Office Hours: Hear what Stephen Croucher is saying about journalism and media today!

Dr. Stephen Croucher is an Associate Professor of Communication here at Marist. We spoke to him about the changes in how our society gets news and the impact that has. In these first two segments, we focused on blogs as news sources and how the platform is maturing. The purchase of the Huffington Post by AOL made major headlines as one of the most popular blog sites was bought by a huge corporation. This brings to light the conflict in the way the medium is changing. A blog that is backed by a major company easily establishes its credibility as a news source, but that can take away from the free-flow, independent, personal feel that have drawn millions to blogs.

In the second episode with Dr. Croucher we asked him about blogs as news sources and how society has changed its ways of news consumption. There has been a long evolution, from word-of-mouth to newspapers, then radio and television to the written word on the internet to Web 2.0. Now, in this new era of rapidly changing technology internet news now encompasses nearly all of the previous types of news sources and has created its own. It has also taken the mobility of newspapers and combined that with the power of audio and video that radio and television had. Essentially, the internet is changing everything. Dr. Croucher talks a bit about the way news has changed and some of the issues that arise as the journalism world has entered a period of constant change.

We hope you enjoyed these conversations! There will be more to read and watch soon, We hope that our posts stimulate discussion both here and with the people in your life or even interesting thoughts on your own.


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Office Hours: Matt Frieburghaus talks about exciting new technology for his students!

For this episode, we talked to Professor Matt Frieburghaus who teaches a wide variety of courses focused on digital media. In this episode he tells us about some of the exciting, new technology which will have a major impact on certain fields including 3d modeling and sculpture.

Now, I’m sure some of you are asking yourself what a 3D printer is? I was, so I looked into a bit more. 3D printing uses a 3D image created on the computer and cuts it into thin slices. The printer then creates a real, 3-dimensional object by creating it layer by layer. Advanced 3D printers can use several different materials in each product.

The Economist has a great article, They think that  this innovative technology could change the world of manufacturing from mass-produced factory products to more custom, locally-produced items.

For students of 3D modeling and animation this means they can take their 3D objects and create an analog version. This completely changes the complaint of many that they like to get their hands on something and really, touch and feel something they make. Next year, students at Marist will be able to take their computer-generated creations off the screen and hold them in their hand. The other piece of technology that Frieburghaus talks about is a digitizer. This is almost the reverse of a 3D printer. It takes a real object, like a sculpture and turns into a 3D model. Students will be able to create a physical sculpture and be able to animate on the computer.

The line between digital and analog worlds is blurring more and more as technology advances. Next year, Frieburghaus will introduce Marist art students to these exciting new technologies.

You can view some of Frieburghaus’ work at his website:  His work, which includes video, audio and print, has been exhibited around the globe.

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Office Hours: Ed Smith, the Marist art gallery director, introduces us to the gallery and its current show!

Today, we visit the office of Ed Smith and he shares work from the Marist art gallery with us. In three short videos he introduces us to himself and the gallery, of which he is director, and to two of the works in the current exhibit.  What else has Ed Smith done? A lot! Besides teaching and directing the gallery he is an accomplished artist, a Guggenheim Fellow in both Sculpture and Drawing and an Associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. His work has been displayed all over the world and it has been written about in The New York Times, Giornale Dell’Arte, The Miami Herald, Sculpture Magazine and many other publications. He is well-liked by students and colleagues, winning the Faculty of the Years honors at Marist for the 2009-10 academic year.

The current exhibit showing in the gallery is a solo show by Serdar Arat.  Arat is originally from Turkey and an artist as well as professor at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts. Arat has been a New York resident for a long-time and received his Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA) from the State University at Albany. These traits help to make him a perfect fit for the gallery as it focuses on local and regional contemporary artists.

In this video, we join Ed Smith in the art gallery to look at a piece by Serdar Arat called “The Long Wait.” This large piece has an interesting story that is shared with us. Watch and learn about the gallery straight from its director!

In the third, and last, video from today we see a smaller piece by Serdar Arat and hear Ed Smith’s thoughts and analysis of the piece.

We plan to deliver more from the Art department and the office of Ed Smith later this month.

Want to learn more about the Art Gallery? Visit the site here:

Thanks for watching and reading!

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Office Hours: Professor Chris Vertullo talks about organizing a mission to Ghana!


Lecturer of Mathematics Chris Vertullo is organizing a group of 14 community members including fellow professor Anne Matheus and Fr. Raphael Tawiah, a Marist MBA student from Ghana. The mission will bring gifts of soccer balls, 40 donated by Nike, uniforms and school supplies to the Ghanian children during their mission from July 1-16.

Vertullo and the group are looking to raise around $10,000 and are about halfway to that goal. The college donated around 20 computers and the mission is looking for donations from faculty, students, community members and friends of the college. They are selling raffle tickets for $2 and are happy to take donations until the end of the month.

For more information about donating, contact Vertullo at (845) 575-3000, ext. 2595, or email

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Campus Chatter: Hancock Center opens, let’s take a look!

