Alum Profile: Marieke Slovin Lewis

November 28, 2018 - By Prescott College

I believe sharing people's stories helps to transcend fear by creating common ground and empathy.

Marieke Slovin Lewis

Marieke Slovin Lewis (center in photo) grew up in New England and has studied around the world, earning a Bachelor of Arts in European History and French Language from Bates College; Masters in Environmental Education from Western Washington University; and Ph.D. in Sustainability Education from Prescott College. Currently, she operates from Boitsfort, Belgium, where her husband is studying for his Ph.D. at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). When Marieke reflects on her time at Prescott College, she shares,

“My research focused on the concept of self-sustainability and the connection between
sustainability and songwriting. I believe that it is possible to create sustainability at the
global level by beginning with the individual. Each person can become sustainable and
maintain a balanced life through the combined process of discovering and honoring their
authentic, true Self.”

Marieke is a classically trained pianist, a passion she pursued for 13 years before becoming disenchanted with the rigidity of the classical music realm and deciding to leave music to explore other interests in her 20s. As a doctoral student, however, she found her way back to her musical roots, working with a fellow cohort member on a method of songwriting called Story-to-Song (STS), wherein a song is shaped from a person’s spoken story. Since completing her doctorate, she has continued writing music. Since moving to Brussels, she has been volunteering with poet and writer, Sarah Van Hove, helping refugees to give voice to their experience through the creative process. “I have continued my work to help build a more sustainable world by offering songwriting workshops with refugees in Brussels,” she said. As my co-volunteer Sarah says, “It’s important to honor these individuals and their experiences. That’s really what a poem is. It’s a recognition. We are showing that their story has meaning, value.” Her work was recently highlighted in The Bulletin.

Marieke also worked for 10 years with the National Park Service as an Interpretive Park Ranger but left government service to follow an “independent, creative path, where she would be free to blend her skills and passions.” She currently works as an editor, writer, songwriter, performing musician, and yoga teacher. She lives with her husband, their big, white husky, Atticus, and three cats, Fin, Arwen, and Gouda.