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Board Members

Board Leadership

Abby Dos Santos

Abby Dos Santos ’01
Washington, D.C.
Majors: International Studies & Spanish

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    What is your favorite Mac Memory?

    My favorite Macalester memory is still my first interaction with the campus and with Mac students.  I visited Mac for a weekend sampler after getting accepted, and felt at home as soon as I stepped onto campus.  I made friends that weekend that have lasted me a lifetime.  It was such a great experience that I not only decided to attend Macalester, but I also decided to work in the Admissions Office all four years helping plan weekend samplers for prospective students.

    Describe MAC in three words.

    Encouraging. Quirky. Friendly.

    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    I studied abroad in Bolivia while I was at Macalester.  I originally thought that I would study abroad in a country that was familiar to me, but I decided on a country that I knew very little about.  Macalester instilled in me an adventurous spirit that helped me break out of my comfort zone.  And Bolivia turned out to be one of the most beautiful and inspiring countries that I’ve ever been to.

Abaki Beck

Abaki Beck ’15
Incoming President
Missoula, MT
Major: American Studies

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    Who is your favorite professor/lecturer and why?
    A huge part of my life at Macalester was my involvement with the Department of Multicultural Life (DML). Almost all of my best memories are in the Cultural House, which is both a living space and a community space. I lived there for two years, and worked there, as an event planner, for three years. My favorite event that we planned was an interactive art gallery about students’ experiences with heterosexism, that included a wall-sized mural that anyone could add to. I’m still close friends with many of my DML co-workers.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    My favorite professors were Juliana Hu-Pegues, in American Studies, who taught me that students are producers of knowledge, not just consumers of knowledge; SooJin Pate, in American Studies, who taught me the importance of self-love in fighting for justice; and Katie Phillips, in History, who was the first Native woman professor I ever had and served on my honors thesis committee.

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student? What was the most beneficial thing you experienced you had while at MAC? How do you use this in your current role?

    I encourage all students to get off campus and engage with the Twin Cities community in a meaningful way. One of the things I treasured so much about American Studies was that the professors really emphasized “taking theory into practice.” Almost all of my classes in American Studies engaged with the Twin Cities in some way or another – from going to shows at local theaters to helping with research projects for community organizations. My engagement with the Twin Cities communities had a huge impact on my college experience and career goals and made the Twin Cities feel like home.

Justin Brandon

Justin Brandon ’00
Board of Trustees Liaison
Raleigh, NC
Majors: Political Science,  African American Studies

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    How has the Macalester community helped you since graduation?

    The Mac community expanded my definition of family since graduation. The community has served as an invaluable resource throughout my career in secondary education. Another perk of the Mac community is that I am able to find Mac alumni everywhere I visit.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    There were too many to only name one. – Professor El-Kati for connecting me to the African American community in the Twin Cities. – Professor Anthony Pinn for introducing me to academic research. – Professor Duchess Harris for challenging me to expand my critical thinking skills and for connecting the past with contemporary issues. – Professor Chuck Green for believing in me and advising me through my time at Mac. – Professor Peter Rachleff for pushing me to expand my vision of society.

    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    I was the first African American male student to study at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia (the university welcomes approximately 500 U.S. students each semester). I was a Political Science and African American Studies double-major. I chose the University of Queensland to study Australian politics and Aboriginal Studies to complement my coursework at Mac. Living in the global community that is created at Mac gave me the confidence and sense of awareness to have a meaningful educational experience.

Karen Kaufman-Codjoe

Karen Kaufman-Codjoe ’74
Chair, Virtual Programs Task Force
Major: Biology

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    Macalester is . . . open, engaging, stimulating

    What is your favorite Mac Memory?

    My favorite mac memory is attending the performance of the Oluntunji Band on campus. Alumnus Kofi Annan returned to campus and spoke at the same event. I was in awe of the band’s performance of African rhythms which stirred my soul. Kofi Annan is such an eloquent speaker. I appreciated the diversity at Macalester which exposed me to the culture of Africa.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    The late Dr. Claude Welch was my favorite professor. I took Introduction to Biology from him and learned so much. He was an excellent teacher and encouraged me when I decided to major in Biology.

