Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Marissa K. Holland

Wheaton connections: I have been working at Wheaton since 2005 as the Assistant Director of the Wheaton College Dance Company. This year, Professor David Fox asked me to choreograph the dance scene for the upcoming play, “Romeo and Juliet.” I was honored to be asked and to have my choreography be part of a Wheaton College production. In addition, I am an Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Transferable skills: Theatre students learn to use their voices and bodies and minds and hearts to make magic on stage. My education at Wheaton in Theatre and Dramatic Literature has fostered my communication and leadership skills. Classes such as acting, design and directing have aided the development of my creative thinking skills in my nursing career. The main connection between my two passions is that in order to excel, one must know how the human body works both mentally and physically. Both dance and nursing require listening to and interacting with people, while maintaining a clear vision and focus.

Helping kids: In addition to nursing and dance, I also volunteer each summer at the Dream Street Camp/Foundation located in California. The camp provides 125 children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to have a respite from their illness if only for a brief period. During their week-long stay, kids feel as though they’re at a theme park. Nothing is more rewarding than a camper saying “Thank you. This is the best day of my life.”

Happy ending: I live in South Boston, MA with my fiancé, George Thomas, Wheaton Alum, and Class of 2004. George and I are planning our wedding for October 2012. We are excited that our ceremony will be at the Wheaton College Chapel, where we met.