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Tuse Mahenya

Tuse Mahenya BA ’21
Tuse Mahenya (she/her)

Class Year: 2021
Hometown: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Major: English
Minor: Political Economy
Extracurriculars: 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)

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

Engagement, difference, familiar

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?
“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.”

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.

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