Clockwise from left: Dr. Alan Chapman, book by Dio Cramer ’19 and Haze (Emma) Harrison ’21, Beth Bergman '73, book featuring a chapter by Dr. Rivi Handler-Spitz

Maccolades is a monthly round-up of the most recent accolades and accomplishments earned by members of the Macalester community. Below are highlights from January and February 2024. 

Prof. Moseley makes history

In its 120-year history, the American Association of Geographers (AAG) has never been led by an expert from a (non-R1) liberal arts college. The long wait is over, however, with DeWitt Wallace Professor of Geography Bill Moseley’s recent election to lead the organization. 

The AAG is the largest professional association of geographers in the world, with more than 10,000 members. Prof. Moseley will serve the first year of his three-year term as vice president, the second year as president, and the third as past president.

“This speaks volumes about the strength of our department, and how it’s viewed more broadly within American geography,” Prof. Moseley said. “We have an exceedingly strong reputation, and a great collection of geographers here. Such a talented and collegial department is not just a mark of distinction for Macalester, but it serves as a foundation which allows many of us to go on and serve in national-level leadership roles.”

Brainpower in the pool

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were both named Scholar All-America Teams by the College Swimming Coaches of America Association. The women’s team recorded a 3.69 team GPA for the fall semester, which is tied for 26th among NCAA Division III women’s swimming and diving teams. The men’s team posted a 3.54 team GPA to rank 35th in Division III. Kyllian Griffin serves as the head coach for both teams. 

Alumni nonprofit earns global recognition

Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative, a nonprofit founded by Macalester graduate Jim Cummings ’86, won six Anthem Awards from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences out of more than 2,000 entries from 30 countries. 

Kijana, which operates in Florida and Kenya, earned two Silver awards in the “Education, Art and Culture” category and another Silver award in “Sustainability, Environment, and Climate.” Kijana also received the Community Voice Award for its three submissions: the Care, Share, and Explore Program, the Kijana Heroes Poster Series, and the Kijana Global Innovation School.

“As a small grassroots organization, we are humbled to receive this recognition and be in the ranks of inspiring global changemakers,” Cummings said. “Our ultimate goal is to change the world, by developing a new generation of young, energetic, exploratory citizens who will take specific action in the future to improve the global environment and make habitats for humans and animals more sustainable.” 

No longer lost in translation

Dr. Rachael Huener, professor of German Studies, published the first English translation of Theodor Fontane’s last novel, Mathilde Möhring. “It tells the story of a 24-year-old lower middle-class woman in Berlin who navigates gender norms and class politics at the end of the 19th century to find economic security and, perhaps, secondarily—personal happiness,” Prof. Huener said. Some years ago, she wanted to read the short novel with Macalester students in a first-year course focused on Berlin but discovered that no English translation existed. 

“It is a compelling story with a challenging protagonist that offers important insights into German society at that time, and I wanted to make it available to English-speaking readers,” she said. Macalester students read the first draft and gave abundant feedback. This translation also inspired Prof. Huener to co-organize a student translation contest at Macalester in 2018.

Exhibiting talent

Macalester graduate Beth Bergman ’73 showcased her solo exhibition, “Seven Vignettes: New Works by Beth Bergman,” at the Form + Content Gallery in Minneapolis. The exhibit included more than 24 paintings she created in 2022 and 2023. 

“After retiring from operating Wet Paint Artists’ Materials for 33 years, this was my first major art exhibition since the 1980s,” Bergman said. The exhibit featured paintings such as “Wander,” “Seaweed,” “Lost Goddess,” and others. 

From pipeline to print

Macalester graduates Dio Cramer ’19 and Haze (Emma) Harrison ’21 published “Even the River Starts Small: A Collection of Stories from the Movement to Stop Line 3.” The 300-page collection features anonymous writing, art, and photos spanning nearly a decade, capturing diverse experiences in the grassroots resistance against the tar sands oil pipeline in northern Minnesota. The anthology team began the project in fall 2021. The first edition of the book was distributed for free as a gift to those involved in the resistance. 

“This was a meaningful way to give back to the diverse community of people involved in the fight and to celebrate the power of storytelling as a way to commemorate social movements,” Harrison and Cramer said. “We were both heavily involved in the movement to stop Line 3 throughout our time at Mac and had the opportunity to translate what we were learning in the classroom about decolonization and grassroots movements into action.” 

An ultra-champion

Dr. Alan Chapman, associate professor and chair of geology, won the Arrowhead 135, a  135-mile ultramarathon that begins in International Falls, Minnesota and stretches across northern Minnesota on snowmobile trails. Racers either run, ski, or bike. Prof. Chapman competed on foot and won the race with a time of 34 hours and 42 minutes. This ultramarathon is known as one of the 50 toughest races in the world, attracting some of the world’s best winter ultra-athletes. Prof. Chapman said he had an “epic experience” running the race. 

When graphic art speaks louder than words

Dr. Rivi Handler-Spitz, associate professor and chair of Asian Languages and Cultures, contributed to a new book: Global Anti-Asian Racism. She also created the book’s cover. 

“I’m thrilled to be part of this volume,” she said. “The past several years have seen a sharp uptick in the number and severity of anti-Asian hate crimes. This volume, which brings together the work of scholars in many fields, addresses the history of anti-Asian hate, its root causes, and the resilience of Asian diasporic communities worldwide.”

Her chapter, “Savage Script: How Chinese Writing Became Barbaric,” grew out of her course The Art of Writing in China. 

“My student, Maya Schaefer-Fiello, did a series of graphic responses that allowed me to appreciate more fully the visual richness of the material,” she said. “The classroom conversations among students also inspired me to return to the material and probe it more deeply.”

Sociology in Seoul

Sociology professor Erika Busse-Cárdenas was selected as the 2024-2026 Ewha Global Fellow by Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea in recognition of her academic collaboration in research with faculty at Ewha Womans University and student exchange. This two-year post recognizes Dr. Busse-Cárdenas as a leading scholar in her academic field. As part of the fellowship, she plans to give a special lecture at the university next year. 

How to be considered for future Maccolades

If you or someone you know recently earned an award, fellowship, or honor and would like it to be considered for inclusion in next month’s Maccolades, please let Communications & Marketing know by filling out this Maccolades form. For recent book publications, please use this book publication form

February 29 2024

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