Students Stay Up ‘Til Dawn for a Cause

While most college students were out partying or hanging with friends, on Sat., Nov. 11, Marist students traded in a night of sleep to participate in the 12th annual Up ‘Til Dawn event, which raises money for the pediatric cancer patients of St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 

Located in Memphis, TN, St. Jude’s is one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer and treatment centers. With the help of the donations it receives through events like Up ‘Til Dawn, St. Jude’s covers the treatment, travel, housing and food expenses for all of the roughly 7,500 patients it treats each year. 

This year’s Up ‘Til Dawn Executive Director, Casey Jaeb, cannot remember a time when St. Jude Children’s Hospital was not a part of her life. She made her first donation- the contents of her piggy bank- at the age of six, and in high school organized a night-long zumbathon event, the proceeds of which went directly to the children’s hospital.

Now, as a college senior, Jaeb led the organization’s efforts to ensure its participants were fulfilling their fundraising potential, and would all make it to sunrise on Sun., Nov. 12.

“I don’t know about anybody else, but this moves me,” Jaeb gushed. “To see college students give up a night when they could be going out or doing other things with their friends, and [instead] giving their night to raise awareness about St. Jude’s, is amazing.”

The event kicked off at 11 p.m. with interactive games in the student center, followed by a karaoke session in the cabaret. In between activities, students watched video montages of St. Jude patients and their stories, and took photos at the decorated backdrop. Food and refreshments were provided throughout the night to keep the participants well fueled.

Jaeb explained how the event’s brainstorming process usually starts in April, while the actual planning begins about three weeks into the start of the new school year. Although a portion of the funds for the event are provided by Marist’s Student Government Association and St. Jude’s, some of the expenses come directly out of the board member’s pockets.  

While students who participated were encouraged to fundraise at least $100, many went above and beyond that goal, with some raising over $1000 each. For those who struggled to fundraise, however, the St. Jude executive board hosted several events and donation challenges throughout the semester to give students a head start, including the “Halloween No-More-Cancer-Rally,” which took place on Oct. 24.  

Sophomore student Alexa Fisher participated in the event with her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. The fundraiser struck a personal chord in Fisher, who has several family members affected by cancer.   

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The members of Kappa Kappa Gamma participated in this year’s Up ‘Til Dawn

“[Living] in the college bubble, you often times don’t think about anything but yourself and your problems,” Fisher said. “So [realizing] that there’s other people that are struggling more than you but are powering through, shows that you can power through too.”

Similar sentiments inspired Ava Hanlon to become involved in Up ‘Til Dawn during her freshman year, when a close family friend’s 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia.

“My passion [for Up ‘Til Dawn] comes from the hope and spirit these children have to fight this disease everyday,” Hanlon, a junior, said. “To me, it is my job to to help in any way I can, to one day see these children home and healthy again, cancer free.”

According to the St. Jude website, approximately 75 percent of the hospital’s budgeted costs are covered by public contributions. Since its conception more than 50 years ago, St. Jude’s has helped increase the childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent in 1962 to 80 percent in 2018.

“St. Jude is one of the greatest charities in the world,” Jaeb said. “They provide treatment for kids with life threatening illnesses at no charge to the families, and on top of that they do top-of-the-line research that they share with every hospital and every doctor around the world who wants access to it. St. Jude is just amazing.” 

Enthusiasm was still high among the participants as the night neared dawn, and reached a crescendo when, at 5 a.m., the executive board members gathered on the third floor of the Rotunda to reveal the total amount fundraised: $61,567 of their initial $65,000 goal.

This year marks the first time Marist’s chapter of Up ‘Til Dawn fundraised over $60,000. Since the event, the total has climbed to $62, 342, and continues to grow even now.

“The outcome of the event is one thing, but the fundraising we were able to achieve is astounding,” Hanlon said. “That one night of sleep is incomparable to the sleep parents and children lose when battling cancer, so every ounce of me is beaming with pride of how incredible the turnout was.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marist College Welcomes Home Former Red Foxes

Poughkeepsie, New York- The Marist College Campus Green was filled with people of all ages smiling, laughing, and catching up on Saturday, October 20th during an Alumni Weekend event.

