Student Leaders

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Lilly Program for Vocation and Ethical Leadership
Markim Hall 310
651-696-6738
651-696-6030 (fax)

Academic-Year Hours
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Summer Hours
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.-12:00 noon

When asked "What is your favorite thing about LoC?" and "What is your favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities?" and "If you could make any ice cream flavor that doesn't exist, what would it be?" the Lives of Commitment Sophomore Leaders replied:

Abbie ShainAbbie Shain '14 (LoC Coordinator) from Bordentown, New Jersey

Lives of Commitment is all about relationships.  I loved getting to know people at Jane Addams, my volunteer site, and sustaining those relationships for two years.  The friendships I started in LoC are the ones that most support me and challenge me to be my best self.  

An ideal day in the Twin Cities starts out with a bike ride along the river, then includes a brunch potluck with friends, and ends at a Poetry Slam.  The best part about those days is that they are real. 

dark chocolate cardamom. mmmmmm.


Kevin.DowlingKevin Dowling '16 from Hillsborough, New Jersey

My favorite part about Lives of Commitment is probably the culture of conversation and the groups eagerness to participate in meaningful conversations.

Since I am at heart quite a foodie, one of my favorite things to do in the twin cities is to go out and explore (and eat at!) all sorts of cool and unique local restaurants!! 

If I were to invent a new flavor of ice cream it would probably be a sweet cream ice cream base with all sorts of different sugary breakfast cereals mixed in! I would then dye it blue with food coloring and call it the Cereal Monster. 


San NazSana Naz, '16 from Kolkata, West Bengal, India

 LoC is like my Mac family. The weekly large group meetings are my favorite part because everyone comes together and we eat some great food and share stories and experiences just like a family. It keeps me grounded and calm in the midst of all the stress and craziness.

My most memorable experiences from first-year are actually from the days I went out exploring with my friends and ended up getting lost. I met some really interesting and fun people through this and had the best time. I also love walking around in the Mac neighborhood looking at pretty boutiques and vintage shops along Grand and Snelling.

Spicy strawberry shortcake with chocolate chips and some red chile powder!


Jill MerrickJill Merrick '16 from Skokie, Illinois

I love everything about LoC, but if I had to choose the best part I would have to pick the community. I went to a small private high school where I graduated with just 160 students, 34 in my graduating class, and as a result we built a very strong community. I felt a close connection and bond with many of my peers and teachers and was very nervous about leaving. When I got to Macalester, all of my worries about not having a community in college were quieted as soon as I stepped into the LoC activities. Lives of Commitment is a place where people can form deep connections in order to learn a lot about others and themselves, exactly what the kind of environment I was worried to leave. In LoC I feel that I am part of an amazing community, a group that I am proud to consider myself a member of. 

My favorite thing about the Twin Cities is the diversity. I love that there are so many different areas and neighborhoods full of so many interesting individuals and unique groups of people. I love knowing that there are so many people in the cities with stories that they are ready and willing to share, stories from which we can really gain. My favorite thing to do in the twin cities is visit those areas and listen to what those people have to say. 

It probably already exists somewhere, but I would make roasted marshmallow ice cream! It would taste like the marshmallow when it has been over the fire long enough to be that perfect brown color but isn't burnt yet, because that is clearly the best time to eat it.


RachelFogelRachel Fogel '16 from Indianapolis, Indiana

I love being able to have a family dinner every night, even though I am 500 miles away from home. Whether we are gathered together in Large Group to reflect and share wonderful local food from the Twin Cities or are simply eating a quick meal together in Cafe Mac, I love the fact that I always have a "family" with whom I can share my meals. Eating together is something my family at home really values, so I was a bit worried that I would miss it when I came to college. However, being a part of LoC has allowed me to form a family away from home, and eating meals together has really cemented this for me. 

After spending a year in the Twin Cities and getting a small taste of what they have to offer, I'd have to say that one of my favorite things has been participating in the May Day parade. I spent the entire month of April going to workshops at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, making a baby mask for the May Day parade. In the process, I met all kinds of people from all over the Twin Cities - I talked to three year-olds and seventy year-olds, artists and janitors. People from all walks of life came together to participate in the creation of the parade. It was really an incredible experience (and it is open to the public!). I definitely plan on going back next year!

