Candidate for Class Vice President- Joy Zelinski-Marquez
Aloha, Classmates -
Following our impressive 20th reunion, I have been reflecting on the goodwill and camaraderie within our Class as a collective and among us as individuals who give USNA99 its spirit and character. With that on my heart and mind, I am running for Vice President.
A little more than a year ago, we rallied together to plan and execute a memorable reunion. A solid blueprint now exists as a foundation for future five-year gatherings. There is more time to prepare for 2024; however, our work beyond event planning is only gaining momentum.
What remains ahead is solidifying the vision of our lasting Class legacy. We are of an age personally and professionally to invest experience and resources on issues important to us. Suicide awareness and prevention, mental health, and career progression and transition are some of the ongoing discussions that come to mind.
I feel compelled to propose and mobilize community action toward a unified vision for our legacy. My top priority as one of the Class Officers is to visibly participate and contribute my time in formalizing both content and process of these important issues. For example, we need to develop solutions regarding the Memorial Fund and regular recurring donations as practical mechanisms to create the next level of engagement for our class priorities.
On the idea of community, I had the opportunity to introduce my husband, John, to the Naval Academy for his first time during our reunion. Through his eyes having attended a state university, I gained a deeper appreciation of the USNA family experience. As you may know, the Hawaiian word for family is ohana. Ohana extends beyond blood relatives to friends and other important social groups. Members of an ohana are connected by culture, compassion, and loyalty to one other. Communication and cooperation are valued over conformity. It is from the ohana perspective that I see and hold you all in the highest regard, and it would be my honor to serve as Vice President.
A short update about me: I am a licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychology postdoctoral fellow, and adjunct professor in California. I received my M.A. in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School as well as a M.A. in sport psychology and a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from John F. Kennedy University. After serving on active duty as a Naval Intelligence Officer, I worked at the U.S. State Department and Pfizer, Inc., and am currently employed at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Throughout my professional career, I have volunteered at national, state, and local levels in positions such as committee member, director on an executive board, and chapter president. Originally from Ohio, I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for over a decade with my amazing spouse, John, and our sweet tuxedo cat, Ollie. When I’m not commuting to and from Silicon Valley, I enjoy stand-up paddling, surfing, trail running, and indulging my inner child in local skateparks.