Marlee Katz

Student Spotlight

Meet student interns and leaders who all share a commitment of strengthening Jewish life on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Interview conducted by Jonathan Eisen

What is your internship for Hillel? 

I am the Communications intern. In my role, I conduct and write-up the weekly “Student Spotlights”. I meet with Jewish student leaders around campus to hear and share their stories. It’s been fun meeting students and getting to know the Hillel staff. Additionally, I help take pictures at Hillel events! It’s been a really great experience thus far.

What made you want to get involved at Hillel?

Initially I did it because I wanted to get some more experience with communications in an environment I was familiar with. I wanted to see what the Hillel community was like beyond a place to study and take part in events.

What are your passions?

I am all about fashion. I have my own fashion blog and write for the fashion MODA Magazine on campus. This year I am planning the second University of Wisconsin fashion week, which is really exciting. I also like to cook. I love making homemade matzo ball soup, especially since the weather doesn’t seem to be warming up anytime soon. I have recently gotten hooked on spinning at CYC and really love going to those classes as much as I can. 

What have you learned during your time at UW about Jewish life on campus?

Growing up, I went to Camp Chi, near the Wisconsin Dells, where I first connected with my Jewish identity. Coming to college I found that Jewish connection at Hillel. UW Hillel provides a safe and comfortable space on campus. It is nice to connect with other Jewish students through my internship, in class, and through my friends. It has been exciting to learn how much students are connected with the staff and other members of Hillel. There is a lot of work between the staff and students to make programs successful and make new ideas come to life. The students I have connected with come to Hillel to be involved with a familiar Jewish community and create an impact to further Jewish life on campus.

What has surprised you?

I used to get nervous when talking to people I don’t know. Because of the experiences during the fall 2012 semester, I feel very comfortable reaching out, interacting, and making requests to students I don’t know or have met casually. I have also learned about the great network at Hillel. There are so many opportunities that they provide for students. From staff to other students –everyone is genuinely interested and cares about what is going on in your life. 

Who are your role models?

My mother because she rocks.  She always has the answer to my question. The other person would be my sister – toughest little cookie that I know. She is mature beyond her age and I hope that she decides to come to UW! And I can’t forget about my Dad, Mr. Logical.

What keeps you motivated?

I know what needs to get done and when it needs to get done by.  I also pride myself on being organized.  I am willing to try new things and when I find something I like it makes me motivated. When I commit to something, I get it done and try to complete it at the highest level possible.

How do you balance everything?

I try to prioritize and sometimes for me my fashion blog or internship comes above school. I like to focus on the things that I know will help me in the future, but I always finish my school work no matter what.  

What is one thing you are proud of at the end of the fall semester?

I am proud of the fact that I have met so many new people and have been able to showcase their accomplishments.  It’s awesome to have a student thank me after an interview or tell me that their mom loved reading it online.  It’s nice to do that and have my peers see their successes and feel good about his or her self. 

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