Alyson Cadena: The Latina Spitfire With The Big Voice

Alyson Cadena

You've definitely noticed Alyson Cadena on campus. How can you not, when she's super involved with everything from Academia Hispana, Commuting Student Association, and FUEL? Alyson brings a fierce energy and dedication to everything she does, and that translates to one of her other passions: singing! From Fordham Idol to the Concert for the Cure, it's clear that Alyson has the talent to become the next big thing!

Where are you from? Queens, NY.

What year are you? Senior, wahh. 

What is your major? Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing and a Specialization in Communication and Media (I like to keep it simple).

What activities are you involved in? I’m the President of Academia Hispana this year, that’s my main squeeze. I’m also involved in the Leadership Initiatives Committee (planning Leadership Weekend, FUEL, and an upcoming leadership conference in November), mentoring for Bronx College Town through the Dorothy Day Center, Fordham Idol Committee for the Commuting Student Association (I’ll be a judge this year!).

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction.

Favorite band/musician: Common.

Favorite book: Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher.

Favorite TV show: Of all time: Friends. Currently: Jersey Shore or Awkward.

How did you decide to come to Fordham? They gave me the most money, and I didn’t want to be too far from home.

How did you become involved with Academia Hispana? I first encountered it by auditioning for Noche Latina, our annual showcase, as a salsa dancer. I ended up getting more and more involved because everyone there was so friendly and welcoming, and I was just ridiculously shy in my freshman year. 

Tell us about your singing! As I said before, I’m a really shy person, so I didn’t start singing in public until maybe my junior year of high school. Since then, I just take every opportunity to do it, mostly just to get over my nerves (I have the worst stage fright ever, note my one awkward hand in any performance). I made a YouTube just to say I did it, and have maybe 10 subscribers? But I mean, if HerCampus wants to shout my page out, I’m not opposed as long as I get some subscibers.

Hey collegiettes™, check out this video of Alyson covering Adele!

What's your favorite thing about NY? Queens, baby! Besides the fact that I’m from there, we have basically any culture you could possibly think of. More specifically, I love taking the J train from Queens into the Lower East Side. Really random but I love graffiti and bridges, and that train has a great view of both. 

Do you have any tips for students who are trying to balance schoolwork, extracurriculars, and other obligations like internships? Listen, I work, intern, do like 20 bajillion things on campus, and have to get good grades, but I can tell you, I can’t balance a damn thing. The best I tell you is: learn to say no, and focus yourself. Don’t do everything, because you’ll just stress yourself out. Pick a few things and do them amazingly. 

What's your least favorite thing about NY? I hate that people think the city begins and ends in Manhattan, especially since most won’t venture into the L.E.S. or Washington Heights. There’s so much more to New York! Take the train, get lost, look around, and come back (OK, but do this in the daytime just in case). 

Do you have a favorite Fordham memory? Performing at Dynasty from the Asian Cultural Exchange. Never thought I’d open for Quest Crew! (And besides being ridiculously good looking, they’re really nice)

Do you have a favorite NYC memory? In my senior year of high school, we walked from our school in Queens, through Brooklyn, over the Williamsburg Bridge, and ended in Ground Zero. That was definitely my best memory because I saw so much, and ended it with a  prayer at one of the most important places in NYC history (especially for us native New Yorkers who were here when it happened).

What's your favorite class you've taken at Fordham? I took a class called “Performing Arts in the 21st Century” that was actually held at the Juilliard School and was half Fordham kids, half Juilliard kids. The professor was the head of PBS Thirteen, and he just had a bunch of his friends from the industry come and talk to us. Amazing class. 

What's your least favorite class you've taken at Fordham? Any statistics class. I swear I understood nothing. 

Where's your favorite spot on campus? When I’m feeling social, the CSA office because they’re the friendliest and most hilarious people on campus (when they’re not busy getting ish done of course). When I need alone time, the practice rooms in Keating basement.  

If you could give one piece of advice to Fordham collegiettes™, what would it be? Let me get all student leader-y and say, Fordham is about more than class, bars, and parties. Get involved!

What’s your dream job? Famous singer! But if that doesn’t happen, famous actress! But if that doesn’t happen, I want to work at Latin music record label in A&R (basically picking the new talent to sign and hooking up artists with writers/producers).

What's on your NYC bucket list? I want to go to the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center! And to watch the ball drop on New Years! (I actually went last year and saw it from my dad’s office which is on the same block, but I want to be in the crowd and the mayhem)

What do you think the best part of a Jesuit education is? It’s focus on being good people, not just learning and making money. We can get so much from resources like the Dorothy Day Center, Campus Ministry, and Global Outreach that other non-religious schools might not have.

Who is your favorite professor at Fordham? Patrick Hege! That man made me actually enjoy History class, which is incredible considering I always hated History. I heard he wasn’t here anymore though, so besides that, I’m taking a class with Steven D’Agustino now and he’s hilarious.

What’s one thing everyone would be surprised to learn about you? If I could choose to have one talent, it would be rapping. I’m so dead serious. 

Pick one!

Bronx Zoo or Botanical Gardens? Zoo
Arthur Ave/Fordham Road? Fordham Road
Cafeteria or Grille? Cafeteria
Conway or Dr. Jay's? Conway
RamVan or Subway? Subway (lets be practical people, the Ram Van has ONE stop, no offense)
Duane Reade or WalGreen’s? Duane Reade (its cheaper!)
Met or MoMA? MoMA
Hot Dog or Bagel? Bagel
Broadway or Off-Broadway? Broadway
Radio City or Madison Square Garden? Madison Square Garden 
Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge?
Brooklyn Bridge

Sarah is a member of the Class of 2013 at Fordham University, where she's a double-major in American Studies and Communication & Media Studies. A South Florida native, she is still adjusting to the cold and figuring out the basics of a winter wardrobe. A huge sports fan, Sarah watches way too much Sportscenter and compensates by watching copious amounts of E!, Gilmore Girls, and Pretty Little Liars. When she's not watching movies or staring at a television screen, she also enjoys blogging, photography, fashion, reading, and bring Pinterest pins to life. Follow her on Twitter @sari_ramirez.