Mentor Program


The Program

The International Student Programs Mentor Program selects returning U.S. and international students to serve as mentors to incoming international students and domestic Ametrica participants. Students will meet their mentors during orientation and will consult with them regularly throughout the semester. Mentors will provide a student’s perspective on both academic and personal life at Macalester. Their job is to help international students feel comfortable at Macalester and answer their questions about policies and procedures related to life in the residence halls, campus facilities, registration and academic procedures, as well as questions about U.S. culture and off-campus opportunities in the Twin Cities Metro community.


Fall 2015 Mentors


Alison Chi, (Class of 2018) is a sophomore from Lawrence, Kansas, although she has spent a lot of time in Beijing, where her father’s side of the family is from. She plans on double majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics and minoring in Chinese, and she loves learning and practicing different foreign languages. At Mac, she is an active member of Chinese Culture Club and Mac Players (a student-run theatre group). In her free time, she enjoys devouring spicy food, playing the piano, and reading. 

Alexa.jpgAlexa Peters Posner is (somehow) a senior from the mountains of Telluride, Colorado. She is an American Studies major and Hispanic Studies minor and she wants to impact the world positively, even if it is on a small scale.  She loves spending time with people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds and perspectives! Avid language/culture learner (conquered varying levels of English, Spanish, Swedish, and French). Lover of life. Happy ISP worker. Let's chat (in english or otherwise) about your life, societal problems such as racism and sexism, your passions, or whatever! :D 

Vandy.jpgJoseph Vandy Sengeh, (class of 2016) is a senior from Freetown, Sierra Leone. He is a Chemistry and Applied Mathematics and Statistics double major. During his time at Macalester, he has been able to delve into the best opportunities the school has to offer such as being a member of the lives of Commitment group, the AfriKa student organization, Habitat for Humanity, Macalester Global Ambassadors, Macalester’s track and field team, International Round Table, Peace project etc. He strongly believes in making life very comfortable for others around him in all possible ways he can. He therefore is looking forward to support, stand by and provide useful skills/tools for the new international students to succeed during their time in college especially their first year. 

Unnamed (1).jpgChris Pieper, (class of 2018) is a sophomore from Chicago, Illinois. He is an International Studies and Economics double major, a museum enthusiast, political junkie, traveler, designer, and self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. At Mac, he is involved with student government, the Admissions Office, performing arts orgs, and the Institute for Global Citizenship. He's super excited to meet the awesome new people coming to Mac this year!

10923216_837355712995539_4677478164267877697_n.jpgClaire Mercer, (Class of 2016) Claire is an Anthropology major, Arabic language minor from Oak Park, Illinois. At Macalester, she is an Anthropology writing assistant and loves to sing and beatbox with Scotch Tape A Cappella! She spent the Fall 2014 semester studying abroad in Bali, Indonesia, where she gained an appreciation for shadow puppets, spicy food, and extreme humidity.

Dongmin P.jpgDongmin Park, (class of 2018) is originally from Seoul, South Korea. She spent her whole life living in different countries, including Japan, Sri Lanka, Chicago, Qatar, and Egypt. She is a Computer Science and Political Science double major. She works in the ISP office and the concert hall as the head lighting operator. Dongmin enjoys playing her tuba, eating strawberries, dancing, and playing on the swings (Join me!).

IMG_6806.JPGEllis Davenport, (class of 2018) is a Hispanic Studies and Linguistics double major from Berkeley, California. At Macalester, he is an Anthropology office assistant and rowing enthusiast for the Crew team. He spends his free time chugging cappuccinos, speaking foreign languages and hanging out in the snow.

GG_blacksea (1).jpgGage Garretson, (Class of 2016) is a senior born in Heidelberg, Germany who has lived in too many places in the U.S. since then to count. For now, he loves visiting his family and the beaches at “home” in North Carolina. He is a geography major and a human rights & humanitarianism (HRH) concentrator who loves to travel, be exposed to different cultures, make maps, and (attempt to) speak different languages. At Macalester, he works as an office assistant for the HRH concentration, a teaching assistant for the Geography Department, and a mentor for ISP. During his time at Mac, he was a founding member of MacHOPE (Helping Open Peaceful Exchanges) and also participates in Europa and Macalester Voices on Mental Health and was a former Ametrica participant. Last fall he was fortunate enough to live in Turkey for a semester where he learned of his weakness for baklava and the kindness of strangers. Gage loves hearing people’s stories and celebrating inner growth. Don’t be afraid to come up and say hi! 

