mac family quarterly newsletter


Dean's Message
H1N1 Update
Fall Photo Album
Macalester Parent Council
Markim Hall Dedication
Macalester Athletics: Playing Strong
Calendar Highlights
Common Student Issues
Who’s Who in the MAX Center and Academic Programs

From the Dean of Students

jim hoppe

Thanksgiving Marks Turning Point in Lives of College Freshman

Editor's note: This is a wonderful piece that was published in 1988 by the (Atlanta) Journal-Constitution, but it's still relevant to families of college students today.

In the blink of an eye, the semester is half over! It’s been a fast-paced fall semester. Thanks in part to the hard and thoughtful work of faculty and staff, the larger-than-usual first-year class seems to be transitioning just fine. To assist with their transition, each Friday for the first six weeks, we’ve distributed a newsletter to first-year students that highlights important information.
Read the first year newsletter».

We celebrated our first six weeks with “reverse trick or treating.” Staff dressed in costume and went door-to-door in the first-year residence halls delivering bags of goodies, important reminders, and information about campus services.

Student organizations are in full swing, and unique programs and activities are plentiful. Students heard national music acts at Fall Fest, MacSoup has drawn large crowds to sample homemade soups and engage in conversation, 17 students participated in the March for Equality, in Washington, D.C. and the annual Poetry Slam at the Cultural House was a crowd pleaser. Among the many speakers on campus, we hosted Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, (listen to his speech) who spoke to students on President Obama’s foreign policy. This is just a sample of the many activities and programs students are involved in and organizing on campus.

In this newsletter you’ll find information on what students often experience this time of year and how you can support them. It’s also never too early to begin talking Spring 2010 registration and housing for next fall (many students sign leases as early December).

For parents of sophomores this can be a great time to begin a discussion about living on or off campus.

Information on residence hall sign-up»

January Break Information»

We hope this newsletter provides some helpful information. As always, we welcome your calls and thank you for entrusting your students to Mac.

--Jim Hoppe

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H1N1 Update

The Macalester community has reported approximately 140 cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) since August 2009. As far as we know, only one case was serious enough to require medical attention.

Efforts to prevent the spread of influenza on campus have been multi-faceted, including:

  • Holding seasonal influenza vaccination clinics for students, faculty, and staff
  • Installing hand sanitizer dispensers across campus.
  • Reporting, tracking and supporting students who are ill, including providing in-room meals and notifying faculty in the event a student needs to miss class.
  • Providing each residence hall with disposable thermometers and flu care kits
  • Communicatingto educate the campus community on preventing transmission of influenza virus and what to do if you develop an ILI.

The Health & Wellness Center has a limited supply of seasonal influenza vaccine remaining. Students who have not yet received a flu vaccination are encouraged to call and make an appointment to get the vaccination (651-696-6275). The cost is $20 and can be charged to the student's account; he or she can receive an itemized receipt to submit to insurance.

The college has applied for, but has not yet received, the H1N1 vaccine. It is anticipated that the State of Minnesota will release small amounts of the vaccine, first targeting individuals who are most at risk, and then slowly expanding the criteria. Students will be notified when the vaccine is available. There may be a small charge to students for the vaccine; we're assuming it will be no more than $10. Students will be able to charge this vaccination as well to their student account.

Information on H1N1»

Macalester Parent Council

The Parent Council is a group of Macalester parents appointed by the president, who serve as a resource for both the college and for Macalester families. The council helps facilitate communication among families and provides a voice for Macalester families with the college’s administration.

The council meets on campus twice a year and members also host or attend regional and campus events for current and prospective students and parents. The council is co-chaired by Sheila Casey and Jeff Stephenson, parents of Brian Stephenson ’10.

The fall meeting was held in conjunction with Family Fest weekend. The council heard reports from President Rosenberg on the state of the college, Dean of Students Jim Hoppe on the start of the academic year, and Provost Kathy Murray on plans for renovation of the fine arts facilities and the three new interdisciplinary academic offerings. The council also provided valuable feedback on the newly updated parents and family web page and discussed ways to improve communication with Macalester parents and new student gatherings.

Sheila Casey and Jeff Stephenson (parents of Brian Stephenson ’10), co-chairs, can be reached at


The Markim Hall Dedication included an opening convocation with national civil rights leader Julian Bond.

Listen to his speech»

Markim Hall Dedication

This fall, we celebrated the dedication of Markim Hall, home of the Institute of Global Citizenship. The celebration included a convocation with national civil rights leader Julian Bond, who received an honorary degree, and a program with alumni, students, and donors at the building.

