Senior Spotlight: December 2010
In Spring 2010, physiological science major Marissa Campbell from Mission Viejo, California was initiated into Mortar Board for her superior scholastic ability, outstanding and continual leadership, and dedicated service to the community. Marissa was elected by her peers to serve as the Calendar Committee Chair, where she is responsible for producing the Mortar Board Academic Planner which is sold in the UCLA Store-- congratulations to her for the successful production of the 2010-2011 planner! Outside of Mortar Board, Marissa is involved as a co-head coordinator for the UCLA Student Stroke Team, a facilitator for Covel Peer Learning Labs, an assistant manager for the women's soccer team, and an undergraduate research assistant in orthopedic surgery under Dr. Wang. Despite her substantial involvement, however, Marissa still finds time for her hobbies of crosswords and cycling! Please continue reading as we turn the spotlight on Marissa!
Describe your personality in three words.
Enthusiastic, Dedicated, Sharp
What is your best quality? Give an experience when you have put this quality to use.
My ability to multi-task. This allows me to become invested in so many various facets of involvement at UCLA. I’ve been a student-athlete, Peer Learning Facilitator, undergraduate research assistant, hospital volunteer, and UA for 3rd years in the Physiological Science major - and I’ve loved every minute of it.
What are your interests?
I love to read fantasy novels, run, and watch Grey’s Anatomy.
What do you like about UCLA?
The diversity and competitive push you get from your peers. You meet so many interesting people at UCLA who all have their own story, it’s amazing to think of what your peers have done up to now and what they will be able to accomplish in the future. That’s where the competitive push comes from-- everyone has such potential, and no one wants to see their peers fall short. It’s a great environment to learn.
What is one thing you would like to change at UCLA?
I would add a series of true research courses. The Chemistry Lab series available to undergraduate students don’t directly apply to the research being conducted at UCLA by many undergraduates currently. I would have practicing PIs or Graduate students lead small groups of undergraduate students through basic lab techniques - I know I would have been more open to beginning research of my own earlier on if I had taken such a course.
What has been your biggest learning experience?
Being part of the Student Stroke Team has given me access to the medical field where I’ve had personal patient-interactions and worked with medical teams to give the patients the best care possible. In this program, I’ve come to realize the team work and appropriate bedside manners can work wonders with the patients’ cases and their families.
Name two movies you could watch over and over again? Why?
Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Finding Nemo. I loved reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books growing up and the movies only re-enforced why I enjoyed the books to begin with. With Finding Nemo, Disney-Pixar did so well with the story and it’s become such an iconic story - and Crush the Turtle has just an awesome philosophy on life! :-D
What is your favorite book and why?
The Once and Future King by T. H. White. When I was reading the story, I felt as though I was in Merlin’s shoes and learned so much about “why the world wags and what wags it”. It was just a wonderful story I ended up re-reading many times after the class was done. Although Mark Twain’s Huck Finn is a close second...
If you could meet anyone in history who would it be and why?
Louis Pasture. His innovative and revolutionary contributions to the medical field inspire me to make such ground-breaking advances in medicine today.
If you could go anywhere in the world for a day where would you go and why?
Italy. Anyone who knows me knows I have a soft spot for pastas - pastas in any form. Besides the food, I just really enjoy learning about the ancient Roman empire and really want to see the ruins and the wonderfully-decorated churches and museums in the country.
What career would you like to pursue after graduation? Why?
I am currently applying to Medical School where I hope to begin pursuing a careen in Neurosurgery. After suffering from several concussions during my soccer career, I became very interested in the brain and I hope to begin applying my dedication to this subject in the coming year.
What characteristics does it take to become a great leader?
It takes the willingness to compromise, the ability to work as a team, and the vision to see the bigger picture.
Name one person you admire? Why?
My mom. She’s worked so hard to get me and my siblings to where we are today and to help us succeed in any endeavor we wanted to try. Weather it was getting a horribly bad haircut, trying out for soccer teams, applying to college, balancing extracurriculars, and now applying to medical school, my mom has really helped me reach for my dreams.
Who has been your most influential professor and why?
Professor Tony Friscia. This is my third time having him as a professor, and he truly believes in learning material because you are inherently curious. I took Human Anatomy over summer, and got to learn my cadavers inside and out with his guidance and instruction. I’m looking forward to taking Head and Neck Dissection in Spring, and hope to learn much more from him then.
Which is the one television character that you simply adore?
Pluto from the Disney Cartoons. When I was a newborn, a family friend gave me a Pluto stuffed animal, and ever since, I’ve been attached to the fun-loving pooch.
What are the three most played songs on your iPod?
Breathe by Anna Nalick; I Miss You by Blink 182; Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
If given a choice, which animal would you want to be? Why?
A Giraffe. I think being so tall and being able to reach trees without leaving the ground would be awesome!
Have you traveled outside of the United States? If so, where?
Not yet :-D
Which is the funniest prank played on you or played by you?
My boyfriend always pulls this one me, and you think I would have learned by now, but he tells me that his dessert (whipped-cream or ice-cream) smells like some fruit or other interesting scent, and then proceeds to smash it into my nose. He always gets me, but one day I’ll learn.
What does being a member of Mortar Board mean to you?
Being a part of this nationally-recognized organization helps me feel as though I am contributing to a much larger piece of my world community than just my local Los Angeles neighbors. Working alongside other people who feel a pull to help their local youngsters, hungry, and those who just need a helping hand really inspires me to do my best to make an impact in the lives of those around me.