End of Semester Reflection

End of Semester Reflection

November 16, 2022 Stories from ACE 22

We have reached the end of the semester! Take this time to reflect back on all of the work that you have done. What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?


22 Responses

  1. Katie Lindsay says:

    I have been partnering with the BGCCA this semester and building onto a year previous with the youth organization. My goals were making new connections and strengthening old ones while reengaging with the community and helping in the small ways that I can. I achieved this but also have been struggling with challenging myself in my current role at the site. I gained experience working with diverse communities and learning about a well supported nonprofit in the area and advocating for education and enrichment of children via homework help and participation and aiding staff with activities. I see myself rethinking my needs from my Bonner site for development in the program and improvement of skills and gain of responsibilities that help me grow in new ways, whether or not that comes from the same place I’ve enjoyed working with or looking into a new partner that fits better.

  2. Asavari Gowda says:

    My goal at the beginning of the semester was to be more engaged in the community and be involved with service that allowed me to interact with the people I was serving so that I can learn more about the issues affecting those in my community, especially in regards to healthcare. I was able to achieve these goals this semester because I got involved working at a free clinic and met many individuals who are unhoused, in transitional living, rehab programs, etc. They have all faced/are facing different struggles in their lives and see the clinic as a safe space where they will be cared for and can receive resources not just with healthcare but also with things like getting a job and finding affordable housing. This semester, I learned a lot about how to communicate to people about sensitive topics and be empathetic about the types of situations individuals are in. Next semester, I hope to continue learning about the health issues that affect those in lower socioeconomic levels (for example, a big one is substance abuse). I would also like to start some kind of report that I could write up about the experience that people have with receiving free healthcare and the types of resources they would like to see more of.

    • Anum Tehseen says:

      My goal since the beginning of the semester was to further improve my communication skills which would allow me to be more engaged not only in our Bonner meetings but also at my service site. Communication has been my biggest weakness since I joined Bonner and although my communication skills are not as enhanced as I want them to be, I have improved a lot as compared to last semester. Having a one-on-one meeting with Sarah really helped me understand the different areas of communication and in which area my strength is. This struggle with communication not only helped me improve my verbal communication skills but also team work and how to approach sensitive topics. These are skills that are necessary for any field of work and I hope to continue to grow and further enhance these skills. I hope to continue working at my service site and limit the majority of the setbacks that we face due to communication issues for next semester.

  3. Giavanna Pitagno says:

    This semester hit me like a truck! My goals this semester may not have all been met in the ways I wanted- but I’m very proud for getting through this semester. This semester I prioritized me and took a much needed couple week break from Bonner. In prioritizing my work and mental health, I was really able to push through and finish the semester strong! I’m also happy with how my capstone project is going. One thing I’ve learned this semester is to advocate for myself and my needs- and that you cannot be efficient in your service when you are burnt out. Next semester, I will be working on data collection for my capstone project- and I’m very excited to work closer with Sarah Toledano (<3).

  4. Kimberly Lopez says:

    My main goal for this semester was to make it to the end and thankfully I did! Regarding a service goal, I wanted to be more organized with blog posts and create a routine that made sense to me, it was a lot of trial and error and it required having good communication with the program director and the Connect Center director. We were able to develop a schedule but I still think there is room for improvement within that. I enjoyed working with everyone at the Connect Center this semester! Something I learned at my service site was the importance of good communication, this is extremely important and relevant in the real world. Next semester I look forward to being more involved in social media for the Connect Center.

  5. Kayla McKay says:

    At the beginning of the semester my professional goal this semester is to influence and encourage another fellow Bonner to present on a social justice issue that they are passionate about. In my sophomore year, a PA did this for me and although it was out of my comfort zone, I was so appreciative and proud of all that I accomplished. I would love to influence another person in the same way someone took a chance on me. Another professional goal I have is to gain more efficient listening skills. From reflecting on this goal this is a goal that comes with time and is long term so I can not be discouraged if it does not happen in one semester. One goal that did change for me was improving the leadership role of BLT. My goal with BLT is to make it more of a leadership position that requires students to check in with each other so they know that they are supported and have more meetings to understand what each class is going through. This semester we did not have many BLT meetings so going into next semester something needs to change. One challenge I faced this semester was enforcing the feedback surveys. This was a challenge because people would forget however it is something that is preventable for next semester and I have ideas to make it more effective. Something I gained from service was the idea of listening to others and what they want because students in a student-run program want to be heard and listening does so much more than giving advice sometimes. Next semester I see myself still being in charge of accountability as a PA as well as supporting Liz with recruitment.

