Senior Snapshot, Ellie Murphy-Weise ’23: “I’m Trying to Say Yes to Everything”

Ellie Murphy-Weise ’23 poses for a portrait in the late afternoon sun near Lake Waban.
Image credit: Ahana Basu ’25
Author  Aidan Reid ’24
Published on 

As Ellie Murphy-Weise ’23 reflects on her Wellesley experience, two of her extracurricular activities stand out: singing with the Tupelos, one of the College’s a cappella groups, and running for Wellesley’s cross country and track and field teams. These groups, she says, were “the two best places for me to be over the course of my four years.”

Murphy-Weise walked on to the cross country team and successfully auditioned for the Tupelos in the same week her first year. “I always say that I feel really fortunate to have found two of the best communities for me right off the bat,” she says. She performed with the Tupelos for the last time April 29, and she hopes to qualify for the NCAA Division III track and field finals, which take place May 25 to 27.

A double major in international relations-history and music, Murphy-Weise has done more at Wellesley than sing and run. As an Albright scholar her junior year, she and her group created a hypothetical organization aimed at providing community based solutions for the small arms trade in Colombia. “One thing that I loved about the Albright Institute was the emphasis on the human element,” she says. Murphy-Weise brought this perspective to her Albright-funded internship after her junior summer, where she worked with a team in Washington, D.C., that focused on reducing violence against women in politics and strengthening democracy around the world

Murphy-Weise will continue pursuing international work next year. She was recently awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship, which will allow her to travel to South Africa, Azerbaijan, China, Turkey, Germany, and other countries as she researches the intersection between contemporary opera and musical traditions around the world.

In her last few weeks at Wellesley, Murphy-Weise is trying to take every musical performance opportunity. “Undergraduate performance is so important as a music student, so I’m trying to say yes to everything,” she says. She is also looking to have “the most fun possible my final semester.” This has included making a March Madness basketball tournament for Wellesley athletic teams and being featured in a local news segment about the Boston Marathon. In spite of her busy schedule, Murphy-Weise is also able to make YouTube videos in her spare time, another part of her life where she is able to experiment creatively and have fun.

Murphy-Weise says one of her favorite memories at Wellesley is working on her final project for WGST 249/CAMS 240: Asian American Women in Film. “I art directed a photo shoot about my favorite movie, Everything Everywhere All at Once. It was such a cool experience because I’d never directed anything before,” she says, though she did have experience conducting the Tupelos, so she could “apply music directing to art directing.” She enlisted friends to be models and makeup artists for the shoot. “It felt like the Wellesley community was coming together to help me,” she says.