32 Under 32

Author: Annie Dineen

Thirty-two dorms on the university’s campus means 32 proud rectors excited to share the stories of some of their most successful, selfless and determined residents. Scholastic has asked these rectors to reveal who they find to be a remarkable representation of their dorm and the values of service, academic achievement and leadership that these dorms hold. This issue, Fr. Schimmel of Dunne Hall and Leah Kicinski of Walsh Hall have recommended the following students.

Dunne Hall: Matt Long

Matt Long is a junior living in Dunne Hall who has a passion for pottery. Last semester, Matt’s roommate lost a family member to pancreatic cancer. “I couldn't shake the conversation we shared about the sudden loss of our loved ones,” Matt said, explaining that he had lost his grandfather to the same cancer a few years back. The 24-Hour Pottery for Pancreatic Cancer Research Marathon was Matt’s creative idea to help raise awareness and research funds for pancreatic cancer and share his love of ceramics. From 4 p.m. on Oct. 28 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 29, Matt remained in the studio, making ceramics and posting hourly updates to his Instagram, @MattLongPotteryCo (go give him a follow), ultimately raising 6,212 dollars through his GoFundMe campaign. All donations went to the Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Research Foundation, and most ceramics were raffled off to the donors. Matt shared that one of his favorite memories was gifting his widowed grandmother a serving bowl he sculpted.

While Matt’s inspiring act of service was born out of his individual efforts, he couldn’t emphasize enough how much he appreciated the help and generosity he received from family, friends, the Notre Dame community and the gentlemen of Dunne Hall. In an effort to bump up the donations a few hundred more dollars to reach a 5,000 dollar goal, Matt reached out to the Dunne Hall Sentinels GroupMe for some support. The Sentinels went the extra mile, donating enough to increase the total to an astounding 6,000 dollars. Many Dunne members also showed their support by dropping in and keeping Matt company during his long hours in the studio.

If you would like to donate any amount for the research of Pancreatic Cancer, the page is still active and can be found at: https://www. gofundme.com/f/pottery-for-pancreatic-cancer-24-hour-marathon

Walsh Hall: Marliece Barrios

Marliece is a senior resident assistant living in Walsh Hall and studying biology with a concentration in infectious disease and global health. She also serves as a leader for first-generation low- income (FGLI) students in her dorm and the biology department. As a FGLI student herself, Marliece has been taking action to better represent other FGLI students in the STEM field and within the university in general.

Marliece is also a leader in her research, as she manages a team of other undergraduate students to help her investigate how agrochemical pollution and the infection of parasitic diseases affect snail population dynamics in freshwater ecosystems. This investigation will be the bulk of the research for Marliece’s senior honors thesis and is conducted in the Rohr Lab of Ecology and Public Health. It is one of the few research projects with an undergraduate team that is led completely by an undergrad, an impressive feat.

The duty Marliece feels to look out for and support underrepresented communities of underclassmen is a continuous theme connecting her curricular and extracurricular activities. She serves as a member in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) subcommittee within the Biology Department Senior Leadership Committee, having prior experience as a DEI chair in Walsh Hall. She is the leading mentor in the Uplift mentorship program, overseeing 10 mentees and giving advice in undergraduate research, tutoring and career development. Marliece shares, “As a senior, it is one of the best blessings to be able to use the wealth of knowledge= you have been able to acquire over your years in undergrad to support younger students!”

Moreover, she serves the FGLI students along with students of color, students within the LGBTQ+ community and women as the president of Multicultural Student Programs and Services by helping provide mentorship and undergraduate research opportunities. And if that wasn’t enough, Marliece is a volunteer lobbyist for healthcare reform, prison reform and wage gaps through the Catholic Lobbyist Organization Network, extending her passion for equal representation beyond the academic environment. “Throughout my time at Notre Dame, I have been able to travel to Washington D.C. multiple times to organize and speak with people on the Hill, which has been an extremely gratifying experience and a way that I hope helps me make a great difference for a community I am a part of.”