The Charger Blog

Nutrition Sciences Major Reflects on Honors Program Trip to New York City

For Beatrice Glaviano ’26, visiting the Big Apple and a trip to the American Museum of Natural History with members of the University’s Honors program sparked her curiosity and sense of wonder.

December 15, 2023

By Beatrice Glaviano ’26

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 enjoys trips to New York.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 enjoys trips to New York.

Good morning, everyone: it’s 10:34 a.m., and it’s a beautiful sunny day here in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. Currently, I’m sitting on a train heading to the hotspot that’s Grand Central Station for an Honors program trip to the American Museum of Natural History. New York City has always been a sort of second home for me. It’s so easy to be alone there, despite the onslaught of people; I have a delightful horrid habit of getting lost in my wanderlust there (and other places, lol).

Over the past couple of years, I definitely have more than a couple memories tied to the Big Apple. The most recent would have to be going to the St. George’s University (Medical School), but my favorite is seeing the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of orchids: they’re cranky, and they require more attention than a newborn baby. I’m more into plants (i.e., pothos) rather than flowers, but that’s not to say that I don’t have an appreciation for the latter – they’re just not always my thing.

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 learned about animal life at the American Museum of Natural History.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 learned about animal life at the American Museum of Natural History.

My initial guess of this place was: “Alright, cool, gonna go see some cool flowers and probably buy something overpriced from the giftshop; super swag” but words could barely describe the sheer amount of awe that I felt walking in. For context, this happened in early January, and if you’re not familiar with how winter and NY works, you wouldn’t know that the city is absolutely freezing cold because of all the buildings. You guys know how the wind-tunnel-thing happens between Celentano and Bix? Same thing applies here, just everywhere. Everything was frosted or frozen over, and I was still bundled up in my mom’s scarf because of the biting wind.

Stepping into the observatory of the NY Botanical Garden was like stepping into the world of Avatar: different. Vines tumbled down rocks and stalks of papyrus reached for the sun, their leaves spread like butter and fanned over us as if to protect viewers from an impossible sunburn. How on Earth was this possible? Two minutes ago, I was in January, and now I am in August; winter was right across the glass, but here it was summer: everything was alive, and I was living alongside it.

The first bundle of orchids was a shocking fuchsia, lined and speckled with white pigmentation as they flourished on their own. They were called Satakentia liukiuensis and originated from Japan. Next were orchids of creamy yellow mixed with splashes of pink or deep reds dotted with yellow; the variety of flowers that were available at this show would have any biology department or botanist in shock.

While he’s not a biologist (but a great gardener), my dad was also mesmerized. I’ve realized that I’ve mentioned my dad in older entries, but I never quite gave him a great introduction. My dad is the sole reason why I’m probably so good at cooking, fixing things, and tend to make hand gestures when I’m upset.

Not those hand gestures, though.

A pterodactyl exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.
An exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.

After immigrating to the States from Sicily, Dad made his way in education as a college professor. Currently, he teaches French, Spanish, and Sicilian, but more importantly, he’s taught me a lot of the morals and ethics I live by to this day. Does my dad go out of his way to see flowers for the fun of it? Nope. But his kid certainly does. I’m still very grateful that I was able to spend time with my dad in the city, as it’s one of the only places of which we enjoy going together to find adventure.

Bouncing back to the present, it’s now Saturday, the day after the trip to the American Museum of Natural History. Overall, I had a lot of fun traversing the city with the rest of the Honors program. While I’m not always keen on museums, they are an important aspect to historical education, and also a reason to get off my phone (even though I take fifty bajillion photos). I believe my favorite part of visiting AMNH had to be looking at all of the dinosaur fossils. Y’know, I think when we were all kids, we were grouped into one of several categories when it came to what we wanted to be:

Doctor, archaeologist, or astronaut.

Personally, I never really cared about fitting into any of these categories, but looking at old rocks sounded pretty dope. Who wouldn’t like scary lizard bones?

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 took in the dinosaurs while visiting American Museum of Natural History.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 took in the dinosaurs while visiting American Museum of Natural History.

Anyhow, I’ve been pretty invested in dinosaurs since a young age, and that same wonder has stayed with me up until now. For those who are wondering, my favorite dinosaur species are ankylosaurus, brachiosaurus, velociraptors, stegosaurus, and parasaurolophus. All but the velociraptor are herbivores by the way, and that probably says more about me than most things do. Being able to see the remains of beings who were alive thousands of years ago and learning about how they lived is so, so interesting to me. Who’s going to be looking at our fossils hundreds of years from now? What are they going to say? Dude, what if someone had surgeons dye your bones with a certain color or something and you just gave your skeleton a tattoo so future humans could see “Birds are just government spies” written along your tibia.

Like???? I want me a skeleton tattoo now.

Going back to what I was originally talking about before I was hideously sidetracked, while I’m not the biggest fan of museums, they are a good place to be humbled by science and what it means. After we were done looking at the exhibits, me and the gang (Emily and Sydney) decided to walk around town a little bit. For the most part, we went shopping, grabbed some Italian food that – in my humble Sicilian opinion – was not worth the money we spent, and then basically rushed back to catch the train in time.

In other words: nothing new, and definite success. (I also bought a new perfume, and I’m quite happy with it.)

On that note, I encourage all of you to find some down time during this finals season. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like traveling to NYC, but it should be something that you enjoy and can relax to. I hope all of you are having a wonderful almost-Christmas not-break, and that you are feeling confident in your studies. If anyone has questions, comments, or just needs to let some stuff out, feel free to email me at or my personal email,

All the peace, love, and peanut butter,

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 is a nutrition sciences major at the University of New Haven.