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Mary McKay2013 Rising Alumni

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Mary McKay is an advisor for the TRiO Starting Point program at MCTC. Every student she works with has a documented disability. Many are the first in their families to go to college, and/or are from low-income households.


TRiO Program Advisor
Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)

What gets you excited about work?

I truly enjoy the personal connections I make with students. I feel fortunate to work in a direct-service field, and have already gained so much from the experience. Many individuals I work with have found the strength within themselves to overcome extraordinarily challenging circumstances. I find this to be both humbling and inspiring.

What is a fun fact about you?

I'm fluent in German, and lived in Germany for four years.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My mother is originally from New York, and I was confident that I would be a world-class journalist operating out of New York City. Now that I know myself better, I couldn't be happier that I ended up in the field of education!

What was the impact and benefit of your educational experience in CEHD?

I was part of a very small cohort and developed many professional contacts and great friendships. I also developed relationships with multiple faculty members within the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, each of whom helped guide me in my journey and bring me to where I am today.

Since completing my graduate program, I see higher education and our society as a whole from a perspective that is based in multicultural awareness and accessibility. I was able to do a great deal of self-reflection in these areas throughout my two years in the program. This ultimately made me a more effective advisor, and overall a better person.

I will be forever grateful to my advisor, Na'im Madyun, for the guidance and insight he provided to me throughout my capstone experience. I utilize principles and practices from my graduate project in my work each day, and attribute a great deal of my success to that academic experience.