  6. Elizabeth Holden says:

    My goal at the beginning of the semester was just to learn more about what running a non-profit organization looks like. Coming into my first semester here at Siena and in Bonner, I did not know what to expect. I wanted to learn more about what causes volunteers to leave an organization and the best way to retain as many volunteers as possible. While volunteering with Girls on the Run, I did get a lot of experience with volunteer recruitment as well as retention. Now that I am more comfortable at my service site, I hope to work more on my communication skills. I want to be able to communicate effectively with potential volunteers as well as my supervisors and improve at getting my point across. One minor thing I learned at my site that helped me in my studies was to use excel. While keeping track of volunteers my supervisor at Girls on the Run taught me many tricks to efficiently use excel. This helped me in many classes I was able to better organize my notes as well as my schedule. One challenge was figuring out how to improve volunteering most effectively. I was very shy at the start of this semester and emailing potential volunteers was very scary for me at first. I would double and triple-check every email I sent and ask my supervisor before doing anything. I had very little confidence in myself. Over time, however, I gained confidence and was able to work through this fear. Moving forward I hope to gain more responsibility at my site and work with them to improve the program and help the girls gain confidence in themselves.

  7. Liz MacMurray says:

    What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?

    My goals for the semester’s beginning were to evaluate how recruitment typically goes and see what worked well and where improvements can be made. I wanted to do this by trying to find a way for students to fully understand the commitment Bonner was before signing up. I also wanted to try to recruit Sophomores as I found more Sophomores prepared to take on the responsibilities Bonner has. Throughout the semester, I worked on creating a plan that encompassed these ideas. Now looking back, I think that these goals were met by the tabling events the recruitment team supported as well as the fact that we recruited both Freshmen and Sophomores for the spring. A challenge I did face was trying to bring attention to the different events held and finding students who would continue to show interest. This was overcome by holding an event that gave away cookies and cocoa. This compared to our first tabling event was a huge success. It brought people in and allowed them to get to know the Bonner program and also what ACE can offer. Something that I gained from this experience was to keep going even if I felt defeated. By doing continuous outreach and sticking with my set plan, I was able to see certain goals met and was able to recruit about 5 new students. For next semester, I want to continue to change the recruitment process and work towards building a stronger and more connected program.

  8. Brianna Rodriguez says:

    My goals at the beginning of this semester were to navigate my role as a Site Team Leader at FOCUS Churches and figure out what kind of service/work I would be doing at my site since I was completely virtual and had an entirely different position last semester. I wasn’t able to reach these goals because I couldn’t really be a Site Team Leader since I had almost nothing to do and there was only one other Bonner at FOCUS Churches. One challenge I faced was becoming frustrated with the program and feeling like my work and place in the program had no value since I was so separated from Bonner and my site this semester. Unfortunately, I have not overcome this yet and I hope this is an issue that can be fixed next semester. There is practically nothing that I learned at my site that I can use outside of Siena other than patience with non-communicative supervisors. I see myself moving to a different site next semester. FOCUS Churches is not a sustainable site and I do not intend on returning next semester. If this does not happen, I’ll probably leave. Happy Holidays!

  9. Nora Diede says:

    At the start of the semester, my goals were to immerse myself back into service. I definitely did not completely do this, as there were unforeseen challenges that faced the project that I was assigned. The IRB spent a longer time reviewing the project I was meant to work on than was previously expected. This was a major challenge, as I had very little service to do, and felt as though I was not doing my job as Bonner. Although, something that I gained from this experience was a deeper understanding of how the IRB process works. This is valuable to me as I start looking toward my capstone project in the coming months. It was also valuable, as it gave a real-life context to the research course that I am taking for my major. I also definitely gained more patience with the process this semester. Overall, I had to understand that service is certainly not simple. Getting connected with different sites can be a challenge and feeling drawn to the work you do is not a guarantee. However, I am very much so looking forward to next semester. I am excited to go back to working with Wildwood and being able to do meaningful service that will have a measurable impact. Next semester, I see myself starting to possibly do more in-person service (for the first time since fall 2020!). I want to be able to do work with Wildwood, that will connect them more broadly to the Siena campus. I also want to be able to start thinking about working with this site in collaboration with a possible capstone project.

  10. Victoria taco says:

    My goals in the beginning of the semester was to be able to properly manage my time and incorporate Bonner program into my nursing programs clinical experience. I also wanted to be able to grow and learn more about the community which I was able to do working at the hospital. I was able to manage my time and finish the semester strong in both areas. I was also able to help the community in the best way I could which was helping them with their medical needs. Being able to serve the community in ways of seeing people get physically better was a great experience. A challenge this semester definitely had to have been my health but I was able to prioritize my health and still maintain my grades. I learned how to best care for someone. I learned how to observe, act, and embrace someone’s needs. Next semester I will be able to work more hours and different hospitals which means I’ll be able to spread out into different parts of the community. I’ll also be able to learn in different specialties which I am excited for. My goal is to keep an open mind and be able to merge both Bonner and nursing in my life rather than two separate programs.