On a blustery Tuesday, just past the mid-day mark, or early morning depending on how you feel, your Office Hours bloggers headed to the Hancock Technology Center. The Hancock Center opened to the public last week, quietly as this Marist student had no clue till days after the fact, but the word has spread quickly around the Marist community. When we stepped out of the class-skippingly bad weather and into the Hancock Center I would have been happy to be anywhere, but the Hancock Center made me wipe the rain drops off my glasses and take a second look. Wow! When first stepping into the lobby I almost felt like I shouldn’t be there, rain-soaked jeans, old sneakers, a Goonies t-shirt and a sack full of books seemed inappropriate for a place this beautiful, but I quickly remembered this was built for us. Gorgeous stone floors, beautiful chandeliers, academic-looking furniture and other carefully chosen design elements made it feel more like a building I would find at Cornell than Marist. Honestly, with all the hype part of me expected to be let down. Not at all.

The Hancock Center was built to house the School of Computer Science & Mathematics and inside its massive 57,664 square foot walls you can find many things from three new computer labs, classrooms, study spaces, a stock trading room and offices (of course, we were there to film another professor!).

Well, I brought my trusty Nikon with me and thought I share some of my favorite shots with you. Unfortunately, most of the classrooms were locked and some areas are still undergoing finishing work.

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Thanks for taking a look! Check out the Hancock Center when you get a chance!

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Dessi’s Lessons Resonate with Students

Students spend four years going to class to try to “learn something.” Through a slew of major requirements, core classes, electives, and extracurricular activities, typically a handful of lectures, conversations, presentations, and talks are memorable and collectively define one’s education. For some students, one of those moments came on Wednesday, March 9 when Chris Dessi (@cdessi), a managing partner for Drive Action Digital, LLC, a firm that combines the use of social media with the search engine marketing to brand and position companies, products and individual, spoke to students about using social media to get a job.

Less than a month later, it is evident that he had an impact on students.

Dessi met Marist Chief Public Affairs Officer and Adjunct Professor of Communication and Religious Studies Tim Massie (@tcmassie) at a “tweet-up,” an event where real-life connections are made between people who have interacted solely on the popular micro-blog. A mutual respect and friendship quickly developed between the two, and Dessi agreed to come to Marist to speak.  After a few scheduling conflicts, Dessi arrived on campus on March 9. For Dessi and Marist students, the coordination was well worth it. Dessi’s talk went far beyond the typical “don’t post pictures of yourself drinking on Facebook.” His purpose was not to teach students how to protect themselves on the web, but instead how job-seekers can use the internet as a tool to enhance their personal brand. According to Dessi, social media should be the central tool.

Early in the talk, Dessi dispelled the myth that micro-blogs like such as Twitter and full-fledged blogs should be related to one specific topic. Alas, if you are an aspiring accountant, entrepreneur, writer, or marketing professional, your blog does not and should not be limited to this specific lens. The Loyola graduate told students to use the same strategy which helped him get hired by Fox News as an expert commentator on social media. According to Dessi, Fox called him after finding his blog online and determining that he was an expert.

“My friends still call me and ask: ‘What the hell are you doing on television?’ ‘I have no damn clue’ I tell them.”

Dessi, who’s led social programs for the NHL, Washington Redskins, Michael Kors, TJX, Rand McNally, Signature Styles, Saks Fifth Avenue, Geico, among others, does have a clue. His genius is not simply in his knowledge of the topic, but in creating a virtual space to present that expertise, and apparently, in showing others how to do the same. The ladder has made Drive Action Digital LLC successful, and led many students to look to Dessi as a mentor.

Dessi advised students to create an online presence, much like any business or organization, assuring students that showcasing intelligence, creativity, humor, and personality is increasingly valuable as more employers look to the internet for information about prospective employers. More than just a LinkedIn profile or a Twitter page, Dessi told each student to “go straight home and start a blog.” And many students did just that.

Both Chris Dessi & Marist were impacted by his talk, several students started blogs inspired by Dessi and Dessi blogged about how his experience at Marist changed him.

“Money goes where the eyeballs are” – Chris Dessi

Students learned that blogs are a more expansive outlet than Twitter or Facebook to showcase what they know about the fields they hope to enter, as well as an avenue for a virtual representation of one’s personality. Blog posts, more than micro-blogs, are apt to tell someone’s story. For a group of students hoping to tell stories in some capacity for a living, Dessi’s advice offered a tremendous opportunity.

Most vitally, Dessi imparted to upperclassman a sense of control in a time of immense uncertainty. With his success and experience in the field, he empowered students with strategies for gaining control of the job search and confidence that these strategies will make a difference.
Here are two excerpts of a thank-you email sent to Dessi by senior Alyssa Bronander (@arbro) –

“I just wanted to thank you again for coming to speak with us last night, I have been to a     lot of lecturers in my 4 years at Marist, and none have been as dynamic, entertaining, and inspiring as yours.”

“I think it meant a lot to all of us to receive positive feedback on our efforts because many of our peers do not understand the power of social media and     blogging and we often get teased. Your speech inspired me to show others outside of PR  and Communications that I am very proud of what I am producing, I am so grateful to you for that.”

Dessi highlighted Bronander’s blog, KarmaWaffle during the chat. He continues to provide feedback for students.

He recently wrote a blog post entitled “Marist College Has Changed My Life Forever.” Read it here:

For all, the night was empowering; it was one of those nights.

Couldn’t make the talk? Check out this clip & hear some advice on blogging from Chris Dessi!


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Dr. Lepre returns to talk about accuracy in journalism!

In this episode, Dr. Lyn Lepre talks to about the importance of accuracy in journalism. Take a look and check back soon for more office hours from Marist College faculty and community members!

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