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Spotlight on Students: Marisa Siergiej '16

  • Affiliation: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: Albany, GA

Why Cornell?

When I was deciding which university to attend, I knew I wanted a strong balance of academics and athletics. The College of Engineering at Cornell University has a great reputation, and the Varsity field hockey team was competitive within the Division 1.

Leadership positions held at Cornell:

My topmost leadership positions at Cornell include being the Varsity field hockey captain, a Community Outreach Chair for the Society of Women Engineers, and the Marketing Director for Athlete Ally.

Major accomplishments as a leader:

On the field hockey team, we have fostered a team culture of personal accountability and hard work to be the best player you can be for the team. We turned the program around from being one of the worst in the Ivy League to consistently finishing in the top three. We were ranked nationally in the top 20 for the first time in program history in 2014 (junior year). This past season in 2015 (senior year), we finished in the top 20 RPI and strength of schedule for the first time in program history. We also set school records for wins, goals, and assists in a season as well as goals in a single game and penalty corners against per contest within the last two years.

For the Society of Women Engineers, we have organized and volunteered at multiple events throughout the school year to teach children about science and engineering.

Athlete Ally has evolved into being a place for LGBTs and allies to foster a message of tolerance, respect, and acceptance for all people across campus. Over the past two years during my time as Marketing Director, we have brought in speakers including Brendon Ayanbadejo (Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion) and Megan Rapinoe (USWNT soccer player, Olympic Gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Gold medalist) to educate the campus on LGBT issues.

Advice for future student leaders:

As a leader, you will gain responsibility that is integral for the success of the organization. However, it is important to also take the time to check in with others in your organization. Academics at Cornell can be tough, and it’s important that we look out for each other.

Goals post-graduation:

I will be working for Procter and Gamble in Albany, GA as a process engineer in papermaking.

Favorite Olin Hall/ChemE memory:

The CBE Holiday Party last winter was a great way to end the semester before winter break. It was nice to see our class there with our professors and staff while having some fun through the senior skit.

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