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Wassel’s passion for writing flourished at SMC

Olivia Brach | Friday, May 20, 2011

Senior Sam Wassel was named the Class of 2011 valedictorian and will speak to her fellow senior class at Commencement Saturday.

Wassel, an English Writing major who graduated in December 2010, said she was instantly attracted to the College.

“I was drawn to the personal environment I detected at Saint Mary’s on my various visits to the College as well as its high academic standards and reputation,” she said.

Wassel said she took an unanticipated turn when declaring a major. Though she originally intended to study chemistry, Wassel said encouragement from her sophomore creative writing professor led her to reconsider her decision.

“I realized that I gained infinitely more enjoyment and fulfillment in completing a one-page creative writing assignment than I did in drawing the various chair conformations of cyclohexane,” she said.

From then on, Wassel embraced her passion for writing.

“I write because I feel compelled to do so and because I find a great deal of joy and fulfillment in the creative process,” she said.

Since graduating, Wassel said her zeal for English and writing has increased. She is currently working on a fictional piece that began as her senior writing project.

“I would like to see some of my original work, whether it be my poetry or fiction, published,” she said. “What writer doesn’t dream of one day perusing the aisles of a bookstore and seeing her original work in print?”

Though Wassel is excited about the future, she said she is not immune to the apprehension that comes with speaking in front of hundreds.

“My major is in English writing, not communications,” she said. “The first step is simply getting to the podium without tripping and falling flat on my face. If I can successfully execute step one, hopefully everything else, minus me, will fall into place.”