Andrew Kaufteil

Andrew Kaufteil ’01
Chair, Communications 
Majors: Communication Studies, Minors: Political Science, Anthropology

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    Describe MAC in three words

    Cherished, Empowering, Electric

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    Duchess Harris was my favorite professor at Mac. She’s brilliant, passionate, authentic, and thought-provoking. I made lifelong friendships with classmates from her Race, Ethnicity, Politics class in 1999, and grew as both a scholar and a person. After graduation, I published one of her papers in my law journal and we remain friends today.. 

    Where has your career taken you and what is your career highlight so far?

    I’ve had an extremely circuitous career path. I launched my career as an attorney and shifted to higher education administration. After twelve years working for universities, I transitioned to serving on the management team for a UX design agency, sold the company, and now focus on US marketing for a global technology company with 170,000+ employees. My career highlight has been my ability to successfully shift between industries and roles, which I attribute directly to my Macalester training. Mac equipped me with analytical, communications, and interpersonal skills that allow me to be flexible and resilient in my career journey.

Hanyue Xu

Hanyue Xu ’16
Chair, Student – Young Alumni Task Force
New York, NY
Majors: Economics & Applied Mathematics and Statistics

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    What is your favorite Mac Memory?

    There are so many. I really enjoyed the post-concert celebrations in the African Music Ensemble. The instructor would invite us to his house and treat us with a filling Ghanaian meal. It was also quite special to stay up late with your friends/FYC class to finish essays and projects. The next day is always rough, but it feels nice to have people in the same boat and some support group.

    What was the most beneficial thing you learned and/or experience you had while at MAC? How do you use this in your current role? How have you utilized the alumni network as an alum?

    The most beneficial thing I learnt is to take the time to know people. Growing up, my friends all had similar backgrounds. Macalester provides a very diverse student body. Many international students come from countries that I have only heard about on the news. Even though we all ended up in St. Paul, people’s path here is very different. Initially I found it a bit intimidating to talk to people with so much expertise in areas I know nothing about. As time went on, I started to realize that it is a fascinating exercise, and people are very open to share their stories. I carry the lesson post-Mac whenever I meet new people. Work gets a lot more enjoyable when my coworkers are also friends.

    Where has your career taken you and what is your career highlight so far?

    Since graduation, I have been working at an economic consulting firm called the Brattle Group. My profile is featured on the company website, which is quite neat. On one of my projects, I got the opportunity to present to a Nobel Prize laureate. The coolest thing though, is to have Hillary Clinton as the next-door neighbor. I graduated in 2016, and she was the presidential nominee. I managed to snap a few selfies with her, land some free campaign stickers, and have her sign the “What happened” book after the election.

Matthew Bergeron

Matthew Bergeron ’08
Saint Paul, MN
Chair, Athletics, Arts and Affinities Task Force
Majors: History and Religious Studies

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    How has the Macalester community helped you since graduation?The Macalester community has been a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me in the years since I have graduated. It is easy to forget the barriers and adversity that many Macalester students today have had to overcome before they even make it to campus is astonishing. I am consistently impressed by the resilience and fortitude of students I meet when I return to campus.   Similarly, learning that so many of the people I have looked up to, learned from, and modeled myself after as I started my professional career got their start at Macalester has kept me ambitions. Seeing how other alumni take their Macalester education and live the ethics and values of the college in the real world is profound.  Knowing I am a part of that Macalester tradition has helped ward off complacency and pushed me to be even more engaged in my community.

    What gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?

    As a health care attorney and lobbyist I focus much of my practice on representing provider organizations that serve Medicaid enrollees.  That means that the community health clinics, chemical and mental health treatment providers, and long-term care and disability service organizations I represent serve some of the most vulnerable populations in Minnesota. Knowing the important work that my clients are doing in the community every day makes it much easier for me to find energy for my legal representation and enthusiasm for my legislative advocacy.

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student? What was the most beneficial thing you learned and/or experience you had while at MAC? How do you use this in your current role? How have you utilized the alumni network as an alum?

    Think of Macalester as the next step in life’s journey and not as an endeavor in and of itself. No one expects you to know what you want to do with your life when you graduate and it is highly unlikely that the job you get right out of college will be anything like what you settle into as an adult. Use your time at Macalester to learn as much as you can about the things that excite you and meet as many different kinds of people as possible. Those connections and the commonality that comes from time at Macalester will open doors for you around the globe. Soak in what you can and enjoy the experience fully.

