Senior Cecelia Marquez is fascinated by invisible forces that shape our everyday live, be it through historical materials or how we live our day to day lives.
From Bethesda, Cecelia initially attended Ursinus College in Pennsylvania after graduating high school. After two years at Ursinus, she felt it was time for a break and moved to Arizona where she worked in collections management and volunteered in the archives of a local history museum. Two years later, wanting to finish her degree and move forward with a career, Cecelia decided it was time to come back to school.
Coming back, it was important to Cecelia to find a small school for the personal connections with faculty and staff that you can’t always get at a larger school. Her family also wanted her to be close to home after the years spent away. She was initially intrigued by the Museum Studies program at St. Mary’s and the possibility of working hands-on with a fine art collection through the Boyden Gallery. Ultimately, Cecelia ended up majoring in Art History with an Art Minor, focusing on film photography. (Fun fact: until taking Advanced Photography in Fall of 2017, she had never used a digital camera!)
While she enjoys learning about different art movements – some of her favorites include both the strange, political Bauhaus and the colorful, impressionistic Fauvism movements – she is most interested in using art as an avenue to explore and understand history and culture. For her SMP, Cecelia is exploring how people map their identities – such and race, gender, and more – to the built environment. She is looking at St. Mary’s as well as other public liberal arts colleges New College of Florida and the U.S. Naval Academy. One of the questions she’s exploring is how does the water setting come into play on all three campuses. The St. Mary’s component has led her to do a lot of research on the building of the college and she plans to assess how students, faculty, and staff use the college today and how it relates to their identities.
Cecelia began working in the SMCM Archives during her second semester in the Spring of 2017 because she loves archives and archival materials. A valuable resource that she feels most people don’t know exists, she says it’s a great way to learn about the history of a place. During her time in the archives, Cecelia has found the silly – like an official college letter from 1997 describing damage to car paint caused by peacocks that used to roam the campus – to the serious – like the time the college was sued by the ACLU in the 90s (for more on both stories, visit the archives!). Though she gets to handle lots of fascinating materials, her favorite part is working with the College Archivist, whom she says truly embodies the St. Mary’s spirit. Not only is he a flexible and supportive boss, but also a great person to talk to about research and or geek out with over music.
In addition to working in the archives, Cecelia has been involved in many groups and events on campus including The Point News, the Campus Farm, the Veggie Co-op, and a Habitat for Humanity building trip.
After graduation, Cecelia plans on leaving a little time to chill before pursuing more school. She plans on becoming more involved in animal rights activism, planning to attend a summer conference in Berkeley, CA before road-tripping back to the East Coast to continue her activism here. Once she feels she’s invested enough time in that movement, she plans to travel to Guatemala where she wants to work and live on an organic farm and finally learn Spanish. Eventually, she plans to go to grad school to study architecture and urban planning, focusing on architecture and urban planning as tools to build resilient and inclusive communities.