Knox alumna Mrinalini Chakraborty '12, national field coordinator for the Women’s March, was recently intervi...
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2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Major in Political Science, Minor in Educational Policy Studies
What's the most important thing you've learned at Knox outside the classroom?
Knox has given me the people skills to relate to others in a professional and casual environment. I feel that an understanding of your employer, supervisor, or corporation helps you better understand their fundamental goals and thus helps you be a better employee. I could be a highly qualified and intelligent person, but if I don't make an effort to understand the people and context in which I'm working, I will not be a useful employee. The small campus and town here makes you constantly engage with other students and teachers and learn more from them through forming social and professional bonds. Outside the classroom I have the opportunity to get the individualized academic attention that makes Knox so unique.
What surprised you about Knox?
I'm continually surprised by the effects of the size of both Knox and Galesburg. While the size is an important factor to any school, it's hard to understand what and how it'll affect you. But an important factor of the surrounding town is the accountability you, as a student, have to individual people. Instead of just using the internships and volunteer opportunities as a chance to build your resume, the compassion offered by the people makes these opportunities important for the social relationships built and supported by those opportunities. In a small community, you inevitably see the same people everyday which makes the purpose of the service you are providing impossible to ignore. The people hold you accountable to your work by their ongoing presence.
Tell me about a memorable experience and what you learned from it.
One of my most memorable experiences was teaching the high school class I had been observing all year. I taught a three-day lesson and changed significantly over the course of the period. It's extremely difficult to teach and I have the utmost respect for teachers, especially in the public sphere, that continue to work unimaginably hard for little to no recognition. This experience was the first time I worked hard for the sake of producing good results, rather than working hard to accomplish a deadline. When you're intrinsically motivated to produce good work, you find that the amount of work required to accomplish this is ongoing. This experience was the first time I really understood why there isn't a finite number of times in editing work. Good work's in a perpetual state of editing.
Maureen Lincke '18, a recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Grant, has been a teammember of Knox's Ultimate Frisbee Team since she first came to Knox, acting as a captain for two years. In the past she has also participated in the club Allied Blacks for Liberty & Equality (ABLE), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), and the Terpsichore Dance Collective.
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