Alumni Volunteers

Alumni volunteers for Summer 2019 

Lori Halvorson 2007 (French and Francophone Studies, African/African American Studies)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile 

Post-Carleton, I joined the Peace Corps (a decision much influenced by my experiences with the French & Francophone and African/African-American Studies departments!). After I completed my Peace Corps service, I joined Teach for America, which brought me to Baton Rouge, LA. Near the end of my two-year commitment to Teach for America, I learned more about City Year and applied for and was hired onto the City Year Baton Rouge staff. My love of West Africa and my desire to be in education then merged perfectly in the form of a position with the American International School of Lagos. After a year of teaching 7th grade English abroad, I now find myself back at City Year Baton Rouge, in a new role but still supporting students and worked toward educational equality!


Ailsa McCulloch 2012 (Geology)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile 

Ailsa McCulloch graduated from Carleton in 2012, where she majored in Geology. Her senior comprehensive exercise (Comps.) project was focused on the hydrogeology of a wetland area in the San Francisco Bay. In this, she discovered a passion for technical work specifically in water resources, but hoped to apply this work more directly to people. She spent a lot of time searching for opportunities and found water resources engineering as a way to blend a technical skillset with policy in an applied manner. She pursued a position at Stockholm Environment Institute, as a research analyst, where she worked on a water allocation model to determine how revisions to regulatory standards would affect agricultural, urban and wetland users.

She then went on to complete an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (with an emphasis on Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology) at Stanford University (completed 2016). Since then, she has worked as a Water Resources Engineer at Stantec Consulting, a full-service engineering/architecture firm. She is based in the Minneapolis office, although continues to work with a large client in the State of California (the State Water Resources Control Board). The client is trying to better understand baseline water availability throughout two of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States (the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys), as well as assess how future growth and change will impact water availability. She also works with a variety of municipalities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area - whose focus is on meeting stormwater regulations, improving water quality, and reducing flooding issues in their cities. This year, she completed a mid-career fellowship through the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School for Public Affairs. This fellowship focused on public policy, impact and governance. She pursued this fellowship because she wanted to better understand the political process and how it can impact decisions made for communities around environment and water.


Priscilla A Amofa Sr 2013 (Psychology/ Neuroscience)

LinkedIn profile 

I graduated from Carleton in 2013, with a major in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience.  At Carleton, I was involved with the student activities office (I held a couple of coordinator positions with a couple of community organizations), the OIL office, FOCUS, TRIO, and BSA. After graduating from Carleton, I became an AmeriCorp Health Vista for a non-profit organization in Northfeild. This was an organization I worked with during my senior year at Carleton and wanted to complete the implementation of a wellness program I helped developed.

After my one-year service, I applied for a lab research position at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. In this position, I performed autopsies to help with the diagnosis and treatment of the different forms of dementia. I transitioned from the lab work to patient orientation clinical research to help connect the entire process from the development of dementia to passing. In my role as a clinical trails research coordinator, I had the opportunity to combine my qualitative and analytical skills in enrolling the right patients to the correct research trail, as well as writing up reports and research papers to share our findings.

I enrolled in a master’s program at the same time as I was working in order to advance my clinical and research skills. With the combination of my master’s training and research experience, I decided a career in Clinical Neuropsychology was my calling. I am currently enrolled in a Clinical Neuropsychology PhD program at the University of Florida, Gainesville. My research focus is in Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lifestyle changes that could help preserve memory, and racial differences in the development of cognitive decline.

Pablo Kenney 2009 (Political Science)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile 

Currently, I manage pricing & packaging for Zendesk -  a fast growing Customer Support software vendor in San Francisco. In this position, I use data to assess the appropriate pricing for all of our products, and the optimal feature set for any given product. Doing this, I get to collaborate with all parts of the organization, and tackle challenging puzzles.

Before Zendesk, I worked for a start-up that was sold to Google, where I used data to understand our customer success, share customer insights, and communicate the health of our company to investors. Earlier, I worked as a consultant focusing on political projects, and then corporate branding and marketing.  In that role, I used data to understand voter and consumer preferences, address their top concerns, and find opportunities for my clients.

At Carleton,  I majored in Political Science, and completed much of a Latin American Studies concentration. 

Erin Heydinger 2011 (Biology)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

I am a civil engineer focusing in water infrastructure for a large engineering and architecture company out of Sacramento, California. At Carleton, I studied biology and became interested in water during a study abroad program to Australia through the School for International Training. I moved out to Steamboat Springs, Colorado after graduation where I got a job working for the State of Colorado Parks & Wildlife in aquatics research.  Through my work in Colorado, I decided that I was interested in water supply and water sustainability, so I went to get my master's in engineering through Johns Hopkins' part time program. 

