Tuse Mahenya

Tuse Mahenya BA '21



Degree and Class Year

BA ’21


Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Current City

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania




Political Economy


Theatre, Student Philanthropy Council, Editorial Meridian Journal, Auditor (ASLC), Student Advisory Board (Career Center), Overnight Host, International Fair, Senior Experience, Literary Review

Overseas study

Australia (spring 2020)

Job Title, Organization

Communications Associate at Black Founders Matter Fund

Continuing Studies

Venture Lab Fellow, VCUniversity via UCLA Berkley

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Engagement, Difference, Familiar

Life After L&C

September 2022 Update

What have you been doing since graduation?

I have done quite a bit since then! I’m currently an apprentice at the Black Founders Matter Fund and, since graduating, I’ve also worked at Macmillan Publishers, Curology Inc., and Forbes Media LLC (among other things).

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for jobs?

Without the English department, the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership, and Professor Elizabeth Bennet’s International Political Economy course, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

That anything is possible if you work hard enough, but kindness is the ultimate superpower.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I receive emails and participate when I am able. It is challenging to do from all the way in Eastern Africa, but I am capable of being in two places at once.

Have you been to Alumni Weekend or other programming, like Homecoming, etc.? What did you enjoy about the event(s)?

I have yet to attend any in-person or virtual alumni events. But, naturally, I would like to be involved more at any capacity.

Life at L&C

Tuse Mahenya BA '21 What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

We Tell Ourselves Stories with Megan Pugh. We used a number of different art forms (visual and literary) to discuss the importance of telling stories: why we tell them, who we tell them to, and everything in between. Joan Didion’s quote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” was Megan’s inspiration for the class. I’d take it a thousand times more if I could, and I’d recommend it just as many times.

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

Chrys Hutchings at the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership is the closest thing I have to a mentor on campus. I admire her willpower and passion, and am able to talk to her as a friend and a leader. I am in awe of the way she inspires me to become the best version of myself, and how she has made that a realistic pursuit. Though we do not interact as much, every moment learning from her lasts me a very long while.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Thanks to my father, I knew I wanted a liberal arts education at a fairly small college. Lewis & Clark’s final selling point for me was its proximity and integration with the Portland metro area. I always feel that I’m close enough to engage with Portland city life (which I definitely prefer to the country life) yet I am never overwhelmed by how close this proximity is.

How do you feel supported as an international student at Lewis & Clark?

The international students and scholars office has a wonderfully welcoming environment, and played a significant part in helping me feel at home here. The office is communicates with us all often enough that there are always reasons to feel engaged in the L&C community. They host events open to the larger L&C community so that it also becomes a place for international and American students to interact under common ground, outside of classroom settings.  

Tell us about the offices you’re involved with on campus. What has your involvement with those offices added to your L&C experience?

As an overnight host, I occasionally work with the admissions office when prospective students need a place to stay for the night, and an honest, personal view of college life. I have been working with the annual giving office, in their Phonathon department, for a year, and have found the best people and my most favorite relationships.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

No matter what happens, things will always work out for you in the end. It may take time, and I cannot guarantee that it will work out the way you expected, but if anything there’s anything college has taught me thus far, it’s that you will be just fine.