Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
Erika Busse-Cárdenas, Department of Sociology
Recognizing Professor Busse-Cárdenas for her leadership as an outstanding mentor for Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellows and first-generation BIPOC students. In the past few years, Erika served as an official and unofficial faculty mentor for no less than five Mellon-Mays Fellows: Victoria-Jo Gapuz ’21, Gabi Estrada ’21, Wanda Barradas ’21, Tonantzin Cabrera ’22, and Maria Arreola ’21. Her generosity with her time and energy, her fierce advocating for her advisees, her wise advice and inspiring role-modeling, and her capacity to work with such a wide range and number of students is truly the stuff of legend.
Presented by the 2021 Mellon-Mays Advisory Team (Karin Vélez, Donna Maeda, Ruth Janisch, Matt Katsaros)
Annan IGC Dean’s Special Institution-Changer Award
For the past year, it has become common to note that the COVID-19 pandemic has lifted the veil on social inequities that are the result of ongoing effects of disparities of power that are built into histories, structures, practices, and ideologies of the U.S. In this context, we lift up the work of students who push for new understandings of the complicities of our highly selective liberal arts college in these structures and dynamics, who demand accountability, and who work for change.
We announce that special IGC Dean’s Institution-Changer Awards go to seniors Fatiya Kedir and Jennings Mergenthal. Both awardees have prompted the campus to do a deeper reckoning with ongoing legacies of settler colonialism, gendered anti-Blackness and systemic racism.
Fatiya Kedir (International Studies major, Political Science minor) has contributed to significant changes from multiple leadership positions at Macalester. As she leads, Fatiya intentionally asks the campus to consider what it means when Black women lead, while also supporting others to step into their own leadership. She inspires others to contribute to projects that support communities that tend to not receive the care that they need. She brings attention to structures and practices of racism and creates initiatives for those most affected by the exclusions and limits of those structures. In her time at Macalester, Fatiya has
- Served as President of Macalester College Student Government (MCSG)
- Addressed food insecurity on campus by creating and running the Open Pantry
- Provided leadership in BLMatMac following the murder of George Floyd, including mobilizing a donation drive
- Interned at the James H. Binger Center for New Americans Law Clinic for Refugees and Detainees
- Contributed to the 2020 International Roundtable: “Practicing Radical Love and Care: What We Can Learn From Women of Color” as a reflection session facilitator
- Participated in the Bonner Community Scholars Program
- Received the GradX fellowship to explore graduate school opportunities
- Received the Servant Leader Award, 2019-2020
Jennings Mergenthal (History and Biology majors, Political Science minor) has continually pushed the college to reckon with our complicity with the damages of settler colonialism, including stolen lands, denial of sovereignty, and the erasure of Indigenous peoples. Jennings’ research, critical excavation, and organizing have pushed the campus to make changes that move toward taking responsibility for ending institutional complicities with ongoing effects of settler colonialism. While a student at Macalester, Jennings has:
- Created maps that show the displacement/removal of Indigenous people from land, inspired “Colonial Macalester: A Mac Weekly Special Issue,” and set the context and organized for the college to remove the name of the college founder and rename the Humanities building
- Created/co-facilitated sessions at three International Roundtables. 2018: “Blood Quantum and Identity Politics: What does it mean to be Native in 2018?” student-led session co-presenter (with Samantha Manz ’19 and Claire Menard ’21); 2019: “’An Unprovoked, Aggressive, and Most Savage War’: The Seizure of Indigenous Lands,” student-led session presenter; 2020: “Survival in the Post-Apocalyptic Present,” reflection session facilitator
- Served as Native American Initiatives Intern, Minnesota Historical Society
- Served as a facilitator for “Towards Revealing and Creating a New, More Inclusive History of Macalester College,” Mansergh Stuessy Fund for College Innovation project
- Contributed leadership in Proud Indigenous People for Education (PIPE)
- Received the Civil Discourse Award, 2019-2021
Congratulations, Fatiya and Jennings!