored by the SSU Institutional Review Board, Darwin Festival, Working Group on Racial Justice and the School of Social Work.

12:30pm- “RIVER BLINDNESS: THE STORY BEHIND ITS PREVENTION” – William Campbell, Drew University, Madison NJ and 2015 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

1:45pm- “TRILOBITE EYES AND PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIA” – Thomas Rich, guest lecturer, Salem State University. Sponsored by the Department of Geological Sciences and the Charles Albert Read Trust.


10:50am- “PRACTICAL POLICY APPROACHES TO RIVER FLOOD RESILIENCE IN NEW ENGLAND: WEAVING TOGETHER SCIENCE, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY” – Eve Vogel, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Sponsored by the Geography Department and the Charles Albert Read Trust.

1:45pm- “EVOLVING THE HUMAN MIND” – Alexandra Rosati, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA. The Keville-DePalma Founders Lecture.


9:25am- “A SCIENTIST CITIZEN IN THE 21ST CENTURY: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SCIENTIST LEAVES THE COMFORTS OF THE LABORATORY AND VENTURES INTO THE ARENAS OF MEDIA, POLITICS, AND INDUSTRY” – Christopher Reddy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole MA. Sponsored by the Department of Chemistry/Physics and the Charles Albert Read Trust.

12:30pm- “THE FLINT WATER CRISIS: COMMUNICATION SCIENCE AND INFLUENCING PUBLIC DISCOURSE USING SCIENCE” – Joyce Zhu, on behalf of the Flint Water Study Team, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA.

1:45pm- “HOW TO BUILD A NEW LIMB FROM OLD CELLS: APPLYING THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM REGENERATING AMPHIBIANS” – Catherine McCusker, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Boston MA.

For additional information, please contact the biology department at 978.542.6236 or by emailing

All information was from the Salem State website and Encyclopedia Britannica.


-FYM Kathryn 



AcademicWorks Scholarship is Open!


Hi First Years!

Are you interested in scholarships here at Salem State? Well, you’re in luck because the AcademicWorks Scholarship application is now open!

What is AcademicWorks?

AcademicWorks is the leading provider of scholarship management solutions for colleges, universities, and foundations. We combine a unique blend of market experience, product innovation, outstanding customer service, and cloud-based software to offer our customers benefits that are unmatched in the industry.

Here’s what you have to do!

1.  Log into your navigator account and locate the “Quick Links” section on the left side of the screen.

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2. Scroll down and locate the AcademicWorks link and click on it.Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.13.25 PM.png

3. Once you click on that it will take you to the main page and then make sure to locate the “sign in” button. Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.36.22 PM.png

4. It will then take you to the application page. Locate the login box and enter your student login (It’s the same as if you were logging into Navigator or Canvas).Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 1.03.41 PM.png

5. Locate the important information about when the application is due. Applicants have until March 1st to complete and submit their applications for review. Make sure to plan ahead!!Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 1.08.15 PM.png

6. Complete the General Application questions. If you need to save your work and continue later locate the button in the bottom right-hand corner and click that and any work you completed will be saved for later. Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 1.08.44 PM.png

7. Complete the last section of questions with a personal statement on why you should be considered by the Scholarship Committee.Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 1.09.09 PM.png

8. Please note that you also need to included at least one faculty reference and email address for the application. You can locate the link to include the information next to the red arrow. Click that and a drop down section will appear for you to fill out that information. Located in the red box are the final steps to complete your application. Then once you feel that everything is correct you can locate the submit button in the bottom right-hand corner and click that.  

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Once you have completed these steps you should receive an email saying that they have received your application. You will hear back in a few weeks about what Scholarships you are eligible to receive.

Hopefully you found these steps useful! Good Luck!

If you have any other questions, feel free swing by the First Year Experience Office located in Meier Hall 100A!

-FYM Kathryn

Fun Winter Activities in the Boston Area

Hey First Years! Your first semester of college is almost complete and Winter Break is almost here! Here are some fun winter themed activities around the Boston area that may  be interesting for you to do during winter break!

Take in the View

Visit the Top of the Hub 52 floors above Boston and walk the Skywalk Obsevatory. The cost is $16 for adults, $11 for children, and $13 for students and seniors. The price includes an audio tour and entry into the Dreams of Freedom Museum. Just make sure to call ahead because the Skywalk closes for special events and inclement weather.


Go Ice Skating!

Head over to the Boston Common to glide across the picturesque Frog Pond. Admission is based on the skater’s height — free for those under 58 inches and $5 for those over. Skate rentals cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids. The ice skating season runs from December to March.

Go Skiing!

This activity comes in right at $25 but is too good not to mention. If you like to ski but don’t like spending big money at big resorts, check out Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton. If you don’t mind night skiing, a lift ticket to ski between 5 and 9 p.m. will cost you just $25 on weekdays.