 

Past Red Foxes filled the campus exploring the new buildings, talking with old professors, and sharing their favorite college memories with current students.  Every year Marist hosts an Alumni Weekend/Homecoming that welcomes back all graduates of Marist. Events that are held include a football game, barbecue, food and beverage vendors, class pictures, and much more.  

 

Current students were reminded about many changes; one being that Marist was once an all male school, as the last class of that era walked around with green baseball caps to show off which class they were.  

 

Many alum were excited to network with current students and offer advice and tips for their future.  Kelsey Donohue ‘13 offered advice from her own personal experience. Donohue spent a semester in Washington D.C. at American University through the semester program Marist offers.  Although skeptical about the possible outcomes of her semester away, she was thankful she accepted the opportunity and was overwhelmed with joy due to her achievements. “Take every opportunity Marist has to offer.  Apply for things out of reach even if they seem like a stretch. You are capable of making that reach and succeeding,” said Donohue.

 

So what exactly has changed at Marist?  Tom Spratt ‘68 said, “Donnelly Hall was our cafeteria.  There was also a bar in the basement of Champagnat Hall which is where I worked.” Many Alum stopped in the admissions office and reminisced about the time it was a dorm.   Some even mentioned Donnelly Hall was once where mixers with Mount Saint Mary College students were held. The boys would dress up in their best clothes and head to the Brown Derby on Friday nights; much different from the current Friday night outings most Marist students take part in.

 

Some Alum are also parents to current and prospective Red Foxes.  “Marist is a family place. It’s more than a community, it’s a family” said Grace Ritter ‘18, looking at her dad John Ritter ‘84, catching up with old classmates.  It is not rare for families to be filled with past, present, and future Red Foxes. The Marist instagram page is constantly filled with pictures of baby Red Foxes.

 

Current students were eager to hear from their friends who had just graduated.  They wanted to know what the “real world” and graduate school was like. They were all relieved to hear that the graduates were enjoying their jobs, new cities and homes, and the friends they had made.  It also gave them a sense of reassurance which was highly needed after midterms week which was the week before. Many recent alum expressed their excitement for their new lives but also sorely missed their time on campus.

 

Many students also were interested in networking and speaking with older alum.  They had their resumes ready incase an internship opportunity appeared. William Clooman ‘68 shared his story of being the first President of the Alum Association Search Committee and worked on the board when former President Murray was hired.

 

Alum were excited to post their pictures on social media and share their annual Red Fox memories with the rest of the world.  Captions of posts included “the boys are back in town,” “Marist forever and ever,” and “always and forever a red fox.”

 

Current students strolled around campus smiling at how happy all the alum seemed to be.  “It comforts me knowing that even after we graduate, we will still be just as excited to be here on campus.  Marist is more than a college, it’s our home,” said Lindsay Barton ‘20.

Certificate Program Empowers Students, Develops Leadership Skills

As the sound of upbeat, instrumental music filled the room, muffled voices turned quiet and students shuffled silently inside for the Emerging Leaders Program’s (ELP) first live-stream broadcast of the semester, last Tuesday night. The broadcast was one of 19 events offered in ELP’s Fall 2018 Workshop Series aimed to provide students with various opportunities to define, discover, and develop their leadership skills.

The speaker of the hour was media personality and heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, professionally known as Dr. Oz. In his speech entitled, “Live Your Best Life from the Inside Out,” Oz spoke about the importance of mental and physical resiliency and advised students of stress management techniques to improve health and wellness. Oz also discussed his non-profit organization HealthCorps that he co-founded with his wife.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks to a crowd of NSLS society members at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

“The first telecast was not what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised to be moved by Dr. Oz on many occasions throughout his speech,” said junior Caitlyn Abrahamson. “He has generated some thoughts in my own mind about what I can do to make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Last Tuesday’s broadcast kicked off the first of three others scheduled and marked the fourth ELP event of the semester. The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) organizes the broadcasts. In recent years, the NSLS has hosted a wide variety of esteemed leaders such as Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Anderson Cooper, Emmy Award-winning television personality and journalist, and Barbara Corcoran, real estate entrepreneur and star of “Shark Tank.”

