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Purchase Students, Alumni, Staff Work At Clinton Global Initiative Event

SUNY Purchase College students, alum and staff will work behind the scenes at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting this week.
SUNY Purchase College students, alum and staff will work behind the scenes at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting this week. Photo Credit: Dell Inc. Flickr

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Some of the most influential people in the world will be attending the Clinton Global Initiative this week in New York, but behind the scenes, several SUNY Purchase College alumni, staff and students will be ensuring stage management, lighting and scenery befit an occasion of this prestige.

Guests at the event will include President Barack Obama, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Bill Gates, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and the Clinton family.

“This is one of the most important meetings in the world geared toward philanthropic endeavors. It is vitally important to make sure the event’s environment conveys the message of the organization’s mission and allows participants — some of the most notable anywhere — to be as effective as possible,” Dan Hanessian, an associate professor of theater design/technology at Purchase, said in a prepared statement.

Among the top experts from Purchase helping to manage the event are Dave Grill, (Purchase ’86), who is the lighting designer and creative director; Patrick Fahey (Purchase ’91) who is the scenic designer; and Jeffrey Markowitz (Purchase ’84), who is the production stage manager. Grill’s work on this event comes on the heels of his just winning his second Emmy Award, this one for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special for his work as Lighting Director on the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show starring Beyoncé.

In addition to those alumni, associate scenic designers Corey Atwood (2005), Jennifer Colombo (2005), Robert John Andrusko (1990), Veronica Kimmel (2008), Danielle Shultz (2013), and Chris Thompson (2010); stage manager Meghan VonVett (2007); assistant stage manager Jason Quinn (2001); production crew members Niklas Anderson (2002) and Steven Loehle (1985); stage management student interns Peter Chang (2014) and Natalie Price (2014); lighting director Jay Woods (2001); and lighting design student interns Nathan Avakian (2014), Catherine Clark (2014), Kelley Finn (2014), Rebekah Gould (2014), Dana Ioppolo (2014), Laura Panno (2014), Christina Robinson (2014) and Emily Rodriguez (2014), will also contribute.

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