Mamelang Memela

Mamelang Memela '20



Degree and Class Year

BA ’20


Johannesburg, South Africa


Environmental Studies and French Studies (double)


Student Philanthropy Council, Lewis & Clark International Film Festival, Spirituality Provoking Action and Reflective Conversation (SPARC), and Bantu baAfrika

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

Open, Intentional, Rigorous

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

I’ve enjoyed many of my classes at LC but I would say one of my favourite was Ambience with Jim Edwards. I took it for Exploration and Discovery in Spring 2017. At the time, I was taking 4 other classes and it was astounding how concepts from each of them came up in this class. It was insightful as it showed how aesthetics were perpetuated through many aspects of our lives.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The proximity to a relatively big city and to study Environmental Studies.

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

My main sources of support come from the international student and scholars office and other international students. There is a very tight-knit community of international students on campus. Some professors are also very thoughtful and appreciative of my experiences and how they can contribute to the classroom. I really like how many departments in the school incorporate international perspectives in symposiums and other activities on campus. This makes me feel visible and to an extent validated.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

If you’re looking for openness, this is one of the places you will find it.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The quiet section in the law school library. The law school campus is a very chilled place for an undergraduate.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

The various opportunities the city presents. Recreational or otherwise, there’s so much to do and get involved in!

How did you decide on a major?

I’ve always known I wanted to do something geography-related, and the environmental studies program was my best bet.