Shining Light on Black Excellence: Corrine Walton-Macaulay

By Madison Lewis

Even though senior health science major Corrine Walton-Macaulay called herself a “pretty shy person,” she flourishes when lending a voice to underserved communities on and off campus.

 As she is currently the vice president of the Black Student Union and the treasurer of the Rider African Student Association she is anything but shy about being an activist and leader.

Healthcare aspirations

She pursued healthcare as a career with the hopes of working closely with minority groups and providing aid along with education.

“I see myself working with people from underrepresented communities. … Being able to navigate spaces where people … face discrimination on a regular basis or they don’t have access to certain healthcare,” said Walton-Macaulay. “Or they are not too knowledgeable about what might be the best route to keep themselves healthy.”

Walton-Macaulay relayed that since third grade, she knew she was a runner. She was always very active, taking on a multitude of injuries. 

Despite her mother being in higher education and in the Oregon judicial system, and her father being a professor and civil engineer, she envisioned herself tending to wounds in the same way healthcare professionals did for her in the past.

Walton-Macaulay fostered her interest last January through an observation-based internship with Capital Health, where she shadowed nurses on a 12-hour shift. 

Walton-Macaulay’s resume is littered with leadership positions and volunteer work related to her major, with another being the student director of scholar engagement for Making Connections. 

A grant-funded initiative, the Making Connections Program is a partnership with Johnson & Johnson that gives historically marginalized groups financial and networking opportunities.

Her role entails designing, planning and organizing activities and events. She engages students by interacting with them, making meaningful connections and supporting the retention rate of specific educational programs.

On-campus contributor

Walton-Macaulay’s advocacy for historically oppressed groups translates to her leadership positions at Rider.

“I am willing to get involved wherever I am needed, especially when the work has to do with supporting people that I see in myself,” Walton-Macaulay said.

Walton-Macaulay has organized culturally significant events held on campus, one being last February’s “Taste of Africa Banquet,” an invite-only celebration that featured samples of cuisine from several African cultures and education on the diaspora of African people. 

Corrine Walton-Macaulay with J&J scholars at the end of a Making Connections event. Photo courtesy of Corrine Walton-Macaulay.

She also mentioned an upcoming fashion show in the works, which will also be organized by RASA. 

On Feb. 1, Walton-Macaulay spoke at Rider’s flag raising that marked the beginning of Black History Month.

Every year, the BSU raises a Black Lives Matter flag in front of the Bart Luedeke Center, which remains raised for the entire month of February. The organization also presents speeches incorporating minority perspectives and insightful anecdotes about the significance of Black culture during the annual flag raising.

Speaking to her involvement on campus, Kyle Houser, coordinator of STEM Student Success and Walton-Macaulay’s supervisor, was confident in her ability to accomplish her goals and provide exceptional care.

“I know that she is destined for great things when she leaves Rider and graduates,” said Houser. “I am looking forward to seeing what those things are.”

Rider students can rest assured that they have a magnetic force on campus that is willing to provide a safe space for students of color who need support.

“I have chosen to try and use my experience as a Black woman and as a student here to connect with other students of color,” said Walton-Macaulay. “My goal is to be [an] …  anchorperson that I wish I had … to be living proof that there are successful Black women [at Rider].”

This article is part of the Shedding Light on Black Excellence series by The Rider News to showcase impactful Black figures on campus during Black History Month.

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