By Eliza Patterson
With my legs crossed and my Canon resting in my lap, I admired the glow on the stone patio of Greystone as the sun peaked through the fir trees above me. Greystone, a speckled building of charcoal-colored stone dressed in green vines, is, in my opinion, the heart of Marist College, and my favorite place to take photographs. Sitting across from me in an intricate white dress was the beautiful Julia DiMarzo, a senior Fashion Merchandising major who spent her summer working with the Director of Transfer Admissions.
Through our conversation, I learned a lot about Julia: what she did at her internship, the clubs she is involved in, what it was like to be a commuter, and what she is looking forward to in her senior year. In this interview, I was able to get a glimpse into just one of the many lives of students at Marist College, or as we like to call them, Marist Stories.
Marist Stories, a Marist Circle initiative, is an Instagram account which was created to recognize everyday students reflecting the values of Marist College. The goal of Marist Stories is to bring attention to these students and highlight their many accomplishments and interests. Marist Stories believes it is important that the Marist community recognizes these students and the many stories that they have to offer.
This summer, I decided to further this mission by creating Marist Stories Summer Session. Each week, I interviewed students on campus like Julia DiMarzo to get to know them and learn about the internship and job opportunities they took advantage of this summer. In these interviews I found that students were working in a variety of roles such as resident assistants for the pre-college program, counselors in sports camps, and interns both on and off campus. I even had the chance to sit down with a Marist alumni from the class of 2014, Sam Loussedes, who talked about his barbershop and gave some valuable advice to seniors.
Now that summer is over and students have found themselves back on campus, I would like to share just some of the amazing people that I met this summer and their stories. To read more, find us on Instagram @mariststories.
Name: Julia DiMarzo
Hometown: Hyde Park, New York
Class year: Senior
Major: Fashion Merchandising with a concentration in promotions
Q: What are you doing at Marist this summer?
A: I work with Chris Doyle, the Director of Transfer Admissions, I’m his student assistant and basically I organize his travel schedule for the fall and figure out what’s going to work best with that. I also work with a lot of transfer students who are coming in, in the fall or prospective students who are applying and figuring out what they need to transfer over and everything like that. It’s just a really good experience because I was a transfer student and I really like working with other students who are in the same situation and figuring out how to make the transition as easy as possible for them, which is really nice. I also give tours sometimes during the summer, which is really fun.
Q: So you used to be a commuter, why did you decide to live on campus for your last year of college?
A: So I was a commuter for three years, and I decided that for my senior year I just wanted to be on campus and be able to take in the whole college experience, so I’m going to be living in New Gartland!
Q: What is something you are looking forward to for senior year?
A: I’m really excited about living on campus and I’m on the board this year for MCCTA so I’m excited to work on publicity for the shows there. And I’m excited about Riverfest, I think that will be really fun.
Q: If you were to give an incoming student advice, what would you tell them?
A: In your freshmen year, get as involved as you can. I mean, that really came in handy for me as a commuter and as a transfer because that was how I made my friends was through joining tons of clubs because everyone on campus is really friendly. It’s nice on campus if you can find other people who are interested in the same things as you are, so I always suggest joining clubs because you’re going to find your friends for all four years.
Name: Sam Loussedes
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, New York
Class year: Alumni, class of 2014
Major: Sports Communication
Q: When you graduated what was the first thing you did?
A: So, I decided to travel for three months through California. I did one month in San Francisco, one month in L.A., and one month in San Diego.
Q: Why did you decide to open a barbershop?
A: When I was in San Francisco I had a great experience getting a haircut. I know it sounds weird, but the guy was awesome, he was talking to me, made me feel like he wanted to get to know me, and it kind of resonated with me because I cut hair and I always went to barbershops. So after that experience I was like “it would be cool to open my own barbershop” do my own thing, and after that I took all of the steps to do it and it just kept rolling, the train just kept going.
Q: What is your favorite part about owning a barbershop?
A: Knowing that it all falls on me. That if it’s successful or if it’s not, it comes down on myself and I have to wake myself up every morning and come to work, nobody else.
Q: What was your favorite part about Marist?
A: Probably the freedom of it. The idea of just, like you wake up and go to class and it was just, I don’t know it just always felt like fun times.
Q: What advice would you give to a senior graduating who is thinking about life and what they want to do?
A: Don’t force it. Just take things kind of as they go and just keep going really. I mean just keep looking at what you want to do, what interests you and what doesn’t, and don’t put pressure on it, nobody knows really what they want to do.
Name: Caroline Borkowski
Hometown: Farmington, CT
Class year: Senior
Major: Biomedical Sciences on the Pre-Veterinary track and a minor in Business Administration
Q: What was your internship this summer?
A: I worked at the Carolina Tiger Rescue in North Carolina this summer doing an internship. I worked with tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, and smaller wildlife cats. I helped out with maintaining their enclosures, helping with procedures, feeding, and cleaning waters, going around and looking at them, seeing if they have any abrasions or hurt themselves, anything like that. I worked with about three other interns and there are about 50 cats there total, so we each got our own sections to work on and individual animals to work with. It is a no-touch facility so we didn’t get to touch them. It’s a really cool organization.
