Mary E. Butler, MPA
Mary Butler, McNair Scholars Program Director, joins us with several years of experience working with and empowering less advantaged populations. A Duluth native, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University Of Notre Dame where she researched ethical education and academic integrity. Upon graduating, Mary taught elementary school in St. Louis, MO as a Corps Member with Teach For America. In 2008, she received a scholarship to New York University where she earned a Masters in Public Administration. During graduate school, she conducted research in Orissa, India where she studied how to scale up the availability of water and sanitation in village communities. Additionally, she worked as an academic consultant for a non-profit in New York City in which she addressed the educational needs of court-involved youth. Mary is motivated by the desire to make a difference in the world and the belief that it is possible.
Ms. Butler works to ensure that each scholar in the program is successful. In addition to editing scholars' research papers and posters, and advising in the application process, she assists in the planning and delivery of 10 academic year seminars and 8 summer skills building seminars. She helps to facilitate scholar-mentor relationships, and works to promote the program on campus and in the community. Through frequent meetings with each scholar, she seeks to know them not only as students, but as individuals, and to encourage them that they are capable of achieving anything they set their mind to.
Tower Hall 2132
Celeste C. Zuniga, BA
TRiO Program Coordinator
Celeste Zuniga is a former McNair Scholar at the College of St. Scholastica. After graduation she utilized her education in campaign fundraising at American University and as an intern in the United States Senate to create, fund, and direct programs in our region that address the needs of low income and first generation students. Celeste became an AmeriCorps member and initiated and oversaw a city-wide literacy program that involved every school in ISD 709, local businesses, and the Duluth Mayoral Office.
As the former Assistant Foundation Director for the Lake Superior College Foundation, Celeste was responsible for all internal operations including major events coordination, compliance with Minnesota State Law and MNSCU policies pertaining to educational non-profits, and financial oversight and reporting. In addition to these responsibilities she supervised the creation of an alumni giving program as the Director of Alumni Relations.
In the summer of 2010, she entered the MA program in English Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. As part of her program, she was responsible for teaching one full course of writing per term and tutoring diverse groups. Celeste is very excited to return to the College of St. Scholastica as the TRiO Research and Program Coordinator. "Most of my career accomplishments are a result of the academic and social confidence cultivated by the Scholastica community. Working here feels like coming home," she explains.
Pamela J. Christensen
Pamela Christensen, the Administrative Assistant for McNair program, is from a low-income and first-generation background and has been with the McNair Program since November, 1998. Ms. Christensen has over 100 hours of professional development training.
Working with the College's Grants Accountant, Ms. Christensen balances the program's expenditures and is the McNair liaison to the Purchasing Department. She coordinates all travel plans for program participants and staff, as well as coordinates major program events such as the Honors Ceremony and the CSS Undergraduate Research Poster Session on campus and at the Capitol Rotunda, St. Paul, MN. She is the McNair liaison to the staff of Information Technology. She develops, implements, maintains, and evaluates the McNair Program's Student Tracking Database, Budget Projection System and Accountability and Documentation Systems using all of this data to prepare reports for College personnel and for the U.S. Department of Education.