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Landreman takes leave of absence for Semester at Sea

Associate Dean of Students Lisa Landreman will be away from Macalester most of this semester, as she serves as Assistant Executive Dean on the Semester at Sea study away program.

Semester at Sea is a study away program for approximately 500 undergraduates, that travels around the world on a cruise ship. The current voyage that Landreman is on began in San Diego, will travel to 11 countries in Asia and Africa, and finish its journey in London.

Landreman’s responsibilities include communicating between the captain and crew and the rest of the ship. As “the ship’s crew operates very hierarchically,” she is in charge of raising concerns from passengers and sharing information from the captain and their crew. Landreman is one of the on-call deans in charge during each port stop, and conducts pre-arrival meetings with the passengers before arriving at each port.

Landreman first sailed on the Semester at Sea program as its Dean of Students in 2001, which was formative in her decision to enter Student Affairs.
“It solidified my commitment to work with students on issues of cross-cultural understanding, social justice and global citizenship as a student affairs administrator rather than as a faculty member as I thought I would do following graduate school,” Landreman said in an email.

While administrators at Macalester are not typically granted sabbaticals in the same way professors are, the Office of Student Affairs allowed Landreman to take time away from Macalester as an unpaid leave.

“I feel truly grateful to have the support of my colleagues and the institution to embark on this journey at this time,” Landreman said.

To cover Landreman’s work while she is away, the college hired Fernando Rodriguez, a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, as a Student Services specialist, and shifted the management of Disability Services to Assistant Dean of Students Robin Hart Ruthenbeck.

Since becoming Assistant Dean two years ago, Ruthenbeck has slowly been assuming all Disability Accommodations, which previously came out of Landreman’s office. Regardless of Landreman’s time away, Ruthenbeck had still planned to assume management of all accommodations at some point.

“The intention all along was that I would gradually assume responsibility for coordination of all disability services. Lisa being away this semester has just accelerated the timeline slightly,” Ruthenbeck said in an email.

Ruthenbeck continued to say that she and Landreman “worked together to try to ensure as smooth a transition as possible” and that she is focused on establishing relationships with students that she has not worked with in the past.

Rodriguez, a former Residence Hall Director at Macalester, said he is “humbled to be back” and added that it “feels great” to work at Macalester again. He emphasized that he is here to be a resource for any student that seeks out assistance.

January 29, 2016

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