Leslie Muzulu ’11

Leslie Muzulu ’13

Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
Major: Mathematics

Why St. Kate’s: The University's commitment to women's education and its track record for graduating global leaders convinced me and my sister (Janet Muzulu ’14, chemistry) that this was the place to come for our education.

Undergraduate research opportunities: I like how the faculty promote undergraduate research. This opportunity engages students’ intellectual curiosity and gives them an outlet for their creativity, in addition to making them marketable for graduate schools and the workforce.

In summer of 2012, I worked with Kristal Jameson ’14 and Professor Kathryn Radloff — through St. Kate's Summer Scholars program — to research effective strategic techniques and answer mathematical questions inspired by the Brain Cube game. We intend to present our work at the 2012 National Conference of Undergraduate Research.

I had the chance to present my research on "Music and Images in Horror Film" at the 4th Annual Streamlines Undergraduate Writing Conference in Dubuque, Iowa. The presentation resulted from the paper I wrote in an interdisciplinary honors course, “Music, Visual Arts and Politics in the 20th Century,” co-taught by Professors Allison Adrian and Amy Hamlin.

A unique experience: (Leslie was among six St. Kate’s students selected as part of the 2012 Opus Prize due diligence teams that visited and observed finalists for the $1 million faith-based social entrepreneurship prize.)

Travelling to Brazil changed me. I learned skills that will make me a better person, but most of all, I learned about the power of stories and resilience. My four-day immersion in selected favelas (slums) in Vitoria enabled me to observe firsthand the effects of injustice. I initially thought, based on my experiences in Zimbabwe and the United States, that I was not going to see poverty directly. I was wrong. This trip reminded me that there is more to life than the quest for material happiness.

Why major in math? I particularly like the challenge it offers, and the fact that I know when I am right — or wrong.

Co-curricular activities: I am involved with the St. Catherine University International Student Organization, St. Catherine University Senate, LEAD Team and MIPS Peer Mentoring Program. I'm a mathematics tutor at the University’s O’Neill Center for Academic Development and a student assistant at Media Services in the library. I also volunteer; I have volunteered for Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network, Lake Harriet Christian Child Care Center and Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.

Preparation for the workplace: St. Kate's has made me a more confident person.

Future plans: I intend to work in financial analysis, economics or any program that will enable me to combine my passion for mathematics and politics.

Advice to prospective students: Come to St. Kate's! You will never regret your decision.