From Bollywood to Stockholm, Mariel Guzman '19 is getting a full academic experience

Mariel GuzmanPhoto/Mike Lovett

Mariel Guzman

Mariel Guzman '19 knew for certain she made the right choice to come to Brandeis during the 2017 Nobel Prize ceremony.

Two Brandeis professors were honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine during the festivities, and Guzman just so happened to be studying abroad in Stockholm at the time. She got to meet with Professor Michael Rosbash and Professor emeritus Jeffrey Hall and Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz during a Shabbat dinner while they were in town for the ceremony, but she couldn't attend the laureates’ lectures (She was busy studying for exams). Guzman did, however, watch their acceptance speeches on TV, and she was enthralled by what was said about how they couldn't have achieved their accomplishments without the environment Brandeis provided.

"I already knew about how incredible of a school Brandeis was, but it was during these speeches that I knew Brandeis was the right choice for me, because I realized I had not only chosen a great school, but I had chosen a community and family that would continue to support me in my academic goals for the rest of my life," Guzman said.

Guzman took some time to answer questions about her Brandeis experience with BrandeisNOW:

Why does Brandeis fit you?

Being at the university has given me the opportunity to pursue my intellectual curiosity. I am currently double majoring in International and Global Studies and Health: Science, Society and Policy and double minoring in Legal Studies and English. The classes within these majors and minors have taught me about such unique and interesting topics. For my IGS major, I took a class about how chemistry can solve environmental issues. For my English minor, I took a class on romance novels and what they tell you about human relationships. 

What’s been the biggest impact a professor or instructor has had on you?

In the fall of 2016, I took the class “What Does it Mean to be a Global Citizen?" with associate professor of philosophy Andreas Teuber. In our one-on-one conversations during his office hours, Professor Teuber provided in-depth perspectives on class topics and gave me great feedback on ideas I had for research papers. After the class finished, professor Teuber continued to help me. Not only did he write recommendation letters for me, but he always checked in to hear about the status of my applications for internships and summer programs. Without him, I would not have won the Giumette Academic Achievement Award.

What's your favorite class? Why? 

My favorite class at Brandeis is called "Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre, and Society." I took it for my English minor and my IGS major and not only were the assignments fun and interesting, I was able to learn so much about South Asian culture and about the power films have to influence entire nations. Every movie we watched had a larger commentary about Indian society and culture. Needless to say, I enjoyed every minute of that class and if I could I would take it again. 

What’s been your most rewarding experience outside the classroom?

On top of being in an acapella group and a Waltham Group volunteer, I am also a Brandeis midyear program orientation leader. My transition into Brandeis was a little rough because it was hard to get used to such a big change. I was admitted to Brandeis through the midyear program, and initially most of my friends were from my midyear class. Being a midyear orientation leader my sophomore year, Brandeis became so much bigger. I was able to meet so many other incredible Brandeis students who appreciated the university as much as I did and some of the people I met ended up becoming my best friends. I was also able to become a mentor for other midyear students and help them navigate their Brandeis journeys. I enjoyed this experience so much I did it again this year and had another amazing time meeting new people and welcoming students to college.

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