Countdown to Commencement - Marissa Petta
This week’s featured senior in the Countdown to Commencement video series is Marissa Petta, an English and Adolescence/Special Education major.
Petta was nominated by Dr. Deborah Uman, Interim Chair and Associate Professor of English, and Dan Kelly, Lecturer, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education.
Petta, a First Generation Scholar, has a long list of leadership positions she has taken on as a student at Fisher, including President of the Student Advisory Board and President of the Resident Student Association. She has also served as a Student Ambassador, National Residence Hall Honorary Member and Publicity Coordinator, Orientation Team Member, Gospel Choir Member, and a Writing Center Tutor.
Uman said the one thing she will remember most about Petta is a session she led last fall at the Seneca Falls Dialogues, a conference dedicated to feminist activism that brings together students, faculty, and activists from the Upstate New York area and beyond. Petta, along with two other students, submitted a proposal on female adolescents and the messages society sends them, along with an analysis of the novel Abeng by Michelle Cliff.
“Marissa is an extremely bright, articulate, and committed student. Her work ethic is unparalleled and she challenges herself at every level,” said Uman. Uman also said that Petta has made an impact on her, and the way she teaches.
“Because I know how much Marissa puts into every class she takes, I always want to make sure that I can match her in what I put into every class I teach,” said Uman. “Her presentation at Seneca Falls really inspired me and reminded me that as teachers we can make a difference not just by the skills we teach but by the way we present ourselves and the subtle messages we convey.”
Kelly said Petta’s spirit has made a difference on the Fisher community and the community at large.
“Marissa has tremendous appreciation for her First Generation Scholarship, and as a result of that appreciation, has dedicated much of her time to the program,” he said. “She clearly has a deep attitude of thankfulness for every opportunity she has had throughout her years at Fisher.”