Pick an Alternative Adventure Versus a Job After College

People are expected to change their jobs over 15 times in their lifetime, said Ed Surge, a LinkedIn executive. Now, more than ever, there is great uncertainty on what career to choose after graduation, so many people are taking an alternative path.

“Post-undergrad opportunities may take graduates abroad, the Fulbright and Peace Corps opportunities being cases in point. Interested students should also consider the “Princeton In…” options, programs that offer recent graduates English teaching and other kinds of placements in Asia, Africa, and Latin America,” said Pat Taylor, Graduate School and Fellowships advisor at Marist College. “Within the United States, the more commonly recognized programs are Teach for America and Americorps/Vista service opportunities. City Year is a specific program tied to Americorps which focuses on placing its corps members in high-need schools.”

In addition, many people will take a gap year to travel, work on an organic farm through WWOOF, find an internship, take a continuing education class, or volunteer. There is an alternative option for every type of person and interest. For example, “Report for America” places its members in local news organizations in regions that are considered “news deserts” to help with the coverage of local news. I think that it’s a good idea to do these things in place of your typical nine-to-five, full-time job. It is the only time in your life when you will be free from the “real” work world and may have the opportunity to do what you love without anything tying you down.

Danny Knoll, a recent Fulbright Grant recipient who will be teaching English in Indonesia in a few months said, “I wanted the opportunity to travel and live outside of the United States as I did not have that chance while at Marist being a two-semester student-athlete. What better time to travel than right after graduation?”

On top of being able to travel, participating in programs like the Peace Corps can help pay off student debt. Teach for America even pays for its teachers to enroll in graduate school. There are many perks to participating in these short term programs, one of the biggest being that many people claim it is life-changing.

“These programs immerse the participant in different kinds of communities, working to make a difference in the lives of those populations and equipping that student with an enduring respect for our common humanity along with the magnitude of the challenges we face. Such experiences can form the foundation or bedrock for future change agents and leaders,” said Taylor.

“Even though I do not plan on becoming a teacher long term, I believe the experience that I will receive through Teach For America will help me in my future endeavors in law and policy,” said Ryan Guzhnay.  “I have a passion for helping those who do not have a voice or to help those voices be heard. Social justice for me is super important and children are part of that group of voices that are often not paid attention to.”

Whether you chose to partake in one of these opportunities or not, either way, it’s good to give yourself the chance to think about the types of activities you believe would be most engaging to you and to do something that you think taps into the issues you find most pressing.

“I know these alternative programs are not going to be easy or make us a lot of money, but I believe these types of programs challenge you and help you better understand yourself, what you are capable of, and potentially change what you thought your path was going to be in your career because of the exposure to different experiences,” said Guzhnay.

It’s important and imperative to take the time to breathe and really reflect on what you want to do and who you want to be after college. I think that these alternatives can lead to self-discovery and are beneficial to participate in at any time in your life.

2019_04_05_Fulbright_BODYdannyDaniel Knoll, a future Fulbright Scholar traveling to teach English in Indonesia for a year.

Screen Shot 2019-05-12 at 4.36.08 PM
Future and past Fulbright Scholars speaking at a scholarship panel at Marist College.

Opinion: Students Are Under-Prepared Following Graduation

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Chuck Schumer tells the same story every year, one about following a girl or taking a job. While his story always ends the same way – he follows the girl, and implores Marist graduates to take the other path – current graduates are experiencing mixed levels of post-graduation anxiety.

“I have a little bit of apprehension,” explained senior communications student David Salamone. “but I felt the same way going from high school to college, and it turned out fine obviously.”

Salamone, one of roughly 1,600 seniors at Marist College, is amongst the middle of the pack, a group in which students are concerned, but cautiously optimistic. He’s not alone in such a sentiment, as his classmate and fellow communications student, Lawrence Lang, echoes the idea that everything will end up fine.

“I mean, I never thought I’d see graduation because of health issues,” Lang says. “But I have a summer job. I’ll worry about a Fall job when the time comes… for now, I’ll be okay.”

In fact, most students are okay. The college’s class of 2015 saw 97-percent of graduates go on to become employed or attend graduate school following their graduation. The webpage on which these stats are found provides a bit of a caveat; an asterisk that reads, “Marist provides an environment for success, however it does not guarantee job placement or entrance/acceptance into graduate school.” This is true of any school, but it makes for an interesting conversation. Plenty of students know the statistics. So why are they still nervous?

