Page 10 - foxtalk issue 1 winter 2010

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10
Fall 2009
Marist Summer Institutes:
Not Your Ordinary Summer Vacation
High school students
embrace CommArts academia
and professionalism
T
he last thing Courtney Cantara wanted
to do the
summer before her senior year of high school
was spend two weeks of it studying. Yet she had
enrolled in Marist College’s inaugural Fashion
Institute for pre-college students and was beginning to
regret her decision.
“I had never gone away or anything like that during the
summer before,” Courtney says. “I wasn’t really looking
forward to going.”
She went anyway. And all those fears vanished in
midst of discovering something she really loved, loved so
much she decided to make it her career ambition. Loved
so much, Courtney applied to and was accepted in the
fashion design program at Marist for her undergraduate
studies.
Thinking back on that summer now over a year ago, the
Marist first-year student realizes that if it weren’t for the
pre-college institute, she may never have discovered her
love for this field or for Marist.
“I didn’t even have any interest in [attending] Marist,”
she said, almost in awe of the impact small decisions can
have.
Starting with a single business program several years
ago, Marist’s pre-college program has grown to seven
summer institutes. Two of those institutes, the Fashion
Institute and the Sports Communication Institute, are
housed in the School of Communication and the Arts.
Perhaps not coincidentally, these were the two most popu-
lar of last summer’s pre-college programs, enrolling 59
and 23 high school students, respectively.
These residential programs, which run for 13 days in
July, introduce high school juniors and seniors to the
rigors and the fun of college life. Students spend around
eight hours a day in class. Nights involve planned activi-
ties at the dorms, more school work, and just hanging out
with a new group of friends. Additionally, most institutes
plan field trips to broaden the student experience – and to
simply have some fun.
This past summer, fashion students traveled to Manhat-
tan to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fash-
ion District. They capped off their evening with dinner
and a Broadway show.
Meanwhile, sports communication students spent an
evening at Dutchess Stadium, home of the minor league
Hudson Valley Renegades, where they learned about the
team’s radio broadcasts and its sports information office,
all before catching a ball game.
According to Marist associate professor Keith Strudler,
director of the Sports Communication Institute, these pro-
grams help fulfill larger school goals
“I’ve been able to attract a whole new group of motivat-
ed students to campus that are really interested in sports
communication,” noted Strudler. “Not only does it make
our school more vibrant in the summer, but it helps us
recruit the best and brightest to Marist as undergrads. It’s
all part of building distinctive programs in our school.”
Data indicates that will be the case, as 52 of last sum-
Information on credits, how to sign up, details about the
BY GEOFF DECKER