  11. Chandler Edbauer says:

    What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?
    My goals at the beginning of the semester was to present a completed abstract of my capstone and finish formulating the research question. I was able to reach these goals and they changed overtime as my project changed. I faced a lot of challenges at the beginning when the process was repetitive and annoying to continue to move my research question as I did further research on the literature review. I over came these challenges by working through the research process. I gained a lot of knowledge about conducting professional research and how to add to my paper in an academic setting. I see myself moving forward by finishing my research over break and then starting my paper. I am excited to submit to different conferences and journals in the coming weeks and into next semester.

  12. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    At the beginning of the semester I wanted to figure out my capstone and make it concrete, and I was able to decide on a topic and work extensively on it this semester and complete my literature review and decide on the outline of my auto ethnography. One challenge I encountered this semester was time management and keeping on task since I was the one that had to keep myself on track. But I set a weekly schedule for myself on my google calendar and stuck to the days I scheduled for myself and was able to accomplish so much. I believe the time management and research skills I developed this semester are things I’m going to take with me for life. Next semester I will be doing any additional research I believe I need and will complete my paper!

  13. Mara Golden says:

    I had a lot of goals for this semester. I think my biggest goal was to find my place in Albany Medical Center. Coming in as a new face and as an intern, I don’t always get the kindest welcome, this also applies when patients find out I am a social worker. I have learned that there are a lot of stigmas to being a social worker and got a little insight in how I will be treated in my profession. I did meet that goal once I began working in the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. It was tough at first but I have found a balance in learning from the medical professionals and challenging them to approach situations differently. This was something I overcame quickly because by doing this, we are all learning something and in the end it will benefit the patients which is the team’s goal. Everything I have learned from this site I will be using outside of Siena. Becoming a medical social worker is my future career goal so everything I do and can learn now I will be using later on. Next semester, I see myself branching out to new departments and working more independently with patients. I will also be working on more research projects which will hopefully bring in more money for our outpatient departments.

  14. Isabella Ferragine says:

    My goals at the beginning of the semester were to work on programs within my site and start to get comfortable with the environment. I was able to reach these goals and I was comfortable at my site. One of the challenges that I had to overcome in the beginning was communication at my site. I dealt with feeling like I wasn’t doing enough and had to talk things out with my site supervisor. It went really well and I started working on some programs for the boys and girls club of Troy. I find that this was a very valuable interaction and it taught me how to advocate for myself and I can use this outside of Siena now knowing that I can have potentially uncomfortable conversations. I hope to be more active and teach programs at my site next semester.

  15. Hannah Lawlor says:

    My goals at the beginning of the semester were to focus on getting acclimated to my site and look for ways to improve the site. I also wanted to work with the kids and help them in any way I could! My goals changed from the beginning of the semester because when I arrived at the boys and girls club their needs were different than intended. Instead on focusing on mental health I helped with the stress of school work and helped them express what they were feeling. One challenge that I faced this semester was trying to balance my school needs and bonner. Being a nursing major is very demanding, but I am still dedicated to the Bonner program. There were times where I needed to take a step back if I had an important test. I also tried to rearrange my schedule so that I could have adequate study time without service being a burden.
    Something that I gained from the service was being able to adjust my plans and speak effectively.
    This semester allowed me to learn my limits and grow my advocating skills. For next semester I will be taking a step back from the boys and girls club and moving over to spina bifida. This organization is aligned closer with my major and will allow me to grow in other needed aspects. The boys and girls club has been so beneficial and a great service site, but I feel spina bifida will be a better site for me at this time.

  16. Mya Pedersen says:

    If I am being completely honest, my main goal at the start of this semester was simply to make it through and see the spring semester and I can proudly say that I did it!!!! Going into this semester I was unsure what my life would look like when winter rolled around, I was unsure if I would still be in bonner and I was even unsure if I would be enjoying my major and succeeding within it. Luckily, I surpassed both of those obstacles and am still a bonner and a nursing major!! Another goal that I had going into this semester was to better myself and my community and branch out, I was eager to try new things and really see the difference that I was making within my community and I succeeded at that as well! My time at the Connect center has been so rewarding and challenging, in the best way possible. I have learned so many new things in bettered myself in ways that I didn’t even think were possible a few months ago. I have grown my brain and my heart this semester and I could not be more happy. I can use many of the skills that I learned this semester outside of school and within my everyday life. I learned to better manage my time, try new things, and write professional emails! I really love the point that I am at with my service as a Bonner, I hope to pick up right where I left off when I come back from break and continue on with the projects I have been working on.

