Marissa Haynes is all about strengthening the culture of service at Seton Hill University. As the service outreach coordinator, she connects community agencies with students who do everything from volunteering in local food pantries to working with immigrant children.

The Connecticut native lives with her husband and their rescue dog Odin in Jeannette. 

Best part of your job?

The fact that every day I get to help make my community a better place. I have the privilege of providing service opportunities to students so they can learn about our community and contribute to its growth.

What upcoming events are you excited to attend?

I am most excited for the upcoming Lunch with Liz event at Seton Hill. It’s an event that highlights the history of the university. It’s a great time and will certainly be special during this Centennial year.

I am so excited to go to the latest exhibition at The Frick Pittsburgh, “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.” I love that museums in Pittsburgh bring incredible collections straight to our fingertips.

Marissa Haynes

Marissa and her husband with their dog Odin after he passed puppy obedience at Ohkom Farms Training Center.

For college students, what are some of the benefits of service learning and volunteering?

Personal growth often occurs when an individual experiences something that challenges their perspective. When students are serving and volunteering in their community, they are given a small peek into a different perspective. This experience, in combination with purposeful reflection, can transform their perspective and lead them to help make the world a better place for all. Service experiences can help students personal, professional and emotional growth.

How does the Pittsburgh region inspire your work?

Today Pittsburgh looks much different than it did 30 years ago. This inspires me because it shows the openness to change in order to meet the needs of the community. Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh often come together to work for a good cause. For example, with the opioid crisis — as a region we all want to make a difference and reverse this epidemic. The unity for a cause is inspiring.

Podcast you’re addicted to?

Podcasts are one of my favorite things! I love listening to them as I get ready for work and on walks. I am currently in love with The West Wing Weekly, Truth and Dare: Female Empowerment, Authentic Conversation, Real Transformation, and The Dirtbag Diaries.

Your go-to brunch spot?

I love Waffles INCaffeinated on the South Side. A good friend introduced me to it and I’m so grateful. They have an awesome menu with plenty of alternatives for those of us who have allergies.

Best thing about Pittsburgh or Western PA?

You’re never far from the good stuff. You want to go to a museum, we got that. You want to go to an athletic event, we got that. You want to go for an outdoor adventure, we got that. You can have it all here!

Best movie you saw in 2017?

The best movie I saw in 2017 was “Baby Driver,” however, last week I saw “Get Out” and “The Shape of Water” and they’re still with me. Incredible films!

Marissa Haynes

Marissa and her cousin cheering on the Pirates at PNC Park.

Favorite Pittsburgh view?

While Mount Washington will always be amazing, the first baseline at PNC Park takes my breath away. As the sun goes down while you’re watching the Buccos, the city skyline is pure beauty. It’s the first place I went when I came to Pittsburgh and where I truly fell in love with the Burgh.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I just returned “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo to my local library, and now I’m knee-deep into “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle.

Where do you always take out-of-town visitors?

Since I did not grow up in Western Pennsylvania, I often have visitors. For first-time visitors, I always take them to the Mount Washington Incline, DiFiore’s Ice Cream Delite and Primanti Bros. in Market Square.

What Pittsburgh museum do you visit the most?

Does the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium count? If so, then that’s where I’ve been the most and I love it. The otters are my favorite! My other favorite museum in the city is The Andy Warhol Museum.

Best day-trip escape?

Ohiopyle State Park is a great escape from the city. Grab a bite at Falls Market, then jump on a trail and go for a nice hike.

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