Marcella Chavez

Since languages come easily to me and I’ve always wanted to become a translator, learning more languages was a clear choice for me.

Marcella, in an elaborate red and silver Russian hat and all black outfit, smiling on a sunny day.



Degree and Class Year

BA ’21


Worthington, Ohio


World Languages (Spanish and Russian)


Cross Country and Track

Overseas study

Alicante, Spain

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Friendly, Challenging, Beautiful

What’s your favorite class (title and professor)? How has it expanded your knowledge?

I loved all of my classes, but really enjoyed Soviet Science Fiction with Assistant Professor of Russian Maria Hristova. It was taught in English so anyone can take it. We learned about, and got to watch, soviet science-fiction movies. I really enjoy learning about the Soviet Union, so this class was awesome!

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

Maria Hristova, my Russian professor. She has been there for me for the past four years, whether it be academically or personally. I can always count on her to be there for me when I need someone to talk to.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I wanted to be able to run cross country and L&C made it possible for me to do that. When I did my overnight visit, I felt very welcomed and as though the campus was where I needed to be. I also wanted to study languages, and L&C has a great world language department with great professors. The school’s size also made it easy for me because I learn better in smaller classes. Lastly, I wanted to study abroad, and L&C has stellar overseas programs. You can pretty much go anywhere you want, and I was able to go to Spain.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

I would describe it as a broad education. In bigger universities, you usually just take classes for your major and only see people in the same major as you. A liberal arts education allows you to take a wide variety of classes, and to find the interconnections between the different departments.

Which residence halls have you lived in? How would you describe the hall’s personality? What is/was the best thing about living on campus?

I lived in Platt for my first year. I think this hall can be described as the creative hall because there is an art studio within the building, you can always hear music, and there is always art on the room doors. Sophomore year I lived in Copeland, which housed a lot of athletes. The best thing about living on campus is being able to meet so many different people who live in the same hall as you.

Where do you find community on campus?

I found my community on campus through cross country and track. Within that group, I found friends I still hang out with and talk to, even after graduating.

If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?

I chose my program because I had never been to Europe before and wanted to see other countries in addition to the one where I was studying. It added a sense of adventure that I didn’t really have before. When I got back, I was more outgoing and stronger in my Spanish-language skills.

Did you choose to do all-remote learning or hybrid learning this academic year? How did you make your choice?

I chose to do hybrid learning because I wanted a relatively normal feel to my senior year. I also wanted to be able to go to campus from time to time, and felt comfortable being in a classroom since my classes were so small.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Try not to be shy in the classroom. Speaking up really helps and it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake because everyone will.

How did you decide on a major?

Since languages come easily to me and I’ve always wanted to become a translator, learning more languages was a clear choice for me. I enjoy learning how other languages work and flow. Each one is so much different from the other, which is a good challenge.

How has Lewis & Clark changed you?

Lewis & Clark made me think for myself. In high school, I wasn’t very outgoing and just agreed with people on topics like politics and social issues. I didn’t really think about major topics on my own. L&C taught me to think differently and to form original opinions, which I will always be thankful for.