Profile: Carina Marsella

Meet Carina Marsella, a second year here at UCLA from Redondo Beach, California. While exploring academia in search of her true passion, she doesn’t forget to live presently, connect with others, give back to the community, and nurture her growth in faith and leadership. We can learn a lot from this well-rounded Bruin who shapes her college experience in the brightest way possible.  

What is one of your favorite memories growing up in your hometown?

As a child, each summer I took swim lessons with my sister and cousins. One of the cousins I did swim lessons with lived in France during our childhood but would visit every summer, so she made the already fun season of summer even better. At the pool, we bonded with one another over accidentally belly-flopping in the process of learning how to dive, watching the "old ladies" do water aerobics, comparing tan lines, and being scared to jump into the water because it was cold. To this day, the smell of sunscreen brings me back to my childhood summers and swim lessons with my day ones.

What organizations on and off campus are you involved in?

I am a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, The Student Leadership Team at the University Catholic Center, and Yoga for Flexible Futures.

Though joining a sorority did not interest me earlier in college, I could not be happier that this changed. I rushed this year and gained so many caring, unique, charismatic, and intelligent young women. (Pi love goes out to all my ADPi sisters!)

As Co-chair of the Outreach Committee on the Student Leadership Team at the University Catholic Center, I have grown more than I could have ever expected in leadership skills, faith, and friendship. The Outreach Committee focuses on university relations, social media, and interfaith events, while the team as a whole works to build community and put on large events like Mass on the Grass and Welcome Night.

YFF is an organization that benefits elementary school children in low income areas. We teach yoga and nutrition to children these students on a weekly basis. I am a firm believer that promoting fitness, nutrition and wellness at a young age is beneficial not only for individuals but the community as a whole.

What is your major and what led you in that direction?    

I have not quite decided on what to major in, but most of my interests are in the humanities and social sciences. Currently, I am leaning towards majoring in Anthropology because it is broad area of study that cultivates strong writing, research, and critical thinking skills. In addition to these skills, this area of study focuses on the marvelous complexity and diversity of humanity. It connects people to one another and deals with issues that we face each day.

Who is someone you look up to and why?

There are so many wonderful individuals in my life that I admire, but one that I will focus on here is my grandmother Nonna Maria. Nonna Maria is such an inspiration to me. Her strong work ethic, perseverance, and faith led her to immigrate to America and create a successful future for herself and her children. My life would be unrecognizably different if she had not responded to challenging decisions in the way that she did. She has always been a woman for others. Her love for her family and community is unceasing. To this day, she continues to work at her local charity/second-hand store. My Nonna is strong yet gentle and brings joy to all those around her.

What song lyrics best describe your life right now?

"Toooniiiiiiiiiight we are young, so let's set the world on fire, and we can burn brighter than the sun."

This relates to my life as a college student because I AM young and surrounded by amazing opportunities here at UCLA. I am unsure of what the future holds, but I will take full advantage of what this school and time in my life has to offer. Hopefully, in the future I will use the knowledge and skills I learned here to make the world a better place.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be and why?

Without a doubt, I would be Hermione Granger. I cannot think of a more intelligent, motivated, strong, caring, loyal, confident, passionate, and brave female character! (I also think performing magic and being able to fly on a broom would be absolutely thrilling.)

What are you most looking forward to within the rest of your years here at UCLA?

There are too many things to look forward to to even list, but I would say what I am most looking forward to is a tie between an academic and social goal. I am excited to discover the major for me and take fascinating upper division courses that I am passionate about from professors who are equally as passionate. UCLA is full of so many remarkable individuals, so I also look forward to making more unforgettable memories with my current friends and the friends that I have yet to make.