Wedded Wildcats

At our beautiful campus, there are many married professors, staff and administrators who you may not know are couples. Here, they share their knowledge and passion for life with each other and their involvement in our Wildcat community. This is the first in a series of Q-and-A stories with Wildcats who’ve tied the knot.

Adrianne Santina &
Brian Winkenweder

Adrianne is an adjunct professor of art & visual culture with a specialization in non-western art history and teaches Introduction to Visual Culture. She has taught at colleges and universities in New Mexico, New York, Texas and Oregon.
Brian is chair of the Department of Art & Visual Culture and also associate professor of art history at Linfield. He earned his master’s degree in English and art history from University of New Mexico, where he met Adrianne when she started her doctorate. They married just before they moved to New York City for Brian’s doctorate in art history and criticism from Stony Brook University. They both began teaching at New York University and Dowling College at the same time.

How long have you been at Linfield? Did you two meet at Linfield or did you move to McMinnville after you were married?
Adrianne: Well, Brian started teaching at Linfield before I did. I started teaching here in the fall of 2006.
Brian: We moved to the University of North Texas (Denton, Texas). Adrianne was an assistant professor of art history; I was a visiting professor in art history and design history. Our offices were just down the hall from each another. Our son, Scott, was born while we taught there. We always worked on opposite days so one of us could do child care. Scott, as a newborn, spent a lot of time in our offices. Now, he is a 7-year-old boy.

Why did you two decide to come to Linfield?
Adrianne: Brian was offered a job in the Department of Art and Visual Culture. We also liked the location, as we are both from the West Coast. I’m from California, and Brian grew up in Gladstone, Ore.
Brian: To be closer to our extended families (Adrianne’s lives in Orange County, Calif., and mine live in Seattle, Wash.). I grew up in Oregon, and it is a dream come true to return “home.”

How do you like Linfield?
Adrianne: Speaking for myself, I like it here. I enjoy working with the students in my AAVC 110 course as I see people from different majors.
Brian: This is the best liberal arts college that I have ever worked at. I love the students and the colleagues in my department. Even after six years, I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not living in a too-good-to-be-true dream. My grandparents lived in McMinnville when I was a child, and I have always loved Linfield.

What do you think of your spouse working at Linfield as well? What do you like and dislike about it?
Adrianne: I do like working where my spouse works. We both teach in the same discipline, so we always have plenty to talk about. And, of course, it’s convenient, too.
Brian: We are very lucky to be able to work side-by-side as the only art historians at Linfield College. But, it would be awesome if we could hire one or two more art historians and start a major in art history.

Are things different between you when you work together and when you are at home?
Adrianne: Yes, we do treat each other differently. We act like professional colleagues when we’re both at Linfield. However, sometimes our conversations will stray to topics from home, such as what we’re having for dinner or whose turn it is to take our son to karate.
Brian: Yes. Our dynamic at school is different than at home. We try to treat each other as professional colleagues on campus. As department chair, I always include my wife on departmental messages, even if it is an issue that I’ve discussed with her previously, because it is important that she be treated as any other adjunct in my department, in my opinion.
At home, we act like a married couple that happen to share the same profession. Therefore, we talk about art history and academics. We constantly troubleshoot how to be better teachers. Because of this, my wife enables me to experiment and grow as a professor. I share virtually everything I write with my wife, who is an excellent editor. We share our lecture and discussion strategies and troubleshoot potential pitfalls. Sometimes, we have to “turn off” the academic conversation and talk about more mundane things. Boundaries between my private and professional life can be hard to define and maintain, but it is important to do so in order to avoid burning out.

Would your children like to go to Linfield?
Adrianne: If our son would like to go to Linfield, I’ll definitely support it. Since he’s only 7, we’re not worrying about college too much right now. He has said that he would like to come to Linfield, but, then again, he also says he wants to study engineering at MIT. There’s still plenty of time for him to decide.
Brian: I would be happy if Scott were to attend Linfield because I know he would be receiving an excellent education. However, I think it would be best if he went to a different school in a different state so he can grow and expand his horizons. Yet, Scott is only 7 years old, so we have a few years before we solve that issue.

