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Star student spotlight: Melissa Fernandez

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April 10, 2020
By Samantha Dikolli

Meet Melissa Fernandez, a senior from Apex, NC. Melissa, double majoring in Journalism and Political Science, has worked in a variety of positions at Morehead since her freshman year.

Q: What is your name or nickname?
A: Melissa Fernandez.

Q: What is your year in school? Major?
A: I am a senior with a double major in in Journalism (with a focus in editing and design) and Political Science.

Q: Where is your hometown?
A: I’ve lived in Apex, NC since I was three years old, but I was born in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Q: How long have you been working at Morehead?
A: I have been working at Morehead since the second semester of my freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Q: How are you involved on campus outside of Morehead?
A: I have done a few things here and there on campus outside of Morehead. I joined the Carolina Boxing Club on campus my freshman year and continued that into my first semester junior year. I am currently a multimedia intern at 1893 Brand Studio and work on projects with local companies in Chapel Hill/Carrboro and The Daily Tar Heel. I volunteered at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center my junior year and worked with Northside Elementary.

Q: What is your job at Morehead? Do you have a favorite project, event, or program you have supported?
A: What don’t I do at Morehead is the better question! No, I joke – in the grand scheme of things I am just a student worker of so many student workers that do so much for Morehead. But I have gone by many titles over my years of employment. First and foremost I am a Guest Relations Assistant. I have worked in GR since I started working at Morehead. My favorite part of GR is interacting with the kids on field trips and having them repeat back information to me after they see a fulldome theater show.

While working as a MAP employee I have been Lead Educator and Co-Educator, working with the kids through developed lessons for the week’s topic, playing with them outside before we come inside for snack, helping them with their homework and having fun making sure that they have are entertained and on task. My favorite has been when the kids remember me or (if I get really lucky) when they make me something heartfelt while their drawing during free time or crafting something on a Freaky Friday. As a camp counselor, I loved working with all different ages of kids throughout the summer. Working at camp made me realize how smart these kids are (some of them smarter than me already) and made me feel hopeful for the future of STEM. You could probably pick any year, but my favorite annual events are Jupiter Ball and the UNC Science Expo.

Q: Why Morehead?
A: I work at Morehead because of the people. When I first started applying to work study programs as a freshman I applied to Morehead because I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t because I was looking for a career in STEM, or because I wanted to be a teacher, it was because I have always had a love for science and, let’s be honest, our science teachers always find a way to make science fun. I applied because I thought it could be fun, but I stayed for the staff. Not only do I stay for the people behind the scenes that make my job easier and more fun every day, but I also stay for the people that come through Morehead every day that want to learn, engage and have a good experience. It is nice to know that I can be part of their experience, making their days brighter by doing my job. Most importantly for every single student worker that I have shared shifts with over my experience at Carolina; thank you for making sure that I am never bored.

Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: Ceres is my favorite (dwarf) planet! Ceres is a dwarf planet located in the asteroid belt within our solar system. It is the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system. Look it up!