Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Featured Phi: Kalina Venugopal

Just a few months after starring in SCU’s spring musical “In the Heights”, Sophomore Phi, Kalina Venugopal, is back on the main stage. This summer she is performing in “Spamalot” at City Lights Theater in downtown San Jose. She fills us in on how her summer is going so far:




Can you give us a brief synopsis of the musical? 
The show is based off of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. King Arthur and his side kick Patsy set off on a journey to find knights for his "army", and yes, they do the whole banging the coconuts together instead of using horses bit (for you Monty Python movie lovers). Along the way they meet a huge array of knights, enemies and Arthur finds a love interest- the Lady of the Lake. The show will have you laughing and tapping your toes the whole time! It sticks pretty true to most of the movie plot and gags, as much as it possibly can in the two hour span. 


How did you get involved in the production?
Jerry Bracco, one of the theatre department professors, is directing the production of “Spamalot” at City Lights. He asked both me and [my sister] Sonya to be in it because they were short a few ensemble members. Sonya and I decided that it would be a fun way to spend our summer so we agreed to do it!


Some friends and fellow Phis went and saw
opening night of "Spamalot" on July 24th
 
What role are you playing the show?
This show is very men heavy; there is only one female role (which is very rare in a theater production). There is a female ensemble which is what Sonya and I am a part of.


What has a typical day been like this summer?
We started rehearsals for “Spamalot” as soon as “In the Heights” wrapped this spring. We rehearse Monday through Friday, usually from 7 pm to 10:30 pm. We usually arrive at the theater at 6:30 to stretch and warm-up before rehearsal begins. We start off rehearsal by going over whatever part needs to be fixed and then we run through the whole show. This past week was tech week which meant we had very long and tiring rehearsals. Since it was the last week before the show opened, we finally had to incorporate lights, costumes and full set pieces into the run-throughs. After rehearsal is over, I usually just go home and relax because I am exhausted!


What is your favorite part about being involved in the show?
This show is hilarious. For anyone who has seen anything Monty Python, you will love it. For those of you who haven’t, I can guarantee you will laugh…a lot. Even knowing every line from the show, I still find myself laughing while watching the run-throughs. Also, for those of you who don’t really like musicals, this is the one to see. It has crude humor that is so witty and well written. There is no cheesy or sappy love story, it’s great.


Sounds like a great show! If you would like to see sisters Kalina and Sonya in action, “Spamalot” is running July 24th through August 31st at City Lights Theatre in San Jose. Visit the website for ticket information: http://cltc.org/our-season/2013-2014-season/spamalot/

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Featured Phi: My Time at the Olympics

Junior Phi Emily Collins took the winter quarter off to intern for NBC at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Now that she is safely home on US soil, we decided to catch up with her and learn all about her experience!

Hey phis! I just retuned from 6 weeks in Sochi, Russia working for NBC's TODAY Show as a Runner! Last summer, I got the name of the production manager and emailed her to see if they were still hiring for the Olympics. We did an interview, and a few weeks before fall quarter I found out that I got the job! 
While I was there, I worked with a team of 13 other Runners from America, the UK, and Russia.  Together, we prepped the offices, set, and compound (green room, hair and makeup, and on air operations) for producer and talent arrivals.  Our most important job was being Olympics encyclopedias for the producers - we spent days exploring the mountains and Olympic Park to time distances, driving, walking, and yes, running, in case we had to do guest pickups during the live show.  We also familiarized ourselves with venues, Athlete Villages, and all the hotels in the area. During the live show, I was responsible for recruiting audience members from around the Park, as well as bringing guests between the green room and the set.  Show time was crazy because there was so much to be done and everything had to be perfect! 
There are so many experiences I had at the Olympics that I will never forget.  Meeting Joss, Gus, and Nick the day after they swept the podium in freestyle skiing (see left), seeing Meryl Davis and Charlie White skate, hopping in the American bobsled (below), attending an Olympic hockey game, and sitting at the TODAY news desk to name a few.   My favorite moment overall was hearing the National Anthem play throughout Olympic Park for Kaitlyn Farrington's medal ceremony.  Some of the American Runners and I were walking home from the set and when we heard it, we stopped on the steps of the Bolshoy Ice Dome and sang as loud as we could.


