About Us

Marist Abroad offers a variety of study abroad experiences that support a broad range of educational objectives, with program offerings on six continents. We offer semester, full academic year, and short-term study abroad programs, enabling Marist students of any major to study abroad and graduate according to their planned schedule.

Contact Us

For general information or questions about programs:

Marist Abroad
3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845.575.3330 (tel)
845.575.3294 (fax)

Mission Statement

Marist Abroad promotes international engagement and academic, personal, and professional development through rigorous, reflective study abroad, overseas internships, and international campus programming.


Marist Abroad

John Peters, Ph.D. 

Dean of International Programs
Acting Dean of Marist Italy
Assoc. Professor of Economics
845.575.3330 (tel)
John Peters

As an Education Abroad professional dedicated to the art and science of study abroad, John splits the bulk of his time between the Marist Poughkeepsie and Florence Campuses, while working to support Marist students abroad on six continents (sorry, no Antarctica program as yet). John sees his life's work that of developing and helping to connect students with innovative, empowering international and intercultural experiences. John holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy from the University of Southern California, an MA in Economics and an MA in International Studies from Ohio University, and a BA with majors in Economics and Japanese from California State University, Sacramento. When not working to support international programs, staff, and students, John enjoys spending time with his family, and in particular striving to both support as well as embarrass his teen and tween-aged daughters.


Gavin Webb

845.575.3330 (tel)
Gavin Webb, PhD

Gavin has spent his professional life developing career paths in international education and ethnomusicology. As a study abroad professional he has designed and delivered programs in Ghana, managed multidisciplinary programming across Africa, and has delivered faculty-led courses. After 14 years in Ghana Gavin joined Binghamton University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of ethnomusicology. In addition to studies at the University of Toronto he holds a PhD and MA from the University of Ghana and a BMus from Berklee College of Music in Boston. As the Director of International Programs he is committed to providing students with academically rigorous, interculturally rich, and transformational international education programs. A husband and father of 3 energetic boys, when not working or parenting he tries to find time to publish and perform.


James Morrow-Polio

845.575.3330 (tel)
James Morrow-Polio - Machu Picchu, Peru

James is a Marist Abroad Coordinator, a Marist Alum, and a former Marist Abroad student employee. He spent a semester abroad in Granada, Spain, while earning his degree in Spanish. He coordinates a wide variety of programs, including the Marist Fashion programs, the Marist-Madrid program, and Marist's various exchange programs. James has been traveling ever since his semester abroad, and does not plan to stop anytime soon. He spends his time away from Marist studying and enjoying the Hudson River Valley.


Caitlin Paul

845.575.3330 (tel)
Caitlin Paul

Caitlin is a coordinator in the Marist Abroad office working with short term faculty led programs and regular semester programs. Caitlin has a bachelor’s degree in History from SUNY Oneonta and a master’s degree in International Education from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. She has study abroad experience in London, Ghana, Greece, Nicaragua and Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, time with family, and the beach.


Isabel Carrasco                        

Director of Marist Madrid
845.575.3330 (tel)
Dr. Isabel Carrasco

Isabel (Ph.D. in Aesthetics, Universidad Compultense de Madrid) has developed a two-fold professional career in the field of International Education as Director of the Marist Madrid program as well as Adjunct Professor of Art History at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M0. As Director of Marist Madrid since 2007, her main goal is to help students to have a meaningful, challenging, engaging, and safe experience during their semester or academic year in Spain. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, walking her dog, and arts and crafts. She has difficulty discerning whether she prefers discovering new places in the world or returning to those where she feels most at home. 


Ruth Watts                             

Office Assistant
845.575.3330 (tel)
Ruth Watts

Ruth first joined Marist College in 2006 as an office assistant in the Marist Office of Student Financial Services. In October 2011, she transferred to International Programs. Ruth is the first person you will see when you visit the office, smiling and ready to assist in any way possible. Ruth provides assistance to staff, faculty, as well as the many students who visit the office daily. When not working, she loves to spend her spare time outdoors camping and gardening.



