Meet Mary

Throughout Black History Month, the Office of Admission is aiming to highlight the Black community at Mudd and amplify voices of its members. Check out more of this month’s posts on our social media platforms!

This week we have a special feature, a guest blogger: Mary Celestin. Mary will tell you a little bit about herself and her experience at Harvey Mudd.

Hello Prospective Students!

My name is Mary Jessie Celestin and I’m a senior engineering major at Harvey Mudd. I’m passionate about the development of our cities with smart, innovative infrastructure. I envision a world where our cities’ infrastructure is prepped for the upcoming hurdles of climate change, where the existing communities are centered in development and design, and where technology is leveraged to bring people together and enhance connectivity.

Left photo is of a hammer that Mary made. It has a Harvey Mudd College geotag and text that reads "30+ hours later!". The right photo is of her and three people posing with a robot at a beach.

(L) Mary’s E4 hammer, (R) Mary and her E80 team posing with their robot on deployment day

I chose Harvey Mudd because I see myself in engineering management and wanted a rich understanding of the diverse STEM disciplines. Mudd’s Core and general engineering program are unparalleled to other colleges and universities when it comes to that breadth of knowledge. Mudd will teach you how to approach solving any engineering problem rather than teaching you how to solve specific problems confined to one discipline.

Mudd is a really challenging academic environment but you will find an amazing community and network of friends to support you during your time here. I’ve made friendships here I believe will last a lifetime. Plus we have a very eclectic culture and fun events (: I’ve also loved the opportunity to take courses and participate in clubs at the other Claremont Colleges; some of my closest friends go to the other 4Cs!  The things I miss most about not being in Claremont are going to dance parties at Dom’s, hosting music concerts, and skateboarding around Claremont late at night with my friends.

Left photo is Mary singing into a microphone, middle is her with three other women, and the right photo is her with three friends wearing masks

(L) Mary performing on campus, (C) Mary and her friends from her semester abroad in New Zealand, (R) Mary and friends celebrating her 22nd birthday

There are also great opportunities to get involved. At Mudd, I’m the Co-President for our Engineers Without Borders Chapter, a STEM curriculum developer and teacher for STEAMCoders through the Computer Science Department, a member of BLAM 

(Black Lives At Mudd), and a retired tour guide. At the 5Cs, I’ve been involved in music and creative writing clubs because I’m a musician (a low-fi neo-soul singer/songwriter) and a sci-fi/fantasy author. I’ve had a lot of fun hosting concerts, music kick-backs, and fantasy world building workshops! I also ran sprints for CMS my freshman year but now just run recreationally and have gotten really into jump roping during the pandemic.

Outside of the Claremont Colleges, my most notable work has been founding San Jose Strong: a grassroots organization to reinvent my hometown, San Jose, for and by the community. After a series of serendipitous events thrust me into a leadership role within the San Jose BLM activist space, I saw a need for a centralized digital location for information dissemination on a city scale. I founded San Jose Strong in June 2020 with two arms in mind: one arm is our digital platform for SJ folks to get plugged into their city—with resources to make everything from local government to transportation digestible and accessible—and the other arm is our hub for community organizers and activists to create initiatives, projects, programs and events that support the San Jose community (aka our committees).

left is mary holding a sign that reads "Black Lives Matter San Jose Strong" and the right photo is of Mary and six others with masks

(L) Mary holding the BLM SJS poster at their first walk 4 solidarity, (R) the SJ FAM FEST that SJS hosted with the music and arts committee crew 

We are now a 501©3 Fiscally Sponsored organization and currently have 12+ committees, 50-75+ active volunteers, 250+ members on our Discord, 10,300+ social media followers and have spearheaded over a dozen initiatives, projects, programs and events in support of the San Jose community! It’s been amazing to see so many people come together to better our city <3 And I believe my Mudd experience, from the workload to the team projects, prepared me with the skills to manage and scale an organization alongside being a student and working as an engineering intern!  

If you want to learn more about San Jose Strong, check out my music, and such – feel free to check out my at . If you have any questions about Harvey Mudd or my experience at Mudd, feel free to reach out to me at mcelestin(at)!