Matt Gillespie, Marist ‘03
Majored in History major with a Political Science minor
What has your career path been to this point?
I currently work as a Police Officer in the Glen Cove Police Department, and my current rank is Sergeant. After graduating Marist I attended Teachers College at Columbia and worked as a high school social studies teacher on Long Island for a few years. With the Police Department I’ve been able to combine my love of teaching with policing when I go into the local schools and teach about safety and other issues for youngsters in the community.
Sergeant Gillespie with his fiancé, Allie Kutcher
Can you share a memory from your time at HRVI that stands out as meaningful?
There are too many positive memories for me to recall one specific instance, but I always admired Colonel Johnson’s love of history and of teaching. I believe I was in one of the first intern groups for the HRVI, so it was very exciting to help the Institute get up and running! I recall field trips to West Point and local historic battlefields that I really enjoyed. Also, getting to look at local original primary source documents from the Hudson River Valley was so much fun.
How has your experience at HRVI helped you advance your education and/or professional pursuits since graduating from Marist?
I’d say that the HRVI imbued in me a sense of wonder about history that I still carry with me to this day. No matter where I travel I love getting into the local history of the area and signing up for guided tours and reading as much as I can about the area before I visit. It makes for very fun trips no matter where I go. It also instilled a desire to help pass my knowledge on to others even in my law enforcement career. Having a history background can help in law enforcement because it helps put you in an investigative mindset of looking into things and events.
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?
Use the resources provided to you as much as possible. Immerse yourself in the local history and enjoy it. It’s so much fun and so rewarding to learn about local history and to keep that history alive for future generations. If we don’t accurately and factually record what occurred it will be lost to the future; that’s why the work the Institute does is so important. Enjoy the fact that HRVI makes history come alive! Also, law enforcement is an awesome career! If you love helping people and getting to put on an investigative hat and figure things out, it’s definitely the career for you.