Dr. Meredith Machen
The League of Women Voter’s community event, Lunch with a Leader, features State League President Dr. Meredith Machen, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, at Mesa Public Library.
Dr. Machen graduated from Boston University with degrees in English and Sociology/Anthropology, and earned a PhD in English from UNM. Teaching while working on dissertations, she and her husband Stephen decided to stay in New Mexico and raise their daughter rather than pursue academic research and university teaching careers.
Dr. Machen taught composition, literature and human development classes for 38 years, mostly at the community college-level. She also taught English at Santa Fe Prep for two years and at UNM for several years. She retired in 2008, after 25 years at Santa Fe Community College. During the last few years, she served as vice president for Educational Leadership. She secured millions of dollars in grant funds for aligned career training at Santa Fe high schools and the community college in leadership development and service learning programs. Among her responsibilities was service on statewide and national committees on educational reform and social advocacy.
Understanding the need for sound public policy in order to help educationally and economically disadvantaged students succeed, Dr. Machen gravitated toward the League of Women Voters where she felt she could make a difference by advocating for governmental investment in education as a way to strengthen democracy. She also recognized that it was critically important to educate voters on the issues so they would elect candidates who would represent the public interest and promote sound policy. She has served as the LWVNM President since 2013. She continues to chair the Education and Immigration Committees.
Meredith is a passionate supporter of public education and committed to providing the best opportunities for students. Throughout her teaching career, she focused on helping the academically weakest students, especially the economically and educationally disadvantaged, those challenged by disabilities, and English language learners.
After seeing that structural issues with teacher education were contributing to her students’ difficulties, she realized the need to create an alternative teacher certification program at Santa Fe Community College, which she financed through grants. This work strengthened her interest in collaborative problem solving to improve public education and educational achievement. Through this work, Dr. Machen started noticing the differences between charter schools and traditional schools. Her growing awareness of the disparities led to her study of charter school regulation and finances. She will discuss charter schools at the lunch.
The community is welcome to join the League at their lunch. To order a $10 lunch from the Co-Op, call Karyl Ann Armbruster at 505.231.8286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the menu by May 13. It is not necessary to order a lunch to attend the talk.