First in a Series Profiling Graduates of the Class of 2012

May 21, 2012
May-Elise Martinsen dancing with partner in ballroom dance competition

Major: Music
Hometown: Osprey, Fla.

May-Elise studied vocal performance and majored in music at Wellesley. She began creating her own compositions during her sophomore year. For her thesis project, she composed a musical production about a historical medieval queen. Using Wellesley's alma mater and the sound of the carillon bells as inspiration, she composed the music for Wellesley's holiday greeting, Snowflake 101.

Q&A with May-Elise

What's a favorite Wellesley memory or what will you miss most about being a student at Wellesley?
In my junior year, my roommate and I hosted a poetry-reading party with some of our closest friends. We read poetry together for hours, all seated on the floor of our tiny room, with an assortment of cheese, fruit, and champagne in the middle. Everyone had to share a poem (or several, as it turned out). And we read a strange assortment of works, from Maya Angelou and Virgil (in English, thankfully!) to illustrated poems from a children's book. That night encapsulates so much of what I love about this school: the genuine excitement about learning and meaningful discussions, and the love and support of the Wellesley sisterhood.

Where's your favorite place on campus/why?
My room. I have a tea pot and plenty of cups handy for visits, as well as a stash of chocolate for emergencies.

How have you changed since you first came to Wellesley?
I am a more accepting person today. I am certainly more respectful of different kinds of lifestyles and worldviews today than four years ago.  
 
What are your plans after graduation? Or what do you hope to be doing five years from now?
In five years, I hope to have written a full-length musical production, which will be showing in theaters.

Is there a particular person or group who's had a significant impact on you during your time here?
There are too many people to list, including a number of invaluable professors! But to touch on a few experiences, I've learned so much from my four years on the ballroom dance team—about partnership, leadership, confidence, and comfort in my own skin. I'm also particularly thankful to my friends, who have talked me through the ups and downs of my college career and have taught me more about thinking critically and being myself than any class ever could.