Marina Mendez

Continuous Improvement Through Constructive Feedback

Marina Mendez '23

"I believe that Lehigh allows students to excel beyond anything they have ever imagined if they are willing to put in the work, perseverance and commitment that it takes to succeed. The staff and faculty at Lehigh want to see students be the best version of themselves and they are willing to provide mentorship and support throughout their entire time at Lehigh and after students graduate."

Q: How has Lehigh prepared you to take on tomorrow’s challenges?

A: Lehigh has provided me with a well-rounded education, it has challenged me continuously to become a better version of myself, and it has provided me with meaningful relationships. Lehigh encourages students to do things outside their major and become positive contributors to the community they are a part of. I believe that this is one of the most important things an institution can do and why Lehigh students are so successful after they graduate. They don’t settle for just having a job, they also look for other opportunities to make meaningful contributions, whether that be through a professional society, a volunteering role, or a mentorship program.

Q: How does the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program help you to learn to solve problems across disciplines?

A: The IBE program experience has been life changing. The IBE classes I have taken are unlike any other class at Lehigh, we don't have graded assignments or a template of what to do in order to get an A. The classes are about experiential learning, continuous improvement through constructive feedback, and especially about being out of your comfort zone. IBE prepares students for the world outside of Lehigh by getting them comfortable and confident with public speaking, teaching students how to work on a team, how to present themselves, and how to go above and beyond for a project; how to go the extra mile to make sure that they excel expectations.

Q: You were part of the Martindale Student Associates Honors Program that conducted research in Denmark. Can you please tell us more about that, and why you’re interested in research that can impact humanity?

A: I got the opportunity to travel to Denmark for twelve days over the summer with eleven other students and a group of faculty. During our time there we talked to a diverse range of businesses, organizations, and government officials on economics, culture, infrastructure and politics in Denmark. What attracted me to this program was the opportunity to study abroad, do research, become a published author, join a great network of people and visit a new country. What I didn’t expect to get from it was an additional eleven lifelong friendships from the other members of my cohort, and the mentorship and support from over ten different faculty and staff. This program has allowed me to develop as a student, writer and as an individual. It has opened my mind to different topics and subjects, and it has reinforced how diverse and extraordinary the Lehigh community is.

Q: What is it like to be a student athlete at Lehigh? How do you balance academics and athletics?

A: Balancing athletics with academics has definitely been a challenge. For me personally the student always comes before the athlete, and I am very fortunate to be part of a program that supports student-athletes to develop as individuals and students. Both the Athletics Office and my coaching staff encourage my fellow teammates and I to perform well academically, and to find a good balance in which I can also perform my best while on the golf course.

Q: You applied and got accepted to several universities, why Lehigh?

I went to boarding school near Lehigh and that allowed me to visit the campus multiple times for different sporting events. The interactions I had with students was what ultimately led me to coming to Lehigh. I loved how supporting, inclusive and encouraging the community was. Lehigh also offered everything that I was looking for: an excellent, rigorous, and challenging academic program (IBE), a sports team to call my family and the opportunity to become part of an extraordinary community of people from all over the world.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Lehigh?

A: My favorite thing about Lehigh is the people: the staff, faculty, and students. I have found them to be the most uplifting, caring and supporting people, who just want you to succeed and be the best version of yourself. I have been fortunate enough to meet staff from all over campus, whether that be the members of the Office of Residence Life, Housing, Dining, Admissions, or the Athletics Office, every single member has contributed in a positive way to my experience at Lehigh. They have provided mentorship, guidance, and unconditional support regardless of how long they have known me, and they are the ones that truly make Lehigh a special place.

Q: Where is your study spot of choice on campus?

A: My favorite study spot at Lehigh is the Newman Center near Holy Ghost Church. Ron and Father Mark do an amazing job at making the Catholic Campus Ministry Center a welcoming place with a homey feeling. The Newman Center is a quiet place to get work done, where students have access to computers, snacks, and as many couches as they want!


Next Profile:

Problem Solving for Startups

Majors: Finance and Africana Studies
Hometown: Accra, Ghana