Norwich Cadet Cole Nickerson has his own unique spin on life

Yo-yo whiz Cole Nickerson shows off a trick for our Guidon photographer Andrew Thomas. His unusual passion has caught the attention of many classmates.

Norwich University’s Cole Nickerson was once a passionate fan of the art of yo-yoing, but life took him down a different path. Luckily for Nickerson, and many others, that passion was sparked once again.
“I was amazed the first time I saw someone with a yo-yo that didn’t retract immediately. That was in seventh grade. A buddy of mine got me into it, and the passion took me pretty far,” said Nickerson, a 20-year-old junior in the Corps of Cadets from Nashua, N.H.
“I found my old yo-yo from seventh grade while I was cleaning out my bedroom over spring break, and I felt the passion reignite me into the yo-yo life,” said Nickerson.
Nickerson’s re-sparked joy for yo-yoing has gained him a respectable following as a result of his cool tricks, quirky lingo, and approachable demeanor.
Since March 19, when he launched his Instagram page, Nickerson’s following has seen rapid growth racking up a multitude of likes, comments, and views on his pictures and videos using Instagram as his only social media platform. [Read more…]

A painful ruck, a great cause

Skyler Grathwohl and Alexandria Spezia truck up a hill during the Norwegian Ruck March on March 30. Ethan Hagstrom photo

For Alexandria Spezia, helping to organize one of the most intense events at Norwich University was a welcome challenge. Actually doing it was even better.

The Norwegian ruck march is a yearly fundraising tradition to raise money for the Wounded Veteran Retreat Program.
“I helped the organization this year and I was promoting something that I had never done before,” said Spezia, a 21-year-old junior, computer and electrical engineering major from Wyckoff; N.J.

Spezia felt like it was finally time for her to get out there and attempt the daunting ruck march. So on March 30, she joined with lots of cadets who embarked on a march totaling 18.6 miles, not to mention a distance also tallied in blisters and very tired feet and legs.

For those who don’t know, a ruck march involves carrying a pack with a certain amount of weight.. “The average weight for the army is 35 pounds, then they give you a distance, and you run, jog, walk or whatever to get to that distance,” explained Steve Rabbia, 19, a sophomore history major from New Hartford; N.Y.

The designed route for the event took the cadets towards the town of Roxbury down route 12A, past Roxbury, and back to campus.
“The founder created this ruck march for his son who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan,” Spezia said. “All this is for a great cause and it makes it worth it.”

Both civilians and corps are welcome to join for a $15 entrance fee, with all the proceeds destined to support the Wounded Veteran Retreat Program.

“I think it’s a good cause and it’s cool that the event is something physically and mentally challenging,” Rabbia said.
Going through a physically grueling event alone can prove to be quite the challenge. Most participants preferred to face the 18.6 miles-long adventure with a four-people team or less.

Spezia started with a group but, during the event, they got split up. She ended up staying with one team member the whole time, and the two of them endured together.

“I ran it with Skylar Grathwohl. I learned that day that Skylar has really long legs and that I would have to run to keep up with her,” laughed Spezia.
[Read more…]

Norwich mens rugby gains another 7s title

The Norwich Mens rugby team captured another 7s tournament title this year and is now aiming to take the Chris Munn 7s tournament this weekend. NU athletics photo

The Norwich men’s rugby team looks to keep developing and improving during the spring rugby season. After finishing the fall season with a 9-2 record, the team has been working succesfully to carry that success into the spring.

The team won its second straight Rugby Northeast Tournament 7s title and third overall in a row last Saturday afternoon April 13 at UMass Lowell. It stands at 13-4-3 this week, with a five game winning streak as it heads into a Thursday night developmental match at home against Keene State.

The spring season is not played the same as fall. In the spring, rugby is played seven on seven for seven-minute halves. This compares to the fall when it’s 15 against 15 for two 40-minute periods.

The team has accomplished what it set out to do, said Austin Manhey, a senior flanker from Ballston Lake, N.Y. “Goals that we want to accomplish are, for one, win the Rugby Northeast conference championship. Manhey said that has been possible because of the team’s practice goals, getting the team’s tackling and conditioning up and being prepared for tournaments, he explained.

Especially with being confined to the Shapiro field house, it is difficult to hold full-contact practices. “Recently we have been able to be on Sabine which helps us out a lot,” Manhey said.

A big goal for the team for the spring is to win the Chris Munn tournament on April 27. “Nothing really means more to us than showing our support towards ALS and how much Chris means to us,” Manhey said. The Cadets host the sixth annual Chris Munn 7s Tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m. [Read more…]

Thoughts on taking on challenges, and finding resources to succeed

At Norwich, we challenge our students every day in every way possible. We believe that it is through challenge that we find our upper limits and learn to distinguish ourselves. It is only though pushing beyond our limits that we find our true potential.

Spring is a very busy time of year as students wrap up their work for another year. In just the past several weeks, Pegasus Players were busy developing and performing their one-act plays; students are buttoning up undergraduate research to showcase during Student Scholarship Celebration Week April 29 – May 3; ROTC conducted field training exercises; sports teams have been and continue to hustle as much as ever; the David Crawford School of Engineering held its annual end-of-year convocation where students present final projects; and, of course, all students are preparing for final exams and capstone projects, and much more.

