Landed is an ongoing series where we ask recent graduates how things are going post-graduation. Here, Ellie Hohulin ’19 reflects on her work at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, urban cycling, and civic engagement after college.
By Talia Bank ’23
Ellie Hohulin ’19 arrived at Macalester set on a major in art history, but an environmental studies course—Bicycling the Urban Landscape—caught her eye. The hands-on class involved working with Twin Cities community partners as well as regularly cycling the cities’ streets and attending the Winter Cycle Conference. Bridging geography, urban and transportation planning, and environmental studies, the course came to inform Hohulin’s thinking on equity, sustainability, and urban spaces.
Nowadays, she is creating digital content for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, embracing her artistic side and continuing to pursue her passion for urban cycling and giving back to the Twin Cities community. We spoke to Hohulin about her academic and professional journey and her civic engagement at Macalester and beyond.
Cycling into urban and environmental studies
“I remember thinking originally that Bicycling the Urban Landscape was an environmental studies course and I was like, ‘Ooh, that’s sciencey—that’s scary and I can’t do it. It wasn’t actually sciencey; it was very much interdisciplinary, like so many classes at Macalester. It was one where I thought, ‘I’ll do something different my first semester just to try something out.’ It was so great because it ended up being so huge and remains very big in my life.”
A civically engaged undergraduate experience
“I was pretty involved with the Civic Engagement Center; I did Lives of Commitment and worked there my junior and senior year. Having the knowledge of lots of different nonprofits and organizations and the many things going on here made me feel like a true resident of the Twin Cities. And I feel like that’s so central to people going to Macalester. You can still invest in the campus community, but you’re also in this amazing city—get outside the Mac bubble and explore!”
Balancing art and community organizing
“I very much see both my art history degree and urban studies concentration in tandem. I feel like both those things together are pretty central. My previous job at the Metropolitan Council was a lot of bridging those things.
Currently, even though my job isn’t very urban studies focused, I prioritize a lot of that outside of work. I work part-time leading rides at a local bike shop and I do a lot of organizing with them and volunteer with local organizations. And so I think that especially right after graduation, it’s helpful to find that balance. You’re not always going to find a job that’s aligned with every single one of your passions, but finding that balance outside of work is really important.”
April 20 2023Back to top