The most difficult part about being in Russia however was the language barrier.  Though all of the volunteers spoke English very well, people in the surrounding towns did not.  Runners would get sent to town to buy things for the show frequently, so being able to communicate with the locals was very important.  Luckily we had Russian Runners who were so helpful and translated on most of our trips!   
Being a part of the Olympics was an incredible experience.  Other than a little bit of Russian, I also learned a ton about broadcast and about myself while I was there.  Everyone with NBC was so nice and willing to answer the many questions I had.  As a Communications major, I definitely have a better idea of what I want to do after college and what kind of people I work best with! 






Thanks for sharing Emily! We are so glad you had a great time and can’t wait for you to come back to school in the spring! AOE

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Featured Phis: Alpha Phis Take Over Rome

This winter, three of our lovely juniors are studying abroad in Rome, Italy. We decided to check in with them to see how they are doing and hear all about their exciting European adventures!





Name: Jennifer Barsanti

Major: Psychology with an Italian Studies minor


Hi phis! While in Rome I am studying through IES and taking classes like Italian, International Relations, Religion, and Economics. The best part is that they all count for SCU credits, yay! I have always loved Rome, and I heard wonderful things about this program from past students. My original plan was to go abroad in the fall. When I didn't get in I was really bummed, but now I'd recommend going abroad in the winter to anyone. The weather is nice and the sites aren't crowded at all, which is definitely a bonus! I have plans to do lots of traveling while I'm here. I've already been to Pompeii, Napoli, and Amalfi. This weekend I'm off to Paris, which I’m very excited about. Also in the short time I’ve been here, I LEARNED HOW TO COOK!! One day I just went to store, bought a bunch of ingredients, and went for it!  It actually turned out well (see above picture). What I miss most about not being at SCU this quarter is all of my friends, but I know we're all doing great things, wherever we are J. A piece of advice I have for future study abroad students is to JUST SAY YES.  Even if your friend just asks you, "Hey, do you want to walk to the grocery store?", JUST DO IT.  Take advantage of every experience and opportunity.  You never know what you'll stumble upon.








Name: Lauren Bigelow

Major: Communication with a Business Entrepreneurship minor.


Hey everyone! Just like Jen, I am spending the quarter studying in Rome through the IES program. Our school is right across from the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and St. Angelo castle, which is crazy. I get to see these historical monuments just on my walk to class. I chose to study abroad in Rome because it's a location that is easily accessible to other countries and cities that I can’t wait to travel to. It also is full of its own history and beautiful landscapes. While abroad I am most looking forward to my travel plans. Countries that are high on the list are Morocco, Sweden, Greece and Israel. Although we haven’t been here that long, we've already seen a lot a really fabulous parts of Rome and it's neighboring cities. This weekend for example, we were in Naples, Pompeii and Sorrento. So far, it's just been a really great experience- I didn't realize Rome was so gorgeous. Although I miss my friends and Phis back at Santa Clara I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time abroad has in store! AOE





Name: Chandler Lowe

Major: Communication with an Ethnic Studies minor


Hey there! This quarter I am also in the Rome IES program like my fellow Alpha Phis. I knew when applying to study abroad that Italy was the place for me! I loved the "American" version of Italian food already so I figured that the real deal would be even better! (And it is J) Also, I wanted to experience the history here and enjoy seeing a new part of the world, I had never been to Europe before! It's also a great opportunity to travel around Europe and see the other amazing places and people. Besides exploring around Rome, our program has taken us to Pompeii and Naples for some tours. In Pompeii we were served lunch and visited a fantastic vineyard right below Mt. Vesuvius. Of course the biggest part of SCU that I've been missing is my amazing A Phi friends and sisters. But it makes me even more excited for my return spring quarter! My only advice to my sisters who hope to study abroad is to enjoy every second of every experience you have. We've had some minor frustrations here and there, but they all have become great learning experiences in the end. Ciao and AOE 