ELP first emerged at Marist in 2004 with 35 students participating in a weekend Leadership Retreat but changed to a non-credit leadership certificate program the following academic year. In 2006, after forming a partnership with the NSLS, the Marist Chapter was founded with 67 members. This semester, 326 students attended orientation as part of the induction process into the NSLS. “This is a huge increase from last fall,” said senior Brittany Hampton, the President of ELP’s Executive Board. “It is actually the largest number Marist has ever had [join in a single academic year].”

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Handouts/note guides provided during ELP workshops.

Included in the line-up of speakers this fall is Marist President Emeritus, Dr. Dennis J. Murray and key executives from Target Corporation, many of whom are Marist alumni and former ELP members, as well as other faculty, alumni, and administrative presenters.

Senior Lauren Vecchio, who attended three workshops so far, claimed that each provided valuable skills for different facets of life ranging from implementing “practical financial issues” and preparing for the workforce and professional life to understanding and formulating our individual narratives.

Students who complete five or more workshops throughout the academic year receive an Emerging Leaders Certificate, which can be earned on an annual basis. Those seeking to become an Inducted Member of the NSLS can learn more here. Last spring 2018, 217 students received ELP certificates and 112 were inducted into NSLS.

Students can register for the remaining workshops and telecasts within my.Marist.edu, subject to availability.

“One thing I’ve learned from being a general member of the ELP/NSLS is that you never know when or where you’ll encounter something that will change the way you think forever, so get out there and experience as much as you can!” said Vecchio.

Hampton shared a similar sentiment stating that although sometimes it may be easier or harder to connect with some speakers than others, “it is important, and interesting, to hear each speaker’s story so that you can decide which leadership styles you like best and form your own style. Hearing their stories also makes you aware of all the different types of leadership styles that are out there,” said Hampton.

Athletes Donate Pumpkins

Marist Student-Athletes donated pumpkins to the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie.

This was the sixth year that student-athletes participated in this event. All donated pumpkins benefit the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie which is a residential care facility home for abused and neglected children who live in the Hudson Valley Region. Last year, the Children’s Home served 350 children and their families.

“The past few years we have donated over 100 pumpkins, this year we expect to have over 150 pumpkins to donate,” said Ali Kenney, the Assistant Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement of the Marist Center for Student-Athlete Enhancement.

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Pictured here: The pumpkins collected during the Peer Mentor Event in the Press Box at the Women’s Soccer Game vs. Siena

The purpose of the Marist CSAE is to provide academic support services that not only assist student-athletes while they attend Marist, but also grooms them for life beyond their college careers. Of the many academic support services that Marist CSAE offers is the Peer Mentor Program where freshmen student-athletes are paired with upperclassmen who are members of other sports teams. These upperclassmen serve as a resource for incoming freshmen and help them to adjust to life as a student-athlete. There are several events that the peer mentors and peer mentees do together, including decorating pumpkins.

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Pictured here: Shawna Gilson, junior, student-athlete peer mentor

“Painting the pumpkins allowed for a great opportunity to bond with our mentees. I really enjoyed seeing how they all came out. It’s nice to do something for the community and I can’t wait to do it again next year,” said Shawna Gilson, a junior peer mentor on the Marist Women’s Rowing Team.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the Marist CSAE hosted an event where peer mentees and mentors could drop off their pumpkins and watch the Marist Women’s Soccer Game versus Siena. The smell of fall Apple Cider and Apple Cider donuts filled the entire press box and there was a sense of camaraderie present. As fellow student-athletes supported each other, they also came together to showcase their own pumpkins and to see others, all for the well-being of the local community.

