Student Leaders

Markim Hall 310
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

Lives of Commitment 2014-15 Student Leaders


Back row left to right: Rachel Auerbach, Jordyn Whitman, Zane Vorhes-Gripp, Willa Childress,
Jiayin Qu, Martine Cartier

Front row left to right: Laura Abril, Elena Lindstrom, Rachel Ladd, Ellen Ullerup

The student leaders were asked to answer the following questions:
1) What is your favorite thing about LoC?
2) What is your favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities?
3) If you could make any ice cream flavor that doesn't exist, what would it be?

EllenEllen Ullerup '17

1. LoC is remarkable in innumerable ways, but one of my favorite parts of LoC is the focus on reflection. LoC has given me many opportunities to contemplate the values, perspectives, and roles of others and myself at Macalester, in the Twin Cities, and in other communities. From van rides to small and large group meetings, I love having receptive, trusting spaces to be absorbed in discussion, listening to each other and developing ideas. LoC has helped me develop understanding of others, as well as my sense of self. Being a part of such a supportive, caring, and fun community, with such amazing people, has definitely been a grounding factor throughout my first year at Macalester.

2. I love exploring the cities with my friends on any given day! We don't have as many opportunities for adventures in my rural community, so it's exciting to live between two cities that offer so much! My friends and I love trips to Target Field, the Mall of America, and especially Target, but our favorite thing to do is walk down to the Mississippi River. Being outside and taking in the view feels incredibly refreshing and blissful. Plus, it's relatively close to campus. 

3. This question actually took me the longest to answer since there are hundreds of existing ice cream flavors that I am just now learning about and need to try! I couldn't find any pre-made Oreo Cheesecake ice cream, so I think someone should get on that....yum!

RachelRachel Ladd '17

1. LoC gives me the confidence to bring my whole self everywhere I go. The first day I went to my volunteer site, English Learning Center, I had no idea what to say to a classroom full of Somali adults looking to learn English. I was intimidated and nervous. What could a college freshman like me have to say that was worth listening to? Now, teaching English and Math to these people is not only fun, but so rewarding. At the end of class they thank me over and over, and I feel like I'm truly making a difference in their lives. At the same time, they've made such a difference in my life.

LOC Student Coordinator

Hello y'all!! My name is Cameron Kesinger (although you can also call me cameroni and cheese, or the Cameroninfinitely more popular, "camskies") and I'm going into my senior year in International Studies. I was born in Texas, my family lives in Washington, I spent last semester in Nicaragua and I'll be in Hong Kong this summer, so I think we'll all get some nice laughs out of the melting pot of accents that I'll undoubtedly emulate by the time I'm back in Minnesota(h).

I can't wait to begin working for LOC as Student Coordinator, acknowledging that, "with great power comes great responsibility" (thanks Uncle Ben!!). I believe LOC has the capacity to be an incredibly transformative power in the lives of students and I owe much of my growth to everything that I learned from the program. My passion for working with immigrant communities, my work in ESL, my religious vocations, my confidence in my identity and my ability to express it, my capacity to listen, my knowledge of the Twin Cities, and my groups of closest friends were all the result of my time in LOC and the hundreds of hours of work that Eily and previous LOC Student Coordinators put into making this program meaningful. Their dedication is a lot to live up to, and I'm so excited to work to make this year the most fulfilling, fun, exciting, awesome (and every related synonym) year possible for everyone involved in LOC.

That's all pretty heavy. Soooo to get down to the tl;dr: If you're looking for a program where you can make new friends, know more about the Twin Cities, volunteer and discover your passions and then talk about the "deep stuff" afterwards, I highly encourage you to apply to LOC. Side effects may include: excessive laughter, unforgettable memories, life-long friendships, delicious food, and conversations that you will carry with you long past your college years. I look forward to meeting all of you as we embark on this journey to decipher together the varying ways we can come to emulate, "Lives of Commitment". Hasta luego, amigos!

2. Being from the country, this whole city thing is overwhelmingly amazing. I love that on any given day, I can just Google some random adventure that's only a bus ride away. But I also love that being at Mac doesn't feel too "city". There's something special about taking a break from the hectic college life, waking up early, and running to the Mississippi River to see the sunrise. 

3. I'm lactose intolerant, but I eat ice-cream anyways cause it's too fantastic to give up. My flavor would be from the mystical non-dairy cow. It'd be utterly amazing. Probably include some calfeine. Mmm veally goood fo sho. (HA! Sorry, I had to milk the cow puns... :) 

Some of these puns might be so bad they're a missteak, but side note: LoC accepts me anyways!!

Rachel Rachel Auerbach '17

1) My favorite part of LoC is that it creates an platform for incredible relationships- both within the Macalester community and outside of it.  I look forward to every Tuesday, when my group goes to our volunteer site- I really enjoy interacting with the kids and with the other tutors who come from all parts of the twin cities.  It is a great way to spend time with people who I don't usually see around Macalester!

 2) I love all of the entertainment opportunities in the Twin Cities! I've gone to a lot of concerts and musicals which are super fun, and I just went to the May Day parade which was incredible.  I really like that the cities are big enough that popular bands come through them, and small enough that people are also in to local entertainment groups.

 3) Oh goodness... one of my favorite desserts is bananas with nutella, so I would try to incorporate that in to an ice cream flavor!  So, banana ice cream with nutella swirl! And also peanut butter swirl, because, why not?

