Going the extra mile

Marisa Zelip is a senior in mechanical engineering from Belleville, Ill. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Marisa Zelip is a senior in mechanical engineering from Belleville, Ill. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Marisa Zelip is always willing to head out on a new adventure. Whether she’s taking an out-of-state road trip to see a college football game, or hopping a flight to a place she’s never been to before, Zelip seems to keep her suitcases ready to go.

Photo submitted.

From left to right: Mark Hogan, a junior in environmental engineering from Holts Summit, Mo., Marisa Zelip and Ryan Hoff, a senior in mechanical engineering from St. Paul, Mo., pose with local children in Nahualate, Guatemala. Photo submitted.

Work helps keep her on the move. She has interned twice at Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, Ill., and worked in a co-op position at Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. in St. Louis. This summer, Zelip will travel once more to intern at Apple Inc.’s headquarters just outside of downtown San Francisco, conveniently allowing Zelip to visit California for the first time.

But before she heads to the Golden State, the senior in mechanical engineering from Belleville, Ill., will help guide other students as the program lead for the Guatemala Team, part of Missouri S&T’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB). She has been on two prior EWB trips, both to Guatemala, but this is the first time she holds a lead position.

Photo submitted.

Residents of Nahualate, Guatemala, with a map detailing the water distribution system installed by EWB. Photo submitted.

Zelip lightened her course load this semester to allow more time to work for EWB. “I will be putting in close to 30 hours a week working out the details of the next Guatemala trip for the team,” says Zelip. “Every little aspect of the trip needs to be planned out in advance and go through several approval processes from the national organization.”

While in Guatemala, the team plans to continue developing a source of clean drinking water for a remote village. A well the team dug on a previous trip has struck water, so the team will now focus on finishing construction systems to filter and deliver the water.

Whenever Zelip isn’t trekking around the globe, she can be found volunteering for the outreach team of the Society for Women Engineers or playing intramural softball, flag football or volleyball.

She may be busy, but Zelip still makes time for her studies. “As a kid, I wanted to be a scientist,” she explains. “But once I grew up and learned the difference between science and engineering, I realized that engineering was the best fit for me.”

By Peter Ehrhard


  1. good job Marisa!

  2. TAREK HAMAD says

    good job Marisa and keep going.

  3. You are such an inspiration