Niloy Ray

Niloy Ray ’99
Chair, Awards & Nominations Committee
Saint Paul, MN
Majors: Economics & Mathematics

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    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?Dick Lesicko ’75, Director of Forensics: he’s a masterclass in critical reasoning and compelling rhetoric.  Over four years of debate, mock trial and endless highways, Dick took me from passionate to precise, from fluent to articulate, from logical to persuasive.  What sets him apart is his ability to tune his pedagogy to each individual’s aptitudes and inclination simultaneously.  He taught me how to construct a position, deconstruct an argument, and reconstruct a greater whole: skills that have made me a better litigator, a better parent, and a better human.  And I am just one of the hundreds of Mac grads on whom he has had — and continues to have — an impact.

    What is your favorite Mac memory?

    In some particular order …
    – seeing my wife (again) for the first time, striding towards me outside the Union
    – racing out of the Link freshman year, the first time snow fell
    – Assassin!
    – triple-pepperoni, triple-sausage pizzas
    – my first giant coffee drink, at The Hungry Mind; pretty sure it was served in a bowl

    What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    I left Mac with: a rich seam of cultural and intercultural trivia (which makes for a great party trick); a fervid belief that Scotland has provided all the best things in life (seee.g., the TV, the telephone, the pneumatic tire, refrigeration, modern roads, modern economics, the flushing toilet, single malts, penicillin, Shirley Manson … ); and the irresistible urge to come back home (and here I am!).

    Describe MAC in three words.

    Maple ≢  Ivy

Diane Saber

Diane Saber ’78
Chair, Signature Events Committee
Kildeer, IL
Majors: Biology, Geology

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    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC?

    Yes, I was part of the London/Florence study abroad program during the spring of my Junior year. It is hard to imagine now, but I only called home twice in 6 months! My mother kept all of the letters which I mailed home during that time and I recently had the wonderful experience of reliving my experience through my own words. What a time of patience, resourcefulness and adventure!

    What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    I learned to look more, listen more… and began to develop cultural competency skills that would serve me later in life. I remember going to see Kofi Annan speak at Opening Convocation at Macalester in 1994. I still hear his insightful words and it augmented what I had already come to learn through my life and travels, “ Never walk into an environment and assume that you understand it better than the people who live there.” It came from his own experience in coming to Macalester from his home in Ghana. He had refused to wear ear muffs in the cold Minnesota winter, despite advise to the contrary. He soon learned his mistake and concluded the Minnesota natives knew what they were doing.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    My favorite professor at Macalester was Dr. Jim Smail. I had taken every one of his classes and had gone on an interim trip with him: Biology of the Hawaiian Islands. To me, he was the perfect combination of artist and scientist. I later told his wife that I modeled my life after his, where I valued my artistic side as much as my deep love of science. He was a true Renaissance man and he opened my world to the possibility of using all of my talents in my career path.

    Where has your career taken you and what is your career highlight so far?

    I have experienced much in my career; it has been rich and rewarding and very full. It has been extremely difficult at times but it has always given me great satisfaction and secret joy. It truly has been a journey, from working overseas for a small start-up, to joining a large consulting company and worldwide travel, to Director of a large research facility. Although I had been an advisor to a former EPA Administrator, my career highlight is relatively recent. In a realization that is still hard to wrap my head around even now, I am the primary force which has allowed Renewable Natural Gas (biomethane) into the gas pipeline grid. As a consequence of a project I initiated over 15 years ago, RNG is a now viable “green” product. But maybe the work started earlier in my life; maybe while I was at Mac, I made the choice to make a difference. Mac indulges you. You are allowed to vision.

Board Members

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson ’75
Fontana, CA
Major: History

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    What is your favorite MAC memory?

    My favorite memories at Mac would have to be the first time that I arrived at Macalester College from California. Coach Doug Bolstorff picked me up from the airport and we headed straight for the Old Mac Field house to see the then new Tartan basketball court!!!! Afterwards I strolled across campus and got a look at the peculiar dorms on the way to finding where I would eventually stay. Kirk, Dayton, Dupree, Doty, and Turk Hall were the names that I noticed as I passed. I was to meet a young man by the name of Bruce 2X coming my way with what looked to me like a hand full of record albums(vinyl LOL!!!). We talked and he advised me to go with him to a place known as the Black House. We eventually arrive at our destination, and upon entering the black house the aroma of fried chicken,collard greens, and macaroni and cheese filled my nostrils!!!!! I then began to say to myself” I think I am going to like it here”

    Memorial moment in 1973-74 when the Macalester College Scotsmen handed St. Thomas Tommies our arch rival a resounding defeat with NBA Legend George Miken in the stands, watching his son Terry, before a pack stadium on that same Tartan floor, in the Mac Field house.. How sweeeeeet it was!!!!!!

