About Us

Marist International Programs (MIP) offers a variety of study abroad experiences that support a broad range of educational objectives, with program offerings on six continents. We offer semester, full academic year, and short-term study abroad programs, enabling Marist students of any major to study abroad and graduate according to their planned schedule.

Contact Us

For general information or questions about programs:

Marist International Programs
3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845.575.3330 (tel)
845.575.3294 (fax)

Mission Statement

Marist International Programs promotes international engagement and academic, personal, and professional development through rigorous, reflective study abroad, overseas internships, and international campus programming.

Marist International Programs Staff

John Peters, Ph.D. 
Dean of International Programs
Acting Dean of Marist Italy
Assoc. Professor of Economics
845.575.3330 (tel)
John Peters

As an Education Abroad professional dedicated to the art and science of study abroad, John splits the bulk of his time between the Marist Poughkeepsie and Florence Campuses, while working to support Marist students abroad on six continents (sorry, no Antarctica program). John sees his life's work that of developing and helping to connect students with innovative, empowering international and intercultural experiences. John holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Southern California, an MA in Economics and an MA in International Studies from Ohio University, and a BA with majors in Economics and Japanese from California State University, Sacramento. When not working to support international programs, staff, and students, John enjoys spending time with his two young daughters who are usually busy either eating gelato or learning to speak Italian.

Carol Toufali
Senior Coordinator
845.575.3330 (tel)
Carol Toufali
  Carol holds a BA in Spanish from SUNY Plattsburgh, with studies abroad in Mexico and Spain, and an MPA from Marist College. Between degrees Carol enjoyed teaching English as a second language at Berlitz Schools in Manhattan, Madrid, and at the American Cultural Center in Fes, Morocco. Carol has coordinated Marist International Programs since 1995.  
Jerald Z. Thornton
845.575.3330 (tel)
Jerre Thornton

Jerre has been a Coordinator for MIP for both semester and short-term programs for the last 12 years.  He is also the layout/graphic designer for the Globetrotter (MIP's yearly study abroad magazine), and is responsible for marketing materials for semester and short-term programs.  His personal goal is to find a Chinese restaurant in every country he visits.  So far, India was the best and Cuba the most unique. Jerre received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. 

James Morrow-Polio
Assistant Coordinator
845.575.3330 (tel)
James Morrow-Polio - Machu Picchu, Peru 
  James is an MIP Assistant Coordinator, a Marist Alum, and a former MIP student employee. He spent a semester abroad in Granada, Spain, while earning his degree in Spanish. He coordinates a wide variety of programs, including the Marist Fashion programs, the Marist-Madrid program, and Marist's various exchange programs. James has been traveling ever since his semester abroad, and does not plan to stop anytime soon. He began his graduate studies with Marist in the fall of 2013, and spends his time away from Marist studying and enjoying the Hudson River Valley.   
Ruth Watts
Office Assistant
845.575.3330 (tel)
Ruth Watts 
  Ruth first joined Marist College in 2006 as an office assistant in the Marist Office of Student Financial Services. In October 2011, she transferred to International Programs. Ruth is the first person you will see when you visit the office, smiling and ready to assist in any way possible. Ruth provides assistance to staff, faculty, as well as the many students who visit the office daily. When not working, she loves to spend her spare time outdoors camping and gardening.   

Marist College Florence Branch Campus Staff

Vanessa Nichol-Peters
+ 39 055 289 200 (Italy tel)
Vanessa Nicho-Peters in Florence, Italy

Vanessa is a Zimababwean by birth, South African by descent, US American by naturalization, and Italian by her love for Italy and the Marist Italy programs. She holds BA, MA, and MBA degrees from the University of Zimbabwe, University of KwaZulu Natal, and Ohio University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in History from the University of Witswaterstrand in South Africa. Vanessa has worked in Education Abroad for 15 years, and when not working to support the Marist Italy programs, she stays busy with research and writing her doctoral dissertation. If she had spare time, she would enjoy gardening and growing organic vegetables.

Bradford Miller
Assistant Director
845.575.3330 (tel)
+ (Italy tel)
 Bradford Miller 
  Brad has a BA in Classics and Fine Arts from Harvard university, an MEd in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University and a ML in Latin from the University of Florida. Brad was previously the Dean of Students of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Brad is Academic Adviser to all Marist Italy students in Florence, Director of the summer Florence Pre-College Program, and assists with the operational and financial management of the Branch Campus. Brad has been living in Florence since 2008, and in his free time enjoys adventures on his Vespa as well as coaching American football for the Parma Panthers, the team featured in John Grisham's novel Playing for Pizza.  
Christie Alfaro
Assistant Director
845.575.3330 (tel)
Christie Alfaro in Rome, Italy
  Christie received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marist College. She has been working with Marist Italy programs since 2005. Christie is based at the Marist Poughkeepsie campus coordinating the BA and Freshman Florence Experience (FFE) programs. She has a passion for traveling, gardening, books of all kinds, and photography. Her free time is spent at home in the beautiful rolling hills of upstate New York with her son and husband.  
Stephanie Elmessaoudi
Resident Director
+ (Italy tel)
 Stephanie Elmessaoudi in Florence, Italy
  Stephanie earned her BS in Criminal Justice from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT and is currently working on her Master’s in Public Administration at Marist. She started working on the Marist Poughkeepsie campus in 2011 and made her debut to the Florence campus in 2012. Her undergraduate study abroad experience and love for discovering new cultures drives her enthusiasm for traveling. Her other interests include reading, going to the beach, and finding the best cappuccino in Florence. She coordinates and supports residential life, cultural transition, and the permit of stay process for the BA, MA, and FFE programs.  
Joe Giacalone
Executive Director of International Recruitment
Joe Giacalone

Joe is a member of the Admission Review Committee. He is responsible for directing all efforts to advise and enroll international students and US citizens living abroad for both the Poughkeepsie, New York, as well as Florence, Italy campuses. Joe was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. While studying at Marist he took advantage of the many opportunities the college had to offer, including studying abroad at the Florence Branch Campus; an internship in New York City; participation in various intramural sports; volunteer work; and three campus jobs.

Diane Ralston
Office Assistant

Diane Ralston
  Diane joined the Marist Italy staff in January 2013 after 14 years working in the Marist Office of Student Financial Services. She works closely with Marist Italy programs in coordinating registration as well as handling day to day office processes. Diane is currently pursuing her BS in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Leadership in Marist’s online program, and is the proud mother of a recent Marist College graduate. When Diane is not working or studying, she enjoys camping and re-purposing items found at antique stores and flea markets.  
Deborah Holtman
Assistant Registrar
   Deborah Holtman in Florence, Italy  
  Deborah is the Assistant Registrar for International Affairs and works with registrations, equivalencies, and grades for the Italy campus, as well as serving as the Designated School Official and Responsible Officer for international students coming to Marist College. She has a MS from Pace University in Counseling and is a Chemical Dependency Counselor in her spare time.  She enjoys bike riding and kayaking on the weekends.