My flavor would definitely have to involve banana. Banana ice cream is hands-down the best ice cream in the world. So how about.... Banana-Cinnamon Roll Swirl! Banana ice cream with swirls of vanilla and cake batter, along with ribbons of the yummy gooey cinnamon-y goodness that's all over cinnamon rolls! Mmmmm I'm going to try that one day... What a way to make the world happy!


Akanksha-DuaAkanksha Dua '16 from Kolkata, India

As an international student, I felt so lost in the beginning. I didn't know whether I'd be able to adjust to life away from my family, let alone fulfill my passion of community service and adhering to my commitments. Being a part of LoC has shown me that not only can I do all of that, but that I can do it while building a whole new family away from home. Lives of Commitment is full of genuine people who truly care for each other, and has helped me find some amazing friends who make the college experience worth remembering. 

Okay, so I have not done much exploring in the Twin Cities yet, and my answer probably won't be as exciting as many of yours, but one thing I have really enjoyed this past year is doing our little small group outings. The first was Downtown Minneapolis during winter, which was a breathtaking site and the second was eating food at this random Japanese restaurant that we found in this random mall somewhere. It was the first time that I tried miso soup and it was delicious and I definitely want to go back there with all of you wonderful people!

I was torn between making something simple and yummy or something with everything heavenly in the world and I chose the latter obviously. So I would make a vanilla soymilk ice cream which would be cold and creamy like soft serve, with a little graham cracker ice cream scoop topped with roasted macademias and white chocolate chips. And a bit of granola. 


HaroonBokhariHaroon Bokhari '16 from Lahore, Pakistan

I enjoyed every single moment of my first year LoC experience. However, the best part of LoC were its people for me. I was welcomed into the community on my first day here and throughout the year found more reasons to appreciate the people who were a part of this group. I was closest to the people I volunteered with at Grace Trinity and formed some truly unforgettable memories with them. From the long van rides (Amani, I hate to admit but I even enjoyed your Japanese music) to tutoring Orlando (aka the best kid at Grace Trinity) to celebrating Secret Santa to ending our year at Sushi Tango, every single moment of this journey with these wonderful people was simply amazing.

I love the multi cultural and diverse experience the Twin Cities have to offer.  My favorite thing to do in the twin cities would just be going out and exploring them.  I really like how the Twin Cities has stadiums for every major sport played in America. My first NBA game at the Target Center was one of my best experiences here; the Minnesota Timberwolves won against the Indiana Pacers on the last throw of the match. I absolutely adore the Mississippi River; a bonfire night on the river bank is magical and so is the view of the river from the Guthrie Theater. The Twin Cities are beautiful all year round, especially in the summer and biking aimlessly has also become one of my favorite activities here.

Ferrero Rocher Nutella Ice Cream


MorganHearneMorgan Hearne '16 from Greenwich, Connecticut

Goodness!!  Ok- I honestly wrote that as a sort of opening exclamation- but, you know- I'd say it's also, fittingly, a fantastic umbrella term for my favorite thing about LoC: the crazy, awesome, infinite GOODness.  (Beware of long, rambling list ahead.)  The relationships I formed with students and staff, my experience as a tutor and mentor, the conversations I had in the van driving to and from my site, at meals in Cafe Mac, in small and large LoC group discussions, and the things I learned about myself as an individual and community member through group- and self-reflection were all absolutely instrumental in creating my home here at Mac.

One more thing!  I love all the seemingly "throwaway moments-" the sideways look and grin, the sore cheeks from laughing, the bear hugs, the hesitation right before someone trusts and takes a risk to share something with you, the 'you're far away but I'm going to wave and shout and dance anyway because I'm so happy I see you' moments that fill up your good days and brighten your tougher days.  (I just couldn't help but love these good folks.)

Ok- also please ask me again in the fall because I'm working at Mac this summer in Admissions but have the weekends off with plans on explore!! But at the moment, (and this will definitely stay a favorite) I love the hours I've been able to wander around the museums I've visited (Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Museum- my middle name is Walker so...yah- awesome).  The MIA has a fantastic Japanese art exhibit and Japan is my jam so I'm looking forward to heading back to the MIA this summer to enjoy it all over again.  Also, walking around the neighborhood is super relaxing for me, some lines of poetry/quotes/etc are imprinted onto the sidewalk and I like the way they make me pause and smile :]

I'm thinking...a dark chocolate base that's been steeped to be infused with a nice chai tea flavor- no solids mixed in...yah- that sounds good to me.