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    Professor/ lecturer Mahmoud El-Kati ,James Stewart, and Doug Bolstorf ,were the three gentlemen that had a profound impact on why I do what I do today. Mahmoud El-Kati who gave to us smooth, articulate, and insightful lectures about the importance of knowing your own history, as well as all others, so you can obtain an accurate understanding of the truth. He also instilled in us, the knowledge of the responsibility we had in being advocates for change, in the area of equality, education, civil rights and criminal and social justice.. James Stewart , professor of American History, whose amusing lecturers eventually aroused my curiosity to dig deeper in my quest to satisfy my thirst for reasons why things happened the way they did in American History. Doug Bolstorf, Physical Education professor, whose guidance and encouragement inspired me to want to enter the coaching profession and be part of a game that has shaped an developed me personally as both player and as a coach. Encouraging all athletes to work hard and give it your all and not get caught up in the results. It’s the Journey that only a few will see.” Trust the process and the process will reward you.”

    What gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?

    What gives me the passion an motivation to do what I do ? First God ……God is the reason. He has guided me through and given me the fortitude to face all the struggles, challenges, and mishaps that a young Black kid from South Central Los Angeles, via of Pomona Ca,. has had to overcome to achieve success, in spite of the odds……..He ‘s responsible for my surviving the rigorous curriculum and challenges of the academic world at Macalester College looking back…. The rich diverse faculty, coaches, counselors, fellow classmates, teammates, community, food service managers, all have played a vital part in my passion and motivation to give back. To pay it forward.. I believe in our youth. Just like the aforementioned believed in me. When I was young growing up in the inner city, The Boy’s and Girl’s Club Staff, the Parks and Recreation Staff, gave me a chance… Family was also my motivation. Instilling the value of education, being a good person, respecting others, and just to staying humble. I hope my life experiences both professionally and academically will be of value as we move forward as a Alumni Board.

    Favorite Quote:

    “I believe that children are our future, treat them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of
    pride and make it easier, let the children’s laughter remind us how we use to be”

    The Greatest Muhammad Ali

Julie Bailit

Julie Bailit ’93
Needham, MA
Major: Religious Studies

  • Learn more about Julie

    Describe Mac in three words.

    Inclusive- Engaging- Transformative

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?

    Try everything. Be open to possibility. Step outside your comfort zone as often as you can. Engage in deep conversations with people different from you and really listen as they share their passions and beliefs with you. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from each and every one. Recognize the privilege of being part of the Macalester community. Be vulnerable. Have FUN!

    What  gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?

    After many years, degrees and careers, I have found my soul purpose. Using relaxation and visualization to decrease anxiety and prepare clients for surgery is incredibly rewarding work. I feel an instant connection with my clients as they open up to me about their worries and I know that our work together enhances their healing on so many levels. As I watch clients shift out of fear and anxiety to a place of calm where they are partners in their own healing, I know that this is the work that I was always meant to do. 

Ron Bole

Ron Bole ’62
St. Paul, MN
Major: Economics

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    How has the Macalester community helped you since graduation?

    It helped me keep in touch with college friends.

    What is your favorite MAC memory?

    Meeting Betty Rudberg ’62, who became my wife for 55 years, and running on the track and cross-country teams.
    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?
    I bicycled through Europe after my sophomore year and started the Bicycle Chain 30 years later with my two sons (retail bike store at Lexington/Larpenteur in St. Paul).
    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?

    Get math and communication skills. These two skill sets will allow you to do anything.
    What gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?
    Have a passion for what you choose for vocation.

Rola Cao ’25
Nanjing Jiangsu, China
Student Representative

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Richard Cambridge

Richard Cambridge ’70
Arlington, VA
Majors: Economics, Political Science

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    What is your favorite MAC memory?

    The day I met my spouse and life partner for the first time. It was on campus at the then Student Center. Magic. We both graduated from Macalester and have been together since that day for more than 50 years ago.

    How has the Macalester community helped you since graduation?

