Admission & Financial Aid

Marissa Russell

Staff Photo

Why Did You Choose CSB+SJU?

Plain and simple, I chose CSB+SJU because of its reputation for challenging academic rigor and a solid faith tradition. I was 18-years-old, eager to learn, determined to succeed, and driven to make my college education everything I needed it to be. CSB+SJU did not disappoint. Professors, advisors, peers—they all contributed to the rigor I was seeking. Academics aside, my soul craved a place where my faith could mature and be nurtured. What I discovered, doing life within a community enriched by Benedictine values, was an overall sense of peace, respect, and hospitality that allowed me to grow in my relationship with God.

What were some of your best memories?

My best memories from my time at CSB and SJU are wrapped in an overwhelming sense of community and place. Of course, memories are often flavored with specific sights and smells and sounds. I will never forget the sight of fresh snow on our signature cobblestone paths, the distinctive smell of Aurora Hall (trust me, it’s distinctive in a GOOD way!), and the slow, rhythmic sound of the bells ringing on each campus, reminding us that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.

What were some of your favorites?

  • Working at the SJU Writing Center—Student employment definitely helped prepare me for my future career as an English teacher!
  • Reviving the CSB+SJU English Club—YAY for poetry readings and reader’s theater!
  • Singing in a small CSB women’s choir—What a joy to sing in Sacred Heart Chapel!
  • Traveling to England for a short-term study abroad—Living with a family and making connections with schools in a small town outside of London was incredibly impactful!
  • Burying myself in English literature research—Alcuin and Clemens were my besties!

Fun Facts:

  • I’m a reader (probably no surprise!?). Give me all the historical fiction.
  • I’m married to my high school sweetheart. He’s had my heart since our first date.
  • I’m the momma of three. I’m a little biased, but they are amazing humans.
  • I’m happiest when I’m outside. Sunshine is good for the soul.