Drewallyn Riley 2005 (Sociology/Anthropology; Women's and Gender Studies minor)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

Two years after I graduated from Carleton (during which time I taught English in South Korea) I started my Masters in Public Health at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where I focused on the areas of maternal health and HIV/AIDS. During this time I was able to travel to and study maternal health in Ghana, China and Senegal. After graduating with my MPH in 2009, I went to Tunisia for the summer to study Arabic through the Critical Language Scholars program, funded through the State Department and then started a two-year fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as a Global HIV Prevention fellow. The program was an HIV prevention intervention designed to promote positive parenting and effective parent-child communication about sexuality and sexual risk reduction for parents of 9-12-year-olds. My job entailed providing technical assistance to non-governmental and community-based organizations in the eight countries in Africa where the program has been implemented, and included traveling 4-6 times a year to these countries. I then was hired to stay at the CDC as a contractor for another year and a half, working on the same program.

I moved to Chapel Hill, NC in May 2013 to begin a new job at Ipas. Ipas is a global nongovernmental organization dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortion. As the Youth Advisor for the East Africa region, I worked to enhance the ability for young women in Kenya, Zambia and Ethiopia to access safe abortion and prevent unwanted pregnancy. I continued to travel 4-6 times a year to the African continent to provide technical assistance to the projects there.

In October 2015 I moved to Portland, OR to be closer to my family and Montana roots. I now work at the Oregon Health Authority in the Maternal and Child Health section. Here, I am the Continuous Quality Improvement Coordinator for a federally-funded program to support at-risk families with young children ages 0-3 years. The program provides home visits by a nurse or social worker to pregnant women and families, giving them resources and skills to support them to improve their family's health and provide better opportunities for their children. My role is to provide support to the local agencies that implement this program, by helping them understand their data to make improvements in how they deliver the programs.



Selam Nicola 2019 (Economics; Public Policy minor)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

I am from Houston and graduated Carleton in 2019. I was an Economics major and Public Policy minor, part of the POSSE program as well as the Mellon Mays undergraduate fellowship program. I was highly involved with the Carleton Student Government as Vice President and managed the allocation of over 600k dollars as the chair of our budget committee. I also did IM soccer, was part of our black student alliance, and African and Carribean student organization. For the foreseeable future, I will be relocating to San Francisco to work as a research associate at Franklin Templeton Investments in the Global Macro department. 



Ben Bedore 2013 (Economics)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

I love working on the business of science. Since Carleton, I've worked at a consulting firm with pharmaceutical companies, and now with a medical robotics company. I work in Finance, driving analytics and economic decision support for our Global Marketing organization.



Micah Evans 2002 (Biology)

Alumni profile

After majoring in Biology, I obtained a Masters in Public Health with a focus on community health, maternal and child health and adolescent development.  I then entered an alternative certification program to become certified to teach 6-12 science.  After teaching for 10 years, I have stepped out of the classroom to become a Behavior Interventionist for our Multi-tiered Systems of Support.  



Matthew Strongin 2011 (Physics)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

I am cofounder and CFO of a food biotech company originating out of astrobiology research for NASA. I previously worked in venture capital, investing in energy startups, and started my career in investment banking after graduating with a degree in physics from Carleton.



Andrew Ladner 2007 (History/English/European Studies)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

I'm a member of Google's congressional relations team, responsible for working with members of congress and their staff.



Jamie Long 2004 (Political Science/Political Economy, Environment & Tech Studies concentration)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

I am currently a Minnesota State Representative. I was previously a policy aide for several members of Congress, with a focus on energy and environmental policy, and practiced law.


David Higgs 2018 (Physics)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

Hi, my name is David Higgs (he/him/his), a physics major from the class of 2018. While at Carleton, I was very involved with residential life and the physics department, and my favorite thing to do at college was bake chocolate chip cookies with my friends. I also was a part of the FOCUS, Posse, and Mellon Mays communities. I currently work at Carleton but will soon be transitioning jobs to a non-profit that does sustainable transportation in St. Paul.


Christine (Collins) Papai 2004 (Mathematics)

Alumni profile, LinkedIn profile

For the past four years I have worked at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a global research and policy non-profit that brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine potential solutions to the challenges of global poverty, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. IPA works in more than 21 countries around the world, engaging in many sectors of development, including agriculture, education, finance, governance, and health.

My first role with IPA was as the Deputy Country Director in IPA Ghana’s Accra office. In this role I managed a portfolio of research projects, guided the development of new projects, led IPA's in-country engagement with the health sector, and oversaw the office’s finance and administrative teams. My studies and experiences at Carleton--especially majoring in math--were a key part of what helped me be successful in this challenging position.

A year ago I transitioned from Ghana to IPA's headquarters in New York City, where I currently serve as an Associate Director in the Executive Office. I support IPA's Executive Director on board management, internal communications, leadership activities, and other special projects that span many teams across this 500-employee organization. My time in Ghana helped me build relationships and gain perspectives that help me in this role.

My path from Carleton to IPA was not direct. In fact, I initially wanted to be a mathematics professor, and I even completed the first two years of a PhD program, right after Carleton. While I still love math, I realized I needed to be in a career that directly connected the quantitative to the social good. After working for three years at a non-profit that focused on feeding the world through food aid, I returned to graduate school to study public health and international development. It was there that I discovered the field of program evaluation, which blended so many of my interests, and ultimately led me to IPA.