Anti-Semitic Flyers Spark Concern on Campus

Students have recently expressed their distaste and concerns regarding the anti-semitic flyers that were found 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 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. 

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. 

Blaisdell 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.  Student body president Ted Dolce took to Instagram to express his disgust, posting a picture of the flier on his Instagram story and writing, “If you saw this flyer around campus, rest assured that the perpetrator was not a Marist student and the situation was handled by security rather quickly.  We don’t stand for bigotry or hate of any kind.” 

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Professor Zurhellen Recreates Frankenstein with Unique Collaboration of Storytelling and Visual Art

Despite the otherwise light atmosphere of the Marist College Art Gallery at 51 Fulton Street, its graphic contents can only be described as bleak, eerie, and haunting. Five canvases hang at different intervals on two walls that connect at a corner, all of which consist of a unique mixture of blues, greens, grays and blacks. Directly opposite the display 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 collaboration project that combines traditional storytelling and visual art to recreate Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

“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.”

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. One installment is released each week and is accompanied by a visual art graphic that pertains to the story’s timeline, created by Hyeseung Marriage-Song, an artist the professor collaborated with for the project.

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The painting that accompanies Chapter 1: In the Cemetery 

“Trust in the power of collaboration [because] you’ll get something that normally by yourself you’d never get,” Professor Zurhellen 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.”

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.

“[Using different forms of art] is really the only way to stretch your boundaries,” Professor Zurhellen explained. “If you want to know how good you are, collaborate with somebody.”

Many of the characters 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 Gustapo agent Robert Moore.

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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.

Since its grand opening on Sept. 27, the exhibit has garnered praiseful reviews from The Chronogram, and Hudson Valley Magazine, and The Poughkeepsie Journal, among others.

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.

 

 

 

 

Educational Nonprofit for Students Struggles to Find Visibility

In a small New School auditorium in Union Square, the sound of pounding rain competed with the clacking of laptop keys. Max Robins, President and Executive Director of the Center for Communication, stepped up to the microphone, and students of every age tore their attention away from their screens to listen. 

Robins introduced himself, his esteemed panel, and the topic of that night’s discussion: Storytelling Through VR. Robins ended with the Center for Communication’s mission statement,  “We want to open the doors for the next generation of diverse media leaders” said Robins. 

Based in Brooklyn, New York, The Center for Communication is a nonprofit centered around providing free seminars for students during which they can listen to and meet influential leaders in the media community. The Center offers between 25 to 40 events per year, all free for students. 

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Storytelling Through VR event on Oct. 11

Prior to becoming the president of the Center for Communication, Robins worked as a journalist,  a childhood dream of his. “I wanted to write for great magazines and newspapers, but that world has shrunk now,” said Robins, “But, it’s ever-changing.” 

Marcelle Hopkins, Co-Director of Virtual Reality and Deputy Director of Video at The New York Times, was one of the panel members. She revealed to the student audience, “Every job I’ve had since graduating college didn’t exist when I was a student.” 

During the seminar Hopkins spoke to students about the importance of learning to tell a story. She claimed anyone can learn to use the technology necessary for virtual reality, but not everyone can tell a story well. “Events like these are important because they show students what’s out there for them, what they can do.” 

One problem the Center for Communication currently faces is outreach. Farrah Thomson, a student at The New School in Manhattan, saw a flyer for the event and decided to go. “This is my first time going to one of their events,” said Thomson, “but I want to attend more in the future. I’m surprised the organization isn’t promoted more.” 

One upcoming event Robins is particularly excited about is the Diversity and Media Career Summit on November 19. Based off the popular Women and Media Career Summit the Center has hosted for the past two years, the day-long event features keynote speakers, panels, and workshops. “We decided to create this because we have seen a growing need for diversity in media careers,” said Robins. 

Past seminar topics have included journalism, filmmaking, public relations, publishing, and First Amendment issues. “We want to break down barriers between students and the industry,” Robins commended, “We encourage people to be lifelong students.” 

Robins’ favorite thing about the Center’s panels is the wealth of knowledge displayed before him. “If I run a panel, not only am I learning from the speakers, but I’m learning from the questions our attendees ask,” explained Robins, “The students inspire me with their eagerness to learn.” 

In the future the Center for Communication hopes to offer events across the United States and, eventually, internationally. 

Returning Back to Marist

Back to school for Marist students can bring a variety of many different feelings. For some, it may be the best time of the year when they can reconnect with their friends again. While for some it may be the toughest thing they will ever have done in their life up to this point. Moving halfway across the country, maybe even all the way from coast to coast, or for some students to a whole new country. Student-Athletes though, they have it a little different and some say tougher as well.

