February 01, 2022

Q&A: Coming full circle

Tamara Fouché’10 is glad to have grown up at Beloit as a student. Now she’s helping the college grow and thrive as a director of development and liaison to the college president.

“I’m glad I got to grow up here.”

- Tamara Fouché’10

Q: What do you do and how did you join Beloit’s staff?

Tamara Fouché?10 Credit: Greg AndersonI have been doing development work since I graduated. I kept in touch with President Scott Bierman throughout the years, and I was the only student on the search committee that hired him in 2009. It was a lot of pressure, but it was a good experience representing the student body. He came to me in March 2021 and said, “What do you think about coming back to the college?” And I said, “Tell me more!” I have always loved Beloit — it was very good to me — so it just made sense.

In Advancement, we work with Beloit’s supporters — alumni, friends of the college, community members — to raise money for the college.

In my role, I have lots of one-on-one conversations and I support Scott in his efforts to raise significant dollars for the college. I love doing this work, because I get to speak enthusiastically about the school I love with other people who also love Beloit!

Q: What stands out from your days as a student?

I was an RA, part of Black Students United, and in TRIO [a nationally funded program to support low income and first generation students in college]. I was a McNair Scholar, which prepares low-income, first generation, and students of color for pursuing grad school.

I started a club called Students for Barack Obama, and that took up most of my time and energy. I went to volunteer at the campaign’s volunteer headquarters. Camp Obama was run by the campaign to train people to send them out to early states. I ended up working well with the lady who ran it, and she asked, “Do you want to intern for me here?” I was like, “Yeah!” From there, I was super invested, so I came back to campus and started what became a successful college club. It culminated in then-Senator Obama coming to campus [preceding the primaries in February 2008] — and I got to introduce him. It was amazing. That was a memorable moment in my life.

Tamara Fouché congratulates Scott Bierman after he was introduced as Beloit's 11th president ... Tamara Fouché congratulates Scott Bierman after he was introduced as Beloit's 11th president in 2009. As a junior, Fouché served on the search committee that selected Bierman.
Credit: John Elbers II
I was a sociology major and a political science minor. My professors were excellent and really worked on developing my confidence as a researcher, an academic, and a student. The ability to learn was paramount to my Beloit experience. It’s not just being open to information, but it’s also having a critical mind, having a worldly understanding of different topics and issues and a theoretical basis so that you can understand different arguments people are making and where they come from.

My McNair advisor was [political science professor emerita] Georgia Duerst-Lahti. She’s a titan in the field of presidential politics and gender in politics. I would credit the late Professor of Sociology Carla Davis with my understanding of race, class, and gender and the way our world is organized. Without that basis, you’re pretty lost in terms of how things actually are working.

Q: What drew you to Beloit in the first place?

I’m from Skokie, Ill. I applied to the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa, and I got into their honors colleges, but I didn’t want to go there. I visited them and was like, “These are huge schools. No one is paying attention in the lecture. I will get lost here.”

I visited Beloit and my overnight host was wonderful. The next day, I did a tour and visited a women’s and gender studies class, which was fascinating. The professor came to talk to me afterwards. She really engaged me in conversation, and it was such a different experience from when I visited those giant schools where no one was talking to professors.

I had an amazing experience at Beloit, and it’s paid back in dividends. I’m glad I made that decision. Not to say that everything was perfect, but things worked out. I think that’s just part of the growing pains of being in your late teens and early 20s. Your life is kind of crazy and you’re learning a lot and changing. That’s part of growing up. I’m glad I got to grow up here.


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