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Faces of New Paltz

Stephen Kalogeras - Sociology/Theatre Arts

Past Faces of New Paltz
Brian Spina
Secondary Education in Mathematics
Lara Hope
Public Relations - 06

Hometown: Coram, NY
Major: Sociology and Theatre Arts (performance concentration)
Minor: Psychology
Anticipated Graduation: May 2014

  • Student Manager, Welcome Center
  • Vice President, Absolut A Capella
  • Resident Assistant
  • Former member, Male Call
  • Main Stage/student-run musicals

Why do you want to be a school counselor?
I’ve always been the person who people go to, to talk about things. I like to listen and help people. I had a great high school guidance counselor, and that’s totally what I want to do. I want to help these kids figure out their futures, but also, if they just want to come in and vent about their boyfriend or girlfriend or their classes, they can come talk to me.
I also want to pursue professional acting. I’d love to incorporate the two: Work at a high school as a guidance counselor, and then afterwards, direct the shows, plays, and musicals for the kids, and give them a creative outlet.

What is your favorite aspect of New Paltz?
I love the whole vibe of the school. When I was picking colleges, I was between here and Fordham. Besides the fact that this is way more reasonably priced, New Paltz is close enough to the city where you can take a bus and be there in an hour-and-a-half, but it’s far enough away to be totally different. You’re in the mountains, in a small community, but it’s a really interesting community. It’s so different.

What will you miss most about New Paltz after you graduate?
I’m definitely going to miss singing a cappella. We’ve been through so much. The new members, the old members – it really is a family. Every year Absolute A Cappella has an alumni weekend where the alumni come back and we have a banquet and we all perform together. It’s just great.
I’ll also miss the accepting atmosphere. I feel more comfortable walking down the street holding my boyfriend’s hand here than I do when we’re walking out of his apartment in Manhattan. Manhattan is an open-minded place – but here, no one even thinks to look twice.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at New Paltz outside of the classroom?
My sophomore year, I was in a student-run show called “Bare.” It’s about two boys in a Catholic high school – one of them is popular, and the other is quiet and gets picked on. They’re gay and they’re in a relationship. Through doing that show, I really just found out who I was, to be quite honest. Before that, I lived my life, I dated women, and never really thought about it. But this story, this character I was playing – it’s so weird, but I said, “I feel like this is me.” After the show, so many people stopped me and told me how great they thought the show was. Eight months later, I was still getting stopped by people who recognized me from the show. This was an impact. This was something that definitely changed my life. I wouldn’t be where I am now, in the relationship I’m in now, and as happy as I am now had I not done that show.


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