IMG_.jpgJake Speirs, (class of 2016) is a senior from Cottage Grove, Minnesota. He has spent the past sixth months running around China desperately attempting to improve his Mandarin. Jake is an International Studies and Chinese double major. When he's not working at ISP or drowning himself in coffee from the IGC, Jake can be found napping in any one of the many comfy armchairs scattered around campus. He can't wait to meet this year's incoming class, and can't believe this is already his third and final year as a mentor! 

ISP picture.jpgJuão-Guilherme Rosa, (class of 2018) is a sophomore from Revere, Massachusetts whose family is originally from Santa Catarina and Espiritu Santo, Brazil. He plans on double majoring in psychology and neuroscience and enjoys drawing, movies, and VICE news.

Mentor pic.jpgLianna Novitz
, (class of 2018) hails from the San Fernando Valley, California and currently has no clear direction for a major. Learning foreign languages (e.g. Chinese, Spanish, French, etc.) is her thing, and she previously spent 10 months in China as an exchange student. She enjoys studying how the world works, from the art of plunging toilets to medical services and NGOs. At Mac, you'll probably find Lianna dancing not grinding, cooking non-American food, jogging to the river when it's not frozen, exploring the city, singing karaoke with the Chinese Culture Club (CCC), or chilling out in a comfy chair. 

Merrit Stüven, (class of 2017) is originally from Munich, Germany. However, Merrit spent her middle and high school years moving back and forth between Munich and Minneapolis. She's a junior Political Science major with an Economics minor and a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. Besides being a mentor and working in the ISP office, Merrit loves to bake, read, decorate her new house and take walks around the Macalester neighborhood. She is very excited for her second year as a mentor.

IMG_1677.JPGMiho Itabashi,
(class of 2018) is a sophomore at Mac. She is originally from Japan but was brought up in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. Although undecided, she is a potential Media and Cultural Studies, Art, International Studies major/minor. She works as a Japanese tutor at mac, and enjoys chilling outside on the grass when it’s not snowing! She's super excited to be an ISP mentor, and is looking forward to meeting all the new first-years this fall ! 

Unnamed.jpgMinah Kim, (class of 2016) is a senior from Yongin, South Korea, She has benefited so much from engaging with the Twin Cities community, such as when she was part of a first-year volunteer program called Lives of Commitment or when she worked off-campus for a work study job at a local bike shop started by a Mac alum. By staying in Minnesota every summer break, she's been lucky enough to work with nonprofits that specialize in treatments for autism spectrum disorder and organizations that create youth projects related to sustainability. She's been a tour guide and tour guide coordinator for Admissions and currently works as a research assistant and lab manager for the Cognitive and Eye-tracking lab in the Psychology Department. She is majoring in Psychology, minoring in Environmental Studies. She enjoys eating ice-cream for dinner and sending artistic snapchats.

Image1.JPGNefeli Neamonitaki, (class of 2018) was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She moved to Minnesota with her parents and sister 3 years ago and now lives outside the Twin Cities. Nefeli plans on majoring in Biology, having an emphasis in Neurobiology, and is strongly considering a minor in Psychology. At Mac, she is a member of Europa, a first responder and the scheduling officer of Macalester First Aid. She is a big football (soccer) fan, and loves traveling and going to the beach. 

Paul.tiffPaul Chery, Paul Chery (Class of 2018) was born and grew up near Nancy, France and moved to Peoria, Arizona in 2009.  He is majoring in Physics and Computer Science with a minor in Music. Paul enjoys traveling, taking pictures, and playing the piano.  He also really likes learning new things (anything)! He works in the music department as a sound technician and started working for ISP in the spring of 2015.

Gina Marie Storch, (class of 2017) is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her parents are from Germany and she has spent many summers there with family. Gina Marie is a psychology major and an anthropology minor. At Mac, she is involved in FIA*STARSA (Feminists in Action-Students Together Against Rape and Sexual Assault), MacActivists for Reproductive Justice, and volunteering at Partnership Academy. 

Janice1.JPGSiyan (Janice) Zhang, (class of 2017) is from Shenzhen, China. Her family is originally from Hunan, China and immigrated to Shenzhen in 1980s, so her family keeps a lot of Hunan traditions, such as the Hunan dialect and delicious spicy food! She majors in Econ and Art. Meanwhile, she also started to learn Spanish at Mac. She is an art enthusiast and likes drawing and photography a lot. She is a member of the Art Alliance and Chinese Culture Club (CCC). She started to work for ISP in Spring 2014.