Thanks ladies, we hope you are having a blast! We miss you but can't wait to hear all about your time abroad when you return in the spring!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday's Featured Phi: Sam Moriarty


          



          Junior Sam Moriarty is jet-setting all over Europe, but last weekend she ventured south to Africa! Here's what she has to say about her trip: 

            "Since September, I’ve been living and studying in Seville, Spain through CIEE’s Communication, New Media & Journalism program. All of my classes are in Spanish which works well for my Communication and Spanish Studies double major.
            Last weekend I traveled to Morocco with twenty of my peers, two of our teachers, and our program director. We took a ferry from Tarifa, Spain and crossed the Straight of Gibraltar to Africa to visit Tangier, Chefchaouen, and Tétouan.
            I lived with a family of five in Chefchaoen for the weekend--a mom, dad, two brothers, a cousin, a dog, two cats, and three 3-week-old kittens. I have never felt so at home so quickly in a foreign place. My family in Chefchaouen was made up of some of the most accepting, friendly,, curious, funny, and loving people I have ever met.
            My host father is a policeman and host mother takes care of everything at their house. Zaid, 15,  attends the equivalent of our high school, and Medhi, 18, just started attending a university in Tétouan, where he lives during the week.
           Zaid and Medhi explained to me how they love to watch MTV; I realized this is their main outlet to learn just about anything about American pop culture. They also love to listen to American music (especially songs by Rihanna, Eminem, and Fergie). They both speak Arabic, English, Spanish, French, and a little bit of German. Zaid taught me how to write my name in Arabic and Medhi taught me how to say commonly used phrases such as “what’s up” and “thank you.”
            The city of Chefchaoen is beautiful. It’s often called the Blue Pearl because in the center of town, almost all of the buildings, walls, and streets are painted blue, a symbol of good luck. At night, candlelit cafes illuminate the historic center and street vendors.
            We got to know all of the host students (ages 15-19) better by sharing meals (family-style dishes are typical in Morocco), doing icebreakers, and participating in a photography workshop that led us to various locations around the city. The food was absolutely delicious, and so was the famous Moroccan mint tea. On Saturday night, our hosts took us to an outdoor concert at a venue that used to be a prison.
            Every moment of the weekend I was observing, questioning, and learning. Contrast was undoubtedly the theme of the weekend- contrast between new and old, rich and poor, young and old, just and unjust, past and future. Although all of the contrasts were interesting, some were hard to grasp.
            Although I did see many women walking on the streets, it was surprising to see that every single cafe was filled by men. The difference between the rich and the poor was visible and drastic, and it changed dramatically from one street to the next. There were so many differences, yet so many surprising similarities in a place so far home. During our walking tour in Tétouan, we walked through a tannery (an experience unlike any other before), the Old Medina marketplace, and the Meshwar Palace.
            We ended the weekend with a surprise…the opportunity to ride a camel! I am so thankful I was able to travel to Morocco, and live with a local family. I was able to learn so much more about the culture, celebrations, religion, and daily life. During my trip, misconceptions deteriorated, insight was introduced, and my realizations lead to the construction of an improved, truthful perspective. I am still in touch with my host family and hope to see them again some day, whether it be in Morocco, Spain, or the United States. My unique experiences in Morocco were eye opening, and it is a trip I will never forget."

              We are beyond jealous, Sam!! We hope you have many more unforgettable trips during the rest of your semester in Spain - we can't wait to hear about them!! 


Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday's Featured Phis: Jen Barsanti, Madeline Owen, and Katie Scheer

We are extremely proud of three of our sisters, junior Jen Barsanti and sophomores Madeline Owen and Katie Scheer, for the hard work they've done this summer as Santa Clara University Orientation Leaders!! After months of preparation and training, they have done a fantastic job welcoming the Class of 2017 over the past three weeks. Today they are wrapping up the last orientation session of the summer, and here's what they have to say about their experiences:






"Being an OL has forever changed me. I regained confidence in my leadership skills and learned so much about life from my amazing coworkers and students. I'm so fortunate to have shared my love for Santa Clara, and I'm thrilled for the students to begin this unforgettable journey." - Jen Barsanti '14








"Sharing my love and excitement for this school with the future of Santa Clara has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I work with an incredible team of leaders that has made it seamless to transition and excite new students, and I have loved getting to know the incoming class!" - Madeline Owen '15






"This summer job was the most rewarding experience I could have asked for. My favorite parts of being an OL are being able to talk to parents and ease some of their worry and also getting "social" with the students at the Orientation Social. It's great to see students getting out of their shell to bust a move." - Katie Scheer '15





 

Ladies, what would we do without you!! We are in awe of all you did this summer, and we know you will continue to be leaders throughout the school year!



Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Featured Phi: Keely O'Connor

Sophomore Keely O'Connor never ceases to make us laugh...and it's not hard to figure out why from her blog post!! 

Hello Phis! I am finally back at Santa Clara after a long, hot summer in Phoenix. But, what better way is there to cool off in smokin' hot Arizona than work for an ice cream company? Last week, i completed my incredibly rewarding internship at the corporate headquarters of Cold Stone Creamery. By "rewarding", I mean that in more ways than one...there was a model Cold Stone store located in the building that was not open to the public. Let's just say you could find me mixing myself up some delicious creations OTR (on the reg). For FREE!

I helped out the Marketing Team of Cold Stone by not only running errands and doing small tasks, but I was also given responsibilities that actually made me feel valuable to the team. For example, my favorite part of the internship was my participation in coming up with names for products. I have a strong love for puns, which I definitely utilized. I am absolutely honored to say that I have named this Fall's campaign, "S'mores Galore," and in the campaign, is an ice cream creation that I named "S'more Reeses Please". Reeses AND S'mores? Sounds delicious, right? Available at a Cold Stone near you starting November 2nd! Not only did I name an ice cream and Fall campaign but my name was also selected for a cake that will be available starting at the end of November. It is called, "In Mint Condition".

My job duties also included participating in taste tests, researching competitors, being the liason between the marketing team and the graphic designers who create all the advertisements, conceptualizing design and layout of ads, as well as coming up with new, innovative marketing strategies. For example, I created a program called, "Donation for a Creation". This is a coupon for a free Like It sized ice cream creation given out to anyone who donates something for a good cause, whether it is money, blood, or charitable items.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience at Cold Stone Creamery Headquarters this summer, and I will most likely return in the future. Like it, Love it, GOTTA HAVE IT!

P.S. Can't wait for recruitment to start. I will always be available for Cold Stone field trips.

We will most definitely be taking you up on those field trips, Keely. Cold Stone was so lucky to have someone as creative and hilarious as you! See you soon!! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Featured Phi: Julia Good

Sophomore Julia Good headed back to the Midwest this summer for a huge dose of kids, cuteness, and crazy! Here's what she's been up to: 

Hi Phis! I have spent this past summer back home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When I left for school last fall I could not wait to get out of the Midwest, but since being gone for the year I have a whole new appreciation for how wonderful my hometown actually is. 

This summer instead of working in the corporate world, I have been a nanny for a family with four crazy but awesome kids. I work five days a week, usually 9 hours a day. I have many tasks as a nanny including driving kids around, cleaning the house, doing laundry, running random errands for the mom, grocery shopping, and making dinner. It's exhausting but a lot of fun as well. They have a 4-year-old daughter named Grace who is the cutest little girl and whom I have fallen madly in love with. Just look how precious she is! :)

When I'm not nannying you can find me rollerblading around the lakes, hanging out with my family and friends, and taking Pure Barre classes - my new obsession this summer. 

While I love being home, I am so anxious to get back to Santa Clara and see all my friends and sisters! I am so excited for rush and to welcome some new members into our wonderful sorority. I hope you all have had wonderful summers and I can't wait to see everyone so soon!

We can't wait to see you either Julia!! Have a relaxing rest of your summer - you deserve it!!