New Student Newsletter
July 24, 2013
Vol. 2
July 24, 2013 

Dear Students,


On behalf of the entire ESF faculty, congratulations on your admission to ESF! We look forward to meeting you in just a few weeks, and getting to know you and helping you achieve your educational objectives over the next four years.


And those four years will go by quickly. To make the most of them, you'll want to hit the ground running. But how? It happens that a Harvard professor by the name of Richard Light recently wrote a book precisely about this subject, "Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds." In that book he presents the results of studies he conducted to understand what factors were associated with students who reported the greatest satisfaction with their college experiences.


Interestingly, there were just a few elements that were consistently mentioned by students who expressed high satisfaction. Here's what they said:


First and foremost, satisfied students managed their time well. They thought of time as a precious commodity and actively sought to manage it as if it were money. There are 168 hours in a week. How are you going to use that time? It's easy to fritter it away. The happiest students did not.


Second, get help! For most of you, the academic challenges of college will be greater than you encountered in high school. In particular, expect that you will be asked to do a lot more critical thinking. Memorization will not be sufficient. This will require more effort on your part, but it may also require more assistance. Assistance is available from several sources including your instructors, the Academic Success Center, and from peers. Don't wait until you are in trouble to seek assistance.


Third, study with other students. Collaborative learning involves formulating questions, hearing what questions others have, and answering those questions. It involves sorting out differences in ideas and perspectives. For most people, collaborative learning is a most effective means of learning. It is also an antidote for isolation, which is the kiss of death for academic success.


Fourth, get involved in something outside of classes. ESF provides a wealth of opportunities from clubs to volunteer service to internship and research experiences. The evidence strongly indicates that these outside experience add meaning to your course work and provide the social contact we as humans need.


And fifth, get to know the faculty. For most of our faculty, teaching is more than a job, it's a passion. They are here to help you, and they want to know you as individuals. You should not be afraid to approach them. They can be your gateway to internships and other experiential learning opportunities. They can expose you to new ideas and new resources. And if that's not enough, they will be writing recommendations for jobs and for graduate school for you.


In coming to ESF you are joining a community that shares a common cause - your success. We welcome you and your active engagement. Together let's make your years at ESF the best of your life.


For now, enjoy the remainder of summer (and try to remember Dr. Light's lessons).


Congratulations, welcome, and best wishes,



Bruce C. Bongarten, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

General Reminders, Orientation Info and
Centennial Hall:  One Month to Go!
 Orientation is Less Than One Month Away!
In less than one  month, you will be arriving on campus for move-in and Orientation!  If you are living on campus, you will start your day with move-in at Centennial Hall with the assistance of the Mighty Movers on Wednesday, August 21st from 9am-2pm.  The Hospitality Hour begins at 2pm on the Quad and the official Welcome starts at 3pm in Syracuse University's (SU) Hendricks Chapel.
Everyone is instructed to park on SU's South Campus so it is highly recommended to park once all of your errands are done as it will take some time to park and take the ESF shuttle back to campus.  (More details to follow at move-in.)
You should plan to come to campus well rested as the five days of Orientation are quite busy, but very fun and informative.  To take a sneak peak at what Orientation will look like for you, please visit the Orientation page.  For a look at the tentative First-Year Orientation schedule, click here.
 As another reminder, the New Student Checklist on the Accepted Student website is live and waiting for you to complete the required items!  This includes emergency contact information, a photo for ESF files, policies acknowledgement, and a FERPA waiver.  You also must do the Syracuse University required tasks before Orientation starts.  You will need to set up your NetID and SU e-mail so you can upload your photo for the ID card.  Please do not forget about the Health Form and Immunizations record.  Additionally, there are new meal plan options so pay particular attention to the Meal Plan site for further details.  Here is the To Do List.

What to Bring (and NOT to bring) to Centennial Hall

Centennial Hall LogoThe staff at Centennial Hall are excited to have you join them. You'll be here in just over a month, and we're sure you're itching to start packing. (Alright, maybe that's just us. You might be planning to wait until the day before to pack, but don't say we didn't warn you that it'll be stressful!) By now, you should have your roommate information and your room number (if you don't that probably means you haven't returned your signed contract yet). Use this time to connect with your roommate and coordinate who will bring what to Centennial Hall.


