Telling Our Marist Stories

By Alexandria Watts

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

Name: Chris Bedard

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Elmont, NY

Major: Social Work with a minor in Music

Campus Activities: Marching band, pep band, symphonic band, wind symphony, orchestra, jazz ensemble, music fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi; FOCUS program Peer Mentor; intramural KanJam and volleyball.

Q: Why did you continue with music going into college?

A: Going into college, I knew a ton of people who were like ‘oh yeah, I’m done, I’m retiring from music.’ But I never really considered that. It was kind of like something that was just gonna happen. I was like, when I go to college I’m gonna be in the band because that’s just what I like to do. It’s just, all around, a great thing. Music has that kind of effect on people when they care about it.

Q: What is one of your best band memories?

A: I think the MAAC tournament last year was pretty awesome. I had so much hot chocolate. Everyone was just doing work, we got time to hang out. I got time to get closer to a bunch of people. It was just a really good time. I can’t wait to go again this year.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Marist?

A: I actually really like how it’s small. I just like the idea that I can leave my house and within seconds I’ll see someone and I’m just like “oh hey! I know that person!” and I see them around campus all the time. I feel like it builds a more personal relationship with people.

Q: What is your ideal career?

A: I feel like something I’d be good at is something like a counselor. Coming into college that’s what I’ve been thinking I wanted to do. I don’t really have a particular dream job, but, in terms of what I want in it, it’d definitely be a very people oriented job. Like, something that involves me interacting with people consistently. I feel like it’s boring if it’s not that way.

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

A: When Steve Harvey retires, I would be glad to take over the throne of being the Family Feud host. Family Feud is probably my favorite show. I don’t even call it Family Feud, I literally just call it Steve.

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

Name: Paige DiFiore

Year: Senior

Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Major: Communication with a concentration in Journalism and minors in Digital Video Production and English Literature

Campus Activities: Marketing Chair of Student Programming Council (SPC), tutor in the Writing Center, creator of blog Eyeliner Wings and Pretty Things

 Q: What’s it like being a full-time student and a full-time blogger?

A: It’s a lot of work, running a blog and being a student, but I actually started the blog in Upper New when I was a sophomore. It’s really cool because I write a lot about college, so I write about things I had to deal with. My blog aesthetic is your wise, cool, older sister. But it’s been really great, I got to work with a lot of different brands. Like I’ve worked with Dunkin Donuts which is my crowning achievement. I worked with Hewlett-Packard (HP), got a laptop which was cool. Neutrogena, a bunch of different brands. It’s been really amazing, I didn’t realize that I could do all that. It’s writing, pictures, graphics, sharing the writing, checking Google Analytics, making an editorial calendar. It’s kind of a mess but I like being busy, I like having messes.

Q: What’s your dream job?

A: My dream job is to be a trending topics editor because you write about everything, whatever’s trending. It could be health, sex and relationships, it can be fashion. You have to be able to write everything. And that’s my dream, give me all the things to write! I love being busy, so any job where I’m really busy. Like I was not busy enough so I made a blog and I made it into a company. I thrive on being busy.

Q: As a senior, what advice would you give to your freshman self?

A: I would say, the people you become friends with freshman year are probably not gonna be your friends three years later and that’s totally fine! The chances of you meeting your best friend the first week of freshman year is so small. And don’t close yourself off to making new friends because I met my best friend freshman year but I almost didn’t meet her because I “already had friends,” which is so stupid. Just keep making friends, keep the friends you have, but also acknowledge that people change. You don’t have to keep the friends you have since freshman year if they suck. You’re not stuck to anyone, you’re not stuck to anything. Be friendly, be social. Life goes on.

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

Name: Christopher “Topher” Mitchell

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Major: Fashion Merchandising with a concentration in Business and a minor in Photograpy

Campus Activities: Hospitality Coordinator for Silver Needle Runway, Campus Ministry board, intramural hockey and futsal, Fox P.A.W., Ambassadors, Christ Life, Fashion Inc.

 Q: Why did you choose to major in fashion?

