Telling Our Marist Stories

By Eliza Patterson

Marist Stories, created by the Marist Circle, is an Instagram account that was created to bring attention to everyday students at Marist College. Often the students who are recognized on campus are very well-known and impressive to the student body and faculty, however, what about the students who are equally as hard-working and not recognized? Marist Stories seeks to reach out to many different kinds of individuals of a variety of backgrounds to show the diverse talents and accomplishments of students.

Since the fall of 2016, Marist Stories has grown from interviewing students on campus with a specific set of questions, to expanding this format in the form of an authentic, personalized interview. Over the course of this year we not only interviewed students during the school year, but carried Marist Stories into the summer with the Summer Session conducted by Eliza Patterson.

As the 2017/2018 school year progresses, Eliza Patterson and Kerry Tiedemann hope to make Marist Stories an even more successful initiative on campus. We believe that it is vital that the community acknowledges these students and their stories, and are looking forward to meeting many more students at Marist College.

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

By Eliza Patterson

Name: Maureen O’Malley

Hometown: Syosset, Long Island

Class Year: Junior

Major: History and Adolescent Education

Q: If you weren’t going to pursue a career in your major, what would be your dream job?

A: I wanted to be an astronaut for a really long time, but I was a science major when I first got to Marist and that didn’t work out well at all, so I dropped that quick. But, I’d still love to be an astronaut.

Q: Who is someone you look up to and why?

A: I look up to my brother because he’s very even-tempered, like it takes a lot to make him extremely happy (which is kinda sad), but it takes a lot to make him angry, it takes a lot to make him sad, but he’s a very good judge of character, he’s a very level-headed person, and I trust his opinion a lot on things, so I always wanted to be that person for someone else, looking to me for answers, or looking for me to help them. So, I definitely appreciate him in that aspect.

Q: What was the best and worst stage of your life?

A: I used to be a very chubby little kid. I was rather overweight until junior year of high school, so I did lose a lot of weight. So I’d say that around sophomore year of high school was a very awkward time for me physically. I had no idea what style I had: because I was in Catholic school, I never had to dress myself, I was always in a uniform. So I had no idea what to wear when it came to not wearing a skirt and a blazer. And then a good time of my life was when I came back from Mexico last year, I was on such a high of happiness where I was skipping around everywhere.

Q: What would you tell your freshman year self, today?

A: You’re not stuck. You may meet a lot of people and think those are your friends and those are the people you need to be with 24/7 and just that, no matter what situation you get into you don’t need to stay in it. I feel like a lot of people panic and think “this is the major I’m in” or “this is the housing I’m in” and “these are the friends I’m with” and that there’s nothing else for them, but you can change and do whatever you want to do. If college is supposed to be about experiencing, you should take in the experiences that you can and do a lot of different things and have fun.

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

By Kerry Tiedemann

Name: Jiachen Liu

Hometown: Xi’an China

Year: Junior

Major: Fashion Merchandising- Product Development Concentration & a minor in Graphic Design

Q: When did you move to America?

A: I moved to America when I was fifteen and went to high school in Massachusetts. I stayed with a host family for three years before coming to Marist. I’ve known my host family since I was seven. I definitely miss China, especially the food and my family. But that’s about it.

Q: Besides class, what else have you been up to this semester?

A: I work at Marist Poll and I also have an internship at Alice and Olivia. It’s a visual merchandising internship, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. The things I’ve learned in class are so different from what I do in my internship. I thought visual merchandising was just displaying the items and doing the windows but it actually involves a lot more than that. I actually participated in the fashion show this year. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

Q: Favorite current trend?

A: I actually don’t follow trends. I think you should develop your own style. You should not let trends control you. You should wear what you feel comfortable and confident in. That’s all that matters. At the end of the day I just do my own thing.

Q: Ideal dream job?

A: I would do anything that involves being creative.

Q: What is your favorite song?

A: Toxic by Britney Spears

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

By Eliza Patterson

Name: Abby Ritson

Hometown: Simsbury, Connecticut

Class year: Senior

Major: Psychology and Special Education

Q: What are you doing at Marist this summer?

A: This summer I am doing the Tarver Internship Program. I am one of seven interns who are working at a non-profit in Poughkeepsie. I am an intern at the Children’s Home and spend my time building life skills curriculum for adolescent youth. So basically I’m teaching teens life skills I don’t have haha. Shoutout to my fellow Tarvers!

Q: If you weren’t going to pursue a career in your major, what would be your dream job?

A: I would love to be a field trip coordinator, like a fun field trip coordinator. But if that doesn’t work out, a high school special ed teacher would be good.

Q: Who do you look up to and why?

A: I know you probably get this a lot, but my mom. Not only is she my rock, but she is also one of the coolest ladies around. She just got back from a backpacking trip in the Appalachian Mountains. She’s always challenging herself and I really admire that about her.

Q: What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

A: Fly to South Africa alone, not knowing anyone, at age 19. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, so far.

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

By Kerry Tiedemann

Ankofa Billips, President of the Black Student Union.

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Class year: Junior

Major: Business Marketing with a minor in Studio Art

Q: How often do you switch up your hair color?

A: I never really thinking about what I’m doing with my hair but it’s the first thing people notice about me. I guess it was wild that I had teal yesterday and blonde today and I’ll probably be black like next week. Hair is an accessory. It's fun. I don’t really have to be responsible with it, because I can just cut it off and start again. I know it will grow back. I’m in college. Why not?

I think my identity and who I choose to be every day of the week is very fluid so when I change my hair it’s like a new stage of a different period. I need to keep moving forward and evolving.

Q: What is it like to be the president of the Black Student Union?

A: Being president is not a me thing, it’s a we thing. I think what’s cool about being president of BSU is that I get to create a platform for the members to say what they want to say and do what they want to do. We want to talk about what is important to each other and what will make us better people. We are in a place with so many different people and different mindsets so it’s important to take advantage of that.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: I would love to spend the rest of my life having a creative space for the young youth where they can learn how to market their craft so that it can be a job rather than a hobby. Unfortunately a lot of artists don’t have the means to take it seriously or people don’t take them seriously. (™)

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