Page 3 - marist mag_spring 10noalumnotes

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or the Marist community, Spring Break
2010 offered an opportunity for much-
needed relaxation. Some students and faculty,
however, undertook challenging education-
al ventures abroad. While many walked on
the beach, others walked beside the impov-
erished, through the Holy Land, and in the
footsteps of Holocaust and Hiroshima victims.
At the onset of midterm week, psychol-
ogy majors Caitlin Martin ’10 and Janice Feng
’11 did not have elaborate plans for any vaca-
tions. Soon, both students learned Associate
Professor of Psychology Sherry Dingman had
arranged an eight-day trip to Haiti and was
looking for students to come along. Dingman
is the American Psychological Association’s
representative to the United Nations and leads
a task force for the United Nations Children’s
Fund (UNICEF) working group to stop
violence against children. On the Thursday
before Spring Break, after less than a week to
arrange fights and receive the proper shots,
Dingman, Martin, and Feng landed in the
The group stayed in a hospital in the
Dominican Republic near the Haitian border,
crossing it daily to work. Each day consisted
Short-Term Trips Change Lives
of different jobs. Often the group split and
went with different rescue teams. The projects
included counseling, reorganizing the hospi-
tal, logging information, cleaning wounds,
drawing pictures with children, and setting
up art therapy and other healing programs.
Both students described the diffculties
of being around people in such dire circum-
stances. “If you have anything, from water
to earrings, they’re going to want it,” says
Feng. “It’s not that they aren’t grateful, but
they have absolutely nothing.” However, even
in the most tumultuous situations, human-
ity remained.
“I visited the city of Port-au-Prince on
Sunday morning, and what I saw was quite
a revelation,” says Dingman, “not the armed
mobs the media presents, but families picking
their way through the rubble to attend church
services. The Haitian people really need the
rest of the world to help them in tangible
ways—beginning with not being afraid to help
them.” For Dingman, who hopes to spearhead
further Marist relief efforts in Haiti, physical
therapy for amputees is a central need.
Feng studied abroad and was close friends
with Robert Stone, a Marist student who died
in a tragic accident in Rome in November
2009. The two were bonded by their passion
for helping the less fortunate. “Doing things
like this makes me feel close to him and
strengthened this as something I want to do
with my life,” Feng says.
For Martin, it was a three-year-old boy
who changed her life. The boy had just lost
both of his parents and was infected with
AIDS and scabies. “I wake up every hour
thinking about him,” says Martin. “Just the
way he held on to me, he was so scared, you
could see it in his eyes. He wouldn’t smile. He
just wanted someone to love, and he has no
one. And he’s one of thousands.” Now, Martin
hopes to become a pediatrician to help chil-
dren in need.
Marist students participating in the College’s first study-
abroad tour of the Holy Land, atop the ancient fortress strong-
hold of Masada in the Judean desert, were (left to right) Timothy
Owen ’12, Myriah Anderson ’12, Nicholas Mayr ’10, Scott Mayr ’13,
Shannon Tota ’13, and Matthew Lubrano ’11.
Students on a
trip to Berlin, at the Brandenburg Gate on the Pariser Platz, were
(front row, left to right) GregoryKaplan ’11, DarcieD’Errico ’11, Elyse
Brendlen ’10, Taylor Raab ’12, (back row, left
to right) Jesenia Sanchez ’12, Kim Stagg ’10,
Thomas DeKeyser ’10, Edward Ybarra ’11,
Storm Heitman ’12, and Michael Steier ’10,
shown with faculty member Steve Sansola
(at far right).
Caitlin Martin ’10 (left) and Janice Feng ’11
helped children in Haiti.
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