John & Wendy Sagers

John is associate professor of history and coordinator of Asian Studies. He spent his undergraduate studying arts in history at University of California, Berkeley and then focused on East Asia history for his doctorate at the University of Washington, from which his wife Wendy graduated as well.
Wendy is an adjunct professor of international programs, English language and culture program, and modern languages. She She taught math and science in secondary schools for seven years, taught English classes in Japan for two years before coming to Linfield. This is her ninth year teaching at Linfield.

How long have you been at Linfield? Did you two meet at Linfield or did you move to McMinnville after you were married?
Wendy: I met my husband at a friend’s wedding. He was from California, and I was from Washington. We wrote letters to each other and were both in Japan at the same time. We started dating there. We came to Linfield after we were married.
John: When we started at Linfield, we had one son who was 2 years old and another son who was 3 months old.

Why did you two decide to come to Linfield?
Wendy: We looked for jobs at colleges and universities with a strong Asian focus and were close to family. We were delighted that Linfield had an opening when John was completing his doctorate.

How do you like Linfield?
Wendy: I love my job. I have great co-workers who are knowledgeable in their field and care about their students. The students are interesting, motivated and nice to each other. Additionally, the campus is beautiful, the weather is mild, and we are close to the ocean, the mountains and large cities.

What do you think of your spouse working at Linfield as well? What do you like and dislike about it?
Wendy: I like working in the same place as my husband. We can talk about events and issues that relate to both of us. It gives us more common ground.
John: We are happy that we can live close to campus, go to campus events and share experiences.

Would your children like to go to Linfield?
Wendy: It depends on their interests. Our older son will probably attend a liberal arts college and talks about Linfield. The study abroad opportunities are excellent, and he would make some nice friends. But he might decide he wants to be farther from home when he is older.

Jeff & Kristi Mackay

Jeff grew up in Billings, Mont., and came to Linfield as a student in the mid-1980s. Jeff was Associate Students of Linfield College president two years in a row and began to work at Linfield as an intern running the college activities in the summer following his graduation. Jeff worked in activities for about 12 years, taking a one-year sabbatical to earn his master’s degree in higher education administration. Jeff has served as the associate dean of students and director of Residence Life since January 2000.
Kristi, program coordinator of Career Services, grew up in central Oregon and came to Linfield as a student in the late-1980s. After graduation, Kristi lived and worked in the Portland area for about 10 years before accepting a position in career services at Linfield.

How long have you been at Linfield? Did you two meet at Linfield or did you move to McMinnville after you were married?
Kristi: We knew of each other as students but ran in completely different circles. We officially met and began dating a year after I graduated from Linfield. We dated while Jeff was working at Linfield, then, after we were married, lived in Tualatin for four years and moved to McMinnville in 2000.
We have two children: Gracie, who is 4 years old and attends Linfield pre-K, and Ben, who is almost 3 years old and will attend the pre-K in the fall. I’m sure many students have seen them around campus.

Why did you two decide to come to Linfield?
Kristi: As students, for the same reasons most students do: small school, small class size and the types of activities available at Linfield. As professionals, it is because we love working with the 18-to-23-year-old population.

How do you like Linfield?
Kristi: Love it! We work here, we go to sporting events and include the college in our philanthropic giving each year.

What do you think of your spouse working at Linfield as well? What do you like and dislike about it?
Kristi: It’s nice to work at the same place because we understand the work that one another does.

Are things different between you when you work together at Linfield and when you are at home?
Kristi: We try not to talk about work too much at home, but it’s inevitable.

Would your children like to go to Linfield if they are not going to college yet?
Kristi: They already do as preschoolers. And, yes, we would be quite happy for them to attend Linfield when they are older, but that will be up to them.

by Jaffy Xiao/Features editor
Jaffy Xiao can be reached at

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