A survey conducted by Monster.com, a site well-known for its career services, shows that 75-percent of students immediately following their graduation don’t have jobs lined up. Another 37-percent don’t believe that they’ll find the job they desire. And yet again, the final stat recorded further breaks the record: 97.8-percent of college graduates do find employment.

But that’s the issue. Students believe that, eventually, they will find a job, but some I spoke with feel as though they’re not prepared nearly enough. Career services seems to be an office with doors that are always open, but advice that sometimes borders on flaccid. The resume tips, the indeed.com links, and the cover letter workshops are nice. How preparatory are they really?

To investigate, I attended a resume consultation back in March. I walked in with a resume that I had submitted to dozens of internships at the time, and one that I presume had acted as an assistant in my getting an internship this summer (which, at the time, I had already been offered and accepted). The office suggested that I change my resume’s format, as well as remove certain accolades/information in order to achieve more success with applications. I took their advice, applied for a few more internships. I didn’t hear back.

This experiment may have flaws, but it’s interesting to note that based on prior intuition, experience in other classes, and advice from professors rather than career advisers, I was able to achieve an internship. Is this the office’s error? That, I certainly cannot say. But I did find that my advisers in the communication internship department provided vastly superior and far more informative advice. With their help, I believe this internship was achievable. Students are stressed. It’s understandable as to why.

To help, though, Monster provided some steps, all of which you can find on their site. They feel as though most students worry because their resume isn’t done. So they suggest those students visit a professional who can provide a resume assessment. Maybe students are freaking out about their interviews (33-percent of respondents are terrified of the daunting Q&As). Practice, receive consult, and master your answers, perhaps. And some simply have anxiety related to not knowing what their dream job is quite yet. The truth is? Most people don’t.

The preparation may be limited. The anxiety may see a hike as graduation day closes in. But take it from David Salamone: this is normal.

“This is just how life works. You start new chapters. There’s uncertainty, but you’ll eventually start something new.”

The Pressure to Finding “The One” in College

Society has created the idea that people must find “the one” in college. While some people have luck in finding their significant other for life in college, others are stuck waiting patiently for their prince charming to arrive.

While the idea of getting married is an exciting one, the pressure to find that perfect someone can put an astounding amount of stress on one’s self, including my own.

“The average age of marriage is sneaking up close to 30, so the norms of society are shifting away from young people marrying in their early 20s,” said Brian Ogolsky, professor in Human Development and Family Studies.

While statistics show that people are getting married much later in life, the media has pushed young adults by giving them misleading clues as to where they might find the perfect one. Whether it be through a dating app or a college party, the stories that have been told by a small percent of the population that have found their life-long partner in college has been blown out of proportions.

I have also witnessed many parents add to their child’s stress as they encourage them to keep a lookout on a future solemate. This mission has put a toll on my friends, and I, in efforts to finding “the one” in four years, which is not as easy as it sounds, and in most cases, won’t happen either.

Social media, in my opinion, has created this pressure and because of its impact on society it have made individuals increasingly worried to live up to the expectations set out by either friends, influencers, and/or celebrities. I have seen students plan their weddings from creating a Pinterest board with everything from the flower displays at the reception, to the ring they hope their future partner will give them. Marriage has become this underlying pressure that lies behind the back of our heads whether or not one is in a relationship.

In many cases, people will question their own relationships and even end one early if they can’t see their life with them forever. Yet, how can one predict the future? Why is society creating deadlines for us? Instead, the person should have control over one’s own life and not have to conform to what the rest of society is doing. Conforming is ultimately surrendering your freedom to a group of individuals that does not understand you and the relationship you are in. Only you can determine what is best for the relationship.  


Marriage is not a joke, therefore, I feel this pressure is creating individuals to rush the relationship process making it inauthentic and forced. Love should not be pushed, but rather a feeling that comes naturally and in some cases spontaneously. If you have already planned on getting married in the future, you are unconsciously creating expectations and characteristics your partner should have.

Society has also put stress on the length in which you chose to stay dating, before possibly tying the knot. If you are contemplating on whether or not to get married with a partner you have or a partner you wish to have in the future, you have already paved a way for the pressure of society to inflict in your life.

