Fourth-year Rudy Marquez can be found outside of the Spot every Thursday, grooving to music with his brothers. Dancing comes naturally to Marquez, as does taking on leadership roles in many student organizations on campus. Marquez is quite the multitasker and is passionate about being involved.
Marquez is a Political Science major with a minor in Organizational Leadership. He is from Northridge, California, and is a member of the William Penn Society. Marquez also serves as the captain of the Whittier College Dance Team, which he joined during his second year at Whittier.
“[Dance Team] is something that I didn’t really picture myself doing coming to college. Dance is one of those fun things I do at a party or a quinceañera, or just going out with friends,” said Marquez. “When I actually took it seriously, it forced me to have a positive outlet in my very busy and stressful life.”
Having a physical and creative outlet has been very important to Marquez. He decided to prioritize dance team when he had to decide what he wanted to do with his free time during his final year at Whittier. “I had to cut down on involvement, but dance was one of those [things] that I couldn’t,” said Marquez. “My determination with wanting to get better helped me become captain.”
Marquez has performed in the team’s annual showcase each year. His favorite genre of dance is hip-hop, but his favorite number he has ever created was in a different style entirely.
“My sophomore year, I did a dance that was dedicated to Margo Latif, one of my good friends,” said Marquez. “It was a mixture of contemporary and lyrical [dance]. My friend Lucy helped me out, and it definitely put me out of my comfort zone because I had never done that style of dance. I think the overall performance was really beautiful and touching.”
Marquez is especially fond of the team’s camaraderie, and it is his favorite part of being captain. “I really love the Dance Team and the people who are on it,” said Marquez. “I’ve been trying to find ways to grow as a leader and a person, and I think [being captain] was definitely going to push me out of my comfort zone.” Marquez choreographs all of the group dances for the team’s performances at DubSync and their annual showcase in the Spring semester.
For their showcase performance, Marquez is in charge of the set list, the team’s uniforms, marketing the show, and determining the show’s theme. The show is on Saturday, April 28, and he hopes to see a large crowd there to support the team.
Marquez also works in the Office of Admission as an event intern, a position that was created just last year. He has also been involved with event planning and program board since his first year at Whittier and he helped with Whittfest last Spring, one of his favorite memories at Whittier.
As an event intern, he has many responsibilities. “I help the visit coordinator plan, facilitate, and execute all of our events in the Fall and the Spring [semesters],” said Marquez. “I’ve learned a lot about the Whittier College campus. I think, once students come to the College, they forget the steps they took to get to the College. I’m always constantly helping juniors and seniors in high school take the steps to get to college.”
Marquez is considering a career in event planning, and working in Admissions is preparing him to do just that. “I do like planning events, and I want to pursue a career in event planning, so this is a little stepping stone to getting there,” said Marquez.
Marquez’s position at the Office of Admission was created because he showed interest in helping with the large scale events that the office puts on each semester. Some of these events include Preview Day and the John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarship Competition. “I’m more behind the scenes, and I really like that,” said Marquez.
Another important aspect of his Whittier experience was joining the William Penn Society his first year. “[From] a lot of the toughest moments, such as going through new member education — that was one of the tougher moments — you learn a lot,” said Marquez. “Aside from just brotherhood, [you learn] life lessons as well. Joining a brotherhood, I felt like that really made my time here a lot more enjoyable and a lot more different than how it was growing up. I would not be the person I am today without having joined the William Penn Society.”
Marquez was a member of the organization’s executive board his first year and was the New Member Educator his third year. “I got to pass on how important and significant the society was to me to four gentleman,” said Marquez. “It taught me a lot of empathy, organizational, and management skills that everyone should know.”
The organization has provided him a support system on campus. “I’ll have at least one person to hang out with, or one person to have my back in any situation. I haven’t had a support system like that ever,” said Marquez. “I can trust one of my brothers to be there.”
Marquez has taken advantage of all Whittier has to offer during his four years, including studying abroad on a faculty-led Jan Term trip to Paris, France. “I’ve never been out of the country, so it was going to be a new experience. It’s a lot like Downtown Los Angeles in the city aspect. The people are a lot in your face. The food was amazing. It was surreal to see the history behind Paris.”
Marquez was grateful for the opportunity to learn both in and out of the classroom with Associate Professor of History Elizabeth Sage and Professor of French and Associate Dean of Academic Planning Andy Wallis. “[The trip] emphasized the actual learning that we were doing. The class focused on the history of Paris, so it was a lot more hands-on then doing it [at Whittier],” said Marquez.
During their trip, they had the opportunity to see the best tourist destinations as well as the parts of Paris that are rarely talked about, such as the ghettos. “It makes you appreciate someone else’s culture more,” said Marquez.
After graduation, Marquez is considering event planning and management or working with political campaigns. He has also thought about teaching abroad in Spain.
“When we talk about community and being a close knit family, I think that is the one thing I’m really going to miss. I feel like it’s not every day you can talk with your professors, faculty, staff or your coworkers in a close knit environment.”
Marquez feels as though Whittier College has pushed him outside of his comfort zone, and he is thankful for his four years at the College. “Whittier has taught me to go outside those lines and that it’s okay to be uncomfortable in many situations, and I think it has created a leader in me,” said Marquez.