Marist Italy - Florence

Vanessa Nichol-Peters

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Vanessa Nicho-Peters in Florence, Italy

Vanessa is a Zimababwean by birth, South African by descent, US American by naturalization, and Italian by her love for Italy and the Marist Italy programs. She holds BA, MA, and MBA degrees from the University of Zimbabwe, University of KwaZulu Natal, and Ohio University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in History from the University of Witswaterstrand in South Africa. Vanessa has worked in Education Abroad for 15 years, and when not working to support the Marist Italy programs, she stays busy with research and writing her doctoral dissertation. If she had spare time, she would enjoy gardening and growing organic vegetables. 


Jean Hinkley

845.575.3330 (tel)
Photo of Jean Hinkley

Jean is the Marist Italy Coordinator based at the Poughkeepsie campus. She coordinates the Freshman Florence Experience (FFE), BA, and MA programs. Jean has a BA in History from American University and is working on completing her MA in Museum Studies offered at Marist. Jean grew up in Poughkeepsie, and studied abroad in Dublin and Florence. Her favorite things include: yoga, roadtrips, hiking, watching the Yankees win, visiting museums, and any sort of live music.


Elisa Checcacci

Student Services Coordinator
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Elisa is Marist Italy's Student Services Coordinator and focuses on enhancing the overall student experience in Florence, from organizing cultural activities and trips to helping students with the immigration process. Before joining Marist Italy, Elisa lived in London for over eight years and traveled around the world to promote study opportunities at King's College London. Elisa experienced how studying abroad can impact someone's life and personal development when she spent a year in the UK as part of her BA in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Siena, and is therefore very passionate about helping others benefit from the same experience. In her free time, Elisa loves walking around the city or in the countryside, doing yoga, reading books, and spending time with family and friends over a good meal.



Lauren Seaman

Resident Director
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 Lauren Seaman - Resident Director

Lauren joined Marist Italy to pursue ongoing questions about how Education Abroad develops our socio-politcal awareness, critical thinking, and citizenship. At Marist Italy, Lauren manages housing and supports students’ residential experience. She graduated from Barnard College with a BA in English Literature, where she also studied feminist and collaborative leadership. Before coming to Florence, Lauren taught public speaking at New York University Abu Dhabi and advised undergraduates at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. Energized by her passions and hobbies, Lauren is sharpening her political journalism, training for marathons, and visual art-making in her oddball, makeshift studio. She is working towards a Masters in Public Administration to continue a career in education and public service.


Joe Giacalone

Executive Director of International Recruitment
Joe Giacalone

Joe is a member of the Admission Review Committee. He is responsible for directing all efforts to advise and enroll international students and US citizens living abroad for both the Poughkeepsie, New York, as well as Florence, Italy campuses. Joe was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. While studying at Marist he took advantage of the many opportunities the college had to offer, including studying abroad at the Florence Branch Campus; an internship in New York City; participation in various intramural sports; volunteer work; and three campus jobs.


Diane Ralston

Administrative Assistant
Diane Ralston

Diane joined the Marist Italy staff in January 2013 after 14 years working in the Marist Office of Student Financial Services. She works closely with Marist Italy programs in coordinating registration as well as handling day to day office processes. Diane is currently pursuing her BS in Professional Studies with an emphasis on Leadership in Marist’s online program, and is the proud mother of a recent Marist College graduate. When Diane is not working or studying, she enjoys camping and re-purposing items found at antique stores and flea markets.

Deborah Holtman

Assistant Registrar
 Deborah Holtman in Florence, Italy

Deborah is the Assistant Registrar for International Affairs and works with registrations, equivalencies, and grades for the Italy campus, as well as serving as the Designated School Official and Responsible Officer for international students coming to Marist College. She has a MS from Pace University in Counseling and is a Chemical Dependency Counselor in her spare time.  She enjoys bike riding and kayaking on the weekends.


 Lydia Murray                          

Program Assistant
845.575.3330 (tel)
 Lydia Murray - Program Assistant

Lydia is the Program Assistant for our FIE programs in London and Dublin. She graduated from Marist with a B.A. in Philosophy/Religious Studies in 2012, and earned an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication at Marist in 2015. As an undergraduate, she participated in the Freshman Florence Experience, and later participated in a Winter Intercession program in Barbados.