Former Rifle Athlete Takes Talents to China After College

By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

Through each choice she has made in her lifetime, Marisca Mozeleski, 22, has carried herself on an incredible journey.

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Since the beginning of her college career, Marisca Mozeleski has traveled from Washington to Kentucky to Germany. Now graduated, she has embarked on her farthest journey yet – as a teacher in China.

Growing up in Vashon, Wash., Marisca gained a passion for marksmanship that would eventually open remarkable doors to the world. As a high school student, she knew she wanted to fire collegiately but, of course, had no idea where. Though it was inevitable whichever path she chose guaranteed a variety of experiences, she couldn’t have predicted just how far her college decision would take her.

Having first received a scholarship offer from the University of Tennessee (UT) Martin to become a member of the rifle team, she instead chose to attend neighboring Murray State University (MSU) in Kentucky, after finding it to be an academically and all-around better fit for her.

Despite choosing the university without a scholarship to use, a “running start” program in high school allowed her to finish two years of college early – essentially putting her ahead in her academic career.

As an athlete on the Murray State rifle team, she fired a career-high 579 in air rifle her sophomore year during a bout with Alaska Fairbanks, as well as a personal-best score of 575, out of a possible 600, in smallbore at the NCAA qualifier her final season.

Marisca spent three years at the university, recently graduating in May 2014 with a degree in Liberal Arts. Though now released into the world, she has already seen some of its many offerings through opportunities linked to her college involvements.

From her native state of Washington, she traveled nearly 2,300 miles to join the rifle team at Murray State back in 2011. To satisfy her love of exploration, she followed up with a semester studying abroad in Munich, Germany in 2013, as well as traveling to South America and other parts of Europe during her college years.

In 2010, Marisca attended the NRA’s Junior Camp at the National Matches to better hone her rifling skills.

In 2010, Marisca attended the NRA’s Junior Camp at the National Matches to better hone her rifling skills.

Now, with the help of one of her professors and an MSU roommate, Marisca has become involved with her biggest journey yet – a year in China.

Since August 2014, Marisca has been teaching English to young adults and adults at the Qingdao Agricultural University in Yantai, a city in the northeastern Shandong province. Though she has no background in teaching, the acquaintances she made in school led her to helping many international students learn English through conversation and games, which prepared her for her teaching debut.

Russell Evans, one of the instructors at the Junior Camp, said Marisca made a lasting impression on him with her attitude, ability and willingness to work.

Russell Evans, one of the instructors at the Junior Camp, said Marisca made a lasting impression on him with her attitude, ability and willingness to work.

As an added benefit to fulfilling China’s need for educators, Marisca will also have the opportunity to learn the Chinese language and culture for free.

Though naturally talented and driven, Marisca has been fortunate to have endless encouragement from friends and family throughout her lifetime, such as her uncle, Joe Matter, who recently became the CMP State Director for the state of Washington.

Joe and his wife Caroline stood by their niece as she followed all of her dreams, even escorting her to the National Matches at Camp Perry. It was there that Marisca met a mentor who helped cultivate her rifling skills, which led her to her college career and wonderful experiences.

Marisca spent three years on the Murray State University rifle team, recording high scores of 579 in air rifle and 575 in smallbore.

Marisca spent three years on the Murray State University rifle team, recording high scores of 579 in air rifle and 575 in smallbore.

Marisca attended the NRA’s National Matches Junior Camp in 2010 with Russell and Vickie Evans – CMP’s Ohio State Directors. Russell and Vickie have been heading the camp for over 25 years and fondly recall instructing Marisca.

“I remember Marisca very well . . .” said Russell in an email to Marisca’s Aunt Caroline. “She impressed me enough to earn her own page in the camp book.”

“Marisca will do well at anything she attempts,” he went on to say. “Her attitude, ability and willingness to work/excel will carry her a long way in life.”

Four years after attending the camp, Marisca still has a photo of her and Russell hanging on her wall. And just as Russell predicted, her talent and determination has taken her to amazing places – including halfway around the world.

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