AnalunaBrambilaAnaluna Brambila '16 from San Jose, California

I loved every single part of Lives of Commitment, from the huge family meals in Cafe Mac to the small group discussions where we really got to be honest in a safe space to the everlasting bond I made with the members. However, my favorite part was probably going to the English Learning Center to volunteer. We drove for half an hour each way to get to ELC, and every week we went through each person's highs and lows of the week in the van, giving us each individual time to talk about how we were doing. This was an invaluable part of my first year experience, and allowed our group to grow incredibly close. The actual volunteer work I did at ELC (teaching English to adult refugees from Somalia) was also amazing. I learned so much about both myself and the rest of the world, and especially about how hard it is to be in a new country where you barely speak the language. My students taught me more than I could ever have taught them.

It's a toss-up...there are so many wonderful things to do in the Cities. If I'm staying close to campus, one of my favorite things is this 5 mile run from campus to and along the Mississippi River. It's just so beautiful and peaceful. I also really like going to the Tapestry Folkdance studio in Minneapolis with my friends- $5 Bollywood dance lessons. So. Much. Fun. And great exercise! They have a really cute, close, casual community there with all different kinds of fun people who go to dance and relax and move. My last thing is going to all the wonderful book stores in the Twin Cities...we're pretty much bursting at the seams with them! 

Granola. The answer is always granola.


HeatherJohansenHeather Johansen '16 from Lilse, Illinois

Ahh LoC brings so much wonder and warmth, especially during your first year of college! But my favorite thing was that it allowed me to explore the common humanity within not only the LoC and Macalester community, but the greater Twin Cities community. Every week, the chance to get off campus was not only a mini-break from school work, but a rewarding one. Tutoring students who welcomed me into their lives repeatedly, reaching out when they didn’t have to, truly demonstrated the genuine beauty of human nature. LoC helped me to put things in perspective, among peers I could relate to and be friends with! (What could be better than that!)

The Twin Cities are amazeballs. (And I cannot wait to explore them more!) What I love most about them, is that people here seem to live conscientiously! Through their actions and interactions, they try to be active, eat GREAT food, live ethically and respect all the vibrant cultures and heritages that surround them! I found it so refreshing! As far as my favorite thing to do, oh boy, well I think food is my passion, so getting on the bus and going to explore a new part of the cities means that some sort of food exploration must occur as well! Also, I am a huge movie buff and there is this awesome (HUGE!) one-screen movie theater (The Riverview) not too far away, that shows second run movies for only $3!

Oh man. My mind is going SO MANY DIRECTIONS RIGHT NOW. I feel like all the batters, like cake batter, brownie batter, and chocolate cookie dough ice creams swirled together with peanut butter, marshmallow, caramel, hot fudge, graham cracker, sprinkles, oreos, and kit-kats mixed in might be too much to have in one flavor of ice cream, but then again, WHY NOT.  I think I got all my bases covered there. (I would add andes mints, but I think that would mess with the flavor of this creation. Chocolate ice cream with andes mints/junior mints/york patties would also be an acceptable flavor.) Oh no. Now I’m craving ice cream...brb going on a Dairy Queen run.


RowanHiltyRowan Hilty '16 from Finlayson, Minnesota

Throughout my first-year LoC experience, I was always amazed at the kindness and thoughtfulness of my peers. My birthday was the first week of school, and on that day I was feeling a little homesick and antisocial so I decided to take a nap in my room. When I woke up to go to dinner, I found a giant card outside my door signed by everybody in LoC! Everyone had even drawn goofy little pictures for me. Since then, we've made a tradition of making cards for people every time anything important happens. It's kind of a silly little thing, but I think it shows how caring and intentional LoC is in its community building. We all really love and support each other no matter what, and that includes going out of our way to make other people's days a little bit better if we can! Even if it's four in the morning the night before finals week, there is always someone there if you need them... and it's great to have that!

Ohhhhh there are so many things! I grew up in a really small town, so at first I was just suuper excited there were places open past eight o'clock. Now that I'm used to that, I guess my favorite things are probably late night trips to Perkins, walks to the Mississippi River, and going to the Science Museum!

I'm not sure how good this would taste, but if I could invent an ice cream flavor I would try to capture all the amazing things about summer! So I guess my ice cream would probably taste like some combination of grass and sunshine. Hopefully it would help me get through the long Minnesota winters!