“I think the pressure to be in a relationship stems from social media. There are Instagram pages dedicated to being in a relationship and I yearn the same image they portray in their photos. Everyone seems so in love and I feel there is a push to find that perfect person. Many people say they meet their partner for life in college, and because I have not found ‘the one’ it makes me worried even though I know I have a lifetime to meet that someone,” said Jordyn Rifkin.

Personally, I try and live my life day by day, not thinking about the future but rather living in the moment. While marriage is an exciting time, college may not be the place to find “the one,” and that is completely okay. Creating unrealistic expectations will make it hard to find your sole mate in the end and cause more work on your part than it should be.

While marriage may look perfect on the outside, it is important to note the responsibilities that come with being an adult. “It takes two to tango. While a relationship has its perks, no relationship is perfect. I think couples sometimes put up a front to make them feel like their relationship has no flaws, but it is actually impossible. You are putting together two individuals with different ways of living and making it into one. While there are perks, there are inevitable downfalls that people sometimes forget to talk about,” said Amanda Lauro.

If you want to get married or not, it is important to keep an open mind about relationships and that everyone moves at their own pace. I have felt the pressure and I am sure you have too. Embracing the unknown and focusing on oneself will ensure that the marriage trap does not make you its next victim.


Post-graduation Problems: Where’s the Prep

There are clearly many aspects to being an independent and adept adult. College is an incredible opportunity to gain some of those valuable skills, especially for a particular career path. However, knowing how to do a specific job is not the only thing that constitutes being a successful adult. Institutions like Marist College should require financial literacy classes for their students so upon leaving college, they are completely prepared and confident to enter the real world.   


The Marist College mission statement says, “Marist is dedicated to helping students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Although Marist provides students with many learning opportunities in the classroom as well as with study abroad programs and internships, some students feel the college does not do enough. To be a self-supporting and competent adult, there is much more than just the academic and social experience. After college there are bills and student loans to pay, apartments to rent and taxes to file. As a student, the pressure to find a job after college is frightening along with being thrown into the real world.

Although two years away from graduating, Matthew Dwyer ‘21 does not feel he is prepared for life after college. His main concerns are finding a job and paying off student debt. For a way to be more equipped in the real world, Dwyer said, “Give us a course in college.”

Dwyer is not alone in his trepidations and confusion about paying off student debt, rent and credit cards. In the US there is a deficiency in financial literacy among college students. According to Lendedu, only 17 states in the US require high schools students to take a personal finance class. Going into college students are lacking knowledge about saving and the student debt they will need to pay.

Furthermore, Lendedu conducted a survey among 455 college students about personal finances. In their 2016 College Students and Personal Finance Study, only 8 percent of college students would give themselves an “A” in terms of successfully managing their finances and money, while 41 percent would give themselves a “C.” In the same survey, 58 percent of students said they are not saving money and 81 percent said they do not have an emergency fund.

Some of the responsibility does fall on parents to be teaching their children about saving money and making smart financial decisions. Parents and teachers are some of the most influential people in individuals’ lives, so they should be encouraging teenagers and young adults to take interest in their financial matters.

Once in college, institutions like Marist should want to fully prepare their students for life after school. Requiring a class dedicated to teaching about paying off student debt, mortgages, down payments and credit cards would be incredibly helpful. It would also be in the best of Marist to want to create financially savvy alumni. Individuals with more savings would probably be more likely to donate money back to Marist than those who not setting aside money.


In Lendedu’s survey, 43 percent of college students could not identify one significant difference between a credit and debit card. Having a strong understanding how to manage personal finances is critical to succeeding in building a prosperous and rewarding life. Therefore Marist College needs to offer courses for students to learn ways to handle their finances. In Lendedu’s survey, only 34 percent of students reported they have taken a personal finance class in college, while 21 percent of students have not taken a personal finance class but are planning to take one, and 45 percent of students reported they have not taken personal finance class and do not plan on taking any.

Along with many other college students, Marist students are nervous and concerned about the obstacles that arrive after college. There is much confusion and stress surrounding student debt, rent and credit cards. It would be extremely beneficial if Marist required students to take a personal finance course and fulfill their claim that Marist provides students with the tools for success following college.

