Alumni Profile: Chipo Dendere '08
Chipo Dendere '08 may have honed her political instincts as Linfield College's student-body president, but she took her initial steps toward becoming a noted expert on African politics far earlier.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in southern Africa, Dendere moved to the United States in 2004 to attend Linfield. She majored in political science and psychology, and later went on to earn master's and doctoral degrees in the same field from Georgia State University.
These days, she is the consortium for faculty diversity fellow and assistant professor of political science at Amherst College.
As the political climate in Zimbabwe shifts after the recent resignation of President Robert Mugabe, who had ruled for 37 years, Dendere's area of expertise is in demand.
"It feels like citizens are out of the trance," says Dendere, who last visited Zimbabwe in December. She interviewed a number of residents, and believes the nation is at a historic crossroads as it emerges from dictatorship.
“I am optimistic that once people have gained their voice they will not lose it,” says Dendere. “My faith is in the Zimbabwean people who continue to fight against all odds. They will not be easily bullied. Not this time."
Dendere attributes much of her career development to her Linfield experience. She said Linfield professors taught her to see the world differently, to think on her feet and to be analytical.
"Each time I speak, I pause and think about what influence I want on have in the world,” says Dendere. “A lot of people in our generation are afraid of silence so we fill every pause with chatter, but we need to learn to be silent, to listen, to hear those around us.
"Linfield also taught me about love. This is the power of small schools. The community provides us a space to learn, to fall flat on our faces, but also to rise and to do so on the shoulders of a community that is structured to support us. I am so grateful to Linfield for taking a chance on me."
Nervous about getting a job after graduation? Don’t be. Linfield has been named the best college in Oregon for getting a job, and the best bang for your education buck in the state. Don’t trust somebody else's listing, though — just listen to our alumni.
One year out from graduation, 72 percent of Linfield graduates found a job in their chosen field. More than 70 percent said their first job was adequate to support their desired lifestyle.
The median income for alumni one year out was $55,333. And for alumni five years out? $65,666. (And those are 2013 figures, the latest for which we have official numbers. The figures now are likely to be significantly higher.)
Some of the employers our recent graduates work for are:
- New Orleans Saints
- Oregon Secretary of State
- Portland Timbers
- Columbia Sportswear
- United States Embassy
- U.S. Department of Education
We also have a Career Center that will be there for you from day one of your freshman year to graduation, and beyond — it’s available to all Linfield alumni.