Office of Alumni Engagement

Lauren Engels

My hometown when I was a student was:

Livonia, MI

I graduated from Alma in:


I studied:

Foreign Service and Public Affairs

I currently live in:

Edinburgh, Scotland

I am now:

Ph.D. candidate in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh

Since graduating from Alma:

I obtained an M.Phil. in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge, participated in the Graduate Attachment Scheme at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, and worked as a Constituent Services Aide at the Office of United States Senator Gary Peters, Alma College class of 1980. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, seeking to understand how the state-business relations in the mitumba market impact industrial policy in Kenya.

My Alma education:

was a whirlwind.

My favorite place(s) on campus included:

The Model United Nations (MUN) House.

My favorite professor(s) included:

Dr. Derick Hulme, Dr. Edward Lorenz, Dr. Murray Borrello, Dr. Kathryn (Kate) Blanchard, and Dr. Robert Cunningham.

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

Too many to count. Alma College gave me much more than a degree, from presenting a paper about worker co-operatives in Croatia and organizing a Model United Nations Conference in India, to playing on the best intermural soccer team, Fake Madrid, and building a house with Habitat for Humanity. One of my favorite memories includes setting up a portable toilet in McIntyre Mall with Amnesty International to raise awareness about the lack of access to clean water and sanitation around the world.

How Alma has helped with my current plan/job/graduate school/etc.:

I am forever in debt to the professors at Alma College, particularly Dr. Derick Hulme and Dr. Edward Lorenz, who helped me throughout my entire academic career. Dr. Hulme and Dr. Lorenz have edited – probably one too many – graduate and scholarship applications for me over the past three (plus) years. In addition, the Model United Nations programme, as well as the Posey Global Fellowship, at Alma College helped me discover my passion for political economy in East Africa.

How I have given back to Alma since graduation

Since graduation, I have stayed in close contact with Sallie Scheide, Coordinator of Community Engagement, to help develop and promote the Alternative Breaks programme at Alma College.

Advice I would give a new graduate:

Take advantage of the countless opportunities at Alma College, including, but not limited to, Alternative Breaks, Intramural Sports, the Posey Global Fellowship, Spring Break Courses, and Student Congress. You never know how an experience may impact you and others.

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