    In so many ways. I do recall that when I started my career at the World Bank, I was sought out and mentored by a Macalester College graduate who had risen to the senior managerial ranks of the Bank. Richard Johanson had attended and graduated from Macalester long before I did, but he was a part of a broader Macalester community living and working in the Washington D.C area. His coaching and mentoring helped me enormously in making my career and successfully navigating the large international bureaucracy of development finance. I have been forever grateful for his friendship and support. I learned the power of this Macalester ethos and have over my years, tried to replicate the same by reaching out, mentoring, offering internships and summer jobs to as many Macalester graduates as feasible who have sought careers in international development.

    Describe MAC in three words

    Diversity. Development. Destiny

Mike Coleman

Mike Coleman ’11
Minneapolis, MN
Majors: Computer Science, Physics

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    What is your favorite MAC memory?

    My favorite Mac memory isn’t a single event, but the compilation of my time spent with Mac Tennis. These are my favorite memories because they involved both the highs and the lows of competition. And through everything Mac Tennis was always there; we were truly a team and the memory of Mac Tennis will stay with me for the rest of my life.

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student? What was the most beneficial thing you experienced you had while at MAC? How do you use this in your current role?

    My advice for incoming students is to simply; explore. Mac offers such a wide variety of academic experiences, non-academic experiences, and everything in between. Mac also heavily encourages and facilitates cross-disciplinary learning; which was definitely one of the most beneficial things I experienced at Mac. While I spent lots of time in Oin-Rice, Mac encouraged me to take classes in other disciplines which shaped how I approached my job as a software engineer. To be the best software engineer I can be, I use the cross-disciplinary learning skills I acquired at Mac; these help me understand the big picture and make better decisions.

    Describe MAC in three words

    Home. Transformative. Unique.

Suveer Daswani

Suveer Daswani ’18
Washington, DC
Major: Economics

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    have you utilized the alumni network as an alum?

    From finding an apartment to rent, to grabbing drinks in DC, to seeking career advice and support, to building new connections, the Macalester alumni network has never let me down. It works! It’s been awesome.

    What is your favorite MAC memory? 

    Too many to choose from. But celebrating festivals from home, Holi: the Indian “festival of colors” on the lawns or Diwali with catered Indian food and over 150 people was always an amazing time. Rain or shine.

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student? 

    Try to study abroad if you can, do an internship during the semester, take some fun classes, spend a summer (or two, or three) in the Twin Cities, get some ice cream from Grand Ole Creamery, and go for the Diwali dinners!

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    Tough one. Professor Amy Damon in Economics is definitely one of them. Loved her energy, enthusiasm, and econometrics! Learned both quantiative and qualitative life skills in her classes.

Hikuepi B. (Epi) Katjiuongua
Kensington, MD
Major: Pyschology

Kim Eng Ky

Kim Eng Ky ’16
Saint Paul, MN
Major: Applied Mathematics and Statistics

  • Learn more about Kim

    Describe MAC in three words.

    Community, diversity, and connection.

    How have you utilized the alumni network as an alum?

    The Mac alumni network is amazing, here in the Twin Cities, outside of the Twin Cities, or in the virtual world. They have become my friends and mentors. I am inspired to become a resource for other alumni just as they have been to me.

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?

    Friends and connections you make while at Mac are probably just as important, if not more, as your GPA.

    What gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?

    While at Mac, I learned the importance of community and giving back. I have made quite a few drastic changes in the industries I work in but I was always gravitating towards a career that centers around helping the communities that I am a part of. This led me to where I am today, Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Kevin Finnegan

Kevin Finnegan ’11
Chicago, IL
Major: Political Science, Minor: Educational Studies

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    What is your favorite Mac memory?

    There are too many to mention, but the memory that most clearly comes to mind is of the night before graduation.  That night, my roommates and I climbed onto the roof of our house. We hung out for hours, listening to favorite songs, reliving victories on the football field, reminiscing about late-night dance parties on campus and bleary-eyed mornings in Cafe Mac. We remain close to this day, and a big part of the reason why I love Macalester is that my friends embody the community support system unique to our school.

    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark the spring semester of my junior year. That experience helped instill a passion for travel but more importantly, a passion for finding shared interests across cultures. Studying abroad helped me find ways to connect with others, no matter their background or our location, and the interactions I have today with new Mac students and alumni remain as interesting and engaging as they were when I was meeting new friends the first week of school in the Turck Hall lounge.

