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Meet Giana DiRoco

Name: Giana DiRico

Year: Junior
Major(s): Psychology and Special Education (and in the 5-Year M.A. Educational Psychology program)
Hometown: Emerson, New Jersey

HC: When did you realize that you wanted to become a teacher?

GD: I have wanted to become a teacher for as long as I can remember. I remember sitting in my elementary school classes, taking mental notes on things that I liked about my teachers or their classrooms, always thinking that one day I can be just like them. Years later, my passion to teach children and encourage them to love learning has continued to grow!

HC: In addition to being President of Teachers of Tomorrow, you are also the founder of the Marist Indoor Rock Climbing Team; how do you think being involved in these organizations is shaping your college experience?

GD: I could not imagine my college experience without either of these organizations – they have allowed me to grow tremendously as a person, provide a vast amount of opportunities for my peers, and meet so many amazing people along the way.

HC: So far, what has been your favorite “Marist Moment?”

GD: I would definitely have to say bringing rock climbing to Marist. I will never forget how happy I was the day that it was approved. Or, going to Hawaii for two weeks this past summer with all of my best friends for a Culturally Responsive Education course through Marist.

HC: What was your experience with founding the Marist Indoor Rock Climbing Team?

GD: Starting indoor rock climbing at Marist has been one of my most challenging experiences.  There were so many times where I thought it would never get approved or that no one would be interested.  But I always reminded myself how amazing it would be to spread my love for the sport of climbing and leave a lasting impact at Marist.  Today, there are almost 200 students on the email list, and each week, about 50 students get the opportunity to go rock climbing.

HC: Do you have a favorite spot on campus?

GD: The chairs in front of the library, overlooking the river and our campus. Or anywhere that I can watch the sunset!

HC: You are part of the five-year Psych/Special Ed Master’s program; is there anything you think underclassmen interested in pursuing this should know?

GD: The program is very demanding, and it’s important to let your advisor know as soon as possible that you are interested in pursuing this because it follows a very specific course schedule. You will be challenged to do your best, while completing graduate-level work starting your junior year of college. The professors have higher expectations of you – but with each class, you will feel even more prepared for your future career.

HC: What is your dream job?
GD: To be an elementary school teacher in an inclusion classroom. Specifically, in an area with high poverty rates, where I can really make an impact.

HC: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for future Marist students?

GD: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” – This is by far one of my favorite quotes and words to live by. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Don’t be afraid to take on a leadership position or put yourself out there and try something new. Surround yourself with people who will inspire you, motivate you, challenge you, and make you laugh at the end of a long, stressful day.

Oh, and definitely take advantage of going to school in the Hudson Valley! Spend your Sundays exploring historic towns or going on beautiful hikes – it’s the perfect start to a week.

Paige Moran is a Senior at Marist College with a major in Secondary English Education, concentration in Literature, and minors in Psychology, and Global Studies. When Paige isn't proofreading all of her friend's papers you can find her petting any nearby dogs and puppies, reading, blasting good tunes, or adventuring with her friends and her camera. 
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