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A few minutes with Miss SF Marissa Larsen

May 19, 2005

"A few minutes with" is a lighter look at a student who has recently been in the news.

Photo of Marissa LarsenMarissa Larsen was crowned Miss San Francisco this February. A senior in speech and communication studies, Larsen is no stranger to the pageant circuit -- the Vacaville native won the Miss Fairfield pageant in 2003. Larsen also has a passion for restorative justice, the concept of trying to heal the wounds of victims, offenders and communities from criminal behavior through mediation and counseling.

In addition to finishing at State, her Miss SF duties are keeping Larsen busy. She led the crowd in singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch at the SF Giants' opening game in April and is preparing to compete in the Miss California Pageant in June.

Who are your heroes?

I can be clichéd and say my mom because she's amazing. She's a single parent who's a principal at an elementary school. She went back to school and has done a lot of incredible things in her life.

What are your long-term goals?

Graduating! I'm going to grad school for a dual degree program, getting my masters in communication management and my law degree at the same time. Ultimately, I would like to be a political consultant, but if anyone were to offer me a broadcasting job, I wouldn't mind it at all! But long-term, I want to have a happy family.

What are your passions?

Life, for sure. Every morning that I wake up, I say, "Hey, today's the best day of my life!"

What inspires you?

My family and the people around me who make choices to do the things that they believe in, regardless of what society says or what anyone else does. I think that people who have the conviction to do the things that make them happy are the people that inspire me the most.

What is the last movie you saw? Give a one-sentence review.

"Fever Pitch." Drew Barrymore works magic with funny leading man.

Other than what you're reading for school, what book is currently on your nightstand?

I just finished reading "The Poisonwood Bible." And there's a book by Tom Robbins called "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates," one of the best books I've ever read. Brilliant, funny, poignant, beautiful -- all of it.

What is the most important issue that college students face today?

In our current society, we have so many options, that it's hard to choose! ... I think that because we have this wealth of opportunity, we tend to take it for granted, the same way we do voting or Social Security. I think it's really looking at our lives and making decisions consciously with an eye on the future. ... We need to be careful with the resources we have, both personally and socially.

If you could change one thing about SFSU, what would it be?

I would love for SFSU to be more of a community and to celebrate a lot more of the things that it hasn't. ... It feels like everyone has a cause here, and they're always shouting about this and that and trying to be part of some scene. It'd be really great if we could embrace the entire community rather than a separation of it.

Favorite quote?

"Just breathe." It's advice somebody gave me right before I walked into my very first debate. He said, "Before everything else, just remember to breathe." It's advice I have taken through everything in my life. If you can breathe, you're already a step ahead!

What is guaranteed to bring a smile to your day?

My sisters. ... They're both hilarious, and when they get together, they're out of control!

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with William Morris
Photo: Norbert


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Last modified May 19, 2005 by University Communications