Name: Marisa Leza
Position at UWGB: Bilingual Admission Advisor
Summary of what you do: As a Bilingual Admission Advisor, there is a variety of responsibilities involved with the application process. Guiding high school students through the process is one of my biggest roles. As well at work to improve the school’s visibility throughout the community and to entice potential applicants. I’m the local recruiter which gives me the opportunity to build a stronger relationship and serve my community even more. I visit some of the local high schools in the Green Bay area and attend some college fairs. I have been able to organize recruitment events, such as Families United for a Better Future event. This event is both in English and Spanish and is open to all the Hispanic/Latino communities. As part of the Admissions team, I meet daily with prospects, applicants and admitted to discuss the application status as well as to provide them with information about financial aid, scholarships, programs and majors.
How long have you been employed: 1 year and 6 months
Brief history of employment with UWGB: This has been my first job at the university, before I was the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for Notre Dame Academy and was employed for about 2 years. I never thought that I would be working at a university. One of my college mentors forwarded the job description to me and thought I would be a great fit. I decided to apply as soon as I was aware of the position.
Three words that describe you: Hardworking, strong, independent
Personal interests: Some of my personal interests include spending time with my family, volunteer work, and community involvement.
Random facts/interests: I was born in Mexico and I was brought to the United States at the age of 4. Latin music plays a big role in my life, I love dancing to it.
(Answer any of the following):
Any favorite line from a movie? Always have hope. Be optimistic for your future from movie Castaway.
Are you messy or organized? Organized
Best vacation you’ve been to? Wisconsin Dells, my mom and I stayed at a cabin and enjoyed the waterparks and rides.
Describe what you were like at age 10- At this age, it was when my family and I moved to Green Bay, WI. I attended 5th grade and the transition to another place was difficult. I remember I felt like as if I have not mastered the English language. I was super shy, but I remember I had a lot of friends. Since then, I really enjoyed attending mass and volunteering.
Do you have a favorite quote? If you can’t fly, then run,
if you can’t run, then walk,
if you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.
-Martin Luther King
Do you have an office nickname? What is it? No, I don’t everyone just calls me by my name.
Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work? Not that I can think of.
Favorite travel spot? Denver, Colorado
If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Oprah Winfrey
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Salma Hayek
If you could be anyone from any time period who would it be and why? Gloria Steinem because I just really admire her leadership skills as well as her activism in the feminist movement.
If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be? Cesar Chavez
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? 1986 when President Ronald Reagan signed an immigration reform and legalized the status of more than 3 million people.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Posole
If you were an animal what would you be? Tigress
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? Living in the Shadows
If you were to write a self-help book, what would the topic be? Strength and Courage
If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save? Bed
Motto or personal mantra? If you believe, you can achieve.
People would be surprised if they knew: I liked to play sports
Tell us a little about yourself- Like I mentioned on a previous question, I was born in Mexico and was brought to the United States at the age of 4. My family and I resided in Rockford, Illinois for six years. It was during that time where I learned English. That was such a hard task. Most of my family is in Mexico, I have some family whom resides in Rockford. My father decided to move to Green Bay due to a better employment. Since then, I have love this city where I have lived for the past 16 years. I attended private Catholic schools since 8th grade. I graduated from Notre Dame Academy High School in 2009 and completed a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at St. Norbert in 2013. After graduating from college, I decided to contribute to my community. As a 2012 DACA recipient and having worked for Voces de la Frontera (non-profit organization) as a field organizer in the Green Bay area, I have organized press conferences, community panels advocating for an Immigration Reform and have shared my personal testimony. I’m an undocumented ally. After my work with Voces, I served as the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for two years at Notre Dame Academy. I always sought a mentor of the same background as me when I was in high school who understood my needs, and that is why I decided to go back. At the present, I enjoy working for UWGB. I’m the youngest of 4 children and the only girl in the family.
Top 3 life highlights? = Three highlights of my life would have to be working at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, graduating college and being approved for DACA three times.
What advice would you give to recent new hires? Every day is a new day, enjoy and have fun on your new adventure.
What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far? I know more than the people I’m presenting to. I have learned to be more confident and my communication skills have improved.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? Meeting with students and parents.
What celebrity do people think you look like? My uncle would always call me Ana Barbara, she is a Mexican band singer.
What children’s character can you relate with most? Why? I would not necessarily say that I would relate myself to the character, but I remember always liking Minnie Mouse since my mom would buy me the dolls as well as the clothing.
What did you want to be when growing up? I wanted to become an Architect
What do you always want to try and never did? Skydiving
What do you like to do in your spare time? I hardly have spare time, since I have two jobs. The little time that I have left, I spend it with my mom.
What do you like to do on your days off? I have no days off. I work Monday through Sunday.
What else do you do for fun? I like to ride horses and feed baby calves. My brother owns a small farm and I enjoy visiting him to do these activities.
What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? A mansion
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years? A mistake is a lesson learned.
What is your biggest pet peeve? People chewing with their mouths open.
What is your favorite meal? Posole
What is your favorite movie and book? McFarland and the Diary of Anne Frank
What is your favorite sport? Soccer
What one food do you wish had zero calories? Pizza
What phobias do you have? Ophidiophobia, fear of snakes.
What places have you lived in? Satlillo, Coahuila, Rockford, IL, and Green Bay, WI.
What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child? My Minnie Mouse doll
What would you like to be famous for? Making an impact in my community.
What’s on your bucket list? Some of the things that I wish I could do is to travel every state in the United States. Go back to Mexico and visit all my family. My dream has always been to go to Paris one day.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Cow tongue
What’s your favorite thing to do in Green Bay? Visit downtown and just go for a walk
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself still working in higher education, I’m not sure if it will be in the same area. My dream has always been to obtain a master’s degree.
Where is your favorite place to eat? Red Lobster
Where is your home town? Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
Where would you like to go on a dream vacation? The beaches in Mexico, for example Acapulco, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Playa del Carmen.