A: From a young age I knew that fashion played a big role in my life and other people’s. When you get dressed up, you feel a certain way about yourself. You emulate a certain confidence level. And so, when I dressed up as a younger kid, I always felt like people were noticing me more, or I was really showing off myself through my clothing. It’s not always easy being a male student in the fashion program. But I think I’ve made my stamp and people know who I am.

Q: What is the biggest difference between Columbus and Poughkeepsie?

A: From a practical standpoint, Poughkeepsie is smaller than Columbus. But if we compare Columbus to New York City, there’s more inspiration out here, there’s more culture in New York City than Columbus. Oh, and accents. I love people’s accents here.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Marist?

A: I really like the people. I think that the people that I work with, especially in the fashion program, have always been mentors to me. There’s more of a sharing and helping culture at Marist than I’ve seen at other colleges. Especially in my industry, people will walk all over each other to get to the top and that’s how it is. But I think that it’s more important that you learn how to share your ideas and be collaborative with people.

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

A: From a designer standpoint, I think that Ralph Lauren has always been a big one in my life. Just because of his style, and he’s planted the seed of patriotism and a sense of timelessness in what he does, and he really enjoys it. And growing up that was something I was inspired by. Daily life, my parents inspire me. My dad grew up in Detroit, he didn’t have anything growing up. He was used to being on the poorer side. Seeing how far he brought himself kind of pushes me every day to be better.

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

Name: Esabelle Gervasio 

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Niskayuna, NY

Major: double major in Chemistry and Philosophy with minors in Biology and Math

Campus Activities: swim and dive team, LEAP (Ladies Empowering Athletics Program)

Q: What’s it like to be a student athlete on campus?

A: Being a student athlete is great, but it comes with challenges, especially when balancing your competition and practice schedule with your course work. However, my team is super supportive and we are like one huge family. 

Q: Who is someone that you look up to?

A: My mom. Because she taught me to be a realist, and if I want something I better work to get it. She also taught me that it’s okay to be odd because that’s what makes life fun. 

Q: What is something you want to accomplish while in college?

A: I hope that Marist will prepare me for medical school. But beyond that, I hope that I can truly take advantage of all of the resume building opportunities, internships, research and resources that they have here. And I hope to make some amazing connections with people in and outside the Marist community. 

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Marist so far?

A: My favorite thing about Marist is watching the sunrise over the Hudson River from my dorm room. Lucky for me I got a nice view! 

@MaristStories on Instagram

@MaristStories on Instagram

Name: Ema Fernandez

Year: Senior

Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ

Major: Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Theatre

Campus Activities: Marist Singers, MCCTA, published two plays for Festival, intern for Townsquare Media

Q: What is your dream job?

A: In a perfect world, I’ll be a screenwriter and also a playwright. In my world, I wanna work for The New York Times in their entertainment section, whether it be with Broadway or just like, getting back to original journalism, which is telling both sides of the story and getting back to fact, getting away from fiction.

Q: What would you say Singers and theatre has done for you as a person?

A: Theater has given me the opportunity to realize that I am a writer. I do not want to act anymore, I’m totally fine never setting foot on stage again, but I am absolutely fine watching productions of mine come to life. That’s a dream. Singers has given me every opportunity to turn into the most wild singer I’ve ever heard. I’ve done crazy soulful music, I did rap, I’ve done dancing, and it’s fun. It makes me want to do more. It makes me want to continue doing things outside my comfort zone and going forward, singing more, and performing more, which is my home. I love it.

Q: What has been your favorite memory from your past four years here at Marist?

A: My freshman year, for Night On Broadway, we ended up getting invited by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to come to the Gypsy of the Year concert. We got to go, the guy from Dexter was hosting. It was insane, it was probably one of the craziest things I’ve ever gotten to witness and I was so happy because it was just shows parodying other shows and I was with seniors and juniors and I was the youngest person there and it was a field day.

Q: As a senior, what is a piece of advice that you would tell your freshman self?

A: Do more homework. Get your work done faster and don’t wait to see if something’s right there in front of you. Sometimes the craziest things are just sitting straight in front of you. I think if I had realized that freshman year I think I would have done a lot more outer work instead of staying in my small little bubble. I would have branched out, I would have gone crazy, I would have experimented and tried more and gone out and experienced what is the Hudson Valley. It’s giving me a whole new lease on everything.

Alexandria Watts