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Campus Celeb: Alex McCahill

When you are walking around campus with Alex McCahill, it will feel like you are with the mayor of Marist College. Alex, a senior Biomedical science major, always has on the biggest and brightest smile, even when bracing this tundra to get to class. Alex likes to stay very busy and involved in every way she can on and off campus. She has been a part of the Marist Track & Field team as a sprinter and hurdler since her freshman year. She is also an Ambassador, a Tour Guide, an Orientation Leader, a member of the American Chemical Society Club, a tutor, a Teacher’s Assistant, a member of the medical fraternity Delta Epsilon Mu, and a local volunteer EMT.

HC: What is your favorite thing about your major?

AM: I like the sense of comradery that you make with all your classmates. You really bond with your classmates and get through it together.

HC: You just went to Mexico on a volunteering and research trip this past winter break. What was your favorite part of that experience?

AM: It was nice because it was like a science version of studying abroad. Being in my major, it’s hard to study abroad. I am so lucky and happy that I had the chance to do that. I like that I was able to practice what I learn in the classroom in a real-life setting.

HC: So you volunteer as an EMT. What is the most rewarding part of that?

AM: No one calls 911 on a good day. They call you at their worst and when they are in trouble. Being able to turn that around on their way to the hospital makes it all worth it. In those moments in the ambulance, you are there to help them and make them feel safe.

HC: What would be your all-time dream job?

AM: Probably a neo-natal nurse who deals with newborn babies. That is the most pivotal time in a development aspect of a child. They can’t do anything for themselves. You are there to help them develop and learn right from the beginning. I just think that would be so exciting.

HC: How do you balance being involved in so many clubs, volunteering, doing your schoolwork and having a social life?  

AM: (Laughs) Post its. Lots and lots of post its. You just really have to stay organized. Making a schedule for yourself is key. Setting deadlines is always a plus to stay on top of everything and meet your goals.

HC: Why did you end up choosing Marist?

AM: I am super indecisive. What I did was I made a pro-con list for every school. Marist had the most of everything that I wanted and the least of what I didn’t want.

HC: What is your favorite Marist memory?

AM: There are so many to choose from! Growing up and sharing experiences with that core group of friends you make your freshman year is my favorite part of Marist in general. You really grow together and experience the best times with your closest friends. It just makes this experience so much more incredible than I could have ever imagined.

HC: How do you feel about your track career coming to an end?  

AM: It’s bittersweet because it is something that has been a part of my life for so long. It’s hard to let it go. You just get used to going to practice, going to meets and the thrill of it all. It is hard to fathom that ending.

HC: If you could tell your freshman year self a piece of advice, what would it be?

AM: I just feel like the best thing to say is that it will all work out. I feel like freshmen are constantly worried about so many things, like “I don’t have a plan and everyone else has a plan,” “Will I make friends?” or  “Will I pass all my classes?” Everything that you do throughout your four years here leads you to where you are right now. And you will end up in a good spot. Not even just the good things are worth remembering, but the mistakes too. Knowing what you did wrong or what you didn’t like doing will really help you down the road. That is really how you will get where you are today. 

Cathryn Vaccaro is a senior at Marist College. She is a Journalism and Advertising major and a Business minor. Her passions in life are writing, traveling, and volunteering. She loves volunteering at Marist in the Poughkeepsie community. But one of her all time favorite places to volunteer is in Haiti. Cathryn will be returning to Haiti this May for her second time, and could not be more excited. She just spent an amazing semester abroad in Florence, Italy in the Spring of 2014. Cathryn can not wait to travel the world again. In her spare time she loves going to the beach, spending time with family and friends, and cuddling with her three dogs back at home in New Jersey!
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