Mentor pic1.jpgPrajwal Giri, (class of 2018) is a sophomore from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was born in Pokhara, Nepal but moved to the States in 2003. He’s a self-proclaimed goon. Prajwal, or as most people call him Praj, is a Chemistry and potentially an Economics double major but is also exploring other scientific endeavors. He is a sprinter and pole vaulter for Macalester’s track and field team, and occasionally active in Macalester’s MMA club, club volleyball, the illustrious Boyz in Motion, and MASECA.

DSC_0655.JPGSheena Diong, (class of 2018) was born in Singapore but at the age of four moved to Beijing, China where she remained till she graduated high school. So if you ever ask her where home is, don’t expect to get a short answer. Sheena intends to double major in Psychology and Educational studies with a double minor in Chinese and Asian Studies (and is currently unsure if she can achieve all the above). At Mac, she is a tour guide, involved with the Chinese Culture Club (CCC) and Habitat for Humanity. In her spare time she enjoys sleeping, snacking and pretending to do homework in the library. Sheena is super excited to welcome all the new freshman to Macalester! 

Vaishnavi Madhavan, (class of 2017) is currently a junior at Macalester. Throughout her childhood she moved around a fair amount, but still considers India to be her home. She is a neuroscience major and a studio art minor. Vaishnavi is always up for a good adventure and lives by Dr. Seuss' quote: "If you haven't you should, these things are fun and fun is good!

1507820_562753720526789_8748489007698055085_n.jpgSowinta Kay, (class of 2017) is a Sophomore from Cambodia. She's an Econ major, and hopefully Stats minor. It depends on how much she will still love data. She loves dancing, doesn't mean she's good at all, but if you ever feel bored and just wanna dance, contact her. She's also addicted to bubble tea and other tea in general too, but bubble tea more. :) She is excited for being an ISP mentor for the first time too. :) 

Pic.jpgQisheng Li, (class of 2017) is a Junior from Beijing, China. She is a Mathematics and Economics double major (but probably will change her mind in the future). At Mac, She loves her job as a math tutor at Max Center and enjoys organizing various events as a board member of Chinese Culture Club. During study breaks, Qisheng loves traveling with her friends! She has been to  Puerto Rico, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Seattle and Duluth during the two years and she wishes to visit more places around the world. This is her second year being an ISP mentor and she can't wait to meet all the freshmen soon! 

Tara.jpgTara Kaushik, (class of 2018) is a sophomore from India, and has grown up in six different places. Though currently still trying to figure out what she wants to major in, she is considering Psychology, International Studies and Anthropology. Her other interests include writing, art, movies and people.



   new applications for fall 2016 are closed

*Note*  Information about mentor dean applications will be sent out to returning mentors directly.


As a mentor, you will each be directly responsible for approximately five students as well as aiding fellow mentors with their mentees in the Fall 2016. As students themselves, mentors can answer questions and give suggestions about life, culture and academics on-and off-campus. Mentors work closely with ISP staff to organize informational, cultural and educational discussions of interest for new students. Other expectations include acting as an information giver, tour guide, encourager, educator and learner. 

The hours a mentor works per week vary depending on if whether you are involved with Ametrica facilitation. You can expect to work at least 5-9 hours a week between meeting every mentee in person, journaling, meeting Aaron or Luyen, and attending planning meetings. Some weeks may require more hours due to ISP or Ametrica events.
As a mentor you will be required to arrive by August 14, 2016 (not confirmed) to begin mentor training at 9 a.m. on August 15th. If you will live on-campus, August 14th is the earliest day you will be able to move into the dorms. We will not have temporary housing for off-campus students. Plan on being at Mac and available to work until school begins. Mentors will work until late October/early November. Because of this, you may need to find another on-campus job that does not interfere with mentoring. Remember you may not exceed 20 hours/week, combining all of your jobs.


Below are the various mentor application steps. Each year, ISP receives many more applications than mentor positions available. We are very strict about deadlines so please note them. This is because we believe that applicants demonstrate responsibility by meeting deadlines, and because we receive far more applications each year than positions available. Decisions on choosing mentors will be made by the ISP Mentor Selection Committee, composed of former mentors who graduate in 2016. Aaron or Luyen will change decisions if there are outstanding conduct, academic or other concerns. If you are not certain about an issue and if it could affect your eligibility, please check with Aaron or Luyen.

