Giving Thanks

Considering that I am currently celebrating my last Thanksgiving as a Lehigh student, I thought it would be appropriate to take time to reflect on some of the things I have been most thankful for throughout my Lehigh experience.  The following list is not exhaustive, but trust that it is heartfelt.

1. The ArtsAlive PreLUsion program organized by ArtsLehigh.  Not only did I learn about glass blowing and theatre make-up, but participating in a PreLUsion program gave me a head start on getting comfortable in my residence hall and getting to know other first-year students.  Special shout-outs to Silagh and Susan!

2. The great trifecta: LGBTQIA Services, the Women’s Center, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  Through these offices, I have met some of the most amazing individuals, and I’ve learned just as much from being involved in these offices as I have in all of my academic work.  I have attended and presented at national conferences thanks to my involvement in the Women’s Center and the Rainbow Room.  Special thanks to the staff in these three offices and to Break the Silence and Spectrum members for being constant sources of inspiration and encouragement throughout my years here.

3. The English department.  Throughout my undergraduate experience, I always pitied my peers who honestly hated their classes and their professors.  Thankfully, I’ve never had that experience.  Yes, I’ve complained about the amount of reading I had for homework or the number of papers I had to write, but when all is said and done, I’ve always loved it.  The English department is full of amazing faculty and staff who have always been available to help me, from the day I declared my major in Vivien Steele’s office (doesn’t she have the best name?) to the day I presented my senior thesis.  All of my professors have been brilliant and they’ve all challenged me in their own ways, but special thanks to Barry Kroll, Ed Gallagher, and Seth Moglen for constantly pushing me to do my best work and confirming for me that teaching English is a valuable and powerful profession.

4. The opportunity to study abroad.  Even if you don’t think you want to go for a whole semester, go abroad with one of the summer or winter programs.  I chose the Lehigh in Ireland program, which I could talk about for hours.  Living abroad is one of the most amazing experiences, and I am so thankful that I got up the guts to go.  After spending the summer between my junior and senior years in Ireland, I got the travel bug.  I signed up for a Religion Studies course and got to spend spring break my senior year in Israel with my class.

5. The Dean of Students staff.  These people run just about everything that happens on campus that is outside of the classroom and even some of the stuff that is.  With that said, where would I even begin?  They include the staff members of my great trifecta, they include the Ofice of Residence Life, the Community Service Office, Office of the First-Year Experience and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Student Activities, Student Conduct, and all the offices that help you excel academically.  They’re a whole bunch of incredible people who want to make my and your Lehigh experiences as awesome as possible.  Special thanks to Dean Allison Gulati for lots of things, but among them, for sending me to LeaderShape, which was another amazing conference experience.

6. Last, but obviously not least, the Office of Residence Life and the Gryphon Society.  When people ask me what I do at Lehigh, I answer, “I’m a Gryphon,” which is normally followed by an explanation of what a Gryphon is (cooler RAs, of course).  A lot of people don’t understand why I would want to spend the entirety of my undergraduate and graduate careers living in a residence hall (shout out to my four years in Dravo and this year in Brodhead!).  After working with the ORL staff, my Gryphon staffs, and residents over the years, I have trouble understanding why anyone wouldn’t.  I’ve made incredible friends and learned so much about myself and others.  I’m a better person, a better leader, and I believe I’ll be a better teacher because of it.  I extend my deepest and sincerest thanks to everyone who has made this experience so wonderful.  I’m sad that it’s all coming to an end for me, but you can be sure I’ll stay in touch.

A happy Thanksgiving to all.
-Gina

Gina Mason, Class of 2012/2013G, is the Head Gryphon in Brodhead and the social media intern for the Office of Residence Life.  After graduating in May, Gina will be moving to Newark to teach English as a member of Teach for America’s 2013 corps.

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Gryphon Spotlight: Jimmy Bowen

Jimmy is a second year Gryphon in Dravo.  He’s the Gryphon on C4 floor, and he’s awesome so go say hi!