Opinion: Language as a Requirement

As a place of higher learning, college is supposed to give us the tools we need to excel in our intended careers. Our courses are intended to prepare us for the real world and globalization is a reality our generation will have to face – a reality we should embrace.

Advertising, Public Relations, Sports Communication, and Journalism are all concentrations that fall under Marist’s Communication major. They are all also fields that require extensive face to face contact with people of all backgrounds on a daily basis.

According to a 2015 report by Instituto Cervantes, it is estimated that by 2050, the United States is expected to have 138 million Spanish speakers, making it the largest Spanish speaking country in the world. In major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles and Miami, Spanish is already spoken just as frequently, if not more frequently than English on a daily basis.

In order to be the best we can be, it is essential that Marist requires its Communication majors to take more language courses as a part of the major curriculum.

Brent Sverdloff, a Marist adjunct professor of Spanish, says the ability to Spanish and English has unlocked so many doors and granted him a life full of adventure.

“Without languages, I wouldn’t have had the adventures I’ve had. I’ve run with bulls in Spain, I’ve been to the Galapagos Islands, I’ve gotten lost in the Amazon jungle, I’ve run out of gas in the Andes I’ve been caught in political riots in the Basque Country in Spain; I’ve met some very interesting people and have had a lot of cool jobs”.

Sverdloff says his hero is Indiana Jones because he took something as dry as archeology and made it full of emotion, romance, and adventure. “I thought to myself, the world needs somebody like Indiana Jones for linguistics,” said Sverdloff.

Sverdloff said he doesn’t believe he is Indiana Jones himself, but after everything he has experienced and achieved he loves teaching because he can share the gift of language to others. He said he tells his students, “I’m passing the baton on to you, now you get out there and live a life full of adventure”.

So even if we aren’t running with bulls in Spain or trekking through the Amazon jungle, as Communication majors we can still benefit so much from learning another language.

For whichever concentration, the ability to speak to interviewees, potential clients, or professional athletes in their own language is incredibly valuable. It creates deeper connections, more accurate information, and richer stories.

Becci Casas, a Marist senior and Public Relations major already speaks two languages, says being bilingual has been a great advantage in her professional life so far.

“It is very helpful on my resume and has become useful at work, especially if I am the only Spanish speaker. It allows me to stand out in comparison to other candidates and shows my value to a company,” said Casas.

Casas also agrees that students should be required to take more language courses because they would better understand and appreciate how hard it is to learn, master, and be fluent in another language.

“Not only would students be learning the language, but would also have a better understanding of the background and culture of that country and their native tongue. So many non-Americans migrate to the United States and make the effort to learn the language, but it’s less often that you see the opposite,” said Casas.

As students looking to excel in a field of constant interaction and communication, language should be at the forefront of our studies. Our generation should defy the pattern of education before us and strive to have language held on an equal pedestal as the rest of our studies.

Requiring Communication students to take more language courses would be a small push in the right direction.Lowell Thomas Communication Center, Marist College

Students Stress Over Summer Plans

With the academic year ending, students have worked through the process of finding their summer plans. Whether they must find an internship to work before coming back to campus, or find a job to work full-time post-graduation, the hunt of the work can be stressful for everyone applying.

“It can be very difficult to find plans for the summer, and it’s stressful as you approach graduation. It can all be quite hard if you do not have connections,” said junior art major, Elif Usluoglu.

According to a document about undergraduate student outcomes that Marist provided in 2017, 98% of their 2017 undergraduates were either employed or enrolled in graduate school post-graduation. While the exact percentage of employment rates differ from school to school within Marist, all remain above 95% are employed after graduation, with the School of Liberal Arts being the lowest at 96% and the Schools of business, science, computer science and mathematics being at 99%, according to that report.

Lidia Bayus will be graduating from Marist in May 2019 with her degree in Business with a concentration in international business. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she held three internships through GE Capital. Post graduation she will be moving to Boston, MA to work for State Street in their Professional Development Program as a Senior Associate to optimize costs within the company.

“I began applying to full-time jobs in July, August, and September which were critical hiring months for finance/operations business jobs. Although I received and accepted my job offer in November, I found my first semester of senior year to be extremely stressful as I was traveling and preparing for interviews while trying to keep up with school work,” Bayus said.

