Marisa Irving “There are so many scholarships opening up for women that I feel nothing but encouraged. SMC has a long history of being excellent with women’s issues and with science.”

“Research in biology may sound boring to a lot of people, but to me it’s fascinating,” says Marisa Irving, proud daughter of the great state of Maine. Her goal – even during “fog-bound winters of bitter cold”—was always to go to UCLA to study science. “By word of mouth, I learned from a lot of people that SMC had the best transfer rate to UCLA, and that the Science Department here was excellent. Add to that the fact that classes are smaller and more intimate here,” she continues, “and the reasons for choosing SMC are pretty clear.”

That she’ll end up doing basic biological research is clear fact for Marisa. “But I’m very artsy, too, so I’m kind of cut down the middle, though I do think of myself as a scientist first. I want to do my research in ways that supplement alternative natural medicine. If I can develop things that are effective alternatives to some of today’s medicines,” she continues, “I think I’ll be happy to have helped people with treatments that are free of disastrous side effects.” But Marisa’s ‘research’ at SMC is not currently limited to science.

“I’m exploring a lot of my artistic side here,” says Marisa, who works with a photographer friend making creative family portraits. “I’ve found that being involved with the clubs here really opens you up to a lot of opportunity. I’m in the French Club and also the Dance Club, which is phenomenal,” she says. “I get free lessons, and I just learned the Argentine tango. If you’re looking for unique ways to grow and express yourself,” she adds, “you’ll find every chance to do so at SMC.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.