Meet Akhule Neo Mpunga
Why did you choose Gustavus?
I came to visit the U.S. in 2008 and toured around Minnesota. My host mom and I were talking about school, and she asked me whether I wanted to see her home town, Saint Peter. I said yes. While we were here we decided to visit Gustavus, because she also went here. I remember doing a tour and not paying attention to the tour guide because I was blown away by the college and the way people treated me. Two years after that I applied and was accepted.
What makes Gustavus unique for you?
Gustavus is not a big college, and it is not a small college. The community is a great size. Whenever I walk from my dorm to my class or to Johnson Student Union I always have a smile on my face knowing that someone is going to say hi to me. I feel like I am part of a family.
What has been your favorite academic experience?
I love my Cultural Anthropology class taught by Karen Larson. The class talks about different cultures, and it’s been a great experience. I also went to hunt fossils in Iowa with my First Term Seminar class last semester and it was one of the best and most memorable field trips.
What activities have you been involved in at Gustavus that have been the most rewarding?
I am in the Pan African Student Organization (PASO), Proclaim and intramural soccer. I also conduct campus tours for prospective students and families, so I meet a variety of people every single day. In my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with friends. I spend most of my time in the library studying. I love Africa night at Gustavus because for those three hours I feel like I am in South Africa again.
How do you interact with your professors outside the classroom?
I usually visit the professors in their office to ask things that I do not understand and also to get to know each other better. I once had lunch downtown with Professor Lois Peterson. I met her in Cape Town and she was happy to see me here.
What is your favorite food in the Marketplace?
Pasta with both alfredo sauce and meat sauce - no bread stick. I also love my steak half done.
What advice would you give a prospective Gustie?
Believe in yourself. I remember how stressful it was doing college applications and waiting for a response, while dying to get out of high school. Hang in there!
What is your favorite Gustavus tradition?
Square dance is the best. I remember when I first met my female friend. I also enjoy painting the rock with my friends.