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The International Student Programs Mentor Program selects returning U.S. and international students to serve as mentors to incoming international students and US 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.
The 2015 ISP Mentors are:
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 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
Joseph 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.
Chris 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!
Claire 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 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 plans on majoring in Computer Science and Political Science, and strongly aspires to have a minor. She works in the ISP office and the concert hall as a lighting operator. Dongmin enjoys playing her tuba, eating strawberries, dancing, and playing on the swings (Join me!).
Ellis 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.
Gage 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!
Jake 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!
Juão-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.
Lianna 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 plans on majoring in Political Science with either a minor or double major in Economics. She is also a tour guide here at Mac and works at ISP. She is very excited for her first year as a mentor.
Miho 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 !
Minah 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.
Nefeli 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 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.
Siyan (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.
Prajwal 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.
Sheena 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!
Sowinta 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. :)
Qisheng 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 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.