Juniors looking for internships share similar sentiments with the stress of finding an internship. According to the same undergraduate outcome document, in  2017 83% of undergraduate students participated in one or more internships during their undergraduate career and “credit them as one of the primary reasons why they were hired,” according to the document referring to transitioning into a post-graduation career.

Harry Parette is a sophomore honors student majoring in Political Science getting his paralegal certificate and minoring in graphic design. “ After applying you get accepted or rejected and it can be stressful to get rejected although you may not have been set on going there. There is something psychological in getting rejected.”

Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 12.32.42 PM.pngParette in back center with other interns during the Albany Summer Internship Program

The summer after his freshman year, Parette interned in Senator Hoylman office; an internship which the school assisted him in getting. This summer, going into his junior year, Parette will continue working his academic year job at the Marist Institute of Public Opinion.

Although the internship and job hunt can be stressful for students, it is incredibly important to push through that stress to find an opportunity that can excel you in your field. In regards to how to stay a little stressed as possible during the process, the number one thing a student can do is stay proactive in the hunt. “By proactively searching for jobs over the summer and applying at the beginning of the senior year, I was able to alleviate the stress of obtaining a job after school very quickly.”

Although it can be stressful and hard to find an internship or job post-graduation, it all seems to be worth it. With 98% of students from Marist on average being able to find a job post-graduation in their field, that proves that pushing through and staying focused on the future is important, it works, and you can do it.

Marist College offers resources to assist in the process of finding an internship or job after graduation. One of the best things students can do throughout their time at Marist is using those resources to either find a position or to find guidance. Throughout the year Marist Career Services offer programs and workshops to help with applications, interviews, etc.


Exampled Programs promoted by Career Services for Students


Parette cited that one of the more challenging parts of finding an internship is also one of the more rewarding ones. “Nobody tells you how to make the leap from having reliable housing and having a  community that supports you into a semi work environment where you have to be more independent. But what is good with internships is that you are forced to make that leap.”




Health Based Approach to Gun Violence

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — An evidence-based outreach program works day in and day out to reduce gun violence in the city of Poughkeepsie, keep the community safe, and educate on their health based approach. SNUG, or GUNS spelled backwards, looks at gun violence from the root causes in order to create lasting change.

“Unfortunately in poor communities of color, gun violence is seen as something as normative, so our goal is to change that perception. We feel like if we can change that perception, as generations come along those generations will see gun violence as not a viable option for conflict resolution,” said Danny Hairston, a coordinator for SNUG.  

According to Hairston, the reactive way in which the media covers gun violence in black and brown communities contributes to this perception that it is normal. He says he would like to see more coverage on SNUG’s shooting responses, as well as more about the underlying issues.

“Every time someone is shot in the city of PO we respond within 72 hours. There is a gathering of individuals to announce the fact that there was a shooting so it’s not brushed under the rug, so that people don’t dismiss it. We are out there lamenting the fact that it happened and urging the community to come out and help us do something about it,” said Hairston.

SNUG’s approach focuses on treating gun violence as a disease, similar as you would with any epidemic. Hairston says the philosophy was actually established by epidemiologist of the world health organization, Dr. Gary Slutkin. He uses the AIDS crisis as an example, “where you had individuals within the gay community work as interrupters,” said Hairston.

“If you knew someone was inflicted with the disease, you provided the right resources and then you educated the community on how to not spread or contract that disease”.

This same logic is how SNUG approaches treating gun violence.

“If someone was shot in the city of PO, [SNUG] gets a call from the police department, my team is dispatched to the scene of the shooting and the hospital to ascertain what the likelihood is of retaliation. If we find that the likelihood is high then we seek to interrupt that by mediating the situation. With individuals who have been shot, if they’re families are affected by violence we provide and help them get in touch with support services,” said Hairston. 

This is then taken a step further with the community, where SNUG is constantly out canvassing and providing material on this health-based approach, all in an attempt to change the norms and educate people on the epidemic.

SNUG is careful to not force their approach on the youth of the community, because Hairston says if you are mandated to do something you’re more than likely not going to do it wholeheartedly. All of SNUG’s participants come out of relationships that are built one on one with outreach workers, who canvass the streets and talk to individuals directly.