August eighth was the report date for football players. A long journey that the returning players had been anxious for. “This is what we have been waiting for. I know it sounds cliche and you hear it all over every time something that has been anticipated on is approaching. But all the work we put in over the winter and spring, it should definitely pay off” said Marist Running Back Areg Nazarian. For Areg the trek back to campus is not an easy one, hailing from Los Angeles, California. It is about a six-hour flight and then totaling about eight hours once he is in Red Fox territory. The trip is not all that bad being that he is used to it and has made friends along the east coast who are teammates of his. One thing that Areg says that has thrown him off was the construction to the McCann sports arena. “Teams are going to have to focus and adjust this whole school year. McCann is like every team’s home base. Everything we do is based on McCann or revolves around McCann in some way, shape or form. But with the intelligent student-athletes, we have here at Marist, it shouldn’t be that much of a strenuous task”. The reconstruction here at Marist on the McCann sports arena is enhancing all of the facilities that we the student-athletes use to further enhance our performance. The demolition of the weight room has cost regular students who had free access to any Marist College workout facility has thrown a wrench into plans. Regular students may not use the South Field Tent until 6PM. A Marist College student Casey Yamamoto has said: “Even though I didn’t really use the weight room that much and often last year myself, that is all you hear about is that how it is not fair that we “NARPs” only have from 6PM till midnight to workout. Not everyone can work their way around that, some people even made their schedule so that they can work out in the earlier half of the day and then this project rolled around.

For another Marist College student-athlete, linebacker Maliek Carr is taking this school year with a different approach as well. Being that it is his first time being off campus for housing. “When we moved out of Marian for camp it just made the ‘camp life’ that much harder. We still had to be everywhere the same time as everyone else, just coming from further away. I wouldn’t say it is complaining, I just wish that the people could have thought of a more efficient way and also safer in case someone wakes up early”. Being off campus with teammates makes it much easier for Maliek he says, because he doesn’t have to really rely on himself, but he feels all the ripping and running he has to go back and forth from building to building especially after football takes more of a toll on his day than it did the previous two years.
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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.

Marist Abroad Introduces Freshman in Dublin Experience

Marist’s study abroad program is one of the college’s crown jewels, frequently lauded on tours and during info sessions.  This year, the international office will tack on another addition to Marist’s already impressive arsenal of international programs: the Freshman Dublin Experience.

The Freshman Dublin Experience (FDE) is a program that allows incoming freshman to spend their first year of school studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland.  The abroad office advertises that FDE is “designed for highly motivated freshmen who wish to pursue foundation course work in a study abroad environment while also allowing for a cultural exploration of Ireland.”  The features of the program are a testament to this statement.  Students will live at Binary Hub, which is 20 minutes away from Dublin Business School (DBS), where classes are held.  The program also includes excursions to Northern and Western Ireland.

Marist’s international programs have garnered national praise, but the administration at the international office believes that first-year programming is an increasingly important component of international education.

“Well-developed programs that offer students facilitated experiential and intercultural experiences are known to support their intercultural development [and their] ability to apply what they have learned to practical concepts,” says Gavin Webb, the director of international programs at Marist.

Webb also notes that the abroad office is happy with the reception of FDE.  “We’re very pleased with the interest in this new program,” Webb says.  “We currently have 28 students participating in our inaugural year.”

Marist already offers the renowned Freshman Florence Experience (FFE), but Webb says that FDE will offer programs that FFE does not.

“The program in Dublin compliments that of Florence since it offers coursework in majors such as IT & computer science or education that aren’t on offer in Florence,” Webb says.

There is a laundry list of young and bustling cities in Europe, but Marist Abroad felt that Dublin was the ideal destination for this new experience for a number of reasons.  For one, Marist already has established partnerships with institutions like DBS and the Foundation for International Education (FIE).  Students who have studied in Dublin before have also praised the city for offering a welcoming, friendly environment.

“I would say my favorite thing about Dublin was the general kind nature of the people,” said Jack McElduff, a senior who spent last fall at Griffith College in Dublin.  “They really welcomed me with open arms.”  He also said that the kind nature of the people allowed him to make friends quickly and easily, which is especially important for incoming freshmen. 

McElduff also noted that Dublin is a very navigable city.  “It’s an easy city to walk around in, and there’s no subways so that kind of helps you explore,” McElduff said.

The transition from life at home to life at school can be difficult for any new college student.  However, these students will have to adjust to college life in a foreign country, which can be especially overwhelming and nerve-wracking.  Marist Abroad has taken this into account, and has emphasized that there will be plenty of resources and support for these students. 

“Dedicated staff from Marist, FIE and DBS are there to support students through their academic and intercultural experience, and cultural adjustment to life in Ireland,” Webb said.  Of course, the adjustment to life in Poughkeepsie will also be challenging, but Marist Abroad has incorporated a re-entry phase of FDE that will allow students to critically reflect on their experience while integrating to life on Marist’s campus. 

“It’s a very brave thing for anybody to do, to study abroad as a freshman,” said Jean Hinkley, the coordinator for all first-year programs at Marist Abroad.  “If that’s your first introduction to college… I just think that takes a lot of courage.”

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.”

 

Bringing Designer Clothing to Campus

Rent the Runway (Rent the Runway), a high-end designer clothing rental program, has expanded their business and hired Rent the Runway College Ambassadors at Marist College to promote their program.

