College of Education and Human Development wordmark.

Anise McDowell2014 Rising Alumni

Anise McDowell photo

Anise McDowell co-advised the Coffman Memorial Union second floor advisory committee that consisted of leaders representing cultural centers and other student organizations as they worked together planning the redesign of student space. The redesign process and outcomes are an exciting new model for other institutions across the U.S. facing similar challenges. This work won the Office for Equity & Diversity 2013 Outstanding Unit Award. She serves on the board for Parents in Community Action Head Start and the African-American Leadership Forum -Education Work Group. Anise is a recipient of the University's Women of Color Tapestry Award.


Coordinator of Student Engagement
University of Minnesota-Student Unions & Activities

What gets you excited about work?

I get excited watching students grow and celebrating their successes. I have also had an amazing experience working in Student Unions & Activities co-advising the second floor advisory team. They are a collective of outstanding undergraduate student leaders!

What professors were most influential during your time in CEHD?

I enjoyed working closely with my adviser, Jeanne Higbee, who challenged and supported me in many different ways. She understood me and what I was trying to accomplish.

What skills are important to succeed as a young professional today?

You must be adaptive! I also think that you have to let theory inform your practice but you must also continue to seek new ways in doing things by creating a continuous improvement process. Stay relevant and network with others so that you can share best practices.

What is your favorite University of Minnesota memory?

I am fond of CEHD's Homecoming Celebration!

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

W.E.B. Du Bois. He was profoundly gifted and I love his adventurous spirit. There is so much to say about him.

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

I would say the biggest impact was that I felt a sense of belonging and the main benefit is that I expanded my knowledge of social justice and multicultural education. It has enabled me to be proactive in moving beyond the challenges of students of color studying at a predominately White institution. My benefits come when students benefit through leadership development, study abroad, research, service learning, and graduation.