Featured Member: Emily Marciniak '95

Emily Marciniak ’95 tutors K-12 math and reading in Northern Virginia. She can also teach you how to do the Double Dutch.

How she first heard about Wellesley. I’m from Kansas City, Missouri. During my junior year of high school, one of my mom’s colleagues encouraged me to apply to Wellesley because his daughter went there. It was the year that Raisa Gorbachev and Barbara Bush spoke at commencement, so Wellesley was in the national news. The idea of a women’s college was very interesting to me.

How she became a physics major. I was going to be some sort of a math/science major. Phyllis Fleming (who passed away in 2009) was teaching the intro classes at the time. She made physics so interesting! I ended up as one of the half dozen or so physics majors my year.

On being the only Wellesley alumna for miles. My husband, Brian, was in the Navy. Because of his career, we moved around: we lived in Newport, Guam, Monterey, and Naples, Italy. I remember calling the Alumnae office to ask if there were any other Wellesley alumnae in Guam, but the answer was no. It was just me and some brown snakes! Coincidentally, a fellow ’95 graduate now lives on Guam!

On finding a Wellesley alumna down the street. As the one of the Washington Wellesley Club’s VPs for Membership (2014-2016), I spent a lot of time with the Alumnae Association database. As a former database consultant, I loved digging into the numbers. I remember just typing in my zip code here in Fairfax and finding that there were ten other alums living nearby! You might expect this in D.C., but I was surprised to find alums that I didn’t know out here in the suburbs.

On building the community of Wellesley Moms in D.C. I moved to the D.C. area in 2009. At the time I had a one-year-old and no professional network to plug into. I wanted to connect with other Wellesley alums who were in a similar situation of raising children in the D.C. area.  The Washington Wellesley Club wanted to form a group of Wellesley moms, but they needed someone to organize it. Enter Jocelyn Houle ‘90, and together we made it happen. From the beginning, the purpose of DC Wellesley Moms has been to bring together Wellesley alums to build friendships, give support and share information. We formed the DC Wellesley Moms Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dcwellesleymoms/) that is active with more than 250 members today. We also organized kid-friendly events, such as a visit to the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center with retired NASA astronaut Pamela Melroy ’83, a family book talk with Cokie Roberts ’64 about her children’s book Founding Mothers, a chocolate tasting and meet-ups at parks, including afternoons at Yards Park and a trip to Ice Cream Jubilee, founded by Victoria Lai ’01.

On building her tutoring business. I had tutored while living abroad and returned to it when I moved to Virginia. I started my tutoring business by working through my network of parents, neighbors and friends. I started teaching elementary math and reading, but I have since expanded to middle and high school, tutoring algebra and geometry.

Where to find her on weekends. I’m happiest when I’m outside soaking up the woods (or the oceanside in past locations). I’m also a Girl Scout leader and co-coach my fifth-grade daughter’s jump rope team, the Laurel Ridge Lightning Lions.  They perform during halftime at high school and college basketball games, and it’s a great way to teach kids to practice and to take risk


The Washington Wellesley Club is excited to introduce you to DC area alums through this new series of online profiles. Each month, a local alum will talk about living and working in DC and share memories of Wellesley. These profiles will illustrate how Wellesley alums stay creative and resilient despite the challenges that inevitably come our way. To view profiles of previously featured members, click here.