Macalester Today Fall 2010

Samantha “Sam” Leopold-Sullivan ’14 University High School, Tucson, Arizona

It isn’t easy to find a college if you’re determined that your higher education must include science, knitting, and bagpiping. So imagine how delighted Samantha “Sam” Leopold-Sullivan of Tucson, Arizona, was to hear about Macalester College from chemistry professor Kathleen Parson ’67, who works with Sam’s mother at the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

We visited campus during a February snowstorm and I thought it was really cool. I like snow—or at least at this point I do!

“Only three or four colleges have a major bagpiping component,” says Sam, who has played the bagpipes for five years and looks forward to joining the Highland Pipe Band this year. “I’m already talking with [pipe band director and alumnus] Mike Breidenbach,” she reported a month before school started. As for her other hobby, Sam works at a knitting store in Tucson and was glad to see that Mac had a knitting club as well as fiber arts classes in the Art Department.

Just which sciences she’ll like most isn’t certain, but a high school internship spent in a University of Arizona microbiology lab persuaded Sam that particular field wasn’t for her. She’s now leaning toward environmental sciences, noting that “the chance to do summer research at Macalester really intrigues me.”

The only child of a widowed mother, Sam admits that her mom is “having a little trouble with me going away,” and is trying to pick up some consulting work in Minnesota so they can have regular reunions. “I’m also teaching her how to use Skype,” says Sam.

The inevitable jokes about an Arizonan confronting a Minnesota winter don’t bother this lifelong desert dweller. “We visited campus during a February snowstorm and I thought it was really cool. I like snow—or at least at this point I do!”