Macalester Today Fall 2011

chris macdonaldNew Cultural Dean

Christopher MacDonald-Dennis has been named dean of Macalester College’s Multicultural Life Department. MacDonald-Dennis, who has degrees in student development and counseling and social justice education, was most recently assistant dean and director of intercultural affairs at Bryn Mawr College.

“Chris brings to Macalester a wealth of experience not only from his previous positions but also as a long time scholar-activist involved with social change,” says Laurie Hamre, vice president of student affairs. “His enthusiasm for and understanding of Macalester will greatly benefit the entire college community.”

Throughout his career, MacDonald-Dennis has been a strong advocate for equity and inclusion in higher education. He has created numerous programs to help students learn across difference as well as programs to help marginalized students thrive on college campuses. “I’m excited about working here because I know the specialness of places like Macalester: small, residential, community-oriented,” said MacDonald-Dennis. “My style is relational, and it’s through relationships that we are able to help people become more accepting of multiculturalism and to truly become an inclusive and just community.”

A Boston native and pop culture aficianado, MacDonald-Dennis previously worked at New England College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Michigan. He moved to St. Paul with his partner, Frederic Mac- Donald-Dennis, who also works in student affairs.

MacDonald-Dennis hopes to increase the visibility of multiculturalism at Macalester. “I want to work with the entire campus to infuse diversity throughout the institution, thereby making systemic change. Since multiculturalism is valued at Macalester, it needs to be a priority for all of us—it’s everyone’s job.”