    How has the Macalester community helped you since graduation?

    The Macalester community has always been there as a helping hand throughout my career. My first job out of Mac was as an AmeriCorps Member at College Possible, where my manager was a Mac alum. Later, I moved to New York, where a Mac grad mentored me through a leadership development program and encouraged me to take the leap to move to Chicago and open a new site of the nonprofit I was working at. And, in my recent move to Michigan, an established Macalester community welcomed me with open arms.  It is my hope that I can pass on the same wisdom and support I have had the good fortune to receive to future Mac grads.

Stephanie Greene

Stephanie Greene ’87
Decatur, GA
Major: Economics

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    What is your favorite Mac memory?

    This is a difficult question to answer because I have tons of favorite Mac memories – my first Springfest, my first Scottish festival, my first Summit Avenue run, my first all-nighter (study binge), my first Interim, et al.  However, I will never forget my first snow day at Macalester.  Growing up in the South, in the metropolitan Atlanta area, I was awed by the first snowfall over two inches in St. Paul. In Atlanta, when there was a hint of icy precipitation, the entire city would shut down and come to a standstill.  It was the rarest occasions where we would see snow over two inches. So when my roommate and I, who also happened to be from the South, experienced snowfall over two inches, we ran outside, fell to the ground and made snow angels!  We were wet, it was freezing cold but it was an exhilarating experience, one  indicative of my freshman year at Macalester!

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer at Macalester and why?

    Professor Mahmoud El Kati was my favorite professor at Macalester.  History is one of my favorite subjects and Professor El-Kati had a breadth and depth of history that was “unsurpassed by none”.   I appreciated his passion for the subject matter and the teaching resources that he shared with his students – from books and data sources to living history in his friends and relationships.  Professor El Kati was a great story teller, I thoroughly enjoyed his class and had an occasion to attend his community lectures post-graduation. I will always be grateful for the experience and inspiration.

    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at Mac?  What do you think that you have carried with you from your Mac days while you traveled the world?

    I did not study abroad while at Mac but participated in the Urban Studies program in Chicago.  As a result of my studies and lifelong friendships developed at Macalester, I’ve travelled to more than 35 countries for business and personal travel.  I’ve learned and speak multiple languages and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.  As a Peace Corps volunteer, I’ve met numerous volunteers from Mac and Minnesota.  On business travel to Ghana, I was actually in Kumasi at the same time as Mac alum and former Secretary General Kofi Anan.  I was on a hospital visit with board members from the nonprofit organization where I work, MedShare, talking to hospital officials about the medical supplies and equipment sent by MedShare.  Mr. Annan and his delegation had toured and visited the hospital system in Kumasi, Ghana the previous day.

    As I think about my key takeaways from Mac, it would include a quality education and a foundation for being a global citizen, living a life that makes a difference and having an impact on others.

Ezequiel Jimenez Martinez

Ezequiel Jimenez Martinez ’13
Barcelona, Spain
Majors: Political Science, International Studies & Human Rights/Humanitarianism

  • Learn more about Ezequiel

    How has the Macalester community helped you since graduation?

    One of the distinctive features of a Macalester education is its worldwide community of alumni willing to support each other. After graduation, I decided to enroll in a masters program on Human Rights Policy in Sweden, Norway, and the UK. Curious as ever to get to those places, I tapped into the Mac community to get the best of my time in each of these places. Especially in London (UK), the Macalester collective was welcoming, supportive and offered the unique opportunity to connect with the ethos of the school each time we met. The network of alumni in London was also a good reason to stay in the city and find further opportunities after grad school. The ability to have people around you that encourage you and shows you the value of a Macalester education is priceless.

    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    Macalester is the world. I studied abroad in The Netherlands for six months with a huge impact on my personal and professional choices. Coming from a background in human rights and international politics, this programme offered the chance to study in The Hague and experience the great halls of justice as well as the difficult debates about international justice. After The Hague, we headed to Maastricht, in the south of The Netherlands, where time to work on a single topic and paper allowed us to get deep into a subject. For me, it was human rights and international justice, and since then it has always been my area of expertise and passion.

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?

