Campus Celebrity – Marie Stucke, Western Sophomore
What is your major?
I am wanting to major in International Business and minor in German.
What made you decide on this?
I was really torn last year, because I was taking liberal studies classes and math classes. While I liked having challenging discussions about humanities and ethics, I also craved the solid answers that I could find in my math and science classes. It took some reflection on my personal interests and ambitions, but eventually I settled on business, because it has a blend of these two extremes. I grew up in the Methodist church, and if nothing else, it taught me that I should be fueled by a desire to love and care for those around me. The combination of this value set and my passion for traveling and learning made it abundantly clear to me that I should look for a field in which I can constantly learn and grow, while having a skills set that I can use to change the world for the better.
What was it like growing up in a bicultural household?
My mother is from Germany, and my father is from South Dakota. They put an emphasis on appreciating and preserving my heritage, and spoke both German and English at home. My mother spent a lot of time with friends who were also from Germany, and that helped reinforce the importance of a balance between independence and community. My parents liked to stress how vital it was for success that I was able to be my own person, form original thoughts, and not have to depend on another person for my entire well-being. That said, they also showed me how much having people in your life who you love can make life easier.
Aside from being a Resident Advisor, how have you gotten involved on campus?
I am an active member of the Wesley Club, the United Methodist campus ministry. The Wesley Club provides a place where I can be open and share struggles that I encounter on a day-to-day basis, and be there for others who need someone to be there for them. It also provides a place for me to grow spiritually, something that I’m sure I will continue to do for the rest of my life. The Wesley Club has also given me amazing opportunities to serve people. I was able to go to Portland last year for spring break, and help repair houses in Dignity Village. This experience was important to me because it was one of the first times that I was serving when I was able to concentrate on working hard to simply help people and learn from them.
(Putting up drywall at a small home in Dignity Village)
Do you have any future travel plans?
This year, I plan on serving during my spring break again, but this time I’m headed to Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco, where they serve about 600 people per meal, and I am absolutely thrilled.
What is one of your favorite college experiences you have had thus far?
I was able to go to Hawaii last summer with my roommate, another out of state student. We had become very close over the course of our freshman year, and her family let me come and spend my first week and a half of summer break on Kauai with them. I was able to see and experience some of the most amazing things in the world. Experiencing the hospitality of her family warmed my heart, and I am so grateful to them. That trip is one that I will always associate with my college experience. This is the only time in my life when my age can be used both as credibility, to explain that I have had experiences that qualify me to make certain statements about the world and how I see it, but my age is also an excuse for me to do reckless things every once in a while. This trip showed me the importance of taking chances and being open to new experiences that might’ve previously scared me to death. I got to go zip lining above a 300 foot canyon, tubing through plantation ditches, and swimming with sea turtles. I got to do these things because in the last year I started saying, “yes,” to the opportunities that scare me. It makes me excited for the unexpected places that my life will take me, and ready for the challenges that lay there.