Maren Wilson (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
Hometown: Lakeville, Conn.
Majors: Elementary education and Environmental Studies
Notable Activities/Achievements: Campus Ministry's Arrupe International Immersion Program (Cuernavaca, Mexico); Kairos Leader (student-run retreat program); volunteer, Boston non-profit Haley House soup kitchen; Hardey-Cushing resident assistant.
Post-Graduation Plans: Seeking teaching positions in Greater Boston; volunteering at Haley House's Roxbury farm.
During her four years at BC, Maren Wilson was as much a teacher as a student, an apt preparation for an aspiring educator. At the Lynch School of Education, Wilson served as a full-practicum student-teacher for third graders at Allston's Jackson Mann School, as well as rising fourth graders as a fellow at the Uncommon Schools Summer Academy in Newark, N.J.. For an academic year and a summer session, she collaborated with Boston Public School science teachers as an assistant STEM instructor for the College Bound program, a pre-collegiate enrichment and support program. As part of her involvement in the Winston Center's Jenks Leadership Program, she helped run an after-school sports program for St. Columbkille Partnership School students, a BC lab school in Brighton. Within the Lynch School, she worked at the Education Resource Center, which assists students with the integration of fiction/nonfiction books, and educational technology within the K-12 curriculum.
Who has had the greatest influence on you during your time at BC?
Lynch School Professor Mike Barnett, whose work I very much admire. Before starting at BC, I worked on a farm at my high school, and it was focused on sustainability and food justice, which are very important to me. I was looking to find ways to continue this work at BC. Professor Barnett, along with my thesis advisor, [Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences] Tara Pisani Gareau, helped me bridge my two passions, elementary education and environmental sustainability. My thesis reflected those interests by investigating how teachers can teach ways that connect students to nature.
What BC experience had the most significant impact on you?
My involvement in PULSE—which educates students about social injustice through direct contact with marginalized populations and social change—and, specifically, working at Haley House has had a lasting, significant impact. I'm a "hands-on" learner, and going to the Haley House soup kitchen was a very tangible way to better understand poverty, inequality, and social responsibility. I try to go back when I can, and I'm excited to volunteer on their small farm in Roxbury this summer.
What will you miss most about BC?
The University's "intentional communities"—the many groups which are focused on important issues and causes, and taking action. It's a special facet of BC that I didn't engage with enough as a first-year student, but I'm so glad that I pushed myself to dive into groups that have been so reflective and important, such as Arrupe, a life- and faith-sharing community, and Kairos.
Your Arrupe immersion program brought you to Cuernavaca, Mexico, to learn about the complex realities of poverty. What brought you back there?
The weeklong immersion trip in January of 2017 was such a whirlwind that I knew I wanted to return, so I spent about three-and-a-half weeks there this past summer to meet with the local activists, and to get to know their community much better. I lived with a host family, and spent most afternoons with my host mother, Cecelia, sitting at her kitchen table trying to learn as much Spanish as I could, while learning more about her, her family, and the community's history.
How has BC made a difference in your life?
Social justice is woven through everything BC does, whether you're in the classroom or on an urban farm in Boston. To be surrounded by people who are truly committed to it, who live it every day, has profoundly influenced me. BC's focus on social justice has directed how I approach most things I do now.
—Phil Gloudemans | University Communications | May 2018