  17. Amanda Molloy says:

    My goals at the beginning of the semester were at SBANYS to expand the platforms I use to create flyers, videos, etc for the association. I feel like I did accomplish this with the marketing I assisted with for the Dare to Dream gala that just occurred in November where they reached their goal of raising over 40,000 dollars for SBANYS!
    My goal at Sunnyview with my social work internship was to learn more about medical social work and become comfortable talking to patients specifically doing an admission with the depression screening independently and things like that. I definitely have become more comfortable and confident with patients and families and have learned a ton about medical social work. I faced many challenges, especially with my internship, but I think the challenges just made me reach my goal in a better manner. I will use what I have learned in my future career, this goes for both the work I have done at SBANYS and Sunnyview. Next semester I see myself focusing more heavily on my capstone, but still continuing to work with SBANYS.

  18. Ava says:

    Looking back on this semester, one of my biggest worries was beginning my capstone, but building a research question was on of my goals. Although there is still much to solidify within my capstone project, I am really excited to keep learning more about the possible partners that connect their needs to my research. Within my site at SpinaBifida, I am hoping to recruit more Bonners to this site to collaborate on more ideas. There is so much potential work that can be expanded on at the Association and would love to get to teach other students about the implementations that can be build on. My biggest challenge from the semester has been my capstone project. It has caused me set backs in where I had expected myself to be and I have faced difficulty finding a community partner and a faculty mentor that would be on board it helping me through the process. Something I gained from the semester and with my site was that it’s okay to have the plans changed. Taking on a role as a PA was also something very new for me and although I had planned for certain things to happen, there is still time to implement them within the coming semesters. My skills in working as a team can definitely be used outside my realms of Bonner and into the Siena community as well as in an occupational setting. Moving forward next semester I am hoping to still expand on my capstone and also continue to serve as a PA and with Spina Bifida since our supervisor is very very grateful and supportive in all the work that we do .

  19. Samantha Lunt says:

    One of my goals at the beginning of the semester was to submit my research proposal to the IRB and hold my focus groups with the volunteers at the Connect Center. I was able to reach these goals this semester, it took some time and it wasn’t always easy to get done, but I am glad I was able to accomplish it and it was exciting once it got done. A challenge I faced this semester was being motivated to get the things done that needed to be done. What helped was just even if it was a short period of time just getting something done and being able to check it off, also Dr. Kelly helped a lot with helping me stay on task and focus on the goal. Something I gained from service this semester was the skills of working with people when you don’t see things the same way and working through challenges to try and make things better for everyone and overcome obstacles. Next semester I see myself finishing my capstone and hopefully creating a training that is beneficial to the Connect Center!

  20. Abby James-Vickery says:

    My goals at the beginning of the semester included creating more structure at the Connect Center and I feel that I was able to get a good start on this goal. That goal changed multiple times in the way it was executed, but I think that I have a great start and there is definitely room to grow. I think one challenge I faced this semester was I stopped enjoying Bonner. I know that may sound mean, but I am going to just be honest. I feel that parts of the program are a complete mess and it makes it hard to want to do service and be excited for the program. I am very grateful for my site and appreciate what it has taught me and am looking forward to doing more next semester. Hopefully, next semester I will come into it more excited and liking Bonner more. With all of that being said, I love my Bonner family and yall are awesome! I hope everyone has a great rest of the semester! :))))

  21. Rachel+Gifford says:

    One of my goals this semester was to take on a larger role or project at my site. I ended up taking on two large projects this semester! The first one was going through delivery records and updating and editing them and the second was backlogging them. For my capstone goal I did end up figuring out a plan and I’m looking forward to working on it officially starting next semester! One challenge I faced in my projects is the time it takes to complete them. Unfortunately, I’m unsure if I will be able to complete my second project by the end of the semester simply because of the length of the project. However, I’m hoping that another Bonner may pick up my work next semester! Even though I didn’t really overcome this challenge I continue to keep working to leave less to do next semester. I gained many skills from my work but I think the most important skills have been patience and letting go of expectations. Things aren’t always going to go the way you expect them to and I’ve learned that it’s okay. Next semester I’m excited to see what new projects I can take on and hopefully create new connections between Bonner and the Siena community. I’m also excited to start working with Kayla on our capstone!!!

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