“It’s a chance for our mentors and our mentees to get together and decorate a pumpkin together. In addition, we have all of our student-athletes from all sports donate and decorate pumpkins that we donate to the Children’s Home for their annual pumpkin walk which will take place on Saturday,” said Kenney.

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Pictured here (Left to right) Andrew Burns, Alexander Hogue, Brian Henderson members of the Marist Cross Country/Track Team

“I think that this event is pretty cool because it gets Marist involved with the Children’s Home down the road. It puts Marist into the community of Poughkeepsie and allows us to get involved that way,” said Alexander Hogue, peer mentor and a junior on the Marist Cross Country and Track Team.

The Marist CSAE has a strong relationship with the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie because community service is an integral part of this organization.  In 2016, the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored Marist CSAE with the “Outstanding Collegiate Philanthropy” award. In addition to this, during the 2017-18 academic year Marist student-athletes completed 2,510 hours of community service.

Marist CSAE organizes numerous community service projects throughout the academic year by running events like the Girls Scouts Sampler, Special Olympics, White Ribbon Campaign, Walk Against Hunger and Valentines for Vets. They also organize volunteering at places like the Mid Hudson Children’s Museum, the Vassar Warner Senior Residence, and local elementary and middle schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-Semitic Flyers Spark Concern on Campus

Students were upset and disappointed by the anti-semitic flyers that were found in academic buildings on campus last week.

Director of safety and security John Blaisdell said that the incident occurred at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 8th, when Marist security received two calls reporting a

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Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/10/10/anti-semitic-fliers-found-uc-davis

 suspicious person on campus, as well as offensive and anti-semitic flyers that were found in Dyson Hall and the Lowell Thomas Communications Center.  The flyers depicted the newly confirmed Supreme  Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as well as several Jewish senators including Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer.  The senators had the Star of David printed on their heads, while Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had the phrase “Good Goy” printed on hers.  The bottom of the poster read, “Every time some anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it and it’s Jews behind it.”

Blaisdell said that security was dispatched, and that the officers found the suspect rather quickly.  He was described as a man wearing a dark hoodie and rubber gloves carrying a satchel.  Initially, this person had no interest or desire to speak with the officers.  However, they followed him and continued to ask him what he was doing.  He eventually cooperated and claimed that the flyers were part of an “educational outreach” effort. 

The officers told the man that he was not welcome as a guest or to hang flyers, and that if he returned to campus he would be arrested.  The individual was not a Marist student, and Blaisdell  said that they have no reason to believe that he has any affiliation with the school. 

According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the same flyers were spotted at Vassar College and Dutchess Community College, as well as UC Davis in California.  Blaisdell said that Marist security has been working with Vassar and Dutchess regarding the issue.  He also noted that incidents like this have happened in the past. 

“They’re generally flyers or information that don’t promote an inclusive community,” Blaisdell said.

While security handled the situation quickly and efficiently, students are still concerned about the intruder and about the dissemination of hateful rhetoric on campus.  Rabbi Boruch Zelouf, who serves as the Chabad Rabbi for Marist students, said that he was disappointed and surprised that something like this would happen at Marist.  He also said that students have come to him to talk about how the incident emotionally impacted them.  However, Zelouf emphasized the importance of responding with positive action and togetherness rather than fear and discouragement. 

“It should not put us in a state of despair, but it should push us  forward,” Zelouf said.

Lauren Vicenzi, the Vice President of Marist Hillel, was also shocked and disappointed by the fliers.  Vicenzi said that Hillel held a meeting  the day after the incident happened.  They all agreed that Marist handled the situation very well, and that this is part of a much larger societal issue.  Like Rabbi Zelouf, Vicenzi also wanted to handle the incident in a positive and constructive manner.

“We took it as an opportunity to solidify our community,” Vicenzi said.  “The Jewish population at Marist is significantly low, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it can make you feel isolated.” 