A number of students were involved in the dedication ceremony. Members of the Institute for Global Citizenship Student Council read the peace prayer, a closing tradition typically read in a variety of languages at major college events. Included were Thuto Thipe ’10 from the US and South Africa, who read in Setswana, Rudy Herrera Marmol ’10 from Guatemala, who read in Spanish, Lelde Ilzina ’10 from Latvia, who read in Latvian, and Nisha Singh ’10 from the US, who read in English.

vera sidlovaVera Sidlova ‘11 was selected to speak at the dedication ceremony about how her life as been affected by the IGC. She is a junior from the Czech Republic, majoring in political science and psychology with a concentration human rights and humanitarianism.
Read her remarks»

Read more about the Institute for Global Citizenship and Markim Hall

Macalester Athletics: Playing Strong

vera sidlovaThree-quarters of the way through the fall sports season, several Macalester teams and individuals are off to good starts.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are battling for high Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) finishes and spots in the upcoming conference playoffs. The men’s team is 4-3 in MIAC matches and the women’s team, playing its final season under long-time head coach John Leaney, is off to a 4-3-1 conference start.

The football Scots are off to a 2-7 start, with their most recent game being a heart-breaking 28-24 defeat to the University of Chicago. Macalester scored what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of play before Chicago won.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams are approaching the conference championship meet after several outstanding races in September and October. Wade Ekstrom ’10 (La Crescent, Minn.) won the Eau Claire Blugold Invitational and will be one of the favorites at the MIAC meet, while on the women’s side, Erin Lowrey ’10 (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) will be going for her fourth All-MIAC certificate. Both are winding up brilliant cross country careers at Macalester.

The women’s volleyball team handed Stephanie Schleuder her 700th collegiate head coaching victory when it beat Dubuque Sept. 18. Schleuder is just the third active Division III coach to reach the 700 milestone and only the 23rd in the history of women’s college volleyball. The Scots went 4-0 to get their own Macalester Invitational in September.

Ellen Bubak ’10 (Sioux Falls, S.D.) led the way for the women’s golf team at the MIAC tournament to wind up the fall campaign. At the men’s conference championships, Nick Santrach ’11 (Coon Rapids, Minn.) finished 19th overall to lead the Scots.

Macalester’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) raised $1,700 to fight breast cancer on Dig Pink / Kick Cancer Night on Oct. 9 during the volleyball and women’s soccer games.

Please join us in congratulating Director of Athletics Kim Chandler, who was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletic Directors (NACWAA) as the Division III Administrator of the Year.


The Student Accounts Office provides electronic (eBill) statements each month if there is a balance or account activity on a student’s account. In addition, we process payments and assist students and authorized users with questions related to their student billing account. Our office also assists students with the Perkins Loan program and the Macalester College International Student Loan program.

IMPORTANT: One of the most important things you can do is to ask your student to approve you as an Authorized User. This will allow you to receive an email every time we create an eBill statement for your student, give you access to the eBill statement and account activity, and make online payments. For information about becoming an authorized user, visit

NOTE: Students have a unique sign on for our intranet portal, 1600grand. Authorized users have a unique sign on for the web site above. They are not interchangeable.

Things to Know:

  • eBill statements: Tuition charges via eBill statements will be posted on December 16. Second semester tuition and fees are due January 15.
  • A monthly eBill statement is generated between the 16th and 20th of every month for students with account activity or a balance. Payments are due on the 15th of the month.
  • Previously Billed Balances: Past due billed balances must be paid immediately. A finance charge will be assessed on this amount. Any payments received after the due date will be reflected on the next statement.

Questions should be directed to Mary Johnson, student accounts manager,

Calendar Highlights

Keep up-to-date with campus events by viewing the campus events calendar (you can also add events to your online calendar from here)

Key dates this semester:

  • November 6
    Last day to withdraw from a class
  • November 16 -
    Dec 4 Spring 2010 registration
  • November 26 - 29
    Thanksgiving break
  • December 11
    January independent/internship registration due
  • December 15
    Last day of class
  • December 16
    Study day
    eBill statement for spring 2010 available online
  • December 17 - 21
    Final examination period
  • December 30
    Final grades due
  • January 15
    Payment due for spring semester tuition and fees
  • January 16
    Student account validation holds placed on accounts with unpaid balances
  • January 25
    Spring 2010 classes begin

What’s Happening with Your Student:

November and December

  • He/she may get sick as the change in Minnesota’s weather brings on cold and flu season.
  • Stress levels are high with midterms and many papers and projects due.
  • Students begin to realize that the semester is almost over. Procrastinators may panic as they face the consequences of falling behind in coursework. Students may pull “all-nighters” to get work done.
  • Students are course planning for spring semester.
  • Students may continue to struggle with time management and balancing social activities with academics.
  • Some students may have concerns about going home for Thanksgiving, especially if the student has changed dramatically since the last time s/he saw his or her family
  • After Thanksgiving there is very little time until finals. Papers and projects are due, and they may be the longest papers or projects students have ever done. Students will continue to be stressed.
  • Some students will have financial concerns, as the money they budgeted for the semester runs out earlier than planned. They may turn to cards to help them in their budget crunch.
  • They’ll probably sleep a lot over the winter break, as they try to ‘catch up’ on four months’ worth of lost sleep!