Here's a list of things you should bring with you in August:
  • Plates, bowls, cups, utensils
  • Water pitcher (so you don't buy water bottles!)
  • Travel mug
  • Bedding - XL-Twin sheets and linens, comforter, pillows, etc.
  • Alarm clock
  • Desk lamp (no halogen bulbs)
  • Surge protector
  • USB drive
  • Dry erase board (and markers!)
  • iPod and headphones
  • Towels, wash cloths, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.
  • Bathroom cleaning supplies: toilet brush, sponges, etc. You do NOT need to bring cleaning solutions (Clorox, etc.) because that will be provided.
  • Toilet paper
  • Garbage Can (we provide a Recycling bin)
  • Hair dryer
  • Shower curtain (we provide a clear shower curtain, but most students like to add a little color to the bathroom)
  • Plunger
  • Under-bed storage
  • Luggage
  • Batteries
  • Laptop lock
  • Sticky tack to hang items on the walls

 And these are the things you should definitely leave at home:

  • Candles and incense
  • Extension cords (bring surge protectors only)
  • Multi-headed "Medusa" lamps
  • Pets
  • Knives, weapons, airsoft/pellet guns
  • Appliances: George Forman grills, toasters, toaster ovens, coffee makers that have a hot plate (which includes most non-single cup coffee makers), crock pots, etc.
  • Space heaters, A/C units, refrigerators, microwaves

Centennial Halls is pretty neat, in that you and your roommate(s) will have control over the thermostat in your room, so there's no need to bring additional A/C units or space heaters. Plus, each room comes with a fridge and microwave. That'll definitely save you room in your vehicle. Please keep in mind that Centennial Hall staff can and will confiscate any prohibited items. Best way to avoid that? Don't bring them!

If you have any questions, they're happy to help. You can give them a call at 315-741-3067. See you in August!


Meet the staff in Student Affairs!
Career Services Office

The Career Services Office is here to help you accomplish your career goals. From day one, they can help you develop your future plans for jobs, internships, and more. Their services are comprised of resume reviews, career counseling appointments, assistance with employment searches, connecting with alumni, how to build your network, and more.


As soon as you arrive on campus, you are welcome to meet with Director, John Turbeville and Internship Coordinator, Laura DeJoseph McArdle, as well as the other career counselors to help determine your career plan. Throughout the year you will see the Career Services staff putting on presentations, and workshops, as well as the annual Environmental Career Fair held at the end of February.


Every Monday you will receive the ESF Career Services newsletter that highlights featured internships, tips, advice, resources, and events on campus. The staff can help you become familiar with the campus job and internship board, Greenlink. The sooner you come see them the sooner they can help you find your dream internship or job. Begin learning about the office at Or visit us in 110 Bray Hall to make an appointment or learn more about how they can help you.

Academic Information:  Chemistry is Everywhere!

Chemistry is Everywhere!

Chemistry is everywhere, especially at ESF! Whether it is General Chemistry or Survey of Chemistry, it is very likely that you will be taking chemistry during your first-year at ESF. Are you wondering what you can do to get and stay ahead? Here are some ways you can start preparing for your laboratory and lecture courses in chemistry:

  • Get to know the Periodic Table. This may (or may not)
    sound cool, but knowing the symbols and keys to the periodic table will be a great resource for you. Use flashcards, online tools, or mobile apps to help you out.  If you are taking General Chemistry I, FCH 150, you will need to have the names and symbols of every element memorized by the first exam, yes, the f-block - lanthanides and actinides too!

  • Practice, practice, practice. For success in any area, practice is required and chemistry is no different. Begin reviewing a chemistry textbook on some of the introductory math concepts in chemistry; dimensional analysis, the SI system, and unit conversions.  Chapter 1 and the math review appendix contain expected skills and the lecture will not be reviewing them before using them.  If we do review them, we will go through them very quickly, so advanced preparation is required.