Students of all religious backgrounds found the fliers to be hurtful and alarming.  “I’m not Jewish, but I still think it’s pretty scary that something like this happened on our campus,” said senior David Cyganowski. 

The Jewish community at Marist wants to make the best out of this negative situation.  “We don’t fight hate with hate,” said Rabbi Zelouf.  “We fight hate with positivity and increased light.”

“Frankenstein” Revived Through Storytelling and Visual Art

Despite the otherwise light atmosphere of the Marist College Art Gallery, its graphic contents can only be described as bleak, eerie, and haunting. Directly opposite the display’s unique mixture or grays and blacks are 10 chairs on which visitors can sit and contemplate the work; no matter which chair is sat in, however, the painting’s phantom acrylic eyes always seem to follow.

These paintings make up only one part of Professor Tommy Zurhellen’s “Frankenstein: Könfidential” exhibition, a project that combines traditional storytelling and visual art to recreate Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

“My first impression walking into the gallery was that of feeling tremendously cold,” Professor Zurhellen’s student Kevin Hudson, a senior, said. “The room was spacious, and the cool/monochrome color scheme of each of the paintings created this feeling. I believe Professor Zurhellen was creating a strong introduction through intense feelings of discomfort.”

Professor Zurhellen’s decision to pursue a recreation of the original Frankenstein was prompted by the 200th anniversary of its publication this year. Despite its age, the professor believes its central themes of creation and ethics are as timely as ever.

“[Frankenstein] is 200 years old yet the writing is still fresh and new,” he said. “It’s creepy and spooky and dark and weird, and it could have been written yesterday.”

Professor Zurhellen’s narrative is told in serial form and split into 24 episodes, mirroring the number of chapters found in the original work. Each week one installment is released, accompanied by a visual art graphic that pertains to the story’s timeline. The artwork was created by Hyeseung Marriage-Song, a New York-based artist the professor collaborated with for the project.

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The painting that accompanies Chapter 1: In the Cemetery

“Once people understand that it’s a celebration and recreation of the original story in a collaborative way, they get it,” Professor Zurhellen explained. “It takes a little bit of imagination to get the whole project, but once [people] do, they love it.”

Like the original work, Professor Zurhellen’s project centers around Victor Frankenstein and his vicious creation, but the similarities stop there. In “Frankenstein: Könfidential,” the doctor is a Jew living in Nazi-Germany during the final months of WWII.

The new narrative opens much like the original version, with American Capt. Robert Walton’s cryptic letter to his younger sister Margaret, which is provided as part of the exhibition, complete with rips, creases, coffee cup stains, and a US Army Examiner Stamp.

“The inclusion of this letter in the exhibit was really cool to see as it brought Zurhellen’s story to life among the accompanying artwork,” senior Sarah Howard said. “It looked like a real artifact that you would see in a historical exhibit in a museum.”

Many of the characters within “Frankenstein: Konfidential” are taken from Shelley’s original work, like Dr. Frankenstein’s childhood friend Henry Clerval, but are infused with Professor Zurhellen’s personal twists. Others, however, are entirely based on actual historical figures. One painting depicts the character “Lilo,” who was involved in the resistance movement against the Nazis during the war, and the story’s antagonist is based on real-life Gestapo agent Robert Mohr.

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From left to right: “Lilo,” “Ode to CDF,” (Below) Capt. Walton’s letters to his sister, “Henry Clerval”

“Adding that kind of historical flare [to the characters] helps make the story feel more authentic,” Professor Zurhellen explained.

“I think that Zurhellen is trying to reinvent the Frankenstein story in a new light and give it a newer and more current life,” Howard explained. “I got the sense from the exhibit that he wanted onlookers to question everything they previously knew about the original Frankenstein story, as well as dispel their concept of reality to really transport themselves into the world he has created.”

Since its grand opening on Sept. 27, the exhibit has garnered positive reviews from The ChronogramHudson Valley Magazine, and The Poughkeepsie Journal, among others. Much of the project’s success, Professor Zurhellen said, is owed to his collaboration with Marriage-Song.