“For us it’s having someone who they respect, demonstrate that using a gun isn’t the answer to solving the conflict. The other piece is providing opportunity for them, finding options for them, understanding how it is where they come from. At no time when we’re meeting a potential participant do we condemn them for being involved with a gang or for selling drugs, because when you start looking at the mass hierarchy of needs what happens is you see those two mechanisms are providing the base level of needs. So if you attack those things without dealing with the main cause, you lose the ability to speak to them and to eventually move them away from being involved with hustling,” said Hairston. 

More about SNUG and their resources can be found here.

Danny Hairston at a SNUG march in 2017. Photo credit: Alex H. Wagner/Poughkeepsie Journal.

Marist Student Appears on Wheel of Fortune

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 2.14.58 PMMost Americans can only dream of making it on a TV game show, but for Marist junior Caroline Fiske, that dream became a reality.

Earlier this year, Fiske was selected as one of 18 college students to fly to Los Angeles and be a contestant on her favorite game show, the “Wheel of Fortune.” The other 17 students represented various schools around the country, including Emerson College, Providence College, the University of Delaware, Drexel University, and the University of Alabama.

Fiske has been a fan of Wheel of Fortune her entire life, so getting this opportunity was an especially big deal for her.

“I have been watching Wheel of Fortune since I was a little girl. Being on the show has been a life long dream of mine. In fact, when I was a little girl and I used to wait for food at restaurants, I would play hangman on the menus and I would get my whole family involved,” said Fiske.

However, even a superfan like Fiske was caught off guard by parts of the experience.

“Despite how much and how often I would watch the show, it did not prepare me for the real experience. There is just so much going on all at once and you must remain calm, cool, and collected. There are all of these lights, sound cues, cameras, people watching you and your every move, and Pat Sajak [the host] standing less than a foot away from you.”

Speaking of Sajak, Fiske actually had a personal moment with the famous host that she will remember forever.

“The part that I will cherish for the rest of my life is when I made a mistake on one of the puzzles that I was about to solve and Pat Sajak pulled me to the side during one of the commercial breaks and he gave me some advice. He said to me, ‘don’t let that one little mistake get in your way, it happens to the best of us, just keep playing the game and focus on that.’”

Fiske bounced back from her mistake, solving puzzles such as “Vegetable Spring Rolls,” “Ducks and Geese,” and “Overlooking the Ocean.” She won $4,000 in cash as a result.

The episode aired on April 12th, and Fiske ended up walking away with a total of $10,400 in cash and prizes in addition to a trip to the Bahamas. Even though Fiske didn’t advance to the bonus round of win the million dollar prize, she had no regrets.

“I would not change anything about this experience. Even though I did not win, this whole experience has given me the confidence and persistence that I never knew I had. Because despite how much competition I had and how much pressure I was under during the whole filming process, I did not give up on myself and at the end of the day I did not let my nerves get the best of me.”

Surely Fiske was “fortunate” for her experience, as she deemed it “the best day of my life.”

50 Years of Success at Marist: Alums share why HEOP Works

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Program (HEOP) works because it, “brings forth students of various ethnic backgrounds and provides them with a solid foundation to be successful” said Daniel Faison Marist HEOP alum class of ‘74.

Faison is a graduate from the first ever HEOP class at Marist College. Marist was one of the first 24 college institutions to adopt the HEOP program back in 1969. He is from Beacon, NY and graduated in ’74 with his bachelors of science with a concentration in Psychology.

Since its creation the HEOP program here at Marist has thrived and continued to bring forth successful students. According to the Director of HEOP, Iris Ruiz-Grech, “There have been a little over 450 graduates to date which includes first time students and transfers into Marist College HEOP.”

Faison believes in the success of the program because it provides, “a solid platform for individuals to learn and grow while in college.” Private college institutions that have HEOP programs are responsible for providing students with academic support, assistance in paying for their tuition, supplemental financial aid, and providing any additional funds needed to complete the student’s graduation requirements.

These are some of the reasons why HEOP students have been so successful over the years. Within this program students are given the resources for them to thrive and succeed over the course of their college career.

According to the director of HEOP, “21% of the HEOP students were named on the Dean’s List this year, some of them on both semesters.” In addition, of the 450 graduates that came through the program, “29% of the graduates did so with Latin Honors.”

