Marissa Kelemen ’18
Studio Art; Philosophy
U.S. Peace Corps
U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I currently serve as a Rural Education Development (R.E.D.) Volunteer in Peace Corps Zambia and will finish my service this year. I am a driven, independent woman committed to making the world a better place for people around me. I am passionate about learning other perspectives through travel and cultural exchange.
Tell us about your Saint Michael’s College experience.
Outside of the classroom, I dedicated my free time to making the environment at Saint Michael’s College safe and more inclusive through my work with the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services, The Feminist Club, M.O.V.E. and my work as a Resident Advisor (RA).
What advice would you give to female students?
I suggest being your own biggest advocate. When challenges arise during your college experience, fight to ensure you are given proper support, resources, and aid- even if that means going against the administration. This is 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 college experience and you are paying to attend this institution. You have every right to ensure you are getting the most out of your education.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
I advise young women to stay confident and determined in professional spaces. I have often felt that because I am a woman, I am not as well heard or understood as my male counterparts. I urge young women to fight to be understood and fight for fair treatment in the workplace. It is your right.
What keeps you motivated and driven on a daily basis?
My family keeps me motivated. My mother comes from a small farming family in Vermont and my father is a refugee from Hungary. Both of them faced many challenges growing up and they’ve worked so hard to give my sisters and I everything they can. They inspire me to work hard and to fight for the rights of others. I would not be who I am without them.
What woman most inspires you and why?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the woman that inspires me most. She is very dedicated and committed to fighting for the rights of women. She fights for what she knows is right. I admire her devotion to equality.
Is there anything we haven’t asked that you would like to add?
I believe life is about becoming the best possible version of yourself. Every day, I try to learn more about myself and grow. Life presents us with hardships and triumphs. It is up to each of us to choose how we want those experiences to manifest within in our lives.