    I wish someone had told me to take it easy, to remember to cherish the small moments and make (and complete) a bucket list of the best places and memories at Mac. The maelstrom that is attending Macalester can be extremely powerful, full of passion and possibility; but it can also be overwhelming. Making sure you have moments of laughter, pause and fun are as important as anything else – my advice is to try to have a 4-year plan where you can balance what needs to be done with what you want to do. In the end, the 4 formative years from Macalester will serve you long after you have graduated. In this, find your place in people and, like a great Greek philosopher, your energy in what you love. Remember this: you will be just fine.

Paula Lackie

Paula Lackie ’84
Northfield, MN
Majors: International Studies

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    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?
    I joined Dorothy Dodge’s 1983 summer in the People’s Republic of China. It was reportedly the first undergraduate group allowed into China & set to study political economy in decades. Due to political pressures, we never did get to that curriculum as they had us in groups of 4 or less learning to speak and understand Chinese for 8 hours a day; a necessary precursor to our being allowed to learn about politics and economics, after all. In China that summer I gained the self confidence to take care of myself; not just with food and shelter, but also with learning to trust my analytic skills. Experiencing and observing the effects of “illogical” (to me) but politically motivated governmental policy made real for me how challenging life can be outside of the US and gave me appreciation for the things we took for granted in the US – in both good and unhelpful ways. I stayed on a few weeks after the rest of the group left and learned even more about the complexities of living in China in 1983. It was an astounding experience, the kind in the brochures. When I returned to Macalester for my senior year, I realized that I’d actually completed my degree requirements and so I graduated a term early. (I now regret missing that last semester of opportunities from Mac – but I didn’t know any better at the time.) My time in China continued to give me confidence that I could figure out whatever I needed and move on to forge a path for myself – so I did.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    There were many! I will choose Emily Rosenburg because she most fully encapsulated all that I had hoped to get from Macalester! As a first gen student, I didn’t know it, but I was desperate for a role model. I can’t now recall how many classes I had with her, and I know that I didn’t do enough to engage with her directly, but the fact that she met each of us where we were, and for me, gave me a view of Latin America and US foreign affairs that I needed. It was unvarnished. It was difficult. And she delivered the material with unflinching strength that helped me see how I could be; a “just deal with the reality of life” attitude that has served me well!

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?

    Engage with as much of Macalester as you can! Try all new things. Dare to “fail” – because it will open your eyes to so many more possibilities. Also, go to office hours from the start. Be honest about your challenges and question that which you feel confident in. Find out who you are and what makes you sustainably happy!

    What gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?

    I continue to work with undergraduates at another liberal arts college and am motivated by helping them open up to the world. Current generations of students have found their own paths through the isolation and scramble to retool our collective teaching methods over the past 3 years. Many of these coping mechanisms are now proving to be counterproductive and they haven’t necessarily had the experience to realize it. I strive to have compassion for all of them and continue to work to guide them toward expanding their sense of self; encouraging them to explore their edges and open themselves to greater experiences. In particular, the apparent need to appear successful can seriously dampen a person’s curiosity and potential for fulfillment.

Geoffrey Maruyama

Geoffrey Maruyama ’72
Saint Paul, MN
Majors: Psychology

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Jennings Mergenthal

Jennings Mergenthal ’21
Saint Paul, MN
Majors: History, Biology

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    What is your favorite Mac memory?I really enjoyed the International Roundtable, the speakers were always interesting but I really enjoyed the student sessions, it was a great opportunity to see what other students were passionate about and it always provoked fascinating discussions. I facilitated three sessions, one of which was an early version of an Indigenous land mapping project that I’ve continued to work on.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?
    If I had to pick just one I would say Dr. Katrina Phillips in the history department. I had never had a teacher who looked like me before and I had never had Indigenous history as the primary subject of a class before. Her class really helped me feel welcomed at Mac.
    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?

    Explore! Take the A line somewhere! Go do things off campus! The Mac bubble is very real and Mac Groveland isn’t at all representative of the diversity and vibrancy of the Twin Cities.

Emma Runchey

Emma Runchey ’26
Marshall, MN
Student Representative

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    Describe Mac in 3 words:

    Diverse- Unique- Inspiring

    What was your favorite Macalester Memory?

    I have so many amazing memories from my first year that it’s hard to choose just one, but one of my favorites was when we had two snow days in February. My friends and I claimed the English Lounge in Old Main for the whole first snow day and it was so much fun to hang out and do homework in such a cozy space with the snow outside. We also had a campus-wide snowball fight that day, and it was so much fun! 

