Clockwise from upper left: Laurie Adamson; Innovation Scholars team (Sid Layesa '25, Yoandri Hernandez '24, Adrian Aguilar '25, Janine Preko '25, Maggie Bianchi); Andrew Kaufteil '01

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

Heartfelt innovation

A team of four Macalester students, part of the Innovation Scholars program, presented project recommendations to leaders in the biomedical industry in Minneapolis. Focused on cardiovascular research and healthcare models, they worked to help the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation increase enrollment in clinical trials. Team members included Adrian Aguilar ’25, Yoandri Hernandez ’24, Sidnie Layesa ’25, and Janine Preko ’25, with mentoring from campus advisors Liz Jansen, Felix Friedt, Peter Ferderer, Sasmita Tripathy, and Elena Tonc. The team was led by St. Catherine University graduate student Maggie Bianchi.

Innovation Scholars is a nationally recognized experiential learning program that engages teams of liberal arts students in the complex processes of translational medicine, taking an idea “from the bench to the bedside.”

Bookish fun

Dr. Penelope Geng, associate professor of English, took part in an interactive book panel event organized by the Center for Predmodern Studies at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Geng and two other authors explored the surprising overlaps between their books around themes of community, consent, and colonization in early modern England and early America. Each of these three studies considers how ordinary individuals hold powerful influence in shaping economic, social, and legal processes and norms.

Dr. Geng also contributed a chapter, titled “Dressing to Transgress: Aesthetic Matching, Historical Costumers of Color, and the Restorying of Institutional Spaces,” in the new publication “Situating Shakespeare Pedagogy in US Higher Education: Social Justice and Institutional Contexts.” The chapter contains an extended reflection on a longstanding and popular class in the English department: Major British Authors.  

A leader among leaders

Laurie Adamson, executive director of the Center for Student Leadership & Engagement, received the 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Leadership in Student Affairs program at the University of St. Thomas. 

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” Adamson said. “It motivates me to continue striving to serve in students’ educational experiences at Mac in impactful ways, and inspires me to further explore innovative approaches and initiatives that can positively impact the student community.”

Her nominator, Dr. Kathryn Kay Coquemont, vice president for Student Affairs, praised Adamson’s commitment to leadership, social justice, and theory-to-practice in her work as a student affairs educator. 

“One of the things that the student body most appreciates about Laurie is how she fosters an environment where all students feel like they belong, have support, are valued, and can thrive,” Dr. Coquemont said. “Because of this, students from all backgrounds gravitate to her, seeking her advice and support as they navigate college.”

Gray Lady fellows

Two Macalester graduates were named to The New York Times 2024-25 fellowship class. Selected from thousands of applicants, these early-career journalists will cover some of the world’s biggest stories as part of an industry-leading program. They will begin in June in the New York, San Francisco, and Washington offices. Aileen Clarke ’15 will focus on opinion graphics. Her most recent position was the interactive graphics intern at The Seattle Times. June Kim will focus on data and graphics reporting. Most recently, she was a fellow at MIT Technology Review.

Among the Twin Cities’ top women in business

President Suzanne Rivera was named to this year’s list of Women in Business honorees by the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal. These awards honor the Twin Cities’ most influential women, including industry-leading executives, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

Recognized prose

Dr. Walter Greason, DeWitt Wallace Professor of History, contributed to a book, The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice,  that was selected as a finalist in the Association of American Publishers PROSE Award in Economics. Dr. Greason’s chapter, “Unequal Housing and the Case for Reparations,” examines how suburbanization transformed American landscape design. 

“Its consumer culture hollowed out any concept of shared civic community,” Prof. Greason said. “The fee-laden debt and the investment in substandard social structures that resulted effectively eradicated the small amounts of wealth that Black families had gathered during the Jim Crow years.” 

Future public policy leaders

Two Macalester students, Amanda Nogueira Moreira de Souza ’25 and Alan Schulz Diaz ’25, were accepted into the Public Policy & International Affairs Program Junior Summer Institute at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. This free six-week rigorous summer program at one of six host campuses prepares students for advanced schooling and careers in public service in both domestic and global affairs. Fellows receive a stipend to assist with summer travel, food, and other expenses. This year, out of an applicant pool of more than 1300 students, 149 fellows were selected from 33 states, 94 universities, and 21 countries. 

Scoring another recognition

Caleb Williams ’24, a guard on the men’s basketball team, was named to the All-Region 9 first team. This is the third All-Region honor for Williams, who has led the Scots in scoring in each of his three full seasons at Macalester. 

“Being a collegiate student-athlete has forced me to develop valuable time management skills, the ability to perform under pressure, and has taught me how to work together with a team,” Williams wrote.  

Amplifying voices in Lesotho

Macalester graduate Andrew Kaufteil ’01 will work on a project in Lesotho as part of the Fulbright Specialist Program, in which U.S. faculty and professionals engage in two- to six-week, project-based exchanges at host institutions across the globe.

“I will be helping country leaders to develop their first-ever proactive and comprehensive communications strategy,” Kaufteil said. “I am excited to apply my skills in marketing and communications to furthering the goals of this fascinating and growing nation. I am also excited to reconnect to the region where I studied abroad back in 1999.”

He noted that John Mohoang ’17, a Macalester graduate from Lesotho, has been a helpful resource while preparing for this experience. 

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

March 29 2024

Back to top