Q: How did you discover this internship?
A: When I was applying to internships in the fall I found the Carolina Tiger Rescue and applied, and I didn’t think I was going to get it, but then they got back to me and I did an interview with them. I went to North Carolina in May, did a working interview with them, and they said they would love to have me. I went down for the summer, right after finals, I finished my final on Friday and was there on Saturday. I lived in UNC and sublet an apartment, which was only thirty minutes from the rescue, so it worked out perfectly. It was the best experience.
Q: Why do you want to be a vet?
A: I’ve had animals my entire life, and I’ve always wanted to work with animals. When I came to college I didn’t really want to work with sciences, I’m not really a science person, so I went in as a business major. I hoped I would be able to do something with animals, but that wasn’t really what I wanted so I joined the Pre-Vet Club at Marist. They said I didn’t need to be a major in order to be in the club, if you like animals you could join the club. They had this thing called the Foul Watch in Rhinebeck. It’s this horse Equine where you stay the night and you help with the fouls. So I did that one night and after said “this is what I want to do.” I talked to my mom the next day and said that I really wanted to go to veterinary school. I switched my major and started doing an internship with a small animal veterinarian and and I fell in love with it. I was also still volunteering at the horse Equine. After this internship I think I really want to work with large wildlife animals. Hopefully I’ll end up being a veterinarian and working with large wildlife animals and maybe one day rehabilitating them.
Q: Did joining the Pre-Vet club at Marist help you decide what track you wanted to take?
A: Honestly, yes. I always knew I wanted to work with animals. Even doing business I hoped I would be able to work with animals somehow business-wise I guess. Once I joined the Pre-Vet Club and they had this opportunity to go work with fouls, it was because of that experience that I knew this is what I wanted to do. Now I’m the vice president of the club.
Q: What do you want Marist students to know about the Pre-Vet club?
A: We are currently trying to get more people to join our club. If you’re interested in animals, check our club out! We’re trying to do more events, get the puppies to come during midterms and finals week. We have guest speakers that come like veterinarians. We try to get different animals on campus like goats and other farm animals. Last semester we brought animals into the science labs, including snakes and turtles. We had a teacher come in and explain them to the students. We try to do trips as well.
Name: Allie Germano
Hometown: Orange, CT
Class year: Junior
Major: Double major in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science
Q: What are you doing at Marist this summer?
A: So this summer I started off working with student government doing our summer session. After that I was an orientation leader for two weeks and then worked as an RA for the summer pre-college program.
Q: What is your favorite part about Marist?
A: I would probably say Taco Tuesdays. My friends and I have a group chat on Facebook and so we always let each other know when we’re going to go to Taco Tuesdays haha. It’s a time for all of us to get together because we have busy weeks so that’s our main thing is every Tuesday we go to Taco Tuesdays.
Q: Which activities are you a part of at Marist?
A: Student government, I’m the class of 2019 president. I’m a RA, I’ll be a RA in Leo next year. I am also a dance choreographer for dance ensemble and used to be a peer tutor.
Q: What advice would you give to a freshman looking for extracurriculars to join on campus?
A: Definitely start with the activity fair. I know that’s generic, but that’s when I found out about student government and dance ensemble and both of those things have really changed my life at Marist.
Q: What do you ultimately want to do with your major?
A: I really want to work with people with severe brain damage, so stroke patients, people with tumors, even people with some type of developmental disorder. We’ll see where that takes me! I don’t really know exactly what I want to do yet, but I’m going in that direction.
Name: Kevin McKendry
Hometown: Cary, North Carolina
Class year: Junior
Q: What are you doing on campus this summer?
A: Right now I am working the Marist College lacrosse camp, trying to help little kids get better at lacrosse.
Q: In the past, the men’s lacrosse team has worked with the Children’s Home and this camp. Why do you think that working with children has been the focus of your team’s volunteer service?
A: I think that the coaches find it necessary to really help out this community and starting with the youngest kids and influencing the young, giving them good influences if they don’t have it. The kids at the Children’s Home, a lot of them don’t have good influences in their life, so just giving them forty to forty-five male influences is really important, I think, to the coaches.
Q: You said you’re from North Carolina, what made you choose Marist?
A: So a kid on the lacrosse team a year older than me exposed the coaches on the team to me, and, you know, I just came here and I loved the coaches, I loved the team. As far as the recruiting process goes it really was a no-brainer for me. The academics, the campus life, and the team, it was just the place for me.
Q: What was your favorite part about Marist? (What is your favorite memory at Marist so far?)
A: I’ve had so much fun here, and so many good lacrosse memories, but I think the the things I’ll remember most once I’m done here are the times in the room when we have a game the next day. Just hanging out with the guys when everyone else is going out and we have time to spend together, just get to know each other even more. Time with the guys I think is the stuff I’ll remember after I’m done.
Q: What is one thing you want to do before you graduate?
A: I would love to win a MAAC Championship, I’ve got three more years for that. That’s definitely a bucket list thing for me to win a championship, especially on this field, would be something memorable for me.