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Marygrace Navarra, Marist '14

Photo of Marygrace, seated in a dimly lit blue room with plants behind her. She has blond hair, and is wearing a black and white plaid sportcoat.

Marygrace majored in English with a concentration in Writing and minored in Women's Studies and Creative Writing.

What has your career path been to this point?

After graduating from Marist, I worked in Human Resources at a cancer research laboratory. In 2017, I entered my MFA program in Film & Media Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia, where I concentrated in screenwriting and began work on my film projects. During my time at Temple, I was a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Festival in 2019 and 2020 for my two shorts, Lunar Maria and Object of Affection. I was also a finalist for the 2019 Sloan Institute/Tribeca Institute Student Discovery Award for my pilot script, Dora. I graduated with my MFA in 2020 and worked as an adjunct at Temple until I moved to Los Angeles this past August. I recently joined Management 360, a talent and literary management and film production company in LA. I continue to write and work on my short films, one of which is in post-production.

Can you share an experience/memory from your time at HRVI that stands out as meaningful?

I was given the opportunity by Chris Pryslopski to write an article for The Hudson River Valley Review, "Madam Brett: Her Legacy and Her Homestead." I remember feeling an immense sense of gratitude and responsibility when he entrusted me with researching and writing her story, one he said he wanted to read himself. Learning about a woman who had so significantly shaped the settlement of the Hudson Valley, our home, was incredibly rewarding. I believe this opportunity gave me a spark of confidence that allowed me to take myself more seriously as a writer.

How has your experience at HRVI helped you advance your education and/or professional pursuits since graduating from Marist?

I'm positive that my HRVI internship, professional research, and publication have been impressive in my professional life, especially coming right out of college. The experience itself was also rewarding for me, personally and professionally. I loved coming into the office, copy editing, working on my research -- really, being around those who had similar interests to mine. That kind of confirmation and reinforcement -- that you thrive in a certain environment -- is incredibly valuable after graduation.

As HRVI celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022, do you have any advice for future HRVI interns based on your time at HRVI and your experience in your professional field?

Learn as much as you can, and pay attention to what excites you most. In this crucial time, you're learning about yourself as well as the history of the Hudson Valley, with scholars all around you -- you should be conscious of and value both.