A minute with … Marielle Thete ’16

Marielle Thete ’16, a double major in political science and international relations, organized Wheaton’s first Multicultural Showcase in March for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. The event included a fashion show featuring women in the Wheaton community dressed in clothing traditional to their home country or a place they had studied, as well as international music, dance and cuisine. Thete, who lives in Portland, Maine, wore a dress from her country of birth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Inspired vision: “This is something I have envisioned bringing to Wheaton since my freshman year. This year, I finally found the courage and support to do so. My vision was inspired by my mother, who has successfully hosted an International Women’s Day fashion show for nearly a decade in Portland with her nonprofit, Women United Around the World.”

Cultural exchange: “I wanted to bring everyone together to celebrate the diversity we have on this campus and to bring awareness to what it has to offer us as a community. Besides international students, there are countless first-generation American students and many students in general who are very connected to their cultures. I believe there is great value in learning from the life experience of those around us.”

Team effort: “This event was primarily sponsored by the Center for Global Education and the Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning. I also worked with the Student Government Association, Intercultural Board, SAIL, Emerson House, Feminist Association of Wheaton, Asian Student Association, Renaissance House and Distinguished Women of Color Collective. Our collaborative work pulled all the strings together for a successful event.”

Career path: “After graduating from Wheaton, I intend to work with an international organization or government in a field related to my studies for a year. Afterward, I plan on continuing my education by attending a university abroad to earn my master’s degree in international relations or diplomacy. I ultimately aspire to become an international lawyer.”

From personal to policy: “Though my concentration within my majors has primarily focused on African politics, I am passionate about refugee and migrant issues, particularly the challenge of ‘integration’ for these persons. Based on my experience as an immigrant and a multilingual person, I hope to impact future reform for immigration systems on a global level through policymaking and diplomacy.”