MURC Newsletter

Special Edition

October 16, 2021

Celebrating New Members

Hello MURC Members and Friends!  

We hope you enjoy this Special Edition of the MURC Newsletter.  Please read about our newest members and honorary members, and when you have an opportunity, say hello during one of our Zoom meetings. 
We are happy to announce our new, regular newsletters will begin soon.  Watch for a new edition in November.
For MURC meeting information, and our a note about our next excellent speaker, please scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.
Warm regards,
Lori Simpson, Newsletter Editor
Tsehai Wodajo and Lyle Wright
Tsehai joined MURC with the encouragement of a friend and colleague.  She had heard about MURC's local community and international projects, and she hopes to be part of future projects.  She notes there are many, many opportunities to help, including health and wellness, education, and global warming, just to name a few.  
Tsehai is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Resources for Enriching African Lives, and for the past seventeen years she has worked within this organization to educate orphaned girls in Ethiopia.  She has plans to open an Ethiopian on-the-go food effort, which will be a new model for Ethiopian food.  
Tsehai is also a Senior Social Worker at Hennepin County, where she has worked in the areas of special needs adoptions, school success coordination, police-community engagement, and for the past eight years she has been focused on connecting children with special needs services.    She plans to retire from Hennepin County in April, 2022.
Tsehai came to the United States in 1990, and now she has extended family of about 45, including three children, four grandchildren, three sisters, and two brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews, as well as her husband's extended family.

In addition to her career and other activities noted above, Tsehai's is a gardener, a volunteer at her church, loves cooking and hosting, watching movies with her husband, and traveling.  Tsehai's husband, Lyle Wright, is an Honorary MURC Member. 
Welcome to MURC, Tsehai!
Lyle is an Honorary MURC member, and is married to MURC member Tsehai Wodajo. 
He is Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. 
Lyle shares an extended family with Tsehai, and he enjoys cooking, reading, and travel.
Welcome to MURC, Lyle!
Kae Takaoka - 高岡加絵
When Kae received a Rotary global grant, her host Rotary Club, Miki, in Japan, recommended that she contact MURC, and we gladly became her local host club. 
Kae studied Spanish in Kobe, Japan, for her Bachelor's of Arts Degree, and she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Master's Degree.  Kae is currently a second year Ph.D. student at the U of M.  She hopes to have a job at a university conducting research after completing her degree, and she is interested in education-related issues.
She has taught school in Japan and the U.S., and worked in the field of international cooperation prior to working in teaching.
Kae's daughter is with her in Minneapolis, and her other immediate family is in Japan; she has a younger sister, who is a nurse with two children.  Her father works for a trading company, and her mother stays at home now taking care of her grandkids. 
Kae and her daughter enjoy hiking and exploring Minneapolis together.
Welcome to MURC, Kae!
Pictured are Kae and her daughter.
Rich Berkley
Since joining MURC, Rich has participated in MURC's volunteer work at the food shelf at the Simpson United Methodist Church in Minneapolis.  And, a number of MURC members, in addition to Rich, recently volunteered at a weekly food drive at First Covenant Church in Minneapolis.  Rich volunteers at this food drive each Saturday.  
In addition to his work at First Covenant Church, Rich works with a rehabilitation/re-entry program.  He would like to expand his church’s food drive and to increase resources to the re-entry program, and he hopes to seek opportunities for MURC's help with these efforts.
Rich is a Financial Advisor.  He attended Jamestown University, graduating with a degree in Business in 2020.  He is a member of Business Networking International.
Rich has joined two mission trips, and he enjoys playing sports, Jiu Jitsu, the Boy Scouts, and camping.
Welcome to MURC, Rich!   
Carrie McGhee
When Carrie applied for membership in MURC, she wrote that she "cannot fathom not having Rotary in my everyday life."  And, she "truly believe[s] in Service above Self and teach[es] the four way test in my ethics classes." 
Her "hope is that I will be able to apply my energy, experience and curiosity to the various projects in the Minneapolis University Rotary Club."  We are very pleased that Carrie is our president-elect for Rotary year 2022-2023.
Carrie is the recent past president of the Winona Rotary club, and has also held the position of club secretary and newsletter editor.  And, among her many other activities and achievements while in the Winona club, Carrie applied for her club to host a delegation of Ukrainians for a week.  She created and directed a week-long program for the delegates that included 32 hours of specific programming called “Persons with Disabilities." 
Carrie is a Mortician and a Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota.  She attended the U of M, the University of St. Thomas, and Globe University.
Carrie has two children, and is involved in gardening, international travel, scuba diving, music, cooking, exercising, pairing wine with food, reading anything but textbooks, living life to the fullest, and volunteering.
Welcome to MURC, Carrie!
Lolla Mohammed Nur
Lolla wanted to become affiliated with MURC because she was aware of Rotary's purpose to “bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.”   
In addition, she noted that she appreciates that Rotary "is a non-political and non-religious organization open to all..."  She understood that MURC is the most diverse Rotary club in Minnesota, which appealed to her as a woman of color who is an African immigrant, Muslim American and first generation in her family to attend college.  Lolla has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Minnesota.
Lolla is a Legislative Journalist and Social Media Reporter for the community news organization The UpTake.  She is also a self-employed communications consultant, panel/event host and moderator, an equity and diversity facilitator, and public speaker. 
And, Lolla is the Founder and Executive Director of East African Diaspora Arts/Affairs Initiative.  She has said she would love to combine her work in uplifting and connecting East African and Muslim Minnesotans to the work of Rotary, and to raise awareness of what Rotary is about to her communities as an Eritrean and Ethiopian, Muslim American. 

Lolla is a potential applicant to the Rotary Peace Fellowship, and she would like to gain more familiarity with the work and mission of Rotary International.  She appreciates Rotary’s commitment to global humanitarianism, giving back, and raising awareness on a range of issues impacting various vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
Lolla has vast experience in a number of capacities with African Economic Development Solutions; Voice of America Middle East News (D.C.); TEDx Minneapolis Intercultural Leadership Institute (national); National Art Strategies (D.C.); Diaspora African Women’s Network (D.C.); Council on American Islamic Relations MN; Little Africa MN; Al Madinah Cultural Center; Twin Cities Daily Planet; Pangea World Theater; Green Card Voices; Pollen Midwest; Mizna Literary Arts; and The Loft Literary Center.
Welcome to MURC, Lolla!
Oct 20, 2021:
Noon -
1 p.m.
What's on Baby's Mind: The Developmental Origins of Adult Mental Health and Disease
What's on Baby's Mind: The Developmental Origins of Adult Mental Health and Disease

There is increasing evidence that environmental stimuli like nutrition influence brain development in the first 1,000 days from conception. How the brain develops early in life influences not only how the young infant's brain functions but also influences its trajectory across the lifespan. It is the long-term lifespan effects that are the cost of early undernutrition to society.

Dr. Georgieff will use iron deficiency as a nutritional example to discuss these findings and talk about the mechanisms by which early life nutrition affects brain health. 

Dr. Michael K. Georgieff is the Martin Lenz Harrison Land Grant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. He is executive vice-chair of Pediatrics, and Co-Director of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain at the University. He is an internationally recognized expert on the effects of nutrition on the developing brain, and specifically the effects of iron status on learning and memory processing. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers and is a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, UNICEF, and the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding the role of nutrition in brain development and brain health.


We meet Wednesdays, noon-1:15 p.m.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, club meetings are held online via Zoom. We look forward to resuming regular in-person meetings when it is safe to do so. 

To join our meeting and receive the Zoom link, email us at

We invite you to join us!   


Bulletin Editor
Lori Simpson
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