Back in January the governor proposed budget cuts to educational programs statewide. Some of the programs included, “NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Enhanced Tuition Assistance Awards (ETA), Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP), Liberty Partnership Programs (LPP) and the Foster Youth Care Success Initiative (FYCSI)” according to Associate Director Mary Rice.

With all of this success within the program, it’s questionable that the New York State governor would even consider cutting the HEOP programs budget. He proposed a 5% cut from the annual budget.

But in recent updates from the associate director of HEOP, the budget has been restored to level funding. Level funding means the budget has been restored to its original amount before the proposed cuts. Therefore the HEOP program can continue to enroll students this upcoming academic year and maintain its overall success.

“HEOP works because the people who work in HEOP at the core of their being believe in students” said Marisel Herrera HEOP graduate class of ’93.




Meaghan Roche’s Unshakeable Endgame

As a kid, Meaghan Roche wanted to be an author. She, unlike many millennial students, was a big reader, and hoped that someday, she would “be able to say [she] wrote a whole book that people wanted to read and would enjoy as much as I would.” While her desires have taken a slight turn since, she still loves the idea of writing something that is meaningful. “That much hasn’t changed.”

The Roche’s ties to the Hudson Valley have always kept Meaghan, now a senior communication student on track for a Spring graduation, relatively aware of Marist. “I’ve been familiar with the area my whole life… it holds a special place in my heart. I know what you’re thinking,” she says. “Really? Poughkeepsie? Yeah, I love it here.” It has been clear for some time that Meaghan belonged at Marist, specifically in the school’s Center for Sports Communication. Her love for the school came long before her enrollment.

“It was the first college I ever toured, and I first saw the “old” Marist,” she remembered. “The Marist before the dining hall ‘looked like Hogwarts” and the rotunda wasn’t nearly as impressive – back when I tagged along on my older brother’s college tours when I was just a freshman in high school. From that day on, I silently and selfishly hoped he wouldn’t choose to go to Marist because I wanted to go there and I didn’t want to go to the same college as him.”

After holding out hope on what was not an uncommon sentiment for a younger sibling, she got her wish. Even before arriving, Meaghan knew that this was her school. This was, as a matter of fact, her home. The opportunities were endless, as the old cliché goes, and Meaghan witnessed that firsthand, even before arriving.

“During my senior year [of high school], I got an email from Keith Strudler [the department’s former director] inviting me to come to one of the Center for Sports Communication’s Speaker Series events, featuring sportswriter Jeremy Schaap,” she said. Even though the event fell amidst a holiday break, Meaghan made the trip, needing to experience the environment. “Marist was already my number one school; there wasn’t much left that the campus itself needed to prove to me. But what stood out to me the most was how well spoken and interested the students were that asked questions of Schaap. I wanted to be one of them.”

Center for Sports Communication

When Center Field first began publishing, Meaghan was immediately named Executive Editor. Whilst, at that time, not having a relationship aside from “fellow classmate” with co-founders Matt Rzodkiewicz and Marco Schaden, they quickly became some of her closest friends. As time went on, Meaghan continued to climb the ranks. She has since served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and will be the site’s EIC starting in January of 2019. It didn’t start out that way.

“I get an email from the department about Center Field, and I go to the first meeting and sign up for what I’m interested in, but I asked the kids who seemed to be in charge if they needed someone to be an editor. They didn’t really seem to have a solid answer for me,” she says, just citing a classic Marco moment. She wasn’t entirely sure, especially at the beginning, that this publication would go anywhere, nor that she’d be so heavily involved.

“A few weeks go by, and I hadn’t really heard anything, until one day I ran into Leander [Schaerlaeckens] on the way to class. He asked if I had gotten involved and I told him I had expressed interest in editing, I’m a proofreader for the writing center, I’m good at it, I like it,” she says. “He passes on my info; I get an email from Marco later that day asking me to come to their meeting. I walked in there thinking I would just help out with copyediting the stories. I walked out of there with the title “Executive Editor.” Two semesters later, the Center is my second home, and my Center Field co-editors are my second family.”

That second family has gotten Meaghan opportunities to work with Baseball Miracles and McMillan Publishing, just two of the high profile opportunities she hopes to garner experience from in her employment search. She’s a weird journalist, one that refuses to drink coffee (see her Twitter bio). But she’s a journalist nonetheless; one with the passion and authentic drive to find success wherever she may go.