Raymond Batista is a member of Marist's Class of 2009. He holds a BA in Psychology from Marist and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. He is a psychotherapist (LCSW) in private practice in the New York City area.
Tell us a little about your work and/or academic history since graduating from Marist.
After my MSW from Fordham, I worked in the substance abuse/co-occurring disorders team at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, did some non-profit/contract work, and then opened my private practice in 2016. A lot of my work now focuses on helping young adults transition into post-college adulthood and supporting the LGBTQ population.
How has a degree from Marist enhanced your career?
A degree from Marist ultimately shaped my decision to go to graduate school for social work. Professor Robin Diller Torres’ community psychology class taught me that we need to look beyond the individual—toward society’s whole picture—when we’re trying to figure out “what makes people well.”
Why did you choose to pursue your undergraduate education at Marist?
I liked Marist because of its small class sizes, as well as its location. At the time, it made the transition from high school a lot easier, both in terms of socially branching out, and in terms of adjusting to college-level coursework. I also wanted to try out for the crew team, which I used to joke lasted maybe a month— I’m not very much a morning person. A few of my classmates fell in love with it, though.
Tell us about a “Marist Memory” that was especially meaningful to your professional or personal development.
I enjoyed doing the City Plunge weekend community service project with Brother Michael Williams in Lawrence, Massachusetts during my first year. It was valuable to get an immersive community service experience and combine the “doing” of social justice with the “reflecting” on it for an entire weekend. We also got an opportunity to connect with the people we served and hear their stories, which made understanding people’s experiences of homelessness more profound.
When you were an undergraduate, what clubs or activities were you involved with? Did you participate in any internships or study abroad?
I went on a spring break study abroad trip with Professor Tim Massie to Italy back during my sophomore year, which I was lucky to go with people I still consider friends. I also picked up a survival skill or two while asking for directions on the Roman metro, hoping a bit of my Spanish would be halfway intelligible enough for an Italian. :-)
My longest-lasting extracurricular was campus ministry men’s group, which I was part of for four years. It was a helpful open space to talk about all the transitions and changes that happen from the first semester of freshmen year, all the way to the moments before walking up the stage for graduation.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their undergraduate degree at Marist?
When looking at any college, the social environment of the school and getting involved in what you’re passionate about (whether it’s a sport, club, or a cause) is as important as the strength of its academic programs. A lot of the friendships you’ll make here will be as important as the degree you earn, so keep that in mind as you make your choices.
One of the things that I retain from my psychology degree is that learning “sticks” the most when it’s tied to meaningful experiences and close connections to others, and that’s what I feel Marist provided.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Academic School: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Campus: New York