Marist honored three distinguished members of the Hudson River Valley community at the College’s 53rd annual President’s Community Breakfast on Nov. 30. The honorees all received President’s Awards for Community Service from President Kevin Weinman for their significant contributions to the local area.
The breakfast recognized Freddimir Garcia '09/'14MBA, Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, and Brian Doyle '73/'90MPA.
“These distinguished honorees have made valuable contributions to our community through their exceptional commitment and leadership,” said Weinman. “They have collectively made the Hudson River Valley a better, more vibrant, and more equitable place to live. We are proud to recognize Brian, Nicole, and Freddy for their embodiment of the Marist principles of excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service.”
Marist has long benefited from strong partnerships with the surrounding community. Weinman highlighted the College’s Liberty Partnership Program and Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership as just two of the many programs students are engaged in that offer experiential learning, internship experiences, and real-world application of the skills they’re learning in the classroom.
Garcia is Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, an organization representing more than 13,000 real estate professionals.
“I am truly humbled to be recognized by the institution that has already given me so much,” said Garcia. “It was truly a blessing when I chose to come to Marist. It’s easy to give back when you are part of a place that values the creation of community and commitment to service. These are some of the most caring, dedicated, impactful and committed individuals of the Hudson Valley, and never did I ever imagine seeing myself up here.”
Fenichel-Hewitt is executive director of the Art Effect, an organization that introduces local youth to visual arts and media by giving them the opportunity to develop their voice and their futures.
“I was thinking about how much I love coming to this campus. It’s a place of learning and growing and challenging oneself to keep striving to be better,” said Fenichel-Hewitt. “I do what I do because it feels good to do things that bring out the best in people. I’m so humbled to be honored by such an incredible learning institution.”
Doyle has a connection to Marist that spans more than five decades, as an undergraduate student, graduate student and adjunct professor. Retiring after more than a decade as CEO of Family Services, he oversaw a nonprofit that serves as a lifeline to those in need. The organization provides critical support services in behavioral health, victim services, family programs, youth services, and community safety and prevention.
“I have much to be grateful for, and Marist College having offered me that chance to engage in true experiential learning is a huge a part of who I am today,” said Doyle. “My work in human services goes back 50 years when at Marist, I spent a semester immersed in field work in Red Hook. I worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity and learned about people who endured daily circumstances of deprivation and trauma which would then be passed on from one generation to the next.”
The President’s Award is the longest-standing community service honor in the region.