MCLA Alumn Marry and Pursue Doctorate Together

College sweethearts Bernadette Dineen and Satchel Lefebvre ‘18 met at MCLA in 2015 and are now pursuing their doctorate at Tufts University.

The couple married in 2020 and currently reside in Medford, Mass. They both reflected on their time at MCLA and the connections they made with professors. Dineen studied biochemistry and Lefebvre studied mathematics.


“I say with the utmost certainty and gratitude that I would not be at Tufts in the Chemistry Ph.D. program without the constant support and guidance from Carolyn Dehner, an all-around epic woman, as well as nearly all of the college faculty and staff at MCLA,” Dineen said.

After graduation, Dineen worked as a chemistry lab technician at MCLA, which helped her grow to experience the campus as more than just a student and work with various departments. She ended the position this past summer to continue her education at Tufts.


Lefebvre had a similar experience with Dr. Liz Hartung, his advisor, and mentor.

“While earning my degree, Dr. Hartung supported my academic growth whether I was focused on math or thinking about changing majors,” he said. “Her gentle guidance left me the space to explore and figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated. After taking a few years to determine I wanted to go to grad school, the math department was there to help.”

The couple met through a townhouse mate and casually hung out and would go for walks on and off campus. Lefebvre remembers the moment he asked Dineen to date him.

“We are both socially awkward; when I asked her to date me, I said, “Will you go out with me?” She agreed but later had to call me to make sure that I meant dating and not just going out somewhere one time. To this day, she maintains that my question was too ambiguous,” he said.

Later, when it came time to pop the question, Lefebvre said he planned a romantic moment, but instead “panicked and ended up proposing to her while she was brushing her teeth instead.”