Mary Donley

My hometown when I was a student was

St. Joseph, MI

I graduated in


I studied

secondary education, with a major in history and minor in English.

I currently live in

Kansas City, MO

I am now

a member of Teach for America, teaching in a multicultural, low-income, inner city school teaching history and English language arts to grades 8-12.

Since graduating from Alma

I can honestly say when I walked away from Alma, and I actually stepped into my own classroom and I wasn’t Maggie anymore and I was Ms. Donley that I felt pretty well-prepared.

My Alma education

allowed me to do classroom observations in a classroom actually doing hands-on things and being a teacher assistant by the time that I was a freshman or sophomore. I heard a lot of horror stories about students at really big schools, that they didn’t get into the classroom until they were student teaching, and then what if you don’t like it? It’s too late by then, you’re a senior in college, and it’s really bad to find out when you’re student teaching that you don’t like being a teacher. And I knew that getting all of that experience up-front was really going to help me when I was student teaching, so I really liked that Alma’s program got you in the classroom really early.

My favorite place(s) on campus included

the second floor study room in the library that faces Gelston. The whole wall was a huge window and it gave me something to look at while I was studying. I also loved the Heartland Trail– it was beautiful to walk/run and to take pictures on.

My favorite professors(s) included

Dr. Seals, Kristen Bennett, Dr. Olberston, and Dr. Bu! They were all fantastic teachers that really helped me along my college journey.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

… saga sitting. Silly, I know, but so many good times were had sitting around a table in Saga, talking with my friends. We would sit in Saga when we wanted to procrastinate or when we were having a really good conversation. Some of us would grab a cup of coffee and just sit there and chat– it was so Alma!

My off-campus study experience(s) included

going to Taiwan in 2012 with the Alma College Dance Company for spring term. It was a life-changing experience I learned new dances, ate some interesting food, and made great friends with the Taiwanese dancers. I hope I can go back some day and see my Taiwanese friends and dance alongside them!