  • Think back to your past experiences with chemistry. Whether you just took chemistry or it has been a few years, think about what you really did well. Then think about those areas of struggle. Maybe it was balancing equations? Or gas laws? You'll need to focus on those areas in the year to come.

  • Think about your major. Most majors at ESF require chemistry as a core course in the degree program. Think about why that might be the case, then focus on how chemistry will fit into your field of study and eventually your career.

  • FCH 150 General Chemistry Lecture Textbook and required materials information:  We'll be using Chemistry Atoms First, 1st Ed. Burdge and Overby plus the online homework associated with it called Connect.  You will also need a NON-graphing scientific calculator (graphing can be used in second semester but not in first semester) and 200 3"x5" index cards.  When you arrive on campus you'll purchase a workshop book and be given a Reader.

  • FCH 110 Survey of Chemical Principles:  This course for non-science majors will use Chemistry for Changing Times by Hill, McCreary, and Kolb. 13th Edition.

Meet ESF Student Leaders
What's an RA and Why Do We Care?

If you've been at college even just for a day or two, you have likely already come into contact with at least one RA. An RA, or Resident Assistant, is a peer who is dedicated to supporting the health and welfare of the students he or she resides with. RAs are trained in all aspects of life, from fostering a sense of community throughout the residence hall to addressing conflicts between friends and roommates. We tend to think that RAs are like the closest things to an older sibling or relative that you have when you're away at school, and we think that's the best way to think about it. We're here to help, and it would do you well to get to know us.


At Centennial Hall, there are 8 RAs. Each floor has two RAs assigned to it, but that does not mean that you will never see the other RAs. One RA on your floor will be on the first-year side of your floor, located in rooms 147, 239, 339, or 439. The other RA on your floor will be on the upperclass side, located in rooms 121, 213, 313, or 413. We can pretty much guarantee that you will come into contact with an RA relatively frequently.


If you have any questions, knock on the doors of any of the rooms listed above and you'll be on your way to a successful first year at ESF!

In This Issue
Quick Links
First-Year Retreat Info
First-year students are required to participate in the First-Year Student Retreat in September to build connections with their fellow classmates and the
College's faculty and staff. Details cabe found here.
ESF Traditions
Join ESF's New Bike Library Program!
Don't have a bike or left your bike at home? Not to worry because through the work of two 2013 graduates, Drew Gamils and Frannie Monasterio, ESF has implemented a NEW Bike Library Program. This program is managed by ESF's Cycling Connection Club. You can join the Bike Library for $20/year.  This allows you to borrow a Kona Africa bike for up to 24 hours at a time. Interested in joining the Bike Library? Payment of membership fees and completion of agreement forms can be done in ESF's Moon Library upon your arrival to campus. Membership is denoted by a sticker on your ESF ID and with this you can rent a bike with a simple swipe of your ID! Consider joining this program to increase your overall health, access to resources, and exploration of the Syracuse area! Look out for a flyer in your Orientation packet or email
 for more information.

*A Note About Bike Storage at Centennial Hall

Centennial Hall offers residents the opportunity to store their bikes in the indoor storage space located inside the hall (near the parking lot). When students check-in to the residence hall on August 21st, they will be able to sign up for a bike spot and pay the $35/semester bike parking fee. While the room to the storage area is locked, it is still important to have a lock for your bike. A U-Lock works best because it is the most secure. The number of spaces is limited, so it's first come, first served.

A Note about Textbooks


The SUNY-ESF College Bookstore has teamed up with Follett Virtual Bookstores (FVB) to launch the SUNY-ESF Online Bookstore, the one place to find all the books you'll need for your classes!  As a new student at ESF, you will be registering for your classes when you arrive on campus for Orientation in August.   Once your schedule is finalized, you will be able to purchase your books online.  There will be computers and staff available to assist you with the process.   There will also be a presentation during Orientation that will go over the entire process.


When you purchase your textbooks through the Online Bookstore, a portion of all sales comes back to the Alumni Association to support student programming.  This includes the New Student Ice Cream Social, the Student Poster Session, Festival of Places, the Champagne Toast, and a number of other events throughout the year.



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