Student Achievement

Fox Chat: Quick Questions at the Donnelly Cafe

Jadyn Lance '24, Marketing & Communications Intern

Gelila at Donnelly Cafe. Photo by Yasir Olenja ’24/Marist College.

Fox Chat is a student-produced segment where Red Foxes sit down to connect over coffee or a quick bite and chat about their Marist experience.

In this segment, Jadyn Lance '24 interviews Gelila Getu '25.

Gelila Getu '25

Major: Computer Science

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Q: What is your go-to spot on campus to grab a quick bite?

A: My go-to spot on campus for a quick bite is definitely the North End or Donnelly Cafe. One of my favorites from Donnelly Cafe is the number four but hold the prosciutto because I cannot have pork. North End is convenient to where I live but also offers a variety of cool options. 

Q: What made you choose to go to Marist?

A: My older brother lives in Connecticut, so the importance of family closeness influenced my decision to come to America. This played a significant role in my choice to attend Marist. Marist's study abroad programs signaled an environment open to diverse experiences, aligning with my desire to explore different cultures. Choosing Marist allowed me to feel equipped for a global perspective right at home, and the community has met my expectations of open-minded and welcoming individuals.

Image of Gelila enjoying her Rossi’s sandwich in Donnelly.

Gelila enjoying her Rossi’s sandwich in Donnelly Hall. Photo by Yasir Olenja '24/Marist College.

Q: What clubs are you a part of on campus?

A: I am actively involved in several student organizations on campus, including the African Student Association and the Black Student Union. Currently, I'm dedicating my time to organizing events and activities for the National Society of Black Student Engineers, with the hope of eventually serving on the board. Being part of these organizations provides a sense of belonging and solidarity, particularly as I connect with friends from diverse backgrounds and cultures. 

Image of Jadyn and Gelila in Donnelly.

Jadyn Lance ’24 and Gelila Getu ’25 chatting in Donnelly lounge. Photo by Yasir Olenja ’24/Marist College.

Q: In what moments has Marist felt most like home to you?

A: Participating in African celebrations and engaging with cultural events that resonate with my background have provided me with a sense of belonging and familiarity. Like many others, despite feeling at home in many aspects of campus life, I do experience bouts of homesickness. Interestingly, when fellow students learned that I hadn't returned home in two years, it seemed to inspire them and give them courage in their own experiences of homesickness.

Q: Can you tell me about a hobby outside of school that you are passionate about?

A: My braiding business holds a special place in my heart. Rooted in the traditions of my Ethiopian upbringing, braiding is not just a skill but a passion I’ve been honing since I was 10 years old. It allows me to empower individuals by enhancing their confidence and style. 

Image of Gelila Getu showing off a braiding design she did herself. Photo courtesy of Gelila Getu ’25.

Gelila Getu showing a braiding design she did herself. Photo courtesy of Gelila Getu '25.

Q: What are your plans after college?

A: My goal is to work at the intersection of information systems and business management. Entrepreneurship and innovation have always captivated me, even back when I was a child. I could draw very well in third grade, and I would make pictures and sell them to my classmates. I still have this enterprising spirit, and I believe in the power of community and supporting one another through life's struggles. I aim to positively impact the lives of others.


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