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Collegiate Friars: March 2021

March 1, 2021

Catching up with 2017 classmates and soon-to-be college graduates Marisa Morella and Luke Jachim.


Marisa Morella

Fenwick Graduation: 2017
Hometown: Melrose Park, IL
Grade School: Grace Lutheran School
Current School:  Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
Major: Biomedical Engineering; English Literature minor; Integrated Marketing Communications certificate

Summer internship: This past summer, I worked as a Human Factors Research & Design Intern at Emergo by UL, a global medical device consulting firm. At Emergo, I helped conduct both formative and HF validation usability tests for various medical devices, while also assisting in several other Human Factors activities. I currently am continuing this internship on a part-time basis during my senior year at Northwestern. Previously, I served as an Engineering Intern at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital’s Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab during summer 2019.

Career aspirations: I currently am looking to advance my knowledge of the medical device industry in a full-time position after graduating from Northwestern. Additionally, I have goals of attending either graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in engineering or law school to potentially explore patent law in my years following graduation. Maybe both!

Fenwick achievements/activities: I was a member of both TEAMS and WYSE my junior and senior years at Fenwick. During that time, we secured both first and third in the nation rankings for TEAMS, and first and third place in state for WYSE. I was also a member of the Cross Country team, Math Team, and National Honor Society, a National Merit Finalist, American Chemical Society Finalist, Friar Mentor, Write Place Tutor, Kairos leader and rector, and member of the Random Acts of Kindness Club.

Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: I was lucky enough during my time at Fenwick to have several teachers who strongly influenced me, including Mrs. Nowicki, Mr. Roche and Mrs. Weicher. If I were to choose the largest influence, I must say that Mr. Farran helped shape me into who I am today. His intelligence, expertise in chemistry and masterful teaching skills are rivaled only by his kindness, humility and generosity. Mr. Farran challenged me intellectually and encouraged me to strive for excellence even in moments of self-doubt. He inspired me to be both a better problem solver and a better person. To him, I am extremely grateful. All I can say is thank you.

Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: I think Mr. Kleinhans’ AP Physics 1& 2 class has most influenced me. This class really sparked my initial interest in engineering. Mr. Kleinhans fosters a great environment for learning both independently and as a class while establishing camaraderie and motivation among his students. His in-class physics challenges made me a more critical thinker and prepared me well for college. And while I value the lessons from class, I think his ‘Feel Good Friday’ meditations that highlighted some real-world lessons he learned through life experience have stuck with me most. Every year since Fenwick, I understand more deeply the lessons he sought to teach us—of pushing yourself to be your best, doing good for others, and valuing your community.

Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: I’m sure this is a common answer, but that doesn’t make it any less true: I’d love to live through Kairos again. My first Kairos experience in April of my junior year helped me see myself and those around me more clearly, with more empathy and kindness. It was a time that I really felt I both supported and was supported by the Fenwick community.

What Fenwick experience changed you the most: While this isn’t one specific experience, I would have to say that making lifelong friendships at Fenwick most changed me. Through class and extracurricular activities, I developed relationships with peers who inspire me, motivate me, and support me even to this day. This friendship sometimes looked like cheering my friends on at various sports events, or playing road trip games on a 3-hour-long drive to Champaign for Math Team State, or just laughing in the cafeteria during 8th period lunch, but each moment and memory I have is one I will never forget. The people at Fenwick changed me.



Luke (right) with his father at a Cubs game.

Fenwick Graduation: 2017
Hometown: Western Springs, IL
Grade School: McClure Junior High
Current School: Villanova University (Pennsylvania)
Co-Major: Finance, Business Analytics


  • Summer Analyst at Branford Castle Partners (Summer 2020)
  • Research Analyst at Bloomberg (Fall 2019)
  • Finance Intern at the Chicago YMCA (Summer 2019)

Career aspirations: To start a wealth advisory/equity research firm in Chicago

Fenwick achievements/activities: Soccer, TEAMS, German Club

Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Mr. Arscott – Calculus B/C. It was a tough class, but Mr. Arscott’s style of teaching allowed me to learn all the material and pass the AP tests.

Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: Father Joseph Ekpo’s Theology Class. Father Joe was the happiest teacher I have ever had. He was an inspiration for all Fenwick students. His stories taught me that you must stay positive and help those around you.

Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again: My trip with Mr. Finnell to England during my senior year spring break is the experience I wish I could relive. I had never been to Europe before this trip. Mr. Finnell and Mr. Conrad made the trip one of the most interesting experiences I had ever been part of. Plus, traveling with my friends made the experience enjoyable, even during our long bus rides around England. I remember playing poker for British Coins on our bus tray tables after touring the city of Bath. Great Experience!

Fenwick experience that changed you the most: I would never be in the position that I am in today without the help of Mr. Borsch. I was deferred and then waitlisted from my top school. Mr. Borsch mentored and connected me with a representative of the university. I was one of the first students accepted from the waitlist that year. Mr. Borsch was always looking for different ways to help people. Thank you, Mr. Borsch!




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