“Trust in the power of collaboration [because] you’ll get something that normally by yourself you’d never get,” the professor said. “You get more than just your own work. It’s almost easy, because someone else is working just as hard [as you] and you create something no one else would ever think of. [This project] wouldn’t have happened unless these two powers came together and did something unique.”

In November the exhibit will appear at the Gowanus Industrial Arts Complex in Brooklyn, in front of a much larger audience. Once all 24 installments of “Frankenstein: Könfidential” are released, Professor Zurhellen plans on grouping the chapters together into a printable version.

 

 

 

 

Marist Poll Gears Up For Midterm Elections

As nationwide midterm elections approach, the Marist Institute is of Public Opinion (MIPO) has increased polling for media partner, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).

Since March, MIPO has polled twelve states about the upcoming elections.  Most recently, releasing the poll results for Indiana, Missouri and Texas.  MIPO has also released the results for Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania. In the coming weeks MIPO will be polling in nine other states as well.

The Founder and Director of MIPO, Dr. Lee Miringoff, noted the organization “hasn’t broken out of electoral mode since 2016…because so much has been going on.”  However, he did mention that in the past “4 or 5 months” they have revved up their polling in light of the upcoming midterm elections.

Student-workers at the Marist Poll, tasked with cold calling citizens to take surveys, have felt an increase in their workload due to the election season.  Emma Bussetti, 21, a student worker at the poll, said, “Typically we do a poll one week, and then we have three or four weeks where we don’t work.  But now, we’re polling every week.”  

Each poll comes from a sample of one thousand participants who are asked a series of survey questions over the phone.  Surveys include a variety of questions regarding gender, age, race, income, political affiliation, and likelihood of voting. According to the Marist Poll website, “Data collection is typically conducted over a three to five day period depending on the sample size, length of the questionnaire, and incidence of the target population.”

On top of polling for the midterm elections, MIPO has performed various national polls, as well.  Most recently, MIPO released a public opinion poll about President Donald Trump in conjunction with National Public Radio (NPR).

The results of these polls are used and disseminated by MIPO’s partners, NBC and NPR.  MIPO began their partnership with NBC in 2011, or since “the Romney Campaign” as Miringoff puts it.  Previously, MIPO has also completed polls for the Wall Street Journal and HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

MIPO has also been busy with the release of their new Podcast series, “Poll Hub”, which features Lee Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, Barbara Carvalho, Director of The Marist Poll, and Jay DeDapper, Director of Innovation at The Marist Poll. Maringoff stated, “Since last August, we’ve started doing podcasts…and we just did our sixtieth.”  He went on to explain that each episode is about twenty to thirty minutes long, and has included distinguished guests, such as political journalist Harry Enten and New York Senator Charles Schumer.

The Marist Poll is located on the third floor of the Hancock Center on the Marist College Campus in Poughkeepsie, New York.  The organization currently employs over 300 Marist students.

Fall Semester Generates Mix of Emotions for Freshmen and Seniors

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Almost a month since move-in day, the Fall 2018 semester has sufficiently sunk in and so have emotions about the school year ahead. Between moving into Marist for the first time as a freshman and preparing for the last year at college as a senior, both underclassmen and upperclassmen alike experience an array of emotions.

For freshmen, it is the adjustment process to a new school in an unfamiliar place with a different environment. For seniors, it is the thought of stepping out of the “Marist bubble” after getting accustomed to it for three years.

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Student volunteers help out on move-in day to transport student belongings from campus parking lots to their on-campus housing. 

Making the transition from high school to college can seem daunting for most first-year students. In order to help assist incoming students, various parts of the Marist community are involved from move-in day to student orientations and welcome week events. Marist sports teams as well as the Marist Band traditionally help the incoming freshmen members to the team/organization who move in early due to summer camp/training. “I would definitely say that the water polo team has helped me the most adjusting. The other girls on the team have been so helpful and supportive.  They made this process 100 times easier for me,” said incoming freshman Gabrielle Gervasi.