It is also a time to celebrate students’ accomplishments through academic showcases, honor society inductions, ROTC’s Tri-Service Awards, commencement and commissioning exercises. This graduating class comprises Norwich’s Bicentennial Class. It is worth noting that when the Class of 2019 celebrates its 50th reunion and enters into the “Old Guard,” Norwich will be celebrating its 250th anniversary!

It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that you as individuals thrive so that as a whole Norwich University can thrive and continue to offer the citizen-soldier model of service to students and to the nation. [Read more…]

In MCW, the bonds make it all worthwhile

Members of the Cold Weather Mountain Team stand atop a frigid peak during a training outing this winter. Photo by Darwin Carozza

“If you pass, you’re in the company.”

“If you fail, you’re out of the company.”

Those are the clear rules, says Allyson Cleary, a senior “black hat” in the Mountain Cold Weather Company.

The Mountain Cold Weather Company has been around since 1947 on the Norwich University campus. To join the ranks of the company, candidates must take on a year of training to prove they have what it takes to uphold everything the Mountain Cold Weather Company stands for.

“Black hat testing is the end of first-year training and to see how (mountaineering) skills have developed over the year,” explained Cleary. At that point a whole year of training can be cut short in an instant by failing to meet the requirements of earning a coveted black hat designation.
[Read more…]

A shift in culture at Norwich

Women’s panel offers perspectives on female paths, leadership paths


Norwich University admissions advisor Sarah DeBouter found her experiences as a former female civilian student to be a driving force in her efforts to create inclusiveness and connections for future students at the university.

“I did experience a lot of adversity as a strong female leader on a primarily male dominated campus,” DeBouter said of her four years of study at Norwich. “When I think about my experience as a student, and what I would have made it better, I think about having more resources accessible to minorities on campus.”

DeBouter was the only female member of the honor committee during the merger of civilian and cadet honor committees her junior year. It was the first year civilian students had a voice on campus and could participate in designing their own class rings.

“I was told more than once that I had no right to speak or to an opinion,” DeBouter said. “There was a large tension between the lifestyles, and I think that fueled a lot of my fire.”

As the official coordinator, DeBouter encouraged students, staff, and the local community to join her in Milano Ballroom on March 25th for a women’s panel for open discussion and a networking event to highlight their accomplishments in the face of adversity.
[Read more…]

New silver coin will mark commissioning

In the spring of 2015, 21-year-old Kalynn Butchko was notified that she had been wait-listed for the United States Air Force Academy and reluctantly began looking elsewhere to start her college career.

The senior mechanical engineering major from Las Vegas, NV., chose Norwich to take advantage of opportunities with the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC).

“Norwich had something more to offer than all of the other schools,” Butchko said. “It’s just the right amount of military and just the right amount of college. I’m honestly glad I didn’t get into the Academy.”

One of the opportunities she probably never expected was to create a brand new tradition at Norwich.

Recently, she and five of her peers, representing their respective ROTC military branches, were selected to serve on a prestigious committee charged with coming up with a design for a new coin that is destined to stand the test of time and become ingrained in Norwich heritage.

For the first time in collegiate military history, Norwich University will be awarding newly commissioned seniors silver challenge coins. The university’s president is hoping graduates will keep the coins forever as their “personal coins” and a reminder of their roots.
[Read more…]

Lacrosse shoots for conference championship

Senior Aidan Moulton looks to get past an opponent from St.Joseph’s of Maine. NU Athletics Photo

The Norwich University men’s lacrosse team is looking to keep the same goals they’ve had over the last three seasons, which is striving to ultimately win a championship.

After a strong season last year, in which the team had a record of 13-6, the Cadet lacrosse team hopes to carry on the high expectations from last season and capture the GNAC title.

In the process of trying to win a championship, the team also wants to focus on executing at a high level and developing young talent that head coach Neal Anderson has been able to recruit.

“Last year the team struggled with playing four quarters of lacrosse, and putting together a complete game,” said senior midfielder Will Conroy of Dorchester, Mass.

This was seen in this year’s 10-9 loss against the University Southern Maine but Conroy remains optimistic. “Our focus now is to execute on technique for an entire game,” he said.

The team is off to a good start in conference play standings at 3-1, and is 5-4 on the season.
[Read more…]

Unit Manning Reports mean job anxiety

Every year members of the Norwich University Corps of Cadets get nervous waiting for decisions on what assignments they will get next year in the corps. This was especially true after it was announced the decisions would be a week later than the announced deadline just before spring break.

Annabell Davis was one of those waiting to see what would happen.

“I didn’t know if I was going getting the job I wanted,” said Davis, 19, a sophomore mathematics major from Rocky Top, Tenn., “and the wait made me nervous.”

“It was all worthwhile when the UMR came out,” she said. “Lt. Col. Edwards walked over with Aiden Cruz and said ‘Mr. Cruz, do you know Ms. Davis and Cruz said, ‘yes sir’ and finally, Lt. Col. Edwards said ‘Well you’re looking at your First Sergeant.”

The UMR (Unit Manning Report) for the school year 2019-2020 was released on Monday, March 18, telling many cadets what their job in the corps would be for the upcoming year. Everyone who wants a job in the corps must apply and then cadets are ranked in an order of merit list. The commandant staff looks at the cadet’s GPA, PT score, extracurricular activities and a plethora of other factors and accomplishments.
[Read more…]