What Parents Can Do:

  • Be supportive and encouraging. Refer your student to college resources, such as the Health and Wellness Center, if he or she is sick or in need of counseling services. Encourage a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, sleep, diet, and relaxation.
  • Encourage your student to seek academic support from the MAX Center, proctors, classmates, and faculty.
  • Encourage participation in study break activities offered on campus. These are great ways for students to relax.
  • Send care packages. Remember to include cold/flu medications, tissues, cough drops, and anything needed to keep warm and dry as the winter approaches.
  • Be available to listen to her/his concerns when she contacts you, but don’t worry if your student doesn’t call/write/e-mail as often as you would like. She/he may be too wrapped up in school to remember to contact home.
  • Be supportive of his/her academic progress without focusing on grades. Ask open-ended questions about what he’s learning, or why certain topics interest him/her, instead of asking about grades on tests or papers.
  • Encourage your student to see his/her academic advisor before registering for classes, and to make appointments early to avoid complications.
  • Prepare yourself for changes when she/he returns home for Thanksgiving and the winter break. The first year of college is a period of tremendous change and growth, and students demonstrate this change in different ways—new haircuts, piercings, and tattoos, changes in religious or political beliefs, etc. She/he will appreciate your support, rather than criticism, through this changing time. Recognize that while she/he may be going through many changes, in the long run, she/he will probably maintain many of the core values that you instilled in her/him.
  • Discuss home ‘rules’ and expectations for breaks before or as soon as she/he returns home. Don’t wait for a conflict to arise before communicating with your student. Students who have been making their own decisions for four months may find it difficult to have their parents in control again. Many parents have expectations about time spent with the family, which conflicts with student expectations to spend time with old friends.

Macalester Academic Excellence Center (MAX Center)

The MAX Center is located in Kagin Commons and is open for tutoring Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sunday – Thursday, 7 - 10 p.m. Professional staff counselors at the MAX Center work with students on study habits and time management, and areinstructors in their respective disciplines. The MAX Center also has 20+ student tutors available to help students in biology, chemistry, math and writing.


dave ehrenDave Ehren, Director and Math Counselor
Education: Mac alum in Math and Physics, MS, Math (UW-Milwaukee), MA, Math Ed. (University of Minnesota)
Hometown: West Bend, WI
Favorite pastime: Any game, especially board games, cards, volleyball or disc golf
Unique fact: Before teaching at Mac I taught at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights, a super maximum security prison
Favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities: Bike!

becky grahamBecky Graham, Writing and Study Skills Counselor
Education: BS English and French, St. Cloud State University, MS English Education, St. Cloud State University, Ph.D. coursework at Miami University
Hometown: St. Cloud, MN
Favorite pastime/hobby: Beading
Unique fact: I was a farmer for two years
Wanted to be when growing up: A librarian

sedric mcclureSedric McClure, Multicultural Counselor
Education: BA, Political Science, Southwest Minnesota State University
Hometown: Fort Myers, FL
Hobbies: Reading and playing golf
Favorite Book: Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution
Wanted to be when growing up: A lawyer

jenny whiteJenny White, Writing Counselor
Education: BA in English, College of St. Benedict, MA English, University of South Dakota
Hometown: St. Cloud, MN
Favorite pastime/hobby: Reading, of course!
Favorite book: Please don't make me choose. Love Medicine (Erdrich). Atonement (McEwan). Pride and Prejudice (Austen). Gilead (Robinson).
Wanted to be when growing up: When pressed, I always said a journalist, though I secretly aspired to be a movie critic

stephanie aldenStephanie Alden, Science Counselor
Education: BA, Music,Carleton College; M.Ed and teaching license (secondary science),University of Minnesota
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Unique fact: Taught science in Quito, Ecuador, for two years, traveled throughout South America for another year
Favorite pastime: cross-country skiing in winter and biking in summer
Favorite thing to do in Minnesota: spend time near Lake Superior

julie luckingJulie Lucking, Department Coordinator
Education: Working on a degree in Communication
Hometown: St. Paul, MN
What you don't know: I am a certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
Wanted to be when growing up: An artist
What I like to do: At night, I like to float on an air mattress in northern Minnesota lakes, to watch the sky for stars and Aurora Borealis

Academic Programs Office

The Academic Programs Office works closely with faculty and staff to carry out the academic mission of the college. We support faculty advisers, coordinate Macalester's First-Year Course Program, assist students with decision-making about selecting a major, manage the Academic Standing Process, work with students in academic difficulty, facilitate Macalester’s Honors Program, coordinate national scholarship nominations, and oversee funds for student academic travel and outside speakers. We’re located in Weyerhaeuser Hall. For more information go to:

ann minnickAnn Minnick, Director of Academic Programs Office
Education: BA, University of Minnesota, MA, United Theological Seminary PHD, University of Minnesota
Hometown: Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, but grew up in Hopkins, MN, so I consider that my hometown
Favorite Book: Last Report of the Miracle at Little No Horse, by Louise Erdrich
Favorite Thing to Do: Attend cultural events (dance, theatre, film, music, in that order!)
Unique Fact: Have run five marathons

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