As for the graduating seniors at Marist, the start of the fall semester ushers in a range of feelings from happy, sad, and everything in between.  While some are planning to further their education by applying to grad school, others are seeking out employment opportunities as they prepare for the final lap before entering the working world.

“I want to go to grad school to get my PhD in toxicology, but if not, I’ll probably take a year off to get more research/lab experience,” said senior Beatrix Bradford.

“If I don’t have a job, I already have a possible internship for May,” said senior Niccole D’Arco. “I’m just going to play it by ear and try not to let it stress me out too much,” D’Arco added.

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A countdown device on display in Donnelly Hall serves as a visual reminder for senior students as graduation day approaches. A similar device can be found in Dyson Center.

“I will be working full-time and I plan to live in Manhattan,” senior Victoria Fetzer said, beaming. Despite her enthusiasm, Fetzer still feels anxious thinking about life after Marist. “I am lucky to have a job for after graduation, but I’m a little nervous to go into the real world.”

When asked, students were not short of words to describe their feelings of starting the fall semester. Nervous. Scared. Excited. Anxious. Overwhelmed. These five words were reiterated by both freshmen and seniors alike.

“I was most afraid of the workload,” said freshman Avery Homer.

Though D’Arco spoke of a similar sentiment about the school year, her uncertainties were directed elsewhere. “I’m scared of not being prepared enough for post-grad life.  I feel like I need an extra year of student experience,” said D’Arco.

Like a majority of college students everywhere, Gervasi cited overcoming homesickness as a huge part of the adjustment process. “I was most worried about being so far away from my family. Texas to Marist is over a thousand miles away, so that kind of freaked me out in the beginning,” said Gervasi.

Marist seniors knew those feelings. After reflecting on their own experiences, they shared advice for their freshman self in hopes of calming current freshmen year college fears.

“I can’t believe how fast college went. I feel like I was just a freshman,” Fetzer said with a laugh. “I would say don’t worry too much and just enjoy every second because it goes by so fast,” added Fetzer.

As students continue on the course of the semester, one feeling seems to resonate with Marist freshmen and seniors alike: excitement for what is to come.

Marist and Health Quest Partner to Form Medical School

What began as mere rumor became reality on Wed., Sept. 12, when President Yellen confirmed Marist College’s partnership with Health Quest to form its very own medical school.

“The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine aspires to become a nationally recognized leader in technology-enabled medical education,” President Yellen stated in a campus-wide email. “This unique partnership will push the boundaries of healthcare by focusing on where medicine is going, not where it has been.”   

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Robert Friedberg, President & CEO of Health Quest, and David Yellen, President of Marist College, at The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine announcement at Marist College

According to the statement, Marist will be added to the list of only 151 other MD-granting medical schools in the country, and the school will become the first of its kind in the area between Albany and Westchester County.  

Health Quest is a nonprofit organization made up of hospitals and healthcare providers primarily in the Mid-Hudson Valley, whose four award-winning hospitals include Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital Center, Sharon Hospital, and the Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine will be constructed on an l00,000-square-foot area within Poughkeepsie’s very own Vassar Medical Center, only a 5 minute drive from Marist.

“In many ways [the Marist Health Quest School] can help programs that are already here on campus,” explained Dr. Stephen Katz, Medical Director of the Physician Assistant Department. “It could benefit the psychology program, the business program, [and] people in the economics department who are involved with medicare and medicaid [because] now they’ll have a direct access line to that sort of information.”

Dr. Katz described the placement of the medical school on the Vassar Brothers campus as “appropriate,” as much of a medical student’s clinical work and patient care is done within local hospitals.  

Although the decision to go forth with the medical school was shared with select staff and administrators over a year ago, the recent announcement shocked many students.

“I was actually very surprised but excited [when I heard about the medical school] because this is a major accomplishment for Marist and its pre-health students,” said Kristina Thompson, a senior Biology Major with a pathway in Public Health. “This medical school now offers an opportunity that students have not had before.”