You must complete the following steps to be considered by the Selection Committee. 


You must complete the STEP I Interest Form to be eligible to receive STEP II, the full written application. The purpose of STEP I is to:

  • Provide detailed information about the criteria used to select mentors as well as ISP’s requirements and expectations for mentors.
  • Give you ample time to consider if being a mentor is right for you since the expectations and application steps – (especially STEP IV - Simulation) are very rigorous.
  • Give ISP time to plan for STEP IV - Simulation.

The deadline to complete STEP I is by 11:59 a.m. on Monday, November 30, 2015, St. Paul time (CDT) aka (GMT-6 hours).  ISP will not accept applications after this time. Each year, numerous students appeal that we extend the deadline.  We don’t. STEP I can be completed in seconds or a couple minutes.

Tip: We take note which applicants complete this step early.

The Interest Form is now closed.


A lengthy online application will be sent to all eligible who completed the STEP I - Interest Form shortly after the deadline. The STEP II - Application will be due by 11:59 a.m. on Monday, January 11, 2016, St. Paul time (CDT).  No late applications will be accepted after the deadline.

Tip: We take note which applicants complete this step early.


Email your resume to when you submit your application, or by 11:59 a.m. on Monday, January 11, 2016, St. Paul time (CDT).  No late applications will be accepted after the deadline.

Tip: We take note which applicants complete this step early.


This is a simulation of being a mentor that gives you the experience of what to expect, and ISP a real view on your ability to be responsible and follow through.

  • STEP IV is a time-consuming, but a rewarding experience
  • Feedback from the simulation is very influential to the Mentor Selection Committee.
  • You will be assigned two "mentees," who will either be seniors or a combination of a senior and a non-senior. 
  • There will be a training session to prepare you for meeting your mentees.
  • The simulation is a trial run of the experience of being a mentor during the fall semester. You will have all the same duties as a mentor, but you mentees will have different needs. 
  • Applicants meet weekly with mentees and then journal about meetings.
  • Applicants meet with your ”mentor dean" who supervises you, along with a few other mentors in your mentor group, once a week to go over how your mentees are doing. Mentor deans are returning mentors.
  • Expect a time commitment of 3 hours/week for 3 weeks  (Jan 31-Feb 20).
  • Mentor deans and ISP staff will provide feedback to the Selection Committee.


The selection committee will review applications in groups, according to how well applicants meet the criteria. Depending on your qualifications, you reach a certain group - A is best and your application is read first, F is worst and your application is read last. All documents and other proof of meeting the criteria must be emailed to by the deadline of 11:59 a.m. on Friday, February 19, 2016.

The Mentor Selection Committee will review applicants in the order listed below.  We need a certain number of eligible van certified drivers. Because of this, we prioritize reviewing individuals who meet all criteria first. We then review individuals who meet close to those criteria second, and so on.

GROUP A (first priority/applications reviewed first)
- GPA above 3.0
- Valid US driver’s license                         - Macalester van certified OR  - Valid US driver’s permit                              - Road test scheduled                                  - License at home OR proof of driving classes/training                                              - Van driving theory class completed/registered for
- Allies training offered by the DML* OR - Green Dot Bystander training offered 2-3 times in spring semester*


GROUP B (second priority/applications reviewed second)
- GPA above 3.0
- Valid US driver’s license                         - Macalester van certified OR  - Valid US driver’s permit                              - Road test scheduled                                  - License at home OR proof of driving classes/training                                              - Van driving theory class completed/registered for


- GPA above 3.0
- Valid US driver’s permit
- Allies training offered by the DML* OR - Green Dot Bystander training offered 2-3 times in spring semester*


- GPA above 3.0
- Valid US driver’s permit


- GPA above 3.0
- Allies training offered by the DML* OR - Green Dot Bystander training offered 2-3 times in spring semester*


GROUP F (last priority)
- Applicants who don’t meet the criteria above.

*If training hasn’t happened by February 20, 2016 you can show proof of registration. If you show proof of registration but do not complete the training, we will no longer consider your application.

We will not consider late/incomplete applications. Other things that will be considered:

  • Active participation in Ametrica, Mentor, and ISP programs;
  • Manageable Fall 2015 semester co-curricular schedules;
  • Diversity in years, personalities, home countries, regions, gender identities, languages...

Van certified mentors would be hired at Macalester's Tier III pay rate. If we hire students without licenses, they will be paid at Tier I (see Student Employment website).