Marissa Stelmack

Marissa Stelmack

What education have you taken?

I attended Vincent Massey High School in Brandon, and this is my second year at BU. In high school I emphasized the arts, especially band, choir, music, fine art, and English. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English and a minor in fine art, either drawing or ceramics.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I received the Youth Award in 2015 at the Westman Juried Art Show and Travelling Gallery for ages 14 to 19, the Winnifred I. Harvey Scholarship in English in 2016 through BU and was on the Deans Honour List for the 2015/16 year.

I also had the opportunity to sing at the Vatican when I was 16 on a high school music trip to Italy. It was during an afternoon service, and is one of the most culturally significant events I have been a part of.

I have volunteered at the Jazz Festival from 2012 to the present, each March. As well, I served on the Youth Advisory Committee of Brandon from 2011-2013. I was also a judge at the Western Manitoba Science Fair in 2015, and look forward to doing it again this year.

Tell me about yourself. 

I am an English major in my second year. I work at the BU library and helpdesk. Last summer I had a job at International Music Camp as an Office Assistant. I will be going back this summer and I really enjoy working there. Education is really important to me, and I love to learn. I hope I will be able to use my education to help others, be it though teaching or international volunteer work. I am an avid reader and appreciator of the arts, generally, and try to be part of the art community, particularly the fine art community. I try to do this through attending and participating in art shows and gallery openings.

Friends and family are an important part of my life and I always try to make an effort to make time for them. I enjoy travelling, with some of my highlights being the East Coast of Canada – Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and PEI – and Italy.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I became interested in Fine Art in high school, after I decided to try out a class and expand my horizons. I have been doing it ever since, and I love to express myself through my work, be it painting, drawing, or ceramics. I have always been interested in English, and have always loved to read. I chose to pursue a degree in English because it is something I have always enjoyed, and continue to enjoy.  Even now, reading is all I do. I never realized that my love of reading could take me to a university degree, but I am glad that it has.

What is your philosophy in life?

I believe that you shouldn’t have regrets in life for the things you did or didn’t do, which is why I try to take every opportunity that is either presented to me or that I choose to pursue, for you never know where it can lead. As well, it is important to learn everything you can from your own situations, as well as those of others. Always be conscious of how your actions can affect others, because although it is important to take charge in your own life by doing the things that you want, I don’t think people should have the power or ability to make the choices for the lives of others. Most importantly, though, is the respect for everyone and their beliefs and opinions.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future, I would like to graduate and travel. I want to use my education as a tool to travel and see the world. I hope that I will be able to make a difference to the lives of others, as well as the environment. I might like to teach English overseas, or I might participate in international volunteer opportunities. I would like to have a family in the future, to be part of the next generation of youth. However, I always want to have fun, to like what I am doing and where I am, and to have a purpose in life.

Nominator’s Comments

I would like to nominate Marissa Stelmack. For a young scholar, she has a very mature apprehension of the world. She is always prepared, and engages in discussions at a high level. Her work not only demonstrates a grasp of the technical issues that arise in the study of literature and film, but also a complex and balanced approach to cultural issues.