Rent the Runway is a high-end clothing rental service where customers have the chance to rent items monthly or even just for special events. This program once attracted an older clientele, but is now reaching out to college students. The Marist College Rent the Runway ambassadors are a new group to campus and have expanded from one ambassador last semester to five this semester. Junior, 20, Dylan Skinner, the Campus Coordinator for Marist Rent the Runway ambassadors, describes Rent the Runway as “Rent the Runway is an entirely new way to shop. There are so many people that want to experience high quality, designer pieces but cannot afford it. Rent the Runway allows you to do this! Not only are you saving yourself money by renting instead of buying, but you’re also being sustainable.”

As a Rent the Runway ambassador, Skinner is able to rent four free items a month and in return promote Rent the Runway. Receiving free clothing is a huge perk of this program, but many participants are fashion majors who are also excited to put a program like Rent the Runway on their resume. Skinner, who is also the designer and founder of Dylan Skinner Designs, spoke about how this experience will impact her future, “It is teaching all of us how to work on a team and spread awareness for a brand and cause that we can all stand behind…I truly feel as though we are all thrilled to be involved and work for a company that is so progressive and rewarding.This definitely gives me a better understanding for the type of environment I’d want to work in when I graduate: inclusive, dynamic, fun, and driven.”

Who wouldn’t want to save money and be sustainable? The fashion industry is infamously known to produce more waste than any other industry. Rent the Runway solves this problem by offering clothing as a service not a product. However, a clothing rental program can often be costly for students on a budget. By having a Rent the Runway ambassador program at Marist, students are able to have the opportunity to receive discounts and even free rentals from the Rent the Runway ambassadors, making wearing high end clothing more attainable.

Sophomore, 19, Rachel Maculloch, a Rent the Runway ambassador at Marist, explains how difficult it may be to shop on a college budget. “Designer brands are so expensive, and for some spending all that money for one event can seem unreasonable. Rent the Runway makes it so easy because you can rent items for so much less than if you actually bought them.” Marist College is home to many fashion merchandising and design majors, so having a program like this on a fashion school campus is a great opportunity for girls who love labels to shop on their college budget.

As the Rent the Runway program is gaining traction on campus, ambassadors are reaching out to other clubs like Fashion Inc. and Marist Ethical Fashion Initiative to gain awareness of the program and even offer Rent the Runway apparel and discount/free rental codes. However, reaching out to clubs doesn’t always attract the whole campus; ambassadors often use their personal social media presence to post about their program, the clothing they receive, and even offer their discounts to their followers.

Poughkeepsie Gets Greek Culture

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Pictured: Member of the Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church preparing loukoumades

 

Located in the heart of Poughkeepsie, the Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church hosted it’s bi-annual Poughkeepsie Greek Festival.

This four day event held at the Hellenic Community Center attracted over 10,000 people. This festival is a celebration of the food, music, and the culture of the Hellenic people. The proceeds of the event went to the church’s programs.

 

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Pictured: Andrea Miller, long time member of Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church

 

Andrea Miller has been a member of the Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church for over 45 years and has been a part of the festival since its inception. “The fact that the Greek community comes together and we work for weeks ahead of time baking and cooking, it’s apart of our heritage,” stated Miller. “The fact that this event has been going on for over 40 years proves that it serves its purpose.

People attending this event feel like they are being immersed into another culture when they attend this festival. Many locals attend every year because to this, it is not an event that can be missed.

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Pictured: Millbrook students dancing to traditional Greek music

Although there was no live music and dancing featured at this event attendees danced together to the music the DJ played. This showed the camaraderie as members of the community learned how to dance to Greek music.

“I come every year, twice a year, and I have been for over 15 years. This is not an event that I can miss,” said Yolanda Harris, a Poughkeepsie native. “I like some of the music, I just like being out and seeing different people, different cultures, different races, and I also like to go into the shops that they have here to see what is different from my heritage,” said Harris.

To add to the overall authenticity of the event, the festival this weekend focused on the food.

John Giogakis, is the president of the Parish Council at Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church, and has been working at this event for four years. “People come for our Greek food, everything here is handmade, made to order, and people love the food,” Giogakis stated.

This focus proved to be successful as attendees raved about the quality of the food.

“It has really good food. The atmosphere is extremely inviting, I have been to other Greek festivals but this is by far the best one,” said Frank Davis, Boston native who came to Poughkeepsie just to attend the festival.

Among the food options were, gyros, greek fries, souvlakis, loukoumades, and other traditional Greek food.

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Pictured: Greek fries that were sold at the festival

“It was Greek, very Greek. The food is very similar to the types of foods that I eat at home,” said Cady Anderson, a high school student at Millbrook High School.

This unique event showcases the Greek culture to the local community. Every year it attracts more people and becomes more popular.

“Basically the purpose of this event is our Greek heritage, and giving it to Poughkeepsie. The fact that over 10,000 people have come in four days is truly amazing,” said Giogakis.

Marist Knocks Down the Wall

Poughkeepsie, NY- Immigrants at Marist and the subject of immigration is not something typically explored within the student body. On November 8, 2017, in the Henry Hudson Room on 3rd floor of Fontaine at Marist College, the presence of Dan Buzi, Dr. Maria Höen, Anish Kanoria, Ignacio Acevedo, and Renee T. Oni-Eseleh commanded the attention of the student, faculty filled audience.

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