Go Sledding!

It’s a winter pastime that never gets old. Grab a sled and head for the nearest hill near your house. Best of all, it’s free.

Play at the Boston Children’s Museum

Tickets to the Boston Children’s Museum cost $14 a piece, which means an expense of $28 for two and $56 for a family of four. That is, unless you take advantage of Target Fridays every Friday night at the museum, where admission is just $1 per person between 5 and 9 p.m. Now that’s a deal!

Attend a Chocolate Tasting!

If you are a chocolate lover, it doesn’t get much better than this. Learn how Taza makes its Mexican-style organic dark chocolate and enjoy samples while you’re at it during a $6 factory tour. Tours last between 45 minutes and one hour. Currently, $1 of your admission is donated to the Museum of Science to support educational outreach in Cambridge, Somerville, and Greater Boston.


Immerse Yourself in Boston Sports

You can visit famous Boston sports objects such as Larry Bird’s locker, the Beanpot trophy, a piece of the boards and glass from the old Boston Garden, and more. Admission for adults is $12; students and seniors is $6, and kids under 10 are free.

Go Rock Climbing!

In the mood for a challenge? Spend the afternoon climbing the walls at Rock Spot Climbing in Boston. There’s a brand new location opening this month at 30 Old Colony Ave in South Boston. Or head to the Sprague Street location for 9,000 square feet of climbing surfaces that include slabs, steep faces, overhangs, roofs, and a massive 15-foot cave. A day pass will cost you $16 ($25 with gear).


Hopefully you find these idea’s interesting and you enjoy Winter Break!

-FYM Kathryn 😀


Useful Resources Around Campus to End Your Semester Strong

Thanksgiving Break has come and a well deserved break is in the cards. As you are enjoying your time off, it’s also a great time to organize your school work and plan ahead for the last TWO weeks of the semester! After Thanksgiving Break we only have two weeks remaining in the semester! Crazy, I know! Planning ahead and using the resources on campus are curial. Below is a list resources to use to help you end your semester strong!

Writing Center:

Having trouble with a paper? Make an appointment and go visit the Writing Center in the Berry Library located next the Center of Academic Excellence room 113. They can help you with anything from topic development, brainstorming, organization, sentence-level writing issues, citations, oral and/or visual presentations, proposals, professional documents (cover letters, resumes, personal statements). They’re open Monday-Thursday 9 am-4 pm and 6-9 pm, Friday 9 am-2 pm, Saturday 12-3 pm and can be contacted at 978.542.6491


Library Resource Rooms:

Need to finish a group project, study with others, or have your own silent space to study on your own? These study rooms are perfect for just that. Simply ask the attendants working at the desk on the main floor that you would like to use one of those rooms. They will assign you a room and a key to use. During finals week, these rooms are very popular and many are limited.

If rooms are not available when you get there, they will put you on a waiting list and will call you when your room is ready. On busy days, users are limited to two hours to accommodate the amount of people. These rooms include white board walls to write on, projectors to share work with others in your group. I highly recommend using these rooms!


Math Lab:

Having trouble in your math class? Need help studying for your Final Exam? Visit the Math Lab located in room 306 in the Sullivan Building (ext. 6348). The staff and students that work in that office are there to help you with anything from homework, studying, or practicing certain math skills. They’re open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am – 8 pm, Fridays from 9 am – 5 pm, Evening hours are by appointment only  and closed on Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Recess.



Hopefully you will find these resources useful for the end of the semester!

-FYM Kathryn

Midterms Are Over… What’s Next?

Hi First Years!

Congrats on making to the mid-point of the semester! Midterms are finally over and we only have 5 weeks left until the end of the semester. Crazy, I know!


So, what’s next? Here are some helpful tips to stay on track to end your first semester strong!

Make sure you are checking your syllabi. Your syllabus has key information regarding when you final exam is, the break down of grade, and your professors contact information.syllbus

Contact your professor with questions. If you’re having difficulty in a class; contact your professor and take initiative to plan and figure out a solution (you’re professor will appreciate you taking the first step). Go to their office hours, email them, talk to them in class.

Organize of a study group with others in your class. Plan out times to meet up and work on projects, homework, papers or simply just review what you learned in class.  Did you know can reserve a study room in the Library? You simply go to the Main Desk and ask for a study room. They will give you a key and the room number. If there is a waiting list, they will call you after two hours to let others use the room. If not, you can stay there as long as you want and study away!


You can get a tutor! Some may need that one on one help from someone. You can request a tutor through your Navigator account. Located on the left hand side of the main page at the bottom of the list it will say “Request Peer Tutor”. Click on that and it will relocate you to the page and take you through the steps on getting a tutor.


Hopefully you have found these suggestions useful! If you ever need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the FYE Office located in Meier Hall 100A!

-FYM Kathryn