Area: Dravo

Year and Major: Biochemistry, Junior

Hometown: Flemington, NJ

Three things that make me happy:

  1. People treating each other well
  2. Baby animals
  3. Crepes

One thing I can’t live without: Chicken fingers

Favorite entertainment medium: (movies, music, books, etc): Music

Favorite thing about Gryphoning: Making an impact on the lives of young Lehigh students

Favorite thing about living in a residence hall: Always having people around and meeting many new people

Other organizations/activities I am involved in: Challah for Hunger, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), UP Excursions

Dravo Building Profile

Stats:  Dravo House is home to 258 first-year students. This co-ed five-story building is comprised of single-gender halls of double and single rooms, with a few triples.  There is a Gryphon on each hall and one Head Gryphon for the building.

All the rooms contain movable furniture and provide a bed, desk with desktop bookshelf, and desk chair for each student. Single and double rooms have one closet with drawers and shelves. Triples have an additional closet, dresser, and/or wardrobe.  Check out floor plans here!

Dravo House is the home of the first-year CHOICE Community, which promotes a healthy learning and living environment.  The sister area of Dravo is Richards House, another first-year residence hall.

“Like” Dravo’s Facebook page!

Building Profile: (by Louise McCallie)

Dravo may be at the top of the mountain, but I think students would agree it’s one of the most gorgeous dorms. It tops the campus with elegance, it’s the capstone of tours and brochures – but it’s also a great place to live.

The People/The Community:
I lived in Dravo this past year, and one of my favorite things was that there was always something going on. Whether you’re in the mood for ping-pong or going out, you can find someone to join you. Dravo students have a healthy mix interests; as the home of the first-year CHOICE community (substance-free living), there are always a wide variety of programs and entertainment options available in the building for . For example, this year I attended programs about healthy eating, campus safety, and scheduling; I joined a great group of first years for a “girls’ night in”; and I learned how to make mozzarella! Talk about excitement.

However, if all this excitement gets to be a bit too much for you, Dravo is well-supplied with study rooms and niches. Lounges on the ground, first, and second floors are tasteful, clean, and great places to grab a little peace and quiet.

Dravo’s Gryphons are a team of students that any first year would love to have on her side. In addition to organizing diverse program options, they serve as a helping hand and a friend whenever college starts getting a little too overwhelming. I never felt silly or stupid asking a Gryphon for help.

Atmosphere/Rooms:

First years in Dravo often find they’ve gotten some of the best housing available. The rooms are relatively spacious (exact measurements can be found online) and come equipped with two beds, two desks, and a closet with a shoe rack and shelving. Beds can also be bunked, if you go to Residential Services to get bunking pins. Singles only have furniture for one person, while triples will have extra furniture and storage space.

Other facilities available in Dravo include a laundry facility, kitchen, vending area, and lounges. Halls and bathrooms are cleaned daily, and students generally keep the common spaces neat. Dravo’s lobby has easy access to important phone numbers (Gryphon-on-duty, etc.), and the door of the Assistant Director of Residential Life is frequently open if you have questions or concerns.

Location:

Dravo is located halfway between the two main dining halls on campus, and Hawk’s Nest (a popular spot for late-night snacks and entertainment) is at the foot of the hill. Linderman Library is just a short walk away, along with Access Control (in case you get locked out of your bedroom during the day—Gryphons can help you with lockouts after 8pm) and many of the academic buildings.

Suggestions:

  • Command strips! But if it’s humid, they won’t stick as well.
  • Fan (no AC in Dravo)
  • A printer is good, but not required (discuss with your roommate beforehand)
  • Floor rug
  • Sturdy storage
  • The microfridge is a good option (you don’t have to lug a mini-fridge from home, PLUS you can use a microwave!)
  • Comfy shoes are a must!
  • Flip-flops for the shower are another important item