School of Science Dean Alicia Slater, who assumed the position on July 1, participated in the tail-end of the negotiation meetings with Health Quest, and believes the school’s completion will bring benefits to both Marist and the surrounding community.

“I hope that the school is going to attract more graduate [students] from across the country, and raise the national profile of Marist,” she said. “We’re going to see a lot of interaction between the faculty here on campus and the medical school students so that we can help produce medical care providers who are broadly trained.”

According to Dean Slater, the Marist Health Quest school will operate with a little more independence than the other departments because of its partnership with Health Quest.

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The Marist Health Quest School of Medicine building concept

Both Dean Slater and Dr. Katz proudly noted the fact that the college’s new doctoral  program for Physician Assistants saw its first graduating class have a 100 percent pass rate for its certifiable exams, making Marist’s decision to open its own medical school all the more timely.

“Marist has been highly supportive of our PA program; they have invested enormous resources, and given us enormous administrative support, and have helped us have a very successful new program,” Dr. Katz gushed.  “I have no doubt that Marist will insist on making [the medical school] a good program too.”

 

Office of Safety and Security Considers Modern Personal Safety Technology

The Office of Safety and Security is currently testing Ripple, a personal security device, with a select number of students and Resident Assistants making emergency call boxes a thing of the past. 

About the size of a Scrabble tile, Ripple is a small, discrete, wearable button with bluetooth connectivity and GPS. If clicked once, a Ripple dispatcher will call the user’s cell phone. This  could be used if a student wants to stay on the line with someone while they walk alone at night.

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Ripple device on Smith’s keychain.

If Ripple is clicked three times it indicates an immediate emergency situation, and emergency vehicles will be sent to the user’s location.

Users can customize their Ripple settings to include a photo, medical information, and specify what kind of emergency vehicle they’d like dispatched in an emergency situation. 

Brian Dolansky, Associate Director of Safety and Security, reports the students testing Ripple are “using it more than they ever used an emergency call box.” 

Resident Assistant Owen Smith has been testing Ripple since August and thinks the new technology is “a great idea. Just having Ripple makes everyone feel a little safer, even if we don’t actively use it.”

The potential implementation of Ripple comes at a time when Marist students are assessing their personal safety. In the spring of 2018 senior Samantha Hesler conducted an anonymous sexual assault awareness survey in which she asked, “Is there any place on campus where you feel unsafe? Why?” Out of the out of the 108 survey responses Hesler received, six cite they feel unsafe because of a lack of emergency call boxes, frequently known as blue lights.

On campus there are 27 emergency call boxes total—19 on the east side and 8 on the west. Hesler believes, “If you’re going to have a blue light system, you need to have it across campus. You can’t half-ass the blue light system.” 

Dolansky reasons the number imbalance, “Probably had to do with the evolution of the college…there are more on the residential side because that’s where most students are at night.”

According to data gathered by the Marist Office of Safety and Security, the emergency call boxes were activated 28 times between 2012 and 2017. Of those 28 calls, only three were students asking to be escorted home by security. Five were people requesting a jump start or other car  assistance. 

“I’ve been doing this for 17 years and call boxes rarely get used,” says Dolansky, “If something isn’t being used, it’s hard to justify keeping it. But on the flip side, you can’t put a value on potentially saving someone’s life.”

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Emergency call box near underpass

Deb DiCaprio, Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs, says Ripple is, “a much better way to go in terms of personal safety. We can only guess where blue lights should be. If someone gets in trouble in one spot and we put a blue light there, someone else will get in trouble in another spot. Students can use Ripple when and where they need it, they don’t need to look around for a blue light to get help.” 

“There’s no one safety solution, no one technology, so we’re overlapping technologies by keeping the call boxes but testing Ripple,” says Dolansky, “The future of Marist security is not a static thing. We’re always looking for ways to improve and protect our students.” 

The Office of Safety and Security is not currently planning to remove emergency call boxes.