WillaWilla Childress '17

1) Being part of Lives of Commitment means getting near-constant infusions of inspiration. Whether discussing fashion with Somali immigrants at my site, sharing highs and lows in our small group over delicious snacks from Breadsmith, or going on spontaneous trips around the cities with LoC friends, this community brightens and inspires even the most stressful weeks on campus. We’re all involved at Mac in unique ways, and people are often posting in the Facebook group inviting others to come to an event on campus or on a venture into the Cities. Honestly, this community never fails to amaze and inspire me. 

 2) Favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities: I love every adventure where things don’t go as planned. About a month ago, a few of us tried to go on a "hike" along the river and ended up at a waterfall that had turned into an ice cave and these awesome sandstone cliffs. Another time, my roommates and I tried to go out for brunch and our desired eatery was closed, so we ended up finding Mercado Central, a Latino mall with all kinds of products and delicious food. 

 3) Carmel Toffee Popcorn Crunch! With both a vanilla base and chocolate swirls to make everyone happy.

Elena Elena Lindstrom '17

1) This question is super hard! But I think my favorite part of LoC is the culture of affirmation!  We go through some intentional verbal and written exercises during the year where we tell each other what's great about them.  Giving and receiving those messages has made me so happy!  It's gotten me through final exams and moments of homesickness.  But what I love the MOST is that people in LoC feel free to affirm each other even without those exercises!  There is so much genuine love and support in this group and it has helped me be my best self in college!

 2) The Twin Cities have so many things to offer -- and LoC is a wonderful group to go exploring with!  One of my favorite things has been going to random cool events happening around St. Paul and Minneapolis throughout the year.  The wackiest was probably these "art shanties" (these little huts with different art pieces and activities) that were all set up on a giant frozen lake!  

 3) Oooohh I'm thinking pancake batter ice cream!  It could have maple and butter swirls…yummmm.

LauraLaura Abril '17

1)  Everything LoC is my favorite part of LoC! But more seriously, LoC has taught me to trust myself and those around me. Coming to college is such an intimidating experience, and I felt that the community in Lives of Commitment was the support that I needed so far away from home. The conversations in LoC helped me form incredible bonds with other students who were transitioning to new chapters of their lives. I felt grounded by sharing so much of myself with such thoughtful, caring people, which allowed me to reach out and form other meaningful connections at my volunteer site and in the larger Mac community.

2) My favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities is ride public transportation! That might sound a little weird, but we don't really have practical public transport where I live. The first time I rode a public bus was in the Cities, and I've been hooked! I love to just get on the bus or the light rail and have the freedom to go anywhere. It's such a liberating experience for me. 

3) Okay so apparently this exists already, but I've never seen it--white chocolate ice cream. I'm not a fan of chocolate, but white chocolate is AMAZING. Why isn't it in everything?

ZaneZane Vorhes-Gripp '17

1) One of my favorite things about LoC is definitely the connections I built with my fellow first years. Over the past year, I have grown really close to all the people in my van, but I also know that I can rely on any single person in LoC for support. The connections that we have with each other have grown so much this year, and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone, as well as creating those connections with my volunteer group.

2) My absolute favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities is go to the Guthrie Theater! I love the shows they have there (my favorite is The Winter's Tale), and seeing the view of the Mississippi from the Endless Bridge. I also really love downtown Minneapolis and exploring the area around the Guthrie as well!

3) If I could make any flavor of ice cream that doesn't exist, I would definitely create Gryffindor flavor! More specifically, it would taste like raspberry sorbet mixed with stripes of french vanilla and bravery.

Jordyn Jordyn Whitman '17

1) My favorite part of LoC was the retreat! I loved being thrown into a group of new people and getting to bond with everyone before orientation. I really enjoyed object share. I felt like through learning about things that were important to each other from our homes and pasts, we became a little family. I also loved bussing around the cities to sites that week and getting to have really cool conversations with all of these really cool people. 

 2) I love to go for walks right off campus. There are so many cool shops and things to see right nearby. I've found a giant chair, poetry on the sidewalks, good ice cream, the river and so much more.

 3) Some sort of salted caramel/coffee/chai flavor.

JiayinJiayin Qu '17

1. My favorite part of LOC is the experience of spending time with so many cool and college-involved people. While we belong to the LOC family, each person also has various interests and different perspectives. In each of the large group and small group discussions, I learned a lot of events going on on campus that I would never have access to. LOC is like a home or a harbor, from where I can gain some much and at the same time feel safe.

2. My favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities is to find different place to eat. Because of the fantastic transportation and bike system:), I could go adventure to try different food from America, Italy, Vietnam, China, etc with friends. It gives me a sense of multicultural perspective from food I eat. 

3. Flavor of snow. That's how I always view ice cream. How could we not have snow flavor!

MartineMartine Cartier '17

1. My favorite part of LoC is the open space for learning that it provides. The conversations started in the organized group setting carry into the evenings and the thoughts that these conversations provoke keep me thinking and reflecting long after we depart. In this way, I learn not only about myself and my foundation but also about the diverse ideas, perceptions, and experiences that shape my peers. In this community I have learned to accept and be accepted. Through the service component of LoC, I have gained skills and confidence teaching ESL, and I've discovered that humor facilitates connection across any linguistic or cultural barrier.  

2.My favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities is ride my bike. It's super bike friendly here and I can go all over the place on two wheels, including to the delicious food places that scatter the cities. Also, if I am riding my bike then it must be warm out! Although warmth is a rare and lovely thing in and of itself, it's even better to see everybody outside enjoying it. 

3. SPECULOOS. We SPECU-late that this would be a SPEC-tacular flavor. Imagine Speculoos Crunch with Nutella Swirl...yummm.