    Who was/is your favorite professor/lecturer and why?  

    This is super hard to answer, because every single professor that I’ve had and interacted with at Mac is incredible. But if I had to choose just one professor, I think I’d have to go with Paul Dosh, in the political science department. I took Comparative Politics with him this past semester (Spring 2023) and it was a super interesting and unique class. The way that Paul sets up and leads the class is super engaging and I learned so much.  

    What advice or other thoughts would you share with an incoming student?  

    I would tell an incoming student to be open to doing and trying new things. For me, I definitely came to Mac with some expectations about how things were going to go, and most of those things didn’t happen the way I expected them to. But honestly, things worked out better than I could have imagined them, and I’m truly so happy here today. So, just be willing to go with the flow, try new things, and let things happen as they’re meant to.  

Jordan Sadler

Jordan Sadler ’93
Chicago, IL
Major: Sociology

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    Describe Mac in three wordsCompassionate, energizing, impactful

    What gives you passion or motivation in your current occupation?

    I am very passionate about my job developing graduate clinicians who are obtaining their Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology at Northwestern University. I teach them to work with children with speech and language disorders; my specialty is autism spectrum disorder. The best moments – and they occur often! – are when both the graduate students and my clients are making progress in the same magical moment. I also love to see an a-ha! moment in a budding clinician who suddenly discovers the social justice elements inherent in work with neurodiverse individuals.

    Did you study away or travel outside your home country while you were at MAC? What do you think that you have carried with you from your MAC days while you traveled the world?

    I spent an interim (January term) studying family policy in England, Sweden, and Demark, which was incredible! I have lasting friendships from that trip, and it was my first time seeing a country outside North America – it was unforgettable! Visiting child and eldercare centers in those countries informed my understanding of what was possible with government support. I also spent the fall of my senior year in the Urban Studies program in Chicago. In addition to falling in love with the city that became my future home, I participated in an internship at what is now Lurie Children’s Hospital, volunteering in the Child Life department on the Oncology/Hematology floor five afternoons a week. This solidified my strong interest in working to help children in the future.

Burke Strickland

Burke Strickland ’69
Houston, TX
Major: Geography

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    Describe Mac in three words.Challenging – Inspiring – Fulfilling

    What is your favorite Mac Memory?

    First impressions are lasting impressions: I was sitting in Dr Patricia Kane’s living room a few blocks off campus with a group of other first year students for a book discussion as one of the events of Orientation Week. We were intently reprising what we had gleaned from the assigned books, “Another Country” by James Baldwin and “The Other America” by Michael Harrington. Looking around the room, it suddenly clicked – “we’re not in high school anymore!”

    I knew I was in the right place. We were sharing an evening of seriousness and levity at a level way above the immature high jinks of high school. When we got back to the dorm, our conversations continued with others who had different takes on the subjects. Looking back years later, we benefited from many such shared experiences on campus and elsewhere that brought us together to embrace Mac’s core values and develop competencies that are essential regardless of the careers we pursued and life paths each of us had taken.

    Who was your favorite professor/lecturer and why?

    Dr. Hildegard Johnson, founder and chair of the Geography Department, was an inspiring teacher with an amazing intellect, a quick wit, and encyclopedic knowledge. She instilled in us a way of looking at the world, inquisitive and analytical, yet recognizing when the time had arrived for action. She pioneered field trips as an integral part of a holistic learning experience in addition to brilliant classroom presentations and engaging small group and one-on-one discussions which often centered around social issues and humankind’s effects on our planet. 

    How have you utilized the alumni network as an alum?

    Early on, I benefited from conversations with alumni from the 1940s and 1950s who shared their perspectives on adapting to the world of work while upholding Mac’s core values.

    Over the years, I’ve also enjoyed meeting up with alumni as I traveled to other cities including engaging conversations over dinner and impromptu photography expeditions in scenic areas.

    MacConnect and other Alumni Engagement pages on the Macalester website have been and continue to be valuable resources.

    Paying it forward, I’ve enjoyed facilitating local and regional Mac alumni events, participating in cultural awareness seminars, helping the Athletics Department staff and other alumni recruit scholar athletes from Texas, meeting with students and alumni online and in-person as a Career Helper, and contributing to strategic planning listening sessions.

    Connecting and engaging with others from many class years across the decades motivates me to do even more to help expand/promote these opportunities for members of the Macalester Community.